Adam H. Kerman
2018-06-14 06:47:32 UTC
I think I'm turning Japanese.
Fifth scheduled to air, seventh in production order. Another complete
obscurity: Like "Where You From and What You Done?" it was scheduled to
air twice, pre-empted both times.
Sitting in a cafe outdoors, Michael listens to Max expound. Max wants
Michael to stop searching for himself and create a life for himself
the way he is; ge a girl. The Max character has no social life, not even
a home, so I'm not sure he's the right person to advise Michael.
A very young Japanese woman with a red case catches Michael's eye. He'll
learn she's the title character (Cely Carrillo, actually several years
older than Frank Converse). Michael catches her eye; they recognize each
other. Michael chases her, frightening her. He follows her to a
nondescript building with a small sign about an athletic club. He can't
get in, but climbs up a convenient outside stairs (it's not a fire
escape and I have no idea why they're there) and looks through the
clerestory to see a group practicing karate moves. It's led by Raffie, a
man who perpetually wears sunglasses indoors, expected to be blinded by
a sudden flash of a strobe light? I have no idea. It's Dan Travanty,
later to be credited as Daniel J. Travanti (Furillo).
Raffi speaks in a nasal voice, tightly restricts his tone to a few notes
within a very limited range. I'm not sure why Travanti thinks this makes
him sound particularly tough and dangerous, but of course on Hill Street
Blues, he gave a deliberately stilted performance, less nasal with the
voice, usually standing extremely still like the synths on Humans.
I swear Wentworth Miller's Leonard Snart is based on Travanti's
performance in this episode.
Tomoyo points out Michael; Raffie leads men outside to confront him.
Half of the group attack Michael, but muscle memory, uh, kicks in and
Michael defends himself. The other half beat him soundly, knocking him
out. When Michael recovers, he finds the red case. It's got small
brushes in it for Japanese caligraphy and drawings.
Back at Max's restaurant, there are more dancers and one waitress wearing
the Victorian maid's garb. Max (I assume) knows a young Japanese man,
credited as The Student (Sam Shimono who has 115 credits and is still
in show business) who translates what's found in the red box, although
Michael seems to know him as well. He reads the name off the drawings;
Michael looks it up in a phone book. It's a karate school run by Yasito
Omaki (Keye Luke), who turns out to be Tomoyo's father. She's pretending
not to recognize Michael. Raffie is his main instructor. Michael tells a
series of absurd lies about why he wishes to learn karate, which are seen
through immediately. It is explained that their fists are registered with
the police as lethal weapons, a line I've heard on tv and movies (never
on radio), but I've always questioned what possible forensic value there
can be to fist registration.
None of the men in the class appear to have been dancers at Max's
restaurant, so they're going all out on the budget for extras this week.
There's also a pretty woman in the class. Keye Luke's instruction
consists of him sitting still, looking stoic, lowering one student's arm
when it's too high, but I have no idea what part of the body they were
training to strike.
Michael is told to fill out a lengthy application with Tomoyo.
In conversations with Tomoyo, she obliquely refers to the fight the
other day. She and Raffie aren't a loving couple but he controls her. We
get the hint later that Raffie thinks Michael was investigating him;
Tomoyo can't convince Raffie that Michael was after her.
Tomoyo agrees to accompany Michael to Max's restaurant. Hey! This time
the dancers are dancing to an instrumental of our show's main theme!
She sort of remembers Michael but tries to get Michael to say where. In
two separate recovered memory sequences, Michael keeps placing her face
in benign scenes that hint of danger; we get Max's restaurant's 2000 cup
coffee maker, further hinting that whatever memory Michael is grasping for,
he's substituting familiar but irrelevant details.
Raffie shows up to get Tomoyo.
In class, Michael seems to know how to fall but Keye Luke criticizes him
for being tense, which wastes energy and will cause him to lose the
The master invites Michael to a saki ceremony in his home, explaining
how this establishes friendship. The master wants Michael to start
revealing himself and what he wants. Tomoyo, now dressed in ceremonial
garb we see in movies, serves them but lets the men talk.
He shows Michael how to draw but Tomoyo lies to him about where the red
case is; later Michael says that he has it.
Michael returns to the athletic club; some guy eating a sandwich is
guarding the place; Michael can't get in. Raffie later confronts Tomoyo
and Michael, separately, about spying on him.
In class, Raffie is now Michael's personal instructor. He deliberately
breaks Michael's left arm but the master denies that it was intensional.
The master knows nothing about the athletic club.
Back at Max's restaurant, Michael kisses Tomoyo but continues to grill
her. Overhearing, Max tells Michael that she's playing on his sympathies
and trying to trick him into returning to the athletic club but Michael
heads there anyway.
Max sees Tomoyo make a phone call after Michael left.
Raffi and henchmen walk down a street in a very orchestrated manner.
They're going somewhere with purpose!
They're heading to the athletic club! I have no idea why Michael started
following them from two blocks back. The security guard, having finished
his sandwich, sees Michael follow them. He fails to prevent Michael from
entering the now unlocked door of the athletic club. He follows Michael
up the interior staircase. Michael enters the unlocked club followed by
the guard who tells him to go ahead; they're just practicing with a body
bag. Michael accuses a confused Raffi of being "out for me".
Raffi tells him he's a menace and all the men begin circling.
Wow! It's now a very serious situation because Raffi takes off the
sunglasses! Finally Michael's fogging memory clears a little and the
enemy in the memory is someone else, but Michael still recalls the same
pair of sunglasses.
Michael refuses to fight, just tells Raffi that the sunglasses are the
same. Raffi attacks, Michael defends against Raffi and another and gets
the better of them (briefly) with one arm! There's a man in a black suit
taking out all the henchman! It's the master! Michael is saved!
Of course, the master's humiliation is that Raffi was such a lousy
instructor. Michael reveals the plot, that Raffi was training them to be
collectors for the Mafia! Where the hell did Michael learn this?
Michael finally realizes that Tomoyo wasn't the woman in his memory, not
that she clears up any hints that she remembered Michael, and thanks her
and her father, having learned Dorothy's lesson from The Wizard of Oz.
And we get the ubiquitous Michael Walking Away footage in Central Park,
absurd because of Michael's broken arm.
The fight sequences are credited as both karate and judo.
I have now completed the series, which failed to reveal the secret of