'Knight Rider': The fast and the frivolous

Deannarusso2_knightrider_240 After such a whiz-bang series premiere, what could Knight Rider possibly do for its second episode? Would Michael and Sarah strip not only their top layer of clothes but their skivvies too? Would KITT not just do leaps but backflips as well? Would the plot become remotely plausible? Well, there were bikinis, is that good enough?

The episode started out with Michael on the search for two brothers, Johnny and Ian Chang, who were getting U.S. military technology and sending it overseas. For the record, that's the kind of thing U.S. intelligence agencies frown upon. Where did these Chang brothers hang out? Some dive of a watering hole in the middle of nowhere, a bar where Michael just happened to know the bartender, Sean. When Michael arrived, the brothers weren't there, but Ian Chang's girlfriend, Celine was. According to KITT, Celine's turn-ons included "bad boys, fast cars, and the poetry of Pablo Neruda."

Obviously, no sooner did Michael start hitting on her than the brothers showed up and a car race for pink slips was on. According to Celine, the only rule in the race was that there were no rules. It was like The Fast and the Furious and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome combined. During the race, Alex called Michael on KITT's heads-up display and was a little miffed that Michael was betting KITT in an illegal street race. Personally, I wouldn't have called Michael in the middle of the race, but it wasn't a biggie for KITT whose bigger problem was Michael playing a game of chicken with an oncoming vehicle. In avoiding the collision, KITT and Michael fell behind and ended up switching to attack mode to catch up. Then, because it's required at least once every episode and there was another car they might hit, KITT performed a turbo boost. Michael ordered him to switch back to regular mode in mid-air. KITT told Michael that he shouldn't be doing such switching in the air, that it would hurt his structural integrity, but Michael decided that the race couldn't end with KITT in attack mode. That actually made sense, people would notice that the car was different, but KITT's switching back caused him to blow a tire and a fuse or two. The other car, never identified by brand, was awfully red, awfully fast, and awfully destroyed when it ran into another car at the end of the race.

Back at the ranch (KNIGHT Industries), Sarah lambasted Michael for hurting KITT even though it was apparently little more than a 5 minute fix. By the next afternoon they were back on the hunt for a way into the evil street racing arms dealer gang and Michael managed to wrangle an invite on the condition that he steal a duplicate of the car that was wrecked in the race.

Sure, there was only one car on the whole of the west coast that matched the necessary parameters, but the KNIGHT gang was going to get it anyway. It was owned by a man of questionable repute, Dmitri Kasporov, who just happened to be throwing some sort of "models & bottles" party. Sarah, being an attractive woman, tossed on skimpy bikini and was off to thief the car (with Michael along as chauffeur).

You may ask, what with the car in question being terribly expensive, how Sarah was possibly going to either hotwire it or get the key from Dmitri? Silly you, such trivial pursuits as keys and hotwiring aren't necessary in the world of Knight Rider. Don't you know that KITT has a 3D object generator?

I'm not sure which is more foolish -- KITT having a 3D object generator or him knowing every groove in the key for the car they needed to steal. Maybe it's neither, maybe it's that KITT's hood is apparently a scanner. At the Changs' rendezvous spot, Michael's tattoo touched KITT's hood and the screen part of his hood brought up a bunch of files on Michael that seemed restricted and neither KITT nor Michael could identify. Michael didn't have time to examined them before the Changs showed up. When he tried to pull up the data again later it was gone and KITT's memory bank had been wiped of the incident.

The hidden history of Michael is, of course, the larger issue of the season and so the show didn't focus on it except to have Michael claim Alex caused KITT's memory to go missing. Instead, Michael was off to another street race for Johnny Chang and Sarah was off to check for stolen weapons.

As it turned out, the stolen weapons couldn't be found in the cars because the stolen weapons were the cars (they were being built into the cars). Naturally, as soon as Sarah found this out she was captured and Michael had to abandon his street race to go save her (there was already one race this episode, so they didn't need this one). Michael's rescue did not go as planned, and while Sarah escaped in KITT, Michael got captured and woke up to find himself buried up to his neck in dirt with two buggies pointed at him.

Sarah, not willing to let Michael go down without a fight, went back to the friendly neighborhood bartender to see where Johnny and Ian would take Mike. She then opted to bring Sean along because hey, if you have a super top secret thing like KITT and will probably never have to get out of the car in order to save the day anyway, you want to bring an ex-con like the barman along for no good reason.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that it turned out that Sean was actually the leader of the gang and after seeing KITT he realized he needed the car. KITT must be loyal to the end, because without Sarah and Michael in the car, he opted to sit still rather than fight back and got some sort of EMP device placed on his hood which completely disabled him.

Or, it was supposed to disable KITT. The folks back at KNIGHT Industries were able to reroute power and disable the disabling device. KITT freed Michael and Sean, seeing where things were headed drove away and off a cliff. Michael was sad about the loss of the friend he hadn't spoken to in years who betrayed him and wanted him dead, but KITT made him feel better by promising to be Michael's friend (if only KITT knew the phrase "BFF").

Question of the Knight -- do you imagine that every episode will feature either Michael or Sarah in their underwear or a bathing suit, or will other characters get to undress too?

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