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Film / The Innocent (1994)

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The Innocent is a TV movie that aired on NBC on September 25, 1994.

In their second attack, robbers Tinsley (Jeff Kober) and Bates (Gary Werntz) shoot up a convenience store, killing almost everyone inside. The only survivor is nine-year-old Gregory White (Keegan MacIntosh), an autistic boy with no family who lives in the Coleman Hall Regional Center. Lieutenant Frank Barlow (Kelsey Grammer) wants to interview Gregory, but caseworker Pamela Sutton (Polly Draper) worries that would traumatize him more. But when Tinsley and Bates target Gregory, Barlow takes him to his cabin in the mountains to protect him, where the two start to bond.

The Innocent contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: When Pamela meets Gregory in the hospital, she strokes his hair and face.
  • Character Tics: Gregory flaps his arms, rubs his cheek with his fist when he's anxious, and spins in circles to relieve stress.
  • Commonality Connection: Barlow tells Gregory that they have a lot in common because he grew up as an orphan too - his only family was his grandfather, who died when he was twelve.
  • Daddy Didn't Show: Barlow used to have a five-year-old son named Joey. One day a year ago, he was too busy with a case to pick up Joey from daycare. While Joey was waiting to be picked up, he escaped from the playground and got hit by a car.
  • Idiot Savant: Gregory can produce highly detailed sketches of everything he's ever seen. Barlow tries to get him to draw the killers.
  • I Have a Family: Barlow pins a Coleman orderly who he thinks is a killer against the wall. The orderly protests, "I have a wife! And kids!"
  • It Amused Me: The killers' motive. They like shooting people, and they especially like knowing people are terrified of them. At one point one of them yells at the city from an overlook, "WE OWN YOUUUU!"
  • It's All My Fault: Pamela blames herself for Gregory's trauma because when she was out with him, she looked away from him for a minute to make a phone call, allowing him to wander off into the store and get caught in a mass shooting.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Barlow tells the guard at Coleman, "Pizza delivery." Once he's in, he yells over his shoulder, "You wanna keep this job, ask for ID!"
  • The Kindnapper: Barlow abducts Gregory from Coleman just in time to prevent a murder.
  • Off on a Technicality: Bates and Tinsley are caught, but then released after Gregory is deemed to be an unreliable witness.
  • Parental Substitute: Pamela has working with Gregory for five years. She's the only adult in his life who really cares about him, and she admits that he's the closest thing to a child she'll ever have.
  • Punch a Wall: Barlow punches a bulletin board when he hears that the killers are loose again.
  • Security Blanket: Gregory's stuffed rabbit. Barlow takes it from his room and brings it to the hospital, and Gregory's mood immediately improves when he sees it. He takes it with him when Barlow takes him to the cabin, and is very attached to it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Elbert (Bob McCracken), a down-on-his-luck veteran who is outside the convenience store on the day of the shooting, has panic attacks when the police try to interview him.
  • Staircase Tumble: When Barlow is rushing Gregory out of Coleman in a wheelchair, he accidentally knocks into a man pushing a cart, sending them both down a flight of stairs. The man is annoyed, but apparently uninjured.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Barlow's office is decorated with pictures Joey drew. While flipping through Gregory's sketchbook, he becomes upset and throws the book at one of Joey's pictures, breaking the glass.
  • Too Unhappy to Be Hungry: When Barlow first takes Gregory to his cabin, Gregory refuses to eat because he misses Pamela.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Barlow's ex-wife still has Joey's bicycle. She plans to give it away, but Barlow takes it and keeps it, even taking it to the cabin, where he unsuccessfully tries to teach Gregory to ride it.