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Lifeguard Confidential 6
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****Sharkey's Review****
 
Lifeguard Confidential
 6th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 11/02/97   Encore: 11/08/97
Week of: 11/02/97 - 11/08/97 
 
My Score:  4 Rescue Cans
 
This Week's Quote: "Telephone, telegraph, tele-Newmy...loose lips, sink ships."
                                            -Captain Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff), in reference to the spy at Baywatch Headquarters. 
 
Ratings:
5 rescue Cans/Exceptional (Super Waves!)
4 Rescue Cans/Excellent
3 Rescue Cans/Good
2 Rescue Cans/Fair
1 Rescue Can/Poor (A Total Wipeout!)

This week's episode got off to a slow start thanks to the long opening scene concerning a crude, sleazy helicopter reporter named "Riptide" Rodger Peltyn (Shadoe Stevens). His knowledge about the private lives of the lifeguards concludes that there is a spy at Baywatch.

But it finished very strong thanks to the long awaited return of Caroline Holden (Yasmine Bleeth), and her struggle with Lieutenant Taylor Walsh (Angelica Bridges) to get a better assignment and some respect for her skills. I loved the way she went through Captain Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) to get want she wanted. She really used his power...and friendship to her advantage. And the Captain used a psychology method with Taylor instead of manipulation to get Caroline into a tower next to Michael "Newmy" Newman's (Michael Newman). It was Taylor's choice.

Also, Caroline's reaction to her first failed attempt in persuing a desired acting career was interesting. She returned to "Baywatch" after auditioning for the soap opera "Shannon's Hope" (any simularity to the real, former ABC soap "Ryan's Hope" that Yasmine Bleeth had the role of Ryan?) in New York. She finds out in a rather humorous way that fellow lifeguard Jack "J.D." Darius (Michael Bergan) is staying with her and Cody Madison (David Chokachi) while looking for a place of his own.

J.D. offers his help by practicing a scene with her. It is obvious that there is an attraction on both sides. During the kissing scene, it left Caroline wondering whether J.D. was acting or if it was the real thing. Newmy and his new girlfriend Chantal (Chantal Cloobeck) along with Cody discover that Lani McKenzie (Carmen Electra) works evenings as a nightclub contest dancer. Lani is embarrassed, but Cody tells her that she has nothing to be ashamed of and that she's doing great.

And it's more than obvious that Donna Marco (Donna D'Errico) is pursuing J.D., but he doesn't seem to show any interest in her. Although both Michael Bergan and Carmen Electra have weak acting skills, the other cast members supported them well. The last action scene was especially exciting and impressive. Oh Caroline! Caroline! She really compiled a lot of guts over the three-plus years as a Baywatch lifeguard following in the mold of Mitch, Newmy and deceased sister Lieutenant Stephanie Holden (Alexandra Paul)!

I watched as several lifeguards ran and swam out to "Riptide's" cameraman after losing his balance (his placement on the outside of the helicopter to shoot the shark was questionable) and in is danger of the shark. "Riptide" tries to rescue him by telling him to grab onto the base of the helicopter, but the man slips off. And "Riptide" crashes his helicopter into the water. He tries to free himself, but the mechanism of his safety belt fails and as a result, he is pinned in. He goes under fast.

Taylor goes for "Riptide" as do Mitch and Newmy. The tether of Taylor's rescue can gets caught on the helicopter and the strained momentum causes her to hit her head. She floats back to the water's surface unconscious. The shark was coming in for the kill, smacking its lips (or I should say teeth). Caroline got to Taylor. Seeing the shark coming at them, she used Taylor's can as a sturdy weapon with hard, forceful thrusts until the shark gave up and went away. Although disoriented, Taylor could now see what was going on. After Caroline succeeded in fending off the shark, Cody comes over and asks if they were both O.K. They swim Taylor back to shore. The cameraman is brought to safety. Mitch and Newmy rescue "Riptide." 

While tending to Taylor's head wound, Caroline does not get a word of thanks. The Lieutenant thanked Cody for saving her. Cody told Taylor to thank Caroline, as she got to her first. I could not understand why the words, "Thank you, Caroline," would not come out her mouth. Instead, after a seeming long hesitant moment, she managed, "I'm glad that you're back at Baywatch." And it looked as if Taylor did not want to say those words.

Taylor is the stilted type of authority that will have trouble bending to get the best out of her staff, as well as the refected success she needs for them to make her look good. She will have to learn to bend, as did Lieutenant Stephanie Holden ("Rookie of the Year"/3rd season 1992-1993). She was really tough on Matt Brody (David Charvet). So tough, that he almost gave up and left. Mitch talked him into staying.

The last scene was really humorous. After Mitch and Newmy rescued "Riptide", Newmy's "girlfriend" Chantal pushes her way through the crowd crying, "Sweetie! Sweetie!" She runs toward them, Newmy stands up, thinking that she's running to him...when she runs into "Riptide's" arms! "I was so scared. Are you all right?" They learned who the leak was. It made me wonder why they didn't think back as to when the stories about them got out for the public to hear. When she came. Before then, the sleazy reporter knew nothing. Newmy couldn't believe it. He was so hurt.

The strong, exciting last scenes kept this episode into the excellent ranks as I thought the script and content itself were a lot better than good. The only weak points were "Riptide" with his terrible remarks about the lifeguards (and he got really gross), and Lani's nightclub dance scene. Lani's scene somehow did not fit the mold of the show. They didn't hurt the episode, as the other scenes were strong enought to keep this one in tact.  My Score: 4 Rescue Cans

Next Review: Out of the Blue

 

ROOKIE SUMMER    NEXT GENERATION     THE CHOICE     MEMORIAL DAY    CHARLIE     LIFEGUARD CONFIDENTIAL     OUT OF THE BLUE     EEL NINO    HOMECOMING     MISSING    HIJACKED    NO WAY OUT     COUNTDOWN     SURF CITY    TO THE MAX     NIGHT OF THE DOLPHIN    FULL THROTTLE     QUARANTINE     DIABOLIQUE     BON VOYAGE    WHITE THUNDER AT GLACIER BAY/PART 1    WHITE THUNDER AT GLACIER BAY/PART 2  
 
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