SCORE: 2 out of 4 Demon Curses
March 23, 1977
Mood Ring: Red
Tonight on the Bionic Woman there was a demon with a curse and Jaime figured out he was just a hoax and a holly-gram. But the more scarier monster was that creepy man at the gas station.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x20
The Bionic Woman takes on satan, plus something even scarier: a misogynistic redneck in overalls.
June 12, 2014
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Brown
Once upon a time there was a bionic blender, and somebody added the plot of a thousand Scooby Doo episodes, a little bit of the Brady Bunch Tiki Doll curse, and pressed the button on the monster glove marked "puree." This episode was the unfortunate result, and save for the typo of one letter, was probably originally entitled "Night Lemon."
While watching Night Lemon I mean Demon, I suggest a bottle of Tums and a full pitcher of martinis. We'll skip the obvious “drink when you see the demon” game and pick up some snacks later from the Redneck Seven Eleven™ when the Bionic Woman stops for gas and a 6-pack of sexual harassment.
In the meantime, Jaime has requested permission from Oscar to instagram this exciting mission because honestly without some pictures, who's gonna believe any of this ever actually happened?
Hisss: For some reason our opening teaser scene features a wild rattlesnake hissing in the desert. I am blaming this phobia trigger for causing the Bionic Woman to be nearly 7 minutes late for her show tonight. Meanwhile, two men are nearby, conducting an Indian burial grounds archeological dig. Suddenly they uncover an ancient black demon figurine. Oh no, there's a Brady curse with this idol, put it back put it back! No way says professor Thomas Bearclaw, this one's a keeper. But then that night while asleep on his ranch, a demon bat signal appears on Thomas' wall, and the spirit of a Bigfoot-looking creature in a cape haunts his barnyard and scares his horses.
After the commercial and credits roll, we see the Bionic Woman driving down the desert highway in her Datsun 280Z rocking to Buck Buckley on the radio, singing "Fly Like an Eagle" from Road To Nashville. (This unusual continuity tidbit is actually a nice touch.)
But why is UPS!Jaime so happy when she looks down at a brown parcel sitting next to her on the front seat that she's apparently been assigned to deliver cross country? Last time I looked, she already had 2 other sources of steady income.
Last Chance Texaco: Then Jaime pulls off the highway for gas at some dusty dive bearing the sign "Hawkins Service Station," and is met by an offensive, redneck a**hole wearing overalls, who fills her car with gas and offensive smalltalk.
As a perrty little thing she must be a Vegas show girl (OMG never. Okay maybe not until 3rd season), and even when Jaime insists she is a school teacher, he keeps coming back to this presumptive, misogynistic profile of her so that he can assert gender control.
At this moment, I would totally trade my entire Bionic Woman DVD collection if Thelma and Louise would just happen to drive by and help end this scene appropriately.
In betwixt station owner Hawkins’ demeaning remarks, Jaime asks for directions to the Mount Harding Observation Station (why yes, it does sound like a pop band). And also ironically, she will need directions to the ranch of her really good friend Thomas Bearclaw—a college professor kinship of such close importance that apparently Thomas never offered Jaime his address or phone number. So surely he wouldn’t mind her showing up totally unannounced and grant her permission to stay for a couple days.
Hawkins, who fixes cracks in his plate glass windows with DUCT TAPE, is so seemingly loaded with cash that in the following conversation, we are to believe he has made generous offers to buy both Thomas’ ranch plus all the acreage of another nearby neighbor, Lyle Cannon, just so he can hunt on their land. At present, both property owners have declined his generous proposal.
Then Hawkins makes Jaime come inside for her 50¢ change, because come on he ain’t gonna bite her, whereupon Jaime comes shockingly face to face with the stuffed remains of Wile E. Coyote, a taxidermy specimen mounted on his store wall. According to Hawkins, this coyote was once (quite inhumanely, I might add) chained out back, but then later he escaped and got hit by a car.
<-- Lovely. So was this the animal’s final expression when he saw the Chevy coming?
Ranch Motel: Now that Jaime finally knows where her BFF Thomas lives, she arrives at his ranch—just as the other neighbor guy and co-archeologist Lyle Cannon was leaving in his yellow jeep. Hugs, how-ya-doings, followed by do you mind if Jaime stays for a couple days because she just happens to be in the neighborhood to deliver a parcel and brought her red Samsonite suitcase packed with some fabulous working vacation clothes. No prob.
Inside, Jaime immediately admires and grabs the recently unearthed black Night Demon idol off Thomas’ mantle, BUT THAT'S OKAY SHE TOUCHED IT WITH HER BIONIC HAND. (I’m convinced this automatically makes her exempt from all evil curses and cooties.) Thomas wants her to put down his important find at once! So Jaime does a funny eye roll here when she remarks how Night Demons usually are “little attention getters.” Yeah well, show time.
Horror Book Club: Later that night, in a scene eerily reminiscent of Ghosthunter, Jaime relaxes in her bedroom to read up on spirits and legends and folklore and things that go bump in the night. Incidentally, I’m not sure why she changed into this dressy outfit just to read in bed, but I absolutely ADORE it.
I have decided to award an extra 50 bonus points for this moment when a wolf howls in the night and Jaime just gazes outside and grins because, oh brother, THIS IS SO CLICHE.
Then just as she is reading about the evil demon underworld backstory, the BEAST appears outside! Jaime rushes towards the barnyard and bionics a barrel at it and actually nails it (100 Angry Bird Points) but the barrel passes through it because duh, it’s a ghostly spirit. Then Thomas comes running out in his jammies and wants to know what she just saw.
“I'll tell you just as soon as I find it.”
Go Jaime! I love how she is totally pulling a Scully here and refusing to believe in the paranormal.
Night Moves: Jaime bionics down the dark roads towards the burial grounds in this gorgeous outfit. (Kind of a waste not to see this in the daylight, and sorry that’s all I can think about here while Jaime is risking her life chasing down Satan.)
Then she bionic hears Lyle Cannon moaning from his yellow jeep, broken down on the side of the road. He says something came at him from out of the night. And then they hear shotgun blasts, and along comes Mr. Duck Dynasty himself, Hawkins, who is out hunting at night and still in his overalls. Then our newly formed Scooby Doo gang follows wolf tracks that just mysteriously vanish into the sand.
Now Picture This: The next morning, Jaime is re-wearing her red plaid pullover from Jaime’s Shield, and heads out to deliver her plain brown package to the Observation Station. On the way she decides to stop by Thomas’ Indian burial grounds archeological site to photograph all the valuable ancient artifacts that are just randomly left sitting out on tables like a yard sale.
She becomes instantly fascinated by a skull and takes lots of pictures of it. When Jaime gets ready to leave, suddenly the Night Demon Bat Signal appears on the hood of her car then fades. Hmm, bad wax job?
Mission Accomplished. Can We Go Home Now? At the Observation Station, The Bionic Woman finally hands this mysterious package over to some military Captain and doesn’t even ask for a signature, nor do we ever find out what was in it. We only know that it came from Oscar and that the Bionic Woman obviously wasn’t hired to carry it cross country because this package was excessively heavy.
But hey while she’s there, she wonders if she could use the Observation Station’s handy One Hour Photo Lab to develop these vacation pictures on her camera?
Of course. Because who wouldn’t want to spend some time with this TOTALLY CUTE LAB GUY named Sgt. Woods. I would really love to knight him as a Not!Steve but... Sigh. Jaime never even bothers to flirt with him. I blame the demon curse for ruining her priorities here.
One of Sgt. Woods’ most dreamy qualities is that he doesn’t laugh at Jaime when her entire roll of film only develops into 3 pictures of a dead human skull, all of which suck in quality.
What are these splotches of light on them? Well surely it isn’t uranium damage from hot ore deposits because the “Station” happens to have satellite images of the area and hot ore deposits plus they conduct holographic research that has something to do with this episode and oh BTW did you know that ranch neighbor Lyle Cannon used to work here, too?
Demon DUI: Because the photo lab guy was so stunningly good looking, on the way back Jaime starts to get super dizzy while she is driving. Or maybe it’s the result of the curse that’s making the road look blurry while bat symbols and Night Demon monster hallucinations appear. Anyway, just like in The Antidote, The Bionic Woman carefully exercises her common sense guidance for children by DANGEROUSLY SPEEDING UP AND SQUEALING HER TIRES, rather than pulling over to let her dizzy spell pass. Because FLOOR it, let’s crash this baby!
And oh Nooooooooo! She does. Her baby, her Datsun 280Z slams head-on into a tree. And there’s Jaime’s head, resting unconsciously on the steering wheel. OMG she’ssssss....
Commerical. Of course. While Jaime’s life hangs in the balance, let’s take this opportunity to conduct a moment of silence in memory of her fabulous sports car that has been like a supporting character in the series. Born in Welcome Home Jaime, this baby blue 280Z carried Jaime hither and yon from school and missions, but mostly it just sat parked outside her carriage house in exterior shots. And now it’s smashed on a tree! Sniff.
After the commercial Jaime wakes up on Thomas’ sofa with a splitting plot headache. He asks her if she is okay—while my questions are more along the lines of why an unconscious woman, likely with a concussion, was removed from a rather serious car wreck and transported to this man’s couch instead of an emergency room for medical evaluation?
Honestly I try really hard not to nitpick, but the plot holes in this episode require special hallucination dust* in order to imagine some intelligent life exists. *Martini substitutions acceptable
Ford Tough: Thomas tells Jaime he and Lyle are probably gonna sell their land to Hawkins to get rid of their demon curse and Jaime tells him NOT to and to please wait till she gets back because she is onto something and BTW can she borrow his old white Ford pick up truck? You mean that one that looks JUST LIKE Daddy-O’s that Jaime totaled a few episodes back at the Police Academy? (Universal must have gotten a fleet deal on these.)
Jaime goes to visit The Ranch Of Lyle but he isn't home so she peruses his workshop (also known as entering without a warrant) and picks up a portable geiger counter on his table. And seriously, with all her bionics and nuclear power packs, Jaime composes a rather quizzical look while she waves the wand over her feet and it starts reacting to radiation energy.
This was intended to reveal she had stepped in some uranium dust while on the burial grounds, but I clearly recall Steve’s bionics setting off a radiation detector earlier this season in Return of Bigfoot. So whatever. While our superheroine conveniently plot-forgets she’s bionic, just drink. It will all be over soon, kids.
In a back room, Jaime discovers a Observation Station satellite map indicating uranium deposits on the burial grounds and then she calls the CUTE LAB GUY back with questions and discovers, pre-retirement, Lyle was once in charge of the holographic research, too! A-HA, so Lyle’s been lying. (lyeling?) And also. Cute lab guy. Don’t hang up don’t hang up!
In Deed: Now I have to stop everything and pause my DVD on this deed for the sale of Thomas’ ranch. OMFG this contract is showing $12,000 for a 120-acre ranch iINCLUDING the house? Even by 70s desert prices, $1.00 an acre seems remarkably lame.
And what is slum dog convenience store owner Hawkins planning to pay for this with, food stamps? Mr. Bearclaw, I don’t care how desperate you are to sell the curse, at least ask for a certified cashiers check and a closing attorney before you sign. Otherwise I am dropping your college course on grounds the professor is the least educated man on the planet.
Caving In: Elsewhere, Jaime follows the satellite surveillance map, discovers a hidden cave and EEK, comes face to face with the demon! Or actually, just a lifeless costume hanging on a rack. And then she makes an especially prolonged Scaredy Face™ when she attempts to touch the demon's cheek. Whew, he's rubber. Haha those guys in the prop department are such teasers.
Then Jaime finds a bag of white blow on him and sniffs and reacts with a Coke Snorting Face™ followed by a dizzy spell, remarking, "that's what dreams are made of, huh?" Then she puts the demon’s removable glove on her own hand and presses the electronic buttons on the palm. The white one activates the ghostly hologram of the Night Demon. The red button makes him GROWL. (If only there had been a third button to change the channel.)
The Devil Made Him Do It: Jaime goes back to the ranch and informs Thomas that Lyle and Hawkins are in on this conspiracy together. But oops, Thomas just sold his land an hour ago! Jaime's shoulders slump in disappointment (and that’s without even learning of the despicable contract price.) Thomas grieves that it’s too late, they've won. So Jaime sits on his lap like Santa to console him during the commercial.
Jaime takes Thomas back to the cave and they conduct experiments on how the bad guys achieved the fade-in-fade-out demon drawing. Thomas sniffs the white substance in the pouch and instantly recognizes it as "Hansen weed, an old Indian medicine for livestock." Oh really? Because oops Jaime made a cocaine face, so can we go back and reshoot that scene? She should probably have moo’d or something instead.
Poor Thomas feels foolish for being taken in like this. But Jaime, ever the optimist, declares it's not over. "You are going to do an acting job, Thomas Bearclaw!" (Alas, he was probably hoping this episode would not wind up on his IMDb page.) But okay sure, let the revenge games begin.
Bad Guy Bromance: Now we see buddies Lyle and Hawkins driving down the highway laughing at their success. Lyle hands Hawkins an envelope with $5000 and thanks him for his sidekick help. Their next stop is Thomas’ ranch to tell him to start packing up, but Thomas tells them he just saw the demon again! Surrrre you did, buddy. They promise they will check into it.
So the bad guys go back to their cave intending to hide all the evidence, whereupon they meet the scary Night Demon who has come alive! But it is actually Jaime wearing this costume to set a trap... and oh crap. I have just come to the realization that I am now, technically, going to have to add this to the Bionic Woman’s wardrobe. However, it does have kind of a nice tassel detail on the suede monster jacket. Plus cute buttons!
Wicked Retribution: Jaime, whom I will now refer to as the “Night Demonique,” somehow manages to survive Hawkin’s shotgun blast (who invited Elmer Fudd?) then she sprinkles the hallucination dust and starts bionic-ing after them. During their hasty retreat, the bad guys fall down the steep canyon. Demonique bionic-carves into a giant rock “CONFESS TO THOMAS.”
So the aptly spooked men return to the ranch and apologize to Thomas, hand back the deed of sale and quickly drive off—in cartoon fashion.
Demonique Sommers laughs at them from behind the bushes. Umm when did the Bionic Woman get so soft on crime? Fraud, attempted murder, stolen government technology, impersonating Chewbacca. Are she and Thomas really just gonna let them walk after putting us all through this demonizing episode?
Fear Mongering: In the final scene Jaime and Thomas and the artificial Demon costume gather at his ranch for the wrap party. Jaime explains she had removed the pellets from the shotgun shells, so Hawkins just shot blanks at her. Jaime thinks this demon protege costume will make a great prop for Thomas’ lectures! "Its only power was my belief in it," Thomas summarizes. Jaime replies yeah, “That's usually the only power fear ever has.”
So with all this priceless uranium on his land (which is probably being reappraised at almost $2/acre!), now that Thomas is a rich man, he guesses he'll endow a scholarship at the university for the study of Indian lore. The Bionic Woman however, refuses to accept any reward money for her help in solving the case. (Not even for fixing her 280Z.) So Thomas decides to offer Jaime the night demon idol as a souvenir.
Sure, they both laugh here— but unfortunately the curse has already begun*.
*See majority of 3rd season episodes.
Press the button, Jaime.
Only 3 outfits in this episode. Well, 4 actually, if you count the demon costume, which technically the Bionic Woman wore, although it is highly doubtful that was actually Lindsay Wagner behind the mask.
In the opening scenes, she wore a light blue cowl neck sweater with a khaki, safari-style jacket, and flared blue jeans with a rainbow embroidery detail on the right leg. She wore these same jeans later with a black turtleneck and the lovely, black & red pullover plaid sweater seen previously in Jaime’s Shield. Thanks to the geiger counter scene close-up, we could also see her suede leather hiking-style shoes.
My favorite combination was her off-white turtleneck and matching slacks with a black pullover tunic that had a striped muslin detail on the sleeves. This was paired with black ballet slippers, and as I mentioned earlier, I was disappointed this gorgeous outfit got lost in all the night chase scenes.
Lastly, the night demon costume was designed in actual Native American traditional—a full length, leather poncho adorned with red & yellow tassels, silver studs, and what was likely horse hair. The boots were full length moccasin style.
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.