S.W.A.T.

Season 2 Episode 21

Soldier on the Hill

1
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 20, 1976 on ABC
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Soldier on the Hill
AIRED:
A mentally unbalanced veteran who has escaped from a psychiatric hospital, is touring a movie studio when he suddenly thinks he is back fighting in Vietnam. He takes two people hostage leaving S.W.A.T with the task of disarming him.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A war veteran escapes from a psychiatric hospital and is triggered into thinking he is back in Vietnam fighting the war.

    7.5
    I enjoyed this show primarily because of the excellent acting of Mark Slade. Slade plays Corporal Ken Gillis, a Vietnam war veteran suffering from a post-traumatic psychosis which causes him to think he is back on the battlefield. While touring a movie studio, he is triggered into an psychotic episode while watching the filming of a show. He takes actress Kate Devers, who had performed for his troop in Vietnam two years prior, and her chauffeur hostage thinking that he is rescuing them from the enemy. He eventually holes up near a dynamite shack and begins lobbing bombs at the S.W.A.T. team and Dr, Reston, the Chief Psychiatrist from the hospital where is living. it is eventually left to Lt. Harrelson to come up with a very clever maneuver in order to safely disarm Cpl. Gillis and rescue the hostages.



    I was struck by how real such a psychotic episode can be. When in the midst of an episode, the patient is literally in an alternate reality, seeing things that are not there, seeing civilians as soldiers and thinking his dead friend is still alive.moreless
Steve Forrest

Steve Forrest

Lieutenant Dan "Hondo" Harrelson

Robert Urich

Robert Urich

Officer Jim Street

Rod Perry

Rod Perry

Sergeant David "Deacon" Kay

Mark Shera

Mark Shera

Officer Dominic Luca

James Coleman

James Coleman

Officer T.J. McCabe

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Lt. Harrelson: Take a good look, gentlemen. We may get a call on this man sometime soon. If we're lucky, before he kills somebody. His name is Ken Gillis, he's a former Corporal in the United States Army. According to Dr. Reston, Chief Psychiatrist at Veterans Hospital, he's normally a gentle, even sensitive man, but lately he's been extremely moody, readily flies into fits of rage. Now he was a combat soldier in Viet Nam, an infantry company in support of a tank battalion. Ken never quite made it all the way home, specifically there are times when he flashes back, thinks he's still in the war.

    • Lt. Harrelson: Armed or not, that guy's a danger to anybody he meets out there. He's rational one moment, confused and disoriented the next.
      Kay: Out there covers a lot of territory, Lieutenant.

    • Dr. Reston: Ken Gillis suffers from a post-traumatic psychosis, due to strong, psychologically indigestible wartime experiences. These very psychoses make it difficult or even impossible for him to cope with the day-to-day realities of society. His case is greatly aggravated by the death of his boyhood friend, Sergeant Joe Boyer, who was killed in action. Now Joe and Ken were, ah, pitcher and catcher on the same high school baseball team. Ken constantly talks with him; he even plays ball with him. Says things like, ah, "pitch me a low one this time", that sort of thing.
      Lt. Harrelson: Yeah.

    • Lt. Harrelson: On order, everybody else move in carefully. I repeat, very carefully. If Corporal Gillis sees anybody else, he's liable to blow sky high. If he decides to take a shot at Kate Devers or her male hostage, he can't miss. All right, move. (to Dr. Reston) Doctor, do you have any professional suggestions?
      Dr. Reston: Pray.

    • Lt. Harrelson: (on the telephone) Good. That's good news, Dr. Reston. Thank you for calling..
      Street: Dr. Reston?
      McCabe: That good news must be about Ken Gillis
      Lt. Harrelson: Sure is.
      Luca: Is he going to be OK?
      Lt. Harrelson: One of these days. Dr. Reston says it may take a while to put the pieces back together, but they will go back together.
      Luca: Well, one of these days is better than never.
      Kay: Ken is still young, still has lots of good years ahead.
      Street: Lieutenant, you really pulled it off.
      Lt. Harrelson: We pulled it off.
      Street: OK, we pulled it off. We saved a life. It's a nice feeling.
      Lt. Harrelson: Yeah it is.

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