When I first viewed Pulp Fiction I was slightly traumatized by the scene where Vince (John Travolta) stabs Mia (Uma Thurman) in the heart with adrenaline to bring her back to life. It was probably the most intense thing I had ever watched. Mia accidentally overdoses on Vince’s stash of heroine, so Vince decides to drive Mia to his dealer’s house. Dressed in boxers and a bathrobe, Lance (Eric Stolz) is the last person you would want to be responsible for administering a life-saving treatment. Lance’s wife, Jody (Rosanna Arquette), is a classic stoner, totally blasé as the situation unfolds.
I love the fact that Tarantino’s smart and quippy dialogue continues throughout, providing comic relief even as crucial seconds are ticking by. Vince and Lance bicker over who will do the deed. Vince asks what will happen when the needle goes in, and Lance answers, “I’m curious about that myself.” The tension builds as Vince grabs a marker…then marks the spot above her heart. Neither Vince nor Lance has ever delivered an intracardiac epinephrine injection and they are acutely aware that they will get only one chance to revive Mia.
Vince slowly raises the syringe like a weapon high above Mia’s limp body. We see drops of liquid escape from the syringe suspended above Vince’s head. With a mighty blow Vince stabs the bullseye – Mia’s heart. Mia instantly gasps and sits straight up as if rising from the dead. After sitting on the edge of my seat and unconsciously holding my breath throughout the scene, I think I let out a gasp almost as loud as Mia’s. Meanwhile, the girl who has been watching in the background from Lance and Jody’s sofa never puts down her bong.
We all have seen plenty of resuscitation scenes in movies, but none can compare to the brilliant visuals, acting and timing in this scene in Pulp Fiction.