Ryan, Micki, and Jack must infiltrate an Amish sect to retrieve a cursed quilt which has the power to draw others into a person's dreams, leaving them at their mercy to do whatever they want to them. A bitter spinster is using the quilt to murder her rivals for the town leader's hand in marriage. Micki naturally searches for the quilt but Ryan falls in love with the leader's daughter and seems interested in retirement instead...
"The Quilt of Hathor" is probably F13's most ambitious episode to date. They really went all out here: the episode prominently features several dream sequences in a Victorian era setting with matching period costumes, the Amish town is well done, there are a plethora of guest stars, it airs in two parts, the plot has tons of twists of turns, and Ryan even threatens to leave Curious Goods.
The episode has probably the best villain of the series. Effie Stokes is played excellently by Kate Trotter. Kate would play another villain in Season 2's "And Now the News," and while she was good there too, this is her best performance. The makeup job on her (or possibly lack thereof) is terrific and hatred and bitterness ooze from her every pore. She has all the motive in the world as the man of her dreams ignores her and repeatedly passes her over for his next bride.
Carolyn Dunn is back and this time she gets upgraded to love interest. Her scenes with Ryan are pretty good and they do make a cute couple. Her performance and delivery come off as a bit wooden. Scott Paulin, who plays her father, is much better.
The plot is great. All the major players have something to keep them busy: Micki, of course, tries to find the quilt, Ryan falls in love and has to fight her disapproving father, Effie bides her time by using the quilt to rack up a rather impressive body count while Reverend Josiah rejects her again and again, Laura must choose between Ryan and her current fiancée, Reverend Josiah has mounting financial woes and faces constant pressure to get remarried, and Sarah educates the outsiders about Amish life and helps Micki locate the quilt. There's hardly a dull moment here, and most of what occurs seems pretty logical.
The antique, like many others, has a very simple concept but tons of possibilities. They really make good use of it throughout the episode. The elaborate dream sequences and the creative deaths are not to be missed. Sarah Good's death dream was the only one that came off rather lame. You can clearly see that their intent was to set her on fire but all you really see is her standing behind a wall of flame shrieking. They used stunt men in fireproof suits for other episode, why not here?
There are a few things that detract from this episode and keep it from being perfect. The previously mentioned death sequence of Sarah Good is certainly one of them. Before her death, she accuses Effie of stealing the quilt then she goes off her room. My point is this: if Sarah knows Effie has the quilt, then why wouldn't she try harder to get it back? Since Sarah was the original owner, she knows what it's capable of. So why would she leave an angry Effie alone with a prime opportunity to use it? By far, the most foolish scene of the whole episode is when Ryan is hiding in the barn. Matthew throws the rake down into the hay where Ryan is hiding. We know Ryan is OK, but this seemed really unnecessary. Not only that, tons of blood come gushing out from under the hay; far too much blood for Ryan to still be alive.
Negatives aside, this is still one of the best episodes of the series. The first time I saw "The Quilt of Hathor," it scared me so much that I couldn't look at the TV and eventually had to leave the room. Of course, I was only 10.
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