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The Plague Part 1

On PMG's birthday, I'll just say that it's interesting and ironic that his most finest acted scenes in SH are those really intense ones when Starsky is without Hutch, because Hutch is sick/hurt and needs him.



I'm not medically intelligent enough to pick this episode apart, but I always imagine those who are, are cringing at inaccuracies.  Of course, most of the time, television really doesn't have much choice if it wants to keep things moving along and solve things within an hour (or two hours, in this case).

I think this episode "missed" in that it didn't have the scene where Starsky and Hutch first find out that Hutch is infected.  Like, the powers that be just didn't feel like dealing with the drama, so instead sidestepped to having the scene take place a few minutes after they find out.  I know of fanfic that tends to sidestep drama like that. (I've probably written of few of them myself over various fandoms.)

My favorite line in Part 1 is when Starsky mimics to Hutch, "Judith says", and mentions that she and Hutch are getting pretty tight.  (And this bothers him.... why?)  So, Hutch neatly sidesteps into "Judith and Dr. Meredith", as though to say, "it's not like that".

This episode has the one mention in the series about Starsky being in the army.  So, that's canon.  But I've never be able to buy into the idea of Starsky having served in combat (and most especially can't see Hutch as having served).  While I admit that I've never had a relative serve in combat (at least none that I know of), Starsky strikes me as too grounded and too consciously frivolous to have seen the horrors of war.  Not everyone who is drafted into the army serves on the front. 

I do like how this episode makes Thomas Callendar into a three-dimensional person.  He's one of my favorite bad guys.  He's a cold-blooded killer, and yet he has a genuine heart.


One of Hutch's many ways of playing superior to Starsky is to always act like he's not interested in sex, and therefore Starsky, who freely admits to being interested in sex, is a hedonist.  Yet, Hutch is the one who goes out on a one night stand with the likes of Diana Harmon, and unknowingly falls in love with a prostitute, in Gillian.  And throws his cop responsibilities out the window to bang Anna whatsherface, the Russian ballerina.  And gets his cover blown in "Ballad for a Blue Lady".  Between the two of them, Starsky has always struck me as the one who is much more in touch with his inner self, and much more grounded.  Hutch tends to do things that aren't necessarily in line with what he says.  I really don't think he knows himself very well, but he likes to pretend that he does.  (How massively insecure does one have to be to always present themselves as the one with the upper hand?)

In light of the above, I just love Starsky so much for how he lets Hutch's superiorism, and other unflattering quirks, roll off.  He loves Hutch so much.  I've always had the feeling that Hutch needs Starsky more than Starsky needs Hutch.  And yet, in episodes like "The Plague" and "Survival", Starsky gets so, so dangerously intense when he's trying to save Hutch.  As though, for all his well-grounded stability, the idea of losing Hutch is unfathomable.  And so maybe he really would be just as devastated, as if it were the other way around.






Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
cinderlight
Apr. 26th, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC)
Hi, I hope you don't mind a stranger randomly dropping in on your journal!

Really interesting thoughts on whether Hutch needs Starsky more than vice versa. I think that Starsky does need Hutch just as much as Hutch needs Starsky, only less directly.

The reason Starsky is so well-grounded and stable, as you put it, is because he has a very strong, secure sense of personal identity, I think. He knows himself very well and accepts himself the way he is, and isn't conflicted or discontented with any of his parts the way Hutch is with parts of himself. But a very large part of Starsky's nice stable identity is "Hutch's best friend". It's probably the biggest factor in who he is and how he understands himself, and it's a role that is always affecting his actions. Just like some people primarily identify themselves by their profession, or as half of a "Mr. and Mrs. X", or as "mother of ____", or "brother of ____", etc.

So Starsky's only well-grounded and stable as long as Hutch is alive and well because even apart from the grief of losing someone he loves, I think he would have no idea who he was or what he is supposed to do on a day-to-day basis if Hutch died.

I guess the difference would be that if they were temporarily separated but were certain that they were both perfectly safe, Hutch would become frustrated and unhappy a lot quicker than Starsky.
charlotte_frost
Apr. 26th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
I pretty much agree with everything you say.

I do find it interesting that in "Targets Without a Badge". Starsky seems to be needy for Hutch's company (wants Hutch to go to a matinee with him, wants Hutch to accompany him and Laura to the Brahms concert), which I attribute to Starsky feeling out of whack, because they're no longer cops. He doesn't know what to do with himself, without his job.

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