The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party
AKA Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena

Bay City's Restaurant Review
AKA "Shootout"

Original Air Date: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1975

According to the DVD Episode Guide: When Starsky and Hutch drop by an all-night diner to unwind, they're attacked by gangland hit men. After Starsky is critically wounded, Hutch must figure out how to stop the killers and get his partner to the hospital in time.

Now maybe it's the several days EH spent recovering after vomiting up her pasta dinner, or the fact that Rebel's hubby says he's too tired to take her out even when EH is mobile enough to babysit... uh, where were we? We believe the late-night visit to Giovanni's Fine Italian Food (located just below the Poker and Piano bar) is actually a heavily armed restaurant review in disguise.

And with a swing of his hips, he started to strip,
To tremendous applause, he took off his drawers, and with a lick of his lip, he undid his gun clip!

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 restaurants.

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 Fortunately, good cop Hutch convinced Harry to confess before Starsky found out that his cafeteria coffee has been replaced by Folgers crystals, and things got really ugly.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 stalls.

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!

Good Questions to Ask Yourself

1. What are Theresa’s true motivations for helping set up Vic Monty? Is she terrified that her mother might have an ‘unfortunate accident’, or is she driven by blood lust for the killer of her brother?

2. When Hutch questions Starsky about his injured shoulder, Starsky blows him off by saying, “I told you, Gene Autry gets it there all the time.” In fact, Starsky didn’t mention singing cowboys at any other time during this episode. So, is this the first time that Starsky’s been shot in the shoulder? Or was it Hutch the last time? Or Dobey? Discuss, or even better, write a story!

3. In the play/ballet Camille, there is no character actually named Camille. Is Starsky pulling Hutch’s leg by claiming otherwise? Or if he played the female lead character, Marguerite Gautier, how’d he get the role? Discuss, or even better, write or draw!

4. Write, draw, or vid an A/U version of this episode. What if Monty wasn’t so anal about being precisely on time for his reservation? What if the hitmen locked Starsky and Hutch into the cellar instead of letting Hutch roam free? What if Tom the hired gun was actually an undercover ATF or FBI agent? Or knock our socks off with your own unique vision of the Bay City Restaurant Review. We'll link your entrees at the bottom of the page!

It's definitely time to clean the carpets at Giovanni's!

The Bowl-a-rama is next to WHAT?

Bay City Times Food Critic Review, by Sue

Back in the Saddle Again, by Callisto

Theraputically Unnecessary (but smarmy) Bathing Half-Drabble, by Lily K

"Uh, Starsk? How many of those little pink pills did you take?"



October 30, 2007