Get Smart: When Good Fellows Get Together

This is an unusual episode of Get Smart because it doesn't have the chief or 99, so it's just 86 and Hymie - according to IMDB the only episode where this is the case. The basic plot is that KAOS, because the robot Hymie is the only thing which gives CONTROL the edge over them, has invented another robot to destroy Hymie.

We have all the usual CONTROL chaos going on. However the main, er, human interest in this episode for me personally is that Hymie isn't actually as robotic as you would think. He has emotions and at one point goes to kiss Max, which Max has to explain men don't do. So how is Hymie a man??? He feels rather resentful that max never invites him to his club, saying that they are unwelcoming to his sort. Max makes the excuse that he'd just never thought he'd play golf. This reflects exactly the sort of situation where we assume something about someone else or just don't think they would 'fit in' in a particular setting.

Hymie is also a source of attempted conflict resolution here. He tries to bring round KAOS's robot who wants to destroy him, with kindness, and brightens the cabin he stays in with Max, with flowers he's picked. There is a real irony that the robot is the source of peace and kindness here, although Get Smart cleverly make this an unreal thing by making him all kindness with no evil. This absence of complexity in the emotions mean that this is safely removed from our reality. Hymie's total kindness isn't spoiled by him staying around long enough to be programmed for evil.

The other robot is very convincingly played in a deadpan way by a real wrestler/actor whose stage name is Hard Boiled Haggerty and who does a wonderful job of beating up Hymie in response to Hymie's kind offers of friendship. The ethics do get a little more nuanced when Hymie says that enough is enough and he can't carry on being nice. Thereby, of course, becoming yet more human.

I don't have any criticism of this show: possibly you would feel miffed if you were watching it hoping to see 99 but the whole episode is such a sweetie that you would be a monster of ingratitude.

Finally the episode manages to incorporate a High Noon parody!

There are high points galore in this excellent episode but just a few are:

I love the bit where Hymie is feeling lonesome for his friends at the office, by which he means various pieces of office equipment and the elevator.

I particularly love that CONTROL have built a ghost town opposite another ghost town which is a tourist trap. This is the kind of logic which keeps the free world free.

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