I had a feeling I would enjoy this episode, and if you've ever been a dog owner, it will certainly appeal to you. At one point when Marlowe goes missing, Cecilia says he's a part of the family. He's also a part of the cast, and in this story, he's the star. Marlowe probably has more screen time here than in any other episode. It's remarkable when you consider how many different tricks and scenes he had to perform. Some of the scenes are shared with a smaller pooch, who has also been kidnapped. I mean, dognapped.
The owner of the other dog is played by Patricia Davis. I can only imagine what it was like on the set during the week this one was filmed-- having the daughter of the President of the United States playing one of the main guest stars. To be honest, Patti Davis does a fair job in her portrayal of a woman at her wit's end, trying to get her beloved show dog back from vicious thieves. Davis does not have many screen credits, and this was her last major acting job before her final role, which was a bit part in a movie four years later. While her character frantically tries to recover the stolen animal, she gets help from the Simons.
They put Marlowe on the trail, but the plan goes awry when Marlowe is also taken by the crooks. There's a funny scene in Town's office, where Rick explains his brainstorm for using Marlowe to ferret out the bad guys by entering a dog show. A.J. mocks the decision, questioning the logic of Marlowe going undercover as a dog. The stuff that follows is quite amusing. This includes Marlowe being given a fake pedigree; then Rick and Marlowe at the dog show, walking in front of two judges, who cannot figure out what type of breed it is. We also get to see Rick dressed up for the occasion.
When Marlowe is taken, Rick's truck is also stolen and so is his hat. Supposedly, this is the only hat Rick owns right now, which seems like a bit of a stretch. It's important, though, because when Marlowe and the other dog escape their captors, Marlowe shows up back at the house with the hat in his mouth. It's a touching conclusion, especially since there's a moment a bit earlier where one of the criminals shoots at Marlowe as he gets away. We are kept in suspense for a while about the outcome of the shooting. But the fates are kind to Marlowe Simon, and the next morning he will be licking Rick's face when it's time to wake up.
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