Episode: Season 1, Episode 18
Title: White Bird
Previous: Chariot Of Gold
Next: Knight Moves
Michael and KITT must come to the rescue of a paralegal secretary who is embroiled in criminal naughtiness, thanks to her crooked boss and his gangland activities. Complicating matters is that the secretary, Stephanie "Stevie" Mason, was actually the fiancée of Michael Long, Michael Knight's presumed-dead former identity. Awkward...
Tropes peculiar to this episode:
- Affectionate Nickname: Stevie goes by her real name Stephanie throughout the episode. When Michael at one point calls her "Stevie" she notes that she doesn't use that name anymore, implying that it was Michael Long's pet name for her.
- Amoral Attorney: Gilbert Cole, Stevie's crooked crooked boss, launders money and throws cases for the local mob.
- Clear My Name: When Stevie is arrested as a material witness, the bad guys frame her for the crime. It helps that they have a Dirty Cop under their thumb who can falsify an arrest record for her, damaging her credibility.
- Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Michael, investigating Gilbert Cole's office, finds a day planner with the name of local mob boss Anthony Solan written in it, and this is enough to convince Michael that Cole is an Amoral Attorney. Because, you know, a mob boss could never possibly have a legitimate use for a lawyer's services.
- Dirty Cop: Donner, a vice cop, is on Cole's and/or Solan's payroll.
- Foreshadowing: Devon tells Michael, "If you tell her the truth [about your identity], she will always be in danger from your enemies." Fast forward a few years... owch.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: KITT criticizes Michael's singing along with the radio. "'C' is beyond your grasp; and 'D' is beyond your vision." The joke would be on KITT by next season. And even more so by the fourth season episode 'Knight Song', in which it is revealed KITT himself couldn't carry a tune if he had a trailer and tow hitch.
- The Ingenue: Stevie just can't believe her boss is a gangland flunkie... until he tries to pin the crime on her. She's also immediately trusting of Michael, who is supposedly a complete stranger to her, though for him at least it's because she recognizes him on a subconscious level.
- Irony: At the end of the episode, Stevie has to enter the Witness Protection Program, gaining a new identity and leaving her old life behind... much like what happened to Michael.Ken Begg: Although she, at least, managed to keep her old face.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Discussed; although Michael never actually tells Stevie this, Devon does point it out.
- Leitmotif: "White Bird", a country/pop song from which the ep title springs.White bird must fly
Or she will die...
- Memento MacGuffin: Stevie's locket, a gift from Michael Long; at the end of the episode she "returns" it, indicating that she knows who he really is. Giving up the locket also represents how she is leaving behind her old life to start anew.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Federal agents are waiting to arrest Anthony Solan with dirty money from Stevie's crooked boss, to be handed directly to Solan by Stevie (she doesn't know what it is); but they arrest her before she has a chance to deliver the money to him. As this review points out, had the feds waited just a couple seconds longer, they could have caught the kingpin red-handed with dirty money in his possession (which, again, was supposedly their goal in the first place).
- Plot Hole: Solan, seeking to have Stevie killed, tells his mooks he knows the location of the safe house where she's been hidden away. Absolutely no explanation is given for how he happens to know this; apparently he's just that well-informed.
- Secret Identity: Stevie doesn't recognize Michael directly, but notes that his voice and mannerisms "seem so familiar to me!" The episode's Dénouement indicates that she does eventually figure it out, but this realization happens off-camera and the only on-screen acknowledgment of it is via the aforementioned Memento MacGuffin.
- Something Only They Would Say: At one point Michael addresses Stephanie as "Stevie", and she responds that "no one calls [her] that anymore!" (see Affectionate Nickname, above) but Michael quickly handwaves it.
- Unwitting Pawn: Stevie Mason. Amoral Attorney Cole has her take a briefcase to hand off to a client; the case turns out to contain dirty money, and the client turns out to be a mobland boss. When Stevie learns the truth she decides to testify against Cole, only for him to pin the whole thing on her.