The Incredible Hulk: The Quiet Room (1979) – Marvel SUPERHERO TV SHOW REVIEW

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By Geno McGahee

David Banner gets a new job every week and excels. All you unemployed people out there…what’s your excuse? You never see Banner (Bill Bixby) asking for assistance. He’s helping others, even though he has what he considers a problem. I don’t consider the Hulk transformation a problem at all. If I zone out and by the time I come to, all the assholes that fuck with me are beaten to shit, I’m rejoicing. That is a gift and he just wants to give it away.

I wonder how many fake IDs Banner has. Every week, he has a new last name, which very much resembles his old last name. He’s been Barrington, Banton and many more. I would get very confused with such changes, unless he keeps a journal. You would think that Jack McGee, the pain in the ass reporter would see some connections. Any time a drifter named “David” with a last name starting with a B comes into town, the Hulk appears and tears shit up. McGee has determined that it is a man that transforms into the Hulk. Why hasn’t he asked more questions? Every time that the Hulk tears shit up, David leaves town. If I were him, I would go to ever Hulk sighting and speak to every David in town until he finds the right one. Then give him a swift kick in the balls for wasting all his time and making his job as a journalist a joke.

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After suffering through “MY FAVORITE MAGICIAN,” I was treated to an awesome episode called “THE QUIET ROOM,” where Banner gets a job as an attendant at a mental hospital. I was really curious about this. I would think that a job like that would have background checks and that they may call some of the references. Then again, Banner has always gotten along with his employers…outside of the bad ones that he would Hulk up against and toss through windows. We find out later in the episode that Banner was promoted from custodian and Dr. Hill (Joanna Miles) makes the comment that he was “too smart to push a broom.” Some may be offended by that statement, but I’ve known a lot of custodians and I find it spot on. Some can’t even scrub shitters right.

We are introduced to the mental patients and these extras that they got to play them went overboard on their portrayals. Some shadowbox for no reason, others roam around aimlessly. Some talk to themselves while others rock back and forth. Most of the time, they are unsupervised, which is odd. What I found even odder was the fact that they allowed the group to watch a horror movie. Granted, THE WOLFMAN isn’t that scary, but shouldn’t crazy people be watching something happy? Kathy (Sian Barbara Allen) comes into the room and sees the film on the screen and begins going ape shit as some of the patients scream at her to move. The attendants run in and she picks up a chair, smashing them with it. It’s madness until Dr. Murrow (Philip Abbot) makes his in and soothes her. Kathy is one of the patients that Murrow is doing experimental surgery on to fix and to return to society a changed person. On the surface, Murrow seems like a caring good guy, but Banner is suspicious. Then again, with his history, he is probably suspicious of everyone. He’s been fucked over a lot.

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To most, Murrow is doing a fantastic job and even David seems slightly convinced that it could be true. When he talks to Tommy (Lawrence Howard), he learns that he has been institutionalized since he was 11 and was into burning things down. After his time there, he no longer has the urges. Why does David always get his nose into everything? He should have just stuck with the custodial job…kept his head down…minded his own business. But no. Banner is a nice guy, but he is always causing trouble and he does just that when he stumbles upon Murrow watching a video of his treatment. Murrow instructs Tommy to take a gun and shoot Kathy. The gun isn’t loaded, but now David knows that Murrow is into mind control and must now show this doctor that he is a better person. Murrow goes low, David goes high.

Knowing that David will be a huge pain in the ass, Murrow elects to make him a patient and convinces Dr. Hill that it’s the right thing to do. They drug him up and put him in a strait jacket and tie his feet down to a bed. He’s not going anywhere, or so they think. Remember, Banner got fucking pissed when he couldn’t change a tire and Hulked up and destroyed his own car. This is even more irritating than that and it doesn’t take long for the Hulk to appear, leading to some moments of this episode that I could have done without.

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This series probably had too many cooks in the kitchen behind the scenes. This episode was so dramatic and intense that they had to ruin it by having the Hulk lead the group of crazies nearly out of the asylum. When Banner changes back to human form, the patients witness this and huddle around him. They also make comments about the Hulk when he’s running out of steam that “he’s tired.” Crazy or not, if you see a huge green monster running at you, you haul ass the other way. Why did these patients feel that it was the right thing to do to team up with the Hulk? I can tell the Hulk didn’t like any of them either. I wish the Hulk just picked one at random and beat them to death to send a message home that if you follow the Hulk, you die.

Frankie (Gino Ardito), a patient that wears a knitted orange hat and makes funny faces over and over again, has a hard on for Dr. Hill. He is always stealing something and giving it to her and when he stumbles upon the VHS tape of the Tommy/Kathy gun session, he hands it over to her. After she watches it, Murrow has his goons drag her in for an operation to make sure that she doesn’t fuck things up. For some reason, there is a TV with live video of her being put on the operating table in David’s room. He runs over the phone but 911 puts him on hold. He gets pissed and Hulks up. I can’t imagine Banner dealing with those scammers that you get that tell you that your computer is fucked up or that you won replacement windows. It’s a good thing that this was 1979 and that shit wasn’t around then, but there was those Amway scams. There might be an episode where they deal with that. I’ll let you know.

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The Hulk fucks shit up and Murrow takes the weakest fall in Hulk history as the bed is thrown at him. I can’t blame him. He was an old guy and you don’t want to throw him to the ground too hard. Once again, the patients follow the Hulk as he leaves, which, once again, irritated me. Hulk also let Murrow off the hook. Murrow tried to operate on his brain and then operate on Hill’s brain, and was a complete dick to him. Why not take him, strap him to the operating table, and then tea bag him with his big green balls? That’d be something he’d never forget.

I really liked THE QUIET ROOM, despite my little peeves here and there. It had a good atmosphere, good performances, and a good story. The crazies were a bit too unbelievable, but at least there wasn’t some annoying asshole magician in this one.

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Rating: 8/10