SPOILER ALERT: This review is for people who have already seen the show.
“The Tameness of the Wolf” rivals an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, weaving together elements of innocence, suspicion and danger.
A stranger found unconscious on the beach tells the “Doc” his name is Robert Campbell (played by Paul Moriarty) and inquires about other Ellinghams in the area. Ignoring his questions, the “Doc” takes a blood sample and is alarmed to find his phobia flaring up.
Ruth finds a red rose in her car. As she drives to her farm, a car follows. When she turns off, however, the car continues on — then returns.
At the surgery, Becky Wead complains of an upset stomach and blames it on a meal at Large’s restaurant. Becky writes an article for the school newspaper charging the restaurant with food poisoning, enraging Bert and Al.
The chemist’s reopens, and the “Doc” hands a prescription to the new pharmacist, Jennifer Cardew (played by Annabelle Apsion), an old flame of Bert’s. Jennifer nearly gives the “Doc” wrong, potentially fatal, medicine.
The plot thickens. While Ruth guests on Caroline’s radio show, Robert breaks into Ruth’s home and calls in for advice concerning his feelings for a woman. Ruth advises him to tell the woman how he feels. “She will feel the same about me. She will love me?” he asks. Ruth hesitates, but Caroline rushes to say that she can see Ruth nodding her head.
At the farm, Ruth finds a birthday cake on her kitchen table. Martin denies giving her the cake, and she realizes someone has been in her house. Ruth speculates that she has an “amorous stalker,” but Martin scoffs at the suggestion, calling it wishful thinking.
When P.C. Penhale discovers Robert’s car with a diary containing “unsavory comments” about Ruth, Martin fears for his aunt’s safety and races to the farm.
Hitchcock is in full throttle now. At the farm alone, Ruth hears bath water running and goes up to investigate. She enters the bathroom and sees her name written in steam across the mirror. As she wipes the mirror, a man’s face appears behind her.
Soft-spoken Bob, a former inmate, professes his love for Ruth, who talks him into going down to the kitchen. Hearing a car, Bob barricades the door, but Martin crashes through. He tells Bob he is diabetic and needs insulin, then enrages the man by calling him a psychopath. The two struggle, and Bob cuts Martin’s hand with a knife. As Bob raises the knife to thrust a killing blow, Ruth shouts, “I love you!” The words mesmerize Bob, and he drops the knife
Traumatized, Ruth cannot go back into the house. Martin consoles her. “You don’t have to worry about him. He’ll be locked up for years. By the time he gets out, you’ll, ah, you’ll be gone away.”
“Fingers crossed,” Ruth replies archly.