"Mobile Home of the Brave"
Original air date Jan 30, 1986
Directed Burt Kennedy
Teleplay Michael Cassutt
Jameson Parker as AJ Simon
Gerald McRaney as Rick Simon
Tim Reid as "Downtown" Brown
Mary Carver as Cecelia Simon
Peter Brown as Manny Corbett
Gary Bayer as Harrison
Maryedith Burrell as Mary Johnson
Bret Naylor as Willie Johnson
JP Bumstead as Wee Wally
Thelma Houston as Venutia
Gene Ross as Paxton
Dan Guerrero as director
Brie Howard as hooker
In Peter's second appearance on Simon and Simon, he's a cold-blooded thug who looks good in a white suit. (See "The Dillinger Print" for Peter's first Simon and Simon episode.) The show opens with a photographer sneaking photos of a singer at a yacht party. Unbeknownst to the photographer, the owner of the yacht is a gangster thought to be out of the country. If his presence is discovered by the Feds, he'll be toast. So he sends his cold-blooded henchmen to retrieve the film at any cost.
Mismatched siblings, Rick & AJ Simon and their sometimes
helpful friend police detective "Downtown" Brown
In the meantime, AJ has reluctantly gone along with one of Rick's schemes to drum up business. They burglarize a Liberty World building to show that the security system is no good. When they go to the manager's office to report their deed and ask for a job, they decide to impress him by finding the family's missing camera.
The photographer switches film with an innocent midwestern family enjoying the sights of Liberty World. When Peter's character Manny and his friend catch up with the photographer, they take the family's film.
Manny and friends have found that the film they got from the photographer is not the film they were looking for. So they go after the family in the photo. The photographer also wanting the film for the pictures of Venutia, steals the family's Prairie Schooner RV in order to search it at his leisure in a back alley. The family ends up ensconced at Aj's house where their homey cheerfulness, down home cooking and hot cocoa in bed, wears thin after a while.
Back at Liberty World, Rick and AJ are undercover "watching" the family but neglect to see Manny push dad in the bumper boat pond to distract attention from his cohort's theft of mom's purse. Rick catches the thief and gets a kick in the gut from Manny. The purse fails to yield up the missing film.
Town questions the local riffraff about the camera theft, purse snatching and recreation vehicle theft to no avail. AJ is missing the days when he just had a mooching Rick to get on his nerves. Manny and friends up the ante by stabbing the photographer to death as he tries to recoup his film from the family man who's left with a bloody knife and a murder charge. At the police station the family meets some of the local colorful characters while the Simons get daddy released.
Manny and friend burglarize a Liberty World photo booth but fail to find the right pictures. They get an address from Rick's truck registration and then attempt to eliminate Rick and AJ as they conduct their own search for the photos. But they're unsuccessful. Rick and AJ score the real pictures.
Rick and AJ interview Venutia and finally find out the source of all the trouble when she identifies the man in the photo. The Prairie Schooner is returned by the police, somewhat the worse for wear.
Manny and friend kidnap the family and arrange an exchange. But the exchange is a set up. The police arrive. Manny flees. He has no compunction about firing his handgun in a crowded water park.
Manny ends up on the wrong end of AJ's fist and is captured at the bottom of the water slide. The Simons bid farewell to the family and get the not so good news that the manager of Liberty World is not happy about having a shooting in his park. Another Rick Simon scheme gone awry.
NiteOwl Review: Peter's part was pretty standard villainy but he did look good in that white suit and doing a few minor stunts. Not one of the best episodes of this show. Although the show ran until December 1988, it had started to run out of steam by 1986. The shows kept getting sillier when, in our opinion, it might have been given new life had it gone a slightly more serious route. Magnum PI managed a perfect balance of humor and serious action that Simon and Simon rarely achieved. Had they taken better advantage of it, Simon and Simon had the makings of a superior buddy show. The actors were willing but the scripts were weak. But even so, it had a long run. The great on-screen chemistry of the duo made it a fun show to watch. Peter and his Laredo costar Bill Smith did two episodes each and found McRaney and Parker a great pleasure to work with. A 1995 reunion movie fell flat in our opinion or maybe we just hoped for too much. The movie even lacked the wonderful instrumental theme of the series.
Cast Notes: Gerald McRaney went on to do a slew of tv-movies and two more series, Major Dad (1989-1993) and Promised Land (1996-1999). He did some of his best work as a three-time guest on Designing Women as the ex-husband of his real-life future wife, Delta Burke's character Suzanne Sugarbaker. Jameson Parker also did a number of tv movies and a few theatrical releases, including a couple of horror movies.
Official Peter Brown Fan Site