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Featured TV on DVD Review: Mannix: Season Eight

December 3rd, 2012

Mannix: Season Eight - Buy from Amazon

It's a bittersweet week for Mannix fans. This week Season Eight comes out on DVD. However, it is the last season for the show. Did the show go off on a high note? Or did it run out of steam?

The Show

The season begins with Portrait in Blues. A singer is nearly killed in an accident and Joe Mannix is hired to figure out if it was really an accident, or attempted murder. In Game Plan, a man comes home to find his daughter, Jeannie, has been kidnapped. He's a friend of Mannix, and Mannix is Jeannie's godfather, so he calls the P.I. right away. However, before Mannix can arrive, Gloria, his wife, arrives, which complicates things, as he doesn't want anyone else to know what has happened to Jeannie. When Joe does arrive, the father pretends his daughter had just taken a trip to Chicago. Joe decides to do a little digging before heading back to L.A. At the beginning of A Fine Day for Dying, Jenny Cole (Pamela Franklin) awakes from a coma. A year earlier, she was the victim of a hit-and-run and now it seems whoever hit her is out to finish the job. Her mother Martha, calls Mannix to crack the case. In Walk on the Blind Side, Mannix gets into a cab only to have a woman get in too. She asks him to help her avoid some mob goons for the day, but the goons grab Peggy by mistake.

In The Green Men, a mother comes to Mannix to find her son, who happens to be a counterfeiter, who is wanted by the cops and the criminals. In Death Has No Face, someone keeps calling Joe demanding justice and threatening to kill him. Mannix thinks it's just a crackpot, but when a booby trap goes off, Mannix gets serious. A friend of Mannix is killed in A Small Favor for an Old Friend... being a friend of Mannix is dangerous. He also sent a letter to Mannix the day before he was killed asking for help. When Mannix goes to investigate, everyone there seems to think he's been there for the past three weeks. A Japanese diplomat courier is kidnapped in Enter Tami Okada and Mannix is hired to help find him, along with the titular Tami Okada, a private investigator from Japan.

Disc three starts with Picture of a Shadow. In the episode, an old friend of Mannix, Ray Jordan, calls Mannix and asks him to meet. Run, Ray, Run! Too late and he's shot dead. Never be Mannix's friend. You'll end up dead. Before he died, he informed Mannix that he has a lead on a hitman who took out a rich hotel owner and he'd split the reward money as long as Mannix was the public face. After Ray is killed, Mannix continues to investigate. Desert Sun starts with someone being beaten up by a couple of guys demanding to know where the money is. The next day, Mannix is called by a friend, Harry White Eagle, who knew the victim. He has a lot of trouble investigating for two reasons. Firstly, there was a bank robbery recently and the bandits got away on a plane, till it crashed. Now there's a lot more money and a big reward. Secondly, most people in the area don't care if an Indian dies. The Survivor Who Wasn't is about the sole survivor of a plane crash, Penn Anderson. His wife goes to Mannix, because she thinks the man isn't her husband. A businessman is killed in A Choice of Victims, but his wife thinks she might have been the original target, because he was killed by a bomb planted in her car.

Disc four begins with A Word Called Courage. A fellow soldier from Mannix's days in Korea contacts him. Harry Elliott was court marshaled after passing along information during torture. So he kidnaps Mannix to prove anyone can break under torture. Erik Estrada has a guest appearance in Man in a Trap. Joe's mentor hits a rough patch and was out of work. He got a new job, but that's when Erik Estrada's character first tries to bribe him to quit the case, then shoots him when he refuses. Now Mannix is on the case. A friend of Peggy's suffers a tragedy in Chance Meeting when he is killed. The cops think it is a mugging, but Mannix gets an anonymous phone call that tells him its more. Edge of the Web has a doctorate student arguing with his professor, who has blocked his chance at a degree. The professor thought the student had an affair with his wife. When the professor ends up dead, Mannix takes the case.

A Ransom for Yesterday has a couple of major guest stars: Dabney Coleman and Howard Hesseman. In the episode, a woman receives a ransom note for her son, who was kidnapped six years ago. The Empty Tower is about a heist that Mannix and his friend, Tony, get stuck right in the middle of. They were supposed to go fishing for the long weekend, but Tony forgot his new fishing lures, so they head back to his office. Unfortunately, the whole building is the target of thieves, who plan to clean the place out over the weekend. Mannix picks up a hitchhiker, Perry Riggs, in Quartet for a Blunt Instrument , but they only get a few miles before they hit a police roadblock and he's arrested for murder. However, Mannix believes he's innocent and takes him on as a client. The disc ends with Bird of Prey: Part 1. Mannix travels to San Leone looking for a missing person. However, his informant is intercepted along the way and Mannix gets mixed up in a political plot.

After Bird of Prey: Part 2, Mannix gets involved in another political plot. This time he is hired by a newspaper publisher thinking about running for elected office. He wants Mannix to find his wife, who might be having an affair. He wants it done quietly, because the scandal would kill his political career. He quickly gets a big break, but he's worried it was too quick. There's something here that he doesn't trust. In Search for a Dead Man, Mannix is hired by a mysterious man who wants him to find a missing body. Here's the twist. He's a hitman and the missing body is his victim. The series ends with Hardball. John Ritter is part of a gang waiting to split the loot from a drug deal. Mannix arrives and tries to stall them long enough for the police to show up. He's knocked out, again, but police arrive soon enough to catch most of them. John Ritter gets away, with all of the money.

The Extras

Again, there are no extras.

The Verdict

Right till the end, Mannix had amazing consistency. There are no duds during Season Eight, even if there were some storylines that felt a little familiar.

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Filed under: Video Review, Bill Bixby, Dabney Coleman, Erik Estrada, Katherine Helmond, Howard Hesseman, John Hillerman, Rue McClanahan, John Ritter