A couple of dastardly villains are out to get LCPD Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner). One - Walt Duggan (Robert Dryer) wants revenge on Hooker for something and has paid another - Mickey Tavelli (Don Gordon) to help him get it. They are able to find Hooker's squad car whilst he is on patrol and they firebomb it. Hooker survives, the baddies escape but Hooker's young partner Officer Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) is blinded (corneal scarring) possibly permanently.
Hooker vows to find the assailants as does Romano's girlfriend Officer Maggie Paine (Karen Kopins) who rides with Hooker in temporary stead of Romano. Hooker also enlists Officer Stacy Sheridan (Heather Locklear) and Officer Jim Corrigan (James Darren) to join him in the investigation. But the motive which might illuminate the identity of the culprits is elusive. Duggan is also far from done trying to kill Hooker and will keep trying no matter what the collateral damage is.
This is actually a highly entertaining episode compared with so many if not most T.J.Hooker entries. We get a real point-counterpoint series of exchanges with some solid character arcs. There is also the discernible creation of doubt as to whether a hero cop who is a regular on the series can die on duty. Hooker actually looks scared. It is rare for this show to even hint at that kind of thing. This overcomes the substandard acting by Kopins & Zmed and the merry-go-round guest-star casting.
Robert Dryer and Don Gordon had both appeared on the show in different roles the season before. The audience was never supposed to notice when shows did this or still do this but we do notice and it is irritating. Shows with a stable main cast and well-defined style need different guest actors to come in lest the show look like it is repeating itself. Using the same guest actors in different roles is counter-intuitive.
One thing about the show T.J.Hooker that is sometimes overlooked is that although it only broke the ratings top 30 just once (in its 5 episode debut season) it was broadcast on Saturday nights in first four seasons. Through those four seasons it held its own in its time-slot and no show on Saturday nights broke the ratings top 30 by its fourth year.
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