Riptide

Season 1 Episode 2

Conflict Of Interest

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 10, 1984 on NBC
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8.2
out of 10
Average
19 votes
  • An old friend of Nick and Cody's runs to them for help after overhearing her mobster husband Ricky Brazil arranging a murder. Problem 1: Ricky has forcibly hired them to find and return her; Problem 2: The intended target is Lt. Quinlan. Disappointing...

    7.0
    The 'Riptide' Pilot was for the most part an extremely enjoyable and engaging story. So what a shame that the regular episodes after it start with this rather cold and empty feeling tale.

    The initial plot is okay – woman (played by regular 1980s guest performer Kirsten Meadows; see 'The A-Team's second season opener 'Diamonds 'N Dust' and the enjoyable third season finale 'Incident At Crystal Lake' et al) runs to old friends Nick and Cody to save her from her mobster husband, but said husband has force-hired them into finding and returning her to him. The plot of someone planning to murder Quinlan also has definite possibilities (though I can't feel that it should have come a few episodes in, at least). But sadly, things soon lose their way, and by mid-episode I didn't particularly care. The concept of the guys being fugitives after being mistaken for Quinlan's would-be killers likewise had great potential (again, it would have been better slightly into the run), but again is totally wasted.

    The Roboz is utilized a lot in this episode (mostly for humour), as are pretty much all of the other early staples, such as the Screaming Mimi, Nick's Corvette, and the Ebbtide. The Roboz would be dropped into the background much more as the series continued, and I'm glad they decided not to use him for "humour" each and every episode, instead just giving him the odd cameo.

    Lt. Quinlan is at his most arrogant here. By the end of his time, before his was killed in the third season, he had softened slightly into more of a tough-talking but generally more well-intentioned cop, and had almost developed a vague respect for the Riptide trio. I can take that he was originally conceived to be a thorn in the guys' sides, but in this episode, he is *too* dislikeable, to the extent that you almost couldn't care less whether he did get bumped off or not.

    Here in the United Kingdom, this was the first episode of the series that Channel 5 ran in 1998 (in the early hours of Sunday 15th March, date fans), after skipping the Pilot, which for some reason they never did broadcast. I had only caught a glimpse of one episode on $ky a couple of years previously (see my reviews for the Pilot for more), so I wasn't yet really familiar with the series and it's set-up, but even so, I found this, my first proper viewing of a 'Riptide' episode to be quite hard to get into, and not the best introduction to the series (all I can think is, thank goodness I stuck with the show!).
    (The fact that this was one of the couple of episodes that 5 chopped up to fit the time slot, cutting out several scenes, also didn't help any). They later re-ran the series (though for some reason mysteriously skipping the second season) and repeated 'Conflict of Interest' in its complete form; but even by this time when I had a far greater understanding and fondness of the characters, I didn't really warm to the episode any more than I did the first time. Likewise, watching the episode tonight on DVD… I *want* to like it, but sadly this one just doesn't do it for me.

    It's maybe surprising to think that this episode was penned by Stephen J. Cannell, whose scripts I usually love and who typically wrote some of the best episodes for his various shows. I really feel that this one would have worked quite a lot better if tucked a few episodes into the run, but as it is, it is in many ways my least favourite episode of the first season.

    This episode might sit slightly better if it were say, buried further in the more take-it-or-leave-it third season, but as the first regular episode after the Pilot, to me this one feels quite a letdown. Thankfully, things would rapidly improve.
    Sadly, I can only motivate myself to give this one a maybe over-generous 7/10.