Meanwhile, police lieutenant Philip Gerard (Barry Morse)—Kimble’s “relentless pursuer”—has already arrived in town…with his wife Marie (Barbara Rush). When a fellow officer asks what the Gerards were doing, Philip replies: “Nothing special—just a vacation.”
The subplots of Kimble’s escape and the Gerards’ marriage difficulties eventually intersect, taking the story in an unexpected direction. Although the two-parter’s length makes the proceedings more episodic than usual, there are some superb scenes.
One of the best has a hiding Kimble watching as Gerard tries to bribe a little boy into revealing the fugitive’s whereabouts. Seeing the kid looking at a chocolate bar in a vending machine, Gerard borrows a dime from a uniformed officer, puts it in the machine, and selects the desired candy. Kimble, who is literally locked in the adjacent room, can do nothing. But when Gerard pulls the knobs on the vending machine, nothing happens. The money slot has been jammed. Without the bribe, Kimble’s hiding place remains a child’s secret and Gerard’s frustration only mounts.
Barbara Rush gives a richly-textured performance as Marie, often content to let her expressions voice her emotions. In one of her strongest scenes, Marie calls Philip to tell him about an accident. His immediate response is to think it’s “some kind of test” to see if he would choose her over Kimble. Finally realizing something is wrong, Philip asks if she is okay. Marie, her face filled with disappointment and anger, states flatly: “It’s a little late to ask that.”
One of the strengths of The Fugitive was always Janssen’s and the writers’ willingness to let other performers take the spotlight. It’s not that Janssen doesn’t have the opportunity to shine in “Landscape with Running Figures”—he has several outstanding scenes—but this particular episode is really more about the Gerards. And, in the closing scenes, Marie and Philip Gerard each reveal, in different and surprising ways, how much they still care about one another. It’s a fitting end to one of the best episodes of The Fugitive.