And A Cup Of Kindness, Too

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Episode Two
And A Cup Of Kindness, Too
Wednesday February 14, 1979 8pm (Eastern)
Saturday June 2, 1979 10pm (Eastern)

Larry Linville
Barbara Rhoades
Also Starring
Keith Mitchell
Rachel Jacobs
Special Guest Star
Dick Van Dyke

Supervising Producer Robert Stambler
Written by Shimon Wincelberg
Produced and Directed by Rod Amateau

     The second episode of the series and the first one-hour show is "And A Cup Of Kindness, Too" featuring Dick Van Dyke as guest star.  This episode devotes a fairly lengthy amount of time to events prior to Supertrain's departure from New York.  We are introduced to Van Dyke as a poor soul who has fallen and can't get up in NYC's Grand Central lobby.  Coming from my smalltown Midwestern background, all the New Yorkers do just what one would expect them to do...ignore and step over Van Dyke as they hurry along their way.  Along comes kindly "M*A*S*H"-regular Larry Linville to aid the floor-hugging Van Dyke.  The two later meet up in a lounge at Grand Central and Larry explains to Dick the sorry state of his ailing marriage to fellow guest star Barbara Rhoades
     As Robert MacKenzie states in his TV Guide Review of the series, this episode shamelessly hijacks major elements from the plot of Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" from 1951.  Van Dyke begins stalking Rhoades in an overly friendly manner and appears to be determined to relieve Linville of his trouble by knocking off poor Barbara Rhoades.  This little favor is done as repayment for Linville's kind gesture of aiding Van Dyke back at Grand Central. 
     As Supertrain speeds west on its way to Los Angeles, Linville figures out the danger his wife is in and becomes frantic in his attempts to get ahead of the train, onboard it, and stop Van Dyke's evil plan.  In typical fashion, Supertrain's crew is not overly concerned nor are they much help to poor Larry.  A frantic phone call from Linville is greeted with a "I'm must too busy to be bothered" response from both Patrick Collins and Edward Andrews' characters.  Linville does finally intercept Supertrain at Chicago and makes it to Rhoades just as she's apparently downed some poision laced warm milk and settled in for a long nap. 
     Does Rhoades survive?  Is Van Dyke charged with attempted murder?  This is TV remember and we're approaching the last commercial break, so naturally she's fine.  Turns out Van Dyke was simply trying to cause Linville a nervous breakdown, buy airline tickets at full price at the last minute to get ahead of Supertrain, and finally demonstrate his true love and affection for his estranged wife.      
     As the episode closes, we are shown that Dick is up to his old tricks again.  He's seen on the floor of what is presumably Los Angeles Union Station, though it looks just like the New York set's floor, reeling in his next victim. 

     This is the second episode filmed for the series.  Shooting is listed as taking place beginning January 5, 1979 and ending January 16th.  The story is by Shimon Wincelberg and the episode carried production #7402.  With a script in place on December 8, 1978 and air date planned for February 14, 1979.

TV Guide February 10-16, 1979
-TV Guide February 10-16, 1979 featuring none-other-than William Shakespeare.  If you just gasped and said, "What the hell is a picture of Shakespeare doing on this silly Supertrain site!"...Then you either have seen every episode multiple times or you're just a snob.
TV Guide "And A Cup Of Kindness, Too" Episode Synopsis:
A deranged man(Dick Van Dyke) plans to repay a kindness by killing the estranged wife of his benefactor.

"And A Cup Of Kindness, Too" Competiton: 
ABC proclaimed it was "Another Great Wednesday Night on ABC" in its full-page TV Guide ad for its line-up against "Supertrain."  That night ABC ran "Eight Is Enough" at 8pm; had Farrah Fawcett back as a guest star on "Charlie's Angels"; and finished the night with "Vegas"
CBS ran a pair of Valentine's Day animated specials against the second installment of "Supertrain":  "Bug Bunny's Valentine" featuring the Looney Tunes characters and "The Popeye Valentine Special: Sweethearts at Sea"
NBC finsihed its Wednesday night after "Supertrain" by debuting the Natalie Wood TV-miniseries "From Here To Eternity"