Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Bigass Incredible Hulk Review.



So, I got the bigass boxed set for x-mas, and, I haven't done a bigass series review since "Freddy's Nightmares", so, what the hell, let's do this.


Season 1.

"The Incredible Hulk". (Pilot)

Banner gets turned into the Hulk, Mr. McGee accidentally starts the lab fire that injures and kills Banner's unrequited love, McGee blames Hulk, Banner goes on the run.
Pretty much all the stuff from the intro of the following episodes.

Excellent.
Just...excellent.


"Death in the family". (second pilot)

Banner is looking for a cure, and he gets wrapped up in the intrigue of this girl who's being poisoned by her evil family for money.
This sets up the formula for all the following episodes.

Contains a hilarious scene of Ferrigno wrestling a bear, and the bear keeps licking his fucking makeup off.

Also establishes that TV Hulk did indeed have the super-jumping power from the comics, but, they didn't really have the effects to make it look good, so they let it fall by the wayside.

Decent episode, otherwise.

Guest stars- Gerald McRaney (Major Dad),William Daniels (K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider), Laurie Prange (season 4's "Prometheus").


"Final Round".

Banner helps a boxer with heart problems who the mob wants to kill to keep silent about their drug running operation.

This will be a running theme, almost all the villains are either sociopaths trying to get inheritance/insurance money, or mobsters.

So-so episode.
Likable characters make it watchable.

Guest stars- Martin Kove (evil trainer from Karate Kid, alien from Hard Time On Planet Earth).


"The beast within".

Banner searches for a cure with a female zookeeper in the form of some sort of animal tranquilizer, and the head of the zoo is killing animals, and selling them to some African trophy/folk-medicine smuggling ring, or...something.

Contains a horrible man-in-gorilla-suit (that's supposed to be a real gorilla) that Hulk fights.
Possibly the worst episode ever.

Guest stars- Caroline McWilliams (from a bunch of shows I never watched), and Dabs Greer (the reverend on Little House On The Prairie, and old Tom Hanks in The Green Mile).


"Of guilt, models, and murder".

Hulk is accused of killing a chick at this mansion, and Banner has to get a job at the place as a valet to figure out if it's true.
Spoiler- it isn't.
Sociopaths after money, and covering their asses.

"Meh", episode.

Guest stars- Loni Anderson.


"Terror in Times Square".

Banner works at an arcade, there's a mobster taking protection money, and two old guys want to kill him (the gangster, not Banner).

Banner Hulks out in a taxi, then runs down Time Square, and this scene is the source of the Hulk photo that keeps being recycled by McGee's newspaper for the rest of the show.

You can see Ferrigno wearing green sneakers to protect his feet.
Green sneakers and slippers keep popping up in various episodes.
It really takes you out of it.

*Wavey hand* episode.

Guest stars- Jack Kruschen (who played a cute old man in everything), and Pamela Susan Shoop (from a million shows I either didn't watch, or I don't remember her guest episodes)


"747".

A crooked pilot, and his crooked stewardess girlfriend drug the co-pilot, and then plan to parachute away with stolen Egyptian artifacts.

Banner has to land the plane while fighting off a Hulk-out.

Features Brandon Cruz, from "The Courtship Of Eddie's Father", so, yes, if you wondered, they did do the "Eddie's Father", reunion episode.

Actually, a damned good episode!
One of the best.

Guest stars- Brandon Cruz (see above), Sondra Currie (Policewoman, The Hangover, The Hangover part II)


"The Hulk breaks Las Vegas".

Banner works at a casino, the owner is crooked, a couple has evidence, but they're trying to get it to Jack McGee.
So, Banner has to dodge gangsters, and McGee, while still trying to help the couple.

Eh, not bad.

Guest stars- Simone Griffeth (Death Race 2000)


"Never give a trucker an even break".

Banner is hitchhiking, and is picked up by a chick who steals a trailer truck, and he hops aboard, and learns this is her truck, and she's stealing it back.
The bad guys chase after her, and then it's a bigass epic chase movie.

It's kind of a rehash of "Duel", and even recycles footage from "Duel", but, it's still a damned fun episode.

What really made it for me, was the female guest star (see below).
She was really, really, cute (physically, and personality wise), and...ahem, well endowed in a natural 70's way, and she turned me on like crazy.
...then, when I looked her up to see who she was, my jaw crashed through the floor, and I had to watch it all over again!

Guest stars- Jennifer Darling (Aeka from Tenchi Muyo!!!!)


"Life and death".

Banner tries to get cured with what we commonly know now as gene therapy, but the doctor doing the research is stealing babies to...dissect?
It's all vague implication, but the babies don't come back, so, he's killing them.
Anyway, he needs stopping.

Oh, and the evil doc gives Banner a lethal injection, but he shrugs it off with a couple Hulk-outs.
So, we see just how much his system can take.
It does leave him blurry and groggy though, until the second Hulk-out cleans him out.

Pretty good episode.

Guest stars- Andrew Robinson (Garak from Deep Space Nine, the dad from Hellraiser, the punk from Dirty Harry).


"Earthquakes happen".

Banner infiltrates a high security research facility to give himself a zap with gamma-inversion equipment, but just when he gets the reactor up to full-blast for his dose, an earthquake hits, and mayhem ensues.

It's pretty much a Hulk disaster movie.
It recycles footage from other disaster movies, but, like "never give a trucker an even break", it works.

Really a damned good episode.
And, it really jumps out at you, it stands out from all the other episodes, it has a unique directorial style to it.
A different look, people act different, it's...different.
Must see to appreciate.

Also, it's the one time Banner isn't a "David B____", he's posing as the safety inspector, so he's using another man's name.
Everything about this one is different.

Guest stars- Sherry Jackson (Andrea the android from Star Trek! Rowr!)


"The waterfront story".

David works at a diner on the waterfront, the proprietor is a widow who's crushing on him something fierce, and union goons and a corrupt politician are trying to muscle her out, and secretly killed her husband.

Decent episode.

Guest stars- James Sikking (Captain Styles from Star Trek III), Sheila Larken (Scully's mom from X-Files).


Season 1 overall- More good than bad, standouts are "The Incredible Hulk", "747", and "Earthquakes Happen".


Season 2.

"Married".

Quite possibly the very best episode of the series.
Screw it, I'm calling it.
THE best.

I fall in love with Mariette Hartley all over again every time I see it, and I always almost bawl at the end.

Yes, under the very thick coating of anger, and cynicism, and contempt, and irritation, I'm a romantic sucker.

Mocking brats- Mike loves Marriette Haaaartleyyy! 

*Long sigh* oh, yeah, I so totally do. :-)

Anyway, this episode won her an Emmy.
It's that good.

Guest stars- Marriette Hartley (Zarabeth from Star Trek, a Swedish nurse on M.A.S.H.). 
All her episodes of everything are my among my favorites. Natch.


"The Antowuk horror".

A bunch of rednecks witness a Hulk-out, and decide to fake a Bigfoot legend to save their failing down.

David/Hulk has to save fake-Bigfoot-guy from a crazy hunter, the police, and McGee.

Meh.
Definitely disappointing as a followup to "married".

Guest stars- William Lucking (DS9, The World's Fastest Indian, and an episode of Greatest American Hero)


"Ricky".

David works as a mechanic at a race track, and befriends a retarded guy who's the brother of the local champ.
Unscrupulous competitors try to take advantage of Ricky, so it's time once again for Hulk to toss around some assholes.

Mickey Jones does a good job as Ricky.
Pretty good episode.

Guest stars- Mickey Jones (also see "Long Run Home"), Gerald McRaney (again!).


"Rainbow's end".

David looks for another animal tranquilizer cure at a race track.
This time, it's a secret herbal blend whipped up by a native-American guy.

Hulk saves the horse, Rainbow's End, from a burning barn.
Pretty sure the mob was the bad guys.

Meh.

Guest stars- Ned Romero (played a native-American in everything)


"A child in need".

David works as a groundskeeper at an elementary school, and befriends a kid who's a victim of physical abuse at home.

A little on the "after-school special", side, but for the times, it was cutting-edge stuff.

Pretty decent.

Guest stars- Sally Kirkland (Valley Of The Dolls, General Hospital, David's crazy abusive mother on Rosanne), Sandy McPeak (Blue Thunder, Hill Street Blues, LA Law)


"Another path".

David meets a blind Chinese master, Li Sung, on the road who tries to get David to control his outbursts with meditation.

They go to Li Sung's dojo, and it's been taken over by corrupt assholes.
The usual chaos ensues.

Decent episode.

Guest stars- Mako (Conan The Barbarian, Samurai Jack)


"Alice In Disco Land".

David sees a teenage girl he used to know as a little girl at the dance club he works at, and who now has a serious drinking problem.

The club owner, of course, is crooked.

The girl was an "Alice In Wonderland", nut as a little girl, and when she has her melodramatic freakout at the end, the Alice allegories fly fast and furious.
Indeed, the Alice quotes throughout get kind of obnoxious.

It's teeth grating.
Total "after-school special".
Bleh.

Guest stars- Donna Wilkes (Angel "hah!!"), Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat from DS9).


"Killer Instinct".

David works as a medic for a football team, and is interested in the hypnotherapy of Dr. Stewart as a possible cure.

But, the dude's a quack, and he's making the player he's treating MORE violent.

The episode chickens out, and stops short of all the way saying football sucks.
Now look where we are, with all the wife-beating, and rapes, and steroids, and a corporate beast that can't be fed. Tch....

Guest stars- Denny Miller (Dallas, Lonesome Dove the series), Barbara Leigh (Boss Nigger).


"Stop The Presses".

David works at a restaurant where a sleazy journalist is trying to frame the place for health violations just for a story.
The sleaze snaps David's picture, and he has to sneak into the building where McGee works to get the photos back.

Decent episode.

Guest stars- Pat Morita (Happy Days, The Karate Kid), Julie Cobb (Salem's Lot).


"Escape From Los Santos".

David and a young widow are framed for the murder of her husband by a corrupt sheriff and his men, and they escape, and go on the run.

Has some good chases, and a really good bit where they have to cross a rickety bridge.

Above average.

Guest stars- Shelly Fabares (daughter on Donna Reed Show, Christine on Coach).


"Wildfire".

David works at an oil rig, the owner's daughter takes a shine to him, and they have a little fling, and crooked competitors are trying to sabotage the place.
The titular fire does happen.

Good action, hot girl, decent episode.

Guest stars- Christine Belford (two episodes of Greatest American Hero, Ricky's real mom on Silver Spoons), John Anderson (Kevin Uxbridge in Star Trek:TNG).


"A solitary place".

David hides out in the woods of Mexico, but his solitude is soon disrupted by a disgraced lady surgeon, and a father and son pair of yahoos hot on her trail.

The performances elevate this one, pretty decent episode.

Guest stars- Kathryn Leigh Scott (Dark Shadows), Jerry Douglas (Mommy Dearest, Greatest American Hero, The young And The Restless).


"Like a brother".

David works at a car wash in a black neighborhood, and tries to help two orphans, the youngest of which is a diabetic.

Meanwhile, a drug dealer with a black panther for a pet tries to corrupt the older boy.

Good episode.
Avoids being an "after-school special".

Guest stars- Tony Burton (Apollo's trainer in all the Rockys), Ernie Hudson (Winston in Ghostbusters), Michael D. Roberts (Baretta, The First Family), Carl Anderson (The Color Purple), Austin Stoker (Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, Sheba Baby, Roots).


"Haunted".

A woman is seeing creepy little girl ghosts and shit, and someone or something is trying to kill her.
(And, here I thought this "creepy little girl", trope that's being run into the ground was a new thing).

Spoilers-
Turns out, she failed to save her twin sister, couldn't live with the guilt, took on her identity, forgot who she was, and now is being haunted by the "ghost", of her old self who's trying to get her to kill herself.

David helps her snap out of it.
The obligatory 2 Hulk-outs are squeezed in.

Naturally, I dig these episodes that kick superstition in the dick.
Buuut....it's corny and melodramatic at the same time, and you see the twist coming a mile away.

Wavey hand.

Guest stars- Jon Lormer (Nathan Grantham "I want my cake!!", in Creepshow).


"Mystery Man".

David gets his face cut up in a car crash, and gets amnesia.
This becomes a plot device that allows him to interact with Jack McGee without giving himself away.

McGee offers to take "John Doe", to a specialist, but their plane crashes, killing the pilot, and breaking McGee's legs, so, "John", has to improvise a sled to drag him to safety.
To top it off, they're being chased by a forest fire.

Excellent two-parter.

Guest stars- Victoria Carrol (She-Hulk animated Hulk, 1982) Don Marshall (Boma "The Galilio Seven", Star Trek).


"Mystery Man Part II".

Last episode continues, David Hulks out while Jack is knocked out, healing his face, and restoring his memories.
He keeps his bandages on for the remainder of this adventure.

The two men really get to understand each other in this for the first time.

David Hulks out in front of Jack, and he finally knows that Hulk changes.
For the rest of the show, he'll hunt not just Hulk, but "John Doe".
A turning point.

Guest stars- Ditto last episode.


"The Disciple".

Sequel to "Another Path".

David goes back to see Li Sung, who's taken ill, and wants to pass his legacy on to a promising student.
Enter Rick Springfield.
Major Dad is his cranky cop older brother.

Pretty decent.
....despite another occurrence of Hulk-booties.

Guest stars- Mako (again!), Gerald McRaney (again, again!), Rick Springfield (sang "Jesse's girl"), Fred Ward (Remo Williams, Timerider).


"No escape".

David is arrested as a vagrant along with a mental patient who thinks he's Ernest Hemingway.
He escapes with a Hulk-out, but then feels guilty, and tracks the man down, and tries to make sure he doesn't harm himself or others.

Eh, so-so episode.

Guest stars- Sherman Hemsley (George Jefferson in The Jeffersons).


"Kindred Spirits".

David joins an expedition that's found possible evidence of a pre-historic Hulk.
He thinks that maybe this other Hulk found a cure.

The "bad guys", are angry native-Americans who don't want their land fucked with by whitey anymore.

So-so episode.

Guest stars- Kim Cattrall (Star Trek VI, Sex And The City), Whit Bissel (Time Tunnel, Star Trek).


"The confession".

McGee takes on an intern (Markie Post), who in turn takes interest in a shlubby little guy (Barry Gordon), who claims to be the man who turns into Hulk.
McGee knows he's full of it, but plays along.

Meanwhile, David worries the man may actually know his true identity.

Eh, a cute one.

Guest stars- Markie Post (Night Court), Barry Gordon (A Thousand Clowns, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).


"The Quiet Room".

It's Hulk meets "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest".

David works as an orderly at a sanitarium, and discovers one of the doctors doing creepy mind control experiments, and making videotapes of it, then gets caught, and unwillingly made into a patient.

Stories like this show how much power we've given people like this.
They go crooked, and say you're crazy, you're kinda fucked.
Chilling stuff.
Great episode.

Guest stars- Joanna Miles (Perrin on TNG).


"Vendetta Road".

A modern day Bonny & Clyde are blowing up gas stations as revenge for the oil company (that has the town in its grips, and owns the cops) causing the death of "Clyde's", father.

David tries to persuade them to find evidence, and let the system handle them.

Oil was the big concern in those days, and yeah, people like Halliburton are still scary, but if you remade this episode today, it would be fucking Goldman Sachs.

Decent episode.

Guest stars-  Howard Morton (Gimme A Break, The Munsters Today).


Season 2 overall- A great season with not many clunkers. Standouts are "Married", "Mystery Man", and "The Quiet Room".


Season 3.

"Metamorphosis".

David befriends a depressed pill-popping glam rocker (Mackenzie Phillips), who's being dominated by her bitchy manager/sister.

I can't quite tell if this episode is anti-metal or not....

Cool scene where David is given LSD in his drink, and he sees the Hulk, which causes him to turn into the Hulk, and then the Hulk sees Banner.

So, acid lets Banner & Hulk interact!
Cool!

Neat episode.
I dug it.

Guest stars- Mackenzie Phillips (One Day At A Time),  Gary Graham (Alien Nation, Robot Jox, Enterprise).


"Blind rage".

David stays with the family of a young Army officer who gets exposed to a toxic gas that makes him go blind.
David investigates, and gets exposed to the same gas, and goes blind as well.
Turns out, blindness is symptom one, the final, is death.

As can be expected, a couple Hulk-out regenerations clean him up, and the evil conspiracy that dumped the gas in a regular old dump is uncovered, and evil is brought to justice.
Cue "the lonely man", theme, and on to next week.

Average episode.

Guest stars- Nicholas Coster (Admiral Haftel on TNG), Lee Bryant (Capricorn One, Airplane, Airplane II), Michelle Stacy (Logan's Run, Demon Seed, Airplane), Dennis Fimple (damned near every show of the 70's-80's including Greatest American Hero), Jack Rader (Outbreak, The Blob (1988)).


"Brain Child".

A genius 16 year old escapes some creepy brainwashing institute, and runs into and befriends David Banner.

She's looking for her mother, so, good sap that he is, he tries to help.

One of their misadventures features Genius-girl realizing that "psychic surgery", is just a lame magic trick with some chicken guts, and she sees fit to try to explain it to the superstitious rubes, but David tries to tell her not to, and she insists, and then he starts screaming "No!! You don't know what you're doing!!", and some of the rubes tie him up, and start hitting him, and cause a Hulk-out.

Well, explain it Davey, what is she doing?
I mean, besides inciting the knuckleheads to violence?
Trodding on their precious superstitions?
Well, this attitude stands in stark contrast to "Babalao", just seven episodes later.
And fucking Babalao is just as much an exploiter as Chicken Lady.
What gives?

Chicken Lady gets hers anyway, and I make a Grumpy Cat face, and go "good!".

Anyway, meh episode.

Guest stars- Ehh, buncha soap people.


"The Slam".

Hulk meets "Cool Hand Luke".

David gets arrested by a crooked sheriff in a town with a totally rotten police force that locks you up for nothing, keeps you forever, and uses you as slave labor.

Family Guy stole this plot.

Excellent guest star performances actually elevate this to one of my favorite episodes.

Guest stars- Charles Napier (Murdoch in Rambo II, Lt. Boyle in Silence Of The Lambs,  Sheriff in Squidbillies), Marc Alaimo (again!).


"My Favorite Magician".

The "My Favorite Martian", and "The Magician", reunion.
To go with the "Eddie's Father", reunion in "747".

So yes, they did it, they had episodes calling back to all the Bixby shows.

Ray Walston is a magician, and David becomes his assistant.
Behind the scenes, they used the same magic adviser as "The Magician".

There's sabotage, and Ray tries to hook back up with his lost love.
And stuff....

So-so episode elevated only by the cuteness of the casting.

Guest stars- Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Popeye, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, TNG), Scatman Cruthers (The Shining, Coonskin, Transformers), Anne Schedeen (ALF), Bob Hastings (Batman:TAS).


"Jake".

An old rodeo guy with a heart condition, Jake, wants to risk his life on one last go to pay off debts.
David and Jake's girlfriend want to stop him.
Weasels want him to die.
It's kind of the rodeo version of "Final Round".

Pretty mediocre episode.
I strained to get through it, and kept daydreaming off, and having to rewind to see what I missed.

Guest stars- L. Q. Jones (The Magician, Timerider, The Mask Of Zorro (1999)), Sandra Kerns (Charles In Charge, another episode of Hulk, and an episode of Greatest American Hero).


"Behind the wheel".

David works as a cabbie for a failing cab company that's being run under by the mob.

...again with the mob...

Watchable.
Esther Rolle is always cool.

Guest stars- Esther Rolle (Good Times).


"Homecoming".

David goes back home, and reunites with his father and sister.

He helps his sister genetically whip up a biological agent to wipe out pests threatening their farm to save it from crooked land developers.
(The land developers are always crooked).

Meanwhile, David and his Dad still have unresolved issues.

Ferrigno as Hulk gets to do some acting here.
Pretty good.

Above average episode.
Possibly one of the best.

Guest stars- Diana Muldaur (Polaski on TNG).


"The snare".

It's Hulk meets "The Most Dangerous Game".

A millionaire invites David to his secluded island (alarm bells should have rung there), and then (of course) hunts him for sport.

The guest star performance, the chase, the booby traps, it all adds up to a great episode.
Like "Earthquakes Happen", it has a different flavor to the rest of the show.
It's kind of a little movie all of its own.
Another of the best.

Guest stars- Bradford Dillman (Piranha).


"Babalao".

David works with Doctor Renee DuBois, while the townsfolk would rather believe in the con-man turned voodoo priest, "Babalao".

Reason wins in the end.
But only with Hulk's help.

The big anti-superstition episode that gives the wiffle-waffle of "Brain Child", and the faith-eism of "Sanctuary", the middle finger.

Despite me digging the message, and the guest star, it's kinda myeeehh....

Guest stars- Loise Sorel (Rayna Kapec on Star Trek!).
(So, that's both hot android babes from Trek).


"Captive Night".

David works at a department store, and is locked in overnight while burglars try to rob the place.

Man, it takes me right back to my Toys R Us and Wal-Mart days.
I can SO relate.

Decent episode.

Except for one really silly part where Hulk is attracted to a green mannequin, and love music plays.
Yeesh.

Guest stars- Mark Lenard (Sarek in TOS, TAS, TNG, and Star Trek III, IV, and VI), Stanley Kamel (TNG).


"Broken Image".

The evil twin episode.

David has a double, who's a mobster.
Mayhem and confusion ensues.

It's fun seeing Bixby being evil, and we get to see Banner and McGee interact face to face via David pretending to be this Mike Cassidy dude.

Decent episode.

Guest stars- Eh...no need, you get double Bixby.


"Proof Positive".

The all McGee episode.

We get to really get into McGee's head, and  Jack Colvin turns in a great performance.

Bixby is only in it in flashback clips.

Ferrigno is also in it both in clips, and a real Hulk-out at the very end.
A stunt double with a hidden face plays Banner leading up to the Hulk-out.

Bixby wasn't available for some reason, so, they jury-rigged this.

Aside from the silly ending with fake-David, it's not that bad.
Decent.

Guest stars- Eh, nobody, really.


"Sideshow".

David works at a circus, and gets close to a phony psychic chick that local yahoos think is a jinx, and therefore want to harm.

If it isn't mobsters, or land developers, it's dumbass townies....

Anyway, meh.

Guest stars- Allan Rich (everything ever made), Robert Donner (Exidor on Mork & Mindy), Angelo Rositto (Master in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome).


"Long Run Home".

David rides along with a biker who's unjustly wanted by the police, and hated by his own club for deserting them.

Average episode.

Guest stars- Paul Koslo (Robot Jox, Greatest American Hero), Mickey Jones (plays a biker in everything, also see "Ricky").


"Falling Angels".

Hulk meets female "Oliver Twist".
I kept singing "you've got to pick a pocket or twooo!".

David works as a handyman for a girl's orphanage, and it turns out the girls are being trained to pick pockets...and safes.
David convinces them to turn the tables on their oppressor.

Eh, just this side of watchable.

Guest stars- Thomas Henry (What's Happening, TNG).


"The Lottery".

David befriends a former con-man, Harry Henderson, and then wins the lottery, but can't claim it, or McGee would be right on him, so he has Harry claim it, and he doesn't stay "former", for much longer.

Well, no one on a TV series can win the lottery, it's a law of physics.

Decent episode.
Ones like this, you almost wish the Hulk-outs weren't necessary.

Guest stars- Eh...nobody.


"The psychic".

Okay, this is really a weird creepy episode without meaning to be.

So, first, here's the background story.
This guest stars Bill Bixby's ex-wife, and they had been going through a very bitter divorce, and custody battle.
They did this episode together to show their son they really could get along.

Not very long after this, Bixby's son died, I can't remember what of, skiing accident, drowning, or something.
But, he was under his mother's supervision, so...that must have gotten ugly.

Then, a year to the day the kid died, his mother, Bixby's ex, commits suicide.

Then, of course, we know, Bixby died in the 90's of colon cancer.

So, this thing has a ghostly feeling hanging over it just from that, but...it feels weird even if you don't know that.

So, David Banner meets this woman who's a real psychic, and she figures out he's the Hulk just by touching him.

Now...they don't exactly become love interests, because that would be too awkward, but there's a funny vibe there.

And...this Brenda Benet chick...is weird, she's playing a weird character already, but the real life mojo between her and Bix comes through on the screen, and she feels like a crazy bitch even though she's not exactly playing one.
Like I said, weird ghostly vibes just pour out of this one.
Not in a supernatural way, just...things aren't right.

And in the story, the psychic chick failed to save a little boy, and is suicidally depressed, and then David thinks he killed a kid as Hulk, and has a crying scene with her cradling him, and then that gets fuckin' weird.

Then, he threatens to jump off the building, and that's pretty blatant.

Oh, yeah, and then he flashes back to a scene from "Married", where he had a dream that Carolyn is being taken away on a bus being driven by the Grim Reaper while she waves to him.

So, end of the episode, what happens?
The psychic chick gets on a fucking bus, hugs him goodbye, and David says something like "what do you see in my future?", and she makes this sad haunted face, says nothing, and gets on the bus, and waves goodbye.
*Goosebumps*
Ooohh!
*Rubs arms*
*Shivers*.

Right?
Not just me?
*Shivers again*

Anyway, I can't rate this thing objectively.
I don't wanna talk about it anymore.

Guest stars- Brenda Benet.


"A rock and a hard place".

Oh, I dunno...so...like, David has this landlady, and she's really this old gangster, like Ma Barker, or something, and she wants David to smuggle explosives, and the FBI wants him to help catch her, and the old cop bullying him to help is blackmailing him cuz he knows he's David Banner, and the old cop and the old landlady are in love, or something, and...bleh.

Another one I kept daydreaming off on.

Guest stars- No one that rings a bell. Sorry.


"Deathmask".

So, a serial killer is killing girls at a college, David is framed as a suspect, and...well, come on, the guest star is always the killer.

Decent episode.
Kind of a proto-Tom Harris thing going on.

Guest star- Gerald McRaney (for the fourth time!!).


"Equinox".

A society hag holds some douchey pagan themed masquerade party, David is..I dunno, dusting her bookshelves, or something, and a maniac is killing guests.

McGee shows up, and him and David meet face to face yet again, but David has a mask on, so that saves him.
Only notable for that bit.

You kinda root for the killer, let's put it that way.

Average at best.

Guest stars- Soap people, and voice actors.


"Nine hours".

Mobsters want to kill a hospital bound old gangster to keep him from blabbing on his deathbed.
There's high security, so, they kidnap a kid to blackmail David into helping them break in with his janitor keys.

David teams up with a washed up drunken former cop to save the kid, and catch the mobsters.

Eh, not bad, actually.
Decent.

Marc Alaimo- (Again, again! And as a good guy!).


"On the line".

David wanders into a forest fire, and is both forced to help, and is accused of starting it.
One of the guest stars is guilty, and not the one you're led to think.

Pretty good.
Some hammy moments, but, good stunts and action make up for it.

Guest stars- Kathleen Lloyd (It Lives Again, The Practice).


Season 3 overall- Another good season, standouts are "The Slam", "Homecoming", "The Snare", and "The Psychic".


Season 4.

"Prometheus".

This one's fucking epic.

So, David saves this blind girl from drowning, then, a meteor crashes, and it gives off gamma rays, and traps David/Hulk in mid-metamorphosis, so he's David with white eyes, and the Hulk forehead, and he can't think straight, and has a deepened voice.
A bodybuilder doubles for his body in long shots, and closeups of him using super strength.

He can still change all the way to Hulk if he gets angry, but the change back is what's stuck.

A secret military project, Prometheus, investigates the meteor crash site, and finds Hulk and the girl, and captures them.

Another excellent two-parter.

Guest stars- Laurie Prange (from way back in "Death In The Family").


"Prometheus Part II".

This is where it gets epic.

So, Project Prometheus takes Hulk back to their underground base with high tech containment tech, such as a microwave force-field, and they figure out Hulk turns back into a man, but because of the stuck-change David looks different enough, it hides his identity.

A rip-roaring Hulk-out later, and Hulk busts out of the place, and we see that if he gets pissed off enough, he gets as strong as in the comic books.

The thing looks like it costs tens of millions in 70's dollars, but nope, budget saving magic was used, and it still looks great.

This is right up there with "Married".
Where that one was the big tear-jerky Banner drama, this is the all-out full-tilt Hulk action piece.

It damn near equals the Ang Lee Hulk flick in scale.

Definitely one of the all time best, and an obvious fan favorite.

Guest stars- Laurie Prange (again), Whit Bissell (again).


"Free fall".

David is working for a skydiving team whose star returns home, and has some issues with the dude running for senator.

Turns out the senator dude was chicken on a skydive, and got someone hurt, or something, and he's scared of it coming out, but the skydiver isn't going to say anything, but his dad is a paranoid asshole, and sends flunkies to have him eliminated.

Circuitous bullshit later, and David ends up skydiving, and the flunkies sniper-shoot his chute straps off.

Okay, so, later on, Banner/Hulk dies from falling out of a plane in "The Death Of The Incredible Hulk", but here, he seemingly shrugs it off just fine.
I chalk it up to that the chute had time to slow him down first, and he landed in some junk that broke his fall, and he was in mid Hulk-out so his regeneration ability was cranked to full blast.
Also, in "Death", he bore the full brunt of a plane explosion before he even started falling.
That's my fanboy rationalization, I await your rebuttal.

Anyway, average episode.

Guest stars- Sam Groom (Time Tunnel), Jared Martin (War Of The Worlds The Series).


"Dark Side".

David is lodging with a family whose teenage daughter is crushing on him.
Meanwhile, he does an experiment on himself that goes wrong, and the violent side of his brain starts to take over, Jekyll/Hyde style, and it even effects the Hulk, almost making him homicidal.

Hyde-David even gets lusty for the girl.
Which, she likes just fine.

Her dad, not so much.

Has a nice creepy atmosphere to it.

They use a device of representing David's "primitive side", in his mind with a painted spear throwing native and the sound of bongo drums that gets annoying.

But, overall, decent episode.

Guest stars- William Lucking (see "The Antowuk Horror").


"Deep Shock".

It's Hulk meets "Dead Zone".

Hulk gets electrocuted by a broken high tension wire saving one of David's co-workers at a power plant.
Afterward, with his scrambled brain, David gets premonitions of the future.

The predestination paradox closes up, but with unexpected twists.
Naturally, David's condition wears off with a couple Hulk-out regenerations.

Neat idea, meh episode.

Guest stars- Stefan Gierasch (Greatest American Hero, TNG).


"Bring me the head of the Hulk".

Bill Bixby's directorial debut, and a great episode.

A mercenary wants to not only capture, but kill the Hulk.
The guy's smarter than McGee, and has figured out that Hulk pops up in places where there's hi-tech scientific equipment around, so the man who turns into him must be hunting for the cure, so, he sets up a fake lab to lure him in.

It works, David signs on, and mayhem shortly ensues.

Guest stars- Jed Mills (The Creature Wasn't Nice), Jane Merrow (Greatest American Hero), Sandy McPeak (see "a Child In Need").


"Fast Lane"

David rents a car which he doesn't know has some dirty money in the back.
A couple mechanics and the mob chase after him to get it.

So bland, it didn't stick to my memory at all.

*Pops the DVD in for a sec*

Oh, right, Frank Doubleday played a great crazy person, that stood out.
Okay, that lifts it up from forgotten to "meh".

Guest stars- Victoria Carroll (again), Dick O'Neill (see "The Phenom", in season 5), Frank Doubleday (Escape From New York, Greatest American Hero).


"Goodbye Eddie Cain".

The directorial debut of Jack Colvin (Jack McGee).

Done up in the style of an old 40's detective serial; old fashioned detective, Eddie Cain, narrates the episode, as it's told almost entirely from his point of view.
Great turns of phrase, Eddie is a great character.

Damned good episode!
A definite standout.

Guest stars- No one that rings a bell (sorry).


"King Of The Beach".

Lou Ferrigno plays a dual role, as Hulk, and Carl Molino, a bodybuilder who works at the same restaurant as David.

Marks the third time Bixby and Ferrigno were on screen together.
The first was in "Married", in a hypnotic dream sequence, and the second was the acid trip in "Metamorphosis".

Cute episode, but average.

Guest stars- Double the Ferrigno.


"Wax Museum".

David works at a wax museum with a woman suffering from hallucinatory flashbacks after her father died in a fire.
But, there's more to her insanity than meets the eye.

Okay, her evil uncle is doping her with LSD.

Eerie feeling to it, decent episode.

Guest stars- Christine Belford (see "Wildfire").


"East Winds".

Another one directed by Jack Colvin.

Chinese gangsters are after golden treasure hidden in David's apartment, and an old cop has fallen in love with a girl forced to work for the gangster.

The trailer makes it look like she's David's mail order bride, but this is a temporary ruse.

Decent episode.

Guest stars- William Windom (Star Trek).


"The First Part I".

The one with "Evil Hulk".

Come on, we all love this one.

Shot as a tribute to the Universal Frankenstein films.
A lot of little hidden references in there.

So, David comes to a town after hearing reports of a Hulk-like creature seen there years before.

An old gardener, Dell Frye, tells David that he was the creature, and that he got cured, and takes him to the old doctor's equipment, which he's kept in running order.

David soon figures out Frye is an unstable maniac, but it's too late, he gets knocked out, and awakens just in time to witness Frye making himself into a creature again.

Guest stars- Dick Durock (Swamp Thing).


"The First Part II".

Hulk vs. Bad-Hulk.

Excellent.

My childhood favorite.

Guest stars- See part 1.


"The harder they fall".

David is hit by a car, gets his spine broken, is paralyzed from the waist down, and we find out a couple Hulk-outs fixes even THAT!

But, before that, David tries to accept his condition, and is coached by another paralyzed patient.

There's some subplot with a bank robbery that doesn't quite stick to my brain-cells that wasn't really needed.

Great performances by Bixby and Miller make this another one of the best.

Guest stars- Denny Miller (again).


"Interview With The Hulk".

A colleague of McGee's steals a lead on the Hulk, figures out who he is, and blackmails David into an interview.

Another great poignant Banner episode where the Hulk-outs are practically unnecessary.

Guest stars- Michael Conrad (was in everything in the 70's and 80's).


"Half Nelson".

David befriends a midget wrestler who's a bit of a loudmouth, and put-on artist.

Meh, silly rehash of "Final Round".

Guest stars- Tommy Madison (Little Bruno from Swamp Thing).


"Danny".

David tries to help a young widow escape from her hick brother in law, and father in law, who are farm equipment thieves.

Eh, another one I kinda daydreamed through.

Guest stars- Robin Deardon (from "Brain Child").


"Patterns".

David works for a clothing manufacturer who's betting everything on his daughter's fashion show.
A couple of loan sharks start wanting their money.

I had fun ripping on the ugly stuck-in-the-70's fashions with the hindsight of how 80's fashion really evolved.
Otherwise, miserable.

Guest stars- No one who rings a bell. 


Season 4 overall- A mixed bag of the best and the worst. It was really starting to die off. Standouts are "Prometheus", "Bring me the head of the Hulk", "Goodbye Eddie Cain", "The First", "The harder they fall", and "Interview With The Hulk".


Season 5.

"The phenom".

David travels to Miami with a potential baseball star, and tries to protect him from an unscrupulous manager.

One of the worst.

Guest stars- Dick O'Neill (again), Robert Donner (again), Brett Cullen (an episode of Freddy's Nightmares, and a DS9).


"Two Godmothers".

David becomes the unwilling accomplice of three escaped female inmates, one of whom is very pregnant.

They're chased after by a trigger happy female warden, and her distrustful deputy.

The performances elevate this otherwise blah plot.
Decent episode.

Guest stars- Sandra Kerns (again).


"Veteran".

David has to stop a crazy vet from killing a politician, but neither are who they appear to be.

The twist is about as weird as "Haunted".
Great performance by Koslo.

Above average episode.

Guest stars- Paul Koslo (again).


"Sanctuary".

The one with the faith-iest position I bitched about in "Babalao".

So, David hides out at a Catholic mission, and at one point, even pretends to be "Father Costa", and...isn't it always Catholics that are kowtowed to?

You never see Hindus be the ones who can bust ghosts, or expel demons, shit, not even Lutherans.
Nope, Catholics, they always represent not just all of Christianity, but all religion in America.
Why?
They aren't even a statistical majority.
Its never made sense to me.

Anyway, we have David Banner espousing the virtues of faith after he sneezed on superstition with all the contempt of a Chris Hitchens essay in "Babalao".
Make up your fucking mind, TV.
Stop dragging out the Scopes Monkey Trial.

Anyway, pretty bland episode, otherwise.

Guest stars- Diana Muldaur (again).


"Triangle".

David is working as a lumberjack (oh, yeah, no stress on that job!), and has fallen in love with Gale Weber, but, a crazy tycoon has his sights set on her too.

As can be expected, he sics his goons on David.

The last one to feature Jack McGee.

Meh, watchable.

Guest stars- Charles Napier (again), Mickey Jones (third time).


"Slaves".

David finds himself being forced to dig for gold by an escaped con.

Terrible.
Right up there with "The Beast Within", for worst.

Guest stars- John Hancock (Greatest American Hero, TNG), Jeffrey Kramer (Jaws, Jaws II).


"A Minor Problem".

Hulk meets "The Stand".

David wanders into a town that's been mysteriously deserted.

He meets up with a female scientist, and an infected dog.
Turns out there's a leaked plague of engineered lethal e-coli, and the lab that made it wants to cover it up, and say it's a gas leak.

Soon, they're set upon by some really stupid looters.
The most annoying ones die, so, it's all good.

Eh, it gets bad reviews elsewhere, but I thought it was okay.
Not a great one to go out on, but decent.

Guest stars- Soap people, and voice actors.


Season 5 overall- And, it sorta farts out. No real standouts here. "Veteran", is the closest, I guess.


The TV Movies.


The Incredible Hulk Returns-

See here.

Guest stars- Jack Colvin (back for the last time), Eric Allen Kramer (Down Home, Robin Hood: Men In Tights), Charles Napier (fourth time!), Tim Thomerson (Trancers series).


The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk-

See here, and here.

Guest stars- Rex Smith (Street Hawk), John Rhys-Davies (everything awesome), and Stan Lee (in his first Marvel cameo).



The Death Of The Incredible Hulk-

See here again.

Guest stars- Elizabeth Gracen (Highlander:The Raven), Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5, TNG).


Now, the series overall-
Great show, its very best gave Star Trek a run for its money.
But, like most shows, it went downhill, and when it was time to go, it was time to go.

All the standouts-
"The Incredible Hulk", "747", "Earthquakes Happen", "Married", "Mystery Man", "The Quiet Room", "The Slam", "Homecoming", "The Snare", "The Psychic", "Prometheus", "Bring me the head of the Hulk", "Goodbye Eddie Cain", "The First", "The harder they fall", "Interview With The Hulk", and "Veteran".
And the movies.

And, of course the ones I rated as "decent", "average", and "above average", are worth watching too.

And...I think that's the end.

Up next, "The Greatest American Hero".

3 comments:

Diacanu said...


D'oh! forgot to add Stan Lee, Andreas Katsulas, and the chick from "Highlander: The Raven", to the guest lists of the movies.

Fixed now.

Also, IMDB's TV Guide says Mariette Hartley is going to be on Law and Order: SVU on Tuesday.

Yipeee!

Diacanu said...


Meh, she was Jeremy Irons's lawyer and was onscreen for all of 3 minutes.

Oh well.

Paladin said...

Wow! That's quite an exhaustive summary of the series! I don't remember a lot of these--I only saw them when they were first run--but I seem to recall the one with Mariette Hartley being particularly effective. The ones I remember best are the ones where he's half-Hulk/half-Banner and the one with the older Hulk-like guy.

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