There’s quite a fun guest star in this episode of The Bionic Woman. Our son recognized Forrest Tucker’s voice, but couldn’t quite place him. I told him he was Kong on The Ghost Busters, and he has watched every episode of that show at least four times. Here, he plays General Jack D. Ripper – er, I mean, J.T. Connors – a very old friend of Jaime’s, a wealthy industrialist who doesn’t like Washington softies and longhairs, and is concerned with fluoridation. His character is so obviously set up to be the villain that he can’t possibly be the villain, sort of like the way they presented Snape in the first Harry Potter film.
The actual villain is the only other suspect, Connors’ second-in-command, who’s played by Ben Piazza. He was really typecast as playing frustrated dweebs in the seventies and eighties, like the hapless father tormented by Joliet Jake in that nice restaurant in The Blues Brothers. So, not a lot of actual mystery in this story, but a heck of a lot of class. It’s a great episode, with real tension, since Jaime injures one of her legs quite badly and is operating at rather less than full power. It builds up really well, and our son was completely thrilled by it.
This is one of the episodes where Steve Austin plays a fairly major role. It’s set up to look like he will have to come save the day after Jaime’s injury, but there’s a very clever reversal of expectations here. It’s also one of the episodes with Christian Juttner as the sassy boy in Jaime’s class. Looks like we either get Juttner or we get Robbie Rist, never both!