ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Deathmask - The Incredible Hulk Classic TV Series.

Updated on November 3, 2014

The Incredible Hulk does suspense-filled crime drama - and rocks it!

This episode is a gritty story about a serial killer murdering young college girls, who leaves a trademark mask at the scene (hence the title, Deathmask). It's a mix of "ripped from the headlines" type of story inspired by the likes of Ted Bundy with a touch of Friday the 13th/Halloween style slasher flick, and it's totally unlike most other episodes.

Obviously, not the best episode to watch with younger children.


The synopsis:

David Banner (masquerading as David "Brent") works at the college library, and makes the perfect suspect when the murders start - He is a loner and drifter, leaving more questions in his wake than answers. He becomes the only suspect when he saves the latest victim, only to have her call out his name before slipping into a coma as he is taken away by the killer. The eyewitness to the event only see the killer fleeing and the victim yelling "David!" The cops quickly piece together which David this is (she was frequently seen on campus talking with David), and haul him in for questioning.

David Banner makes the perfect suspect, but the tension only builds when he is arrested.
David Banner makes the perfect suspect, but the tension only builds when he is arrested.

Deathmask is atmospheric, chilling and suspenseful.

The first act does what first acts typically do - establish the characters and the situation (set the table so to speak), and the 3rd act provides the resolution. Typically, it's the 3rd act where the action is and the climax is reached, but Deathmask is different. In Deathmask, it's the 2nd act that provides the suspense and builds to a crescendo.

That's something that took me by surprise the first time I saw this episode. After re-watching it, it makes perfect sense when you realize that it's a gritty crime drama set in the universe of The Incredible Hulk, and therefore restricted to that framework. The crime drama aspect ends with Act II, and The Incredible Hulk story plays out in the final act.

So we have an episode where the suspenseful plot climax is reached in Act II, but the action climax hits in Act III. After the suspense-focused crime drama is played out, it's time for the Hulk to go to work on the perpetrator.

But it's the second act, interrogation scene where the meat is...


"You don't know what it's like to have to keep something locked up inside you..."

"You, whatever the hell your name is, are not what you seem..."

During his interrogation, things go badly for David. His driver's license is registered to another person, and his social security card and library employee card are registered to two other, different people.

"Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream? "

-E. A. Poe


We also get a little bit of dream within a dream action in the interrogation scene. Witness this bit of dialog:

Chief Frank Rhodes: Rhodes and Janus. Good cop, bad cop.

Dr. David Bruce Banner: Janus, the Roman God?

Chief Frank Rhodes: Yeah, remember, he's eh... two faced. Each face is ... looking in the opposite direction. Two sides to every question. I can understand that.


When the police chief Rhodes mentions Janus, the two-faced Roman god, David perks up. That's when things get interesting, the interview itself takes on another face.

As we know, David is dealing with the two faces of his condition, so the interrogation plays off that a bit. But it also makes another surprising turn as the audience learns David is not the only one afflicted with dual personalities...


"He doesn't see his little blond teases...with their lipstick and makeup masks.. he doesn't see them making fools of him."

As I said, the 3rd act is fairly anti-climactic owing mostly to the fact that this is, after all, The Incredible Hulk and not a Law and Order episode. This merger of the two concepts works well enough even though the transition is a bit cliched, with an angry posse breaking into the police station to abduct David and bring him to "real justice."

Despite the narrowly defined and cliché mob, the main plot and storyline is executed brilliantly, and the crime drama and The Incredible Hulk elements of the episode are blended fairly well.


Angry and cliched mob.
Angry and cliched mob.

Deathmask is one of the episodes

Gerald McRaney

The chief inspector, Frank Rhodes, is played brilliantly by Gerald McRaney, of Simon & Simon fame.

He also went on to star in Major Dad, and Promised Land and was a series regular for the first season of Jericho, and the final season of Deadwood.

see more http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0574468/

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • M. Beck profile imageAUTHOR

      M. Beck 

      3 years ago from Parts Unknown

      I know what you mean. This is one of the gems in the series for sure.

    • profile image

      David Barber 

      3 years ago

      Completely took me by surprise when I first watched this in 1996 on the Sci-Fi Channel. Bixby and McRaney both gave superb performances.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)