Spenser: For Hire – A Madness Most Discreet

by Alan Rapp on March 3, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Spenser: For Hire – A Madness Most Discreet
  • IMDb: link

Spenser: For Hire - A Madness Most Discreet television review

Throwback Tuesday takes us back to the mean streets of Boston and the travails of a smart ass private detective. It was common in the 80s for shows to do episodes involving Soviets wishing to defect to the United States. Spenser: For Hire offers a twist to standard tale when Spenser (Robert Urich) is hired by a Russian ballet dancer who actually wants the private detective to help her return home. The episode is notable for pointing out several of Spenser’s rules, one of which is simple: clients lie. Anna Maria Kolvo (Maria Holvoe) is no exception as she offers only a partial truth when hiring the detective and only reveals the rest of it after an attempt is made on her life.

It seems agents of the United States government were working diligently to try and get Anna’s husband, a fast-rising public official, to defect. After his death, they turn to Anna spoiling the waters for her back home attempting to force a defection which they can milk positive press. Because of her odd siuation, Anna is being hunted not only by KGB agents in Boston but also by a group of American spooks, all of whom are looking to get their hands on the young woman (and none of whom have her best interest at heart).

Although we don’t see the Boston P.D. in the episode, Hawk (Avery Brooks) and Susan (Barbara Stock) are written in tangentially. After Hawk provides protection for Anna for a short while, Spenser sends his friend to protect Susan who he believes might become a target for one of the factions. Turns out he was half right as the American spies grab Hawk in a last-ditch attempt to trade him for the dancer. Despite getting the jump on Spenser, the exchange doesn’t go as expected and Spenser is able to keep his word to a young woman he might easily fall for if his heart weren’t already spoken for.

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