Lady Blue

The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party

AKA Rebel “Pond Scum” Cat and Elizabeth “Canal Water” Helena



The Bay City Insane Asylum

AKA "Lady Blue"


original air date November 12, 1975



According to the DVD Episode Guide: “The detective duo investigate the murder of Starsky’s ex-girlfriend, a beautiful policewoman who left the force to become a go-go dancer at a sleazy dive. The plot thickens when they learn she was actually working undercover to bust a gang of jewel thieves.”


Now maybe it’s just Rebelcat’s flu and EH’s stress levels (yes, we traded places), but in our opinion, just about everyone is counting down to madness in this episode.

They could have made us Weimaraner Four


The episode begins with Hutch having a meltdown because the computer at Bay City’s Triple A says he doesn’t exist. As his car spews steam in the alleyway, he rants at Starsky that: “Here we go, another day, another dollar. 10-4, 5-6, Tac 2, Zebra 3. They’re trying to make us into digits, and I’m tired of it!” Yep, Blondie’s feeling a trifle paranoid, and will spend the rest of the episode obsessing about his latest conspiracy theory around numbers. Poor baby’s feeling dehumanized, but not nearly as much as the dead body (a 187, by the way) in the bushes of Lincoln Gardens.


While the body is having a bondage moment (wrapped in radio antennas), Starsky and Hutch are having a bonding moment over the revelation that the corpse is Starsky’s ex-girlfriend, Helen Davisson. Unfortunately, there’s no thigh clutching, but we do get thigh patting in the hallway of the morgue as Hutch tortures his partner with the gruesome details of Helen’s murder as Starsky manfully tries not to wibble.


Despite fandom’s convention that Hutch is the one with the bad rep with women, Dobey immediately demands to know what Starsky did to this “fine police officer” that turned her into an insubordinate, drunken slacker who quit the force to become a go-go dancer (we’re paraphrasing, but his point is clear). This could be a whole new reason for the boys not to tell Dobey if they ever do get it on, because it’s clear who’s going to get the blame when Hutch becomes a smart-mouthed, drug-addicted, male-stripper.



But, she promised she'd never show anyone that picture!

Paul Muni with mystery woman. Could it be Mrs. Starsky?

So, you say the neighbors are a bit frisky, but the rent's good?


Baby blue, this car could be for you


Following a tip from the Hug-ster, Starsky and Hutch proceed to terrorize the aftershave drenched, used car salesman Wally. Actually, Hutch terrorizes Wally by showing off his demolition derby hobby which explains a lot about the state of his cars. This leads them to gentleman thief “Fifth Avenue” who obviously has no issue with becoming a number, and damned little useful info either. But that’s okay, Cindy just overheard the bad guys making plans to purchase the special extra-wide duct tape for their next home invasion, and calls Starsky and Hutch. Unfortunately, she does so from the pay phone just outside the bad guy’s lair! Needless to say, the next time we see Cindy-Loo-Who-ey, she has been brutalized by grinchy bad guy Two-ie, and now she’s a drugged out loonie (note to selves: do not enter any S & H poetry contests).


Fortunately, Fifth Avenue comes through with the date of the next break-in, and Hutch proves he’s not just a pretty face by concluding they should stake out only the most heavily insured homes. In Bay City, you’d think that would be a whole bunch, but it's only three, and coincidentally, our boys happen to be outside the mansion the baddies hit. After yet another humiliating performance by a female police officer (aka helpless white woman #79), Starsky goes all sexy and feral on Solenko who he blames for murdering Helen after her cover was blown. Unfortunately, Solenko reveals not only his loose bladder, but that he didn’t even know Helen was a cop. Yes, the gang of jewel thieves was all a red herring!

Don't make me angry. Only the fangirls like me when I'm angry.

All fashion-conscious nutbars opt for headbands over tinfoil hats.



72% is sane


Hutch’s suspicions are more than confirmed when the boys break into Commander Jim’s apartment. The Commander’s interior decorating reveals the true cause of Bay City’s 1975 tinfoil shortage. Now we get to the portion of this week’s episode where a social message is hammered into our skulls. Apparently, shrinks can’t even be trusted to fix sewing machines, let alone damaged psyches, because scoring 76% on the Wisconsin Multi-Facet Index test means that your homicidal obsession with go-go dancers from Bay City and radio frequencies from Alpha Centauri is probably harmless. Then again, considering Commander Jim and Hutch both spend this episode being paranoid about unlikely conspiracies while dressed in plaid shirts, maybe Starsky was too hard on the poor doctor.


Meanwhile, Hutch’s soul brother has kidnapped yet another bimbo … sorry, hard-working single mom wearing next to nothing, and is about to sacrifice her to his favorite radio tower (hey, we all have one). Starsky, looking very sincere if a bit nervous of the heights involved, attempts to talk him down, and well … the down part happens. But before you judge Starsky, if Dr. Feel-Good Hutch had tried, Commander Jim would surely have pumped them full of lead before taking his swan dive.


Finally, we cut to the sentimental tag, in which Hutch once again demonstrates his stunning grasp of psychology by paralleling the ephemeral nature of sunsets to the truncated life-spans of any woman dumb enough to date either of them. First, if that’s a sunset in Bay City, the pollution is even scarier than any of us ever suspected. Second, . . . oh just shut up, Hutch, and feed the poor boy. Starsky clearly does appreciate the “Paul Muni” Roast Beef special, but looks a bit disconcerted by the candles and the revelation that Hutch has been talking to his Mom. It’s not one of Hutch’s most macho moments, but it definitely feeds both Starsky and the slashers.





Yes, dear. The numbers are out to get you.

C'mon, Starsk. Steal my coffee. You know you want to.

Too bad Pauly went crackers


Enough of our virtual season five, and back to season one where we join the boys outside the “Mellow Yellow” which like “Huggy Bear’s” is open 24 hours, seven days a week, except when the plot requires it to be closed. After Starsky uses skills gained as a doorman (EH speculates it was while working for Joey Durniak), the dynamic duo step over the bouncer’s unconscious body to question the barely conscious body of Cindy, Helen’s roommate and fellow dancing queen. That would be the ABBA version, not the Hutch kind exposed in our virtual season 5, episode 4 “His Pasties are Loaded.” Cindy shows the viewers and a distraught Starsky a photo of Helen, portrayed by actress Ann Foster. The same Ms. Foster who returned later in the season to portray Abigail Crabtree, Starsky’s almost-girlfriend who dates Hutch instead, until he nearly gets her killed. If you haven’t had second thoughts about dating these guys yet, now’s a good time to start.


While Hutch finishes questioning the bimbo, Starsky disappears to the Torino to have a private bawl-fest. We’re just saying, his eyes are awfully red when Hutch joins him. He comforts his wibbly partner, telling him that he’s not the kind of guy a woman would kill herself over. Hutch says, Starsky, you’re no Rudolf Valentino. We say, Hutch, you’re no Dr. Phil. Starsky reveals that his mother always considered him “the Paul Muni type” which as far as we can tell from IMDB means she thinks her son resembles a smoldering Jewish heart-throb of 1930s Hollywood. Okay, we’re now thinking Hutch isn’t the only one with family issues. Either that, or Starsky’s actually Paul Muni’s love-child which was the real reason why his “dad” was gunned down (more to be revealed in our virtual season 5, episode 6 “Mrs. Starsky’s Secret”).


We now return to the major theme of sensitive portrayals of the heartbreak of mental illness, as Starsky and Hutch visit their old snitch Pauly in the San Leone Insane Asylum. Cackling madly, Pauly reveals a likely suspect for Helen’s murder: James “Commander Jim” March Wrightwood. However, just because Commander Jim wields an acetylene torch while wearing tin foil and muttering about radio waves, doesn’t mean he’s the killer. After all, Dobey just discovered that Starsky hadn’t driven Helen to career suicide, she was actually undercover trying to stop Bay City’s ring of home invaders. Their leader Solenko just happens to own the Mellow Yellow go-go club which they use as their hide out, because this is the era of “jiggle TV.”

Yes, Hutch has taken his medication. Why do you ask?

Officer Angie wonders why she's always stuck playing the unarmed maid.

What we’re looking for is a psycho killing cocktail waitresses!


Never fear, just because the owner of the Mellow Yellow has been banged up for robbery, doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore scantily-clad females in this episode. Trust in Aaron Spelling, my dears, for the plot twist is that all half-naked cocktail waitresses are in danger, not just half-naked undercover cops posing as half-naked cocktail … okay, we’re getting off the point here.


But first, Bay City’s answer to Doctor Phil, Ken Hutchinson spots Starsky about to start wibbling in Helen’s car, and helpfully advises, “C’mon partner, it’s time to let go.” Well sure, it’s been at least a couple of days since the mutilated body of the woman Starsky once contemplated marrying and having kids with was found in the bushes! Clearly, he’s wallowing, and thank God, Hutch is there to put the whole thing in perspective. Mercifully, what he lacks in psychological acumen, Hutch makes up for in detecting skills, because he notices that all of Helen’s radio stations are set to the same frequency. Either that, or he can’t operate a car radio, but we prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.


This clue and yet another dead go-go girl lead Hutch to conclude that Commander Jim must be the killer. Yes, Hutch really is doing most of the police work in this episode, but that’s understandable because it’s only been DAYS since the mutilated body of the woman Starsky . . .  oh, you get the idea. Besides, Starsky’s cute when he’s all intense and wibbly, so we’ll let it go this time.

Hey, kids! It's the Starsky and Hutch TV dinner!

You wouldn't shoot someone THIS pretty, would you?

Bay City is renowned for its spectacular sunsets.

You said WHAT to my mother?

Good Questions to Ask Yourself


Why the hell couldn’t white women (including trained police officers) defend themselves from killers, even tin-foiled 76% sane nutbars? Rampant sexism of TV writers and execs, or did those false eyelashes interfere with their peripheral vision?


Commander Jim and Detective Ken: is there just a couple of seasons difference in their sanity levels, or was everyone else okay with his conviction that “they” are trying to turn him into a number?


Starsky calls Hutch a “pushover” for used car salesmen and gentlemen thieves. Does he know something we don’t?



Jan 5, 2006