What started as a two-month project has now turned into an entire summer's worth of Indiana Jones! Not that I am sad about that, considering how much I love the character. My TV watching habits are also not conducive to finishing any show in a short amount of time. Here we are, however, for the next rewatch journal entry, and these three episodes are all over the place! Let's jump in.
Espionage Escapades - Spain/Prague 1917
The two spy stories in this episode are the wackiest the show has offered so far, and one of them aces it, the other less so. The adventure in Spain was directed by Terry Jones (of Monty Python, of course), and one can easily tell from the style and humor. I loved how wacky this episode was, especially when Indy does a dance on stage as a backup part in a ballet. The spy plot was solid and involved a few good twists, but the plot played major second fiddle to the tone and style of the overall story. Loved the Python-esque humor! The second adventure in Prague was a bit of a play on The Trial by Franz Kafka, in which Indy has to deal with layers and layers of bureaucracy to get a phone for his apartment. Indy even meets Kafka himself who somewhat helps him solve the problem. Maybe I am just not familiar enough with Kafka, but I found this episode an unwelcome departure from the series as a whole and quickly grew tired of the endless paperwork trope. I have enough of that to deal with in real life...
Daredevils of the Desert - Palestine 1917
By far the highlight of this set of episodes, Daredevils follows one storyline over the course of the episode. Indy once again meets up with his friend T.E. Lawrence in a recurring character bit that I love in this show. Indy takes on a spy mission for the British posing as an Arab merchant traveling with a beautiful woman (played by the amazing Catherine Zeta-Jones!) to help prepare the city of Beersheba for British capture. This episode has intrigue, great action, and some excellent fist fights! Indy even gets to trade punches with a German soldier played by none other than a young Daniel Craig! Overall, this episode was a highlight of the series so far.
Tales of Innocence - Italy/Monaco 1917
After a banger of an episode, we return to another somewhat underwhelming pair of stories. Both stories revolve around love, and both remind me of how mixed the show is in its portrayal of women. In the first half Indy befriends Ernest Hemingway and commiserates about being outdone in wooing a young Italian girl only to find out that Hemingway is the competition. The two men end up looking like complete fools while the females in the episode have zero characterization. On the other hand, the second half of the episode involves Indy traveling with the author Edith Wharton and discovering love outside the bounds of cultural norms. Wharton is a fascinating character who has interesting things to say about love and relationships, which is quite jarring after the female characters in the previous story. Despite being overall underwhelmed by both episodes, there was a quality spy plot in the second half that gave Indy a chance to show off some impressive deduction skills.
The war is coming to an end soon for Indy, so in the next post I will cover the final three World War I episodes.
Indiana Jones continues his adventures through World War I, and the viewers finally get a little break from trench warfare as Indy travels to Africa and then joins the French spies!
North Africa, 1916
First, Indy continues to find horror in the African trenches and has to deal with a commanding officer who values the mission over human life. Most importantly, Indy encounters the famous German doctor Albert Schweitzer while on the verge of death and learns a few lessons about the value of human life, regardless of what side one is on. This is one of the few older Indy episodes I have strong memories of watching as a child, mainly because the message of hope in the midst of terrible tragedy was so profound.
This episode starts on a bittersweet moment when Indy and Remy part to different jobs in French intelligence. Remy has the privilege of running a spy ring out of a bakery, while Indy joins the American airplane intelligence group. Of course, any trip Indy takes on this show leads him toward a famous or infamous figure from history, and this episode is no different thanks to an appearance by the famous Red Baron! Indy actually gets to witness the origin story of the Red Baron and even suggests the red paint. I enjoyed this episode for its fun spy plots and some classic Indy-style adventure and fist fights. The transition into the Intelligence force and out of the trenches was also a welcome change.
Austria and Russia, 1917.
Indy embarks on two different spy missions in the last episode for this post. His first mission involves sneaking two relatives of the Austrian emperor into the country in order to negotiate terms for Austria leaving its alliance with Germany. The second mission is in St. Petersburg where the Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, are beginning to stir up trouble. Indy is trying to help prevent revolution because of its potential ramifications for the French in the war. Both episodes are tense with several situations where Indy has to make difficult decisions that put other lives in jeopardy. I found the Russia mission particularly engaging because Indy has befriended several Bolsheviks and has to juggle his job with his friendships. The Austria mission also includes a fun cameo from Christopher Lee, who plays an Austrian diplomat. Lee brings his usual level of gravitas, of course!
Indy continues his adventures as a spy in the next set of episodes, as we slowly make our way to the films!
I love my family and this is the place to find all of the adventures we experience.