episode #96 - The Madonna Caper

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episode #96 - The Madonna Caper

Post  BoG on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:05 pm

episode #17 of 5th season / Air Date: 02/06/78  Arrow  written by Gregory S. Dinallo Arrow directed by Herb Wallerstein

This has nothing to do with the famous pop star, as some may think - this is before her time. The caper is quite standard, a bit of espionage involving a microdot hidden on the surface of a painting. OSi's contact is a restorer (Bibi Besch) who also is regarded as a countess - what's the truth? Who knows? She's the one who placed the microdot onto the painting. She and Austin have to sneak into a museum at night to remove that tiny microdot from the painting. Goldman briefs Austin on the extensive security measures at the museum, so much of the first half of the plot involves Austin employing special measures to avoid these. It all seems to go well, but the countess has other plans - out of sight from Austin, she switches the paintings and OSI (and foreign relations) is now in trouble. The real painting is sold for $5 million to a rich, shady collector. Austin has to get it back, of course, and this involves some con games.
Overall, this is the kind of episode and plot which would suit almost any crime or detective TV show and doesn't really need Austin's bionics, so it fails to be anything more than pedestrian. A lot of the plot revolves around the old 'painting switcheroo' gambit, which - it seems like - has been seen in numerous, various TV shows. The plot is weak - the shady collector is suddenly convinced very easily that he doesn't have the original. It's like a weak version of a Mission:Impossible episode. And, the motives of the countess are sort of cliche-101. Bruce Glover appears late in the episode as a Russian ambassador; OSI needs to delay him so that the paintings can be switched again, providing some tepid tension. BoG's Score: 5 out of 10

Bionic Trivia: Besch is probably best known as Capt. Kirk's old flame in Star Trek II:the Wrath of Khan (1982).
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