(TV Series)

(1983)

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Mexican Vacation
Jason Daniel Baker10 April 2014
Vindictive and volatile armed burglar Dave Burke (Steven Keats) has escaped prison and is on the West Coast. He kidnaps the son he deserted years earlier taking him away from his loving mother and stepfather. He then takes his stripper girlfriend (Barbra Horan) and the boy to Morales, Mexico after making off with the take (his share and that of his accomplices) from a jewellery store heist and tries to fence it.

Veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) uses his vacation time and goes to the Mexican town where he thinks Burke is holed up. There he teams with a corrupt playboy of a Mexican police detective by the name of Miguel Gomez (Henry Darrow) to find Burke, the diamonds and most importantly the child whom he has promised to return to the birth mother and the adopted father.

A lot of what is shown here, as in other lesser episodes of the series, included corny dialogue and contrived attempts at making the hero appear folksy. The actual details of a case and the mind of the criminal being tracked were mostly given sparse attention to leave time for Hooker to be shown bonding with his colleagues or making some pithy observation to whichever much younger female happened to be inexplicably captivated by him that week.

As with so many entries in this series what happens is contained within the episode and nothing we see or hear is mentioned in future episodes. Nor does what is seen or heard reference events that may have happened in past episodes. Network affiliates preferred episodes to be that way back then as they could broadcast them in any order they wished and viewers didn't have to worry about what they had missed in previous episodes It has always been my theory that this episode was written with Ricardo Montalban in mind as guest-star in the role of Miguel Gomez but that Montalban was too busy with Fantasy Island to appear. Either that or he read the turkey of a script and passed based on it based on that. In my view Henry Darrow was more well-cast in the role as his characters tended to epitomize crass sleaziness whilst Montalban's personified measured elegance.
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