Episode 5: The Fix

After mobster Forest kidnaps Hutch and addicts him to heroin in order to find his girl, Jeanie, Hutch escapes and is found by Starsky.

Ben Forest: Robert Loggia, Monk: Geoffrey Lewis, Jeanie Walton: Leigh Christian, Mickey: Gene Conforti, Officer Bernie Glassman: Macon McCalman, Coney: Anthony Charnota. Written By: Robert Holt, Directed By: William Crain.

QUESTIONS AND NOTES:

This is an extraordinary episode for many reasons: a tough, realistic and beautifully economical script by Robert Holt, the cast of off-beat characters, the intensely-focused story. Most importantly, however, is the intimate, brutal look at the power of friendship and trust. As with all the best episodes, this one has no extraneous detail and no concession to conservatism. It’s still shocking to watch and painful to witness. Most of the praise must go to the principle actors, who not only bring to life what is on the page, but also what lives between the lines, those precious details that must have spontaneously arisen from the rehearsal and filming process. (Not that I know this for sure; someone write a book already!) The main thing to realize about this episode is the fact it was written before the actors were cast, which tells me two things. One, the writers were on a mission to create better, more relevant and realistic episodic television and two, they had great confidence that the actors were going to be able to carry this difficult, daring script. Both premonitions came true. While it’s not possible to know what input the director and others may have had, it’s the incendiary chemistry between the two actors that is responsible for the grit, intensity and emotional impact of this episode. It’s surprising how physically easy they are with each other: when Starsky holds Hutch in the alley in his arms, letting him fall into his lap, it’s as if they’ve been close for years. There’s just no distance between them.

Filming notes: Soul did a lot of research, used special eyedrops, went without sleep for days, and stayed to himself while filming to make his addiction and withdrawal scenes as wrenching and real as they are, to the point of worrying Glaser and the crew. The script also originally called for Hutch to be much worse off and meaner in withdrawal, even using racial slurs against Starsky and threatening to kill him, but Glaser and Soul softened the scenes to make this one of the best examples of the closeness of their friendship.

I love how this episode opens, with a reputable-looking man in a business suit who seems more like he’s just ambling along the hallway, interested in the light-hearted banter Starsky and Hutch are engaging in, only to be revealed as a perp in handcuffs. This little visual joke is more important than it seems at first glance, because this is one of the themes the series has explored throughout its run and was likely more revolutionary then than it is now, but which still retains its amusing piquancy: you can’t judge a book by its cover, particularly a “respectable” one. I also like how Starsky calls him, without rancor, “fancy pants”.

Starsky is always short a dime at the candy bar machine. Of course it turns out he’s been scamming Hutch for a dime or so every time, because he can kick the machine and make it give him what he wants. This is an interesting parallel to Starsky as a person: manipulating through charm as a form of mental exercise, much like a girl who flirts as a way of reassuring herself that she’s still got what it takes. Hutch, in a surge of I-love-everyone, chucks Starsky what must be a quarter and tells him to buy whatever he wants. Starsky then makes a big deal out of bringing out the fistful of coins he’s accumulated from Hutch (who must have these surges on a regular basis since meeting Jeanie). Enjoying his take, which is a bit meager considering the time and guile he must have wasted getting it. This may be the only way he can mock-battle his partner, who bests him in the verbal spar department, but if this is the case, it’s a battle of one, as Hutch has no idea.

What exactly did they do to keep Hutch unconscious, or at least plaint, throughout the journey to Monk’s hideout? Were these thugs syringe-happy early on?

Forest tells Monk, “Why is it you are always wrong?” Actually, Monk is cautious, which to an impulsive sadist like Forest seems like the very definition of wrong. This is a series that likes to have its arch villains continually irritated by their lieutenants, whom they see as weak and obsequious. This necessarily close but antagonistic relationship, in which the increasingly anxious underling tries harder and harder to prove himself while nursing a growing hatred, is a fascinating way to show how the chilly kingdoms ruled by psychopaths are always riddled with destabilizing cracks.

There are some word games played here. Both the names, Monk and Forest (not the more commonly spelled Forrest), imply hiding, darkness or being sequestered. Both are archetypal objects. One can say both imply something medieval in nature. Also, “The Fix”, as a phrase, contains multiple meanings, becoming both verb and noun.

Robert Loggia gets to see Hutch tied to a chair in all three episodes he is in. One is “Foxy Lady”, the other is the best-forgotten “Groupie”. Coincidence, or contractual obligation?

It is interesting that Forest would allow Hutch to be taken to a house in a small, middle-class neighborhood, possibly a house rented or owned by Monk himself. There’s a bigger chance they’ll be noticed, and later recognized. Why not a warehouse, an abandoned building, a safe-house of some kind? Also, those are really weird ornaments on the bookshelf, a porcelain cartoon dog, a vase, a snail, a red china bull, as Monk goes from the bedroom to the main room to talk to Forest. Not the décor of a criminal mastermind, or his disreputable cronies. Perhaps the real owners are on vacation and have no idea their house is being used as a hideaway. Perhaps the house belongs to Monk’s sister, who has her doubts about her weird brother but is unable to say no to him.

Dobey says Starsky has to get Hutch back to work and Starsky smiles and says he doesn’t know where Hutch is to tell him that. This means Starsky has already checked up on him. It must have been by phone, because when he finally goes to his place he is shocked by what he finds – namely, Hutch’s gun.

How well does Starsky know Jeanie Walton? Starsky describes her as a pretty girl, knows where she lives and can get into her home. He doesn’t know about Jeanie splitting in the middle of her shift, but he must know she was working at the bar, even though he gives no indication of it when he goes to talk to Huggy. Instead he lets Huggy natter on without interruption because that’s what a good cop does, he listens more than he talks. He’s very calm during this discussion with Huggy (who is playing pinball, a lovely bit of metaphoric staging implying this has not yet become a personal crisis for him); the sort of calmness that hides, for him, true worry. I still have a minor issue with Hutch not telling Starsky the real story about Jeanie, how she slipped from her bondage to Forest and is now living a precariously free life – I can only surmise Jeanie asked him not to tell anyone, even his partner. That makes sense, and Hutch is the sort of person who would take those promises to heart, and is romantic enough to believe the past can be erased by good intentions. But my more pressing issue is why Hutch did not tell Starsky about Jeanie’s past when that past grew fangs and began racing down the path toward them. Jeanie must have been warned, she called Hutch in a panic and together they ran into hiding. This is dramatic, serious stuff. Lives are in danger, and Hutch needs all the help he can get. So why not approach Starsky and let him in on the secret? And also, while we’re thinking of this turn of events, why is Hutch basically floating on a cloud of joy, rather than being pensive, or furtive? His girl is in imminent danger. Weekend love-nest or not, this puts a damper on things.

This will be the first of two blonde prostitutes Hutch is involved with. Granted, he didn’t know Gillian was on the job, but he knew Jeanie was, and wanted to save her. How would they have met, and how long after they met did he realize she was in the employ of a Very Dangerous Man? Also, does the disastrous outcome of this relationship – and his feelings of impotence, failure, heartbreak and frustration – play a role in his violent rage in Gillian’s apartment, years later?

“What do you want to do about it?” Dobey asks Starsky, right after telling him to “calm down” even though Starsky is already frighteningly calm.
“Missing persons?”
“That’s a missing officer,” Dobey says, implying officer is more important.
“No, I mean missing partner,” says Starsky. Trumping Dobey – partner is greater than officer, which is greater than person.

Still Dobey takes Starsky seriously when he hears the story, proof that Dobey is remarkably trusting.

It’s incredibly moving to see how much of himself Hutch is able to hang on to even in the depths of his torture – he’s snappish, rude, tough and disdainful.

“Seaview Point” is still a pretty vague direction; Hutch doesn’t give a house number but Forest seems happy with what he’s got. And yet there could have been hundreds of beach houses on Seaview Point – how did they find Jeanie’s? Is she in fact renting this house? How can she afford it, seeing as she was forced to find work as a waitress after escaping Forest? If she was renting it, most likely she would use an assumed name, hampering Forest’s ability to track her. And is this is the house of an acquaintance of Hutch’s (to me the most likely scenario) I don’t see how she could be found at all.

Wow, the saddest bar in the world, Mickey’s place, with drunk trombone and shitty furniture and mushroom walls. Not even a window to the street. When Mickey turns down the offer of fifty bucks for information, saying “I’d givea half of that if I knew anything. Honest”, is this statement to be believed?

When Jeanie is found and is brought to Hutch – a truly harrowing scene, Leigh Christian’s finest moment – you can’t help but think she’s dressed like a Thanksgiving turkey – white mutton sleeves, golden midriff – ready for the eating. Still, I always wonder why they bring her to him at this point. Wouldn’t his devastated state only confirm her loyalty to him, and her hatred for Forest? There must be better ways to force her compliance, yet Forest believes she will be disgusted (and made disloyal) by the state Hutch is in. He’s just stupid and vain enough to believe that, which proves he doesn’t understand the concept of love (or women) at all.

There’s also a wonderful moment in the living room when everyone is standing around and Monk and the henchmen are visibly embarrassed by what they have made to do, or, more precisely, the why of what they have been made to do. Namely, making sure their super-creepy boss has his sexual kinks secured and ready for him.

There are a lot of “baby”s being tossed around, for both Hutch and Jeanie; Forest and his goons use this word to turn adults to children as a way to control and humiliate.

I can never understand why they just didn’t shoot Hutch when he gave them the information they needed. They couldn’t be that confident he’d never be able to identify them. Instead they bundle him up and move him to a second location, opening the door for all sorts of trouble. They had already pegged him as a “tough monkey”, resisting far longer than they expected. They know he’s strong and willful. And yet they just haul him into that car and expect him to go along with it, to become “shark’s bait,” as it’s rather disturbingly put. Instead, a boot to the face and Hutch flies to freedom.

Hutch as far, far more scenes in the series than Starsky that consist of him loping dramatically through near-empty streets.

It’s interesting that Starsky knows the first name of the uniformed officer who happens upon Hutch in the alleyway. His grip of Bernie’s shirt is one of the most arresting moments in the entire series. They can’t be that familiar, however, because Bernie’s disgusted by Hutch’s track-marks, and if he knew Starsky and Hutch better he’d instantly suspect torture rather than a bad habit. However, he does like Starsky well enough to grant him the favor, which is, let’s face it, a pretty major one. How many of the hundreds of uniformed officers do Starsky and Hutch know by name? Or do they just know the ones that patrol their own turf? Come to think of it, is this alley in their turf?

When the scene cuts to the mansion, Jeanie is lying in the pool as robotic and vacant as if she has also been drugged. I just wonder how much Forest feels he needs to control those unruly bits of his life with pharmaceuticals.

If Starsky is so worried about Hutch escaping, why does he sleep in a chair that isn’t up against the door?

Starsky, when trying to help Hutch, riles him until he loses his temper, throwing the candy bar on the ground in a rage, telling Starsky to “shut up”, and Starsky grabs him and says – calmly, lovingly – “now that’s the Hutch I know.” This implies the Hutch Starsky knows is angry, confrontational, contrary and masterful.

Dobey is “out for the evening” while he has an officer in dire straits? Shouldn’t he stay close to the phone? Or is this an unpleasant glimpse into all the evenings Dobey has to spend with the brass, listening to speeches and accepting commendations at rubber-chicken affairs; these won’t be so easy to avoid, no matter what private information he has regarding one of his officers. It’s not like he can say to the brass, “I can’t attend your (function, ceremony, dinner, speech) tonight, one of my officers is detoxing from a heroin overdose.” (And no way would he invent an excuse, because he a)has no imagination and b)seems incapable of duplicity, even when it’s to his advantage). It reminds me of episode twelve when his wife and children are in danger from an escaped convict and he attends a televised interview anyway. It’s for the good of the case, and also, as he says, “you know how hard I’ve worked for this”. Speculate, if you will, that Dobey is, for all his blustery cuddliness, a cold-hearted bottom-line sort of guy, for whom status means more than friendship.

Starsky calls Hutch “boy” in the two scenes that have him particularly close to him, offering comfort. One is here, in the upstairs room. The other is in Gillian’s living room in the aftermath of her murder. This term is used during times of extreme stress, and it feels very different from the “babys” the bad guys use. Instead, it sounds loving and protecting, as if Starsky offering himself as “man” to Hutch’s “boy”, offering to take full control of the situation. It could be more than that: father” to Hutch’s “son”. He could be acknowledging that loss and pain render everyone to their most elemental, child-selves, or it could be an endearment he holds in special reserve. Contrast this with Hutch’s withering “buddy boy” thrown back at Starsky in Gillian.

Nectar or ambrosia? Either one. Nectar is sweet substance from a plant. Ambrosia is drink or food of the Greek gods.

Why does Dobey all of a sudden start yelling the numbers he is reading back to Starsky on the phone? Too used to yelling into bad radios, maybe?

Why doesn’t Dobey give Starsky the message from Mickey over the Torino radio, instead of relying on Huggy? We may never know, by the fallout lasts for years: Huggy’s “failure” might be the tipping point for Dobey to dislike and mistrust him from then on. Dobey may have misunderstood when Huggy says Starsky “just stepped out,” thinking he was gone for a second, to the bathroom or perhaps to get a drink, and so he would be back to get the message. Dobey made a tactical error in this assumption, feels the irritable itch of guilt, which he unconsciously directs at Huggy.

When Dobey calls Huggy back, he’s wearing a hat. A tweedy one too, one Hutch himself would probably like on a better day. On his way out to lunch, maybe?

Huggy pretends not to know who Mickey is when Hutch comes out of the shower asking who called. “Some guy named Mickey,” he says, which is strange given that he has already told Dobey he knows who Starsky’s stooge is. By the way, you know Hutch is getting back to his old self when he says truculently, “(the razor) was dull.”

They expected Starsky when they used Mickey, but got Hutch instead, which is a major score. But it makes me wonder what they were planning to do with Starsky if he showed up instead. Did they think they could torture him in the same way?

Starsky is trying to hide Hutch, but he parks the Torino right in front of Huggy Bear’s.

When Hutch takes off in a cab, why doesn’t Huggy alert Starsky? This inability to act shows he is unable to withstand serious pressure of any kind. He just crumbles. A half-crazy, weakened, sick Hutch is still so intimidating he’s able to stare at Huggy and get him to cough up the dough for a taxi.

I love it when Hutch is grabbed at the bar and Micky is careful to rescue his mug of beer.

Hutch head-buts the goon who promises to send him to “dreamland”. I don’t think we can underestimate how brave this is, someone turning their back on another hit even when every fiber of his being is crying out for it.

Monk is dead, dead, dead. He slides off the car door onto the ground in the deadest slither possible. But his compatriot isn’t; unfortunately we don’t see his arrest. I’d love to know what Starsky and Hutch do to him during interrogation, and what sort of evidence he gives, if any, against his boss. Although you can imagine how impermeable Forest is, smug behind a phalanx of expensive downtown lawyers, all his crimes hidden in mountains and mountains of paperwork and offshore accounts.

Tag: Forest says, “Go on, tell him (Hutch) about Vegas. Tell him about everything. You think he’ll want you then?” One can only imagine what terrible things Jeanie has participated in, to deserve this sort of accusation. Also, note that he’s trying to turn Hutch off Jeanie in the same way he tried with Jeanie earlier, when he brought her to see Hutch. Forest thinks that the sad, vulnerable, or regretful moments in someone’s life will make them ugly or unlovable. He is the sort of sociopath who demands perfection, and doesn’t understand the joyful irregularities and altruism of love. Still, I suspect Hutch is glad on some level to rid himself of Jeanie, all in all, despite the fact he gives her a chance by telling her he’s coming back after they book Forest. He may already suspect this won’t be happening any time soon, if ever, and that Forest will have an army of wily lawyers who could distance their boss from the kidnapping and assault charges. She then tells him she won’t be there, enabling them to end things. Note that it’s her and not him that makes the break. Yes, this makes her both brave and sensitive, but there’s something about her passivity may cause Hutch to feel, rightly or wrongly, that she has a part to play in this whole terrible chain of events. It’s not only that she mutely complied with Forest, returning to his lavish compound, and stayed there. It’s also because of the choices, large and small, she has made throughout her life, from that first drink in high school to the allure of easy money instead of college and the series of powerful, frightening men her mother warned her about. This of course is wild conjecture on my part, but I see Hutch himself having paused at many forks in the road, weighing the consequences of this way or that one. It may not be fair but it’s an interesting glimpse into his mind. (I want to believe that, months in the future, Forest will drop dead from an antifreeze cocktail, courtesy of the ever-compliant Jeanie, but maybe that’s expecting too much of this sadly depleted woman). She suggests a reconciliation and he tells her “if we’re going to end it, we’re going to end it.” She’s devastated, because the one good man in her life has decided she wasn’t worth the trouble. Starsky ends the episode with a perfectly-timed joke that is much welcomed because of the kindness and understanding threaded through it.

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49 Responses to “Episode 5: The Fix”

  1. phaedrablue4 Says:

    I’m hard pressed not to place “The Fix” at the top of my list. This is my era. My high school days. I have an odd connection with this series that is so difficult to explain to newer generations.

    “The Fix” is only the 5th in this new series, and as mention, this script had already existed before Soul and Glaser had been cast. How phenominal are these to men that they can relate such a close bond in such a short time with two fictional characters. They are Starsky and Hutch.

    The scene in the alley as Soul allows Glaser to grab him up and he is limp, filthy, sweaty, panting, and having difficulty focusing before he completely collaspes across Glaser’s legs and Glaser holds him protectively and Soul groans and wimpers is just so damned believable. It is the most poignant scene in the entire show for me and should have garnered an emmy for Soul and the show. If there had been any doubt prior to this episode as to the bond Starsky and Hutch had for each other it was completely dispelled by the performance these two consumate actors portrayed in this scene.
    Perfectly lovingly gritty.

    Oops… its 3am! I’ll check back in soon.

  2. merltheearl Says:

    I have to agree, this is a very important episode for me as well, on many personal levels. The intensity never fails to be shocking, no matter how many times I see it. It’s a crying shame the show was never awarded any Emmys, Soul in particular. The series was never fully appreciated or understood in its time and in my own modest way I would like to attempt to rectify that. Thanks for your insights too, and keep them coming!

    • Dona Says:

      … and you are doing a great job! You are creating with your blog the best “inside-book” that S&H deserve, to preserve the memory, to keep it alive, to go deeper inside, to bring it high.
      And most important, through your considered thoughts and weighty words you are giving our emotions a real substance that never fails to impress me.
      I wish you could keep on, for we’ll be here reading.
      Thanks so much, Dona

  3. Lynn Says:

    This is absolutely the best episode of the series for me as it illustrates the depth of the relationship between the two men. I remember when I saw this one. It was my senior year in college and there was a roomful of us, some heavy partiers included. This episode quieted the whole room. Soul was so believable in being strung out. I wish they had spent more time on the whole withdrawal thing, but am glad that they chose not to use racial slurs. Even in his darkest hour Hutch wouldn’t have gone there with Starsky.

  4. hutchlover Says:

    This is probably THE definitive episode about their partnership, friendship, and love for one another.

    Also, it’s the first episode in which Huggy is shown to be really a friend, rather than just a snitch they like & occasionally drop by to have a beer.

    Both DS & PMG are fantastic here. DS in a more showy way and PMG more subtly. Which reflects their RL personal traits as well.

    As far as knowing who Bernie is, I believe that not only is he on their beat (he seems to be the same cop who shows up to guard the photographer in ‘Photo Finish’, as well), but Starsky seems to keep in touch with the grapevine. Plus, they also were beat cops at one point in their careers.

    And yes, DS should’ve been nominated for an Emmy for this episode. He’s masterful.

  5. King David Says:

    Soul does do an excellent job as the strung-out user, and one wonders about the weeks that followed this timeframe.
    See how they separate after the intimate embrace in Huggy’s hotel room. It’s a very stage-theatrical move apart; you wouldn’t be surprised if they began speaking to the audience, a la Shakespeare.
    That grasp of the completely dishevelled, wildly-whacked-out Hutch as he clings to Starsky for dear life (which life? Hutch’s life? Or the precious partner?) was stunning in 1976, and still is tremendously moving today. That was it – I was hooked. Ironic, hey.
    (I just can’t, however, forgive the white socks. Okay with sneakers and jeans, but a fashion faux pas with slacks. Sorry.)

  6. Sandra Says:

    I agree with everyone above. This is one of he best episodes ever. And DS should have gotten an Emmy for this.
    When I first saw this I couldn’t believe this was only the fifth episode when watching the closeness and raw emotion between them. This will always be a favourite of mine.
    It’s funny to read all those little interesting tidbits you mentioned. Things I never even thought about, but very interesting nevertheless.

  7. Anna Says:

    Since everyone else has covered the obvious awesome parts of this episode regarding the strength of the partnership and the raw emotions and how fantastic and dedicated DS’s performance was, I wanted to point out some of the other little things that I really liked. One is a repetition of my admiration at Starsky’s ability to go from goofy, light-hearted, jokey, consciously innocent and simple-minded wingman (covering for Hutch’s supposed fooling around with his girlfriend in the early parts of the episode) and seamlessly transition through several stages of moods as the events unfold and cross to the complete opposite of the spectrum: a deadly serious, masterful, charismatic, unwavering, flat-footedly decisive, brutally hard-headed, takes-no-bullshit, chillingly intimidating presence (questioning Hutch about the names of his kidnappers). It gave me a little shiver the very first time I saw this episode how he manages to repeat “Names. *Names.*” so differently, from calming to almost bullying with that harsh edge the last time before Hutch remembers “Monk”, while barely changing his expression or raising his volume. And none of it feels jarring or incongruous, it’s all a fully integrated part of him. The guy has a really thick healthy slab of a personality. The kind that most people would kill to have. Jealousy-inducing as hell. You know when people describe someone as having “strength of character”? Yeah.

    The other is an appreciation of how thoroughly cynical this show can be. I’m not the type to usually like cynical shows unless the cynicism either has a lot of humor to lighten the load or a lot of empathy for the characters and situations involved, but when I do, I like it when they’re not wishy-washy about it. And the bluntly casual “well, duh” acceptance of a totally unfair situation — the fact that Hutch’s career would be ruined due to something that not only wasn’t his fault but was violently forced on him against his will — talk about rape victim-blaming parallels — and since this episode isn’t much for humor, the empathy here keeps this unfairness from being upsettingly infuriating. Starsky, Bernie, Huggy and Dobey (all very different people in very different situations) are all solidly capable of making a firm decision to hide the heroin addiction kind of gestures towards an overarching idea of personal integrity overriding adherence to institutional rules, and most likely the personal experience to back their decisions up. In this show, rules might be there for a reason, to act as organizing tools, as guides to behavior and to keep society from running amok, but they’re faceless, cold, neutral, immovable things with no intrinsic value, they’re not even imperfect attempts to achieve some idealized goal or critiques prefacing an optimistic sketch of how the rules should be improved. The rules just kind of exist, and while individual people’s consciences may or may not be superior to them, the position seems to be that replacing the conscience with obedience to them is the worst kind of cowardice and weakness.

  8. rycardus Says:

    I love your review of this great episode, Merl,

    I think “The Fix” is essentially a twin of “A Coffin for Starsky”. Now it’s Hutch’s turn to suffer as a result of being injected with poison, and it’s Starsky’s turn to play protector-comforter.

    It’s interesting to compare the coping styles exhibited by our heroes. In ACFS, Hutch is all ill-contained anger towards the world, even people who are trying to help, whilst consistently delivering gentle and unquestioning support for his friend.

    Starsky is pretty much the opposite. His search for Hutch, despite his increasing anxiety, is conducted in icy calm. When Huggy tells him about Jeanie and her sudden departure, Starsky’s response is utter stillness. It is far more terrifying than Hutch’s volatility. There’s no lashing out at other people, just grim, softly-spoken promises: “I’ll take responsibility,” he tells Bernie when they find Hutch, wasted and uncomprehending… “If you’re lying you’ll have to find a whole other city to drink in…” he vows to Mickey. And to Dobey, “Captain, it’s important, but it’s mine…” Notice how everyone yields in the face of this man’s chilling determination. Who’s the alpha male in the partnership? My money’s on the man with the curls.

    Once his missing partner is found, Starsky’s behaviour is again the opposite of Hutch’s in ACFS. This isn’t silent support for a sick friend; it’s confrontational, because that’s what Hutch needs. Example: initially Hutch is pitiful, pleading and begging for “help” and “stuff”. But the discussion about the candy bar shows a shift. “I remember a man who used to hate candy,” Starsky says. Hutch, his usual cleverness in abeyance, has nothing more to offer than a shouted, “Shut up.” But it’s a good honest anger, and it’s cleaner, somehow. This is the real Hutch, starting to be autonomous, no longer the drugged-out wretch Starsky has been watching over for hours.

    Now Starsky’s interrogation begins in earnest. “Names,” he demands. “Names!” This is an interrogation: just look at the body language. This is Starsky setting aside all the warm and fuzzy feelings of friendship and acting the cop, because that’s what Hutch needs right now.

    We know the confrontation between the two men has been going on for hours. We may not see the damage inflicted on Starsky but we can infer it by the state of the room, by the sweat on Starsky’s face, and by Huggy’s repeated observation that the darker-half of the duo “Looks awful.” Just what had Hutch put him through?

    As to Merl’s suggestion that if Starsky is so worried about Hutch escaping, he should have slept with his back to the door. Fair point, but I’d suggest there’s possibly a window facing the bed that we can’t see, and Starsky is only dozing, rather than sleeping, facing Hutch. What’s the bets he’d be wide awake if Hutch made the slightest move? There’s also the curious line-up of chairs, essentially creating a blockade. Is this so if Starsky does nod off, Hutch will make noise moving the chairs as he heads for the door?

    Oddly enough, every time I’ve watched this episode in recent years I haven’t been able to shake the feeling there’s a scene missing, one that I saw the first time around in which Hutch hit Starsky and shouted abuse at him. Did my brain just fill that scene in or did it get deleted somewhere along the way?

    Other questions and observations:

    Why is that blonde chic so annoying? She has the whiniest voice on the planet…. or at least in California. Seriously, Hutch, let Forrest have her. You can do so much better.

    I think Hutch is already getting fed up with her. His “If I said I haven’t told anybody I haven’t told anybody” sounds a bit irked and who can blame him? She’s implying his BFF is untrustworthy (cow!) and she’s saying it in a whiny voice to boot.

    By contrast, Starsky’s dirty laugh in the background as Hutch hangs up the phone is a pure delight.

    “Take him out the back,” Monk says when they knock Hutch unconscious. But the entrance Hutch used is only overlooked by a pond (or so it appears) so why not go that way?

    You can tell Forrest is a bad guy because he keeps his hat on inside the house. It’s not even a nice hat.

    Someone should tell Monk you can’t inject fluid into a vein if you still have a tourniquet tied in place. Do you think that’s why he can’t find a viable vein in Hutch’s arm?

    The conversation between Starsky and Huggy about Jeannie is almost entirely exposition but it’s beautifully acted by both of them. Why is Starsky drinking though? Presumably, he’s finished his shift and his concern for his missing partner is just now starting to hit the red line. But why hasn’t he checked Hutch’s place already? He’s checked Jeanie’s.

    Is it just me, or is there a real insight into the soul (no pun intended) of one Ken Hutchinson when he begs his abductors, “Don’t leave me!”

    Why doesn’t Dobey give Starsky the message from Mickey over the car radio? Possibly for the same reason Starsky doesn’t want to track the car’s license number through the department. A chilling thought: Starsky doesn’t trust some of the people he works with not to come after Hutch.

    I love the symmetry when Starsky denies Mickey his drug, alcohol, the same way Forrest and his cronies have denied Hutch more “horse”. Both are withholding as a means to an end.

    I can’t make up my mind about Mickey. On one hand, he refuses $50 because he honestly doesn’t know anything about Hutch. Then again, he agrees to help the villains trap Starsky. Or does he think the bad guys only mean to follow Starsky in order to get to Hutch? That suggests his loyalty (such as it is) is to Starsky. The fact that Hutch calls him “Scum” suggests there’s little love on either side.

    There are no rope burns on Hutch’s wrists when Jeannie unties him, but there are later when Starsky finds him. They disappear again when he says goodbye to Jeannie.

    An unusually clever piece of continuity having the squad car on the corner serving more than one purpose: It dissuades the villains from following Hutch; it allows the officers in the car to report they’ve seen him; and they are able to direct Starsky to his whereabouts. It’s a small thing, but so many episodes of this show fail in this way it’s worth mentioning.

    The quieter Starsky gets the more dangerous he is. His plea to Bernie, “This didn’t happen” is almost a whisper. Bernie reacts with appropriate fear and respect. Interesting how he knows Starsky, obviously to talk to, but only knows Hutch by sight. “Hutchinson…” Not “Hutch”. And, “Isn’t he your partner?”

    Here’s my based-on-little-or-nothing theory: Starsky occasionally teaches classes or leads workshops for the uniformed officers. Probably he covers things like preserving a crime scene and getting witness statements. Since we know he has delivered an address at the police academy, we can infer that he’s used to public speaking. He also directs the police offers en masse in Plague, and goes on TV in the same episode, so it’s a reasonable conclusion. If he periodically led classes it would explain why he knows the names of so many uniformed officers, like Bernie, and they know him but not Hutch. Take this conjecture a little further: perhaps he’s been particularly tough on some officers in his class. That would explain why some of them resent or are fearful of him.

    I could wax lyrical about the scene in the alley where Starsky is commanding, protective and keeping his emotions under tight lock while he controls the situation. From this point until the end of the episode, Dave Starsky is in charge. Watch out world.

    I like how Starsky never forgets to say thank you. For a ‘Trashy Boy’ he can be surprisingly polite.

    Bernie might be helping Starsky get Hutch to the Torino, but Hutch is leaning heavily (figuratively and literally) on his partner. Bernie seems a bit reluctant to touch him.

    I love the practical and supportive action of Huggy when he takes Hutch’s shoes off. OK, he probably doesn’t want his bed linen
    soiled, but it’s still sweet.

    That admiration Hutch shows his partner in “A Coffin for Starsky” and “Pariah” is reciprocated in this episode. Starsky tells Huggy that even though “They tied his wrists, pumped him full of stuff,” Hutch still managed to get away. You can see Starsky’s pride as he says this. A beautiful piece of acting from the exceptional Mr Glaser.
    And how about Mr Soul? That plaintive, “Starsk… get me some stuff,” would just break your heart.

    How much pain is in Starsky’s humourless laugh and, “You’re going to make it, you big lummox” followed by that utter despair and anguish on his face? It’s an anguish only we see; it’s Starsky’s private pain and he’s not going to share it with anyone. Again, Glaser’s choices are absolutely authentic and powerful.

    “Names… names… names?” Starsky is implacable and full of icy calm. No one, not even Hutch, can stand up against Starsky when he’s in full command mode.

    What happened to Starsky’s other shoe? And is that a wine bottle on the table?

    Dobey telling Huggy, “I appreciate what you’re doing for my boys.” Plural. At least he’s smart enough to know it’s not only Hutch who’s in pain. And his “Good job” comment earlier to Starsky is received by nothing more than a “Yeah.” You know Starsky is exhausted when he can’t even tease.

    The shot of the homeless (drug addicted?) men lying on the ground is a moving piece of verisimilitude as the Torino goes by. Great direction in this episode which is easy to overlook given the power of the script and the performances, particularly by the two leads.

    “Thanks for the razor, it was dull,” Hutch says and as Merl says, now we know he’s feeling better because he’s being crabby. More than that, he’s back in the saddle again and wanting to act for himself, rather than wait for his partner.

    When Huggy gives Hutch cab fare we see a toilet behind the open door. You just didn’t see things like the John in most TV shows of the period. Again, a nice piece of realism… except that toilet is very clean and the seat is down. I don’t know any boys who keep the seat down even when there are women present, which there aren’t here.

    I love the sign outside the eatery when Hutch’s taxi pulls up. “Fantastic sandwiches”. Hilarious! How much chutzpah does it take to call an egg salad sandwich ‘fantastic’?

    Let’s hear it for Starsky’s stubble. No, I absolutely did not freeze the frame and pant like a puppy at the sight of it.

    Interesting to see spent shells fly out of Starsky’s weapon as he fires at Monk, and lying on the ground immediately afterwards.More realism again, than you’d expect from the average cop show.

    The way Monk falls back and then forwards is the sort of physical reaction you’d expect to see in the Warren Commission.

    “Go on Forrest, try it” we hear Hutch’s voice shouting as the Torino pulls up, but Hutch isn’t armed; only Starsky is. The background music really ought to be, “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble…” And I love Starsky telling Forrest his man has given all the details – at least we know he was apprehended even if we didn’t see it happen. Oh, and the “Don’t bother me with details” line is great too.

    Starsky’s, “Do you want to drive my car?” sounds like an ad lib and Soul’s hilarious reaction reinforces that impression.

    • Anna Says:

      Dude, you could start a Starsky & Hutch blog of your own, with so many new thoughts as you have here!

      Hmmm…regarding the “missing scene”…is it possible that you’re remembering the confrontation scene from “Gillian”? That’s the only time in the series I remember Hutch hitting Starsky while shouting abuse.

      Or perhaps you’d previously heard about the stuff Merl mentions up in the first paragraph of her review about what was in the original script, and your brain accidentally cooked up an imaginary scene? I know my brain has done that on occasion for some shows. It’d be a very understandable insertion here because cold-turkey heroin withdrawal is a process so hideous and, frankly, disgusting that there’s no way they could put anything except a few chopped-up glimpses of the least graphic bits into a 1970s primetime TV show.

    • Grevy's Zebra Says:

      Your comparison of this episode and A Coffin for Starsky is really thoughtful! You brought out a lot of parallels and contrasts that I hadn’t thought of before. I too wonder what the extent of the agony Hutch went through and unintentionally inflicted on his caretakers was. I suppose it would be too graphic or disturbing for primetime back in the day.

      Starsky really does have this amazingly wide range of character traits that manage to all fit into one coherent personality very naturally doesn’t he? He can go from child-like and excitable to deadly serious and terrifying, and from being innocent and wrapped around Hutch’s little finger to being so in control and charismatic that he can make anyone, even Hutch, knuckle under him. He’s a very thought-provoking guy if you think about it — I know most fans (including me I guess) see Hutch as a generally more complicated and puzzling figure than Starsky, but in some ways Starsky’s got a lot of surprises and mysteries of his own.

    • Laura Says:

      Rycardus, thank you for your thoughtful post, so many great points. In regards to the missing scene, how are you watching the episodes? On the DVDs, about 29 minutes into the episode, Starsky blocks the door and Hutch slams his fist into the door, narrowly missing Starsky, who doesn’t even flinch (making me wonder how many times he HAS actually hit him up to this point). When I watched the episode when it originally aired, on a relatively small TV with poor reception, I thought he had hit Starsky. It was only when I watched the DVD a few years ago that I realized he only hit the door. Hope this helps. If it’s not what you’re remembering, I’m certain there are scenes that aired but were not on the DVDs. In fact, if you look at the Ollie Report on Quadromania, the comment by Audrey includes a link to a critical, though short, scene that is missing from that episode on the DVD version.

      • rycardus Says:

        Hi Laura. Your question about how I’m watching the show is a good one. Right now I’m viewing on DVD, but of course when I first watched it was on an itty-bitty TV. I’m not even sure I got to see the first season in colour. That being the case, it’s entirely possible I didn’t see the scene properly. Or it could be a case of memory blurring over the years.

        I’ve re-watched this particular episode about three times in the past few months and every time I see something new, or draw a new interpretation of some scene. How many TV shows, particularly from that period, can you say that about?

        The script made for fascinating reading. I hope no one is offended when I say it was far more detailed and layered than I would have expected. That’s not to disparage the writers, but given the speed at which they were working, and the boys’ propensity for ad-libbing, I just wasn’t expecting such a high standard.

        I’m trying to limit my viewing (of all TV) at present because I’m trying to finish my second novel. I’m still getting my S&H fix though: I have a policeman called Glaser and his best friend is Solberg…

      • Anna Says:

        “I’m still getting my S&H fix though: I have a policeman called Glaser and his best friend is Solberg…”

        rycardus, I cannot tell you how gleeful this makes me!

        For the script…it does say “revised final draft” on the title page, so it probably wasn’t the first thing that landed under the actors’ noses. And I have heard, though this might be off-base, that the actors and editors and directors would do a lot of rewriting for some of the scripts, which I hear non-writers are often not allowed to do nowadays. Or maybe it was just a particularly good script.

      • rycardus Says:

        Thanks, Anna.

        I think a lot of those early scripts were excellent.I have a deep affection for “The Fix” in particular. The one I’d really love to see is the pilot. It would be fascinating to know how much of the characters already existed on the page right at the beginning, and how much PMG and DS brought to it.

      • stybz Says:

        I hope you don’t mind me chiming in. I agree with rycardus in that it is unusual to see so much detail in a script, but I think this has a lot to do with this being the first season. I have seen this in other first season scripts from other shows, which make sense since the characters are new and the actors are finding their groove with them. 🙂 So the more exposition in season 1 the better.

        The scripts for Shootout and A Coffin for Starsky have similar expository moments. 🙂

        As for the drafts. I’ve seen and worked with many scripts that would list each version as the “revised final draft”. It’s wishful thinking. 🙂 Changes are done on the fly, usually performed by the writers based on feedback from the producers, and possibly the cast and crew with new pages being delivered daily in various colors to reflect the newest revisions. That’s not to say Paul and David didn’t ad lib here and there, which they did often. 🙂

        We’ll never know which revision this was or how many followed, which is a shame. These days scripts list revision numbers with dates. They also have episode/production numbers on them. 🙂

        Someone mentioned the deleted scene in Quadromania. There are actually several deleted scenes from that episode that I was able to combine with the DVD version and make one complete one. I was hoping to post a YouTube link in the Quadromania thread, but comments seem to be closed.

  9. rycardus Says:

    Thanks, Anna. My daughter often accuses me of having too many thoughts!

    I know the scene you mean, but that’s not it. I’m remembering (or hallucinating) a moment in Huggy’s apartment, near the door with Hutch trying to leave and Starsky having to hold him back. It’s brief, maybe a few seconds long, but pretty intense. Mind you, I’m a writer so it’s very likely it’s just my weird brain filling in the blanks of something I thought ought to be there.

  10. Sharon Marie Says:

    Sometimes when re-watching this on DVD I forget for a moment that this was the mid to late 70’s…. until I see the technology. It not only predates cell phones and the cordless phones, but pagers too. Imagine how much less complicated their lives would have been if they could have texted everyone. No need for Starsky to bum a dime at the pay phone!

    And in the days of fancy editing, single camera steady cam shots and shorter seasons, I wonder what this series would have looked like today. It was really well done for the time.

    Soul really excelled in this episode. Wonder why the Emmys ignored this show. The two of them really were wonderful in their character development here.

    Starsky is in his black wind breaker again. When he is in this attire and Hutch the varsity jacket, they really do look like a couple of kids!

    Dobey’s desk has two telephones. One black office looking touch tone phone with several lines. Then a standard rotary phone – bright red… a hot line?!

    As violent as the show could get at times, they rarely showed blood or gore. Someone with multiple gin shots and not a drop of blood, ever. But here they didn’t skimp on making Hutch look like hell including fresh and dried blood down his shirt. I could almost smell his sweat, stale body odor and vomit. Whenever cinema or TV can trigger your senses like that, it’s a job well done.

    Several days have passed since Hutch has been kidnapped but when he was released there was no 5 o’clock shadow! Then he thanks Huggy for the razor after he shaved…. shaved what?!

    As Hutch is coming down from the heroin he begs Starsky for “help” and “medicine”, meaning he wants a fix. He tries in vain to get out of the room. Starsky is remarkably calm knowing that everything out of Hutch’s mouth at this point is just noise. The two make eye contact a few times – sometimes quietly, no dialogue – which means so much. They do this throughout the series and make the viewers *know* that these two are tuned into each other.

    Starsky takes advantage of Hutch’s sliver of clarity and grills him for information, calmly ignoring the outbursts and guiding the details out of his messed up brain. Those two were amazingly acting at two different speeds with purpose in this scene. Again, Soul and Glaser are phenomenal at using facial expressions and meaningful pauses in dialogue to convey so much.

    In the scene where Hutch is asleep on the bed sitting up and Starsky calls Dobey, the chairs that had been around a poker table are lined up facing in the same direction, quite oddly. Can’t figure that one out unless they would alert Starsky if Hutch had woken up and tried to get to the door – except that there wasn’t one near the door. There must be other scenes on the cutting room floor.

    Dobey has, I think, his first moment of kindness towards Huggy Bear when he thanks him for taking care of one of his men. Nice touch.

    Not sure what made Huggy capitulate so easily to Hutch’s request for him to call a cab.

    When Hutch scaled the wall and rested atop it, it was blatantly obvious that it was Soul’s stunt double on our 2014 television. But would it have been as obvious on the TV sets of the 70’s?

    Were the cars in the 70’s really that huge??! My parents only had Volkswagons. I guess I never noticed the giant sedans.

    Starsky threw Forest in the front seat of his car without cuffing him. Not the safest move.

    Such a touching, heartfelt scene with Jeannie and Hutch at the end. Their breakup was sad! And the actress is stunningly beautiful with barely any make-up on.

    I’m enjoying reading your reviews as we slowly watch the episodes from season one through to the end…. very slowly! They filmed a lot more eps in a season back then than now!

  11. Sharon Marie Says:

    Just watched a wonderful interview with David Soul on a British television show from 1980-81 where he was answering kids’ questions. One asked what his favorite episode was. He answered:

    “I like the ones where I got a chance to play totally ridiculous characters. The one I enjoyed a lot was one…. I did a show where I played a junkie, I was on heroin. That was interesting because I got a chance to go and do research for it down at the drug center, and work with some of the people who had been heroin addicts. And that way I got a lot of information that wasn’t just accurate, but information that was important for me to understand about addiction.”

    Clearly, he was talking about “the Fix”!

  12. stybz Says:

    This is truly an excellent episode. It’s one of the few I remembered from the days I watched this show as a kid and was a big Hutch fan.

    Anyone notice the “Lummox” and “Lug” connection between the two. Starsky calls Hutch “You big lummox” in this episode. Then in Shooutout, when Hutch sits Starsky up from the floor he says, “You big lug.” 🙂

    I like the theory behind how Bernie and Starsky know each other (Starsky giving presentations at the academy). My view is that the reason Bernie is so quick to assume Hutch is a junkie is because in that era it was something that happened more often, as heroin came into the public spotlight during the late 60’s/early 70’s. Maybe Bernie knew of other cops who succumbed to the drug and figured Hutch was among the fallen. Isn’t Bernie the one who identifies Hutch as he’s running by? I have to check that. It’s possible that if it was Starsky who is strung out and Hutch protecting him the scene would probably have played out in the same fashion.

    Good question as to why they didn’t keep Hutch in a warehouse or an abandoned building. Maybe it was the whole “hide in plain sight” concept?

    As for the type of neighborhood they were in, it’s something I found eye opening when I lived in LA. In my view, Los Angeles has some misleading neighborhoods that look middle-class on the surface but are more lower-middle or lower class in reality. I’m often surprised when something looks appealing to me is described as a dump on some LA based TV shows. It’s hard to see it as a dump with it’s Spanish style exterior and a nice lawn. 🙂 It’s very difficult to define neighborhoods in some cases, unless you’re filming in downtown LA where you get the office buildings and the older hotels and multistory structures, or in the notably wealthy areas like Beverly Hills with its nicer homes and greener gardens. Otherwise, single-family homes are harder to define by appearance.

    So why does Forest bring Jeannie to Hutch? My guess was to weaken her. Forest was sending her a message that he’ll mess up her friends if she tries to flee again. He did it to break her, to show that not even cops are strong enough to beat him.

    I had some issues with that top she wore with the exposed midriff until I concluded that Forest told her to wear it. Sick man.

    Yes, the Torino was parked at Huggy’s in the first scene that Hutch is there. However, it’s not there later. When Hutch is in the throes of early withdrawal, Starsky was too focused on helping him and wasn’t thinking about the car. Later, he might have asked Huggy to move the car or keep an eye on Hutch while he moved it. Granted, it would have been obvious seeing Hutch get brought in through the front door, so I do agree it was a big risk to take, but maybe Starsky wasn’t thinking clearly. Maybe Huggy’s place was empty or just starting to fill with people at that time of day and no one noticed. Or maybe Starsky tried to go into the back, but there was a delivery truck blocking the rear entrance, so he had no choice but to get Hutch inside the quickest way and that was through the front from the street.

    Since it’s well known that Starsky and Hutch hang out at Huggy’s either for information or a drink or a meal, it’s not unusual to see the car there for a little while, and maybe Starsky felt he had some time before Hutch’s captors would piece together that Hutch might be with him somewhere. No one saw anyone chasing Hutch through the streets, so there was no way Starsky or any of the cops knew if Forest’s men spotted the police unit or not. And by the time someone is in the bar asking questions, it’s dark outside and the Torino is no longer parked in front.

    As to why Mickey doesn’t take Starsky’s money but helps the bad guys is probably because the bad guys weren’t paying him but threatening him. Mickey knew to take threats seriously. He was a nervous guy. I wonder what he would have done if Starsky had arrived for the meeting. Maybe he would have tried to subtly warn him while feeding him false information. But when Hutch showed up he knew the guys would get to him, and Hutch was too out of it to notice any signs Mickey could give him. So he was at a loss.

    As to what Forest’s men would have done if it had been Starsky who showed up, they might have just thought about tailing him to where Hutch was hiding, then taking them both down.

    • stybz Says:

      Thanks, Anna. 🙂 I often find TV shows have lots of holes, so it’s fun to fill in the blanks and try to figure out why the writers might have done what they did. Even if there are holes, it’s fun to fill them. 🙂

  13. Patricia Ackor Says:

    This was only the fourth episode in the series, and it had been months since the pilot; we, the viewing audience, was only getting to know these strong, take-charge characters but we already loved them and believed they could do anything they wanted to. I doubt that many of us were ready for the excruciating reality this episode dramatized. I vividly remember watching it (I was 32 years old and knew everything I needed to know about the world), and just knowing that Hutch would be able to hold out, not give in to the forced heroin trips; he’d never give Jeannie up. He was HUTCH, for heaven’s sake, he was one of The Good Guys! But then, oh Lord, he did give in. And he was hooked! My white-bread upbringing had categorized all drug addicts as complete losers, no accounts, human garbage. But this was Hutch, and he was hooked. Could my conceptions have been that wrong??! I have to admit this episode was a sea change in the way I looked at life and all of us in it.
    The withdrawal scenes burned themselves into my psyche and have never left. I was, myself, hooked, and have never been cured. Thank God!
    Unfortunately, “Starsky & Hutch” never had the support of Hollywood, it was never nominated for Emmys, no matter how worthy an episode or performance; ‘The Fix’ as witness. Such powerful acting, from both David and Paul, had never been seen on series television up to that point, in my opinion, and rarely, if ever, since. There was no category for “Best Partners” acting though, every actor had to be nominated separately, so I’m glad they were never nominated; it would have pitted them against each other and there were already enough people ready and willing to tear them apart. Anybody remember “I Spy”? Three times Culp and Cosby were nominated and Cosby won every time. Culp was the much better actor at that time, but Cosby won. Not an easy thing to have to work around in any friendship.
    But ‘Starsky & Hutch’ was The People’s Choice! The duo made the cover of TV Guide at least 6 times during the 4 seasons, possibly more, but I clearly remember six. Fandom loved the show and the boys, as evidenced by the fact that here we all are, over 35 years later, still devotedly keeping it all alive! My sincere thanks to everyone in the S&H world.

  14. stybz Says:

    Anna asked about the script of this episode. I’m really not sure I could capture everything in a posting, so I uploaded the entire thing to my Google Drive.

    Let me know if you have problems with the link.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-isIlBWDry0WERYWmxpcUFzRXgyaHZaNVZEdDgtWnpRSWhz/view?usp=sharing

    • Anna Says:

      Wow! Thanks so much for this, stybz! There’s some pretty interesting bits in here that didn’t make it into the episode, but a few are jarring. I can’t imagine Hutch calling Starsky a Polack no matter how much strain he was under.

    • Wallis Says:

      This is awesome!

      I sometimes knock the writers for not seeming to understand how central the partnership and love is to this show, in contrast to the actors’ very strong understanding of this, but a lot of the stage directions in this script are really perceptive and great. “Hutch is seized by a wave of pain, he doubles up on the bed, groaning. Starsky’s smile fades. With deepest compassion, he touches his friend on the shoulder – then grips his shoulder hard – as if by doing so he can share some of the agony.”

      That’s just so perfect.

      • stybz Says:

        This mirrors Plague in a way. When Hutch is in pain, Starsky grips his hands hard as if he can take the pain away. Soon Hutch tells him, “You did it.” Whether he did or not is questionable, but it shows just how much Starsky wants to “share in his partner’s agony.” 🙂

    • Laura Says:

      Thank you for posting the script, Stybz. I’ve never seen a Starsky and Hutch script before and I found it really fascinating. I was stunned at the difference in how Hutch betrays Jeanie in the script versus how it was filmed. In the script, he gives up that he took her to the beach, but doesn’t initially give out the street name. The script reads, “Hutch, in semi-consciousness now, lurches off bed, stumbles toward door. HUTCH: Gotta help Jean . . . get there . . . Seaview Point . . . gotta get.” Rather than give up Seaview Point in a ploy to get the drugs he desperately wants, he actually mutters it in a sort of delirium, as he attempts to escape and go rescue her. The filmed version shows a Hutch far more deconstructed by his addiction, in an almost primal state. He is beyond any thought for anyone else. It was a much braver scene as filmed, showing that even heroes, even Hutch, can be broken. I think that in the aftermath of these events, Hutch would have had a harder time dealing with that, than dealing with the physical addition.

      • Tanya Says:

        This is a great observation, Laura. I remember when I was younger, I was uncomfortable that Hutch gave up Jeanie, and wanted to think to myself that he didn’t really understand what he was doing.

        Years later, after life experience and seeing addiction among my friends and family, I have a very different perspective. I am really glad the show was brave enough to not skirt around the issue of how far people, no matter how good they are, will descend to as a result of addiction and torture, and not offer any excuses and platitudes about it.

        I’m certain that after this event, Starsky will surely try to tell Hutch that it wasn’t his fault, that anyone else would have done the same, etc, but it isn’t smoothed over in the episode, and we don’t see Hutch heal from it, and that gives this episode a great harsh edge.

      • Laura Says:

        Tanya, thanks for the feedback and for sharing your perspective. I’m sure there would have been a great deal of emotional fallout from these events.

        I wonder whose input altered the final filmed version from the original script. It would be interesting to know if it was one of the actors or the director that led to the more brutally honest end product.

    • Monica Midbon Says:

      Is there any chance you could re-upload the script for “The Fix”? I’m a newer Starsky and Hutch fan and I’d love the chance to read the script. The Fix is probably my favorite episode, although admittedly I haven’t seen them all yet.

      • merltheearl Says:

        Hi Monica, I don’t have access to any of the scripts. I’ve never read them, preferring to reply on my own interpretation, no matter how flawed. I believe most of the scripts are available through Ebay if you would like to have a hard copy. The only online script, as far as I know, is “The Bait”: http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/starsky_%20hutch-bait.pdf

      • Monica Midbon Says:

        Thank you for replying! It looked like stybz further upthread had uploaded the script of “The Fix” to Google Drive, but the link is dead so I was hoping they could re-upload it. But while you’re here, let me thank you for your detailed, insightful, and entertaining reviews! I’ve been enjoying them so much! My roommate bought me the entire series for Christmas, so I’ve been reading your reviews as we watch the episodes. They add a lot to the experience – so much behind-the-scenes information and unique perspectives on the character interaction!

      • stybz Says:

        Hi Monica. Sorry the link was broken. I think I moved the script. Try here:
        https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-isIlBWDry0TE82SjI5cklnams

      • Monica Midbon Says:

        Thank you so much, Stybz! I’ve been very curious about this script for a while now, so it means a lot that you re-uploaded it for me. I’m going to sit down with some coffee and read it tonight!

      • stybz Says:

        You’re welcome. 🙂

  15. Spencer Says:

    Thanks all for your great comments. As far as I am aware, there have never been TV characters as interesting and multi-dimensional as S & H, before or since. True heroic figures wrapped in shades of gray. The way PMG and DS brought these wonderful characters to life, despite problems with scripts, sets and continuity, etc. was brilliant. Not only were their dramatic performances, as in The Fix, completely arresting, their comedic timing throughout the series was spot on. Its unfortunate that the movie re-make completely missed the point. It was never about the snitches, bad guys, shoot-outs or even car chases. It was ever only about the Partnership — the singular entity that is Starsky & Hutch.

    • Anna Says:

      The multidimensionality and complexity of Starsky and Hutch’s characters and their “singular entity” quality has always really resonated with me too — it’s what makes the difference between a show that would have just gotten an “aww, these guys with their friendship are pretty cute” and a show that inspired in me a long-running analytical fan interest. The way they fit together and make so much sense as if they were real people never fails to really please me. This is a perfect way to sum it up.

  16. Laura Says:

    Merl, another great recap, so many points to ponder. This is definitely one of the finest episodes of the series.

    I, too, found myself mildly distracted by the odd knickknacks on the shelf in the house where Hutch is held. It might be something generational, but they all looked vaguely familiar to me, like something I might have seen in my aged Aunt’s house when I was a kid. I especially like the strange, red bull. I’m guessing it was just some odd set design choice, filling the shelves with whatever was handy.

    I think the reason Forest brought Jeanie to Hutch was to be sure it was ended between them and to show her that Hutch wouldn’t be saving her. He was showing how powerful he was, controlling not just her, but her boyfriend. Jeanie might have been willing to put herself in harm’s way, but how could she let Forest continue to torment her would-be rescuer? He was instilling hopelessness in her by proving that she, even with help, could never defeat or escape Forest.

    When Monk is eating his ravioli in the restaurant, I can’t help but notice the outfit of the woman in the background with the hat that enters and then joins a man already sitting at a table. It’s a flamboyant, black & white patterned jumpsuit. Wow, the fashions of the 70s.

    When Huggy stops at Hutch’s place to get clothes, isn’t that a really big risk? Forest’s men are looking for Hutch; surely they would be keeping a lookout on his place. Seeing Huggy stop in for a minute and come out with clothes, wouldn’t they follow him right to Huggy Bear’s and Hutch?

    Oh, and that hug.

    When Starsky puts Forest in the car, he seems to put him in the front passenger seat. Wouldn’t he put him in the back or have a black and white come pick him up?

    I wish I knew if “Wanna drive my car?” was an adlib. It, and Hutch’s response, were perfect.

  17. Sharon Marie Says:

    I also find the journey from script to final version interesting. I imagine that once they are set for the scene and the actors are in character that sometimes the printed word just does not flow. The subtleness of how they changed the means by which Hutch discloses Jeanne’s location really makes a huge difference in his level of guilt. I recently read that screenwriters actually call this “torturing the hero”. A level of trust is built up in series’ regulars to the point that they become hero worshipped. By showing faults like Hutch’s fall from grace during addiction and withdrawal gives the viewer a sense that they are human after all and, just like us, there is a chink in their armour. Would I have preferred the version where Hutch doesn’t tell Forest outright where she is but instead Forest overhears it? Don’t know. Less drama, for sure. I wonder if they filmed these intense scenes a few different ways and let the actors ‘go’.

    My favorite part of this episode is still at Huggy’s place and the two of them are working through the withdrawal. PMG and DS are so completely opposite. Hutch is WIRED and waiting for an opportunity to get out. Starsky is going through the motions almost as though it’s groundhog day. “Here we go again” moments. Hutch starts pacing. Hutch moves towards door. Starsky, for the 28th time, locks the door and fends Hutch off. Wash, rinse, repeat. Starsky knows this is all about beating the clock. He waits for the window of just a few minutes of lucidity in Hutch when he can sit him down and ask the important questions. When that time comes Starsky literally interrogates him, connecting eyes, forcing Hutch to focus and answer like a perp.

    On the streets their usual demeanor is opposite. Starsky is the one flying off the handle and Hutch is the one standing back and waiting for that moment to move in and lay down the law.

    Fun reading everyone’s interpretations here!

  18. Kit Sullivan Says:

    Like everyone else here, this TV show has been one of my two favorites, ever since the very first broadcast of the pilot way baaaaack in ’75.( Star Trek being the other)
    To those who are uninitiated or not fans of the show, it is easy to just dismiss the entire series as nothing more than just another typical overly-dramatic and dumb cop-show like all those others that populated TV back then.
    2 impossibly good-looking and vastly different-type actors, a flashy car, lots of shootouts, car chases and fisticuffs and you have the tried-and-true formula of any typical American cop show from the seventies.
    But somehow…inexplicably…not only did each of the two pretty-boy actors actually turn out to be very good and natural, much better at making the actor’s “connection” than thier fellow contract-player bretheren of the day could muster.
    In addition, it seems that the dialogue, staging and editing all seemed to get a little extra effort and “polishing” from everyone involved.
    This resulted in a show that while on the surface appeared to be a glossy and slickly-formulaic TV show of the day, in reality had far, far more substance, integrity, care and pride “behind the scenes”. This is why this show has made such a personal and life-long connection to millions and millions of fans around the world…for 40 years! And counting…
    I felt so strongly and fondly for this show that when it was revealed that Glaser was trying to exit the show at the end of the second season…I took it personally, and it upset me. I mean, how could Glaser, the guy who breathes the very life into “Starsky” not care for Starsky as much as I did?
    And when it was revealed he was performing in the fourth sesson only under duress, not really wanting to be there…well, I kinda took it personally.
    And years later when Soul would put down questions about “S&H” and sarcastically ask reporters how they felt if someone wanted to know “all the details about the crappy job you had at Taco Bell 30 years ago”…well, that kind of upset me too.
    The guys seem to have softened and embraced the characters over the ensuing years, now enjoying the popularity they gave to them.
    Shatner very visibly went through the same love/hate/accept arc for “Kirk.”
    The actors like to say they “play” the characters, but seem compelled to make sure everyone knows that they are NOT the character in reality, but “themselves”. It must be an ego thing, but as far as I am concerned, Glaser IS Starsky…Soul IS Hutch. Without them breathing life into these characters, they were only words on a page. It could have been different actors, but it wasn’t…it was them. And always will be.
    To me, the first season is my favorite. The second season, where they hit thier stride and really started firing on all cylinders is probably the most popular, but I still favor the raw and gritty feel of season one the most.
    Season three was a disjointed mess for the most part, and I think the wheels finally came off the wagon in season four.
    Season four, the last…was typical of how all the the crap-tastic cop shows were back then: phoned-in performances from the stars ( sorry guys), unfinished scripts that lacked any real structure or drama, and quick-and-dirty directing and editing.
    After watching episodes like “Discomania, Photo Finish” and “The Groupie” ( all season 4 eps) when first broadcast, I remember thinking “Why are they making such terrible episodes? Are they purposely trying to wreck it, or do they just not care about it anymore?” How far they had fallen…
    But, this is about the first-season’s “The Fix”. My favorite episode of them all. One of the finest hours of television ever produced.
    The fact that it is so well known that most every first-season script was written for different characters and well before “Starsky & Hutch” even existed clearly shows the extraordinary abilities of Glaser and Soul and how they made mere words on a page become living, breathing people in the minds of millions of fans.
    I was one of the very first, and I still am.

    • Anna Says:

      Kit, I appreciate your words about the amazing effect Starsky & Hutch had on viewers and the life Glaser and Soul breathed into them. I think that when the audience has such a powerful takeaway from a show, it can be hard to remember that the experience of working on a TV job is completely different from the experience of watching the final product.

      I guess that if I worked as a chef in a restaurant job that was full of meddling bosses, low-quality ingredients, cheap kitchen facilities, cut corners, bad working conditions, marketers who didn’t care about food quality and only about gimmicks that would get more dumb and unappreciative people to attend the restaurant, and restaurant reviewers who sneered at and ignored the quality of my food because of the restaurant’s proletarian atmosphere and humble menu dishes, I’d hate the job and want to quit it, no matter how much my regular customers loved my cooking, and no matter if I made a great friend there in a fellow cook. I can only imagine that TV acting isn’t all that different.

      • merltheearl Says:

        Anna, just let me say that I really like your empathetic understanding of the (reportedly) frustrating working conditions Mr. Glaser and Mr. Soul have commented on.

  19. whiteroseforyork Says:

    This episode was not actually aired in the UK until 1999! The BBC bought the rights in the 70s and refused, or were not allowed, to show it. In 1999 our most off-the-wall terrestrial channel, Channel Four, ran an evening celebrating 20 years since the show ended and this was the episode they showed to finish the show, at about midnight. Bear in mind the rest had aired in the late 70s in the early evening.
    I’m the same age as the show and vaguely remembering watching some episodes with my Dad, perhaps on an early 80s re-run. By 99 I’d read most of the novelisations and ironically the idea of using forced addiction on a hero had intrigued me. So when I read the episode premise, I watched. Like most commentators, I was transfixed, especially by the scene in the alleyway. It’s certainly a powerful episode and it’s probably the closest a show of the time could come to a male-rape storyline.
    I’m glad they didn’t simply ‘press the reset button’ and did touch on the issue at intervals in the rest of the show. Of course modern series are more able to use season- or even series-long story arcs: witness “Criminal Minds”, where the identical core idea is re-used when a suspect forcibly addicts Reid in Season 2 – years later, he admits to having come close to using again when greiving for a presumed-dead friend. Still, in a time where in many shows every episode was a stand-alone, they kept the memory of this episode within the series-reality.

  20. Kerrie Brand Says:

    Hi, lve recently gotten back into watching Starsky and Hutch (long story) and have discovered the Ollie Report by accident, but love all the commentary on the episodes. I love that this Starsky and Hutch community still exists. This is my first try at commenting so here goes. After rewatching the Fix again the other day and remembering that Merl had posed the question about why Hutch seemed to be on cloud nine when he should be worried about the past growing fangs , I decided to try and come up with a theory . This is my take on it. I wonder just how honest Jeanie was with Hutch in the first place about who and what her ex boyfriend was or about her “career”. I dont think Hutch or any police officer would be knowingly involved with a hooker especially a hooker with a drug dealer exboyfriend as high up the food chain as Forest. It would be detrimental to their police careers for a start. I think she probably told Hutch that her ex was violent towards her and she wanted out, and thats why he got her the job at Huggys and why he took her into hiding at Seaview Point when the the past got too close. , It wouldnt have been Forest who came looking for her at Huggy’s. It may also explain why Hutch didnt say anything to Starsky about Jeanie’ s situation, because he Hutch thought he could handle the situation himself. Hutch thinks he is dealing with ONE person, not someone with a gang. Jeanie was right in the tag though, what she was, everything she’s done and what happened to Hutch would’ve come between them sooner rather than later. Very sad, but true.

  21. Laurie Cahoon-Draus Says:

    Like the last respondent, just stumbled across this myself (Trying to figure out the “John Colby” stuff in The Deadly Imposter) and was happy to find that this exists.

    The Fix was the one episode that was still stuck in my mind from my teenage years before I got the DVDs. What everybody else said, basically. Impressive, especially for the day.

    But all the discussion of why Forest brought Jeanie to see Hutch surprised me. I always thought it was obvious.

    He wanted what happened to happen. He knew Jeanie cared about Hutch, and wanted her to see the power he now had over Hutch and enjoy how that crushed her. He was sadistic, clearly.

    But mostly, I think, Forest let her believe that he’d let Hutch live if she swore off any future interest in him. It was blackmail to keep her with him. He didn’t really care if her being with him was forced. He just wanted her not to attempt to leave again.

    Of course he was lying and planning to kill Hutch anyway. But he was counting on her not finding that out for a long time, since she’d count keeping distance from Hutch’s world as a kindness she wad doing for Hutch.

    She let herself believe that Forest had nothing against Hutch as long as he wasn’t a rival and would be okay with dropping the whole thing if she came back.

    As to Monk and the mugs risking taking Hutch to “another location”, the only location they were taking him to was a dump in the ocean. And it wasn’t that big a risk. If anyone saw them when they left the house and before they got to the dump point, it looks a lot less questionable to be “helping a sick/drunk friend” in and out of a car than lugging a body.

    Everything they’d seen told them that Hutch was broken, weak, a totally helpless puddle of goo at this point. They probably figured he was too out of it to even hear them, much less comprehend it, much less do anything about it, thus their speaking free and easily about making him shark bait. But there was somewhere deep inside Hutch a last little reserve of adrenaline and last little inner core of iron will to be himself and survive.

    • merltheearl Says:

      Hi Laurie, thank you for your comments and great insight. As I read this I kept thinking, “of course!” and felt a bit stupid about not further exploring the idea of emotional blackmail, which seems so obvious now that I read it. I am very grateful you have filled in the blanks so wonderfully. Points, too, for “mugs”. I look forward to any other comments you may write.

  22. Miche Says:

    So many wonderful things have been written by you all about this eps. I’d like to mention something in the tag that hit me. When Starsky is standing near the car waiting for Hutch who is talking to Jeanie, I love how his shoulders are hunched. This body posture is usually something we see more Hutch doing when he feels all hope is gone (ACFS comes to mind as they both leave Dobey’s office after finding out that Waddel is dead). When Hutch joins Starsky near the car, their same body posture is evident. What I read into that is that the agony and pain Hutch has just gone through is as much Starsky’s burden as it is Hutch’s. Hutch’s suffering weighs Starsky down with the same intensity it does Hutch. It makes sense they are both exhausted at this point, yet Starsky’s rounded shoulders speaks more to emotional pain than to physical exhaustion Hutch must be feeling.

    David has said during an interview this year that he feels The Fix is the eps that sealed S&H’s relationship. I believe that. Hey, who’s going to argue with the actor playing the role! Especially when he brings him to life in such a human way.

    Miche

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