"H+2+O=Death"

(Original air date 10/24/76)

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Steve attempts to uncloak the identity of the head of a spy ring
by testing a revolutionary device on hydrogen fusion

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Writer and Director: John Meredyth Lucas



Late at night at the OSI, an intruder hides in the shadows as a guard makes his rounds, checking every door as he goes. Once the threat gone, the man proceeds to break a safe with a laser ray and some pressure gas. He retrieves the classified file on Project Fusion and carves his organizationís signature on the steel safe before stealing off the premises with no one being the wiser.

           

The next morning Oscar and Steve are called to the scene of the crime to inspect the damages. Oscar suspects an Omega agent by the name of Kirov (Todd Martin) is behind this theft, suggesting that the head of the spy ring is desperate to get his hands of the project.

They head back to Oscarís office to answer a call from the Minister of Defense who stresses the urgency of investigating this robbery at the cost of having to abort the project that stalls in the second stage of development. Rudy and Oscar expose Project Fusion to Steve as possibly the ultimate source of energy by the fusion of hydrogen. A by-product of the discovery is an underwater device that can supply its own oxygen power. That second phase consists of separating oxygen from hydrogen with the contrivance powered by nuclear energy, but the lack thereof makes it difficult to accomplish.

Steve suggests using his own power cells to generate the energy needed. With rumor circulating that the final stage is in progress, Omega is bound to reveal himself.

           

Rudy gets busy on rewiring the circuitry in Steveís bionic arm in order to feed the necessary nuclear power for the respiratory device to work adequately. Following a brief description on how to connect the converter to the power supply, Steve dives underwater in an indoor pool and plugs the device underneath his arm to supply the energy.

           

During the tests, the project designer, Dr. Ilse Martin (Elke Sommer), a specialist in nuclear biochemistry, marches in demanding an explanation as to the reason why she wasnít kept abreast of new developments regarding her invention. She is curious as to what source of energy they are using to finally make the device work, but Oscar remains tight-lipped for security reasons. Steve exits the pool and recognizes her as the woman with car trouble in the OSI parking lot.

     

Back at the office, Oscar hands Steve a file on a Professor Mark Porter, a pseudo down-on-his-luck scientist who will be Steveís cover in order to infiltrate Omega. He is to sit tight and wait for the head of a worldwide industrial complex, Theodore J. Matheson (John van Dreelen) to contact him in regard to the highly coveted device. Mathesonís interest is guarantee to bring Omega out in the open.

On the flight to Los Angeles, Steve peruses the file to memorize all the nuts and bolts involved in Project Fusion to lend credence to his character. Once arrived at destination he drops by the office set up for the circumstances to get a feel for the place. As he attempts to force open a drawer he notices an alarming depletion of his bionic strength.

As predicted, Matheson contacts Prof. Porter with a business opportunity. In turn Steve informs Oscar that the fish has bitten and warns of his little bionic problem. Rudy anticipated a lost of energy immediately following the tests, but expected it to rapidly return to normal. He suggests Steve to return to the lab for some adjustments. Steve refuses stating that they cannot afford to lose the catch now that heís hooked. The good doctor will need to find a solution outside the lab.

           

Steve drives to Porterís apartment to find two intruders combing the room for listening devices. Mathesonís right-handed man Walker (Robert J. Hogan) offers a million in gold for the underwater device. Steve plays hard to get so not to arouse suspicious as to his true identity and raises the price to five million. Walker agrees to set up a meeting at Mathesonís giant aquatic park to seal the deal.

     

At the park Steve meets with Matheson to discuss the transaction. During their conversation, an undercover agent posing as a worker shoots a tiny listening device in the wall behind them. Steve zooms in on the bug, which is clear indication that Omega is showing a keen interest.

Steve contacts Oscar with the latest developments and adamantly refuses to return to the lab despite Rudyís warning that his life may be in danger if he goes ahead with the experiment, which is scheduled for the afternoon.

           

Steve notices that his car hood has been lifted. He inspects the engine to notice it's been tempered with. He zooms in on the likely culprit, Ilse, who speeds away.

           

He takes off at a bionic sprint and matches speed with her car until a cop intercepts him with concerns about his running.

     

Steve proceeds to his apartment complex and notices Ilseís car parked outside. He jumps up onto the balcony and sneaks inside his apartment to find the woman casually browsing through his notes. Caught red-handed she has no other choice but to confess to being a double agent for both the Minister of Defense to watch Oscarís moves and the enigmatic Omega.

Much to Steveís bafflement, she doesnít appear to know his true identity. He plays along and sends her on her way with a message to Omega that he's interested in selling his device to the highest bidder.

           

After ensuring the five million in gold is indeed on the premises, Steve prepares to test the device. Meanwhile Omega (Linden Chiles) gathers his armed men to swarm the basin where the tests are conducted.

           

They hold Matheson and Walker at gunpoint and bring them before Omega. Steve briefly comes up for air and observes the critical situation. He plunges back in, hoping to escape through a tunnel leading directly out to sea but Omegaís men dive in before he can open the sass.

           

An underwater struggle ensues, ending with Steve losing consciousness due to a severe bionic malfunction.

     

After a brief mouth-to-mouth for resuscitation by the lovely Dr. Martin, Steve is brought to an infirmary where she proceeds to a medical assessment, during which she inadvertently notices wires protruding from a gash in Steveís right arm. He confides to being Rudy Wellsís achievement in cybernetics and pleads with her to bring him the necessary tools to repair his arm.

           

She goes to Omega and lies about Dr. Porterís serious condition. She requests permission to fetch her medical instruments to further examine him. She returns to Steve and invites him to follow her lead in pretending he is gravely ill for the benefit of Omega and his men listening in the other room. She conceals the hardware in his hands as she pretends to inject him with a sedative. She then returns to Omega to urge him to transfer the patient to a medical facility for she suspects a spinal chord injury.

           

Omega denies her request stating security risks. Given Porterís disability, Omega compels Ilse to perform the experiment underwater and to ensure her loyalty to the organization, he suggests lowering her into the water in a shark cage to prevent her from fleeing through the underwater tunnel before the tests are completed. Without the energy needed the device wonít hold Ilse more than five minutes underwater.

Steve hurries and completes the repairs to his arm.

           

With his strength back he breaks out of the infirmary to go handle Omegaís men before diving into the basin to save Ilse.

Oscar fumes at Steveís failure to capture Omega, but quickly changes his tune once he discovers that the device was a fake and that Omega will lose all credibility, not to mention his freedom, when he tries to sell it to a government.

           

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