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Thread: The Reunion: 50 years later

  1. #1
    Tonight, S03E08 "The Reunion" aired.

    Several WWII veterans reunite in Honolulu as part of the 15th Airborne Division. One veteran, Frank Epstein (Simon Oakland), who has to have crutches to walk, is sure that Japanese businessman Shigato (Teru Shimada) was his old tormentor Rashiri at a POW camp. Frank hangs out with Mitch Bradley (Joe Maross) and Michael Holt (Barry Atwater). Frank can't stand Holt and we see a pretty unfiltered view of PTSD in Mitch.

    This episode boils down to the slimy Shigato trying to exact revenge on the veterans after the war made him a "coward". Mr. Mike has an excellent review here (hopefully I give the right link this time):

    Shigato has masterminded and executed a convoluted plan to exact his revenge including blowing up his own car. In the end, McGarrett saves the day by talking Frank out of shooting Shigato dead.

    Again, not one of my favorites but it has a lot going for it. It's another episode dealing with the horrors and the aftermath of WWII. I can think of a couple of others ("To Hell With Babe Ruth" and "When Does A War End?" which both stink) off the top of my head. I appreciate them dealing with the effects of PTSD when it wasn't really recognized at that time (we're talking 1970 after all). I think this part was handled really well. The fact that Mitch was still struggling with things, made him easy prey to setup. The setup itself is kind of convoluted and I find it a bit impossible to make the frame up happen so quickly.

    The story had Holt exacting his own revenge (as we find out in the course of the episode) by forcing Shigato's company into bankruptcy and Shigato having Holt killed. The wacky part of the episode is the fact that Shigato was able to alter his fingerprints (huh?) by having some records switched in Japan. I find this completely far-fetched but it is 2020 and I suppose anything could happen. In 1970, maybe, maybe not.

    Happy 50th "The Reunion"!

  2. #2
    I think it’s a crackerjack episode! One of the best from season 3! Great twist reveal and great acting all around too, especially Simon Oakland and Joe Maross. You really feel for both. Love the WWII and prison camp connections. And of course there’s Teru Shimada from my favorite 60s Bond - You Only Live Twice! RIP Sean Connery.

  3. #3
    Any episode with a screaming Simon Oakland is always worth my time! The man shouted or growled every line practically with wonderful vitriol. A treasure among character actors.

  4. #4
    "The Waterfront Steal" I get a chuckle out of because that was Oakland's first guest shot after "Kolchak" was cancelled and he's still in Tony Vincenzo mode in that one!

    He showed he could demonstrate restraint when he played Steve McQueen's superior in "Bullitt".

  5. #5
    Oakland was very versatile for sure! He could do much more than just scream. Check out the 2 Bonanza episodes where he plays particularly creepy and disturbing serial killers/rapists, both times with a certain outwardly charm. Both episodes were pretty rank for their time I would say.

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