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SPY GAME

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Full Name: Lorne Cash and Max London
Series Name: Spy Game
Nationality: American
Organization: E.C.H.O.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, John McNamara
Time Span: 1997 - 1997

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Lorne Cash and Maxine 'Max' London are agents of E.C.H.O.
       That interesting acronym for an intelligence organization stands for the Emergency Count Hostilities Organization. As soon to be an ECHO agent Cash admits to London when she approaches him to help in an urgent matter, "That's catchy." She does not seem to appreciate or share his amusement with the comment but then again, she will be by far the more serious of the two when they eventually start working together.
       When we first meet both of these agents, Cash is happily no longer working in the Intelligence business and is the proud owner of a very nice drinking establishment (okay, he calls it a bar) named Alibi. We learn early that his departure from his previous career as a spy, and apparently it was an eventful one despite his relatively still young age, was not voluntary but rather was the result of the end of the Cold War and thus the end of people like him. He shouldn't be called bitter about his dismissal but neither is he happy to be approached again.
       London is already a member of ECHO and has been for some time and clearly enjoys her being out in the field and in the action as much as Cash pretends he is quite pleased to be long out of it. She has considerable experience in numerous activities which make her worthy of being out in the field, including a stint in the military, but she has nowhere nearly as much field training or knowledge as Cash. She is highly skilled with all manner of technologies, she is very deadly when it comes to martial arts, is practically fearless in stressful situations, and has a photographic memory. Her boss at ECHO teases she memorizes all sorts of things, "Encyclopedias, classified files, cookbooks" to which London admits, "It helps me relax."
       The headquarters ECHO has in the city has a cool entryway at the end of a long alley. It is a brick wall which will only open when an approaching vehicle exceeds 100 mph. Luckily there is a grappling hook, ala aircraft carrier landings, to stop entering cars, assuming they have the proper attachment.
       Meeting the head of ECHO, a man named Micah Simms whom Cash knows well enough to greet with his first name, Cash expressed his curiosity about ECHO with "Didn't we all get downsized? You must have seen it. It was in all the newspapers. The end of the Cold War. All the spies got canned. The budget got balanced. No more East. No more West. [indicating the ECHO headquarters] No more big rooms full of cool stuff."
       That is when Simms explains that ECHO was created under Presidential order (and financing) because with the layoffs that Cash mentioned, a lot of now unemployed former agents were putting their talents and experience on the free market. Cash is needed to help because some of those disgruntled ex-operatives have a lot of anger and a lot of skill at expressing it.
       Oh, one other interesting fact. While it did not keep Cash from getting canned when the big layoffs happened, he does seem to be quite friendly with the sitting President, good enough to have him on speed dial.


Good Line:
Said to Simms by Cash, "I tell you, Micah. I have a lot of feelings. I just can't think of one that's any of your business."

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:13
First Appearance:1997
Last Appearance:1997
Network:ABC

REGULAR CAST
Lindin AshbyLorne Cash [ 1 ]
Allison SmithMaxine "Max" London [ 1 ]
Keith SzarabajkaShank [ 1 ]
Bruce McCartyMicah Simms [ 1 ]
1 Why Spy?
Episode S1-01, first aired 03/03/1997
Director: Elodie Keene
Writer: John McNamara

Retired Lorne Cash is persuaded by ECHO agent Max London to look into the death of Cash's mentor. Cash quickly determines the man is not only still alive, but planning something very bad against the President who forced his retirement, using a pulse weapon that destroys organic life and leaves property intact.

2 With Friends Like These
Episode S1-02, first aired 03/10/1997
Director: Lou Antonio
Writer: Eric Morris

A former KGB agent wants to retire in the US but he knows that Cash wants his head for past crimes. The solution is to kidnap the mother of another former KGB agent and now friend of Cash, Shank, and force him to kill Cash.

3 Nobody Ever Said Growing Up Was Easy
Episode S1-03, first aired 03/17/1997
Director: Doug Lefler
Writers: Gene O'Neill, Noreen Tobin

An arms dealer needs to spark business so he plans on killing the daughter of the Russian President and laying the blame on the US, forcing a war.

4 Dead and Gone Honey
Episode S1-04, first aired 06/07/1997
Director: James Frawley
Writer: Anne Collins

Two former US agents are found dead. The odd thing is that both had their molars removed. Helping in this case is retired agent Honey Trapp who gives Max a lesson in how to be a sex kitten.

5 You Just Can't Trust Anyone These Days
Episode S1-05, first aired 06/14/1997
Director: T. J. Scott
Writer: John McNamara

A four-star general kidnaps Max London and hypnotizes her into becoming an assassin with the President as the target.

6 What, Micah Worry?
Episode S1-06, first aired 06/21/1997
Director: Alan J. Levi
Writer: David Simkins

Micah is canned for leaking highly classified military tech to arms dealers. Lorne Cash and Max London are determined to prove him innocent.

7 What Family Doesn't Have Its Ups and Downs
Episode S1-07, first aired 06/28/1997
Director: Les Landau
Writers: Gene O'Neill, Noreen Tobin

It falls to Lorne Cash and Max London to escort a half billion dollars in relief funds to a stricken region. Cash's disreputable brother, Jim, intends on stealing it.

8 And That About Concludes Our Session
Episode S1-08, first aired 07/05/1997
Director: T. J. Scott
Writer: John McNamara

A murderous psychiatrist, Dr. David Lynk, has escaped from his incarceration and has a list of people to get revenge on.

9 Lorne and Max Drop the Ball
Episode S1-09, first aired 07/12/1997
Director: Jefery Levy
Writer: Kathy McCormick

A new briefcase with the nuclear codes needs to be taken to the President and Lorne Cash and Max London have the job. A gang of bumblers find a way to cause trouble in what should have been a simple assignment.

10 Go, Girl
Episode S1-10, first aired 01/01/0001
Director: Doug Leflet
Writer: David Simkins

An ex-agent named Victoria, now a member of a terrorist cell, has major anger issues with Lorne Cash for getting her fired. She goes after revenge by buying the world's most powerful handgun.

11 Necessity is the Mother of Infection
Episode S1-11, first aired 01/01/0001
Director: Winrich Kolbe
Writer: Scott Brown

An anti-bioweapon activist wants to prove that such research is still going on. The way to do that is to steal a deadly virus, designated 'Q', from a facility and use it on a small town. Lorne Cash and Max London have 12 hours to find an antidote.

12 How Diplomatic of You
Episode S1-12, first aired 01/01/0001
Director: John T. Kretchmer
Writer: Kathy McCormick

Technology that can crash a country's infrastructure has been stolen and is being held in the embassy of a former Soviet republic. It is the job of Lorne Cash and Max London to get it back.

13 Well, Nothing to Fear But Death Itself
Episode S1-13, first aired 01/01/0001
Director: Oz Scott
Writer: Eric Morris

Lorne Cash and Max London find things heating up when they go up against a would-be world conqueror named Leo Ludwig.

MY COMMENTS

       As seems the case with most spy series on television in the 90's - 10's, this one did not last long. I remember when I watched it I thought that was likely going to be the case. Mind you, I enjoyed it but I did not think it had the legs to hang around. It didn't and I was right but I still felt low when it disappeared.
       The chemistry between Cash and London was a good one and having a supporting character like Shank, played by the always entertaining Keith Szarabajka (loved him as a supporting actor in The Equalizer). The leader of ECHO was a pompous poop-head but then again, he was supposed to be so I guess the actor did a good job.
       Re-watching these episodes now as I enter this series into the compendium, I can see again why it did not last. And I can again feel low that it didn't.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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