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This episode doesn't do much for me.

For starters, DS doesn't have his best acting moments.  (For that matter, PMG isn't at his greatest, either.)  That's obviously not because he's professionally flawed, or because of PMG's direction (per subsequent episodes), so it has to be the script.  Hutch has such stupid lines in some of these scenes, that even DS can't pull off saying them as though he believes them.

He did seem to admit such, in a manner of speaking, on a Merv Griffin where he appeared shortly after this episode and "Survival" had been filmed.  He said he felt that, between the two episodes, he got the better script.  (Which is pretty profound, considering some of the over-the-top characters in "Survival".)  He also correctly predicted, on that same Merv Griffin, that PMG was going to be one heck of a director.

I'm not a visually oriented person, and it's taken me a few decades to figure this out, but Hutch's outfit does him no favors.  What's with the peachy, pinkish shirt?  It clashes with his complexion. He dresses up so nice in black and white and soft blues, but he's stuck the entire episode with that odd color.  And, oh my God, that overly wide tie.  It jumps right out at the viewer, so it's hard to focus on Hutch's expressions, when it's not a closeup.

In the opening scene at Merle's, Starsky does seem to put his hands on Hutch way more than necessary for a scene about Hutch's car.  That, and the very end of the climatic scene, is the only good stuff for fans who watch the show because of the relationship.

Starsky has to pee -- of course!  Hutch amazingly never has to pee.  He asked for a men's room in "Sweet Revenge", but it was just to wash up; and he declared he was headed for the bathroom at Starsky's apartment in the tag of "Blindfold", but that was just to prove how adept he was at maneuvering around when he couldn't see.

Starsky needing to pee makes Hutch smile, even as it makes Dobey grumpy.

I do like Hutch's puzzlement and gradually increasing concern as he heads to the men's room, after reading the note.

Now, let me get this straight.  After Starsky has been kidnapped, Hutch's strategy is go visit Simon Marcus and beg him to tell where Starsky is.  Gee, I'm sure Marcus will reveal Starsky's location, since he's such a nice guy.  This is the main scene that I can't stand in this episode. Instead of trying to figure out a way to find Starsky, Hutch decides to reveal to the evil villain that he's completely impotent.  He lets Simon grab him by the balls, in a manner of speaking. He's on his metaphorical knees, begging and trying to sound desperate (which DS can't pull off believably, maybe because his lines felt as idiotic to him as they do to the viewer.)

When Hutch begs the professor for Starsky's life in "A Coffin for Starsky", it's totally genuine. Starsky is out of time.  Hutch has no where else to turn.  But it doesn't work in "Bloodbath", when Hutch is at the beginning of Starsky's remaining 24 hours.

The scene with all the chanting followers in the storefront doesn't work much better.  More "I'm thoroughly impotent" begging.  It's no surprise that those young brainwashed people aren't the least bit impressed by Hutch.

It is sweet the way Hutch seems to cherish Starsky's ID.

Hutch is more his normal self when he goes out to the ranch.  And it's kind of cool seeing him drive around in the Torino.  (In fact, he enjoys driving it so much that, despite Starsky being in severe danger, he takes the time to do a donut around the premises, before leaving the ranch.)

Granted, it is the 70s.  But Gail adds a new dimension to the "dumb bimbo" stereotype that was standard fare for all dramatic TV series of the era.  Though she does get points for freeing Starsky at the end.

The bad guy says that the bear "bites".  It's a nice line when Starsky says "So do I" -- except he, too, doesn't sound very believable.  In fact, that's the whole problem with this episode.  The bad guys (not Gail) are the ones with all the testosterone.  All the heroic good guys do is beg and plead wimpishly.

Hutch goes and visits Marcus again, and decides it's time for an amateur therapy session, mixed with more impotent begging and pleading.

So, Starsky has a few hours left to live, and Huggy and Dobey decide it's a good time to start sniping at each other.  Granted, they've always done that, but humor really doesn't work in an episode that is trying so hard to be dramatic.

It's pretty funny, though, with the one chanter pronouncing "Simon" as "semen".

The humor of the tag doesn't work, following the frustration of wanting so much more from Starsky and Hutch's reunion, or some follow-up to Starsky's injuries and handling.