Hill Street Blues (1982) – Domestic Beef, and Heat Rash

Frank Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) has his hands full this week in Domestic Beef. Written by Anthony Yerkovich, Jeffrey Lewis and Michael Wagner, it first debuted on 7 October, 1982.

Furillo is involved in a review board for Captain Lou Hogan (Robert Hogan), whose precinct has been accused of a number of dirty cops. Furillo rules that rejection of responsibility causes a loss of authority, and Hogan is held accountable for the actions of his men.

He also has to deliver a speech at the Commissioner’s roast that night.

Hogan has problems with the results of his review board, and shows up at the roast and makes comments about someone on the Hill chasing child prostitutes, and uniformed officers dealing in stolen goods.

The scary thing is, he may be right.

Renko (Charles Haid), Hill (Michael Warren), Bates (Betty Thomas) and Joe (Ed Marinaro) have to deal with a cow being kept in an apartment. Belker (Bruce Weitz) forgets his mother’s birthday, and he is also undercover with Goldblume (Joe Spano) to deal with a rash of ice cream truck robberies in the middle of the current heat wave.

Hunter (James Sikking) makes some typically republican racist comments, and J.D. (Kiel Martin) and Washington (Taurean Blacque) go up for interviews for a chief of security position for a resort in the Bahamas. But only one of them is offered the job.

And the Hill has been selected by a Hollywood star, Joe Gennaro (Leo Rossi), who wants to soak up the ambience for his new film.

The melodrama remains high, but there are some dark storylines that appear to be in the offing.

Heat Rash picks up the day after the previous episode, and was written by Yerkovich, Wagner and Lewis and it first debuted on 14 October, 1982.

After seeing the way Belker deals with his perps and arrests, the movie actor hanging around the precinct, Gennaro wants to be paired with him. And while Gennaro really starts to dig on and respect Belker, the hero worship and the fact that Gennaro can walk around from Belker’s existence when the movie’s wrapped pisses the cop off.

Hunter is headed to the hospital, and he’s worried about a cancer diagnosis, Bates and Joe deal with an arrested man who claims to be an alien (and of course that means you get the goofy ending for this story arc).

Renko and Hill bust a drunk driver, (and elected official) only to run up against politics when Furillo’s boss tells the precinct to cut him loose.

Furillo is still reeling from the fact that Hogan has taken his own life, and has laid out allegations about officer’s in Furillo’s own precinct. As he runs down leads about who may have been using a fifteen year-old prostitute, the path leads him, unexpectedly to Goldblume, who reveals his honest, and perfectly respectable side of the story.

I like the serialised storytelling at work in the series, the melodrama still puts me off on occasion (you could see the silly tie up for Bates and Joe coming a mile away), but damn, this is a great show.

So let’s be careful out there.

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