Hill Street Blues (1984) – Parting is Such Sweep Sorrow, and The End of Logan’s Run

The precinct says goodbye to Esterhaus, and Lucy (Betty Thomas) is promoted to sergeant and becomes Watch Commander, which sees her taking over the roll call, and dealing with a missing podium.

Parting is Such Sweep Sorrow was written by Jeffrey Lewis, Micheal Wagner, David Milch and Mark Frost from a story by Lewis, Milch and Steven Bochco. It was first screened on 16 February, 1984.

Goldblume (Joe Spano) and Fay (Barbara Bosson) are having some issues which may lead to a break because of Goldblume’s fascination with a dead prostitute, and the sizeable political case spinning out of it, which includes professional hitmen, sex tapes and more. And maybe, he just wants a little less stress in his relationships.

Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) has to make a political play of his own when he approaches a judge, Cruz (Edward James Olmos!) about not releasing all the prisoners from holding. Renko (Charles Haid) gets a hernia helping a woman in distress, and Belker (Bruce Weitz) shows his support for Lucy who is having a very tough first day.

A solid episode that could have looked a little more into the situations behind the judge’s order to release as well as the socio-economic nature of some of the crimes committed, but a good episode all the less with some character melodrama.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for either Goldblume or Fay because both of them have been fairly unlikable over the past few episodes, and perhaps this break will help get them back to where they were, or grow them in new ways.

And the symbolism of the final moments of the episode with the scattering of Esterhaus’ ashes, and the street sweeper. So good.

The End of Logan’s Run was written by Lewis, Milch, Frost and Karen Hall from a story by Bochco, Lewis and Milch and it was first broadcast on 1 March, 1984.

Furillo gets into some trouble with the Mayor (J.A. Preston) following some of the comments he made about an operation that were taken out of context. Joyce (Veronica Hamel) has a very horrifying encounter when she goes to visit her client, which ties in nicely with the fantastic guest appearance of Scatman Crothers, as Lionel Talbot, who is testifying about a stabbing.

Lucy is unsure about whether or not she wants to continue being Watch Commander, but Furillo tells her to keep at it and put on her new stripes. She also has to put Howard (James Sikking) in his place, again, after he asks her out, again.

But the best story arc, which runs way too short for the episode; Belker has regularly arrested a pickpocket, played by Nick Savage. We learn that his name is James Logan and he ends up dead when a suspect Belker is chasing stabs him. Belker realizes they had more than a bit of a friendship, and it hits him.

It hits him really hard, this death and piling that on top of the death of Esterhaus, and his father, Belker is unsure about attempting to connect with anyone, but Robin (Lisa Sutton) won’t let him push her away.

It’s a solid episode, I love Weitz’s work in the series, and just like when I discovered the series as a teen, he’s still my favourite character.

We’re closing in on the end of season four, which puts us well over the halfway mark of the series, but there’s still lots to come, so let’s be careful out there.

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