The final episode of Hill Street Blues’ third season, as usual, has a lot going on. Written by Anthony Yerkovich, David Milch, and Mark Frost from a story by Steven Bochco, Jeffrey Lewis and Milch, season three came to a close on 12 May, 1983.
While Fay (Barbara Bosson) reveals she’s going to have a baby girl, Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) and Joyce (Veronica Hamel) can’t have any time to themselves.
The issue with pay continues, but just as it gets sorted with a cash payment en route to the Hill, it gets hit by a group of robbers, but Renko (Charles Haid) and Hill (Michael Warren) may be able to catch them before the episode is up.
Bates (Betty Thomas) and Coffey (Ed Marinaro) are assigned to Benedetto (Dennis Franz) in the meantime after Coffey is finally cleared of the man dying in the prison cell following his arrest.
J.D. (Kiel Martin) checks in on Washington (Taurean Blacque) following his wounding while on assignment with Benedetto, something that J.D. is determined to hold the rogue cop responsible for, and also leads to a discovery about who’s been getting rid of evidence to make cash.
And guess where that piece of evidence leads… right to Benedetto, who ends up taking a hostage and holing up in a bank, allowing for Goldblume (Joe Spano) and Howard (James Sikking) to debate hostage negotiation, as the episode rolls towards its climax!
The episode ends with the police getting their pay, but an emotional kick in the butt with a reveal about Rico (Marco Rodriguez) the addict.
Season four opened on 13 October, 1983 with Here’s Adventure, Here’s Romance. Written by Michael Wagner, Karen Hall, Milch and Frost from a story by Bochco, Lewis, and Milch.
The season starts with a fantastic story, and one that is honestly still way too relevant. There’s a shooting. There’s a shooting in a gay club.
Unfortunatley sounds way too familiar.
At the same time, there’s a blackout that is leaving the entire precinct drenched in sweat, and most of the precinct is out trying to contain the domestic disturbances and looting that seems to be going on.
There’s a fun b-story with Martin Ferrero which honestly feels like the same character he would play on Miami Vice. There’s also some fun and light moments, but the main story arc is captivating.
It sees Washington, J.D., and Belker (Bruce Weitz) running the investigation of the shooting. They have a lead, one that will lead them right to the guilty party, but, it’s a fellow officer who wants to remain anonymous. He doesn’t want it getting out that he’s gay. He’s gone so far as to have a wife and children, if he comes out to testify that will ruin his personal life, and destroy his career.
J.D., Washington and Belker are initially willing to keep quiet about the officer’s presence at the club, pretending it’s an anonymous phonecall, but when the actual case rests on arrests, and witnesses, will he do the right thing?
The storyline is smart, well-written and a great opening for the season. I can’t wait to see what they do next week, until then, let’s be careful out there.