In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
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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Note how paularoc's Coke machine is masked, along with the Goodyear Tire signs. Even the "California" lettering on the license plates has been covered. Common for the era, Highway Patrol producers went to great length to assure no branding!
Helene Stanton played the spunky, gum-chewing, wise-cracking "Marge" in this episode. 5-stars for her. She's the mother of TV Doctor Drew Pinsky.
Psycho bad guy Joe White (aka Joe Barnaby) is played by Paul Richards, who went on to play dozens of small roles in both TV and movies. Older folks will remember him for his deep and distinctive voice w/deliberate cadence. He was voice ad talent for Michelob and Pontiac ("PAHNNNNN- tiac"). (Sadly, both he and his wife, Monica Keating died fairly young (at 50 and 61)).
Listen for Broddy as he delivers a rapid-fire zinger to White when they first meet: "...if you're here when this mountain blows you'll be wearing that cloud as a hat."
An unsung "star" here is Marge's '56 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible. It's featured in a handful of other Highway Patrol episodes -- so we can tell from the dual exhaust cutouts in the rear bumper it's equipped with an optional V8. It cost only $2459 new from the factory in 1956. That's like $21,147 in today's money. A sweet classic ride.
Overall, a worthwhile show, better than average, but the simplistic plot and overuse of helicopter footage keeps it from being one of my favorites.
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