Saturday, May 12, 2018

Young Indiana Jones -- Episode 6: Spring Break Adventure

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
When Indy and his girlfriend, Nancy, try to fix her father's Bugatti before the prom, they stumble on to a plot to steal naval research from Edison Labs. After foiling the perpetrators, Indy goes to New Mexico with his father to visit his aunt. Then, Indy and his cousin go to Mexico, where Indy joins Pancho Villa's band of revolutionaries and encounters an old adversary.

Memorable Quote:
They all steal your chickens. The only thing to change is the name of the man who takes them.  ~Peasant

I love the setting of the first half of the episode as this charming, early 20th century Americana-land. It's unlikely that New Jersey (aka the Armpit of the Nation) was ever that idyllic, but it's a nice thought.

It's never adequately explained why Professor Thompson is involved in the plot to steal his own material and fake his kidnapping. If he was working with the oil companies to suppress research, then it doesn't make sense when he later says that he was motivated by not receiving enough credit for his research.

Brushes with historical figures:
  • Edward Stratemeyer. I hadn't heard of him before, but apparently he was a pioneer of children't literature and created the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, among others. 
  • Thomas Edison
  • Pancho Villa. The actor playing Pancho also played Fuad from The Escape
  • John J. Pershing
  • George Patton

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Hooray, it's older young Indy! With all due respect to the episodes with younger young Indy, I'm glad to move toward storylines with an excitement level greater than watching paint dry.
  • Sean Patrick Flanery is great as young Indy -- lots of energy and charisma.
  • His girlfriend, Nancy, is played by Robyn Lively, who we saw in the Quantum Leap episode Dr. Ruth (also filmed in 1993). Nancy is a good match for Indy -- too bad we won't see her again.
  • Another Quantum Leap crossover: the lead detective, Frank Brady, is played by the same actor who played the cameraman in Temptation Eyes.
  • The intro to the Last Crusade was in 1912, and the prom sign shows that it's now 1916, so it makes sense that Indy has his fedora. 
  • We sadly learn that Mrs. Jones died of influenza 3 years ago.
  • As much as I've tried to forget the Crystal Skull, I do remember a line where Indy tells his son that he once rode with Pancho Villa -- it's cool that they worked that in as a reference to this episode.
  • Crazy to think about the other kids in Indy's class returning from spring break: "Where's Indy?  Oh, he joined the Mexican Revolution and then went to Belgium."
  • Ridiculous moment as a young George Patton goes into a cantina, provokes some of the patrons, and then starts shooting them. According to wikipedia, Patton was on the Pancho Villa Expedition, and his gun did accidentally go off in a saloon. But there was no need to portray him as some kind of crazed gunslinger that went around killing locals.
  • The Demetrios plot line is very compelling. Demetrios, the villain from the first half of My First Adventure in Egypt, resurfaces eight years later and half a world away in Mexico. Indy eventually recognizes him and recovers the long-lost jackal, which he had never forgotten about.  Great stuff.
  • 1:31:41 -- Indy performs the MacGyver shake after throwing a punch.
  • Always great to hear Indy say, "It belongs in a museum!"

Final Analysis:
Phenomenal introduction to older Indy. I enjoyed the first half of the episode a little more, but the second half was still very good with the Demetrios storyline and a well-filmed battle scene. Ranking this one 1st out of 6 by a country mile. 


  1. I didn't even realize until I did a DVD search that the "Young Indy" DVD set was marketed as a series of movies strung together with two hourlong episodes put together and usually aired completely out of sequence from the original airdates. Some of the episodes were intended as two-parters but others were not. Perhaps watching them in this order would make more sense than watching them in the order of their original airings but based on my memories of horrific boredom I would struggle mightily to make my way through two-hour blocks of this show at a time.

    1. In the original airing, the first episode was "Egypt" followed by "Mexico", which made sense because both involved Demetrios and the Jackal at different periods of Indy's life. The DVD set is in chronological order which also makes sense, but there are sometimes odd transitions like when he goes from a 9 to a 12 year old because the other part was filmed later.