episode #0 - Welcome Home, Jaime

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episode #0 - Welcome Home, Jaime

Post  BoG on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:15 pm

episode #0 of 1st season / Air Date: 1/14/76 Arrow written by Kenneth Johnson Arrow Directed by Alan Crosland

This continues the story of Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner), from The Return of the Bionic Woman, part 2, the episode which aired at the start of the 3rd season of The Six Million Dollar Man. In that episode, Jaime had lost all of her memory and then departed to a clinic run by Dr. Rudy Wells (Martin E. Brooks) in Colorado, as Steve Austin looked on forlornly. The persons behind this new bionic series must have figured that a central heroine so damaged in the mind would be an awkward leading character in an on-going series. So, the very first scene here has Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson) dictating the latest event: Jaime is undergoing new surgery to hopefully restore her memories. The operation is at least a partial success; Jaime seems to regain most of her memories, though most of her experiences with Steve Austin are still a blank for some reason.
This first episode established the set-up for the series: Jaime decides to move back to her hometown, Ojai, CA, and is invited to live in a loft on the farm owned by Austin's parents (still played by Martha Scott and Ford Rainey). Jaime gets a job at the local Air Force Base as a teacher of 6th graders (she earned an education degree before becoming a tennis star). The show stressed a more warm, calm and family-oriented atmosphere than the bionic man show from which it sprang. Much of Jamie's bionic prowess is used for benign tasks like super-swift cleaning and lifting an oven. Most telling is how the character of Oscar Goldman interacts with Jaime; Richard Anderson's approach with her is much more casual and warm than with Lee Majors as Austin, like she's his niece or something. I mean, Goldman was usually friendly with Austin too, but here it's a more caring, more gentle approach - Oscar doesn't even want her to go on any more missions!

This was also the start of Jaime's teaching stint, including a now-famous demonstration with a phone book; I wasn't sure about her 'benign' approach here - she seems to be hinting to the school brats that she could rip their heads off when they got out of line - wouldn't this traumatize some of them..? Question Twisted Evil

This episode also had some revelations for Jaime: she finds out about her history with Steve Austin even though she still can't remember most of this. Lee Majors shows up as Austin; it's more than just a cameo, as he's in several scenes. And, waiting in the wings is the episode's bad guy (played by Dennis Patrick, also returning from The Return of the Bionic Woman, part 2). It's a fine set-up and very watchable, mostly due to the very likable Lindsay Wagner. Continued in Part 2. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

Bionic Trivia: this episode originally aired as an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man series, late in its 3rd season. It functioned almost like a pilot for The Bionic Woman show, though the show was already a 'go.' The actual first episode of The Bionic Woman series was Welcome Home, Jaime - Part 2. In later years, in syndication and for video releases, this episode - part 1 as it were - was reworked as the first episode of The Bionic Woman
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