"Big Brother"

(Original air date 03/07/76)


Steve volunteers to become a big brother to a troubled Puerto Rican teenager


Writer: Kenneth Johnson

Director: Cliff Bole

After completing a test flight, Steve drops by the Hastings Juvenile Home to discuss the Big Brother program with director Harry Hamlin (Ralph Wilcox). His demanding schedule precluding him from taking an active part in the program, Steve nevertheless agrees to use his fame to draw volunteers.

As Harry introduces him to the house publicist (John Wesley) Steve witnesses an altercation between a juvenile delinquent and his social worker. When the young man flees, Steve runs after him and manages to corner him at the bottom of a fire escape. To prevent the troubled teen, Carlos Delgado (Michael Salcido), from spending time in detention, Steve agrees to become his big brother during his vacation


Carlos wants no guard dog following him around but has no choice but to bear and grin it when Steve threatens to take him back to the juvenile home to serve time in detention.

Steve takes his new little brother to the OSI where he finds Jaime discussing a new assignment with Oscar. After agreeing to meet Steve later to discuss plans for their parentsí wedding anniversary, Jaime leaves him with Oscar to sign documents while Carlos roams about looking for model jets to steal. Unfortunately for him the bionic eye is faster than the hand.


Later on they take a drive to Carlosís shady neighbourhood where crime lords reign. At the apartment Steve meets with Carlosís sister Marguarita (Maria-Helena Cordero) who scowls her brother for getting into mischief, and his little sibling Chico (David Yanez) who informs him that his friend Smiley is looking for him.

Carlos excuses himself to go to the bathroom where he escapes through the narrow window, while Steve casually scans his bedroom looking for clues as to what might be the teenís favourite hobbies. He learns of his passion for jets.

He then goes down to the streets to find Carlos gambling with some hoodlums. Fed up by his belligerence, Steve collars him and reiterates his threat to bring him to detention should he continue to elude him.


The next day Steve takes Carlos to Andrews Air Force Base for his first flying lesson. The boy is ecstatic. He confides in Steve his wish to become a pilot but fears that his police record might ruin his chances of enrolling in the Air Force.


Back home Carlos relates his exhilarating ride aboard the jet to his little brother. Smiley (Carl Crudup) shows up unexpectedly to ask Carlos to fork over the $1300 gambling debt he owes him. Seeing how the boy canít pay up, Smiley proposes a deal to get him of the hook. Heíll forget about the debt if Carlos steals drugs from a pharmaceutical warehouse.

At night Steve drops by the Delgadosí apartment to take Carlos to the movies. Instead he meets with Chico in the stairwell who informs him of the robbery in progress.

Luckily Steve is able to stop the burglary before it even happens.


Back at the apartment, an acrid discussion about Carlosís shady activities turns violent when the teen brandishes at pocketknife at Steve. Unable to act upon his threat, Carlos breaks down and confesses everything. Steve is willing to give him the money to reimburse his debt providing he makes an effort to turn a new leaf. Carlos is relieved and grateful to his big brother for his help.


The next day, they both meet with Smiley to hand over the money. Hoping to win it back, Steve needles the gambling man into competing in a friendly basketball game: the money against Steveís expensive car. The bets are on. Smiley and his gang decide to play rough and soon the friendly game turns brutal.


Steve is left with little choice but to turn on the bionic power to win the match, much to Carlosís ecstasy.

Days later itís back at Andrews for Carlosís first professional flying lesson.


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