Logan’s Run – Season 1, Episode 14: “Turnabout”

Oh, what a long and non-shirtless trip it’s been! I’ve so enjoyed plunging into the chiffon-filled world of the future. It’s fascinating to revisit these things with grown-up eyes and a much-different worldview.

What have we learned in 13 episodes? That Logan couldn’t keep hold of his gun if it was glued to him. That he and Jessica apparently never boned. That Francis longed pensively for the bromance he and Logan shared in the City of Domes. And most of all, the future has force fields. A lot of force fields.

Wistfully, I begin the last of our recaps of Logan’s Run. It’s been fun, frustrating and yet, always filled with the theme song PEW PEW PEWs that have filled me with joy. Join me, won’t you, for the last leg of Logan’s Run! PEW PEW PEW!

Is a reflective bag the best thing for a desert?

We open in the desert and there’s a passed -out woman with a silver handbag laying on the ground. Our Runners give her some water. She wakes and says she’d been gathering medicinal herbs. Right. In the desert, the only “medicinal” herbs you’re gonna find are peyote.

The woman freaks that her mask has been taken off. She runs off, telling them that since Jessica is unmasked, they’ll be in trouble. REM smartly advises them to follow her advice. Oh, REM. You know that’s not how this works.

Logan decides they need to refill their canteen before they go, giving Jessica and REM some time to exposit on why primitive societies sometimes made women cover their faces. This in turn, gives a purple-hooded patrol to find them.

When repressed people tell you to run from their authoritative society, LISTEN!

The Purple Hood head of the patrol (played by Gerald McRaney, who some know from Simon & Simon, but I know him as Mr. Delta Burke) asks Logan what they’re doing in the land of Zedor. Zedor? When the apocalypse happens (which, who knows, maybe it is), I hope we find better names for our lands.

“This isn’t San Diego!”

Purple Hood is quite crabby that Jessica is brazenly showing her face. He grabs what looks like a fat CD, but is an audio book from an old city. WOW they were ahead of the curve on that one! He tells the runners there is only ONE book allowed and that’s their holy book. PH (may I call you PH, for short?) zaps it with a bigger version of what looks like last episodes’ pain wands.

What if that was an audiobook?

The final straw is when Logan tells them they are looking for Sanctuary. Purple Hood yells that they are runners and they are promptly captured. It wouldn’t be Logan’s Run if Logan didn’t lose his gun in an episode … so rest assured they take it from him. And we NEVER see it again. Fitting, I suppose.

Francis’ partners are the new Redshirts.

Somewhere close by, two Sandmen (one of them is Francis, thankfully, along with his new pal, Nameless Blonde Guy) climb some rocks and spy on what’s happening to Logan and his pals. Purple Hood gives the Runners water in a silver canteen. Of course, REM doesn’t drink any and then this raises questions.

Francis and his buddy walk out from behind the rocks.  Francis wants to extradite them from the desert valley. Purple Hood spews out some philosophy and they take the Sandmen’s weapons. I’m not sure what Francis thought this plan would do, but okay.

And you thought the Tiger King had a cool throne!

The king on the Unpronounceable Throne, tells them that Runners have come before and spread rebellious thoughts. Francis argues to him to take them to the City of Domes and punish them. The King and a kindly advisor named Samuel argue about The Law and ultimately, the King wins (as they do). The Runners will die at sunrise!

That collar is … ostentatious doesn’t begin to describe it.

FUTURE FASHION

While I am sort of digging the Purple Hoods of the Horsemen (sort of a gauzy, color-blocked sari for the face) the King has THE most unfortunate neckwear we have seen in ANY century. WOW.

In their cell (with a brand-new kind of force field!) REM discusses religious fanaticism.

When can we expect some force field technology to be invented?

The force field is too intense for REM to nullify. Purple Hood and a woman, Mia, (you know it’s the one they helped earlier!) bring them food. It’s their last meal and he gives them a jaunty wave as he tells them to enjoy it.

I’m not sure how much I would enjoy a last meal under those circumstances, but if it had Pop-Tarts and pizza, I’d do the best I could.

Francis and his buddy sneak around. Francis is determined to save them and bring them back to the City. The woman brings food to a guard, and he’s quite the ass to her. He drinks all his wine, and I kind of wonder if Mia drugged it.

I’d be in favor of guns if this is all they did.

She did! She did drug it! She breaks them out after the asshat keels over. Meanwhile, Francis and Blondie stun another guard and cut the power to the whole installation. They need to, as these giant halls are beige and extremely well-lit and make escapes extremely visible.

The King is still on his throne, even though it’s just him and a guard when Samuel comes in to argue about opening their borders. I would think sitting on a throne would be 5-10% of your Kingly day, but perhaps this King’s unfortunate neckwear choice means sitting in the throne all day is the least difficult option. It can’t be easy to walk in that thing.

Good-bye, Blondie.

The lights go out, which, with no windows you’d think it would make it pitch black, but the cameras do need some light. Logan and his pals run smack into Francis. While that happens, Purple Hood kills Blondie. Somehow, REM and Mia never noticed Logan and Jessica veered off minutes ago. She decides to hide REM in the women’s quarters. PLEASE don’t let him do android drag …

“I think I have something in a Tommy Hilfiger your size …”

Francis takes Logan and Jessica back out into the desert. Logan and Jess are holding hands, which is nice. The horsemen are after them and Francis is leading them away from the solar vehicle. Francis plans to let Purple Hood go past them, then double back to his car. Oh no! Is this the last of the solar vehicle?

(Everything in a last recap is tinged with sadness).

Logan, Francis and Jessica trudge through the desert heat – STILL FULLY CLOTHED. Oh my. I am not going to see any skin, even after 13 episodes!

Are they on Krypton?

Jess tumbles down a dune and Francis is not sympathetic. He shouldn’t be … they have minutes more to go in their montage of desert trudging. Surely, it must be close to dinner time now. Somehow, Logan sees what’s obviously a pipe in a rock and starts drinking.

That had to be a fun stunt.

We hear some rattlesnake rattles, but then shift scenes to REM in the womens quarters. Mia tells him the others have escaped. REM gives a nice women’s empowerment speech to get the women to help him. They dress REM up as one of the women’s brothers and they head out to find Samuel.

Totes doesn’t look like an android anymore.

At the watering hole, Francis and Logan are ready for another pensive stare-fest. Logan wonders why Francis helped them. Logan thinks Francis wouldn’t kill him. I’m pretty sure he would, so let’s not test it, Logan.

“I wish I knew how to quit you!”

REM and Samuel chat. REM gets called a “mechanical man” for the tenth time. Samuel bemoans the lack of knowledge that the city has cut out by isolating themselves and killing everyone who comes by them. True, but you are safe from coronavirus. The king can only be overruled by vote of the Assembly. I don’t think that throne room has enough chairs for any type of assembly.

Outside, Purple Hood is close on the trail! Francis is outside the cave area where Jessica is resting, taking the equivalent of a smoke break. The Purple Hoods fire on him! Good thing Francis knows how to hang on to HIS blaster.

PEW PEW PEW!

Logan and Jess make a break for it as Purple Hood and Francis shoot it out. None of them are great shots, but ultimately, Francis gets captured. Logan and Jess have made it beyond the Border and Purple Hood’s goons won’t go there, as it’s forbidden … even though Purple Hood tries to force the issue.

The Runners make it to the solar vehicle (yay!) and make a plan to save REM. They are still using the same stock footage of Logan’s hands pushing buttons to start the car as they used in the pilot. The next thing we see is Logan grabbing a masked woman and getting her to take them to REM.

Is that a low-budget lightsaber, or are you happy you have an upcoming recurring role on Dallas, Francis?

Meanwhile, back at the Empty Throne Room, Francis is condemned to death. However, being a far better Sandman than Logan could ever hope to be, he grabs one of the guard’s low-budget lightsaber and tries to fight his way out. Does he even know Blondie is dead?

Kill him! Kill him with a roll of metallic gift wrap!

Purple Hood demands to fight Francis in personal combat with his low-budget lightsaber. They fight and Francis gets hurt, but keeps going. This is the most action-packed episode we’ve ever had. Francis goes down and Purple Hood is about to kill him. Samuel stops him, saying no blood can be spilled in the Empty Throne Room. Samuel also says he’s calling … The Assembly!

Assembly … Avenge! Oh, wait …

The Runners find REM and he busts out with one last “My dear friends!”  of the series. Awwww. Mia bursts in and says they have to leave before Francis is executed. Logan argues they have to save Francis, which is sheer nonsense, but of course, he needs someone to be pensive with.

It’s good to be the king.

Francis doesn’t want to go –  he doesn’t want to be in debt to Logan. Purple Hood catches them in the act and now Logan, weaponless, dodges PH’s low-budget lightsaber and then Purple Hood smacks the cell’s force field with his sword by mistake.

Act scared of that gift wrapping …

Remember how REM said that force field was so intense? It fries Purple Hood. Just then, Samuel comes in. The Assembly has made Samuel the new King. That was … quick and off-screen! Everything will be all great now. Samuel agrees to keep Francis for two days to give them a head start.

Oppressive values in another culture successfully obliterated.

Jessica comes in with all the women, sans their face masks and everyone is all smiles. We cut to the solar vehicle driving off into the sunset and that’s it for Logan’s Run, the TV Series.

Goodbye, Logan!

I’m left with more frustration than feels. It’s not surprising this show didn’t make it. I think Francis may have been the true hero. Logan ends up kind of being neutered and I never see him doing anything heroic. Francis’ worldview is upended by the Council of Olds, and yet he sticks to his guns (literally, at least he holds on to them!) and never stops chasing Logan and Jessica.

REM grew on me. As a kid I wasn’t a fan, but despite his rip-off sonic screwdriver and his inconsistent abilities, he was a fun character. Jessica never interested me, no matter how much chiffon she wore.

I’d love to see a reboot. I think a post-apocalyptic chase show could be great and the potential for some social commentary is SO there … a city that never stopped social distancing, a tribe of right-wing land grazers and a president who wouldn’t be removed from office even as civilization fell around him (not that I’m projecting or anything).

Francis and Logan, for all their pensitivity, never really got anywhere. What was in Logan that made him run? The book addressed it, but we didn’t explore it here. I’d like to have seen more of his motivations.

We never got anything sexier than Logan taking a bath one time. Minus a lot of points for not using some very OBVIOUS assets. Did they not take note of what Dukes of Hazzard was doing almost every week?

And of course, the biggest question of all –  where the eff was Sanctuary? Did it exist? In the book (spoilers) it was a lunar colony. Ultimately, I think you have to find Sanctuary in yourself … but I think it would have been cool to see something onscreen.

Still and all, it’s been a blast recapping each episode. No matter what fun I’ve made of the show, its production and its actors, I truly loved diving back into one of the most underappreciated sci-fi franchises.

I’ll miss those brooding half-smiles.

So, we say farewell to Logan, Jessica, REM and Francis. Join us next week for a NEW Retro Recap series. I wonder if you’ll like my choice, but I think it will get us out from under the COVID-19 boredom.  Until then …I leave you with one last PEW PEW PEW!

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