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Engrossing episode

Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
1 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Renko (Charles Haid), Hill (Michael Warren), and Belker (Bruce Weitz growling it up with his trademark gruff gusto) work undercover at a seedy saloon. Hunter (a marvelously dry and deadpan James B. Sikking) uses basset hounds to track down a pack of wild dogs. Calletano (nice work by Rene Enriquez) is suspicious of Emily Williams (deliciously essayed with sultry aplomb by ravishing brunette Janet DeMay), a beautiful civilian clerk who comes to work at the station. Davenport (Veronica Hamel) recommends a lawyer for Furillo (the always superb Daniel J. Travanti) for the Sullivan Commission hearings. Dennis Dugan makes a regrettably brief, but still hilarious appearance as the endearingly flaky Captain Freedom; in an amusing and poignant scene Belker tries (and fails) to talk some sense to this raving lunatic and we learn about his possibly tragic and abusive past. This episode's handling of Hunter serves as a classic example of the show's careful and effective balance of humor and drama: Hunter's characteristic overzealous attitude about his job is extremely funny while the scenes with Hunter trapped in a crumbling derelict building with the savage wild dogs are genuinely tense and gripping. Popping up in nifty guest roles are Robin Gammell as shrewd, slippery lawyer Douglas Comstock and Jon Cypher as the ever slimy and manipulative Chief Fletcher Daniels. And this episode offers plenty of intriguing stuff about the dirty and underhanded machinations of city hall politics.

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