Back to the Old Drawing Board: A Case of Man Versus Machine

Prepared for anything: Hymie shows his works.

Prepared for everything: Hymie the Robot shows his works.

Episode 19
Back to the Old Drawing Board (original air date: 1-29-66)

Cast: Hymie – Dick Gautier; Dr. Shotwire – Patrick O’Moore; Natz – Ted de Corsia; Dr. Ratton – Jim Boles; Agent 44 – Victor French; Agent 91 – Bruce Gibson; Waiter at party – William H. O’Brien; Party guests – Jack Berle, Dick Cherney, Rose Michtom, Hans Moebus, Hal Taggart

Director: Bruce Bilson

Writers: Gary Clarke (C.F. L’Amoreaux)

Producer: Jay Sandrich

Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: Kaos wants to kidnap Dr. Shotwire so they can sell his plans for a craft that can explore the surface of the moon to the highest bidder. Renowned scientist Dr. Ratton sells out to Kaos and offers to hand over both Shotwire and Agent 86 within 24 hours via his all-powerful robot Hymie.

Max takes Hymie under his wing. Meanwhile, Hymie takes Max's gun.

Max takes Hymie under his wing. Meanwhile, Hymie takes Max’s gun.

My thoughts: It’s time to get back into talking about episodes. “Back to the Old Drawing Board” is another “what’s not to love” episode. This serves as the introduction of Hymie the Robot, who became popular enough to appear in a total of six episodes and the 1989 reunion movie, “Get Smart, Again!”

The episode begins with accomplished evil genius Dr. Ratton being approached by Natz, a Kaos agent with a heavy grudge against Maxwell Smart. Natz is hoping to nab a nuclear physicist and settle his score with Agent 86 in one swoop.

Ratton, who went to Kaos because the good guys didn’t pay well, offers Natz his mechanical man Hymie. Ratton, by the way, named the robot after his father. Don’t criticize. Ratton made him and he can call him what he wants.

Hymie displays his strength by decking an 800 pound gorilla. Much like quicksand, television has led us to believe that 6-foot-tall gorillas would be a much bigger threat than what they are. Hymie also gets shot by Ratton and provides a ballistics analysis.

His other features include an IQ of more than 200 and the manual dexterity to take apart any missile system in the world. Hymie is also a pretty fine piece of equipment in terms of aesthetics and design. The only thing he cannot do is set up a lawn chair. Like any electronic device, Hymie has a few glitches in his system – specifically he takes everything literally. When told to “kill the lights” he shoots the light bulbs out.

The price tag for this handsome display of technology is $1 million. Frankly, if Ratton was so concerned with money, he could have bypassed Kaos and gotten ahead by mass producing a series of Hymies. This would be a far superior product than talking refrigerators and virtual assistants.

Max has been guarding Shotwire day and night and has successfully made himself a nuisance. As an added bonus, he destroys Shotwire’s model of the moon craft and sets the scientist’s work back six months. We can assume Max probably isn’t going to be on the man’s Christmas card list after this mission.

By some miracle, though, Max is kept on the case and is assigned to work with newby Agent 91. Before Max can meet up with 91, Hymie takes the rookie agent’s place by force. Agent 91 would later be found explaining himself in the Chief’s office. Talk about a bad first day on the job.

Duped, ever-helpful Max decides to take Hymie under his wing. Along with Agent 99,

Dr. Ratton's remote control over Hymie suffers critical failure after the robot imbibes in an adult beverage.

Dr. Ratton’s remote control over Hymie suffers critical failure after the robot imbibes in an adult beverage.

they proceed to go to a fancy dress party held in Shotwire’s honor. In the process, Hymie pickpockets Max’s gun and crushes it. He also manages to cut Max off from contact with Control by destroying his watch communicator and taking Agent 44 out of commission.

The party opens the door to the funnier bits in the episode. The first involves Max’s meeting with Agent 44 who is hiding in a clock. As usual, 44 has a meltdown. His grievances include not being given updated countersigns, repeated assignments in tight spaces and not being able to wear his tux. It’s worth noting that between mentoring Hymie and reassuring Agent 44, Max excels at playing the older brother in this episode.

The episode moves on to Max and Hymie’s “Do exactly as I do” pantomime. In order to remain inconspicuous, Max suggests that Hymie should follow his lead. Hymie duplicates Max’s moves to the letter. The only liberty he takes is to check out a woman that walks by them.

The mimicry draws the attention Max was trying to avoid, so he shifts gears and offers Hymie a glass of bubbly. Hymie succumbs to peer pressure and Ratton looses control over the robot. Ratton’s concern is that Hymie could end up killing everyone in the room. However, a half dozen drinks later, Hymie becomes the chatty, “I love you guys” type of drunk and ends up telling Shotwire his life story. Displeased with his new charge’s behavior, Max ushers Hymie into a closet to scold him.

Max: I think you’ve got the makings of a first rate agent, but only if you obey orders. Now, you were told to stay away from Shotwire, weren’t you?
Hymie: *Hiccups*
Max: Hymie, you’re drunk! Listen Hymie, you’re a nice guy, but you’ve got to learn to hold your liquor. So no more drinking, agreed?
Hymie: *Kisses Max on the cheek*
Max: Just say yes or no, Hymie.
Hymie: Yes or no Hymie.

Frustrated that they haven’t located the Kaos agent that infiltrated the party, Max and 99 decide to vacate with Shotwire in tow. The only problem is that Shotwire just wants Max to go away. Hymie, who is on a first name basis with the scientist (we learn Shotwire’s name is Alonzo), intervenes by revealing he is a robot. Max’s reward for congratulating Hymie on his initiative is a solid punch in the mouth.

Hymie hauls Max, 99 and Shotwire back to Ratton’s lair where Natz decides to have his showdown. Hymie is ordered to destroy Max. Before he can pull the trigger, Max attempts to empathize with the robot. Hymie reacts by crying and eventually shooting Ratton and incapacitating Natz. Apparently evil Dr. Ratton somehow programmed the robot with sentiment.

Hymie: You were the first one who ever treated me like I was a real person. I just couldn’t destroy you.
Max: Of course you couldn’t – and I knew you couldn’t. After all, Hymie, I’m no dummy. What I mean, Hymie, is I’m a good judge of monsters.

At the close of the episode Hymie expresses reluctance when Max asks him to join Control. He states that he just doesn’t like violence.

Hymie: I’d like to work for IBM.
The Chief: Because of your scientific curiosity?
Hymie: It’s a nice way to meet some intelligent machines.

Max helps Agent 44 cope with worker isolation.

Max helps Agent 44 cope with worker isolation.

Watch for:

• Aunt Rose does quite a bit of mingling at the party.

• The closet scene. It’s a pity there are no bloopers from this episode because that would have been a beautiful thing. Dick Gautier in previous writings indicated that the scene took upward of 20 takes because he and Don Adams could not stop laughing.

• One goof that’s always bothersome is how Ratton and Natz monitor Hymie from the built-in camera. Instead of seeing things from Hymie’s point of view, we see Hymie on the monitor as well as Max and 99.

Footnotes:

• King Moody, who would later nab the role of Siegfried’s minion Shtarker, also auditioned for the role of Hymie.

• Comedian and singer Dick Gautier was best known for his role as Hymie the Robot, but also made a number of notable appearances in TV series such as The Patty Duke Show, Bewitched, Wonder Woman and Love, American Style to name a few. While appearing in Get Smart, Gautier had a supporting role in the short-lived series Mr. Terrific. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Conrad Birdie in the original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie. He is better known to 80s and 90s kids for his voice over work on various cartoons including as Rodimus Prime in The Transformers and Serpentor in G.I. Joe. An artist, Gautier also wrote a handful of instructional books on drawing caricatures.

• Actor Gary Clarke wrote this episode under C.F. L’Amoreaux, a reformatting of his given name. He wrote a total of six episodes under that name, including five that featured Hymie. Clarke had a regular role in The Virginian and appeared in other TV westerns.

• Patrick O’Moore’s work goes back to 1934. His bevy of credits include repeated appearances on Death Valley Days (which Ronald Reagan hosted 52 episodes of), Rawhide, Cavalcade of America and Fireside Theatre, as well as roles in a few Humphrey Bogart movies.

• Ted de Corsia was known for playing villains and had made repeated appearances in Daniel Boone, The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Wild Wild West, Perry Mason, The Outer Limits, Rawhide and Maverick to name a few. His first role was as Sidney Broome in The Lady From Shanghai. He appears again in Get Smart as Kaos agent Spinoza in the season three episode, “When Good Fellows Get Together.” The character is basically the same as Natz, but for some reason was given a different name.

• The most notable role for Jim Boles was probably as Billy Ray Fox in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, which starred Don Knotts. He also appeared as Easy Archie in the Apple Dumpling Gang, as well as in numerous TV shows from the 1950s through the 1970s. He returned to Get Smart as Dr. Ratton in the season three episode, “When Good Fellows Get Together.”

• Jack Berle did a lot of uncredited work. He’s turned up in the likes of Columbo, Kojak, McMillan & Wife, Here’s Lucy, Bonanza, Mission Impossible and the Dick Van Dyke Show. He makes another Get Smart appearance later in season one in “Stakeout on Blue Mist Mountain.”

• Dick Cherney’s resume included a load of uncredited roles dating all the way back to the 1930s. He has a handful in Get Smart where he also appears in “The Last One is a Rotten Spy” (season one), “Cutback at Control” (season two), “Smart Fit the Battle of Jericho” (season two) and “A Man Called Smart: Part 1” (season two).

• Another uncredited actor William H. O’Brien was an extra in Mission Impossible, Bonanza, Perry Mason, The Untouchables, Rawhide and Peter Gunn. He makes a second appearance in the season two Get Smart episode, “The Expendable Agent” as a scientist.

• Hal Taggart had a career of playing extras all the way back into the 1930s. He repeatedly appeared on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Batman, Perry Mason, The Lucy Show and Maverick.

Glick meter: Max offers a very grating pronunciation of Natz’s name.

Oh Max meter: 99 reserves her pleasant demeanor for Shotwire. It was in the line of duty.

Control Agents: Agent 27 (referenced, not seen), Agent 44, Agent 91. Does Hymie count since he transferred to Control?

Kaos Agents: Natz, Dr. Ratton. Does Hymie count since he was working for Kaos?

Gadgets: The Watch Communicator. Does Hymie count since he’s really a piece of machinery?

Episode Locations: Dr. Ratton’s lair, Control’s garage office and an unnamed swanky party venue.

Remaining inconspicuous: Hymie takes being Max's protégé to a new level.

Remaining inconspicuous: Hymie takes being Max’s protégé to a new level.

Weekend Vampire: Sometimes espionage bites

The honeymooners. Max and 99 cross the threshold into Dr. Drago's house of horrors.

Episode 14
Weekend Vampire (original air date: 12-18-65)
Cast:  Dr. Drago – Martin Kosleck, Professor Sontag – Ford Rainey, Arrick – Roger Price, Hugo – William Baskin, Agent 52 – Don Ross, Control agent – Robert Karvelas
Director:  Bruce Bilson
Writers:  Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso
Producer:  Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: Three Control agents have been murdered – all with suspicious puncture wounds on their neck. Could it be… a vampire?

Max and 99 are fine tuning their eavesdropping skills.

My Thoughts:

The episode opens with Max and Agent 52 involved in a game of chess while stationed in Professor Sontag’s laboratory. In the midst of the game, a shadow descends across the room and a strange tune fills the air. Agent 52 slumps over dead — his only visible sign of injury being two puncture wounds to the neck.

Two previous agents, 23 and 49, also succumbed to what they used to refer to as “neck rupture” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the meantime, the newspapers are having a field day reporting on a “Weekend Vampire” because the incidents only occur on the weekend. Is a weekend vampire anything like a weekend smoker?

Scratching for some sort of clue, Max and the Chief set out to decipher the tune heard before 52 is murdered. They are assisted in this with Dr. Arrick and the Detecto-Tune. This is probably the best bit in the whole episode – and it was included among the tracks on the Get Smart LP from 1965 (and later re-released on CD in 1996). Max and Arrick’s attempt to sound out the mystery tune devolves in to a rendition of Heart of My Heart – which gives us a nice sample of Ed Platt’s vocal talents. It also earns the Chief the lead in the annual Spy Frolics.

After trying to get the autopsy results from the lab, Max and 99 find Sontag having a phone conversation with Dr. Drago, Sontag’s predecessor. Drago, it’s revealed, was released from his employment at Control after being caught performing unauthorized experiments.

Max and 99 eventually follow Sontag to Drago’s house. For added creep factor, this all transpires during a storm and the car Max is driving conveniently dies right outside of Drago’s house. This leaves 86 and 99 to come up with the idea of approaching Drago as stranded travelers.

When Max advises that they use one of the cover kits stored in the car’s trunk, 99 is quite eager to use the newlywed cover. Regardless, Max also grabs the Commando Kit. They could have also selected the Diplomat Kit, the Publisher Kit, the Dr. and Nurse Kit or the Lion Tamer Kit. For what it’s worth, the Commando Kit comes with a throwing knife, knockout drops, a revolver and brass knuckles. The Newlywed Kit includes all that plus a bouquet of flowers, Expando-Rice, a “Just Married” sign, Ignito-Paste and two sets of bulletproof pajamas.

Upon arrival at Drago’s house, they are greeted by Drago himself, the grunting Hugo and a coffin set out in the front room. Drago tries to scare Max and 99 off, but later decides to keep them for the night – locked tight in a bedroom.

After some detective work, and going to the effort of breaking out of their room, Max and 99 find that Drago’s coffin leads to his basement laboratory.
Drago reveals that he murdered the Control agents who testified against him with a twin-chambered flute that fires two poison ice pellets. Then Drago decides to demonstrate the flute on 99.

In a perfect chain of events, Max tackles 99 and knocks her out of Hugo’s grasp. Sontag, who has just arrived for his own confrontation with Drago, shoots his mentor. Drago then hits the note on his flute, leaving the poison pellets to land in Hugo’s neck.

Gotcha! In this quick scene you can see the back of the sound stage.

There are a couple of other issues to note:

• In terms of character consistency, in the previous episode, “Aboard the Orient Express,” Max didn’t know the difference between checkers and chess. In this episode he knows what he’s doing and beats Agent 52.

• One thing I find odd is Drago’s coffin/secret staircase. He clearly climbs into it and lies down, which just doesn’t fit with it being a staircase.

• When Max exits the car during the storm, you can see the top of the backdrop as well as the stage. For whatever reason, they’re also not using the Sunbeam Tiger in this episode.

This is one of a number of episodes in the series that plays on the absurd. I don’t know what it is, but I find the rhythm of this one predictable. Sure, what’s a TV series without a vampire episode – you get one every now and then. However, I’m left with this feeling that everyone was just kind of going through the motions in this episode. Compared to some of the other episodes in the first season, like “Mr Big” and “Aboard the Orient Express” to name a couple, this episode comes off as weak.

Maybe I’m just not buying the superstitious nonsense.

Max: (as he moves to walk under a ladder) It’s a good thing we’re all sensible civilized men who don’t believe in a lot of superstitious nonsense.
Chief: Max! Don’t walk under that!

Watch for: The Dectecto-Tune bit.

Footnotes:

Max and 99 decide it's time to break out of their bedroom.

• Martin Kosleck primarily played Nazis and appeared in a number of horror flicks. On the tube he appeared in several episodes of The Man from Uncle as well as a Mission Impossible two-parter.
• Ford Rainey has a storied career in television, appearing repeatedly in the likes of The Virginian, Bonanza, Alias Smith and Jones, Search, The F.B.I., Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Ned and Stacey and The King of Queens.
• Humorist Roger Price was best known for “Droodles,” a syndicated cartoon feature that was a combination of a doodle and a riddle. Price, along with Leonard Stern, also invented Mad Libs. They later partnered with Larry Sloan to create the Price-Stern-Sloan publishing company. Price appeared on a number of TV shows, with his final role as Hottentot in Get Smart, Again!
• William Baskin had a few roles here and there – including in Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.
• Don Ross appeared in two other episodes of Get Smart: The third season episode, “Maxwell Smart, Private Eye” and the fourth season episode, “Hurray for Hollywood.” He appeared regularly on Sea Hunt, The Fugitive, The F.B.I., Dragnet 1967 and Adam-12.

Glick meter: Max closes out the episode by nearly beaming the Chief with a poison ice pellet from Drago’s flute. Sorry about that.

Oh Max meter: 99 gives Max more of a scolding in this episode – though it’s unwarranted. Initially 99 appears more than happy to be carried over the threshold of Drago’s house by Max. However, she’s not exactly up to pulling out all the stops in the role of “Mrs. Smart.”
Max: We’ve got to do everything honeymooners do. These pajamas are our best bet. Get in them 99.
99: (scandalized) Max!
Max: (annoyed) They’re bulletproof 99!

Control Agents: Professor Sontag, Arrick, Agent 52 and Larabee – although he isn’t actually named as such. Mentioned were Agent 23 and Agent 49 – both murdered by Drago.

Kaos Agents: None really. Drago was just a disgruntled former Control scientist that got the boot for unauthorized experiments.

Gadgets: DetectoTune, Expando-Rice, Ignito-Paste, bulletproof pajamas and, if you count the villain’s toys, the Flute Gun.

Episode Locations: Control headquarters, Drago’s creepy 200 year old house

Heart of My Heart: The Chief brings it home.

Family gatherings can be ‘Kaos’

Full house: Max keeps his gun trained on a Kaos agent (Conrad Janis) while trying to entertain his visiting aunt and uncle.

Episode 12
My Nephew The Spy (original air date: 12-4-65)
Cast: Victor- Conrad Janis, Uncle Abner – Charles Lane, Aunt Bertha – Maudie Prickett, salesman – Vincent Beck
Director: Bruce Bilson
Writers: Arne Sultan and Marvin Worth
Producer: Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: While shoe shopping, Max just happens to uncover a Kaos front at Larsen’s Shoes and winds up with Kaos agent Victor hot on his trail. In the middle of the commotion, Max’s Aunt Bertha and Uncle Abner arrive on his doorstep.

Don't answer that! One of many times Max's shoephone will blow his identity.

My Thoughts:
So much for date night.

The episode opens with Max shopping for new shoes and anticipating going to dinner and a concert with 99. In the meantime he’s been busy trying to locate a spy ring. His shoe store, as it turns out, is just the Kaos front he’s been looking for – only he comes to that conclusion after his shoephone gives him away. Clearly the device was jealous of Mr. Smart’s new footwear.

Max soon finds out that his Aunt Bertha and Uncle Abner are going stop by for a “surprise” visit – which he was warned about thanks to Control’s crack intelligence gathering efforts. The catch is that he can’t let his relatives find out what he does for a living.

Abner and Bertha are about what we would expect from sitcom relatives that make unannounced visits. Abner comes off as cranky and sarcastic, while Bertha is mostly overbearing. Both waste no time in taking over Max’s apartment and yet neither of them wish to claim him as their nephew.

Bertha: My sister’s son? I thought he was your sister’s son?
Abner: I don’t think so. I hope not.

This is the only time in the series where we meet one of Max’s relatives. While Mel Brooks was adamant that Max have no mother, I think the occasional appearance of a random relative could have been interesting.

Later on in the series, 99 was granted a mother, played by Jane Dulo, in a handful of episodes.

Agent 99 was dressed to the nines - and all for naught.

Agent 99 gets a raw deal in this episode. She has grand plans of a date that just doesn’t happen. Having to waste time dealing with Victor is bad enough, but everything goes south with Max tells his relatives that 99 is the maid. Way to go Max.

Bertha’s behavior is over the top – she makes 99 clean the windows by precariously perching on Max’s windowsill. After ending up with her pretty gown trashed, 99 finally snaps when Bertha instructs her to wax the floors. We almost get to see 99 wallop Bertha with a dust pan – until Max intervenes.

In other matters, there are a few fun moments in the Chief’s office – when Max isn’t setting the trash can on fire.

The Cone of Silence gets some exercise – even though Max has nothing to say (literally) that merits its use.

Chief: If you had nothing to report, why did you insist on lowering that?
Max: Rule 13 says –
Chief: Max, why do you always have to live by the rules?
Max: Because rule 27 says you must always live by the rules of the book.

Max also introduces his own invention: Dial-A-Fact – a device for tired agents who are always on the go. The user turns a dial on the briefcase that holds the files. Then the needed information pops up without the agent having to sift through messy files.

Oh yes, and then there are the periodic wrestling matches between Max and Victor. This all comes to and end with a battle royale of sorts in the back room of Larsen’s Shoes. Between blows Max has keep his relatives thinking he’s a store employee. Talk about multitasking.

In the end, Max leaves the bad guys in an unconscious pile, finds that top secret information is written in code on the inside of the shoes – including plans for a missile and finds a new pair of shoes for Abner.

Watch for: Check out that pile of shoes Max has tried on at the beginning of the episode. I’m surprised he didn’t request something in a tan.

Max's Dial-A-Fact invention - it's like a 1960s version of a search engine.

Footnotes:
• Conrad Janis is best known for playing Mindy’s dad in the sitcom Mork & Mindy. He appeared in The Buddy Holly Story and The Cable Guy and also had reoccurring roles on Frasier and Quark.
• Character actor Charles Lane appeared in hundreds of films, usually cast a a scowling wretch. His film credits include the likes of It’s A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He also appeared in numerous TV shows, including two episodes of The Bill Dana Show.
• Maudie Prickett was known for playing busybodies and maids – kind of ironic considering her role in this episode. She had a reoccurring role as a maid in the series Hazel and had a role as a maid in the movie North by Northwest, in which Ed Platt also appeared. She also appeared in the fifth season Get Smart episode, “Moonlighting Becomes You.”
• Vincent Beck appeared in a number of TV shows and can be seen in the cult classic, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Glick meter: Max should not be allowed to play with matches.

Oh Max meter: 99’s purrs have no effect on Victor.

Control Agents: Hodgkins is asked to operate the Cone of Silence

Kaos Agents: Victor and the un-named Kaos agent/shoe salesman

Gadgets: Gadgets in Max’s apartment: Rigged Desk Drawer, the Man Trap, Swinging Lamp and the Roll-Up Rug.’Wrist Communicator T37 and the Cone of Silence both return in this episode. Max offers his own invention: Dial-A-Fact.

Episode Locations: Larsen’s Shoes, Max’s Apartment

Max learns how Kaos is smuggling classified information. He probably also learns that retail is a brutal business.

Too Many Chiefs: The Old Doppelganger Trick

Victor French finds out how Maxwell Smart feels about insurance.

Episode 11
Too Many Chiefs (original air date: 11-27-65)
Cast: Tanya Lupescu – Susanne Cramer, Hodgkins – Bryan O’Byrne, Kaos Leader – Harry Basch, Insurance Man – Victor French, Cashier – Robert Karvelas, Aunt Rose – Rose Michtom, Fang – Red
Director:  Bruce Bilson
Writers:  Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso
Producer: Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: Control is charged with protecting witness Tayna Lupescu who is set to testify against Kaos – unfortunately that matter has been blasted in the newspapers. The Chief decides to put Ms. Lupescu under a more direct form of surveillance: in Max’s apartment. In the meantime, Kaos sends in master of disguise Alexi Sebastian to impersonate the Chief.

The real Chief chokes while the impostor makes a dash.

My Thoughts:
Classic television is probably the only universe where any one person can find themselves in a face-off with their exact double. This episode is the first of several in the series that uses this device. Others include: “The Spy Who Met Himself,” “And Only Two 99,” “The King Lives?” and the two-parter “To Sire, With Love.”

This episode’s villain, Alexi Sebastian, has never failed an assignment. He’s got away with impersonating a senator, a tennis champion, Johnny Carson, Max’s Aunt Rose and we still don’t know which of the Huntley & Brinkley news duo is really Sebastian. He does have one notable characteristic: Weak eyes. When exposed to bright light, he blinks excessively.

Sebastian eventually makes his way to Max’s apartment and manages to dupe 99 and the Chief – though not without an unwanted glass of buttermilk. The pantomime comes to a head when our duplicates have their face-off.

Max ends it all with his ah-ha moment. Remembering Sebastian has weak eyes, Max flashes a reading lamp in the air and shoots the man blinking at him.

Much of this episode centers around the silliness between Max and blonde bombshell Tayna Lupescu. Initially Ms. Lupescu rides the hard German stereotype, claiming Americans are soft due to their love of… well…. love.
In reality, Tayna’s a tease. After Tayna “shows” Max how little love and affection mean to her, he’s pretty much useless for the rest of the episode. In fact, he gets so distracted when she borrows his pajamas that he nearly shoots her.

As to be expected, 99 and her jealousy get thrown into the mix.

Max (who has Tayna’s lipstick smeared on his face): It’s really nothing 99. I was just showing Tayna a little Judo.
99 (sarcastically): It must have been pretty rough. I think she broke your lip.

We learn a few tidbits in this episode:

• Max has an Aunt Rose and an Uncle Harry.

• Also, of note, the painting of 99 that appeared in “The Day Smart Turned Chicken” is not in Max’s bedroom. It will reappear in “All in the Mind.”

• The Chief has an ulcer and only buttermilk can ease the misery.

• The Chief is married and his wife authored the rules on interrogating female agents.

• Tanya had been taken prisoner by Kaos for a week. At one point she was left alone in one of their offices where she managed to memorize a Kaos code book. She reveals proper names and countries equal the word marmalade. Control, however, had been working on jelly for the last two years.

Watch for: Our favorite Where’s Waldo Characters: Robert Karvelas and Aunt Rose.

Footnotes: 

Tayna shows Max how little love and affection mean to her.

• This episode marks the first appearance of Victor French, who would eventually play Agent 44 – the first reoccurring Control agent hidden in tight spots. TV viewers of the 1980s will best remember French as grizzled Mr. Edwards on Little House on the Prairie and Mark Gordon on Highway to Heaven. French appeared in a number of westerns as bad guys, including Rio Lobo with John Wayne.
• German actress Susanne Cramer appeared in a handful of American TV shows including The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Hogans Heroes and Bonanza.
• Harry Basch had reoccurring roles on Falcon Crest and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He also appeared in two other Get Smart episodes, “The Only Way to Die” and “Age Before Duty.” Oh yeah, he was in two episodes of Mission Impossible and an episode of Star Trek.

Glick meter: Meet Max the womanizer. Don’t worry, we’ll see this act again throughout the series.

Oh Max meter: 99 makes a point of telling Max that he forgets she’s a woman.

Control Agents: Hodgkins, Fang, Cashier, Agent 48 (disguised as an elevator operator) and Agent 41 (the chamber maid that Max doesn’t trust).

Kaos Agents: Alexi Sebastian, Kaos Leader with four minions, the hotel desk clerk and the bell boy.

Gadgets: Telephone Gun, Fire Extinguisher Projector and the Cone of Silence returns. The chamber maid is also in possession of a broom gun.

Episode Locations: Unnamed hotel and Max’s apartment – which we learn is two minutes from the courthouse.

The Cone of Silence also offered a nice performance in this episode.