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The Omaha Tiger

For over thirty-five years, this has been one of my most favorite episodes.  The banter is some of the best.  It helps, too, that Starsky and Hutch are in almost every scene.




In the gossip magazines of the time, there were some mentions of how unhappy PMG was with the idea of getting spaghetti dumped on his head.  

Starsky and Hutch having their own private time in the wrestling arena is a scene to die for.  It is so fantastic.  The guys just wanting to play together and get their hands on each other.  And such good spirits and laughter accompanying it.  Hutch wrestled in college for three years, and he's the know-it-all, while Starsky is the one with all the bubbling enthusiasm.   It makes for a lovely "art versus effort" argument, and it's so cute the way Starsky accuses Hutch of being jealous.  So, Hutch has to show how superior he is.  And when he makes Starsky cry uncle (via correcting the two years of Hutch's collegiate wrestling to three), Hutch chuckles so happily, and so lovingly releases Starsky and pulls him over onto his side.  It's one of those great "they's so in love" moments. 

Speaking of Hutch wrestling in college... does that mean he was bulky and muscular when he was in college?  Granted, school sports aren't like professional sports, but at the college level, surely only those really serious about a particular sport participate in it.  I mean, I don't see how Hutch could look like he does now, even with keeping fit, and have been able to wrestle.

More joking about Dobey's weight.  

It's so fantastic, the next day, when Tessie says, "Hello cutie", and Starsky and Hutch both look at each other, not sure which one she means.  (After all, they're both fully aware how cute they both are, lol.)  And Hutch being so amused when Tessie grabs Starsky in a "full Nelson".  She knows they're cops because, "I felt your gun."  Whoa!  

I guess it's because of the wrestling connection that Hutch takes a personal offense to Mac Johnson's death, and the way nobody at the arena seems to particularly care.  When I first saw, as a teenager, the scene of them meeting with Eddie and Taft, I was stunned when Starsky got soothing, and asked Hutch, "you okay?"  Hutch was just a little riled, and the idea that Starsky would care so much about how Hutch felt, purely from an emotional standpoint, just floored me.  What other two guys in history have ever behaved like that with each other?  So concerned and tender, especially in front of others?  And then, Hutch resting his arm on Starsky's shoulder at the end of the scene and saying, "Thanks, partner."  Major babbling-in-tongues moment!

And then Starsky is so gently concerned, when they're back at the station, while Hutch is on the phone with the coroner.  He's got some extra duty, this episode, watching out for Hutch.  

But Hutch has to watch out for Starsky, as well, with Tessie's boyfriend keeping an eye on her flirtations with Starsky, lol.

In television, it always amuses me how people remember everybody's names, even after meeting them just once and not being very attentive to them.  Ellen Forbes introduces Felton to Starsky and Hutch, and doesn't have any trouble remembering who they are.  

Starsky almost seems to have hero worship when he's so eager for Hutch to wrestle Eddie.  I like, though, how modest Hutch is about his ability, now that he's in his thirties.  He doesn't try to pretend that he's in as great a shape as he must have been back in college.  But he can't say "no" to Starsky.  

It's good that Starsky and Hutch noticed how Eddie "looks at Ellen Forbes", because I never noticed.  

The "air tight room" scene is so contrived.  How can a room with an exit leading outside be air tight?  And what would be the purpose?  Nevertheless, it makes for one of the greatest humor/banter scenes in the whole series.  To say nothing of being very definitive of their characters.  

Hutch demonstrates that he's the cool, logical thinking one, because he's going to sit down and calculate how much time they have to live, while muttering beneath his breath.  While Starsky demonstrates that he's a man of action, doing whatever needs to be done to get them out of there (while breathing deeply, to see if there's enough air left).  Of course, that's after he first tries to follow Hutch around in trying to understand what he's doing, and then ends up asking, "Is there a reason we aren't talking to each other?" LOL.  And then he has to correct Hutch that he weighs 165, rather than 150.  And Hutch even includes in his calculations that "he's excited", so Starsky will be taking double the number of breaths per minute.  The acting throughout the scene is so perfect, and yet, as bizarre as the scene is, it comes across as so endearingly natural.  

And then, of course, the great, great moment when the explosion occurs, and Starsky falls into Hutch's arms.  It still boggles my mind that that scene was used in the opening credits in later seasons.  That took some balls to have the courage to show that... over and over and over again.

The air tight room scene has to rank as one of the top five most greatest non-h/c scenes in the series.  It is a defining moment of what made Starsky and Hutch so wonderful, even when neither was angsting about something grim and serious. 

If Al Taft is Eddie's manager, how come he was taking a shower at the stadium?  And why was he wearing a towel in the shower?

The shootout at the arena is kind of fun, with all the banter.

It's nice that Eddie turned out to be a good guy.  

It too bad that we see Starsky kiss Iggy, but never got to see him kiss Hutch.  But all the metaphorical words and gestures worked just as well, I think.