Itís no secret that Iím a huge fan of the episode, my second favorite of the season just behind The Singapore File! Everything about it just works for me - the actors (in particular Eric Braeden & Marianne McAndrew), the Manchurian Candidate plot, the Wo Fat cameo, the suspense, the excellent score by Richard Shores! Actually the music is a major reason why the episode is so great. Shores delivers a powerful and suspenseful score (even outside of the hypnotic music, which itself adds so much to the episode).

Mike, having read your review I have to point out that this hypnotic music, or ďgoopy New Age musicĒ as you call it, that bothers you is actually a part of the score by Shores. Not just something that is played on Farrarís tape recorder (even though it does during the beach scene). But itís more than that. Itís a part of the score, building suspense and showing us the subjectís hypnotized state of mind. Itís not a trigger for the subject to go and kill. Farrar provides the specific commands to kill. The music is merely a mood-setter. Outside of the scene on the beach with Farrarís tape recorder, all the other instances where this music plays is part of the score. When Karen opens her locker and sees the gun and this music starts playing, clearly there is no tape recorder in her locker. When Joyce is trying to shoot McG at the end at the university there is no tape recorder either. Itís all music score. This same exact music plays in ďKiller BeeĒ when George kidnaps the kids and brings them into Tedís home, trying to drive the latter insane. Itís a brilliant piece of music and very unsettling.

I donít know much about mind control or hypnotism (few people do) but in the context of this story it works. I wouldnít call it science fiction. Far fetched? Maybe. But then anything to do with mind control I would consider far fetched. Simply because we donít come across it every day. But as itís presented here I didnít see any inconsistencies. Again, the goopy music is the score, itís not a trigger mechanism to kill. On the beach Farrar uses this music to put Joyce into a relaxed state. The wine (likely spiked) and the other mumbo-jumbo he tells her is what ďprogramsĒ her. Itís what turns her against McGarrett, causing her to slap him. Farrar had already programmed her to dislike McGarrett. But later he obviously gives her the command to kill McGarrett, which is why she calls him to meet her at the university. Same with Karen at the beginning. She opens her locker and seeing the gun immediately acts as a trigger to go kill Han. The goopy music that plays there has nothing to do with it. Thatís just the score, showing her state of mind the moment she sees the gun and becomes ďtriggeredĒ. Clearly Farrar had already ďwalked in her mindĒ prior to that, telling her the moment she sees that gun in her locker to go and shoot Han. We can certainly infer as much. Thatís pretty clear. She was already in an agitated state against Han in the classroom, already under Farrarís spell. Already programmed by him. She just needed the trigger at that point. That was the gun.

So the hypnotic music is a wonderful piece of scoring, one of my favorite pieces in the series as a matter of fact. The fact that Farrar even uses that piece of music on the beach on Joyce is an added bonus and itís very effective!