SCORE: 2 out of 4 Tennis Balls
Jan. 7, 1978
Mood Ring: Yellow (strained)
Phooey, I missed the Bionic Woman again tonight. But I went to see “Saturday Night Fever” for like the 4th time. John Travolta is amazingly CUTE. The Bee-Gees are AWESOME. Disco dancing is so cool I just wanna boogie oogie oogie till I just can’t boogie no more. It’s hea-vee!
THE BIONIC WOMAN 3x12
Jaime goes back to college to study computer hacking. But I’m more worried about her snacking. Will she put on the freshman ten?
December 18, 2011
(Edited Nov. 1, 2015 to include wardrobe + additional notes and images)
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Green (neutral)
The scene is late at night in some dark computer terminal room. On a slick, modern 70s computer that looks like the dashboard of a Chevy Impala, some guy is wearing white gloves, and despite a hideously noticeable keyboard the color of orange safety cones, apparently still can’t see what he’s doing and is pecking away verrry slowly. Kids, this is why you should never text and drive.
Too Big To Fail: Turns out we are witnessing one of our nation’s first computer hackers, covertly tapping into the database of the Library of Congress, which we are told is very conveniently and cozily networked with “all the banks and businesses throughout the country.” Hmmm.
But let’s ignore any notion congress is being bought by the banking industry for a moment because that’s not nearly sexy enough for a children’s show, and let’s focus on the more abhorrent criminal behavior here: This lousy bandit is singling out the OSI’s bank account. Why? My guess is they probably saw the episode African Connection and all the wads of cash Jaime flashed around. Yeah, this department is even more loaded than the US Treasury. Let’s steal from them!!
The next morning, Dr. Rudy Wells has taken a break from his massive bionic research and occasional rocket assembly for NASA, to volunteer his services as director of IT for the federal government. (I honestly don’t know why this man doesn’t lose his temper more often.)
Rudy and Oscar are aghast that $5000 was electronically stolen from them last night, and are seriously worried that kind of loss of government funds could drag us into a national debt crisis.
But even more worrisome is the fact this hacker could also steal information about top secret bionics, too, so this is why it’s important for this to become an episode on the Bionic Woman.
Anyway, the best they can do is to trace their “genius” hacker’s computer to “South Coast University,” which looks amazingly like SCU and also happens to be in California—I mean what are the odds!!? (insert pregnant pause here) So Oscar dials the phone and says, “Jaime? How would you like to go back to college?”
Freshman Orientation: Our Bionic Woman showed up 6 minutes late for her show tonight, but was disciplined for her tardiness accordingly by being side-swiped by some student racing his bike across the college campus. (Miss Sommers, your show starts at the TOP of the hour. Every week. Same time, same channel. Do we have to set an alarm for you?)
Tonight we see Jaime sporting rolled up Levis jeans, light tan boots and a preppy pink and blue layered long-sleeved blouse. A college jerk—I mean jock— calls her “ooo-baby” and helps her pick up the spilled contents of her brown suede book bag/purse. He makes some seductive “morning dove” remark about one of her scented lotions, and she quips back that he smells like an “afternoon locker room.” Yo, good one, Jaime! (Please save these up for all those Not!Steves)
Later he will try to come onto her again, and with her gorgeous boot she’ll hit the bench like a see-saw and send him flying into the air. It was another expert Angry Birds shot from Jaime, so powerful that even the college jock made the bionic sound effect when he landed in the bushes.
Order Up: Jaime ambles over to “The Gypsy Wagon” a mobile campus eatery, and discovers the guy who nearly ran her over on the bike earlier works here. At this point we begin to see a very diverse cast of characters suddenly emerge. Ordinarily no big deal, but there is something about this class picture that really stands out tonight.
While I begin to ponder whether the network may have been responding to criticism for not being more sensitive to minority hiring, my twisted mind of course drifts in a more trivial direction.
Let's all hail the little boat cruise through the waters of this multi-ethnic assembly of university students, reminiscent of Disney's famous "Small World" exhibit, and participate in the Bionic Blonde's first sing-a-long!
It's a small world, all for one
It's a small world, all for one
It's a small world, all for one
It's a small, small, Bionic-Woman-casts-everybody-of-the-world
Tonight we meet Benny, a young African American, and Mango, a Native American man—both food service employees. Flanked by students Raul, a Latin American, and Mrs. Simpson, the Icelandic grandmother. Well, okay, I made that part up about her heritage. But her role as a minority in this plot was not her race, but rather her age.
Patience, little Blondettes. We will all find out later why this delightfully mixed cast has been assembled before us...
Can Do: Jaime works her way into this hip group immediately by offering to help them open an industrial sized can of condiments. She takes it aside and bionics it with her diamond strength fingernails. But for some strange reason, she chose to open this can upside down. However, I discovered if you pick up your television and turn it upside down, you can clearly read it was a can of “catsup.” A-ha, I can still outsmart this show even after 2 vodka martinis.
Benny, who has to deliver a sandwich order, walks Jaime to Dr./Professor Tharpe’s office, who is the head of the college computer department. Tharpe has already spoken to Rudy and knows Jaime is coming to help investigate, and lets it slip in front of Benny she works for the government. Jaime decides to conduct an overnight stakeout in the library near the terminal room where the hacking took place.
Chance of Precipitation: After buying a cup of Not!Starbucks coffee from the Gypsy wagon for 25¢, Jaime enters the library wearing a long, shiny vinyl raincoat—despite the fact it doesn’t appear to be raining in California at all this week in any of the scenes. When she took off her coat and laid it over a library chair, she whispered to it "noisy little coat." Oh. My. God. Jaime TALKS TO HER CLOTHES!! Yet another reason to heart this woman, the undisputed Mother Teresa of textiles.
After an hour passes on the clock, Jaime forces herself to drink the (duh) now seriously cold coffee she bought earlier, which incidentally has also been drugged, and makes a really icky face. She is then joined at her table by the senior Mrs. Simpson, who explains how hard it was to get enrolled in college and qualify for any financial aide at her Betty White age.
Jaime tries to listen to her story, but keeps yawning and eventually passes out. Mrs. S. gives the 3 food service musketeers the secret wave that the terminal is now available for them to hack again. They steal another $5000 in a bank transaction from the OSI, and then decide to Google just who this Jaime Sommers is. Oh goody, time to hit pause on the DVD when her personal information appears on their computer screen!
The Lowdown: Jaime’s OSI Agent # is 102-84. Did you know that? I never knew that. For some reason I am just giddy that I now have this top secret information, even though it’s completely useless to me.
They list her age at 28, height 5’9”, her enviable weight at ____, puhleeze, don’t worry Jaime, the bylaws of sisterhood preclude me from ever re-publishing this... but I am curious as to why her weight is more important to the OSI in identifying an agent than having any kind of information about her race or the fact she has blonde hair, too.
Whatever, if you are 5’9” and weigh (a secret between us girls), you could be an OSI agent. We also learn Jaime has a ‘Grade 6’ security clearance, bionic capabilities, and for any potential hackers out there, it conveniently advertises her present assignment is at South Coast University to investigate computer robberies. And then that annoying banner ad popped up advertising “The Six Million Dollar Man” Time-Life DVD box set. (Well, okay, I made that last part up.)
Snack Attack: The next evening, Jaime puts on some lovely corduroy shorts with brown boots and a layered turtleneck sweater ensemble, and decides to investigate the campus kitchen for clues. While perusing the shelves, Jaime steals a bag of potato chips to snack on, then a few minutes later she stole a cherry tomato out of the fridge and popped it in her mouth. LOL. I bet she’s one of those people who eat half their food in the grocery checkout line and then pile a bunch of empty wrappers on the conveyor belt for scanning.
In this fridge she bionic’d the padlock on, Jaime also found a huge stash of cash and a manual titled in really big letters The Library of Congress Computer Codes and Other References. Okay, let’s overlook the absurdity that the government would freely publish this kind of thing in the first place, and then wonder how they could ever have been hacked by some “genius,” and focus instead on Jaime, who suddenly hears someone coming.
It‘s Benny, nervously carrying a gun to try to stop this agent from busting his operation. When he enters the kitchen, Jaime surprises him hiding from the top of the fridge and grabs the gun away from him (way smooth). She forces him to call the rest of his partners in crime to join him, including Mango, Mrs. Simpson and Stubbs, a traitor who has secretly been in cohorts with Dr. Tharpe that will earn him bigger bucks. He can’t help it. He’s Caucasian.
Back After These Messages: The irony that all the “bad guys” in this episode were white males (including the obnoxious jock), while all the good guys were minorities did not escape me. Although they did have an African American man show up to assist the bad guy team later at the end. Almost as if it was an afterthought and producers were afraid they took this profiling contrast thing too far. Anyway, now back to our story.
But Why Aren’t They Wearing Tights? Jaime learns long after most viewers had already figured this out, that Benny has been running a “Robin Hood” operation, stealing from the government to help put 38 students through college who were denied financial assistance as minorities.
Despite his genius as a computer programmer, Benny elected to forego his own education to continue helping others. Jaime of course is touched by this man’s selfless act, but says she still cannot condone stealing. (This from a woman who just blatantly demonstrated to millions of TV viewers she has no problem robbing University food services when she has the munchies.) But Jaime has the gun, so do what she says and pretend you didn’t see that.
Cheaper By The Case: It was kinda strange to see Jaime waving this revolver around, since she is so anti-gun and usually has them crushed into a ball of clay by now. But I noticed she graciously let her stunt double with much blonder hair jump down off the tall fridge for her, right before Jaime got chloroformed from behind by Dr. Tharpe.
Yes, chloroform again... just like last week in Over The Hill Spy. Sigh. The props department must have finally run out of tranquilizer darts and found this new item on sale at Costco. The chloroform came in handy in the next scene, too when Benny got a dose, and then they all got tied up in the Gypsy Wagon, where the bad guys turned on the gas, set an egg timer to explode it, and then left them all to die.
Word Up: Jaime stopped talking to her clothes for a minute and this time started talking to herself, in an attempt to beat the sleepy gas fumes and bionic the bar above her head that she was tied to. Yay, she broke free! And managed to rescue everybody out of the trailer just seconds before it exploded. Jaime then went back into the library to get the bad guys, dodged their bullets, pushed a library shelf over on them, and then Benny whacked Dr. Tharpe on the head with a big dictionary just before he could pull the trigger on Jaime.
Right after the commercial, we learn Benny has been instantly offered a job in Washington as a computer hacker genius, and Jaime has pre-arranged for all of his scholarship recipients to have their college education completed as part of the bargain. But how can I possibly care about this when Jaime is wearing a gorgeous long skirt in a native American style geometric pattern with a light blue blouse? Another happy ending.
Can You Dig It? Mood Ring: Green. I thought this was an okay episode. While the Robin Hood plot seemed a bit contrived and predictable and the cool, college student lingo sounded awkwardly forced “Man, she is HEAV-EE” <---hey, don’t say that about Jaime. Some of us happen to know her actual weight and she is far from it! Where was I?
Oh, anyway I did appreciate the Bionic Woman’s attempt to call attention to the difficulty that minorities were having in getting a fair college education, something that in many ways is even harder today, thanks to ever-increasing tuition costs and cutbacks in state funding. But Jaime’s right, you should never stoowa to moo mis! Sorry, that was supposed to read you should never steal to do this.
I had a cherry tomato in my mouth.
Jaime had 4 different back-to-school outfits. Some rolled up Levis jeans worn with a preppy layered pink and blue long sleeved blouse and taupe leather knee-high boots, which she wore again at the end, with her geometric stripe patterned skirt and light blue blouse.
Her noisy little rain slicker was London Fog style, worn over a grayish brown skirt, light gray silk blouse and macramé belt. (Later she sported a matching shawl with this.) My favorite was the brown corduroy shorts with brown leather boots and a dark tan striped turtleneck (dickey?) / sweater combo.
The Bionic Woman and the character of Jaime Sommers are © Universal Studios. This website is produced by a fan just for fun, and is in no way affiliated with, nor endorsed by, Universal Studios or the cast or crew of this series. No copyright infringement is intended.