Tod and Linc, stopping in a Vilano Beach Florida bar, encounter an odd acting youth. He is not liked by his peers and after a prank goes wrong his fellow teenagers act as brutal vigilantes, aggressively hunting him down. Tod and Linc become caught in the middle when the unstable youth uses them as a means to escape. Written by
The protagonist of this story is a young man named Walter who Tod & Linc meet in a Florida roadhouse that is a popular hang-out. Walter is in every respect a square peg trying to fit in a room of round holes. Try as he may Walter can't produce the favorable reactions he craves. In fact, Walter's actions repel his peers. His behavior only becomes more erratic as he exits the roadhouse culminating in the death of a policeman who may be the only one other than his mother to have pity on him.
This is a dark story and there is little, if any, travelogue color exhibited as a side. It explores mental illness born of alienation, a topic that is more pertinent with today's more violence prone misguided youth. There is also an interesting sub-plot and that is of vigilante justice in this case a kind of mob-mentality exhibited by the mainstream high school youth who resent Walter already and now are sure he's a murderer. In the showdown when the mob catches Walter it becomes apparent that two wrongs a right do not make. Walter isn't so much a murderer though his actions led to just that. Tod's last words to Walter, before he turns himself in, reinforces the fact that you can't manipulate true friendship admiration, or acceptance as it comes from a much more inner place where you don't acquire it by blunt force.
This show is rated as I review this highly at 8, I can't actually go that high as it seems a bit too edgy, but it is solid. The topic of alienated youth with a tragic outcome is even more prescient today so a watch may well be in order even if the entertainment factor is low and the dark quotient high. One has to respect the creative way Route 66 tackled the darker sides of the human condition.
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