“Give me good old city pollution.”
Outside the Trans World Airlines airport we hear: “The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers
only...” We wonder if we’ve put the movie Airplane! into the DVD player by mistake, until Starsky blithely parks the Torino in the white zone. Starsky and Hutch are picking
up their good buddy Jake. As if being pals with these guys isn’t enough, Jake is also a Bay City cop which means he
has the life expectancy of ... well, a Bay City cop who’s friends with Starsky and Hutch.
Hutch is yakking about a village in Azerbaijan where people live to be 148 years old. Starsky tells Hutch that life without
sex is just not worth living, which is why he’s not planning for retirement (remember kids, this is pre-Viagra). He
then demonstrates his youthful horniness by sexually harassing an airport security guard.
Just as Starsky and Hutch meet up with Jake, someone shouts “thief!” Our heroes leap into parkour style action. The older Jake runs into a sunken-eyed, shady-looking man, and gets the back of his hand scratched. After the
thief is nabbed, the three cops exit the airport and discover a far greater crime -- the Torino is being towed. While Starsky
yells at the tow truck driver, Hutch smoothly removes the chains. In the background, a Beverly Hills Cab pulls away with the
sharp nailed stranger inside. Yep, Bay City has its very own Beverly Hills, which explains why it also has hillbillies.
The cabbie drives the increasingly sweaty mystery man out to the boondocks of Bay City. Helen Yeager, Lonely Single Woman of a Certain Age, has rented him a room in her home. The stranger introduces himself as Steele, and Helen introduces him to her son Richie.
Richie promptly asks Steele if he’s “really from Canada” as his dad went to Canada and never came back.
We never knew that Americans used Canada as a euphemism for heaven. We bet that Helen told Richie his pet goldfish, budgie
and puppy all went to Canada, too. Steele winks at Richie, and then staggers upstairs to collapse on the bed and stroke his
gun. His real gun, people! Sheesh.
|This isn't the first time their sweet nothings have made Jake hurl.
|"Starsk, the nurses are wondering why you're always in my bed."
|Baby's got back!
“I’ve always wanted to play doctor.”
Starsky and Hutch ferry Dr. Judith Kaufman around the city so she can take blood samples from anyone Jake had contact with
during his last tour of duty. We’re a bit concerned to learn from Hutch that Jake rousted “Big Benny” (a
little person, of course) yesterday. As Jake died at least three days ago, this means either Hutch’s confusion
is an early symptom of the plague or Dobey has raised Jake from the dead. Zombies would certainly help off-set the staff shortages
caused by BCPD’s high mortality rate.
By the end of the sixth day of the outbreak, the dream team has tested forty-three whippos and wiseguys, twenty-five of whom
had “definite contact” with Jake. Clearly, Starsky and Hutch are not the hardest working cops in Bay City. Eight
people have been sent to Isolation so far, but Dr. Kaufman is frustrated that they still haven’t found the plague’s
carrier. Apparently, she didn’t learn in medical school that cause tends to precede effect. However, we’re impressed
that she learned how to detect viruses in blood without the aid of a microscope.
Starsky and Hutch then spot the thief from the airport. He managed to skip bail, but he’s now too sick to jump out of
the reach of Bay City’s finest living cops. Dr. Kaufman has the thief immediately tossed into quarantine, where he promptly
gives up the ghost.
In the hospital’s lab, Dr. Meredith tells them that the mystery virus causes fluid in the lungs, severe liver and kidney
damage, and massive internal hemorrhaging. Also, the ambulance attendant and the nurse who treated Jake are now sick. Dr.
Kaufman orders the entire hospital floor sealed off, which strikes us as locking the barn door after the horses have escaped.
Especially as this quarantine doesn’t include Starsky and Hutch, the only two people who’ve been exposed to every
Meanwhile back at Mrs. Yeager’s place, Richie is listening at Mr. Steele’s door, just waiting for him to collapse
so he can rush in and play doctor with the stranger. His mom admits that her son the stalker is isolated and lonely. Mr. Steele
gratefully grasps Richie’s hand, passing on the virus.
|The Hutchinson finger: yr doin' it wrong!
|"Richie, have you ever seen a grown man naked?"
|Hit men are not renowned for their people skills.
“Find Calendar, save Hutch.”
Hutch spots Calendar’s clever disguise as a bum wearing clean white socks and expensive leather shoes. They interrupt
his assassination attempt, but their car chase ends prematurely when they are cut off by a truck. We’re shocked. That
never happens in Bay City.
Back at the lab, Dr. Meredith has been rechecking the old blood samples and he has bad news for Hutch. He was infected with
the virus after all. “Either we come up with an anti-toxin, or he has only a few days left on this planet Earth.”
After all, hit men might be able to walk it off, but everyone knows that Hutch is a fragile flower. Plus he doesn’t
have the benefit of twenty-four hour care from a minor child which everyone knows is far superior to Bay City hospital care,
especially from a doctor who thinks anti-toxins kill viruses.
In forty-eight hours, Hutch’s white blood cell count will drop, he’ll become highly infectious, and he’ll
start showing symptoms. As Jake died two days after his exposure to the plague and Hutch has been incubating the virus for
at least five days, it’s a mystery how Dr. Meredith came up with the forty-eight hour countdown. We suspect he watches
too many soap operas.
Determined to save Hutch, Starsky oversees a massive search for Calendar, giving an inspirational speech about good partners
being hard to come by. As the leads dry up, Starsky hits the Torino, tosses Huggy around and yells at Dobey. They all claim
to love Hutch just as much as Starsky does, but we know they’re lying. Especially the Torino.
At the hospital, Hutch is plastered to the window of his isolation chamber, pathetically trying to wave down anyone who’ll
talk to him. He tries to flirt with Dr. Kaufman, and we believe that her comment regarding his “vulnerable upper lip”
led to his fourth season mustache.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Richie is giving a shirtless Calendar a sponge bath. We don’t want to speculate on whether
he’s wearing pants. It’s bad enough that Calendar’s got his hands all over Richie’s face.
|Starsky truly thought she was flirting when she said "cavity search".
|Starsky pulls out this photo every time Hutch claims he's over 6 ft tall.
|Starsky's dad told him a cop's badge was a "get-out-of-jail-free" card.
“Maybe he picked up some disease in Europe.”
Two days later, our heroes are hanging out in the police station’s locker room and Hutch is still babbling on about
living 120 years more. Presumably, Hutch has been telling everyone he’s 28 years old for about six years now. Before Starsky can call him on this, Jake collapses in front of them.
At Lincoln hospital, Jake dies, and Hutch consoles his widow by picking lint off her sweater. Starsky is shocked when the
doctor orders all three of them quarantined. “I’m healthy!” he claims loudly. After all, he just finished
a round of penicillin for that embarrassing STI, and Hutch’s lint picking is a symptom of OCD not the plague. The doctor
is not impressed and assigns him and Hutch to an Isolation Room together.
You’d think that being locked in a single room with a paper-gowned Hutch would be fun, but Starsky is so stressed he
refuses to eat. Either the observation window or Hutch’s pathological fear of paper cuts has prevented any slashy shenanigans.
To their rescue comes the Sexy Dr. Judith Kaufman from Disease Control in Alabama. Hutch asks her, “Are you a doctor,
or are you just beautiful?”, ignoring the Less-Than-Sexy Dr. Meredith. Starsky interrupts, claiming that he’s
suffering from a severe case of claustrophobia. Hurray, Claustrophobic!Starsky is canon! We predict an outbreak of locked
closets, broken elevators, and collapsed basements in Starsky’s fanfiction future.
Starsky and Hutch are free to go as it’s been 72 hours, and they’re showing no symptoms. This means it’s
been five days since Jake got back from Europe, and three days since he died. Pay attention, there will be a test afterwards.
Dr. Kaufman convinces Starsky and Hutch to help her track down everyone Jake came into contact with before he died. Neither
doctor suggests checking the other airplane passengers, so clearly they’ve already ruled out the European disease. They also don't seem interested in tracking down whomever gave this unknown killer disease to Jake. Clearly patient zero
is at fault for failing to gain pre-approval for services from a health care provider outside his HMO network.
|Hutch risks getting a lot more than the Plague from Sister Magda.
|"Starsky? How do YOU know Magda makes hospital visits?"
|"Gee whiz, Mom! A dying dad's still better than NO dad!"
“This is prime territory for dippers.”
On day seven of plague watch, the Torino is getting a ticket for being parked in the white zone while Starsky and Hutch question
the head of Airport Security. “Whenever an incident starts, my crew is instructed to switch on the security cameras.”
We feel more secure already. Looking at the pictures, our awesome detectives figure out that Steele AKA Thomas Calendar AKA
“the prince of hit men” is the source of Jake’s infection.
Calendar is now feeling much better thanks to Richie’s underage nurturing. He’s ready to get back to murdering
people for money, but the firing pin is missing from his rifle. His Bay City weapons supplier is holding it hostage for more
Calendar agrees to meet his hapless contact on a dark, isolated rooftop. Calendar says, “In this business we all have
to trust each other,” and promptly stabs the man in the back. He then kicks the body. Calendar is made of awesome.
Starsky and Hutch have learned from Interpol that Calendar’s been spending time in Marrakesh. Dr. Meredith just happens
to have the private diary of a doctor who witnessed a similar outbreak in Morocco. Sadly, that doctor died in a plane crash,
and it is in no way suspicious that Dr. Meredith has his unpublished notes. Covering for her cutthroat colleague, Dr. Kaufman
distracts the cops by telling them that if Calendar is still alive, his blood can be used to manufacture a serum that will
cure the plague.
Fortunately, our clever boys have deduced that Calendar’s target is a syndicate boss named Roper. The next day, Starsky
and Hutch oh-so-stealthily stalk Roper in the Torino, hoping to catch Calendar in the act of assassinating him. Hutch divides
his time between obsessing about living to 148 and mooning over Judith.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Starsky complains, “I thought I finished that routine in the army.” We launch
into our Canon celebration dance. We can now write about Starsky being a claustrophobic POW in Vietnam, and his wacky adventures
with a Colonel named Hannibal Smith.
|Hutch is about to learn that he can't stop a car with his crotch.
|Nurse Betty is really looking forward to the mandatory cavity search.
|"Richie, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"