Hill Street Blues: Season 1, Episode 14

Rites of Spring (19 May 1981)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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An undercover narc with a history of racism is accused of shooting an unarmed black man. LaRue's drinking starts to affect his job performance. Hill goes out of his way to help a woman who ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Howard Hunter (as James B. Sikking)
Lt. Ray Calletano (as René Enriquez)
Charles Hallahan ...


An undercover narc with a history of racism is accused of shooting an unarmed black man. LaRue's drinking starts to affect his job performance. Hill goes out of his way to help a woman who neglected her children. Goldblume's son lands in the hospital. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

19 May 1981 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Second Neighbor: [Hill & Renko have been called to an apartment where two toddlers have been left unattended] She's down the street in a tavern.
Officer Bobby Hill: The mother?
Second Neighbor: That's right, that's where she goes.
Officer Bobby Hill: Then why didn't someone say something before we broke the door in?
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References The Gong Show (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Stand-out episode
16 August 2010 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

Hill (Michael Warren) and Renko (Charles Haid, as lovable as ever) arrest a young mother who regularly abandons her children. Brutal racist narcotics officer Charlie Weeks (superbly played by Charles Hallahan) gets investigated for a fourth time after he shoots an unarmed black man. LaRue's (fine work from Kiel Martin) alcoholism starts to catch up with him. Goldblume (a touching portrayal by Joe Spano) gets worn down when his sickly infant son winds up in the hospital. This episode is notable for introducing future series regular Ed Marinaro as amiable patrolman Joe Coffey, who was delightfully partnered with Lucy Bates (Betty Thomas) for several seasons. The most potent and poignant moments stem from Goldblume's concern about his son and increasing disillusionment with his thankless job. Moreover, director Gregory Hoblit stages an exciting back alley shoot-out with real aplomb, with especially inspired use of strenuous slow motion. James Remar contributes a perfectly slimy turn as boorish sexist jerk cop Cooper while Mimi Rogers is charming as Sandra Pauley, a sweet night school English teacher Renko falls for. Hunter (the always dryly amusing James B. Sikking) and Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) have a lovely conversation about women. Weeks has a crackling confrontation with Washington (Taurean Blacque) in the station house bathroom. And a sexy afternoon hook-up between Furillo (the terrific Daniel J. Travanti) and Davenport (the insanely ravishing Veronica Hamel) rates as one of the single most steamy scenes from the first season.

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