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****Sharkey's Review****
Night Of The Dolphin
 16th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 03/01/98   Encore: 03/07/98
Week of: 03/01/98 - 03/07/98 
My Score:  5 Rescue Cans
This Week's Quote: "We are who we choose to be."
                                             -Hercules (Kevin Scerbo)/"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"
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!)

Night of the Dolphin offered a HUGE welcome back to Garner Ellerbee (Greg Alan Williams)! It was good seeing this guy again! After 5 seasons of Baywatch and 1 season of Baywatch Nights, he was greatly missed. Mitch (David Hasselhoff) and Garner shines brightly on the screen together. It makes me want to sing, Mitch and Garner, Mitch and Garner! They go together like a horse and carriage! Well, it doesn't rhyme, but what the heck! This episode offered lots of investigative and detective work. The danger is written in the old format and brings back a lot of memories. The episode offered two well-written storylines that kept you interested to the end. The director did well in how the scenes were to take shape on film, especially in the capture of bad boy Donovan with the extensive help and footage of The Coast Guard (it's always a treat to see these guys) and of course, the rescue scene from the shark. Also, kudos to the writers! The actors themselves did a fine job here.

The first storyline opens with a crowd around a dead dolphin. Mitch has April (Kelly Packard) to drive it to the Marine Lab to find out what killed it. April came back and told him that the Marine Lab should have something for them tomorrow. Meanwhile, Garner had witnessed an illegal drug deal on the beach and he mounted his horse and the chase began. The drug dealers scrambled, mounting their ATVs, while the other got away on his Wave Runner. They pass by Mitch and he and April join in the chase. The opening scene with chase was definitely all Mitch and Garner! After they captured the two drug dealers, Mitch and Garner began to talk about their good old days and catch up on each other's present lives.

Garner tells Mitch all about the big drug smuggling ring that was operating off the coastline. How the dealers used a phosphorescent chemical in the water to mark drug drop sites into the ocean. Garner also informed him of the results from the Marine Lab stating in the report that the dolphin died from the same chemical. He needed Mitch's help in busting these drug dealers.

Neely (Gena Lee Nolin) was on duty when an attractive man named Mike Donovan (Peter Lucas) approached her. He was having a party on his boat and wanted her to come. He was very enchanted with her. She invites Mitch and Garner to come along. Aboard the yacht, Garner tells Mitch that he recognized Donovan. He realized that the yacht was the base for the drug operation and that Donovan was the head drug dealer. They both later warn Neely about Donovan and his smuggling drugs in from Mexico. Neely said that she was a big girl and could take care of herself.

Mitch joins Garner to snoop around Donovan's yacht and finds the phosphorescent chemical that killed the dolphin. Mitch gets a sample and both are soon spotted by Donovan's domo (a.k.a.: puppet, Lukas (Kevin Light). Mitch submerges and Garner speeds away but not before Lucas recognized them. Garner tells Mitch that he asked Neely that since Donovan is so taken with her, that she plant a transmitter on the boat. This infuriates Mitch when Garner told him that Neely had agreed to do it. I can't recall any past episodes when Mitch was angry with Garner.

Neely was invited aboard the boat with Donovan. He poured a glass of Champaign and tried handing it out to Neely, but she told him that she didn't drink. He offered her something else and she said that would be fine. He called Lucas to see to it that she got a non-alcoholic drink. Lucas wanted to speak with Donovan. His going off alone with Lucas gave Neely the chance she needed to plant the transmitter. Alone, he told him about the drop that would take place in an hour and what was Neely doing there, that she was the one who brought the nosey scuba diver and his friend to the party the other day. While they spoke, Neely found a place to hide the transmitter. Donovan kept Neely prisoner. Lucas had searched her purse and found nothing, so he did a sweep of the cabin that they were in. He later found what they were looking for. Donovan was infuriated and turns off the transmitter. The boat had stopped in the ocean. The drop was made and two of Donovan's puppets went out by rubber raft to get the two large packages.

Mitch and Garner noted that the boat had stopped and now the transmitter was off. Which meant that they found it and Neely was in danger, they had to move. Neely was forced into an inflatable rubber raft and Lucas had poured out some bait to lure sharks. There was bait hanging from the bottom of the raft as well. Donovan told her that it was too bad that it didn't work out. He had some nerve! He was the head of a drug smuggling ring! Did he honestly think that someone who didn't deal in illegal drugs would be faithful to him? He really should leave those women who made an honest living alone. Lucas released the blade of his retractable knife and punctured a large hole in the side of the raft. After being shoved off to sea, Neely found herself in a deflating raft with a shark circling and waiting to make her out of fish food (oooh, gosh that hurt)!

The Coast Guard took care of Donovan's crew. They were soon captured. I have always loved it when The Coast Guard had a lot of footage. They made the scenes more realistic. Donovan had double-crossed Lucas and made an escape in a small boat. The Coast Guard's large boat and their helicopter were in pursuit along with Mitch and Garner. They see Neely on the way. She was waving frantically for help. Mitch had told Garner not to slow up and to go after Donovan. He feared that the drug smuggler might get away. Somehow he knew that Garner would come back that way to rescue them. It's just the way these two have always worked. Neely was relieved when Mitch swam out to her. Somehow, she felt better with him there with her. Well, with Mitch's track record, I'd feel 100% safe too!

Garner was soon upon Donovan and The Coast Guard's large boat was ahead. Their helicopter was overhead keeping it in view. Donovan had nowhere to go! He was told to stop. There were armed Coasties on deck. Garner told The Coast Guard gentlemen that they did a great job. Donovan looked back at Garner, who wore a disgusted, serious expression in return. The most serious I've ever seen.

And I really loved the rescue scene when Garner saved Mitch and Neely from the horrible shark (oooh, that hurt again) while they continued to sink! Poor Neely was bailing out water with her hands. Garner was heading toward them and was within vicinity! Their sinking rubber raft would have surely made them "fish food" (Wow! This episode is really picking on my kind). Garner had no recourse than but to use his roping skills! I really loved this! With one hand on the wheel to drive and the other with rope in hand forming a lasso, he throws it out as far as he could and hit on the money! Mitch got it! They made it pretty dramatic with the super slow-mo when Garner lassos a line out to them enabling them to travel along with the boat. The shark suddenly lost scent of the bait and went the opposite way. Now that's what I call a great rescue scene! I actually liked it so much that I watched the whole set of scenes starting when Neely was pushed off to sea through the scene when Garner threw them a line to get Mitch and Neely to safety several times before going on to the last scene. At the end as they parted in their comical way Mitch and Garner indicated that Garner would be back. I hope that it's soon! This is one storyline that was so strong that it could have easily carried a weak second storyline like Countdown. It still could have gotten 5 rescue cans! (((((((LAUGHING))))))) Not kidding!

The second strong storyline was about Lani's (Carmen Electra) hearing and how she had to deal with it. Wonderful, faithful boyfriend Cody (David Chokachi) offers her the support she needed and stayed by her side. I loved seeing his tender side rather than the carefree jock that was only interested in what he wanted and I do mean only what he wanted. His falling for Lani seems to be the thing he needed to mature and come down to earth a bit. It made it a bit realistic that everyone kept forgetting that Lani couldn't hear. That is true, as I have done that myself. I have met temporary co-workers that could not hear and I kept forgetting, talking with my back to them. I only remembered when I didn't get an answer back.

Lani was tested for her hearing to find the range of sound. After explaining to Cody about what he was going to do, the doctor proceeded only to find that Lani could not hear anything yet. He had to tell her through sign type notes that it could be days or weeks when she got her hearing back. She was extremely upset and when she was taken to headquarters, was almost hit by a rig! The swift actions of another lifeguard saved her. She was told that she had to be careful without her hearing.

She waited in the lounge area and was watching an old classic black and white movie. She was upset because she could not hear anything that was being said. She kept turning it up only to irritate the other lifeguards there. They didn't say anything! Cody came in and was stunned by the loudness of the TV set. He tried to tell her that it was too loud when the phone rang and he had to answer, but could not hear the caller. He took the remote and turned the set off. He told the caller to try later. He didn't know how to tell the person that Lani had lost her hearing.

Lani asked if the call was for her. Cody said that it was and she got so upset that she ran out into the busy street. She found that everything she did and loved had depended on her hearing. It's something that we don't even think about. We take it for granted as well as our other senses such as sight.

Another scene that was touching was when Lani thought that she heard April and then Mitch. She looked around, but found no one. She started screaming that she can't hear it or anything, which prompted Cody to come to her side. He wondered what was wrong. She told him that she was scared. He felt so helpless not being able to do anything. Not knowing what else to do, he held her in his arms and comforted her. He did everything right here. This let her know that he was there for her and showed how much he loved her.

When she was alone on the beach, she heard a child's cry. A lost little girl calling for her mommy! For a second, Lani thought that it was her imagination again until she realizes that the sound was coming through her ears from a distinct direction. She runs toward it. When Lani finds the little girl, she comforts her and asks where her mommy was. When the little girl said that she didn't know, Lani told her that she was going to be all right! Lani couldn't contain her happiness! She could hear! She could hear! She was going to be all right as well! This was the only scene that I found a flaw with. Her hearing probably wouldn't have come back so suddenly. But it didn't hurt the storyline or the overall episode.

I liked the last scene as well when Mitch and Garner said their good-byes. Lani was happy to be able to even hear the crying of Ashley and didn't mind holding her. Even Cody who never showed any admiration for babies (Countdown/13th Episode 8th Season) and came over to comfort and coo her. And that's a huge miracle! That was something that took me a little time to get used to. When Garner told Earl that they'd better get going, a John Wayne-type voice seemed to be coming from the horse. It was Mitch getting in a few last laughs! (((((((LAUGHING))))))) Well, I look forward to Garner's next appearance.  My Score: 5 Rescue Cans

Next Review: Full Throttle

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