Episode 74: The Avenger

Monique, a woman who leaves a string of dead lovers in her wake, claims a jealous acquaintance is responsible for the murders.

Monique Travers: Joanna Cassidy, Phil: Tim Thomerson, Roger: Michael Delano, Bobbie: Hildy Brooks, Minnie: Marki Bey, ME Delaney: Charles Cyphers, Hotel Clerk: GW Bailey, Barman: Steve Mayne, Girl in Disco: Suzanne Kent. Written By: Robert E Swanson, Directed By: Sutton Roley.

QUESTIONS AND NOTES:

When Starsky and Hutch are wrong: During the run of the series the two men have excellent intuition, memory, and detecting skills. However, there are times in which they come to erroneous conclusions based on the available facts (as opposed to being temporarily misinformed). I’m thinking of “The Crying Child”, where they point the finger at Guy’s father rather than his mother, “Foxy Lady” in which they are spectacularly hoodwinked by silly Lisa. Hutch is led astray – or, more precisely, the truth is withheld – by Gillian; Starsky is similarly taken in by Sharon in “Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty”. They are both completely suckered by fake-friend John Colby. To a lesser extent, they believe Terry Nash’s story in “The Set-Up” for far too long. All these instances have one thing in common: Starsky and Hutch’s sympathies have been aroused by a victim story. In this episode, too, they are misled by Monique’s version of events in spite of its inconsistencies, and feel compassion for her plight. However, this an instance in which the victim story is partially true: consciously, Monique believes her own tale and so is not technically lying. But Starsky and Hutch do not use their normally excellent skills at reading people here. The whole San Francisco murder thing is too low-key (surely the lack of evidence would make them suspicious), she complains about having to go down to the squad room again even though it’s crucial to the case, has no problem staying at her supposedly blood-drenched hell pit of a house, and goes out to a bar the night after the murder. Starsky and Hutch, for the most part, ignore these glaring oddities, even if the whole experience feels strange and unnatural to them on an unconscious level. They know something is wrong here, but are unable to pinpoint why.

On the other hand, the idea of a victim being also the perpetrator is so unusual no one can blame them for not getting it right away. Psychotic and detachment disorders are poorly understood even to this day, particularly this, the mother of all psychiatric conditions: Dissociative Identity Disorder, once known as Multiple Personality. Once thought to be a)fake and b)extremely rare, DID is now thought to affect a surprising number of people who have experienced severe trauma. It may not manifest itself in dramatic ways, with personalities emerging and submerging on cue, each with names and jobs to do, coping mechanisms like the one Monique has are very possible. At least Hutch gets it when he does – most cops wouldn’t.

There are other factors at work here too. At this point in our social history a young, single, and powerful woman is a kind of psychological no-man’s-land. Monique has a kind of desperation mixed with potency that is very difficult for men to identify and respond to, an imposing mix of guilt, masochism, and rage that is very late-1970s Looking-For-Mr.-Goodbar and a remarkable precursor to the kind of tortured, vengeful heroine only now surfacing in contemporary culture. It’s both distracting and disquieting to the detectives. Look at Starsky’s hands-off attitude throughout. He’s cautious, unable to figure her out. A generally flirty guy who has been known to overlook flaws if the girl is hot enough, he stays well away from this one.

On the marvelous Joanna Cassidy as Monique: She is perfectly cast here. She has a muscular, imposing, mature presence and is very different from the smaller, perkier, more frazzled or less competent female characters we often see, and it’s essential she project this air of authority since she has to convince both Starsky and Hutch of her absolute innocence. Calm and detached as a sleepwalker, she moves in slow-motion through a series of bad dates, exemplar of feminism gone wrong. Even when dancing and smiling there is something murky and inscrutable about her. Cassidy imbues Monique with a kind of tragic forbearance – she’s in the grips of something terrible, is helpless to combat it while on some dark level understanding, even welcoming its inevitable manifestation – that so very difficult to convey. In the magical scene in which Starsky sings and plays guitar during his late-night turn as guardian, her schizoid shift into murderess is nicely handled. It’s a challenge to switch identities without the audience guffaws, and yet she manages it. I wonder if my own response to this character – sympathetic, uneasy, supportive without any warmer feelings of wanting to protect or save her – is typical of audience reaction. The combination of Swanson’s nuanced script and Cassidy’s intelligent interpretation of that script make this a very special episode indeed.

Sutton Roley shines again in this strange episode. He makes use of odd angles, slow-motion photography, and documentary-style camera shots to tell a story that is dependent on who is telling it. This episode is also notable for a measured pace, and the long stretches of quiet punctuated by bursts of sound. Hutch’s slow realization in the squad room is very well done – it seems to take forever, and it’s wonderful that way: we are lulled into intense anticipation for the last pieces of the puzzle to slip into place. Monique’s warped sense of realty is wonderfully depicted using tricky lens and lighting, and you can feel the director’s enjoyment in depicting the unusual and the esoteric.

The first scene is similar to last season’s “Deckwatch”, in which a young woman sitting at a bar in a disco is bored by a hungry male. In this case, it’s even more bitterly amusing, as the guy drones on about his car and Monique finally says she isn’t interested in cars, but in organic food. The guy smirks: “your body’s a temple, right?” If Monique’s body is a temple, then her bell tower is suffering a pretty severe crack.

Monique agrees to go back to her place with boring Phil, who irritates her with his self-absorbed talk of cars, macho posturing, veiled put-downs and his smoking. The reason she agrees to do this is not only about loneliness. I always had a feeling she is briefly supplanted by her altar-ego, who is desperate for a homicidal fix and doing all he can to engineer one will happen. If Monique is all there, i.e. sane, she would have refused Phil’s advances. A girl as beautiful as she is, alone in a disco, would have her pick of any one of a dozen men. Surely not all of them are as bad as Phil is (or Roger, later). Or are they? Is this a supposition buried in the script: that all men are, in fact, losers?

At the pool game Hutch has an “astrological biorhythm calculator” that tells him Starsky’s numbers are a big fat triple-zero. Hutch is gleeful. Huggy doesn’t help much by saying Starsky should believe it, given his skills that night. Starsky tries to get his money back from Hutch and it rips between them. Starsky is crestfallen, but look at Hutch, in possession of a worthless half-bill. Look at the satisfaction on his face: he could be looking at a stack of gold coins. Just what has he won? Whatever it is, it’s really, really good.

It’s funny how Hutch has to turn the light switch down to get the light to the bathroom on. It’s always up, as far as I know. Would it be a stretch to think this indicates a topsy-turvey what’s-down-is-up quality to this case?

The chaos surrounding a murder scene is very well captured as Hutch quietly walks through by himself in a very withdrawn, insular way as voices and activity go on around him. It’s only later we see Starsky talking to a very casual-sounding ME. This seems to suggest Hutch is more solitary than a team player. He states some facts about the killer that show up the ME and Starsky does his usual sardonic half-smile, accusing him of “raining on the witch-doctor’s deal”. In this episode Starsky and Hutch don’t seem to be as connected as they should be. Hutch seems to be in his own world much of the time, and Starsky has withdrawn into languid irony.

At this point in the episode it becomes clear there is a strong correlation between the abstruse and the everyday, the magical and the scientific. I’m not going to articulate it all that well, but the mention of a witch-doctor, the metamorphosis of one person into another, the jokey biorhythms talk and its correlating pop-occultism swirling around contemporary Los Angeles all seems very of its time. It seemed, in the late 70s, that reality wasn’t what people assumed it was. Old preconceptions were being overturned, stereotypes exposed to be wrong and harmful, the political and religious landscape was undergoing upheaval, mass communication and its resultant wave upon wave of cynicism and revision meant that what you thought you believed, what your parents and their parents steadfastly proclaimed to be true, was probably not true at all. “Starsky & Hutch” itself is a paradigm: this “new breed” of cop understands that empathy, compassion, open mindedness and intuition can play a major role in a police investigation. Yes, they are not perfect in this regard. They should have listened better, and thought about the disparity between what Monique said and what the evidence showed. But all in all their willingness to use a more perceptive and less persecutorial way of seeing and interacting with this case – particularly Starsky’s breathtakingly gentle song – is very revolutionary, and reflective of the uncertain, questioning times.

All that blood? All those wounds? And none on Monique?

Starsky tells Dobey “8427” seen on letter Monique finds is “the last half of a zip code” in skid row. It isn’t really “half” if it is only missing one number. Current viewers could assume he did mean half of the ZIP+4 codes we use today, but those didn’t come into use until 1983. This assumes, knowing California ZIP codes all start with a “9,” the ZIP is 98427. This, however, make it a place in Washington State. Strangely, there are no ZIP codes that start with 984, even in Washington as ZIP code structure skips from 983 to 985.

The guys go to the hotel to check on Harry Ashford. In the foreground of the scene are two rough-looking guys sweating through an arm-wrestling contest. Starsky and Hutch are comically riveted to it throughout what should be a fairly average incident: this is staging genius. Note, too, the interesting “scary” music as they go into the creepy room, reminiscent of “Bloodbath”.

The way the initial murder scene is shown, as well as in this later hotel room, shows an increasing respect for actual police procedure. This is the first time either detective is shown collecting evidence properly. Latex gloves were not widely used until the late 1980s.

Why would Monique have a book of matches, if she doesn’t smoke, and in fact seems the be the sort of person who actively abhors smoking? For burning incense, perhaps?

Disco, Act Two: this boring guy, Roger, is talking stocks. Monique barely listens and seems very melancholy, which is odd for someone out on the town and actively cruising for a good time, but Roger, like Phil, doesn’t notice. Or if he notices, he doesn’t care. Again, men on the make (perhaps the only kind of man Monique knows well) are portrayed as boorish, self-involved, callous and predatory.

Two murders in three nights on her bed and Monique still goes back to stay there? Not only is this pretty weird, but her apartment would be a crime scene, and she wouldn’t be allowed back for a while. Changing a minor detail – having the murders happen in an alley behind the disco, for example, would have made more sense. In fact this would make Monique’s involvement even more tangential and therefore even less likely she would have anything to do with it, making the “twist” even twistier. But I digress.

Monique is once again visited by Harry. Interestingly, she appears to be in flux for several moments, aware of the personality takeover and suffering for it although many people with dissociative disorders as severe as this one are unaware when the change happens or at the very least 100% one or the other. There is no half-and-half, as here when Monique says she will get rid of Roger in order to make Harry leave. This could mean Monique may suffer from schizophrenia rather than multiple personality, or some surprising hybrid which makes for great television.

There’s some great direction as the guys bring Monique in for questioning and then Dobey calls them into his office. The camera is documentary-style and the lighting in Dobey’s office is the same as in other Fourth Season episodes: lush and diffused rather than bright and stagey. Dobey is flattered by the soft blue sky behind him sliced by Venetians, and the scene is highlighted by Starsky’s lovely naughty looks at Hutch when he’s announced as the “winner” in the who-gets-to-date-Monique sweepstakes. Of course, Hutch has to have the last word in this scene. The nosey, journalistic camera moves in with an intimate close-up as the two of them look at each other, not two inches apart. “You really think you can make him jealous?” Hutch says, “Why not,” Starsky says, laconic and enjoying this. “Well, the guy may be crazy but he’s not stupid,” Hutch says. Hah ha, good one Hutch. Proud of yourself?

Starsky calls Hutch a “home-in-front-of-the-fire type of guy” as opposed to Starsky’s “charisma” and “flair.” Is this generally true, or is Starsky just getting back at Hutch for saying he has zero biorhythms?

Crime and Punishment, or the Lack Thereof: this is an episode about a psychotic act of feminist retribution. However not all the egregious offenders are punished like the truck guy and the stock market guy. Hutchinson, I’m talking to you. At the disco, Hutch’s nodding off is interrupted by a woman asking “blondie” if he would like to dance. She is attractive and a good dancer, but because she is heavy he makes an unbearably rude comment, dismissing her. This is similar to his bad behavior in “Discomania” but worse here, because here the victim of his rudeness merely vanishes, unlike Judith, who stood up to him. He probably ruined her night and took her self-esteem down a few notches too. He also says he’s going to get Starsky “dancing lessons” for his birthday, even though he knows Starsky is a good dancer and he is not. As far as good behavior goes, Hutch is on par with every other man in the place.

When Starsky goes undercover, it’s the only time Monique is seen dancing and enjoying herself. And yet she later feels the urge to kill Starsky, even though her conscious mind understands he is not like the others, but rather someone assigned to protect her. A clue to her motives surfaces when she asks him point-blank if he likes her. Starsky says that he does. Is this her trigger? Both Roger and Phil obviously liked her, at least in the beginning. So perhaps we can surmise it isn’t a desire to rid the world of sexist boors but rather to punish those who like her that lies beneath the urge to kill. This says a lot about the emotional and psychological complexity of this case.

Monique says she would like to get to know Starsky better. Starsky says, “under different circumstances, maybe.” This cautious reply is in stark contrast to both Starsky and Hutch’s earlier behavior in which they freely engaged sexually with any witness or potential victim (“A Body Worth Guarding”, “Class in Crime”, “Running”, “Rosey Malone”, “Blindfold”, among others). This could be a case of Starsky maturing, or it may be because he is actually turned off by her. Starsky’s good instincts may be in play here, as he tunes into the depth of her sadness and the hint of psychological torment (which he would most likely interpret as “high maintenance”). When they eventually return to her apartment, he is notably not flirting with her. Instead he is every inch the Detective, checking windows and doors; and when he removes his jacket he makes it clear it’s a professional decision and not a personal one.

Like the arm-wrestling championships, it’s a nice scenic detail of Minnie and her disco kung-fu moves after midnight. Everybody is having a better time than poor Hutchinson. Minnie mentions the letters “CII” as the place that identifies fingerprints. Central Identification Information? Something else? Fictional?

The scene in which Hutch puts together a composite sketch of the suspect is truly wonderful. Broken with scenes of Starsky and Monique, it nevertheless is one of the longest and quietest of the entire series. It emphasizes Hutch as a solitary individual who perhaps is best on his own, with no distracting partner to tease and torment. Does this mean Hutch would be better off going solo? How much better would Hutch be without Starsky? Let’s speculate on the idea that what is best for someone professionally is possibly the worst for them personally.

This is, sadly, the only episode in which Starsky plays the guitar and sings. It’s a rather startling performance, coming as it does out of nowhere, and is a moment of total vulnerability on Starsky’s part, unusual in such a strong, self-contained person. It’s late and he must be over-tired, which may have allowed him to take a risk and use music as either a way of comforting someone he knows is suffering, or soften the atmosphere to make it more pliable for some surreptitious questioning. His motives remain a mystery, so we are left to enjoy this beautiful and gentle scene. Is this a song he has written himself? The words are apropos: the isolated misfit, looking down at the normal world, emphasizing the isolation of the moment and the loneliness of people who feel different and out of step from the world.

Most people, particularly actors, look beautiful when they are listening, and Joanna Cassidy is no exception. For a brief second she looks completely at peace, which is mesmerizing.

Filming notes: the guitar is apparently David Soul’s, which is only fair as Glaser lent his to his friend when Soul recorded his first album. Also, note the long finger-picking nails on Glaser’s hand.

As complex as the case turns out to be, Hutch also comes to a similarly complex “jealousy” reading when thinking of the sister as a suspect.

Monique drugs the chamomile tea to incapacitate Starsky. She does this because he’s more than able to overpower her and grab his gun. She didn’t bother with this with her earlier, more clueless victims. If she had, she would have been discovered long before this. Also, why does Starsky remove both holster and gun? He should have tucked the gun in his waistband. Rolled up and behind the chair is bad planning on his part. Didn’t he learn anything from the debacle of “Quadromania?”

Monique’s long speech about what Harry hates and loves about her is one of the most satisfyingly complete scenes in the canon. It’s a potent mix of self-knowledge and delusion, an abrasive, haunting, nasty tutorial on how to hate yourself. Starsky is riveted, and for good reason: her staccato delivery, her refreshing lack of self-pity, her refusal to excuse herself, to a suicidal degree, well, it’s just amazing. Nicely filmed from an unusual angle, it’s Robert Swanson’s best writing gig on the series, although “Hutchinson for Murder One” is also excellent.

Starsky is drugged, the world is a kaleidoscope. And yet he manages to say, “Hutchinson” even though Monique is familiar enough to know him by his nickname.

Hutch visits Bobbie to accuse her of the crime. This is, what, two, three o’clock in the morning? And yet Bobbie is dressed, alert and awake. With altar candles burning.

Both Travers sisters have a similar drive or emptiness; they are both compelled to go out every night, though to two different types of establishments. Church and sex: each of them has found something to fill those empty spaces.

Hutch knows she’s a murderer, but doesn’t call a back-up?

Unlike Lionel Fitzgerald in “Quadromania”, and without the aid of props or makeup, Monique looks completely different when under the guise of madness. She is truly terrifying when she attacks Starsky and screams at him through the window. In this moment it is very difficult to believe Monique and Harry are the same person. Nice going, Joanna!

The Treatment of Women Question: Starsky never hits a woman, but Hutch hits Diana in Fatal Charm, and now forcefully slugs Monique. Does Hutch use more physical force when he is protecting Starsky than protecting himself? Or is it because Monique is dressed as a man and this is makes the rationalization easier? Generally Starsky is rougher with women while using less overt physical force: he’s masterful and controlling when the woman is exhibits behaviors or decisions he believes are weak, unstable, or impulsive, like Sharman, Rosey Malone, and Emily Harrison. By contrast Hutch is more distant and careful, but when he explodes his violence is greater. One suspects Hutch is less comfortable all-round with women, more formal, more “gentlemanly” (this despite his unpleasant “I have a bad back” comment to the woman at the disco). Starsky is less concerned with niceties and rules, but altogether more inclusive.

One thing this episode never tackles is the reason for Monique’s psychosis, either narrowing it down to Multiple Personality Disorder or schizophrenia or revealing what could be terrible enough to precipitate it. Schizophrenia is largely understood to be a biological entity but severe childhood abuse is a common factor in most disassociate disorders, and it fits here although it’s never said aloud. Bobbie’s extreme religious devotions could also be a clue, suggesting both sisters were driven to a kind of madness by a traumatic past (I’m not taking a shot at religion, but rather suggesting immersion to the point of negating one’s identity to something “larger” is happening here).

Tag: Hutch is comically over-solicitous about Starsky’s fake biorhythms and engineers a picnic with Huggy, although one wonders how this solves anything. Hutch is all over Starsky, excitable and micro-managing, trying to get his partner to relax but having the opposite effect. As usual. On a minor note, bumblebees are gentle creatures and rarely stingers. Even if they land on you, grabbing them is not the way to go.

Clothing notes: it must be hot because neither wears a leather jacket, and seem minimally attired. Starsky wears the great orange shirt with placket, and a beige cloth jacket. Hutch wears the blue Port Mungo bowling shirt with white-collar, with a blue t-shirt underneath. “Al” is stitched on the front and the name of a USN bowling club is on the back. He also wears a ring on his right ring-finger, a blue cabochon. During the pool game, Huggy looks great in his red satin ensemble and tortoise-shell glasses.

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9 Responses to “Episode 74: The Avenger”

  1. Daniela Says:

    Neat analysis as usual, to one that for me was the scariest episode.
    I guess I could never understand how can somebody ( a woman, no less) want to hurt Starsky or Hutch….
    But this one takes the cake for madness!
    I noticed a couple if interesting things: this is one of the few times somebody calls Starsky David. I wonder if he thought she was talking to somebody else?
    And the disco scene, how boring! So boring that it was putting Hutch to sleep! Only going back to work made him wake up!

    And the light switch… you are right, when Hutch flipped it at the beginning it went down… but when Starsky flipped the same switch when he got to the apartment, it was back to normal, going up…. I can just see Monique fixing the light switch between dates! LOL

    You mention Hutch working alone might have been better for him professionally…. Naw, where would he have dumped all that (negative?) energy that he dumped on Starsky instead?
    Daniela

    • merltheearl Says:

      This is also, for me, the most frightening episode, and I credit Joanna Cassidy’s mask of hatred for that – she really does physically transform as Harry, and all without special effects. I believe she calls Starsky “David” because it’s indicated this is night three of undercover work, and that’s a lot of time to get to know somebody. Plus she is falling for him, hard.

      As for Hutch without Starsky, that too is a truly frightening concept.

  2. Adelaide Says:

    I don’t know if Hutch would be better off professionally without Starsky either — how many times in the series have the two of them swiftly come up with really off-the-wall longshots by pooling their gut feelings and incomplete memories and bouncing ideas off each other, almost transforming their individual brains into one super-brain? But that depends on the definition of “better off professionally.” If Hutch were to specialize in the kind of stuff he does here in that excellent montage, you’re right that he’d never have the patience or inclination for it if he had the option of working with his best friend instead, and I don’t think Starsky, clever as he is, has the head for that type of work.

    Now THAT makes me wonder — would Hutch have ever been approached by the higher-ups with offers for specialization and promotion? I can see it: dried-up oily-voiced guys in suits, cornering Hutch alone and bugging him to become successful, advance his career and make the most of his gifts and leave behind his troublemaking, low-class partner who’s not cut out for anything more prestigious than being a street cop — people who don’t know Starsky and Hutch personally and don’t realize that they are one entity rather than two separate beings. The brass seems to think that Hutch is more “reasonable” than Starsksy, which IMO is wrong – they’re equally rebellious and about equally good at pulling each other back when one of them gets unreasonable. But I can see the reasons people would think this: Hutch tends to express his outrage with big lectures and arguments about how wrong something is, while Starsky just bluntly calls out and rejects bullshit — the second is far more embarrassing to be on the wrong end of, especially to higher-ups who hold the typical elitist opinion that the anger and discontent of lower-class or uneducated people, who are presumed to be just lashing out like children or dumb animals, is more dangerous and less valid than the anger and discontent of middle-class or educated people, who are presumed to have a legitimate reason for their feelings (a similar double standard is applied to women vs men, and blacks vs whites). I can definitely see some people having the notion that Starsky is a bad influence on what could be an intelligent, productive, reasonable department asset and trying to convince Hutch that Starsky is holding him back. It would make a great episode subplot. And I’d love to see the expression on Hutch’s face if this ever happened — no one is allowed to demean Starsky except him 😉

    • merltheearl Says:

      Adelaide, actually I don’t think Hutch would be better off, either professionally or personally, without Starsky; the observation was merely idle speculation. As you so beautifully state, they are an integral whole.

    • DRB Says:

      “And I’d love to see the expression on Hutch’s face if this ever happened — ”

      Go to “Sweet Revenge” and look at Hutch when Dobey is going to get him another partner. That fierce expression is almost incendiary at the very notion.

      That said, I can easily imagine Hutch working solo if Starsky is lost to him. It would probably not be good for him, but he is likely to be successful. He would probably become very remote which would be a real loss to the force as well as his community.

  3. stybz Says:

    This was a good episode, though I think the tension would have been greater if we discovered the truth a little later during the montage. As much as I loved the scene where Hutch is piecing the image together, I think it would have been more fun for the audience to watch it all unfold in front of us, instead of showing who Harry really is with the second victim. 🙂 Even if Harry is still revealed before Hutch figures it out, it still would have been an eye opening experience. 🙂

    I loved the camera work, especially with the handheld. Paul Michael Glaser said that Sutton Roley kept a camera in the trunk of his car. I wonder if it was the one he used for the handheld shots. 😉

    I think the reason Hutch is so happy even after Starsky rips the $10 bill is because he enjoys needling his partner, which is fine because – as others have pointed out to me and now that I’ve seen it for myself – Starsky gets him back in other ways. 🙂

    As for why Monique has no blood on her after the death of the first victim, she was wearing bathrobe, so it’s likely she showered after the murder, probably while she was still Harry. Then once she put the wig back on she became Monique again, saw the body and didn’t go near it.

    Lots of people collected matchbooks/matchboxes in the 1970’s from restaurants and bars. 🙂 These days it’s business cards or iPod Apps. 🙂 My parents used to collect matchbooks/boxes and it had nothing to do with my father’s former smoking habit (he quit sometime after I was born). 🙂 I think they still have the collection, but I’m not sure. 😀

    In response to the question as to whether Hutch is better working alone: I thought it was interesting that Hutch went straight to the station instead of going home like Starsky told him to. Then I wondered if Hutch couldn’t bring himself to leave his partner out in the cold, so to speak. For Hutch to go home and sleep while Starsky was on the job probably didn’t sit well with him. So in some ways, while he was working alone – and effectively at that – in a way he wasn’t alone, because he was doing what he could on his end to back up his partner.

    I think Hutch would probably be all right working alone, but he’s come to rely on Starsky as a sounding board and someone to bounce ideas off of. Starsky also brings another perspective, despite them oftentimes thinking alike. Besides, Hutch is used to Starsky being around. 🙂

    The location of Starsky’s gun and holster changes places. He removes the holster and puts it on the seat of a dining room chair and we see it there later, but not in the close-up (aka Starky’s POV). In those shots it’s laying on a wicker/rattan table and not on the chair. Then, when Monique catches up with him she knocks the dining room chair over. So what happened was they filmed the scenes in the apartment with the gun on the chair, but then changed it to the table later because it probably looked better visually when we are shown it through Starsky’s hazy vision. 🙂

    I had a problem with the overall layout of Monique’s place in general, mainly in relation to all the places Starsky sat relative to the kitchen door. Everything looked like it was opposite the kitchen, which made no sense. I could not figure out if she had a greenhouse outside her unit, since it looked like “Harry” got outside the apartment, but not inside the greenhouse, since “he” had to break windows to get to Starsky. I wish they showed more of it during the daytime, but I suspect the whole thing was a set.

    Oh, and the bowling shirt that Hutch wears says Point Mugu on the back, which is a beach community several miles north of Malibu in Ventura County. There’s also a naval base there. 🙂

  4. stybz Says:

    I forgot to mention two things:

    First, why was the door to the greenhouse locked from the outside? 🙂 How convenient.

    Second, I loved the mirrored movements of Bobbie and Hutch. When Hutch rushes to Starsky and sits him on the picnic table, the scene shifts to Bobbie circling to Monique’s left and taking her sister into her arms. Then it cuts back to Hutch who does a similar thing, circling to Starsky’s left and supporting him. Then the shot cuts back and forth from Monique’s face as she struggles between her two personas to Hutch and Starsky who is somewhat out of it himself.

  5. June Says:

    Hi Merle. Re the up/down light switch. Here in Australia, our light switches are opposite to the US; down for on and up for off. Perhaps they had an Ozzie carpenter on set?

  6. Tank Stoner Says:

    Bobbie Travers was appalled by sex even in the early 22nd Century. Spoiler: Hildy Brooks (who played Bobbie) would go on to appear in The Killings At Outpost Zeta (1980),a very forgettable Sci-Fi flick set in the year 2102.

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