Tod and Buz are in Philadelphia visiting a friend/mentor of Buz from his New York Hell's Kitchen days. The old friend, a social worker trying to tame a quirky local gang leader, is killed ... See full summary »
Tod and Buz are in Philadelphia visiting a friend/mentor of Buz from his New York Hell's Kitchen days. The old friend, a social worker trying to tame a quirky local gang leader, is killed after playing a rooftop "chicken game". Tod and Buz run into major trouble after staying to help a girl whose boyfriend has left the gang. Written by
This is a very intense story dealing with a social worker (Kanen), who is also a former childhood mentor to Buz, who falls to his death after playing a dare game with a local youth gang leader (Sheen). Buz then takes it on himself to find answers as well as justice.
This episode marks the acting debut of Martin Sheen who looks so young and different from what you are used to you almost have to look twice to make sure that it is him. He has a bowl haircut here and looks very, very boyish almost like he was fifteen even though he was actually twenty-one at the time. He has a laugh like the Riddler's and plays his menacing role pretty well. James Caan (billed here as 'Jimmy Caan') also makes his debut. The two play an 'ultimate' dare game at the end that is fairly well handled.
Yet the real star of this episode is the fantastic direction by the then up and coming Elliot Silverstein. The nice panoramic views of 1960's Philadelphia is breathtaking. The shooting of the scenes on top of an abandoned building rooftop are thrilling and well choreographed. The editing is crisp and there are some real nice dramatic camera angles. There are also a few scenes shot inside the abandoned building and the rundown interior really helps give the gritty subject matter an authentic feel.
The only problem with this episode is that a middle aged and educated social worker should not be allowing himself to be duped into a stupid and dangerous dare game by some sixteen year old punk. There is also a scene where Tod gets literally pummeled by everyone of the gang members and somehow comes out of it with only a bruise on his cheek when normally it would put anyone else into a coma or worse. It also would have been a little more compelling and satisfying had Buz been the one to take on the Sheen character during the show's climactic dare sequence instead of the Caan character.
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