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Starsky Vs. Hutch

It was bound to happen eventually.

They really did steal girls from each other a lot, usually as a way of showing off to each other.  This time, they played with fire and got burned.

It strikes me that this is a bit of a continuation of the last episode I just talked about, where Starsky is being unusually bossy toward Hutch.  Usually, he pretty much defers to whatever Hutch wants, and when such proves painful to his person, literally or otherwise, Starsky is usually content to be the butt of Hutch's humor.

We can see here, from the very start, that Starsky obviously has feelings for Kira, because he's not liking how much time Hutch is spending with her.  He complains under the guise of Hutch not doing a proper undercover job, by spending time with only one girl.  Hutch is flippant about Starsky's slight against his professionalism.  In the episodes at the end of season three, and into season four, there was a lot of bored and disinterested Starsky, while Hutch was left doing all work, and didn't seem to mind.  By mid fourth reason, there was a lot of vaguely amused Starsky, even when the situation was serious.  Now, we're down to a Starsky who is quite unhappy with the fact that he can't control his environment and the people around him, a discomfiture that has traditionally been Hutch's forte.

Once Hutch splits, so that Starsky can dance with Kira, Starsky refers to himself as being "crazy about you".  So, Kira is aware of his feelings.

But despite Hutch leaving in a semi-huff, at Starsky suggesting he behave more professionally, he "wins" the night, because he's convinced Kira that it's his assignment to guard Kira that night.  When Kira later relays this to a surprised Starsky, he claims that he's not mad.  He doesn't look mad, but I would think he'd have to be, and just isn't showing it (suggesting he hasn't reached a trust level with Kira, where she's allowed to see his anger).  After all, he was already somewhat miffed at Hutch, and this switcheroo that Hutch pulls can only rub salt into the wound.

Hutch really has some issues going on.  After he "rescues" Kira from the "over-sexed family man", it's odd that he asks her what the guy said, just for his own titillation.   When she tries to clarify that "Starsky said you were supposed to guard Susan tonight", he asks, "Susan who?  What's a Starsky?"  It's like, he's needing something really bad (perhaps because he doesn't have the security of a solid partnership with Starsky, at the moment), and he is throwing professionalism out the window, to meet a gotta-have-it-now adolescent impulse.

Of course, Kira is pretty much doing the same thing, though she's following his lead.  She doesn't seem to care that Starsky spoke of his feelings for her.  She's an unusually free-spirited woman for the time, and I can't fault her for that, in and of itself.

Meanwhile, Starsky is agitated at the station.  How come he's not guarding Susan?  Is anybody guarding Susan?  He tells Minnie that Hutch is guarding Kira, and when Minnie says, "I bet he is", Starsky responds, "What's that supposed to mean?"  She says she must have struck a chord, and Starsky doesn't sound at all convincing when he indicates that it's a ridiculous thought.  When he makes his exit, Minnie asks, "Is this thing with Kira for real, or are you just playing?"  Starsky leaves without answering.

Starsky won't show his anger to Kira or to Minnie, but he does to Hutch, which suggests a trust that he doesn't have with the two women.  I do like how Starsky is trying to be the mature one, by starting out saying, "We've got to talk."  Hutch is flippant and evasive.  You have to wonder if, for some reason, he's just up and decided that he doesn't care about their partnership anymore.  Or maybe he's rebelling against Starsky's recent bossiness.  He's definitely rebelling against the fact that Starsky is finding fault with his behavior.  In any case, he outright lies when he says that he was "Over at Kira's house with my eyes wide open."  Uh-huh.  Yeah, I'm sure his eyes were quite open in the middle of orgasm.

Hutch says that, "You go out with the girl for a week, and you think you own her."   Starsky corrects, "A month, but that's not the point."  Uh-huh.

Starsky then outright accuses Hutch of being unprofessional.  But Hutch wants to make this personal and says, "You can't stand the competition."   Starsky counters that, "I welcome the competition."  Uh-huh.  "I'd wipe the floor with you."

After Starsky makes his door-slamming exit, Hutch shows how rattled he actually is when he burns his hand.

Then we have comic relief when the French dance club owner refers to Kira being, "under bed", and Hutch corrects her that the proper term is "undercover".  But then Hutch mistakenly uses the phrase "under bed" a moment later.  That's a Freudian slip, if there ever was one.  And then he gets manhandled by the riled madam, who ends up throwing out a lot of French phrases before finally making her exit.  Hutch quips, "It's a good thing I only took a year of French." lol.

At Kira's house, she says to Starsky, "You're still mad about last night, aren't you?"

He says, "No.  I got over the possessive phase years ago."  Maybe, but he's certainly being possessive about Kira.  He says that he "takes things as they come."

Skeptically, she says, "So, you're a realist now."  He says, "I figure you come into this life alone, and you go out alone."  That's really about the saddest thing I've ever heard him say.  It's like he's dismissed his partnership with Hutch to the same degree that Hutch has.

What happened to those two?

Kira, at least, doesn't fall for it, and outright laughs at his feigned, tough-guy exterior.  She says, "I see a heart that's so full of love that it lights up this entire room."  That's what I usually see in Starsky, too, especially when he's with Hutch.  But I'm not seeing it right now.  He almost acts like he and she are on a first date.  In fact, what strikes me about this entire episode is how unusually out of touch Starsky is with himself.  I've always loved the fact that he knows himself very well.  In this episode, he seems to be playing a role, with everyone around him, that doesn't feel the least bit comfortable to him.

The frustration of this scene is that we see what Kira sees in Starsky, but we don't know what she intends to do with it.  In other words, how she reconciles in her mind seeing so much goodness in him, but having slept the prior night with "naughty boy" Hutch.

Later that night, when they're all three at the dance club, Starsky declares that they shouldn't hang out together.  Hutch wants to know, "Who put you in charge?"  That's a good question, but it's sad that they don't seem to be on the same page, anymore.  When Starsky further clarifies that it's him that's going to be guarding Kira that night, Hutch grumbles, "I've never seen this side of you before."  Starsky asks, "What?  Efficient cop?"  (I really am tired of him hiding his feelings --poorly -- behind professionalism.)  Hutch says, "No, stuffed shirt."  Unfortunately, he's right.

Apparently, hours later, when Hutch gets in his car, he mutters, "Keep your mitts off, Starsky."  Does he mean off of Kira?  Or to stop picking at Hutch's faults?  I'm thinking there's a scene that got left on the cutting room floor, where Starsky and Hutch had later words at the dance hall.

And yet, Hutch is the one ready to make nice the next morning, when he shows up at Starsky's apartment.  (And he spits out the offered coffee so cleanly, lol.)  Starsky is now the one being evasive.  But at least, he still retains the honesty he has with Hutch and admits that he was jealous.  Then he says that there's no longer a problem, because he's in love with Kira.

Interesting that Hutch is rather shocked at this.  I can only think that his surprise is because Kira hasn't given any indication, in his presence, of being particularly fond of Starsky.  And perhaps, too, because there's been inferences of them having shared girls in the past.

Considering how things turn out, Starsky is rather pitiful in this scene.  He believes something that isn't true.  Actually, I question whether he sincerely believes that Kira loves him, as opposed to hoping that she does, and declaring such to Hutch as a way of getting Hutch to keep his hands off her.

It is nice that the "love" declaration changes things for Hutch.  (Fans often like to paint him as the supreme bad guy in this episode, but I don't see that at all.)  He goes to see Kira, and is nobly starting to make his exit after she verifies that she loves Starsky.

But then, of course, she drops the bombshell that "I love you, too, Hutch."  She's an extremely intelligent woman, and plays with Hutch's male brain in quite a clever way, to get what she wants.

It always floors me when Hutch declares that he's "old fashioned".  That's a lie he loves to tell himself.  This is the "old fashioned" man who wanted to know the sleezy things that the neighborhood, dog-walking guy whispered into Kira's ear.

Anyway, Kira seems to be enjoying the conquest a little too much when she seduces Hutch into sleeping with her, yet again.  Hutch manages to ask, "What about Starsky?  We have to consider him."  (Ahhh.)  She says, "We already have."  Huh?  And she's laughing at how Hutch wants to make things unnecessarily complicated.

Another thing that bothers me in this seduction scene is Kira's eyes.  She never seems to look into Hutch's eyes.  She seems to be more looking at his chin or neck, or past his shoulder....  Is she trying to read her lines off a cue card or something?  Or is she in such a state of self-deception, that she can't look at him while she lies to him about the simplicity of it all?

I have no problem with Kira enjoying the idea of two guys fighting for her attention.  What I don't understand is what she expected to happen with the three of them, while she's enjoying two tighter-than-brothers competing for her.  When Starsky arrives, she seems so horrified at the physical fight they get into.  Yes, dear, this is what can happen when you play with testosterone.  For all her understanding of how to play with men, she doesn't seem to understand how male instincts function at their most basic level.

Just how much of a quickie did Kira and Hutch have?  When Starsky arrives, she's already neatly dressed and fresh-faced.  While, of course, Hutch is coming out of the bedroom, dressing.

Starsky gets points for trying to leave with his anger.  It's Hutch that tries to hold him back, trying to placate him, with his ultra-mellow afterglow demeanor, which is what causes Starsky to explode.  Hutch should have let him go.

Really, though, if this is the worst fight the two have had in all their years together, considering the intensity of the various situations in their lives, I think that says a lot of good things about their partnership.

Kira accuses them of "acting like kids" and she's not something they can fight over.  While she's oh-so-innocent with her manipulations?  I don't think so.  Most puzzling, she says that they can't fight over her without asking her "how I feel".   That's why Hutch came over in the first place -- to find out how she felt, most specifically about Starsky.  And she accused him of trying to make things complicated.

When it really does matter, Starsky and Hutch don't have any problem coming together for the sake of the case.  Of course, in the climax, they act in unity to save the club from being blown up.  Kira still sees herself as a savior of men, because she feels a need to comfort the blabbering bad-guy, Joey.

I find the tag disturbing in its vagueness.  It's great when Huggy asks Starsky of Hutch, "Is he the beautiful blond?"  Otherwise, one wonders why they each are interested in even meeting with Kira.  It's like they're each still insistent that he's going to one-up the other and end up with the girl.  I believe Hutch when he says, "Whatever happens, I can handle it."  But I don't believe Starsky when he says, "Me, too."  Starsky has been the wounded party through all of this, even if one can argue that it's all his own fault for believing that he and Kira had something serious together.

The most popular interpretation of the final moments of the scene is that Starsky and Hutch were offering Kira a three-way.  I just don't get where that interpretation comes from.  She's looking from one to the other -- as though to consider choosing.  More importantly, Hutch emphatically said early on that she should choose between them.  And now, in this scene, he says, "I guess she's going to choose."  After saying, "I can handle it", he then says, "But who wants to?"  I think he's saying that, even if she chooses him, he doesn't really want her.  And he's hoping Starsky doesn't want her, either.

What is it in the scene that spells out menage a trois?  I know the guys say that "there's a decision to be made, and we've settled it".  Based on the conversation, it sounds to me like they're saying they've each agreed that they can handle whichever one Kira chooses.

Thankfully, she's wise enough to have finally figured out that it isn't going to work.  And despite their breast-beating about how much they can "handle it", it surely would have made for a very awkward situation, if she got serious with one of them.

But she never wanted to be serious.  She never tried to claim that she was.  She just wanted to play.  And when things got too serious within the guys' partnership, it wasn't fun for her to play anymore.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
I have said this before, I think Hutch was looking at Starsky like he was a pod child, like where did my partner go. They have dated and flirted with the same women before, remember the blond that had stolen the money and went to Hutch's and then to Starsky's. This is what they normally do and when they are really serious about a girl, like with Terrie and Gillian, they stand back and let them have them. I think that Hutch was being Hutch and Kira was definitely having fun with Hutch. She was bubbly and laughing and flirting with him, you never see her act like that with Starsky. And she does sleep with Hutch. And Starsky was acting like a stuffed shirt. Hutch was not at all thinking Starsky loves Kira. Why would he think that when she was giving him so much attention. I think Starsky was jealous of Hutch, he wanted Hutch's attentions and so he transferred his anger at Hutch. When my friend Donna( she reminds me of Kira but a beautiful dark haired one) used to flirt with all of my boy friends and they would flirt back and forget I was around, it was the guy that I got mad at not Donna, I expected it from her, but I wanted them to see me and rise above her beauty. My husband was the only guy that didn't fall for her vixen ways.
Mar. 3rd, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
comment part 1
I've thought a lot about this ep. It is a really interesting ep because it is unique that the girl plays them. Usually they fight for the girls attention and have fun together doing so.
They met the serious girls on their own, so the other one can befriend them freely knowing "she's his girl". All their girls act accordingly. The ones they share goes back and forth in private and public, no mistake possible.
Given that S&H have a sixth sense for each others emotions, this is what causes part of the confusion.
Their words actions and emotions in this ep don't match. From their point of view they are having an affair with another police officer on a assignment. You can't talk about that on the case, the office of in front of Dobey, they don't have their usual special time together and their focus is indeed the assignment. Under this circumstances even if they are the closest human friends in the world, they'd hardly talk about a little something on the side which they both consider rather unimportant.
Kira approaches them both, she asks for their silence because that would expose her having them both and stop her fun. I don't think she has fun with them being close I think she doesn't care about them above base things: Having their back-up on the job and their talents in the sack. All she does is to keep these two things secured.
She has fun but those aren't into that sort of fun. They have to be a little in love with their girls, like them so of course they are not aware of Kira's doings.
If you leave aside that as viewer you are aware of Kira and watch the ep leaving her and the talks they each have with Kira out of the picture, their dialogues make still sense.
Starsky and Hutch are always sort of fooling round with each other. From Starsky's point of view Kira is his girl, she acts accordingly and tells him things that make him believe she is interested, in his mind she has no reason to sleep with Hutch. Hutch obviously is not interested in a relationship and Kira tells Starsky she is, Hutch isn't the kind of guy who deceives a girl so in Starsky's opinion those two having sex is zero. Hutch doesn't love Kira, so their is no emotional base Starsky could get that information. Now looking at the ep, Starsky is simply annoyed at Hutch behaving foolish, he really rants at Hutch about the job, not Kira. He is angry about Hutch taking Kira home because he didn't get to spend time with the girl, not because Hutch did. Starsky has no problem with Hutch spending time with his girls (Terry wrote Hutch the letter and gave the bear that meant a lot to her to Hutch, Starsky got the chear up book and it was ok in Starsky's eyes). Starsky is angry about being stuck on the job which means he can't explore his budding relationship the way he wants to and he can't tell Hutch about it as long as the assignment lasts(promise to Kira). This is something he although ponders. He doesn't like Minnie talking about Hutch like that because it is something he doesn't want to think about.
Hutch is the same, he tells Kira he wants only fun and Kira says it is the same to her. Starsky is looking for a girlfriend not a fuck, that would mean Kira is not a possible interest for Starsky. And of course she wouldn't be interested in Starsky. He wants a girlfriend he would mean trouble for her if she wants no involvement just fun. She asks him not to tell Starsky and he keeps the promise.
The only difference here is that Starsky has trouble with that promise because he keeps a relationship from his partner while for Hutch there is none cause I honestly doubt he tells Starsky about each lay. Sure he talks when a girl is mentioned but both of them don't boast about their conquests they respect their girls even when sometimes in a little macho sort of way.
So when Starsky tells Hutch he loves Kira, Hutch is completely out of grounds. He needs to talk to the one person who can put light to it and that is Kira.

Mar. 3rd, 2013 02:32 pm (UTC)
Sorry got really long my comment part 2
So when she tells him she loves them both he gets angry, but the way she talks he has to believe that Starsky is aware of her opinion. How could you have a realtionship with someone for a month and not talk about basics like if you go steady or not? Both guys always believe their girls words and that is getting them into trouble with each other here. The keep their promise to her and talk to each other about it. She lied to them, she deceived them but from her character's point of view, why would they keep that promise? They are always into each other, know everythink about each other, that is what makes them so special in the department, so in Kira's eyes why would they keep this from each other so long. She wanted them and she had them and well for her it is good while it lasts but if it end no problem as long as the assignment runs according to plan. So Kira is surprised about their fight, she thought they were playing her in return (they are rumored to have had the same girl serveral times in agreement)as in acting a role to get into her pants. She had no idea they were honest, why would they be when she is not honest with them. It is a problem of philosophy you always expect others to see things in a certain way using your own convictions as base. Kira and the two have completely different convictions and wishes and it was predictable those would clash.
So Hutch might wonder why Starsky would choose a girl who wants to sleep with other man until she is sure she really wants Starsky but he would not think she lied to Starsky telling him he is her only one. So no problem to sleep with her right? They did that prior.
Hutch only realises there is a problem when he sees Starsky's reaction to his presence in Kira's house. He shows Starsky he is there and lets him see he slept with Kira. Starsky is shocked because he just got pushed out of his cloud. It looks to him as if Hutch slept with her after Starsky told him he loves her, which would be intentional deception, something Hutch is not capable of. But in the heat of the moment well reacts according to that thought. It is Kira's reaction that calls and end to their fight, not because she tells them to stop fighting but because she has no compassion for Starsky or Hutch, she only thinks about her. She is what people call a sociopath, focused on only her thoughts, needs, believes.
So of course the two friends get over it soon,it was nothing but a misunderstanding due to a girls lies. One talk will solve it especially since they are each others security net.
Since they respect each other and the girls they date, they of course agree to meet her. She is a fellow officer they could be forced to work with her again. It is only smart to solve the matter with finality. They understand each other, same convictions same believes and they know they don't lie to each other. They show her they now know she wants their bodies but she can't have them because they want more. That is the threesome idea, which I never saw until changing my point of view as well.
It looks like they offer her a threesome if you think that they are still interested in her and at odds or on the way to make up, instead of in agreement and showing her the ropes. The exchanged looks of being above her and knowing it can then be mistaken for flirtous attempts and words matched to it sound provocative instead of making fun of her. They ask her me, or him, or both -- like what was it you really wanted? But if you think that are still interested in the girl you will perceive it as -- Do you me in the future, or him or us both(together)? Her reaction is logical for both possibilities. But there is a high possibility that Kira gets the message threesome as well because of her base convictions. Due two choice of interpretation it is either: A threesome isn't my cup of tea? or I don't know what you want from me I never wanted you in the first place. I think Huggy got her character just right by the way :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )