Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gemini Man Episode 3 - Sam Casey, Sam Casey

Originally aired on October 7, 1976
Written by James D. Parriott
Directed by Michael Caffey

Note: VLC Media Player plays multi-region DVDs. Who knew? I sure didn't. But, now I do. The screenshots should look much better from here on out.

In the first two regular episodes of Gemini Man, employees of Intersect turned out to be jackasses, trying to take their employer for millions. The third episode, Sam Casey, Sam Casey, posits a sinister group of people working out of a High Class Fat Farm outside of Los Angeles that want to infiltrate Intersect and get all their secrets. Are these part of a super secret group of Anti-Americans, a group like SMERSH, SPECTRE or KAOS? Or are they from a rival think tank group trying to stay on top of the competition? It's never said. But, they are not adverse to giving an Englishman extensive plastic surgery to make him look like Sam Casey.

 Ninja Ahoy!

 I want that cutout!

Ben Murphy's Cockney character (the plastic surgery guy) does look just like Sam Casey. But, unlike Sam Casey, he chews gum incessantly, has a Cockney accent (which isn't really that great) and has Pamela Susan Shoop kissing him constantly. I don't chew gum. I don't have a vague Cockney accent. But, I envy the part that involves a lot of kissing of Pamela Shoop. Also, Sam (the actual Sam) gets to make out with Jo Ann Pflug. This episode is a win-win for Ben Murphy. (Pflug does try to kill Casey later on by blowing him up in an abandoned mine but I've had worse break-ups.) (Oh, and I believe Ms. Pflug was married to Chuck Woolery at this time.)

 Pflug! Um...  Pdelicious!


The story goes like this: Sam goes to a Tennis Ranch and is kidnapped by Pflug & Company. Meanwhile, Faux Sam (with a replica of Sam's Intersect pass) breaks into Intersect and begins taking pictures of everything. Faux Sam's mission is to get as many secrets as he can and then to kill Leonard with a ninja shuriken. (He's pretty good with them.) Complications arise when 1) Sam escapes the aforementioned exploding mine and 2) Faux Sam gets caught. Eventually, both Sams are roaming around the Fat Farm. They begin by confusing ladies in bathrobes, then they proceed to get lots of kisses from Ms. Shoop who doesn't know there are two of them and eventually they end up in a pitched battle deep in the sauna.
 You and Pamela Susan Shoop are making out in a closet?
What do you do?

 Is Sam there? (Invisible)

The Double Episode. Gemini Man does it pretty early into its run. (Thank Goodness. Or we may have never gotten one.) It has a straightforward setup involving getting Sam and Faux Sam into their respective spots. But, then those Complications arise around halfway into the episode and the story goes from people at Intersect being confused by Faux Sam to the bad guys being confused by Real Sam. The episode never becomes quite as exciting as it seems like it should. There's more potential for Doppelganger Shenanigans that doesn't get fully explored. And, the bad guys are never really explained properly. At the end, they are just Bad Guys and Gals. If one isn't completely satisfied as the episode approaches the inevitable split screen/ stunt double fight scene, there is a whole lot of Pamela Susan Shoop to watch and enjoy.

 What do you do when she jumps on you?

 Mainly smooches.

And if you come away from this episode thinking that Ms. Shoop is only suited to play slightly confused, ditsy gals, I refer you to Silent Night, Unholy Night, which is the Christmas episode of BJ & The Bear. She is awesome in that as a pregnant mother of two married to Ted Danson and on the run from the law for assorted reasons. She's the Keenest! And her name is fun to say. Just like Jo Ann Pflug. It does seem odd that two of my favorite 1970s And Beyond ladies, who also have the most entertaining names, wind up in the same episode of a TV show that nobody really saw. Pop culture works in mysterious ways.

Shoop! Oh Yes!

Why wasn't she one of Charlie's Angels? 

She got it! The plot is goofy!

Sam saves the day. Faux Sam gets put away. This cadre of bad guys is taken in. Watch Ben Murphy chew a lot of gum! (In two different ways.) Watch Ben Murphy face himself on split screen! Watch Ben Murphy scare about 8 half-naked old ladies out of the sauna! (Or don't.) Enjoy him using his invisibility a lot but mainly for gag-related stuff! (The show opens with Sam rifling his desk for his missing wallet as Abby looks on. A security guard enters and Sam keeps shifting materials around, while invisible!) Mainly, enjoy another good episode of Gemini Man. Oddly enough, we're getting very close to when the show got cancelled. Why weren't you folks watching this back then? I was 3-years-old. Your excuse?

(I would have included more Shoop at the climax but you can't have it all.)

Two more things:
1) Here is a link to a review of the BJ & The Bear Christmas episode:

2) I think I know why the Cockney accent from Faux Sam is so bad. Faux Sam has to master Sam Casey's accent, which is Ben Murphy's accent. Faux Sam, slipping occasionally into bad Cockney, is able to completely master Real Sam's voice (which is Ben Murphy's voice) so the good guys are fooled. But, later on, Real Sam has to pretend to be Faux Sam so he has to adopt the Cockney accent. Luckily, Faux Sam has a bad accent, which Real Sam is able to mimic perfectly and convince everyone. If Ben Murphy had done a more elaborate and realistic accent, it may have been tougher for Real Sam to fool the baddies. Again, everybody wins (except Faux Sam).

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