Saturday, September 14, 2019

Young Indiana Jones -- Episode 14: Espionage Escapades

To Watch: Click Here

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
While in Barcelona, Indiana Jones goes undercover as a ballet dancer with the goal of manipulating a German spy who fancies another dancer, but the plan goes awry when they learn that both the German and the dancer are double agents. Next, Indy travels to Prague for the purpose of receiving an important telephone call, but he discovers that his room has no phone to receive the call, so he sets out on a quest to get a replacement phone. 

Memorable Quote:
No, no, I'm not upset. I'm incandescent with rage!  ~Indy

Mildly amusing moment when Indy is snooping around the dancer's dressing room and falls down after being startled by Delfina, the old assistant who has lost her marbles.

Everything around the missing telephone (more on this later).

Brushes with historical figures:
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Sergei Diaghilev
  • Franz Kafka

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • Rough opening, maybe the worst 5 minutes of the series thus far as we're introduced to the "spy ring" which consists of a goofy band of buffoons. 
  • And then the next 5 minutes aren't much better. While I like the concept of bringing back characters from previous episodes, Picasso is my least favorite character of the series. 
  • Somehow the German Colonel, who's supposedly a master spy, never recognizes Indy after seeing him in the opening scene at the tavern. Or maybe he does and doesn't say anything because he's a double agent? I'm confused. 
  • The first half of the episode is startlingly reminiscent to Honest Abe between the farcical plot, the character that speaks in exaggerated Italian expressions, and the protagonist using light reflections to deliver a message in Morse code.
  • So when the Count learns that the letters were a hoax, does he ask any follow-up questions, like why did you do that to me?  Do they see Indy and the other spies in the car?  Again, I'm confused.   
  • We now transition to Prague, where Indy pretends to be "Amadeus Schubelgruber" on a quest to get a phone for his hotel room so that he can receive an important call. He's foiled at every turn by what turns out to be a vast, out-of-control Czech bureaucracy where everyone speaks with an English accent. There's a cartoonish spy named Clousseau who serves no purpose to the story, and the phone call that finally arrives merely tells him to go to Berlin. I can't describe the level of silliness and farce in this episode -- you have to see it for yourself (or better yet, don't see it). 

Final Analysis:
I didn't think that I was going to rate any of the older Indy episodes lower than the young Indy episodes, but this one was by far the worst of the series. After painfully enduring the episode's first half, I didn't think it could get any worse, but the second half made the first half look like The Last Crusade. Speaking of which, the Indy movies can't get here soon enough. Ranking it 14 out of 14. 


  1. Any idea when these two episodes aired in the show's chronology? And how many more of these do you have to slog through before you get to the movies?

    1. I bet nobody involved in the crew of season 7 of "MacGyver" would ever think that "Honest Abe" would be an episode that a future series would deem worthy of ripping off.

    2. They both aired in season 2. And only 8 episodes left -- I'm really excited to get to the movies.