The NASH BRIDGES overall meta-series theme again surfaces in a darker rendition of the troubled state of gender relationships in this fourth episode. Don Johnson's women troubles in his glamorous public life has been coyly woven into the premise of his character - a man with two ex-wives. Other characters in NASH BRIDGES, especially Joe Dominguez, amplify the theme of men dealing with difficult and sometimes hurtful women.
In "High Impact," it's difficult to ignore that the masculine world of NASH BRIDGES is ubiquitously influenced by women. The duality of women range from positive to negative. On the positive side is the Mayor - an African-American woman, and on the negative side is Alpha, the mad bomber. In this fictional world of San Francisco, the diminished state of masculinity can seen in Nash's father suffering from Alzheimer's.
In NASH BRIDGES, women do temperamental things which jam up men's lives. Nash's sister Stacy blows up at the nursing home causing her father Nick to be kicked out. Nash's ex-wife Lisa makes it difficult for Nash by refusing to answer a simple phone call. Stacy shows up late forcing Nash to leave Nick alone, which in turn causes Nick to wander off. NASH BRIDGES' view of women is inescapable - they're a major source of misery. In previous episodes, the focus was on Nash's two ex-wives, but in this episode, the view of women has widened out to include sisters and mad bombers.
As if to amplify this type of masculine pain and suffering, in this episode we learn of two painful memories from Nash's past. The first bit of revelation is that Nash had a beloved dog named Jumbo for 12 years. Nick tearfully reveals to Nash that he had to put the dog to sleep, implying that Alzheimer-stricken Nick would also like to die with dignity. There is deep pain here, and it is Nash's father again who mistakes Nash for his dead brother Bobby, who disappeared in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. As his father leaves, the episode ends with a close-up on Nash's face showing a man facing up to almost unbearable loss and pain.
We can't leave this week's episode without noting the timing of this "mad bomber" episode with the capture last week of the Unabomber. Good timing or coincidence? In the popular culture, fiction often precedes fact, and if it doesn't, it comes damn close.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 4