Nervous and neurotic gunman Joe White robs a rural gas station and shoots the attendant. He commandeers a car driven by a woman named Marge, but the car soon runs out of gas and he compels Marge to travel with him on foot into a deserted area. They hide in a small shack, but Joe is unaware that the area is deserted because it has been heavily laden with explosives and cleared in preparation for a huge blasting project that is to take place that afternoon. Dan Mathews uses the Highway Patrol helicopter to ensure that the blasting area is fully clear and notices that the door to the shack is open. When he investigates, Joe makes an ill-considered attempt to commandeer the helicopter, putting them all at risk unless communication can somehow be established with Sergeant Corey. Written by
How come you've got an army gun?
I took it with me when I quit.
You quit? Quit the army? Why didn't you let them fire you? Then you'd get severance pay.
Fire me? Yeah, they'd fire me all right. You know how they'd fire me? They'd kick me out with a medical discharge as a psycho! Psychotic, they'd call me. Too... too unstable, you know, not normal enough to be a real hero in a uniform. So sooner or later they'd kick me out with a slip of paper telling the whole world I'm not good enough for the ...
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Where not to be when a hill side is about to be blown up
In the name of progress, a dynamite blast with a three mile area of destruction is set to go off at a designated time. It's the Highway Patrol's job to clear the area. We then see a young woman pull into a gas station, get out of her car to look for an attendant to fill her car's tank and then hear a gunshot. A man comes running to her car - he has just shot the attendant. He grabs her and they both take off in her car. They don't get far as the car runs out of gas. When the man angrily accuses her of knowing they would run out of gas, she tells him "what did you think I stopped at the gas station for, a manicure?" They then see a copter overhead and flee to get out of its sight. And so it goes until Mathews catches up with them. Paul Richards does an excellent job of the on edge, fearful gunman but it's the young woman who is the star of the show. Played by an actress I've never heard of, she played such a refreshing character. She was not afraid and stayed calm throughout often making both cynical and snappy remarks but not to the point that the gunman would go completely over the edge. This is a suspenseful, top drawer episode. As with many episodes in this series, there are reminders of the little ways that things have changed over the past fifty plus years. When the woman first pulls up to the gas station, she waits for a few seconds and then honks the horn to get the attendant's attention so that he will come and fill her gas tank. One simply did not do it one's self. As the gas tank was filling, the attendant would wash the windows and maybe check the oil. It took longer than today's way but it was kind of nice. At the gas station, there is a big box coke machine in the background. I fondly remember those old coke dispensers. They were filled with ice and the 8 ounce bottles of coke were in slots, one opened the lid, scooted the bottle along the slot, put in a dime which released the latch and pulled out the pause that refreshes. Boy, we're those cokes good.
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