Episode 14: The Shootout

Syndicate hitmen Tom and Joey take over a restaurant to wait for their victim, mob boss Vic Monty to arrive, holding captive Hutch and a critically wounded Starsky.

Joey Martin: Steven Keats, Tom Lockly: Albert Paulsen, Theresa: Jess Walton, Sammy Grovner: Norman Fell, Harry Sample: Danny Wells, Robin Morton: Barbara Rhoades, Jimmy Lee: Steve Sandor, Mr. Durant: Jan Arvan, Mrs. Durant: Tresa Hughes. Written By: David P Harmon, Directed By: Fernando Lamas.


Please see “Character Studies 21” for more on the remarkable guest performances here.

This is an episode with very definite set pieces, formally organized scenes that are very stagey in presentation; you could almost imagine the spotlight upon each one, with other actors paused and in shadow. Each one is perfectly acted and written, and are as relevant and as poignant today as the day they were created. Sammy, the guy at rock-bottom who manages to slip even further, nursing an unrealized love; the Comic’s straight girl, after a life of bad decisions trying saving her own skin at the cost of her dignity and the one person who’ll go to bat for her; Theresa, the good girl fooling herself into making very bad choices, believing she still has control of an uncontrollable situation, and in the end given the opportunity to perform an act of redemption; the Durants, a couple at the end of their lives, experiencing a revelation about a life lived in complacency. The opening sequence with Harry Sample is wonderful as well.

Harry Sample uses religion – or more precisely, esoterica – as a both a hedge against justice and a coward’s mask. He hangs onto it longer than you or I would have, given Starsky’s menace. It’s ironic, too, how he believes Starsky and Hutch’s act is real when they’re the ones with the masks.

“You’re pretty scary when you get mad,” Hutch remarks to Starsky as they take a break during Harry’s interrogation. This is an interesting line because they so rarely comment on each other’s habits and proclivities, except to joke/insult. But is Starsky genuinely mad? Hutch then does something entirely characteristic: he steals Starsky’s candy, forcing him to buy another, then gives it back half-eaten, all the while criticizing his eating habits and pronunciation of “Lugosi”. All of which Starsky takes with enormous good grace.

We then see a recycled shot of the motel in the rain, something the series does occasionally; this time from the pilot episode.

Steven Keats has to be one of the best examples of casting in the series. His handsome animated face goes from puppy-like enthusiasm to dark-as-thunder in an instant. He dominates every scene he’s in, loud, boisterous, laughing uproariously, nearly out of control. There’s something Quentin Tarantino would love about him: the mix of boyish prankster and cruel tormentor.

The scene before the shooting begins, when the guys initially enter into the restaurant, is illuminating on many levels. You can see how hard Starsky is trying to please Hutch, who stubbornly refuses to be pleased as he grumpily dismisses Starsky’s childhood nostalgia. He then remarks to the waitress, “you’ll have to excuse my friend here,” when all Starsky does is compliment the restaurant and its food. And yet, when Hutch points out where the washroom is without being asked – a moment of awareness and empathy – Starsky suddenly glowers at him. “Anyone ever tell you you’re a regular shaft of sunlight?”
Hmm. What is going on here? Starsky seems untouched by Hutch’s sarcasm and bad temper, but then bridles when offered helpful information. Is this a case of passive aggression, or does he just have a really slow fuse? All is well, though: he’s back to amiable when Hutch goes to choose some music. (Although this gives rise to another minor mystery – how Hutch knew the jukebox was free. Most aren’t. And note the song he picks, an Italian folk ditty, proving he’s secretly willing to get into the spirit of things.)

Body Language: I love how Hutch freezes when the gun digs into his back. You read his mind even though he’s perfectly still with no expression on his face.

Starsky sums up the situation incredibly fast, and notice how his first move is to get Theresa out of the way and into the kitchen, with no thought to himself.

Filming notes: Glaser’s unscripted mumbling and twitching was so realistic that costar Steven Keats’ startled reaction, as he comes in through the doors after checking on “the old man”, is apparently real.

One does wonder why Tom Lockly decides to go through the with assassination when two cops walk into the restaurant. If Vic Monty goes to the restaurant on a fairly regular basis, why not wait until next time? It would have been so much simpler. Perhaps rumor has it Monty is going to testify in court, or maybe make an unpopular move in the organization, making this a rush job.

It was Soul’s idea to carry the limp Glaser the thirty feet or so into the back room by himself (which in reality he did twice, once to prove to the director he could do it, and once for the camera). Seeing Hutch lift him from the floor and carry him across the room is really incredible and once again highlights the extraordinary physical ease these men have with each other. In any other situation Hutch would have required help – later he has a very hard time even getting Starsky into a sitting position when he falls off the couch – but it’s not just adrenaline allowing him to heft 165 pounds of dead-weight, it’s an act of solidarity, too.

Tom Lockly is presented as The Intellect, a cool thinker who has masterminded this whole scheme. He sees himself as a man marooned by his own vast intelligence, culture and good taste. But when he says with genuine admiration, “You’re so intelligent you put it together” Hutch replies, “It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence.” Perfectly pitched, the insult is so subtle even Lockly isn’t sure whether it really happened or not. There’s a second of doubt before he pushes Hutch away. Round one to Hutchinson.

As Starsky is in agony on the couch, Hutch asks him, “What time you got?” Without medical attention, frankly not much time at all. Does Hutch understand the double meaning of his question? Does Starsky?

Hutch never really explains what he intends to do when Starsky throws the pitcher of water at the wall, but when Starsky says the situation reminds him of a film he saw once, about a cop tripping the bad guy and getting his gun, is he right in his assumption? Does Hutch intend to follow Joey into the office and attempt to tackle him there? If so, how would he then handle Lockly?

Robin’s attempt to save herself is really a gut-wrenching scene, embarrassing even to watch. Everything is great here: her unnecessary dig at Hutch on the way over – “what should I do – call a cop?” and her humiliated return to his table afterward. Hutch is obviously having second thoughts about his foolhardy plan. He’s never looked as low or as haunted as he does in this scene. “No matter what the move,” he tells Robin, “it’s always the wrong one, huh.” “Story of my life,” she says. As she talks, he’s not so much looking at her as through her. When she begs for his advice he glares off into nowhere, as if disassociating. He has a truly harrowing expression on his face. But even under these circumstances he comes up with extraordinary advice that shows his understanding of other people. “Maybe you have to give a little,” he says.

“The Old Man” is so memorably ancient that Tom and Joey, Hutch and even Theresa refer to him only as such. Is this Old Man part of the criminal gang as well? He must be – he hires Theresa, seems to be known to Lockly, and even though he hasn’t used the gun “in years”, he’s still used it, but on who? Someone foolhardy enough to rob a mafia hangout?

The Old Man helps Theresa by telling her where the gun is kept, so he must still believe she’s on his side. What story does she tell him – that she’s being held against her will?

When Jimmy attacks the gunmen and is subdued by Joey and Hutch, Lockly calmly orders Joey to put him in the cellar. Why, then, does he not order everyone down there? Wouldn’t it make it much easier to control the scene? Hutch knows Lockly thinks having a customer or two around will ease Monty’s fears, especially a policeman, but once Hutch is divested of his shoulder-holster he’s like everybody else, so Lockly’s reasoning falls apart.

“I bet the piggy put a buck in the till and took out a ten-spot,” Joey says with a big grin on his face. This, despite the fact Hutch was very careful to show the fifty cents he removed. Did Joey not see this, or is he just making jokes for the hell of it?

Sammy makes his heart-wrenching confession of love to Robin, looking about as miserable as a man can look.  She’s upset, and starts to cry. But what is the emotion below those tears? Does she love him at all, does she learn to love him, or does she feel sorry for him and secretly repelled? When this is all over, do they continue on to Vegas together, or does she split?

Hutch’s confrontation with Tom Lockly about going in to check on Starsky has to be about a great a scene as there ever was. At this point – exhausted, frustrated – he’s so enraged he’s nearly petulant.  It’s an emotional mix very few people can pull off. And look how long he holds that finger.

Hutch shows Starsky the gun. “From what I understand this thing is liable to go off in my face as anything else,” he says. “You always did want an excuse to get your teeth capped,” Starsky mumbles, and Hutch gives one of the saddest laughs ever and touches his shoulder gently.  Starsky’s comment seems to be the launch-code for the two of them to start bullshitting each other as a way of warding off fear, doubt, and pain.  Hutch immediately begins to play the game, saying, “You know something? You look terrible.” This from a guy who, shortly before, attempted to make Starsky feel better by saying nothing much was wrong with him, that he looked “terrific”. “Don’t let it fool you,” Starsky says. “I played Camille in high school.”

Now, all this joking and fake-insulting is about as loving a scene as one can imagine. Hutch pushing, and Starsky pushing back. This is echoed in other episodes, such as “A Coffin for Starsky”, in which Hutch verbally rough-houses with Starsky as a way of implying things aren’t as bad as they seem. Then Starsky ruins it, the way Hutch will later in “The Psychic”, when he touches Starsky on the shoulder and tells him to be careful. Starsky calls Hutch back from the door. “I was just kidding about the teeth,” he says, in such pain at this point he can hardly get the words out. And then Hutch’s brave pretense is gone in an instant. He’s just decimated by the remark. He leans right in and puts his head on Starsky’s head.

Hutch doesn’t seem to think Lockly’s going to run as he gathers up the guns in the tablecloth and then immediately leaves the scene to go check on Starsky. Lockly isn’t injured, or if so, not seriously. He could have bolted the moment Hutch lost interest in him.

Tag: I like how it’s David Michael Starsky, as announced by Huggy. And evidence, too, that Sammy stuck around long enough to have taught the guys a couple of really bad jokes. Maybe he visited Starsky in hospital, and testified at the any preliminary hearings before the big trial of Lockly, who survived when Joey didn’t. One wonders how Theresa managed to explain her involvement in the whole situation, both to the cops and to the mafia. At the very least she’d be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and plus Vic Monty’s people would know she set him up, and yet there she is, sitting on Hutch’s couch, seemingly unafraid of any consequences.


42 Responses to “Episode 14: The Shootout”

  1. Nikki Says:

    I’ve never seen such an analysis of my father’s writing before. I’m very impressed with the throughness.

  2. Daniela Says:

    This was a pretty good episode. Too bad the tag was so lame….
    I noticed another one of those references to robbing a couple of banks in Bolivia!! What kind of an impression did Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had on this show?!?

    • merltheearl Says:

      The tag really is so completely lame. It’s another case of writers having nervous second thoughts about the intensity of the show and wanting to lighten it up so badly they risk harming the integrity of the episode. And the series is chock full of Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid references (one of the characters in Season 4’s “Photo Finish” even has the poster on her wall). The movie at the time was so huge it cast a shadow over everything, especially the “you and me against the world” mentality a lot of counter-culture heroes (and I’d put Starsky and Hutch in this category) liked to emulate. I have to smile, though, that you called this episode “pretty good” – to me it’s close to perfection!

  3. Lynn Says:

    Next to The Fix, this is my favorite episode. Again, it showcases the depth and intensity of the relationship between the two. Hutch carrying him into the back by himself, and being tender and caring towards him while at the same time erupting and grapping Theresa until she gives up the information about Vick Monte. Soul goes from calming and reassuring to volitile in micro seconds. I love Glaser’s twitching and moaning. I’ve always thought that gunshot wounds have got to hurt and most victims on TV act like it’s a mosquito bite.
    Did I miss it, or was there ever an explanation for Hutch’s outstanding knowledge of first aide?

    • DRB Says:

      Such a wonderful showcase for Hutch to show his feelings for Starsky! However, don’t miss Starsky’s moments. In addition to the ones described here, there is a very telling moment taking place off camera. When Hutch comes into the office after saving Jimmy (and why didn’t Teresa, at least, comment on that?) Starsky is on the floor. What must it have been like for him, to hear the gunfire and not know what has happened. He tells Hutch, “I thought they killed you.” (Have you ever noticed how sensational our reactions to loved ones in possible peril are? We don’t think about the bullet missing or wounding: no, we go straight to “killed.”) Hutch can’t help but ask, “Is that why you’re on the floor?” Starsky turns it into a joke, “I thought I’d tunnel out and go for help.” But it doesn’t take much imagination to picture him trying to muster the strength to crawl out to help Hutch or at least find him. If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what would.

      • stybz Says:

        The script for this episode actually details the moment when Hutch enters the office and finds Starsky on the floor. This is an early draft.


        enters, reacts as he sees Starsky still laying half-off, half-on the couch… at the moment unconscious. Hutch moves over…


        He lifts him back onto the couch.

        HUTCH (afraid)

        (shakes him)

        Starsky’s eyes flicker open… he smiles wants to cry.

        I was afraid they killed you.

        Hutch is so relieved he almost laughs.

        Is that what you were doing on the floor?

        Thought I’d tunnel out… go for help.

  4. Jill Says:

    This is one of my favourite episodes. So intense and brilliantly played out by the whole ensemble. I agree with other comments about the tag ruining an otherwise perfect episode. I would have preferred something more natural, but still light/funny: maybe as Starsky missed out on his Italian food, Hutch (perhaps assisted by Huggy, with “authentic” music and restaurant decor) makes him a spaghetti dinner. Of course, Starsky struggles having his arm in the sling; cue Hutch having to feed spaghetti to Starsky… 🙂

  5. King David Says:

    I am glad that shows started to dismiss the necessity of tags; great dramatic wrap-ups are ruined by lame ‘epilogues’. I would’ve been happy enough to leave it at the office, or perhaps shovelling Starsky into the ambulance, or in a display of not wanting to part from Starsky, Hutch driving him to Casualty. (That might’ve been risky though.)
    Some scenes here are my absolute favourites. No prizes for guessing which ones.
    (Odd little continuity error with the silver foil plate near Starsky’s head – not there, then there.)

  6. Dianna Says:

    Daniela may not have wanted to slobber over this episode, but I sure do. Hutch’s tension is so high he is practically throwing off electric sparks. So good!

    There are a couple things I have trouble with — the tag, of course, which is horrible — but also the fact that the criminals allow so many private conversations.

    In addition, the story Theresa give Hutch is different than what she tells her boyfriend, and it seems like she would want Hutch to know that she had been intimidated into participating.

    A more minor point is that I wish Starsky’s symptoms had better matched those of shock. And that Hutch had patted him on the uninjured shoulder for reassurance.

    I love King David’s ideas for alternate epilogues. From now on I will skip watching what they filmed for epilogue and try to imagine one of those.

    • King David Says:

      You are very kind, Dianna, to like my alternate epilogues. These days we see programmes left suspended, for the viewer to have a ‘take away message’, and something to ponder over: what would I do in those circumstances?
      You make a good point re the shock symptons. I hadn’t actually considered that, but shock alone may have killed Starsky! OMG! At least he gets the blankets eventually. And I have not seen anywhere anyone impart the desperation mixed with pain Starsky displays in his facial expression when it looks as if it’s a lost cause, hopeless. It’s fleeting, but gets you ‘right there’.
      I also hadn;t considered the patting shoulder bit; Hutch must be a creature of habit…or it was just the most convenient part to touch.
      There’s a lot about the patrons which seems unlikely to us more sophisticated viewers of 2013, but it seemed perfectly reasonable in 1976. Plus it was a vehicle for us to learn the individual narratives which progressed the storyline. I confess I am not enamoured of Theresa; but, she redeemed herself a bit by helping overcome the bad guys.
      Why do big boss bad guys always saddle themselves with dimwit or loose cannon henchmen and offsiders?

  7. merltheearl Says:

    Dianna, I agree with your points, especially the bad guys allowing so much potentially dangerous chatter without intervening. But of course this is a script writer’s dilemma, and I for one am glad so much riveting dialogue got spoken, and authenticity be damned. I also love your point about Theresa’s changing story. She’s a pretty shifty character, more deeply involved than she lets on, and that’s a good catch on your part. And your issue with the tags? Well, stay tuned, I have an upcoming post about that very thing. Thanks again for contributing.

  8. Audrey Says:

    Merl,I am a big fan of yours(from Belgium).Thanks your analysis,i love it,nice job.

    • merltheearl Says:

      Audrey, thank you so much. It’s a continual surprise to me to find people not only reading this tiny blog, but enjoying it too. I really appreciate it. Belgium is a beautiful place.

  9. Audrey Says:

    Well,thank you 🙂 I am not a native english speaker so i hope you can understand me well.I love the show,but our version(french) was so badly translated,many times we missed the point.With your analysis i can understand the whole story,so i am really appreciate it.
    The Shootout is one of my favourite episodes.Hutch is more “human” as generally he is.He is more emotional,more kind.
    PMG made a fantastic job as always.

  10. merltheearl Says:

    So many perfect moments in this episode to write about. I could have written pages on this episode but I am glad to keep the conversation flowing. I love your remark about Tom and Joey being a caricature of Starsky and Hutch, and I can see the parallels; partnerships, by their very definition, are fascinating dualities. Why David Soul was not showered with awards for this performance I’ll never know.

  11. Dianna Says:

    I sure don’t know either. He is shows such a range of emotions, so perfectly. It is such an amazing performance.

  12. King David Says:

    I love the tenderness he shows when Starsky is in the office,so badly injured; it’s so possessive, in the way a parent might be with a child. As Hutch tells Theresa to mind Starsky, the gentleness is in full flow, yet there’s no embarrassment or any other gesture to suggest he might not want anyone to know how much he cares. David Soul did do some stellar work here. It’s still strong, it still garners the same responses from an audience today, I’ll wager…we are not so jaded in our modern outlook that we can’t appreciate, applaud or indeed yearn for such strength of attachment, and DS brings this out without any OTT acting.

    Diamonds and pearls…

    • McPierogiPazza Says:

      That’s something I love about both of the lead actors — they hit so many emotional notes throughout the series without resorting to scenery chewing melodrama. I wish more actors and directors would take note of these types of performances. They’re more powerful than what we often get which is performers equating intensity with LOUDNESS.

      • DRB Says:

        Soul’s and Glaser’s performances are compelling and satisfactory to viewers because they are able to communicate real, believable emotions so effectively. They understand how expressions, movements, even thoughts must reflect the truth about the scene and their characters. And this takes insight from the actors and patience from those filming to get it right.

        It definitely is a plus when the actors themselves have reality for a foundation. In recent interviews, both men have talked about working together. Glaser said when he saw Soul at the auditions, he thought, “We can make this work.” Soul spoke about the trust needed to work well together, and that selfishness could not be allowed to interfere. Both actors began to laugh as “patience” entered the conversation, and each proclaimed how patient he was in dealing with his co-star ( a very Starsky/Hutch moment).

        While I watched their interaction, I couldn’t help but think of the intangibles that no outsider will ever understand. Example: all David Soul has to do is snap, “Aw, shut up!” and Glaser promptly laughs with great glee. Seen in print, you would say this is hardly symptomatic of a strong friendship, but seen in action it is obviously a moment they both enjoy.

        Which brings me to a point (I think): Is art reflecting life, or is life reflecting art?

  13. Sharon Marie Says:

    With all the racket and shooting going on in the dining room, you would think that “the guy in the kitchen” would have been long gone by the time the hitman’s goofus is told to go check on him. Or at least had picked up a phone to call the police by then.

    Nice touch when Hutch notices Starsky’s limp arm.

    Hutch shows Starsky the old, dirty gun and tries to give him hope but Starsky looks defeated and tells Hutch, “See ya later” with tears in his eyes, almost resigned to fate.

    I also was shocked when Hutch wrapped up the guns in the tablecloth and next we see him going in the back room to check on Starsky leaving Norman Fell, AKA “Mr. Roper” in charge of the bad guys. Perhaps we are to assume that the cops had gotten there already.

    Agree that this episode has the worst tag in the series. It looks like the guys are putting on a costume show for strangers pulled off the street!

  14. stybz Says:

    Me again. 🙂

    In regards to the comment about the jukebox being free, Hutch reaches into his pocket when he says it, as if fishing for change. My take is that he was telling Starsky that he was paying for it, which is a refreshing change from all the times he asks Starsky to pay for things. 🙂

    There’s plenty of time (out of frame) for Hutch to put change in the machine, and while we don’t hear that (there are some noises in the episode that are noticeably absent – see paragraph 4), I’d like to believe that this is what’s happening.

    Also, as for Starsky’s comment about Hutch being a “shaft of sunlight”, I don’t think Starsky’s comment was in response to Hutch’s tone when pointing out the men’s room. Instead he was making an overall observation of his partner’s mood. So Hutch decided to brighten things up by offering to pay for the jukebox, which elevated Starsky’s mood. 🙂 That’s how I saw that entire scene. 🙂

    Did anyone else notice the occasional lack of sound effects in some of the scenes? When Joey is in the office yanking out the phone and tossing it on the desk, you can hear a pin drop. A heavy phone like that would have made some sort of crashing sound, not to mention the bells inside dinging slightly. Later on, there’s a shot of the rain hitting the window in the office and again there’s no sound effect of it hitting the glass. We hear the thunder, but not the rain. It’s pouring outside. 🙂

    Oh, and – dare I say it – has anyone seen the episode of The A-Team called Without Reservations? It’s almost a complete rip-off of this episode. That said, I like Dirk Benedict, so some hurt/comfort of Face was a welcome surprise. I had seen that A-Team episode several years after this one, and had forgotten about the S&H version until a friend showed it to me a couple of years ago. The similarities made me uncomfortable. I still had a hard time watching Shootout when it aired on Cosi a few weeks ago, but because I like the guys so much and like h/c, I’m slowly getting over it. 🙂

    • merltheearl Says:

      stybz, you bring up a great point about the sound quality of this episode. I’ve noticed that too. Of course television production was much less technologically sophisticated during this time, and when watching now I’m always aware of the power and intensity of the sound (that, and filming in dim light). But the issues of sound capture here is a mystery to me; it takes place in one room, in a controllable interior, so why the numerous soundtrack errors and microphone mishaps? Plus Hutch’s post-production voice when he speaks urgently to Theresa about her use of the name Monty always strikes me as particularly bad. I have to laugh at myself because I didn’t make these observations in my original post for the simple reason of loving this episode so much I didn’t want to sully it with a lot of picky little complaints. But yes, I agree!

      • stybz Says:

        I wonder if they had technical issues filming the scenes in the office that maybe wasn’t caught until after everything was in the can. Perhaps something happened to the tapes (audio is recorded separately from film), and they had to dub some of the scenes.

        It’s interesting to note how much gets dubbed (looped) these days vs back then. I can tell when a scene is looped, and that’s not a good thing. 🙂

        I like the way Hutch says, “Monty” in that scene. It’s up there with the way he says “doctor” when he first walks into the emergency room in A Coffin for Starsky. 🙂 He has a way of punctuating his lines that’s very appealing to the ear. 🙂

    • Anna Says:

      stybz, I also noticed the sound issues here — especially that painfully noticeable looped dialogue. The rest of the episode is fantastic, but for me, glaring flaws (like the sound issues and also the really crappy and lame tag) actually bother me a lot *more* when they crop up in fantastic episodes than when they crop up in more average episodes. For one thing, those flaws stand out more in comparison to the episode’s overall quality, and for another, it’s so much more frustrating to see something excellent marred by such obvious missteps than to see imperfections in a not-so-fantastic episode.

      • stybz Says:

        I think I’m more forgiving of sound or other technical goofs and gaffs in a good episode. I think in a bad episode it would make it worse for me and harder to like it on any level.

  15. stybz Says:

    Sorry, thought of something else. A question was raised as to why the other patrons weren’t put in the cellar with Jimmy and the old man. I think the concern was that if Monty saw that the restaurant was empty he’d leave before the guys would have had a clean shot at him.

  16. Sharon Marie Says:

    I loved Steven Keats as Joey. What a great slimey bastard. He was all mouth looking for accolades as he threatened Hutch here and there and bossed him around. I picture him as the child of a father-bully, now imitating what he lived. He only had one moment of backsliding – that was when he came out of the kitchen and had a front row seat to the bloody hole in Starsky’s back. He paused and had just a moment of reality as he took it in. Didn’t last long.

  17. Sharon Marie Says:

    Merl…. I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere, but do you have a ‘TOP 10’ list of your favorite episodes?

    • merltheearl Says:

      No, I’ve never actually narrowed it down to a list of ten, that’s a great question! You’be got me thinking hard about that one.

      • Sharon Marie Says:

        With 90ish episodes we could all do a top 10 list and they’d all be different! It would be interesting though to see which favorite episodes we have in common. But then there are those, like A Body Worth Guarding, which is one of my favorites but might also make a stinker list for being full of holes!

        We could even single out those for best writing, best directing, best PMG ep, best Soul ep. Favorite guest star….. we could have a black tie affair with a red carpet! LOL

    • Dianna Says:

      Oooh, more S&H topics for Merle to write about! More for me to read and comment on! Yes!

  18. Dianna Says:

    I thought that was what he said, but I was never certain. Thank you.

    How like Starsky to make the light-hearted remark when things are really bad. That is why we — and Hutch — love him so.

  19. Lisa Says:

    Although I also love Hutch’s reaction to “I was just kidding about the teeth” there is a moment a few minutes before that is even more powerful to me. When told to stay put, Starsky says “I’m not going anywhere.” At that moment Hutch looks like someone just punched him in the gut, and is breathing heavily for several moments afterward. As Martin Freeman says “acting is reacting” and DS is a master at that.

    • McPierogiPazza Says:

      I went back and rewatched that, and yes, it is a powerful moment. He even walks over to the wall and leans against it like he needs something to hold him up.

      I like that our tough, heroic cops show that being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared. Bravery is doing what you need to despite the fear.

  20. Laura Says:

    This is one of my very favorite episodes, so well crafted on so many levels. One scene that I find especially touching is right after Hutch asks Starsky, “What time you got?” Starsky doesn’t immediately answer because he’s in too much pain or perhaps starting to pass out, and there’s this moment when Hutch realizes he hasn’t answered. His face just falls for a fraction of a second and you know his heart is sinking and he’s thinking “Oh, no,” as he’s reminded how seriously injured Starsky is. He then knells down and gives Starsky one of the sweetest, “Hey Buddy” lines of the series. It’s stellar acting by Soul who can convey so much emotion with his expressions and body language.

    • merltheearl Says:

      I totally agree. Even reading that choked me up a little.

    • Lisa Says:

      Not disagreeing with you, but something else adding to Hutch’s distress at that moment is that he realizes that Starsky cannot move his left arm, but is trying to hide the extent of his injury from Hutch. Very sweet and subtle moment!

      • Laura Says:

        Yes, there is that aspect too. Thanks for pointing it out. There is so much depth to this scene. Throughout the series there are so many simple, quiet moments between the partners that are compelling because of what Glaser and Soul brought to them.

      • DRB Says:

        Did you notice Hutch massaging Starsky’s arm? It seems obvious that the arm is getting cold. No wonder Hutch is quiet when he tells Teresa, “He can’t feel anything.” He is obviously exaggerating, but fear will do that to you.

  21. Miche Says:

    If I had to pick one eps only, to view over and over, it could very well be this one. But the thought of having to choose sends me in a panic! 🙂

    Hutch’s tenderness for his partner is more potent here than anywhere else in the series, in my eyes. The scene early on in the back office where Starsky asks him ‘if he has any plans after this is all over’ clearly shows this. The look on Hutch’s face, and the softness and love when he says, ’that depends on you’ blows me away every time I hear it. Hutch saying ‘anything you want buddy, name it it’s yours, I love you so much’ would not have more impact.

    I love how Hutch uses the term of endearment ‘babe’. He does so very naturally, it’s perfect. Starsky does the same, albeit less low-key, in the Plague. Thank God for the ability to rewind the DVD player!

  22. DRB Says:

    ” Hutch is obviously having second thoughts about his foolhardy plan. He’s never looked as low or as haunted as he does in this scene. ”

    I wondered if he is realizing that his best chance of saving lives depends on killing Joey. We know by this time in the series that both officers have killed someone in a gun battle, but that they always are concerned that it be the last resort. This situation is more harrowing since the decision has to be made in advance instead of in a split second. You will notice how briefly he checks Joey for a pulse; usually we see Hutch be much more thorough in looking at a victim. But he expects that Joey is dead because he deliberately shot to kill him. A wounded Joey would be far too likely to shoot at random, so Hutch must have believed that it had to be.

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