Route 66: Season 4
DVD | Box Set
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Jump in and ride along as Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) and Linc Case (Glenn Corbett) take you on the final leg of their epic journey across North America along historic Route 66, complete with exciting adventures, thrilling chases and life-altering friendships that can never be forgotten.
Includes special appearances by guest stars Joan Crawford, William Shatner, Soupy Sales and Barbara Eden!
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Also, it must be admitted, the concluding episodes of the series really don't do it justice. I don't know exactly when the writers and producers learned the fourth season would be their last, but surely they could have found a better, more satisfying story arc to close with: perhaps some exploration of the costs of life on the road, some acknowledgment of everyone's need (or longing) for a home. The final two episodes, which marry Todd off on the basis of a hokey background story that never appeared in the actual show, a ridiculous, campy cast of characters, and a story line in which we're supposed to laugh when Todd dresses up like a Nazi Tyrolean and a 50s Fidel Castro style Latin American revolutionary and in which one character is eaten by alligators and another shot by firing squad (all off camera), are just plain dumb. Okay, yes, I get that the two-part conclusion was played for laughs. But was that the best way to go out? As many reviewers have noted, Route 66 consistently featured top-notch writing, often about heart wrenching and universal themes. The final act should have been more worthy of the terrific human drama series that it was. At least I thought so.
The good news about Season Four is that the series came to a natural conclusion rather than being canceled. On the other hand, I didn't think Season Four quite lived up to the other three. There were several good episodes, including my favorite, "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are" with Diane Baker. The most disappointing episode was the two-part series finale, which was a goofy takeoff on The Count of Monte Cristo. The final scene had Linc saying "See ya'" to Todd, dumping two suitcases into the Corvette, and walking away. He didn't even bother to shake hands with Todd. It was obvious that Stirling Silliphant, a great writer who wrote most of the episodes, abhorred sentimentality, but I think the closing scene could have used some. I wanted to hear Linc and Todd discuss why they were ending the road trip and what they planned to do next. Todd, obviously, was going to settle down with his new wife, and Linc was going home to Texas, but as a loyal follower of the series, I wanted to know some details. A satisfying final scene could have had Linc looking out the window of a Greyhound bus and seeing Todd and his new wife go flying by in the Corvette. Something like that would have left a sweeter taste in my mouth after two boring hours of goofiness. Nevertheless, in a few years I'll probably watch all the episodes again.
Not so for me! -I really enjoyed the Linc Case's "do gooder" character, and found him easier to relate to than the aloof, victim of a tough upbringing, Buzz Murdock character.
Of the 22 episodes on season 4, about 17 were good, one or 2 were outstanding and 3 were the worst junk of the entire series. Of the 3 trash episodes, 2 featured Tammy Grimes and the third featured Joan Crawford. The best one of season 4 and probably of the entire series was called "Like This It Means Father... Like This - Bitter... Like This - Tiger..." and it was about forgiving a coward, and the unconditional respect of a son for his father and it was absolutely excellent.
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Very poor quality for the price.