The Incredible Hulk

Season 4 Episode 14

The Harder They Fall

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 27, 1981 on CBS

Episode Recap

David is crossing the street when a car swerves out of control after one of its tires blows out. He is rushed to the hospital and immediately undergoes surgery. Three weeks later, David's doctor tells him that the healing of his spine has gone as far as it will and that he will be crippled. An embittered David withdraws from any social situations, refuses to start therapy and begins a descent into self-pity, keeping to himself by reading.

Paul Corton, a patient and sports coordinator at the hospital, tries befriending David, but David asks for a little time. An understanding Paul backs off. Later that afternoon, Nurse Gray takes David to his first therapy session. After a half-hearted attempt, David insists on being brought back to the ward. While there, David shatters a drinking glass, reasoning to himself that if he can somehow induce a transformation into the Hulk, he can overcome his paralysis (due to his body's high metabolism when undergoing metamorpheses). He decides against it, however, when he realizes in the end that the destruction the Hulk would cause wouldn't be worth it.

Paul comes in to invite David to a basketball game, but David declines. After hearing Paul's story of how his life changed after his accident, David begins to realize that his paralysis doesn't have to control his life. He later tries to get himself out of bed and into a wheelchair using the trapeze, but he falls to the floor. Paul comes into the room after the game and helps David back into bed. Soon David throws himself into therapy and begins developing a great rapport with everyone at the hospital. Paul encourages David to make his first attempt at climbing the rope and reaching the top; he's unsuccessful. Later David races two other wheelchair patients and makes another attempt at climbing the rope. He reaches the top and an ecstatic David invites Paul to dinner.

That night, at the cocktail lounge, Paul goes more into detail about his background and the circumstances that led to his paraplegia. A drunken patron walks over to David and Paul and a fight ensues. In the melee David is pushed down the stairs and transforms into the Hulk. A crippled Hulk takes his rage out on the lounge and leaves the place in shambles.

The next day, Dr. Hart examines David's X-rays and is astounded to find that David's spine has nearly healed. Later, McGee goes to the lounge to investigate the appearance of the Hulk the previous night. His investigation points him to the hospital where David is still recuperating.

Nurse Gray arrives with a letter for Paul. He reads the letter, crumples it, and leaves. As it turns out, the letter stated that a government loan he had applied for is not being granted due to tax cuts. David finds Paul venting his frustrations in the exercise room, and cheers him up. Paul confides to David that he has applied for a loan at a bank in town. McGee calls Paul to set up an interview, but Paul declines so he can make his appointment with the bank.

Meanwhile, things do not look good for Paul at the bank, whose request for a loan is turned down. Paul takes it personally and angrily leaves. When he gets back to the hospital, he calls McGee, who is hoping to get the scoop on what happened at the lounge the night before. Paul instead gives McGee an earful on the unjust treatment of people in wheelchairs and wants McGee to do a human interest story about it. Wanting to discuss the Hulk and what happened at the lounge, McGee offers to come by the hospital to speak with Paul and tries to appease him with a possible two-column human interest story. Paul is uninterested and hangs up. David, who by now is walking with the aid of braces, runs into Paul who reveals a scheme to gain publicity and draw attention to his plight--with a concealed starter's gun in tow. David tries unsuccessfully to talk him out of it. McGee pulls up as Paul drives off. Spotting him, David ducks out of sight. As McGee heads into the hospital, David gets into McGee's car and goes after Paul. A motorist behind David honks because David is having difficulty operating the car. A car cuts in front of him and David, slams on the brake, causing the frustrated motorist to slam into the back of the car. David transforms into the Hulk, who smashes the motorist's truck before going to the bank to stop Paul.

With the sensation in his legs fully returned, the Hulk arrives just as Paul is about to attempt his robbery, destroying the place as horrified customers look on. The Hulk tosses Paul's briefcase through a window and carries Paul to a nearby park bench. The police arrive and the Hulk takes off.

The next day, Paul and David say their goodbyes via telephone. Paul tells David that he thinks the Hulk and David are tied together somehow and admits that he was stopped from doing something stupid. A persistent McGee enters Paul's room for an interview as David leaves town.

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