The GLG Reports
Page 49 of 67

Legacy of Death
By Grant L. Goggans

"But after I've been subtle, then can I kill him?" I have watched the "inferior type of assassin" plummet face-first into the pavement between Steed and Tara more times than I can count, and it absolutely slays me every time. "Legacy of Death" is that kind of story, a brilliant bulldozer of comedy that contains at least 50 working gags in its 50 minutes. Making no pretense of its parody, it starts with the overt, devil-may-care comedy in the teaser sequence when Mssrs. Street and Green are introduced and doesn't let up until the labored, physical gags of the comparatively disappointing tag scene. Apart from Street and Green (flawless parodies of Sidney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre), we meet so many weird "dagger fanciers" that the entire production just forgets that it's The Avengers and goes for pure comedy, using one-liners, bizarre situations, farce and satirical jabs at both The Maltese Falcon and its adventure/quest genre. Perhaps it's flawed in that it's so off-kilter, and there are certainly production flaws (it suddenly becomes daylight for the hilarious "who's following us" scene), but this is a real winner. It may be disconcerting to realize that the two best Tara stories, by far, are this and "Look - (stop me if you've heard this one) But There Were These Two Fellers...," neither of which can be called typical Tara stories. There's also something darn disturbing about the very unsexy Tara daring to carry around one of those top hats that Cathy Gale made so eye-opening. Nevertheless, the comedy payoff of this hour is absolutely huge, and if Baron von Orlak's introduction isn't the funniest thing ever seen in The Avengers, then Winkler's surely is. Majestic.

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