Dec 12 2008 3:51pm

Eleventh Hour: “Flesh”

So last week on Eleventh Hour, CBS gave us a cautionary tale about the perils of young ladies joining the Mile High Club. But apparently young people are still too sinful for this old network, because we spent another hour this week examining the fatal and nauseating consequences of nookie. Yes, it turns out that when you go to Daytona for Spring Break, you’re likely to catch sun, surf, and necrotizing fasciitis! Hope no one’s hungry.

This week’s first collapsing victims are frat guys. I will spend the rest of the episode trying to work up sadness that frat boys are shuffling off this mortal coil. It does not work, which is probably the point.

Luckily this gives us the best scene of the series to date, as the medical examiner notes that Victim 2 has a tattoo on his left shoulder of a dagger piercing two cherries, and mutters, “Asshole.” (So say we all.) Luckily he doesn’t have to worry about speaking ill of the dead, since the guy wakes up moments later.  SCIENCE!

Naturally, since Dr. Rufus Sewell and Agent Young are the only two people in the world with any knowledge of science, they get called in to investigate. Turns out the guys (and the girls they seduced into giving up the flowers of their virtue) are in suspended animation, space-travel style!

Oh, please tell me that when they wake up they’ll have to battle aliens.

Nope! Apparently when you wake up from suspended animation your body devours itself thanks to some delicious necrotizing fasciitis. Thanks for the demo, Frat Guy!

Science alert: If you end up in suspended animation, never wake up. Ever. Trust me. It’s not pretty.

When a third frat guy is brought into the hospital, Agent Young notes that all three dudes bear the dagger-and-cherries tattoo. Turns out they’re gang-rapists who were acquitted of attacking a girl the previous Spring Break (and got tattoos to celebrate, I guess? What?). Now she’s in a coma—don’t ask, long story—and her dad is still very upset about it!

Her dad works for NASA, by the way, at the only location in the world manufacturing the highly-classified suspended-animation bacteria.

Rufus: So, you’re developing a very rare bacterium that induces suspended animation and then, upon waking the subject, spreads necrotic fasciitis?

Dr. Dad: …only the first part! That second part is just crazy talk! ...I hear a phone call. For me. Gotta run!

Raise your hand if you think he did it as revenge, but will suffer an attack of conscience, and will survive an eight-story fall just long enough to write down the chemical symbol of silver before he heads off to the big Apollo Lander in the sky?

Okay, hands down. It’s not like this show is ever keeping anyone in suspense.

In a lovely continuity move, Dr. Rufus revives the two girls but never mentions Frat Rapist #3, who apparently gets a few more months in the ice bath to think about what he did. Or, they woke him up offscreen and let him die of necrotizing fasciitis, whichever. Rufus is too busy setting up a date with his late wife’s best friend to worry about it, and as long as the young ladies have learned their lesson, that’s all that matters, right?

This episode, like the one before it, was creepy in a way that had nothing to do with the flesh-eating bacteria, which was actually riotously funny. (Dear Frat Guy: when you discover that your half-eaten leg hurts only after you lunge for the foxy FBI agent, you have issues that have nothing to do with your disease.) For the second week in a row, the show insists that girls who have sex will suffer dire consequences that they sort of deserve for being alone with boys. This, of course, comes on the heels of all the early episodes where single mothers are either negligent or incapable. Nothing like a little judgment to wash down your Thursday night! Thanks, Eleventh Hour.

Sean Fagan
1. sef
Um... did you miss the whole part about how the guys were raping the girls? The one who didn't get raped -- who made sure to use a condom -- was the only one who didn't get sick.

Now, I'm not saying this is in any way subtle or good -- my alternate titles for this show are Eleventh Anvil and Eleventh Crap -- but the girls were victims here.

It's a very, very sad state when this show is better than CSI.
Melissa Ann Singer
2. masinger
I kind of liked the mouse bit . . . and I got that the girls were victims, but the missing frat boy was a large dangling loose end.

And last night's CSI was _fab_, imo. Bill Irwin was so creepy; I just loved it. Of course, I first saw his work during his New Vaudeville days, which were, alas, a long time ago now.
3. GuanoLad
They're getting too formulaic already.

You can pick the bad guy as soon as you see them. Thousands of scientists at NASA, and they meet the exact one they want first time. Viruses (or DNA) analysed and solved within hours. Deliberate malicious infecting by selfish scientists.

You can suspend disbelief on these kinds of shows for a while, but eventually it starts to strain credulity. That's why I hate CSI, and I fear I may get to dislike Eleventh Hour if it carries on like this.

I preferred the potential of the UK Patrick Stewart version.
Bridget McGovern
4. BMcGovern
Honestly? I've only seen bits and pieces of this show, but I'm so glad that it exists just for these write-ups. Hilarious.

Also, a Patrick Stewart version?!! *That* would be amazing; his unquenchable snarkiness would elevate this material to genius territory. Rufus...well. Not so much.
5. angel23
does anyone remember what the girl smart enough to use a condom said i remember it was funny but not what it was
6. Hahahotel
She said something like:

"No condom, no nasty."

I like this show. IMHO it's much better than your write-ups imply. Not perfect or anything, but pretty good - especially compared to what else is on in terms of Network primetime dramas.

Also, I don't think the coroner dude in the opening said "asshole" re: the apparently dead dude's tattoo -- I think he said: "Tasteful," - in a sarcastic tone. I don't think they could get away with him saying "asshole" on CBS, even at 10:00pm.

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