Season 1 - originally broadcast
March 30, 1966
French: "Ma mère est une espionne" (My Mother is a Spy)
German: "Einmal Mexiko und nicht zurück" (Off to Mexico Without Coming Back)
Writer: Howard Gast
Director: Richard Benedict
A former U.S. spy who has made the mistake of falling in love with an enemy agent becomes the object of a search by Kelly and Scotty.
Sally Kellerman (Angela), Alejandro Rey (Ferenc), Theo Marcuse (Sereba), Walter Kray (Kalmar), Edward Coleman (Dr. Jalis), Begonia Placios (nurse), Paul Micali (Father To Be), Jim Daris (burly man), Nicolas Colasanto (cabbie), Alex Henteloff (attache), Angel Martin (Flamenco Dancer 1), Anthony Brand (Flamenco Dancer 2), Pepito Funez (Flamenco Dancer 3)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: A spy with a new baby must be returned home
Highlights/Comments: Good editing & great jazz. …. Kelly's line “Specialize yourself in happiness and warmth”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "MY MOTHER THE SPY"
Author: Col. Benkovski
Date: January 13 2002 at 11:59 PM
The general idea behind the plot is a good one, what happens when a female agent gets pregnant? And especially what if the father were an enemy agent? Sally Kellerman has never been at the top of my list of favorite actresses, but she is good in this role, and the desire to escape her sordid profession and live the life of a loving mother is acted out well. The bonds of motherhood, the issue of the single mother (Kelly says "People don't point their fingers anymore"), the sexual nature of the espionage profession as portrayed by Hollywood, all these things make for a good plot idea.
And the supporting actors are good too. I know next to nothing about the actor Alejandro Rey, but he was quite good in this episode, in spite a sometimes difficult to understand accent. I have never seen him in anything else.
Theo Marcuse, on the other hand, is a familiar face to anyone who watched movies and television shows from the 60's. He was a frequent guest on Man From UNCLE, and several other programs, and I recall him from a number of campy 60's movies, including an Elvis movie. He does his usual yeoman's work, in the small but crucial role of Teba.
There are some good scenes, including the humorous scene where Kelly and Scotty are in the waiting room while Sally Kellerman gives birth, and later in the same waiting room they ponder the dark nature of their profession in which a new born infant is part of an espionage operation. The climax car chase was done well, and the stunt driving was very good. Also Kelly grabbing the American tourist in the gift shop who is hitting on Kellerman is a good scene, too.
My favorite scene, however, was the scene in the bar where Alejandro Rey is questioning them, and they make their escape. I love the part where the thugs throw beer on Kelly, and when they try to throw it on Scotty he shield his face with the roses. Kelly's speech, where he asks for a towel is funny, and the part where Scotty tries to get even for Kelly's beer bath by tossing a glass in the bad guys face backfires when the beer sloshes into Scotty's face. Then Kelly says "The first guy to laugh at my friend gets it!" I wonder if that part was in the script, or if it was ad libbed when Cosby accidentally got beer on himself?
So there is a good plot, and some enjoyable scenes. But there is a big problem, too.
There is almost no location filming in this one. The whole thing looks done on back lots and studios, and it really doesn't work, because the supposed streets of Mexico City come off looking like Chicago! For any other tv show, this would not be a big problem, but after the brilliant location shooting in the previous episodes, it's a real letdown seeing the obviousness of the back lots in this one. It mars an otherwise admirable episode.
So I rate this one a B-.
Author: Billy Bob Rover
Date: January 14 2002 at 9:53 AM
"You know, you look a little puny to be talking that way to me.
I might even say 'delicate.' Now get lost!"
"I've tried to do that all over Mexico, man. . . . .
But to these people one ugly American looks just like another."
I may have a few words wrong, but although it has been more than 25 years since I've seen MY MOTHER THE SPY, this scene has stayed with me. I can still see Kelly, wearing his shades as he examines the kitsch items for sale in the background while he tries to look inconspicuous just prior to the remarks above.
Thanks Col. Benkovski, for bringing things back on track. You're quite right: this episode has some memorable moments. The beer-in-the-face may be one of the best little comic bits in the series.