Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BJ and the Bear: S2 E13 Fire In The Hole

Originally aired January 12, 1980
Teleplay by Sidney Ellis
Story by Richard Kelbaugh
Directed by Bruce Kessler

Lil is back! Pogo Lil that is.

Angry Lil with miner's helmet

You remember Lil, don't you? Lil!

 Happy Lil with Shotgun
Pouty Lil with some guy

She was feisty. She drove a truck. She liked B.J. A bunch of guys were after here for some reason or other. Sure. Lil! Well, she's back. And she now owns a gold mine! It's in the same location as Byron Quisenberry's Scream, which is cool. But, there are a bunch of jerks working for a rich jerk (whose name might be Mr. Cummings but, frankly, these jerks become interchangeable after a while) who want the mine, which is not cool.

Yes, I'm Evil. Why do you ask?

Luckily, B.J and Bear arrive to help. But, they've also brought Lil's dad who is a ne'er do well. Lil isn't so fond of dad. Dad wants to reconcile after being a jackass for years but Lil isn't convinced. (Frankly, I wasn't convinced either.) Around this time, the rich jerk and his co-jerks force Lil to sign over the mine to them. (And it's all Very Legal.*) So, it looks Lil is out of a mine. But, she's got her dad! (She'd prefer the mine.) (I'd prefer Lil.)

 Lil Face Drop

With the help of a lawyer, they learn that because the mine changed hands illegally, if they can take control of it for a certain amount of time, then the lawyer can do something that gets Lil the mine back. This mostly involves fistfights and explosions. In the end, everything's great again and Lil and her Pa are friends. Hooray!

Lil! I'm blushing!

I imagine the writers sitting around a table.
"Anyone have any story ideas? Richard?"
"Huh? What? Oh...  Lil could come back."
"Give me more."
"She owns a...  gold mine. Her dad shows up. She doesn't like him. Explosions? Fistfights?"
"Brilliant! I'll get Sidney on the teleplay!"

It is nice to see Lil back as I'm a big fan of Anne Lockhart. But, boy, this is by the numbers television. It's the first time I can think of where Greg Evigan looks like he's coasting through. The whole episode rests on Lil's shoulders and she acquits herself well but, whew!, we've seen this before and we will see it again.

It's the Scream Saloon!

It's not all negative. The episode does breeze along nicely. And, if you like rich, corporate men doing odd things (like breaking into Lil's bedroom on the site and forcing her to sign over the mine), this is the episode for you. I know corporate/ rich folks can be awful...  but do they do stuff like this? I could see a bad cop doing this but a CEO simply says "I want that mine!" and the threats start and the coercion begins. Huh? Really? It always strikes me as odd.

I told you there were explosions.

The rig looks real nice in this episode, gliding along the roads though the wooded areas. And then, as I mentioned, they wind up at the Scream location. There's a quick brawl in the main saloon where all the guys sleep. The one with the staircase that Lou the Final Girl sleeps under. That's cool to see. Plus, did I mention I like Anne Lockhart?

Lil and the Bear?

Fire In The Hole is an episode of a Glen A. Larson show at the point where, I believe, Larson has left and others have taken over from him. Now, to me, Larson is a thoroughly decent creator who comes up with fun, but entirely derivative, TV concepts that he carries through well. He's an OK writer who deals mainly in lots of cliches. But, in the right frame of mind, his shows are a joy...  if possibly kind of dumb. Now, having said that, one might imagine that the folks who take over from him might not quite be the same quality as he is...  and he's decent, not great. So, you can imagine that B.J. and the Bear is starting to meander onto some shaky ground. The show is still fun. However, the derivative scripts and the repetitive situations are beginning to overwhelm B.J.'s charm and Bear's shenanigans.

Three guys who are definitely Against the
All-Female Wonder Woman screenings

At least this episode has Lil. (Her dad's annoying, though.)

I'd like this spinoff to happen please.

*As in "Not Legal In The Slightest."

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