SCORE: 3 out of 4 Tennis Balls
March 4, 1978
Mood Ring: Black
I missed the Bionic Woman again tonight!! But I went to a friend’s slumber party and we played Ouija board and I think I spoke to the ghost of Elvis Presley. Woah, my window just suddenly blew open!!! Well, off to see if I can get these toys to stop spinning in my closet and then time for bed. Sweet dreams.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 3x19
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE...
This week Jaime taps into her Sixth (million dollar) Sense to help save an old friend.
Feb. 1, 2012
(Edited Nov. 1, 2015 to update wardrobe)
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Blue
What, no fairy dust? My only mistake tonight was in failing to wear my neck brace. It has been so long since I watched an episode this season that didn't appear to be dumbed down for sixth graders, that I had totally forgotten about the capacity for audience whiplash. In a nearly 180-degree turn tonight, this story seemed geared for thinking adults, with an interesting foray into racism and a spiritual realm derived from Native American folklore. I liked this episode much more than I expected to.
This also featured some bionic action scenes that exceeded the cartoon standards of late. Something that began to make sense when I noticed that Steven E. de Souza wrote this. After his great series finale On The Run, he would one day write the legendary action movie Die Hard. So it was nice to be reminded that with an intuitive appreciation for this genre, The Bionic Woman could come across like a serious action hero, too.
Of course I was a bit grumpy that we had to meet Not!Steve 3.7, The Ghost Guy. A surprise revelation of a 2nd season Bionic Woman affair that was so spiritually intense, Jaime never bothered to mention him to her audience before.
But because the rest of the premise was so good, I decided to overlook this sudden revision of Jaime's history. Besides, no matter when her initial past relationship with Tommy took place ("last winter" was referenced at one point), she went on to date other guys. Lots and lots of other guys. So sorry Tommy. At some point, Jaime ended it and moved on. But like any determined ex-boyfriend with a polite restraining order against you, you found a legal loophole and started stalking her by sending your spirit instead.
Sound the alarms! The Bionic Woman was right on time tonight! We open with a flashback to a Friday night when Jaime was picking up Tommy Littlehorse in the OSI research lab for a date. A nice looking Native American guy who used to be a brilliant mechanic, and Jaime was so impressed with his oil changing skills she recommended him for a job at the OSI. (Seriously, if I knew enough about cars to tell a good mechanic from a bad one like Jaime apparently can, I think I'd be fixing my own carburetor.)
<--- But O my, Jaime. Sweetie. Did we make this little t-shirt at Girl Scout Camp? Let's put this one in the box slated for ‘Goodwill’ as quickly as possible, and change into something more suitable for The Bionic Woman's image as the supreme wardrobe goddess. (And Ima forget I saw those white boots after Labor Day again, too.)
I've decided to take 2 aspirin and simply write this one off as a period in time when Jaime suffered a temporary lapse in good judgement. Not only was she inexplicably drawn to "My Little Unicorn Pony" t-shirts, but she was picking up men who would one day come back to haunt her. Literally.
“Current” Events: Fast forward to the present. Dr. Jennings, a colleague of Rudy's, calls his assistant Tommy late at night to help open a high voltage vault. But Jennings has turned to the dark side, and he and his two hired thugs clunk the security guard and call Tommy for his back up key to get into the restricted room that houses Jennings’ OSI-shelved bomb experiment they call "Rosebud." (An homage to the Hollywood classic Citizen Kane and the dying word of Orson Welles? Careful, the little kiddies won't get a clever reference like this.)
Unaware of this plot, poor Tommy gets electrocuted doing this favor for his boss, and Jennings and the bad guys steal the dangerous bomb as Tommy’s spirit lifts from his lifeless body.
We then cut to Jaime sleeping at home, where she is awakened by Tommy's spirit calling her in a spooky, echo-y voice, Max senses him too, although neither one of them can see his apparition. Tommy urges Jaime to go to their framed picture, and says, "It was Jennings. He's just another lying, cheating white man."
WAIT, wait HOLD everything!!! How much do I LOVE the long, white cotton nightgown Jaime is wearing here? No Jaime, don't go to the picture. Go straight to the phone and call your agent about starting a line of designer clothing on the QVC Shopping network called "Jaime's Jammies." I. Want. This.
We now return to Ghost already in progress: "...my spirit your spirit linked forever," Tommy goes on. In a soft lens focus flashback that totally ruins my ability to see this cute little red jumpsuit she's wearing, Jaime remembers the night he gave her this spiritual necklace that once belonged to his mother (Oy vey. Mama’s Jewelry = If you don’t marry me, no pressure of course, I will expect this back) and proceeds to teach her some kind of Native American sign language, like hand across the heart means "friend," fist on heart means "enemy," etc.
But Jaime cuts him off and says, "friends is enough for me." (Yeah dude, allow me to loosely translate Jaime Sommers sign language for you: "Thanks. But you're Not!Steve.")
While they establish their past infatuation in this flashback, I’m grateful we at least didn't have to watch some disgusting pottery wheel seduction scene set to a Righteous Brothers song. (But it would have been fun to have Whoopi act as their psychic go-between.) Jaime, in her fab jammies, finds the necklace Tommy gave her long ago tucked away in her night stand drawer (alongside all those other ex-boyfriend gifts) puts it around her neck, and goes back to bed.
And, Action! The next morning Jaime arrives at the lab on the news of Tommy’s involvement in the theft, telling Oscar she knows her friend and he could never have stolen this bomb. Oscar delicately informs her Tommy is dead, and OMG, hats off to Ms. Wagner for an incredible scene where her face goes from zero to 60 in anguish. Her performance tonight was top-notched throughout, and if I may surmise, give this girl a long overdue, decent episode script—and she will quickly remind us why she has an Emmy.
Neck Turn: Anyway, I was so glued to her captivating performance I nearly missed Jaime's outfit in this scene —bell bottom jeans, a light blue pullover v-neck and shock! The return of the neck scarf from Doomsday!!
I am completely floored by this… you'd think after that nightmare assignment, Jaime would have burned every last stitch of that outfit to rid herself of any reminders of Alex. By the time Jaime saved the world, our girl’s hair was a gawdawful mess, her clothes were torn and filthy… But on the other hand, she did run through a life-sized washing machine during the suds cycle, so I guess the scarf came out clean.
And then suddenly Rudy called from the hospital with the news that Tommy wasn't dead after all, he was merely in a coma. (Darn that CNN, they never double-check their sources.) Huge sigh of relief from Jaime, who soon holds vigil at Tommy’s bedside in intensive care.
Visiting Hours: Since Tommy could i.d. them if he survives, the bad guys wait for Jaime to take a break and intend to disconnect his life support. But Jaime senses the danger and returns just in time to knock the guy's gun and slam him through the air right down on Tommy sleeping in bed (ouch!)
As they try to escape down the hall, she hurls a gurney and bowls them over (Angry Birds Score: 50 points), but one guy managed to shoot through the intensive care window and knocked out Tommy's life support panel. Jaime bionics the sizzling circuits back together, and when the witnessing nurse asks her how she did that, Jaime retorts, "rubber shoes." Ha ha, good one Jaime!
Oscar posts extra guards outside the room so Jaime can go home to rest and flip through old photo albums. We see a series of snapshots with Tommy where Jaime just happens to be wearing a black cowboy hat and the very same outfit she packed for the Orient and wore at Funland last week.
Back After These Messages: Tommy’s spirit also contacts his ancestors/parents and blames his misfortune on the white man cheating an Indian, something that didn't appear to fit in this story tonight. I went back to re-watch some scenes in the beginning, and finally found where one of the bad guys did refer to him as that “Indian Kid,” and a few minutes later when he made another derogatory remark, Dr. Jennings immediately scolded him for it. Aside from this one stooge—who was not the one making the decisions on who to kill or why—at no time were there any comments or actions that indicated Tommy was targeted for any reason other than the fact he was the lab assistant with a key.
Furthermore, the bad guys did not hesitate to hurt the white security guard or make attempts on the white bionic woman's life, so this presumption Tommy’s race played a factor seemed misplaced in this story. (Or maybe it wound up on the cutting room floor?) But for whatever reason, Tommy decides this was a racially motivated crime—and so did Jaime—who ironically delivered what could be considered an equally prejudiced remark when she called Dr. Jennings “White eyes” at the end.
I will also note that Jaime’s nickname for Tommy was “cowboy,” perhaps a way of addressing the traditional cowboy and Indian stereotypes and her way of letting him know she considered him her equal? This episode aired in 1978, so I have to remind myself I am seeing it 34 years late, where the politically correct designation is now “Native American” (an “Indian” is someone from India) And we now live in an America with a black president. While I wish I could claim that similar racial and class prejudices don’t still exist all these decades later, thankfully, we’ve come a long way since 1978 television.
First Floor Ladies Wear: That evening Jaime has changed into a lovely peach colored dress with pleated skirt, and has cute little flower barrettes in her hair. She arrives at the lab to get Dr. Jennings, who suggested they have dinner and talk about her Tommy visions in an effort to help.
But the lab has been (fake) ransacked and Jennings is missing, so Jaime gets on the elevator and pushes 1st floor. But it’s been tampered with. Hello 'Tower of Terror!' During its terrifying drop, Jaime thinks quick and pulls off the hand railing and slams it through the side wall to the shaft and slows down its descent. Another nice action scene, and I loved Jaime’s cute face when she force-opened the doors on the sub-basement level and came face to face with a maintenance guy. Um, Rubber shoes?
Would You Like Fries With That? Oscar and Rudy get a high noon ransom call, demanding $5 million dollars for the return of Jennings and Rosebud.
In one of the funniest bad guy scenes I’ve seen so far in this series, we watch Jennings multi-tasking (played wonderfully by Nehemiah Persoff) on the other end of the phone at the power plant, scarfing down his lunch while slapping his fist to pretend he’s being beaten by the bad guys. LOL. A refreshing change from the usual 2-dimensional cartoon bad guys we get every week. Bravo!
The Return of Show Me The Money: Oh goody, the props department is continuing their trend and has provided us with a #briefcase chocked full of #cash yet again for the bad guys of the week. This makes 4 of the last 6 episodes, but who’s counting?
The Sixth (Million Dollar) Sense: Back at the coach house while watering plants in blue shorts and a pink shirt, Jaime and Max finally see Tommy’s spirit. Poor Jaime has her first “I see dead people” experience.
She’s a bit shocked at first, but this time Tommy doesn't try to talk to her, and instead motions his fist to convey "enemy," looks over at Jaime's very messy roll top desk (tsk tsk Jaime, I’m shocked!) and summons the wind to blow a map open to the municipal power plant. The camera then cuts to a closeup of said map, which oddly doesn’t mark any power plant, but does prominently feature the “La Quinta Country Club.” (membership includes unlimited golf and 1000 free kilowatt hours?)
Nevertheless, Jaime knows exactly where she’s going. Especially since this very same power plant has been used as a Bionic Woman location before. (Ms. Wagner probably has a built in dressing room there by now, in addition to the complimentary kilowatts)
Rudy gets nicely spiffed up in a gray tweed suit and navy blue sweater vest to make the ransom drop, but bless his heart, he tops it off with a dorky fishing hat. (Was wardrobe off today?) Sigh. The bad guy shows up dressed like he stole his costume from the set of Chips, and checks the briefcase. Yup that’ll do it. Thanks props! (Careful don’t spend this #money. They might need it again next week.)
Meanwhile Jaime arrives at the beautiful Country Club Power Plant in her blue Datsun 280Z, and peels in to park right next to a building sign that says "Do not drive faster than you walk." Hey she’s a bionic power walker, need we say more? (Jaime is such a rebel.)
Here she's wearing a lovely black blouse (woo-hoo 50 points!) with quilt pattern sleeves belted at the waist, with dark green slacks tucked inside brown leather boots. Sharp!
A short while later she nearly overtakes the bad guys, but makes her mistake when she doesn’t realize Jennings is also one of them. She subsequently gets hand cuffed to Rosebud, and Jennings—who is strangely unaware she's bionic despite his close association to Rudy—tells her not to pull loose or the bomb will blow.
After Jennings has left her for dead, Jaime blocks some kind of laser rod that shuts down the bomb device, breaks her cuffs and chases Jennings down, bionic-ing over a railing down several stories to apprehend him.
In the last scene, we find Jaime in the hospital wearing a bright blue blouse with a red dragon on it. Tommy is still in a coma, and Jaime urges him, "you cant give up cowboy."
She goes on to talk about some of the good times they had and how she wants to “listen to the night sounds, and I want you to tell me stories about your mother and father and ancestors. You talked awfully proud then about how the Indians never went down without a fight, and you are giving up. You won already... You said your spirit and my spirit were linked together forever, remember?”
And then suddenly Tommy woke up and smiled, and then Jaime smiled. Ah. Don’t you just love happy endings?
Final Tally: Mood Ring: Blue. Yup, I liked this episode. As I mentioned earlier, this was a far better script, nice performances and better stunts than I have been accustomed to lately. Then to top it off, we got tons of wardrobe changes, too! But that unicorn t-shirt? Jamie hun, next time, just wear your jammies.
Jaime had a generous wardrobe budget of 9 outfits in this episode, including flashbacks and a memory photo. (By my calculations, this ties with Bionic Dog Pt. 1.) This episode also has one of my least favorite pieces of the series: Jaime's purple unicorn shirt, which she wore with jeans and her white leather boots that we also saw in The Antidote and Which One Is Jaime.
Then Jaime wore blue jeans with little button pockets on the front with a light blue pullover shirt and (SHOCK!) her turquoise neck scarf from Doomsday is Tomorrow. Later in her apartment, she wore a pair of short blue shorts with a pink, white and blue stripe detail on the seams, and a pink short-sleeved blouse.
For dinner and hair-raising elevator rides, a lovely pink patterned dress with scoop neck, accented with pink flowery hair barrettes behind each ear. Then one of my favorite outfits of the episode was the dark green slacks and black top with a quilted pattern on the sleeves. She wore this with brown leather boots. Jaime also looked nice in the oriental blue top with a red dragon in the final scene.
In a Tommy flashback scene earlier, Jaime wore a red spaghetti strap top. Also while flipping through her photo album, Jaime is dressed in the same outfit from last week's Which One Is Jaime plus a black cowboy hat. But my absolute favorite had to be her long white cotton pajamas. This was the moment that inspired my ongoing "Jamie's Jammies*" theme throughout the website. I still swear some day I'm going to release them all as a signature brand of pajamas on QVC.
*Not responsible for ghost nightmares.
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