Danger Man

Season 1 Episode 30

The Contessa

Aired Unknown Apr 02, 1961 on ITV

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
8 votes
  • Rome, a Chihuaha, and cocaine--not a great mix, but still a watchable episode (spoilers ahead)...

    Sometimes, 25 minutes is just too short of a time limit to finish off an episode's story; too often, the story builds up to a rushed and unsatisfying ending, and that seems to be the case with this installment.

    The main plot is given in the opening segment...$50,000 of cocaine is discovered hidden in an injured longshoreman's jacket (the viewer might speculate as to how the young doctor would know what cocaine tastes like!) It's a job for Drake--uncover the kingpin of this international drug smuggling operation. Once again, Drake's involvement seems to be off-the-record...when does he find time to actually be working for his employers (although, at this point, we're not even sure who his employers are...maybe he's working freelance now?)

    The story moves along briskly...Drake goes to Rome and poses as a seedy sailor at a gay little cafe", tracking the jacket used to smuggle the cocaine. Before long, the jacket (and Drake) winds up at young lady's apartment; there's an amusing moment where Drake steals her Chihuahua and gets an old man to sell the dog back to her to create the diversion so that he can get the jacket back.

    Now, the story seems to get strange. Drake has decided to wear the jacket himself at the cafe, and things go badly--he's drugged and winds up back at the young lady's apartment. Here, the Contessa visits him, and he plays the part of a sailor who'll do anything for money (such as to help smuggle cocaine in a jacket). But, he winds up getting drugged again (sooner or later, he'll figure out not to drink anything these people offer him!); the young lady tells him that thugs beat him up, stole his jacket, and that he only imagined a visit from the Contessa.

    Drake knows better, and tries a different angle to snare the Contessa--the angle of a suave Drake--but first, he has to find the Contessa. It takes him three days and nights, but finally he stumbles across her in a posh restaurant and begins working her with the story of how he's the cocaine distributing mastermind that she needs in her operation. She has absolutely no reason to believe this latest lie of his, but she seems to want to go along with it; the implication here is that she has fallen for his good looks and charm. But, her partner has deduced that Drake is part of a sting operation, and it's time to rub out Drake. A scuffle ensues, and it's the Contessa that takes the bullet; "At least I didn't die in the gutter," are her dying words to Drake, but I don't imagine that many viewers will find that to be a good rationale for international cocaine smuggling...I'm sure it's meant to be taken as irony.

    The viewer is also left to assume that justice takes care of the rest of the operation's participants (the sailors, the young lady, the cafe owner, the chihuahua, etc.) It's a somewhat unsatisfying way to end what started out to be an engaging episode, and an example of how tricky the time constraints of a 30 minute episode can be.
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