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Of Guilt, Models and Murder - The Incredible Hulk Classic TV Series.
A faucet drips as David's gamma-green eyes stare back at him in the mirror, but where is he and who's body lays dead on the floor of the living room outside?
A living room that has been over-turned as if someone - or something - shook the entire room; like a child shaking a dollhouse...
The opening few scenes focus on David trying to piece together where he is and how he got there, largely through flashback vignettes.
David has flashbacks of a woman's plea for help from a window above him as dogs tear at the flesh of his arm. Flashbacks to just prior to his transformation.
His flashbacks are interrupted as he discovers the body and realizes the girl is now dead.
He hears Elaina's voice as he flashes back to discussions from the The Incredible Hulk Pilot of whether the creature can be a killer if David Banner is not a killer. Elaina argued strongly that since David would not kill, neither would the creature.
For his part, David is still not sold on Elaina's theory and thinks he may have killed this girl while in a Hulked-out rage.
As he leaves the building, we discover that it is a mansion and it is empty except for himself and the body.
The next day, David sees a news report on TV. that fills in some of the missing pieces. The dead girl was a model, and her body was found in her boyfriend's mansion. The report states that she is believed to have been killed by a 7 foot tall, raging creature. Her back was broken, and there is may be some head trauma.
In David's mind, there is little doubt that the creature he becomes is responsible. But he must know for sure, so he decides to apply for the job of assistant to the murdered model's boyfriend, in the hopes of piecing together what has happened.
Why Of Guilt, Models and Murder is a standout episode.
There are a couple of reasons Of Guilt, Models and Murder made the cut to be on this list.
The cinematography of this episode certainly makes it stand out from other episodes, with the possible exception of Deathmask. It has an almost film noir quality, and creates a compelling starting point - David is just as confused as we are, which helps create a sympathetic connection to the character and draw the viewer into the story.
The star power is exceptional as well, with guest stars Jeremy Brett, of Sherlock Holmes fame as James Joslin (the victim's boyfriend), and Loni Anderson as Sheila Cantrell (the "new" girlfriend).
The episode does a good job of hinting at the lifestyle and values (or lack thereof) of these "Rich and Famous", without becoming a heavy-handed lecture.
Those qualities make make fore great television, but the other reason Of Guilt, Models and Murder makes the list is its focus on one of the main themes established in the pilot episode: is the Hulk dangerous?
Should David Banner be allowed to walk the streets?
This theme manifests itself in this episode primarily in the first act, as David deals with the events around him while pondering Elaina's argument from the pilot. He hears Elaina's voice in his head as she makes the assertion that David (and therefore the Hulk) is not a killer. This is juxtaposed with the police chief's statement from the news report stating that the police will not rest while this "murdering creature" is on the loose.
This inner turmoil begins to consume him, and he is driven to investigate the events on his own. He must know for sure if the creature killed that girl.
Down the rabbit hole.
The second act is comprised of David playing investigator while masquerading as valet. He befriends Sheila, the new model/girlfriend who is clearly a replacement for the murdered girl.
Sheila's account of the murder portrays the Hulk as tender and caring, which is enough to give David hope that the creature is not a killer.
The remainder of this act is focused on David and Sheila running from the real killer.
But by the time the third act comes due, the tables are turned and everything David has been told is taken back again, in a classic twist ending.
All in all, Of Guilt, Models and Murder is perhaps one of the more dated of the standout episodes on my list, but it is done well and holds true to one of the main themes explored in the pilot.
The cinematic quality and film noir aspect of the opening also make this episode stand apart from the others as a a distinct style. Perhaps this is due to it being only the 5th episode of the series and the cast and crew were trying to find their voice? Be that as it may, I highly recommend watching Of Guilt, Models and Murder.
The Incredible Hulk: Of Guilt, Models and Murder Trailer
Where to watch this episode
- Watch The Incredible Hulk Online | Netflix
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- Amazon.com: The Incredible Hulk: Of Guilt, Models and Murder
Amazon.com: The Incredible Hulk: Season 1, Episode 6 "Of Guilt, Models and Murder": Amazon Instant Video