By Geno McGahee
David Banner (Bill Bixby) is still having a hard time. Some episodes, he is desperately seeking a cure for his illness. Others, he is just surviving and lying low. In BROKEN IMAGE, he is just minding his own business and living in one of those apartments that you pay by the week. Because he can’t afford it, he’s agreed to become the cleaner. As he cleans, Teddy (Jed Mills), a huge fan of hair gel, mistakes him for some guy named “Mike.” David corrects him and goes back to business, but this is very good news for Mike Cassidy (Bill Bixby), a total jerk and crime lord. He sees that Banner can replace him and get killed for him. It’s the plan, but he didn’t know about the Hulk.
You see a lot of these sorts of storylines in TV, especially soap operas. The long lost twin brother or, most of the time, the evil doppelgänger. I’m not a big fan of the word “doppelgänger” because it’s so much like the word “gang-banger”, and I don’t like those kinds of films. All those dudes and one chick. No thanks. That’s way too much dick. Anyway, Mike is a terrible guy and this must have been fun for Bixby. He’s so used to playing the good guy that playing the complete prick must have been a nice change and he was very good at it. To initially separate them, Mike was sporting a 70’s porn star mustache, but he quickly shaved it and became the exact double of Banner.
Mike owes Steve (John Reilly) some cash and allows them to capture Banner and rough him up. Lorraine (Karen Carlson), the love interest of both Mike and Steve, tries to make the case that they got the wrong guy, but they won’t listen. They keep on beating Banner with brass knuckles. You probably know how this is going to go. Banner Hulks up and starts beating up these goons, but sadly, they get away, and they actually never get the Hulk beat down that we all like so much. They just haul ass and the Hulk destroys a parking garage. That fucking sucks for the parking garage owner. What if his insurance isn’t current? He’s fucked.
On the way home, Hulk runs into another one of these unnecessary annoying characters that they can’t help but to put in. The lady has curlers in her hair and a dog and is walking around in her bathrobe. The dog growls as the Hulk just stands there, mesmerized by the woman’s curlers. He takes one out of her hair and she freaks out. He takes off. This scene was meaningless and pure filler and it wasn’t any comic relief either. They did this so much. They have an intense episode and this was intense and throw in some freaking asshole idiot to screw it all up. Thankfully, we don’t see too much of this character.
On top of Mike Cassidy and a lack of funds, Banner has another problem. That pain in the ass, Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) is up his ass again. He is crawling around the parking garage, looking for information on the Hulk, but he’s hitting the wall. He then visits curlers lady and she offers to suck him off until his head caves in. He declines. McGee, when he has a love interest, he has a hot chick. He doesn’t bang ugly chicks on the side. That’s not the McGee style.
After visiting and not banging the curlers lady, McGee comes face to face with Banner and is shocked to find him alive. Banner thinks quickly on his feet and throws McGee against the wall and insists that he is actually Mike Cassidy and that he’ll have both of his legs broken if he comes around again. This must have felt so good for Banner. All those times that he had to leave town and run away from a hot chick that wanted to screw him because McGee was sniffing around… It made this so satisfying. You can see it in Banner’s face. He was ready to go prison shower style on him until Teddy showed up. McGee got chased away and Banner was made aware of a deal.
Banner’s evil twin was going to give him a ride to the bus station and some money for his trouble, but this is another part of the plan to kill off Banner and fake his death. Mike drops Banner off at some construction zone and watches on as Steve and his goons try to bury him alive in cement. Of course, he Hulks up and chases them, which sucks. They all run into the cops and then the Hulk just takes off. They missed a great opportunity for the Hulk to kill the Banner twin. They fucked it up.
BROKEN IMAGE is a good episode. Bixby does great in both roles and the bad guys are great. I could do without curler lady, but she wasn’t in a lot of this. So, I’ll let it go. There wasn’t much Hulk and it would have been nice to see the Hulk beat up the bad guys rather than have them get away ever y time. I was waiting, waiting, and waiting, but it never happened. Hulk was a step off in this one, but it’s still a good watch.