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32. Vendetta
A vengeful Italian don blames Kelly Robinson for the death of one of his sons, and has the agent kidnapped.

[Location: Italy]

Guest Stars
Victor Francen (Don Federico), Oswaldo Ruggieri (Romolo), Massimo Serrata (Emilio Paolo), Patrizia Valturri (Alice), Fauso Tozzi (Ascanio), Marizio Arena (Cesare), Umberto Spadaro (Don Baldassare), Riccardo Barrone (Morelli), Katinka Von Shapringen (Girl)

Written by
Marion Hargrove

Directed by
Alf Kjellin

Original Airdate
5 October 1966

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Currently available on DVD
(UPC: 14381982923)

While waiting in Rome for a new assignment, Kelly Robinson is lured into a trap by a beautiful young woman. An Italian family has declared a vendetta against him, blaming him for the death of one of its own, who served with Kelly in the Korean War sixteen years ago. Put on trial by the family, Kelly is prevented from defending himself because of a battlefield promise that he made. It's up to Scotty to prove his partner innocent, and that, in fact, the real killer is a member of the family.
This episode, largely overlooked by fans and critics alike, is one of the best of the series. From the opening sequence, which is done entirely in Italian, the tension mounts to a dramatic denouement, and there's not a single wasted scene. Well-written by Marion Hargrove, and extremely well-acted by all concerned, Vendetta transcends a somewhat conventional plot device for '60s television drama -- every series, it seemed, had an episode where a protagonist was subjected to a kangaroo court for a crime he didn't commit. This one, though, is far superior to most. Everything clicks, from the music to the scenery to the underlying themes of honor and friendship. A particularly nice touch is that Kelly never does reveal to us the vow he made in Korea -- we have to assume it was to Remo Turazzi, the young man whose death is the catalyst for this outstanding drama. The one flaw is that Romolo's reason for murdering his brother -- quite simply, envy -- could have been made more clear.
[Vendetta also provides us with a great deal of heretofore unknown information about Kelly's past -- he served in the Korean War (1950-53) as an army lieutenant. As he had to have been at least 18 in 1950 (Remo and Romulo Turazzi were sent to the U.S. sixteen years from the date of the events portrayed in this episode, and soon thereafter volunteered to serve), we can safely say that at the time of "Vendetta" Kelly has to be at least 34 years old, and probably a year or two older.]