Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The End of the Bionic Woman

By Dan Hagen
In the 1970s, even the lunch boxes were bionic.
I just watched the last episode of “The Bionic Woman,” and, unlike most American TV shows, the series did not simply break off, or run out of gas and splutter to a stop. It effectively concluded, and concluded well.
The dispirited Jamie Sommers, tired and somewhat sickened after three years of being a superspy “robot lady,” quits the secret agency OSI, only to find that she can’t quit — she’s government property. They intend to jail her. “The Bionic Woman” meets “The Prisoner.”
This cynical, realistic take on what the U.S. government would do is surprising in a 1970s adventure show. She has an ally in her dash for freedom from American law enforcement — her ex-boss Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson, who takes a break from exposition to enjoy a strong acting turn).
Jamie tells him, “I thought I was more than a pawn to you, or one of your little tools…”
“You’re hurting my arm,” Goldman says.
Ever the compassionate heroine, Jamie takes time to help the alienated son of a blind man, and finds the solution to her own personal dilemma. Lindsay Wagner had specifically asked for a concluding episode, and the writer, Steven E. De Souza, worked all her frustrations with doing a network series into Jamie Sommers’ emotions about her spy job. The script, and Wagner’s Emmy-winning charm and acting ability, let the series finish with class.


  1. Great post. I just watched On the Run with commentary by the writer. He said his script was different and simply showed Jaime running away as the ending. I completely agree with the way the producers added the final 2 minutes of the show, otherwise Jaime would have been put in a terrible state in TV limbo forever.

    1. Nice to see a series be completed instead of merely run out of gas. Thanks for you comment.