After Hutch and Mitchell pick up Starsky at the girl's apartment, they show a nighttime Vegas scene where the Edsel is making a left turn in front of the Four Queens Casino and Hotel Fremont. Several other nighttime casino views are shown then the same clip of the left turn at the Four Queens with the same vehicles is repeated. See more »
Sometimes figuring out why some plots work while others don't is making my head hurt. Or at least making the reviewing more difficult. Is it the script or the directing that makes the show work out or not? Maybe it's just too complex to figure out.
This two-part episode does work, though it could easily have gone south. Although Starsky and Hutch go undercover in inappropriate costumes, at least this time they know (and aren't happy) that they don't fit in. (It's actually not that bad if they lose the hats and ties.). Fortunately, they only have to spend a short time in their zoot suits before they can change into their normal clothes.
Ostensively brought to Las Vegas to help the local police find a strangler killing women, they soon discover they were chosen for the task because the main suspect is a former classmate of Hutch's. I like, for the sake of the story, how this puts them in a difficult position between the police chief who dragged them there on semi-false pretenses and protecting Hutch's friend from being unfairly accused. The story continues to get more complex as we go along into Part 2, with new pieces of evidence that may or may not lead somewhere. So overall, a good, well-written story. PMG and DS are playing their smart cop characters and maintain their "us against them" attitude, which really almost always makes the show better for me.
George McCowan is an enigma as a director. He was at the helm for a couple of the very best episodes as well as some pretty good ones (like this one), but will also be giving us the Playboy Island episode to start Season 3, which is a horror. How this happens, I have no clue.
Another lovely aspect of the earlier shows is that Starsky and Hutch can both meet a beautiful woman, and only one of them needs to be attracted to her, and they don't have to act stupid to compete for her attention. In fact, Starsky gets this girl's attention by doing nothing other than looking at her. I always thought Starsky and Hutch had plenty of charm and did not need to try so hard; it really works a lot better this way. I wish some other writers had taken note, because what comes in the future with them competing for women is so annoying.
Part 1 does a good job getting our story established. It was interesting to see the shots of Vegas as it was forty years ago - my, how things changed. On to Part 2 for, to quote the announcer, "the exciting conclusion".
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