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| Production 43031|
Original Airdate: March 7, 1976
Steve and Carlos
|Special Guest Appearance|
Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers
Michael Salcido as Carlos Delgado
Maria-Helena Cordero as Marguarita Delgado
John Hesley as Social Worker
Ralph Wilcox as Director
Carl Crudup as Smiley
David Yanez as Chico
Jorge Cervera III as Young Boy
Anthony Mumolo as Flying Instructor
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|"The Bionic Badge"||"The Return of Bigfoot"|
Steve helps the Big Brothers organization in their promotional campaign and decides to take one of the boys, Carlos Delgado, under his wing. Carlos is anything but cooperative, but Steve finally makes some progress when he takes him up in a jet. When Carlos gets an ultimatum from a gang leader to pay a gambling debt, Steve lends him the money and then the two of them challenge the gang to a basketball game--winner take all.
Steve Austin demonstrates mercy over judgment in this episode. His decisions to protect Carlos are, in a strict sense, legally and ethically questionable. His questionable decisions include the following:
- Steve makes a bet with Smiley to win back Carlos' money. As collateral for his part of the bet, Steve risks a government vehicle.
- At first, Steve refuses to use his bionic abilities to win the basketball match. However, when Smiley and his team choose to play dirty, Steve holds nothing back. Considering the fact that Smiley and his crew (who outnumber Steve and Carlos) are willing to inflict serious physical harm to win the game, this is the least controversial of Steve's decisions.
- Perhaps the most questionable decision that Steve makes is protecting Carlos from the consequences of breaking and entering. When Steve arrives at the garage at Fourth and Brewster, Carlos is already engaged in criminal activity. Steve intervenes and destroys property to enter the building. He then protects Carlos from being caught in the attempted robbery by throwing a chair at a security job is only performing his duty. Steve then aids and abets in Carlos' escape from the scene of the crime.Steve protects Carlos by a watchman, who is only doing his job.
Presumably, Oscar Goldman and the OSI have contingencies in place to cover for Austin's activities when he is engaged in a mission. However, this could be considered personal business.
Despite the questionable legality of Steve's actions, his singular focus on protecting Carlos and giving him the chance to overcome his challenges is admirable and heroic.
Carlos: Forget it man, I gotta move. I got places to go. You know what I mean?
Steve: Yeah, like into my car or back into detention. Now you call it.
Oscar: I asked Carlos how you two got acquainted. And his answer was just unrepeatable.
Steve: Yeah, I can imagine.
Steve: Light fingers Delgado strikes again, huh?
Carlos: I'm a collector.
Steve: Yeah, so was Al Capone.
Oscar: Steve, would you please tell me what's going on here?
Steve: Same old story, Oscar: dog bites man, man bites dog, you know.
Carlos: Hey, what's with you, man? You gonna ride through the slum on a white horse, hand out silver bullets to all the drunks, try to save everybody?
Steve: Well, it seemed to work for the Lone Ranger.
- Big Brothers is a real-life organization that matches men with youth in need of mentorship. A female version, Big Sisters, was also established. In 1977 the two merged into a single organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters.
- Several images of the Space Shuttle's pre-orbital test flights adorn Oscar's walls (along with a model Carlos tries to steal). The first orbital test flight launched in 1981.
- Lindsay Wagner makes her third and final season three cameo as Jaime Sommers, following the launch of her own series, The Bionic Woman. She would also appear in the first episode of season four, "The Return of Bigfoot."
- Carlos' neighborhood is the Brownstone Street set on Universal's backlot.
- The fighter jet air footage is inconsistent and breaks continuity, from wrong terrain to mismatched planes. For instance when Steve takes Carlos flying, the plane they take off in is an F-4, but the one shown in the air and on landing is an F-104.
- In the last scene, the image of Steve is flipped as he watches Carlos take flight.
- During the basketball scene, the Hollywood Hills can be seen in the background.
- In the opening scenes, Steve has a conversation with Oscar Goldman. Both men have their mouths covered; Steve is wearing a flight oxygen mask and Goldman's mouth is covered by the phone receiver. Obviously this is a creative way to cut costs since the actors only have to provide dialogue and previously filmed footage is spliced into the narrative.
- In the next sequence of opening scenes, stock footage is used to establish the setting of Carlos' neighborhood. The style of the cars and clothing is from a period earlier than 1976.