S is for Stephanie Plum and Ezra Standish

S

[Loz]

Lula had Eminem cranked up. He was rapping about trailer park girls and how they go round the outside, and I was wondering what the heck that meant. I’m a white girl from Trenton. I don’t know these things. I need a rap cheat sheet.

Stephanie Plum is the, well what is Stephanie Plum. She is the lead character in the comedic novels which are named after her. A Trenton New Jersey underwear salesperson, who turns to bounty hunting for her cousin Vinny’s firm, when she loses her job after her divorce. She therefore spends a lot of time with her family, her long suffering mother, who deals with everything by cooking. You know things are bad for her mom when she hides in the kitchen taking secret belts of whiskey, her monosyllabic father, her perfect sister and nieces, and last but very much not least, her gun toting, funeral jumping, man hungry grandma.

Through it she meets Joseph Morelli, the man she loved in high school, who let her down but has since grown up to become a Trenton cop and is just about a grown up now. At the office we meet Lula, the ex ho Stephanie saves, who comes to work for the bonds company, big black and sassy, she’s Steph’s best friend, even if neither of them admit it. Connie the mob mom and finally, dangerously Ranger, the ex army man who endangers every ounce of grown up relationship she has with Morelli.

Steph herself is a klutz, a bounty hunter who always seems to pick up the naked, greased up skips. Her habits extend to eating nothing but leftovers and nearly out of date birthday cake, with the occasional (read daily) stops at fast food shops with Lula. She tries to be a grown up, but tends to return to her parents whenever anything goes wrong, in spite of her mother’s constant worrying about her job, what she eats and if she’s going to get married and have babies any time soon.

You can’t actually blame Steph’s mother for worrying, she regularly pisses of psychopaths, gets her cars blown up and pissing off Grandma Bella, and while she does keep a gun in her pocket but she tends to keep the bullets in the cookie jar, which unfortunately Grandma does not.

[Mich]

I almost picked Sherlock Holmes for my S, so I could talk about the many incarnations and how I still love the books and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ was one of the first ‘real’ books I read, when I was eight. But, I realised I might then end up talking about my ‘issues’ with the TV series ‘Sherlock’. So, to save everyone from that… I decided to revert to an old favourite (I say old, late 90s, early 00s).

[Ezra has just won a bet by placing six shots dead center in a playing card]
Chris Larabee: The first shot was louder than the other five.
Ezra Standish: What are you attempting to suggest?
Chris Larabee: The first bullet was real and the last were blanks.
Ezra Standish: Well, sir, I abhor gambling and as such leave nothing to chance.

Ezra Standish was a character from the, sadly, short lived TV series ‘The Magnificent Seven’ – based on the film/s of the same name. The series takes aspects of the films and its characters – particularly in the Pilot – to make it link well enough for fans of the original (including Robert Vaughn as a recurring character) but it perhaps came out a little too early for the fanbase it could have achieved.

One of the Seven, Ezra was a Southern born ‘gentleman’, (only in terms of his speech patterns and manners) conman and gambler. He is quick witted, intelligent, with almost a ‘Jack of all Trades’ persona. He has elements of the films’ characters Lee (Robert Vaughn), Britt (James Coburn) and Harry (Brad Dexter), so it’s especially fun when Robert Vaughn plays Judge Travis who arrests Ezra in one episode.

Highly dextrous and quick to adapt, Ezra’s conning skills would come in useful for many plans but he also prone to bouts of greed and moral dilemmas. He knows his con-artist ways are unethical but struggles between the teachings of his grifter mother and his own conscience. As his friendships with the rest of Seven grew, the more he swayed towards his conscience. He still couldn’t resist the odd controversial wager here and there though.

In the Pilot, Ezra began as a man who would only save his own skin, who ran out on the Seven initially but returned to help save everyone and the village they were hired to protect. By the end, he became a committed lawkeeper who would risk his life for those he cared about and innocents.

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