The Bronx Is Burning — Episode #3 (aired 7/24)
Like any good movie miniseries, this one’s starting to ratchet up the soap opera scenarios… and the tension. This is easily the best episode: solid focus, fantastic use of file footage, and improved direction and editing. The special effects are still shockingly bad, but they’re sort of adding to the ’70s kitsch.
:: Fran Healy (Loren Dean) organizes an old-fashioned sitdown with Reggie Jackson (Daniel Sunjata) and Thurman Munson (Erik Jensen) in order to clear the air. Munson makes his opinions quite clear.
:: Jimmy Breslin (Michael Rispoli, nailing the voice) fires off a reply to the “.44 Caliber Killer” which runs in The Daily News.
:: The famous dugout fight between Billy Martin (John Turturro) and Jackson occurs during an early-season series in Boston. As part of the fallout, George Steinbrenner (Oliver Platt) desperately wants to fire Martin. And we get a glimpse as to how badly Martin wants to keep his job.
:: While the NYC cops scope out the right nightclub, they BS about the state of the Yankees. And then the “Son of Sam” walks by…
The best extras yet. We get the actual footage from that infamous day in Boston — man, does Sunjata nail all the body language — and a handful of Yankees discuss exactly what happened. Did Reggie loaf in charging Jim Rice’s single? Was Martin crazy for pulling Reggie from the game?
Willie Randolph: “I could see things materializing from the dugout and I thought, ‘Oh boy, here we go…'”
Chris Chambliss: “Billy was on edge and I don’t think he had a problem embarrasing Reggie on national TV”.
Reggie: “It never entered my mind that he was showing me up. I was gonna challenge him when he came in to the locker room. Fran Healy came in and told me to get dressed and go home. He said ‘You can’t get in a fight with a manager. You’ll get blackballed from baseball.'”
Miss the episode? It’s available online via ABC: The Bronx Is Burning Episode #3