Anne Heche has played serious and humorous, and mere word of her teaming with Michael J. Fox made it pretty clear which side she’d fall on.
Bouncing back on NBC after her summer run in its short-lived “Save Me,” the actress started a guest arc on “The Michael J. Fox Show” Thursday (Oct. 10). “Hobbies” introduced her as Susan Rodriguez-Jones, a high-energy anchor brought to Mike Henry’s (Fox) New York station … and prompting a decidedly mixed reaction from him, given their past from working together in Florida.
He tells boss Harris (Wendell Pierce) that Susan is a “devil woman,” having once left him stranded in the Everglades to steal the story he was working on. When she pops up in the newsroom seconds later to oversee delivery of the “mahogany desk Walter Cronkite gave me,” it’s obvious Mike isn’t over his bitterness toward her.
Her telling him that he “could probably curl up in one of the drawers and take a nap” doesn’t help, nor does her boasting that she “used to be an intern and now, I have the corner office.”
Susan’s transparent sweetness continues as she treats the news staff to introductory coffee and donuts, then tells her new colleagues she owes her career to Mike. “I am so glad I found you in that swamp,” she mock-sincerely says to him. “I had to save you so you could save me.”
Harris starts to catch on, though, agreeing with Mike that Susan “is the devil woman.” And she confirms it as soon as everyone else is out of earshot, informing Mike that “the Glades aren’t the only thing in the past. So are you. This is my station now.”
Later, as she tells a newsroom crowd stories of her alleged professional adventures that supposedly have left her with no feeling in her left hand, Mike challenges that. And she apparently proves her claim by slamming a stapler down on the hand, not flinching. Mike then surprises her by slamming his fist down on her hand — and again, she doesn’t budge.
But the jig is up when Harris passes by the ladies’ room minutes later and hears Susan yelping wildly in pain (a moment Heche plays to the hilt). “She’s a crazy, crazy liar,” Harris concurs, but he also informs Mike he’s not about to fire her. “That kind of cold-blooded crazy is going to put us back on top,” he reasons.
We’ll see whether it does in coming weeks, despite Mike pulling such stunts as leaving a cracked vase of flowers on Susan’s desk for her to pick up and drench that prized mahogany desk … chuckling to himself as he watches his prank work, a fun flash of Fox’s familiar boyishness.
What did you think of Anne Heche on “The Michael J. Fox Show”?