In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
A van runs a red light right in front of veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and rookie partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) while they have stopped for coffee. Giving chase as the van speeds off Hooker and Romano are shot at by the guys in the van - mean biker dudes running guns. With the help of a grizzled former partner Pete Benedict (Vic Tayback) Hooker and Romano attempt to take down the whole gang.
The distinguished tenure in Hooker's early law enforcement career is alluded to in this episode. He was a Detective before returning to the police academy to teach and then returning to street duty in uniform with the top student in the class Romano as his partner in on-the-job training probation.
This entry in the series is particularly dated. We see the cops treating the practice of filing serial numbers off of firearms like it is a new thing. Then there is the bit about innocuous looking tattoos being this magic way of tracking gang affiliation. It may have been way back when but not these days.
In keeping with the theme of the downtrodden hero who has been marginalized by the culture and the system we see that his ex-wife sometimes she lets him babysit their kids if he remembers to pay alimony. As if to illustrate the distance between them in their marriage she calls him by his last name!
But what becomes noticeable and cliché in the series (beyond Hooker jumping on the hood of a moving vehicle or jumping out of the way of one) is how everything that happens in an episode seems to tie in to whatever case Hooker is investigating that week. In this one there is seemingly no other possible crime committed in the city that does not tie in with the bikers and their guns.
What really stretches the bounds of believability is the sight of uniformed officers Hooker and Romano in their police car in plain view, broad daylight consistently being able to sneak up on baddies and witness then in the act of committing nefarious deeds. Either these criminals are completely brain-damaged or blind as bats.
You can call the casting appropriate as Sid Haig and Mickey Jones are playing biker dudes. Typecasting isn't that bad of thing for character actors.
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