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[probe_control] In Search Of Midas (review)

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  • actingman-jc@worldnet.att.com
    I suspect this was Grover s second episode. It has some dreadful music that was used way too much in his first episode (Short Circuit) and Murdock and Keach
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 1999
      I suspect this was Grover's second episode. It has some dreadful music
      that was used way too much in his first episode (Short Circuit) and Murdock
      and Keach are in the control room (when we have all the episodes I may
      write a scholarly analysis of the different control room personel...Murdock
      and Keach were early ones and they disappeared by the middle of the
      series.) Also, the script calls for, but which did not make it to air, a
      montage of Grover's beach bum activities, which is a carry over from his
      first episode...I think wanting to establish him as a "cool...fun loving
      guy"...which really didn't work, and they also stopped doing...although
      they did continue with his sometimes reluctant attitude towards the missions.

      My random reactions to this episode:

      Why is Grover in Probe control during the beginning of this episode? This
      is something I've talked about with Bryan in separate conversations. If
      he's the Emergency Stand-by Probe, then he is called in at the last moment
      and he basically should be put into action right away and be briefed as
      things proceed (as they did in Short Circuit.) My feeling has always been
      that he should never be seen in Control until either the case is over and
      they are summing up, or in the middle of proceedings, or when the emergency
      has to deal with Control (such as in Moment Of Madness.) I know the
      argument can be made that everyone else is on assignment or on vacation,
      but I don't think that entirely pans, because from the various episodes, we
      know there are quite a lot of agents employed, and they can't all be
      elsewhere, and they have sent Grover on overseas assignments...where they
      have agents in place (I think we should assume.)

      The script even addresses this issue (although it didn't reach
      air.) Barnett says there is no time to bring in a regular agent and brief
      him, so they will have to use their Stand-by Agent (and Barnett is a little
      reluctant when he is reminded that it is Grover...because "hey! Grover is
      such a cool out of control dude!") I don't buy this though...there is no
      time to bring in a regular agent and brief him, but there is time to bring
      in the Stand-by agent and brief him? Why? Does Grover live a block closer
      to the building? If they had aired it the way the script was written, we
      would have seen Grover doing his beach lifestyle and having to pull himself
      together and get cleaned up and get into Control, where some other agent
      might have just had to throw on a shirt and jacket and come in (like one of
      their many married agents we have seen in the series.)

      Within seconds of her meeting Grover, Kate Dawes (played by Barbara Feldon)
      is throwing herself at Grover. I know the format calls for the agents and
      the attractive women and all, but it almost seems like a desire to get it
      out of the way, rather then legitimately dramatize the reasons why such a
      powerful newspaper gossip columnist would go in this direction. I'm also
      not to crazy on the whole with how Feldon plays this character...she's too
      kittenish throughout...and I don't see any of the independent, aggressive
      gossip columnist/journalist in her.

      The fight in the bar starts very nicely. It is one long shot with Grover
      grabbing Striker and holding him against the bar, the hand reaching into
      shot and punching Grover and him flying back and flinging a chair as he
      goes. It really looked like Grover got hit, and I just love how he throws
      the chair as he goes flying. They obviously spent some time on this shot
      and it works.

      Grover establishes himself in Vegas to draw attention to himself, and they
      do this with a montage of him and Kate gambling over scenes of the
      City. This is where they use the dreadful music I mentioned earlier. The
      music fits with this scene, and fortunately is not used again until the end
      of this episode. You really need to have the episode Short Circuit in mind
      to understand why I am pointing this out. In Circuit they used this music
      constantly with Grover, again as part of that "hey ain't he a cool rockin'
      dude" and it just did not work...and I suspect we will see they didn't do
      it again for the rest of the series.

      All right. We know that when we see the actors in the back of the limo it
      is a set and not really moving. The story says they are suddenly driven in
      the wrong direction and on a rough ride where they are tossed back and
      forth. However, the car is bouncing so wildly, that it looks like the SS
      Minnow on it's fateful 3 hour cruise.

      I love Cameron's reaction when they realize Devlin is going to sign the
      documents by remote control. Cameron gets up, hits his chair and the whole
      tone is just right.

      I always think it's funny when Griffin gets intrigued by some code or some
      electronic lock, as he does in this episode.

      Kevin remarked somewhere that he had forgotten the agent's aversion to guns
      in this show. We see this here, when Grover disarms one of the bad guys,
      and he empties the gun of it's bullets. That in and of itself is nothing
      noteworthy, and make sense to some degree in the scene, but it is more
      interesting when seen over the course of the whole show. I've always
      wondered if it was some subtle message Leslie Stevens wanted in his series,
      or if it was some kind of attempt to deal with reality that these agents
      are private citizens, and do not have official police powers.

      The fight at the end of the episode simply did not look good. It was very
      clumsy, and stillted. It did not work.

      I'm not sure about this next one. It's a little confusing. We hear in the
      beginning that Probe was hired by the Kane newspaper group. Through out
      the episode that he is from the building commissioner's office. At the end
      we hear that Devlin hired him. At first I thought it was a continuity
      error, then it occurred to me that we are supposed to deduce that Devlin
      really owns the newspaper group (as in the rich recluse in Citizen
      Kane). Of course I still don't understand how that means the building
      commission would go along with all this, unless they were happy to let
      Probe do their work for them. I think it's a little too muddy.

      I've always liked the computer graphic (the squares going across the
      screen) used to transition scenes...which they stopped doing towards the
      middle of the series. By that time you only saw that in the opening teaser
      and the closing teaser.

      Those are my thoughts on the episode. Please tell me what your reactions are.

      My permanent address is actingman@...
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