Route 66 (1960–1964)
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There I Am - There I Always Am 

Tod and Buz are staying on Catalina Island, California beach, and enjoying the Winter there. When Tod goes on an errand to Avalon, Buz settles in for an enjoyable time but an irresponsible ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
... Tod Stiles
... Buz Murdock
... Lola
... Emil Barraux (as Emile Genest)
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Storyline

Tod and Buz are staying on Catalina Island, California beach, and enjoying the Winter there. When Tod goes on an errand to Avalon, Buz settles in for an enjoyable time but an irresponsible woman creates a frenetic day for him. He must free her foot, caught in the shoreline rocks, before the engulfing tide comes in. Written by dubchi

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4 May 1962 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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5/4/62 "There I Am. There I Always Am"
25 June 2015 | by See all my reviews

This is another episode I remember from years after I first saw it. Joanna Moore, (Tatum O'Neal's mommy), plays a jaded sophisticate who decides to dive off a yacht off the coast of Catalina, (weren't we just in Cleveland?!?). She comes ashore where Buz is preparing a fish dinner from his most recent catch. Tod is in town getting her skin diving tanks refilled. It's just the two of them on an otherwise deserted beach in the offseason. They have a clever but somewhat snippy conversation in which she tells him she doesn 't need his- or anybody's help. He goes back to his fish and she wanders around trying to dry out in the sun.

Eventually he notices that she's along some rocks and isn't moving. He goes to see what's wrong and finds her foot has slipped between two rocks and is stuck. Her ankle hurts and may be broken. She admits she may need some help. Buz is unable to free her and searches around for some tools to pry her loose but doesn't seem to have anything beyond a useless spear gun. Tod has the car so they can't use it. Their initial joking calmness evaporates when they notice that the high tide water-line is above her head, (that seems awfully high and even at the end of the crisis, it's not higher than her knees).

He's got to find someone or something that can help or she'll drown. But he can. They are in a remote part of the island and the few buildings he can find are boarded up. He finds a truck but it can't be made to work. He even swims out and breaks into another yacht but the radio doesn't work, (no cell phones in those days). He tries to summon help by draping a tree branch over a telephone line but the sole emergency crew is working on a job at another part of the island. Buz returns to the now cold and wet woman, both of them trying to fight off panic. He concludes that he'll have to cut off her leg, But even that option is gone when his only knife gets lost in the surf and carried out to sea.

Eventually the yacht she jumped off of returns and, even though they can't see what is happening, they come into the beach with just the tools they need and free her. She returns to her normal flighty personality. Her sugar daddy tells her "He's interesting but you'd get bored with him in an hour. On that cheery note they shove off in a boat for the yacht and leave Buz there. I would have liked a scene where Tod gets back and asks Buz what he's been doing while he's been gone and Buz wryly says "Nothing". I also wondered why Buz didn't look for a crowbar or some other tool that might actually be useful in the places he went through.

Despite the quibbles, it's a very memorable episode. The sense of increasing panic really gets to you and it's quite a catharsis when she's freed. The idea is not original. Barbra Stanwyck had to find help for her trapped husband Barry Sullivan in the 1953 movie "Jeopardy" and came up not with Alex Trebek but instead, ironically, Ralph Meeker, the star of the previous Route 66 episode, who happens to be a criminal on the run but is persuaded to help anyway- for a high price.

George Maharis gives a great performance in this episode. In James Rosin's book on the series, he says this is the episode where the hepatitis showed up, although he blames it on the dip in the river in "Even Stones Have Eyes". The first symptom was that the whites of his eyes yellowed. This is in black and white and you can't see any difference. He looks healthy enough here but he didn't appear in any of the four remaining episodes of the season.


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