The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman

episode number: reunion movie #1 of 3 (1987)
viewing setting: home DVD, 8/26/12

episode synopsis: Amidst his own personal problems (including strained relations with Jaime, Oscar, and a son) an older, retired Steve gets involved in a terrorist plot.

impressions: This was a TV movie made nine years after the original shows ended in 1978. It was interesting in several ways. For one, everyone is older (though they aged well in their nine years off.) More importantly, though, the character of Steve Austin is different here. He's not the cocky, confident Steve of five years' worth of episodes in the 1970s. No, this Steve is burned-out from his OSI agent days and just wants to be left alone - to the point where he's cut himself off from everyone, including OSI, Jaime, and a son named Michael he apparently had from before his plane crash and bionic days (though he never mentioned it before.) Jaime has her own problems, mostly having to do with her memories of Steve that only recently returned. And then there's the issue of Steve's son Michael getting in a plane crash and losing both legs and an arm and an eye...well, you can probably see what's coming next. This had some of those mid-to-late-1980s touches (synth-pop background music, songs by Huey Lewis and the Pointer Sisters, general pacing) and also a good barfight. Rudy and Oscar both get into the action at the end. There were moments of stupidity, however. First, Steve and Jaime escape (for the second time) bad guys who have declared their intent to get some bionics...and then they just let them drive away and escape. Why? If someone wanted something that would be brought about my dissecting me, I'd be a little more proactive in making sure that didn't happen. And then there's the question of how all these people know who's bionic and who's not, especially given that it's apparently still supposed to be a secret. Overall, though, this was a good reunion special, and it worked.

notable guest stars: Martin Landau is a crime boss. Lee Majors' real-life son Lee Majors II is a likeable OSI agent. Tom Schanley is Steve's pilot son Michael who gets made bionic.

significant bionic antics: Steve crushes a tennis ball, chases a car, leaps up onto and then down from a high rooftop, flips a car over, participates in a barfight, fights some bad guys, bends a rifle barrel, leaps down from above to take out more bad guys, and does the sprint-up-and-disarm-bad-guys trick. He also works in tandem with Jaime, where he uses his eye to spot someone while she uses her hear to hear the whispered message that the person is conveying. Jaime, in addition to that, also uses her ear to listen to Steve talk to her through a crowd, races Michael bionically, leaps down then through a window, kicks a pistol out of a bad guy's hand, leaps up into a building top, and pushes down a piece of corrugated metal wall. Michael breaks a chin-up bar, destroys a door lock with his eye laser, runs faster than 200 mph, races Jaime bionically, throws a bad guy aside, breaks handcuffs with his eye laser, punches a rifle in half, throws a bad guy up onto some pipes, knocks a bad guy out with his eye laser, and shatters a barrel with a careless punch.

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