Peter Frechette as Peter Montefiore; Deborah Offner as Catherine; David Clennon as Miles Drentell; Andra Millian as Angel Wasserman; Patricia Kalember as Susannah Hart; Madelyn Cates as [unknown]; Phil Leeds as the attorney or Larry Tate (head of Island Breezes); John C. Moskoff as the attorney or Larry Tate (head of Island Breezes)
As things begin to fall apart at work, Michael struggles to deal with Gary's estate.
The account for Island Breezes is almost gone and DAA has one more chance to convince the client that they can handle it. Miles breaks into the meeting and disrupts Michael's plans on it (after declaring that Michael is in charge) and sends Peter Montefiore, the main executive on the account, down to Miami to calm the client down just as Peter is needed the most in Philadelphia. Michael is beset by conflicting appointments and finally makes time to go to Gary's old apartment where he surprises Susannah. They settle on a time to go over the estate papers. Michael returns to the office to find Peter departing for Miami despite his attempts to fight Miles on the decision. Island Breezes calls the next day to say that Peter hasn't arrived and Michael discovers that Peter worked through the night and is in his office, acting oddly. While Michael is trying to meet with Susannah's attorney, Miles drags him out, having discovered that Peter never went to Miami. While Miles confronts Peter in the middle of a meeting, Michael tries to mediate and insist that he's the one who made Peter stay. When Michael finally meets with Susannah, she is quite businesslike and expresses her desire to be done and have the apartment cleared out in the next two days. Michael can't sleep that night and goes downstairs to work when he sees a vision of Gary who offers to help him. Michael asks what to do about Susannah, but Gary tells him not to worry about it. Still, Gary tells him to take care of things. Michael doesn't understand, saying he already takes care of everything, and rushes after Gary to come face to face with the mirror--himself reflected. Elliot and Angel are still at the office, exhausted after the night, and Peter is nowhere to be found. Peter finally shows up and he and Michael talk in the bathroom which is when he reveals that he's had "the test" and it turns up positive for AIDS. As Michael scrambles to figure out what to do, Susannah shows up, angry because he had paid off Gary's student loan without telling her first. In the midst of this, Miles shows up with the head of Island Breezes and informs him that they're all going to lunch (after the guy makes a pass at Susannah). All of the stress finally gets to be too much and Michael knocks things off his desk as soon as he is alone. Michael grabs some soup late that night and has more visions of Gary. Gary reminds him to take care of things which Michael still doesn't understand, and keeps prodding Michael to let him go. At work, Miles commends their work on the campaign but tells them that the job they have done is "too good" and won't work for the specified audience. Miles directs most of this at Peter who take severe umbrage at some of the illustrations regarding team players, seeing them as a slur at his sexual orientation. Peter rushes him and challenges Miles to fire him, which Miles readily does. Peter begins packing his office while Michael tries to talk him into staying for the insurance. Peter fights off his offers of help, saying that Michael doesn't know anything about him and they are only casual work friends. At the apartment, Michael tries to unload a little to Susannah while she moves boxes around, and she settles that she and Gary's mother have taken care of the student loan. Susannah also confronts him about the $6000 that Gary still owed Michael which led to a conversation about how Susannah has taken care of herself and that Michael can't let him go. Michael meets with Miles and demands Peter's job back, taking responsibility for the situation. Miles finally tells Michael that he can make the choice himself and that they can use Peter's campaign. Miles also lets it be known that he has figured out what's wrong with Peter and that perhaps D.A.A. should do some pro bono work "on the subject." Michael goes to meet Peter at a small lunch counter and they catch up on what's been going on at D.A.A. Michael offers him back his job, but Peter doesn't seem to really want it and is more focused on his uncertain future. Michael gets to Gary's apartment and finds people going over Gary's things. Susannah offers him a tie that Gary had bought once because it looked responsible and he called it his "Michael tie." Michael tells her a little about how he met Gary. Michael then wears that tie to the final Island Breezes meeting in which he announces that they have saved the account, thanking everyone for all the hard work (Peter is at the meeting). Everyone fades and Michael has another vision of Gary, they say goodbye for the last time and Michael finally cries.
Susannah has two sisters; Gary had napkins with Nixon on them and Ellyn took them and some kitchen stuff; Gary met Michael in the dorm at Penn in the first year and he was a hippie with tie dye sheets; Peter has worked at DAA for 7 years; a picture is visible among Gary's stuff that Melissa took during one episode of him and Emma with a rolling pin; Gary got a C in Freshman English; Melissa took a football and soccer ball of Gary's
Gary wears the gloves with no tips and the Knights jacket. Susannah wears an orange t-shirt while packing which is a bad, bad idea for a redhead.
"Mirrors are the doors from which death comes and goes." --Gary
"That's what we do in the 90s, we save things." --Michael
"A good man. That's interesting. I often wonder what that is. Your friend who was killed, was he a good man?" --Miles to Michael
--"So how's Island Breezes?" --Peter
--"Well, we're going your way." --Michael
--"Oh, what, an all gay agency?" --Peter
A note on the writers: I only recently noticed on one of my tapes that Paul Monette wrote "Closing the Circle," and was reminded of it when I just looked at your new writers' index. In case you hadn't heard of him, he is a very distinguished gay writer, possibly the most well known and recognized in this country. He wrote two best sellers: Borrowed Time, and Becoming a Man, which won the National Book Award several years ago. After noticing his name in the writers' index a few minutes ago, I looked him up online because I couldn't quite remember the titles of his books, both of which are wonderful reading. To my great sadness, I learned that he died about a year and a half ago. It was quite a tribute to the series that such a famous and distinguished writer wrote a television episode."
'Mirrors are the doors through which Death comes and goes. Look at a mirror all your life and you'll see Death at work.' Cocteau said that. I always did like a cool quote.
The quote is from Jean Cocteau's 1950 film Orphée, which was based on the Greek myth of Orpheus.
When I originally saw this episode, I wondered if the writers (Paul Monette and Richard Kramer) were trying to represent Michael seeing an actual ghost, or Michael having an internal dialog with his memory of Gary. I leaned toward the ghost theory, because Gary causes lights to flicker by gesturing at them, and he anticipates an event (Leo crying) before it happens. But again, all of this could be part of Michael's inner dialog, colored by his knowledge of Gary's love of literature. Plus, Michael didn't run upstairs shouting, "Hope, I saw Gary! Aaaaaaarrrgh!" Ultimately, I've decided the writers didn't want to spell it out, and wanted us to decide for ourselves, which is an approach Cocteau might have liked.
The grandfather clock in Michael and Hope's living room looks exactly like the grandfather clock in our living room. It's a complete coincidence, but it's kind of fun knowing Sue and I have the same clock as Michael and Hope. Ours is the Howard Miller Greyson.
Return to the Season Four index
Return to Bedford Falls home