SCORE: 2 out of 4 Tennis Balls
November 3, 1976
Mood Ring: Blue
The Bionic Woman was on tonight and Jaime and Steve rode on a submarine in a hurricane to go fight the Fembots on an island. They almost got hit by lightening but they saved Oscar and then they held hands at the end. I think Steve should wear more clothes the next time they go on a mission.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x06
Will Jaime and Steve’s last crossover mission—and this Fembot finale—go out with a bang? Well, sort of...
September 24, 2013
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Orange
Bless me, Bionic Queen Mother, for I have sinned. It has been 2 months and 3 days since my last blog entry. My sincerest apologies that I have not been able to finish Killing Oscar until now. (Wait, did that come out right?) But alas, some other projects—mostly related to Dragon Con—managed to consume what was left of my spare time this summer and forced me into an unscheduled Bionic Blonde hiatus.
Now we're baaaack! And unfortunately, only to discover that all the cheese I stocked up on to superfluously enjoy while watching this epic 3-parter has some funny kind of green mold now. No worries, I'll just consider this a side vegetable.
I have to admit, this Fembot story conclusion sorta fell a bit flat for me. I vote we blame it on all those windy knots Dr. Franklin kept cranking up, which also rudely ruined Jaime's hair. Kill Oscar Part 3 requires a few martini refills to help fill the low pressure wardrobe void, too. Selections so drab this week, that our poor Jaime had to resort to stealing her fashions off a Fembot.
Backstory: We begin tonight with previews of Kill Oscar Parts 1 and 2, this time narrated by Rudy because he's the only one smart enough to remember everything that happened so far. After the opening credits roll, we're clocking the Bionic Woman in at 4 minutes late for her show tonight, still in her hospital room.
Following an episode of restful acting, Jaime appears to be recovered now because she's sitting atop her bed in a light blue dress repeatedly brushing her hair for that healthy Breck conditioner shine. 87, 88, 89… Steve's lounging in a chair next to her reading the paper while they watch TV.
Breaking News: With footage of hurricanes and floods rolling, real ABC news anchorman at the time, Howard K. Smith, reports they are unable to offer an explanation from the National Weather Service on why all this extreme weather is happening in the southeast. And then it cracks me up that he announces ABC has also attempted to reach Oscar Goldman of the OSI for comment. Because my weather alert radio is always tuned in to the OSI Accu-Weather channel, where I rely on code name Snow White to tell me if it's going to be cloudy with a chance of cyborgs today.
Rudy comes in, apparently temporarily blinded, and orders Jaime who is sitting on her bed to get back in bed. She argues with him that she feels perfectly fine. Which is code for this is her show and unfortunately her contract requires her to stand upright this week in order to stop Dr. Franklin and the Fembots.
To prove her bionics are fully rested and operational, Jaime picks up a metal water pitcher and crushes it. Steve jokes that was a felony to destroy hospital property like that, and I love Jaime's facial expression comeback.
"Oh dear, you will wait for me till I get out?"
Steve continues their cute bionic comedy routine and suggests she test her legs next by kicking in the bathroom door. And just as Jaime gets up to go do it, Rudy pushes her back on the bed. No really he actually did this. Hey, it's not nice to push girls.
Pentagon Tours: A short while later we're at the Pentagon, where they are gearing up for full scale combat against the evil Dr. Franklin and his nasty weather machine on his hideout island.
We will cut to this Situation Room often in this episode, for a ton of plot exposition and military speak that frankly begins to bore me after a bit. *files nails* I mean not that I don't have a heap of respect for our armed forces and all this stuff, but there's a reason why I don't play Battleship board games or watch the Military Channel. And up until tonight—watching shows like the Bionic Woman used to be reliable ways to escape ithis.
But I'm immediately struck by the lack of any women in this Pentagon room, aside from a couple token females working in the Pitiful Powerpoint Production Room™ which is quarantined behind glass like a drive thru window. OKAY ONE SATELLITE IMAGE COMING UP AND DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?
I have to keep reminding myself this was 1976, but I also have to get out Photoshop NOW and right this picture in my mind, especially when these multi-star generals only seem to wanna drop warheads and blow things up and kill Oscar in the process. (Refresh browser for animated gif above.)
Nobody seriously argues for any diplomatic or non-violent solutions, which is really more the Bionic Woman's series style. So I couldn't help but wonder if Kill Oscar Part 3 with all this heavy military strategy action-y stuff really wouldn’t have been better suited as a Colonel Austin episode.
Profiles in Courage: In amongst all this military brass is a sweet, older-than-Jesus man named Admiral Richter, plus Dr. Rudy Wells—whom they've asked here today to provide a psychological analysis of our bad guy because in addition to being a brilliant scientist and amazing doctor, Rudy's also apparently our nation's top criminal profiler. He determines Franklin is a "deeply frustrated man." Um ya think? I mean he's building creepy Fembots, ferchrissakes. (Plus, he's started wearing those girly neck scarfs.)
That meany Hanson guy from the NSB, now appearing in his 3rd consecutive episode and campaign to Kill Oscar, has a lovely Powerpoint presentation pulled up on screen to outline their options to stop Franklin and his destructive weather system.
<-- Really the scene is pretty much over for me after this from laughing so hard, and I promise I didn't touch this… it's an honest-to-goodness, 100% pure screen grab from DVD. As you can see, Plan 1 and Plan 3 involve ATTACK, while the #2, peaceful approach gets immediately shot down by everyone in the room. No pun intended.
Women In Combat: And then finally, the much-anticipated meeting arrival of Colonel Steve Austin and Miss Jaime Sommers. I love how she curtsies when Steve introduces her to the adorbs Admiral Richter—although probably not a good idea to give them the alpha dog advantage right off the bat like this, Jaime.
One of the generals at the conference table immediately complains, "Does the young lady have clearance to be in this room?" EXCUUUUUSE ME?! And incidentally I am completely distracted by that pair of ultra-groovy turquoise blue sunglasses this general has stationed on the table in front of him. (Pretty sure he's in the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ program, too.)
So everybody goes on to yadda yadda more military strategy stuff and oh thank god I love how even Jaime starts to look bored here. But despite Rudy's concern the military forces wouldn’t make it past Franklin's hurricane weather conditions, everybody votes to attack the island anyway. (That's PLAN ONE for those of you following along on our crooked Powerpoint.)
Woah, Hold Up Here: Jaime objects. "Please gentlemen, let us get Oscar off the island first." Hanson says the subject has been closed. "Well then let's re-OPEN it, Mr. Hanson!" Steve, who can sense both a lost cause AND when Jaime Sommers is about to lose her bionic sh*t—well except maybe for that time she threw him through a window, oopsie on timing that mood swing—gently takes her arm and escorts her out of the room.
Steve's got another plan…
They go to the old Admiral's office, where in a private meeting, Steve stammers his way through a request for a ride in an atomic submarine. (He's really not very confident when making proposals of any sort, is he?)
Steve and Jaime take turns bending the Admiral's brass ship wheel statue to prove their secret agent super strength, and are thusly granted a private mission that this old "bad boy of the Navy" keeps secret from the rest of his Pentagon pals. Because Oscar is an old friend of his and they got drunk together once. Those are bonds that can never be broken.
Dr. Franklin Returns: Plus Fembot Katy and the faceless brunette Bangs-Bot whose job is to guard Oscar and Callahan, while they continually glance at one another with Faces of Doom™. They are still being held prisoner by Dr. Franklin, now on his tropical getaway island. Aye poor Callahan—same dirty dress for 3 episodes in a row now, and she looks like she could seriously use a bath, too.
On Franklin's orders, Katy-bot cranks up his weather machine more knots because he can see the US military advancing on radar. Just as Rudy predicted, these extra hurricane-force winds Franklin hurls at them effectively force the military to retreat.
When Dr. Franklin sees them throw it in reverse on radar, he boasts to Oscar that he's rather enjoying this winning moment. He's "repelled the US Navy and Air Force and made fools of the OSI." and then comes my favorite line…
By now Jaime and Steve are on their private nuclear sub taxi called the Sting Ray, being commandeered by actor James McMullen, who joins the Bionic Woman again later in the 3rd season’s The Martians are Coming to play a Not!Steve reporter.
Jaime has changed into a mildly appealing, 2-piece matching mauve slacks and top ensemble, but I mean she IS on a submarine, so it's not like she would be packing attire for cocktail parties. This is perfect for her to casually sip tea while Steve and Commander Gordon pore over a map of the island they're about to invade.
Steve suggests Jaime memorize this map (yeah whatever, can’t someone just invent Google Earth?) and that if they get separated they should meet at the dam above Franklin's complex. But then this typhoonish weather begins to adversely affect them, too and they can't get over a reef or something so they have to scrub their mission.
Full Speed Ahead: Steve wants to keep going, adding that he's bailed out of a sub before and requests they torpedo-launch him towards the island from here. So bring him a scuba suit, stat. "Two suits!" Jaime insists. No way says Steve, it's too dangerous.
"Commander," Jaime challenges while glaring at Steve, "can an Air Force officer aboard a Navy submarine give orders to a civilian who isn't listening to him anyway?"
Gordon tells the bickering bionic couple to leave him out of this and that there are two suits up in the forward torpedo room for whatever they decide. I love Jaime's determination to get in the last word here. "Two suits!" (refresh browser for animated gif above)
Ausommers Ahoy! Aww, and just look at them in their little matching wetsuits… aren't they like the cutest pair of bumble bees you ever did see?
When the torpedo chutes are opened, Steve says "Ladies first." I love this O sh*t™ look on Jaime's face when she suddenly realizes she's essentially going to be shot out of a cannon. Under the sea. In the dark. With no oxygen tank and a raging hurricane overhead. This would be a good time to call your life insurance agent.
She climbs as gracefully as any woman can while trying to navigate her feet in ginormous flippers, into what might as well be a morgue cadaver compartment—delighting us with the opportunity to see her desperate O sh*t™ face upside down. (It's effective at any angle, really.) But Jaime manages to muster a nervous smile when Steve winks at her and says he'll see her on the other side.
Steve is barely packed into his torpedo compartment before the Commander decides to inform them that oh by the way your tube will fill with water in 10 seconds so you might want to put your mask on and take a deep breath fasssssssssss... LOCK DOWN
KA BOOM. Whew, Jaime surfaces in the dark stormy wavy ocean and calls out to Steve, but when he doesn't answer she decides to speed-swim towards shore.
I'm awarding the Bionic Woman 1000 Angry Bird Points for her perfect torpedo launch and aim towards the island, which she manages to find in the dark. Jaime staggers onshore, where it is a bright and sunny tropical island paradise because it’s currently in the eye of the hurricane.
Jaime removes her face mask and cap and continues to call out for Steve who is mysteriously missing. "C'mon I made it, you can!"
They never did explain why it took the Six Million Dollar Man so long to arrive on the island, leaving Jaime to fend for herself. Perhaps he was too busy jumping the shark.
Jaime's barely had time to survey the beach before suddenly from out of nowhere, we see a helicopter trying to chase her down, being piloted by a faceless, sport-helmeted Fembot. Jaime retreats to a jungle area and strips off the rest of her wetsuit—back down to her mauve outfit from earlier.
Now Hear This: From the control room, Franklin has spotted an intruder on the security monitor and grabs the mic for Kill Oscar Karoke Night! Actually, he calls out to Miss Sommers on the loudspeakers, and orders her to surrender or he really will Kill Oscar this time because he's standing right here.
And then he has Mr. Goldman talk to her: "Jaime you have my orders concerning capture. Carry them out." While Franklin mocks Oscar for being so noble, Jaime's all like right. I torpedo'd myself out of a submarine for THIS? (On the other hand, if I DO kill you, I’m guaranteed I won’t have to film a part 4.)
As Jaime recollects Steve's echo-voiced plan to head for the dam if they get separated, Franklin becomes furious and has Katy re-calibrate the weather machine dial in order to force Jaime back, even though it will bring hurricane winds onto the island. Suddenly a gust blows up and totally messes up Jaime's hair. She starts bionic running through the jungle, but WATCH OUT FOR THAT FALLING TREE, and gets knocked to the ground. Franklin orders Fembot number 006 to go get her. Oh no, Jaime's lying there unconscious, so of course it's time for a commercial so we can worry incessantly about her while we pour another martini. Mood ring: Black.
Two Suits: When the guys at the Pentagon notice in the latest weather report the hurricane has now moved inland, Rudy tells them he can think of two reasons why Franklin might suddenly turn the storm on himself: Jaime and Steve. They must have reached the island!
Jaime regains consciousness just as Fembot 006 nears, so while still pinned under the fallen tree, she picks up a rock and bionic-hurls it at the Fembot, nailing her squarely in the back, which causes sparks to fire and boom, fried Fembot.
Since Jaime looks WAY better wearing black, she decides to steal the Fembot's jumpsuit which amazingly no longer has that giant burn hole in the back she just caused. So Apparently Jaime had the foresight to pack a waterproof travel sewing kit, too. What a girl scout!
Angry Bird Score: 500 points for that awesome rock toss and take down, plus another 250 bonus points for instant wardrobe repair.
Back in Black: I think Jaime looks cool in her new black jumpsuit with matching opera gloves, ascot and black helmet. Just as she's ready to make her Fembot cotillion debut, she hears Franklin on the loudspeaker angrily announcing that "Miss Sommers' male counterpart has arrived."
SQUEE it's Steve—he's alive! And double SQUEE, look how they announced him as MY sidekick vs. always being referred to as HIS. This having your own show thing is kinda nice!
Jaime races to the beach hoping to blend in with the Fembots surrounding Steve. He decides to fight them off one at a time, challenging his chosen opponent with, "Okay baby, you're first!" BAM, poor Jaime gets tackled and pinned to the ground. "Steve, it's me!" (And hey, where do you get off calling Fembots 'baby?')
Jaime tells Steve they gotta make this look real so she doesn't blow her cover, so they begin to pretend-scuffle. But Franklin, who wondered why he lost communication on Fembot 006, now realizes from the monitor that's actually Jaime Sommers in her stolen uniform.
Busted! She and Steve try to make a break to steal the Fembot's helicopter, but an electrical cord gets sabotaged, rendering it useless. So after they finish bowling over the Fembots, the Ausommers take off running towards the dam.
The Slow Down: Now the gale force winds are up to something like 89 knots. Franklin has overloaded the weather machine and it's starting to spin out of control. At this point the only thing he hasn't cast at them is the wicked witch riding by on her bicycle."We've got to slow them down!!!" He's really coming unhinged. Not so delicious now, huh sir?
And then OMG Steve removes his wetsuit, which he claims was slowing him down—not the winds?— and all of a sudden appears scantily dressed in only his beige skivvies for the remainder of this episode.
Jaime, I'm quite certain, was grateful for the gusty winds and driving rain to help keep her cool during these gratuitous scenes with Speedo!Steve. I know I was. *splashes water on face*
Meanwhile back at the Pentagon, they've managed to find a female somewhere on staff to draw an extra low pressure circle around the weather map to indicate the abrupt increase in the extremity of the storm. Or how about we just label the real cause of this new tropical isobar: Colonel Austin, a man barely clothed.
Lightening Bolts: Steve and Jaime are being chased by the remaining 3 Fembots, one of whom is Katy, dispatched from the home office wearing black uniform 001— which of course makes sense because she was the very first Fembot he introduced in Part 1. Steve tells Jaime they have to hurry and climb this dangerous waterfall cliff and get across that dam because the lightening is getting really bad, and—as you may recall from a scene demonstrated by Steve while playing around with the weather machine in part 1—their bionics are like lightening rods, so it's really not such a good idea to be out here in this inclement weather today.
In Franklin's control room, Oscar and Callahan are listening to the storm howling outside. "The thunder terrifies me," Callahan confesses. Oscar believes "the time for terror is when the thunder stops." Because that would mean a) Jaime and Steve are finally dead. Or b) that FEMA would begin arriving with their usual poor organization for so-called hurricane disaster relief, resulting in more chaos.
Dam It: The Ausommers finally reach the dam and start bionic-racing across it, hoping to dodge the intensifying lightening strikes. With the equally-vulnerable-to-electrical-damage Fembots close behind, Franklin orders his assistant to turn off the lightening NOW, but is informed they no longer have control of this weather machine...it's too late.
Two of his Fembots are struck by lightening and his order for Katy-bot to turn back gets a shocking reply: BOLT, ZAP, FRY, FRIZZ. "Nooo!" Franklin sinks down in his chair. She's gone.
Neeners Dr. F, because Steve and Jaime safely make it to the other end of the dam before it gets hammered by lightening and begins to break. It is rather a sad scene to watch Franklin wander into his exploding lab set, a broken and defeated man. He's let Oscar and Callahan go, and they bump into Jaime and Steve in the hallway— just as they are arriving to rescue them.
And then while Steve gets their escort-to-higher-ground duties, it's almost equally sad to see Jaime not even bother to stop for a second to say 'hi' and ask Oscar and Callahan if they're okay and sorry they got kidnapped on her show two episodes ago. Instead, Jaime just wants to know where Dr. Franklin is, and seems far more interested in finally getting to have an actual scene with this man who perhaps kinda sorta reminds her of her father... although she can't quite explain, at least not on “paper,” why that is. So Jaime “chases” on to rescue Dr. Franklin.
We interrupt this program to bring you a SUDDEN POWERPOINT PRESENTATION
We have recently uncovered a missing slide used by our Pentagon fellas to vote on what words of wisdom professor John Houseman would leave us with at the end.
But it seems as if a consensus was never reached. (See all 3 acted out below.)
And now back to our program...
When Jaime locates Franklin in his lab, he admits that her bionics are more effective than his Fembots, and "to put it more simply, humans are superior to machines." I love Jaime's yeah well whatever face here because she really just came to drag his a*s out of here, not to listen to him pontificate plot summaries.
Just then, the security monitor shows the dam breaking and the flood waters are rushing everywhere. When Franklin flatly refuses to go with Jaime, she threatens to carry him… "and you KNOW that I can."
He begs her to leave him is dignity. (Darlin’ I thought this neck scarf you’re wearing pretty much solidified that loss, but go ahead...) "Miss Sommers, you are a very determined young woman with a mind of her own. I've always found that to be a defect in a woman." (PLAN ONE) A-hahaha!
Jaime and Dr. Franklin manage to make it out of the building just before a wall of water breaks through the doors, and they join up with Steve et al. after the commercial on the shores of Gilligan's Island, where they wait for the nuclear sub to send a boat.
Consolation Prize: Jaime admits to Dr. Franklin she thinks he did some pretty amazing things—apparently to either help boost his deflated ego, or in a moment of character regression, hoping he'll increase her allowance.
Franklin says he's decided "the biggest thing in nature is man's ego. His claim to omnipotence. The smallest thing is his real power to control events. His own destiny." (PLAN TWO) Okay. Yeah sure Daddy-O. Now, about that allowance…
Steve—sensing Jaime's Paper Chase Pontification eye roll coming on again—steps over to rescue her from Dr. Franklin, takes her hand and says, "let’s go home."
As the Ausommers walk off frame (incidentally, for the last crossover time in their TV series), Dr. Franklin is granted one more final lecture. This time with Oscar as his audience, Franklin opines, "I don't know, it seems the things that aren't really controllable are the best things of all." (PLAN THREE)
Then Franklin kinda smirks with content as the camera fades to a heavenly sky with the hopeful sun peering through the clouds. Followed by this superimposed statement: PRODUCED BY KENNETH JOHNSON. Sorry Dr. Franklin. He got the final word.
Video: Bionic Woman: Fembot Flashback
Just four outfits in a wardrobe episode theme of basic solids. In the first few scenes, Jaime wore a v-neck, long-sleeved blue dress with a pleated skirt, belted at the waist. On the submarine and island, a casual-coordinate: mauve-colored, long sleeved top with bell bottom slacks. A solid black scuba wetsuit, and finally the iconic Fembot costume: A black, bell-bottomed jumpsuit with long, matching gloves, ascot/neck scarf, helmet and black tennis shoes.
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