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"Route 66" To Walk with the Serpent (1962)

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Dan O'Herlihy is Really Fantastic Here

Author: rwint1611 from Indianapolis, Indiana
26 May 2008

Decent episode that is helped immensely by O'Herlihy's excellent performance as the twisted head of a Neo-Nazi group. He definitely should have won an Emmy for this one. The story has Tod and Buz being courted by the F.B.I. to infiltrate the group to find out where they are hiding some major explosives and what they plan on doing with them.

The episode has a very shocking scene where Tod takes part in a gang beating of Buz! However the story does have a lot of weaknesses. One is the group's absurd plans of blowing up a crowd of would be followers and then using the ensuing trial as a pulpit to promote their agenda. Even if the O'Herlihy character is written in as a nut-case it is hard to believe that his followers would be so stupid as to go along with the plan and not see how utterly ridiculous it is.

The script is also too quick to write off hate groups as simply the lunatic fringe without digging into the more deeper complexities that causes it. It also doesn't acknowledge how much hate groups have permeated the American society and are more a part of the American fabric than we may like to think.

There is also a scene where Tod and Buz are shown a film of one of the Neo-Nazi groups meetings that was secretly captured by an undercover agent. The film that they watch has a lot cutaways of reaction shots of the members, which technically would not be possible if it was really taped by just one person. Otherwise it is a pretty good episode with good supporting performances by Ramsey and Sutton as O'Herlihy's henchman.

Grade: B+

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1/5/62 "To Walk With a Serpent"

Author: schappe1 from N Syracuse NY
18 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've always felt that the leading cause of violence in the world is illusion. Those who cannot or refuse to deal with reality create their own worlds to live in with their own set of good guys and bad guys, and everybody will tend to be in one of those groups, if they are allowed to exist in the dream-world at all. These people then view the real world a threat to their dream world and respond by lashing out at reality or by trying to force the real world to conform to their illusions. There will probably always be such people. The important thing is to keep them away from any real power to minimize the impact of their evil.

Zoom! We're back in Boston and the boys are touring the famous patriotic monuments in the city when they meet a gang of "super patriots" led by Dan O'Herlihy. They call their organization "Awake America" and, predictably, they are worried that 'mongrel' immigrants are taking over the country. They signify their determination to waken America with a Nazi-like salute, (fist to chest and then extended out). The corpulent, sweaty Logan Ramsey looks like Goering but plays a Goebbels equivalent. Frank Sutton is a jumpy bodyguard who I suppose would be Himmler. An actress named DeAnn Mears is the Eva Braun who believes anything O'Herlihy tells her because she loves him.

Todd impresses O'Herlihy when he admonishes some kids not to deface a statue. They are less impressed with Buz, especially when they find out he's adopted: he could be a 'mongrel'. Simon Oakland and Joe Campanella play government agents who convince Tod to infiltrate the organization, (to replace an agent who died in an "accident") to see what they are up to. They know the group has acquired some plastic explosives. It turns out they plan to hold a rally at Paul Revere's statue and plant the explosives on the statue. Sutton will set them off with a rifle shot and many in the crowd will be killed. The incident will be blamed on the opposition and the dead spectators will become, (unwilling), martyrs. (The Burning of the Reichstag!) It ends with Sutton being shot before he can get his shot off and O'Herilhy being carted off in a conveniently available straight jacket.

The show has an obvious relevance to our times, when there is no shortage of extremists. The difference is that the mainstream parties have invited many of them on board because they need the votes. It's a dangerous situation as we've seen such groups take over the politics and eventually the government of a country.

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