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Las Vegas Strangler Part 1

This episode seems like it had to work really hard at filling up two hours.  It could have used a much tighter focus, without all the "Look! Las Vegas!" visual distractions.

 



I love it when Hutch reaches for Starsky's water because he wants "a sip", like he has rights to it.  Starsky doesn't let him, which is highly unusual.

I've covered in a prior post all the scenes of them gambling at the casino, where their relationship becomes parent/child.  And maybe, in a sense, that sets off the feeling that their own personal relationship is rather distant in this episode.  Still, Starsky is very compassionate, at this point, about Hutch's anger at being used to nail his old high school buddy, Jack Mitchell, as the strangler.

I really like Vicky.  Her scenes are the few times the episode has some down-to-Earth life to it.   

It's quite a profound moment when, at the birthday party, Starsky sees Vicky enter the party, and goes over to meet her.  Hutch's eyes follow Starsky across the room.  Hutch has been trying so hard to control everything going on up to this point, and now he's got to keep an eye on Jack and leave Starsky to Vicky.

Hutch does let loose by apparently getting drunk when he's dancing with Jack, while Starsky appears to be sitting out and pouting -- while also very tired. 

We do get some good Hutch background here.  He was the valedictorian of his high school class, as well as the one voted "Most Likely to Succeed".  He and Mitchell were the "Prince and the Pauper", not because Hutch was poor, but because Jack was so rich.  They both were also lifeguards, and we see that from Hutch when he dives so smoothly into the pool to help Starsky get the man who turns out to be Vicky's ex-husband. 


This is one of those episodes where there's long stretches between good moments.  As I recall, Part 2 isn't going to be any better.