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Don Quixote: Disarmed and Dangerous: 01/31/09
As I work my way through Don Quixote I have come to realize just how far reaching the novel's influence has been and continues to be. This week's post comes courtesy of Chicago where a 14 year old boy impersonated a cop for most of a day, and from CSI's most recent episode, "Disarmed and Dangerous."
For this week I read chapters 27 through 34, bringing me up to page 547. Having survived the antics of the wedding stunt and a trip into a cave, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are welcomed into a estate of a duchess and given the treatment as if they were a real knight and squire. Quixote, enjoying experience grows melancholy expecting to be found out at any moment.
And that brings us to "Disarmed and Dangerous" which begins with a 'roid-rage murder of an FBI agent. His surviving partners offer their help to the CSI team and to Las Vegas police. The evidence doesn't add up for the CSI folks.
To any one who has read Don Quixote, especially an illustrated copy, the staging and facial expressions of Miles and Amanda will pop. They hold themselves tall and proud but their faces betray their fear of being found out.All through the episode, identity (or the lack of it) is a central motif. The dead agent doesn't have finger prints. The agents' guns lack serial numbers. They frequently "go under cover."
Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Agents Amanda and Miles spend most of their time watching the professionals do their jobs. They take part when corned into it, like when Jim Brass brings Miles in to threaten their one witness with time in a federal prison. Now although Miles is able to quote an obscure bit of law to prove his non existent credentials, I would argue that it's actually Amanda who is Don Quixote. She is the one who has two names (two identities) where as Miles is just Miles and Sancho Panza is just Sancho Panza. Sancho is at Quixote's side as he dies just as Miles is at the crime scene where Amanda's body is found.
Watching "Disarmed and Dangerous" twice has made me realize that although the novel is called Don Quixote, the book is more about Sancho Panza the loyal friend and servant than it is about Sr. Quixada who lived out the last few months of his life as Don Quixote, brave knight of La Mancha.
The episode ends with a brief epilogue where Dr. Raymond Langston takes a copy of Don Quixote to Miles to read. I'm not sure this coda is necessary. It feels tacked on but it did make for an obvious post for this week's Don Quixote update for me. Interestingly, Miles speaks of the ending of the novel (and not the ending of part one). He has lived the adventure and survived it but at great personal cost just as Sancho Panza. Langston, though, speaks only of the tilting at windmills, the very first adventure Don Quixote has. The imaginary giants are long forgotten by the time the adventures are done and mortal coil is sprung.