Oh Harry, we’ve got you cold turkey
Tonight’s celebrity restaurant critics are none other than Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson and David “Bullet
Magnet” Starsky. Hutch is partial to organic Japanese seaweed for lunch and home-cooked scrambled eggs for dinner.
Starsky prefers canned sardines for breakfast, peanuts from the precinct candy machine, and late night rendezvous at Italian
Both detectives have worked up an appetite breaking Harry “Wannabe Maharaji” Sample. Harry believed his inner
being was “safe under the shadow of the flower of the Himalayas.” Maybe so, but his nerves, the interrogation
room chair, and Hutch’s back weren’t safe from Starsky’s “Bela Lagoosey”-inspired bad cop routine.
Fortunately, good cop Hutch convinced Harry to confess before Starsky found out that his cafeteria coffee has been replaced
by Folgers crystals, and things got really ugly. Our detectives will soon be free for dinner.
Unfortunately, two hitmen are also planning on sampling Giovanni’s late night menu. Tom “Mr. Intellectual”
Lockly likes smoking jackets, reading about Roman history, and ambushing Bay City mobsters. His partner in crime is Joey “Mr.
Twitchy” Martin. His hobbies include sports on TV, boom-boom girls, and racking up outstanding warrants in several states. Tom gets a phone call from the waitress Theresa notifying him that
their target Vic “Yeah, I probably killed your brother” Monty will arrive at the restaurant at midnight tonight.
Tom’s travel alarm clock informs us that Monty has 65 minutes to live.
|"C'mon, Hutch! What are the chances we'd get shot in a restaurant?"
|"Plus we can go back to my place for dessert, know what I mean?"
|"All right, I'll change it to the Girl from Ipanema!"
|"Huuutch, the vegetables are trying to eat me!"
|Hutch didn't get his annual rabies shot! GRRR!!!
You came in with him, you're going to have to go out with him.
The restaurant’s back office lacks the dining area’s old world plastic charm, but a fake thunderstorm outside
a barred window provides a B-movie spookiness. After locking the back door, Joey rips out the phone line so no one can order
out for Chinese. Hutch then carries the injured Starsky across the threshold, and gently places him on the casting couch.
Starsky’s right arm flails around, in a sad attempt to talk with his hands or an ineffectual effort to feel up his partner.
Hutch harshly rejects Joey’s tasteless offer to put Starsky out of his misery, and then shouts for the waitress.
Theresa rushes in with fresh towels and a metal water pitcher, which will come in handy if Starsky’s contractions get
closer together. While Hutch uses tablecloths and his sea scout first aid and/or medical school drop out training to patch
up Starsky, he informs Theresa that he’s unhappy with her customer service. He’d overheard her whining to Tom
that only Monty was supposed to be turned into Swiss Cheese. We’re impressed that Hutch used this single clue to deduce
that she helped set up gangland boss Vic Monty, instead of game show host Monty Hall, to be killed tonight.
Theresa squalls that Vic Monty killed her baby brother, but Hutch informs her that this isn’t a “personal vengeance
killing” (which are a dime a dozen in Bay City). Hutch knows that Tom and Joey aren’t going to leave any witnesses
alive because he’d recognized them as out of state hitmen, due to his subscription to Bay City Hired Killers Monthly.
Torn between her desire for blood vengeance and her desire for the blond cop, she angrily confesses that the hit is set for
midnight – some 25 minutes from now.
Apparently, Tom and Joey just realized that neither one of them was keeping an eye on the still mobile cop, and they demand
that Hutch rejoin the party. Hutch reluctantly leaves his sweaty, moaning partner in Theresa’s care. Joey tells Hutch,
“You don’t know how close you came to being laid out with your partner”. If only, we sigh, but Tom orders
Joey to knock off the matchmaking. Tom tells Hutch to sit up front because the sight of an unarmed, undercover cop will make
Monty happy. We’re concerned that Tom’s developing a taste for blond eye candy.
Meanwhile, Joey’s making friends with the new arrivals, washed-out comedian Sammy Grovner and his curvaceous straight
lady, Robin Morton. Norman Fell brings the broken-hearted Sammy to life with every lousy joke and sad look, while the actress
playing Robin reverts back into a mannequin after every line. Sammy dreams of Vegas, but his last gig was at the Galaxy Bowl-a-rama.
We’re impressed that bowling in Bay City comes with live entertainment, but Joey tactlessly but accurately predicts
that Sammy’s likely to be playing car washes next.
|Okay, hypnotism failed to heal him. Onto plan B!
|Are you there God? It's me, Starsky!
|Joey 's 6 ft redheaded ex-girlfriend had an Adam's apple.
I was just kidding about the teeth
It’s 9 minutes to midnight, and Hutch tells Theresa it’s time to choose sides or she won’t be getting a
tip tonight. She agrees to find out if there’s a gun hidden away in the plastic grape vines. Tom’s suspicions
are aroused by all the whispering, but he’s soon distracted by Hutch’s Midwestern charms. Tom orders Hutch to
strip. . . off with his empty holster, before he’ll let him visit Starsky. Finally, some live entertainment!
Hutch doesn’t take it all off, but we’re appeased by the adorable sight of a half-dead Starsky sprawled on the
office floor. He thought Hutch had been shot, and was crawling to his rescue. While our kneecaps melt, Hutch is tickling Starsky’s
rib cage, or checking his partner’s erogenous zones. Either way, Starsky can’t feel a thing. After propping Starsky
up against the couch, Hutch leans against the wall in agony. Hutch’s back and heart have taken a beating in this episode.
Theresa returns with the bad news that Giovanni’s adheres to 70s firearm safety regulations by storing the clip in the
unlocked cash register, while the gun is tucked away with the furniture polish under the bar. There’s only 7 minutes
to go before Bay City’s most punctual mob boss arrives, so Hutch retrieves the gun clip by paying for a 50 cent draft
beer. Theresa then fetches soup for Starsky so she can smuggle the gun into the office. While we wait, we ignore the boring
new couple, but Sammy’s confession of love makes us burst into song. Okay, we’re serenading Robin with Bon Jovi’s
You Give Love a Bad Name, but it’s the thought that counts.
At 4 minutes to Monty, Theresa earns her 15% gratuity by not losing her cool or the gun when Joey confronts her over the bowl
of soup. One minute later, Tom tries to stop Hutch from following her. When Tom clicks the safety off his gun, Hutch’s
eyes bulge and he shouts, “What are you going to do now? Blow me away?” Inside his head, Hutch is having a flashback:
“Put the shotgun down, Dad! Mom’s coming home any minute, and there won’t be time to clean up the blood!”
After giving his father – we mean, Tom – the Hutchinson finger, Hutch marches back to the office where he becomes
armed as well as dangerous.
Starsky’s fading fast, but claims he’s simply reliving his high school role as Camille. After discussing the recent
American Dental Association warning against firing old guns with your teeth, Hutch strides out with the gun stuck in the back
of his sexy, form-fitting brown cords. . . where were we? Oh yes, with 1 minute left on the clock, Theresa drops a tray, and
Hutch blows Joey away. Hutch then rolls (which always helps) before plugging Tom in the shoulder. Outside, Monty’s limo
screeches away either because his driver has bionic hearing or the lack of parking in front of his favorite restaurant at
midnight made Monty suspicious. Hutch has Theresa call the cops, ambulance, corner’s wagon and the health department,
and returns to Starsky’s side. Alas, all Starsky wants from him is to find out what’s holding up their order of
veal piccata and linguine with clams.
This episode’s tag, arguably the worst in the series, has only two points of interest – three if you count catching
Huggy Bear smoking a cigarillo. One, Starsky has been spending too much time with comedian Sammy, while Hutch has invited
Theresa and Jimmy over to his place. We wonder if Starsky and Hutch often pick up innocent bystanders to replace all their
friends who get shot or beaten into comas. Second, forget about atomic wedgies, Starsky gives Hutch a nuclear goosing! In
conclusion, Hutch rates Giovanni’s 1 out of 4 stars, citing lead poisoning and slow service. Starsky recommends that
cops go to the Galaxy Bowl-a-rama instead, as it has unarmed live entertainment, and is conveniently located near the Sex-o-rama.
|Heeeerrre's . . . STARSKY!
|Before Ritalin, ADD was treated with papier mache therapy.
Anyone ever tell you you’re a regular shaft of sunlight?
Meanwhile, Theresa is trying to convince her boyfriend, Jimmy “Football Scholarship” Lee, to am-scray ow-nay.
At ten past eleven, trouble arrives and doesn’t wait to be seated. Before Tom and Joey can decide if they want unlimited
salad or breadsticks, Starsky and Hutch come in, and the Bay City restaurant review begins.
The old-world atmosphere of plastic vines and grapes stapled to the walls, along with every conceivable type of plastic vegetable,
is an instant hit with Starsky. He claims that Giovanni’s reminds him of the restaurant his grandmother lived above.
Hutch is dubious, and it seems more likely that the red carpeting, red chair cushions, and red and white checked tablecloths
actually remind Starsky of his beloved striped tomato.
While Hutch impresses his date – er, we mean partner – by ordering the vino de casa (AKA house wine), Joey informs
Tom that the “two geeks” are cops! Apparently, having outstanding warrants in California gets you a free subscription
to Bay City Undercover Cops Monthly which includes names, photos, addresses and where they hide their spare key. As
Starsky trots off to the little boy’s room and Hutch ponders his selection of mandolin muzak, Tom sneaks over and sticks
his gun into Hutch’s still tender back. Adding insult to injury, Tom takes away Hutch’s Magnum and orders him
to march to the men’s room. We wonder if Tom is planning on playing footsies with Starsky and Hutch under the bathroom
We’ll never know, for Starsky struts out of the men’s room and Joey jumps the gun. Weirdly, we first see Joey
shoot twice (with his eyes closed for improved accuracy) and then we watch the first bullet knock Starsky around and the second
one fling him onto the closest table tray. It appears that every order of linguine with clam sauce comes with a complimentary
time warp. Sadly, the table tray is not up the task of Starsky h/c, and dumps our injured hero head first onto the red carpet.
Two more cannon fodder – whoops, we mean innocent bystanders – arrive and are forced to stay for the pre-dinner
show. However, we ignore them, because our sweet Starsky is suffering! His groaning and twitching is so heartrending that
even the plate of vegetables Theresa dropped is coming to his rescue. Initially the plate was thrown clear, but it managed
to crawl under his head to put pressure on his wound while the vegetables congregated around Starsky’s crotch to distract
him. Yes, the veggies served at Giovanni’s are that fresh.
Hutch tells both hitmen he’s going to his partner’s side whether they like it or not. His forcefulness makes us
weak in the knees, and there’s even a flash of respect in Tom’s eyes. He sends Joey to the kitchen to crate-train
the chef, and allows Hutch to manfully clutch the wounded Starsky. Even the plate of veggies knows to back off now that the
quality h/c has begun.
Hutch crawls over the moaning Starsky with a limber grace likely gained through late night stake-outs in the cramped Torino.
He then rips open the back of Starsky’s shirt, prompting his partner to hallucinate he’s in a slash epic and ask
“How do I look?” Alas, Hutch’s only checking the wound in his partner’s left shoulder, which is more
serious than the bullet that bounced off Starsky’s “thick skull”. Hutch informs the baddies that if Starsky
doesn’t go to a hospital right now, they’ll be responsible for a dead cop. Thankfully, Starsky is too busy trembling
beautifully (or possibly humping the vegetables) to hear this grave diagnosis. Tom is unmoved, and decides to have Starsky
stashed out of sight, as a bleeding cop might make Vic Monty a wee bit suspicious about tonight’s special.
|Starsky wonders if Hutch's brains are as tasty as his CENSORED.
|So afterwards, want to knock over some banks in Bolivia together?
|Did he did make a pass at me?
|One of these things is not like the others. Spot the real actor!
You really know how to cheer a guy up.
Theresa summons Hutch to the back office, where Starsky is calling out for him like a love lorn zombie. Hutch tells him that
only Tom’s fallen victim to his charms, but that Joey’s “wound tighter than a drum, ready to explode”.
Using his x-ray vision, Hutch synchronizes his pocket watch with the dining room clock. He gives Starsky the watch and metal
water pitcher, and tells him to make a racket in 5 minutes, at 14 minutes to midnight. Starsky briefly mistakes Hutch for
cowboy Butch Cassidy and proposes they run off to Bolivia afterward. Starsky also swears he’ll let Hutch scramble his
eggs anytime he wants in the future. This promise of glorious future together is almost too much for Hutch, but he manfully
swallows back his tears of joy.
This beautiful moment is rudely interrupted by Robin’s declaration that it’s every man – well, every blow-up
doll for herself. She rejects going to Vegas to play “second bananas to a second-rate rock group”, which is a
harsh but fair judgment of both Sammy and Santana. However, Joey’s mother had warned him to only date broads who stand by their toad-like men, and spurns Robin’s
advances. Ashamed of herself, Robin slinks over to Hutch’s table and pours out the story of her life. Hutch tells her
to “give a little”, obviously wishing she’d shut up a lot.
Its now 1 minute to magic time, but first we have to suffer through what feels like 20 minutes of Theresa’s boyfriend
trying to figure out the plot so far. Playing on Jimmy’s soft heart, Theresa claims the hitmen threatened her mommy,
a very different story from the one she told Hutch. Too bad she didn’t know about Jimmy’s huge mother issues,
because he’s inspired to rush the hitmen like a linebacker on steroids.
Hutch tackles Jimmy, but the time wasted beating in Jimmy’s soft head means Hutch isn’t ready when Starsky flings
the water pitcher on cue. This distracting noise only helps Hutch save Jimmy’s life by making Joey’s shot go wild.
Worse still, the bullet takes out the mirror above the juke box, but instead of 7 years of bad luck, the broken mirror summons
two more useless midnight snackers into Giovanni’s.
|Later, Hutch will moonlight as a topless bartender at Chippendales!
|Pre-blogosphere, Joey shouts out to his peeps.
|That;'s right, Dad! Mom would be so pissed if you killed me!
|Gonna kill 'em all for you, Starsky! Kill 'em all!
|Long before Minnie, proof that Starsky really IS a trashy boy!