SCORE: 2 out of 4 Tennis Balls
Nov. 26, 1977
Mood Ring: Yellow (strained)
I can't believe I couldn't watch the Bionic Woman again tonight. My life is dirt. I saw the previews a couple days ago and a really, REALLY cute boy was going to be in it. Like almost as cute as Robby Benson. Ice Castles is my favorite movie. Ever.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 3x09
YOU’VE GOT MAIL
Max returns to let Jaime know she has too many Not!Steves in her life.
October 22, 2011
(Edited Nov. 1, 2015 to include wardrobe + additional notes and images)
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: Blue (love)
My burnt retinas brought on by Jaime's curly hairdo last week have finally healed, so I was able to put in my DVD to watch this next episode.
Yet another from this season that I realized I was watching for the very first time. I like how they start out by showing the previews this season, so I can immediately form an unbiased opinion about it . Sorta like the CliffsNotes version for lazy reviewers. Right away, I notice that Jaime is going to be wearing black in this episode, so I immediately assign it 1000 points before it even starts.
It begins with some scientist doctor and his really cute teenage son trying to escape some East German soldiers in the dark of night. Papa gets wounded during their flee, but his son freezes, as if he has just seen Jaime in last week's Big Valley blouse, and thusly gets himself captured. We then jump to Jaime in her fabulous coach house pad in Ojai, where she is busy preparing a dinner by candlelight for her sweetie, Max.
Wait, MAX?!!!! Our favorite bionic dog is back! With no explanation or warning (not even in the previews), he is pulled out of cold storage in the OSI Colorado facility and sent to stay with Jaime, where this evening he has cutely helped himself to a seat at the romantically-set dining room table.
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner: Tonight Jaime is barefoot and casually dressed in a red, full length robe that, I’m sorry to say, looks exactly like a Snuggie™. Yes, I'm a little concerned this super-easy to slip out of attire is how she is dressed for her date soon, with some guy she refers to as "Raymond."
Whatever. Tonight, he becomes Not!Steve 3.3, the Unseen Date Oscar Gets to Ditch For the Benefit of Mankind. Max seems a little depressed (and frankly, now I am too), so the future Dr. Sommers kicks into therapy action with her lab animal patient, and determines it might cure Max’s blues if she sends him down to get the mail. Heh heh. It's Not!Steve payback time, and Max comes back with the entire mailbox bitten off at the post. Good dog, Max, good dog.
After Jaime pops in a very romantic 8 track tape (hey, where's the cutaway that shows audiences she’s chosen "I’m Qualified to Satisfy You: The Greatest Hits of Barry White" ?) someone is at the door. But it's not Not!Steve, it's Oscar with an emergency mission assignment for Jaime. She must go to Berlin tonight to rescue some boy, and only has like a 24-hour window to do it!
Oh, the *Other* Germany: In a stark contrast to Motorcycle Boogie a few weeks ago, tonight everybody in Germany speaks perfect English. Perhaps I missed the headline news where President Carter invaded Germany in November of 1977 and made American English their new national language. But I think it was nice of the US armed forces to do this, so the cast of The Bionic Woman didn't have to maim the German language or accent again.
On her mission, Jaime is smuggled into the new Germany, riding in the back of a truck (here we go again... this is becoming a 3rd season trademark) with a group of refugee farmers or peasants or something.
She blends right in with a gray shawl wrapped around her face. Underneath, I can see she is wearing a black shirt (YESSS!) and a long, purple skirt from the peasant K-Mart. Oh, and she's also carrying a bright blue LL Bean-style backpack. Which totally doesn't go with the rest of her outfit, but since it's not a purse, it doesn't count against her.
Turns out the guy driving this truck is the OSI's American insider contact named "Hober." He gives her some instructions about only having a few hours to rescue the boy and meet them at a getaway helicopter, then sends her on her way.
Jaime hides behind a tree and starts stripping (where's that Barry White 8-track when you need it?) and off come the shawl and skirt to reveal (drumroll please)… the Steve Jobs™ look! Woo hoo!!! Black turtleneck and Levi blue jeans. (BTW, to my hero and crush Mr. Jobs, RIP good sir)
Then Jaime pulls out a black wool, double breasted Pea Coat AND black knit cap, sporting brown leather gloves and voila! This outfit ensemble makes her the first official, and original poster girl for Old Navy™! This is the Best. Episode. Ever.
(Edited to add that I discovered later she first wore this same ensemble in season 2's Iron Ships and Dead Men, however I didn't see/review that episode until more than 2 years after this one. I'm a slacker, OK?)
Wall of Fame: Jaime reaches a very tall wall to this prison compound that even she can't bionic, so she tosses a grappling hook over the ledge with perfect tennis-pro precision and begins to climb the rope. But rather than slow-motion this power climb, the director chose to speed it up, which unfortunately gave Jaime the unsightly grace of a monster crab trying to scale it.
But while inside the compound, Jaime recaptures her refined operative status by tying a long strap to her backpack from her perch, where she very skillfully swings it downward to level a guard at the prison door below her.
It was an awesome hit, forcing me to deduce that Jaime has been secretly playing Angry Birds* in her spare time. She totally made it to the next level without even having to cheat and use the “Mighty Eagle” to effing bomb the entire set like I always do.
Where The Princess Gets To Rescue The Prince For A Change: Jaime enters his holding cell and we finally get to meet the cute teenage boy named Sandor (Jaime nicknames him Sandy right away), who unfortunately turns out to be a bit of a spineless dweeb. He's too afraid to leave, so Jaime has to practice more therapy stuff to talk him into coming with her.
When they finally head out the door, the boy stops to strap a mandolin over his back. I guess because you never know when you might run into a paying gig along the way with Robin and his Merry Men. They never did offer any kind of story set up as to why he was so attached to this mandolin, but the audience will eventually learn it’s like his iPhone. He never, ever parts with it.
Puppy Love: Later when they stop to rest in a meadow, Sandy picks Jaime some wildflowers as a follow-up to an earlier scene where he tells her she's pretty. Then he falls down and twists his ankle and doesn't want to go on to the now-weekly Bionic Woman show helicopter rental that awaits them—acting like a total baby.
As a matter of fact, Jaime even says "C'mon Babe," but that was probably not a good thing to say to a boy with a major crush on you. Nor was it probably a good idea to brush his cheek softly when he tells you again how beautiful you are. Clearly, we need to work on these mixed signals, Jaime. Just sayin'…
The Backpack That Just Keeps Giving: They missed their helicopter ride and had to take refuge in a countryside barn. Jaime feeds Sandy some bread and Alpine cheese or something from her backpack, which by now appears to be an endless well of sustenance in addition to an Angry Bird weapon and LL Bean™ shopping bag.
How sweet, we learn Sandy has written Jaime a love song on his mandolin! "My love is as deep as the ocean, yadda yadda", but somehow when Jaime reads it out loud, it doesn't sound so corny. (Guess that's the mark of a good actress for ya. )
Sandy confesses his love for Jaime, but just as she tries to let him down easy, suddenly there is a knock at the door— it’s two OSI agents come to help. One of them is this "Hober" dude we met earlier, and he and Jaime start to make goo goo eyes and plans to meet in Berlin later when this is all over. My goodness, Jaime is one busy woman in the romance department tonight. Yeah, auf Wiedersehen Not!Steve 3.3 back in Ojai... you are SO yesterday. Literally.
Of course Sandy gets jealous watching them flirt, so he sneaks out the back of the barn and surrenders himself, which means Jaime and crew have to go rescue him AGAIN.
On some city street where he was taken, Jaime knocks down a telephone pole to stop the path of the car attempting to transport Sandy, forcibly drags some guard out of the back seat, and then Jaime, Hober and Sandy—with his mandolin, of course— because you never know when you might run into a paying gig with Ricky Scaggs along the way— all steal this Mercedes and start racing for the border to asylum.
The Big Chase: Meanwhile, the boy's daddy is with Oscar racing to the border from the other side, prepared to turn himself in as a trade for his son’s life. It's actually a pretty exciting chase. Jaime rips open the chain link fence for them to cross over to the finish line, where naturally Sandy freezes up again and doesn't want to go.
But at least he is still grappling his prized mandolin, which he will surely need to write a song later about how he was shot to death by German soldiers. The voice of his father screaming for him to "run!" finally gets his legs moving and they race into each other's arms. Another happy ending for all.
In the final scene we find Jaime and Sandy sitting on a park bench. Jaime is wearing purple hair barrettes and has changed into a flowery dress that hangs off her bare shoulder (there are those confusing signals again, Jaime. tsk tsk). She talks about how wonderful love is and that someday Sandy will find someone else with curly hair (no kidding) and a sparkly smile.
Jaime: "Can I kiss you without you misunderstanding me?"
Sandy: "I guess so."
And then Jaime plants one right on his lips, causing the teenager to close his eyes and stop breathing for like a minute afterwards. Okay yeah, no misunderstandings there.
3-1/2 Men: I suppose only The Bionic Woman could successfully juggle 3-1/2 men all at the same time. Max the dog, Not!Steve 3.3, Hober, plus Sandy, the lovesick teen. Way 2 go girl!! (But of course I simply count this as how many men it actually takes to replace The Six Million Dollar Man in her life.)
Some Tiny Quirks: I could have done without the constant repetition in the script of the mission timetable instructions, or threat to kill the son within 24 hours, something that was stated by the German colonel in one scene, written verbatim on an FTD Florist™ card and held up for viewers to painstakingly read in the following hospital scene, and then read aloud for us, yet again, by Oscar. Gosh, just in case we missed that part both times in the previous minute.
Also, I realize this was back in the 70s with innocent intentions by both parties, but I can’t help but wonder what a blazing scandal this kiss would cause by today’s overly-sensitive moral standards, fueled by a 24-hour cable news cycle. A teacher engaging with a minor like this? Jaime would have to totally lawyer-up. (Hmm... could this be why Miss Sommers mysteriously never returned to the classroom this year?)
All in all, Escape to Love was an okay episode in my book. Jaime's Old Navy™ wardrobe? Perfection!
Mood Ring: Green (mixed emotions to neutral)
Black wardrobe & Old Navy garbs: 1,000,000 points
Seriously, wearing a Snuggie™ for a date?: Minus 1,000,000 points
Angry Birds Score: 600 (100 for nailing the grappling hook over the wall on first try, 500 for her awesome backpack aim)
*OK kids, listen up. For years I hid an "Easter Egg" in this review, whereby if you happened to click on the Angry Bird image of Jaime above, it would secretly launch you to this video parody. But since few people ever discovered it, Ima just post it in plain sight this time.
If you happen to have read my other reviews, Escape To Love here was the first time I mentioned Angry Birds, which I wound up referencing often as I began to appreciate Jaime's PERFECT AIM. If my records are correct, hers was always a flawless score—any time The Bionic Woman hurled something in an episode of the series, she never once missed her target.
Jaime's full length,, fire engine red robe Snuggie™ looked really comfortable, but I remain skeptical about this choice of attire for a first date, unless they were planning to start in the bedroom? *insert judgmental face*
Her peasant travel outfit in Germany looked great, with this gray knit head scarf/shawl, black turtleneck and full length purple skirt, which she soon stripped off to reveal she had on blue jeans underneath. With this Steve Jobs look, she wore her Pea Coat and black knit cap, an ensemble repeated from last season's Iron Ships and Dead Men. She also had on some lovely heeled brown leather boots.
I thought her purple flowered chenille dress, worn off the shoulders, was very pretty—worn with a brown sandals and a purple hair barrette.
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