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Why Did He Do It?
The old cop had nothing to gain by planting evidence. There was surely a gun out there but no methodical search was being made. The guy cooked his own goose. Poor Belker and Robin should have just eloped. I wondered why, at the beginning, they couldn't have excused him from undercover duty. A sad discovery is made at the morgue by Hill and Renko. Lucy and the potter have serious words.
You Gotta Have Heart!
A young black cop, back at the precinct kills a man who pulls a gun. His partner, a fat, over the hill guy just transferred, drops a weapon when the original can't be found right away. Belker's wedding is disrupted when he gets stuck undercover with meth dealers. Then there's the case of a heart stolen from an overturned ambulance. Bobby Hill becomes a hero. Fabian's druggie mother has left him behind. Lucy mourns.
A drug sniffing turkey?! Wow! Buntz pushes the envelope again and again. It's Christmas time and there is a kind of Olympics against the fire department. Renko needs to get that hernia looked at. Frank and Joyce go to Frank's childhood home where they are met with some hostility and a lack of appreciation. Frank's drinking is was never brought up as a cause of his divorce from Fay. She is the darling, as is Frank Junior. This is a very realistic portrayal of a somewhat damaged family. Joyce is the innocent victim and Frank has much responsibility for what this has become.
Best Use of Situation Comedy
While it seems quite simple, many of the best comedy shows have been in a workplace. From "Mary Tyler Moore" to "The Office," from "MASH" to "Parks and Rec," these allow us to view an ensemble, presenting quirky characters. I'd forgotten how funny "WKRP" was or the "Bob Newhart Show" or "Barney Miller." "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was the standard bearer. Incredible television. We didn't even mention Cheers because it fits another category.
Pretty Well Done
The examples here are shows like "Friends," ""How I Met Your Mother," and so on. "Seinfeld" probably leads the list where groups, rather than individuals, were the focus. Their interactions were seldom one to one, but rather groups making decisions and or individuals seeking approval from their peer groups. This category looked at the rise of people of color in the mainstream.
What a Surprise
Of course, titillation has always been a part of prime time television. This takes us back to the two bed bedroom of Lucy and Ricky. Then we have everyone using their imaginations in ""I Dream of Jeany." The show lacks much direction. Cable added some punch to the sexiness and shows like "Sex and the City," but, once again, it's rather dull.
Hard to Watch
Buntz is called to a crummy apartment and there, waiting, is a psycho who he had locked up years before. The guy sets him up to suffer and then kill him. Unfortunately, Buntz brings along a young fellow cop. A second plot involves Belker and the trafficking of pets for research and food. Finally, a baseball player, a series hero. Is given a DUI and when his car is impounded, some dope is found in it.
Battle of the Cans
Another series of individual stories, including a priest who cheats another man as his boys collect aluminum cans. Furillo continues going after a drug lord on a minor transgression. Bobby's father shows up again and lies about dying soon. A neo-Nazi group demonstrates and the cops are expected to protect them.
Several characters have to carefully weigh what is right here. Belker decides that he and Robin should do more than just live together. The jerk from Ray's new precinct dumps vagrants on the Hill, leaving Ray to doubt his abilities. Neal gets out of the hospital and isn't sure he wants to continue his relationship. Howard loves his dog and the woman who is involved in the puppy world. And Renko and Hill look out for a mentally challenged guy who has never had decent treatment before.
Hill Street Blues: Oh, You Kid (1985)
Buntz Takes on the World
When Buntz chases down a suspect who has robbed a baker's truck, things get pretty violent. Because the bakery truck guy won't press charges, this awful man goes free. Not only that; there is going to be a civil suit. Belker is involved in investigating the deaths of some vagrants, who have jumped from high places. The results are fascinating. Washington is living the life of a father with that beautiful woman and her little boy, but there are problems because of his grueling work schedule. The results are devastating. Excellent episode.
Furillo Steps on a Snake
The commission on corruption finds pervasive criminal behavior in lots of places, much of it at the top. Daniels, at his most slimy, should have known about these things. In his usual way, he talks about loyalties and Frank is expected to fall in line and hide evidence A weak officer is involved in a shooting and Daniels uses his ineptitude to cut dow the entire precinct. Furillo sticks to his guns, but there are going to be consequences. And we find out there already are. Buntz investigates a guy who has been bedding women, offering them jobs if they sleep with him. But Buntz eventually meets his match. Very good episode.
Very Entertaining Though a Bit Formulaic
The guy who killed Harry knows how to manipulate the system. He is privy to information concerning the gun that killed that police chief. The problem is his answering a question so he can avoid a murder indictment. A guy Belker is stalking hits him, puts him in a duffle bag, and loads him on a bus to Springfield. Harry's father, a kind and caring, soft spoken man is in play at the end. That boy that worked for the Korean guy takes a big risk.
Hill Street Blues: Seoul on Ice (1985)
So Very Dark
Harry hangs on to life as the search for his killer goes on. J. D. Is taking it really hard because he was not sympathetic to Harry's gambling problems. Furillo continues assembling a task force to investigate police corruption. Mayor Cleveland's son has been released when his mother posts bail. Ozzie does everything to find him before he hurts himself or others. Howard has a romantic thing with a mystery person. Belker gets some positive news. This is a harsh episode. We are just gettin to know Buntz who looks much like the bad guy Dennis Franz played in a previous season.
New Faces/Old Scores
To start with, Dennis Franz is back from the dead. Ray has made captain but the guy retiring rains on his parade. Harry is in up to his ears in gambling debts and is dealing with some pretty tough customers. Frank is leading a commission. We see unrest between young black men and a Korean grocer. Robin and Mick have news.
The Night Crew Plus
A man who is a leader but off balance, ends up taking Goldblume as a hostage in a tenement. The troops are called in, trying to negotiate, but there may be explosives and Henry's life is in danger. Chief Daniels runs around, accusing and blaming, and contributing nothing. Renko goes to a country western concert he can't really afford and feels he betrayed Daryl Ann. He actually gets to meet his big hero performer. Sadly, Belker is brought in for some bad news.
Wraps Things Up
We have some stories brought to closure (as much as possible) here. Hill and Renko go on the road with James Cromwell and Officer McBear, visiting schools and parks. The bear proves a claw in the side. Henry finally begins to see things clearly. Furillo stands firm against a crooked cop who has been assigned to the hill. Next, Frank reveals a secret that is very sad for him to admit. Stan signs a waiver which says he left the hospital of his own free will. Two seasons to go.
Two Big Tests
The whole precinct must take a mandatory drug/urine test and there are some nervous people. Henry is going nuts over Gina's death and alienating the entire crew. He refuses to wait out the investigation. Stan takes over for Lucy, who hurt her ankle, and is a mess on the streets with Coffey. A family living in a box has the father arrested over a three dollar theft and Hill and Renko come to the rescue. Ray and Howard go in for their interviews for captainship. Stan ends up in the hospital with angina and is having nothing to do with the protocols.
Some interesting stuff. We have Joe arresting his former football coach for solicitation. We have Henry continuing to puff up his chest and make an ass of himself. Howard, reprising an old episode, gets his hands on a tank, ignoring Furillo an calling in the chief. The final scene has a startling event as Henry and Gina have dinner with Fay and Harry.
Hill Street Blues: G.Q. (1985)
Frances McDormand is quite good as a messed up public defender. A young black man is arrested and thrown in jail. It turns out the police are at fault in the arrest. In other things, a vagrant is cleaned up, given a suit, and asked to testify. It turns out to be a sad situation. Renko and Hill get at it, Bobby blaming Andy for cowardice.
The touchy issue of demonstrations at abortion clinics is the centerpiece here. A demonstrator hits a woman with a sign, causing her to prematurely go into labor and eventually lose her child. J. D. Enlists a small movie company to do an anti-burglary video and ends up with a porn star. He, of course, has no brains to speak of.
Hill Street Blues: El Capitan (1985)
Ray at the Helm
Furillo goes to a mandatory group therapy session with upper division people, including Chief Daniels. It is a gut wrenching session with lots of hurt to go around. While this is going on, Henry continues his sexual escapades with Jennifer Tilly. And what should appear but Howard's stolen RV with a father and his kidnapped son. He takes a cop hostage and things go from there. Belker and Jablonski have some serious issues that the finally have to face.
What a Voice
One case involves a woman beater who keeps getting away with it, and his day in court. She is the desperate woman who has few options. Frances McDormand, now an Oscar Winner, twice, plays Joyce's PD replacement. She is overzealous. A one man band guy is arrested by Belker and there is some homespun philosophy. Meg Tilley, who sounds like she is about five year's old, has a role in a big time arrest and finds Henry Goldblume in the process.
Great Practical Joke/A Present for Belker
There are several features here. Patsy is embarrassed by Daniels who takes jerkdom to the nth degree. J. D., Washington, and that fat jerk continue to put the screws to an illegal grocery store operation. The search continues for the person cutting off the heads of hookers. Frank is manic about division rules. Belker, homeless, goes to Hunter's RV and has a real surprise.
Sad but True
The most significant case is a young black athlete left paralyzed after a beating by three white boys. They claim he taunted and attacked them and kicked their car. The have a story all ready but the boy's character would be that he would never do something like that. Joyce, now a prosecutor, has this as her first case. Chief Daniels is on the make and asks Patsy for a date, which she can hardly refuse. Belker ends up in a fight with a professional wrestler after checking out his apartment which is supposed to be vacant. He ultimately gets to stay in Howard's recently purchased RV, partly to keep an eye on it since it is parked in some tenuous area.
It's Not Always Fair
As is usually the case, we have some interesting plot events. Belker has finally be rejected by Robin and shortly after that is evicted from his apartment. Howard buys a used RV and finds it is in bad need of repairs. Garrett Morris plays an edgy tire thief who is caught stealing the tire and gets indignant when caught. Patsy goes undercover, allowing that orthodontist to sexually assault her while J. D. records with a telephoto lens. Of course, he ends up showing this tape to other guys. A more critical case involve a man with a checkered past having his family killed by a hit and run driver. The man who killed them is a person with numerous DUI's. But there is a sad end to this. Also, Joyce is offered a big promotion.