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Cult TV: The Master Episode 12 – ‘Rogues’

July 25, 2022 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Master 1-12 3 Image Credit: Kino Lorber

Here’s one to post. For reference on this…with Tweets, all we need to do to embed the tweet is put the URL of the tweet. We almost always want those embeds down at the bottom of the article so it doesn’t disrupt the flow. The exception is where we have multi-news posts of smaller bits, we’ll keep the embeds with the video.

Cult TV Issue #17: The Master Episode 12

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest issue of Cult TV. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

With only two reviews left for The Master (I’m including the review you’re about to read in that count) I think it’s high time that I announce what the heck Cult TV is going to look at next. I said a few issues ago that I was looking at doing either the Wes Craven produced/Robert Englund starring horror fantasy show Nightmare Café or the TV show sequel to the Blade movie trilogy, Blade: The Series. And so, after much consideration, not to mention hemming and hawing and whatnot, I’ve decided to do Nightmare Café. It’s only six episodes and, basically, it won’t take as long as The Master. And then I might do Blade: The Series after that, or maybe I’ll find something else. There are plenty of cool shows to check out.

I really need to finish off Street Hawk at some point. Maybe that will happen after Nightmare Café. Maybe.

I’ve got The Master to complete before all of that, though. So let’s do that.

Here are the links to reviews for the first eleven episodes of The Master, just in case you missed them for some reason (or want to read them again):

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3
Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

And now, onto the twelfth episode of The Master.


Episode 12: “Rogues”

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

Director: Gordon Hessler
Writer: S.S. Schweitzer

“Rogues” starts off with a corrupt cop, Loring (Kaz Garas), trying to kill another cop who knows that he’s a corrupt cop (Jerry Donovan, played by Paul Tulley) at police HQ (or maybe it’s the police academy? It sure as heck looks like the place that T.J. Hooker worked out of on T.J. Hooker). This is all done right out in the open and it’s all okay somehow. You would think that a cop trying to shoot a fellow cop at police HQ would generate at least a small crowd of other cops wondering what the hell is going on. Doesn’t really happen. The scene then shifts to Max Keller (Timothy Van Patten) learning a new ninja lesson (how to do ninja flips and whatnot) from master ninja John Peter McAllister (Lee Van Cleef). Keller can sort of do a flip, but he can’t do a flip like McAllister (Lee Van Cleef’s stunt double is a very skilled gymnast).

After completing the ninja lesson, McAllister and Keller head to an aerobics studio where Keller has a friend in need, a woman named Talia Donovan (Cindy Harrell). It turns out that scumbag bad guy cop Loring has been harassing Talia and that Jerry Donovan is Talia’s brother. And Loring is there in the studio and as soon as he sees McAllister and Keller he starts giving both of them shit. It doesn’t take long for a martial arts fight to break out, as Loring has some martial arts skills. It also doesn’t take long for McAllister to wipe the floor with Loring because McAllister’s martial arts skills are obviously superior to whatever skills Loring has. Loring sulks away and McAllister and Keller learn more from Talia about what the heck is going on.

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

So then some stuff happens, Loring meets up with his fellow corrupt cops (one of them is played by the now late but always great Frank Pesce), and then they meet up with Campion (Keith McConnell), a guy who runs a high end boutique of some sort in Beverly Hills. Apparently Loring and his bad cop crew are planning some sort of robbery at Campion’s boutique and it all needs to happen soon. The whole “Jerry Donovan still being alive” thing could screw that all up.

So then some more stuff happens, McAllister and Keller get a written message from Jerry Donovan, and then they head to a sort of college party with Talia. Some more stuff happens, McAllister and Keller foil an attempted robbery at the college party by some of the corrupt cops wearing burglar gear, and then the corrupt cops show up as cops to “investigate the scene.” It’s at this point that McAllister figures out that Loring and his fellow cops are full on criminals and they need to be stopped. So McAllister heads to the police HQ and confronts Loring. There’s some back and forth between the two, McAllister shoots a gun at a paper target and manages to get all six shots to fit into the same hole, and McAllister vows to take Loring down.

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

Now, while all of that is going on, Frank Pesce’s Officer Thomas attacks Keller at Talia’s apartment for some reason, and Keller finds a big clue as to what Loring and his bad guy cops are up to. Then McAllister gets a tip and is told to go to the police HQ that night to get more info. McAllister agrees to the meeting, but he also knows that the meeting is really all a set up by Loring. That fact doesn’t stop McAllister to don his ninja outfit and head to the police HQ to kick ass. And yes, McAllister kicks major ass.

After the full on corrupt cop beat down, McAllister goes back to Keller and Talia and they head to the boutique and meet up with Talia’s brother Jerry, they find a crate of stolen goods that Loring really wants, and they decide to go to the district attorney with all of their evidence. Before they can get there Loring and his corrupt cop team ambush everyone and take Jerry and Talia hostage. The next day McAllister meets with Loring again in public and they come up with a scheme where if McAllister gives Loring the stolen goods Loring will release Jerry and Talia.

And so McAllister and Keller head to the big hostage handover knowing full well that Loring once again is planning some sort of ambush. General ninja violence and whatnot ensues, including a brief, unsatisfactory final fight between McAllister and Loring.

“Rogues” is, at best, a middling episode of The Master. It has an interesting premise (ninja versus corrupt cops) and a decent enough sleazebag bad guy in Kaz Garas as Loring, but the story never really gels. The episode starts out with some juice and energy (a cop trying to kill another cop at cop HQ is pretty messed up) but then it never lives up to what we see at the very beginning. Stuff just happens and then the episode is over. The action throughout is also middling, which is annoying. Why aren’t there more scenes of Loring and his team shooting at McAllister and Keller? And why isn’t the final fight between McAllister and Loring a better fight? I mean, yes, we know that Loring doesn’t have the skills that McAllister has but you’d think that Loring, being a full on piece of shit, would be able to get the upper hand for a few seconds with some underhanded fighting. The final fight is about as exciting as the first fight between McAllister and Loring (and that fight is not exciting at all).

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

The chemistry between Timothy Van Patten and Cindy Harrell is also lacking. You can tell they’re trying to show that they know one another and like one another and whatnot but it just doesn’t work. They’re just actors in a TV show going through the motions. Paul Tulley isn’t all that interesting as Jerry Donovan. He’s just some guy.

The episode does have a few fun moments. The bit where McAllister at the police shooting range is incredibly badass. There’s a part at the college party where one of the partygoers believes McAllister is an actor who appeared in numerous spaghetti westerns. And then there’s Gretchen (Lynne Randall), a woman at the aerobics studio that keeps telling McAllister that he’s out of shape. Is she just teasing him because she secretly has the hots for him, or is she telling him that because she’s one of the health loons that thinks everyone is out of shape? The episode’s final sequence involves McAllister beating up multiple martial arts instructors at the aerobics studio, showing Gretchen that he isn’t out of shape at all.

And Frank Pesce is fun. But then when isn’t Frank Pesce fun? I do wish he was a part of a better episode. Why wasn’t he in the New York City set episode? Would the Beverly Hills Police Department really have a guy that sounds like Frank Pesce?

“Rogues” is just okay. It isn’t bad but it isn’t all that great, either. It’s just sort of there.

One more episode to go.

Image Credit: Kino Lorber

Rating: 2.5/5


Next issue: The Master Episode 13: “A Place to Call Home”

Image Credit: Kino Lorber


The Master Episode 12: “Rogues” IMDB page

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