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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode begins with a great teaser: Max being shot down in the
street after listening in to a conversation about when the KAOS agent
known as "The Blaster" will strike next.
The Chief has Max pretend he's dead so KAOS will have no reason to change their plan to blow up the IRS building. They know where and when the Blaster will strike, they just don't know who he is.
Adams is funny as he complains about the cheapness of Smart's funeral and learns the only flowers were sent by KAOS. 99 is devastated as the Chief keeps the secret from her and sends her on assignment to date and keep an eye on Carioca (the smooth Edmund Hashim). In the meantime, Max lays low at a dive apartment while Agent 13 (Dave Ketchem) stands by in a mailbox to make sure he stays there.
While Arne Sultan's script is funny it also does a couple of important things: while Max is holed up, he is clearly jealous that 99 is seeing playboy Carioca. Again it shows the relationship is NOT a one way thing (at one point 99 blurts out "I loved him!". Max loves her as well, he just isn't ready to admit it to himself). Secondly, Max actually uses his head and figures out that Carioca is the Bomber (his yacht is called "El Amador" or "The Lover", which is what KAOS had referenced in talking about the Blaster) showing while Max may be a bumbling klutz, he actually is good at what he does. Later seasons tended to sacrifice this in favor of a joke, often making Max appear feeble minded.
"WKRP" fans will enjoy seeing Gordon Jump have a nice scene as Hobson who doesn't believe Max when he calls in with the tip about "The Lover", forcing Max to go to the yacht himself.
This was a very good episode, with a lot of the famous plot devices that made this such a great spy spoof: Smart's classic lines "would you believe" and "missed by that much," the shoe phone, the fellow agent in a cramped place (a mailbox here.) There's even a pretty good fight scene in the climax, that's funny but shows Max can be an effective spy when he puts his mind to it. Unfortunately, he screws it up pretty badly at the end, but he wouldn't be the bumbling Agent 86 we all loved if he did everything like James Bond. All in all, I'd say this is one of the best episodes I've seen in the last couple of months that the RTN network has been airing the shows. As I recall, the first two seasons were the best and they gradually went downhill from there. So far, the RTN has the first two seasons on their schedule, so I'm enjoying them while I can. That's a good boy, Beau! Dale Roloff
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