SCORE: 3 out of 4 Tennis Balls
December 15, 1976
Mood Ring: Blue
The Bionic Woman drove an old truck and got a speeding ticket! It was funny. Then for a new case, Jaime had to go to school to become a police officer. I hope she isn’t going to be on Charlie’s Angels now.
THE BIONIC WOMAN 2x10
LAW AND ORDER
Bad news for orange cones: The Bionic Woman has just joined the police force.
December 15, 2013
Dear Bionic Blondes,
Mood Ring: NYPD Blue
Whoda thunk that after all those frantic 9-1-1 calls I placed to police last week to arrest somebody for that VEGA INFLUENZA episode, that they would send the Bionic Woman dressed in uniform so quickly to file my crime report? Yes Officer Sommers, last week fans were robbed of Jaime's true equal-gender potential when surrounded by men in uniform. Plus, we got hit in the head by some bizzaro, more-like-3rd-season outer space ROCK. So add battery to the list, too.
This episode's greatest indulgence is to watch Jaime get to play "Charlie's Angels." She of course aces her police academy training whilst playing detective at the same time—and in the end, doesn't wind up with a boring desk job and Farrah hair. I love it when the Bionic Woman does other shows even better than her own.
Time to bring your mood rings back, kids. It's getting a very special homage in tonight's episode! I have several martinis and pizza prepared for this viewing. But unfortunately there will be no drinking games allowed because Jaime is driving. And we are going to learn that even when she's sober, whatever you do, NEVER LOAN THIS WOMAN YOUR TRUCK.
Arrested Developments: The Bionic Woman was right on time tonight, delighting us in the opening teaser by getting pulled over for SPEEDING in an old white jalopy pick up truck. A-hahahha!
I love how she's trying to politely argue with the officer she wasn't going very fast, as she drags out her license and registration. Evidently, Jaime's fancy Datsun 280Z wouldn't start in Ojai this morning, so Step-Daddy-O Jim Elgin loaned her his pick-up to get to a meeting in the big city with Oscar. For which she is now running late. <-- See? Her chronic tardiness has now officially made it into the scripts, too.
Unfortunately the traffic cop rejects her completely valid, DUDE I AM RACING TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM TERRORISTS excuses and proceeds to hand the Bionic Woman a $10 speeding ticket and NO THAT IS NOT A TYPO. So like no wonder the state of California went broke.
But what mostly makes me smile in this scene is the fact that Jaime is re-wearing her gorgeous black pantsuit from The Deadly Missiles again. I am envisioning it was freshly back from the cleaners— after she got it stained in horse manure from bionic-staggering across that pasture near the end to save her 6 Million Dollar Man.
On the other hand… perhaps this is really why Jaime borrowed the Elgin's farm vehicle—it already smelled like horses anyway so now she can blame her B.O. on the truck. Consequently, whatever the civil violation might be for smelling bad in the big city, I'm sure it would only be a $10 fine anyway. Carry on, your Pasture Pantsuitedness.
So Jaime finally arrives for her meeting with Oscar and some other guy in a visually frightening office of nauseating green carpet, trying to explain she got pulled over by some idiotic cop for speeding—only to finally be introduced to this other man in her meeting who happens to be the Police Commissioner. Oops.
Jaime's assignment tonight will be to infiltrate the Police Academy as a student to try to find some foreign agent who is planning something really big but they don't know who she is or what big is, but Jaime's job is to find out. No prob. And since this is an extended, 2-episode commitment, Oscar has already helpfully arranged for a substitute teacher for Miss Sommers' class at the air base. Viewers tonight are immediately assured there will be no child left behind.
Then suddenly we are all whisked away to the "Santa Regina Police Academy," a fictional campus that is clearly located somewhere in L.A. For class, Jaime comes LL Bean Winter Catalog seasonally dressed to meet the jolly elf himself— wearing a lovely, red flannel pullover that I'm pretty sure comes out of her closet again later in Night Demon. Anyway, it turns out there's no Santa in Santa Regina, so no Currier and Ives wardrobe brownie points for you, Miss Sommers.
Jaime behaves herself during student roll call, and then suddenly a man in a ski mask subjects them to the annual orientation day test, by barging into the classroom with a gun randomly shooting (blanks).
When the camera cuts to the terrified students, Miss Sommers is nowhere to be seen, because unlike some other classmates, she knew how to instantly take cover under her desk. While we may assume this was her OSI agent training instincts, more likely, it's her profession as a teacher.
Captain Godfrey introduces the shooting man in the mask as Cop Bob Welton, who turns out to be the same dick dude who wrote Jaime the speeding ticket earlier… then Godfrey delivers a special welcome to all the women in the class they have been forced to accept for street patrol training, even though he doubts they can pass the course. So how about you sissies go get us men some Budweisers, eh?
Incidentally I'm slightly disappointed scriptwriter James D. Parriott didn't give us his usual, stuck typewriter, fun double names like Ray Raymond (Bionic Beauty) or Buck Buckley (Road to Nashville) so I vote we fix this by henceforth renaming Bob Welton to Welt Welton. All agreed? Class adjourned.
Room With A View: Yay, time to check into the dorm, where Jaime arrives with her usual red mission suitcase and meets her cop college roomie, Arleen Smith. Overachiever Arleen is a little weird and hangs up a giant political poster of some fictional Golda Meir-type female role model named "Premier Rinja Gabrin." Just to make sure we noticed she was FEMALE, I love how they thought to include the subtitle "A Woman… A Leader…" on the bottom of her rockstar poster.
Boot Camp: Then it’s time for the cadets to test their physical strengths on a Charlie's Angels-style opening titles obstacle course. While the other female cadets except for Arleen struggle to complete the decathlon, when it's Jaime's turn, she bionic overhears Welt Welton and Captain Godfrey make a $10 bet that this "skinny blonde" can't finish the course. Hey, who are you calling blonde?
With second wave feminist determination in gray sweats, Jaime scales the wall, acrobats the monkey bars, aces the foot dancing tires, somehow only has to jump one short hurdle and ends with pushing a car, which she accidentally lunges too far then pulls back, so as not to reveal her bionic powers.
Naturally Jaime clocks in with a remarkable time, and I love how she girl-skips over to Welton as he's paying off his lost bet to avenge her earlier speeding ticket— sneering, "Ten bucks for ten bucks!"
This scene wins my episode Adorbs Award, plus 1500 Angry Bird Points for you, Miss Sommers.
Refresh browser for animated gif. -->
Snow White Sabbatical: For some reason Jaime doesn’t have her usual secret agent mini-talkie or a cute Dragnet dwarf name on this mission, and instead has to contact Oscar with a late night report using the dorm's public pay phone in the hall. Jaime (with atypical, completely off-base instincts in this episode) is totally convinced her roommate Arleen Smith is the foreign agent infiltrator woman because she's too good at everything and surely must have gone through foreign terrorist agent training previously, so Oscar can you please run that background check on Arleen Smith again?
Who says our government is slow to respond? We instantly cut to Not!Alex the OSI supercomputer, crunching the data with magnetic tapes and punchcards while Jaime patiently waits by the pay phone for Oscar to call her back. Hurry up 70s technology.
Ring ring, Jaime answers the hall pay phone and Oscar says they can't find Arleen in the punchcards—she must be using an alias. so keep an eye on her like you have been…only more.
Then suddenly Jaime gets busted by a school hall monitor cop for chatting on the phone at 1 am—so she lies about talking to an all night mechanic about fixing her 280Z. Exonerated, Jaime returns to wake up her roommate Arleen for interrogation or something, but discovers there are pillows stuffed under her blanket and she's missing. Hmmm, this would be a good time to cut to...
Dark warehouse. Shady characters rendezvous to conspire and stockpile weapons, unseen woman with thick Russian accent gets a report from Hall Monitor Cop that Sommers was just talking on the pay phone while wearing a green bath robe. (I put that last part in because I forgot to mention it in the previous paragraph.) Suspicious, they decide to have their peeps find out more about Jaime using their own Russian Nyet!Alex supercomputers.
Or here's an idea... just ask anyone with a television, who can easily identify Jaime Sommers as the world recognized Tennis Pro, teacher, former Miss California beauty contestant, plus a savage lady wrestler. (Have I left anything out?) Oh yeah, and now a Santa police academy student. This media high profile woman changes careers more often than Hillary Clinton.
Afterwards, Arleen gets caught by Jaime trying to tiptoe back into their room. (So was rogue roomie the woman in the warehouse? Zee plot thickens.)
Jaime is ultra smooth with her surprise light switch flip, 'you-are-so busted-young-lady' technique. I'm giving her 100 bonus points. Plus an animated gif. -->
Then there's a knock on the door from their fellow, failing classmate named Parker, who tells them to keep it down because she's trying to sleep. (Yeah and maybe if you weren’t working for the smarmy dark side, missy, you might sleep better at night.... oops, spoiler alert.)
Police Chase Driving School: Woo-hoo it’s legal speeding day, and Jaime is finally dressed in a full-out beige cop uniform with white helmet, which as we already know—should they crash—will do nothing to protect Jaime's ear. Crud, Welton is her drive instructor and angrily yells orders and nasty criticisms at her the entire time she’s driving. Brake it, punch it, brake it, punch it, shut up and drive faster. Jaime hits a couple orange cones before coming to a squealing halt at the end, with one of them still smashed under her cruiser.
Welton scolds Jaime with disgust that her "sloppy driving just killed a mother and her two children back there at the turn!"
WTF? So is this guy BLIND, because all I saw were a bunch of lazy orange cones carelessly standing around the parking lot who didn't even bother to move out of the way.
Let this be a lesson to any cone heads reading this… ya might wanna use the SIDEWALKS on police chase driving day!! And seriously what is it with these people always wearing bright orange? There are other colors, y'know.
I'm awarding Jaime 50 Angry bird points for each dimwitted cone she nailed.
Where was I? Oh yeah so Jaime shouts back for Welton to get off it because "you were riding me all the way!" And then Welton responds with something I want on the record in a giant pull quote, just in case Jaime gets momentarily confused that ANY man, no matter how hot, who would hurl the B-word in this condescending manner towards a woman could EVah be a Not!Steve consideration.
To clarify, Welton did not say “babe” in the affectionate, Oscar way with which we are accustomed. He used this term in the really mean, sexist way. #Unforgivable
Janie's Got A Gun: <---The Aerosmith song that now I can't get out of my head. Because in the next scene, we are treated to an usually sophisticated series editing montage of Jaime attending more classes and shooting a GUN (yes you read that right--shock!) in the police academy practice firing range.
All while she's simultaneously reporting to Oscar in voiceover how good her grades are in school and that she still thinks her roomie is the #1 suspect because she keeps sneaking out at night. I especially love the giant drug presentation chart Captain Godfrey is using in one of the montage scenes to teach our future men and women in blue what marijuana looks like. *giggle*
Run The Plates: That night when Arleen sneaks out again, Jaime follows and tails her all the way to the academy kitchen, and how much do I love that our clumsy Bionic Woman finally makes a comeback—by accidentally bumping into and smashing a stack of plates, which causes Arleen to spot her. Clumsy Bird bonus points: 250.
I kinda like this scene, which develops into the closest Jaime comes to establishing any kind of gal pal friendship since Callahan. Arleen is not a foreign spy—she simply gets the late night munchies (um, see drug chart?) and creeps to the kitchen to pig out.
While she and Jaime share chicken drumsticks, Arleen confesses to Jaime she is actually the police commissioner's daughter, but because he's a chauvinist and wouldn't let his own daughter be a cop, she enrolled in the academy under a pseudonym.
Jaime calls from the kitchen pay phone to wake up Oscar in his yellow jammies --who confirms Arleen's identity by waking up up Not!Alex to run her name again in lightening speed time.
Oscar beseeches Jaime to please call him at a reasonable hour next time, but she reminds him that "being reasonable is not in my contract." And while we’re at it, neither is doing a procedural police drama. My show is in the sci-fi genre, remember?
As they sister-walk back to the dorm, Jaime agrees to keep Arleen’s secret, divulges she is a government agent and they decide to team up and see if they can figure out who the foreign agent is together. Before the commercial, the bad guys also find out who Jaime Sommers really is. They can’t let “vun voman get in dee vay” of their evil plans. Vut-ever those are.
Hill Street Blues: Later it’s time for the ultimate stress test which apparently counts heavily towards their final grade. This involves police chasing a bad guy thru the back lot streets of “Consolidated Studios.” (Funny, I guess Universal was busy filming SMDM that day. *Blink. Blink.*) Anyway, the cadet’s performance gets filmed and they better hope they don’t flub, or it will probably wind up on American’s Funniest Home Videos.
Jaime has to sit on the studio’s “generic Manhattan neighborhood brownstone” steps with the rest of the class, while Parker fails her test and prematurely shoots Welton when he pulls a wrench. I forget why but one of the female classmates gets annoyed with Jaime’s Pollyanna attitude, so when she storms off Jaime does this hysterical “cat claws” motion behind her back. Haha!
Jaime and Arleen are One Adam 12 partners for their test, and natch, the Bionic Woman is too smart to fall for this faux gun wrench stunt (although I woulda pulled the trigger on Welton anyway), plus she didn’t even hit any family cones this time because they clearly had the good sense to stay indoors today.
However suddenly some shadowy figure knocks a set of studio lights off the top of the building, and Jaime bionic tackles Welton out of the way to save his life. While on the pavement, they have a quote unquote moment. No. Way. Guurl you are NOT permitted to have ANY “moments” with this Welton guy. B-word. Remember?! Hurled at the TV in protest: More studio lights. Must. Hit. Him. This. Time.
Yadda yadda insert scenes where Parker fails street cop university, but gets assigned to a precinct desk, gets a sisterhood of the traveling sweat pants send-off by the dorm girls, departs in a car talking to hall monitor cop in thick slavic accent (SHEEEE’S THE ONE) and then there’s some warehouse where a fake bad guy police force is forming but still no idea what they are up to yadda yadda.
Domino's Delivers: In their dorm room while Jaime and Arleen are seriously scarfing down pizza, Arleen erroneously surmises their suspect must be their classmate Kelly. Because...
“Ever notice that mood ring she's wearing? It's always black.”
Aaaaaaaaaaa-hahahahahahaha!! I heart Arleen. (My mood ring is now purple.) While Arleen dashes off to go see if she can have a department friend run the license plate of this red delivery truck they’ve both spotted on separate occasions, Jaime notices said delivery truck from her 3rd floor dorm, grabs her keys and bionic-jumps out the window to chase it down.
Jeez, for an all-night repair shop, they sure are taking a long time to fix Jaime’s car, because (presumably several weeks later?) she still has Jim’s old white Ford jalopy at Santa Police college. At this point you begin to realize this truck substitution all along has been CODE for we didn’t want to do this to her beautiful 280Z. Jim, I sure hope you’re insured....
Jaime jumps in the driver’s seat and tails the red delivery van, but gets purposely intercepted by the fake bad cops and forced off the road into a pole, which causes Jim’s truck to burst into flames seconds after Jaime escapes. Oops. She is SO gonna get grounded for this.
Speaking of Being Grounded: Later in a meeting with Oscar and the Police Commissioner, Jaime learns that since she failed to solve this case in 1 hour, she has to do a part 2 of this episode and become an actual street cop at the 5th Precinct next week. Crap.
But first Jaime gets to graduate in full blue uniform with a shield and everything! Oscar of course attends and applauds like a proud father when Jaime gets her diploma. (Her other father apparently could not make the trip because HE NO LONGER HAS ANYTHING TO DRIVE THANKYOUVERYMUCHJAIME)
For some strange reason the Olympic Rings logo is featured behind the police academy stage, so I guess this means Jaime gets a gold medal, too. Woo-hoo!
Arleen also graduates and manages to hide her face from her dad during the ceremony. Jaime winks at Welton (GROAN) and then they have another flirty “moment” whereupon he thanks her for saving his life. I am completely not amused by this little notion the script has plans for him to be elevated to Not!Steve status next week. B-word anyone?
And finally, Parker, who is sitting in the audience, evil-ishly whispers to her co-conspirator cops that “Jaime Sommers isn't going to last 2 days on the job.” Well technically she has to last at least another 7 days, because that’s how long we have to wait for next week’s part 2 of Jaime’s Shield...
For a girl rendered in uniform, Jaime got to wear a lot of different outfits in Part 1. In the opening, the return of her Deadly Missiles black pantsuit (LOVE!), a red flannel pullover worn with a black turtleneck and black slacks. (As noted earlier, this will make a return appearance in Night Demon.) Next, a green terrycloth robe with a Greek key emblem across the chest. This robe will also make a comeback in Sanctuary Earth, where Jaime will loan it to her Mini-Me, Helen Hunt.
For training camp Jaime wore a long sleeved ash gray athletic sweatsuit and white tennis shoes, and this same sweatshirt appeared several more times paired with bell bottomed blue jeans and also perhaps gray (?) slacks at the firing range. (We never got more than a torso shot here). Her police uniforms consisted of a solid beige version with boy tie and white helmet, and then a full navy blue traditional police uniform at the end. She also had a quick wardrobe change wearing a green blouse for her meeting with Oscar and Commissioner Hart near the end.
Just for kicks, I’m also including a pic of Oscar’s yellow jammies. Because being reasonable is not in my contract.
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