The notes for these episodes will contain spoilers!
First Season (1989-1990)
- "Occurrence at Glen Ridge"
- In the pilot for the series, Steve McCullough, unexpectedly visiting his family, is shot by a careless hunter while walking in the woods near Sand Point with his nephew's collie Lassie. When Lassie jumps the man to get the rifle out of his hand and chases him off, the hunter forces animal control to pick up the collie. But Will helps her escape, and none too soon, as Steve is still lying wounded in the forest. Mr. Foster: Ron Ray. Vic Anderson: Steve Nevil. Foster's Stunt Double: Gene Lebell.
Notes: I consider the animal control officer's apology insufficent! He had no right to threaten an unarmed child with a rifle. The opening of this episode is very strange: apparently Lassie, who, we find out in "Roots," is descended from Timmy and Jeff's original Lassie, is dreaming about the adventures that Lassie had with Corey Stuart in season 12 of the original seriesthe scene of Lassie rescuing the lamb is from "Temper the Wind" and of rescuing the baby raccoon is from "Babes in the Woods." There's a third shot that may come from "Fury Falls" (season 18). And since we also find out in "Roots" that Uncle Steve is really Timmy Martin, unknown to us the series starts on an nostalgic note with "Timmy and Lassie" walking in the woods. My biggest question is: The story calls the hunter "Mr. Foster." Yet his personal license plate says "Preston1." I would have expected that to be his last name. So his full name is Preston Foster? As in the actor who played Roddy McDowall's father in My Friend Flicka, as in Roddy McDowall who starred in Lassie Come Home? Surely this can't be a coincidence?
- "City Lights"
- Lassie jumps into the back of a van making a delivery to the McCullough home and is accidentally locked in and taken into the city, where, in fleeing from a gang of boys, she meets a runaway who helps her. Mike: Chance Michael Corbett. Blade: Michael Bacall. Huff: Will Mac Millan. Ricky: Brandon Maciel. Joe: Ronald Lee Jarvis.
Notes: Shades of "Lassie's Odyssey"! The location shots appear to have been filmed around a Market Street; since the other four Market Streets in California are up near San Francisco, it's my guess this was filmed near the one Market Street near Universal Studios, the one in Riverside. Megan states that they are new to the area; I had no idea when I first watched this series that the McCulloughs had just moved to Glen Ridge.
- "Bingo Was Her Name-O"
- Lassie rescues a small white terrier from being hit by a car, and, although Megan wants to keep her, saying Lassie is really Will's dog, the family puts up "found dog" messages. When Bingo's owner comes to claim her, however, it's Dee who's crushed when she finds out she gave the dog to the wrong person. The man who claimed her first is actually a thief hoping to make a killing from the reward money for other lost dogs he's holding in his garage. Josh Summers: Larry Cedar. Gregg: Ted Barba. Mrs. Haddon: Carolyn Mignini.
Notes: The plot here has the same basic storyline as the Timmy episode "The Dognappers."
- Temperatures are soaring and Will's so preoccupied with soccer tryouts and a young admirer named Melissa that he sends Lassie off with Megan and her new boyfriend Paul, but Paul's exasperated by the way the collie keeps getting between himself and Megan, so he locks her in the McCullough car. Paul Burton: Stephen Doreck. Dr. Woods: Susie Duff. Vet Assistant: Garon Grigsby. Melissa: Katie Jane Johnston.
Notes: The McCulloughs formerly lived in San Diego, where Megan had a boyfriend named Malcolm.
- "Lassie at Last" (a.k.a. "Water Watchdog")
- Chris is determined to find out the source of the contamination after Megan and her friend Lisa becomes ill after swimming in a polluted lake and Will reports finding dead animals at the site. But when he takes Lassie to check out the site, they are both exposed to the pollutant. Lisa Draper: Shannon Beaty. Basketball Player: Josh Peden. Stunts: Steve H. Vandeman, Ralph Garrett.
Notes: Lisa's mother is named Emily.
- Will's buddy Wayne is determined to play a prank on an elderly neighbor the night before Halloween, but he may not be the only one surprised. In the meantime, Chris and Dee find out from a local policeman that parents are being advised to keep their kids in because of Hallowe'en dangers and are determined to bring the spirit of trick or treat back to the neighborhood. Wayne: Gabriel Damon. Officer Stanley: James Karen. Mr. Ogilvy: George Gaines. Sharon: Misty McCoy. Lynn Risdon: Michelle Nicastro. Stuntmen: Jack West, John David Tillman, Larry Nicholas.
Notes: An interesting reflection of the late 1980s, when horror stories about razor blades in treats (most of them fake), convinced many parents to find safer venues for children on October 31.
- A woman from Milwaukee named Mrs. Chadwick sends a letter to the McCullough home claiming that Lassie is her dog and demanding she be returned to her. The McCulloughs are stunned since no one claimed Lassie after Chris pulled her out of a burning car as a puppy when the family was still living in San Diego. When the woman turns up at the McCullough home to pick up the collie, there's yet another surprise in store. Ruth Chadwick: June Lockhart. Railroad Engineer: Lee deBroux.
Notes: This is the episode where we discover Uncle Steve is supposedly Timmy Martin, whom Paul and Ruth left behind when they moved to Australia. Are you kidding me? Apparently he was only their foster child and when they decided to move to Australia, the county took him away from them. In addition, she states "we had Lassie before we had Timmy. My father had a Lassie, and my grandfather had a Lassie, and this one is very special because it's the last of the line." Which, of course, is a flat lie because the Martins never laid eyes on Lassie before inquiring with Ellen Miller about buying the farm. Evidently the man who wrote this episode (Bud Wiser) knew nothing about the history of the show. Anyway, Ruth states she "remarried fifteen years earlier." No idea what happened to Paul. She also said she sat Timmy down and explained the county taking him away to him, but perhaps because he was so young he had forgotten. Timmy, if you remember, was fourteen when the series ended. I don't think so. Anyway, some brief flashback shots of Jon Provost and "Baby" near the end.
- Will offers to care for a miniature horse named Tinker that belongs to his schoolteacher, Elizabeth Lawson, but a councilwoman is trying to ban "farm animals" from the neighborhood and thus starts harassing the McCulloughs. She then accuses Tinker and Lassie of digging up her prize flowers, so the children set up a camera with a trip wire to check out the culprit. Katherine Squires: Patricia McCormack.
Notes: Timmy does something similar with a tripwire in "The Camera." Will is caring for Tinker because Mrs. Lawson had broken her shoulder. Ms. Squires owns a poodle named Muffin. Tinker is played by "Renegade," owned by Patty Fairchild.
Notes: This episode features Patricia "Patty" McCormack, former child star in the creepy film thriller The Bad Seed.
- "A Dog and His Boy"
- Neil, an autistic boy whose mother is being helped to find a job by Dee, befriends Lassie and forms a bond with her. Reluctantly, Will lets Neil take Lassie home for the night, wondering if the boy doesn't need her more than he does. Can Lassie's other new pal, a little stray dog, solve the problem? Neil Shaw: Gregor Hesse. Nancy Shaw: Susan Powell. Dumpster Operator: Chuck Hicks.
Notes: This story owes a tip of the hat to the Timmy episode "Joey," in which Timmy gives Lassie to a blind friend to be his guide dog. Megan doesn't appear in this episde.
- "New Generation"
- The family is excited when Lassie is expecting her first litter, but it almost takes second place in Will's attention, as his BMX bike club the Glen Ridge Riders is competing in local competitions. Since his bicycle isn't good enough for competition, his teammate Glen persuades another boy named Kyle, who has a new BMX bike, to let Will ride it in the competition. In the meantime, Will wants to sell one of Lassie's puppies to get enough money for a new BMX bicycle, even if the home is not the ideal one for a collie. Glen: Leonardo DeCaprio. Kyle: Trenton Teigan. Marty: Christopher W. King. Starter: Jeff Carmian.
Notes: The first of several episodes with a juvenile Leonardo DeCaprio, and a subtle parable about bigotry toward the overweight. Kyle's mom actually didn't buy the expensive bike; she won it in a raffle. Question: We know one puppy is promised to Mrs. Chadwick, but who are these "sheepherders" Chris states three other puppies are promised to?
- "Once Upon a Time..."
- Mr. Shepherd, a courtly, old-fashioned gentleman, arrives in Glen Ridge just before a fundraising talent show; Megan, who's giving up babyish things, is annoyed by the fantasies he spins for Will. Janey: Cassandra Rachel Friel. Russ: Robert Patrick. Stuntmen: Randy Hall, Charlie Brewer.
Notes: This episode has a cute scene of Dee reading Peter Pan to a little girl that is very reminiscent of Ellen reading to Janie Taylor in the original series. The little girl is even named "Janey"! I believe we have another homage here.
- "Quality Time"
- With Will's help gathering the materials (and Lassie contributing a "dead dog" performance), his troublemaking friend Arnie plays a trick that closes school for the day; instead of going home, the boys go to a construction site where Arnie is determined to ride a piece of the equipment. Arnie Fielding: Josh C. Williams. Mr. Nelson: Kevin McDermott. Becky: Amelia Burnette. Stuntman: Larry Nicholas.
"Guess Who's Coming To Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner?"
- The McCulloughs' accidental houseguest is a dour man who doesn't like children or animals, but he hides a surprising secret: he's the famous children's book author A.W. Leeds who has written about both. In the meantime, Megan enjoys her first job: helping pets be adopted at the Glen Ridge Animal Shelter. Mrs. Webster: Maxine Bowers. Mrs. Chasteen: Ellerine Harding. Andrew Leeds: Roddy McDowall.
Notes: This is the first of three appearances by McDowall as Andrew Leeds. This is the first episode in which Steve comes off as a rather undependable scatterbrain; he invited Leeds to meet him at the McCullough house so they could collaborate on "an article." Of course when Leeds shows up he's nowhere to be found. Spoiler! Leeds is still grieving over the death of his wife and son, killed by a drunk driver.
- "Still Life" (a.k.a. "I'm Still Alive")
- After receiving a troubling telephone call from her doctor, Dee takes Lassie out on an errand for her boss, where the two must take refuge in his crumbling lake cabin during a torrential storm. Dr. Abernathy: Milt Kogan.
Notes: This episode never states why Dee must go into the hospital, but it's implied it's cancer; she states at one point "we were thinking of having another baby," which points to it possibly being uterine or cervical cancer. I found this episode very comforting after having cancer surgery.
- Jonathan Latimer, a practical joker in Will's class, invites him to a party at his home just so he can embarrass Will by making him fall into a mud pit. He's unaware that something in the path of his rope maze may pose a danger to Will. In a subplot, Dee tries to persuade Chris to go to a black-tie fundraiser at Stonehaven, a local mansion. Wayne: Gabriel Damon. Arnie: Josh C. Williams. Jimmy: Chris Demetral. Stuntpersons: Larry Nicholas, Laura Dash.
Notes: The McCulloughs live on Latimer Road, named after Jonathan's great-grandfather, who "practically founded Glen Ridge." They own a local nursery. Jonathan has a "List of Jerks" that he hangs up at the bulletin board at school. The Latimers own a Doberman pinscher as a guard dog at the nursery. For some strange reason, Jonathan is credited as "Jimmy."
- "Just Another Saturday"
- Megan, alone home with Lassie, helps a motorcyclist who had an accident in front of the McCullough home, unaware that the crash split a gas line and fumes are escaping. In the meantime, Will is trying to win a videogame back from Arnie, and Dee and Chris are having a "date afternoon" that is ruined by a rainshower. Matt: Tommy Puett. Arnie: Josh C. Williams. Stunt Man: Kurt Lott.
Notes: Question: Why on earth didn't Lassie bark until she heard Will's voice? Answer: Because if she did the suspense stopped. It wasn't a very good plot device. The subplot with Dee and Chris is also puzzling; one of the best things about this series is that their marriage seems so real and affectionate, probably because the actors were married in real life. So why all of a sudden is Dee worried about not spending enough time with Chris?
- "He's Back"
- One Saturday after he returns from Nome, Uncle Steve takes Megan and Will hang gliding without their parents' knowledge, telling them they'll be perfectly safe; while Steve's solo flight is perfect, the next flight he takes with Will crashes into the side of a bluff. Can Lassie secure a rope at the top of the hill so that Steve and Will can get down? Stunt Doubles: Larry Nicholas, Kim R. Koscki, Joseph Greblo.
Notes: Uncle Steve arrives home in a penguin costume; the McCulloughs also have stuffed penguins in their bookcase. Family joke, perhaps? Evidently the writers of the show took the "Timmy's in trouble" trope to the extreme with Uncle Steve; he seems to have grown up rather irresponsible.
- "Wild West"
- The McCulloughs arrive in the ghost town of Red Tree after Lassie turns up an old photograph of Dee's great-grandfather R.D. Walsh with a cryptic message on the back, making them suspect it may be a clue to a treasure hidden there. But was R.D. really a thief named Reedy Smith? Unbeknownst to them, Red Tree is also the refuge of an escaped convict. Parker: Steve Whittaker. Sheriff/R.D. Walsh: Read Morgan. Deputy Sheriff: Wren T. Brown.
- "Pot Hunters"
- The kids are along as Chris surveys a warehouse site when Lassie discovers some ancient pottery which Steve believes is Native American and may be part of a burial ground. Dee calls her old friend, an archaology professor, now at Fremont University, but pothunters may get to the site before a real dig is arranged. Grace Dickinson: Brandis Kemp. Pot Hunter 1: J. Bill Jones. Pot Hunter 2: Tom De Wier.
Notes: Uncle Steve did a magazine article on the local Indians and believes the fragments are from the Shumash tribe. He apparently once wanted to go on a Harvard-sponsored trip to the Kalihari while in high school. This episode illustrates every disappointing thing about this series. There could have been an element of suspense in the origin of the pothunters, but it was given away immediately, if not by action then by music, so there was only a few seconds of uncertainty at the very end of the act.
- "Watch Your Step"
- Lassie and the kids accompany Chris to a new construction site, where he hopes to work with an old friend, when Megan is attracted by old military relics in a posted area to take photographs. The kids realize there are live artillery shells in the field only after Megan is trapped under some iron piping. Arthur Reynolds: William H. Bassett. Larry Reynolds: Skip Stellrecht. Stuntpersons: Larry Nicholas, Sherry Peterson.
- Will has injured his knee playing soccer and is in bed, home alone (he told Megan it was okay for her to go back to her friend Tracy's house to practice for cheerleading squad) when burglars break in; it's up to Lassie to get help for him. Tracy Edmonston: Jodi Peterson. Nick: George Fisher. Dan: James McIntire.
Notes: It appears that one of the songs Will is playing on his Walkman is the theme song to Charles in Charge. Those Glen Ridge streets are always so busy; you mean no one noticed the guys from the "telephone company" carrying televisions and golf clubs out of the house across the street in broad daylight? No Neighborhood Watch here!
- "Snake Pit"
- A rattlesnake that escaped a crate at Georgio's Produce has invaded a nearby antique store where Will has his covetous eye on a special baseball card. When Dee and Chris give him a sweater for raising his grades (intending to spring a bigger surprise on him later), Will returns the gift and goes back to the store for the card, the rattlesnake bites the proprietor. Will and Lassie are trapped in the store with him, but must get help. Cal: Joseph Whipp. Glen: Leonardo DeCaprio. Georgio: Raymond Hanis. Helper: R. Ruddell Weatherwax. Stuntman: Larry Nicholas.
Notes: Notable to younger movie fans for featuring young DeCaprio. Not a bad story, either; there's finally some suspense!
- Will and his friends, playing softball next to a house that's under renovation by a contractor who beat Chris out for the job, are unaware that an earthquake which hit Glen Ridge during the night has snapped an electrical wire, which is now touching the fence surrounding the property. When the kids' ball lands in the yard, Will is endangered trying to retrieve it. Glen: Robin Thicke. Arnie: Josh C. Williams. Girl: Karen D. Collins. Mr. Fuller: Charles Bouvier. Stuntmen: Don Pulford, John Borland.
- "Kindness is Contagious" (a.k.a. "Crush")
- Will and Lassie befriend Scott Winston, a wheelchair-bound classmate of Megan's, who gives him tips during basketball practice, and discover he has a crush on her, Will urges him to ask her to the class picnic, but he knows she is waiting for popular Roger Carney to ask her. Scott: Anthony Jacobsen. Eddie: Aaron Lohr. Glen: Robin Thicke. Mark: Teron Stevenson.
- Will takes a dare to enter an abandoned house so he can win some coveted baseball cards from his friend Arnie, but it's only after he's trapped inside that an arsonist sets the place on fire and then hurts Lassie in his escape from the house. But will Will's testimony put the arsonist away? Arnie Fielding: Josh C. Williams. Bobby Fielding: Dion Zamora. Peter Boswell: Robert Hanley. Liz Pirelli: Marilyn Mason. Ned Mercer: Jeff Lippa. Gerald Dunn: Chuck Sloan. Judge Fred Arnott: James T. Callahan. Stuntman: Dan Barringer.
Second Season (1990-1991)
"The Diary of Sandy Frank"
- Will's elderly friend Horace may have to give away his little dog Sandy when his landlady decides to forbid pets after her house is renovated, but instead Horace makes a hiding place for the terrier in a vent in the wallwhich endangers Sandy when Ms. Helms has the exterminators in to rid the house of termites. Elizabeth Helms: Margaret O'Brien. Horace Peterson: Gale Gordon. Nurse: Patty Tiffany. Exterminator: Biff Yaeger.
- "Best of Show"
- Megan enters Lassie in a high-society dog show as a way of getting acquainted with handsome Peter Colfax, but when she discovers Peter will do anything to assure his Golden Retriever Stuveysant Duke will win against snobby Steven Boatwright's Royal Red, will she want to keep his friendship? Peter Colfax: Ivan Gueron. Steven Boatwright: Bennett Liss. Fitch: Mitchell Roche.
- "On the Beach"
- The McCulloughs drop Will, Megan, and Tracy at the beach for the day, where Will is discomfited to find out the cool scuba diver he's befriended is a girl, and Megan, at Lassie's instigation, tries to help standoffish David, who's depressed about having to repeat ninth grade, while Tracy is upset because the handsome lifeguard she keeps making eyes at just keeps hitting on Megan. Frankie Warren: Debbie Sloboda. David Bach: Jay Lambert. Tracy Edmonston: Jodi Peterson. Matt Miller: Brett Bollinger.
Notes: Frankie will appear in two more episodes.
- "Leeds, The Judge"
- Will, trying to impress Frankie by entering an essay contest, plagarizes a piece about a first kiss that Megan wrote in her diary. Unfortunately, his deed comes to light when the essay is chosen by the family's friend, author A.W. Leeds, for a prize. Meanwhile, Leeds finds the councilwoman sponsoring the contest is someone familiar. Andrew Leeds: Roddy McDowall. Margaret Sullivan: Erin Gray. Frankie Warren: Debbie Sloboda. Secretary: Pamela Putnam.
Notes: If you've seen the classic film An Affair to Remember, part of the plotline will be familiar.
- "The Gathering of the Clans"
- At the annual MacPherson/McCullough clan gathering, Megan falls for the cute son of the MacPherson clan chief, Will withdraws Lassie from a sheepherding contest when he realizes she will be outclassed by trained collies, and an affable land developer has pretty much convinced Scotty MacPherson to sell the property on which their mountain lodge is built; when he raises opposition, Chris is injured in a mysterious explosion. Scotty MacPherson: Theodore Bikel. James L. Wahlaczek: Robert Walker. Bryan MacPherson: Michael Landes. Bill MacPherson: Eric Server. The Clansman: Hap Lawrence. Rob: Adam Consolo. Kid #2: Scott Cleveland.
Notes: Walker refers to himself as "Jamie" Wahlaczek and it says "Wahlaczek" on the side of his truck. So why is he credited as "Jim Bowers"?
- "The Stranger"
- A convicted murderer escapes from jail with one thought: to get revenge on the man who helped convict him, the proprietor of a soon-to-be-opening Glen Ridge hardware store where Will has a part-time job helping to prepare the store for its first day. Harold Delaney/Carl Nelson: Matt Roe. Glen Douglas/Jack Savoy: John Walcutt. Captain Kelner: Don Matheson.
Notes: Nelson Hardware is on Acorn Street.
- "The Kitty Saver"
- A man drops three kittens in a box off at the Willingham Animal Shelter although Dee and Megan have told him it is closing from lack of funds, and Lassie is kept busy rescuing the trio from storm drains, fast cars, and the construction site next door, as well as aiding the bespectacled nebbish who lives nearby, especially after his wife falls off a ladder. Fred: Don Most. Jim Berger: John Lawlor. Workman: Arell Blanton. City Workman: Lance Roberts. Stuntman: Ray Baum.
Notes: "Jim Berger" must be the guy with glasses, although you never hear his name. His wife Linda is not credited.
- "Slumber Party"
- Megan's best friend Tracy feels she's being ignored while Megan gets to know Gail, a new classmate (even though Megan has done her best to persuade Tracy to like Gail as well), and her feelings come to a head at a slumber party given by the McCulloughs, where Tracy and Will must work together to help Lassie, who suffers an allergic reaction to a bee sting. When the pair put in a call to a veterinarian, they get the surprise of their lives. Dr. Rita Francis: Geri Jewell. Tracy Edmonston: Jodi Peterson. Gail Anderson: Heather Hopper. Karen: Shonda Whipple. Frankie Warren: Debbie Sloboda.
The veterinarian advisor was Chris Cauble, DVM. "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other gold" is half the theme to this episode, while the other is "Don't judge a book by its cover" (or a doctor for that matter).
- "The Amazing Lassie"
- Will and Lassie's ESP act to raise money for the school gymnasium (the class that raises the most money will get a day off school) is a hit, but has an unexpected result; when a hacker deletes the contest information from the school's computers, Will's classmates urge him to get Lassie to ferret out who tampered with the data. Charlie Pellam: Nicholas Pryor. Jason: Elijah Shephard. Sara: Nicole Brown. Arnie: Josh C. Williams.
Notes: Wait, isn't that Nikki? Why is she credited as Sara?
- "The Cave"
- Megan is eager to photograph petroglyphs in a cave that Will has told her about, but he seems determined to spook her on the way there by reading from a book that tells the spooky tale of a haunted cave, so she doesn't want to believe him when he warns her the cave is dangerous. After a rockslide, the children and Lassie are trapped inside the cave, and it will take all of Lassie's instincts to get them out before rising water fills the interior.
- "Lassie, P.I."
- While at a party at the wealthy Hoff home, Dee is accused of stealing the Lucerne diamonds, a valuable brooch, but Will and Lassie are on the case. Could a cute little poodle named Tiki be in on the theft? Howard Hoff: Warren Munson. Gloria Hoff: Bridget Hanley. Jamie Hoff: Dorian Barag. Stephanie: Cathey Paine. Jack Westland: Jeffrey Hayenga. Lt. Dawson: Ron Canada.
Notes: Another potentially good plot played totally for laughs except at the very end. Disappointing.
- "Hit and Run"
- Lassie stalks the culprit who struck and injured her puppy Laddie at one of Chris' construction sites, the restoration of an old building; very soon part of the scaffolding on the site collapses from what Chris suspects is sabotage—an event Lassie knows was committed by the same man who hurt Laddie. Judd Garrett: Peter White. Kyle: Aeryk Egan. Bill Davis: Conrad Bachman. Dr. Woods: Susie Duff. Stunt Driver: Ray Baum.
Notes: It's a different boy playing Kyle, who was originally featured in "New Generation." Yes, you saw correctly: Lassie frames the guygranted, he did it, but she does frame him!
- "Nikki's Family"
- The McCulloughs play host to a little girl named Nikki, whose father is looking for a new position in Sacramento, and who is thought odd because she talks to her three favorite antiques from her father's storebut only Lassie can hear when Nikki's toys talk back. Bernie's voice: Bruce Lanoil. Harry's voice: David Strassman. May's voice: Terri Hardin.
Notes: This is a very odd episode! Nikki's pals are two stuffed bears who talk like 1930s vaudevillians, Bernie and May, and a gumball machine (?) named Harry.
- "Dog Day Afternoon"
- In the tradition of "Lassie's Day" and "The Sermon" from the original series, Lassie is trying to return a little girl's lost doll and finds herself helping others in the process. Roxanne: Gloria Reuben. Jim: Norman Barnard.
- "The Represa"
- The family returns from a combination pleasure/business trip to Mexico to discover Carlos Vasquez, son of the craftsman they bought handcrafted tile from, hiding in the back of their car with his little dog Fernando; on the way to return him, they are endangered by a torrential rainstorm which threatens to destroy a dam. Carlos Vasquez: Isaac Ocampo. Emilio Vasquez: Richard Yniguez. Sasa Vasquez: Jeanne Linero. Raoul: Joe Rosario.
- "The Commercial"
- The McCulloughs (including Lassie) are hired to portray a typical family in a television commercial for a pet care product, but the job isn't as easy as it seems; the corny dialog keeps tripping them up, and the director keeps changing things, including replacing Lassie with a cocker spaniel, but Megan, who's eager to brag to her friends about appearing on television, keeps urging them not to quit. Keith (Director): James Karen. Paula: Jayne Martin.
Notes: Evidently supposed to be humorous with a lesson at the end. Sadly, a waste of everyone's talents.
- "Fallen Idol"
- Will wants desperately to go to baseball camp and knows Chris will have enough money for it if he takes a job designing a bar for classmate Jonathan's father,
but Chris refuses to do the job, even though he's out of work and could use the job. The kids realize there's something else behind the refusal, but no one will tell them what it is. Roger Latimer: Paul Tuerpé. Jonathan Latimer: Chris Demetral.
Notes: This episode has a basis in fact; the same situation existed for Dee Wallace as for her fictional character Dee McCullough.
- "Punch Drunk" (a.k.a. "Punch with Rum")
- Megan is talked into participating in an unchaperoned party at Tracy's house, not knowing that the girl has secretly spiked the punch because some senior boys have promised to show up. But it isn't funny when Will and Lassie sample the drink and then head home via a broken bridge. Tracy Edmonston: Jodi Peterson. Matt: Brett Bollinger. Will's Stunt Double: Larry Nicholas.
Notes: This may explain why Will is using crutches in "A Rabbit's Tale." Perhaps her parents' revelation in the previous episode is also what makes her so adimant to Tracy as well.
- "A Rabbit's Tale"
- Megan refuses to give up two rabbits which were stolen from a research lab by a friend's father, an animal activist, but the police track the animals down and demand their return. In a subplot, the McCulloughs have a mouse in the kitchen, but don't notice that Lassie is hindering its capture. Officer Carmichael: Ron Kuhlman. Tracy Edmonston: Jodi Peterson. Jessica: Jessica Ward.
Notes: Will claims he's setting the traps to catch the mouse and set it freenot with those mousetraps! They're built to kill mice.
- "A Will and a Way"
- Will, returning home with Andrew Leeds and Lassie after a book-signing tour, is being allowed to fly Leeds' airplane. When a bird crashes into the windshield, Will loses control and the plane crashes, leaving Leeds blinded and Will losing blood from an arm wound. It's up to Lassie to rescue them. Andrew Leeds: Roddy McDowall. Dr. Dawson: Cyndi James Gossett.
Notes: The last of three appearances by Roddy McDowall.
- "Hostage: A Dog's Life"
- While shopping for a birthday gift, Dee is taken hostage by a young, injured, and desperate fugitive with one murder already under his belt. When Lassie attempts to free her, she is held hostage herself, and Will risks his life to get into the building to save his dog. Brody: Lance Kerwin. Lieutenant Dawson: Ron Canada. Stuntmen: Larry Nichols, Kim R. Koscki.
- "Twin Pekes"
- The McCulloughs were at the lake, and Will and Lassie nearby, when Mark Wadner allegedly murdered Susan Jacobs. Now Dee is the lone holdout on the jury, believing they have not proven that the man is guilty. The jury's brought back to the lake hotel, hoping being at the crime scene will help them come to a resolution, when an obviously troubled Lassie sees a familiar figure and takes chase with the kids in tow, and they see Susan Jacobs, alive, hanging out with a motorcycle gang. But will the police believe them? Sheldon Kurtz; Frank Webster. Susan Jacobs: Janet Gunn. Deputy Kirby: Todd Bridges. Amelia: Holly Gagnier. The Blond Woman: Tiffany Poston.
Notes: The title refers to the emblem on both the shirt and jacket Susan wears, a dagger stabbing the heads of two Pekinese dogs, but is an obvious nod to the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer on the offbeat series Twin Peaks, which premiered just before this season of New Lassie started filming and became an instant hint. Will, in response to Chris' bafflement about Megan's interest in the crime, blames it on Murder, She Wrote. The real mystery about this episode is why the "hotel" they're at is the McCullough/MacPherson clan lodge (see "Gathering of the Clans," above), which they decided not to sell. Do they rent it out when the clan isn't meeting there?
- "The Computer Study"
- Will is hoping Lassie will be the dog chosen for the test of a computer system that will help disabled people, but she is distracted during the preliminary tests. In the meantime, Uncle Steve discovers that the designer of the system is none other than an old friend from his childhood. Professor Jeffrey Miller: Tom Rettig. Charlie: Alexander Polinsky. Liz: Nicole Niblack. Dog Owner #1: Marianne Ludwig. Dog Owner #2: Dan Woren. Dog Owner #3: Pepper Martin.
Notes: Tom Rettig, who actually designed and was improving on the dog-operated piece of software that is featured in this episode, reprises his role as Jeff Miller.
New Lassie screencaps:
||The acknowledgement at the end of "Occurrence at Glen Ridge"
||Will hugs Lassie.
||The incredible "Timmy?" moment.
||Roddy McDowall as Andrew Leeds.
||The "I believe" scene at the conclusion of "Once Upon a Time..."
||The closing scene from "I'm Still Alive."
||The "Timmy?" moment, Mark 2, in "The Computer Study."
||Jeff Miller meets a new Lassie.