Classic Episodes: Wiseguy – Blood Dance

Another of our look at classic episodes from the golden age of TV. On its surface, Wiseguy was just one more action show created by Stephen J. Cannell (Hunter, The A-Team), this one about undercover Fed Vinnie Terranova. But the series pioneered an unusual structure: multiepisode arcs that unfolded like miniseries within the series.

Over the weeks, viewers, like Vinnie, came to know and even identify with the bad guys, sharing the peculiar intimacy the undercover agent has with his quarry. Wiseguy was about the seductiveness of evil, and rarely has evil been more appealing than in the form of sinister siblings Mel and Susan Profitt. Played with almost gleeful intensity by Spacey, Mel runs guns, topples governments, shoots dope, believes in the power of crystals, and admires 19th-century economist Thomas Malthus — as well as his own sexy sister (Severance).

In “Blood Dance,” Mel cracks when an agent shatters the crystal he believes harbors his soul. “Send me home,” he begs his sis. She obliges, giving him a drug overdose and a Viking funeral.

Orginal Airdate: February 22, 1988

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.