The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party
AKA Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena

Bay City's Meadow Muffins
AKA "Iron Mike"

Original Air Date: Saturday, December 18, 1976

According to the DVD Episode Guide: The crime-busting pair's suspicions are aroused when they spot highly respected police captain "Iron Mike" Ferguson accepting a bribe from an underworld kingpin.

When we finally stop giggling over the idea of our favorite crime-busting pair being "aroused", we agree that this episode is all about everyone lying to themselves and each other. That's right, boys and girls, it's all about the big steaming piles of bullshit!


We’re in the wrong place at the right time.

A turd brown Ford sedan, with a monogrammed C on the door, is parked in front of the Gung Ho Chinese Restaurant. It’s a classy neighborhood - just down the street is Le Sex Shoppe which is open 24 hours and features a 25 cent movie arcade. Alas, Starsky isn’t dragging Hutch down the back alleyway to partake in cheap porn, but to indulge in the Gung Ho’s questionable cuisine. Apparently, our heroes belong to a bowling league that Starsky has mistaken for a gourmet restaurant guide.

Starsky shoves his way into the kitchen to ensure that the chef specializes in “Mooshy Pork” and not Mu Shu Trichinosis, while Hutch gets shoved around by the wait staff. All this unnecessary roughness leads Hutch to spot “Iron Mike” Ferguson, the head of Parker Center’s Robbery Division, in the dining area. Iron Mike is played by actor Michael Conrad, whose Emmy-winning performance as Sergeant Phil Esterhaus of Hill Street Blues made him famous for the catch phrase “let’s be careful out there.”

It’s advice Starsky and Hutch should have heeded while spying on Hutch’s ex-boss. Still, we enjoy watching Starsky thrusting into Hutch’s groin as they're squished together by the evidently pro-slash swinging door of the busy kitchen. They unclinch long enough to see Iron Mike receive an envelope from Bay City baddie, Matty “lemme sell you some Irish Stew that fell off a truck” Coyle.

Distracted by the sight of a Police Captain playing footsie with a bum who’d monogram a dung brown Ford, Hutch is knocked over by a waiter, who then trips over Starsky and sends him flying out of the kitchen. Despite Hutch’s attempt to stealthily yank his partner out of view by the heels of his Adidas, both Mikey and Matty get an eyeful.

Escaping out the back, Hutch tries to convince himself and Starsky that all they’ve witnessed is an innocent game of corrupt cops and robbers. Starsky argues that “If we saw what it looked like we saw, Ferguson is on the take.” Hutch responds, “If. It’s a big word.” Uh oh, Hutch is in serious denial, and any literalists in the audience now have a hilarious new catch phrase.

Jon Stewart was right - Starsky really IS the short guy with the jewfro!

Starsky notices Coyle's logo on Parker Center's snack machines.


Hutch comes out of the closet, only to be used as a coat rack.

Never mess with Bay City's Transvestite Mafia!

When the spirit is willing, the flesh can do all kinds of groovy stuff.

Who is the criminal kingpin who’s tarnishing Iron Mike’s good name? It’s Matty the Merciless Coyle, who terrorizes his staff with a fake Irish accent, and fake Irish sayings like “we Irish have a heart as tender as a baby’s behind” – not that the IRA haven’t been a wee bit oversensitive from time to time. Mad Matt's chilling criminal activities include forcing purchasers of his restaurant supplies to settle their accounts on time. In truth, Matty’s number one victim is his new assistant Johnny Lonigan, who doesn’t know that his boss is having an affair with his nearly attractive wife Laura.

Could Iron Mike be in league with Bay City’s Almost Most Wanted? Starsky and Hutch don’t want to jump to conclusions. So, they turn to Huggy Bear to get the real poop on the “Ferguson dude”. They find Huggy trying to fix a beat-up old motor scooter, and congratulate him on his “brilliant disguise” as no one would ever suspect a pimp would drive a puddle jumper instead of a Caddy. But Huggy's always claimed to be an independent entrepreneur! Was that bull shit talk for whoremonger? Or is he trying to kick start a new illicit career with two foxy working girls and a pimpmobile downsized for 70s gas shortages? For now at least, the Bear remains Starsky and Hutch’s number one snitch. Huggy reports that Iron Mike is “mean, clean and allergic to green”, but (a slightly bigger word than if) he’s been hanging out at Matty Coyle’s warehouses.

It’s a good thing Coyle isn’t a criminal mastermind, as Starsky and Hutch spy on him by climbing the wooden fence surrounding a warehouse parking lot. Hutch mounts Starsky, but not in a sexy way, and witnesses another exchange of a suspicious envelope between Iron Mike and Monogrammed Matt. Unwilling to face the awful truth, Starsky and Hutch return to Parker Center and examine Captain Ferguson’s arrest records. Hutch discovers that his former boss has “the greatest arrest record since Wyatt Earp”. Starsky then points out that Iron Mike recently arrested Coyle’s former right hand man, “Skinny” Momo, an action which should prove he’s not on Matty’s payroll. Hutch is tempted to drop the whole investigation, but some bootlicker in Records told on them, and Iron Mike arrives spitting nails.

Iron Mike yells at them that he “was busting scum in this division when you two were still playing patty-cake.” To be fair that was just last week, but Starsky and Hutch have bigger worries than being ragged on for their playground games. Iron Mike railroads them into a dangerous bust, and as they approach the two mystery shoppers’ hideout, he taunts, “scared I’m setting you up?” Petrified is more accurate, but The Fates love our boys, and it’s Iron Mike who ends up with a chest full of lead. Starsky performs the laying on of hands for the dying Captain while Hutch takes off his own jacket because watching a Hutchinson striptease is undeniably the best way to go. Starsky has already made his partner promise that if he’s ever gunned down, Hutch will go the Full Monty.

With his dying breaths, Iron Mike bequeaths his little black book to Starsky and Hutch. Thanks to DVD technology and Rebel’s big screen TV, we get to see the pages of women’s names and real phone numbers. We wanted to call them and ask if they’ve witnessed a crime in Bay City, but it’d violate our parole. The only page the audience is supposed to see clearly has a 555 telephone number in red ink on it, with two underscores and an asterisk for anyone watching on a black and white TV back in 1976. Iron Mike makes them promise to call the number, but not to tell Dobey even though “it’s nothing to be ashamed of”. Hutch looks deeply distressed as he breaks the dead man’s fingers to release Mike’s iron grip from his collar.

Starsky realizes he and Hutch are on the same phone sex party line.

Hutch tries to explain that he really DOESN'T want Matt's cherry.

The thrill is gone. So's the perp.

Starsky's mom used to give him this look when she was Disappointed.

You do that and I'm liable to jump all over your pony.

Starsky and Hutch decide to visit Skinny Momo in prison, but Momo doesn’t buy the skinny on double-crossing Matty. However, he does give them the dirt on Matty’s assignations with Johnny’s wife. We then endure a matinee performance of Matty and Laura’s tacky terry-cloth garbed canoodling, while Huggy takes quality color photos. From the street outside Matty's highrise pad, of course! We find Huggy Bear’s new chopper far more seductive, and so does Starsky. In fact, he appears to have unrequited fantasies about being a motorcycle mama.

We’re so distracted by Starsky’s lascivious lounging on Huggy’s motorcycle that we almost miss the swastika patch on the Bear’s new duds. The thought of Huggy leading a neo-Nazi double life melts our brains, so we just numbly listen to Starsky and Hutch barter for Huggy’s stake-out services. Either Huggy doesn’t realize it’s better to talk terms beforehand, or they’re negotiating for something more that the censors cut. They eventually settle on fifteen dollars to keep the Bear in Turtle Wax which we hope to God is just for the bike.

Starsky and Hutch easily convince Matty to trade his assistant Johnny Lonigan for a long-term, exclusive contract with them. Coyle is even foolish enough to put his betrayal in writing, and Starsky expresses his contempt for Matty by walking on his furniture. Starsky and Hutch then interrupt Johnny’s forceful redecoration of a bar that suspiciously resembles the set for The Pits.

They show him Matty’s treacherous note, but it’s his wife breaking the seventh commandment with his boss that convinces Johnny to divulge Coyle’s drug dealing. We wonder if this cocaine buy was a last minute addition to the script as it doesn’t correspond to any of Matty’s previous crimes, and cocaine busts are more dramatic than refusing to pay for loading dock permits. Plus it’s fun to imagine that adding sugar to your morning coffee at a restaurant supplied by Matty Coyle provides an extra special kick start to your day.

Despite the gunfight between the coke dealers and our heroes in a dark culvert, this climax lacks a good triumphs over evil afterglow. Matty kills their buzz by predicting he’ll soon be free again, and that just like Iron Mike, they’ll be calling him when the mean streets of Bay City wear them down.

This ominous speech leaves Starsky and Hutch so chilled that they immediately dash over to Hutch’s place for hot showers. Or so we assume. Why else would they be playing chess in Hutch’s greenhouse during the tag only wearing bathrobes? Unless. . . they went after a different kind of afterglow? Alas, the censors will only let us enjoy Starsky driving Hutch out of his mind by pretending he doesn’t know how to play chess. We’ll just have to turn to fanfic for NC-17 versions of Starsky’s Law, where either partner can talk a little to win a lot.

When Hutch is bad, Starsky makes him wait outside.

"What do you mean my dipping is too aggressive?"

So. . . Was it good for you?

Can I maybe interest you in something from women’s lingerie?

Our heroes run to Dobey with their concerns. Unfortunately, between Starsky talking with his mouth full and Hutch’s overuse of the small yet weighty “if”, the Cap is left clueless. Before they can confuse him further, Dobey invites Captain Ferguson into his office, and innocently volunteers his two detectives to help out Iron Mike in a robbery stake-out.

We should be filled with dread for their safety, but we’re too busy discussing why Starsky won’t share his food with Hutch (is the honeymoon over?) and staring at the napkin Starsky has stuffed down the front of his jeans (was he raised by x-rated wolves?). Iron Mike regains our attention with his subtly threatening statement to Hutch: “You may remember my methods.” Hutch’s unenthusiastic reply of “vividly” causes Rebel to believe that Iron Mike gained his nickname for his use of iron (and possibly S&M) discipline.

Outside of Dobey’s office, Starsky eats his coleslaw with his fingers (proof he was raised by wolves), while Hutch angsts over whether Iron Mike is setting them up. However, Hutch’s high anxiety is all a scam to cause Starsky to lose his appetite (proof the honeymoon is definitely over).

Once he’s purloined Starsky’s lunch, Hutch confesses that he knows that Darcy’s Department Store won’t be their OK Corral. “Because we’ve got something that Ferguson doesn’t have.” Starsky asks, “Yeah, what’s that?” Hutch responds “each other” and then adds with a wicked grin, “you lucky devil”. Even if the honeymoon is over, this exchange renews their gen or slash marriage vows to “me and thee.”

At just past 5:20 pm, Starsky is browsing discount women’s lingerie, possibly attracted by the bargain prices for support panty hose (only $1.97 a pair!). Our suspicions are confirmed when he holds a see-through black nightie against himself and performs a sexy shimmy.

Wearing his undercover hunting hat and shades, Hutch sneaks up on him, and offers to buy him a negligee. Starsky claims that he’s shopping for his “weird partner” which might be true as we already know he thinks Hutch looks good in basic black. What’s more, Hutch begins contemplating a polyester blouse, so maybe Starsky really is the butch partner. When Starsky holds the blouse against him, Hutch insists the top isn’t for either of them, but we don’t believe him. Everyone’s got something to hide in this episode.

Iron Mike appears and sternly reminds them that despite the transvestite who is currently browsing in ladies casual wear, they’re not here to stock up on supplies for their secret lifestyle. After intimidating our heroes with his authority (and his mustard gas yellow jacket), Mike announces that the store is closing and disappears. Starsky and Hutch watch the three hard cases they were warned about disarm the lone security guard and escort him to the back for a private party. Confident they’ve got the baddies surrounded, Starsky and Hutch order them to give up.

A firefight breaks out, and our boys quickly learn that what they don’t know can kill them as the transvestite and another mystery shopper trap them in a deadly crossfire. Fortunately, Starsky and Hutch are the better shots so only some of the baddies and merchandise will need to be deeply discounted. Our heroes aren’t happy though, as both of the surprise guests got away and Iron Mike’s reputation is looking less ironclad with every passing minute.

"You're right, Johnny, me pants ARE a wee bit too high!"

"Now you're SURE this is the female part, right?"

"Uh, oh. Dad's gonna take us to the woodshed!"

Starsky misunderstands the advice to "cover his ass".

"No, Hutch! That's not his wallet. Keep looking!"

Goodies all around us.

Evidently, Starsky and Hutch took the red pill as the little black book of Iron Mike’s girlfriends now details impressive police busts. They believe they’ve inherited a Super Snitch until they call the 555 number and Matt Coyle answers the dirty cop hotline. Matty claims he has no intention of compromising their virtue with tawdry phone sex. He invites them over to his office, but warns them to come as cops. Starsky wonders aloud what Ferguson came as, but considering the sexy negligee he modeled earlier, he’s in no position to judge.

For the benefit of Matty’s assistant Johnny, Starsky and Hutch lay the hard-assed – whoops, we meant hard-nosed – cop act on with a trowel. Once they’re alone, Matty tries to woo them with imported cherries, and then soften them up with Irish famine sob stories. Starsky informs Matty that they know he was a well-fed kid from Jersey City. Coyle’s accent vanishes and his eyes glitter as he coldly asserts his preference for colorful lies over “gray truth.”

Hutch wants to know why Matty was giving Iron Mike “the kind of information cops beg for” which makes us wonder if Iron Mike’s training methods involved junior officers on their knees. Matty reveals that in exchange for his own freedom he sold out the thugs and thieves of Bay City, including his own cherished Skinny Momo.

Ferguson’s Law was “give a little to get a lot”, a principle Hutch rejects until Matty tells him the first time is free. “What have you got to lose?” Matty asks, as he offers up Lucky Lester and his stolen diamonds. Clearly, the first casualty is job satisfaction for Starsky doesn’t even bother pulling his gun when the now luckless Lester tries to run for it.

After three tastes of Matty Coyle’s illicit goodies, Starsky and Hutch look miserable, especially when Dobey heaps unearned praise upon them. However, when they break their promise to Iron Mike and show Dobey the little black book, their Cap’s reaction is shocking.

First, Dobey defends Ferguson as a top cop, and then he contends that his pact with the Irish devil was no different than Starsky and Hutch’s relationship with Huggy Bear. Starsky counters that Huggy only bends the law, which makes us wonder when he last read California’s Criminal Code. Hutch argues that Iron Mike didn’t have the right to decide which criminals got a free ride.

With lovely indignation, Hutch announces that they’re going to arrest Matt Coyle for bribing a cop. “Over Mike Ferguson’s dead body,” Dobey yells, unfortunately without irony, and forbids Starsky and Hutch from sullying Iron Mike’s reputation. We’re appalled that church-going, family man Harold C. Dobey is willing to look the other way as long as the job gets done. We pray that it’s just the years of free donuts talking.

Starsky's first time was NOT in the back seat of a car.

All your base are belong to us!

Was it just co-incidence that this was Screen Capture number 666?

Hutch contemplates shoving Starsky's pony where the sun don't shine.

"Starsk, is mugging a Nazi Biker really just bending the law?"

Good Questions to Ask Yourself

1. If it’s true that Iron Mike never took a bribe from Matty Coyle, why did they risk meeting in person? What was in those envelopes?

2. Why the hell is Huggy Bear wearing a swastika? Is he infiltrating the Bay City White Supremacists as their token black member? Did no one notice when wardrobe screwed up Huggy's biker wear? Or does Antonio Fargas just have a twisted sense of humor?

3. Could you believe Matty Coyle’s prediction that an older and wearier Starsky and Hutch would consider turning a blind eye to his criminal activities? Write a story and we’ll link it below!




April 6, 2008