Hill Street Blues (1983) – Praise Dilaudid, and Goodbye, Mr. Scripps

Michael Wagner wrote the teleplay for Praise Dilaudid from a story by Steven Bochco, Jeffrey Lewis and David Milch. It first debuted on 17 November, 1983.

Chief Daniels’ (Jon Cypher) political aspirations seem on the edge of imploding this week after a number of debacles, including the events around Doris Robson (Alfre Woodard) and some comments he makes on-air about single mothers when questioned by Fay (Barbara Bosson).

Belker (Bruce Weitz), J.D. (Kiel Martin) and Washington (Taurean Blacque) continue their undercover work at the porn store, and hey, there’s Olivia Brown again, which leads to a bit of trouble for the store and a tragic moment for its owner.

Goldblume (Joe Spano) and Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) are involved with the Emily Post bandit, a criminal who is very polite and well-mannered who eventually gets caught, but escapes at his arraignment leading to a hostage situation.

In fact, Renko (Charles Haid) and Hill (Michael Warren) are involved in the initial bust of the Post bandit and Renko gets a face-full of green paint when he opens the triggered money bag. So there are definitely some lighter moments in this episode even as it brings things like single mothers and justice for Robson into the spotlight.

Belker continues to be my favourite character, and sure he does some goofy things, I can’t believe he still does the growling thing, but he’s a fun creation, Weitz plays him with an earnestness, and sometimes he lets his guard down just enough so that you can see what the character is really thinking and feeling.

Goodbye, Mr. Scripps opens with the notice that Michael Conrad, who played Esterhaus, the wonderfully verbose duty officer who cautioned you to be careful out there at the end of roll call, passed away on 22 November, 1983. He had this episode, and three more, filmed before his death, but this episode paused to make a poignant notice of the actor’s passing.

It’s election day, and the Robsons are saying goodbye to their lost son. It was also nice to see Furillo trying to put the Perez family back together. Written by Mark Frost from a story by Bochco, Lewis and Milch, this episode had its debut on 24 November, 1983.

The Scripps of the title is Randolph Scripps (Kenneth Tigar) a slightly mentally unbalanced man who believes he is in the running for the mayoral position and keeps running into Renko and Hill who have to remind him about campaigning law, bringing him into the station a number of times to stop him.

A number of officers attend the Robson funeral while also trying to get Perez (Tony Perez) back on his feet. It’s good to see that all sides realize it was a terribly tragic accident but seeing how they deal with it is more interesting. Both families are completely shattered in different ways.

And by the episode’s end we need to say goodbye to Mr. Scripps because he is more mentally unstable than was thought, and Daniels’ life may have been in danger…

As we prepare to see Conrad’s final episodes, let’s remember to be careful out there.

HILL STREET BLUES — “Goodbye, Mr. Scripps” Episode 407 — Pictured: (l-r) Kenneth Tigar as Randolph Scripps, Michael Warren as Officer Bobby Hill, Charles Haid as Officer Andy Renko — (Photo by: Jack Hamilton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s