Hill Street Blues (1984) – Watt a Way to Go, and Rookie Nookie

Joyce’s (Veronica Hamel) client is about to face the electric chair unless she can find another witness to come forward and Goldblume (Joe Spano) gets violent when his ex-wife is assaulted and raped in her own apartment.

Watt a Way to Go was written by David Milch and Robert Director from a story by Steven Bochco, Jeffrey Lewis and Milch and had an original airdate of 4 October, 1984.

Ray (Rene Enriquez) goes undercover with J.D. (Kiel Martin) and Washington (Taurean Blacque) to take down the scummy motel owner played by Tim Thomerson, Renko (Charles Haid) is a proud daddy, showing off pics of his new little girl, but there are other things happening this week as well.

The new roll-call sergeant, Jablonski (Robert Prosky) is coming across as not a very nice guy (I mean he can be nice as long as he likes you, or you don’t go against him, but if you should) and has some real out-of-date attitudes and perhaps a little sexism and racism lurking in there.

And one of Howard’s (James Sikking) men make a huge mistake in a high-tension moment when a shooter is taken down, and one of the snipers says something completely inappropriate that is caught on camera by a news crew and its something he will have to live with forever.

This one feels like a very solid episode, sure there’s some goofy stuff with the out-of-towners who are caught up in some of the more sordid moments, just as they were last week and that definitely embraces the show’s melodrama aspects, but beyond that, I really liked everything else that was going on.

Ideas of vengeance, owning mistakes, helping when you can, and maybe not intentionally putting yourself in harm’s way.

Rookie Nookie was written by Bochco, Lewis, Director and Milch from a story by Bochco, Lewis, Milch and Mark Frost. It was first broadcast on 18 October, 1984. And hey! Look, there’s Michael Biehn and Tim Robbins as a pair of rookies that end up in some serious trouble on their first day at the precinct.

Belker (Bruce Wietz) does some undercover work as a food mascot in front of a fast food joint along a strip that has been having a series of holdups, and Lucy (Betty Thomas) is having a real issue with rookie Buttman (Biehn) whose sense of humour is crude and his behaviour is incredibly sexist which gets him called in to talk with Furillo (Daniel J. Travanti) but that doesn’t change a lot and he and a number of rookies get in trouble with the precinct, even as their sex-capades involve humiliating Swan (Robbins).

J.D. may be used as an alibi when he spends the night with a woman, a victim of a car-jacking, and then halfway through the night they’re informed of the murder of her husband.

And Goldblume’s behaviour last episode sees the release of the man he arrested for his ex-wife’s rape and assault, and the perp goes out and kills his own girlfriend, and starts a violent run that could have been avoided if Goldblume had gone by the book.

Howard has a bit of a run-in with one of the desk sergeants who is tired of his cruelty. And Joyce reaches an agreement with Furillo over their relationship when it’s revealed that she has illegal cable, and the man is willing to turn over his client list to the DA.

I like Biehn as an actor, and because of his performance, it’s so easy to hate him in this role, his character is such an ass. And speaking of, I hate how Jablonski’s saying is ‘let’s do it to them before they do it to us’ instead of protecting and serving and being careful out there.


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