The Powers of Matthew Star

Season 1 Episode 6

The Italian Caper

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 29, 1982 on NBC

Episode Recap

In Italy, a supply truck in the midst of a convoy travels through rocky hills under armed guard. Terrorists watching from higher in the hills throw grenades and start firing. Another grenade causes something in a wooden crate to fall out of the back of the truck and roll off the edge of a cliff, followed by an avalanche of heaving rocks. The terrorists are not happy. Neither are the American soldiers.

Walt is talking to General Tucker on the phone. Tucker needs help to retrieve an Anti-Gravity Device (AGD) from its rock burial. Walt refuses, since it's the middle of a semester. Better to wait until next school break. Meanwhile, Matthew opens window to feed Sam and blows cash off desk, which is for the school dance. Matthew is president of the School Dance Committee. He and Pam aren't seeing eye to eye on the choice of music.

The school principal enters Walt's classroom the next day and announces that Matt is a finalist in the International Science Fair Contest, to be held in Italy. All expenses paid for Matt and his teacher. Walt telepathically advises Matthew that it's a setup; thanks to General Tucker, so play it cool. The class is stunned at the news. Matthew's mothball and vinegar project didn't even work. How could he win? They pelt Matthew with a shower of crumpled up paper.

They reach the Italian village of Valle Toca by rickety bus and are greeted by General Tucker. Tucker informs them they are staying with Matthew's "Uncle" Giancarlo and "Cousin" Adrianna. Terrorists are watching them as they go to Giancarlo's home. They don't know if the Americans are a problem, but decide to let Tucker do to the hard job of freeing the AGD.

Over dinner, Walt, Matt, Tucker, Giancarlo and Adrianna discuss the plan. Walt produces a fake high tech control device that will "control" the AGD and fly it to safety. After dinner, on the way to his vehicle, Tucker is nabbed by the terrorists.

The next morning, Tucker is late. Adrianna spots a body hanging from a noose below. It's a dummy, dressed in General Tucker's shirt, vest and hat.

The terrorists question Tucker about the AGD, but denies everything.

A colonel arrives to review the blackmail note, which instructs them to deliver the AGD in ten hours or Tucker will be killed. The colonel tells them to keep this quiet and to complete their mission.

Pam calls and wants to discuss the music for the dance, which Matt doesn't care for, but he has to go.

They travel to the site by truck, with Giancarlo attempting to prove his virility by moving the boulders blocking the road. Matthew helps him out with telekinesis. Once there, Matt calls out axis numbers which Walt inputs into the fake control device. While Walt pretends to control the machine, Matthew uses his powers to lift the AGD to safe ground.

The colonel announces that he is taking the AGD, which they are not going to trade for Tucker. The military policy does not negotiate with terrorists. The rest are angry, but helpless to stop him.

A grenade is thrown into the house, which Matt promptly gets out the window. However, it doesn't detonate. The pin is still attached, along with a map for the point of exchange. The group decide to create a fake device. Walt advises Giancarlo that if the villagers can handle creating this machine, Walt will handle making it fly.

Walt goes to the terrorists to stall for time, claiming the device was damaged by the rocks and needed repair. They agreed to give him twelve more hours, and then Tucker dies.

The fake AGD is designed and created. Adrianna brings a new note from the terrorists, requesting a large quantity of soda, chips and guacamole. Walt and Matt realize it's from Pam, not the terrorists. Then a woman brings a new note with a new map for the trade.

Walt takes the fake AGD to the site with Matthew hiding out of sight behind rocks. He wants Tucker, but they want a demonstration. One of them takes a ride (courtesy of Matthew) and they are convinced. They let Tucker go, and he heads with Walt to Walt's vehicle. However, there is a terrorist waiting from them inside with a gun. They are instructed to drive.

Walt and Tucker are tied and blindfolded and taken into an old winery. Walt notices it smells like vinegar and is finally able to contact Matthew telepathically to tell him this.

Matthew "remembers" that the terrorists' clothing smelled of vinegar. Giancarlo recalls an abandoned winery across town. It is not safe to enter because of the open spaces, but he has another way.

The terrorists offer the AGD along with Tucker and Walt, the creators of the device, for double the price to the Russians.

Matt, Giancarlo and Adrianna enter the catacombs below the winery with burning torches. Matt wants another hint from Walt, who communicates that the floor is damp. Matt locates a damp wall and heads in that direction.

A new price is agreed upon by the terrorists and the Russians.

Giancarlo hurts his leg, so he stays behind with his daughter. Matt goes along and finds a secret entrance to the inside, just inside to see Walt and Tucker being escorted down a hall. He causes old shelves and barrels to fall on the captors and then he frees his friends.

Adrianna and Giancarlo arrives just then and Adrianna blasts a weapon out of another terrorist's hand; Matt disarms the last one. The Russians escape with the fake AGD. The team congratulates each other, deciding it was Walt's colorful vest that drove them away.

Pam and Matt are arguing about the band that played at the concert, his bad science project, and a mysterious phone call from a friend from Connecticut with an Italian name. Pam knows better and calls him on his terrible job of trying to get one past her.
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