Hill Street Blues (1982) – The Spy Who Came in From Delgado, and Freedom’s Last Stand

Problems keep arising on the Hill in The Spy Who Came in From Delgado. Written by Steven Bochco, Anthony Yerkovich, Jeffrey Lewis, and Michael Wagner from a story by Michael Kozoll and Bochco. It was first broadcast on 21 January, 1982.

Renko (Charles Haid), Hill (Michael Warren) and Belker (Bruce Weitz) are working undercover at a bar in an attempt to bait those who are looking to blackmail and make some extra cash by offering them protection or city services. Unfortunately, Captain Freedom (Dennis Dugan) shows up and causes Belker some more grief.

Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) deals not only with his ex-wife, Fay (Barbara Bosson) and her recovery from the death of her lover but the ongoing police corruption trial to which he’s been subpoenaed again. Joyce (Veronica Hamel) recommends a good lawyer, and Furillo is reminded of a shell-shocked cop, Delgado (Jerome Thor), whom he has kept on the payroll so that he can retire shortly with a full pension.

Hunter (James Sikking) leads a patrol through an area to sweep for a pack of wild dogs, and ends up being trapped and pinned in a condemned building fighting for his life, at least temporarily, against the pack until he’s rescued, ends up in the hospital, and subpoenaed again.

It’s a solid tale, and there’s a lot going on, but none of the stories get their due attention, and as usual, are played to the more melodramatic. All the storylines are interesting and could have been an a-story instead of being restrained a bit.

It’s still great and enjoyable though.

Freedom’s Last Stand was penned by Bochco, Yerkovich, Lewis and Wagner from a story by Kozoll and Bochco. It first debuted on 28 January, 1982.

Furillo is used as a pawn in the police corruption case, as his looking after Delgado is used to show that he’s part of the problem.

Coffey (Ed Marinaro) pushes Bates (Betty Thomas) almost too far in the pursuit of a relationship after Bates loses (just barely) at the annual precinct poker tournament.

But the real story, alongside the Furillo arc, brings us back to Belker, Renko, Hill and Captain Freedom. While the trio is still undercover at a local bar trying to bait those working on making collection fees, Freedom is watching out for Belker and is there at the episode’s climax when everything goes disastrously wrong.

While Furillo gets a slap on the wrist, Belker loses a lot more as Freedom is shot by criminals attempting to hold up the bar. It does tie up the Freedom story nicely before it gets really silly, and this way works a bit more poignantly, and we get to see how close Furillo seems to be to walking away from the job.

We also see Goldblume (Joe Spano) have a really rough encounter while he’s working undercover, and makes him rethink some of the problems with being on the force.

We’ll see how other things play out next week when we take another ride along with Hill Street Blues. And hey, let’s be careful out there.

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