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Cover Girl

Of all of Hutch's women, I feel that Kate Larrabee was the one who was the best fit for him.  And yet, this is an episode that never gets talked about.   It's almost like it's been erased from the consciousness of SH fandom.

I think this story is interesting.  Since human beings have choices in so many other aspects of their life, I'm one who feels that they should also have a choice about death.  I find it hard to fault Kate for making the choice she does when she believes she's terminal.  

It opens with Hutch taking a call from a Stewart about an "assault with a deadly weapon".  Hutch tells him that, "I'm going to need more information, if I'm going to send out an investigating officer."  That makes him sound like a captain.  Aren't Starsky and Hutch investigating officers?

Of course, it turns out that Stewart is a child, and the "deadly weapon" is his mother's hands, used because Stewart took cookies from a cookie jar.  In this day and age, I don't think a spanking would be the subject of a humorous scene. But it works here, and Hutch does seem to think going for cookies was worth a swat, at least, on the rear.  

Starsky comes in with a thick magazine, wanting Hutch to guess where he's been.  Hutch correctly guesses at the dentist, because "you always cop a magazine when you've been at the dentist's office."  Interesting that Starsky's first complaint is how the Novocaine leaves a bad taste in his mouth, rather than it leaving his jaw numb.

It's so cute that Hutch starts leafing through the magazine, noting an article where a punk rock fashion designer is "making millions."  Starsky says, "I know, I read it.  We're in the wrong business."  It is adorable, thinking about them going through their lives, discussing mutual reading material.  Starsky does get around to complaining that, "I feel like I lost the left side of my face", and Hutch quips, "Well, it would be an improvement."

Then Hutch notices an ad with Kate Larrabee and points it out to Starsky.  "That's an old friend.  Kate Larrabee from Sweden.  She always wanted to be the top model in town."  Starsky wonders if she was "a friend", or "a...?" and he looks up at Hutch pointedly.  Hutch's face softens nicely, as he smiles, "She was definitely a friend."

Later, after Kate arranges for her own death -- "I don't want to know how, where, or when" -- we're back in the squad room, and Starsky asks Hutch, "So, what happened between you two?"  Hutch easily admits, "I don't really know," and then notes with a smile, "It was good while it lasted."  They're then interrupted by Dobey.  This is the usual frustratingly vague back story when it comes to personal information on the guys.  I can take a guess that Hutch and Kate were both more career-oriented when they met, than relationship-oriented.  

After "Angel", the hitman, successfully blows up a witness for a trial, the bar owner guy, Brady, goes to him to set up the hit on Kate.  Upon finding that Kate put the contract on herself, one has to sympathize with Angel's words when he says, "People never cease to amaze me."  Then he sets up the plot point that he's going to "disappear", and there's no way for Brady to get a hold of him from here on out.  

Kate's doctor comes to her home to tell her that her illness is in remission.  So, now she doesn't want to die.    But when she goes to Brady, he tells her -- quite forcefully -- there's no way she can call off the hit, because he has no way of getting in touch with the hitman.  

Sexual harassment wasn't known as any such thing in the 70s.  Starsky, Hutch and Minnie are leaning over computer printouts, and then Starsky decides he's more interested in looking at Minnie's rear end, and comments on such.  She lets it blow over.  (What choice does she have?)

When Kate shows up, Hutch is definitely glad to see her -- after a moment of disbelief.  She says she's there for both police business and personal reasons.  She looks warily at Starsky, and Hutch assures, "He's my partner.  It's okay."  That's good enough for her.  Then she, understandably, has such a hard time telling them, "I arranged to have someone kill me."

Starsky goes to see Brady.  He's on the warpath, with his special brand of intensity, on Hutch's behalf, because of Hutch's past relationship with Kate.  But despite all of Brady's lies, we know he's sincere that there's nothing he can do to call off the hit.

In the meantime, Hutch takes Kate home as her protection.  Here we find out that it's been seven years since they were seeing each other.  In fourth season, it would have been some five or six years since Hutch divorced Vanessa (since it was 4.5 years at the time of "Hutchinson for Murder One").  So, either Hutch was blatantly fooling around with Kate (which I doubt, since they don't give that vibe when talking about the past), or else Vanessa and Hutch were already separated or something, so Hutch felt free to see other people, or else the Powers That Be just plain didn't give a rat's ass about providing an accurate timeline for Hutch and Kate's relationship.  I'm guessing the latter.  

Hutch says that Kate, "Always did have good taste."  I'm never sure if he's referring to himself, as much as the decor.  But that is one reason why someone like her seems like a logical match for him.  She's more the class level of his economic background (whereas, Vanessa almost seemed too over-the-top).  

Then he studies Kate a long moment, and when she asks, "What?", he tries to change the subject, which I find rather unusual for him.  But, finally, she gets him to admit that, "You had a year to live.  I don't understand how you could ever consider death before it comes.  Life is all we've got.  Whatever the circumstances."  

Kate replies that, "I made myself that speech a hundred times.  A thousand times."  She goes on to say, "But I was faced with confinement to a wheelchair.  And beds.  And bedpans."  

Hutch counters, "Do you think that people in hospitals, and using bedpans, are any less beautiful than you or me?"  He then asks, "Is beauty here?" touching is face, "or here or here?" indicating their hearts.  

This is the deepest dialogue Hutch has ever had in the series.  He normally covers his real feelings with flippant, cutesy lines.  Or holds to just a profound sentence here or there.  But then, it's easier for him to zero in on someone else's situation than his own.

Anyway, she ends up asking him to "hold me", and Hutch readily does.  She tells him, "I think I love you."  And he says, "I think you're scared", as though to say it's not really love that she's feeling.  She admits, "I think you're right."

Ultimately, they kiss.  But it's finite, and I'm never sure if they make love that night.  Probably not, because when Kate appears in the morning, it looks like Hutch might have been keeping watch on the sofa all night.  Besides, when she says, "Thanks," Hutch asks, "For what?"  and she replies, "For being here."  I don't think he would have asked "for what?" if they'd had sex.  

Starsky's cheerful voice comes over Hutch's walkie-talkie, saying, "Turkey Buzzard, this is Chicken Little."   That makes Hutch smile some more.  

Kate asks, "Turkey Buzzard and Chicken Little?"  Hutch shrugs bashfully, "You know."  It's as though he's saying, "Boys will be boys."

Starsky and Hutch can't connect, however, because the bomb Angel has planted is interfering with their frequency.  Hutch goes outside for better reception, just as Starsky drives up.  Hutch is messing with his radio while telling Starsky, "My doo-hickey here got jammed."

Starsky smiles broadly when he says, "I'm sure it did."  lol!  He certainly thinks Hutch and Kate made love last night.

When Hutch and Kate drove up in her convertible the night before, there was dialogue about the garage being full of antiques, so she had to park in the driveway, and Hutch wondered if she had something to cover the car with.  She said, "In the trunk," so he covered the car.  Now, when Angel makes the car blow up, the cover isn't on it.  But more importantly, I don't understand what it mattered to the plot whether or not her car was covered up.  

Anyway, Hutch is thrown clear from the explosion, and we do get to enjoy a moment of Starsky with his arm around Hutch's waist, helping him up.

They investigate the "toy freak" angle to find Angel, and visit a toy store, and have some cutesy dialogue with the clerk.  Interesting that Starsky is supposedly something of a train enthusiastic (per "Little Girl Lost" and "Nightmare"/"The Crying Child"), but he shows no interest here in the moving train on display.  

It has always boggled my mind that Starsky has to ask Minnie (after staring at her rear some more) about how a person would make sure they would continue to receive a magazine after moving.  I subscribed to at least a half dozen equine publications, from the time I was a preteen, and the high point of most days was seeing what arrived in the mail.  When I moved into my own apartment after graduating high school, a major priority was making sure I notified the publishers of my new address, as well as filling out a Change of Address card at the post office.  I mean, filling out one of those cards is one of the most important things for moving.  And we know that Starsky has moved before, since he had a different apartment in the first season.  So, it just strikes me as him being incredibly dense... or maybe just looking for an excuse to interact with Minnie.  

In the meantime, Hutch is utterly fascinated by Kate's photographer.  It's like he's never seen someone so passionate about their job before.   When the session ends, Kate and Hutch have some love talk, and he says, "You're hard to resist."  She says, "So, stop resisting."  Sounds like they didn't make love last night.  

But we don't know if they did or didn't when they're back at Kate's house, and engaging in a little water play in her bathroom.  They really are cute together.  And then Starsky arrives and grins to Hutch, "You're wet."  And then to Kate, "You're wet, too."  He obviously thinks they're cute together, too.  Then he says, "I hate to break it up, kiddies, but we have an address."  As they get ready to leave, Starsky hands Hutch a seashell, saying, "It's for you."  Hutch plays right along and puts it to his ear, saying, "Hello."

A happy Hutch is really fun to watch.  

Not much of interest in the remaining minutes.  Starsky and Hutch go to Angel's motel room and catch him, and learn that he rigged Kate's vanity lights.  They arrive just in time for Hutch to throw Kate out of the way when she turns on her lights.  

The tag is cute, with Starsky and Hutch at a photo shoot, and both chuckling about the antics of the photographer, who prompts them to get into the pictures.

Presumably, Kate and Hutch parted ways once again.  

ETA:  Starsky doesn't know about Kate when Hutch mentions her.  So, that makes the seven years timeline even more unrealistic.