I’m watching the 80’s TV show Knight Rider on Netflix, and it only now occurs to me that Knight Rider is probably considered science fiction. I mean, there’s an intelligent talking car, right? That’s science fiction. But it feels more like a shoddy detective show about a pretty incompetent detective. Anyway, on to the episode!
Season 1, Episode 3: Deadly Maneuvers
En route to a mission, Michael Knight stops to help an Army lieutenant, Robin Ladd, who is having car trouble. He drives her to her Army base where she finds out her Army father has been killed after driving off a cliff. Robin points out that her dad was good at driving, and that she couldn’t remember a single instance of him driving off a cliff and dying before. Seems fishy. The investigation begins.
After finding a spent shell casing near the crash site, Michael bribes a food truck owner to borrow his apron and paper hat, so he can infiltrate the Army base disguised as a giant handsome food-selling person. Predictably, his shitty disguise fools no one and he’s immediately arrested by military police.
Luckily, his interrogation takes place in an office that contains a single folder that might as well be labeled “THAT ARMY LADY’S FATHER AND HOW HE DIED IN A CRASH”. He gives the MP’s free candy bars, knowing they will weirdly walk into a corner and face the wall to eat. They do, and Michael slyly takes the folder, which mentions that Robin’s dad had blue paint on his hands when he died.
Michael and Robin go to dinner, they joke and chat about a few things, and eventually get around to discussing the details of her father’s recent horrible tragic murder. They quickly decide that spending part of an afternoon investigating was plenty, and that they should just give up. However, some evil Army guys try to kill Michael that night, so he reopens the case.
We then meet KITT’s mechanic, Bonnie, who, as a ten-year old Knight Rider viewer, I decided was the most beautiful woman in existence. I had a major crush on Bonnie. I pretty much spent all my free time fantasizing that Bonnie and I would get married, she’d fix my talking car, and I WOULD KISS HER MOUTH WITH MY MOUTH.
Michael breaks into the ammunition bunker at the Army base. Well, he walks into the ammunition bunker. Hey, here are some facts about the ammunition bunker.
- It is completely unguarded
- It is completely unlocked
- It contains several hundred crates of artillery shells.
Here are some facts about the artillery shells.
- The armor piercing artillery shells are painted with a blue stripe
- The tactical nuclear artillery shells are painted with a yellow stripe
- There is otherwise no way to tell the difference between the two types of WAIT DID I JUST SAY TACTICAL NUCLEAR ARTILLERY SHELLS
- Yes, I did.
- Did I mention they were kept in an unlocked unguarded room in a bunch of crates? Okay.
Still with me? Michael discovers that blue paint was used to cover up yellow paint on some nuke shells, and that a bunch of evil Army guys were smuggling the painted nukes out to sell them, and that Robin’s dad was killed when he discovered the plan. Robin, meanwhile, is snooping around, and gets locked in a tank on the ordinance testing range by her evil Army boss. Michael then drives KITT out onto the artillery range to save Robin, while stock footage of artillery guns shoot at them.
The Army general running the evil scheme orders three heat-seeking missiles fired at KITT, because heat seeking missiles can hone in on warm car engines, I guess? Michael uses KITT’s “rocket booster”, which I assume is different than his turbo boost, because it doesn’t launch KITT in the air, it just makes him poop out flames onto some grass, distracting two of the heat seekers.
The third heat seeker blows up the food truck from the beginning of the show, which is putting out extra heat because of a broken thermostat. Look, I don’t know, I can’t explain, I’m just reporting this to you. Michael rescues Robin, and chases the general who is trying to escape in a giant slow-moving tank. KITT poops fire onto it, melting the treads, and the general is caught. The episode ends with KITT sporting a “GO ARMY!” bumper sticker, because the producers of Knight Rider want to let the Army know that they really do like the Army, despite depicting them in this episode as a network of lying murdering nuke-smuggling terrorists.
MICHAEL’S INCOMPETENCE: LOW
Disguises himself as food vendor, fools no one, is immediately arrested, but at least manages to steal a file.
MICHAEL’S ROMANCE: LOW
Walks arm-in-arm with Lieutenant Robin Ladd, but doesn’t get a kiss.
Video game console (Michael plays a racing game while KITT drives), rocket booster (poops fire)