(TV Series)

(1959)

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4/10
Dumb crooks spoil the plot with poor escape actions
FlushingCaps25 May 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Two women convicts are lucky to escape when their lone guard has a heart attack. After running through a woods, they come to a lonely rural road and right away get a motorist to stop. After agreeing to give the women a lift, the man notices their clothing, which I guess was identifiable as women's prison garb. There was no printing on their clothing and it wasn't the famous horizontal black-and-white stripes. Before either of them can answer, one of the women bashes the man on the head with a rock and kills him. They drag his body a few yards off the road and take his car.

They head for town to get some new clothes, money, and guns to aid their escape. We see them go to a tailor shop and immediately overpower the woman running the place. This gets them some money from the cash register and fresh clothes. Next they go to a hardware store where they steal guns and tie up the proprietor.

Not knowing the highway patrol has already found their victim of the car jacking, they decide to abandon the car-just being extra cautious, but instead of stealing another car, they decide to board a bus. The fare to town-they had immediately left the one they were in before deciding to abandon the car-was all of 40¢. They had stolen money from two places, but instead of just paying the fare and riding the bus, they show a gun and order the driver to do what they say.

They allow him to pick up two passengers at one stop so the bus won't look too empty, but have him skip all the other stops where he would normally pick up a couple of dozen passengers.

Now our men Dan and Ken are close behind and having found the dead man's car, Ken goes to check out the bus when it pulls up at one of their famous, useless, roadblocks. They had received word that the escapees had stolen clothes from a dress shop-it was an alterations place from the sign we saw. Ken gets on the bus, talks briefly with the driver who plays it cool because the women were hiding behind seats near the back holding their weapons. Ken looks at the bus and sees only the couple of other passengers and he leaves.

As soon as he exits, he and Dan begin thinking how odd the bus was so empty. They phone the bus HQ and learn there are usually over 20 passengers. They decide to go talk to the driver again. But the women have ordered the bus driver to take one of those dirt back roads so well-known on this series, the kind where most cars can't navigate through the hilly, muddy roads. The bus also has trouble-no surprise to me.

So the women high-tail it on foot, splitting forces. They are away from the bus in an area with trees, lots of shrubbery and yet when they stop to check on their pursuers, they stand in the open in front of the shrubs.

Our now three cops could easily have gone on by a hiding place had the women chosen to actually hide. Instead one starts shooting away wildly, firing six shots while whirling around not aiming at anyone. As soon as her weapon is empty, she is taken into custody.

The other one hasn't been spotted, but on hearing the false claim of "You're surrounded," quickly decides to give up.

Now these women were already in prison for murder. They thought nothing of killing a man who offered to give them a lift when they could have probably gotten help without hurting him. They stole money and could easily have driven away-maybe one woman hiding in the trunk and the other driving through the roadblock. Or tried to go around the roadblock.

I was always troubled at the reliance on roadblocks on this series. The bad guys are always off in some mountain roads where apparently it is easy to get 3-4 units to block off all the roads for many miles around. At the time in this episode that they were ordered, the women in their stolen car could have driven many dozens of miles in various directions. I would think it impossible to block off all roads that lead away from the area, but even though the roadblock didn't catch anyone, our heroes were quickly right behind the bad guys, or girls (1950s name that would have been used).

The typical roadblock would have a lone patrolman with his one unit stopped across both lanes of traffic, which normally would leave enough room on the pavement edges and the shoulder for a car to get by. The women could have driven up innocently, pulled a gun and conked the cop just like they did the motorist earlier. Then they could have gotten through the roadblock and been miles past in any of several directions before anyone would know. They would have been in a car where they were free to choose their route, possibly stealing another car, or finding a hotel to hide in-whatever.

Instead, they abandon the car and get on a public bus where they are not in control of how fast or where they go and whenever they get off, they'll need to steal another car or do something else to affect their getaway. And when their guns get the driver to do as they bid, instead of crashing past a roadblock, they have him go to a remote mountain area where they flee on foot. Two women in high heels going through a forest, with hwo knows how-many cops searching, possibly they'll even get out the helicopter that Dan only rides in if they let him hang his foot outside the open doorway. (Seriously, every time they use the thing, they squeeze in a second cop beside the pilot and Dan squeezes in on the right with his right leg hanging out of the skinny chopper.)

Already on the lamb for murdering the motorist, plus robberies, assault and battery, car theft, and, oh yeah, already supposed to be convicted for murder, these escapees sure gave up awful quickly when the cops in the forest hadn't even found them yet. At the very least, they should have tried harder to get away instead of giving up so easily.

These women were quite dumb in their getaway actions. Going from stolen car to bus to foot was the opposite of what they should have done. Otherwise, this was a pretty mundane episode with the police actions being pretty much the same as usual. The only different scene was Ken on the bus, and it just seemed like that was set up so awkwardly. He should have either gone through the bus himself-which probably would have led to him being shot, or taken prisoner when he got near the back-or asked the driver to come out for a minute to talk. The driver could have quickly zipped down the steps to the door and gotten away before the women hiding in the read could have jumped up and fired-which would have been their downfall that way. The cops are outside the bus, they are in the back and have just shot the bus driver. They would be trapped inside the bus.

I can't give this one more than a four because of the ongoing dumbness of the bad folks.
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