Reviews written by registered user
|134 reviews in total|
For emotional impact this clearly gets a 10, but I give it only a 9
because of implausible character actions designed to heighten the
excitement of the finale, and a weak, unconvincing romance between
Kimble and Jean Carlisle (actress Diane Baker).
Kimble, Lieutenant Gerard and Fred Johnson all go to Stafford, Indiana, each of them with a mission. Johnson's mission leads to his undoing.
In this episode, we finally see the actual murder of Helen Kimble. We see who was there, how she was killed, and why she was killed. Lloyd Chandler (actor J. D. Cannon), a neighbor of Kimble's sister, plays an important role in having the truth come out.
The epilog is touching, and very fitting. Does Kimble go free? You'll have to watch and see for yourself.
This is one of the very best episodes. Kimble is working as a farmhand
near the Gulf of Mexico, where he has made friends with a family of
migrant farmworkers, the Kellys: Lester (actor John McIntire), Naomi
(actress Jeanette Nolan) and adult daughter Kate (actress Bonnie
Beecher), each of whom is strongly and convincingly portrayed.
Kate is sweet on Kimble, and he seems to like her. Jonesie, played by actor Tim McIntire, is a farmworker with a guitar providing running commentary via folk songs throughout the episode. He is upset that Kate now feels about Kimble the way she used to feel about him.
A news article on migrant workers includes a photo with Kimble in the background, leading Lieutenant Gerard to the Crawford farm, a very large farm where the migrants in the photos are said to work. However, a hurricane arrives, making a huge demand for the services of Kimble. Conflicts between the manager and the farmhands raise the tension level.
Gerard captures Kimble, but both are caught by the storm. Kimble repeatedly saves Gerard's life, to the puzzlement of his friends, who cannot understand why Kimble would save the man trying to get him killed. Kate, whose love for Kimble is mature and unselfish, grows in character through her association with Kimble, and her folks learn a few things as well.
The tension level is high from start to finish in this exciting
thriller. Kimble is riding on a bus stopped by a police roadblock. An
officer boards the bus to check identifications. Before he gets to
Kimble, a prison escapee in the back of the bus holds a knife on a
young woman to escape. Kimble ends up saving her, but gets stabbed.
Against his will, he is taken for treatment to the nearest hospital, at
At the hospital, Kimble is patched up, but is forced to stay overnight for observation. He and the lady he saved keep pressuring the warden, played by actor Lin McCarthy, to let him go early.
Kimble meets prisoner Mickey Deming, well played by actor Greg Morris (Barney on Mission Impossible), a trustee who works in the hospital ward, and who is concerned about his parole hearing in a couple of weeks. Mickey delivers a note from a prisoner who recognizes Kimble from an Indiana prison. The note demands that Kimble steal morphine and hypodermic needles from the hospital for the prisoners, or they will reveal his identity. Kimble, locked inside the prison, just wants to get out quietly, but he has seen what morphine can do and is reluctant to meet the blackmailer's demands.
This, the first episode, is a very fitting beginning to the saga of Dr.
Richard Kimble, fugitive. Kimble (using the name Jim Lincoln) takes a
job at a bar in Tucson, Arizona, and meets the piano player, Monica
Welles, played by actress Vera Miles. Monica is bothered by a male
patron of the bar. Kimble repeatedly protects her, thereby acquiring an
enemy. He later learns the man bothering her is Ed Welles, her husband.
Actor Brian Keith does an outstanding job as Ed.
Ed Welles is a major landowner in the state, with enormous influence over the police. He is also paranoid, jealous, controlling and violent where his wife is concerned. She fled Phoenix to Tucson a month earlier to get away from Ed, but he found her and followed her.
Kimble takes the opportunity to explain his story to Monica, thereby informing viewers about why he is on the run. Due to his impeccable, protective behavior, she of course believes in his innocence. Meanwhile, we see Lieutenant Gerard back in Stafford discussing the case with Captain Carpenter. Carpenter suggests that maybe Kimble is innocent, but Gerard declares it does not matter to him whether Kimble is factually innocent or guilty. The law declared him guilty, and it is not up to Gerard to decide on guilt or innocence, but merely to obey the law and bring in the fugitive.
Child actor Donald Losby (who later plays Sean in "Cry Uncle") plays Monica's son, who at first is cold to Kimble, but later comes to like and trust him more than his own dad.
Actors Harry Townes and Dabbs Greer are very credible as the two police officers whom Ed employs to chase Kimble out of town. Kimble faces severe danger from the police, and from the violent behavior and desire for revenge of Ed Welles.
Kimble, running from police in a western mountain range, comes upon
Kenny, a wounded man who insists on being helped, at the point of a
gun. He has Kimble take him to a remote cabin that is supposed to be
deserted, but which in fact is occupied by the owner, Laura Craig
(actress Georgann Johnson).
Kenny was wounded by a bullet during an armored car robbery. The other robbers, led by Joe Bantam (strongly played by actor Ed Asner) make it to the cabin and cause problems for Kimble, Laura, and Kenny. Further complications ensue when Laura's friend, a policeman, shows up looking for Kimble.
This two part episode is outstanding. The opening, where Kimble arrives
at work in the middle of the night in driving rain, is perhaps the most
powerful in the series.
Lieutenant Gerard and his wife Marie (well played by actress Barbara Rush) are supposed to be on vacation, but it gets interrupted once again, because of news of Kimble. She is irate about always being second in Gerard's thoughts, after Kimble.
Trying to escape from her husband, who has abandoned her to join the search, Marie Gerard, now using her maiden name Lindsey, finds most paths out of town are blocked by floods. In the meantime, Kimble is under enormous pressure from the manhunt, jumping from one dangerous, heart-pounding situation to the next, in one case relying on the help of small children to shield him from Gerard.
A lucky escape from danger puts Kimble on the same bus with Marie Gerard, but they do not meet until a crash which leaves her blind. She cannot see Kimble's face, and Kimble also does not recognize her. Despite hostility from a fellow passenger, Kimble is trusted to take a truck and seek medical aid for Mrs. Gerard.
In "Never Wave Goodbye," Part 1, Gerard is married to Ann Gerard, played by actress Rachel Ames. This change of wives is never explained.
Kimble hops a train, and in the car finds Carol Hollister, played by
actress Diana Hyland. She is there with her baby. Another man,
Preacher, played by actor Royal Dano, is fleeing the railroad guards
and is helped aboard by Kimble.
Carol is weak and broke and needs to find her husband Jimmy. Kimble offers to help. He slowly learns that Carol is delusional. She survived a crash a year earlier that killed her husband and baby, and has kidnapped a baby. The police, led by Detective Malleson (actor Lin McCarthy), are looking hard for Carol and her unknown traveling companion, Kimble, after a tip from Preacher. Carol begins to think that Kimble is Jimmy.
In her confused state, Carol puts the baby in jeopardy. Kimble must find and save the baby, even at the risk of his own freedom. The ending, where he gets away, is very well done.
Kimble has a job at the home of a wealthy couple. The wife, Ann
Guthrie, has inherited the wealth from her father, who left everything
to her, cutting out her sister Carol. However, the two sisters are
close, and Mrs. Guthrie denies her sister nothing.
The husband, Harlan Guthrie, actually hates his wife, and is having an affair with her sister. When Carol, a professional photographer, discovers Kimble's identity, she and Mr. Guthrie embark on a plan to kill Mrs. Guthrie and blame it on Kimble, who already has a history of murdering women.
Kimble must uncover and defeat the murderous plot before he can make his escape.
This plot shares many similarities with the plot of season 4 episode "Goodbye My Love."
Kimble works at Bodin-Russet Kennels, a dog breeding and training
operation run by Max Bodin, played by actor George Voskovec. Max has a
complex relationship with his son Johnny and Johnny's wife Cora. Johnny
is unhappy about his place in the family business and that his father
appears to care more about the dogs than him. Johnny is influenced by
Cora, who hates the business and wants Max to sell so they can leave.
Max has an offer to sell, but is unsure if he wants to.
When Cora finds that the dog Colleen has hip dysplasia, she schemes to conceal it, because it would reduce the selling price of the business. When Kimble interferes, he gains an enemy who places him in danger. Kimble has to save the dog, tell Max the truth, and patch up the relationship between Max and Johnny before he can leave.
Actor Darren McGavin plays private detective Mike Hammer. In the space
of 30 minutes, he normally escapes a couple assassination attempts,
beats at least one man to a pulp, flirts with one or more beautiful
women, fires off some 50s tough-guy slang, and solves a perplexing
mystery. The pace is very fast.
The premise of the show is that the world is an evil, violent place, and the strong and upright must be as tough as the bad guys to set things right. But that doesn't mean they can't have a little fun along the way, enjoying broads, booze, or other masculine entertainments as circumstances present themselves.
I do not know that I have ever seen a TV character so quick to use his fists or a gun when trouble arises. And, when Mike Hammer beats you, he does not just knock you down or knock you out. He continues beating you as the blood spurts out and you beg for mercy, then he beats you some more. Even innocent witnesses are pushed around until they give up their information. That he is not imprisoned for his frequent violent assaults is a miracle. He does frequently fall afoul of the police, receiving threats, being questioned, and sometimes being locked up, but only temporarily.
In the world of Mike Hammer, there is no such thing as a flat-chested or overweight woman, except for the occasional wife or grandmother. The show is populated by beautiful, large-breasted women with well-coiffed hair, wearing tight dresses that show off their curves, and push-up bras that are so stiff and lift breasts so high they threaten to poke out your eyes. Mike flirts with and openly leers at these women in a way that would surely make viewers uncomfortable today.
With only 30 minutes to play with, the characters are often one-dimensional. Women, except when evil sluts, are weaklings dominated by men. They are either helpless victims, or madly attracted to Mike, or incidental holders of information he needs, or mere eye-candy populating his world. Sometimes they are the tool of a bad guy, used to lure Mike into a trap, then sent on their way. Men are not treated much better. The line between good and evil is starkly drawn, and the most complex a character (other than Mike) usually gets is when someone thought to be good turns out to be evil.
There are many pluses. A lot happens. The evil plots are often complex and ingenious. The show employs a great deal of humor and tries not to take itself too seriously.
In the final analysis, Mike Hammer is on the right side. He fights against crime, and bravely protects the weak, despite the risk to himself. If you had trouble, and were in the right, there is no one better you could have on your side. He is strong, violent, cynical and testosterone-fueled, the epitome of 50s cool.
Despite the shortcomings of the show, it is entertaining, and the fast pace ensures you will not get bored.
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