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****Sharkey's Review****
 
No Way Out
 12th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 02/01/98   Encore: 02/07/98
Week of: 12/01/98 - 12/07/98 
 
My Score:  5 Rescue Cans
 
This Week's Quote: "The best lightening rod for your own protection is your own spine."
                                             -Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
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!)

As a change of pace, No Way Out gave us another perspective in the disapproval of two opposites that are attracted to each other. With one of the first being the passionate Eddie Kraimer (Billy Warlock)-Shauni McClain (Erika Eleniak) relationship. Shauni's rich father did not like or approve of Eddie, who was not going to college or who was not rich. He chose lifeguarding as a career. What's wrong with being a hero, risking your own life to save someone else's every day?

This time it's the hard working handsome Latino Manny Gutierrez (Jose Solano) dating a lovely White girl named April Giminski (Kelly Packard). Manny is badly criticized by his old friends from the old neighborhood. Feeling the pressure, Manny doesn't tell his mother Teresa (Vicky Carr) who April is. By the way, it's wonderful to see Vicky back as Manny's mom. I hope to see more of her in future episodes. He acts indifferent toward April when she rejoins him and he runs out to the ocean to prevent young boys from going into the water with inter-tubes. When Manny's mother stands beside April, she proudly tells her that Manny is her son. April seemed very happy until she introduced herself as April and Mrs. Gutierrez did not seem to know her at all. April was steamed! She excused herself. When Manny returned to his tower, she had a word with him. Mrs. Gutierrez was looking on. April told him off, stating that he hadn't told his mother about her at all-and what she looked like. That he was ashamed to be seen with her because she was White. She left his tower storming off fuming. And who cold blame her? He was her boyfriend and should have been more than proud to show her off to everyone.

A word about Manny and his reaction to his friends. The kid needs a set of new friends that he can actually feel comfortable being with. Although I can understand the pressure, if Manny had really cared enough for April, he would have told his friends that he could date whom he wants. Why can't his buddies just leave the two alone?

The situation gets worse as she is angry at Manny and does not want to speak to him. She works off her anger as Craig Pomeroy (Parker Stevenson) walks up to her and invites her to go diving to clear her head. She accepts and they get started. The two later encounter a shark and look for a safe place to take refuge. Craig spots a pipe tunnel. They quickly get inside just escaping the shark. The shark charges and tries to get at them through the grate. They hold it in place to fend it off.

The two are suddenly and quickly sucked through the power plant's intake pipe end up inside a sixteen-foot metal room, which was half-filled with water. The turbines suddenly stop the cycle as they are about to be pulled toward the blades. Craig loses a fin in the process. They spot a ladder and try to get out, but the turbines start the next cycle and they hang on for dear life to keep from getting chopped up by the blades. April is trapped under a heavy ladder, which breaks off and pins her under. Craig tries to free her. He finally manages to get her head above water, but her leg is trapped. Her arm is bleeding and Craig uses some of her sleeve as a tie below the wound to control the bleeding and pull the rest up to cover the puncture wound. She was going into traumatic shock and had trouble staying conscious. Craig had to talk to April and get her to talk to promote consciousness while trying to free her foot. The turbines start the cycle again.

I must say that it is a good thing that she is with an exceptional veteran lifeguard, who thinks on his feet! This scenes here were all so was well done with excellent acting, writing and directing that it made you root for these two as they fought to stay alive. Kelly Packard was wonderful and convincing as April in traumatic shock, whining and telling Craig about her relationship problems. Parker Stevenson was a welcome breath of fresh air in this serious storyline. It showed him off as one of Baywatch's best even though his character Craig has been away from Baywatch for such a long time. It was dramatic and spine tingling. It really kept your interest! I must say that this episode is already a classic!

Manny talks to Captain Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) when April doesn't answer any of his calls. And who could blame her? He wanted to make up for his behavior by asking her over for dinner. Mitch knew that she had gone diving with Craig and probably lost track of the time. When it was way past the time for Craig to meet his date, the Jaguar Lady, who was waiting impatiently in the parking lot for him. Mitch puts a call through to their boat, but there is no reply. Mitch gets worried and calls for a full search operation, sending veteran lifeguards J.D. (Michael Bergin) and Newmy (Michael Newman) to their boat and checked the area around it.

When the two search below, they see the open intake pipe tunnel and Craig's fin. The sudden cycle begins again and J.D. is sucked inside. Newmy manages to fight the pull and swims back to the boat. He talks to Mitch on the surface by radio and it forces him to call the plant that operates the unit and tells the man that there are people trapped inside and to shut it off. He tells him that it might be hard to do this. Mitch yells over the phone ordering him to shut it off. The writers really show Mitch off well in the power position here. Very impressive!

Meanwhile, the shark has been sucked into the room. Craig tries to distract it and hits it with a piece of the grate. His timing was perfect as he got it to go toward the blades. It sucked the shark in, killing it. J.D. is dumped into the room with Craig and April. To keep J.D. from getting killed as well, they hold onto his hand. The blades stop just as they let go of J.D.'s hand. What a relief! J.D. had more than half of spare air left, so they could all swim back to the surface safely. J.D. looked more like the lifeguard that he was before the pier accident (The Choice/3rd episode, 8th season 1997-1998). The script was so good that I had to give it the highest mark on the rescue can scale! It was a lot better than excellent. This episode had purpose and every cast member was used well. They didn't just stand around to fill space.

Later, Manny made up with April by inviting her to the beach with him and his mom for a picnic lunch. Craig stops by in his truck. He was glad to see that she and Manny had made up. She thanked him for saving life her below. She knew that if he hadn't been there, that she wouldn't have survived. Craig takes off and when April rejoined Manny and his mom, she told them that she was never going diving with him again.  My Score: 5 Rescue Cans

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