2. A Cup of Kindness
Kelly is ordered to kill an old friend who is accused of being a double agent, and who has stolen some important scientific equipment, but the man insists that he's innocent and asks Kelly to help him prove it.
[Location: Hong Kong]
French title: Le verre de l'amitie
German title: Feuerwerk in Hongkong
Italian title: Sciatola a sorpresa
David Friedkin (Russ Conley), Irene Tsu (Girl), Lee Kolima (Kwan Tak), Robin Lee (Child), Tommy Lee (Bellhop)
Morton Fine & David Friedkin
22 September 1965
Currently available on DVD
Kelly's teacher from spy school, Russ Conley, arrives at the guys' Hong Kong hotel room with a coded message. The message identifies him as a double agent, and instructs Robinson and Scott to kill him. But Conley convinces them that he didn't sell a top-secret electronic component to the enemy -- he was tortured into giving it up. Now he wants Kelly and Scotty to help him get it back. This they do, by breaking into the warehouse of an export firm that transships illicit items. They have to break out, too, because they're captured and faced with torture or death. Once free, though, Conley reveals that he does plan to sell the component to the highest bidder. But first he has to kill Kelly and Scotty.
A Cup of Kindness is a fast-paced and entertaining spy yarn guest-starring I Spy co-producer David Friedkin as Conley. (Friedkin also co-wrote the episode with Morton Fine, a collaboration that produced numerous I Spy scripts.) It also benefits from the presence of the lovely Irene Tsu as the export firm secretary that catches Kelly's eye, and Lee Kolima as the persuasively menacing bad guy who runs the firm. The break-in is nicely staged, and Culp is in top form as he glibly occupies the bad guys with an exploding box of firecrackers and some athletic derring-do long enough for Scott and Conley to break into the safe containing the component. The escape, using a home-made bomb made of ammonia, fertilizer and dry ice, is exciting, too. But the best scene is the last, when Irene Tsu arrives at the guys' hotel room with a box of firecrackers -- and ends up under the bed with Kelly. Leo Penn does an inspired job of directing, using unusual and highly effective camera angles; the way Penn switches from one stack of crates to another as Kelly, Scotty and Conley, who are in hiding as they await the detonation of their bomb, carry on a conversation unseen is a particularly nice touch.