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****Sharkey's Review****
 
To The Max
 15th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 02/22/98   Encore: 02/28/98
Week of: 02/22/98 - 02/28/98 
 
My Score:  4 Rescue Cans
 
This Week's Quote: "The future doesn't just happen, it is created."
                                             -Will and Ariel Durant
 
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!)

To The Max supplied us with two strong plots. The first plot being about J.D. talking some of his workmates into diving for Sea Urchins with Captain Bob. They would make a nice profit. The result was pretty tragic, with Lani having a ruptured eardrum and losing her hearing.

The second about Mitch's infatuation with a young woman named Jenny Wade (Maura Peters). He had been watching her ride on horseback along the beach for 5 days and had to meet her. He goes in hot pursuit. The plot was accented with the beautiful song To the Max, written by the splendid team of Robin and Judithe Randall.

The team rescues Captain Bob and his sons who were diving for Sea Urchins. Later J.D. (Michael Bergin) realizes that he could get about $300 for how much they catch. He peered over into the women's locker room when Lani McKenzie (Carmen Electra) and April Giminski (Kelly Packard) were talking. He tried to get some other lifeguards to go into it with him. This is a big bad habit with J.D.! Although he is not looking for thrills, he always peers over into the women's locker room. His future is going to be loaded with switchboard assignments if caught by Lieutenant Taylor Walsh (Angelica Bridges) again (Hijacked/11th episode 8th season 1997-1998).

Cody Madison's (David Chokachi) car is a total mess. It was steaming when he tried parking it at Headquarters. He raised the hood. When Jordan saw it and came over, he tried to be impressive in discussing it. Jordan Tate (Traci Bingham) knew that he didn't know what he was talking about. He asked if she knew anything about cars, and she admitted some. She estimated that it would cost him at least a minimum of twelve hundred dollars. Cody couldn't believe it. She'd get an offical estimate for him. When Jordan gave him the estimate, Cody couldn't believe that it was going to cost him $2000! J.D. told Cody that he would tell Captain Bob that he will be there to dive for Sea Urchins. He needed the money to get a new car.

Captain Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) was all too eager to give Cody a ride to his tower, and went up the ramp with him. Mitch grabbed Cody's binoculars from his bag and looked through. The person whom he wanted to come along was right on time. He told Cody to go down and get her name address and info and cite her. It was a new procedure. Cody did as he was asked and the young woman couldn't believe it. Cody told her that it was a new procedure. Mitch came along and told Cody that they didn't have to cite her-that they could just let her off with a warning. Cody didn't give Mitch the young woman's information on the pad right away. He had been set up so that he could just meet her. Mitch snatched it from him playfully.

To continue, Mitch wanted to give Hobie (Jeremy Jackson) riding lessons because he had always wanted them. Hobie reminded Mitch that he wanted those lessons when he was 9 years old. Hobie asked who the guy was giving the lessons. Mitch explained that it wasn't a guy, it was a girl. He was trying to get a date with her. Mitch told him that he didn't want to look like a geek trying to ride a horse. Hobie asked but it was O.K. for him to look like a geek? Mitch said "yes." Hobie agreed to help him get a date with her. Well, why not? He's been helping his dad land dates since he was just an adorable little thing. During the course of the riding lessons, Mitch managed to talk her into a date. It was nice seeing Jordan and Hobie again. Jordan is rarely seen as a part of any storyline. She is just shown as a part of the lovely scenery. New faces are always welcome here! I'd just like to see more of them. Jenny tells Mitch that she knew about his approach and fake citation bit. And then sending Hobie for riding lessons. His old fashioned approached touched her.

Things get serious when the boys go diving for Sea Urchins. Lani came along, but could not dive because of a cold that kept her congested. She wouldn't be able to equalize. They are successful in collecting a lot of them. They suddenly see someone in distress. There was a young man who was trying to get their attention. His buddy never came back up. He would go under, but his bottom time was up. Cody and J.D. couldn't go under either. Their bottom time was up as well. If they dived, they would risk getting the bends. Lani volunteered, but Cody and J.D. did not want to send her under. She had that cold and could not equalize. She said that she'd be fine. She was the only choice. Captain Bob was no diver.

When she went under and tried to rescue the diver, they started up. She began to suffer convulsions. When the team gets there, Mitch and April dive to rescue them. Lani was screaming from pain and complained about not being able to hear anything. The blood coming from her ear indicated a ruptured eardrum. Later in the hospital, Cody was there to see her. Near tears, he blamed himself for sending her down when he knew that she had a cold. Looking at the words that he had written on paper, she told him it wasn't his fault, she wanted to dive. He pulled her close as he comforted her. Although this plot was originally supposed to be reserved for Caroline Holden (Yasmine Bleeth), I'm glad that the storyline was altered. Too many lifeguards were going out with a permanent injury or in death. This opens the door for Yasmine to come back if she should ever change her mind to do another guest spot.

The script was good despite some flaws that should have been cleaned up before the episode was even filmed. One of them was Mitch's seemingly lack of concern for Lani when she was in the hospital. He seemed much more interested in pursuing Jenny than in the most important serious matter at hand. Jenny indicated that she was interested in Mitch, so he could have gone over to the hospital. Mitch has always been there for everyone else in the past. He seems close to Cody and I would think that Mitch should have given Cody and Lani the support they needed.

Cody was the only one who was shown visiting her. J.D. was the other half of the team who let her go down with a cold knowing that she wouldn't equalize, and yet he wasn't there. Guilt should have automatically propelled him to the hospital alone. And the only other time that Lani's condition was mentioned was when Hobie asked his dad if she was going to be all right. What was wrong with him going over to the hospital along with some of her other closest rookie friends to show that someone actually cared about her?

Jenny was originally slated to be the woman to wed Mitch this season, but David Hasselhoff reported that they decided to go with one of their own actresses already on the payroll. They had enough characters. It's too bad that Jenny was dumped in favor of Neely. I thought that Mitch and Jenny could have paired well provided that they got rid of the horses. The flaws kept me from giving this episode the highest rating.  My Score: 4 Rescue Cans

Next Review: Night of the Dolphin

 

 
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