In this episode, we have some Kentucky moonshiners making and selling their stuff in California. Trouble is, a bad guy has infiltrated the business and is cutting the product with stuff that kills. Starsky and Hutch go undercover as good old boys to solve the case.
I am so reluctant to admit that I enjoyed this episode in any way. The actors playing the hillbilly moonshiners in this show are so, so terrible. They are caricatures rather than characters, and the girl is especially bad; it's impossible to explain how bad. Still.....I didn't hate it. Maybe it's easier to accept the supporting cast being terrible if I am comfortable with how Starsky and Hutch are behaving. When they behave out of character, that's when the problems start for me.
You might think, based on past undercover episodes, that Starsky and Hutch would be sporting straw hats, overalls, and chewing on pieces of hay. I guess since that is exactly what I did expected, it was a relief when they just donned a kerchief, jean shirts and cowboy hats. Their actions mostly make sense (for a change in an episode with a set-up like this) and gave some plausibility to the story. Just enough. Maybe I have just disliked so much of Season 4 that I'm ready to accept anything that doesn't cause me pain.
I really like the scene of Hutch getting the drunk Starsky into the Torino and getting himself into the driver's seat. Sometimes in this season, they barely seem like friends anymore, so when Hutch is treating Starsky with friendly indulgence instead of snarling at him and treating Starsky like he's a pain in his neck, it feels a lot better to me. I also liked the scene of Hutch playing guitar with the country band. For a change, they let DS be good at making music instead of making him portray a nervous klutz.
But even though I didn't hate it, I can't give it a very high rating because of the silly hillbillies, and because of the too-obvious stuntmen, and because Hutch hurts Starsky in the end scene. Which was handled very poorly. The stuntman's leg is nowhere near under the barrel at the end of the crash, yet Starsky is under it in the next scene. If you want an injured Starsky then do it with the crash, but don't have Hutch do it carelessly. Bad staging.
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