Episode 42: Velvet Jungle

An investigation into the murder of an illegal alien uncovers a smuggling ring lead by Sterling, an Immigration official.

Sterling: Biff McGuire, Paco Ortega: Jorge Cervera Jr, Harry Wheeling: Cliff Osmond, Laura Stevens: Sheila Lauritsen, Andrea Guiterrez: Silvana Gallardo, Danny: Timothy Carey, Ginny: Belinda Balaski, Lou: Susan Bay, Moreno: Frank Lugo, Miguelito: Robert Rodriguez. Written By: Parke Perine, Directed By: Earl Bellamy.

QUESTIONS AND NOTES:

This is one of many episodes that attempts to bring recognition to a grievous social ill, the writers humanizing what might be a vague or complicated political issue through their narrative, and probably educating a lot of their audience along the way. In this episode that issue is the poor conditions and other vulnerabilities suffered by immigrants, illegal and otherwise, in the garment industry. Not a particularly sexy storyline, which makes “Velvet Jungle” even more special and important.

It’s funny that the alarm goes off at Sally’s Sandwich Shop, if the pancake man is already in there working. Or does he reset the alarm when he comes in and before he officially opens, in an act of paranoia? Plus, note how he puts his tongue to the spoon while he stirs the batter, then stirs again with the same spoon. Ugh. The more I watch Timothy Carey’s performance of the unlikable baker, the more I appreciate it – it’s loaded with wonderfully comic and disgusting nuances.

It takes a cold, cold criminal to pick up a dead body in the oddly intimate way Harry does, which is to hold her like a dance partner, arms around his neck.

Do detectives normally respond to a broken window or is that a patrol car duty? Hutch makes the remark later that they were merely on their way to work, and responded incidentally. What’s the hierarchy here, anyway? Would Starsky and Hutch run the risk of stepping on toes if they responded to calls such as this?

Hutch’s recognition of “mother” versus “Muta” – murder – and his and Starsky’s disgust at Sally the Pancake Man’s inability to know the difference again displays the assiduous and nearly angry social intelligence of this series. Also look at their faces when the cook dismisses Latin Americans as “wetbacks”. The police force in Los Angeles and elsewhere is a notoriously conservative, reactionary institution and very slow to change attitudes and approaches. Starsky and Hutch, with their liberal humane attitudes, must have been unusual. It’s interesting to speculate on how much hostility they engendered inside the department.

More injuries: Glaser, ever the professional, refused to let them pad the dumpster he was to fall into, and did actually hurt himself a little when he fell. Soul, casually watching off-camera, straightened worriedly when he saw the fall – he was the only one who knew until the director cut. Picerni also broke his foot jumping off the escalator, the scene where Starsky supposedly sprains his ankle.

Hutch doesn’t notice the obviously guilty motions of Harry when he questions him about the murder.  Why not? It’s pretty obvious, the hesitation and half-truth. Is he just really tired?

Starsky comes around the corner after his scene in the dumpster with Laura Stevens and immediately is struck with the idea of somehow surprising or teasing Hutch, who has his back to him.  He creeps up on him – one suspects something big and scary, but all he says is “What.”  Not a joke, not a trick.  Does he second-guess himself, unable to think of something suitably surprising?

Ms Brownley is an enigma.  “Honey, honey,” she exclaims, stopping a model, “you’ve got that dress on backwards.” The model is wearing a pantsuit. Simple wardrobe error, or is this a hint we’re not supposed to take her seriously? And then: “Nice name”, she says when Starsky introduces himself. Is it? “He’s cute,” she says.  “I don’t think so,” Hutch says, as if by rote. “Well, maybe you’re right,” she sighs.

“It’s alright, Starsk,” Hutch says, politely removing the clothes from Starsky’s arm.  Gently this time, aware everyone in the room is staring at them and for once not wanting to make Starsky’s humiliation worse. “Doesn’t go with your eyes anyway.”

More us-and-them dynamics: suit-and-tie-wearing Sterling from some vaguely threatening-sounding department (“agent in charge of this city’s immigration office”) versus the righteous guys from the street. There are two major themes in the series: the sacredness of the partnership, and the iniquity of Big Government.

How does Hutch know so much Spanish? Coming from the Midwest, and one assumes by way of LA as a 19 or 20-year old, how would he know? He also seems quite Spanish or Mexican in his choice of off-duty clothes (the serape, for example) and his choice of interior decorating. Or is it just the fashion of the times?

Hutch trips dramatically while walking into the bar. Clumsy Hutch, with such a capacity for grace. And by the way, what’s a bar doing with a red velvet curtain instead of a door?

I suppose Starsky was visiting family on the East Coast while Hutch was working alone a few years ago.

It’s fun to see Hutch on the pleading end of things for a change when he starts talking Starsky into going incognito into the rough Latin bar (which, incidentally, is more or less Dirty Nellie’s from “The Committee”). He makes his eyes big and wide, playing innocent, has a nervous grin on his face. It’s a great comedy scene and you can tell there’s a great deal of enjoyment in it from both of them.

Starsky isn’t the Spanish idiot he pretends to be. As far back as “Texas Longhorn” he kicks the phone and shouts an angry phrase in Spanish. Hutch observes, “your Spanish is getting better.” And he knows to follow “esta Ramone aquí” with “donde esta Ramone?” If it weren’t for his nervousness he’d be perfect at it. And he looks the part, too, unlike Hutch.

This is an episode that tries hard to dispel stereotypes, and it’s mostly successful. However, the bar scene merely reiterates the notion that men from south and central America are unpredictable and frightening. Yes, it’s a tough bar in a tough neighborhood, but it’s a shame everybody in there is one-dimensionally hostile.

Why does Ortega feel he has to beat Starsky so badly? He really wails on him while Starsky, as soon as he learns Ortega is undercover with Immigration, lets up markedly. Starsky’s obviously battered at the station later. And for what? Most of the fight takes place out back in the alley where there are few if any witnesses – they could just yell and throw boxes around for the same effect. Is this why Starsky has no more scenes alone with Ortega – he’s pissed off? Hutch and Ortega get along fine, to the point of hanging out at Hutch’s place.

Why does Starsky refer to Andrea Gutierrez as “our prisoner”? She hasn’t committed any crime. What he means to say is “protected witness”.

Even after seeing this numerous times, watching Dobey take sides (“if I were you, I wouldn’t go upstairs”) is still a thrill.

Hutch, when talking to Andrea, does two distracting, riveting things. He rubs her back for comfort (in a nice, non-threatening way, but still) then, while talking to Ortega, draws on the blackboard while he talks (tic tac toe, by the looks of it).

Let’s imagine the scene where the guys propose being street performers as a way of integrating themselves in the take-down scene. Hmm, how to get close to the action while not being noticed? Why not mime? Imagine Dobey’s face when this solution is presented. Does it not occur to any of them that simply planting an undercover officer as a pedestrian might be the simplest option? Why such a complicated, potentially reckless act? It’s very possible a mime act with its attendant spectators might make the bad guys nervous to the point of nixing the meeting altogether. Does Dobey agree to keep his best detectives happy?

Watch the story played out when Starsky and Hutch dress as a classic French mime and as Charlie Chaplin. It’s two separate acts combining. Chaplin leaves his silent-film world to flirt with the female mime, and Marceau-Hutch hits him as a distraction. Starsky turns the screws on Hutch’s instrument, totally controlling him as he does so. Starsky’s character is fluid and graceful while Hutch’s character is choppy and robotic: Freudian goldmine. Also, while Starsky is merely mimicking Chaplin in a goofy sort of way, Hutch is good enough at miming to make one wonder about his off-duty hobbies. And while we’re deconstructing this scene, who’s the female mime anyway? She’s almost too good to be a police officer – unless she’s in the same nerdy mime club as Hutch – but who else would they put in a dangerous position? She’s not credited. Not to mention the musicians, who would be in the line of fire. This entire scene, so irrational and so damned charming, is frustrating to the viewer who wants their police drama to follow logical, predictable storylines. And this is why the series is so bewitching. Television drama hadn’t set its footings in concrete at this point, there were no rules, no educated, easily outraged public, no finger-wagging social media groups to shout down stupid, audacious, beautiful little moments like this one.

Laura Stevens is not the one for Starsky. For instance, she insults Starsky’s clothes over and over again. She ditches Starsky at the fashion show, but not before she gets Starsky’s name wrong (“Starchy”). She leaves him standing with her clothes, which makes him a figure of fun at the fashion show. She doesn’t believe he hurt his ankle. When talking about the fancy dinner with Starsky, she mentions everything but the nice company. Hutch knows the joke about the red tennis shoe and she doesn’t. She’s embarrassed by Starsky when “The Times” editor sees them. But most importantly, Hutch doesn’t like her. I mean, he really doesn’t like her. He frowns when she enters, and seems to find her insufferable. Which is interesting, considering she’s trying very hard to be a barrel of fun.

Starsky says, in the tag, “They just lack couth.”  This is the second time he uses this phrase. And also, why bring Laura back to Hutch’s place? Does he want to show off his pretty girlfriend to his partner, the way cats bring dead birds into the house? Looking for approval from Hutch, which he doesn’t get?

Sartorial notes: Hutch is wearing the great plaid shirt-jacket in several scenes while Starsky wears the leather jacket sans collar, and a startling yellow and black rugby shirt that sadly doesn’t appear in any other episode.  He’s glamorous in it, leaning with the coat stand as Paco tries to talk Sterling into joining forces from Dobey’s office.  There is a lot of plaid in this show, Hutch wears a blue stone ring in a silver setting, and on the third finger of his left hand. He also wears some nice dark-wash jeans. In the tag he wears an awesome hippie ensemble of yellow linen shirt with drawstring, pale jeans and sandals with socks while he strums guitar.

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26 Responses to “Episode 42: Velvet Jungle”

  1. Daniela Says:

    …did you notice how when they first encounter the crooked immigration office, in the dead end alley, Hutch tried to open the car door to get the guy out and the door was LOCKED?!?! He had to unlock it! I mean, S&H keep their cars unlocked with the windows open all the time, even when parking it for hours and the immigration guy is IN the car, driving around, with the window open and the door locked! Talk about paranoid!
    It was good to see that Soul was unfazed and unlocked it without even blinking!
    Neat!

    • King David Says:

      I noticed! There’s another episode also where this happens; I suspect the actor leaned on the button (those 1970s cars!) but we could speculate that the Immigration Officer felt unsafe, which highlights how S&H fit into their area so seamlessly. I wonder if Hutch broke his nails…I have had that happen on old cars.

  2. Daniela Says:

    …also, the scene at the bar… I wonder why Starsky didn’t recognize Officer Todesco, from other episodes… Or maybe this was before he was reformed and joined the force! LOL
    And I loved the way Hutch ran to beat the guy that was beating Starsky! Just like that, no questions, no assessment of the situation, just run and punch him! Ah, to have a friend like that! Ah, to be a friend like that!

    • merltheearl Says:

      The great thing about your comments is they always make me return to the episode to see the details you mention! Thanks.

    • King David Says:

      I noticed this also! I was looking for it, but it was still great to see it. And, the more I see it, the more I like how Starsky isn’t surprised at the vehemence of the attack; “is that rough enough for you?” As you say, Ah…mateship.

  3. Daniela Says:

    LOL! your posts do the same to me! I learned to look at the episodes with a magnifying glass!

  4. Marisa Says:

    Thank you for noticing Timothy Carey as Danny, the “pancake man”! He is priceless in this episode. “Super pancakes!” Your blog is great! I invite you to check mine out if you’ve a notion to: thetimothycareyexperience.ccom

    • merltheearl Says:

      Marisa, Timothy Carey is incredibly good here. In fact every time I watch this episode I’m more enchanted by his boisterous, all-in performance. He really dominates every moment of the scenes he’s in. And I have to take a moment to congratulate you on your blog as well. It’s so informative, fun and interesting – I learned a lot about this fascinating actor. Thank you!

      • Marisa Says:

        You are welcome! Tim certainly did dominate whatever scene he was in – no matter who else is on screen, your eyes immediately follow him. He was one of a kind. Happy to spread the Gospel of Carey! Added you to my blogroll too. Thanks again!

  5. Dianna Says:

    Bay City PD is not necessarily as conservative or reactionary as the LAPD, which only had its first police captain in 1972, although the ratio of black police officers in the BCPD seems even lower than LA’s was at the time (5%).

    Spanish: One learns some Spanish just by living in California, especially Southern California, but Hutch would have made an effort to learn it, because he is always interested in self-improvement, and for a police officer, it would be a useful tool. The real question is why he thinks Starsky knows none; why Starsky, in fact seems to know so little in this episode, even though he went undercover as a native Spanish speaker in Tap Dancing.

    As for Hutch’s Mexican off-duty clothes, when I went off to college in southern California in 1977, lots of people wore Baja hoodies and other vaguely Mexican clothes, so Hutch’s clothes don’t surprise me.

    Starsky & Hutch’s facial expressions when talking to Danny the pancake man are priceless. Danny has got to be the most disgusting character I have yet met. (I can see why this actor has a devoted following.) Did you notice that Starsky helps himself to a cup of coffee there?

    Jeanne the morgue lady is pretty amazingly good at her job — but what is really surprising is the fact that even though she is beautiful, neither of the guys flirt with her or try to touch her, but rather treat her as a competent and valued colleague.

    Merl mentions the way Wheeling carries his victim as evidence of his coldness. There is also the way he sets a trap for Andrea and then steps outside and plays catch with the boy.

    Why does glamour girl Laura use the back door of the factory, next to the dumpster? She is astonishingly superficial, and doesn’t even offer sympathy for Starsky’s hurt foot at the end. In a way, her coldness is the complement of Wheeling’s.

    I found Ms. Brownley delightful. The “dress on backward” is probably an error in the costume department, because I can’t think of a reason for it to be deliberate. It probably fits in the “it will go by so quickly no one will notice it” department. I know I didn’t till Merl pointed it out!

    In the bar, the patrons merely snicker and jeer; the only real threat of violence is from the bartender and the undercover Ortega. Ortega stops punching as soon as he and Starsky are around the corner from the bar. All the violence from that point is Hutch trying to protect Starsky.

    Moreno the building superintendent seems to care that Andrea is in danger, so why didn’t he mention that Wheeling had been looking for her? When he phones Starsky and Hutch, does he follow Wheeling’s instructions and call him as well? Does he know that Wheeling and Sterling are in his building?

    Ortega’s description of the immigration racket may have been the first that most people knew about people being smuggled and enslaved; I’m glad the show brought this important issue to viewers’ attention. But who does Ortega work for? If he said, I missed it.

    • merltheearl Says:

      Thank you for this, and I agree with all your points (I love Mrs. Brownley too), and good questions about Moreno and whether he contacts Wheeling. Ortega tells Starsky he’s working undercover for the Federal Department of Immigration, which makes him the most down-to-earth Fed in the entire series. I always wished he’d pop up again – not only because I like him, but I think the issues of human trafficking, illegal immigrants and unsafe working conditions deserve more air time.

  6. Anna Says:

    Sorry to begin on a shallow note, but it’s so conspicuous I feel justified: Soul and Glaser look AMAZING in this episode. In nearly every shot, the lighting and camera angles flatter them so well that they look breathtakingly, shockingly, distractingly, hit-the-pause-button-and-drool beautiful. Especially in the nighttime scene when they have that “Esta Ramon aqui?” conversation in the car outside the Latin bar.

    Hutch’s poisonous cold fury at the Pancake Man’s general horribleness is a sight to behold. He does righteous anger like no one else. In fact, all through this episode Hutch is magnificently angry and compassionate and driven to smite the predators of this most maligned of social classes with justice. It’s awesome, even if Ortega gets all the awesome rants that usually go to Hutch.

    It’s simultaneously awesome and infuriating that this episode is so un-dated and relevant today. Awesome because it’s so fresh and enjoyable. Infuriating because so little has changed on the issue of exploitation of illegal immigrants in nearly 40 years.

    The coroner lady is such a smart, competent professional who is very useful yet at the same time seems like a human with a personality, not an exposition-dumping machine. I like that a lot.

    I have some weird twisted kink where I get a kick out of seeing characters I love get whacked with the random misfortune stick because it gives me some perverse reverse-Munchhausen thrill to feel sorry for them. So I was randomly going “d’awwww!” like some kind of warped freak at the sight of poor Starsky in the dumpster with trash dangling off him. I’m weird. In fact, in nearly every scene of this episode, Starsky gets repeatedly humiliated, beaten up, endangered, injured, and harassed. He can’t catch a break. Must be his unlucky week.

    Laura treats Starsky like shit. Why the hell does he pick up with her again? Starsky has no self-respect when it comes to pretty women. He’s a whore. Or he became one after Terri died, which is a depressing thought.

    Hutch is so perfect (and so angelically pretty) in the car scene where he’s convincing Starsky to go into the bar that I have no words. Same with his heroic charging to Starsky’s rescue.

    Ortega is awesome and should have been a recurring character. This whole episode is filled with very unique and memorable personalities, most of them unsavory or just really weird, but Ortega’s both memorable and really cool.

    I don’t understand how a big heavy muscular guy like PMG can turn a tight somersault as quickly and fluidly as he does in the hallway when Harry shoots at them coming out of Andrea’s room. The guy’s physicality makes no sense. It’s amazing.

    God, Sterling. He is basically the epitome of scum (not pure evil — that’s for mobsters marinating in wealth — just scum) according to the laws of the Starsky and Hutch universe: hypocrite, abuser of power, exploiter of women. Something I love, love, love about this show is how it has never, ever been cops vs robbers, good guys vs bad guys, sacred law and order against crime. It’s always been Starsky and Hutch vs everyone else who’s powerful. They are the only unimpeachably good people with effective power. The majority of other good people fall into either the Huggy category — marginalized and vulnerable and therefore ineffective except indirectly — or the Dobey category — immobilized by the rules of the system and therefore ineffective except indirectly (how do I love Dobey’s “if you don’t have this case closed by the time I get ordered to shut you down, you’d better stay out of my sight!” bit? Let me count the ways.) Cops and other agents of law and order are as likely to be villains themselves or semi-antagonists as they are to be helpful figures. Ortega is quite a rare and unique character in this regard.

    The little detail of Hutch knowing exactly what Starsky would say in response to that question about his tennis shoe is one of those myriad of itty-bitty things that, in their aggregate, make this friendship so wonderful.

    • Adelaide Says:

      [*Laura treats Starsky like shit. Why the hell does he pick up with her again? Starsky has no self-respect when it comes to pretty women. He’s a whore. Or he became one after Terri died, which is a depressing thought.*]

      This is not a trend that I’ve ever noticed before, but now that you mention it, I actually think you’re right. In the third season, his taste in women goes down and his promiscuity goes up. Of course, this is probably just coincidentally because the third season in general spent more time on the frills and humor of the main characters’ personal lives, but if we’re going to get all seriously-Watsonian about it, “sleep with everything that moves” is a somewhat common grief reaction to the death of a romantic partner, providing frequent brief illusions of recapturing lost intimacy without any of the vulnerabilities inherent in a serious relationship that led to the grief in the first place.

      I’m not sure if that’s Starsky’s style or not, but hey, I’m just wool gathering here 😉

      • merltheearl Says:

        There is something to this, but I have to object at the word “whore”. It doesn’t accurately describe someone who seeks out and enjoys sex for its own sake, and neither does it describe Starsky. It seems unkind, which is not something I would ever ascribe to Starsky or his behavior. “Indiscriminate” I’d buy. As well, we can’t divorce this series from the times in which it was made. Free sexual expression was at its most joyous height, so recently sprung from the shackles of age-old fear of unintended consequences and moral reprobation, and although this rather endearing giddiness was not to last, it’s kind of fun to see it played out in this minor way.

      • Anna Says:

        I admit I was using the word in a very tongue-in-cheek way, but I guess it was still a sort of dumb choice of words because I don’t even like the word ‘whore’ in its casual usage. But I did intend to mean ‘indiscriminate’ – maybe a bit harshly, because really, Laura is pretty awful to him – but I didn’t mean to imply there’s anything unkind about his behavior.

  7. merltheearl Says:

    Anna, I knew that very well 🙂

  8. Sharon Marie Says:

    You wondered about Hutch knowing so much Spanish. I think this is more of the actor’s personal life slipping into the show. David Soul lived in Mexico for a while, according to him, studying Spanish for the foreign service.

  9. Mary Conway Says:

    I just love the small details in this episode, and have watched it a few times to focus on them. And I agree PMG & DS are especially beautiful in this episode. I also think this is the case in “The Hostage”. The lighting and camera angles in both put them in such a flattering light. The one small scene that I find particularly amusing in this episode is the one where Dobey has stopped at the candy machine while carrying a loaded-down tray of food, and Deadly and Hutch come strolling up. He tries to cover up the fact that he’s got so much food by quipping that he just stopped there to get some “quick energy”. Then Starsky teases him by asking if this is a new diet, where he gets all his food intake at the beginning of the week. While he’s saying this, Hutch tries to not laugh, but at the end of Starsky’s comment, he starts to chuckle from the belly. It seemsoso natural, that I was wondering if Paul was improvising, and David was truly laughing. Then Dobey days to Starsky, “Who do you think you are, Milton Berle?”(now a dated cultural reference). The camera then is on S & H, and Hutch /David looks at Starsky/Paul, shakes his head a little, and smiles, like “what the heck was that comment about?” Again, in character/scripted, or was this the two of them improvising? Such a natural & warm interaction between the two of them.

    • Adelaide Says:

      These are great little things I didn’t didn’t notice the first time I watched it, Mary. Thank you so much for bringing them up, your comment added some really nice details to my rewatch 🙂

  10. stybz Says:

    I saw this one for the first time last night. It’s definitely something I need to watch again. I didn’t totally love the episode, but it had some great scenes.

    When the guys get the call about the broken window, the dispatcher says it’s a break-in. So it sounded to them like a robbery in progress much like Pariah, when they responded to the robbery.

    I think by the time Hutch is speaking to Harry, everyone has been acting strangely. I do think he does notice the guilty look on Harry’s face, but since he believes he’s been lied to by everyone (as he tells Starsky later), he probably chalk’s up Harry as someone afraid and hiding the truth, and not a suspect.

    I too was expecting something more elaborate when Starsky sneaks up on Hutch, but was pleased that he toned it down to a simple “What?”

    Did you notice that while Starsky is no longer wearing the strips of garments on him, including and especially the pink one, Hutch is seen holding it later in the scene? Could there have been an edit where he sees it on Starsky somewhere and pulls it off?

    I liked Mrs. Brownley, but thought her dialog was very weak. The dialog in this episode and in some ways the delivery of it is odd at times. I liked her, but I agree that most of it seems to be said to the benefit of the audience and really doesn’t play well as a realistic scene despite its intent on being funny.

    Someone somewhere (Paul or David, perhaps) commented that the writing of this show suffered by the lack of the writers to take a moment and figure out whether people would actually say the lines they wrote. And it’s obvious in this episode. There are lines that are just tossed out for a laugh and really don’t work in the context of the scene. I’ve noticed it in portions of other episodes. It’s mainly written for the audience’s benefit and that’s just a bit too obvious.

    I hated Laura. Period. Her best scene is when she knocks Starsky into the dumpster. After that she’s terribly shallow and not worth it.

    As for why there’s a curtain at the entrance to the bar, it looked like there probably was another outer door that we didn’t see. They also could have had a a metal door that slides down when they close, much like shops in big cities.

    The real story is that the bar is a total redress of Nellies, and they had to conceal the real exit or it would have been far more obvious. 🙂

    I had trouble taking Hutch seriously during the exchange in the Torino outside the bar. It sounded like he was tricking Starsky, despite the fact that it wasn’t the case. His expression and deliver were just too comical. I’m wondering if it was played for laughs because Hutch says, “You’re not going to like it,” and Starsky insists he will only to say after hearing it, “I don’t know… I don’t like it.” That was funny, but the rest of it was just too lighthearted. It just didn’t feel genuine.

    If you compare it to his reaction in The Bait when he recognizes someone he arrested years prior, it’s very different.

    I don’t think Starsky is pissed off at Ortega. I think they got along fine. Some guys did leave the bar to watch, and maybe Ortega didn’t want to take the chance of making the fight look too fake by throwing boxes. He didn’t hit Starsky too many times and Hutch got him back in the end.

    I loved the miming scene. I was worried it would be overdone with them falling over each other and drawing attention to themselves, but it was very cute and well done. It’s actually, surprisingly understated.

    Does anyone else think that at times Paul resembles one of the Marx Brothers? I mean this in the nicest, most complimentary way, as I always thought Harpo and Chico were adorable looking (and I suspect that without all his makeup and mustache, Groucho probably resembled them quite closely as well). 🙂 I totally can see young Paul playing Chico Marx. 🙂

    I wondered why Hutch rolls his eyes when Starsky and Laura arrive at his place, but I love your explanation, Merl, as none of us liked Laura. 🙂

    What really irked me in that scene is that Laura wanted Starsky to dress in a suit for her date and makes a whole speech about it earlier, and then she shows up in a PANTSUIT??? Really? I know it was the style back then, but come on! Not when your man went to all that trouble. Please! There were some fabulous dresses back then.

    Anna asks about Paul’s physicality with the somersault. I think it helped that Paul did/does yoga. 🙂

    • Lisa Says:

      Speaking of the Marx Brothers, there is a video of the Rich Little Show on YouTube with PMG and DS guesting. There is a wonderful skit at the end where all three are impersonating Groucho!

    • DRB Says:

      Just a quick thought: Starsky sneaking up on Hutch builds anticipation, all right. However, startling an armed man (who is also bigger than you) should be re-thought. Starsky is wise!

  11. Spencer Says:

    I really liked Officer Ortega in this. He was just about as sharp and street smart as S & H. I agree with Anna that he would have been a great reoccurring character. I also loved the sound of Hutch’s footfalls in the alley slowly increasing in volume until he pounced on poor Officer Ortega. I love the tag – Hutch relaxing with his guitar and new friend – enter Starsky with Laura (Hutch is definitely rolling his eyes at Starsky’s poor choice of a date, not the fact that he dropped by. In fact, I can imagine that Hutch and Paco were probably waiting for him, then aggravated that he brought Laura along) – then Hutch’s completion of the Starsky’s line about the red shoes. So great!

  12. Tanya Says:

    I hadn’t before really taken notice of how shitty Laura is to Starsky, I found the comments about this pretty interesting. I wonder why Starsky even seems to like her. He doesn’t seem to be just buttering her up to get her in bed like he did to that stewardess with the ex-fiance he was dating in The Heavyweight. Is Starsky the type to let women walk all over him if he likes them? Is it anything like the way he lets Hutch walk all over him too?

    I also agree with how great the unpleasant pancake man at the beginning was. He’s really memorable, and it was cool to see that he’s an actor with a devoted following!

    I really like the scene where Starsky chews out Sterling, “you’re a little too glib with your words” and such. He’s really direct and specific and his words always leave the kind of impact that’s very hard for someone to dismiss or evade when he talks to people like this, and I like that he does this kind of thing several times in the series.

    I also really liked Ortega’s “I don’t think with an accent” comments. Like, snarky but blase at the same time, it feels very believable, like he really has put up with racist shit for years.

    On the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of the scene where Starsky gets ganged up on by the bar patrons. That scene seemed kind of forced and not very authentic about how the characters would really act.

    I cannot describe how much I love Starsky’s garish bumblebee-ish shirt. Why doesn’t he ever wear it again? It looks so fun! Gotta love the ’70s.

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