Police Woman: Season 1, Episode 18

Nothing Left to Lose (14 Feb. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 17 users  
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Pepper's informant is LaRue Collins, a mentally unstable masseuse whose work allows her to overhear mobsters plotting crimes. But now her cover is blown and she's running for her life. Can Pepper find her before the mobsters do?

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Title: Nothing Left to Lose (14 Feb 1975)

Nothing Left to Lose (14 Feb 1975) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Charles Dierkop ...
Royster
Ed Bernard ...
Styles
...
Larue Collins (as Patty Duke Astin)
Kathleen Lloyd ...
Alma (as Kathy Lloyd)
Vern Rowe ...
Marco
...
Sailor
...
Donny
...
Mrs. Fontaine
...
Mrs. Gucciares
Victor Sen Yung ...
Ah Choy
James Wellman ...
The Trick
Davis Roberts ...
The Cabbie
Joseph Bernard ...
Max
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Storyline

Pepper's informant is LaRue Collins, a mentally unstable masseuse whose work allows her to overhear mobsters plotting crimes. But now her cover is blown and she's running for her life. Can Pepper find her before the mobsters do?

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Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

14 February 1975 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Episode title is a lyric from the song "Me and Bobby McGee". See more »

Soundtracks

Me and Bobby McGee
Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster
Sung by Kay Starr
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User Reviews

 
There's plenty left to lose --- it's the best episode of the entire series !
3 December 2013 | by (cyberspace) – See all my reviews

Arguably the best episode of the entire series "Nothing Left to Lose" displays a kind of character and narrative maturity POLICE WOMAN had approached by the end of Season 1, and would quickly lose with the unfortunate changes in the show the following season... At this point, it's clear that the producers are still intent on doing something "good" with POLICE WOMAN, and it's still easy to remember that this is a spin-off of the then-groundbreaking (if deathly repetitive) POLICE STORY anthology.

Following a painful-looking massage courtesy of LaRue Collins (Patty Duke-Still-Astin) where various crimes are presumably being discussed, the episode opens to the old Kris Kristofferson song echoing from down a corridor, as undercover-hooker Pepper is prowling the local bus station trolling for johns for no stated reason--- but it's Pepper, so you assume it's her lunch hour.

Pep tries to wave her away, but the two wind up at the soda counter as LaRue anxiously passes some criminal gossip to a halo-encircled Angie Dickinson never photographed more beautifully. Pepper surprises LaRue by remembering that LaRue has a little boy, and LaRue communicates her vulnerability by nervously mis-associating Joe Namath with baseball terminology. As a result of this meeting, a fur heist is stopped by the squad, and the call goes out that LaRue Collins is the culprit.

While exiting a local Pan Parlor, an ominous limo sweeps by, taking several shots at Collins, establishing the premise for the episode. LaRue's friend, Alma, about which a lesbian relationship is suggested, immediately becomes alarmed.

Desperate and realizing she's been fingered (by the mob, not Alma... at least, not on camera) LaRue goes to the police department to get her payoff from Pepper, who's out on a dental appointment. Proving how doomed she really is, Crowley is there to escort her into his office; having no knowledge of Pepper's alliance to this snitch (Pepper always called her 'Apple Annie'), Crowley calls LaRue a liar and sends her packing. She asserts, "You just killed a girl". And indeed he has.

Trying to obtain bus fare any way she can so the episode can neatly end in the same location in which it started, LaRue goes to visit aging madam, Mrs. Fontaine, who owes her a finder's fee. In an apartment decorated as if it was intended for Alexis Carrington, Patricia Barry gives perhaps the Best Brittle Bitter Bitch performance I think I've ever seen such that Joan Crawford would run screaming for cover. She's totally convincing. LaRue is sent away.

Pepper, her teeth all shiny, returns to the precinct in time to have Crowley deny responsibility as per usual. Pepper intuits without even leaving the office that LaRue is being hunted by killers because an obscure shooting on the edge of town (this is only Los Angeles, after all) and Collins' improbable appearance at the station both occur only 15 minutes apart. Crowley reluctantly agrees to participate.

The cops pick up Alma who searches thru mug-books, and tries to identify the random names of the show's crew they toss at her until she recognizes Donald Hoss, LaRue's old boyfriend who was paralyzed when shot during a bust in which LaRue was the informant.

This provides nice irony as LaRue approaches Donny (Duke's then-real life hubby, Gomez Addams) in his room for cash. He isn't sympathetic openly, wishing her dead to her face. But, as maybe the most tragic person in the entire episode, he has enough character to later mislead the brutes who come looking for her, getting a face full of brass knuckle for his trouble.

Poor Donny. Can't win for losin'... sorta like the title song says.

Meanwhile, LaRue calls her country-fried mother who's been raising LaRue's young son back in Arkansas virtually since the day he was born. LaRue asks for money to come home on, but it seems she's pulled this trick before and never appeared; Mama hangs up, but you can't really blame her.

The activity is made all the more effective from the use of Richard Shores' foreboding score and Gerald Finneman's moody camera-work.

From a phone booth, LaRue calls Pepper at the police station in a tense and effective exchange; Pepper, assuring her she has the money, gets LaRue's location and heads out to find her.

Nervous upon catching every limousine in her peripheral vision, LaRue doesn't do the sensible thing and hide in the culvert underpass until Pepper arrives; she runs thru it and up onto the other side of the intersection to catch a bus to go see Mrs. Fontaine once again.

This time, LaRue has a big rock and threatens to "bash your skull" unless she's paid. Mrs. Fontaine agrees to the terms but not until LaRue calls her self "lower than the dirt that rock sat in!!" Collins takes her new wad and runs, but you know what Mrs. Fontaine is going to do next.

LaRue gets to the bus station, buys a one-way ticket home to Arkansas, a little toy truck for her son, and dashes for the nearest Greyhound, only to encounter a gun-toting thug at the doorway and another to her rear, the hoods presumably tipped-off by Mrs. Fontaine. Both fire and take-off, leaving Patty Duke to collapse in a nice, music-free slow-mo, before hitting the tile at the proper speed.

Pepper shows up at the terminal just in time to delay the EMT's from carting her off to prompt medical treatment so Angie can get in her requisite, "You're gonna be okay, you know that", which, of course, is the Kiss of Death. Crowley appears seconds later without explanation other than he hates to be left out of anything, let alone a freeze-frame. And freezes it does as LaRue dies.

POLICE WOMAN had ripened nicely by the end of Season One, and this is where it should have remained, with this level of focus and quality.


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