World-renowned classical pianist Clark Sawyer (George Chakiris) is being hounded by an alcoholic ex-cop named Harley Kelton (Norman Alden) who is convinced Sawyer is a serial strangler of young women.
Houston has been hired to protect Sawyer while he is in Los Angeles but has his annoying and generally useless sidekick Too Mean Malone (Rockne Tarkington) do it while he investigates Kelton and his claims.
Kelton tries to shoot Sawyer during his interview at a radio station but is stopped by Houston who questions the drunken ex-cop. Kelton, who has falsely accused several other men and been in every city where the murders occurred when they were happening is a less than reliable source particularly since he is a drunk and has tried to murder Sawyer. As if to make himself look more guilty he throws Houston down a flight of stairs and escapes.
So now Houston has gone from being a billionaire private detective to a billionaire body guard? There has to be a better way to get him into this mystery than that. More than halfway through the run of the series some of us are still watching partly expecting him to get bored with detective work and go into politics, buy a football team to meddle with or take up race car driving.
If not for the serious tone, dark theme of a serial killer of young women and Lieutenant Hoyt giving sour looks and telling Houston to bud out I'd swear this was an episode from season one. We even see Houston flying his helicopter again.
Houston also has added police co-operation in the person of a female cop he is casually romancing who coincidentally superficially resembles every single one of the murder victims which means you know what.
Spoiler Alert! Towards the end of the episode we begin seeing touches of a greater sophistication in the writing than we have seen at the beginning. For instance after we have seen Sawyer strangle Kelton and made it look like suicide we learn Kelton was the father of one of the victims which indicates he is likely not the killer and in that bit of news we are clued in on his motives for throwing away his career to try to catch the real killer.
Now, like Houston, we in the audience know Sawyer did all the murders even though it seemed like it was a little too obvious. But Houston is almost as frustrated in his attempts to prove it as Kelton was having gone to Las Vegas and San Francisco investigating Sawyer and learned how warped he is and why (A mean ex-girlfriend and erectile dysfunction).
If you have half a brain you are aware it is one thing to know who a killer is and another thing to prove it. At very least this one shows our hero having a bit more of a challenge putting a baddie away than the routine dramatic confrontation in which the killer bares his soul delineating every single thing he did in committing the crime before trying to escape.
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