PROJECT BLUE BOOK – Season 2 Episode 6 – SPOILERS
A lot of this episode is a cute story about how Hynek and Quinn dealt with The Robertson Panel, which was an attempt by the CIA to take complete control of UFO investigations by shutting down Project Blue Book. The panel first met on 14 January 1953 and completed its deliberations a few days later, just before President Eisenhower took office. It was told by Mimi (Laura Mennell) to a reporter (Catherine Lough Haggquist) on the set of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (on which Hynek worked as a consultant in 1976). The tale involves magician and apparent con man David Dubrovsky (Bronson Pinchot) who shows up on the eve of the Panel with a story of meeting aliens. He knows about the Panel and about the July 1952 UFOs in D.C. “I’m here to help you,” Dubrovsky tells Hynek — and eventually he does just that, though not in the way that Hynek expected to be helped. Dubrovsky doesn’t have a beard, and doesn’t walk with a cane, but he’s more than a little bit like Kris Kringle in MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.
Mishka (Ksenia Solo) visits Master Sgt. Edward Rizzuto (Michael Imperioli) a Soviet agent who has turned and is now working for the Americans. It is not specified where she finds Rizzuto, but we last saw him working at the White Sands Missile Testing Range. Mishka tells him she knows he’s turned but is not there to kill him. Rizzuto says: “So tell me why you want me to call my contact in St. Petersburg.” (From 1924 to 1991, St. Petersburg was called Leningrad. One wonders how a Soviet agent could make such a mistake.) Mishka explains about her falling out with Daria and that she needs to protect her daughter by bringing her to the US. She refers to the girl with many different terms of endearment, but never by name.
Rizzuto likes baseball and, after making arrangements for Mishka to speak to her daughter by telephone, is watching the seventh game of the 1952 World Series. (The game is easy to identify from the parts of it that we hear, especially announcer Mel Allen saying “This will be known as the battle of the home runs.” Problem is, that world series game was played on 7 October 1952. For the chronology to make sense, NBC must have rebroadcast the game in January. Rizzuto (who shares a last name with the Yankees’ shortstop) decides to kill Mishka, but, alas for him, she has removed the bullets from his gun. Looking disappointed in her former student, she tells him to focus on watching the game, and then shoots him twice in the back.
Michael Imperioli (Sgt. Rizzoli) will be Angelo Dundee (Cassius Clay’s trainer) in ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI a film set on the night of 25 February 1964 after a young Cassius Clay (against all odds) defeats Sonny Liston and becomes World Heavyweight Champion. Clay (who has not yet taken the name Muhammad Ali) can’t stay on the island because of segregation laws, and spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood with three of his closest friends: Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcolm X. Kemp Powers‘ 2013 play, on which the film is based, speculates about what happened in those pivotal hours on the night these legends met. Director Regina King told Wilson Morales of Blackfilm: “‘One Night in Miami’ is a love letter to black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship. Each of them has contributed so much to culture and history. We’re so excited to have Kingsley [Ben-Adir], Eli [Goree], Aldis [Hodge], and Leslie [Odom Jr.] in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men.” ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI was filmed in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and should be released in the US later this year.
Catherine Lough Haggquist (reporter) will be Helen in ENDLESS, a film about Riley and Chris (Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton), two recent high school graduates who are madly in love, and are tragically separated when a car accident leaves Chris stranded between life and death. Unable to communicate, he is forced to watch Riley grieve, until, miraculously, the two manage to find a way to connect. Ian Tracey (The Fixer) is also in the cast. Directed by Scott Speer from a screenplay by Oneil Sharma and Andrew Case, ENDLESS will be released in Italy on 9 April. There is no word yet on a North American release.