2x24 The Nowhere Affair

Rewatching the Man from UNCLE

blog review uncle

I'm rewatching every episode of the Man from UNCLE series from start to finish. This review contains spoilers.

First of all, I'll say that I get it. Looking at a "season" of The Man from UNCLE compared to modern TV shows, it's amazing to see how much got produced. There are thirty episodes in season 2 alone. That's a very rigorous schedule, and a lot of stories to invent. Not every one of them can be great, and I'm not entirely sure the people making this show knew yet that re-runs would be a thing. I think it was a general assumption that these shows would be ephemeral. I guarantee they didn't expect a random guy to be reviewing them 50 years later on the Internet.

There's no nice way to say it. This isn't really an episode, it's a long and convoluted lead up to a single punchline that isn't very good.

The punchline, meant to be emotional and sentimental and romantic, is this: "Do you remember who I am? Then you're somewhere." For that line to work, the episode's story sets up two mechanisms:

  1. An amnesia pill
  2. A town named "Nowhere"

A story is retrofitted into this structure, and comes out just dismally. In a nutshell: Napoleon Solo goes to a town called Nowhere and is promptly captured by THRUSH. Just before they knock him out, he pops a new amnesia pill that erases all knowledge of UNCLE. This seems like a really bad strategy to me, because it makes THRUSH believe that he's being obstinate while making him incapable of escaping because he has no memory of being a secret agent in the first place.

THRUSH already knows he's an UNCLE agent, because secret identities aren't a thing in this series, and so they look into his file and finds that he really likes women. They have a female THRUSH agent act as if she's his ally. Predictably, Solo falls in love with her but, surprise surprise, she also falls in love with him (women, amiright?).

In the end, she decides to take a superdose of amnesia pills that won't wear off, so she can forget her life of THRUSH programming and join UNCLE as Napoleon Solo's 35th wife. She takes the pills, blinks, and says "I don't remember anything. I only remember a town...called Nowhere."

Holding her in his arms, Solo says to her: "Do you remember who I am?"

"Yes," she says tentatively.

"Then you're somewhere."

Roll credits, forget this episode was ever made.

Lead image by Anthony DELANOIX under the terms of the Unsplash License. Modified by Seth in Inkscape.

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