"Hill Street Blues" The Last White Man on East Ferry Avenue (TV Episode 1981) Poster

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8/10
Solid episode
Woodyanders20 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Goldblume (bang-up work by Joe Spano) does his best to maintain order after angry old man Mr. Popovich (fiercely played by with burning rage by Reuven Bar-Yotam) shoots a local kid dead and barricades himself in his home. Belker (an outstanding Bruce Weitz) demands that Furillo (a typically terrific Daniel J. Travanti) pull the gung-ho Virgil Brooks (a fine performance by Nathan Cook) from his current assignment before Jesse John Hudson (a mesmerizing Danny Glover) figures that he's really an undercover cop. This episode deserves praise for the way it shows Mr. Popovich as a pitiable guy rather than a sneering one-note brute; the sequence in which Goldblume goes into Popvich's house unarmed and calmly speaks to him is extremely touching and powerful. Moreover, there's a nice moment with Hunter (James B. Sikking, as droll as ever) admitting to Goldblume that he admires Goldblume for how he handled the situation. Belker also has a potent scene in which he blames Furillo for Brooks' death at the hands of Hudson and his gang. In addition, there are a few funny comic moments, with Hunter's candid conversations with Furillo and Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) about striking out with Grace Gardner providing the best and biggest laughs. And this episode not only clearly demonstrates the considerable perils of undercover police work, but also makes a relevant point about the necessity for lying in order to defuse a potentially explosive situation.
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