This episode of Metal Hurlant Chronicles is told with the audience as a bit of a captive audience. One of the members of the story, the sheriff of Totem, tells a young medic about the doctor (James Marsters) that lived in the town previously. Most of the rest of the episode is shown as a flashback to the story and what happened.
The town’s doctor is a bit of a drunk, and not very good at his job. The sheriff brings a gunshot victim to see the doc, and after anesthetizing the patient with some whiskey, the doc has a few sips himself. Due to drunkenness, the doctor messes up the procedure to remove the bullet from the victim’s gut, and the poor guy dies on the table. The sheriff is not happy with this outcome and tells the doctor off.
The doctor knows that he’s a drunk and not good at his job, so one night, while he’s walking through town, he curses his hands and how they don’t do what he wants them to do. While he’s doing that, the planet Metal Hurlant flies through the sky, and suddenly, the doctor’s hands are on fire. However, once that moment has passed, the doctor has skilled hands and can now heal almost any wound. While this seems like a great thing, it ends up being a curse. Due to the fact that they all survive their wounds, most of the rabble-rousers in town get up and start dueling all over again.
Now that these duelists are all surviving, word spreads of the incredible doctor and his skill, so others start coming into town, including the notorious Murphy Gang. These people are highly violent, and after losing at the poker table in the saloon, the gang starts shooting it up. The sheriff realizes that the doctor is inadvertently the cause of all the violence and threatens him at gunpoint to leave the town. The doctor refuses.
The sheriff has had enough of the Murphy Gang and goes back to the saloon and starts shooting the Murphy Gang. While he does so, the leader of the gang gets behind him and shoots him in the back. The sheriff ends up waking up on the doctor’s table. The doctor he has tried to kick out of town has saved his life. The doctor is not repaid well. However, to the general public, the doctor has now vanished without a trace, and as the years go by, there are less and less duels.
The story comes back to modern times, and the sheriff is wrapping up the story to the medic. However, this medic continues to stay, even after being told there’s no need for him. The sheriff ends up suspicious, and discovers that the medic is in fact an assassin. He gets off a shot, but the sheriff kills him, then heads to the back room of his office to his whiskey supply. There we discover why the sheriff is in fact still alive.
This episode of Metal Hurlant Chronicles was interesting, but for me, not as good as the one that aired immediately before it. I loved the concept, but a few moments threw me out of the story. One was when the doctor’s hands were on fire. James Marsters’ scream during that moment had me laughing because the moment seemed so fake. I also didn’t like the reveal at the end of the episode. The props looked really fake, as compared to the rest of the episode. But as a whole, I enjoyed the story and the episode.
What did you think of Whiskey In The Jar? What was your favorite moment of the episode? Let us know in the comments!
Metal Hurlant Chronicles airs Monday at 10/9c on the SyFy Channel. Watch full episodes on SyFy.com.