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Photo Finish

A rare episode that nobody ever seems to talk about, let alone write about.  That seems rather puzzling, because it's actually pretty entertaining.

That entertainment starts right out with the very first scene.  Starsky is trying on a tuxedo, in the name of accompanying photographer Marcie on a date, and Hutch is watching (aaah) and getting in lots of playful cut-downs.  He cut downs the whole event, until Starsky and Marcie enlighten him that her boss, Paula, is going to be there.  The name doesn't ring a bell with Hutch until he remembers, "The one with the legs" and "the one with the eyes".  Since Marcie further details that, "she thought you were interesting", Hutch decides that he wants to go.  If one listens carefully, it's actually Starsky who quietly and carefully pulls off the manipulation of getting Hutch to go, with reverse psychology.

Does he know his Hutch or what?  And how sweet is it that he wants Hutch to go?

Hutch mentions that he wears a size 40.  It's been so long since I've shopped for a man, that I don't know if that's average or whatever.

We really do see typical, contrary Hutch in this episode.  He had acted like society functions aren't for him, but at the function, he quickly proves to be the one with all the advice to Starsky about how to behave properly.  We know it's legit, because it's canon (per the official novelizations) that Hutch comes from "breeding".  

Of course, the whole situation with Starsky still having the rental tag on the back of his tuxedo is just hilarious.  He pulls Hutch to one side because, in his mind, it's Hutch's job to fix things for him.  So, Hutch "fixes" it -- tearing off the tag, and inadvertently tearing the tuxedo in the process.  LOL!!   Right before, and right after, the phony waitress comes by with the drinks and takes Starsky's money, I just love the way Starsky and Hutch look at each other with such prolonged eye contact.  Even in this bizarre, embarrassing, and funny situation, it's like they're making love to each other with their eyes.

I believe it was one of the producers who once said of PMG that "his great ability as an actor is his willingness to make a fool out of himself."  One can certainly see that in this episode.  He plays the fool so smoothly and naturally, that it comes across as an actual result of circumstance, rather than being played.  

It does make for an interesting conflict, after the murder, that Marcie wants to keep her own film for her career's sake, and Starsky is demanding that the film be turned over to him as a cop.

That night at the station, it is cute that Hutch tries to apologize (along with actually bringing Starsky something to eat that he requested), while Starsky insists on taking all the responsibility for the ripped tuxedo onto himself.  Starsky's self-directed ire causes him to drop his chili dog into his lap, thereby ruining the tuxedo even more.  

It's a great scene when they visit Mrs. Monk to question her, and she ends up telling them that she'll be staying at her beach house, and she prompts the guys to "bring your swimsuits -- I bet you look great with bare knees."  Hutch asks, "Would that be both of us, or one at a time?"  She shrugs, "Whatever."   LOL!   For those who enjoy thinking in terms of three-ways, that's a pretty strong bit of canon evidence.  

I really love the large poster Marcie has of Robert Redford in her apartment.  

There's a lot of Marcie in this episode, but the guys always have some interesting interaction.  After they find the newspaper editor dead, and are back at the station talking to Dobey, it's funny when Hutch says that they checked into Basil Monk's bank account and "don't worry, we had a warrant", and Dobey mutters, "You always say you have a warrant."  LOL!  

There really are a lot of catchy lines in this.  It's pretty cute.

The scene with crude, lewd "Dora" is hilarious.  I just love it when she says she can't see too well, and she's thought about getting glasses but doesn't think they'll fit her image, and Starsky does such a great deadpan when he says, "You wouldn't want the guys to think you were a stuck-up intellectual."  LOL!   

Then when she comes on to both of them (more three-way inferences) with a line about making great lasagna, Hutch defers with, "I'm actually a family man, but Starsky here is crazy about lasagna."  Starsky quickly interjects that he's "going steady" with someone right now, and Hutch quips, "But he likes to mess around."  LOL!

And as far as three-way inferences go, Marcie seems at least as cozy and attentive to Hutch as she is to Starsky, and yet she's supposedly Starsky's girlfriend.  For that matter, her boss, Paula, hardly gave Hutch the time of day at the social event near the beginning.   They're appropriately paired in the tag, but Paula really doesn't give any indication of having any feelings for Hutch.  


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2013 05:18 am (UTC)
this is exactly why 4th season is so confusing! sure there are the disconnects like we see with emily and marianne but geez eps like this show the fun, connected, caring we love. that whole year certainly wasn't a washout.

when first reading fanfic I was puzzled why so many stories had the whole year prior to SR a decline in the relationship. I read so many stories about this that I began wondering what I missed in the eps. after watching and re-watching I realized it was fanon not canon. the whole year is not a disconnect.

I admit to some angsty eps but there is still a lot of good times,too.
Jan. 27th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
I'm pretty much the same as tass64, I didn't see season 4 as the guys totally distant from each other. I just saw two guys who matured, had snits with each other from time to time. We all need a little space from the people we spend a lot of time with. It all made it more realistic for me. Yes, when pointed out, I saw some distancing, but not a major get out and stay out of my face season. The loving and caring was still there--in spades.

Size 38-40 is a medium and size 42-44 is a large. If this is DS real sizing and not Hutch's fictional sizing, it shoots down the argument that DS got fat that season! Yes, he was slightly stockier than when S&H started. But again, the guys got older, body shapes change. Plus, DS had his back operation in the hiatus and wasn't as active as usual. And had to wear a back brace sometimes when filiming.
Jan. 27th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
I love this ep! I don't know why it's not more popular. Lots of really cute interaction between the guys, and genuinely funny in places.
Jan. 29th, 2013 10:40 am (UTC)
I love the scene where Starsky rips his tuxedo. His eyes........ :D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )