Hill Street Blues: Season 7, Episode 8

Falling from Grace (2 Dec. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Councilman Wade tries to clear his name by digging up details from Washingon's personal life. Sister Chastity, formerly known as Grace Gardner, finds herself tempted by the flesh. Goldblume... See full summary »

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Title: Falling from Grace (02 Dec 1986)

Falling from Grace (02 Dec 1986) on IMDb 7/10

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Sgt. Howard Hunter (as James B. Sikking)
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Councilman Wade tries to clear his name by digging up details from Washingon's personal life. Sister Chastity, formerly known as Grace Gardner, finds herself tempted by the flesh. Goldblume is given an offer to write his memoirs. Belker is under cover at a car chop shop. Renko and Hill have to deal with a loud mouth shirt salesman. Written by The TV Archaeologist

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2 December 1986 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Great Metrano week: day seven
28 September 2014 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Last week it was Art Metrano's birthday and this reviewer has been looking at 7 guest starring roles from the 70's & 80's by the man also known as The Great Metrano. Today is day seven: Hill Street Blues season seven: Falling from Grace.

This show is much more grown-up than any of the other series that have been featured in the Metrano week so far, so it's fitting that this one should close out the week (it's also the last one going by air-date). Still, it's funny since this series is practically the complete opposite of that other Eighites staple, The A-Team (reviewed yesterday) but whenever there's a car chase, Mike Post's music sounds almost exactly the same. HSB is also an ensemble peace with serialized story lines, so there are at least three plots here that began in the previous episode, 'Amazing Grace' (as if the title didn't give that away already) but none of these plot lines involve Art Metrano.

The Great Metrano shares a three scene 'arc' with my favorite pair of Hill Street cops: Renko & Hill. He plays shirt-salesman Al Sanderson. When we first meet him, he's shouting up a storm Metrano style in the middle of the street. He claims that a young street kid named Lewis broke into his car and stole his sample-case. The kid and his uncle admit that he broke into the car but all he did was listen to the radio. Sanderson initially refuses to go to the station because that'll take up too much of his precious time, but Renko and Hill insist.

After taking both parties' statements, Al's business partner Joel Hirschman shows up with the case, which was left in the hotel check-out desk. The cops tell Al he should apologies to the kid, but instead he offers him 50 bucks. Proud Lewis refuses. Later on, Hill & Renko bump into Al again and take a particular delight in busting him for sharing some private time in his car with a lady of the night (during the day). It's your typical sleazy kind of character Art Metrano excels at. Would have been nice if he had gotten a more dramatic arc, but hey, you take what you get.

Elsewhere in the precinct, Furillo is still coping with Councilman Wade who shot a man, claiming self defense. Belker is undercover as usual, this time at a car chop shop where he's not allowed to visit the seventh floor. And one of Buntz's finger has been sewn back on after an incident with a loan shark named Falco. The episode is bookended by scenes set in Buntz apartment, where Sid the Snitch appears to be a regular, if unwanted, visitor. Looks like the writers were already setting up the spin-off series "Beverly Hills Buntz" at this time.

One of the most interesting subplots involves Sister Chastity, formerly known as Grace Gardner, who can't help herself but fall for young officer Flaherty. Long time viewers will remember Grace as a regular character since season one. First appearing as the official police decorator, who soon became Sgt. Esterhaus' lover. There's a touching call back to his character (who died way back in season 4) when the Sister is seen straddling his podium while uttering his name (he died in her arms while having sex). They probably wouldn't have done this if the actor hadn't passed away, though.

And that wraps up this Great Metrano Week. Moustached in the Seventies, clean shaved in the Eighties, always a bad guy, never the lead but always putting a smile on this reviewers face as soon as he appears.

8 out of 10


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