Lt. Kojak fails to bring down a wily heroin kingpin, so he ups the ante by putting himself up for sale, pretending he's got no shot at Captain's bars, so he's going for dirty money instead. Theo Kojak's top undercover operative Gil sets up an elaborate scam with the dealers, where the heroin Gil seized from Janis will be traded back to the smugglers, and bags of sugar will be put in their place in the Manhattan South property locker. But Janis connives to switch the deal around, so he has his own personal Theo on the inside, on the take.
Kojak and his men are after a gang of a jewel thieves. The bag-man was shot and identified but is still on the run. So Kojak figures his accomplices will try to get to the man before the cops find him.
Kojak is a guest instructor at a police science class. One of his students is committing burglaries with his brother-in-law and likes to leave false clues at the crime scene. These include a pen with Kojak's name on it and even Kojak's hat.
Kenny Soames, a friendly young delivery man for a local pharmacy, sets up a residence for a big heist and uses his delivery van for the getaway. He then plans to leave the country with his girlfriend and $100,000 from his confederates.
A young girl smuggles a stolen Canadian blank plate to New York in a leg cast. Her accomplice, an artist, is killed by a mob hit man but the girl manages to slip away from him at a hotel thanks to a friendly traveling salesman. Kojak investigates the murder of the artist and the killers trail leads him straight to the innocent salesman from Encino.
Cat burglar David plunges to his death when a banker cuts his cord for burgling $1 million in bonds the financier embezzled. David's partner Le Jeune gets away with the bonds, but must use a Wall Street fence who's another crooked banker - and works with the murderer. Kojak's belief that Le Jeune wouldn't kill his longtime partner so obviously is confirmed when the murderer's much younger wife fingers her husband to clear herself from accessory to embezzlement.
On the trail of a ring counterfeiting lottery tickets, a detective's partner is killed. Det. Fiore feels guilty for giving in to his partner's quest for front page heroism, plus being felled by stomach pains when he had a chance to shoot his friend's killer. When Fiore's diagnosed with terminal cancer, he realizes he's sacrificed having his own life for devotion to Det. Ryan and Ryan's wife. Kojak worries that Fiore's quest for salvation will result in murder, blowing their long-pursued case against the counterfeiters.
Ex-con Lou is determined to settle old scores with his ex-wife and her mobster boyfriend who set him up to serve hard time. Lou's fiancée, a wide-eyed prison sociologist, enlists Kojak's help to keep Lou from killing and/or being killed.
A nebbish helps his therapy group by bombing the nemeses they whine about. Kojak can't find a pattern in the serial murders, especially after an innocent secretary who just moved to Manhattan is blown up, but he knows there is one because she was killed in a parking space with her name on it. NYPD holds back that the bombs all come in brown paper bags, to fend off serial confessors. Danny Zucco can't wait for his next group to see the joy he's brought to his adopted family.
Kojak races to stop a Mafia war, incited by Chinatown hoodlums. First, the young tong mobsters ripoff a knock-over of a Crespi family policy operation, by low-level soldiers of the Scalesi clan. Not suspecting that the masked murderers are Chinese, the Crespis dispatch their Jewish consigliere to recoup the loss from Scalesi godfather Don Cheech, and discern if the Scalesies are muscling in on their territory. All atwitter, Lt. Kojak calls in NYPD Cosa Nostra expert Sgt. Polucci, to help stave off a full-scale gang war.
Sammy Loo's Chinese bandits step up their incendiary action, by shanghaiing ailing Scalesi boss Don Cheech in an ambulance, along with his nurse and meds. The tong gangsters resent being left out of the American Mafia diversity program that let Irish, Jews etc. in on the upper level of organized crime. With a $2 million dollar ransom from the Scalesi clan, the Manhattan tong can compete with the combo. Kojak finds that the disrupters are Chinese, but how can the NYPD or Italian gangsters root out the kidnappers in Chinatown, where they'll stand out like a Black Hand ?
A college girl hurries home after being raped by two men, one of whom kills the other at the scene and flees. Kojak suspects a rape by two men, and sets out to identify the woman as well as the other rapist, while the father of the girl sets out to kill the surviving rapist.
When Kojak works with the FBI to apprehend a drug dealer. He sends one of his detectives to work with an FBI agent posing as buyers. When the dealer arrives he shoots both men and takes off with the money. He meets a partner who then shoots him and makes off with the money. When Kojak gets a description of the partner and gives it to his FBI contact, he is ordered by another agent not to give Kojak anymore info. It isn't long before Kojak suspects that the agent is holding out on him, he follows him and meets the other agent whom he knows and finds out that the agent ...
Kojak works on a Wall Street robbery that involves three murders. When usual methods fail, Kojak goes undercover as a Greek millionaire. He suspects a well-known stockbroker whom he hopes to catch attempting to sell the stocks to him. Things go awry when the thieves find out that the Greek millionaire Kojak is impersonating is actually in Europe. Kojak is kidnapped and counts on his colleagues saving him.
A pair of suicides at the same hotel makes Kojak believe that they were actually murders as he finds connections between the victims. Discovering that a young Army wife had fallen from a roof at an earlier convention (which they had attended) leads Kojak to her call girl sister. She has convinced the soldier that it is his duty to punish the men involved. As he's about to kill the last person related to the girl's death, Kojak must prevent another next murder.
A gun shop owner is coerced into obtaining a quantity of handguns for the hoodlums to whom he owes gambling debts. When a young gang member is killed and the weapon traced to his store, he is eliminated to prevent his talking to police. His motherly bookkeeper witnesses his abduction and is taken into protective custody, pending her appearance before the grand jury. Safeguarding the sassy senior is not an easy task as the hoods try to silence her-permanently. Kojak is the only officer she really trusts.
If you were falsely arrested for a crime, who would you trust? The cops or a friend who bails you out of jail? When small time criminal Hawthorn Yantzee is suspected of murder, Kojak is convinced that he was framed and tries to find the real culprit. Yantzee doesn't cooperate as he thinks that his new 'friend' Stutz (the one actually responsible for the murder and the frame) will help him. When he discovers Stutz's real plans, Yantzee allows Kojak to send him to Stutz's flat with a wire on, hoping to get conclusive testimony that will clear him.
A dishonest judge (Phillip Mackie, Jr.) is found in his car, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Though no marks of restraint were found, Kojak suspects murder and begins to investigate. A private investigator is seen at the funeral delivering a satchel (which contains incriminating tapes); a girlfriend of the deceased is also there. A crooked lawyer seeks to subvert the senior Mackie (also a judge) in order to allow a mob boss to be released on bail during his appeal and flee the country. To protect his son's reputation, Mackie agrees but reconsiders when he learns ...
Two off-duty police officers are killed when a bomb explodes in a bowling alley. A police informer (Paolo Olivarez), who had come to warn them, arrives too late and though slightly injured is able to hobble away. A Bronx detective demands that Kojak allow him to help bring in his informer; they trace him to his sister Marinella's in New Jersey. Back in New York, the bombers booby trap Paolo's apartment; when that fails, they notify him that they have kidnapped his sister to ensure his silence. Knowing that they want to kill him, Paolo offers to trade himself for her ...
Ray Kaufman, a former homicide detective dismissed for corruption, now working as a private eye, takes photos of a rich man's much younger wife, Janet Seymour, out with her husband's business manager, Tony Howard. Janet's husband is distraught and commits suicide. Kaufman, who is still in the house, convinces the business manager Tony Howard who comes upon the body that they should fake a murderous intruder so Janet can collect the $500,000 insurance policy. Kaufman keeps the suicide note and the gun which Howard had picked up and, after Howard is arrested, plants ...
What a tangled web: a wife (Paula Thomas) who's having an affair with a classy crook (Michael Hagar), her husband Waverley who eavesdrops on them through a vent, a police informer (Benny) that the husband feeds info to, and a scheme to rip off a million dollar diamond shipment. The husband is killed; the shipment is stolen, Kojak gets shot, and the classy crook gets away. The bullet recovered from Kojak is from the gun that killed Waverley; Hagar is arrested but there's no evidence except Waverley's dying declaration to Benny. Knowing how Paula loved her husband in ...