Richard Kimble loves them all and leaves them all

Femmes Fatales

The hand of Fate may have freed Richard Kimble to hide in ``lonely'' desperation, but it doesn't exactly hold him back from seeking out companionship, often female, while on the run. Though Kimble is now saddled with the reputation of being a con, many (especially male) viewers might argue that his situation also has its pros. In place of his monotonous, monogamous, Midwestern middle-class milieu, he has forced upon him the life of a roaming adventurer --- a life of brushes with gangsters, trips to exotic and exciting destinations, and a long chain of romantic liaisons which perforce must be sans commitment, lest he give himself away by staying in one place too long.

The long line of women in Kimble's life includes Tuesday Weld, Suzanne Pleshette, Sandy Dennis, Diana Hyland, Betty Garrett, Barbara Barrie, Hope Lange, Janice Rule, and a veritable harem of sexy farm girls, gorgeous nurses, spunky mob molls and alluring foreigners with glamorous accents. He loves 'em all and leaves 'em all --- not because he wants to, but because Fate requires it of him.

The secret of his sex appeal remains an ineffable
je ne sais quoi; is it his basset-hound brown eyes, the twitchy little smirk that often plays around one corner of his mouth, or those strange kissing motions he makes into midair while he is embracing his latest lady-love? Jeff Fox attributes his ``enigmatic folk hero'' charisma to his ``feigned, humble smile and moody, sideways leer.'' ``The pensive and wary Dr. Kimble'' has ``no need for pretense,'' can ``always read people well,'' and his reticence --- understandable, considering the secret identity he is concealing --- also endears him to women who appreciate the proverbial strong silent type.

Yes, the road to Richard Kimble's showdown with the one-armed man and Lieutenant Gerard is paved with many broken hearts, but Kimble himself gets hurt by the cruel and conniving
femmes that not infrequently cross his path as well. For each self-sacrificing Florence Nightingale who risks her all to save Kimble from his pursuers, there is a correspondingly evil Salome who hopes to make Kimble the fall guy in some murderous scheme she is hatching. In fact, oftentimes the same actress will take on both types of roles in successive guest appearances on the show.

With Kimble's acquittal at the end of
THE JUDGMENT, the way is finally open for him to again take up a decent, respectable, but undeniably much more boring life. Conveniently, a hometown girl-next-door shows up at the appropriate moment and seems destined to become the second Mrs. Richard Kimble. But what about Tuesday? What about that hot Mexican from just a few episodes ago, who swore her undying love to Richard in a tearful parting on the sandy shores of the Pacific? Second-guessers will never tire of imagining all the tantalizing might-have-beens with the many Fugitive femmes he left behind ...


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