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The Golden Angel

I've heard a couple of different fans say this is their least favorite episode.  It might hit my bottom five, but I find it fairly inoffensive, compared to some, though the flawed logistics of it are more intellectually insulting than most.






It's the second of two wrestling episodes in the series.  The first was first season "The Omaha Tiger", which is one of the greatest banter episodes.  In contrast, this has the guys in very few scenes together.

The cutesy secondary plot is that Starsky's wealthy uncle died, and since he's in the will, he thinks he's going to come into a lot of money.  If his uncle was 93, wouldn't that make him a great uncle, or even a great-great uncle?  Especially since Starsky doesn't seem the least bit close to him?   It is pretty funny when Hutch so smoothly puts his arm around Starsky's shoulders, and starts to say, "Just how much was the old buz-- I mean, the old man worth?"

This subplot could be interesting if it wasn't so ridiculous.  Starsky's uncle is worth ten million dollars?  That's a ton of money now.  Back then, even more so.  Surely, that would make his uncle a major figure in New York (or wherever) society.  How come it never trickled down to the rest of the family?  Hutch certainly doesn't seem to think it's real, even though he nicely plays along with Starsky.  

When they go to the gym where Buzzy has been shot, Hutch tells Starsky, "You know, I used to work out at a place like this.  It really brings back those memories."  I guess he means when he wrestled in college, which was mentioned a few times in "The Omaha Tiger".  Or, maybe he just means that he used to work out in the earlier seasons, and doesn't any more.  Except, Starsky asks with mild interest, "Oh, really?"  Like, he forgot that Hutch worked out just a few years ago.  Or maybe he knows that Hutch meant college.  

Hutch goes on to say, "Used to be pretty good, too."   Okay, now it's sounding like they forgot all the events that  happened in "The Omaha Tiger."  In fact, Hutch points to somebody punching a small bag, and tells Starsky, "I used to do that."  (As he did in the pilot.)  Starsky seems surprised.  Now they both have serious amnesia, because apparently they've forgotten the entire first season.  This would have been an interesting scene, if the viewer didn't know things about Hutch that Starsky mysteriously doesn't know.  

Starsky goes to see Stella, who has been loaning Buzzy money.  Hutch and Candy Reese go to the police station to talk about Buzzy finding the shot dummy in his locker.  Starsky goes to the gym to talk with Hammerlock and gets slammed down a couple of times.  (It was so much more fun and loving when Hutch did it in "The Omaha Tiger".)  Hutch goes and sees Camille, Buzzy's  ultra flaky ex-wife.  Then Hutch goes to the gym to see Tommy Reese, after Starsky has apparently left, and ultimately has to confront a fake bomb without Starsky.  

Then Hutch goes to the Pits without Starsky, but with Candy and Buzzy.  Huggy indicates that Starsky is talking "all over town" about inheriting a lot of money.  Hutch seems to mildly complain that Starsky is more concerned about that than the case.  (Well, if Starsky really thought he was going to get a whole lot of money, that would be understandable.  It just doesn't jibe with his otherwise everyday, casual behavior in the episode.)

Finally, Starsky and Hutch come together again to watch the TV promo.  The best part is knowing this is the situation where, in the blooper reel, Starsky oh-so-casually goes to kiss Hutch on the lips.  

They're also together back at the station, and Hutch gets word from Candy that they're expecting the largest live TV audience ever for the wrestling match.  All of a sudden, the guys are quite serious and seem to care a great deal about the case.  There's a long, lingering shot of a contemplative Starsky, which moves in closer.  It feels like we've walked into another episode, where the tone is completely different.  

Then they're at the gym at night, talking to Buzzy and Candy, and we see a mystery person go into a phone booth outside the building and call the phone there.  So, the phone is ringing and Starsky is telling Buzzy to pick it up and try to keep them on for a trace.  How did they know the killer was going to call?  It's like we've skipped an entire scene.  

The killer takes a shot at Buzzy.  After saying they were going to kill him at Saturday night's fight, why are they trying to kill him the night before?

Then they're back to being all silly again when they decide Starsky is going to take Buzzy's place.  And when Buzzy mentions how aggressive Hammerlock is in the ring (which means they don't need to tell him it's not really Buzzy in the Golden Angel costume, which makes absolutely no sense), Starsky mutters to Hutch that, "Maybe this idea of yours isn't so great."  Hutch mutters back, "Guess not."  But, of course, they do it, anyway.

Hutch ends up being the referee in an overweight costume.  It's part of the long, drawn-out wrestling match scenario.  The only notable point is that Starsky tells Hutch, "I have to go to the bathroom."  Now, that's a familiar Starsky -- one who needs to pee and is of the belief that it's Hutch's job to solve his discomfort.  But Hutch just mutters, "Don't worry about it."

Starsky gets the last laugh, though.  After all the excitement is over (the would-be killer was ex-wife Camille, for reasons the viewer will never know), he tells a nearly-strangled Hutch (by Dobey, of all people) that, "You have to finish what you started -- you're the referee."

The tag doesn't make any more sense than the rest of it.  All of a sudden, Starsky has a tremendously large family (or, at least, his uncle did), and he ends up with some $225, at the tail end of the will, and has to borrow money from Hutch to pay for the catered meal.