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The Greatest American Hero
Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981): “The Hit Car”
by Stephen J. Cannell, Rod Holcomb

The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2

Title: “The Hit Car”

Medium: television series episode

Original airdate: 25 Mar. 1981

Publisher: ABC
Written by: Stephen J. Cannell
Directed by: Rod Holcomb


20 characters in this story:

Character
(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
Religious
Affiliation
Team(s)
[Notes]
Pub. #
app.
The Greatest American Hero The Greatest American Hero (Ralph Hinkley)
(lead character)
hero
  [teacher] ABC 48
Bill Maxwell Bill Maxwell supporting character
  FBI ABC 44
Pam Davidson Pam Davidson supporting character
  [attorney] ABC 42
Tony Villicana Tony Villicana supporting character
  Whitney High School
[tough but ultimately good-hearted student]
ABC 17
Rhonda Blake Rhonda Blake supporting character
  Whitney High School ABC 22
Cyler Johnson Cyler Johnson supporting character
  Whitney High School; black ABC 14
Starlet Wild supporting character villain
CBR Scale: M astrology (claims to be
devout, but insincere)
[showgirl; federal witness, turns out to be helping mobster] ABC 1
Johnny Damanti villain
CBR Scale: M Catholic (nominal); disco
[gang leader] ABC 1
DA Arnold Turner supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  black
[district attorney]
ABC 1
Mike villain
 prob. indeterminate  [gangster] ABC 2
Larry Miller supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [] ABC 1
Agent Billings supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  FBI ABC 1
Bob Baron supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [] ABC 1
unnamed man supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [] ABC 1
unnamed hatcheck girl supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [hatcheck girl] ABC 1
unnamed maitre d' supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [maitre d'] ABC 1
unnamed woman supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [] ABC 1
unnamed waiter supporting character
 prob. indeterminate  [waiter] ABC 1
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare
(mentioned)
real/historical person
CBR Scale: M Catholic/Anglican
[actor; poet...] Marvel DC 83
Madame Orkis
(mentioned)
supporting character clergy/religious leader
CBR Scale: D astrology (fortune teller)
[fortune teller] ABC 1

Characters: Ralph Hinkley, Bill Maxwell, Pam Davidson, Starlet Wild, Johnny 'The Dancer' Damanti, Mike

Timecode: 3 minutes, 26 seconds: Afternoon. Ralph Hinkley is dressed as a teacher, wearing a business suit. Pam Davidson is dressed in simple, modest business casual attire. They walk from the parking lot to the high school where Ralph teaches, in the middle of a conversation. Pam is giving her boyfriend some good-natured ribbing about his latest idea.

Pam Davidson: The Shrew? You're gonna have them do The Taming of the Shrew?

Ralph Hinkley: See, Pam? You're doing just what everyone else does. You act like just because these kids get into a little bit of trouble, they ought to be put in a zoo or something. This play is one of Hinkley's better ideas.

Pam Davidson: You think so.

Ralph Hinkley: Despite all the hyperactivity, these kids are bright. Believe me, they're anxious to learn. All I have to do is open their eyes a little bit. This play is perfect. I'm gonna ask their parents to come in and help paint the sets. I think it will help set up a constructive parent group situation.

Pam Davidson: Okay, but why Shakespeare?

Ralph Hinkley: Why not? I'm supposed to be teaching them, aren't I? Now, they never read Shakespeare, but, if we put it on, I'll be exposing them to one of the greatest playwrights who ever lived, and we'll have a lot of fun at the same time.

Pam Davidson: [pointing to the entrance, while affecting a mild British Shakespearean accent] Your players await you, m'Lord.

[Ralph and Pam walk into the school. They can already hear the din of noise and horsing around from where Ralph's students are.]

Pam Davidson: Something tells me this is gonna be brutal.

[Ralph and Pam pause at the entrance to the theater. They look at the backstage area and see that three of the eight behaviorally challenged teenaged students are engaged in mock sword fights with wooden theatrical swords. The kids seem unruly and boistrous.]

Pam Davidson: Shakespeare must be up there somewhere with his head in a bag.

BELOW: Ralph Hinkley's girlfriend Pam Davidson jokes that Shakespeare, from his vantage point in Heaven, must be embarrassed at the prospect of Ralph's students performing his play:

Ralph Hinkley's girlfriend Pam Davidson jokes that Shakespeare, from his vantage point in Heaven, must be embarrassed at the prospect of Ralph's students performing his play larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

[Ralph explains to the class that over the next two weeks, during spring break, he wants to have the kids spend a couple hours a day rehearsing the play and preparing sets, etc. If they do so, they will receive units of cedit in English Literature, useful toward gradutation. The kids in the class are not opposed to the idea of doing a play, but they are very unenthusiastic about doing Shakespeare. Pam earned a minor in theater arts in college and Ralph explains that she'll be helping with blocking, set design, lighting, etc.]

[FBI agent Bill Maxwell drives up to the high school and goes inside. We can see a bumper sticker identifying the school's name and mascot: Whitney High Indians. This TV series was created in the early 1980s, at a time when naming high school and college mascots after Native Americans (such as "Indians") or specific Native American tribes was commonplace. This was before a new brand of "political correctness" prompted many schools to bow to pressure from some vocal activists to forgo the use of mascots named for indigenous ethnic groups, based on supposed needs for sensitivity to their beliefs and heritage.]

BELOW: A bumper sticker on the door to the backstage area identifies the high school's name and its mascot: Whitney High Indians:

A bumper sticker on the door to the backstage area identifies the high school's name and its mascot: Whitney High Indians

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Timecode: 7 minutes, 46 seconds: As Ralph starts to get a rehearsal going, FBI agent Bill Maxwell, enters and drags Ralph and Pam away to speak privately about a case. When Ralph tells his students to take a five-minute break, there appear to ten to twelve students.

[Bill starts to run a very "by-the-book" briefing, basically ordering Ralph to come with him on a case.]

Ralph Hinkley: What's going on, Bill?

Bill Maxwell: Okay, for openers, this is a briefing, and we are already runnin' thin because you and me are on a 7:00 o'clock flight to San Francisco.

[It is interesting that the opening scene featured characters leaving Las Vegas and now we see characters heading to San Francisco: Both are cities that were originally founded by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but which are now known for decidedly non-Latter-day Saint populations and past times. This episode deals with criminals from organized crime, specifically the mafia, who became entrenched in Las Vegas after the casino boom began, long after the city had ceased to be simply a Latter-day Saint agricultural colony.]

Ralph Hinkley: What do you mean we're on a seven o'clock flight to San Francisco? Bill, I can't just pick up and-- and leave! I gotta get a babysitter for Kevin--

Bill Maxwell: Done. I covered it out of the Bureau. She's on her way to your house now. Next problem.

Ralph Hinkley: I just talked these kids into doing this play. I'm not gonna desert them now. Bill, you cannot go around changing people's lives to suit yourself.

Bill Maxwell: Sure, I can. [looks at his watch] We're doin' this one my way, kid. By the book. With procedural and operational precision.

Pam Davidson: Well, I've got about a million things I've gotta do, so if you guys don't need me--

Bill Maxwell: Freeze, Davidson. You're in this. I've been giving you a lot of thought.

Pam Davidson: "Freeze, Davidson"?

BELOW: FBI agent Ralph Hinkley (an unreformed male chauvinist) treat's Ralph's girlfriend Pam (a strong-willed attorney with feminist sentiments) as a third-string backup:

FBI agent Ralph Hinkley (an unreformed male chauvinist) treat's Ralph's girlfriend Pam (a strong-willed attorney with feminist sentiments) as a third-string backup larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: From time to time we're gonna need a utility man. You know, third-string backup. When that happens, we call you. Maybe you start out bringing us coffee and burgers, but, uh, you work your way up. Later on I'll let you handle some easy field work. How's that?

Pam Davidson: [indignant, her feminist ire raised] A utility what that goes and gets what?

Ralph Hinkley: He's not as much fun when he spills over onto you, is he?

Pam Davidson: I am not gonna run your errands for you, Bill.

Bill Maxwell: Counselor, we can't go blabbing this thing all over everybody. So far you're the only other person who knows Ralph's got the suit. It's gotta stay that way.

Pam Davidson: I hate this.

Ralph Hinkley: There is a certain moronic logic to that.

BELOW: Mobster Johnny Damanti is widely known as 'The Dancer' due to his penchant for disco music and apparel:

Mobster Johnny Damanti is widely known as 'The Dancer' due to his penchant for disco music and apparel larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Okay, we're on a kind of a tight schedule. I gotta girl in San Francisco willing to testify against one of the biggest dope-dealing slugs in America. Fifteen years I've been tryin' to nail Johnny Damanti. This time I got him.

Pam Davidson: Johnny Damanti? Isn't that the guy they call "Johnny the Dancer"?

Bill Maxwell: Yeah, the disco prince. I got his girlfriend to testify against him because he dumped her. Now, a Fed was shot last night trying to bring her down, Ralph. So for now on it's up to you and me. And there's a D.A. standing by with a specially convened Grand Jury, tommorow, one o'clock, right here in L.A. We're gonna get this guy, Ralph. That's it. Finally.

BELOW: FBI agent Bill Maxwell is a bit obsessed with mobster Johnny Damanti. Bill has spent 15 years trying to take Damanti down:

FBI agent Bill Maxwell is a bit obsessed with mobster Johnny Damanti. Bill has spent 15 years trying to take Damanti down larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Pam Davidson: Sounds like a lot more than professional interest, to me, Bill.

Bill Maxwell: Fifteen years I been trying to roast this turkey. Weekends other guys hit the beach. I hit the Bureau Library, look up his old testimony, trying to make old cases come up against him again. I need this one, kids. If we get this girl down here in one piece, we could wipe out one of the biggest dope operations in the country, and I take Johnny the Dancer off the streets, for about twenty big ones.

[Ralph and Pam look at each other. They resent Bill Maxwell's intrusion into their lives, but they also can see how important this is to him, and how important it might be to society generally. They don't say anything, they don't even really nod yes, but Bill takes their silence as assent.]

Bill Maxwell: Okay. Good. Then it's settled. Let's go. [Bill stands up to lead head back outside, expecting Ralph to obediently follow him. Ralph talks to Pam for a moment before following the determined FBI agent.]

Pam Davidson: Ralph.

Ralph Hinkley: I'm sorry, Pam. Listen, would you take over rehearsal for me...

[Ralph gives instructions about when to set up rehearsals and where to find invitations to give to the kids to give to their parents.]

Pam Davidson: Oh, that sounds like good third-string utility work for old Pamela.

[Seeing that Ralph didn't follow him yet, Bill Maxwell returns.]

Bill Maxwell: Come on, Ralph. Starlet is not gonna last up there indefinitely. He's already tried to kill her once. Let's go.

[Credits listings on some sources list the name of this famale character as "Scarlet Wild." But within the episode, her name is unmistakably pronounced "Starlet Wild." The words "scarlet" and "starlet" may sound similar, and a single instance might be attributed to poor audio quality, a flubbed line, or pronounciation that is difficult to understand. But this character is the principle guest character in this episode. Her name is repeated perhaps a dozen times, by multiple different characters. As unusual a name as this may seem, "Starlet Wild" must be how the name was written in the script.]

Pam Davidson: Starlet Wild? The showgirl? The one that was in People Magazine. [feeling a twinge of jealousy.] Ralph, she's beautiful.

Ralph Hinkley: Uh, eh-- If you like that sort of thing, yeah, she's--

Bill Maxwell: Yeah, she's beautiful. You can't find her I.Q. in a search light. Let's go, Ralph! Where's the suit?

[Bill Maxwell and Ralph leave the school, go to Bill's car, and drive to San Francisco.]

Timecode: 11 minutes, 11 seconds: San Francisco. On a penhouse balcony atop a skyscraper, mobster Johnny "The Dancer" Damanti is being fit for a new suit by his tailer. His shirt is open, revealing a hairy chest and a large jeweled cross necklace.

BELOW: Disco-loving mobster Johnny 'The Dancer' Damanti prominently wears a jeweled cross necklace, no doubt a sign of his nominal Italian Catholicism:

Disco-loving mobster Johnny 'The Dancer' Damanti prominently wears a jeweled cross necklace, no doubt a sign of his nominal Italian Catholicism

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Johnny "The Dancer" Damanti: Make it snug. I wanna show my waist now that I lost twenty pounds. [addresses his asssitant, who is standing a few feet away] Hey, Mike. You think a yellow velvet bowtie is too much for this dash?

Mike: Hey, Johnny, it's the Grammys. You seen those record guys? They're into satin shirts and gym shoes.

[Mike takes a call and says he'll relay a message to Johnny.]

Mike: [referring to the tailor] Is this guy yet?

Johnny "The Dancer" Damanti: [to the tailor] Gimme the yellow piping on the lapel, the yellow tie, and the yellow and black cumberbund. Okay? [To Mike] We'll show those L.A. spandex goofballs how we do it up in Frisco.

[The tailor nods to acknowledge these orders and exits. Johnny Damanti and Mike discuss the news from a man they have watching things in L.A. They know that Bill Maxwell is about to move the witness. Johnny Damanti orders a new hit on his former girlfriend, and indicates they'll have to kill Bill as well. He says they'll use their secret weapon - the armored hit car seen in this episodes opening scene - only if necessary.]

Timecode: 12 minutes, 28 seconds: Bill Maxwell is driving his car, with Ralph Hinkley along, into San Francisco.

Ralph Hinkley: Bill, I think it's a good idea bringing Pam on board. But you gotta handle that with a little more tact. She is an attorney, you know.

Bill Maxwell: Yeah.

Ralph Hinkley: She's a little over-qualified for that kind of work. You can't just expect her to sit on telephones and get burgers.

Bill Maxwell: Yeah.

BELOW: Ralph Hinkley: 'this is not like in the comic books... I have responsibilities...':

Ralph Hinkley: 'this is not like in the comic books... I have responsibilities...'

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Ralph Hinkley: And you gotta remember, this is not like in the comic books. I mean, I have responsibilities, I have people who depend on me.

Bill Maxwell: Right.

Ralph Hinkley: I can't just be expected to duck into a phone booth and wham, bam, pass the jam.

Bill Maxwell: Yeah, you're right, kid. I may want you to put on the suit and fly high cover.

Timecode: 13 minutes, 45 seconds: Bill Maxwell and Ralph Hinkley arrive at the cheap hotel room where Starlet Wild is in hiding, waiting for Bill. Upon seeing her, Ralph is speechless. He seems visibly struck by her beauty. Did he momentarily forget about his girlfriend, Pam?

BELOW: Federal witness Starlet Wild refuses to fly in an airplane, claiming to believe that her astrological charts warned her against doing so:

Federal witness Starlet Wild refuses to fly in an airplane, claiming to believe that her astrological charts warned her against doing so larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Well, honey, we got an airplane waitin' for us over in Oakland. Where's your bag?

Starlet Wild: Mr. Maxwell, um . . . I won't fly. I just won't.

Bill Maxwell: [laughs loudly] Ha ha ha! Sure you will, sweetheart. That's the only way to do it.

[Bill gives her a firm, stern look.]

Starlet Wild: My astro-chart says I shouldn't go on airplanes. And that other Fed, well, he said I should. Eh. Look what happened.

BELOW: Federal witness Starlet Wild is resolute about not flying, saying that he astrological advisor Madame Orkis warned her against doing so:

Federal witness Starlet Wild is resolute about not flying, saying that he astrological advisor Madame Orkis warned her against doing so larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Uhhh, Starlet . . . [Bill walks closer to her and sits down in a chair near where she is sitting on the bed.] Uh, honey, you can't ask us to drive you all the way down to L.A. It's suicide.

Starlet Wild: [patiently explaining] Madame Orkis did this, like, really involved astro-chart. And I gave her, like, everything, from the time I was born 'til today.

Bill Maxwell: Starlet . . . Angel . . . That's garbage.

[Starlet Wild looks momentarily stunned by Bill's harsh, dismissive words about her deeply held religious belief in astrology. She looks to Ralph for support.]

BELOW: Starlet Wild, apparently a devout believer in astrology, asks Ralph if he believes the stars can predict his future:

Starlet Wild, apparently a devout believer in astrology, asks Ralph if he believes the stars can predict his future larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Starlet Wild: [to Ralph] Mr. Hinkley . . . Do you, uh . . . Do you believe in the stars?

Ralph Hinkley: Uh, Miss Wild, I believe they're up there, yeah.

Starlet Wild: Yeah, but I mean, do you believe that they can predict your future?

Ralph Hinkley: [stammering a bit, because the beautiful woman has moved her face quite close to hers, and he finds her very attractive.] Uh, my-- my future?

Starlet Wild: Yeah.

Ralph Hinkley: Well, gee, I don't know about that.

Bill Maxwell: [interrupting] Okay, boys and girls, over here, please. Let's a dimmer on the goo-goo eyes and try to hold a thought. We got killers on our tails in the immediate vicinity.

Starlet Wild: Ohhh, nobody's around here.

[Starlet Wild walks to the window to look outside. Immediately a multiple gun shots are heard. A pane of glass in the window shatters as a bullet sails through it. Ralph, Bill, and the lovely witness all drop to the floor to avoid further shots. Cut to outside, across the street. We see two mobsters wearing suits. One of them a high-powered assault file, firing round after round at the hotel room. Bill Maxwell tells Ralph to get out there and get the bad guys. He puts his super suit on in the bathroom and flies out the window to get them. Unfortunately, he is so bad at flying that he ends up flying through the window of a building across the street. The mobsters escape. Ralph makes his way back to the hotel room.]

Timecode: 18 minutes, 0 seconds:

BELOW: Claiming devout belief in astrological predictions, federal witness Starlet Wild refuses to fly - despite the fact that mobsters are trying to kill them. Ralph supports her (he's a little afraid of flying, himself), so they drive, despite Bill's protests:

Claiming devout belief in astrological predictions, federal witness Starlet Wild refuses to fly - despite the fact that mobsters are trying to kill them. Ralph supports her (he's a little afraid of flying, himself), so they drive, despite Bill's protests larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Now, uh, we have to update this scenario, 'cuz I think we can safely assume at this time that they are definitely on to us.

Starlet Wild: No flying! That's my one condition. Now if you make me fly, I'm not gonna testify. [pointing to Ralph] Go on, tell him, Mr. Hinkley. No flying.

Ralph Hinkley: No flying for me, either, Bill.

Bill Maxwell: You're making' me sick, both of you. I don't know what I did wrong.

[End of scene. In the next scene, we see Ralph, Bill, and the witness driving in Bill's car on the freeway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.]

Timecode: 19 minutes, 25 seconds: Bill has been driving for a long time. It is the middle of the night. He is physically tired, and he is also tired of listening to air-headed Starlet Wild flirt with Ralph.

BELOW: Citing astrological beliefs, Starlet Wild insists they spend the night only in a place by the water; Bill Maxwell thinks astrology is a 'crock' (nonsense):

Citing astrological beliefs, Starlet Wild insists they spend the night only in a place by the water; Bill Maxwell thinks astrology is a 'crock' (nonsense) larger larger larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Okay, that's it. I'm real tired. We're gonna pull the wheels up, pitch camp.

Starlet Wild: We can't stop 'til Santa Barbara.

Bill Maxwell: Why not?

Starlet Wild: 'Cuz it's on my astro-chart. I'm supposed to never go to sleep 'cept by the water.

Bill Maxwell: That's the biggest crock I ever heard of. We're stoppin' in Salinas. There's an FBI safehouse there.

Starlet Wild: Well, I won't do it. If you make me, I just won't testify.

Bill Maxwell: I'm sayin' we stay in Salinas!

Ralph Hinkley: Ah, Bill, I have an idea.

Bill Maxwell: Good. Put it in a letter to me. I'll try to get back to you by the end of the month.

Ralph Hinkley: If you listened a little bit instead of just talking--

Bill Maxwell: I can't stand to listen to drivel. It makes my eyes water.

Ralph Hinkley: Well, Bill, Miss Wild just said if we don't do it her way, she won't testify.

Bill Maxwell: Boy, I hate the way this is comin' out. Okay, okay. What's your spark of genius?

Ralph Hinkley: Pam's boss has a house in Santa Barbara. Maybe she can borrow it. If she hustles, she can be up there by one a.m. She opens it and we stay there.

BELOW: FBI agent Bill Maxwell doesn't like Ralph's choice of a place to stay the night, because of its inherent indefensibility, but as long as the place is next to water (in accordance with her astrological chart), Starlet Wild is happy:

FBI agent Bill Maxwell doesn't like Ralph's choice of a place to stay the night, because of its inherent indefensibility, but as long as the place is next to water (in accordance with her astrological chart), Starlet Wild is happy larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Does it have cover on three sides? Are the windows draped? Is there a garage to hide the car? Or doesn't anybody care?

Ralph Hinkley: I don't know, Bill, but it's by the water!

Starlet Wild: Sounds great to me!

Bill Maxwell: Okay. I can't take any more of this. Call Pam, okay? I'm sure she's gonna love it.

[Pam hates it, but she agrees to do it anyway.]

Timecode: 25 minutes, 26 seconds: Pam has met Bill, Ralph and witness Starlet Wild at the beach house in Santa Barbara. Pam realizes that Starlet Wild has been coming on to Ralph. After Ralph puts his red super suit on in the bathroom and then puts a robe on over it, Starlet barges into the bathroom and corners him. She really tries to make it clear how much she wants to be romantically involved with him. The following scene is in many ways a re-enactment of the scene from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, in which Potiphar's wife corners Joseph and tries to seduce him, but Joseph flees from her lest he succumb to her temptations - something that would be morally inappropriate for him to do.

BELOW: Like Joseph fleeing Potiphar's wife, Ralph Hinkley quickly departs when beautiful the beautiful mobster's girlfriend Starlet Wild tries to seduce him:

Like Joseph fleeing Potiphar's wife, Ralph Hinkley quickly departs when beautiful the beautiful mobster's girlfriend Starlet Wild tries to seduce him larger larger larger larger larger larger larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Starlet Wild: You know, I never been attracted to a Fed before. It's, you know, kind of weird.

Ralph Hinkley: Well, I'm not exactly a Fed, you see--

Starlet Wild: Ralph, are you and that, uh, you know, that lawyer-- Are you guys goin' together?

Ralph Hinkley: Uh . . . Yeah.

Starlet Wild: [alluringly] Too bad.

Ralph Hinkley: [with a tinge of regret] Yeah.

[Starlet Wild, apparently ignoring what Ralph just told her, leans forward to kiss him on the lips. Ralph instantly turns his head so she can't kiss him and he darts out of the bathroom, closing the door behind him.]

[Upon leaving the bathroom, Ralph goes straightaway to tell Bill that he knows there are two men with guns outside the beach house. He saw them in a vision, courtesy of his suit's unique power to show him visions of things of importance that are elsewhere. Bill instantly starts going into action and giving orders.

BELOW: Ralph's girlfriend Pam expresses some jealousy over Starlet Wild, the federal witness Ralph is working to protect; Ralph assures Pam he hasn't touched Starlet at all:

Ralph's girlfriend Pam expresses some jealousy over Starlet Wild, the federal witness Ralph is working to protect; Ralph assures Pam he hasn't touched Starlet at all larger larger larger

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Bill Maxwell: Okay, here's the scenario. Pam, you get Miss Wild in the bathroom, on the floor.

Pam Davidson: That sounds like fun. Maybe that should be Ralph's job.

[Pam is joking whens he says this, but there is a hint of genuine jealousy and accusation behind her words.]

Ralph Hinkley: Pam, gimme a break. I haven't laid a glove on her.

[Bill is agitated that Ralph and Pam don't seem to have their minds on the current danger.]

Bill Maxwell: Hello, boys and girls, over here, please! Now, Pam, if you hear me yell, you get her to the car and get out of here fast as you can. And if you don't, you stay put, you got it?

[Bill and Ralph go into action to get the bad guys before the bad guys can murder Starlet Wild and the rest of them.]

Timecode: 30 minutes, 15 seconds: Johnny "The Dancer" Damanti berates his lieutenant, Mike, for the failure of the two assassins Mike sent to kill Starlet Wild and Bill Maxwell. The two mobster assassins are now in the "nut house," claiming they saw a "super guy" flying and such. Johnny Damanti orders Mike to have the two failed assassins killed. Damanti then says he'll go to L.A. and oversee the murder of his ex-girlfriend himself. Note that during this scene the top three buttons of Damanti's shirt are unbuttoned and his shirt hangs open somewhat. We can clearly see the gold chain of the large cross necklace we saw him wearing in his introductory scene. Like many Italian mafia mobsters, Johnny "The Dancer" Damanti may think of himself as a Catholic and wear a crucifix or cross nicklace accordingly, but with murder in his heart, he is clearly a terrible example of a Catholic specifically or a Christian generally.

BELOW: Nominal Italian Catholic mobster Johnny Damanti wears is seen once again wearing his large cross necklace, even while ordering the murder of FBI agent Bill Maxwell and also two of his own operatives:

Nominal Italian Catholic mobster Johnny Damanti wears is seen once again wearing his large cross necklace, even while ordering the murder of FBI agent Bill Maxwell and also two of his own operatives

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Timecode: 31 minutes, 38 seconds: Bill, Ralph, Pam and Starlet Wild arrive safely at the courthouse. Bill tells Pam and Ralph that he'll care of the rest. Before parting company with Ralph, Starlet Wild makes one last play, handing him a paper with her phone number on it.

Starlet Wild: My number's in here. In case you need a friend.

Pam Davidson: [catty] He's got my number, Miss Wild. He'll be fine.

Starlet Wild: Don't get your britches in an uproar, honey.

Pam Davidson: Now, why didn't I think to say that?

[Bill interrupts them and takes Starlet Wild into the Los Angeles County Courthouse building to meet he District Attorney. After the witness and Bill are gone, Pam grabs the paper from Ralph to look at it.]

Pam Davidson: I bet she signed this with a smiley face.

Ralph Hinkley: Oh, Pam, will you relaxe? I'm not going to take up with a gangster's girlfriend. She doesn't fit into my lifestyle.

Pam Davidson: Can we get out of here, Ralph?

[Ralph and Pam do not leave quite yet, because they see the hit car that belongs to Johnny Damanti drive up to the court house and shoot, hitting Bill Maxwell with a clean shot through the leg. Bill finally gets Starlet Wild into the Grand Jury, but she invokes the Fifth Amendment and refuses to testify. The assistant district attorney in charge of this case is angry at Bill over this. Bill can't figure out why Starlet Wild didn't testify against her boyfriend. After all, she is the one who called him. Ralph figures out what is going on and explains to Bill.]

Timecode: 34 minutes, 48 seconds: Inside Los Angeles County Courthouse:

BELOW: Relucant hero Ralph Hinkley explains to partner Bill Maxwell that Starlet Wild's willingness to testify against the mob, including her many appeals to astrological beliefs, was all a ruse to get rid of Bill himself:

Relucant hero Ralph Hinkley explains to partner Bill Maxwell that Starlet Wild's willingness to testify against the mob, including her many appeals to astrological beliefs, was all a ruse to get rid of Bill himself

Source: The Greatest American Hero - Season 1, Episode 2 (25 Mar. 1981). Written by Stephen J. Cannell. Directed by Rod Holcomb.

Ralph Hinkley: Or they were trying to kill you, Bill. Fifteen years of pulling on Johnny Damanti's chain. Fifteen years of weekends in the library. Maybe you finally got to the Dancer's gag reflex. What if he had Starlet call you? All that stuff about Mrs. Orkis and her astral charts. "We can't stop 'til we get to Santa Barbara." We can't fly. She was leading you through the gauntlet, and those killers were waiting for us to pass. Bill, she gets down here and she takes the Fifth!

[Bill does NOT want to face the facts laid out before him. He repeats "No" again and again. But finally, as he thinks about it, he realizes Ralph is right. This means that he was played by Damanti.]

Timecode: 36 minutes, 33 seconds: Ralph and Bill are still talking about this situation as they drive in Ralph's car in Los Angeles:

Bill Maxwell: What about me? Fifteen years bonehead work down the drain. Johnny winds up goin' to the Grammys, snortin' coke, bein' pretty. I wind up countin' my sutures.

Ralph's theory about Johnny Damanti and his plan turns out to be correct. But Bill and Ralph end up taking down Damanti anyway, as described below.

Ralph is upset that all their effort to bring the witness to L.A. has been for nothing. He can't understand how Bill can seem so calm. After all, it was Bill who spent fifteen years trying to nail Johnny Damanti. But Bill has a plan. He simply doesn't explain his plan to Ralph.

A revealing scene now occurs. Bill has Ralph stop at a restaurant, saying he is going to just go in and buy cigars. But this restaurant is actually a place that Bill knew he would find Johnny Damanti. In a booth at the back of the restaurant, Johnny Damanti eats an Italian spaghetti dinner. He gloats about having tricked his longtime nemesis, FBI agent Bill Maxwell. With Johnny Damanti are his lieutenant Mike and his girlfriend, Starlet Wild. Their public "breakup" and animosity was a ruse to get Bill in a position where they could kill him. They haven't been able to kill him, but in multiple encounters between Bill and mobsters, during this episode, Bill has been injured and shot. He seems barely able to stand as he approaches the table where Damanti sits with Mike and Starlet.

Bill quickly pulls out his handgun and points it at Damanti. He talks about the terrible day he's had. He doesn't shoot or strike Damanti. Bill knows what Johnny Damanti truly loves, and he uses this knowledge against the mobster. Before Bill arrived, Damanti was talking to Mike and Starlet about how pleased he is with this new tuxedo. It's the best part of this day, which had a number of ups and downs for him as they had Bill Maxwell giving them grief. But now Damanti is looking forward to going to the Grammy Awards show, looking great in his very tasteful, well-tailored disco-inspired tuxedo. Bill Maxwell completely ruins Damanti's mood and ruins his Grammy plans by dumping an entire plate of spaghetti with spaghetti sauce on Damanti's tuxedo. Bill then takes a sip from Damanti's wine glass and pours the rest of the glass on the infuriated mobster. But with Bill holding a gun on them, there is not much they can do. Bill then calmly leaves the restaurant.

By ruining his cherished new tailor-made tuxedo and ruining his opportunity to attend the Grammy Awards, Bill knows he has done the one thing that would most infuriate this disco-loving mobster. Bill gets into Ralph's car and tells him to get going. As Bill predicted, Johnny Damanti and his men come after Bill with a vengeance. Damanti himself drives the armor-covered "hit car", while using an assault rifle, in an attempt to kill Bill Maxwewll once and for all. With Ralph's help, Bill survives and apprehends Johnny and his men. Bill and the authorities may not have Starlet Wild's testimony against Damanti, but they can put the mobster away for life now, simply on the basis of having been caught personally trying to kill Bill while driving the hit car.

During most of this episode, Bill Maxwell was falling into a trap set by Johnny Damanti, a trap predicated on Bill's own obsession with taking down this mobster. But in the end, Bill Maxwell cleverly set a trap for the Johnny Damanti, using the mobster's own obsession with disco clothing and music as a way to trigger the man's rage and urge him to personally attempt murder, rather than safely operating through surrogates.

[At the end of the episode, Ralph Hinkley's class puts on a successful performance of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.]