Hill Street Blues (1984) – The Count of Monty Tasco, and Nutcracker Suite

Joyce (Veronica Hamel) has to deal with the physical intimidation of the brother, William (Jesse D. Goins) of one of the suspects in the case she’s dealing with. He’s pulled a gun on her once and has threatened her a number of times if she doesn’t leave the case alone.

But she’s not the only one with problems this week in The Count of Monty Tasco. Written by Jeffrey Lewis, Michael Wagner, Mark Frost and Roger Director from a story by Milch, Lewis and Steven Bochco, the episode was first broadcast on 8 March, 1984.

Howard (James Sikking) attempts to ask Fay (Barbara Bosson) out on a date, following the end of her relationship with Goldblume (Joe Spano) but she doesn’t want to date cops anymore. Renko’s (Charles Haid) girlfriend, Daryl Ann (Deborah Richter) reveals to him she’s pregnant, and he’s not sure how to handle that.

And through it all, there is some police work to do, though Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) may be prevented from joining in because of his public comments last week about the mayor and operation stop and cop which feels like a publicity stunt.

Furillo is called in on the carpet and notified that he’s temporarily relieved of command and being reassigned to a cubicle downtown for the foreseeable future. But before he goes, he sees William threaten Joyce, and he hauls him in for a little threat-laden talk.

It’s a good episode, and there’s some good character work here, especially as the episode closes and we see that Furillo may be teetering off the wagon and succumbing to his alcoholism. Lots of character melodrama this time around, and not quite enough police work for me. Having said that, there’s a nice character beat for Officer Clara Pilsky (Jane Kaczmarek) when she’s involved in a shooting and has to take a life.

Nutcracker Suite aired on 15 March, 1984, and was penned by Wagner, Milch, Karen Hall and Frost from a story by Bochco, Lewis and Milch.

With Furillo relieved of command, Howard Hunter, Goldblume and Calletano (Rene Enriquez) are in charge, and under orders, all available officers are involved in operation stop and cop, which leads to some trouble for Clara.

Belker (Bruce Weitz), Washington (Taurean Blacque) and Garibaldi (Ken Olin) – who is replacing a sick LaRue (Kiel Martin) are assigned to keep an eye on Mullins to protect Joyce, and it verges on the point of harassment until it comes to a terrible conclusion. One that may shadow the rest of the season as Garibaldi struggles with what happened, and his own involvement in it.

Renko prepares to take a huge step forward with Daryl Ann, and as events on the Hill continue to escalate, Daniels (Jon Cypher) is able to get Furillo reinstated, who is intent on working things out with Joyce over the complications they’ve experienced because of Mullins.

Lucy (Betty Thomas) runs the show in roll call and reminds us, let’s be careful out there.


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