Episode 60: The Trap

Young troublemaker Joey is trapped with Starsky and Hutch in a barn that’s about to be set ablaze by an ex-con out to get Hutch.

Joey Carston: Kristy McNichol, Delano: Anthony Geary, Trayman: Antony Ponzini, Johnny Bagley: Bill McKinney, Clerk: Pat Morita, Mrs. Carston: Ann Prentiss. Written By: Sid Green and Robert E Swanson, Directed By: Earl Bellamy.

QUESTIONS AND NOTES:

It’s difficult to know what the title of this episode refers to: the barn or the kid. Incredibly, this marks the third time Kristy McNichol has played a tomboy who comes into the lives of Starsky and Hutch via a crime: the first as a very young child in “The Hostages”, the second in “Little Girl Lost”. However, the effect this time is markedly different than her turn as the brutally orphaned Molly. Gone is the emotional impact of a child desperate to belong after losing everything she has. Although the story is familiar – Joey more or less running wild, with no supportive parent, finding herself in a sticky situation – her plight feels less important somehow, a distraction from the real story. In “Little Girl Lost” the father is a weak man whose inability to go straight ends in his murder. The absent parent this time is a narcissistic mother (played oh so perfectly by Ann Prentiss) whose indifference is seen as a typical, if annoying, outcome of modern times and not exactly a tragedy, although to our contemporary eyes her indifference to her daughter verges on, or maybe is, abusive. Starsky and Hutch make one half-hearted effort to remedy the situation then shrug and walk off. Joey’s interpolation as stowaway and would-be girlfriend to Starsky waters down what could have been a truly thrilling episode, because even though all the classic elements are there – revenge, betrayal, a heroic battle of wits, a ticking bomb – the episode wanders into the terrifying realm of schmaltz.

The jewelry store clerk seems to have a little crush on Starsky, allowing him to grab an expensive watch without much objection while severely tut-tutting Hutch for even daring to breathe on the glass case. Hutch, who hates being told what to do under any circumstance, mimics the clerk hilariously under his breath.

Hutch calls Joey “that kid” but Starsky, unusually, sees that kid (seemingly prepubescent, in jeans, jacket, and pulled-down cap) as a “she”, and in a split-second, no less. Can he actually smell estrogen, or what?

The Yamamoto Reflex watch has very special features lovingly outlined by Starsky: date and day of the week, alarm, altimeter, automatic depth gauge, automatic illumination, second hand points to magnetic north, stopwatch, temperature and humidity, and the button that “reminds me to look at the brochure”.

Huggy talks to Starsky, and asks if he and his “other half” would come down and talk to him. Starsky tells Hutch, “he said he wouldn’t talk to me unless you were there.” Not exactly accurate, as Huggy only wants to speak with both of them. Does Starsky’s comment allude to the fact that Huggy prefers Hutch to Starsky, and he knows it?

Starsky drives well over the speed limit, flying down the alley, on the way to a call neither detective thinks is urgent. And Hutch is out the door before the car comes to a halt. Seems to me all this dare-deviling without any kind of rationale implies a kind of existential boredom shared by both Starsky and Hutch. They don’t seem to have much on the go when the episode begins. This could also explain why they both go after the pint-sized shoplifter with the manic zeal they do, crashing into the flower shop like lunatics. Why so much effort, unless inventing emergencies in order to shake themselves out of malaise?

Starsky and Hutch seem to take Huggy’s beating lightly. They express concern but only in the most facile way, pointing out how much better a professional heavy would do, under the same circumstances. Meanwhile Huggy is grimacing in real pain, and the bar is a mess. They also joke about it when they leave. Do they suspect Huggy is malingering, are they hiding their true feelings, or do they really just not care all that much? This is while the whole scene is peppered with affection, both guys calling Huggy “old buddy” etc.

Bagley’s tie isn’t tied – it’s wrapped in a fold. I seem to remember this being a very brief trend.

The bad guys don’t use gloves when wiring the device to the radio. Sloppy, or arrogant?

Why don’t Starsky and Hutch react to that strange new male voice in dispatch?

Two guys wrestle a young girl into a car on a city street, and nobody notices.

There are some great 70s cultural references in this episode, namely the bad guys boasting to each other that “Foyt and Petty couldn’t catch us”, and Joey’s mother Mrs Carston rushing off to an EST seminar.

As the guys wait for the showdown at the diner, the camera pans past a sign that reads “1 Hour Free Parking”, and then, derisively, “BULLOCKS”. Which must give our British friends plenty of laughs.

Which timepiece is accurate? Starsky chooses his watch’s accuracy over the Torino’s dashboard clock, saying the Torino’s clock is three minutes fast. Bagley is obsessed about arriving at the coffee shop on Brady at precisely two o’clock, to the point of making an extra phone call to make sure; this would point to the Torino’s clock indeed being on the fast side.

The Torino has protected Starsky and Hutch in gunfights before; they have driven it through many a hail of bullets. Why do they abandon it for the barn, before they know the radio has been sabotaged?

Starsky and Hutch could have busted out of that flimsy barn in about two minutes. They have certainly kicked down doors stronger than those walls. And it has already been proven at least one side of the barn, the one facing the gully and the woods, isn’t covered by a rifleman. Yet they seem paralyzed, unable to figure anything out. I think that the staging of this story, rather than its narrative elements, is the thing that lets the episode down. The whole trapped-in-a-barn feels artificial. The house is too far from the barn to be really dangerous. Why not keep this episode in the city, in some steel-enforced warehouse? It would be more believable and more suspenseful than the hay-covered, badly-constructed pseudo “barn” that looks like a cast-off from “Green Acres”. The series at its best is gritty inner-city LA, so why do the writers and producers insist on dragging them out into the countryside? Cheaper and easier to film, or what?

Hutch says he put Bagley away “about seven years ago” for “pushing, pimping and porno” – but there’s no mention of Starsky being part of this arrest, even though they were together during training and while in uniform. It’s likely they knew each other, and were friends, but did not work together until promotion to detective.

Bagley is like Prudhome from “Pariah” and “Starsky’s Lady” and the professor from “A Coffin for Starsky”, someone harboring a murderous grudge against a cop for the death of a loved one, in this case Bagley’s brother, who died in a warehouse fire. Instead of taking an easy shot to solve the problem – as graphically demonstrated by Trayman in the van by cocking a rifle – all these guys prefer a slow, creative form of death hoping to reenact the death of the person they have lost. “… you die,” bellows Bagley from the house, “the way Ernie died!” Even though this trope has been seen before it always feels to me to be a genuinely human response to unimaginable grief. And, like Prudhome and Professor Jennings, Bagley is eventually brought down by the fact he has forgotten that Hutch is not a Single, but a Double.

“This is one hell of a mess you got us into, Hutchinson,” Starsky says to Hutch (echoing Bagley’s use of the full name). Interestingly, this isn’t an accusation but a joke. Starsky is being ironic, and this faux-accusation tells Hutch that he is not responsible for the events, and is, in fact, an innocent victim. In the world of masculine friendship where teasing is a cover for affection, this reverse statement is a sincere form of absolution.

Two hours to think about it? Doesn’t Bagley think Hutch can figure out a way to escape in that length of time? Maybe he’s right, because a full hour passes before either Starsky or Hutch come up with anything concrete. I have made a strenuous effort to enjoy this series as presented, and abstain from the impulse to rewrite and reimagine, because revisionism is not my role as a documenter and analyst. Having made that rule I am now going to break it, and suggest that if the time signature of this episode had been accelerated, like it is during “Deckwatch” for instance, the episode might have been vastly more thrilling. “You have two minutes to think about it!” See?

Starsky really does handle the whole girl-crush thing beautifully. He never talks down to Joey, managing to be flirtatious with a pre-teen without being creepy, an incredibly difficult feat. In fact his flirtatiousness has the effect of maintaining her dignity rather than lessening it, causing her to feel stronger, more in control, and braver. Does his flirting seem less “real” because Joey is dressed like a boy the whole time, and is boyish in general, and does that tough tomboy veneer make all the talk of “looking older” and “dates” seem so innocent than it would be otherwise? Or is it because Starsky is such a sterling character you just can’t believe he’d ever do anything even remotely questionable? Starsky does not act paternally or lasciviously, but I am having difficulty putting a word to how he does act. The closest parallel I can come up with is how a generous movie star might act toward a young fan. There’s a performative, remote, but strangely genuine rendering of romance rather than romance itself. He is acting the role she has dreamed up for him.

Joey could have been a lot faster running down that gully if she didn’t have to worry about her hat. I wonder, too, what happens to her. They’re out in the rural suburbs without backup, and a twelve-year-old girl shouldn’t be hitchhiking. Do they think she’ll find her way back into the city, or do they hope she’ll just hide out until it’s safe? Nothing more is mentioned about her, even when the bullets are flying out the house and into the woods.

Starsky’s half-delirious stories of Uncle Myron and Uncle Alphonse – both uncles succumbing to spectacular deaths – seems more like Starsky being inventive than honest. If so, then his stories are classic narratives, used throughout time from Homer to Scheherazade as a way of providing comfort or distraction under stress. Ironically, it is Starsky who’s in danger and not Hutch, and yet Starsky feels he needs to comfort his partner (unless his rambling is a way of distracting himself). This is reminiscent of the other times he provides entertaining family stories in times of trouble, such as Aunt Rose in “Coffin” and (possibly the same) Uncle Al in “JoJo”.

I’m not sure why they don’t use the tractor to get to the Torino and get the hell out of there. Nobody disabled the car, so escape is possible. Is this a case of neither one wanting to let it go, or run away from a situation, no matter what the cost?

I love when Hutch tells Starsky “This is the best plan I ever had” and manages to make it sound like a boastful fact when actually it’s rushed and improbable. Confidence is half the battle.

Earlier Hutch was derisive when Starsky shows him all the things the watch can do, setting the alarm etc. But when the chips are down, Hutch takes the watch out of his pocket (which Starsky, touchingly, has made him take when it looked as if things weren’t going their way) and proceeds to set the alarm exactly as Starsky showed him. Which meant he was paying close attention, even when it seemed as if he wasn’t.

The episode heats up when the action moves to the house, but even then these have to be the worst criminals in the series. There are too few bad guys to make it seem like a real siege – Bagley’s men are half-blind dimwits who ca’t even check a tiny bathroom properly for a hiding Hutch. One is brought down by a sore toe. He’s too dumb to notice Starsky is weak and badly wounded and that making even a half-hearted grab for that gun might work. There’s far too much shouted information passing between them which is easily overheard.

David Soul’s perfect body language is highlighted in this scene – he is most graceful when in survivalist mode, and you can actually hear him thinking when the idea of setting the watch alarm occurs to him.

Starsky picks a mock fight in the adrenaline-fueled moments after the arrests are made, and it’s easy to see how this discharges the last of the predatory intensity. The energy is released, and both reenter the human world of phone calls and paperwork.

Sartorial notes: There is a brief clothing blooper as the tractor breaks out of the barn and the stunt men riding in it are clearly wearing slightly different clothing than Starsky and Hutch. Starsky seems to be wearing the plaid shirt from “Heroes”. Hutch is a star in jeans and a blue military-style jacket. His hair is longer than normal.

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8 Responses to “Episode 60: The Trap”

  1. King David Says:

    The flimsy barn, the unguarded rear wall, the being out in the sticks, all ruin this otherwise promising premise. Having Joey in it at all was ridiculous. An annoying distraction and lends nothing to the story. They definitely could’ve stayed in the Torino, and used it to get outta Dodge. The producers really insulted us as viewers with trying to pull off lame ideas. S&H could easily have been trapped in a run-down inner-city dwelling, or abandoned warehouse.
    Starsky bursts out of the barn and dips into a full crouch in those tight jeans, and this was the days before stretch denim. After Starsky is shot, he’s in the barn with Hutch using his own belt as a tourniquet, and I was wondering why, when a cloth and pressure would’ve been better, but then we see Hutch patting Starsky all over his midriff, with Starsky oblivious to it, and then we see Hutch find the pocketknife, and then I realised what’s going on. Starsky knows what he’s in for and it can’t’ve been a pleasant thought. That Hutch is very handy with bullet wounds…
    All that action filmed on the streets, and to resort to this dreadful set…it’s criminal.
    Does nobody think it odd that Joey is making up to Starsky? OMG. It’s a good thing that we just know that Starsky has integrity.

  2. Dianna Says:

    The first half of this episode seemed like filler. Lots of waiting and driving around, and all those flaws that Merl and King David point out, plus a few more.

    But right at the midpoint of the episode, Hutch says, “In our business… the bad guys are supposed to run away.” My mind immediately jumped to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (“Who are those guys??”) and when they finally get rid of Joey, things at last get interesting. When they break out of the barn with their guns blazing, I gasped in fear because it reminded me so much of the ending of Butch Cassidy. When Hutch runs over to Starsky, and Starsky reaches for him, trusting his support, my heart melted. When Hutch works on Starsky’s leg, I felt the huge effort he makes to swallow his pain so Hutch can do it. When he tries to make his usual jokes to distract himself and lighten the mood, but all he can think of is disaster after disaster, I thought again of Butch Cassidy, where technically the good guys win, but we, the viewers, are rooting for the charismatic pair of friends who are trapped in an abandoned building and desperately outgunned.

    The love and trust and casual touches in the early second half of the episode are wonderful. When the guys peer out of the barn, Starsky crawls across Hutch the way a cat would walk across your lap; the way Hutch helps Starsky out of the trailer is somehow a very loving embrace. So beautiful.

    When Starsky becomes injured, Hutch suddenly (finally!!) becomes very purposeful and task-oriented, and barely listens to Starsky’s rambling. It’s more like he’s monitoring the stories to Starsky’s well-being (or lack thereof). Hutch is a delight to watch during those moments.

    I’ve watched the last 1/3 of this episode repeatedly, but will now school myself to think about the episode as a whole.

    A lot of the guys’ uncharacteristic passivity and lack of creative thinking must be because the writers needed to force them into that barn, and didn’t much care that they were dragging their characters around by the ear. I resent it when the writers’ agenda forces the characters to act like will-less puppets.

    Joey’s unwelcome presence should have been a key to resolving the problem, maybe with her hailing a passing sheriff and actually bringing in the reinforcements, but no, I think she was just there so there would be a female to flirt with, even if the flirting is mostly one direction, and Starsky’s side of it is very (appropriately) tame. The tag suggests she has not even learned anything nor grown from this experience.

    A nice thread that weaves its way through the story is Starsky’s love of his toys. His excitement about the watch and his need to give it to Hutch when he is _in extremis_ reminded me of his offer to let Hutch drive his car at the end of The Fix, and the line that was unfortunately cut from A Coffin for Starsky, where he tells Hutch he wants him to have his car.

    Attempted Theme #1 — Time: I think the director and/or writers were trying to put an emphasis on time, with the detailed discussion of the watch, a lot of waiting for the meeting with the villains (which is set at a specific time), Bagley’s repeated updates about the upcoming deadline, the use of the watch to make a diversion for Bagley, and finally, the watch’s destruction. But it failed. The time element in this episode simply creates boredom and irritation in the viewer, instead of increasing the tension of the story.

    Attempted Theme #2 — Things that are inside out: A girl is named Joey. A mother doesn’t care that her child is stealing. Bad guys don’t run away. Car-hating Hutch knows (most of) what to do to get the tractor going, but despite his grandfather having been a farmer (as we learned in Tap Dancing) he doesn’t remember that it has a crank. City boy Starsky knows that tractors have cranks, but doesn’t know that tractors aren’t picky about their fuel. Irrepressible Starsky can’t think of flippant comments to lighten the mood. Watch-loathing Hutch knows how to set the alarm on the watch. A little girl successfully complains to the police captain that a cop has not made enough of a come-on to her. This attempted theme works a little bit better than #1, but it is not developed well enough, and has clearly not succeeded in distracting people from the shortcomings of the episode.

    Huggy: He does, in fact, need to talk specifically to Hutch, because the bad guys were sending a message to him. Instead of driving around waiting for their appointment at the coffee shop, Starsky and Hutch should have been giving him a ride to the hospital. Perhaps their callousness is part of Attempted Theme #2

    The radio: Perhaps the bad guys didn’t bother with gloves when they messed with the radio because they figured everything would be over in a few hours, and they probably planned to rip out their handiwork when they ditched the car. There is at least one previous episode with a male dispatcher voice, and the guys make no comment on it. But why don’t they notice the odd lack of other police business on their radio?

    Bullock’s: This was a popular upscale department store chain in California at the time. I smiled in reminiscence when I saw the sign. Bullock was the surname of the founder.

    Out in the country: There is a reason to be out in the country, King David, because the bad guys want to be in a secluded place where gunshots attract attention. They also want a quickly-burning structure, like a wooden barn filled with hay. But where are the actual inhabitants of the ranch?

    Bagley: His motivation may be similar to Prudhome’s, but that’s where the similarity ends. Was there ever a more two-dimensional villain with less personality? His associates are almost as flat as he is.

    “Seven years ago:” In Vendetta, Hutch says he’s been on the force for 6 years. This being the next season, Bagley’s arrest was in Hutch’s first year on the force, before he and Starsky were partners because, as rookies, they were paired with experienced cops.

    “…one hell of a mess…:” I thought this was a slightly veiled Laurel and Hardy allusion.

    Stupid decisions and strange lapses: When will the guys learn that they need to roll up the windows and lock the car? Why don’t they shoot through the slats when the bad guys are walking around the barn barring the doors? How do they not notice (and disable) the incendiary device and its powercord when they are moving bales of hay around? The car and the horse trailer are the same distance from the trough where the guys take cover… so why does Hutch think they can’t make it to the car, but does approve of Starsky heading off to wherever Starsky is heading to? And of course the Merl mentioned the huge stupidity of not leaving from the back of the barn along with Joey.

    Additional continuity glitches:
    * When Starsky parks the car, it is directly in front of the barn’s double door, but later it is way off to the side.
    * Hutch says that behind the barn there is a gully, and beyond that, woods, but when we see the barn from the outside, there are no woods, just a barren, slightly striped, flat-topped hill that looks exactly like the berm around a landfill, or possibly an earthen dam, but it’s sure not “woods.”
    * The hay barricade Starsky builds on the trailer is open at the front when the guys are inside the barn, but it’s open at the back when the tractor goes across the farmyard.
    * The pocket from which Hutch takes the pocketknife is the same pocket that Starsky turned inside out when he reloaded his gun.
    * After they leave the barn, the tourniquet has somehow been affixed so Starsky doesn’t need to hold it anymore.
    * Starsky’s attack on the bad guy’s foot is unlikely to cause such wild pain, even if it was with the butt of his gun and not with his fist.
    * Bagley’s panicked shots at the pan containing the watch could not have caused the damage we see when Hutch returns the watch to Starsky.

    Amusingly, the soles of Starsky’s iconic blue sneakers are fresh and unworn. This is a brand new pair.

  3. King David Says:

    Dianna, you have once again seen more where lesser mortals have seen only the surface.
    I have come to the conclusion that I must view 1970s TV through the lens of believing only what we are actually told by a character, or shown by a pointed focus of the camera, so that I have the storyline that the director wants me to have, otherwise I will go mad with all the inconsistencies.

    (On a completely separate subject, but related because of the wonderful expertise with analysis I have witnessed here, I have begun watching again the show “CHiPs”, filmed in the seventies, about two motorcycle highway patrol officers in Los Angeles. Our pay TV network reruns oldies-but-goodies, our favourites from way back, so I watched this this week for the first time in thirty years. I was a big fan of Larry Wilcox [‘Officer Jon Baker’] then, and he’s still perfect. What HAS changed is the way I view an episode. The storylines are awful, but were pertinent in the day, and all the interactions of the cast and guest characters is so different from how it would happen today, that I find myself shrieking at the screen a lot. Someone of the calibre of yourself and Merl would do this show great justice, and I would really like to see how the relationship of the two leads would come off. I am actually looking at it with newly-analytical eyes, having had the benefit of all the intricacies of S&H brought into the open by such wise heads. I can see things I would not have seen before with my shallow viewer’s eyes. AND, just to show a thread to S&H, the scenery is very similar, and filmed not long after S&H, so I am keeping my eyes open for any duplication of location or prop. Seventies TV viewing is much more fun now! I am stagggered at how innocent we all were back then. Remember how S&H were with Joey [above]? Well,Jon and Ponch are equally friendly with children in their stories, and it was all hunky dory. I can’t help wondering how Ponch was kept on the force, for all his immaturity and nuisance behaviour. How he kept friends beats me. I am so cynical now.)

    The Trap wasn’t a favourite episode, but has some gorgeous moments. The worst aspect, mentioned previously, is the Green Acres set, followed by the illogic of Joey’s getaway and S&H’s non-getaway.

  4. Grevy's Zebra Says:

    This is one of the few times in the show that either Starsky or Hutch attempt to explicitly exchange their life for their partner’s. Usually, while they make incredible sacrifices and take big risks to rescue each other or stick by each other’s side, they rarely do so with the expectation (rather than the possibility) that they will die and the other will live, because I think they realize that neither of them will really appreciate having to live on without the other. It’s the difference between “if you kill him, kill me too” and “don’t kill him, kill me instead.” The only previous times I can recall them doing this were under duress and acting impulsively rather than thoughtfully — they both instinctively yell for the other to jump out of the brake-less careening car in “Kill Huggy Bear”, and Starsky gives up (what he thinks is) his only chance of survival in “A Coffin for Starsky” because he can’t just stand by and watch Bellamy kill Hutch.

    Here however, they not only have time to think, they both take a turn to actually try to convince the other that he should abandon his best friend and save his own life. They both have a logical reason when they do so — Hutch is worried about Joey, not just Starsky, and Starsky is wounded and couldn’t escape if he wanted to so there’s no point in dragging Hutch down with him. But still — do either of them seriously believe the other would do it? Or do they know how futile their wish is? I get the feeling that they each have suffered through their partner’s near-death so many times, and passed through a gauntlet of tests that expose the depth of their devotion that by this point they have become (completely understandably — they’re only human) a bit obsessed with each other — the balance between ease and intensity in their relationship is starting to tilt more and more towards intensity. This repeated demonstration of intensity is beautiful to watch, but it can’t continue indefinitely — at some point they need to catch their breath and regroup and find the easiness again. However, they’re never given an opportunity to catch their breath and regroup, because it’s one crisis after another after another. So, logically, they’re starting to get more paranoid about making sure their partner survives at all costs than about stepping back and remembering the big picture of “me AND thee” rather than just “thee”, and drifting further and further from the Pilot’s acceptance of “we’re willing to get burned out on the street but it would hurt like hell if we lost sitting on our tails.”

    This is just my own personal theory, but I think part of their tension in season 4 comes from this excessive focus on each other rather on themselves as a unit (again, a completely understandable and perhaps, given their circumstances, even a *required* stage in their development towards the near-perfection that is finally attained in the series finale) — a period of cowardice where they are so intimidated and exhausted by the power of their bond to inflict extreme emotional pain if either one of them gets harmed that they push each other away in a (completely ineffective) bid to reduce this vulnerability, forgetting (until Targets Without A Badge and Starsky vs. Hutch) that their emotional intimacy is a source of strength that outweighs its danger as a vulnerable spot.

  5. Darren Read Says:

    As I am rewatching all the episodes in order I must point out that this is the first one so far to use fake looking rear projection in the Torino scenes, why they changed to filming the car scenes this way is any ones guess but it looks bad! Notice that the ‘Yamamoto’ watch (no such make) is actually a ‘Citizen’

  6. stybz Says:

    “This is one hell of a mess you got us into, Hutchinson.” Great point about this quote, Merle. It also is something Hutch has said to himself in a couple of episodes (Tap Dancing, Fatal Charm). Perhaps Starsky is reading his friend’s mind, or maybe he himself has heard Hutch mutter it on occasion. 🙂

    This episode is also not one of my favorites, because of the plot holes everyone else has mentioned. I did like the banter between the two and even the flirting going on between Starsky and Joey. Before Joey runs for help, Starsky and Hutch seem to downplay their concern for each other. At one point Starsky says he’d rather be in the barn than running for help (ironically that’s exactly what gets him shot later), but when Hutch reacts to what he thinks is solidarity from his partner, Starsky downplays it and says he feels safer in the coverage of the barn. 🙂 Then after he’s shot things change somewhat. They still keep the banter going, but there’s more concern between them. 🙂

    I didn’t like the tag. At first, I questioned the coincidence of Joey being there and why was she talking to Dobey. Then I figured she was giving her statement. Then I wondered why Starsky would prefer to be at work when he’s got time off to relax, until I concluded that maybe he was bored without Hutch. What I don’t like is Hutch kicking the cane out from Starsky. Why did he do that? That was mean.

  7. Louie Says:

    I’ve wondered why I never liked this episode much even though it’s got so many great elements — a siege scenario, an injured partner, joking and bantering in danger, a Butch-and-Sundance-like pact to go out together. This review makes a lot of the reasons why it was a bit of a letdown for me clear. It’s amazing how much a difference the setting can make.

    I don’t understand why Hutch kicked Starsky’s cane out from under him. Usually even Hutch’s mean jokes have some kind of logic to them. He must’ve just did it for the lulz.

    • merltheearl Says:

      Louie, I agree, this episode is much weaker than the elements suggest. The writers did not present a situation that was genuinely dire. Watching it, you never quite believe in The Trap. A concrete room with no window, maybe. Surrounded on all sides by snipers, sure. Or even multiple hostages that need managing. But two powerful, imaginative cops in rickety old barn with woods on one side?

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