Sgt. T.J. Hooker:
I was never what you'd call political, but when I was a rookie like you the vets used to call me the "flaming liberal." Now I'm not sure what I am.
Officer Vince Romano:
Sgt. T.J. Hooker:
Close enough. You know the definition of a conservative? A liberal who got mugged.
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Veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and his young partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) are summoned by dispatch to investigate a disturbance downtown involving a distraught female (Deborah Foreman) being chased by two men.
Going by procedure scouring the location they happen upon a speeding car and Hooker gives chase after Romano gets out to investigate the scene. Hooker fails to chase down the car. The corpse of a 16 year old girl is discovered by Romano in an alley nearby.
At first glance the dead girl appears to be a junkie who committed suicide but upon closer examination via autopsy it is evident that things went down somewhat differently. Hooker also thinks he has seen the girl before but he can't remember where. When he finds out it hits home in a big way.
Having seen the very worst of this series it is rather a surprise to come across an episode that so perfectly captures the way a cop show should be staged and filmed.
The beginning subtly establishes the setting and offers terrific subtext on the hero that adds a new dimension to each. If every episode found its own way to do those things the show would have been much better.
But a lot of what is shown later in the episode includes corny dialogue and contrived attempts at making the hero appear folksy. My favourite aspect of the cheesiness is when Hooker engages the baddies in a standoff and tells them what kind of gun he shoots and how much damage it can do.
After that there is the goofy pursuit of the baddies wherein Hooker ends up jumping on the hood of their moving car which became an integral part of the opening credits montage. Then finally there is the whimsical denouement with Hooker and Romano laughing as they leave the precinct.
The intriguing cast of guest-stars which included Steve Sandor and Deborah Foreman as well as the consistently undervalued Rick Lenz and Paul Kent. Kent appeared on six different episodes of this show each time as a different character.
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