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Flipper doesn't always obey
wrxsti5418 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This episode is characterized by long and beautiful underwater sequences. The presence of a giant manta ray (called a devil ray by Sandy) is reason to feature this huge fish in a number of sequences; the most compelling of which is the one when Porter not only takes pictures but hangs underneath the huge span of the ray for a few seconds making Bud watching on the launch underwater TV a little nervous.

Porter is forced by the Superintendent to get rid of the manta due to a hysterical overreaction prompted by media reports of a scared couple. It's not a task he relishes. It required the boys to persuade Flipper to head back to shore and he ignores both Sandy and Bud's pleading - a rare occurrence. Porter gets a posse of guys together to net the manta (also fascinating footage) and it gets taken out to the open sea and Flipper isn't mad with Bud for breaking his word.

Some observations. This episode is the last but 3 of the entire Flipper series. It features the boys in their trade mark cut off blue jeans for the whole episode; a swan song especially for Sandy who made this an integral part of his character in the movies then the TV series. The Flipper TV series was filmed over the summer months so this would place the filming of this episode as likely August 1966 when Luke Halpin was 19 and Tommy Nordon was 14. After 3 years of being the little brother (actually 4 if you count the pilot filmed in 1963), by the end of the series Bud was now bigger as in thicker set than his fellow actor who was 4 1/2 years older as Halpin retained his lean swimmer's physique. Luke Halpin is showing signs of tiring in his Sandy Ricks role - by now he has been acting in the role for 5 years or the lion's share of his teen years. He was not to know then but it ended up being a career limiting role as he struggled to get meaningful adult movie or TV roles after the Flipper series finished. It was an ignominious wind down to a career that had seen him star in most of the major TV shows and productions during the golden age of television in the mid/late 50s.
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Sting ray
mitchrmp3 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Though it seems like there have been stingrays in other episodes, Sandy acts like this is the first time he's seen one in coral key. I could be mistaken...

This episode wasn't too interesting for me. It focused on a "devil ray" that was pretty big and the community was a bit fearful about visiting coral key with such a monster on the loose. Porter was told to get rid of the ray - either by catching it and taking it out to sea or killing it. Flipper had to be protected from "helping," because Flipper wanted to protect the ray from either. Apparently he'd befriended the ray.

There didn't seem to be much substance to this episode, and it was painfully over before it really got started.
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