This season has already been peppered with references to Theo's extra-tough math teacher, Mrs. Westlake. Tonight, she makes an in-person appearance: after her ominous call to the house to request a meeting, Dr. Huxtable invites her to dinner with the family. Has she come to eviscerate Theo for poor performance on his recent test? Does she harbor even darker intent? Is she a good witch or a bad witch?
Usually, I start off with guest stars. Since so much of this week's episode is built on the suspense of Mrs. Westlake's arrival, however, I think it's only appropriate to save her for last. Instead, we'll start with Theo, since he gets two outfits this week.
I don't know. Something about Lisbeth Salander? I'm low on captions today.
Sad, then mad, in plaid.
Ain't no particular sign she's uncompatible with.
Her lower extremities have never looked more gelatinous.
Models: unknown / Photo: Yannis Vlamos, GoRunway.com
That book jutting into the frame is the only Rudy reference this week. Sad.
Those earrings have been around a lot this season, too. So much stasis!
Their love knows no hair clippers.
Anyhow, back to the task at hand. We'll start with Jack Westlake, the handsome-enough and charming-enough but ultimately secondary half of this couple. He's played by Matt Williams, who actually isn't primarily an actor. In addition to writing several episodes of The Cosby Show, he created and executive produced Roseanne, as well as co-creating and co-producing Home Improvement. His shirt/cardigan pairing is pretty great in my eyes. If I could get away with wearing that electric blue, I'd match it with charcoal all the time. It just looks right. The pants should be a different color, though: I like that he calls the gray back when he gets down to the socks, but an outfit shouldn't be all the same shade throughout, you know? It's OK if it doesn't all match. Clearly, Anna Maria is not the kind of woman who dresses her husband.
Sonia Braga plays the episode's title character. You may remember her as Sophia Vargas on Alias or Samantha's girlfriend Maria during that arc on Sex and the City when Kim Cattrall's character experimented with bisexuality. She looks kind of phenomenal here. The goal was clearly to make her sexy: rich red top, leather skirt, seemingly purple tights... it's a very '80s version of hot, but it works. The Victorian cut of her sleeves, with the balloon from the shoulders that snaps tight at the elbow, helps build a little more class into the ensemble. The skirt looks shorter in that screencap than it really is; when she stands, it hits her knees. If the hem really landed mid-thigh, then it would be inappropriate for a first-time meeting with her student's parents. Then again, Cliff's going to get pretty familiar with Mrs. Westlake's downstairs area over the next few months, so perhaps it's futile to talk about boundaries in that context.
And there you have it, our first episode in the DVD era. I can't believe I waited to be forced into this transition. Grabbing the screencaps was much, much easier, and the quality is visibly improved. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the generous readers who donated their hard-earned cash to make this happen. If you'd like to throw a little money into the cup to support this blog, I will put it toward the purchase of future seasons of the show. (There are eight total, and I intend to review them all.) A dollar, or even fifty cents, makes a huge difference.
See you next week, kids. Keep it hot.