Every year the networks give us a series about a sexy couple that are secret agents. The shows get plenty of buzz based on the chemistry of a couple juggling their relationship with espionage work. Before it’s time to shop for Christmas gifts, the series is boxed up, marked top secret and hidden in the vault. This fall Undercovers vanished before Thanksgiving. The exceptions to the rule are exceptional. This was the case when Mrs. King (Kate Jackson) crossed paths with The Scarecrow (Bruce Boxleitner). The divorced mom had a knack for the spy game. The top intelligence agent thought he wasn’t dumb enough to fall for her. The second season of Scarecrow and Mrs. King continues her espionage education and growing flirtation with her main partner.
“To Catch a Mongoose” keeps Mrs. King having to hide her new occupation from her kids and mother (Beverly Garland). She’s lucky her grandmother lives with her since childcare would drain her government salary fast with her long distance missions. This time she has to go across the ocean to London. Turns out her old classmate is suspected of being a killer known as the Mongoose. “The Times They Are a Changin'” lets her bring along the kids on what should be a West German vacation. Turns out it’s a gig involving a ‘60s radical that’s connected with local terrorists. She learns the fear of being outed in “Double Agent.” A former spy has written a book that names real names including Mrs. King. They’ve got to stop the book from being published. Nowadays such a plot would involve blocking a website.
“Charity Begins at Home” sneaks Mrs. King into a fund-raiser. Turns out the nice rich guys are using this event to plot controlling the world’s food supply. “Brunettes Are In” touches on human trafficking. Although it’s personal since Mrs. King has been dragged underground. Robert Pine (CHiPs) guest stars as a blind man. “An Affair at Bromfield Hall” fulfills the ‘80s TV mandate of John Rhys-Davies in every show. The London-based intrigue revolves around a photographer and sex scandal. For so long, Mrs. King has been winging it on missions. “A Class Act” sends her off to spy school. Things get nasty since a couple Soviet hitmen have snuck into the classroom. Remember that there was still a cold war in 1984 when this aired. “Three Faces of Emily” was directed by Ivan Dixon of Hogan’s Heroes fame. The most talked about episode of the season is “Ship of Spies.” Mrs. King and Scarecrow end up on a wedding cruise ship to find out what happened to an informant. Does their time at sea lead to them really getting hitched?
“Odds on a Dead Pigeon” makes it seem like Mrs. King is killing other agents. Turns out it’s an impersonator. But can Scarecrow tell the difference? “D.O.A.: Delirious on Arrival” makes Mrs. King go nutty when she ingests a strange sandwich. Spies should always be careful about what they eat. “You Only Die Twice” lets Mrs. King read her obituary. Can she deal with the calamity? “Burn Out” hints that Scarecrow is ready to retire. He gets a tempting offer from John Beck (the original Rollerball.). “Murder Between Friends” tempts Mrs. King to enter the private security sector. Only problem is her new employer might be a terrorist agency.
Scarecrow and Mrs. King still entertains because the tone of the episodes is the right temperature. The flirting between the two agents keeps this from turning into a Mission: Impossible caper series. The actual spy cases don’t get too campy, but aren’t hardcore espionage as to make the romance look out of place. The second season of Scarecrow and Mrs. King does a fine job of both elevating the romance while bringing Mrs. King deeper into the world of espionage. This is the big reason why the series was able to make it four seasons instead of vanishing after the initial network order.
“To Catch a Mongoose,” “The Times They Are a Changin’,” “Double Agent,” “The Legend of Das Geisterschloss,” “Charity Begins at Home,” “Brunettes Are In,” “Our Man in Tegernsee,” “An Affair at Bromfield Hall,” “A Class Act,” “Playing Possum,” “The Three Faces of Emily,” “Ship of Spies,” “Spiderweb,” “A Little Sex, a Little Scandal,” “A Relative Situation,” “Life of the Party,” “ Odds on a Dead Pigeon,” “Car Wars,” “D.O.A.: Delirious on Arrival,” “You Only Die Twice,” “Burn Out,” “Murder Between Friends” and “Vigilante Mothers.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers bring out the detail of ‘80s fashion. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. The levels are fine for the dialogue. The episodes are subtitled in English and French.
The second season of Scarecrow and Mrs. King uses stealth charm to the world of espionage. The flirting nature between Mrs. King and Scarecrow keeps this show charming instead of a scary world of intrigue. The viewers know that at the end of an episode the good guys will win, but do we really know if Mrs. King and Scarecrow will expose the secrets trapped in their hearts?
Warner Home Video presents Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete Second Season. Starring: Kate Jackson, Bruce Boxleitner, Paul Stout and Beverly Garland. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 5 DVDs. Released on DVD: March 22, 2011.
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