Ironside: Season 2, Episode 16

Why the Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club Met on Thursday (23 Jan. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.6
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Ironside's Aunt Victoria suspects foul play when one of her card-playing friends vanishes. Despite her nephew's admonitions, Victoria and her bridge partners shadow their missing friend's husband, who insists his wife left him.

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Title: Why the Tuesday Afternoon Bridge Club Met on Thursday (23 Jan 1969)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Harvey McPhee
...
Victoria Ironside
Gail Kobe ...
Val Singleton
Don Galloway ...
Barbara Anderson ...
Don Mitchell ...
...
Agnes Fairchild
Lenore Shanewise ...
Gladys Prescott
Linda Watkins ...
Bessie Montague
Gene Lyons ...
Bill Quinn ...
Medical Examiner
Barry Cahill ...
Detective Sgt. Miller
John Cliff ...
Police Sergeant
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Ironside's Aunt Victoria suspects foul play when one of her card-playing friends vanishes. Despite her nephew's admonitions, Victoria and her bridge partners shadow their missing friend's husband, who insists his wife left him.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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23 January 1969 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Burr's Brilliant Police Detective Shows His Knowledge of History
9 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After Raymond Burr became a television icon as Perry Mason, he became one of the handful of television stars (Bob Newhart comes to mind, and also Dick Van Dyke) who managed to repeat his success with a different type of series. For while Robert Ironside, the L. A. Detective crippled by an assassin, solves crimes like Mason, he's doing it from the point of being a cop - not a brilliant attorney.

I always enjoyed IRONSIDE because the series and the character Burr played were crustier than the polished and quiet Mason. Even had he not been crippled, Ironside never hesitated to call things as they were. And part of the pleasure of the series was watching Burr, straight-jacketed for so long as Mason, finally showing a slight edge of comedy in his performances.

This episode happens to be a favorite of mine. Arthur O'Connor is a quiet man (Mr. McPhee), whose wife happens to be a member of a bridge club that Jessie Royce Landis and Ellen Corby belong to. One day the game is canceled by O'Connor's wife (he delivers the message). This is unsettling because the lady was always very punctual. But what is worse is on the day the bridge club agrees to meet the lady show up. O'Connor explains that she has gone away to visit a relative.

Landis is suspicious of this odd behavior, and she and Corby go to see their friend Chief Ironside. He listens politely, and while he feels it probably is nothing much he decides to check it out to satisfy everyone.

Perhaps by now you are beginning to see where this leads.

Because of other business Ironside sends his three associates (Eve - Barbara Anderson, Mark - Don Mitchell, and Ed - Don Galloway) to check out what is going on. They see nothing unnatural, except that McPhee has his business secretary (Val Singleton) over to do some work at the house. He explains that his wife will be back at some future point but when he could not say. When Ironside hears this he starts showing interest. He goes to see McPhee and has a talk with him. McPhee admits there has been a domestic dispute and his wife left him.

While Eve, Mark, and Ed are willing to accept this, Ironside isn't. Subsequent events regarding property and the behavior of McPhee suggest something darker has happened. Then, McPhee and his Secretary Gail apparently bolt.

Looking over the house (seemingly empty), Ironside does something unusual - he heads for the bookcase and sure enough finds a volume of memoirs.

SPOILER COMING UP:

The book is I FOUND CRIPPEN by former Chief Inspector Walter Dew. Of course you might have noticed the similarity of the plot involving the apparent disappearance of the wife of the suspect, and his plausible explanations of what happened (Burr probably chuckled to himself - his best remembered film performance as Lars Thorwald in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW bears similar resemblance to the Crippen Case). But this is the only time that such a similarity (as far as I know) led to an actual reference to Dew and his memoirs.

But the episode is not a carbon copy. To this day most criminal historians feel Ethel Le Neve (Crippen's girlfriend and secretary) probably had some idea of what happened to Belle Crippen. But here Ms Singleton's characterization is totally different. The episode concludes with Ironside and his aides confronting McPhee and Gail on a boat (like the Montrose in the Crippen case) that is headed for Canada. But it's obvious that Gail is very unwilling to flee with him (in fact she doesn't understand why they are going on board ship to Canada). And O'Connor as McPhee starts talking wildly, about how they'll never get there. It's obvious he is not fully aware of what he has done or who he is. When he sees Ironside and the others he briefly threatens a frightened Gail, but Ironside gets him under control by reminding him that Crippen loved Le Neve and would sacrifice himself to save her from the gallows. McPhee pulls himself together and surrenders.

It was a pretty intriguing episode.


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