Could have been a decent Quincy episode with some editing
In the opening scenes of "Beyond the Open Door", a young female hitchhiker is run down by the man who picked her up following an altercation and her getting out of the car. The police and Quincy (Jack Klugman) initially believe she is the latest victim of a serial killer, but the police are baffled as to the identity of the murderer. A psychic (Kim Stanley) later comes forward to assist the police in the investigation by sharing the visions she has been having and naturally, Quincy, being a man of science, is skeptical of her. His attitude towards her begins to change, however, as the information she provides does assist in bringing them closer to the killer.
I completely agree with the other reviewers who cry foul over the way the opening scenes were directed with the victim casually walking in front of the car after the incident with the driver and her threatening that she would report him to the police. If you really thought he was a bad guy and out to harm you, why are you not running and/or going in any other direction than the one his car is facing?? I also take issue with Kim Stanley being cast as the mother of the two children. While some actresses can get away with much younger roles, a nearly 60 year old Kim is way too grandmotherly and matronly to be playing the mother of a young boy here in a believable manner. This is a constant distraction throughout the episode and one that could have been easily addressed through a simple script change by having her play the grandmother raising the kids after something tragic happened to the parents. They could have also worked in the psychic angle to this back story in that she had a vision and tried to warn the parents of the children, but they didn't listen to her and perished. I think something like this would have been much more believable and relevant over the back story she relays to Quincy about her brother and father that happened decades ago.
Another annoying and far-fetched aspect of this episode is how Quincy suddenly is able to clarify and interpret her visions. It's one thing for him to come around to her methods, but another for a doctor of science to be able see what even the person with the psychic abilities cannot. It's makes her look incompetent and takes away from the credibility of her ability, whereas for him it is completely out of character.
All that said, I feel this episode had potential and could have been a good one with some modifications. On the positive side, it does deal with a murder investigation which many of the die-hard Quincy fans seem to prefer over the episodes that deal with the advancement of a social cause or issue which are so prevalent in Season 8. For this reason alone, I was probably a little more generous than I should have been in my rating of this episode.
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