The Greatest American Hero “Here's Looking at You, Kid” (part 4 of 6)

Meanwhile, out in the desert, Bill is coaching Ralph on his mad telekinesis skillz. He moves to attack Ralph, and tells Ralph to stop him with a mental push. But when Ralph puts on his concentrating face and tries to push, he instead disappears. Okay, that’s really not the same thing at all.

Caption contributed by Mark

“Okay, two more years to go on my contract, that means, let’s see, 41 episodes, that’s, 41, 20, carry the two—crap, 800 more hours in this damn suit.”

Ralph is freaking out, because he can’t even see himself, and doesn’t know how to come back. He starts ranting (in voiceover), “It’s like being dead, Bill! It feels like I don’t exist!” He paces, which is cleverly simulated by magically appearing footprints.

Bill tells him to be calm. Because “pushing” caused him to disappear, Bill urges him to try “pushing twice” to reappear. See, this is why I would have made a sucky hardboiled FBI sidekick, because I was thinking the opposite of “pushing” would be, you know, pulling. But with the way this suit works, “pulling” probably causes your nipples to emit death lasers or some crazy shit like that.

Now we get, I kid you not, the crappiest split screen I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched The Patty Duke Show. There’s actually a dirty gray stripe running down the screen between Bill and where Ralph starts to reappear. You remember last time, when I was talking about Pumaman being the real inspiration for this show? We’re now at the point where GAH, effects-wise, sucks slightly worse than Pumaman. And that’s saying something.

Anyway, Ralph’s reappearance only gets as far as his feet, and then he’s gone again. Loser.

Caption contributed by Mark

Special effects by Piet Mondrian.

Meanwhile, it’s finally dawning on Bill, after he feels up Invisible Ralph [?], that this power will work for them in their present predicament just as well as the telekinesis. Bill and Invisible Ralph get in the car and drive off to steal the Supervoltimeter, while ADR Ralph grouses the whole way into town about the can’t-see-himself thing, and how it’ll mean he can’t go to court (huh? oh yeah, his divorce proceedings from the pilot), and that he’ll probably lose custody of his Son That’s Slowly Being Erased From the Timeline and Soon Will Never Have Existed.

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Mark "Scooter" Wilson

Mark is a history guy, a graphics guy, a guy for whom wryly cynical assessments of popular culture are the scallion cream cheese on the toasted everything bagel of life. He spends his time teaching modern history at Brooklyn College, pondering the ancient Romans at the CUNY Graduate Center, and conjuring maps and illustrations for ungrateful bankers at various Manhattan monoliths. Readers are welcome to guess at reasons why he's nicknamed Scooter, with the proviso that all such submissions are guaranteed to be rather more interesting than the truth. Mark lives in the Midwood section of Brooklyn with a happy-go-lucky, flop-eared dog named Chiyo who is probably, at this very moment, waiting patiently for her walkies.

Multi-Part Article: The Greatest American Hero "Here's Looking at You, Kid"

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