The White Shadow

Season 3 Episode 1

Reunion (1)

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 16, 1980 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Episode Spotlight: Reunion (Part 1), Season 3, Episode 1, 40th episode aired.

    Season Three got off to a promising start with this one. This is the only episode of the series in which no Carver players appeared (Wardell Stone makes an appeareance, but he's not on the team and it is all about Coach Reeves.

    Reeves returns to his hometown of Bayside Queens for his 20th high school reunion. He stays with his father Jake, a retired bar owner who is a recovering alcoholic on the wagon, and who has just received news from his doctor that he has an inoperable brain tumor and doesn't have much longer to live. Meanwhile, Reeves appears to not have a very good relationship with his father. He seems to hold a faint hope that they will connect in some way on this trip, but you definitely get the impression he's not holding his breath. He intends to stay just long enough for the reunion, make the obligatory visit, and get back to his life at Carver.

    However, as the episode progresses, you see Jake desperately wants more. He realizes he didn't make the time for his son that he should have and deeply regrets it. Now that he is dying, he's not sure how he's going to connect with Kenny, but he's going to try. There are scenes with an old high school teammate and an old girlfriend. The scenes with the girlfriend seem to fall flat trying to make us believe Reeves has an old flame and their relationship may be re-kindled, but the chemistry just isn't there.

    The best scenes come between Reeves and Jake, especially towards the end. The tension builds as Reeves comes to suspect something is wrong, but Jake refuses all his attempts to get to the bottom of it. The episode really takes off when Jake goes on a drinking binge falling off the wagon at his former bar to get his son's attention. Reeves, however, is incredulous, and decides he's been at dad's long enough. He plans to leave for home right after the reunion. Jake makes some desperately subtle attempts to try get Reeves to spend time with him like inviting him to go bowling and, after the reunion, wanting him to have some sandwiches and get a later flight. In response, Reeves lets out some feelings of bottled anger over his father's drinking and not making time for him growing up. This is definitely a powerful moment as Jake figuratively hits his son with the news he is dying. And, Reeves' reaction at the news closes the scene quite effectively.

    Again, this was such a promising start to the third season. It had its weaknesses, but an effective episode otherwise.
  • This episode is all about the coach, and it leaves everyone else behind, and while there are points where it truly shines, it also falls short of what it is.

    While Coach was the defining character of White Shadow, an episode entirely based on him seemed at most times very weak. However, the episode still was impressive with his dealing with a very well acted and believable irish father. Its impressive to see how the character has grown from his past, so in that regard this episode truly was strong in character development. However, this is probably one of my least favorite episodes of White Shadow because I love the players, and with their lack of involvement, it is clear that something is missing from the episode.