I watched S1 episode last night with Grace Whitney in it. The episode was great as it was all about a package and who wanted to ge their hands on the package!!
Welcome back to the thread!!
The episode you are referring to is "Another Final Exit" -- even though I've also seen it described as "The Box." Curiously, I watched this episode only recently, even though I do not visit season 1 all that often. It features as recurring theme we've actually seldom discussed on this thread -- and perhaps have not discussed before it all.
That theme is Joe setting himself up as a target.
A couple of other episodes where he does that are s6's "A Puzzle for One" and, also in s6, "A Matter of Principle" -- but, I'm sure there are others.
And, true to form, either Lew Wickersham or Peggy Fair think Joe is nuts for setting himself up as a target like that.
But oh how it provides one of those times when you take a look at yourself more closely -- are you more the kid who used to know Joe was right, or the adult who thinks Joe was nuts? Or, have you, perhaps, reached a level of adulthood where Joe makes sense again -- making life come around full circle?
You know, Mannix really does make me feel like a kid again -- but not in the way you might think.
Because that, in a nutshell, is exactly why my love for this series is so great. I've been all three people -- the kid who just knew Joe was right, the adult who came to embody a person that identified with those that thought he was nuts, and then someone just a little but more adult -- who came to realize life is about so much more than merely surviving, playing it safe, fitting in and following the rules.
You can see from the looks on his face and the way he behaves that what he does really does make sense -- in a way that transcends the other "adults."
Once again, this is a choice he makes -- not a situation he finds himself in, but a choice to make himself a target.
True heroes do not happen by circumstance -- they represent choices. That is why they are heroes -- they are who they are not because of circumstance, but regardless of circumstance. They find ways to get things done, instead of ways to fit in.
And, this theme of him setting himself up as a target fits right in to that mosaic.
I just don't know of a character that embodied heroic individualism in so many different ways as Joe Mannix -- because no character so focused on those themes ran in episodic television so long!
The scene where Lew Wickersham picks Joe up -- with Joe sitting there on the ground -- that leaves you to believe that there might have been some nice interplay develop between those two, had the series continued in that format. But, Mannix really did become more classic in its season 2-8 format -- reached levels it could not have otherwise.
Thanks for the post!