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Mannix: Trap for a Pigeon (1974)
A good episode which includes a prophetic statement by Mannix
This is a pretty good episode of Mannix and it's one of the better episodes this season.
It's about a briefcase that is stolen during a hotel robbery, and the owner of the briefcase, who is a syndicate lawyer, hires Mannix to find it. The lawyer is played by Barry Atwater, and it's well known that Atwater was a heavy steroid user which resulted in significant and noticeable changes to his face, which is evident in this episode as he looks pretty bizarre and sickly here. In fact, Joe himself even comments on his client's appearance at one point in the episode. When he's talking to syndicate hood Johnny Larkin at Larkin's house, he tells Larkin that he had just met with his client, and then, referring to his client, Joe says that "He looked awful". Quite prophetic, as Atwater died at the age of 60 about four years after this episode aired.
One problem that I had with this episode is that a big mistake occurs in one of the scenes. When Joe and Lt. Tobias enter a certain house, a tape player is running and they hear the last few seconds of the tape, but right after that Joe begins stating factually to Lt. Tobias what was or was not on the portion of the tape prior to the last few seconds, and even draws some conclusions from that, even though he NEVER HEARD THE TAPE. Very sloppy. The writers should have known better, and someone should have caught this before the episode aired.
Another problem I had is that at the end Joe is able to solve the entire case based on one thing that Peggy said, which is unrealistic.
This episode does, however, contain an exciting and extended car chase and an interesting plot. So I'm going to deduct a couple of points for the problems I mentioned above and give this one an 8, which is still pretty good.
Mannix: Mask for a Charade (1974)
A terrific and exciting episode, but with a lot of short tempers!
This is a superb and very entertaining episode of Mannix. It's one of the best episodes of this season and of the series overall. It's excellent.
It's about a syndicate hood who is killed in a hit and run accident, and the person suspected of killing him is a police sergeant (played by Claude Akins), who then hires Joe to dig up information to prove he's innocent.
I loved Gloria LeRoy's performance in this one as mob wife Jenny Dobbs. She plays the part perfectly, and she's funny too. Claude Akins' performance as the police sergeant is stellar too, as is the performance by Joan Shawlee as Annie, or "the Duchess" (she's referred to by both names in the episode), who plays the part of an informer.
There are some hot tempers in this one too. In fact, around the middle of the episode, there are three straight scenes where someone completely blows their top and lashes out at someone else. In the first one, Joe breaks down the door of syndicate boss Frankie West and really gets in his face and lets him have it after a couple of West's thugs jump him in a bar. Then in the very next scene, Lt. Malcolm totally loses his cool and blows up at Joe, which is very unusual as there are hardly ever any heated exchanges between Joe and Lt. Malcolm on this show, so this is pretty rare, but at the same time it's also refreshing because it's not something you see very often. What's especially funny about this scene is that at one point during his tirade, Lt. Malcolm says that "the D.A. blew his stack" over something that Joe did, so he's yelling at Joe about someone else blowing their stack at the same time that HE HIMSELF is doing the same thing with Joe!! Great stuff. Then in the next scene, Joe really loses his temper with his client, and his client returns the favor and yells right back at him. Really great sequence of scenes here.
So as you can see, there's a lot of tension in this episode, as well as intensity and excitement as the episode is fast-paced.
The plot in this one is pretty intricate, so you'll want to pay close attention to everything that's said and done so you don't lose track of what's going on. There are also several plot twists too, which only adds to the intrigue. In addition, there's one particular plot point that is never explicitly explained, but there are clues given throughout the episode that will allow you to draw your own conclusion as to what happened, which is what I did after thinking about it after the show was over. I also watched this one several times in order to get a better understanding of what actually happened and to see if the conclusion I reached made sense and would fit into the plot.
This is an exciting episode too as it features some great fight scenes, action sequences, and stunts, and one of those stunts is a difficult one that Joe actually does himself!! It's definitely him - it's not a stuntman!
On a hilarious note, check out the green and white plaid pants that Joe is wearing at the beginning of the episode! Gotta love it! Classic '70s!
This episode has everything - excitement, intrigue, tension, suspense, and a great plot. A real classic. Just fantastic.
Mannix: A Rage to Kill (1974)
A very dark and depressing episode
This is one of the most bizarre Mannix episodes I've seen and certainly the most depressing one. It's a real downer.
It's about a psychiatrist who is initially thought to have committed suicide, and Joe is hired by the woman the psychiatrist was having an affair with, since she believes he was murdered.
What is really striking about this episode is how EVERYONE in the cast looks and acts totally depressed. I'm not sure if this was intentional due to the requirements of the script, or if it was due to some outside event that negatively affected the cast, like for example maybe they had just been informed that next season would be the last one for this show. I tend to think it's the former rather than the latter, because the supporting characters in this one are very depressing also, several of whom break out crying. This one is quite maudlin.
There are a couple of other problems with this episode too. The first one is that no details about the original crime scene involving the psychiatrist are revealed, such as whether or not any fingerprints were found on the weapon. In almost every episode, Art (or whoever the lieutenant is for that episode) will discuss these details with Joe, but that wasn't done in this case. Very unusual. Another problem is that no motive is provided for one of the murders that takes place. It's simply left as a loose end, with no explanation given for it. Not good.
One positive thing about this episode, though, is it doesn't contain any clichés, so I'll give it credit for that. So in the end, I'll give this one an average, middle of the road rating.
Mannix: Walk a Double Line (1974)
A good episode up until the ending where a key loose end is left unresolved
This episode was a pretty good and entertaining one up until the ending, where a key plot point was left unresolved.
It's about an executive who is killed in his office, and Mannix is hired by the wife of the person accused of killing him as she insists he's innocent.
There's a big problem with this episode, though. How were all of the people in the office building able to hear what was being played on the tape recorder?? Unless the sound was amplified in some way, there's no way they could have heard it, even if the volume was turned all the way up on the recorder. No indication was given on the show that the sound had been amplified and no other explanation was provided for this discrepancy, and it was simply left as a loose end. So because of that, I'm giving this show a 7 instead of a 10, which is still pretty good but it could have been a lot better.
Mannix: A Night Full of Darkness (1974)
Pretty good episode
This is a fine episode and one of the better ones this season.
It begins with a wedding reception being held at Joe's apartment above his office for the newly married Lt. Malcolm. But as Malcolm and his wife are leaving the reception, his wife is killed and Joe investigates to find out why. What's really interesting about the reception scene is that for the first time, all three of the current police lieutenants (Malcolm, Tobias, and Ives) appear together in the same scene. However, Lt. Kramer (who appeared in the first three seasons) is not there, probably due to the fact that Larry Linville, who played Kramer, was now starring on MASH. Another interesting thing about the reception scene is Lt. Tobias's wife is shown for the first time and she looks very much like Florence Henderson, who of course at the time was playing Carol Brady, Mike Brady's wife, on the Brady Bunch, and of course, Robert Reed plays both Mike Brady and Lt. Tobias. Speaking of Robert Reed, you may have noticed that at this point in time, whenever he appeared on the Brady Bunch, he had curly hair, but whenever he appeared on Mannix, such as this episode, he never had curly hair but only his natural hair, so it appears as though he was wearing a wig for the last couple of seasons of the Brady Bunch. Just an interesting side note.
I really liked Paul Lambert's performance as syndicate boss Johnny Sato, even though he only appeared in one scene. But he played the part very well in that short amount of time.
I didn't buy the hypnotism angle in this episode because it's just an overused Hollywood cliché that's frequently interjected in order to explain someone's odd behavior. For that reason, and because Joe is shot at but isn't hit, I'm giving this episode an 8. Not bad.
Mannix: The Dark Hours (1974)
A good episode, though not without some headaches (literally) for Joe
This is a pretty good episode, and it's a nice recovery from the two-part disaster of the previous two episodes. The show has returned to form and to its basic premise, and that's always a good thing.
In this one, Joe gets shot early on in the episode, and while in his hospital bed, he tries to figure out who did this to him through flashbacks of the events that occurred just prior to when he was shot.
One notable thing about this episode is that after a long, excruciating wait, during which many of us have struggled to cope, I'm happy to announce that the long national nightmare is over because the moment we've been anticipating for so long has FINALLY arrived. Yes, believe it or not, for the first time this season, Joe gets clobbered on the back on the head!!! In fact, for special emphasis, it happens in the opening scene, AND it's shown TWICE!! Yes, that's right - twice. Once in the opening scene and then again later on in one of Joe's flashbacks, so it's double the fun!! Perhaps the writers did this because they wanted to remind everyone (especially the doubters and skeptics) that they definitely have NOT forgotten about this cliché and figured that showing it twice would really drive this point home. Or maybe they figured that after fifteen episodes without it, they desperately needed to make up for lost ground so they can meet their head-whipping quota for this year. Whatever the case, the headaches are back for Joe.
One thing I didn't like about this episode is William Devane's performance as Al Kordic. He's too timid and soft-spoken and too agreeable to everything that anyone says, which is just not believable for a syndicate boss. There's also some overacting by Joe from the hospitable bed, and of course, as previously mentioned, the head-whipping cliché that we know and love has returned. I don't how we survived without it!! However, even though it was shown twice, I'm only deducting one point for it because I'm going to cut the writers some slack here since they somehow managed to keep it out of the previous fifteen episodes and I know that HAD to be difficult for them.
So overall, not a bad episode.
Mannix: Race Against Time: Part 2 (1974)
One of the worst episodes of the entire series
This is the second part of a two-part episode, and it is simply appalling.
The first problem is how were the rebels suddenly and magically able to get a helicopter within a couple of minutes when they just stated they didn't have one??? Totally ridiculous.
Then in the fight scene on the hospital staircase, there's a HUGE continuity mistake. When Joe's stuntman leaps down the hospital staircase to tackle one of the men chasing him, his hat falls off in the process, and is still off when he stands up and gets ready to punch the man. Then the camera switches to a closeup shot of Joe WHO HAS A HAT ON as he proceeds to punch the man. As if that wasn't bad enough, the camera then switches to the wide shot again where the stuntman then PICKS UP HIS HAT AND PUTS IT ON and then runs up the staircase. Wow. Very, very sloppy and unforgivable, and one of the worst mistakes I've seen on this show.
Then it gets even uglier during the operation scene where on display is the unfortunate spectacle of most of Joe's face covered up with a ridiculous-looking surgical mask, which is just laughable. Also laughable is when Joe for the first time puts on a disguise in the final scene. At the same time, though, it's also sad to see that the series has descended to this level.
I think Joe himself sums up this episode during the operation scene when most of his face (except for his eyes) is covered with the surgical mask. When you look at the expression in his eyes in a couple of the closeup shots, even HE seems to be wondering what he's doing there and perhaps thinking about how silly this whole episode is and how low the show has fallen. What he should have done at that point is throw the surgical mask down and run out of the scene and out of the entire episode so that it could never have been completed at all. We all would have been much better off if he had.
Mannix: Race Against Time: Part 1 (1974)
A silly and unnecessary episode that is flawed right from the beginning
This is a below average episode as the story is silly and flawed, and the episode itself is totally unnecessary. This is part one of a two-part episode, and it gets much, much worse in part two.
It's about a rebel group who need a certain doctor (played by John Colicos) from the United States to come to their country to perform an operation on their leader, who has heart trouble. But there are two fundamental flaws here. The first one is why do they need this particular doctor to do the operation? Despite what they say, he is certainly NOT the only doctor in the world who can install a pacemaker!! Why don't they get someone from their own country to do it? Doesn't make any sense. The second problem is why do they need Joe??? This is never explained, because there is no explanation. He isn't needed. They only need the doctor. Joe is simply along for the ride, which means there's no reason for this episode to exist. None.
The only reason I'm giving this episode a 3 instead of an even lower rating is because there are a couple of really good and extended action sequences in this one.
Now if you thought this one was bad, WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE PART 2!?!? That is, if you're willing to take the risk.
Good episode with a unique and interesting story
This is one of the better episodes of the season as it has a very original story, some good action sequences, and some nice plot twists.
It's about a woman who hires Joe to find out who's trying to kill her and why, and when he begins investigating he discovers it's a much larger case as several other individuals besides the woman are also in danger.
The one problem I had with the episode is a familiar cliché is used when Joe has his client stay in his apartment above his office for her safety. After he leaves her there alone, she then leaves the apartment on her own in order to meet with someone who is one of the LAST people she should be meeting with. Pretty dumb. But this is the only cliché that's used, so all in all it's a pretty good episode.
Mannix: Little Girl Lost (1973)
A great episode, but with a very unhealthy Barry Atwater
This is a really good episode, and it's one of the best this season. The story is interesting and the acting is good, and it contains very few clichés. The fight scenes are really good too.
It's about a man who is killed in front of his young daughter, and Mannix is hired to find out why. The plot in this one is a bit complicated as there are a lot of names being thrown around, but it's not too bad if you're paying attention.
What's particularly notable about this episode is the unhealthy appearance of Barry Atwater, who has a noticeable bulging forehead as well as what appear to be protruding bones in both of his cheeks, near both eyes. It's well known that he was a heavy steroid user, and his bizarre-looking face appears to be a result of that. It's quite ironic that he plays a doctor here, because it certainly looks like he needs one. He ended up dying about four years after this episode aired.
A refreshing thing about this episode is it contains very few clichés. Joe doesn't get walloped on the back of the head, his car doesn't get run off the road by another car, and the police don't rush in at the end to arrest everybody. In fact, none of those clichés have been used in ANY of the first four episodes this season, which for this show is pretty impressive since they had been used heavily in previous seasons. It's very evident that the writers and producers have made a concerted effort this season to reduce the number of clichés. Joe does, however, get shot at in this episode, but of course, none of the bullets hit him, which is why I'm giving this episode a 9 instead of a 10. But other than that, this is a fine episode.
Mannix: Climb a Deadly Mountain (1973)
A useless and boring episode that has nothing to do with the premise of the show
This is one of the worst episodes of this season and of the entire series. It has nothing to do with the private detective profession but is simply about Joe and an escaped convict trying to get off a mountain. That's it. Nothing else. There's no tension, excitement, or suspense. It's just dull and boring. There aren't even any good fight scenes or action sequences, which is inexcusable. The producers should have realized what made this show successful and should have never decided to stray from the central premise of the show because this is the garbage that results from that. Absolutely abysmal. Stay far away from this one.
Mannix: A Way to Dusty Death (1973)
A sloppy episode with a lot of crew members visible in various scenes
This is a below average episode that contains numerous mistakes and treads over very familiar ground involving a small town with a hostile sheriff.
The plot is not too complicated and pretty easy to follow. It's about a woman who hires Joe to prove her son Danny is innocent of a murder charge that he's been accused of. The problem is the woman lives in a small town out in middle of nowhere where the sheriff, of course, is hostile towards Joe and doesn't want to help him out at all. Where have we seen that before??? In addition, throughout this episode, Danny is portrayed by all of his friends as being a certain type of person, but then at the end of the episode, he's exactly the opposite of that, which is just silly. The acting in this one is not very good either as the actor that portrays Danny is lousy, and Howard Duff overplays his role as the sheriff.
Another problem I had with this episode is that for the first time some of the shots in the fight scene that takes place in the strip club are shown in slow motion. Why??? It makes no sense. It reduces the effectiveness, excitement, and flow of the scene. It's never been done on this show before and hopefully will never be done again. Just really dumb.
Another big problem with this episode is it sets the record for the number of crew members that are visible in the various scenes, and in addition to that, there are several continuity mistakes also. Very sloppy.
Then when Joe goes to meet Danny in the desert, the sheriff somehow miraculously shows up there, when he had NO WAY OF KNOWING Joe and Danny were there. Just ridiculous.
This is certainly not one of the better episodes of season seven.
Good episode - A solid start to season seven
This is a very good episode to kick off season seven. One thing you'll notice right away is the nice improvements that have been made to Joe's office since the end of season six, which includes a new sofa, several new chairs, and new woodwork.
This episode is about a psychic (played by Alfred Ryder) who predicts that a woman (played by Joan Van Ark) is in danger, and Joe agrees to investigate his claims.
Joan Van Ark is really good in this episode, and so are the fight scenes, one of which takes place in a unique location where one of the bad guys gets pulverized in a unique way. I give the writers credit here for keeping the show fresh by coming up with a new idea and location for this fight scene, instead of the usual warehouse or factory.
The reason why I'm giving this one a 9 instead of a 10 is because Joe is shot at several times but is never hit, which is a standard cliché for this show. However, he DOES NOT get slugged on the back of the head or run off the road by another car, and at the end, the police DO NOT rush in to save the day, all of which are refreshing. The new season is off to a good start.
Mannix: Cry Danger (1973)
The San Francisco location is nice but everything else is a complete mess
This episode features a nice change of pace as it's filmed in San Francisco, and also has some new up-tempo music that's used during the action sequences which is pretty good, but that's about all it has going for it as this is one of the worst episodes of the season. The plot is way too complicated and there are too many characters, plot holes, and loose ends, and in the end none of it makes any sense.
The episode starts off in the San Francisco airport where Joe runs into a woman who stood him up a few weeks ago. Joe then proceeds to insult her several times but instead of either slapping him or simply walking off, she inexplicably just stands there and takes his abuse. Then as Joe is getting ready to leave the airport, he gets kidnapped and beaten up by several thugs who saw him talking with the woman at the airport and thought he was trying to interfere with a deal they had with her. After taking several roundhouse punches to his back and stomach, Joe is suddenly able to miraculously fight off his attackers and escape, which is one of many problems in this episode.
Then when Joe is checking in at his hotel, the front desk gets a call from the woman asking for Joe even though she had NO WAY OF KNOWING he was there.
Then when Joe and the woman are at the airport with the suitcase, two of the thugs who attacked Joe previously steal the suitcase from the woman and are promptly stopped by the police chief and a deputy. The thugs then throw the suitcase at the police chief and run off, and as the deputy begins to chase them, he is STOPPED from doing so by the police chief and they simply LET THEM GET AWAY. Joe is also there and he also does nothing to try to stop them, and in the end they're never caught as this plot point is never followed up on and it's also never explained who these thugs are or who they're working for and why they want the suitcase and what their relationship is to the other group of thugs who also want the suitcase. Just appalling. What is equally appalling is the police had no reason to be at the airport in the first place because they had NO WAY OF KNOWING Joe and the woman were there.
Then at the end when Joe is on the docks, the police of course rush in to wrap everything up even though once again they had no way of knowing Joe was there. Also, Joe is shot at several times throughout the episode, but of course all of the bullets miss him.
Then there's the problem with changing attitudes. At the beginning of the show, the police chief is completely hostile towards Joe and refuses to cooperate with him or help him out in any way, but then at the end, it's as if they're best friends. The same is true about Joe's attitude towards the woman. At the beginning, as previously mentioned, Joe insults the woman numerous times, but at the end, they're in love with each other. Totally unrealistic.
At one point during the show, Joe even says "It doesn't add up" and he could have easily been referring to this episode because none of it adds up. He even tries to explain to the woman at the end what was going on, but he does it very quickly and adds even more confusion because none of it makes any sense. In fact, this plot is so complicated I'm not sure if HE even knows what's going on. Yikes. This one is ugly. Stay away!
Mannix: The Deadly Madonna (1973)
Good episode, although Mannix falls into the old bird dog trap again!
This is one of the better episodes of season seven, even though Joe falls for the bird dog trick again.
It's about an actress (played by Anne Baxter) who hires Joe to find out who's trying to scare her. Around the middle of the episode, there's a really good and original scene that takes place in a movie theater where reality mimics what's on the movie screen, and the way the two are blended together is really interesting and very well done, but I won't say anything beyond that.
This episode is somewhat unique in that Joe does not get shot at at all in this one, which is pretty rare. However, once again he does get "used as a bird dog", as he puts it, which generally means that in addition to doing the work for his client, in the process he also (without realizing it) ends up doing the work for a second person who has ulterior motives. I'm giving this episode an 8 because I'm deducting a point for the use of the "bird dog" phrase yet again, and I'm deducting another point for the police rushing in at the end and wrapping everything up, which is an overused cliché on this show. But beyond these two issues, it's a pretty good episode.
Mannix: Sing a Song of Murder (1973)
Below average episode...Very sloppy and convoluted, and a key plot point is contradicted several times
This is not the worst Mannix episode you'll ever see, but it's pretty bad, and very sloppily done, and once again, Joe is shot at several times but is never hit, which is a common cliché for this show.
The episode involves a singer (played by the lovely Nancy Kovack) who hires Joe to find out who's trying to kill her. One interesting part of the episode is how a certain couple who are associated with Joe's client really trash and insult her when Joe is talking to them, and how she (Joe's client) then does the same to the couple when Joe talks to her.
A big problem occurs during the car chase, which is a pretty exciting one, but there's a HUGE mistake at the end of it. Joe's car is being chased by a white pickup truck and also a tow truck, and at the end of the chase, Joe's car is struck on the left side by the white pickup truck, which causes Joe's car to spin to the right. Then about a second after that, the tow truck smashes into Joe's car from behind. So based on this sequence of events and on the fact that the camera is to the tow truck's right, when the shot of the tow truck hitting Joe's car is shown, the white pickup truck should be seen to the left of the tow truck driving away from Joe's car. But the white pickup truck is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. It's simply disappeared. It also doesn't appear in the subsequent shot which is of the entire area behind Joe's car. It's obvious that these two crashes were filmed at different times and then spliced together. Very, very sloppy.
Then, in a key plot point, a certain person is talking to Joe about a car accident that he witnessed, and he specifically tells Joe that he didn't know either person in the car, but then a couple seconds later he's unable to describe either of the two people in the car and then a couple seconds after that, he tells Joe that's he doesn't know what either of the two people in the car looked like. So how does he know that he doesn't know either person in the car if he has no idea what either of them look like???? Then, to add even further confusion on this point, a couple of scenes later, Joe is talking to his client and another person and he specifically states that the witness to the accident would have recognized a certain person had that person been in the car that was involved in the accident. What is he talking about??? The witness just got through telling him that he DIDN'T KNOW what either of the two people in the car looked like and couldn't describe them. Then, inexplicably, in the same scene, Joe's client states that the witness to the accident WAS able to identify the two individuals in the car. Unbelievable. This is totally convoluted, contradictory and confusing and pretty much destroys the episode.
Then in the final scene when Joe confronts the killer, there are no police in the scene and no one is holding a gun to the killer, but despite that, the killer makes NO ATTEMPT to escape but simply confesses to everything. Totally unrealistic and ridiculous.
This is a pretty dreadful episode, and the only reason why I didn't give it an even lower rating is because there's an interesting plot twist regarding the killer as all signs throughout the episode seemed to point toward a certain person as being the killer, but it turned out to be someone else.
Mannix: The Gang's All Here (1973)
Dreadful...appalling...embarrassing...The worst episode of the entire series!
This is by far the worst episode of the entire series. It is filled with overacting, poor acting, cringe-worthy sentimentality, and numerous mistakes. Avoid this one like the plague, because it's ugly.
The episode gets off to a very bad start right from the beginning when a stunt backfires and doesn't work. It happens when Joe is following a guy and surprises him in his apartment. In an attempt to escape from Joe, the guy tries crashing through a window, but the stunt clearly doesn't work as the stuntman is initially pushed back when he tries to crash through the window and has to do it a second time to get it to work. If that wasn't bad enough, the window also appears to be fake as it looks like it's made from a couple of flimsy pieces of plywood! Unbelievable, and very, very sloppy, but it only gets much worse from here.
When Joe is running away from the gang of kids who kidnapped him, he gets shot in the back by one of the kids and falls down momentarily and then gets up again and starts running again, and as he's doing this he's clearly holding his back where he was shot. He then briefly finds a hiding place and as he's getting up out of the hiding place, the wound in his back has now suddenly, magically healed and he's now holding his stomach which is now bleeding instead of his back even though he was NEVER SHOT in his stomach!! Also, for the rest of the show, you can see two bloody bullet holes in the back of his suit coat despite the fact that only one shot was fired by the gang member and that nothing further is done regarding the wound in his back which has somehow changed to being a wound in his stomach!! Unconscionable and inexplicable.
Then Joe goes into a store to try to get some help but the store owner REFUSES to help him in any way and won't even call the police for him and even tells him to go die somewhere else! Unbelievable. The owner tells Joe he doesn't want to call the police because he's afraid the gang members will find out that he was the one who called the police, but how are they going to find that out?? The police aren't going to tell them. Makes no sense.
Then at the end when the young boy (who is a dreadful actor) says he's going to kill Joe, you KNOW he's not going to do it because he's too nice. He then lets Joe go and when two other gang members arrive and ask him where Joe is, he inexplicably tells them that he let Joe go, which is absolutely the WORST thing he could have said, because he has to know that they're going to beat him up after he tells them that, which is exactly what happens. How stupid can you be???
The episode also contains embarrassing overacting and sentimentality by the young boy's mother (Mrs. Paul) and overacting by Joe himself, whose constant groans and gasps get old very quickly.
This episode is a complete disaster from start to finish and I don't know how in the world nobody at the network was able to see this train wreck and stop it from airing!? Appalling, but then so is this whole episode.
Mannix: Search in the Dark (1973)
Excellent episode with a lot of interesting and funny characters including a hilarious syndicate boss!
This is one of the best episodes of season seven and of the entire series overall. It's well-written, funny, interesting, compelling, and original. It also DOESN'T contain many of the usual clichés that you typically see on this show, but instead it focuses on the characters and on good old fashioned detective work.
The opening scene gets you interested right away as it shows a woman meeting her mysterious father at night in a dark area of a park in order to get some instructions from him. As she's leaving the park, someone mugs her and steals her diamond brooch, and it only gets more and more interesting from there, but I won't go into any more details beyond that.
It's really interesting to see all of the sordid and intriguing characters that Joe deals with in this episode, including the Hamilton Starr character played by Victor Buono who is not only menacing but one of the funniest underworld bosses you'll ever see! He delivers several one-liners that are just hilarious! Speaking of hilarious, check out the red and blue plaid pants that Orville (one of Starr's henchmen) is wearing! Classic '70s!
This episode features many twists and turns in the plot and many false assumptions by the various characters, including Joe himself, which only adds to the intrigue because nobody seems to know what's going on at any time or what the other characters are going to do next. This is a fascinating and superb episode and one you don't want to miss! It's one of the best!
Mannix: A World Without Sundays (1973)
Good, solid episode
This is a very good episode and an interesting look at what can happen when a professional athlete's playing career is over and he must now deal with the real world.
The episode begins with the retired athlete driving with a female passenger from Las Vegas to Los Angeles when he encounters car trouble and has to pull over. He then leaves the woman in the car and decides to walk to try to find help. He eventually encounters a police officer who gives him a ride back to his car but the woman is now gone. I'll let you see for yourself what happens after that.
The one problem I had with the show is Joe is shot at several times but, of course, all of the bullets miss him, which is a commonly used cliché on this show, but at least he doesn't get clobbered over the head or run off the road by another car, which are two other clichés that are used repeatedly on the show. In addition, in the final scene, the police don't rush in to wrap everything up, which is yet another cliché that's used many times. So if you put aside the one cliché that's used, it's a fine episode. There's a pretty amazing (and dangerous) stunt too, but of course it's obvious that it's not Joe doing the stunt.
Mannix: Silent Target (1973)
A superb thriller - One of the best episodes of the entire series!
This episode of Mannix is one of the best episodes I've seen so far, despite being the second one in a row that uses the very familiar theme of a small town in the middle of nowhere whose citizens are all tight-lipped and mean and want Joe out because they're afraid he's going to discover their secret.
The episode begins with Joe's car breaking down out in the middle of nowhere while he's on his way to Toluca Lake to do some fishing. The only house he finds after abandoning the car is occupied by a group of strange individuals who are led by a character named Morell (played by John Hillerman) who lets Mannix into the house. I'll let you find out on your own what happens from this point forward.
The episode features terrific performances from Hillerman and the lovely Barbara Luna, both of whom always seem to play interesting characters. It also features a great performance by Frank Langella whose character Harry Tass has the most bizarre and scary quivering eyes you'll ever see! Also, instead of the normal suit and tie, you get to see Mannix in a classic '70s leisure suit!
This episode is fantastic. It's action-packed and suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. It also has a shocking twist at the end. The scenery is great too. Don't miss this one! It's one of the best episodes of the series!
Mannix: Desert Run (1973)
Yet another installment in a very familiar theme but this one is well done except for the lighting
This episode is yet another example of a common theme used several times throughout the run of Mannix where Mannix is in a remote town where everyone is very unfriendly and want to run Joe out of town because they're holding on to a secret that they don't want anyone else to know about. However, despite the familiar theme, this episode is very well done.
The episode begins with the crash of a small plane near this remote town, but I won't go into any more details beyond that but I will say that the episode is very suspenseful and has several good fight scenes, and in one of those scenes, Mannix uses an ingenious way to take down one of the bad guys.
The one problem I had with the episode, and the reason why I didn't give it a higher rating than 8, is the lighting throughout much of the episode is unusually poor, even in the scenes that are shot outdoors in broad daylight. There's just a dark haze sitting over most of the scenes. But other than that, this is a very solid episode and one of the better episodes of this season so far.