The Hill Street Station erupts into complete chaos after two police officers are shot down in the line of duty. Renko (superbly played by Charles Haid) learns that his cancer-stricken father John (Morgan Wooward) only has days to live. Belker (Bruce Weitz growling it up with his trademark ferocious gusto) gets his driver's license renewed. This episode scores strongest with its fascinatingly complex and intense depiction of the byzantine investigation for the gun that was used in the shooting: Said firearm turns out to be a piece that was lifted from the police property department, Furillo (a typically outstanding Daniel J. Travanti) struggles to maintain his composure throughout and, in an especially powerful scene, has to inform one cop's widow that her husband is dead; and this episode doesn't pull any punches in its candid display of plea bargaining and roughhouse tactics as essential foul means to getting the dirty job done with utmost efficiency. Fortunately, there are a few refreshing humorous moments amid all the despair and pandemonium: Belker takes his annoying driving instructor on a rousing and harrowing car chase when a robbery occurs during his road test and Nick Savage makes another welcome amusing appearance as the ubiquitous Pickpocket who's always getting busted by Belker. Character actor Tracey Walter has a neat guest role as wormy snitch Sammy. And it's nice to see LaRue (solid work from Kiel Martin) participating in the investigation despite still being relegated to the motor pool.
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