SCORE: 3 out of 4 Tennis Balls
March 30, 1977
Mood Ring: Green
The Bionic Woman was kind of boring tonight when Jaime helped Oscar find his brother’s bones from World War 2. We learned about that in school. It came after World War 1.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x21
THE FLEET IS IN
Tonight the Bionic Woman helps find Oscar’s Navy bro and becomes a crazy cat lady. (In a good way)
July 11, 2014
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Navy Blue
First of all, Iron Ships and Dead Men frankly is not a very sprightly title for a Bionic Woman episode. I really would much rather see Jaime go shopping in Cannes, than join the Shipyard Workers Union of America and watch a full hour of Pearl Harbor Military Channel footage. Anticipating this heavily-bored audience reaction from all us girly types, I'm pretty sure this is the note producer Kenny Johnson sent back on the first draft of James Parriott’s script.
Because it totally worked. And while I didn't much care for the Oscar-bro backstory back in the day, I appreciated it much more this time around. And because. Kittens.
Yo ho ho, for tonight's episode viewing, you may substitute Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for our usual martinis. Our nautical theme continues with Goldfish crackers for snacks, or if it strikes your fancy, you may bring along de-BONED chicken or shrimp. And don't forget to pack cat treats for all our little furry guests.
This one begins with the Bionic Woman opening credit sequence, which is code for we were afraid you might think this was some other show and change the channel… then followed by the episode teaser.
On a shipyard late at night, 2 guys weld open some iron hull, peek inside with excitement, and SHREEEK! A skeleton falls out. While they haul it away, a military dog tag falls off this dearly departed. Which turns out to be….double eww...
Oscar's brother? Or at least the dog tags belonged to his next of kin, as we cut to Jaime's living room. OMG she's wearing this same fabulous blue & white dress from Ghosthunter again, too!
Anyway Oscar (Mr. Dead Men Wear Plaid) explains in black & white (film noir programming to denote 1941 flashbacks) that his older brother Samuel Goldman used to be in Navy intelligence during World War 2 but disappeared during the Pearl Harbor attack. The Navy was never sure if Sammy G went missing in action, or if he used this day that went down in infamy as an excuse to steal $250,000 he was carrying in a briefcase to deliver to another agent. Sammy G's case was never solved and Oscar was never able to clear his brother's name from suspicion. Because dammit the Goldman brothers would never betray their country.
And even now that his dog tags have mysteriously surfaced on the Navy ship the "Handerson," currently in the process of being scrapped in a shipyard, the Navy refuses to re-open this case. So Jaime, might you….
"Oscar you don't have to ask me. I would LOVE to help you. Listen I have my frustrations too, you know? I have all these incredible abilities—my bionics—and I never get to use them for anything but the OSI or cleaning the house."
A-haha. Well okay also ripping phone books in class and romantically jumping tractors, too. But these were all totally NECESSARY bionic applications of a personal nature.
Oscar is of course touched by Jaime's loyalty and offer to help, extending his signature "Thanks, babe." Jaime suggests he maybe try to get her on that ship as some kind of undercover salvage worker, and Oscar embarrassingly admits he already has. Ummmm, a bit presumptuous of him dontcha think? Hey Oscar, do you future-remember (in living color) that time Jaime also personal-used her bionics to throw Steve through a window?*
*This could possibly qualify as cleaning house.
Fortified with Iron: After the commercial we are on the set of an exciting shipyard, with iron ships and things. Plus guys welding and cranes and the sound of pounding and grinding metal. (A couple Bayer aspirin is advised here.)
I love how Jaime is semi-dressed in homage to Rosie the Riveter for her first day on the blue collar job. Blue jean overalls worn with a burgundy blouse, a blue bandanna scarf and no. This neon ORANGE hard hat? Jaime, could we not find something that complemented your outfit any better?
Jaime reports to job check-in and is egregiously whistled at by one of the bad guys. RIGHT to her face. WTF? Then the supervisor named Dean proceeds to cast her off as a joke from the front office. He drills her on what she could possibly do here. Jaime sheepishly admits that she cannot operate a torch or a crane. Then she finally cuts off his patronizing remarks. "I'm a little strong, all right?!"
Dead Ships and Iron Man: Since supervisor Mean Dean professes to be one of those "liberator men" (mockingly, of course) he introduces Jaime to her new co-worker Bobby—a stuttering, mentally-challenged man who is actually kind of a sweet Teddy Bear despite his intimidating linebacker stature. He doesn't think this is any place for a woman, either. However his POV is genuinely motivated by worries that Jaime could get hurt. "Because you're so skinny and stuff." Haha this line cracked me up.
Then Mean Dean orders Jaime to move a heavy stack of scrap steel onto a pallet by noon, or she's out of a job.
Jaime does a little tip of her hat back at Dean in a snarky way, and then OMG when Jaime turns here and takes a deep breath to compose herself, you can see she's fighting back tears from all the humiliation he just put her through. YOU EFFING BULLIES!! Seriously this moment made me verklempt, not only because Jaime's feelings were hurt, but because as a girl, I can completely relate. #YesAllWomen
Back After These Messages: Evidently even the camera man got a little misty-eyed here, too. Because for some reason hardly any of these shipyard dock scenes are in focus, which I found a bit distracting. Easy to forgive if Jaime is bionic jogging and the cinematograper misjudged the manual focus on a moving target (which according to a Lee Majors bonus interview, would sometimes happen and they'd have to reshoot the exhausting run all over again), but these actors were just standing around on their marks. So anyway, if you happen to need to remove your eyeglasses for cleaning, I recommend doing it during this act because Jaime is already blurry.
Bobby insists that skinny Jaime not try to stack the pallet herself. He offers to do it for her just as soon as he gets back. But once he is out of sight, Jaime bionic tosses all the steel plates onto the pallet like cards, then she sneaks off to solve the murder mystery.
Below the bridge, Jaime investigates the big hole cut in the hull (from which sprung Mr. Goldbones earlier), reaches in and pulls out a "poor little bullet" CSI-style. Suddenly Bobby startles her from behind with an accusatory face and wants to know what she's up to and that she better not be after "Myrtle." …Um who?
In With The Mew: We suddenly cut to a room on the ship where Bobby is feeding a can of tuna to a cat and her litter of kittens while explaining to Jaime that Myrtle is a feline on a "no pets allowed" ship, and he was afraid Jaime was one of those "animal society people" coming to take them away. Oh. Dear. God, Adorable Jaime is in pigtails nuzzling sweet baby kittens here. The cuteness overload in this scene puts us all at risk of becoming diabetic. Look away, look AWAY!!
Too late. Jaime picks up a kitten and asks in a wittle baby voice "Do I look like a family breaker-upper to you?"
Refresh browser for animated gif -->
So now amongst her list of many talents thus far, we are treated to the Bionic Woman's amazing ability, WHILE BALANCING KITTENS, to segue back into the PLOT, pull out the deadly bullet and ask Bobby how she can find out more about her salvage "souvenir."
Bobby thinks Duke would know. He runs Duke's Down on the Docks. Jaime, would you like to go on a Date to Duke's with Dobby? er Bobby. Of course, she shyly responds, she was kinda hoping somebody would ask her.
And just in case you are wondering, no. Despite this date, Bobby does not rank as an official Not!Steve since Jaime is clearly—albeit gently— just using him in this episode to get what she wants. So far he's delivered information and more importantly, a bouquet of kittens. #Score
Let's Duke This Out: Bobby and Jaime come strolling down a dark, foggy alley at night. I love this Old Navy pea coat and black knit cap she's wearing, a wardrobe combo that will turn up again in the 3rd season a few times. Bobby says he bets "Lots of guys go sweet on you... huh Jaime."
I love her rebuttal, "That's not a very fair question, Bob." Yeah because seriously, who would EVER keep privacy-invasive dating records of her boyfriends anyway, let alone number and categorize them by season. Jeez Bobby, get a life.
Outside Duke's pool hall, some drunk guy comes staggering out the door and Jaime makes a very Judgmental Face™ at him. (Hmm, let me ponder this stare down while I swill my 3rd Martini…) Inside the bustling, smoke-filled joint, Jaime and Bobby take a seat at the bar, and after a moment of looking around, she blurts out the most shocking of lines:
Oh Jaime. No. Surely you meant to more politely inquire who that "physically challenged man" was? Or hey, maybe this politically incorrect prejudice is all part of her tough, undercover dock worker persona, where she suddenly looks down on all inebriated and handicapped people with equal disgust.
Raising the Bar: The poor ‘character with the crutch’ turns out to be Duke, whereupon Jaime starts pumping him for information about the ship’s hull opening because she's become a collector and stuff. To deflect her questions, he asks her "why don't you become a drinker?" A-haha!
He comps Jaime and Bobby a free round, (woohoo, drink up!) then limps down to the other end of the bar to whisper to Mean Dean and that other crew guy we saw break open the hull earlier (also the dudes who read Jaime the sexist riot act during job orientation) that they need to get rid of this girl who is asking too many questions. But don't hurt her, Duke insists, just give her a good scare.
The Forensic Woman: The next morning on the docks, Jaime is meeting inside a cab with Oscar to give him an episode update. (Hurry, the meter is running!) She hands him the bullet she found and points out the brownish red stuff, which could be blood or rust so here let me smudge the evidence with my fingers some more before you send it off to the OSI-CSI lab for analysis. Gotta go she's late for breakfast with Myrtle buh BYE!
Jaime catches up with Bobby and the kittens and opens her lunch box because she brought them "biscuits" for a balanced diet. While she's literally dripping with kittens, she again goes into simultaneous detective mode and asks how Duke (y'know that gimp from last night?) injured his leg. Bobby thinks he hurt it in the war at Pearl Harbor. Hmmm, Jaime then makes a Crime Solving Gaze Face™ before it's time to report for...
Ship, I’m Late For Work: For her second day on the job, Jaime's wearing the same blue jean overalls and a striped pullover underneath plus a red bandanna. Having been tampered by the bad guys, a steel cable holding a heavy pallet from a crane above forthwith breaks—intended to fall on Jaime to get rid of her— but Bobby pushes her out of the way at the last second and gets pinned under it himself.
Jaime rescue-bionics Bobby out from under it, and while they wait for a medic to bandage his broken arm, she lovingly cradles him and promises to feed Myrtle in the event he gets stuck in VA Hospital paperwork and doesn't make it home tonight.
Later Jaime places a pay phone call to Oscar, (who BTW is sporting an awesomely preppy pink oxford shirt) and while she cutely twists her pigtail she reports she observed the saw marks on that cable so someone was def trying to kill her and Oscar reports the forensics lab reported dried blood on that bullet. Jaime's got a hunch so she'll follow up later buh bye again.
Bad To The Bone: That night Jaime dons her Old Navy pea coat again to sleuth to Duke's back alley door, bionic breaks the padlock and lets herself in without a warrant.
When she hears Duke and the bad guys coming, she hides in a storage closet behind a curtain while they discuss their botched crane accident today, which failed to net them the Bionic Woman.
Within this dark closet Jaime turns and abruptly comes face to face with Mr. Goldbones himself. EEEEEEEEEEEKKKK!
This unexpected Tales from the Crypt encounter causes her to leap out into the room, whereupon she is unfortunately busted for voyeurism, and embarrassingly remarks "Hi guys, guess who just found a skeleton in your closet?" #Awkward #NoBonerJokesPlease
After the commercial Mean Dean pulls out a gun to shoot Jaime, but Duke bumps it away with his crutch and orders him to put that thing away, and for the guys to leave him alone with her. Duke then confronts Jaime and points out she doesn't have any murder evidence on him. Jaime's like dude you mean this set of—contrary to natural ligament decomposition, perfectly intact— bones? Because they are actually Samuel Goldman, and his brother happens to be a good friend of mine! (And the fact that I semi-know this corpse strangely doesn’t gross me out, either.)
After a very distinct Bionic Sneer Face™, Jaime proceeds to charge him with having been there, as a civilian dock worker, the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. Then just like on CSI, she imagines the homicide taking place, as the scenes unfold in black & white.
The Closer: Jaime alleges Duke saw the brief case with all that cash during the Japanese surprise attack, shot Sam, stole the money, and then waited for decades for the ship to be scrapped so he could retrieve the body and hide the evidence. "How'd I do?" Jaime asks. With confidence. As if they had just acted out the entire crime in real time before our eyes.
Not so fast sister, because that scene wound up on the cutting room floor in favor of the one he is about to describe.
CSI: Pearl Harbor Take 2: Where a stray combat bullet killed Sam as Duke was actually trying to help him, and yeah he wanted to steal the money but he had to stash the cash in some pump hole because he got shot, too and also the medics were coming and then the Handerson vessel went back out to sea so he waited 36 years for his ship to come in to get that brief case back.
Always the lame gentleman, Duke offers Jaime half of the cash if she'll keep her mouth shut. He's sure it's still down there in that ship. He even marked a big X where it dropped down the chute. A-ha! Cue the entrance of the other 2 bad guys, who also know how to eavesdrop. Now that they know their alphabet and what letter to look for, they would, FYI, like to have the money all to themselves. Let’s take a trip, shall we?
As Bobby comes walking down the alley, he sees Jaime and Duke getting into an old 50s car with the 2 bad guys, unaware she’s being kidnapped. He forlornly leaves. Because sadly, he files this under "guys sweet on her" and decides that now Jaime is cheaply dating them in litters.
Time to put on your lifejackets, kids! Next we are treated to some rather slow moving scenes reminiscent of the Titanic as the bad guys + Jaime and Duke as hostages are led deep into the iron bowels of the ship, down hallways and ladders, thru hatches, and past the room where Leo DiCaprio is handcuffed to a pipe in rising waters. Jack? Jack where are U? Oh wait, wrong steerage.
Finally. They arrive at the X Marks the spot, blow torch is lit, brief case found and liberated, bad guys retreat for their flight to Acapulco, water is rising, and they bump into Bobby—in an arm sling—who was following a clanking noise that Myrtle led him to just like Lassie. The bad guys inform him Jaime is down there and she needs your help, Bobby! So he crawls down the hatch and they lock it behind him. Sucker.
Anchors Away: Meanwhile Jaime, who removed her lovely soaked pea coat, has already saved Duke from drowning once, and as the water is quickly rising she begs for Bobby to help them unscrew their hatch thingy that has them all trapped. She assist-bionics it until the chain breaks, they crawl out and Jaime congratulates Bobby on saving them. Hooray!
Jaime leaves Bobby to finish rescuing Duke while she chases after the bad guys and catches up to them on the deck. Whereupon she grabs a big nautical rope, yanks it and trips them up (WooHoo, Angry Pelican Score 250 points!) causing them to fall overboard, and their brief case trails behind them and scatters the cash into the ocean.
The dimwits of course scramble to grab the bills while treading water, as Duke arrives to witness their greedy behavior and laments he himself is the "biggest fool of all." Yeah whatever Jaime is now shivering here CAN WE WRAP THIS UP, PLEASE?
Sam I Am: In the final scene, Oscar and Jaime and Bobby are on a Naval ship, where the newly-exonerated Samuel Goldman (i.e. his bones) have finally earned the military respect of a burial at sea, complete with an American flag-draped coffin and 21-gun salute.
During the memorial proceedings, Bobby is sad about Jaime leaving, but she assures him the reason she was here doesn't change the fact they became friends. (And fostered kittens together.) Yeah and she was much too skinny for lifting steel anyway, Bobby reminds her.
Jaime tells us Duke doesn't have to go to prison because the Navy feels his 36 years of obsessively plotting greed was punishment enough. Or maybe it was because a government OSI employee insensitively called him a character with a crutch and he threatened a lawsuit. I'm not entirely sure of the reason but anyway Duke is officially forgiven for his crimes. Bobby reckons he's free now.
As Jaime watches Oscar privately salute his brother, she remarks "Yeah, I guess he's finally free."
Sniff. Ah geez. With a sense of irony (pun intended), what a touching ending. And nice to finally get a little more Goldman family history behind the mystery boss we see every week. And because. KITTENS.
I first fell in love with this blue & white full length house dress last season in The Ghosthunter, so I was thrilled to see it return in Jaime’s apartment opening scene. I also recognized her full length, green suede coat at the end as having also been worn at the end of Biofeedback—this time with a matching silk head scarf.
For her shipyard duties gig, Jaime wore flared, blue jean overalls with straps that crossed in the back. Paired with a long sleeved, maroon blouse and blue bandanna neck scarf, a multi-striped knit pullover and red bandanna, and finally a gold, long-sleeved blouse. Sorry I was not crazy about her spot-me-from-the-space-station orange hard hat and would have preferred she switch and wear Bobby’s blue hard hat, instead.
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.