T.H.E. Cat

Season 1 Episode 21

Matter Over Mind

Aired Friday 9:30 PM Feb 10, 1967 on NBC

Episode Recap

Night. The scene opens with at a mansion. Inside there are exotic artifacts: ancient statues of samurais and a creature with four horns, arcane spell books (an entire occult library), and a skull which is also an incense burner. Leo Seraf, a gangster in his late 60s, is forcing psychic Maya Leandro to do a séance-- at gunpoint. Leo's armed thug Connie has Maya and her brother Carl covered. Leo demands to know who is trying to kill him-- it's the one who killed his partner Phillip. Maya moans and groans, and then says it is the man in black: T. Hewitt Edward Cat.

The next night, outside the Casa del Gato, Connie and two other thugs fire at Cat and miss; Cat hops into his sportscar and follows them, to the "5 Deuces Club" (that sounds crooked). Maya and Carl Leandro are the headliners, with their mind-reading act. After the show, Cat confronts Maya in her dressing room; they are old friends, but Maya has a bad habit of "dropping his name"-- to the police, that Cat stole Lady Cromfield's necklace, and to Leo Seraf that Cat wants to kill him. Carl and Maya admit to Cat that they scammed the gullible Leo for several thousand dollars with their phony readings; but when he demanded to know who was trying to kill him, they feared for their lives. Just then two of Leo's hoods barge in; Cat beats them up. Outside, two more thugs grab Carl and Maya; Cat is beating up the thugs, until Connie sneaks up behind Cat and hits him over the head with an object.

Back at Leo's, Connie and the thugs are punching Cat, trying to get him to talk. But when Leo asks Cat who hired him, Cat sticks to the truth and says "nobody." Leo believes Maya is a great psychic; Leo has studied spiritual and theological books, tomes on magic by Cagliostro, Swedenborg and Immenatenus. Leo tells Connie to kill Cat; Maya quickly intervenes and says she needs Cat-- who better to put into the seance to reach Phillip than the man who killed him? But Carl can't take it any longer, he tells Leo they are fakes. Carl and Maya have perfect pitch, and they communicate via a clever singsong code; for example, if he wants to spell "c-a-t" he will tell Maya to "con-cen-trate" using the notes: C, A, and F-sharp for "t".*

Leo insists on a séance; Connie with his gun will stand watch by the door. Leo says 300 years ago, Maya would have been considered a witch. So they are seated in a circle: Maya, to her left Carl, then Leo and Cat. They all put their hands on the table. But when Connie turns the lights out, Carl puts a dummy hand on the table in place of his right hand; since Maya is the one touching the hand, their secret is safe. Maya starts moaning and sighing for a long time, it's hard to tell if she's in the throes ectoplasm or ecstasy. Cat starts shaking the table with his knees. Then, using his free right hand, Carl pulls some "magic"-- he puts a small flashlight under a handkerchief, and makes a glowing handkerchief seem to "float" in the air. Finally, Maya says who the killer is-- she yells, "It's... Connie!"

Connie yells, "What?!" Leo grabs a gun and fires at Connie, who fires back. There are several shots in the dark, Leo is hit. Cat pounces on Connie and takes his gun away; then Cat gets the drop on 2 thugs entering the room. Cat asks them, "Who do you work for now?" and tells them to beat it. A confused Connie asks, "How did you know it was me?" Maya answers, "We didn't-- it just seemed like a good way to start trouble." Carl asks Cat where he learned that table-shaking routine; Cat quips, "from a witch," as Maya smiles at him and winks.

Later, after their show at the 5 Deuces Club, Maya and Carl tell Cat that they are starting a new act: knife-throwing. Cat asks, "Who throws the knives?" Maya playfully picks up a knife, puts it to Carl's throat, and purrs, "Who else, darling?"