Early Edition and Martial Law


Early Edition (1996-2000)
Martial Law (1998-2000)
Type: Crossover
Group: 2

   CBS must really have wanted to hype the heck out of Early Edition. With this crossover episode they seemed to be trying to draw quite a diverse group of viewers to the show.

   Okay, quick premise recap for the shows in question. Early Edition was a show about Chicago bar owner Gary Hobson. Gary was in a unique position. Every morning he would receive the next day's newspaper. In short he could read tomorrow's headlines and then over the course of the day try and fix the things in the headlines that had gone wrong.

   Martial Law was kind of a TV version of the movie Rush Hour. Sammo Hung starred as Sammo Law, a Hong Kong cop on loan to the L.A.P.D. Initially he was more of a solo act but given Sammo Hung's not being 100% at ease with speaking English Arsenio Hall was added as his partner thus establishing the action Chinese cop / hip black cop Rush Hour motif. The one difference that made Sammo unique was his size. He was chubby not buff looking but could move like a martial arts master. Body like John Belushi, moves like Bruce Lee. Quite stunning to see.

   The crossover in question occurred on Early Edition. A valuable Chinese antique - an ancient war helmet - is stolen in Hong Kong. It is supposed to be shipped to L.A. where it will be sold. Thus Sammo's connection to the case. It turned out he had another reason to be involved though: his mother had been the person who discovered and restored the helmet. Sammo knew its recovery and return to the people of China would mean the world to her.

   The problem is Han, the guy who was supposed to sell the helmet in L.A. decided to do some double dealing. He shipped the helm to Chicago where he had another buyer lined up. For safe keeping he mailed the helmet to his "niece" Amy Hunter, a Chicago based artist. She actually was just a close friend of his but as she had no living blood relatives he was as close to kin as she had. Of course the original buyers discover the double cross and head to Chicago to take care of business. Sammo has had them under survaillance so when they head for Chicago, so does he.

   Meanwhile Amy had kind of misunderstood her Uncle Han's intent in sending her the helmet. She built it into a piece of her art sculptures featuring hats and the sculptures has ended up in the possession of Gary Hobson.

   Oddly enough that isn't even how Gary gets into all this mess. With a million people coming to Chicago to kill this guy you can guess that he keeps popping up in the headlines as someone seemingly in need of saving. Twice Gray saves this guy. The second time around Gray gets a little help when Sammo arrives. Having seen Gary help Han not once but twice Sammo assumes Gary knows him and can lead him to Han. Just as Gary is denying knowing Han to Gary's surprise Han shows up at his bar. He of course has discovered Gary has the helmet (even if Gary doesn't know it). Sammo and Gary capture Han for about, oh, ten seconds before he steals the helmet and escapes.

   Sammo wants Gary to help him catch Han, still under the mistaken impression Gray knows Han and so can help. Meanwhile Gary just wants to ditch Sammo. He's supposed to be fixing all those bad headlines and he can't really do that with Sammo around. Ditching Sammo, Gary heads off to a local theater where country music star Martina McBride is rehearsing. Like I said, apparently CBS wanted everybody to watch this episode - Hong Kong action fans, country music fans and everyone in between. According to the paper Martina McBride was going to be injured by a falling stage light. Although I'm not sure what inspired the writers to put Martina McBride in this episode her featured song, Wild Angel, does fit the show nicely with its lyrics about some Wild Angel watching over "you and me". Gary Hobson, Wild Angel at large.

   Of course Gary saves Ms. McBride, not realizing Sammo has followed him. Seeing what happened Sammo basically catches onto Gary's secret: he knows Gary can in some way see and change the future. Gary refuses to confirm this. Gary still thinks there is nothing more he can do to help Sammo but a horrible headline about Amy and Han being killed for the helmet changes his mind. Together they set about saving Han, Amy and the helmet. You can guess they succeed (this show is about escapist fantasy not soul crushing tragedy).

   In the end more than just the helmet is saved though. Even though Han is a double dealing cheat, by the end he has risked his life and suffered a knife wound protecting Amy. Sammo realizes that he isn't entirely bad. Instead of arresting Han he spins things so that Han is given credit for recovering the helmet, thus coming out a hero and with a second chance at being a decent guy. With his honor now intact, Han admits to Amy that he in fact is her real uncle. Given the questionable activities he had been involved in he had not wanted to tell her the truth which was that he had brought shame to the family name. It turns out he is her only living relative and the two are given a chance to finally honestly connect.

   Finally, with everything wrapped up nice and neat, Sammo offers to help Gary on whatever other good deeds he has to do before he has to go back to LA. Gary hems and haws trying to dissuade him. Instead he talks Sammo into going off for a slice of Chicago style pizza. This turns into a funny bit about Sammo's weight. "You just look like a guy who would enjoy a thick piece of pizza." "What are you trying to say?"

   Aside from Martina McBride strangely popping up in this episode, I have to say Gary's being all nervous about Sammo's knowing the truth about the paper is kind of weird. First of all, he figures it out and is cool with it. So where is the problem? Why even deny it? What's the point? Then in the end he wants to help play guardian angel for a couple of hours and again Gary has a spazz attack. WHY? Its not like Sammo is some idiot who might get hurt trying to help, he's a Kung Fu bad ass who probably could help out. Why wouldn't he just let him fer cryin' out loud? That Gray, he's just a wild angel. And Sammo, he's just a wild...um... heavy set Chinese guy.

   Ladies and gentlemen, the worst ending to any entry I've written yet. Thank you and goodnight!

Other Early Edition Crossover Links
Early Edition and Chicago Hope

Other Martial Law Crossover Links
Martial Law and Walker, Texas Ranger

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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