SCORE: 4 out of 4 Tennis Balls
January 19, 1977
Mood Ring: Purple
A computer named Alex is going to blow up the world and the Bionic Woman has to stop it because Steve is on Skylab. I really liked this episode and I can’t wait for Part 2!
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x13
GET YER NECK SCARVES IRONED AND READY
OMG it’s the first part of the end of the world! (Also known as like pretty much every day on CNN)
February 28, 2015
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Cobalt Blue
It's not often I would expect to type YAY, IT'S DOOMSDAY but there. I've said it.
At last—all my favorite things about Jaime Sommers collide in the absolute bestest hug-worthy-in a-nearly-fetal-position-kinda-way Bionic Woman episodes—which is why I saved these reviews for last. (Hint, recognize my day one profile photo?)
Awesome drama and suspense, layered meanings about misguided technology in the careless hands of man… vs. (wo)man literally using hands of technology to stop it. Plus little things like going from peeling potatoes to I dunno, just CASUALLY SAVING THE WORLD. Clearly, I’m going to have to reexamine my choice in vegetables to measure up to Her Awesomeness.
This was the pinnacle 2-parter that proved just how GOOD this series could be at the top of its game. Had it not been for my fond memories of watching this nail-biting Doomsday, I might never have started this blog to begin with.
Because despite some of the borderline hokey episodes and sometimes cartoonish bionic stunts, really. The Bionic Woman was an epic 70s super heroine and role model, and decades later inexplicably I decided I should maybe blog her original adventures + mine while experiencing the series the second time around. Semi-dizzy on martinis, but determined to hypothesize the reasons she made an ultimate difference for girls of my generation. And on Doomsday, especially—we needed Jaime Sommers to score one for the lip gloss home team.
Tonight's episode begins with the opening credits, followed by a scene where some hard hatted workers are emergency-evacuating some industrial-ish complex place, and then it cuts to an old Obi-Wan type man who tells his computer he is quite sure he wants to push some buttons although he looks really forlorn about it. (Pretty sure this is why they invented "Command-Z")
All this makes the Bionic Woman 3 minutes late for her episode this evening. (Let us pray the Doomsday clocks have been reset accordingly?) Jaime's at home watching a Julia Childs knock-off cooking show, scrambling to boil along in real time. How perfectly fitting that the Bionic Betty Crocker returns for my final review!!
Jaime pulls open a kitchen drawer to grab some potatoes. (Wait, who stores potatoes in a drawer? Seriously, I woke up one night embarrassed that I have been doing this wrong all these years.)
While she is furiously bionic peeling and expressing frustration for falling behind (yeah, now you know what it’s like for me trying to follow YOU), her program is rudely interrupted by a station emergency alert signal. I'm sure had this been a real emergency yadda yadda…. wait, there's that Obi-Wan guy speaking on screen.
He is Dr. Cooper and apologizes for the preemption. He introduces himself as the father of the cobalt bomb, simulcasting in 9 different languages. He has decided to interrupt their regularly scheduled pot roast today to demonstrate his own recipe.
BOOMMMM, followed by a mushroom cloud. WTF? Okay at least it's semi on-topic and I bet Jaime keeps her mushrooms in a drawer, too. Also, it is not unusual for things on my stove to end like this, so there’s that.
Then it cuts to Oscar watching his office TV while he's on the phone talking with the secretary of state. Fer cornsakes this was UNAUTHORIZED!! What does Cooper think he's doing?!
"It is awesome, isn't it," reviews Dr. Cooper in a completely non-modest way. "Supreme devastation!" He warns he is going to bring an end to all life on this planet if the United Nations doesn't get their act together and the following 4 scientists don't show up for his farewell bash. He rattles off some foreign names, but the recognizable Dr. Rudy Wells is among them. Because of course Rudy knows everything so natch, he's on the invite list.
The Return of Jaime’s Jammies: After the commercial it's the next morning, and Jaime's in some adorbs red flannel jammies sipping tea and watching the exhausting 24-hour cable news coverage of the doomsday threat.
Reports indicate the U.N. security council has nominated a "Mr. Goldman" to handle the operation of this Doomsday device. I'm sure this non-specificity is purposely intended to confuse CNN and force Wolf Blitzer to interview all 16,000 Goldmans in the phone book, individually ON AIR, in hopes he can eventually question the correct one.
Meanwhile in the U.N. hallway, Oscar, along with his OSI sidekick Russ who is sporting a very LOUD plaid suit, has an awkward encounter with a Mid-East ambassador guy named Satari, donned in mega-cool, Hollywood sunglasses, who scoffs that the U.S. is giving in to Dr. Cooper's demands. Because if you'll excuse him he has more important business to attend to so he'll leave this mess in Oscar's, er Mr. Goldman’s capable hands.
Satari then offers up some unique Arabic flipping of the bird gestures to accentuate his departure. And here you thought I couldn't translate foreign sign language? (refresh browser for animated gif) -->
Look on the bright side, Oscar. At least he didn’t throw his shoe at you.
Russ then updates Oscar that Rudy's about to arrive at JFK on “Air Force One” but what about that French Physicist Mar-ga-reet Perry? Oscar grins and says, "let's go."
Now suddenly we are on Air Force One, where Jaime is speaking with a suave French accent "Yes misseur Goldman." Ahaha.
She's wearing a tan suit & slacks with a white turtleneck under a white blouse, accessorized with a blue neck scarf and gorgeous dark green felt hat—to complement her Parisian Physics mission. Jaime will be impersonating Dr. Perry to get on the inside, and may need to strong-arm Elijah Cooper and/or determine if he is mentally imbalanced. Even though she hasn’t even taken courses for her counseling pHD degree yet. No prob.
Later the U.S. car caravan arrives at the gate of "Dakota Nuclear Research and Testing Area Checkpoint 17" and of course Jaime is driving the lead COBALT blue Mustang sports car. I mean with all this Doomsday talk, you may as well drive out in style, amIright?
Jaime pulls up to the compound gate and holds up her fake French ID for the camera and Frenchly announces both herself + Dr. Rudy Wells who is riding shotgun but doesn't have to hold up his ID I guess because he's American.
A voice tells them to please follow the signs along the main road, Dr. Cooper is awaiting their arrival! Jaime vrooms over 6 miles of winding desert road while Rudy tells her their destination is the largest underground government research facility in the central US. Jaime's a wee bit afraid about Frenching undercover and getting grilled on her nuclear physics knowledge. Rudy says not to worry, just let him mansplain everything for her.
Finally they arrive in the main building reception area. They are greeted by that same checkpoint voice on the intercom again, assuring them Dr. Cooper will join 'em shortly. Jaime can't bionic hear anything fishy so she decides to go snoop around the place while Rudy waits in the lobby like a good scientist.
Jaime wanders down a hall and peeks in a few doors and decides on door number 3 because it's locked and made of steel, and bionic pulls open the door to find a central communications Star trek-y type bridge. Up a staircase, she finds a comfy 70s office with a gorgeous Tiffany lamp, whereupon she encounters the evil Obi-Wan himself.
Cooper says he's a bit weak because his 78 years of cobalting and preempting local cooking show programming are catching up with him, so Jaime helps him sit down, and then he starts pounding her with all kinds of specific Docktor Per-reeee physics experiment questions plus the fact he imagined she would be a lot older. Doesn't this man watch the opening credits?! It clearly states she's 27. Oh wait, he probably preempted that, too.
The French Lieutenant's Woman: Dr. Sommers... er Perry, is suddenly faced with being exposed as an agent, so she brilliantly and slyly pushes the intercom button on Cooper's AWESOME TIFFANY LAMP ILLUMINATED desk so that Rudy can hear that she's being given a strenuous pop quiz on her research. He relays her all the correct answers via her bionic ear. There, that was easy. (Sigh— where was Rudy when I was failing chemistry?)
Then hooray, the Japan and Soviet scientists arrive fashionably late for the Doomsday Party. (They had to car pool, too in the off-chance we could save planet earth that way). I can't type out their foreign names due to being on my second martini, but Japan is evidently furious that Dr. Cooper conducted that explosive cobalt bomb test and interrupted his Japanese Steak House cooking show.
No worries, Dr. Cooper claims his bomb test was "clean!" (Well OK except for all that wildlife it killed and toxic pollution released into the atmosphere. So essentially, clean by EPA standards.) and then Dr. Russia darts a suspicious glare when Dr. Jaime bon jours him because he remarks she looks much younger than when he met her in Paris last year. (Dude, she may have had a little botox, OK?)
Then yay it’s time for Science Fair Show and Tell™ with a colorful chemistry 3-D prop and a powerpoint slide full of heavy physics formulas. All to prove that OK, Dr. Elijah Cooper really CAN blow up the world. Then he pushes a button to show video of the vault in which his doomsday device is located— the basement level of this complex and by the way it's impenetrable by any army so don't even.
But WHY oh why, are you such a grumpy old man Dr. Cooper?
Your check is in the blackmail: The Doomsday Doc™ explains that like the Einsteins and Nobels before him, he has wrestled with the guilt of architecting a scientific breakthrough like Super Glue that only winds up getting used as a weapon of mass destruction. He's fed up, and has decided this Doomsday device is the only way to ensure peace on earth.
Cooper flips a few switches and declares that if these sophisticated BriteLite™ monitors blinking behind him happen to detect any and I mean ANY thermo-nuclear device being set off, his radioactive Doomsday bomb will trigger and blow us all to smithereens precisely 6 hours later.
Dr. Russia pleads with the old man but sorry nocando, now everything is 100% controlled by Alex.
Alex? As in Trebec? Wait, who is this Alex and where is he exactly?
"You're standing inside of him"
Ew gross. They've been swallowed by Moby Dick!
Cooper introduces Alex 7000 as the master computer that controls every phase of this complex. "The highest form of computer art and design. Until this very moment I had him operating on only half efficiency." (This is code for ram chips still being on back order from Radio Shack and/or making the mistake of installing Windows ’77)
Cooper goes on to say "His eyes and ears will watch over and govern this complex. And its defenses. He is supremely intelligent, yet passionless. Aren't' you, Alex?"
"Yes Dr. Cooper," obeys Alex in a relatively passionless tone, which is kinda what we all sound like after 36 hours of binge watching Wolf Blitzer. (And why exactly is he named Alex 7000. Does this mean there were 6,999 versions before him? These are MY important questions.)
Anyhoo to sum it up and in conclusion, Dr. Cooper warns his party guests, "It is peace. Or oblivion." So thanks for coming and now if you'll excuse him, he is probably retiring to a trailer park somewhere in Florida and for sure taking that gorgeous office Tiffany lamp with him.
Outside the complex, Oscar calls in the breaking news of Cooper's blackmail threat on his black telephone, whereupon the U.N. immediately orders a worldwide ban on all nuclear testing and also Sony pulls "The Interview" from theaters.
But Russ is standing nearby on the ORANGE phone and it turns out that "Satari" guy from the Mid-East thinks this is all just a bluff to prevent third world countries from expanding their nuclear programs. So neeners they're going ahead with their weapon of mass destruction test party five hours from now. Satari informs Meester Goldman they do not belieeeeve there eez a doomsday device. Have a nice day! Click.
After the commercial a helicopter flies over the complex and gets shot down. Because Alex 7000 has the place armed with a "class 16 fortification" so they can't get any troops on the ground. Jaime, Oscar, Rudy and Russ stand around experiencing great stress. So dammit what other way can they get in there to disarm the doomsday device before the Mid East bomb test triggers it?
"Oscar, is Steve still aboard Skylab?" Jaime feels compelled to inquire. "Yes," Oscar confirms.
"Well then, he won't be able to help us."
OMG I JUST LOVE HOW JAIME'S expression is ALL LIKE you know? What EV.
Because *Windy Hair Fix* I guess she'll just have to SAVE THE WORLD all by her damn self today.
LOLOLOLOL her expression as she casts off the Six Million Dollar Man’s significance is beyond PRICELESS... -->
and I have to animate this for permanent Bionic Blonde gif preservation.
So ladies, the next time we have to squash a giant spider invading our bathrooms without the help of Steve Austin, we need only watch this scene for courage and inspiration.
And for the record, I've been busy researching my own time continuum physics formulas on wiki and according to that *other* show, the same week this episode aired, Steve Austin was in fact not on Skylab, but was busy fighting the Death Probe in Wyoming while having a so-called "relationship" with a female Russian scientist. So nice try but lame cover, Oscar.
Jaime asks Rudy if she could possibly get into the complex to disable the computer's main memory banks and rescue the planet, since Steve is so conveniently busy SKYLABBING that other woman and being PROBED BY DEATH or whatever.
Well, Rudy isn't exactly confident the Bionic Woman—nor any army—necessarily, could handle this mission, but he's like what the hey, may as well give it a whirl in this EPIC 2-parter.
Make Haste: The Bionic Woman ties up her front shirt tails in a pseudo rolling up her sleeves kinda way to bravely tackle this mission alone. She doesn't even grab her purse, immediately takes off and bionics over a chain link fence inside the complex.
Incidentally, she appears to be outfitted with the world's first iPod prototype affixed to her waist, doubling as mini-talkie communications with her OSI team whilst listening to her playlist of doomsday bands foretelling the apocalypse in D minor.
Aaaand away we go! But first, we interrupt this blog review to ask you to please check your doomsday survival supplies in case (OMG perish the thought) Jaime should somehow fail. While MY idea of a Doomsday bunker is just very simply a fully-stocked wine cellar... make sure you have lots of canned goods, candles, loaded semi-automatic assault weapons, and hurry up and update your Facebook status to neener your friends + acquaintances that you are going to be the LONE heroic survivor of the nuclear holocaust —before the internet and civilization as we know it goes offline forever and nobody even cares.
Inside the complex terrain, Jaime hauls bionic arse and skillfully dodges lasers, artillery shells and land mines until an explosion lands her (with a little help from Rita) in a bunker-style ditch to take cover.
Whereupon she comes face to face with the so-called Russian scientist named Dmitri Muskov— who is actually a Soviet government agent acting on his own simulcast mission to shut down Alex 7000 in the Russian TV “Doomsday is Tomorrow” 2-parter "Konets Sveta Zavtra" <--courtesy of Google translate, so I'm sure it's 1000% loosely accurate.
In the interest of the human race, they decide not to race against one another. Jaime is handed a really difficult rope to carry as a fashion sash while Dmitri— with his Soviet boy scout back pack—partner together across hill and dale to get into the main compound and shut down the evil computer memory banks.
Cliff Hanger: Dmitri possesses some scienc-y gizmo calculator retrofit with an antenna (these series props always crack me up) to successfully disable a laser gun so they can begin climbing a rock cliff. Jaime of course is frustrated with his slow progress trying to hammer stakes into the rock wall, so she secretly bionic jumps up another way and radios Oscar with a "Snow White" update about her new MacGuyver-ovski partner.
"What about letting him see the bionics?" Jaime asks. "Well, I'm always concerned about revealing bionics to the sah--vee--yets, Jaime…" (seriously did Oscar just pronounce Soviet right?) but there's a long dot dot dot pause there, so Jaime's all like fine, I'll do the best I can, all right?
She drops her fashion rope for Dmitri and bionic pulls him up under the guise of using "leverage." But Dmitri plays his expert physics card and doesn't buy it. Jaime cautiously admits, "I'm a little stronger than I look, okay?!"
After the commercial the next section of cliff is going craptasticly slow Dmitri's way, and now a very Sweaty!Oscar impatiently radios Jaime again. Come onnnnnn you slow agents, why haven't you saved the world yet and oh BTW we are packing up and moving our mobile OSI communications team to "Bradley Air Force Base," which is code for we don't want to get nuclear annihilated like you, so we're taking cover. Buh bye and good luck!
And also she now only has 3 hours and 37 minutes before the Mid-East's nuclear test happens and sets off the Doomsday device. Jaime realizes well that's that, I'm just gonna have to blow my super-heroine cover.
She proceeds to bionic scale a ledge while Dmitri makes a Soviet Shock Face™ and then she pounds the stakes and her toes into the cliff wall for them to finish the climb.
The Russian agent is all like WTF, you guys have bionic TV shows now?!
When they reach the top, gasping-for-breath Dmitri accuses her, "YOU, you, YOU are a CYBORG!!!"
Jaime wants to press on ASAP, but not now—because Dmitri is worried about how his government network will react to the Bionic Woman's existence because so far they have only done pilots on animals. Jaime tosses her hands in the air as if to say sheesh, get your own Kenniev Johnson.
Meanwhile Oscar, Rudy and Russ arrive at their new safe-base with Oscar barking all kinds of commands and orders and instructions on intercepting any more Elijah Cooper broadcast interruptions now that a nuclear test is about to happen in the Mid-East and the world is about to end because we don't want this to trend on Twitter and the public to panic.
Don't worry Oscar, they're on it! Well, actually poor Russ appears to be the only one handling everything. So Russ, if you don’t mind, while you're at it Rudy wants to be patched into his OSI computer in Washington and Oscar wants a Starbucks run and a Caffé Latte, stat!
Jaime and Dmitri suddenly find themselves walking into a mine field, whose electro-humming bombs beneath the soil are detectible by her bionic ear. But Dmitri's little geeky prop can't jam them, so Jaime offers to escort them across as she delicately ballet slipper-steps around each land mine.
But Oh Nyett! Turns out Dmitri suffers from a bad case of PTSD, having served on the Russian battlefields previously with all kinds of loud bomb flashbacks.
So Jaime has to play Dr. Sommers and urge him onward, while she carefully guides them to the other side. This is actually quite a nice scene, capturing the efforts of two sworn enemies becoming comrades in their quest to save the world until the next commercial break.
As they reach the main compound, Dmitri winds up getting injured by one of the lasers, whereupon he urges Jaime to usher on."Carry the torch now for my country, as well as yours." (And whatever you do, don’t let it blow out like we will at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.)
BOOM, Jaime takes off towards the complex, bionic-opens a locked door knob and races down a hall to to a door marked "Computer Terminal 22". Alex comes in over the P.A. system, "How did you make it through my outside defenses? You're not Dr. Perry. Who are you?" Heyyyy, I’m a little miffed Alex assumes a woman with a science degree wouldn't have the ability to break and enter, too. Alex passionlessly pleads, “Won't you at least tell me your name?”
"Unusual. And pleasant." Alex remarks. A-hahahah! But OK, now could you please clarify for audiences how she spells this because it gets botched all the time. (OMG Does Alex even have spell check?)
Jaime pulls open CPU drawers and starts yanking out chip boards. Alex neeners this will have no effect on him whatsoever and directs her to the main breaker switch on the wall for an a-ha moment, where turning it off demonstrates it does not shut him up.
With T minus 3 minutes on the nuclear test, Jaime races to Dr. Cooper's office. Oops, she finds him having a weakened heart "episode" and helps him into his leather office chair.
He's obviously dying, spouting all kinds of death and appreciating life prophecies, but Jaime's like politely trying to change the subject and pleading for him to tell her HOW TO SHUT THIS EFFING DOOMSDAY COMPUTER DOWN BEFORE YOU CROAK, OK?
Cooper laments, "I warned you, there is no way to reverse the device. God help you, my child." (Um whut? “My child?” is this some kind of Darth Vader surprise plot twist?)
But then the old man’s hands go limp and he's history. Jaime makes a brilliant multi-sorrowful Crap We're All Totally Screwed But I'm Trying To Empathize With You Sweet Old Man In Your Moment Of Death™ face. Otherwise known as, it's all over.
Goggggles On! The Mid-East entourage blows up their prized nuclear bomb, while wearing ultra cool nuclear goggles which I have decided to stock in my doomsday bunker strictly for fashion purposes. On cue, their blast triggers Alex's detectors and alarms.
Jaime walks out to the Star Trek blinky-lite bridge stunned, with the TV monitor flashing "DOOMSDAY DEVICE ACTIVATED." Alex appropriately announces Doomsday will be in 6 hours. Dress formally. The blast also triggers a pre-taped video message from the sadly now late Dr. Cooper.
Oscar and "only the world leaders" suddenly get a private satellite video feed from Dr. Cooper, wearing the same old brown sweater, recording from his GORGEOUS TIFFANY-LAMP LIT office . The gist of it is sorry guys I had hoped this would never happen but in 6 hrs. hours all life will begin to die on this planet. #ToldYouSo
Jaime tells Alex that she hopes he realizes she HAS to stop this. Neeners says Alex because his memory banks are more than a mile underground with sufficient defenses to stop her and he’s programmed to show no mercy.
“You will die if you make the attempt."
“So…” Jaime summarizes,“then it is a duel between you and me “
“Yes.” Alex confirms in his signature, passionless tone. “May the best. One. Win.”
TO BE CONTINUED...
Woah, that was a martini buzz kill. All this great suspense and now we have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for part 2?! OMG will Jaime Sommers be able to stop Alex and save the world? Dude, I would bet a whole drawer of potatoes on it.
But unlike the network, I won’t make us wait. Read on in Part 2 of Doomsday is Tomorrow today!
Jaime sported 3 outfits in the first half of Doomsday. In the opening kitchen scene, she wore bell- bottomed jeans with a blue plaid wraparound smock blouse tied at the waist. The next morning, a pair of bright red and blue flannel pajamas (pattern indeterminate), which I adored. And lastly, the two piece tan suit, which appeared to be a velour material. Later, she would remove this gorgeous green felt hat and blazer, to reveal a long sleeved white blouse over a (likely, sleeveless) white ribbed turtleneck, and of course, this signature teal green and blue neck scarf, that will make a surprise wardrobe return in next season’s Out Of Body.
Also of note, The Bionic Woman is wearing her enneagram necklace again. When Jaime removes her hat, we see her hair is pulled back in a bun, and given her exhausting “adventures” ahead, this won’t be holding together very well!
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