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A Body Worth Guarding

This is a fantastic episode -- one where it's okay to enjoy a little love fling, because Anna is so thoroughly non-threatening to both the viewer and to Starsky, since she's going to be around such a short time.

The humor is fantastic, perfectly played by everyone, and well interwoven with the background plot.

Hutch, of course, starts out with a lecture to Starsky about how there has to be more to life than just breathing in and out.  When Starsky agrees ,with a reference to something of a female variety, Hutch calls him a "hedonist".  Starsky doesn't miss a beat as he says, "As long as I enjoy myself." lol.

We get a real strong indication of what the official novelizations called "breeding" in Hutch's background, for he knows all about the ballet.  Meanwhile, Starsky fumbles along as best he can with his street smarts, counting on his charming sense of humor to get himself through awkward moments.

It's probably the best moment, in an episode full of moments, when Anna first calls Hutch "Hooch", and he so rudely points his finger at her, which causes an immediate reaction from Starsky, and he firmly pushes Hutch's arm down.

Or maybe it's the best moment when Hutch is oh-so-seriously checking out Anna's apartment, and bumps into the sliding glass door.

Starsky does his usual yielding routine of asking Hutch which one of them is going to stay with Anna that night.  He does seem surprised when Hutch announces that it will be himself, but doesn't argue.

It's so delightful to watch a happy Hutch, that it's easy to overlook the fact that Hutch is surely going against every tactic of being a good bodyguard.  He's thoroughly distracted, and if there would have been an armed assassin on the balcony, there's no way he would have been able to protect Anna from harm.

The handstand is great, and is brought up again in fourth season "Targets Without a Badge".  Obviously, Starsky knows about Hutch's handstand "talent", which leaves one to wonder when Hutch might have shown it to Starsky.

The scene between Starsky and Huggy is rather baffling with all the blatant flirtation and over-emphasis of each and every word.  You almost have to wonder if the actors were bored and just trying to amuse themselves.  It is nice that Huggy refers to Starsky as looking "lopsided", and later refers to a Starsky without a Hutch as being "a pig without the pork".  Starsky doesn't disagree.

The morning-after scene in the hotel is one of the most precious moments in the entire series.  It is so gently and sweetly hilarious that, once again, one wants to overlook just how bad of a job Hutch is doing at being a bodyguard.  When he pulls his gun on the poor newspaper boy, and then tries to cover his ridiculous behavior with "it's licorice"...  too funny.  

Of course, Hutch's whole behavior is endearingly sweet and amusing.  As are Starsky's underplayed and drawn-out reactions.  I love how Starsky just lets the situation be -- seeing how (unusually) happy Hutch is -- and doesn't try to tell Hutch how to feel or behave.  

DS always understandably said that he wished fans would view him as a singer with his own identity, rather than as "Ken Hutchinson going on stage".  But he perpetuated the problem himself, in my opinion, by bringing so many DS songs into the S&H series.  He blurred the lines between actor and singer before any of the fans did.  But, for the sake of this episode, "I Wish" is makes for a lovely scene in Hutch's apartment.

Apparently, Hutch didn't listen to Starsky's advice in  "Fatal Charm" about keeping his spare key elsewhere than over the door.  Because when Starsky feels for it but can't find it, he knows Hutch is home.  

Speaking of Hutch's apartment, I'm always thrown by that poster of a football player on the back of his door.  It just seems so adolescent to me, and not something a grown man in his 30s is likely to have for decoration, unless he's a serious collector of memorabilia.  I can't ever tell who the player is, in the poster.  It does look like a Raiders uniform (which I'm sure was the Oakland Raiders back then, before they moved to L.A....?)

It always strikes me as odd when they're watching the ballet the second night, and Starsky tells Hutch, "You're a lucky man."  I guess he means that, literally, Hutch got lucky via getting to hump Anna.  Because since Anna and Hutch can't have an actual relationship, I don't know why else Starsky would be calling Hutch "lucky".  

The tag always makes me gasp after Hutch tells Anna to sit on the suitcase, and he pushes her legs apart.  It's such a blatantly sexual gesture.

Just in case any viewers did feel threatened by Anna's presence, the tag gives us a neat, tidy acknowledgment that it's Starsky and Hutch who are always going to be the ones together, by having Starsky more or less fall into Hutch's arms.