SCORE: 3 out of 4 Tennis Balls
March 16, 1977
Mood Ring: ?
My pen ran out of ink so no diary entry tonight. Oh well I’m sure I will always remember this Bionic Woman episode anyway because I will never experience memory loss as I get older.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x19
BIONIC BON JOUR!
Tonight we return with a meaningful lesson on Paris fashion and art, while Jaime pursues ‘dis nawty man.’
June 3, 2014
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Blue
I must confess that while I am sure I must have seen The DeJon Caper, I don't really remember this episode from the 70s. And then when I rush-purchased the Bionic Woman 2nd season DVDs upon release, I made the mistake of bionic binge-watching them like doomsday was tomorrow. Which meant that by episode 2x19, I was actually sound asleep on the couch. This explains why I was snoring in French.
Now that I have finally (consciously) watched The DeJon Caper, I’m happy to report I actually kind of amour it. (Especially since I am generally not uber-fond of Arthur Rowe scripts, but this one I liked.) Stunning fashions, romantic, Euro-locations direct from the Universal backlot, plus the intrigue of art forgeries and French whores. <-- Yes sadly because somebody in the chain of network command just couldn't resist playing fantasy dressup with Jaime ONE more time.
Dijon mustard on capers. Or something: First of all, French braid your hair. Recommended snacks and refreshments for tonight's episode: Champagne, croissants, French fries and Chocolat for dessert. I know, I usually reserve the latter for sad episodes but it was also the name of a charming movie set in France, and we are in emergency need of a Johnny Depp in a ponytail + goatee fix. Uh, where was I?
Lemmie Paint You A Picture: With the Bionic Woman right on time, we begin tonight in Oscar's office, where he is blowing through his lines in order to set up tonight's rather complicated plot. The US government has arrested a cowardly art forgery guy named Pierre Lambert. But rather than throw him in Folsom prison where Johnny Cash gives free concerts, Pierre has agreed to exchange his sentence by helping the OSI nab a bad guy by the name of Beaumont higher up in the crime syndicate. Jaime is assigned to go with Pierre to Pare-ree, and help arrange a sting operation utilizing one of Pierre's freshly painted "DeJon" forgeries.
Side note fiction alert: There never was an actual museum-worthy French painter by the name of DeJon. But I'm sure if he existed, he and his art class buddies Monet and Renoir would have argued about impressionism.
Jaime, please pay attention. Pierre here is a complete weasel. Plus you should never trust a man who calls you "Shamey". Even though you probably know how to perfectly pronounce this talented actor's real name, Rene Auberjonois. (Yes I realize some of those letters should have little French accent thingys but I am too lazy to find them on my keyboard.)
Pierre lies to Oscar and tries to pretend they've got the wrong guy. Oscar gives him the "quacks like a duck" analogy plus his signature, concerned aside personal warning to Jaime to be careful because this guy is "slippery." So Shamey, ignore the script and do NOT trust Pierre. Even if you plan to re-costar with him again in some Warehouse decades later. Pierre is a schmuck in this caper, capisch?
After the credits and commercials roll, Jaime and Pierre's international flight lands in Paris after dark. On the way to his apartment, Pierre makes their cab driver pull off into a side street because he just spotted some guy who is part of the forgery syndicate and wants to avoid being recognized. While Pierre slithers out of the car, he orders Jaime to pay the cab driver, too.
Bionic Chic: Woah, Jaime your outfit here is magnifique! I think the cab driver should be tipping you. Even more exciting is that you finally skipped that boring clunky red Samsonite suitcase you usually carry around on missions and went all Gucci on us tonight. True to your travel packing genius-osity, you of course continue to need only one, lightweight bag when traveling overseas.
Pierre immediately tries to ditch Jaime inside his so-called apartment building, but when she tracks him down a hall, he quickly picks the lock on one of the doors and pretends it's his loft.
Inside, Jaime tries to find the light switch so she can finally come out of the dark shadows and show us this fabulous wardrobe ensemble and dress hat, but Pierre won't let her because my gawd, (using my new American translation for Beaumont) Blowmont and his evil men might see them through the windows! Meanwhile Pierre is a nervous wreck they are about to bump into the rightful owner of this apartment under France's stand your ground law.
From what Jaime can barely see, she is surprised this isn't a starving artist Bohemian décor. Pierre's all insulted by her profiling but whatever, because he desperately needs to get rid of her, so Shamey don't you need to go freshen up or something? Jaime admits "I would like to wash my face." <---This is code for I gotta pee like I just had 4 cocktails on the flight over, but washing one's face always sounds way more ladylike.
Home-rrrekker! Of course no sooner does Jaime shut the face-washing room door than Pierre sneaks out, just as the apartment owner returns home and flips the lights on. While not really necessary to the plot, this is kind of a funny scene when Jaime comes out of the bathroom and sees some man's clothes being thrown into a side chair. She asks Pierre what he is up to, and comes face to face with some stout French guy in his skivvies who accuses Jaime of being the "courtesan" who is having a tête-à-tête with his smarmy brother-in-law, Pierre the butcher. "Eeet must be dee smell of rrraw meat!"
While the man is dialing up his butcher bro on an seriously GIGANTIC telephone, Jaime notices Pierre sneaking into an apartment building across the street. Oops she apologizes for the mixup, bolts outside after Pierre, then bionics up through his dormer window, where she is cleverly waiting for him when he comes in the door. Oui, I'm giving her 100 Angry Bird points for this moment of Gotcha, while never letting go of her Gucci.
Jaime picks up Pierre's similarly GIGANTIC phone to call Oscar to come get this weasel, but Pierre implores her to hang up before she gets a hernia trying to lift that thing. Actually, it was to plead for forgiveness and promise he won't ditch her again. But seriously are all telephones this humongous in France? No wonder they had to build an Eiffel cell phone tower.
Pierre agrees to call Blowmont in the morning, and decides he'll introduce Jaime as his pretend girlfriend but she will have to wear "something the cleaning lady left." Jaime raises her eyebrows, the way one does anytime she gets stuck with this kind of cheap wardrobe stunt.
Moulin Blonde: So then the camera cuts to Jaime wearing fishnet stockings, a lacy, low v-neck black mini-dress and a platinum blonde wig—much like the one she wore in Over The Hill Spy. Hurry Jaime you'll be late for your song and dance number at the Moulin Rouge!
It is now the next morning, where as promised, Pierre makes a phone call to Blowmont in a bullying tone to arrange a meeting, but Jaime can bionic-hear he just dialed an operator and scolds him...
"Now listen. If I can wear THIS…
(note how Jaime leaves a long pause here so we could fill in the blank with all our favorite swear words)
...GET-UP, you can call Beaumont!"
And thusly Shamey shames Pierre into manning up. He dials the right number this time and arranges the meeting. Jaime gives him the finger (unfortunately just the index one) and warns him if he tries ONE more thing…
"Shamey, don't you trust me?" To which Shamey responds with her best Flo impression from that Alice diner TV show, "Does a chicken have lee-ips?"
Oh Just Van Gough Away: Jaime and Pierre arrive at the "Bon Chance Restaurant" and are seated on the terrace sipping their French roast coffee. Nervous Pierre excuses himself to use the mens toilette (I assume to wash his face), but instead he grabs a pay phone and calls the police, posing as the manager, to report a woman dressed like a ‘lady of the night’ at his fine establishment!
Shock! Of course all other petty and violent crimes in the massive city of Paris are immediately put on hold so that police can concentrate their efforts on removing a woman who is too shockingly dressed for a public cafe, yet perfectly within the rating guidelines for a family television series. I can’t even.
Seconds later the policia arrive and apprehend Jaime. Unfortunately the bad guy Blowmont is sitting outside in his totally subtle, Cruella DeVille stretch Rolls Royce limousine and happens to overhear Jaime insisting to the cops she is actually an OSI agent. But they haul her Moulin down to the station anyway so they can contact Oscar Goldman to verify her identity.
Oscar gets called, the cops apologize, and then very rightly, they SALUTE the Bionic Woman on her way out the door to go catch Pierre. I mean seriously, I think all law enforcement should be required to salute Jaime Sommers like this. She does have a degree from the police academy, y'know.
So then Pierre gets kidnapped by the bad guys and Jaime manages to bionic-flag down a taxi to tail them. Because fortunately no matter where you are in the world, these are always driving by looking for a fare at the exact same time you need a "follow that car!" scene.
Who ordered the Don Alfredo? Arriving at the bad guy's gated mansion estate, Pierre gets put back in his painting workshop to hurry up and finish the forgery, Jaime gets nabbed pursuit-dancing on grounds (still in her Moulin costume) and Blowmont calls his buyer—some French mafia guy named Don Alfredo Moreau—to tell him the good news. That original DeJon painting masterpiece he wants will be delivered soon, but now he'll have to bid against a Greek tycoon who wants to gift it to his new Swedish bride. Jaime of course activates her bionic hearing to catch all this, and the fact that Blowmont's greedy ploy just got his life threatened by Alfredo for trying to increase the price.
Then the bad guys haul Jaime to Pierre's art studio with plans to kill them both later AFTER Pierre finishes their forgery. Because Pierre says he always paints better with a live model, Jaime agrees to change wardrobe again and become his subject for the DeJon painting…henceforth entitled:
"Breck Girl Combing Hair"
Well at least Shamey finally gets to change out of this French courtesan costume and into a rather nice, formal silk, puffy, off-the-sleeve blouse with a long black skirt for her new role as a “upscale peasant model too poor to have a lady’s maid to comb her hair for her.” I am sure her bionic arm automatically went into sleep mode followed by a cute kitten screen saver after holding that comb for several hours without moving while Pierre finished the painting. (BTW extra points for this cool shot where the director Barry Crane framed Jaime in a mirror just like the painting.)
Finis! Blowmont and his men are excited with Pierre's paint by number results, and whisk his finished DeJon forgery off for some kind of fake aging spray. Then Jaime, having overheard their plans to kill them both, kicks into smart agent planning mode and explains her sting operation to Pierre.
Then Barbie puts on Ken's Clothes. Because there just happens to be a crash test dummy/ blonde blow up doll behind the wardrobe curtain (don't ask), Jaime puts on Pierre's blue jeans with pinkish shirt and a beret and LOOKS FABULOUS EVEN IN THIS, and orders Pierre to put her peasant outfit on the crash test dummy. Then in a mock suicide stunt, they lure the bad guys into thinking Jaime and Pierre jumped off the balcony to their death. But the Bionic Woman naturally just bionic-leaped out the two story window and fell onto the crash test dummy and played dead while Pierre hid in another room.
The bad guys see the 2 familiarly dressed bodies on the ground, completely ignoring the fact that Pierre suddenly has girly hips, and said well that was easy now we won't have to shoot them. Let's move on to plot step 2, shall we?
Night At The Museum: That night Jaime and Pierre follow the bad guys to the museum. Pierre has to throw a rock-of-distraction through the window exactly 3 minutes after Jaime bionic-breaks in. The plan works like a charm and the Bionic Woman perfectly double-switches the DeJon paintings so the bad guys leave with their own fake one. Shamey then whispers to our Breck Girl Combing Hair that this is how it should be, because "you belong to everybody.*" *Void ownership privileges for American Bad Guys, Greek Tycoons and Italian Godfathers.
Now that step 3 of our Caper is complete, Jaime tells Pierre "we are going to Cannes, and I'd like to get there early enough to do some shopping."
What for? wonders Pierre. As IF women actually need an excuse for this? Jaime hints she needs "something that will make me look like a Svedish bride, huh?" Ahahah! (Newlywed Plan B is to arrive in a Volvo with tin cans trailing from the back bumper.)
Catch Me if You Cannes: The next morning they are in Cannes because that's what the stock footage and establishing titles say. The bad guys arrive in their relatively non-distinct red flashy Cruella DeVille limo again at a dock, and proceed to board the yacht of Don Alfredo Moreau, the extremely dangerous Godfather man. Whereupon they unveil the stolen DeJon painting available for purchase for one meeelion two hundred thousand dolllllarz.
Then Oh Emm Gee here comes Jaime walking down the dock in a gawwwwgeous, strapless white sundress with white scarf, and a spectacularly grand sunhat. (Gurl, next stop Kentucky Derby!)
She explains to Pierre (oh yeah he's with her, too but her fabulous outfit completely edges him out of the scene) the 4th step in her plan: to pose as the Swedish fiancé of that Greek Tycoon who also wanted the painting, in order to interrupt the sale going on inside the yacht at present.
Swedish Meatballs: How much do I love this scene and Jaime's hilare Swedish accent? (This ranks up there with some of Ms. Wagner’s funniest performances in this series.) She prances onto the yacht and when the Don demands to know who she is, Jaime calls him "silver locks" and tells him to wait his turn. Then she angrily faces Blowmont and scolds:
Jaime points out that Blowmont lies about everything when he tries to identify her as the OSI agent Jaime Sommers, and then she hysterically turns her flirtatious attention to the yacht owner to ask "Vat is jur name, cue-tee?"
Jaime introduces herself as "Meesus Tioppolis," wife of Greek tycoon Nicholas Tioppolis and she has been pursuing “dis nawty man” for selling them a DeJon forgery (lovingly pronounced four-your-ee).
Jaime says watch this… "can you do dis to a yen-u-ine oh-reeginal?" and then she smears the wet paint on Don's new DeJon to Demonstrate De Fraud. Busted.
Whatever Floats Your Boat: Pierre then arrives on the scene to prove he isn't dead after all, Blowmont gets taken into custody by Don's bodyguards and thrown into the yacht gallows below for trying to cheat him, the other forgery bad guys are let go at Jaime's suggestion (likely to turn up in indictments later anyway), and then on their way out, Jaime and Pierre see Blowmont banging from a porthole begging to get out or else he’ll be sleeping with the fishes. Jaime agrees to rescue him if he will confess to all his crimes. Sure. Glass bionic-smashed. Blowmont freed. Done.
Don't ju jus luf happee yendings?
In the last scene Jaime and Pierre are back in Oscar's office in Washington. In a sincere moment whilst relaxing on the sofa, Jaime tells Pierre he's a talented painter, so have faith in himself and start being his own artist from now on. As usual, the Bionic Woman has amazing, fairy-like influence on all crooked con men and manages to turn them straight before the credits roll. These same magical powers also enable her to need restrooms only for washing one’s face.
Wow, 7 wardrobe changes in this episode with some pretty stunning outfits, too! (The Bionic Woman needs to land in Paris more often.)
Her arrival in Paris outfit was my fave. A 2-piece blue, short-sleeved tunic-style suit, worn with a candy pin-striped blouse with necktie collar. And a stylishly white dress hat with black band and striped side detail that matched her blouse.
Undercover as Pierre’s “French Maid” girlfriend, a low v neck black dress with puffy wrist detail, worn with fishnet stockings, black heels, plus a red flower barrette in her blonde wig. Then for the modeling gig, a long black skirt and a cream colored, off the shoulder silk peasant-style blouse.
During their night at the museum caper, Jaime changed into Pierre’s bell bottom blue jeans, pale pink long sleeve shirt and a beret. The following day for their scenes on the yacht in Cannes, Jaime wore the striking, one-piece white strapless sundress. Accessorized with a white scarf and an oversized white sun hat with dark blue trim.
In Oscar’s office in the beginning Jaime wore white knit dress with tan stripes on the top piece. And then in the office at the end, while she did not stand, she appeared to be wearing a long-sleeved, deep purple, full length polyester dress, tied at the neckline and pulled down over the shoulders.
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