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Starsky's Brother

For the third time, the series has a perfect opening for a discussion about Starsky's father, and it's never even brought up.




That really is rather annoying.  Nick, in a moment of sincerity, wants to know "what for?" in terms of why Starsky is willing to have such a difficult and dangerous job that pays so little.  It was a perfect opening for Starsky to mention something about their father.  But, just as with "The Set Up" and "Manchild on the Streets", the chance to give some background on Starsky's life is completely passed over.

As for Starsky himself, I find it baffling that he has no interest in answering Nick's sincere question.  His silence prompts Nick to say, "I may as well be talking to a head of lettuce."  That line does nothing to get Starsky's attention; instead, all Starsky says in response is, "I feel like a head of lettuce."  Nick is trying really hard to connect with his brother, and Starsky blows him off.  If that's the way Starsky always treated Nick -- the older brother who was distant and aloof from his younger brother, except to constantly one-up him -- well, it's sort of understandable why Nick decided to go down a troubled path.

Nick could be an outright sympathetic character, save the fact that he so blatantly lies to Starsky by agreeing to stay away from Stryker, when he has no intention of doing any such thing.

Hutch seems to like Nick just fine initially, and doesn't seem the least bit jealous of the brotherly relationship.  But the minute Nick makes Starsky's life difficult, Hutch's outlook changes completely.  The scene where he confronts Nick at Starsky's apartment looks like it was only part of scene, as it starts so abruptly.  I've never seen the scripts, but I suspect there was a lot more dialogue in that scene that ended up on the cutting room floor.

I love how Starsky is appreciative, rather than resentful, of Hutch's interference in his and Nick's relationship.  Not exactly what one would expect from a "big brother" who expects himself to have the right answer about everything.

Marlene the stewardess and her girlfriends were something else.  They were all so rude!  She warms up to Nick, and then to Starsky, and then when they all go clubbing, she ends up wanting to be with Hutch.  (And it's sweet the way Starsky doesn't mind.)  And then she treats Hutch like crap, but (per the conversation between the guys the next day), ends up going home with him.  (Why Hutch would want to take her to bed after her behavior, I don't know.)  But then she ends up "getting sick" on the stairs (Nick says, "You guys were a little drunk"), so presumably there wasn't any action in the sack.  I guess Hutch needed to get drunk to be interested in taking her home.  Anyway, the fact is that all three guys struck out, which does seem rather pathetic.

I really do not find Starsky's behavior all that admirable in this episode.  The one-upmanship games got rather tiring, and seemed a little out of synch for brothers that are a few years apart (as opposed to just being a year or two apart).  Him needing to drive home the fact that he's the "home team" and so protective of Nick, and yet not at all interested in talking to Nick about anything real...  Nick is right in that those two really don't know each other at all. 

I find it tiring, too, the way Starsky and Hutch are both so automatically hostile and rebellious in the face of any kind of authority.

What stands out to me most about Nick is how extremely immature and unstable he is for being 28yo.  I don't come away with any confidence that he's going to change his ways when he gets back to New York.