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Quincy M.E.: Women of Valor (1983)
Another quality of care debate
Women of Valor begins with midwife Olivia Allen (Lynn Hamilton) being approached by a neighbor asking her to help a pregnant woman in a difficult labor at home. Olivia initially refuses because she has never seen the pregnant woman before, but when she finds out that she is an undocumented immigrant who refuses to go to the hospital, she relents and assists in the delivery. When the baby is delivered, there are complications and they are rushed to the hospital anyway where the newborn dies. The treating physician is furious over this and blames Olivia without having all of the facts which leads to charges being filed against her. At the request of another doctor that knows Olivia, Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts another autopsy of the newborn in the hopes of being able to exonerate Olivia while there is a debate over whether unlicensed midwives truly help or are harmful.
While we do see Quincy performing an autopsy in this story and there are several scenes that take place in the coroner lab, really the issue of unlicensed midwives is in the spotlight here and everything else is secondary. There is no crime or mystery whatsoever as we see what happened in the opening scenes, so this episode becomes a sounding board advocating for natural childbirths and protecting those that support this practice. It makes for a rather dull episode and given that we have already seen many episodes in the Quincy series that deal with quality of care type issues, it is not very original either.
Overall this is a pretty below average late Season 8 episode where we do get to see Quincy doing what he does best in the coroner lab but the plot doesn't have very much going for it and will likely leave you feeling a little bored while watching.
Quincy M.E.: On Dying High (1983)
Weak episode addressing drug abuse
On Dying High begins with Quincy (Jack Klugman) and Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) at a nightclub watching a folk singer, J.J. Chandler (Roger Miller), perform and make crude jokes about drug use. Quincy and Hanover are put off by some of the commentary and the blatant drug use going on around them, but they are soon called to action when J.J. freebases cocaine near a lit cigarette backstage setting himself on fire and running out horrifying the audience. He survives the incident thanks mostly to the swift actions of Quincy, and this calls to attention the dangers of drug abuse by performers like J.J. as well as the impressionable young people that follow him.
While this episode does make a legitimate point about the dangers of drug use, we have already seen this theme addressed many times in prior episodes of the Quincy series which makes this comes across as a recycled plot with a few tweaks. There is no mystery whatsoever and no one is even arrested in connection to the drug activity which seemed ridiculous concerning the disastrous circumstances. Another thing I couldn't believe was that the setting in the opening scenes appeared to be a respectable nightclub where the script acknowledges that there are prominent citizens in attendance sitting at tables, but they are freely engaging in drug use and openly making exchanges of contraband. I could see something like this happening at an outdoor concert venue or in an underground club with minimum security, but at such a formal setting where they would be enforced standards and code of conduct it just didn't add up to me.
Overall this is a pretty weak late Season 8 episode which addresses the problem of drug abuse but doesn't accomplish much else or entertain the audience in any way and I do not recommend viewing unless you are a die hard Quincy fan that wants to see it all.
Quincy M.E.: A Loss for Words (1983)
A crusade and a murder mystery
A Loss for Words begins with a young industrial worker (Sean Kelly) being instructed by his boss (Ramon Bieri) to do some welding, but he is unable to read the posted warning signs and ignites the torch in a highly flammable area which blows up the warehouse killing him. When it is later revealed that the victim was illiterate and the owner knew it, this raises suspicions of arson and murder for an insurance payout and Quincy's (Jack Klugman) friend, Arnold Chatham (Gerard S. O'Loughlin), who works as a field investigator at the coroner lab is called in to investigate. During the investigation, Quincy begins to realize that Arnold is keeping a well-guarded secret of his own.
While adult illiteracy is the main theme and focus of this episode, I still thought that there was enough thrown in to make it reasonably well-balanced and interesting. Unlike some of the other Quincy episodes where we have a social issue addressed with no crime or an investigation featured, this story does combine both elements which I appreciated. I wish that all of the social crusade episodes had been handled in this manner! Another positive is that Gerard S. O'Loughlin returns in another guest starring appearance as a Columbo style investigator and again he fits in pretty nicely. I actually wouldn't have minded him becoming a cast regular, but I suppose this would have detracted too much from Quincy investigating and saving the day.
Overall this is a pretty decent Season 8 episode which features both a social crusade and a murder mystery, so there should be something in it for everybody!
Quincy M.E.: Cry for Help (1983)
Sad story addressing teen suicide
Cry for Help begins with an upset teenage girl (Megan Wyss) phoning her father (Richard Gautier) at work, but he is too busy to speak which makes her even more depressed. Later that day, she is found dead along a roadside and Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy. The police initially suspect that her boyfriend Joby (Thom Bray) may have killed her, but Quincy believes she committed suicide and enlists the help of his girlfriend, Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette), to conduct a psychological autopsy which will help determine her mental state. When the results point to suicide, it exonerates Joby but further problems arise as he is believed to be suicidal as well.
This is a pretty sad story addressing teen suicide and while it may not be an uplifting or entertaining episode, you have to give the Quincy writers and production team credit for tackling such a complex and difficult problem. I thought they did a decent job of educating the audience on the warning signs, the treatment available to those suffering and delivering the important message that there is always hope and a way to turn things around for the better. The final scenes pack quite an emotional whallop, so you might need to keep Kleenex handy.
Although it may be lacking in a crime or a mystery, overall this is an OK Season 8 episode which addresses a significant problem that still exists in our society today and does so in a competent manner.
Arson and murder investigation story lacking in mystery
Guilty Until Proved Innocent opens with an elderly man working in a warehouse and carelessly placing a gasoline can near a flame which causes an inferno killing him. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and determines that the victim was knocked unconscious prior to burning to death which places suspicion of murder and insurance fraud on the owner, Ted Locke (Rudy Solari), who has family connections to organized crime and is a friend of Quincy. Quincy cannot believe that Ted would commit murder for profit and investigates further trying to clear his friend, but they come up against a determined federal prosecutor (Eugene Roche) who is convinced of Ted's guilt and convenes a grand jury in a relentless pursuit of an indictment.
Although we see what happens in the opening scenes of the episode and this takes away from the mystery aspect of the story, there are still some interesting elements as far as how the coroner lab eventually pieces together the events leading up to the fire and death as well as the actions of an overly zealous prosecutor who has already convicted the accused in his mind because of his family before all of the facts are in. Rudy Solari and Eugene Roche give good guest star performances playing opposite each other here with Klugman in the middle of it all playing referee which worked pretty well.
Overall this is an OK Season 8 episode which is a little lacking in the crime and mystery department but makes up for it in some other ways to remain somewhat interesting. I just think that it could have been a stronger story had they handled the opening scenes differently and made it a mystery rather than just trying to prove a point about prosecution and the grand jury system.
Quincy M.E.: The Law Is a Fool (1983)
Kidnapping and legal maneuvering story
The Law is a Fool begins with Carl Norman (Jeff Pomerantz) kidnapping the granddaughter of a former congressman, hiding her somewhere and making demands for her release including $500K and a quick, thrown trial by the DA so he cannot be prosecuted again for the crimes. Quincy (Jack Klugman) works with the police to try and identify clues as to the location of the girl while the DA goes through the motions of meeting the demands which concerns everyone involved as they fear Norman will get away with the crimes.
This is an odd episode which features a lot of legal wrangling and a smug, narcissistic culprit which I didn't particularly enjoy. While there is a mystery surrounding the location of the girl and whether she is truly alive, this wasn't really enough to overcome some other problems such as the obvious strategy which the DA was using that didn't occur to anyone else. Considering that these are supposedly law enforcement professionals with a lot of experience in all types of cases and prosecutions, this came across as rather foolish and naive. Another issue was that the minimal forensic evidence collected and analyzed really didn't help the investigation much at all and the police had to rely on the kidnapper to disclose the location, so this isn't an episode where science or the coroner lab saves the day!
Overall this is a below average Season 8 episode where Quincy doesn't have much to do in the story and as a result is not on very much which makes it less entertaining.
Quincy channels Hawaii Five-O
Sword of Honor, Blade of Death starts with a drug deal between Japanese mobsters going bad when undercover cop Michael Moroshima (Mako) is identified during the transaction and murdered. Michael is a friend of Sam's (Robert Ito) and he and Quincy (Jack Klugman) conduct the autopsy which reveals that Michael was killed with a precisely sharp object, like a sword. This leads them to the Japanese Yakuza gang and Sam tries to assist the police in the investigation before Michael's vengeful father takes matters into his own hands.
This is a fairly decent episode which does feature a murder investigation but very little mystery as we see the culprits and how they committed the crime right in the opening scenes. Additionally, throughout this entire episode I felt like I was watching a classic episode of Hawaii Five-O with the police investigating Japanese organized crime and the murder of an undercover cop. Several of the guest stars in this episode also appeared on the original Five-O series at various times, so this added to the vibe as well. Unlike Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), though, Quincy does not take charge in this crime story and leaves it to Sam to do the heavy lifting, so if you're a Robert Ito fan you will enjoy this episode.
Overall this is a reasonable and entertaining Season 8 episode which is worth watching, it just doesn't feel very much like a Quincy episode with Sam in the driver seat and a Hawaii Five-O type script and guest stars.
Quincy M.E.: Across the Line (1982)
Decent episode with a bunch of problems in the set up
Across the Line begins with the police receiving a tip about a bank robbery and setting up a stakeout outside. As the robbers flee, one is shot by police and the other stops a passing motorist, jumps in and tells her to drive. When another police unit nearby sees the approaching vehicle, the officer shoots at the vehicle killing the woman driving while the robber flees. This initiates an internal affairs investigation and the husband of the victim files a wrongful death lawsuit while the cop maintains that he fired in self defense as the vehicle was aiming to hit him. Although skeptical at first, Quincy (Jack Klugman) comes around to believing the cop and decides to investigate further.
While this episode does feature an interesting investigation of a crime, there were a few problems with the set up that annoyed me. First of all, why was there no undercover police officers placed inside the bank after the tip was received? Instead of placing police in there to protect the employees and other customers if the thieves started shooting, Lt. Monahan (Garry Walberg) and crew sit outside waiting for them to rob the place and leave like a bunch of fools. Then we have police with assault rifles shooting at the suspects, really?? I could see if SWAT was present this is what they would carry, but detectives? Then with a ton of shooting going on footsteps away a woman drives right into the middle of it with her windows down and the police suspect nothing and don't see anything odd about it. The only way that she wouldn't have heard all of that gunfire was if she were deaf.
Aside from all of that, this is a fairly decent Season 8 episode which does feature a mystery and a bit of a plot twist towards the end which makes it much more interesting than most that we've seen during this season.
Quincy M.E.: Next Stop, Nowhere (1982)
Possibly the most ridiculous and corny episode of the series
Next Stop, Nowhere begins at a club where a punk rock band is playing and a bunch of teenagers are thrashing around to the music. When one of them ends up stabbed to death on the dance floor, Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and lists the lyrics in the music as a contributing cause of death because it motivates the teenagers to commit violent acts. The findings cause debate within the coroner's office and a media frenzy leaving Quincy to defend his position while trying to help the police solve the murder.
As other reviewers perfectly pointed out, this is possibly the most ridiculous and corny episode of the Quincy series which is saying a lot considering some of the nonsense that we've seen in the later seasons. The punk rock club scenes are unintentionally hilarious and then you have Klugman standing up there trying to lecture them later in the story in a "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" style which is just sad and embarrassing for all involved. Although there is a murder mystery featured, it is so buried among the craziness and silliness of this story that you practically miss it.
While this is an epically bad episode, I still have to recommend watching because this is nothing like anything else you've seen on Quincy or possibly even television in general!
Quincy M.E.: Science for Sale (1982)
Odd episode featuring experimental treatment debate
Science for Sale begins with a terminal cancer patient, Cindy Oliver (Kate Lardner), receiving an experimental genetically engineered treatment in the hospital and then wandering out and dying on the street. When others that she came into contact with also start falling ill and dying, Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsies and makes the connection that a deadly virus has been created along with the treatment. When he learns that the experimental treatment has also been administered to others in a clinical trial, he implores them and the treating doctor, Paul Lynn (Lane Smith), to quarantine them so that others with weak immune systems are not infected and killed.
This is a pretty odd episode that addresses the potentially dangerous consequences and side effects of experimental genetic engineering treatments. There is no crime or mystery featured and Quincy takes a backseat throughout most of the story to Dr. Lynn who is put in the spotlight but really is not charismatic or interesting enough to carry the episode. Between that and the fact that there has been significant advances in the field since this episode first aired, it just comes across as very outdated. On a lighter note, I did enjoy the subplot of Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) investing his savings into a speculative stock which didn't pan out and caused him to lose a chunk of money. While this was pretty out of character for the cautious doctor who would have more likely gone with an established and reliable stock that produced modest gains, it was still pretty amusing to watch.
Overall I would characterize this as a below average Quincy episode which does not feature a crime or an investigation but has a lot of debating over the welfare of patients and medical jargon being thrown around. This is not the worst of Season 8, but still not a good one either and I can't recommend.
Quincy M.E.: Sleeping Dogs (1982)
Murder in a small town plot
Sleeping Dogs begins in a small town outside of Los Angeles with a deviant man, Henry Muller (Brion James), going around bullying other townspeople. He is facing murder charges, but on his day in court one witness does not show up and another changes his testimony which makes the medical testimony Quincy (Jack Klugman) provides not enough to prosecute him and the charges are thrown out. The sheriff (John Anderson) later receives a call that Muller has been shot several times and murdered, but when he arrives at the scene several of the bullied townspeople take responsibility for the shooting covering for each other. Quincy is very troubled by these events and the indifferent sheriff, so he decides to stay and investigate further as to who committed the murder.
This is a fairly decent murder mystery episode which we have been severely lacking during Season 8, and for this reason I liked it. Although the whole murder in a small town theme has been done before on Quincy and it is not the most original story in that respect, I was just so relieved to see a plot similar to those of earlier seasons that I didn't even care! There is also a plot twist at the end, so things aren't quite as straight-forward as they seem which was another interesting aspect that I enjoyed. The only annoying thing is the sheriff character who is completely ineffective and incompetent to the point where I wondered could this actually happen, but I suppose it is possible as there were many news stories and scripts based on these types of events back in the day.
Overall this is a pretty interesting and entertaining episode featuring a murder mystery investigation and Quincy doing his thing away from his stomping grounds at the coroner lab which is nice to see from time to time. I found it pretty enjoyable and I recommend viewing!
Quincy M.E.: Unreasonable Doubt (1982)
Possibly the stupidest characters of the series
Unreasonable Doubt begins with an upset woman bringing home her ailing baby following a doctor visit and the husband putting him down on a metal tray near an old TV where the wires are exposed. When he leaves the room, the baby is electrocuted and dies which places suspicion on the father as to whether he deliberately killed the baby who would have continued to deteriorate. A handicapped colleague (John Rubinstein) in the coroner lab works with Quincy (Jack Klugman) on the case and becomes convinced that the father is guilty and goes after him mercilessly in the courtroom.
While there is a mystery featured in this story, this is totally overshadowed by the sheer stupidity of some of the characters, namely all of the family members and their maid. Here we have supposedly wealthy and educated people that even have a servant in their house, and the father lays his sick infant on a metal tray alone near exposed wires. Are you kidding me? Tell the maid to stop vacuuming and watch the child for a few minutes or even your loafing teenage son you moron! I won't give anything away, but there is even further nonsense with them about who thought who did what which comes across as a huge cluster. The resolution is also very anti-climactic and will leave you marveling at the level of stupidity.
Overall this another bad Season 8 episode with a terrible plot, disappointing mystery and a rather annoying guest star who is doing the lecturing and finger pointing rather than Quincy. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.
Quincy M.E.: Dying for a Drink (1982)
Depressing alcoholism story filled with plot holes
Dying for a Drink begins with Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) asking Quincy (Jack Klugman) to reevaluate an autopsy conducted by Dr. Lorraine Linderman (Ina Balin) after a mistake is identified and she has been exhibiting erratic behavior due to alcoholism. After correcting the autopsy report, Quincy and Dr. Asten lighten her duties and try to get her to talk to them about what is bothering her, but she refuses and abruptly takes a leave of absence. Desperate to help his colleague and friend, Quincy consults with someone in personnel who identifies the problem as alcoholism and gives him advice on how to help Lorraine.
This is a pretty bad episode filled with problems. First of all, how in the world did some non-clinical worker in the personnel department manage to diagnose Lorraine with alcoholism without even knowing or meeting her? Not even Quincy or Asten, both doctors working in close proximity to Lorraine on a daily basis, were able to figure this out but somehow a personnel department worker did? Lorraine's behavior could have been attributed to any number of things including drugs, depression, or any number of illnesses, but somehow this woman eliminates all of that without even an examination. Then later when this all-knowing personnel worker confronts Lorraine she makes a comment saying "I had to look at your medical file" to which Lorraine replies "That is none of the county's business" which is absolutely correct. Wouldn't this be a violation of her privacy as Lorraine had not authorized a third party to look at her medical records, and again, you're personnel and not a doctor! Stupid all around! I further found Quincy's scene chastising the other coroner lab workers for the way they reacted to Lorraine to be completely out of line. Considering that he couldn't even figure out what was wrong and didn't know what to do about it either made this come across as very hypocritical.
I would say that the only highlight of this one for me was another guest starring appearance by Ina Balin, who gives her all in these Quincy performances even when the script is poor. I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and would be remiss if I didn't mention in one of these reviews that Ina Balin grew up in this area and attended the Montessori Children's Village boarding school for several years, so it is nice to see someone raised locally appearing so frequently in the series. Otherwise, this is a pretty depressing and sloppy episode with no crime or mystery featured, and while it does address an important problem, it does not do so in a competent manner. Don't look for a cheery final scene at Danny's either if you watch, as the abrupt conclusion is just as much of a bummer as the rest of the story.
Quincy M.E.: Give Me Your Weak (1982)
Significant continuation of Seldom Silent, Never Heard story
Give Me Your Weak begins with a young man, David Bowman (Roderick Ewing), suffering from myoclonus in a convalescent center shooting himself in despair over his declining health. Initially the police think it may have been a murder rather than a suicide because of the angle of the bullet, but after Quincy (Jack Klugman) consults further with friends Dr. Ciotti (Michael Constantine) and his son Tony (Paul Clemens) who knew the victim, this is ruled out as they confirm he was despondent and that his condition would have caused the unusual positioning of the gun. Dr. Ciotti and David also inform Quincy that the victim deteriorated because a drug that he had been taking was no longer available and the reason that it was pulled was because the Orphan Drug Act legislation that they lobbied for previously stalled in Congress. This leads Quincy and several other advocates to band together and lobby once again for the government and pharmaceutical companies to work together in making available lifesaving medications for disabling conditions which are not as common among the public.
I found this to be a rather interesting episode which picks up where a previous one left off and we learn that the initial campaign to get the pharmaceutical companies on board with this effort through government support was not successful. This is a rarity in the Quincy series as usually once we see a social problem addressed that is usually the end of it, but not here. I was further intrigued to learn that the follow up story was based on the real life struggle in Congress of getting this legislation passed where a Senator was holding up the bill for his own interests, very similar to the Simon Oakland character here. Given that this episode was based on actual events that helped lead to passage of legislation that helped benefit those suffering from rare diseases, I think that it is very compelling and effective.
During the final scenes, I incorrectly assumed that they were using stock footage of the protest march to the Senate offices, but I was surprised to then see guest stars from this episode in the actual crowd of those marching. As it turns out, 500 extras were hired to film this powerful scene and many of them were suffering from the conditions that would benefit from the Orphan Drug Act. Wow, this was pretty impressive and talk about making a statement!
While this Season 8 episode may not feature an intriguing murder mystery, it does tell an important story which mirrored real life events and surely had an impact in getting crucial legislation passed shortly thereafter, so for these reasons I feel that it was very worthwhile and I do recommend viewing!
Quincy M.E.: Ghost of a Chance (1982)
Recycled plot with no mystery
Ghost of a Chance begins with a man undergoing heart surgery and then dying shortly after the procedure is completed. His family doesn't understand what went wrong and requests an autopsy from the Los Angeles coroner's office which Quincy (Jack Klugman) performs. During his investigation, Quincy learns that the renowned surgeon (Jose Ferrer) that was scheduled to conduct the operation was called away for another patient and a less experienced surgeon (Jonathan Frakes) acted in his place, a substitution known as a "ghost surgery". Quincy becomes very concerned by this practice and confronts the doctors and hospital where this has been taking place.
My initial reaction to this episode was that it is a recycled plot with similarities to previous episodes, one in particular being the Season 5 episode Cover-Up where an inexperienced doctor was substituting for another in an emergency care setting. In that episode we also saw a nurse acting as a whistleblower which is the exact same thing that happens in this story. For this reason and the fact that there is no crime whatsoever and very little mystery, this episode loses points in my book and makes it below average. While there are no gaping plot holes or anything actually wrong with it, it just isn't very original or interesting.
Overall this is a pretty disappointing second episode of Season 8 which features a recycled plot along with no crime or mystery and not one that I would recommend viewing.
Quincy M.E.: Baby Rattlesnakes (1982)
Dismal season opener
Baby Rattlesnakes begins with a young girl being killed outside of her home in a drive by shooting. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and he later finds out that a teenage boy already in a juvenile probation program is being accused of the crime. The teenager maintains his innocence and the coordinators of the program, including Dr. Emily Hannover (Anita Gillette), a psychologist, come to his defense. They maintain that their program is working and Quincy becomes interested in learning more about their techniques as well as Dr. Hannover.
This is a pretty dismal Season 8 premiere episode where we have a lot of debating and preaching over how to properly address the problem of youth violence and gangs. There is a lot of corny dialogue between the youths in the probation program and the counselors, and in one particular ridiculous interaction a teenager is being yelled at to keep his hands in his pockets because he is caught making gang-related sign language to another. Seriously, is that your method to address the problem behavior?? While I'm sure that there are youth probation programs out there which have had some measure of success in getting teenagers to turn their life around, I just didn't feel that this story conveyed that in a believable manner which made it difficult to get on board with this crusade.
The Dr. Emily Hannover character is first introduced in this episode and I'm really not a fan of the pairing as she is an outspoken, stubborn loudmouth which is just way too similar to Quincy at times. Another annoying thing is that she is a psychologist, so you know that means more psychoanalysis and therapy story lines for this season to give her something to do which I had more than enough of during Season 7.
Quincy M.E.: The Mourning After (1982)
Depressing episode with more therapy sessions featured
The Mourning After begins with a group of college students being subject to hazing rituals in the hopes of pledging a fraternity. One of the rituals involves making the pledges swim across a lake with their hands tied behind their backs, but when one of the young men drowns to death the rest go into cover up mode placing him in the pool back on campus to make it look like an accident. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and soon it is revealed that the the victim did not die in the pool but in a lake which calls into question their story. While Quincy and the police try and get to the truth, the family of the victim struggles to cope in the aftermath of the tragedy.
While this episode addresses an important topic that remains relevant to this day in that we still regularly see hazing death stories featured in the news, I can't say that there was one enjoyable aspect of it for me as the story is just flat out depressing and slow. There is absolutely no mystery featured as we see what happened and who was responsible right in the opening scenes, and to fill air time they compensate by delving deep into the psychological trauma and dysfunction experienced by the family afterwards. I've said this in several other reviews for this season of Quincy and I'll say it again here that I'm just over all of the therapy and psychiatry related story lines that we are inundated with in the latter part of this series. Maybe if this episode had aired earlier in the lineup this part of the story wouldn't have annoyed me as much, but I'm just so tired and fed up with the repetitive counseling sessions at this point that feel like I can't watch another.
Overall this is a pretty depressing Season 7 finale episode that does feature an investigation into a cover up but is overshadowed by the grief of the family to the victim and their therapy. As I suspect most Quincy fans are not tuning in for this type of story, I do not recommend this episode.
Quincy M.E.: Deadly Protection (1982)
Decent episode featuring a crime investigation, but not what we are used to
Deadly Protection begins with a man (Sam Groom) obtaining a guard dog for protection of his family only to have it go berserk and kill his young daughter. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy on the girl and investigates further to determine how this tragic event occurred and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. When he visits the training kennel where the dog was obtained from, he sees that the dogs are taught well and properly taken care of which leads to further questions as to how this happened. When another dog at the kennel suddenly goes berserk and dies shortly thereafter, the owner, Mike Snyder (Jim Antonio), realizes that the dog in question is not the one he raised and trained but a nearly identical substitute which had been abused and malnourished by an unreputable trainer.
This is a fairly decent episode which does feature an investigation of sorts as well as a crime, but just not in the manner that we are used to on Quincy. I have to admit that I was on the wrong track with how this story was going to go based on something that the father does in the opening scenes which I won't give away (judge for yourself), but alas it was nothing that sinister and the crimes ended up being of a different nature. I actually think that the story could have been a stronger one had they also included a plot line like the one I just suggested, but as is it still ends up being an interesting story. There are also some funny moments where Quincy adopts a dog from the shelter and tries to hide him in the lab from Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) until he can find someone to take care of the pup which are quite enjoyable as well.
Overall this is a rather unique late Season 7 episode which could have been stepped up a notch with a murder plot twist thrown in, but still remains entertaining and is worth watching.
Ridiculous, corny episode
The Last of Leadbottom begins with Quincy (Jack Klugman), Sam (Robert Ito) and Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) attending the dedication ceremony of a naval museum where an elderly admiral who was Quincy's commanding officer in the Navy is guest of honor. When he suddenly drops dead during the ceremony, Quincy conducts the autopsy and finds a small computer microchip embedded in his stomach which leads to questions of why it was there, what information it contains and was the Admiral murdered for it? To further complicate matters, naval officials and multiple women claiming to be the wives of the Admiral come forward to claim the body as allegations of international spying and treason also begin to surface.
I found this to be a totally ridiculous episode filled with nonsense. One of the main problems I had with it is that here you are featuring a murder investigation in connection with an international spy ring which is supposed to be some pretty heavy stuff, but then in complete contrast nearly every scene in this episode is inundated with corny humor and antics throughout making it very difficult to take any of it seriously. While I usually fully appreciate the humor thrown in here and there for good measure on Quincy, I though that they just went way overboard on this one to the point of parody. I also thought that the plot was an ill fit for this show and would have worked much better on a series like the Bionic Woman which often featured international spy type plots.
All of this combined with tons of plot holes, a silly script and lackluster performances by the guest stars just made for a bad episode in my opinion. Another oddity was that I had to turn up the volume and listen very hard to understand anything that James Gregory (Admiral Brosnick) was saying throughout this episode and I'm not the least bit hard of hearing. I get that you are playing the part of an older, gruff Navy Officer part, but you should still ANNUNCIATE SO THAT WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!!!
When I pulled up this episode on here, I could not believe it was rated as high as it was by users. Maybe I'm in the minority or being too critical as clearly others disagree, but there are MUCH better Quincy episodes that you can watch than this which are inexplicably not rated nearly as high on here compared to this silliness.
Quincy M.E.: The Unquiet Grave (1982)
Decent murder mystery and lots of ex-girlfriend drama for Quincy
The Unquiet Grave begins with Brad Dixon (John Findlater) asking his wealthy father, Powell Dixon (George Gaynes), for money to cover a gambling debt as they are about to host an elegant party at their home. Powell refuses which leads Brad to complain to his stepmother, Jeannina (Ina Balin), who insists that they should kill him in order to gain control of his money. Quincy (Jack Klugman) and the Astens (John S. Ragin and Cynthia Harris) later arrive as invitees and Quincy is surprised to see his ex-girlfriend, Jeannina, as the host. Jeannina convinces Quincy that she has changed a lot since their bitter break up years ago and they rekindle their friendship. The next morning, Powell is found dead in his bedroom and Quincy conducts the autopsy which initially doesn't reveal anything suspicious. However, when Jeannina is reportedly killed shorty thereafter in a car explosion, it becomes clear that the two deaths are connected and the plot thickens.
Although a little far-fetched in some parts, I thought this was a fairly decent episode which does feature a murder mystery and some interesting plot twists. I won't give anything away, but let's just say the murderer is pretty unbalanced which gave credence to the out there nature of the story for me. I also thought that the guest stars did a nice job of delivering solid performances as well which could have been a potential issue for this type of episode.
Overall this is a fairly decent late Season 7 episode which does feature a murder investigation as well as some ex-girlfriend drama for Quincy to further complicate matters and I recommend viewing this one.
Quincy M.E.: Expert in Murder (1982)
Lots of plot holes, no mystery and a dejected Quincy
Expert in Murder begins with a man visiting his mobster father in jail and hinting around at a scheme to get him acquitted at his upcoming trial. They put their two part plan into action by first having the eyewitness murdered while dining at a restaurant and then leaving planted evidence that leads the police and Quincy (Jack Klugman) to the wrong suspect. When Quincy later provides testimony in court which is discredited as the accused reveals an iron clad alibi, this shakes his confidence and makes him question his capability. Meanwhile, the police and District Attorney become concerned about the viability of the other murder case as Quincy also provided the medical analysis which that trial hinges on as well.
I found this to be an OK episode with a few problems. First off, aren't all jailhouse conversations over the phones in the visiting area usually recorded and/or monitored? Maybe this wasn't standard practice back in 1982 when this episode was filmed in comparison to today, but if so, the police should have been able to figure out what the mobster and his son were up to much sooner with that thinly veiled discussion of a hit. I also found it pretty ridiculous that the hit was done in a crowded restaurant full of people at dinnertime. There were more than enough people there that could overpower the shooter and all that someone had to do was pull off his stocking mask to see his face and the whole scheme would have been up in smoke. Since the eyewitness was on a date with a woman, it would have made much more sense to carry out the crime in the parking lot or something with the woman still being a witness and able to corroborate that he wore the discarded stocking mask to the police. Furthermore, I found it pretty stupid that someone was brought to trial with no realization by the prosecution that he actually had an irrefutable alibi being at such a public party with government officials. Seriously, did the police do any investigation of where this suspect had been before going into court?? Given the fact that it was Lt. Monahan (Garry Walberg), probably not!
I've noticed that Marc Scott Taylor hasn't appeared in the last handful of Season 7 episodes, but he is credited as a writer here behind the scenes. While there are some interesting aspects to this story, there is no mystery whatsoever as we see the set-up and who is responsible right from the start and combined with the plot holes, I think that I prefer the affable Marc in front of the camera helping out Quincy and Sam (Robert Ito) in the coroner lab rather than as a writer. The scenes in the beginning and the conclusion are pretty entertaining to watch, but the majority of this episode is filled with a lot of legal and political wrangling which I didn't enjoy as well as a dejected Quincy who is no fun to watch.
Quincy M.E.: The Face of Fear (1982)
Good episode featuring a phobia and a murder mystery
The Face of Fear begins with a husband (Paul Carr) trying to convince his agoraphobic wife, Vickie (Carrie Snodgress), to go on a trip out of town with him, but she doesn't feel strong enough to handle it and he leaves without her. Vickie later musters up the strength to take her dog for a walk on the beach when she witnesses a woman being murdered in the house of a neighbor. When she contacts the police to report the incident, Lt. Monahan (Garry Walberg) and crew investigate the home where the crime took place only to find a different man owns the home and there is no signs of a struggle or a body. This casts doubt on her story, but Vickie's therapist (Dixie Carter) stands up for her saying that the condition would not make her delusional or confused as agoraphobics tend to be highly observant people with a penchant for great detail. Quincy (Jack Klugman) eventually begins to believe that Vickie did actually witness a murder and that she may also be in danger as an eyewitness.
I found this to be a reasonably good episode where there is a social phobia/disorder featured along with an interesting murder mystery plot. There has been a couple of episodes now in the series where we see both types of stories woven together rather than just one or the other being featured, and I think this approach works much better than just having a social issue focused story told on its own. While we do see the killer right in the opening scenes, there is still a mystery element as we don't know the motive for the crime or how all the parties are connected, so I appreciated this aspect as well.
My only complaint about this story is that we have to endure more group therapy scenes as part of the education on the treatment for agoraphobia. There has been way too much group therapy featured on Quincy episodes during Season 7 and I'm tired of it at this point, but luckily it is only a brief part of this story. Aside from that, this is a pretty entertaining and interesting episode which I recommend viewing!
Quincy M.E.: Stolen Tears (1982)
A murder mystery and a Holocaust debate
Stolen Tears begins with an elderly man seeing someone that he recognizes outside an apartment building and following him until the pursued jumps into a car and runs him down in an alley. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and Lieutenant Monahan (Garry Walberg) tracks down who he believes is the driver of the car only to find him also dead of what appears to be a suicide. The police are ready to close the investigation when another man, Hyam Sigerski (Martin Balsam), comes forward alleging that both men died at the hands of a Nazi war criminal in hiding. Hyam also seeks help from Quincy in a public battle against the controversial leader of an organization, Cornelius Sumner (Norman Lloyd), that denies the Holocaust ever occurred.
I found this to be an OK episode where I enjoyed the beginning and the conclusion but found several parts in between to be pretty dull and far-fetched. On the positive side, we do have a murder mystery featured which I appreciated and found to be entertaining, but the parts where they were debating whether or not the Holocaust happened and trying to prove it in court were bordering on the preposterous. Would it really be up to the Los Angeles coroner to prove in a court of law that this well-documented event that occurred in another country actually happened? I also couldn't believe that the Cornelius Sumner character was being portrayed as having any type of credibility in the eyes of the public and media with his outrageous claims. Maybe his rhetoric would appeal to a cult following of conspiracy theorists who would listen, but the vast majority would dismiss everything he was saying outright.
Overall this is a rather average and unremarkable Season 7 episode that does feature a crime investigation but also tries to address a huge historical atrocity and does a rather clumsy job of it. It's a shame because we still see news stories where Nazi war criminals in hiding are outed to this day and the problem remains relevant, but it is just not told here in a competent manner.
Weak episode featuring lots of hospital drama
The Flight of the Nightingale begins with nurses in a hospital complaining about long hours, low pay and not being respected by doctors and hospital administrators. Later in the evening, Nurse Lynn Buchanan (Georgann Johnson) notices that the prescribed heparin drip IV has been turned off for an ailing patient in pain, and when she cannot locate the attending doctor she turns it back on following the orders in the chart. The patient dies shortly thereafter and the doctor blames Nurse Buchanan accusing her of administering too much of the drip, whereas she argues that the doctor left incomplete notes. Quincy (Jack Klugman) conducts the autopsy and must determine if it was actually the drip that killed the patient while the nurse's job hangs in the balance and her coworkers go on strike.
First off, I don't like these episodes where the story takes place in a hospital setting rather than the coroner lab. Quincy is not supposed to be a hospital drama, yet this is exactly what we have here. So how does this reconcile with the fact that Dr. Quincy doesn't work in a hospital you might ask? Well, it doesn't as we barely see him in this story and there is some contrived subplot about Dr. Asten (John S. Ragin) bringing his wife in for surgery after she collapses. I assume Barbara Tarbuck was not available at the time of filming of this episode as we now see Louise Asten being played by Cynthia Harris. Recasts are sometimes necessary and I get that, but between this and the fact that there was absolutely no mention of the boy that the Astens were fostering and trying to adopt earlier in this same season (For Want of a Horse) just made this whole subplot come across as very sloppy and inconsistent. I'm all for giving the regular players their own personal stories from time to time, but at least be constant about it!
Another problem with this episode is that the characters come off as total caricatures in that we have the benevolent and kind-hearted nurse, the angry and embittered nurse, the chauvinistic and condescending doctor, etc. It is a shame that all of the characters were written in this one-dimensional manner as there are some good guest stars appearing here, but there is only so much that you can do with a poor script.
Overall, this is a pretty weak Season 7 episode that does not feature any type of crime but does address the treatment of registered nurses and would have been more appropriately featured on a hospital drama series rather than Quincy.
Quincy M.E.: The Shadow of Death (1982)
Average episode featuring both PTSD and a crime
The Shadow of Death begins with two former Army nurses that served in Vietnam drinking heavily in a bar and one leaving with a man. She is later found shot to death and raped at her home, and Quincy conducts the autopsy at the coroner lab. He learns from the friend, Rachael Kane (Karen Austin), that the victim suffered from PTSD which she coped with through alcoholism, and it quickly becomes evident to Quincy that Rachael is experiencing the same problems. This leads Quincy to help Rachael better cope with her PTSD through a support group while they also try and figure out who killed her friend.
This is an OK episode which does feature a murder mystery and a surprising twist at the conclusion which are both good things, the only problem is that the murder investigation is so relegated to the background in favor of the PTSD treatment being given the spotlight that it makes it difficult to enjoy. While the large number of Americans returning from military service and suffering from this condition continues to be a critical issue to this day and I'm glad to see that this was addressed, I just feel like at this point in the series I have seen one too many group therapy sessions featured in these types of stories and I'm just over it. I think they could have left some of the therapy scenes out and beefed up the investigation a little more to make this a stronger episode that still delivered an important message effectively.
Overall this is an average Season 7 story that effectively addresses a complex social problem and has a crime investigation thrown in for good measure, but it comes off as a little unbalanced as we see much more of the former rather than the latter.