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****Sharkey's Review****
Out Of The Blue
 7th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 11/09/97   Encore: 11/15/97
Week of: 11/09/97 - 11/15/97 
My Score:  3 Rescue Cans
This Week's Quote: "We forgive once we give up attachment to our wounds."
                                             -Russell Banks
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!)

Out of the Blue was one of the episodes that was directed by Parker Stevenson. It was written by David Braff. The first of three plots was centered on April Giminski (Kelly Packard) and Manny Gutierrez (Jose Solano). The second was about Jordan Tate (Traci Bingham), and the third on Caroline Holden (Yasmine Bleeth) and Jack "J.D." Darius (Michael Bergin).

Again, the first plot's talented Kelly Packard does a wonderful job here in giving strong support to a slowly, but steadily improving Jose Solano. Jose Solano's acting has improved greatly since last season. The first plot started off with a victim hoisting training exercise. Accompanied by lifeguards aboard their scarab were Lieutenant. Taylor Walsh (Angelica Bridges) and Greg Barnett (Greg Barnett). She watched them with a tainted eye. Bridges' acting skills will need work in some areas, but she should improve by next season.

Once the helicopter lowered the hoisting bed, and the victim was secured, reattachment of the hoisting device was required and a thumbs up sign given to the helicopter. Orders blasted from the helicopter's speaker requiring Manny and April to hold on to the line to keep the device steady. All went well until unsure grips caused the bed to tip over, causing the victim to fall into the water. April spoke right up, stating that it was her fault for not having a secure grip. Although agitated, Lieutenant Walsh said that it was O.K. It was a training exercise. They both felt bad about the mishap. Later, the two find out that they were not scheduled for tower assignments. A bit harsh a punishment for a training exercise. As I had mentioned in my last review, Lifeguard Confidential/6th Episode, 8th Season, Lieutenant Walsh needs to learn how to bend a little. She seems to retaliate, instead of using the needed guidance when a lifeguard doesn't meet up to her particular expectations. Since they didn't get to work, Manny helps April with her designs for class. When Manny told her that they were too Wisconsin, they head to the city for new design ideas. We find igniting interest between the two as well.

The second plot focuses on Jordan. After a season of introducing too many lifeguards at once, and poorly developed characters, Jordan finally gets a solid background and her own storyline. It's a sensitive issue, but we'll all take it. We learn a bit about her. Captain Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) pulls up to her tower wanting to talk. During the walk on the beach, he informs her about the private investigator who tracked her down. He was hired by someone claiming to be her mother. She is bitter and does not want to meet her. She had gotten along for 25 years (we also learn her age) without her. She has two wonderful parents who were always there for her. She reasoned that she didn't need a third.

Mitch gets her to come fishing with him so that they could talk. Later he tells Jordan that he spoke to her mother on the phone, and that she was going to meet them there. She was upset that he had interfered in her life that way. After calming down a bit, Jordan gave up after looking around, wondering where she was. Mitch told her that she probably went below deck, as he only spoke to her on the phone. He didn't know what she looked like. When she did show, Jordan was very surprised and confused when the woman introduced herself as Rena Jaffee. She was White, not Black as she expected.

Rena explained how she had met her father, a handsome Marine at a concert. That he had been shipped out to Vietnam, how she had gone into labor was when she learned that his platoon had been ambushed. And how times were different then in 1972. People were not as tolerant as they are now. She was from a small town in Oklahoma. And she could not go home with a Black baby. And why she located her. She had been diagnoised with Huntington's Disease, a disorder of the central nervous system. She came to warn her that it was hereditary. That if a parent has it, there is fifty percent chance that their children will get it.

When a huge wave caused by seismic activity off the coast flipped the fishing boat over, Jordan, with Mitch's help saved her mother, who was trapped below deck. After viewing this plot, I realized that Traci Bingham's acting skills will need some polishing as well as those of Angelica Bridges' and Michael Bergin's. Stronger skills would have made this such a strong piece. But David Hasselhoff does a wonderful job in supporting her.

And the third storyline was about Caroline Holden's budding romance with J.D. and the fact that she got the part in the soap, "Shannon's Hope," and trying to decide between the two. The two went off sailing and was enjoying the evening until the seismic wave flipped their boat over. The sailboat's mast was just about to hit Caroline, when J.D. pulls her to safety. Later J.D. heard Caroline crying. Concerned, he asked her what was wrong. She confided that it was how her sister Stephanie (Alexandra Paul) was killed. She was not there, but Mitch was and told her what had happened. They kissed and spend a romantic evening together. Caroline later finds out that she got the part she wanted. J.D finds out about it later when he checked the messages on the answering machine when the two returned home. When he questioned her about not telling him, she said that she was going to. And that he could come with her. He said that he did not want to leave Baywatch. He just got there.

The send-off was a bit tearful (Yasmine is such a wonderful actress). J.D. watched from above. Mitch told her that he wasn't going to drive her to the airport. He steered her toward an awaiting limo...that this was taking her. She was stunned and happy. Mitch said that they wanted to give her a big send off. She embraced Mitch as if she never wanted to let him go. Before entering the limo, she took a long minute to look up at J.D. The limo was soon on its way and Mitch said, "A star is born." Although this scene was excellent, there was still a big empty hole in it. Although I can understand Manny being there to send Caroline off, but April barely knew her. They didn't kiss or embrace her, either. Where were the other people she was closest to? Besides Mitch whom she's known for a long time, where was Newman "Newmy" Newman (Michael Newman)? He had grown very close to Caroline as a friend. He has worked with her often over the years. He had a great relationship with her deceased sister Stephanie as well. Newmy was there for everybody! A send off would be incomplete without him. He was one of her best friends. And what about Hobie, who grew up adoring her as much as he had Stephanie and C.J. (Pamela Anderson)? The two had not been to anything over the last two years (except Charlie Hays' funeral/"Charlie"/5th episode 1997-1998). I think that Caroline would have welcomed a little more love (in the way of hugs and kisses) shown here! About the plots. Actually, they were very strong, but good acting in some areas could have made this an exceptional piece. The acting was just a little too noticeable.  My Score: 3 Rescue Cans

Next review: Eel Nino


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