Second half of season one. A ghastly magentaish date heads a new item which also appears on its own as a Lack-of-Sleep Litany.
June 19, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Painted Faces')
Wanted to buy: One can(n)on cleaner. In the "Previously on Martial Law" flashback, Dana showed up twice. They can't quite get rid of her, no matter how hard they try.:)
Lee Hei's back, and he's in pastels! Number three out of Lee Hei's five episodes, and his third escape from the fuzz. First time the still-undercover Grace held a gun to Sammo's head and ordered him to let Lee Hei go. Second time (two days before this episode takes place) his prison transport was attacked in an ambush set up by his lawyer. Third time Grace had a gun on him (funny how she - like Sammo - wasn't allowed to have one and now gets one whenever convenient despite Sammo's continuing lack of one!) and got distracted long enough for Lee Hei to make a break for it. (Distraction is something the LAPD needs to work on. Dana had an almost identical thing happen to her in "Funny Money".)
His clothing was very nice. Magenta (suit jacket and pants) isn't a color many men could make work. Neither is a blue jacket, black vest, and orange shirt and tie! (Which explains why it didn't really work.)
Sammo's Effective Questioning Technique of the Week: Letting Terrell "I wanna be the bad cop!" Parker be the bad cop for once - but not until after the suspect had tried to spit at Sammo and accidentally hit Terrell instead.
weather lighting patterns: Lee Hei somehow manages to figure out Sammo's cell phone number, and phones him. They're both in outdoor elevators, facing each other. Except for two panes of glass and a 40 foot drop, there's nothing separating them. Yet Sammo's face is bathed in gentle side-lighting while Lee Hei (in an identical elevator!) is cast into harsh overhead lighting. Remember, kids, being evil forces you to move in the shadows and stand in the badly-lit areas. I understand the technique, and I didn't notice it until my second watching (when someone said how ugly Lee Hei looked), but it makes it real obvious which Chinese guy is Bad.:)
But why Lee Hei did that freaky snake hiss thing, I'll never know.
Boom. When defusing a bomb, "there's a stripey one" is probably not an adequate description of a wire unless you're the comic relief. (It was funny though, since Terrell did a finger-twirling thing to denote the spiraling stripe pattern.)
MBF. God, what a bad joke that is. No matter. Both in this episode of Martial Law and the crossover episode of Walker, Texas Ranger ("The Day of Cleansing", if titles turn your crank), someone takes the long route away from a bomb (running right over it in Martial Law, running right next to the truck containing it Walker, Texas Ranger) simply so the two good guys could dive for the same cover during the Big Explosion. Good guys are smarter than bad guys unless the director tells them to do something really dumb.
Terrell Throwback Number One: Ten seconds on the bomb's clock and Terrell asks Sammo what to do. ("Run!" strikes me as the only valid option.) Good thing they didn't write Amy Dylan that stupid in season two episode "No Quarter", else she and an entire SWAT team would have been the LAPD's first unit that was well seasoned but slightly burnt on the underside.
Quickie Redemptions: The bigoted/ignorant cop (Portman) who was sent to Shanghai as the other half of the cultural exchange for Sammo and Grace has redeemed himself. He starts off looking (how apt) like he's in Hell, 'cause to him it is. But by the end of the episode he's both proved he's a good cop and traded in his ignorance (presumably his inability to show the former caused the latter), and is out on a date with a Chinese co-worker. He figured out that a woman's a woman no matter what country she's born in.:)
I'm half-French and not this bad: While the French are good for punctuating their sentences with their hands (not as good as Certain Other Europeans... cough...), Portman's got us beat. Every time he got on the phone, his free hand was waving around like a flag or pointing at the listener who wasn't in front of him.:)
Run-run-run-run-runaway: When Sammo picked up the phone and it was the newly-converted Portman on the other end, all the others (Winship, Louis and Grace) made a break for it to avoid talking to him. Terrell, having never met Portman, follows Grace and asks, "Who's Portman?"
Problem is, she's never met Portman either! He was sent away at the end of episode one, when she was still undercover and hanging out with Lee Hei. Unless his reputation got around (a possibility, though he's the guy people always try to forget) or Grace is a telepath on the side, she should be as in the dark as Terrell.
A Meaningful Speech that works: Terrell temporarily dons his old LAPD press liaison cap to rescue the new, floundering, press liaison. It's a speech sort of like Joe Friday's in the good ol' Dragnet episodes, except without the monotone voice and film noir sensibility. (Insert cheap joke here about how anything with Arsenio Hall in it is 'film noir'.) Terrell's duds were rather snappy too. Nice sweater and jacket combo. Didn't even need sunglasses to look at him, unlike Lee Hei.:)
Quote of the nanosecond: Inept henchman meeting his replacement: "Is he going to kill me?"
Lee Hei: "No, he's gonna take you to the zoo!"
Missing links: While typing this, I wear headphones (playing the VCR's audio through the PC - so I don't disturb anyone - or something musical, currently Ultravox's "The Voice") so I just missed almost all of what was playing on Fox Family channel - the episode of Early Edition that Sammo Law (Sammo Hung) cameoed in!
Funny, I didn't even know they were still running that show. Of course, if a Certain Site wasn't Flash only, maybe people who prefer a low-bandwidth browsing experience could CHECK THE SCHEDULE!
June 20, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Substitutes')
Retroactive typing: I haven't actually seen tonight's episode as I type this and the next four items. Thanks to my sharp memory, my VCR, and my almost-complete tape archive, I can look over the episodes beforehand. And yet I still tape 'em, because after a bad experience with a Memorex tape (I have since switched brands), I now like having two of everything I want to keep.
Credit where credit is don't: Arsenio Hall is finally elevated from "Special Guest Star" to his own opening credit spot, sharing top billing with Sammo Hung. Sort of obvious that they were going for the cop-buddy-show angle, since they could've just given him Tammy Lauren's old spot (which is still filled with a few random shots of Sammo). Oh well, at least the character isn't as annoying anymore.
Trust me, it looks nothing like her uncle Oscar: Terrell gets to go back to his old elementary-school alma mater to protect a kid, but gets stuck with the reality check after he learns that the name has been changed to reflect someone who has given money to the school. Goodbye North Central Elementary, hello Oscar de la Hoya Elementary.
Random thought: "Alma Mater" means "Bounteous Mother". Jimmy Kimmel (of Win Ben Stein's Money fame) has a different take on it: "(Bounteous Mother), from whose breasts I guzzled beer."
Rock it and box it: When I see the actor (Tony Plana) who was playing the villain (Chava Rocha - try saying that without thinking of a cockroach), I think of him as the family patriarch in those commercials for Showtime's boxing-related program Resurrection Boulevard. When I hear the actor (Joseph Ashton) playing the villain's son, I think of him as the voice of Otto Rocket from Nickelodeon's Rocket Power. Sadly, that does mean that I have actually sat through Rocket Power, though it certainly wasn't as painful an experience as sitting through Invader Zim.
Or, just rock it: And, of course, Rocket Power was on Nickelodeon's west coast feed right after Martial Law finished on TNN's east coast feed.
The kick heard across the high-rent district: Terrell gets his gun kicked out of his hand for the second time. Of course, Louis Malone has the same weapon-removal service bestowed upon him earlier in the episode.
This is how I liked Terrell's character: Being undercover in some insane getup, like when he was a curbside preacher-type in this episode. Wonderful comedy.
Or like this: Able to throw an elbow into someone's face when the opportunity presents itself.
Or even like this: In a scene with Winship, Terrell, and Sammo, Terrell deliberately keeps asking Sammo if a place is named "Echo Park", and Sammo keeps answering "Echo Park". But since Sammo is the straight-laced one, Winship gets angrier at Sammo for unwittingly keeping up the gag then at Terrell for starting it!
Diet C(h)oke: In "Shanghai Express" and again in this episode, Sammo has requested the brand-name soda "Diet Coke". Does CBS sign all its actors to lifetime product-placement deals?
Whatshisface Parker: In Terrell's first few episodes, Winship kept mispronouncing his name (more like tare-ul than ter-rel). In this episode, Terrell's old principal did the same.
I don't think they're running on Firestones: The bad guy makes his escape in a black Explorer, which swerves into a side alley as another one pulls out to throw the cops off. Given the recent SUV track record, I don't think swerving is a good idea.
Quotes of the nanoseconds:
Terrell: "Oscar de la Hoya Elementary?"
Sammo: "Welcome back!"
Student (looking at Terrell's old class photo): "What happened to your head?"
Terrell: "That's an afro!"
Chava Rocha (Yelling at his son, who he's kidnapped from the boy's mother.): "I did this for YOU!"
Terrell: "Hey, Chava! You're number three on the FBI's most wanted list. Do you feel cheated sometimes?"
Terrell (After improvising a weapon and using it to hit a bad guy into a swimming pool.): "If I could swim I'd still be whooping your ass!"
The squeak-and-squish sound that the recently-escaped class rat (Otto) made under Terrell's car wheel. Priceless!
(Sammo is getting Terrell to tell the students that he ran over their rat.)
Sammo: "In China, some people believe that the death of a rat results in seven years of bad luck."
Terrell: "So you're saying that if I tell the truth, the curse will go away, though."
Sammo: "No. You are doomed."
Terrell: "So, I guess your teaching days are over, huh?"
Sammo: "With you, I've just begun."
Terrell (Undercover as a preacher.): "E-V-E-L! EVIL!"
(The loudspeaker-distributed compliment he handed Grace was funny too.)
Me (While watching.): "Whoever wrote this did a fine job on the dialogue."
The writer, I learned later, was someone named Patty Lin. Credit where credit is due.
Over-the-top humor: This is what I mean by humor in the fight scenes: Both Sammo and Terrell turn cabled microphones into weapons, each in their own way. (Sammo uses his as a whip - though they shouldn't have added the sound effect - and two-man garotte*, while Terrell uses one as a one-man garotte* and makeshift handcuffs.)
*Nonfatal garottes, of course. They're the good guys.
If you still had that afro, you couldn't wear one! Why was Terrell allowed to wear a baseball cap - backwards - during his stint undercover in the school? Kids have no respect these days.
June 21, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Wildlife')
Regression therapy (or, Terrell Throwback Number Two): Terrell's last line was an ugly harkening back to his first episode, where he was the annoying-as-hell guy. Whoever wrote it should be forced to listen to it over and over and over again until something explodes.
Progression therapy: I've noticed something about Terrell's fighting. He's great if he has a weapon (even a stick, as this episode showed), but in an even brawl, he's not that good. What was wrong with the character like this? At least it sort of covered for the fact that Arsenio Hall doesn't look as good as the others during a fight scene - if the character is somewhat awkward, the actor has some slack to cover his own weaknesses.
The kick that wasn't heard by Len because he wasn't listening: Terrell's gun wasn't kicked out of his hand this time, but Louis Malone's was. On the other hand, Terrell hit a bad guy's gun away.
Do you have a lee-sance for this minky? There was a monkey in this episode, as well as some other things that would likely give PETA nuts coronaries. After seeing how easily agitated the monkey was, I was sort of surprised there were no monkey-related bloopers in the finale.
Deep Meaningful Sentence: Not a speech. Sammo says, "I was married once." then refuses to answer any questions about it. Amazing!
I loved your work in Passenger 57: I suppose Terrell Parker going undercover as Wesley Snipes was to be expected, since going undercover as, say, Arsenio Hall might compromise the show's reality a bit.:)
Blood on the tiling, fire in the sky: Sorry, had to do it. The blood leaking out of the fridge was a wonderful fake horror moment.:)
I tawt I taw a desert cobra! For once, I saw it coming. (I saw it the first time I saw this episode too.) Normally I'm too stupid to notice obvious things, but this time, I saw it. When the bad guy tells you "The police are looking for you. Take a month off, this should cover your... expenses." and hands you a briefcase, it is very bad to actually open the briefcase. I saw it coming, for once, and I'm proud.
Remarried so soon? In a fabulous continuity moment, last episode Terrell mentioned that his father was a Chicago fireman who died in the line of duty when Terrell was still a kid. This episode, his mother is getting remarried, and Terrell - being the presumably eldest son - doesn't like the idea of someone taking his place as his mother's emotional "caretaker".
How do you fix shrapnel? In a not-so-fabulous continuity moment, Sammo's driving around in his car. The same car that got blown up two episodes ago. Terrell makes the throwaway line asking Sammo if he got a good deal on getting it repaired. It was blown up. Boom. And now it's all in one piece.
Rather amazing, considering that he went through three cars in season two.:) (This one fell into a river or some other large body of water and the replacement seemingly vanished after the continuity-busting "No Fare" introduced yet another new one.)
(Update, September 11, 2001 AD: Read my "No Fare" rants for a correction of this point.)
I'm glad they got that car fixed.... Else Terrell wouldn't be able to give Sammo his new California "SAMMO" license plates. (His old ones were from when he was given the car - Rhode Island plates emblazoned "DA BOMB".)
Never ask a question unless you want to hear the answer: Terrell tries to short out the wedding plans by asking his soon-to-be-stepfather, "Do you know my mother snores?"
From the look on his face, the answer ("I know.") rather disgusts him. Hey, don't ask a question involving sleeping arrangements if you don't wanna hear the answer.:)
Do you come from the land.... Louis Malone's had another chance to flex his faux Australian accent - first time was in "Diamond Fever". Of course, one wonders exactly why he needs to flex said accent this time, when he's talking to people who have no reason to think he's Australian.:)
JUMP! Grace jumps off something high (in "Takeout") to attack a bad guy: She grunts so the bad guy conveniently turns around and gets into place for the stunt, which involves Grace grabbing a shotgun barrel between her thighs.
In this episode, Sammo jumps off something high to attack a bad guy. Since there's presumably less sexual innuendo in a man grabbing a gun barrel with his legs, Sammo doesn't grunt, he just plants his feet in the bad guy's back.
For all its lack of sexual innuendo, I think that Sammo's technique makes a lot more sense.
Happy Bir-DAMN! To quote a Random Thoughts from April 17, 2001 AD: Tonight, in one of those odd coinkydinks, Martial Law's end-of-episode bloopers (gotta love those) included one where the cast surprised Sammo Hung with a birthday cake and Arsenio Hall put forth a Herculean effort to say something birthdayish in Chinese.
That was tonight's episode. Do the math, and you learn that TNN is showing them at the rate of all 44 every two months and a bit. Not bad, considering they jumped from four-a-week to five-a-week partway through.
More math, and I'll finally have all 44 eps on tape - twice each, except for a bit of "24 Hours" that I missed last time - around August 10th. At which point this page stops being a Martial Law rants page and converts fully into a shrine for Gretchen Egolf, unless she does something to really tick me off or I get hit by a freight train. I'm hoping for the shrine bit, but I'll take the ticking-off thing over the freight train.
October 23, 2001 AD (Episode Update:
'Wild Life' 'Wildlife')
Lost in Space: I watched part of the episode formerly known as "Wild Life" today, since TNN merrily dropped it in place of "Final Conflict, Part 2", the series finale. Ahem.
But I've beaten that dead horse enough; on to topic. I realized that the title of the episode was not "Wild Life" as my handy episode guide asserts, but "Wildlife", as shown onscreen. Unless the people doing the credits made a mistake, certainly not something completely unheard of in my universe.
No matter, might as well keep things as close to (un)reality as possible. Even if "Wild Life" looks better. It's fixed now.
June 22, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Breakout')
Where do I get my lousy memory from? First time I saw this, my mother pointed out that the man playing the distraught husband was Scott Valentine, the actor who played Nick (Mallory's boyfriend) on Family Ties.
Overpass over troubled waters: The opening prison-labor jailbreak occurs at something described as the "6th Street Bridge" by one character and the "6th Street Overpass" by another. Since it seems to cross a (desolate) road, isn't "overpass" the more accurate one?
Villainous villainy: The bad guy (don't know the actor's name) looked the part of an escaped con and cop killer. This is a guy who would be typecast just by his general look. He did a good job of acting hateable, though.:)
Fighting words on paper: This time Terrell didn't even use his gun, so it couldn't get kicked out of his hand - he beat two guys into the pavement without so much as a twig for a weapon. He just used his fists! Seven more episodes before the Great Upheaval (season one to season two shift) and he's already starting to show as a streetfighter. On the other hand, Louis Malone didn't even get a fight scene in this episode, though he got to watch one of Grace's fights. So it begins....
Wild thing in formal wear: Sammo. Riding a Harley. Wearing shades. Wearing a helmet that looks like it was pulled off a Hell's Angel. Wearing a business suit. Wonderful for a laugh.:)
Romancing the Malone: Louis Malone is genuinely concerned for Grace at one point when she's undercover. Some hints of a new boyfriend/girlfriend relationship that will be so coldly killed off in just seven episodes. It's the Dana* thing all over again.
*I'm not letting her go - to quote Louis Malone (ironically, when speaking to Dana): "You're fixating again."
Is she fat? Terrell tries to set Sammo up on a blind date as a favor to a girlfriend who Terrell, as Sammo put it, is trying to sleep with. Problem is, last time Terrell saw the other half of the blind date (a few years ago), she was rather heavy. When Sammo finally extracts this detail from Terrell, Sammo says that he doesn't understand why everyone wants to be so thin (considering his own weight). And then he asks about exactly how fat this girl is.:)
Gratuitous ratings moment: Wow, first gratuitous ratings moment of the season, if you forget about Grace's shower scene (and also a bathing suit moment or two) when she was still hanging out with Lee Hei. (And how a shot of her in a bikini was not only in the season one credits, but was also one of the few season one shots that came back for the season two credits.)
But on to the moment (which I've almost forgotten). Grace heads into a biker bar and shows up the resident pool player. So she's decked out in tight leather, and I really didn't think it was flattering.
Is TNN breaking in a new guy? Twice (tonight and in "Painted Faces") the bloopers have been cut into a few seconds late because it doesn't come back from black screen after the last commercial. This is why I like having them on tape twice.
So close: Simple math. 45 minutes an ep. 6 hour tape. 360 minute tape. 360 minutes per tape / 45 minutes per episode = 8 episodes per tape. Yet somehow I never managed to fit eight full episodes on a tape. The last segment would need to go on the next tape, pushing a bit more of the 8th episode on that tape to the next tape.... And so on.
Well, I finally got tired of it and started a brand new tape last week. I looked at it tonight and made the rough estimate that there was an hour left on the tape, enough for the show and change.
Of course, I didn't think. Tonight was the 8th episode for the tape - the one that never fits. Someone up there loves me (or the ignorant in general) because it fit - with one minute left to go on the tape.
To whoever up there who loves me: Thank you!
June 25, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Captive Hearts')
Hearts currently under house arrest: I read that title and invariably think of the Infocom game 'Plundered Hearts'.
Postmiked envelope: Mike Post is listed as the music-type man in the closing credits of the previous show, The Rockford Files. He's also listed in the long-line-of-credits-fading-in-and-out-at-the-bottom-of-the-screen-during-the-first-dialogue-shot of Martial Law. He's also listed for damnear a hundred shows in the IMDb, and for once I think they're accurate.
Sounds Like a Melanie: Melanie George (Julia Campbell) was back, and may I say that the chemistry between her and Sammo was simply wonderful. They even almost kissed.:)
There was some perfect (and very cute) moments, mostly noted in the section on quotations.:)
Sounds Like a Melody: The name of the song I lampooned in that last bit.
Romancing the Malone 2.0: When Louis and Grace were posing as a married couple to catch a baby-selling doctor, they made a very cute pair as well. Especially when Grace reacted to how Louis was fabricating details of their sex life.:) Six more episodes before Louis gets the axe....
You seen (BURP!) my bicycle? Terrell was back in top form again, being the funny undercover guy who could improvise a weapon.
Winship busts out the can of righteous whoop-ass: The baby-stealing ring really raised Winship's ire. Not only did he call someone a "bastard", but he got the bad guy's henchman to talk by invoking memories of the henchman's kids. Poor henchman got shot in the back by the head bad guy for his trouble. If the cops come for you and you work for a bad guy, do not go anywhere near the bad guy ever again!
Winship evidently has the power of right and kevlar on his side. He's standing abreast with Sammo (on his right) and Terrell (on his left) when the bad guy pulls his gun and fires. He pushes Sammo and Terrell out of the way as shots ring out, and yet somehow manages to avoid taking the bullet himself.
Speaking of Infocom: The head bad guy was Nate Krill (Crill?). The head bad guy in Infocom's Enchanter was the warlock Krill. Any relation?:)
Quotations of the nanoseconds: First off, I must say that the excellent script was written by a scriptwriter (who else?) named Del Shores. Thumbs up for the script editors too, for not cutting the good stuff.:)
Melanie (hugs Sammo): "I'm not hugging you too tight, am I?"
Sammo: "No, you're hugging just fine!"
Melanie (who's working for the INS - the immigration department whatsit): "So, what are you doing here? Oh! They're not deporting you, are they?"
Terrell (teasing Sammo): "Melanie Law.... Melanie and Sammo Law. Has a nice ring to it! (...) You were blushing like a schoolgirl, bro!"
Sammo: "I was not!"
(That was enough to make me blush, since the one person who knows both this webpage and me in Real Life(TM) just has to say "Gretchen!" and I blush uncontrollably. In fact, I think I'm blushing now.:)
Melanie: "I think I have a muffin in my purse. I made it myself. I was running short on a little baking powder so I just used baking soda. It's really not bad, just... eat it quick."
The entire scene where Sammo and Terrell compare scars. A take-off on other cop-buddy stuff, but since Terrell's were mostly paper cuts anyway....
The scene where Terrell gives up his teasing and convinces Sammo to ask Melanie out. It was a genuine serious moment, and no one gave a speech! (75% of it was the two-shot format, and not just switching between closeups.)
Again, the entire scene where Sammo works up the guts to ask Melanie out on a date. It finishes when Sammo leaves and Melanie says, "Woo hoo!" (This was mostly closeups, though they at least sometimes cut to the person not talking.)
Terrell Parker, Rockette: All through the episode, Terrell is trying to do this jump-and-do-a-double-kick thing he saw Sammo do. He finally manages it when he grabs a mannequin leg and uses it as a club in place of the second kick. (Same effect, it counts!:)
Over-the-top humor: (In the fight scenes.) When Grace tapes up a bad guy and shoves him in a packing crate, or Sammo when he was mixing gymnastics with karate-type fights. Or Terrell during the whole of the mannequin-part fight.
It's only wrong if the guy who looks the other way is not your buddy. In "Cop Out", Sammo threw someone playing a defenseless crook off a building (and into some hidden padding). He did it so some crooked vigilante cops would see him do it, look the other way when giving their reports, and later let him join their rather exclusive vigilante cop club.
In the big finale for tonight's episode, Sammo beats the bad guy into a half-stupor, then kicks him out a window. He falls several stories and into traffic, presumably dying. Terrell sees it, yet nothing bad happens to Sammo. Ergo, Terrell looked the other way, or at least implied in his own report that Sammo was within his rights when he kicked the guy who was standing in front of a picture window!
Why I worship women: Julia Campbell can dance and wear high heels at the same time. I can't do either with any degree of success. (And if you ask how I know about the heels thing, I'll hurt you.)
December 29, 2001 AD (Episode Update: 'Captive Hearts')
Some scars never heal. Scriptwriters like that. Remember when I asked, in the rant for Captive Hearts, how Sammo got that lip scar? No? Good, because I didn't. I did, however ask that in Litany 6.0. Someone else was interested, too.
According to Sammo Hung, 'The scar on my lip was from a failed stunt attempt when I was 3.'
And aren't three-year-olds known for their stunts?:)
June 26, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Trifecta')
Quote of the nanosecond: Sammo (during a high-speed chase): "This Caddy is good! Very big! If we crash, we probably won't die!"
Tango tango cash: Is it just me, or is that a convenient string of letters for Terrell to be reading off a license place during a high-speed chase?
Romancing the... coroner? Louis was gently nudging Grace into going out on a date with the coroner, who had a crush on her. Why? Maybe he figured after a date with someone who likes hitting on women while getting ready to dissect something, he'd have better odds.:) Grace tries to break the date, but the coroner dumps her for Winship's secretary. Suddenly Grace doesn't want to break the date anymore.:)
"Brother John"? "Jacques" does NOT translate to "John!" I forget what it really translates to, but it's not "John!" After Terrell idly sings "Frère Jacques", Sammo sings the Chinese version and gets Terrell to sing along too. How many shows could take the scene of a black guy and a Chinese guy driving in a Porsche in downtown LA while singing "Frère Jacques" in Chinese, and have it make perfect sense?
Chibonics: Sammo tells Terrell that his attempt at speaking Chinese was "very terrible". Terrell replies that it's Chinese Ebonics, or "Chibonics". Given some of Arsenio Hall's criticism of the NAACP, I wonder how much of that is Terrell Parker speaking and how much is Arsenio Hall.
This is why it's an ensemble cast: This episode was an excellent show of how to work with an ensemble cast.
It starts with Terrell and Sammo in a high-speed chase, and progresses on to a whole-cast (including Winship) meeting after Terrell's first partner from his beat-cop days is found dead in the trunk of the car being chased.
Back to Terrell and Sammo doing some questioning.
Terrell does some questioning by himself at a racetrack; so does Grace. (This keeps 'em out of the undercover stuff later.) Sammo and Louis talk to the (retired LAPD officer) father of the dead cop.
Sammo and Louis go undercover at the racetrack. Terrell and Grace break into a house. (Well, Terrell does the breaking, Grace just admonishes.:)
Louis heads back to HQ while Sammo snoops around. Sammo gets in a brawl when he finds a dead body (and the fellows who made it dead), and gets arrested (along with the killers).
Winship, Sammo, and Terrell meet and hash out the plot a bit.
Big finale where Sammo, Louis, and Winship go beat some bad guy hiney. Grace and Terrell are absent. (It's at the racetrack, and they're known as cops. Sort of blow the whole thing open prematurely if they were there.)
Closing scene: Sammo and Terrell driving around in the car again.
This was a true ensemble cast thing, with perfect balance that didn't feel forced. Sammo spent as much time talking and bantering (there's a difference) with Louis as he did with Terrell. Winship even got some stuff to do (since this was a cop killing, and the cop was one of his detectives, I guess he was warranted in being so involved).
And they're off! They look off too! When the horses bust out of the gate at the racetrack, they looked like they had been blue-screened onto the track afterwards. A shot of a real race starting was too hard to find...?
Okay, maybe I'm wrong. First time for everything. When compared, the stables in "Trifecta" don't look like the stables in "Takeout". They're both white brick, but the "Trifecta" ones are solid brick to their tops, while the "Takeout" ones aren't - they have metal bars from about chest level up.
Titty bum titty bum titty bum bum bum. (No, this isn't about the bikini-clad woman at the beginning of the show.) Sammo riding a horse and chasing after a tractor while the William Tell Overture played was a stroke of comedic genius.:)
This entry rated R, or maybe PG-13, depending on how horny the ratings board is feeling today: Okay, an explanation of that last one. There's a crass joke whose setup I forget. It went something like "What song do you get when you see a naked woman facing towards you, a naked woman facing away from you, a naked woman facing towards you, a naked woman facing away from you, a naked woman facing towards you, and three naked woman facing away from you?"
Answer: The William Tell Overture. (Sing "Titty bum titty bum titty bum bum bum!" to the classic eight-note bit that symbolizes the overture and you'll figure it out, eventually.)
Why I like having two copies of each episode: TNN has changed their commercials. It used to be that each break was three minutes long, except the last, which was longer. But tonight, they dropped the second break to 2 min 30 sec and boosted the second last to 3 min 30 sec. (In other words, they shifted one commercial a few breaks later.) I was so busy with my watch timing things that I missed the first few seconds after the break. They're there on the other tape, though. (When I set out to get a whole series on tape, I get the whole... damn... thing.:)
June 27, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Big Trouble')
Do you like my jackets? Okay, this is the first time I've noticed any major season one continuity screwup dealing with clothes. Sammo started with a gray jacket and black (purple?) shirt, but then manifested a blue dress shirt and brown sweater one scene later, with no major time difference. Then it changed to an icky-brown jacket with a maroon (purple?) shirt. Unfortunately, he kept that icky brown jacket for the whole last half of the episode.
Purple? Watching something on two different TVs, depending on if you're taping it in the living room or playing it back next to the PC, doesn't do well for color contrasting.
If you don't like the jacket, how about the shoes? In the shots where Sammo was driving a big rig, sometimes he (well, someone dressed like him, anyway) was shown pushing the gas pedal and working the gears. His shoes were brown in these shots, but they looked black during the dialog shots. I'm a continuity demon tonight!
Notalie Portman: Winship, upon seeing the stuff taken from a bad guy, says, "I haven't seen that much junk food since Portman left." The scary thing is that if you total the dialogue mentions, flashback sequences, and actual appearances, regular character Dana Dixon only had twice the appearances of bit character Portman! (He showed up in two episodes, one flashback, and one mention. Dana was in five episodes, one or two flashbacks, and one mention.)
Family matters: Terrell had some nice family moments, both with his mother and his stepdad. Arsenio Hall acted 'em well enough.
So does sex: After seeing Terrell's mom and stepdad working together, Sammo tells them that in China that's considered good for the couple's love life. Terrell has his normal "Ewwww!" reaction to discussions about his mom's sleeping arrangements.
Then, Terrell's mom makes it worse by telling Sammo that she and her new hubby are doing just fine in the love department.:)
A pencil neck and eagle eyes: Marla Gibbs (Florence the maid on The Jeffersons, Mary Jenkins on 227) played Terrell's mom in the episode titled "Wildlife" and again tonight. My keen eyes spotted that she was, in one scene, holding a pencil (threaded between her fingers, not just grasping it) in her left hand. So, either Marla Gibbs is left-handed, or she's messing with my mind. (What mind?)
Deep meaningful sentences: In three lines and change, Louis Malone tells why he became a cop.
Unaextra: Why was one of the extras in the line at the post office dressed exactly like the Unabomber's police sketch? I suppose it could be just random chance, but then why did he put on the hood of his jacket just as the camera was beginning to pan past? "Red Storm" (two episodes from now) has Germans in it. Should I look for Hitler in the background of that one? Bit of info: real-life-murderer-based humor is not in good taste. (Never mind the cheap pun I made at the start of this paragraph.)
I liked the DMV better: In "Trackdown", Sammo sweet-talked a DMV employee into getting him a new driving test. He tried it again this episode at the post office. Didn't work.
Remember what I said about going to see the villain? If someone handed me a plate of anything "on a bed of spinach and oleander", I would not eat it. That spinach is real nasty.
The kick no one heard: Terrell dropped his gun, when confronted by a well-armed bad guy. He wound up not even needing it.
Are you na-ked? Now Grace has a run in with a naked man, though she suffered more disgust than culture shock, considering his size.
His weight! Weight! He was fat! Minds like sewers, you lot.
I do ice sculpture on the weekends: The bad guy is, according to legend, supposed to have: yanked out a guy's tooth, shaved it into a bullet in front of the guy, and killed the guy with it. Am I the only one who thinks that's impossible?
I'm amazing. No I'm not. I was running through my other tape of this episode. I saw a stock shot of the LAPD building that's Sammo & Co.'s HQ. I stopped the tape and fast-forwarded ahead a bit, then hit "play". (I was going to check "Red Storm" to make sure the baddies were Germans in that one, like I remember). Well, I hit "Red Storm" all right. And the same stock shot!
June 28, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Nitro Man')
I wish I had that easy a time getting a job. It made sense when Melanie went from being secretary to the assistant district attorney to being part of the Department of Immigration, since the assistant DA was dead and no longer in need of secretarial services. Now, she's magically become part of a bank that gets robbed. There's a throwaway line akin to the one explaining how Sammo's car regenerated itself.
Brutal: Melanie doesn't like people who wear Brut. I agree, though she was a bit polite in her use of adjectives to describe that foul toxin.
Holding Hearts Hostage: Okay, so what if that title would be more apt for my rant on the episode "Captive Hearts", or - taken literally - the season two episode "Heartless". Melanie gets taken hostage, leading to much dramatic tension if I hadn't seen this episode before. (I was, admittedly, on the edge of my seat the first time around.)
What a moron. No, wait.... When the security guard tried to arrest the bank robber and wound up losing his gun to the villain, I felt like screaming "MORON!" Until I learned that he was really in cahoots with the bad guy.:)
Chamberhail of bullets: So nice that they went for a small bit of reality here: when a gun's clip is pulled, the gun isn't unloaded - there's still one bullet in the chamber! Good thing Sammo knew they were keeping things real, for once.
Shadows of Season Two: When you see Kelly Hu's outfit spontaneously change (I guess she didn't like the high neckline on one outfit, so she went for something lower:) and Arsenio Hall pulling a Louis Maloneish high kick, you wonder precisely how much Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin can take credit/blame for season two when they were just maintaining the status quo.
Just Schmoo It. No, I don't know what that means either. I just like the sound of it.
Terrell's basketball subplot was a marvellous laugh, especially the speech about fundamentals (telling 10 year olds not to slam dunk and hang on the rim just so it'll get onto Sportscenter). I'm also sure everyone watching wanted the rival assistant coach (AKA suckup) to get properly humiliated.:)
The kick heard a good yard away: Terrell. Gun. Kick. Number. Three.
Can't. Think. Of. Joke. I'll. Make. Fun. Of. Shatner. A. Bit. And. Maybe. The. Trekkies. Will. Laugh.
Away yard good a heard kick the: Halfway through the show, the bad guy kicks Terrell's gun out of his hand. In the finale, Terrell returns the favor.
379.... Why was Terrell only counting only every second or third step that he climbed in one scene? Makes it sound like it was voiceover added later because they couldn't fit a boom mic in the longshot.
Bang bang boom: First a bank got shot up. Then the police HQ got shot up. They must have blown the budget on that one!
Macho macho man: This is where they made the budget up - less footage to film. 2:07 minutes of bloopers (including a fabulous shot of the body-armor-wearing gun-toting bank robber disco dancing!) with "Macho Man" playing in the background.
Getting Romanced by the Malone: Louis Malone blows 100-150 bucks on flowers for two girlfriends (one he's dumping, one he's keeping). Makes you wonder why he hasn't moved on Grace when he clearly likes her, unless Grace spurned him because of how much he plays the field....
Are they breaking in a new commercial guy? They ran all the breaks at three minutes even, except the last two, which went three and change. I did a quick bit of checking off two other programs and a clock that runs like... uh... clockwork and confirmed that they ran another commercial on me!
June 29, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Red Storm')
Dem Crazy Germans: Louis Malone does it again, constantly referring to the bad guys as Germans, with some (though not all) of the vitriol he directed at Canadians before. Okay, so they're German. But, more to the point, they're also terrorists. Can't call them that though, or someone who was sleeping through the bad-guy-introduction scene might not notice that the German deputy consul is in their pocket. Amazing how Malone is so pro-Chinese but seems to have a large chip on his shoulder for Canadians and a smaller one for Germans.
English only, please: Sammo's master (his martial arts teacher, back in the day) comes to the US to visit. When Sammo speaks in Chinese, Master Reng (I'm guessing at the spelling. I'm also guessing the one-named actor "Mako" listed in the credits played him.) says, "English only, please." One is left to assume he's honing his English and helping out the scriptwriter and the audience while doing it.
Nur Englisch, bitte: (I apologize for what's likely a lame translation.) Of course, Master Reng learning English doesn't explain why the German characters all speak English when talking to other Germans. (Except in the first scene, where they are plainly setting up that they are indeed Evil Germans.)
Orange Juice Hertz: Terrell makes a nice joke about what happened to "the last black man who went running through an airport", reminding me of OJ Simpson's old ads for Hertz(?). Unfortunately, he then goes to mention OJ by name in the next line, making it look like he's explaining his own wisecracks now.
Chamberhail of bullets 2.0: Sammo's got a great understanding of reality and when it doesn't apply. He pulls the clip out of a gun (like the previous episode), the bad guy points the gun and fires, and nothing happens. Unless there's a new kind of gun out for TV baddies that only loads when you pull the trigger....
Watch something three times and what they're saying might just hit you. Grace (sometimes in season one, mostly in season two) refered to Sammo by the title "lo lau shir", which you figure has something to do with the fact that he's her martial arts teacher. This episode - and I had to hear it a third time before I picked up on it - she calls Sammo's teacher something like "reng lau shir". It was then, and only then, that I realized that the first word was the person's name. Then I realized that "Lo" sounds more sensibly Chinese than "Law", but that the show title sort of hinges on the word "Law". Besides, "Sammo Lo" sounds like something containing saccharine.
Chinese martial arts teachers drink Coke: Now it's not just Sammo. Master Reng forgoes his favorite tea for Diet Coke. Why Diet? The man's a twig!
His lips say "no", but his eyes... wait, his lips are saying "yes" too. As if to jumpstart what's been implied all season, Reng tells Grace that Louis Malone is "a good catch." When Grace says they're partners in the police detective sense only, Reng says he senses that Louis is feeling a bit differently about things. (Why do Chinese people in TV shows "sense" things? They don't "figure", or "think", or even "feel", they just "sense".)
I'm not a "midget", I'm a "cameraman!" Two shots (the fax machine shot and a walking-down-a-hall shot) were shot from near ground level.
If I push you, you'll just go the other way. Reng tells Sammo to make time for other pursuits, like jetskiing. (Sammo has a game-show-won jet ski he hasn't used yet.) Too bad he's just going to get worse next season.
Quote of the moment: Sammo and Reng watching a Ginsu commercial. With the most wonderful look of confusion and amazement, Reng asks, "Is this a popular program?"
Moment of the moment: When Reng and Sammo were singing Chinese opera on the beach.
She's never going to be seen again: Sammo's agoraphobic landlady, with Reng's help, conquers her fear. Sort of puts her one-trick-pony character out to pasture.
Clothing: Since there's the implied passing of days, I didn't pay attention to the changes in clothing. Shame on me.:)
He must be REALLY bad: Most season one Martial Law bad guys kill one henchman. Today's kills a henchman and an arms dealer. (You think someone would notice all the screaming, gunfire, explosions....)
He only speaks Chinese: The bad guys fell for the "Reng only speaks Chinese" ploy. Despite that fact that Sammo's landlady already apologized to him in English for letting the bad guys in. Okay, it was a moment for the female guest star to bravely lie to her captors, but they were kind of stupid to fall for it. Dumb Germans.
Now why couldn't they leave this first one in? The bloopers tonight never get old. In the first, Arsenio is delivering a line, oblivious to Kelly Hu and Louis Mandylor fake-fighting on the far side of the two-way mirror behind him. They don't fight for long, because Kelly runs up to Louis and wraps her legs around his midsection. Louis then pushes Kelly up against the glass of the mirror (and starts moving her up and down in a rather suggestive way:), thus causing a loud "Thud!" which makes Arsenio and the actress he's speaking to jump out of their skin.
Then the other blooper is another keeper where Arsenio claims that "Master Reng is getting his freak on!" with the landlady (they're dancing) and Sammo fakes punching Arsenio. Judging by Arsenio's quick reaction to the punch (falling backwards), either he has a quick wit and phenomenal reaction time or the punch scared him enough that he fell backwards.:)
Random thought: See the line "... which makes Arsenio and the actress he's speaking to jump out of their skin."? Originally I wrote "... causing Arsenio and the actress he's speaking to to jump out of their skin."
The funny thing is you can say the second one and make it sound perfect, because the two "to"s don't sound quite the same. Looks lousy on paper, though.
July 2, 2001 AD (Episode: 'Requiem' - Season Finale, Part 1)
The kick heard in the other part of the store: Another Terrell kick moment, this being #4. With one episode to go before I stop counting, this isn't actually looking that bad. (It might hit six, which is about one every two or so episodes.) Between this and the comments about Grace dressing like an insurance salesman, Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin look like they've been caught in the Dust Hyperbole.
What do you mean, there's only two gaudy jackets in all of CBS wardrobe? Lee Hei's back, and so is his blue suit jacket (and matching pants). It's a nice blue, though maybe putting it onto clothes wasn't a great idea.
Go back to your Tae Bo videos, man! Billy Blanks, who my weak memory tells me is the Tae Bo video guy, is here playing the quintessential jerk who happens to be part of the DEA. Unlike the other jerks of the series, he doesn't redeem himself (Portman) or even prove he's not a 100% jerk (David Hasbro), though for a minute it looks like he might. For once, a career jerk - a disturbingly refreshing change - too bad G&R took this idea a leetle too far and tried it on the regulars. (Cough, cough, Amy Dylan, cough!)
Mack the Knife: Not only the song I'm currently listening to, but also a reference to that snappy hair adornment/knife combo Lee Hei's daughter was carrying. I wouldn't mind one of those. Wouldn't mind the woman it was attached to, either - but only in the scenes where she looked really cute. She sort of ran hot and cold in just this one episode.
Terrell kicks ass. Film at 11. Not only in the literal sense (getting ready to usurp Louis Malone's place during the Great Upheaval, I see), but he also gets to bust out the Joe Friday Memorial "Drugs Cost Lives" speech machine.
You know, despite all the complaints about him, I thought Arsenio Hall did well here. Nothing really wrong with his Dragnettish speech - the delivery of it, anyway - or his arguments with his money-laundering cousin, or his wiseass "compliment" of the DEA guy's shaved head ("You got a really nice head. I could never do that.")
Romancing the coroner! Remember how at the end of "Trifecta" the coroner dumped Grace and went out with Winship's secretary? Well, they eloped. (The coroner and the secretary, I mean, not Grace and Winship.) Not only did this kill off that occasional character, it left Winship in the lurch until Melanie George came along....
The woman is cursed. Especially since she's got one episode left before she meets cold oblivion. Melanie lost another job. How? If she hadn't been working at the bank, Sammo wouldn't have been there to see and short-circuit the robbery and wouldn't have been assigned to the case because it's normally out of his jurisdiction. If Melanie dumped Sammo, then I'd fire her!
But anyway, Winship temporarily hires her to replace his blissfully wed secretary. While this might have been a good move for Winship, it was a bad move for Carlton Cuse. The character of Melanie George likely wouldn't have held up to being in such constant close proximity to Sammo. Also, making her the secretary means you need to hope that the actress (Julia Campbell) doesn't get another gig, since the secretary role was never big and could have been filled by anyone on short notice. Making it an established character means she has to be written around if she's out doing something else. Granted, it might not be hard to write around since the secretary was never a big part, but I don't see why one should add complications when they're not needed.
Besides, this means that she's lost her job (or failed at getting a new one) more times than Lee Hei's escaped the fuzz, and that was becoming cliche!
Moment of the moment: What Lee Hei did to his blackmailing real estate agent/landlord (exactly which isn't really made plain). Made even better when he later claims that the rent on his beach house is "A real steal."
Evil by default: Lee Hei's evil, but his daughter (Lynn Pei Chin, or some other spelling, likely played by Elaine Lui) needed to prove to the audience she was evil. Since her aura's already partly established, she didn't need to kill anyone on camera, she just told her daddykins that the police-captured henchman (well, it was a drug buyer this time, but same idea) was bailed and killed.
Nice jacket: Grace (while getting her ass kicked by Lynn for the second time - her fault for saving the DEA jerk from getting to watch his own disembowelment at Lynn's hands) was wearing an absolutely wonderful leather jacket. I say wonderful, because it was almost identical to the one I often wear. (I love my jacket.)
July 3, 2001 AD (Episode: 'End Game' - Season Finale, Part 2)
Late Night with Sammo Law: TNN's running the next two episodes a bit late, thanks to their July 3rd and 4th marathons. I'm not complaining - I appreciate that they're running them at all! But I'd be here 'til three AM writing this if I wrote it the night of the show, like normal. So it's a mix of memory-assisted thoughts the night before and VCR-assisted thoughts the morning after.
The kiss of character death: Well, the aborted Melanie-Sammo kiss from "Captive Hearts" finally got completed, and that was the last anyone ever saw of Melanie.
Give a man enough rope, and he'll cliffhang himself. I hate cliffhangers. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ending on a cliffhanger (Lee Hei and Sammo falling out of a helicopter) was IMHO like daring CBS to axe the show there and then.
How somber: When going on a military style attack run, Lee Hei dressed sensibly in all black. I didn't recognize him.
His other outfits are typical over-the-top numbers though. (That last one is a ghastly shade of orange-brown....)
Oh, and is it me or does Lee Hei's accent sound like it occasionally takes a trip out to New York City?
Ensemble-o-rama: These last couple of episodes really had the ensemble dynamic going. Terrell/Grace and Louis/Sammo scenes alternated with Terrell/Sammo and Louis/Grace scenes without feeling like it was forced.
I wanna go home, or to Petticoat Junction: Sammo burns a lot of bridges this episode, and the ones he doesn't burn get burnt for him. First he claims he's a failure and should go back home, then the deputy chief (played by Edward Albert - no, not the one in Green Acres, this is the son of the one in Green Acres) tells Winship they're investigating his unit, then Sammo gets pulled off the case and turns in his badge so he can save the recently-kidnapped Grace. Well, if he died from falling out of the 'copter, at least his affairs would have been in order.
He can't be dead, I just saw him in the flashback! Master Reng (or Ren or whatever) has his funeral in this episode. (Lee Hei ventilated him with a semi-automatic at the end of "Requiem".) The funeral was rather nice and respectful and didn't seem out of place at all. The sharp contrast between the dark-garbed mourners* and the orange-robed Buddhists was also nice.
(* Melanie, Terrell, and Sammo were the focus of the scene, and were dressed very dark - black, dark blue, etc. Winship was also dressed fairly somber but was in the background with the rather less somberly-dressed Grace and Louis - Grace's red suit jacket looked a bit out of place. Maybe if it were more burgundy....)
He's really on wires, you know: One fight scene was obviously tricked out with wires, but since it was a dream sequence, one begins to think that was the whole point.:)
Are you going to San Vicente.... For the first time that I remember, the name of the unit (well, division) Sammo belongs to has been shown. Above a large mural that's integral to the set is the sign "San Vicente Division". (The same text showed up on the side of a truck in "Requiem", but that wasn't conclusive). Funny how it was never mentioned in the dialogue and almost never seen, but in season two you won't be able to go an episode without hearing the phrase "Major Crimes Unit" or some abbreviation thereof.
So this is why she lost all those jobs.... As one scene starts Melanie gets off the phone with her mom, who wanted to phone Melanie's new boss (Winship) and tell him what good work Melanie was doing for him. Maybe one too many of those phone calls caused her excessive job loss.:)
Cloth-inuity: Okay, this episode was a bit silly with the clothing changes, though here it was plainly botched continuity - for instance, Terrell and Sammo each shuffled back and forth between three different outfits over the span of five scenes while a female bit character didn't change once - though Sammo was dressed the same (gray jacket, dark pants) in all the scenes she was in. From the looks of it, I could piece the shooting schedule together just off the clothing.
Nitpick: If Louis was following Sammo when Sammo was driving towards the place for the Final Confrontation with Lee Hei, why did Louis only get there two minutes after Sammo? And since he didn't know where it was, how could he get there without following Sammo's car?
You wouldn't happen to have a cousin named Amy Dylan, would you? Terrell is acting rather buddy-buddy with a young (white) lady who's skilled at cracking a PC. (Toni Davis, played by Jeri Gaile). Dunno if they wanted to keep the young woman on as a recurring character (considering how sweetly Terrell was acting, I don't know if he was just extracting a favor or trying to get more friendly...) but the equally computer-savvy Amy Dylan sank any possibility of that one. Though Arsenio Hall's half-joking comments about wanting to see Terrell Parker and Amy Dylan get something going in the bedroom (or damnear anywhere else, I don't think he'd be picky:) make me wonder if he was just transferring his character's emotions, or (more likely) Arsenio has a thing for skinny white girls.:)
Though I got to admit, he has very good taste....
What the hell's his name? Okay, I just postulated that Grace's use of a certain honorific when speaking to Reng meant, by extension, that Sammo's last name is "Lo" when spoken in Chinese. So why does every Chinese character - like the bar owner this episode - call him "Sammo Law"? Oh, yeah, the saccharine thing.
He's an overworked Cupid. This episode, part two of the season one finale, Sammo is getting overworked until Melanie (literally) drags him out to lunch. During lunch he says how happy he is to know her, and they kiss. After which Melanie vanishes from the Martial Law canon.
In "Final Conflict, Part One", part one of the season two finale, Sammo is again overworked. Amy Dylan (figuratively) drags him out to lunch. During lunch she says she's getting married to boyfriend Dennis and she wants Sammo to give her away at the ceremony (her father is dead, so he's not gonna mind). Dennis shows up at the lunch, and Dennis and Amy kiss - though one of Sammo's comments implies that he thinks they've been doing a good bit more than kissing behind closed doors.:) A few hours later Amy learns that Dennis has had a liaison with an old flame. Then the whole damn series ended.
Two disturbingly similar situations. I don't know if it means that Sammo is a Cupid when he's overworked or if he's the bane of all true love.
The kic- Terrell almost got his gun kicked out of his hand, but he held on to it. Counting it as a half-kick, and being nice enough to assume I missed one, that's five and a half, or once every 2.5 episodes. I'd like to stand by my Dust Hyperbole comment.
Louis got his gun kicked (well, knocked) out of his hand again, making my count for him three (though I wasn't paying much attention at first).
I have a deep respect for you, you moron! Sammo puts his own life in danger to save Lee Hei. Grace, duct tape over her mouth, still manages to scream a muffled "No!" Wait, was that her or the audience?
"Queer as the blazes" seems to be one of his strengths: Terrell is again at top form, likely for the last time. He goes undercover as a queer-as-the-blazes cell-phone salesman. The bit where he tries to wipe up a drink he spilled in Hector Florez's lap is priceless.
So much for top form: On the other hand, the fight scene where Hector was throwing frying pans at the no-longer-undercover Terrell wasn't quite top form. I mean, Terrell had a gun! Sort of took away from it a bit.
Moment of the moment: The nail salon scene where one of the young ladies working there tries hitting on Sammo by offering a free manicure. (Some head shrinkers think that sort of thing is a sign of strong attraction, since it's invoking an age-old grooming instinct. No word on how it is if the person grooms for a living, though.)
Gratuitous ratings moment: Since his wife died in "Diamond Fever", Lee Hei's spent a lot of time in hot tubs with buxom women....
Carrot Juice, Carrot Juice, Carrot Juice! Yes, Lee Hei's final outfit did look the color of carrot juice, but this is a reference to Colin Baker's last line before being ousted from Doctor Who, as noted on this page when Dana Dixon/Tammy Lauren got axed. Here's more last lines (not counting the blooper segment)....
Lee Hei: (As Sammo extends his hand to save Lee from falling.) "Help me, Sammo, help me! (...) I can't reach!"
Lee Hei, again: Okay, so he grunts and screams a bit after that last one. But the line "Ah! Ah! Yahh! AHHHH!" isn't exactly amazing.
Melanie George: (In reaction to a comment from Sammo, as he's professing how much he likes her.) "Oh...."
Melanie George, saying something that at least counts as a viable line: (After Sammo thanks her for buying him a snow-cone.) "You're welcome."
Melanie George, saying something that at least counts as a MEANINGFUL line because it makes a play on one of Sammo's comments on "American customs": (Just before that last one.) "No! Lunch is on me today. It's my treat, it's my custom."
Benjamin Winship: (After being shot while trying to save Grace from Lee Hei.) "They.... They got Grace!"
Louis Malone: (Watching the helicopter take off with Lee Hei, Grace, and Sammo inside.) "Sammo! Sammo!"
Hmmm. Does "Sammo!" mean "Carrot Juice!" in Chinese?
The end of the beginning's end. Beginning of the end's beginning? Uh.... The MIDDLE! And here is the middle point, the Great Upheaval. The passing of the reins from Cuse to Goldberg & Rabkin. The use of too many over-dramatic statements to make my point. Up next is "Sammo Blammo", the season two opener.
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