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Class in Crime

One directs, so therefore they are mostly apart.  Interesting visuals, but not a very interesting Starsky & Hutch episode.  Some of the dialogue sounds like it came from another movie.  In over 30 years, I think I've only seen this four times.

I love, at the pier, when Starsky unhappily tells Hutch, "We just got beeped."  Hutch's date asks, "Does it hurt?"  Hutch replies, "You have no idea how much."   Starsky actually looks like he feels worse about ending Hutch's fun than he does his own.

This must be a first date if the girl with Starsky doesn't even know what he does for a living.  Or rather, just an outing intended to end in sex, with no further expectations.  

I do love that visual of them going down the hall, where we look up at them from behind.  

Starsky seemed so sympathetic about having to take Hutch away from the docks, but when it comes to beginning their investigation at the car dealership, he mentally checks out completely.  He sort of acts like a high school kid who never got asked out on a date, and doesn't know what to say, while Hutch is left to do all the work.  

And for some strange reason, Starsky is interested in a car more likely to be preferred by an elderly country gentleman.  What, he's gotten bored with the souped up Torino?  

Hutch going over to Starsky's apartment and getting the door slammed on him would be cute, if the guys had any connection whatsoever.  They talk like they're both just saying lines and not genuinely communicating with each other.  There's absolutely no playful warmth to the scene.  It feels like Any Two Actors could have performed it.  

Then when they meet with Dobey, it's so weird that Hutch is trying to think out loud, and makes the connection between Professor Gage and the victims, and Starsky asks with disinterest, "Are you all right?"  What?  Starsky has suddenly decided he doesn't want to be a cop, and now he is excessively bored with anything having to do with investigating a murder?  If this whole episode wasn't so "just enjoy the visuals and don't take it seriously", it would be a downright insulting question to be asking Hutch in front of we-want-to-be-interested viewers.

The weird tone of this episode makes it a relief to spend time with just Hutch on campus.  At least we're away from the usual haunts where nothing makes any sense anymore  

I'm never quite sure if, when Hutch enters Professor Gage's class and is the immediate center of the professor's attention, if his embarrassment and unease is genuine, or is it's all part of being undercover.  My first guess would be the latter, but even while hiding behind an "innocent" persona, he surely wasn't expecting the professor to turn on him, so to speak, and engage him aggressively in front of the whole class.  

It is intriguing how the professor throws Hutch's introduction back at him, by continually referring to him as "Hutchinson Ken".  

I'm not sure why Starsky felt it necessary to take on a bumbling fool persona when he goes to Professor Gage's house.  Or why we had to spend so much time there, just so he could see the note framed.  Maybe we were supposed to watch him walk around in jeans a size too small.  

The "eating in Dobey's office" scene is interesting.  Hutch does admit to "squirming" in the professor's class, so I think he really was rattled by being the unexpected center of attention.  

The one wonderful scene in this, after Hutch and the professor agree to meet on the beach, is Hutch in the Torino with Starsky.  Starsky grumbles about Hutch being too vulnerable to being killed (though he doesn't sound particularly concerned), and Hutch says simply, "I'm counting on you."  Starsky mutters, "Terrific."  Then there's that fantastic moment when Hutch takes the sunglasses off Starsky's face, and puts them on his own face.  Finally, these two characters feel wonderfully familiar.  Plus, that simple gesture always takes me back to that great (surely adlibbed) scene in "Snowstorm" when, in a restaurant booth, Starsky picks up Hutch's sunglasses from the table and puts them on, causing Hutch to chuckle.  Here, it feels like Hutch is taking those sunglasses back.

The climatic scene seems overly simplistic.  But more than that, it's puzzling.  When Starsky sees the rifle, he blasts the bushes like crazy.  Megan (or whatever her name is) looks dead and broken.  Yet, the professor says, "You could have killed her."  Okay, so she's not dead, even though she's not moving.  Starsky has an incredibly stupid line, when he says, "Yes, I could have, but I didn't."  Oh, okay.  When he blasted the bushes, he could see well enough, and was so unconcerned about Hutch's safety, that he gunned her down carefully so that she wasn't killed.  

Almost always, in media and in real life, bad guys turn on each other.  So, it is rather refreshing that Professor Gage has such an intense, genuine love for his accomplice.  He's going to miss her in prison. 

In the tag, Starsky suggests that the non-biting fish are "probably as bored as I am".  He seemed incredibly bored through the whole episode.  Like he's on downers.  Where's the life-loving, eager, playful Starsky that Hutch and I both love?  

Hutch has a new rod and reel that Starsky declares, "is going to take a year to pay off".  Just how much do fishing poles cost, anyway?  

We do get the interesting little visual of Starsky simulating humping Hutch while they're both standing up.  At least, those who watch for the relationship got thrown that little bone.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
I kind of like this episode. I always thought scenes like the door scene were done that way on purpose... like they were trying to be funny..I never saw it as serious distancing.. more like teasing.
But the one thing I always think is wierd is that Starsky leaves the squad room at nite to go interview Catlyn again... she is still a suspect. The next morning when Dobey says Starsky hasn't been heard from, they aren't worried that he was with a potential murderer and now he hasn't been heard from. The automatically jump to the conclusion they are in bed. Seems careless....... okay so they were right, but still.....
Jan. 4th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
I think the thing with the female villain not dying was just the way they wrote stories in those days. A guy couldn't kill a girl even if she was trying to kill him. Only another woman could kill her, or else she had to survive, and most likely still look photogenic.

I'm not sure how much this is still in effect, but I think it's more than not.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )