The Tall Man breaks out from the hospital as episode 5 of The Hardy Boys begins with this behemoth going after the brothers, complete with a knife and some crucial gear.
Meanwhile, Frank speaks to Fenton’s old partner Sam regarding information on J.B., specifically who he is and his background. It turns out J.B. is a thief for hire and has only been caught once. He looks for high risk jobs for anonymous clients and it seems like he may have a connection to Khan. This last point however, is not confirmed right now but just a theory from Frank.
When Trudy returns, Sam worries given Fenton’s “gone dark” on his case. If you remember, the last we saw of him he was being followed down the street. Has something happened?
Upstairs, Frank echoes what Sam told him and Joe seems to have clues regarding the drop point which he’s trying to decipher. He believes that the Tall Man knows about the artifact inside the idol but is convinced that J.B. doesn’t, given he’s just the delivery boy.
Instead the pair take the letters listed on the paper and set to work trying to decipher the code. As they find a breakthrough, everything seems to hint toward a brick factory nearby. The two arrows also seem to be hands of a clock. Now they have their place and a specified time too. It looks like they could be on to something.
Joe and Frank investigate the factory and start looking around for clues. They place the idol on the floor as bait, intending to figure out exactly who the buyer is. A strange hooded man shows and breaks open the idol but obviously nothing is inside. The boys blow their cover and chase this figure through the factory, eventually losing him by the back door.
Joe meanwhile happens to be outside with J.B. He’s back and wanted to know who the buyer is too given he had a lot of money on the line with this. Just before he leaves, J.B. warns the duo to leave and get out while they still can.
Back home, Gloria heads over to Trudy’s but the reception she receives is icy, to say the least. Gloria apologizes for not being fair to the family and claims to be there to help. Trudy is obviously suspicious and remains guarded over her presence. Gloria instead tries a different tact and tries to bribe her off with a ploy to get her artwork looked at by prospective buyers.
The Tall Man returns and after a brief call in the phone box to his contact, gets back on course with the plan. As he does, Joe and Frank return to the brick factory in a bid to find any scraps of evidence left behind. And evidence is what they find.
A scrap of fabric is caught on a doorway which could hold the clues they desire. The Tall Man sneaks in after them though and eventually chases them through the building. In a touch of Deja vu, the hunter becomes the hunted but the pair just about manage to make it back to Wilt’s.
There, they team up with the rest of the kids and break the news about the artifact Joe’s uncovered. After discussing the boat together, Joe and Frank believe their Mother was killed. When Biff suggests getting her Mum involved, they refuse and she walks away in a huff.
The rest of the group decide to trick the Tall Man and make a duplicate of Joe’s artifact. With this in hand, they lure the Tall Man to a secluded, isolated stable. Biff joins them and together they trap him inside a cage. Phoning the police, Jesse brings the boys back but is clearly wary when she notices Gloria there.
Instead she heads back to the police station where Jesse shows up before the Tall Man to ask him some questions. She mentions the boat and even brings up Ern’s name too, wondering if he’s done something to the boy. This piques the man’s interest and when she mentions finding out who he is, he bites back, “What if I don’t exist?”
The Episode Review
With all the kids together now, this episode definitely starts to feel some fatigue with some added filler. The various scenes between Gloria and Trudy could easily have been condensed down into a single scene and some of the incidents with the factory – while good – could have been a little tighter too.
Still, in short bursts this series isn’t actually that bad but as a continuous binge-watch, it’s obvious that The Hardy Boys does have a bit of a pacing issue. Given the frenetic start to this one, let’s hope this one is just catching its breath before exploding into action again.