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Gillian

The "scenes from next week" showed Hutch belting Starsky, but viewers had no idea back then what was going to come after.




One of my favorite lines in the entire series is when Gillian and Starsky are introduced, and she says, "He talks about you all the time."  Wow.

Hutch is so happy in this.  He doesn't even do light-hearted teasing or in any way want to make Starsky the butt of a joke.  (Starsky's girlfriend, Nancy, seems to fill that role fine without any help.)  In fact, Hutch's good mood is so unusual that Starsky has to clarify that the reason for it is Gillian.

I love how Starsky is so indignant about a mother being involved in all the porno activity.  He has such a sweet innocence about him at times.

Al and Olga Grossman are wonderful villains, and are well played.  They are so incredibly eccentric and yet come off as believable.  I love how Olga refers to Starsky and Hutch as "such nice boys" and mentions the "good, clean fun" that her business provides.  She sounds like she actually believes it.

After Starsky sees Gillian at the massage parlor, one has to wonder how he made it through the rest of the day, keeping it from Hutch.  But, a la the next morning, Hutch is still on such a high that he isn't as keyed in to Starsky's moods as usual.  (Though it is sweet how he notices Starsky's sore shoulder, and then is so a-okay with Starsky getting something done about it at the massage parlor, after Starsky more or less asks his permission.)

And poor Starsky with having to decide if he should do anything about Gillian, and then when he reaches that decision, how agonizing it must have been for him to figure out how.

For decades, after the shootout in the alley and Starsky asks Hutch what happened, I thought Starsky said, "You suckered."  Now, with the DVDs, it clear that he says, "You're shakin'", which makes a lot more sense.  It's obvious to me that this is the point where Starsky decides something has to be done about Gillian.  He can't have Hutch thinking about someone else more than their own lives.  So, he pretty much takes charge of Hutch's and Gillian's relationship, at that point.

PMG really has some wonderful scenes in this.  His hesitant dialogue when confronting Gillian is well-played.  But she's the one who gets to have some more of the series' best lines:  "You love him too, don't you?"  And of course:  "Wouldn't it be nice to be Hutch?  In one lifetime, you have two people love you so much?"

Fans have sometimes expressed confusion about what happened to the money Starsky came with.  It's obvious to me that he took the envelope with him when he left Gillian's apartment.  You can hear the sound of the paper as he picks it up.  It was just a prop to assist him with starting such a difficult conversation.

It's hard not to wonder how differently things would have gone, had Gillian managed to get away from Olga without slapping her.  Then maybe Olga wouldn't have been so adamant about prompting sonny boy to kill her.

Of course, the big scene doesn't need any commentary.  It's simply one of the peak moments in the series.

But I do wonder, had Gillian not been murdered and Hutch found out in other circumstances, if he would have reacted so badly to her being a prostitute.  He does have a tendency to take lost waifs under his wing.

On the other hand, it has been said that being truly, passionately "in love" is like an insanity. Hutch is certainly not himself in this episode.  Even if Gillian hadn't been a prostitue, it's hard not to wonder how long it would have taken for the luster to wear off the swooning relationship. He was so intensely enamored of her so quickly, it's likely he would have lost interest just as quickly, as soon as they had a date where no new euphoric high was reached, and then they would be continually and unsuccessfully trying to recapture those early feelings.
 
I have a lot more faith in a well-grounded relationship, like that between Starsky and Hutch.

The scene in the theater does nothing for me.  It goes on too long and is too uninteresting and too hokey.  Bad guys really think they're going to kill a cop and mysteriously get away with it?

The tag is a nice polish to Starsky and Hutch's relationship -- that Starsky has been doing what he feels is necessary to help Hutch recover, and Hutch's willingness to recover.

This episode originally aired right after the two two-parters -- "Las Vegas Strangler" and "Murder at Sea".  It felt so good to have them back in a "normal" episode.  And to see that the greatest love story of all time was so nicely intact.