MOST WANTED

Most-Wanted Episodes, and Runners-Up

Based on the listings at http://www.emailman.com/video/fugitive/fugitiveguide.html (from program listings of the A&E cable network) and at http://www.negia.net/~dgoggans/fuge.html, with kind assistance from Brian J.E. VanDommele, Marie Sunny and Rick O'Shay.


Third-season episodes ( September 14, 1965 - April 26, 1966 )

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WINGS OF AN ANGEL Most Wanted
September 14, 1965
(61) Possibly the best episode of the series. Kimble is on the same bus with another escaped convict. When the police board the bus, the other convict panics and grabs a fellow passenger, holding her hostage with a knife. Kimble intercedes and rescues the woman, but gets stabbed himself in the process. The nearest hospital to take him to is the one in the prison from which the convict escaped. As he is being carried in on a stretcher, one of the prisoners standing around in the yard recognizes Kimble from when they were both locked up together in another jail. Then, in the prison hospital, Kimble meets orderly Greg (Mission Impossible) Morris, a model prisoner who is going to be paroled in a few months as long as he keeps his nose clean. He thinks Kimble is a ``cop-lover'' because he helped the cops recapture the other convict on the bus. But Greg finds out who Kimble really is when the prisoner who recognized Kimble asks Greg to deliver a blackmail note to Kimble. To keep his mouth shut about Kimble's true identity, the prisoner demands that Kimble smuggle out some drugs from the hospital, so he can become the jailhouse pusher. What is Kimble to do? If he abets the blackmailer, he is promoting drug abuse, a clear violation of the Hippocratic oath. But if he doesn't, his goose is cooked. He can't even hardly manage to throw away the blackmail note; just as he is about to get rid of it, the warden walks in and, in a very suspenseful scene, almost reads it. Also, the cute woman Kimble rescued shows up and makes goo-goo eyes at him. Kimble is seen to sneak into the hospital storeroom and grab a flask of morphine in another very suspenseful sequence. The flask is smuggled out with the laundry, but a stroke of bad luck occurs and the flask is discovered by the prison guards. Greg is the obvious suspect, and it seems as if he will be unjustly disciplined for this drug theft; this means he won't be paroled and his rehabilitation even could be jeopardized. But Kimble saves Greg from taking the rap. After the hospital doctor discharges him, Kimble retrieves the blackmail note from the trash and sends it to the warden. He hopes though that the warden won't read the note until he has put some distance between himself and the prison. However, the warden ends up unexpectedly reading it only seconds before Kimble is about to be let out of the prison gate! Just as he emerges from the prison, the telephone in the guardhouse rings, alerting the sentry. But at that very moment, the woman who he saved from the bus drives up in her car to offer Kimble a ride. A brief car chase ensues, and finally Kimble manages to escape from the prison guards pursuing him, thanks to his female friend. Kimble has nimbly maneuvered his way through a maze of pitfalls and dangers, avoiding near-certain capture and doing two good deeds besides. In the epilogue, as the icing on the cake, it is revealed that Kimble also managed to outwit the unscrupulous blackmailer; before he gave the morphine flask to Greg to smuggle out, he secretly emptied it and replaced its contents with water, as a chemical analysis by the prison staff reveals. The only thing lacking in this episode, with its claustrophobic prison setting, is a glimpse of the scenic panorama before which Kimble's odyssey normally plays itself out. Written by Don Brinkley and Otto King.


MIDDLE OF A HEAT WAVE
September 21, 1965
(62) A young woman is raped ... and the evidence points to Kimble. Written by Robert Hamner.


CRACK IN A CRYSTAL BALL
September 28, 1965
(63) A seedy mind reader conjures up trouble for Kimble. Written by Richard Levinson and William Link (Columbo).


TRIAL BY FIRE
October 5, 1965
(64) A witness comes forward on Kimble's behalf. He was in the car behind Kimble the night of the murder and saw Kimble swerve to miss the one-armed man. This independent confirmation of Kimble's story seems like enough to get him a new trial, so should he give himself up and appeal for one? Not a good idea, as it turns out. Gerard digs up some dirt on the witness: It turns out that he has been known to smoke a bit of reefer from time to time. Gerard sneers at this example of moral turpitude and high-handedly discounts his story about the one-armed man as a mere drug-crazed fantasy. Kimble finds out about this snag just in time and decides not to give himself up after all. The witness's kid (Tommy Rettig of Lassie!) plays a crucial role. Written by Philip Saltzman.


CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
October 12, 1965
(65) A swank country club is a front for a top secret project. The bellhop, desk clerk and so on are actually all military bigwigs conducting weapons tests in the Southwestern desert. Kimble is working one of his typical menial odd jobs in the club, and inadvertantly finds out about the project. The military guys find out who Kimble is by checking his army records, but they don't care about his criminal record, they just want to make sure he doesn't jeopardize national security. Written by William D. Gordon.


THREE CHEERS FOR LITTLE BOY BLUE
October 19, 1965
(66) Kimble stumbles across a murder in the making. Written by Harry Kronman.


ALL THE SCARED RABBITS
October 26, 1965
(67) Kimble drives across country with Suzanne Pleshette and her daughter, who she has run off with in a custody battle. The kid gets sick and Kimble has to steal medicine to treat her. Written by William Bast and Norman Lessing.


AN APPLE A DAY
November 2, 1965
(68) Arthur O'Connell is a befuddled homeopath who gives his own daughter (Kim Darby) crackpot folk remedies when in fact she is seriously ill and needs the attention of modern medical science, as Kimble points out. Meanwhile, O'Connell's wife puts the moves on a reluctant Kimble. Written by Dan Ullman.

LANDSCAPE WITH RUNNING FIGURES Most Wanted
November 9 - 16, 1965
(69 and 70) When there's a big storm of some kind in Kansas, Kimble gets trapped in a deserted town with Gerard's wife (Barbara Rush --- a bigger-name replacement for the not-too-memorable actress who played Mrs. Gerard back in earlier episodes). But Gerard's wife is suffering from temporary blindness due to a bus accident she recently was in. Kimble saves her from the evil clutches of some local ruffians who are tormenting her by making her play pin the tail on the donkey. She doesn't realize who he is at first, but then figures it out, when he starts reminiscing about Stafford, the town they both come from, in an intimate, almost romantic scene between the two of them. He doesn't realize who she is either, but then, while she is in the little girl's room, she gets a call from her husband, who is looking for her, and Kimble takes the message. Luckily, Gerard doesn't recognize Kimble's voice, so Kimble decides to quit while he's ahead and clear out of there, especially since the paramedics will soon be arriving to take Mrs. Gerard to the hospital. But she won't let him go, and in the amazing final scene, she stumbles after him down the empty main street of the town in the twilight, calling out ``Kimble! Kimble!'' mournfully. Previously, it was revealed that Gerard's obsession with Kimble is taking its toll on their marriage, so her desperation to get him is also understandable from this perspective. This is a beautiful episode, full of high melodrama, suspense and entertaining nuances of character development. Kimble is shown to be vulnerable, worried about money and tired of running. The heavy hand of contrived plotting of course looms large. Counting this episode, Kimble has now saved the lives of Gerard and his whole family. The depiction of Mrs. Gerard, and women in general, as helpless creatures in need of rescuing is obviously somewhat sexist. Herschel Bernardi also appears as a local cop helping Gerard. Written by Anthony Wilson.


SET FIRE TO A STRAW MAN
November 30, 1965
(71) A woman's desire could lead to Kimble's capture. With Clint Howard. Written by Jack Turley.


THE STRANGER IN THE MIRROR
December 7, 1965
(72) William Shatner is a psycho little-league coach. He used to be a cop but had a traumatic experience and left the force. Now he is compelled to go out and murder cops, though he doesn't remember having done so afterwards. Kimble lands a job with him and suspicion falls on him for a while, but in the end Shatner realizes that he himself is the guilty one and basically commits suicide. Written by Don Brinkley.


THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS
December 14, 1965
(73) Kimble falls victim to a morally lax marshal (Earl Holliman) who locks him up in a cell that was once used to incarcerate a famous Western outlaw. Kimble misleads the marshal and his fiancee into thinking that there is a reward for capturing him, and this enables him to turn the fiancee against the marshal, who is dismayed by his greed (as well as fearful that he will never marry her); she finally helps Kimble escape. Written by Don Brinkley.


THE END OF THE LINE
December 21, 1965
(74) Kimble mistakenly hitches a ride to the state penitentiary, then witnesses a murder in a milk bottling plant. Written by James Menzies.


WHEN THE WIND BLOWS
December 28, 1965
(75) Kimble tries to help a very sensitive boy and his mother (played by Georgann Johnson), for whom he works as a handyman. Harry Townes makes a guest appearance as a sheriff on Kimble's trail. A well-acted and moving episode. Written by Betty Langdon.


NOT WITH A WHIMPER
January 4, 1966
(76) A visit to his former mentor puts Kimble in the hands of a madman. At the end, when cornered by the cops in a warehouse that is rigged to blow up, Kimble pretends he has a bomb, and the cops let him escape for fear of getting blown to smithereens. In this episode, Kimble mentions that he dislikes nuclear weapons. Peter Eriksson opines that this ``isn't really a surprise,'' considering how ``during the years on the run, Dr. Kimble never showed the slightest tendency to hurt someone else intentionally (of course except when he had to e.g. knock someone unconscious in order to get away from his awaiting death sentence).'' Written by Norman Lassing.


The wife of Richard Kimble was strangled, or hey maybe just hit over the head with a lamp

WIFE KILLER

January 11, 1966
(77) Fred Johnson (Bill Raisch), the one-armed man, is caught in a police dragnet. Reporter Barbara Webb (Janice Rule, also in WALLS OF NIGHT) and Kimble kidnap him and try to extract a signed confession. He manages to get away, and Janice pretends he confessed, forging his signature. But luckily, Kimble finds out it is a ruse. Written by Dan Ullman. The one-armed man is subject to further coercion in THE IVY MAZE.


THIS'LL KILL YOU
January 18, 1966
(78) A comic-turned-bookmaker (Mickey Rooney) draws Kimble into his illegal scheme. Written by George Eckstein.


ECHO OF A NIGHTMARE
January 25, 1966
(79) Shirley Knight plays a police woman, who is determined to prove her worth. She witnesses some youths beat and rob Dr. Kimble, but she becomes suspicious of him when he does not report the incident, and handcuffs herself to him. He still flees with her, however, and takes refuge in a farmer's house. Written by Robert Lewin and John Kneubuhl.


STROKE OF GENIUS
February 1, 1966
(80) Telly Savalas is the father of Beau Bridges, a kid gone wrong. Though he has a lot of potential, and everyone thinks he's a great kid, Beau is actually an amateur sniper, and spends his free afternoons shooting at passing motorists on a road below his house. One afternoon he happens to shoot the driver of a car which Kimble is riding in. The driver is a clergyman who offered Kimble a ride. Kimble gets blamed for the crime, and Gerard comes looking for him. Gerard doesn't believe that Kimble is really responsible, saying that Kimble is not really a threat to anyone. This attitude worries Telly, who wants to protect the real killer, his son. Hence Telly decides to bump off Gerard, but Kimble prevents this, saving Gerard's life yet again. Finally Beau is struck with remorse and confesses to the crime, letting Kimble off the hook. Written by John Kneubuhl.


SHADOW OF THE SWAN
February 8, 1966
(81) Kimble helps out at a veterinarian's office in a small town, and gets tangled up with a troubled young woman who puts his freedom at stake. Written by Anthony Lawrence.


RUNNING SCARED
February 15, 1966
(82) When Kimble's father dies, he risks his life to visit his sister. Written by Don Brinkley.


THE CHINESE SUNSET
February 22, 1966
(83) A bookie's girl spells trouble for Kimble. Written by Leonard Kantor.


ILL WIND
March 1, 1966
(84) In Killer Hillbillies, Part One, Kimble ended up protecting Gerard from some backwoods types who wanted to do away with him. This time, Gerard, Kimble, and the hillbillies get trapped in a barn during a hurricane. Gerard is wounded and needs a blood transfusion. Kimble encourages a cute farm girl who likes him to donate her blood, even though she can't understand why in tarnation he would want to help his sworn enemy. Hence Gerard again owes his life to Kimble. Written by Al C. Ward.


WITH STRINGS ATTACHED
March 8, 1966
(85) Kimble becomes embroiled in the scheme of a teenage violin virtuoso (Rex Thompson). Also starring Donald Pleasence and Carol Rossen. Written by John Kneubuhl, directed by Leonard Horn.


THE WHITE KNIGHT
March 15, 1966
(86) When Kimble rescues the passengers of a crashed plane, he finds himself in the middle of an ambitious politician's publicity campaign. Written by Dan Ullman.

THE 2130 Most Wanted
March 22, 1966
(87) Melvyn Douglas helps Gerard track Kimble with the aid of the latest computer technology, a gigantic mainframe called the 2130 whose computational power almost equals that of a modern pocket calculator. The show is a self-reflexive microcosm of the whole series, divided into four subepisodes, each representing a ``typical'' situation Kimble tends to get into. In the first subepisode, Melvyn gets involved because Kimble is made the scapegoat for a hit-and-run auto accident. Then Kimble works as a fruit picker, travels to Oregon, and finally eludes capture in the nick of time when he happens to read a newspaper article describing what Gerard is up to, and realizes that he has to change his ``pattern''. Written by Dan Ullman.

A TASTE OF TOMORROW Most Wanted
March 29, 1966
(88) In scenic Idaho, Kimble falls in with Fritz Weaver, who is also a fugitive accused of a crime he did not commit (embezzlement, though, not murder). Weaver's character is like a distorted mirror image of Richard Kimble himself. Michael Constantine spits out a lot of crappy dialogue as a cop who is looking for Weaver. Kimble stops Weaver from gunning down the man who framed him, warning him that life as a fugitive from a murder charge isn't as much fun as it looks. There is a sense of pathos for Kimble, whose lot is so much worse than even the most desperate of the people he tries to help. At the end Kimble pulls off another ridiculously implausible escape. There's hardly any suspense at all in this story. Written by Mann Rubin and John Kneubuhl.


IN A PLAIN PAPER WRAPPER
April 5, 1966
(89) A group of teenagers plans to capture Kimble with a gun they order through the mail. Kimble is dating a woman (Lois Nettleton) who is trying to adopt one of the boys (her nephew). When push comes to shove, this kid, though he resents Kimble at first, stands up for Kimble and tries to protect him from the other boys. There is a scuffle and the gun goes off, wounding the kid who stood up for Kimble. After helping the boy to become reconciled with the woman, Kimble rides off into the sunset. Written by Glen A. Larson and John Kneubuhl.


CORALEE
April 26, 1966
(90) The death of a diver puts Kimble in troubled water with some superstitious seamen who believe in jinxes. Written by Joy Dexter.


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