The Six Million Dollar Man: Sharks (part 2)

episode number: season 5, episode 2 (1977)
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/22/12

episode synopsis: Steve helps deal with the attempted theft of a submarine.

impressions: I know what they were trying to do here: channel the terror and menace of Jaws and also give us an exciting two-part underwater episode with plenty of seaborne action, submarines, ships, depth charges, and so on. For the most part, it worked, and there was even some internal strife among the bad guys. However, there were logic flaws. You can't float a bathysphere away with 3 tiny balloons filled with air from a diver's tank. Also, the money and effort needed to 1) successfully control sharks and 2) build the cool underwater base would have been significant - far more than they probably paid all the evil henchmen to carry out the sub-stealing plot. Also, Steve had numerous chances to disarm the bad guys, but he failed to take at least three of them before finally going for it and succeeding. Things would have been a lot simpler if he'd just used his bionics to act, more quickly and more efficiently. Finally, Steve and Rudy were hostages for much of this episode, which illustrates another common logic problem with this series: if you send men out to solve a problem, you have to be willing to lose them when it's time to drop the depth charges, depoy the mines, nuke the area, or whatever. Final unrelated note: Oscar makes a reference to being in "underwater demolition in World War II" which would make him a Frogman, the predecessors to the Navy SEALs.

notable guest stars: Pamela Hensley (better known as Princess Ardala from the Buck Rogers series) is the main bad guy's bad daughter. Veteran TV and film actor Gregory Walcott is the #1 evil henchman who eventually takes command. Veteran TC and film actor Marc Alaimo is a near-nameless evil henchman here.

significant bionic antics: Steve pushes a full-size U.S. nuclear submarine - which is impossible, even in this show. He also uses his bionic hand/fingers to punch a small hole in the sub's hull to create an oil leak, knocks out some bad guys, and creates an underwater avalanche by pushing some boulders loose.

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