Officer Vince Romano:
Did I tell you detective is where it's at? We could've been burned to a crisp with those clowns.
Sgt. T.J. Hooker:
You haven't even worn out your first pair of blue socks yet. Would you stop with the Dick Tracy dialogue already?
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Alison Baker (Lisa Hartman) is driving with her married lover Neil Stoner (Robert Hogan) in his Porsche on her way to work one morning when she witnesses dumb burglar Danny Scott(Jonathan Banks) commit murder outside a residence he and his accomplice have just looted. She becomes reluctant to step forward as a witness.
It would expose her clandestine relationship with Neil who is not only her boyfriend but also her employer. Then there is the fear of retribution from the killer as well as the inconvenience. Veteran cop Sgt. T.J.Hooker (William Shatner) and his young partner Vince Romano (Adrian Zmed) apply subtle pressure to to the lovely Texan hoping to induce her to follow through with identifying Scott.
Whether she does it before the warped baddie and his no-good buddy can silence her permanently is another thing entirely. Hooker and Romano clash about how to convince her. The absurdity of what follows in the lead up to the silly ending and whimsical denouement have to be seen to be believed. It could just as easily been a throwaway episode of Adam-12 from 10 years earlier.
Shown often on this series was this continual coincidence of cops, mainly Hooker, running in to, or barely missing criminals early on that they end up tracking later. In this entry right at the beginning we see Hooker and Romano in a car chase pursuing liquor store bandits when they pass the van of two guys, one of whom eventually commits murder, about to ransack a house.
Why we see it here, beyond an illustration of the 'Broken Window Theory', is evidently for staging another of the clichés of the series i.e. the car chase in which Hooker causes the baddie's vehicle to flip over. A lot of shows would concentrate on depicting the murder scene rather than have it run concurrent with a gratuitous car chase.
Then there is the matter of the appearance of this phenomenon from considerably earlier in the twentieth century - a milkman. Did they really have these in North America in the early 1980s? I associate them with a much earlier time period but thirty-two years ago is a significant look backward.
Believe it or not this episode marked the high point of the series in terms of ratings. The five episode mini-season in 1982, of which this was the finale, placed in the top 30 of the Nielsens. This meant it would be picked up for the 1982-83 TV season by the ABC network. While exceeding initial expectations it never quite lived up to the high hopes the network came to have after such an impressive beginning.
Pretty blonde starlet April Clough who had portrayed Officer Vicki Taylor for four of the five episodes of season one closed her run on the show with this episode. Clough was replaced by Heather Locklear who joined the show as Officer Stacy Sheridan.
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