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Brimstone
Peter Horton is Ezekial Stone in this very short lived television series from 1998. Stone is a former cop who killed his wife's rapist after he was found not guilty. A short time later Stone is killed and sent to Hell for his crime. However, it turns out that 113 evil souls have escaped through an opening back to Earth, so the Devil makes a bargain with him and sends him back to recover them. Both Stone and the escaped souls can only be harmed or killed by each other, and they can be sent back to Hell if their eyes -- the windows to the soul -- are destroyed. If Stone can recover all 113, then he will be given a second chance at life.
Norbert is absolutely fabulous in his role as Martin Benedict in this episode of Brimstone entitled Repentance. Mortin Benedict is an incredible character, and in my top of all time favorites! Martin is a former Dutch SS Officer, an Oberscharfuhrer, who was also known as the Engel der Genade -- Angel of Mercy. He had promised 18 Dutch Jews living in Amsterdam in 1941 that he could give them transit cards and visas so they could escape before they were rounded up and sent to the camps. Instead, he ended up losing his nerve and turned them in to the authorities. All of them perished in the ovens at the camps. Martin died shortly after that and was sent to Hell. He is now back as one of the 113.
Stone is sent by the Devil to meet up with a homeless drunk who witnessed another homeless man being murdered by having his eyes cut out. The drunk, a nice man by the name of Harry, describes Martin, and says he saw him bending over the man and that he had blood on his hands. He then fled by jumping off an 80-foot overpass and vanishing into the night.
Norbert Weisser as Martin Benedict Norbert Weisser in Brimstone
During his investigation, Stone hears a rumor at the homeless shelter about an Angel of Mercy who has saved several of the residents there by appearing out of nowhere, performing heroic acts to rescue them as they faced death, and then disappears.
We next see Martin as he is reading about the killings of the homeless people and posting the articles on his wall. He is visibly upset by what he is reading. Later he rescues a derelict from a burning building, but then the man is killed by an unseen person, whom we are supposed to believe is Martin.
Stone finds a button from a military style coat under the overpass where Martin escaped, and goes to find someone who can identify it. He comes across Jimmy, who runs a store specializing in military collectibles. He identifies the button as having a "wolf's hook" stamped on it -- a symbol used by the Dutch SS. Jimmy also has the dossiers of several of the members of the Dutch SS, and when they stumble upon the nickname "Engel der Genade" Stone knows he is on his trail.
Stone finds Martin in a loft in an abandoned building. He is sitting at a desk reading German poetry, listening to Marlene Deitrich sing "Falling in Love Again" and eating fruit. Stone identifies who he is and tells him he is going to send him back to Hell, saying it wasn't enough to have turned in those 18 people in Amsterdam, he has to continue killing here. Martin states that he has hurt no one, and says he has come back to help, not to hurt people. Stone isn't convinced.
Norbert Weisser in Brimstone
Martin asks for a moment saying, "I've waited fifty years to hear a human voice sing again." Stone smiles at him and takes his book, stating that he is reading some pretty heavy stuff. Martin smiles and says that the German poems are "sort of his Bible -- words to live by, or -- to be dead by."
Martin pauses a moment and says, "The simplest pleasures take on tremendous importance now -- a pear, a book of poems..." He asks for time to finish his pear, the taste of which he savors.
When Stone starts to make his move, Martin jumps up to escape, and attacks Stone, all the while professing his innocence. He stated that he repented for the act in Amsterdam, and has killed no one here. He said, "I spent 50 years not blinking once, seeing nothing but their faces -- their pain and fear in their eyes. I have repented all of that!" Martin lunges for Stone and they fly through a third story window. Stone is caught up on razor wire, but Martin is free and has Stone's gun, able to shoot him, but instead he throws the gun down and runs away. As Martin runs away, a white dove appears and flies behind him.
Stone returns to Martin's loft where he reads his book of poetry and listens to the recording of Marlene Deitrich. The Devil appears and questions his ability to complete his task. Stone is starting to realize Martin may not be the culprit in the homeless victim's slayings, but can't convince the Devil. He later meets with Father Horn and tells him he is having second thoughts about all of this. Father Horn is one of the few people who know the truth about Stone and his mission. Stone later goes back to the shelter to dig for more clues on the people that were murdered. Rachel, the Director of the shelter, and he realize it was a volunteer, Toby Cole, who processed all of the victims. Stone has befriended Harry and when he realizes he has gone missing, Stone goes looking for him, realizing Harry may be in danger.
Toby grabs Harry from the street and forces him into his van. Stone catches up to them and tries to shoot Toby, but he escapes on foot with Harry. Martin appears and shows Stone where he can find them. Just as Toby is about to kill Harry, Stone stops him with the help of Martin who flies in over a fence and attacks Toby. Stone realizes Toby was selling the eyes of homeless people to the organ bank where he worked so he could get extra money to support his drug habit.
Stone understands that Martin is indeed the Angel of Mercy and that he is the one who has been helping the homeless people.
Stone raises his gun to shoot Martin but can't bring himself to do it, and tells Martin to run away. Martin starts to leave but returns, saying that one must recognize the day of reckoning when it is here. Stone returns his book of poems, saying he will want to take them with him. Martin smiles at the gesture. He says that he has tried to redeem himself for his previous actions, but no matter what he does, he doesn't feel as if it will never be enough.
Martin recites part of a Rilke poem as Stone is preparing to kill him. Stone says he doesn't want to do it, but Martin tells him that he must. A resigned Martin prepares for the inevitable.
Norbert Weisser in Brimstone
And with that... he is gone in a burst of energy.
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