Hill Street Blues (1982) – Requiem for a Hairbag, and A Hair of the Dog

While the investigation into Mizell’s murder continues (and is ultimately resolved after a fashion), the precinct has a lot on the go in Requiem for a Haribag. Written by Mark Frost, this episode was first broadcast on 18 November, 1982.

Hill (Michael Warren) is finally getting the boil on his backside taken care of, just as a number of officers arrive at the doctor’s office because it is being investigated for insurance fraud overseen by a pair of crooked lawyers.

Renko (Charles Haid) wins himself a turkey raffle and is given a surprise along with the winning, Belker (Bruce Weitz) is dealing with the idea that his father needs to be put in a home, and Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) is finally able to arrest the drinking politician (Michael Fairman) although the cost to do so is very high. Hunter (James Sikking) runs into issues in his love life when Linda (Kathleen Lloyd) rejects his proposal of marriage unless he converts.

Weaving through this is one of the last performances of the young Dominique Dunne. She plays Cindy, the abused daughter of a horrible mother, who has given up her own baby because she didn’t want to become her mother and hurt her child.

Bates (Betty Thomas) and Joe (Ed Marinaro) are the cops involved in that story. It’s troubling to learn that Dunne didn’t need much in the way of makeup for her role because she had fresh bruises thanks to her abusive boyfriend, who ended up killing her before the episode aired.

Reality and fiction blurring their lines.

A Hair of the Dog is the first episode that I felt was just kind of meh. Written by Steven Bochco, Anthony Yerkovich and Jeffrey Lewis it first debuted on 25 November, 1982.

The precinct is ordered by the chief to hunt for a public official’s missing dog (and it’s going to cost a lot!), Belker goes undercover in a pawn shop (again), Furillo deals with an overworked coroner (Pat Corley), and Donnelly Rhodes shows up as a traffic court judge that is given Fay (Barbara Bosson) some problems.

Eddie (Charles Levin) a young man that Belker helped earlier in the season comes in to help out as a possible snitch with a lead that pays off, but Belker wants Eddie to stay safe, and not get mired in the world he works in.

There are a lot of story threads and continuing arcs throughout this episode, but I just didn’t find it as engaging as I had other episodes so far. Having said that I was quite delighted to see Ken Foree of Dawn of the Dead fame make a too-brief appearance.

There are some rookies being added to the Hill, but apparently, that isn’t going to cure the precinct of its racism and sexism that is still happening throughout the series.

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