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Terror on the Docks

This is one of those episodes that feels so warm and welcoming, like a favorite old shirt.  





It is a very odd detail that Hutch and Nancy Blake used to live next door to each other.  How coincidental that they went from growing up in Duluth (as we find out later in "Murder at Sea"), and both ended up in southern California.  She's surely quite a bit younger than he is, so he must have taken quite a protective, big brotherly approach toward her, since she looks up at him enough to want him to be the one to give her away; plus, she describes him as one of  her "favorite men", despite having had no contact with her "for a long time", as Starsky says later in Ted Banks' apartment.  

Ed Jamison certainly doesn't try very hard to defend himself from being killed.  If that would have been Starsky or Hutch, they would have at least made a "hail Mary" attempt to attack the guy about to shoot them. 

How come Starsky and Hutch are always the only two single guys around the police department?  Seems like everyone else is always married, and often have children.  Doesn't exactly jibe with the idea of police officers having some of the highest divorce rates in the country.  (At least, that's what I recall hearing a lot, at the time.)

I love when Billy tells Rick Hauser, "Nancy's in love with me -- they aren't."  For that matter, I think Rick Hauser is a great bad-guy.  He's so calm and intellectual -- right up to the point where he surrenders at the end.  

Hutch wins the verbal tug-of-war about who isn't going to enter Erza Beam's spooky house first, but Starsky gets in a great insult of "chicken".  

Mrs. Blake pretty much steals all her scenes.  I love when she says of Hutch, "He's a good boy," and Starsky is pretty much forced to admit, "Well, he's okay."  And really, considering the playful cut-downs the guys are prone to, describing Hutch as "okay" is quite a heart warming compliment.  Anyway, it is quite amusing the way Mrs. Blake takes such a liking to Starsky.  Interesting that Hutch is apparently "hands off" for Nancy.  

In the meantime, Hutch is doing the "mothering" thing and scolding Starsky's behavior around the food.  

How odd is it that Ted Banks knows to reach the guys at Blake's apartment?

Hutch is plenty opinionated about Starsky.  After Starsky is whining about Hutch hurting his shoulder while saving his life, Hutch says, "Have you ever considered that your priorities are screwed up?"  After Starsky has the unenviable task of approaching Hutch about the idea of Billy being Ted's murderer, Hutch grumbles, "Sometimes you have the most irritating quality."   In fact, with having known Hutch wasn't going to takes his suspicions well, Starsky has R&I check into it without telling Hutch, and then sort of half-heartedly and indirectly lies about it, which Hutch catches onto immediately.

Starsky's cringing expression when he and Hutch are finally about to leave the murder scene, indicates that Starsky is fully aware of how bad Hutch's temper can get, when he doesn't like what he's hearing.  (Of course, we see that temper in full force in "Gillian", and there's less dramatic examples throughout the series.)  

The scene with Ted Banks' father is unexpectedly poignant, for a cheesy cop show.  

It is so cute that Hutch is reading the newspaper to Starsky.  And Starsky is so attentive!  That harps back to "Savage Sunday", when Hutch was reading the comics to him.  Starsky must really love listening to Hutch's voice.  Obviously, by this morning, Hutch is completely on board with Starsky's suspicions about Billy, and Dobey's subsequent detailing of his arrest history confirms his checkered past.  

The confrontation while the bad guys are playing cards is such a trademark Starsky and Hutch on-the-same-page-without-words scene.  It's helped all the more by how Billy tries unsuccessfully to make up lies, complete with appropriate expressions, as he talks.  

After Nancy slaps Hutch, I love how Starsky immediately tries to get all cheerful and change the subject, like he's trying so hard to help Hutch forget about it and think of something fun (ie, "focus on me") -- and it appears to work.  

Despite the overly-silliness and unrealism of the scene, I just love the cozy feel of Hutch taking care of an ailing Starsky at his cottage.  

Hutch sure doesn't have any trouble taking charge of the Torino when he's desperate to get Billy.