JESSE HAWKES (April 1989 - May 1989) -- season only, episode ? -- With second "Special Guest Star" billing, James Morrison plays a deputy sheriff in a small town in California.

Having spent most of their lives in the rugged and beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains (as presented in the 1988 TV series HIGH MOUNTAIN RANGERS), Jesse Hawkes and his sons, Matt and Cody (played by real-life sons, Christian and Shane Conrad), relocated to San Francisco.

The move was prompted when Matt was taken to a hospital there to recover from serious injuries suffered during a drug bust in the mountains. Jesse and Cody followed to be close to him and to find the drug dealers who were responsible. After solving the case they stayed on, working as detective/bounty hunters, using the skills they had developed as rangers to help them track down criminals.

While on the road to a peaceful fishing vacation, the Hawkes boys are accidentally caught up in an intrigue. The family stops for lunch in the seemingly peaceful town of Sutter. Jesse and Matt sit down to eat while Cody goes to bank for spending money. Unfortunately, this bank is about to be held up.

Already inside the bank are two thugs and their Ferrari-driving, shotgun- toting, Mafioso-type leader named... Robbie. Cody becomes one of their five hostages, as they secure the bank. Robbie starts unloading the bank’s vault, but he is disappointed to find out that the million-dollar delivery he expected to find has not yet arrived.

Meanwhile in the Ferrari, Robbie’s new girlfriend, Baby, anxiously awaits her lover’s return. She becomes suspicious when the bank guard suddenly closes the shutters and curtains. She goes to the bank’s door and finds Matt Hawkes looking for his brother. The two of them barge into the bank together.

Cody yells a warning to Matt, and Matt leaps through a glass window to escape. Baby remains inside, quite surprised to find that her new love is a criminal.

Matt alerts the town to the threat, and the sheriff and his deputy arrive. Sheriff Thompson hopes to settle the matter and enters the bank to talk about a solution. He tries to convince Robbie to surrender. Robbie responds by shooting the sheriff in the back as he exits the bank.

Deputy Sheriff Kenny Kyle takes over. He grabs a megaphone and confronts Robbie, threatening him. Robbie threatens back and names his demands -- deliver the armored truck and it’s million-dollar delivery or he starts shooting hostages.

Over enthusiastic with his newly found power, Kyle plays at odds with veteran lawman, Jesse Hawkes. Hawkes insists that a trade, money for hostages, would put the robbers in a more vulnerable position. But Kyle wants to rush the thugs in the bank. He sets up Robbie to be taken out by a sharpshooter with a second police force ready to take the bank from the rear.

Kyle lures Robbie outside the bank again, but his plan fails when one of Robbie’s men sees the sharpshooter on the roof. Robbie rushes back inside, and the three bandits hold off the cops advancing from the back of the bank with gunfire. The cops retreat, but Robbie isn’t satisfied. He sends one of the hostages, the bank security guard, out the front door and shoots him dead in the middle of the street.

Kyle finally concedes and Hawkes comes up with a plan. He sends Matt to find the armored truck and bring it back. Then Hawkes goes in to negotiate with the robbers. They agree to a trade, the money for the hostage.

Matt arrives with the truck, disguised in the uniform of the regular security driver. Robbie and the others check out the truck and attempt to take an additional hostage, a pregnant bank teller. Hawkes refuses, insisting that he take the driver, only, as his hostage. Robbie reluctantly agrees and heads back into the bank to return the girl.

Kyle runs up to Hawkes to remind him that the agreement was NO hostages at all. Then Kyle carelessly says, "The only reason you’re in this is because your kid’s in there." One of the robbers overhears this and tells Robbie. Robbie decides that his best insurance would be to take the driver AND Cody, who, because he is the only young hostage in the group, is the only likely choice to be Hawkes’ child.

The robbers depart with Matt, Cody and Baby in tow. But on the road, the armored truck starts to overheat. They pull over, and Matt convinces them the vehicle cannot be repaired. Robbie attempts to pull over a car headed in their direction. The car stops, and Hawkes jumps out of the driver’s seat. Taking advantage of the diversion, Matt gets a hold of one bandit and Cody, with Baby’s help, gets the other.

The Hawkes’ boys save the day and return to San Francisco to play a relaxing game of basketball.

Best line of the piece is watching Morrison yell, "I’m in charge here, Hawkes!" six years before filming a foot of McQueen/Cooper footage. Additional information provided from a review in THE COMPLETE DIRECTORY TO PRIME TIME NETWORK AND CABLE TV SHOWS by Tim Brooks.

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