There are some implications concerning racism that go beyond the obvious. People's lives are affected forever based on rumor and judgment. There is discord in the precincts among the black cops. But there are judgments made prematurely. Renko and Hill find what they think are human bodies skinned and left in the street. And Buntz, who has had some eye treatments, is left temporarily blind and undercover in place of Belker with interesting results.
Perhaps the pivotal event of this episode is the death of Frank's father due to suspicious circumstances. Religious and financial implications come into play, not to mention Frank's strained relationship with his father. It asks him to put aside some of his ethical beliefs. A second issue has to do with the resurfacing of the parking lot and an annoyed Korean restaurant owner who is losing business because of it. J. D. Has his car towed and vows revenge on the guy. It's his usual insensitivity that comes to the fore. Belker goes into a tenement where an infant has been left alone. He puts the baby in his car and then foolishly chases a bad guy. Of course, his car is stole along with the baby and more weird stuff happens. The last minute is quite interesting as well.
Bunts faces off against Falco, having been warned he must subdue his murderous impulses. Things don't alway work out. Grace can't hide her lust under her habit. There is a shady car dealer played by the Great Metrano. To me, the most interesting plot element is that Councilman who accuses Frank of alway blaming others for misdeeds when that is his method of operation. He goes after Washington after using a cop to get at medical records. Of course, Washington had a knee problem and became dependent on Codeine for a while.
Buntz runs on adrenaline as he gets into it with evil loan sharks. Barbara Babcock returns, having entered the sisterhood, as, of all things, Sister Chastity. We have the appearance of a new villain, a councilman who is doing everything he can to discredit Furillo and the Hill Street precinct, blaming them for the drug problems. Daniels is his puppy, expecting, but showing, no loyalty.
LaRue is always trying to work a scam or come up with a buck or two. Here he seeks recognition when he brings in a guy who claims to have committed a series of murders. He feels this will put him in good graces after all his shenanigans. Ray finally has had enough and throws the bone Daniels gave him back in his face. Belker helps Tina who has been through hell in her undercover. And a Gypsy puts a curse on Renko.
Lots of action. A rather whiney writer friend of Henry's is beaten by gang members, his novel manuscript thrown in the air. He becomes vengeful, even though he has always been mild mannered. Renko's car is stolen and he initially tries a scam to get a settlement. Sid is in danger and crashes at Buntz's apartment with dire consequences. Finally, Ray, who has been disgraced, takes his pathetic case to a Hispanic magazine, where he attacks the police as racist and prejudiced (including Furillo, who can no longer allow his incompetence). Rene Enriquez does a great job as the embattled former Captain.
Several threads. Irwin and Joyce work on legal matters and he admits his feelings toward him. They go to get Frank's suits at the dry cleaner and have a big surprise. He later shows great heroism. Ray's job is on the line. He has no respect from his cops and there is racial conflict all over. Frank defends him but sees that what is said has validity. Russo has been put in an untenable situation where she is expected to use her sexiness to gain information but, in Frank's opinion, compromises the case by going to far. Bobby Hill dives to catch a baby, thrown out of a third story apartment. Renko tries to become a sort of press agent. And once again Buntz is suspected of misconduct. Dennis Franz is a great character.
When an anthropomorphic donkey realizes that all his neighbors have donated more rubber than he has, he is embarrassed. Then he notices part of an innertube protruding from the ground. The whole cartoon is his effort to pull the thing out. He is fried, hacked, blown up, on and on. It's one of those wartime things. No great shakes.
This is the standard plot. The locations are pretty much what distinguishes on Popeye cartoon from the next. Bluto is a main attraction balloon man who sees Olive and goes bananas (as usual). He embarrasses Popeye a couple times and Olive goes off with him in his balloon but he is only after one thing. Fortunately, there is a spinach canning exhibit on the fairgrounds.
When the DA's go on strike, the whole legal system seems to fall apart. In order to lower the judicial load, cops must make decisions whether to arrest people or not, especially over minor crimes. Joyce is in the middle of all this facing off against some overzealous colleagues.
A take on Lenny from "Of Mice and Men," the title dog wants a friend. The problem is he is homicidal. He meets his match with Screwy Squirrel who finds every way to torture the big guy. Great Tex Avery vehicle with a nasty twist.
Jablonsky needs bypass surgery and is fighting it. Hunter may lose his badge over a shooting that was justified but he was off duty. Belker is undercover, disguised as an old person. They are having their Social Security checks stolen. And the DA's are on strike and Joyce is caught in the middle. Basically, they are cutting staff with huge backlogs of cases.
So much is going on. After a plane crash, a metal suitcase is absconded with and Sid gets wind of its whereabouts. Of course, he needs Buntz to get involved. The guy who has the stuff is an absolute idiot and this leads to some serious problems. Other things involve a druggist who has a customer die from tainted aspirin and this is sort of a copycat of the Tylenol thing. There is a sad episode where a young woman is taking care of her destitute grandparents. He has dementia and in frustration she hits him and brings about some serious issues.
Paul McCrane, who has kind of psychotic presence about him, is the Creeper, a vicious murderer who has raped and murdered people without a thought. The show gets off to a very good start as there is a great chase scene. The Hispanic neighborhood he had hoped to hide in, becomes a big mistake. Subplots involve a big reward that andy thinks he deserves, but soon scores of people want in on it. The other less noticeable plot is the possible arrival of the Belker baby.
When Buntz is investigated for killing his ex-partner, Furillo is suddenly put in a position of doing what the machine wants or losing out on the mayor's race. The politics are really dirty. He would have been only a pawn in their game. Belker comes across Eddie, his former snitch, a loving portrayal of a gay man. He is dying of AIDS. Belker spends time with him. Jablonsky tries to get the manual rewritten and it turns out to be quite a chore.
Three partnerships are portrayed here. First of all, Lucy has a new probationary partner, a strong young woman, who can handle herself. Things deteriorate for a while when she is accused of requesting sex from a hooker that has been brought in. Buntz's former partner, Donahue, is deep in corruption and is known to have murdered a fellow cop. Buntz needs to handle this. Howard enlists Ballantine, coercing him into returning to his former position. The thing is that the guy has gone around the bend.
Belker is undercover, running a loan shark lunch counter. But he has a rival across the way. Buntz is asked by a former partner, whom we've met before, to look into some charges on his record. But things take a bad turn. Howard's British woman is being pursued by some islander she accidentally married in a goofy ceremony. And Dolan, that spacey former secretary, returns. Jesus wears a wire to prove himself and to avoid a criminal record.
In the wake of Joe Coffey's death, everyone is determined to hunt down his killer. So much is expected of Lucy, who just got a glimpse of the guy. Buntz wants so badly to get the murderer that he needs Lucy to finger someone who didn't do it. Of course, she is in such shock that she wants to get it over with but she doesn't really have any assuredness about the guy.
Other things that take place are Belker and this wet behind the ears security guard where he is under cover. He is sort of a Barney Fife, getting in the way. Another one is Ballantine, the guy that is always Howard's right hand man, whom he treats like dirt, going off on Hunter for all his affectations. One of the great moments. Also, Jesus gets himself in trouble, in dealing with a judge. In a bittersweet moment, the men tell Joe Coffey stories.
The discovery of a briefcase with a bunch of money has some of the guys going rogue. They decide to get into things they have no knowledge of and find themselves facing federal drug and firearm agents. Buntz goes on television on one of those courtroom shows and his personality devastates the whole operation. And, sadly, Joe walks into a smoke shop and there has been a holdup. He is shot and killed.
When Fran goes to testify in a mob boss's trial (he has been hiding in Europe) he appears with Daniels on the steps and he is shot. He lies in the hospital, Joyce bent over him. Through flashbacks, she remember how they met. Fay is her acerbic worst in this one. Other characters appear from seven years before. We see how beloved Frank is as he lies on the brink. We get to see Daniels squirming, wondering how close to dying he became as he stood next to Frank. He can't say anything to Joyce without a caveat. Belker is frustrated as he works under cover at a meat processing plant. Even Howard has some moments of anxiety. I think they always saw the Captain as pretty invulnerable.
Lucy proceeds in her efforts to take over the guardianship of Fabian. I have some uneasiness. Belker goes undercover to get a guy running a stolen car ring. J. D. Steals Howard's dog and lets a group doing a rock video use him. And once again, Henry oversteps his bound in putting off the demolition of a building by a huge developer who thinks he is invulnerable. Frank is furious but can only warn Henry.
Lots of concerns here. Lucy tries to get the guardianship for Damien but the druggie mother is holding him hostage, wanting Lucy to buy her off. There is a smoking ban at the station and this leads to all kinds of trouble. J. D. Kills the python named Salome and loses a chance for a tryst. Buntz's tactics lead to the deaths of some drug dealers who have been killing people with their loaded up heroin.
Howard Hunter falls down some stairs and gets a wack on the head. He thinks he is in the bowels of a ship. When two men come to help him, he thinks they have been brainwashed by the Soviets. Frank has never thought of being mayor, but there are forces trying to unseat Daniels and move Frank into a high political position. There is finally a marriage.
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.
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.