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"Riptide" The Bargain Department (1985)

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Leverage Buyout

8/10
Author: Jason Daniel Baker from Toronto, Canada
4 February 2016

Amidst a rash of break-ins by a group of ski-masked assailants who have hit their boat/headquarters the Riptide Detective Agency also can no longer pay its bills.

TriCor Security Systems - a big, well-financed corporate detective outfit offers to absorb them offering a handsome price for their caseload/client list and jobs for the Riptide partners.

The Riptide boys - Cody Allen (Perry King), Nick Ryder (Joe Penny) and Murray 'Boz' Bozinski (Thom Bray) argue over the idea. None of them wants to sell out and join TriCor but Cody and Boz seem resigned to it. Cody is uneasy about living like a college student in middle age and thinks a position at TriCorp will give him career traction. Boz sees exciting opportunities in the computer division of TriCor.

Nick is very suspicious of TriCor and wants nothing to do with the 9 to 5 corporate world. His suspicions jeopardize the deal and the closeness of his friendship with Cody and Boz. When they too suspect something the three of them find themselves up against a very sinister and very deadly element. Plus the jobs they were so excited about are drudgery supervised by misanthropes.

The plot element of the 13th floor in this episode is one audiences tend to be engaged by. The phenomenon of any 13th floor is bizarre from the first time any of us ever ride an elevator in any building that has 14 floors or more. As a kid I knew the superstition about the number. But I wondered if they just called the 13th floor the 14th i.e. the stupid exercise in semantics it really is.

Or was there really a 13th floor which could only be accessed via a secret entrance? If you take time to think about it your imagination can run wild. If there needed to be a place where things could be done in secret that would be an excellent cover wouldn't it? Whatever secret activity there could be might even be interesting to somebody.

The baddies being cloaked in the dark world of corporate responsibility works with the psychology at play on the show. Cody, Nick and Murray live the good life in the sun on their boat taking the adrenaline of risky assignments and meeting beautiful women. The audience lives vicariously through them. If the Riptide boys get tedious jobs and stabilize their lives the party ends. If the party ends there is no show.

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