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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you see this second episode of "S.W.A.T." and are in your 30s or younger, it might seem very far-fetched. However, in light of some very recent similar stories in the news (such as the Manson family, the SLA and other terrorist groups), it really wasn't so hard to believe. There really were a lot of nuts like this running around at that time!! The show begins with a daring infiltration of a hospital unit for a jail. Three folks very willing to kill manage to spring their leader--Joey Hopper (Sal Mineo). It seems that now that he's out of jail, he's about to lead his cult-like followers in a blood-soaked quest for revenge. First, they plan on getting the man who prosecuted Hopper. Second, they will kill the cop who caught Hopper in the first place, Lt. Harrelson--the leader of the S.W.A.T. team!! Overall, this was actually a very good episode of the show. Many times, it was not predictable (except for the guy who said he was only a month away from retirement--you KNEW he's buy the farm!). My wife normally doesn't watch shows like this and she sat down and watched just a bit--and ended up watching it all and wanting to see the next episode. In many ways, this was an improvement over the previous episode and is also worth seeing to get a final glimpse of Mineo--an actor who was murdered in real life just one year later.
It was interesting to see Sal Mineo again. It's been decades since I've
seen him in anything as this episode is one of the Season One DVD of
S.W.A.T from 1975. Mineo was murdered a year after this episode aired.
In here, he plays "Joey Hopper," a Charles Manson-like psycho who does his own killing. After having just escaped from prison, Joey goes out looking to kill those who put him in prison. Second on his "hit list" is "Lt. Dan Harrelson" (Steve Forest), the leader of the S.W.A.T. team.
It also was interesting to see one of my favorite film noir characters of the 1940s and 1950s films, Elisha Cook Jr., His role was very small, just two quick scenes as some old-man "weirdo," as they called him.
In the story, the editor of the "underground newspaper," was some middle-aged guy who looked fairly straight. No underground paper at that time had a guy that would look like this man (William Windom, playing "Ross Collins.")
Overall, it was a decent episode but it looked a little too dated and I'm not sure if I would that interested in seeing the whole season's worth of shows. I'd have to think about that.
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