Richard Kimble rescues his nemesis yet again

Gerard Guard

Hunting a fugitive can be dangerous work. There are hazards at every turn. Dangerous riptides. Bald guys with guns. And hillbillies, tons of killer hillbillies. Luckily for Lieutenant Philip Gerard, he has a guardian angel: none other than Richard Kimble himself, ironically enough, the very man he is trying to have executed. In the course of their fateful chase, Kimble saves Gerard's life early and often --- no fewer than five times in all.

Gerard's first brush with death comes in the pounding surf of the California coast, after he wipes out while chasing Kimble on a surfboard in the first-season episode
NEVER WAVE KAWABUNGA. But Kimble saves Gerard from drowning (against the better judgment of his attractive companion du jour) and perhaps unwittingly also launches the career of a very young David Hasselhoff, who has a cameo in the climax as an awestruck child who is standing on the beach while Kimble administers CPR to his perennial nemesis.

The next ironical twist comes when Kimble and Gerard stumble into the shadow world of killer hillbillies, in the episode
CORNER OF HELL. Black is white and wrong is right in their topsy-turvy society, and Gerard, as an agent of the hated establishment, seems like dead meat until Kimble intercedes on his behalf. This amazing irony repeats itself yet again when Gerard runs afoul of still more hillbillies in ILL WIND. This time Kimble must use all his doctorly skills, plus his magnetic romantic charm, to keep Gerard from dying of anemia during a hurricane.

The irony intensifies as Kimble foils two attempted assassination plots directed against Gerard. In the first one,
STROKE OF GENIUS, a deranged Telly Savalas levels a shotgun at the intrepid lieutenant, but Kimble deflects the barrel in the nick of time. Later, in THE EVIL MEN DO, underworld boss James Daly figures he'll do Kimble a favor by getting rid of Kimble's enemy, but the good doctor again saves the day, trading jokes with Gerard and still managing to make his escape at the end of the hour.

But the irony isn't over yet. Because, in addition to saving Gerard's life, Kimble manages to save the lives of Gerard's entire family along the way as well. His first chance comes when hapless little Phil Gerard Junior (Kurt Russell) gets marooned in the woods with Kimble in
NEMESIS. And then, during a two-parter marinated in irony, Kimble rescues Mrs. Gerard (Barbara Rush) from the dangers of a LANDSCAPE WITH RUNNING FIGURES. Plans were in the works for yet another story in this vein, tentatively titled RUN, SPOT, RUN, in which Kimble was to have saved the life of the Gerard family dog. Unfortunately, the chase ended before this episode could see the light of day.


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