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Running

Starsky actually puts somebody up at his apartment.




Of course, Starsky's early words are quite ironic when he says, "Some people just aren't worth it.  It can eat your guts out carrying the world for them."  We know why the script needed him to say this, but it comes off as awfully crass for his character, especially when it concerns a child.  Though, on the other hand, it does emphasize that he's very much his own man, and suggests that maybe he's overcome hardships on his own, and perhaps that's why he seems to infer that it's up to other people to solve their own problems.  But then, of course, we know that any such hard-nosed outlooked doesn't apply to Hutch in the least.  

Combine Starsky's attitude about searching for Kiko, with his later asking of Hutch, "Are you still on the down about that kid?", suggests strongly that Starsky feels entitled to Hutch's full attention.  I think there's some genuine jealousy on his part.  After all, he does say in that later scene, "Why don't you take ME on a camping trip?"  He doesn't try to be subtle about it (never mind that he didn't enjoy himself at all when Hutch took him on a camping trip in "Satan's Witches", lol.)  It's very much a parent/child situation, in that Starsky can't initiate something like a camping trip on his own -- he sees it as Hutch's responsibility to provide him with those sorts of entertainments.

Hutch's handmade "Cops Need Love Too" bumper sticker has the potential to open up a whole new can of worms.  It may as well be announcement to the world that he feels unloved.  Of course, his behavior at various times tends to suggest that, and does so more emphatically in future episodes.  

I really don't have much to say about Kiko.  The whole scenario seems overly contrived.  I don't think he'd dump a big brother of two years because of his immature friends.  Or rather, if he did, it suggests that Hutch's influence hasn't been all that positive.  

For that matter, the guys' stunt with putting out fake business cards with Dobey's phone number, while amusing, strikes me as quite juvenile for men that are supposed to be -- what? -- in their early 30s?  

So, they're looking for a guy who robs and murders in slummy apartments, and they're the ones called to handle a mere situation of "men fighting"?  It's good that they recognize the address as Packrat's, but then why are they so surprised at all the stolen merchandise, when they know he's a fence?

After Starsky finds the bracelet, I love Hutch's tone when he asks, "What have you got, Starsk?"  He asks that same thing, in a similar tone, near the end of "Losing Streak" when Starsky is holding the tooth that got knocked out.  

There is some interesting background on Starsky, but unfortunately it doesn't jibe very well with future episodes.  Sharman Crane is a "New York model", so surely Starsky means that he and she went to junior high together in New York.  Yet, in that scene used at the beginning of both "Nightmare" and "The Crying Child", he's dragging Hutch around his old neighborhood, looking for the toy store that "all the kids" used to go to.  So, if he was a young teen of 13yo in junior high in New York, and then got sent to California to finish growing up (after his father was murdered?)... well, that seems rather old for him to be hanging around toy stores in California.  Of course, he has such a childlike quality about him... maybe so.  

I'm always so amused in television, when people are able to recognize other people from a photograph, especially when the photograph shows them in a different period of their life.  Orange recognizes Sharman Crane right away (well, after Hutch pays her....)  I couldn't ever have any confidence in making that kind of identification.  Years ago, when I was in personnel at a real job, an investigator showed me a photograph and asked me if it was one of our employees.  He said, "She might look different now."  There was no way I could say it was the same person.  I'm not that attentive to visual details, and it amazes me that supposedly other people are.  

Interesting that Starsky was so annoyed that Hutch was so intent on finding Kiko; and yet, Hutch has a similar air of mere tolerance about Starsky getting so absorbed in finding Sharman.

Sharman sure dresses nice for somebody who just goes out and drinks all the time.  

I love when the bad guy fires at Starsky and Hutch through the door, and the way they are so intent on self-preservation, and check with each other to make sure they're okay, before busting through the door.


I find Starsky hard to figure in this part of the episode.  It's women who have the reputation of getting involved with difficult men, because they're going to "fix" them.  Starsky seems to be doing that here -- Sharman isn't at all what he expected or hoped to find, and he seems to blame her for the fact that she doesn't measure up to his fantasies.  So, he's going to take her home and fix her.  I know, in his mind, he's helping her, but I really think this is more about him -- and what he wants her to be -- than it is about doing what's best for her.  (Though, certainly, taking her to his apartment is a much greater act of kindness than "taking her in".)

Plus, of course, him trying to "dry somebody out", feels just a bit like "The Fix".  There's a huge difference, though.  The latter was an act of unconditional love; with Sharman, it's again more of Starsky deciding that she's going to be what he wants her to be.  

I much prefer Starsky's later apartment, which seemed much more masculine and simplistic.  This first season apartment comes across as over-the-top, with the blinking stoplight thing, and the bright blue paint, and all that.  Like, he still sees himself as a product of the psychedelic 60s. 

When Hutch comes over to Starsky's apartment, it's the first indication we have that Hutch is still seeing Abby from "The Deadly Imposter", since Hutch brings over some new clothes and says, "Abby had to guess at some of the sizes."

It is such a rare moment to see the guys "at home" together, in a manner of speaking, but also frustrating in this case, because they've got two separate agendas during the conversation.   It sort of reminds me of season three "Fatal Charm", when Hutch comes over, all in a tither about how screwed up Diana is, and Starsky just wants to work on his model ship.  

And then it's so weird that Starsky asks if Hutch wants something.  Hutch says a glass of milk, and Starsky asks, "How about coffee?"  That's fine with Hutch.  Yet, Starsky never gets him coffee.  Instead, he pours a glass of milk for himself.  Weird.  It sort of reminds me of the "hot dog" scene in "Tap Dancing", where one requests something, and the other ends up with it.  

Oh - there's actually a reference to Bay City in this.  Starsky's address on the front of "his book" has "B.C." and a zip code, in addition to the street address.  

Interesting little lecture Starsky gives Sharman about "not being ready".  He claims he feels such every day of his life, and that sometimes "you can't be ready, you just gotta 'do'."  That's a nice bit of internal dialogue for when he decides it's time for him and Hutch to make something happen... however many years later.  

It's cute that Sharman dresses in Starsky's clothes, after coming out of the shower.  

During the climax, Starsky slams the Torino to a halt, and rushes out to protect Sharman.  That means Hutch must have quickly slid over to the driver's side, because he's driving the Torino a moment later.  

Despite Starsky's questionable motivations for taking Sharman under his wing (whether she wants his help or not), I really like his integrity at the end.  It's part of why I see him as a person who is very together, and knows what he wants... and what he doesn't.  And he doesn't want a relationship based upon the fact that he helped Sharman, so that she feels she owes him.  I think it's classy of him to let go, before she compromised herself.

I don't know why, though, that Sharman's parents apparently live in a big house in the area.  If they're in California, how come she mentioned earlier that she'd end up back in New York?  I guess because that's where her career is at.  

Finally, we get a satisfying domestic scene in the tag.  Hutch so quietly playing his guitar, while Starsky is making his weekly call to his mother.  It is quite cute and telling when, to get her attention, he has to resort to, "Mommy!"  

I'm really curious as to what changed for Kiko, that made him decide he wanted Hutch back in his life.  

As for them doing more of the fake business cards with Dobey's extension... they have way, way too much free time on their hands.