Hill Street Blues (1981) – The Second Oldest Profession, and Fruits of the Poisonous Tree

Steven Bochco, Anthony Yerkovich and Robert Crais pen The Second Oldest Profession from a story by Bochco, Yerkovice and Michael Kozoll. It first debuted on 19 November, 1981.

Bates (Betty Thomas) has a tough time when during a sweep of hookers, she allows a young woman to shoot up before being taken in, causing her to overdose and end up in the hospital. The shooting competition is drawing closer, and Renko (Charles Haid) keeps shooting his mouth off.

Grace (Barbara Babcock) and Esterhaus (Phil Conrad) find their way back to one another, sorry Howard (James Sikking) – and that’s a good thing because he’s shaken (probably more than he should be) when a friend comes out to him and makes a romantic overture towards him. I honestly think this storyline could have been handled a touch better.

Davenport (Veronica Hamel) and Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) reconnect as they bring their relationship out into the open.

The drama with Jesse John Hudson (Danny Glover) comes to a brutal end, even as Belker (Bruce Weitz) deals with the loss of the undercover cop who was in Hudson’s organization.

Goldblume (Joe Spano) and his wife work on patching things up, and the Hill in general seem to be filled with chaos as the precinct deals with issue after issue.

I love the stuff with Belker and his pursuit of Hudson, I felt sorry for Bates, but like Furillo points out during a discussion they have; she shouldn’t have done it. She may be compassionate, but that wasn’t going to do anyone any good in the long run.

The episode ends with Hudson’s attorney, who he had beaten viciously the night before shooting him on the courtroom steps. But we also get a bit of relief seeing Davenport and Furillo reunited.

Fruits of the Poisonous Tree was penned by Jeffrey Lewis and debuted on 3 December, 1981.

LaRue (Kiel Martin) and Washington (Taurean Blacque) find themselves on the wrong end of a case when it seems they can be accused of entrapment, and Davenport lets it play out to teach them a lesson, even if it costs them the case.

Now that Grace and Esterhaus are back together, she drops a bomb on him… she may be pregnant. We find out before the end of the episode that she’s not, so it’s more of a character exercise for Esterhaus.

And Bates can’t seem to catch a break. She had a rough time with the hooker last episode, this time, she ends up in a clean shooting that sees her killing a fourteen-year-old gang member who had shot and killed a ten-year-old girl.

Some of the melodrama is feeling a little overdone, but I do love the fact that the series is dealing with things like gang violence, police entrapment, systemic racism and sexism, and the like, We’ll see how it continues to develop and progress. And while there are things I would eject from the series, I am enjoying most of it.

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