The Checklist: Cobra (S1 Ep16) “Death Dive”
In this edition of The Checklist we will take another look at a mostly forgotten chapter in the career of Michael Dudikoff… his time as Robert “Scandal” Jackson on the short lived television series, Cobra.
For those of you not in the loop… Cobra ran in syndication for one season beginning in September of 1993. Dudikoff’s Robert “Scandal” Jackson worked for a special government agency known as Cobra (hence the name of the show) and with the help of Danielle LaPointe (Allison Hossack) and Dallas Cassel (James Tolkan), Scandal would fight crime and corruption each week.
The premise was solid, the star was golden… but for whatever reason the show did not catch on.
- Synopsis: Scandal goes undercover at an ocean theme park to investigate the mysterious death of a diver. Scandal links the death to a theme park expansion plan that threatens to cause the extinction of many sea creatures in the surrounding marine ecosystem… but when his cover is blown it is Scandal that has to fight his own extinction.
1. Did Michael Dudikoff’s hair look amazing?
Krista McGrady, Allison’s old college roommate, suspects some foul play after one of the deep sea divers who worked with her at the Oceanquest exhibit at the Seven Seas Theme Park dies under mysterious circumstances. So Krista enlists the help of Cobra to investigate. Now to get Scandal on the inside, he poses as a marine biologist.
I have never met a marine biologist in my life, but I’d still bet that no marine biologist in the history of the world had hair as amazing as Scandal Jackson’s. I know for a fact that Scandal Jackson has the better hair than the television character most famous for pretending to be a marine biologist… George Costanza. 1/1
2. Did Michael Dudikoff break out the Body Glove gear?
As a “marine biologist” it would make sense that Scandal Jackson had to take the plunge and do a little deep sea diving. As a former Navy SEAL, Scandal does have the experience but one thing he did not have was a Body Glove wet suit.
Chalk this one up as a missed opportunity, but how awesome would it have been if Dudikoff was sporting a Body Glove branded wet suit like he had on in American Ninja 2: The Confrontation. That nod to the past would have thrilled long time Dudikoff fans and I’m sure Body Glove would not have objected. Rumor has it (and this is another one of those rumors that I am starting) that Body Glove saw a huge increase in sales in the summer of 1987 after Dudikoff wore his Body Glove wet suit while battling ninjas on a beach in American Ninja 2. 1/2
3. Were there any notable guest stars?
Action movie veteran Bo Svenson (Walking Tall Part II) played Frank McClory a former military man, who officially worked as the dive boss for the theme park’s expansion plans and unofficially was the muscle for the owner of the Seven Seas. Frank suspects Scandal is not what he claims to be, but Scandal flips the script and ends up going deeper undercover and getting a spot on McClory’s dive team… that is until Krista unwittingly blows Scandal’s cover. Svenson was a credible adversary for Dudikoff and was not just a notable guest star, but a quality one. 2/3
4. Did they tease the death of the star of the show?
Action adventure series love to put their stars in perilous situations. These life or death scenarios are designed to make the viewers at home wonder how their hero is going to survive. “Death Dive” puts a spin on the classic dastardly move of tying someone to train tracks, by taking advantage of the theme park setting with McClory and his head goon tying Scandal and Krista to the rollercoaster tracks! 3/4
5. Was there any sexual tension teased between Scandal and Danielle?
One reason that Cobra may have been one and done is the lack of chemistry between Scandal and Danielle. The last time I put Cobra to The Checklist test, the Scandal and Danielle interaction was strictly business. This time the interaction between the two was almost nonexistent. The only real interaction between the two came at the start of the show when Scandal and Dallas have some fun at the expense of Danielle, especially when Krista has some tales to tell about their college days and Danielle’s various boyfriends. 3/5
- Final Score = 3/5 (60%) Michael Dudikoff was a pleasure to watch as always and as I said earlier Bo Svenson made for a great adversary, but this episode was missing some of the little things that take an average episode and make it unforgettable.