The Shadow Knows – RPR Special 01

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The Shadow 1-01 “The Death House Rescue” – September 29, 1937

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There were times when some of the dialog felt needlessly drawn out, almost like they were being told to slow down to hit commercial break at the right time.


The Shadow has a fascinating duality. His help to the Gordon family is utterly humanitarian, while his treatment of Lefty and Red is almost as cold and callous as how they treated Paul Gordon. Lamont and Margo ensure that the Gordon family gets the financial help they need and Paul gets his freedom, his life back. On the other hand, it seems like the Shadow relishes driving these criminals into a frenzy that leads them to put themselves in the cross hairs of the police. He gleefully turns their trap back on them. His actions are overall heroic, but there is a dark edge to it all that is part of what makes him so compelling.

Grace and Paul Gordon’s dramatic struggle is a perfect start to the Shadow’s adventures. The scene with them at home before Paul gets in trouble feels so personal and intimate. They are utterly sympathetic, with their sick baby, who could die without money for medical treatments. Paul is earnest and desperate and not sure why Grace married him. When Grace rebuffs Paul’s self-effacement and insists things will be OK, that she believes in her husband the family’s doom is made certain and the stakes are set high. It isn’t the end of the world that will happen, but it’s the end of one family’s world of the Shadow can’t overturn the death warrant placed on a simple, down on his luck man. The petty criminals aren’t especially bright or competent, but evil need not be to make the good suffer.


There are 5 or 6 times where people end a dramatic statement with a phrase like “it was only a shadow.” It’s a bit hokey and fun and cool all at the same time.

Grace let Margo in only because she said she was a friend. I may be cynical because it is 2023, but it seems wild to trust someone so easily like that, especially a stranger in the city.


The Shadow has been at work in the city for about 5 years. It is unclear how long he and Margo Lane have been working together. It is also unclear if they are a couple or not.

Lamont traveled around Europe and the ancient world to become the master of the mind he is now. He refers to psychology, natural magics that have been forgotten by modern man and unnatural magics as the tools of his trade. He guards these secrets from falling into the wrong hands, in part by being the Shadow only in secret.

Not only can the Shadow cloud men’s minds to make himself invisible to them, but he can seemingly alter his appearance at will. He disguised himself as on of the guards to get close enough to Gordon to see through his minds to find the clue that could save Gordon.

The Shadow can see other people’s memories, seeing through their eyes, via some form of mind to mind connection. He chided Gordon several times to stay focused on the day of the robbery, because as Gordon’s mind drifted to other things, it became difficult for the Shadow to see the memories.


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