This first episode of "Hart to Hart" (after the original pilot) told you everything you would need to know to prepare for the next five years: The Harts are rich, they are fabulous, and they are completely and utterly in love. And also solve murders.
I really appreciated the cargo shipping setting kicking off the entire series. Jonathan's undercover efforts result in his getting his hands dirty, which is fine with him. We immediately see that Jonathan may be rich and own everything, but he's also a very humane person who cares about the wellbeing of his workers. Makes us like him right away.
BLOOPER ALERT --> 4:15, the guy in the net is supported by the crane when the net collapses.
ANOTHER BLOOPER ALERT --> When Jennifer comes down the stairs in her first scene, she's holding her briefcase upside down. This is not my first episode review, so it goes without saying that I love Stefanie Powers. So much. But usually her propwork needs work.
While we're on weirdness, I have two words for you: Post-existentialism. Uh ... post-existentialism? Really? Oookie. I also kind of got a kick out of this guy saying he was Jennifer's 2nd cousin once removed. That's not so far away familially that she wouldn't know who he was. Of course, not many people know what the "removed" aspect of cousinship is. If my second cousin has a baby, then that child and I are second cousins once removed NOT third cousins. I'd have to also have a child, and then s/he and my 2nd cousin's child would be 3rd cousins. Basically, the "removed" is a half step. To make things even more interesting, if a 2nd cousin once removed then also has a child, then it's TWICE removed. There's your genealogy lesson for the day. Now where was I? So, the whole plot of this one is that the supervisors at the docks that Jonathan found to be bad guys at the dock got pretty peeved, so they put a hit out on Jennifer, and their head bad guy sent this fake cousin to kill Jennifer. However, Freeway doesn't like this guy; smart dog. He's so creepy. Jonathan doesn't trust him, either, and I love how he says let's call Uncle Chuck and Aunt Gail, and the phone number is 514 Zenith 79243. Can you imagine?! Still using words for exchanges! If this were All in the Family, I'd buy it no problem. But this was 1979, and I remember that year, and we didn't use words. How many of the six of you actually reading this review know what those words even existed?! You could tell that they were getting away with a lot during this with the pajama top, no bottoms. Bare chested Jonathan, kissing in bed. Standards loosened up during the run of the show, but at the time of this episode, this was a big deal.
There is no headboard here! No padded one, no Asian one, no nothing'! What is here, however, is so much foundation for their relationship. He doesn't get jealous cuz he trusts her, and that's a big deal for the time. Jennifer is her own woman, she doesn't need a man to define who she is, and he doesn't feel the least bit threatened by that.
What, Max isn't supposed to notice the bad guy's head sticking up out of the counter top when he's hiding? Not great direction. And the oven blew up the whole wall yet was rebuilt veeeery quickly. Also insane in the very best way was one of the few times Jonathan is driving the station wagon, which nearly sideswipes someone, then he makes a call on his car phone, which shocking back in the day, and then makes a u-turn. Did they not know they were in LA?! The suspense is pretty thick during the climactic scenes on the cliff. Stefanie does appear to do her own stunt there, hard to know for sure, but she does seem to be standing on an outcropping to simulate hanging off the cliff. This was also, as far as I know, the first and last appearance of the guest house.
Overall, really nicely done as far as telling us who these people were, why we should care, and what the whole show would be about. Oh, and you knew she was going in the pool the minute the hit-man started doing his thing as the pool man. So, THAT'S where those underwater kissing clips came from in the Season One & Two opener!
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