Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BJ and the Bear S2 E6: Run For The Money (Part 1)

Originally aired on November 3, 1979
Directed by Bruce Bilson
Teleplay by Michael Sloan and Sidney Ellis
Story by Glen A. Larson and Sidney Ellis and Robert McCullough and Frank Lupo and John Peyser

No one has a copy of Run For The Money (Part 1) that looks good. My copy is blotchy and washed out. So, instead of including awful screenshots. I thought I would give you a link to the episode on YouTube. Yes, it looks as bad as my copy but this is a fun, fun episode. Watch it and enjoy.

Run For The Money - 1st Section

This episode begins in Orly County. Sheriff Lobo announces to Deputies Perkins and Hawkins that they are going to a big Police Office Convention in Las Vegas! Woo hoo! And yes, Wiley and the Fox will be there...  and Captain Cain will be there. It's a meeting of all the cops who have given grief to B.J. and the Bear over the first 14 episodes of the show (and the TV movie).

B.J. will, of course, be there. He's hauling a whole batch of new police equipment to the convention, including a nerve gas of some kind. And yes, there is a beautiful woman whose car has broken down. B.J. gives her a lift. As he chats her up, a friend of hers hang glides onto B.J.'s truck and steals the nerve gas canisters... 

At the convention, B.J. is accused of stealing the canisters. All the cops who dislike him believe he did it. In the end, the two women, in cahoots with some guy, hook up a gas canister to the ventilation system of the casino...  their intention: to knock everybody out and rob the place! The episode ends with a "TO BE CONTINUED" as B.J. is incapacitated by the gas and the ladies release the noxious fumes into the cop-filled gambling den...

Run For The Money - 2nd Section

Here it is, folks. The big one. The one you've all been waiting for. The epic-3 part BJ and the Bear/ The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo crossover. The most epic event of November 1979. Where were you on those three big nights? Your answer should be: In front of my TV watching "Run For The Money."

Because this one gives you everything (well, almost everything). Lots of comic cops. BJ and Bear in trouble but staying cool. Lots and lots of Perkins' Pratfalls. An almost over-complicated plot. Beautiful women. Hang gliding, for Heaven's Sake! Look at that writer credit! 6 people wrote this! 6! You know that's got to be a good sign. They're going for broke!

Run For The Money - 3rd Section

I do wonder if the ratings for the two shows had started falling yet. That would explain this epic crossover. Trying to boost those darn ratings. At the same time, this could have been the absolute height for these shows and Glen and friends were simply trying to capitalize on America's love for these shows. Regardless, we got it. And it's epic-ish.

The episode feels more like an episode of Lobo than an episode of BJ. Lobo is in the pre-credits sequence. BJ sort of vanishes about a third of the way in as the sheriffs and their friends take over. Perkins gets more screen time than BJ. I like Perkins. One of the Joys of Perkins is that his slapstick is never very good. But, it's charming. Slapstick isn't just someone falling around on screen. The camera has to be in the right spot. Things must be precise. But, Perkins just falls all over the place and the camera isn't always in the right spot. Although I don't laugh, I appreciate.

Run For The Money - 4th Section

This episode is a lot of fun. It's a hog pile free-for-all with all the characters that we love. It's too bad that BJ is shunted off to one side. But, I do like the way he comes back in at the end. There is a fun scene with Wiley/ B.J. and the two thieving ladies on stairs near the end. And Bear eats a pastry. And Wiley gets yelled at. Then, suddenly... the cliffhanger appears. Nicely done.

Amongst all the shenanigans, there is this slowly building story of the two women at the casino and this one jerk guy who are planning the heist. The episode moves at a decent pace. It doesn't go anywhere fast but it seems to be enjoying where it is at any given time. There is the occasional odd moment where it seems to be getting a bit out of hand...  especially with relation to the opening credits. Specifically, the regular title card reads "B.J. and the Bear" as the rig tools along...  then the next title card simply reads "Lobo". Greg Evigan is credited in the usual spot at the start. But then, he's given a "Guest Star" credit later on within the same opening credits. What? Well...  I guess that means it truly is an epic.

Run For The Money (Part 1) is mostly set-up but it is 100% set-up for everything that we love about this show and Lobo. I find nothing wrong with that. It makes me very happy. I just wish someone had a nicer quality copy of the darn thing.

Let's see what's up next! Yes, we're going to Lobo Town!

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