wings are worn down to stubs.”
We begin in a warehouse where
a hapless Red Shirt... er, we mean Bay City Cop, is getting beaten to death by a multiracial pair of evil dudes. In the background,
lurks their evil boss, Haley Gavin, dressed like a 1940s mobster complete with evil fedora. In other words, it’s just
another week in Bay City, including the hapless witness who this time is a down-on-his-luck prize fighter,
Jimmy Spenser AKA Spense.
The next morning in Dobey’s
office, Starsky is splashing cold water on his eyes and bragging about being up all night schtupping the stewardess of the
week. Hutch, clearly jealous that it’s Starsky’s turn to be the hot stud, swaps Starsky’s water for hot
coffee. Hell hath no fury like a Hutch scorned. Dobey stomps in and informs them that it’s time for them to solve yet
another cop killing.
Or perhaps earn the BCPD much
needed money to train more lambs for the slaughter. . . uh, we mean bolster the Police
Academy’s overstrained budget. For several days later, Starsky
and Hutch are still working on the docks, haphazardly loading boxes of canned fruit onto a flatbed truck. Starsky complains
that all the hard physical labor is putting a damper on his love life. Hutch isn’t sympathetic. He evidently thinks
that the less sex Starsky gets with other blonds, the better.
Just as they are almost finished
loading the truck, the multicultural murderers show up to finish the job. . . of loading the boxes. Apparently, whoever finishes
loading the goods gets paid, so we now have a showdown between our heroes and the evil goons Berl and Cruiser. If you’ve watched any TV during the past four decades, you’ll recognize Cruiser as he’s played by
the omnipresent stuntman/actor Bob Minor. Darryl B. Smith plays Berl, and you might remember him from such films as. . . um, the only other one he did. Not that we’re implying
that Starsky and Hutch killed his acting career or anything. . .
Where were we?
Oh yes, Spense the boxer/murder witness shows up just in time to save Starsky and Hutch from being pummeled. We'd be tempted
to call this a plot hole, but we’re used to coincidences like this happening all the time in Bay City.
|Hutch is determined to get SOMETHING of Starsky's into his mouth.
|Panicked, Starsky suddenly realizes BOTH blonds are after his body.
|But Mr. Hutch, everyone else gets to play with Starsky!
love from the boys at work.”
Hutch and the kid all visit Spense after the fight. He asks Starsky and Hutch to drive his son home, which made sense to us
until we realized Spense doesn’t know they’re cops. Clearly he’s desperate to get his son out of the way
before Gavin’s thugs arrive, and Spence’s fear makes Hutch suspicious.
Out in the hallway, Hutch forces
Starsky to ditch his date and the kid so they can snoop around. Sharon
isn’t pleased. “Keep this up and you’ll be back in the bull pen before long.” Hutch smirks, anticipating
Starsky’s return to his bull bordello. But he might have to carry him there, as
Starsky appears to be so ready to re-schtupp Sharon he's having trouble walking.
Back in the locker room, Gavin’s
goons have arrived with pipes in hand all ready to beat up Spense. Starsky and Hutch show up just in time to join in the hijinks.
Bad guys and tables fly through the air, but the sexual frustration they’re experiencing interferes with their psychic
connection. Hutch barely blocks a punch from his partner, and actually slugs Starsky in the gut before they both realize that
they’re fighting each other. Cops really do need love too! Blue balls must never be allowed to endanger the thin blue
Despite their private pain, Starsky
and Hutch manage to toss the bad guys out of the locker room. Spense claims that it was all a big misunderstanding, and our
skeptical heroes flash their badges at him along with a glamor shot of the dead cop.
Spense blurts out that he witnessed
the cop killing, but refuses to testify against Gavin for fear of being murdered too. He doesn’t seem to realize that
making a mobster lose lots of money on a fixed fight doesn’t usually lead to a slap on the wrist. He also doesn’t
ask Starsky and Hutch what they did with his son. We’re beginning to suspect that Spence has a glass frontal lobe.
Rather than question him further,
Starsky and Hutch let him go. Next, they try to get Jeeter to finger Gavin, with as little luck. Starsky and Hutch then visit
Spense’s estranged wife, where they inexplicably grill her on Spense’s whereabouts, telling her that they really
need to talk to him.
But they were just talking to
him, and didn’t bother following him when they had the chance. While this definitely is a plot hole, we enjoyed imagining
the two of them driving away from the boxing ring, with Hutch suddenly slapping his forehead and exclaiming, “D’oh!”
Unfortunately, Berl, Cruiser
and Gavin have staked out Mrs. Spenser’s place. Despite not recognizing Starsky, Hutch, or the Torino,
Gavin concludes that Spense may soon talk to the police, and is now a liability they can’t afford. So now, thanks to
Starsky and Hutch forgetting the rule about holding material witnesses, Spense really is marked for death.
|By night 2 at Hutch's, Starsky had learned to sleep with one eye open.
|"I was NOT flirting with him! HE was flirting with me!"
|Gavin has won "Bay City's Sweetest Mobster" three years running.
friends like his, who needs enemies?”
Back at the precinct, Dobey is
impatient with Starsky and Hutch’s lack of progress in the case. Hutch explains that Starsky’s been chasing grouse
all night, implying that his partner is a hound dog. Jealousy is not a good look on him. Fortunately, he comes through for
his pal, by telling Dobey that what he actually said was that they were watching a warehouse all night.
Dobey tells them that Robbery
has already figured out that whenever a load comes into Gavin’s warehouse, part of it disappears. However, in order
to put Gavin away for murder, they need Spense’s testimony. “I’m not going to tell you how to get it, just
get it,” says Dobey. Starsky’s thoughtful expression suggests that visions of telephone books and rubber hoses
are dancing in his head.
Meanwhile, Spense has returned
to the gym to ask Jeeter for money so he can get out of town. The moment he leaves, Jeeter calls up Gavin. The mobster instructs
him to lure Spense to the warehouse where the cop was killed, and says there’s five grand in it for him. Booker just
happens to overhear the entire conversation, including Gavin’s side as Jeeter was considerate enough to repeat everything
Over at Parker
Center, Hutch tells Starsky to go home. Starsky, who stores his Beaujolais
in the squad room’s filing cabinet, grabs a bottle and runs off to snog with Sharon.
Hutch, facing another lonely evening of pining after Starsky, decides to visit Jeeter instead.
However, Spense gets there first.
Booker informs him that Jeeter has sold him out. Spense is heartbroken. Without Jeeter’s friendship, he’s got
nothing left to live for and he decides to confront Gavin at the Warehouse of Death. Apparently, he’s completely forgotten
about his beloved son. Hutch arrives at the gym just a little too late to catch Spense. Booker, who has a terrific future
ahead of him as a snitch, tells him everything.
of this is going down, Starsky is on his couch with Sharon,
trying to snack on her face. Sadly, just as Sharon agrees
to retire to the bedroom, the phone rings. Starsky wants to ignore the phone, but Sharon
asks him to answer it because she’s on standby. So really, it’s all her fault when he has to leave.
she doesn’t see it that way. Starsky rashly promises her that he’ll be back in half an hour. We’d be willing
to wait all night, but then again, we would have pulled the phone cord out of the wall too.
In the ensuing race to the warehouse, Hutch drives like a normal, law-abiding
cop while Starsky drives like a horny maniac. They arrive mere seconds apart even though Starsky is supposed to have been
closer to their destination.
|Starsky can't understand why he's being sexually harrassed at work.
|"Hutch! You promised to stop putting knockout drops in my coffee!"
|"Um, Starsk? I don't think jazz hands will help right now."
my day, I didn’t train on beer.”
Starsky and Hutch invite Spense
and his elderly black trainer, Stereotype – ah, we mean Jeeter, out to The Pits for a drink. Everyone is chummy until
Starsky asks if the warehouse boss Gavin is connected to the mob. Spense and Jeeter make tracks, and Starsky seems resigned
to their sudden departure. Let’s face it, this isn’t the first time he’s cleared a room.
In this episode’s first
(and only) shocking revelation, Huggy claims that he used to be a prize fighter. When Starsky and Hutch express the doubt
in every viewer’s mind, he retorts, “Do you think I was born with my nose this way?” Starsky stares at Huggy’s
nose with sheer adoration, while Hutch glances suspiciously at the two of them. He’s obviously worried about Starsky/Huggy
slash. Keeping Starsky celibate isn’t easy.
We now fast-forward to the next
night at the Olympic Boxing Ring. Starsky has brought his girlfriend, Sharon-the-Stewardess, while Hutch has brought. . .
no one. There’s a small boy beside him, but Hutch refuses to share the popcorn he stole from Starsky with the tyke.
Instead Hutch repeatedly tries, and fails, to divert Starsky’s attention away from his date.
There’s also three rounds
of a pudgy, out-of-shape Spense fighting a sleek, muscular Booker Wayne. What Starsky and Hutch don’t know is that Spense
had a visit from Gavin just before the fight. There’s big mob money riding on the outcome, so he ordered Spense to take
a dive in the third round. Poor Spense cried on Jeeter’s shoulder, who wisely advised him to embrace this TV cliché
and live to fight another day.
We find it a bit hard to swallow
that the very first fight Starsky and Hutch’s new pal Spence invites them to see is also the very first time Gavin asked
Spense to throw a fight. But this is far from the last coincidence or cliché we’re expected to choke down. The moment
Spense hits the mat, the Adorable Urchin reveals his secret identity as Spence’s Hero-Worshipping Son. Naturally, Spense
can’t break his son’s heart by taking a fall! With one mighty punch, he knocks the younger, fitter, but conveniently
glass-jawed Booker unconscious.
|This is the way they do sex education in Bay City.
|"Get your hand off my boyfriend - uh, I mean, partner!"
|Starsky wonders why he always ends up on his knees in locker rooms.
|"Hutch, dammit! You're all talk and no follow-through."
don’t get points for neatness when you’re undercover.”
The next day at The Pits, Hutch
is drowning his sorrows in beer while Starsky sleeps on his hand. Proving that Stalker Hutch is canon, Hutch tries to sneak
up on Starsky, but to our disappointment Starsky wakes up before his partner can do anything nefarious.
Hutch takes much delight in Starsky’s
woeful tale of thwarted stewardess nookie. Apparently Sharon had to wash her hair, and in the 1970's that was an
all night undertaking. No, really. There was coloring, blowdrying, teasing and enough hairspraying to burn
a hole through the ozone layer.
Huggy, the real detective in
this episode, informs them that a man matching Spense’s description was seen checking into the Dolphin Hotel. Our heroes
run right over for another chat with Spense. Starsky brags that they found him because they’re that good at what they
do, but we know the truth. Their careers would have been long over without Huggy's mad snitching skillz, which is why
Starsky’s been gazing at him with bedroom eyes lately.
Once again, Spense refuses to
help them nail Gavin, and once again they leave. Bizarrely, they then dash over to the gym to beg Jeeter to tell them where
Spense is hiding. This qualifies as a plot hole big enough to drive both the Torino and the Squash right through. Oh well, we enjoyed watching Starsky face off with
the hot and bothered Booker. He didn't appreciate being told that his fights had been fixed, and refused to listen
when Hutch warned him that in ten years time he would be the new Spense, throwing fights for Gavin.
Jeeter runs out
the back of the gym, only to bump into Gavin and his thugs. Intimidated by the thoughtful way Gavin straightens his collar,
Jeeter promises to deliver his friend of twelve years into their hands. Gavin strolls into the gym and smugly confirms to
Booker that the fight was supposed to be fixed. Booker is appalled. Starsky and Hutch were telling the truth! We're glad
to see that even though Booker has a glass chin, his butt. . . oops, we mean his sense of honor is rock solid.
|But, Starsk! That was supposed to be OUR Beaujolais!
|Humming the Electric Company theme? You've just dated yourself!
|"Wait, did he just moan Hutch's name?"
|WE wouldn't kick Starsky out of bed for moaning Hutch's name!