BOSTON PUBLIC/FOX/2000+ (Missing Hand)
Meredith Peters (Kathy Baker), a 46-years-old, blond female who took a job at Winslow High School in Boston as a teaching assistant volunteer and later as a teacher.
Meredith lost her right hand in an alleged “gardening” accident and keeps her hand in a jar filled with formaldehyde. Behind her back, she is called “The Hook” and “The Hook Lady” by students and staff.
How’d she lose her hand? Well, Meredith insisted that her son Jeremy, get all A’s at school. She locked him in the basement to make sure he studied. On graduation night 2001 (Episode “Chapter Twenty-Two” aired 05/21/01) Jeremy was asked to attend the ceremony to receive an award as the most promising Junior of the year. Before he left home, he handcuffed his mother in the basement. Meredith accidentally cut off her right hand in an attempt to use a chainsaw to escape her confinement.
Later, Meredith let Jeremy (an aspiring medical student with the highest IQ in the senior class) take it to Winslow High School to dissect it under the supervision of the science teacher. The science teacher commented that the area of amputation was jagged and he criticized the doctor for such sloppy work. This comment led to speculation that maybe Jeremy had killed his mother.
When faculty members visited the Peter’s to check on the mother, they found Meredith alive but with a bloody stump on her right arm wrapped in bandages. Meredith explained away her condition away as a gardening accident. This left the faculty members speculating that maybe Jeremy had chopped off her hand.
Note: Meredith’s personality is icy and menacing. She fills her weekends with endless baking, knitting, and attentive acts of smothering motherhood but inside Meredith is lonely and yearns for companionship. She hasn’t had sex with a man since the “accident” because she fears they will be repelled by her prosthetic hook. To take away the shock of her metal hook, she contemplated buying a life-like rubber hand.
Scott Gruber, her new boyfriend and Assistant Principal at Winslow High School, offered to share half the cost of the rubber hand to help cement their relationship as a couple.
On episode “Chapter Thirty” (aired 01/07/02) Meredith now wears her new prosthetic hand. But, in the midst of a heated argument about Jeremy’s possible homosexuality, Scott puts Meredith in her place and starts to leave the room. Meredith, thinking their relationship is crumbling fearfully asks “You’re not going to take away my hand?” Of course, he didn’t.