Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gemini Man Episode 9 - Suspect Your Local Police

Unaired on the network
Directed by Paul Krasny
Teleplay by Steven E. deSouza
Story by Rick Mittleman & Steven E. deSouza

Richard Jaeckel plays Nik Radinski an American Latvian cop who is part of the security for Alex Kadescho, a Litvanian national who will be speaking at a big Litvanian rally in the city. Intersect suspects that Radinski might be planning to assassinate Kadescho. So, Sam Casey cuts his hair and goes undercover as a cop to find out what Nik is up to. Will they save Kadescho? Will Radinski turn out to be an assassin? Will Sam be happy with shorter hair and no huge bellbottoms? Don't tune in tonight and find out! (Because the network never aired it, you see.)

Sorry, Short Hair Sam. You still look good, though.
Sort of like the pilot for Adam-12...
...but with an invisible guy.

This episode takes place mainly on the Universal back lots, which is, apparently, where Litvanians live. I used to be an extra so I recognized some of the twists and turns in the streets and the large area where everybody congregates for Kadescho's speech. It's fun. There's a joy in seeing these same, comfortable streets and storefronts appear again and again. Then suddenly, for the climax, they break out onto the Los Angeles freeway (albeit an unused stretch) and the world opens up and it becomes that much more exciting. (I like to think, although I'm probably wrong, that that stretch of freeway is the same one used in Stunt Rock.) But, my enjoyment of seeing back lots isn't actually indicative of the quality of anything. Is this a good episode?

Please, enjoy some fun faces (and cheap lettuce)

My memory must have gone screwball. I remember being very on the fence about Suspect Your Local Police. I like Richard Jaeckel. Who doesn't? I always imagine him and me having a couple beers. Talking about this, that and the other thing. And the conversation either ends with a hearty handshake or him beating the Ever Lovin' Crap out of me. He's that kind of guy. Have you seen the Ellery Queen he's in? There you go. For the rest of the episode, however, I remember giving it a shrug and a pass.

Who's this beardy guy talking to?

But it works. Sam cuts his hair and fits right in. Nik and he have a cool Adam-12 style relationship. Except it's as if Marty Milner is being blackmailed by Communists to assassinate a man and Kent McCord can turn invisible. (Yes, I know Kent was in Galactica 1980 but he didn't turn invisible.) The episode revolves around Nik and Sam driving around the Litvanian Back Lot and coming up against random thugs trying to extort shop keepers. Then, Nik visits with his fiancee who is in the hospital. She is being drugged by the Jerks who blackmail Nik. Sam sees it all (but they don't see him, if you know what I mean). (And if you don't, I've failed somewhere here in my reviews.) The Jerks force Nik to set up Sam to get shot...  Does Sam get shot and killed? Does Nik succeed? How many questions can I ask and not answer?

The Rally!
It was a good day for Litvanian extras
If you go undercover, don't stand next to your partner
A woman throws her flowers in the air
Traditional Litvanian activity!*

The folks behind Gemini Man were not jerks. They knew how to make a solid, entertaining show that had a few surprises up its sleeve. And, yes, we get some Abby in here for those Abby Fanz out there! Everything builds to the big rally and the Will the Assassination Succeed scene? Then, to add to the fun, there's a car chase. A pretty good car chase consisting of some sweet stunts and kickass driving. The great thing about this car chase is that it's different from the previous Gemini Man car chase in Run Sam, Run. That one was more about cars moving in unison across the screen doing crazy stunts, a la the Brewster McCloud car chase. The chase in Suspect Your Local Police is more a regular sort of high speed/ high tension chase. Both are great.

Never unload a bread truck near an adventure TV show

Stunting fun!

Gemini Man went off the air so quickly. My guess is (although I do not have the ratings) that the show never got a fair chance. Episodes like this one show that anything else going on of this variety  on TV at the time (like The Six Million Dollar Man or The Bionic Woman) was matched by Sam Casey and pals. There are only two episodes remaining. I know one of them is excellent. I'm hoping that the last one (which I remember disliking) will be excellent also.

Hooray! Happily Ever After...

Which one of these shots is the freeze frame?

*That's a lie. It's Invisible Guy stuff going on there.

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