Guest star Mariette Hartley (who, incidently won the 1979 Emmy for this episode as Best Actress in a Drama series) has some great moments onscreen with both Bixby and Lou Ferrigno (as Banner's alter-ego, The Hulk). I recently saw this for the first time and was completely mesmerized by the quality of the story and the performances! Since "Married" is now widely available on DVD (along with the pilot episode), I HIGHLY recommend adding this to your collection. If this the only exposure you ever have to the series, you won't be disappointed!
My Grade: A
The other films in this series were The Incredible Hulk 1, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, The Incredible Hulk Returns, and The Death of the Incredible Hulk. They were all pretty good on the tv-movie standards, and they are probably the most successful comic-book on screen attempt Marvel has tried (before Blade, of course). This film is the best of the bunch, with the most story-line. Bixby and Ferrigno are at the top of their games, and the love interest with the doctor is well-written, especially with the Romeo and Juliet-like ending.
Hey, Shakespeare it isn't, but you might as well give it a try. You might like it if you keep your expectations low and decide to watch some nice action and good acting. But don't expect anything too gloriously moving or heart-pacing.
Hartley certainly brings a prestige to proceedings and there's some great Hulk moments here (the scene in which he destroys the mezzanine level of a playboy shack while the studs and their intoxicated party guest cower in the corner is a cracker), but it's a love story wrapped in the green enigma, so may not be every Hulk fan's cup of green tea.
The second half of "Married" is buoyed tremendously by the fine writing and direction of Kenneth Johnson and the performances of his two stars. Hartley makes Caroline Fields into a complete person, noble in her warmth, rash in her impulsiveness, vulnerable in her anguish. This talented actress definitely deserved the Emmy Award she earned for this performance. For his part, Bixby knew he was working with a real pro, and he provides his best acting chops here as well, when he playfully flirts with Caroline, while delivering the memorable 'strawberry' soliloquy, and during the show's moving epilogue, as Banner sits alone on a debris strewn beach.
Lou Ferrigno's contribution as the Hulk deserves an affirmative comment as well; he always brought more depth and emotion to the Hulk character than he was given credit for, and his reaction when he unwittingly pulls the toupee off of one the attacking 'Disco Dans' is priceless. Was the humor in that scene a little silly or over-the-top? Maybe, but perhaps it was needed to balance the poignancy that was to come. All of the buildup pays off here, and this episode, part of a series dismissed by some as simple comic book melodrama, delivers a climax that still renders an emotional punch to the gut.
Banner's wanderings bring him to the doorstep of Dr. Caroline Fields, an equally gifted researcher who has broken new ground on using hypnotherapy to combat acute physical afflictions. But Fields has her own medical crisis; she is the victim of an aggressive, dangerous neurological disorder, and despite her best efforts of using her own treatment techniques upon herself, her condition has reached a terminal stage. David confides his true identity to Fields, and the two esteemed doctors agree to help each other.
This first part of "Married" builds very well, concentrating on the growing closeness between Banner and Fields; Bill Bixby and guest star Mariette Hartley contribute very strong performances and play off of each other beautifully. The dream sequences in which Banner confronts his alter ego amid rolling sand dunes have become iconic images from the series, and the moment when David, under hypnosis, hulks out in Dr. Field's presence is excellently directed, photographed, and edited.
There isn't a wasted moment in this splendid entry, and it leads very well into an equally well-made second half.
A solid way to kick off season two, which unfortunately at the time of this writing has not been released on DVD. Drama ensues as David falls for his doctor and the two get married. But, in a grand LOVE STORY tradition, she's terminally ill and David has to once again cope with the loss of a loved one.
The Incredible Hulk episodes really don't bring any novelty as such to the table but they're always well made and extremely well acted. This two part episode is highly dramatic and shows audiences just what poor David goes through on his endless journey in search of a cure. It's well written and directed by series creator Kenneth Johnson and has some solid Hulk action.
As always Bill Bixby excels as David Banner. Jack Colvin only makes a token appearance here but he's good nonetheless and Lou Ferrigno is always the best Green Giant there is. Good Hulk fun.
The setting in Hawaii is beautiful. It was nice to see such a story set in such a lovely place as Hawaii. I think that's what makes the "Married" episode even more memorable.
However, I'm not really giving anything away if I reveal that the marriage is short-lived. That was only to be expected since the HULK series had our hero having to constantly go from place to place until his can find a way to be permanently rid of his affliction.
If you have a desire to start watching the INCREDIBLE HULK series, "Married" is one of main episodes that you must watch. But before you see this particular episode, make sure you have a handkerchief or some tissues handy.
Aside from that pilot, this is by far the scariest the Hulk has yet been portrayed. Banner's transitional appearance is utterly grotesque, and the scene in the bedroom, with the Hulk shrouded in darkness and glaring with rage at his wife, is utterly bone- chilling. This is largely thanks to the lighting, as this is one of the few nighttime scenes I've seen which truly looks like night.
The absence of villains works to "Married"'s advantage, as it allows the Hulk to be more consistently portrayed as a disease which curses Banner rather than a hero who always gets him out of trouble. The one exception is a scene in which Banner/Hulk gets into a fight with some partygoers, but this is forgivable because it's an outrageously entertaining scene, whose many highlights include the Hulk lifting a man up by his chest hair. Yeowch!
In the search for a cure, David undergoes hypnosis and confronts the Hulk within his mind, repeatedly trying to contain him. These scenes are starkly surrealistic and compelling, and the Hulk's repeated escapes fill both Banner and the viewer with despair that the beast can never be contained.
But the focus is on the relationship stuff, and Bill Bixby and Mariette Hartley make "Banner falls in love for the tenth time" work. The two are playful, intimate, and utterly comfortable with each other; watch them long enough and you'll wonder that they aren't really husband and wife. An unnamed child (played exquisitely by Meeno Peluce) implicitly adds the theme of children and family to the mix.
And yet of course, Hartley's character, Dr. Caroline Fields, is doomed from the start. She and David put up a valiant struggle for a cure, but we know from the onset that she's as good as dead. Episodic television being what it is, the protagonist can't keep a wife beyond the rolling of the credits, but there's more to it than that. For all their plans and talk of hope, David seems to realize that even the two of them can't possibly find a cure in the six weeks of life Caroline has left. This is reflected in a nightmare he has, and the inevitability of death conveyed in this scene made me feel suffocated with dread.
The fatality of the situation does not take away from the drama, as summed up in Caroline's last words to David: "At least we never stopped trying." In a single moment, we see both the awful tragedy of Caroline's fate, and the fact that it is not half as awful as it would have been if she and David had simply given up.
I do have several quibbles. First, this is a rare instance where a film's plot twist is spoiled by its title; the proposal doesn't happen until 2/3 of the way through, and you wouldn't have seen it coming if it weren't for the title. Second, I feel the pacing shouldn't have been quite so slow in the opening 20 minutes. Finally, while it makes for good drama, Caroline running out of the car in the climactic scene is very contrived.
Nonetheless, this is a gripping piece of work, and reflecting on it afterwards I keep seeing new things to like about it. "Married" shows us that death is inevitable, but that life is incomparably beautiful nonetheless. It's a message that has been delivered many times before, but rarely with such heartfelt poignancy.
I'll never forget the evening that it aired. I had started first grade and that Friday night, I was at home with my mom. We watched the third season premiere of Wonder Woman with Leif Garrett as a guest, followed by this unforgettable movie.
Bill Bixby is my childhood idol and hero. His performance as Dr. David Banner in this movie, will make it a true timeless classic. Marriette Hartely definitely deserved the Emmy Award for her performance as the terminally ill Dr. Caroline Fields. Lou Ferrigno was great as always as the Hulk.
Married is truly a classic. In one sense, during her hypnotic states as David Banner come face to face with the Hulk. On the romance side, I consider this to be my favorite love story. And Bixby and Hartley represented to me what the ideal couple was like. And even though his appearance was nothing more than a cameo, I was glad to see Jack Colvin appearing on this special episode. For trivia, the National Register began the $10,000 reward offering to any information leading to the capture of the Hulk in this very episode. I was shocked to discover that filming was all done in California for this episode and that they never set foot in Hawaii. I was definitely shocked by the revelation.
I am truly glad this episode is now widely available on DVD along with the pilot movie. This is the one Hulk episode I would show it to whoever I date. Excellent job Kenneth Johnson and all the Hulk actors and crew. I give this episode a two thumbs up!
anyways.. Married wasn't my favorite of the series but definitely in my top 5.. "Death in the family" is my #1... #2 Escape from Los Santos.. #3 "a child in need" #4 "Married"... #5 "Like a Brother".. #6 747.. #7 "The First" and on & on..
Only overall grip i had with the series was the Growl of the "Hulk Outs" from late season 3 and on... i keep promising myself to go out and find someone to edit in the old school "Growls" into the my favorite episodes late season 3 and on... overall "The Incredible Hulk" Is and always will be part of my life.