The Greatest American Hero “The Hit Car” (part 3 of 9)

Then we cut to what’s obviously going to be the hit car’s quarry, another ugly sedan cruising down a deserted highway somewhere.

Inside the victimmobile is a dumb blonde clattering away to the driver, a clearly expendable black FBI suit who looks a little like Starsky & Hutch co-star Antonio Fargas. The blonde is going on and on about how she’d asked for Bill Maxwell and how she’s in danger from this episode’s terrifying villain, a San Francisco mobster called “Johnny the Dancer” [!], if he finds out she’s testifying. (You get to choose your FBI agents? How does that work? I’m picturing the FBI web site. “In trouble? Click here to select your favorite mob moll chaperone!”)

This woman’s name, by the way, is the perfectly natural-sounding Starlet Wild. If you think she has an unfortunate moniker, you should meet her sister, Ilikeit.

Caption contributed by Mark

”What’s wrong with the way I talk? What’s the big idea? Am I dumb or something?”

Starlet is played by Gwen Humble, who did lots of miscellaneous TV guest spots in the ‘70s and ‘80s (Barnaby Jones, Remington Steele) but who actually has a far more interesting Agony Booth connection: her husband has also appeared on this site, and you’ll never guess who he is. Never in a million years. Here’s a hint: he knows a few pervs.

Not-Huggy Bear loyally protests that the FBI doesn’t make mistakes, while clumsily establishing for our benefit that he’s taking her to Los Angeles to go before a grand jury. Chesty McAirhead then clumsily establishes she’s an ex-showgirl. Together, they clumsily establish what a dumb episode this is going to be.

It’s about here we get the writer’s credit—who turns out to be none other than the series creator, Stephen J. Cannell. If, naïve fool that you are, you’re cherishing hopes that Cannell is really a visionary genius and “The Hit Car” is just his “Omega Glory”, upcoming even lamer episodes will, I fear, prove painfully disillusioning.

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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 "The Hit Car"

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