A new episode opens on an ominous note …
… a pair of bespectacled brown eyes looking through the slats of blinds. The camera pulls back …
Oh, dear. This can’t be good. We hear a door opening.
Ominous music as the messed up guy turns to see who is coming.
It’s the maid! She seems … disappointed … at the state of the room.
Messed Up Guy seems stressed. Still, he tries to reassure her. “It’s not what you think!”
Maid doesn’t think it’s anything, mister! She just makes the beds!
“It’s hair dye,” stressed Messed-Up Guy tells her. He’s sorry about the mess.
“I’m just not trained for this sort of thing!”
Now, I’m no professional cosmetologist, but I find it hard to believe anyone could make that kind of mess simply dyeing their hair. Unless they were doing it blindfolded, on rollerskates, wearing oven mitts. And drunk.
Stressed-and-Messed Guy wants to know if they’re still out there.
Stressed-and-Messed (S&M) Guy rushes past the startled maid to close the door (and creates more work for the painters to do later; I hope the front desk has his credit card on file).
Then, inexplicably, he opens the door and runs out …
… past the hotel pool, where we see the title card for this episode.
We then see him in a surprisingly cool convertible, making a quick getaway.
Our guest star, Thom Bray, had a steady if unremarkable career as a character actor through the 1980s. He is best known for his role as “Boz” on Riptide (1983-86), another NBC detective series. He specialized in nerdy roles and also did some voice work. He has taught drama at a middle school and TV writing at colleges in the Portland area. His most recent credit was a guest role on the cable series “Leverage” in 2012. He also wrote for a number of series, notably “Designing Women,” “Evening Shade” and “Nash Bridges.” Here’s what he looks like now-ish:
Behind the episode credits, we see S&M man driving fast:
Another guest star!
Philip Sterling enjoyed a long career, dating back to the early days of television. He had roles on “As the World Turns, “Guiding Light” and “The Edge of Night” in the 1950s, and “Another World” and “Somerset” in the 1960s. On numerous TV series he played authority figures like doctors, judges and lawyers. His last credit was in “My Giant” in 1998, the year he died.
The single-car chase continues …
S&M Guy is halted by a road worker.
S&M Guy is disappointed to be held up. I hate to think of what the upholstery is going to look like in that car.
The road guys seem only mildly alarmed to see this strange creature before them. Just then …
… another convertible pulls up behind S&M.
He checks her out in the rearview mirror.
She looks familiar!
Why, it’s Marta Kristen, famous as Judy Robinson on the 1965-68 series, “Lost in Space.” Apparently, that’s what happened to her career, too, as she wasn’t famous enough in 1982 to warrant a guest star credit. Sorry, Marta.
Marta gives S&M Guy a flirty glance.
He responds suavely.
What kind of kinky foreplay is this? S&M indeed!
S&M Guy is alarmed! He ducks, just in time!
SMASH! The glass in the rearview mirror shatters. One might expect the whole thing to be knocked off, but whatever.
The construction guys take cover. It’s important to protect your expensive hardhat at all costs!
S&M Guy sneaks out of his car.
He takes a tumble down a steep hill, trailed by more gunshots!
He disappears into the brush.
I’ll stop here, having set the stage for the mystery to come. Who is this sloppy stranger? How does a dork like this get such a great car? Should Marta Kristen change agents? Will we get the answers to any of these questions? Stay tuned!