The Bay City Soiree, AKA "Tap Dancing Her Way Right Back Into Your Heart"

The Starsky & Hutch Hen Party
AKA Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena
The Bay City Soiree
AKA "Tap Dancing Her Way Right Back Into Your Heart"
According to the DVD Episode Guide:  "Detectives Starsky and Hutch are working undercover at a plush Hollywood Dance Studio in order to investigate an extortion racket operating from the club."
Now maybe it has something to do with the fifteen hour power outage EH and Rebel were caught in while writing this review, but we're convince this episode is all about the sexual innuendo.

Tell me it’s wrong!


The scene opens on a gothic building, which we know is a Dance Studio, because it says so.  Right on the sign tacked to the door:  Dance Studio.


Inside we find Starsky undercover as suave, mustachioed Argentinean Dance Instructor Ramon (roll those r’s!), flirting outrageously with a lady of a certain age.  Hutch arrives, undercover as Texan Charlie McCabe, all gussied up in toilet water, snazzy striped trousers, and ten gallon hat. With glasses as thick as his accent, Charlie’s the dorkiest cowboy on the range.


Lucky Marsha, she’s Hutch’s dance instructor - or unlucky, considering Hutch’s less than suave dancing moves. It’s unclear whether he’s deliberately trying to break her feet, or if he’s got two left cowboy boots.


It’s now time for Ginger Evan’s grand entrance. We’re sure it’s completely coincidental that she shares her first name with another dancing diva of stage and screen. In any case, Charlie (AKA Hutch) is appropriately awestruck, and begs for someone to, “Just pinch me!”  Good partner that he is, Starsky is happy to oblige, aiming right for Hutch’s delectable butt.


Hutch seems startled, but not displeased, considering that in the very next scene he asks Starsky to dress his dog for him (hotdog! Geez…).  Now we learn that a dead dance student has them suspecting the studio’s running a blackmail scheme.  Hutch brags that the size of his cover’s spread has got Marsha working him slow and easy. “When you got it, flaunt it, boy,” he preens.  As for Starsky, he’s apparently trying to prostitute himself to all and sundry, but all Ginger’s done so far is tell him he’s a naughty boy.


Apparently, Hutch’s mind, like ours, is in the gutter, because when Starsky asks him for a bite, he looks alarmed. Until he realizes that Starsky means the hotdog *in the bun.* Or so we assume.


Lunch is interrupted by a side trip to the market to demonstrate such cutting edge police tactics as the “Hey, is that a spider!?” distraction, the exploding paper bag fake-out, and the ever popular sock-clad sneaking up on bad guys who are awestruck by the sight of hand-tooled Italian leather. The shopkeeper, left to watch over the pile o’ handcuffed baddies, attributes his rescue to a “blond cowboy and an Arab with funny shoes.”


At the morgue, we meet the corpse’s sister, and for some reason, Hutch never notices Marianne Tustin’s near clone-like resemblance to his ex-wife.  She defends her brother as a paragon of virtue, whose only faults were adultery and a vicious temper.  Hutch comforts her by theorizing that these frailties probably got him killed.


But all is not lost, for Captain Dobey just got confirmation that Hutch is going to be Ginger’s Dance and Deep-Six Studio’s next victim.  Everyone looks extraordinarily pleased about this news, especially Dobey.

Sometimes a carrrrot is just a carrrrot... And sometimes it isn't!

Strangely, their dates seemed more interested in each other...

Stop the CPR Hutch, nothing's gonna revive the little guy now.

Ken Hutchinson, quickest and deadliest finger in the West!

Honest Cap, no one will notice our super-secret meeting up here.

No offence, man, but I think I’m going to walk!


Back in Dobey’s office, Hutch and the Captain are going over the final details of the sting, while Starsky dances blissfully in the background in his partner’s cowboy hat.  Happily, Rebel and EH imagine a missing scene, involving strip poker...


Actually, at this point it's good to note that Starsky’s been dancing every chance he gets in this episode – pretty much whenever the camera’s on him, in fact.  Now is this director Fernando Lamas’ influence, or is it just Paul Michael Glaser letting loose his inner Ramon?


Both Starsky and Dobey are dubious about the whole freighter scam, but Hutch smugly assures them,  “When you got it, boy, flaunt it.”


Cruelly, Hutch then steals back his hat, and after one last mambo, Starsky sadly trades Ramon in for an undercover Cabbie role, driving Hutch to the Pier.  Here we learn the important canon point that Starsky once drove a hack for a living!  Hutch, however, is not interested in the skills Starsky gained during his misspent youth, until the baddies try to squash them both with a tow truck.


Starsky drives like a New York Cabbie on methamphetamines, and strangely enough Hutch opts to take his chances on foot. Clever boy that he is, he appropriates a nearby forklift to trap the bad guys in their own truck. We now learn another important (if very convenient) canon point – Hutch’s grand pappy was a farmer. Since young Hutch learned to use 30,000 lb capacity forklifts from him, we have to presume Grandpa Hutch also had quite a big spread.


Forklifts prove an excellent interrogation tool when used  to suspend the baddies over the Bay. It also helps that the bad guys are simultaneously being terrorized by an intense, sweaty Starsky…  Ahem.  Yeah, he also has a gun.


From Carl the Cad they learn that Chambers is the mastermind behind the whole operation, and that he has taken the helpless white woman back to his villainous suburban lair.  Well, as we discover after our boys steal a black and white to get there, he’s actually just stuffed her into the trunk of his limo.


Starsky’s delight at this discovery makes us suspect that he’ll be spending many an evening from now on checking the trunk of his Torino for more pretty, trussed up girls. He makes her promise to behave herself before he unties her, making us wonder when (or from whom) he learned the importance of getting such guarantees before untying someone.


It’s obviously a wise idea, because the moment Miss Tustin is free, she grabs Starsky and drags him into the trunk with her.  How far she gets in having her wicked way with our boy before Hutch intervenes is sadly unknown,  as the scene fades to black.


Last, but definitely not least, comes the tag in which we get to see how the boys will play when the boss is away.  Starsky’s commandeered Dobey’s office as his very own private dance studio, and he’s determined to teach Hutch some moves.


Unfortunately  for the slashers, Ginger interrupts them in mid-clinch to thank them for saving her studio, and to pass on how very much Ramon and his sexy, sexy dipping is missed.


Ginger leaves Starsky preening from the complimentary attention, causing Hutch to snark, “No one’s a dip like Ramon.” Starsky defends his dancing skills by pulling Hutch into a classic clinch and dipping him.  Hutch looks terrified, but to every slasher’s delight, Starsky stares intently into his eyes and  declares, “When you got it, flaunt it, boy!”

Marsha reconsiders her girlish dreams of someday riding the cowboys.

Watch his back, pinch his backside... hey, what's the difference?

Starsky puts only the tastiest condoms... condiments! on Hutch's dog.

Hmm... the blond one DOES look familiar... Nah, couldn't be!


Terpsichore at Ginger’s Soiree


As Starsky schmooses the little old ladies while doing obscene things to a carrot, Hutch schmooses Marsha with the timeless line, “I’ve got me a pocket full of money and a heart full of empty.”


All appears to be going according to plan, when a surprise guest arrives.  It’s Miss Tustin, going undercover as Mrs. Hutchin… whoops, we mean Mrs. Millicent Forbes.  Since she won’t be dissuaded, Starsky reluctantly introduces her to dance instructor,  Carl Starger, AKA the poor man’s Ashley Wilkes.


Or not so poor, as we’ve just discovered that Carl, along with A. C. Chambers, the director of the Dance Studio,  is blackmailing a sweet,  little old lady for 25,000 dollars.  The cads!  They recorded her night of passion with the dancing gigolo – Carl that is, not Starsky.  Starsky’s naughty, but not that naughty.


Meanwhile, Hutch in character as Charlie treats Marsha to a night on the town at Huggy Bear’s Mouse Downs where he loses  five hundred of the department’s money on a mouse named Squeaky Dancer. But at least the prop people saved big time by reusing mouse racing footage from the earlier episode Omaha Tiger.


Marsha then drags a reluctant Hutch back to her hotel room, which has all the amenities, from alcohol to get Good Time Charlie’s courage up, to the flowers tastefully arranged around a big shiny microphone.  Hutch manfully allows himself to be seduced, proving there is no sacrifice he will not make in the pursuit of justice.


The next morning Marsha is all bright eyed and bushy tailed, telling her partners in crime that, “It seems almost a shame to charge him money.”


Hutch, on the other hand, looks rather worse for wear, sprawled in Dobey’s office.  Starsky glares disapprovingly, while Miss Tustin speaks what’s on all their minds when she asserts,  “I’m sure you’ll solve this case before I compromise my virtue.”  All Hutch can do in his defense is roll his eyes, which implies that more than his virtue was compromised last night.


Back at the Dance Studio, it’s time for Charlie McCabe to be blackmailed for $30,000 , five thousand more than their last victim, which we presume is due to the admirable size - and recently proven quality - of his spread.  Hutch pretends to be appalled before arranging a meet out at “his freighter” on Pier 17. He then warns them  (Hutchinson finger included), “If you come back for more, you’re a dead man, boy.”


As Hutch manfully struts out (due to his snug cowboy boots or snugger trousers?), Marsha moseys in with the shocking news that  Millicent Forbes is actually none other than Mrs. Hutchin…  Whoops, no, wait, we mean, Miss Marianne Tustin, sister of the unsuccessfully blackmailed corpse.


Unfortunately this revelation also casts suspicion on Ramon, AKA Starsky.  The bad guys, in a rare burst of prudence, decide to follow Starsky.  The good guys in a sadly not-so-rare burst of imprudence meet with Dobey outdoors in plain view of everyone.


The bad guys put two suspicious characters and one chief of detectives together, and conclude that these two are cops who must die.
The only loose thread remaining is Miss Tustin.  No doubt because she’s read way too many Nancy Drew novels, Marianne agrees to meet with Carl the Cad without informing anyone. After all,  if a spunky teenage girl can solve murders, why would a grown woman need a cop?

Nothing anyone can do about it, Captain, he's just a dancing fool.

Starsky used to wonder why he never got repeat business as a cabbie.

Caution, cops in front of your mirror may be closer than they appear.

So, do ya come here often?

What happens in Dobey's office, stays in Dobey's office!

Hutch has his own opinion regarding "good" questions to ask.

Good Questions to Ask Yourself


Is it ethical for a cop to ‘sleep’ with a suspect?  Have S&H done this before?  (Rebel and EH drift off into happy fantasies of Starsky all tarted up on a street corner, and Hutch tapping into his vast experience as a john…)


What about Marianne?  Starsky seemed to think it was some sort of object lesson when she ended up in the trunk of the bad guys car.  Is the message here that only pros should involve themselves in case work, or is it yet another instance of the helpless white woman syndrome of seventies TV?


And, lastly, is Starsky shagging Hutch? Discuss.



April 7, 2006