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SEASON: 2 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
EPISODE#: 2.12 < prev | next >

"The Survival Syndrome"
AIRDATE: 11.13.82
WRITER: Dallas & Joanne Barnes
DIRECTOR: Charles Picerini

TJ-HOOKER.COM RATING:         

WHAT SAID:  

News footage and eyewitness accounts point to the same conclusion: Hooker shot and killed an unarmed youth on a crowded street.

SYNOPSIS:  

David Harmon drops Greg Marshall off in a supermarket parking lot where Greg hot-wires a Bronco. Greg then goes to pick up Thomas and Lawson who are paying Greg for his "work." In the meantime, Romano hears the description of the Bronco just as it passes him. As Romano approaches the Bronco, Lawson shoots him down. Greg makes a run for it, but is also shot down by Lawson. Just as Hooker takes a shot, Lawson and Thomas manage to escape. With Romano in the hospital, Hooker learns the media is reporting that he shot Greg who was unarmed. Unfortunately the bullet that killed Greg was too damaged to prove Hooker's innocence, so Hooker is determined to find the Bronco which has the bullet lodged in the seat. Knowing that David Harmon was Greg's partner, they are able to track him down. In the meantime, the Bronco is recovered, but the seats have been changed. Then Hooker gets his break. David discovers that Lawson really shot and killed Greg and calls Hooker. He and Romano get to Lawson's shop and before he can kill David, they capture and arrest Lawson and Thomas.

REVIEW:  

A gang of car thieves is making the rounds of the city. The gang, run by the crooked owner of the Gear Box Transmission shop, has employed several teenagers to do their dirty work for them, and as the episode opens a youth named Greg steals a Bronco from a grocery store parking lot.

As 4Adam30 patrol, Romano counsels Hooker, who is upset that his ex-wife Fran has gone back to work as a nurse in order to support their kids. In an attempt to cheer him up, Romano reveals his latest obsession: papaya oil, which when applied to the skin apparently holds rejuvenative properties. "I'm not rubbing any fruit oil on my body," Hooker says before being cut off by a call from the Precinct to investigate a nearby disturbance.

They arrive on the scene to find a drunk man in a chicken suit causing traffic problems because of his meanderings. Romano hears another call from the precinct about a stolen Bronco, but Hooker orders him to direct traffic while he calms the chicken man down. While directing traffic, Romano spots Greg and two other car thieves in the Bronco, and orders them to step out of the car. One of them shoots Romano, grazing his forehead, and he goes down. Hooker rushes to his side, pulls his gun, and fires a shot toward Greg, who has tried to run away (the shot misses, however--one of the only times in the show's history Hooker's aim is off). One of the other crooks inside the Bronco actually shoots Greg at the precise moment Hooker popped off his shot, making it appear that Hooker shot the unarmed Greg.

Greg & Romano are rushed to "Emergency Surgery" at Valley Hospital, where Fran is working. Greg doesn't make it.

Hooker, Fran & Captain Sheridan watch the local news in a hospital waiting room, seeing footage of the shooting which makes Hooker appear guilty. Sheridan informs him there is to be an investigation.

Back at the Academy, Hooker dons a smart-looking Physical Training Instructor's uniform, and is confronted by a lawyer from the D.A.'s office. He tries to link Hooker's alleged shooting to frustration he still feels over the death of his old partner Johnny Durrell. Hooker denies the allegations. He confides in Captain Sheridan that if they can find the stolen Bronco, it'll have his bullet somewhere inside.

Greg's friend David, another teen, is enlisted by the car thieves to pull off another job, which he does immediately.

4Adam30 (Romano has been released from the hospital) prepare to leave the Academy to search for other stolen 4-Wheel-Drive vehicles, when Stacy complains to Romano about having to do secretarial work for him. Romano is throwing a papaya oil party in order to start a side business selling the oil, and he placed Stacy in charge of organizing it. Hooker reveals his preference in bar snacks, and they leave, only to spot David in a stolen truck. A chase ensues during which Romano flashes back to getting shot, and he freezes up, but they capture David anyway.

In a brilliant sequence, Hooker questions David, who spitefully believes Hooker killed Greg. Using a metaphor of a tape recorder for David's brain, Hooker plants opinions in him that make him suspect the car thieves of doing the killing. "Put the tape on record," he says, "because one day, you'll want to hit rewind, and playback."

Hooker, concerned about Romano's handling of the so-called "Survival Syndrome" which comes with being shot in the line of duty, has Romano tested in a shooting simulator (a room with a large WOPR-like computer and a jumbotron television) which Romano fails miserably. "You were a better cop when you had two weeks on the job," Hooker states. Captain Sheridan tells Hooker that the Bronco has been found at Newhall, and also that Hooker is set to stand trial for Greg's death.

Romano loses his cool and tells everyone he's going to quit the force. Hooker challenges him to a wrestling match (one of the greatest 5 minutes of T.J. Hooker ever filmed) in which he reveals to Romano that he has the "Survival Syndrome" and that he just needs some time to get back to normal. He pleads with Romano to stay a cop even as he karate chops, headlocks, and pins him into submission. Romano is convinced to stay.

4Adam30 & Captain Sheridan investigate the recovered Bronco. It's been "chopped"--totally refurbished and reconditioned.

David goes to the Gear Box Transmission shop to complain to the crooked owner about being picked up by the cops. He finds the owner and the owner's brother in law Blaine there. While the owner & Blaine discuss David's fate in an office, David finds the Bronco's original seat, with Hooker's bullet still inside it. He realizes he is about to be killed, so he calls Hooker at the Academy Precinct. Blaine & the owner bust out of the office and begin chasing David.

4Adam30 rush to the scene, splitting up: Romano covers the back entrance on foot, Hooker drives the squad car like a battering ram through the front garage door, having no idea who or what may be on the other side. A prolonged chase ensues, wherein Romano shoots Blaine before he can take Hooker down. "Welcome back, partner," Hooker says proudly.

Cleared of all charges, Hooker heads to the "Mid-City Bar" (a division of Sherry's) for Romano's papaya oil presentation. After some witty banter involving Romano attempting to charge Hooker admission, they watch a woman in a bikini slather papaya oil on her body while she writhes on top of a billiard table. Romano proudly tells Hooker that the bikini woman does "some incredible things with extract of guava." Hooker looks aroused yet incredulous.

Freeze frame.

 



--Reviewed by 4adam30

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GUEST STARS:

Lee Bryant
"Fran Hooker"

Chris Mulkey

"Thomas"

Robert Fields
"Lawson"

Mark Soper
"David Harmon"

Anthony Darren
"Greg Marshall"

Wayne Morton
"Delbert"

BEST MOMENTS:

- Hooker & Romano's wrestling match

- Romano's failure in the shooting simulator

- Hooker's interrogation of David

- The news story about Hooker's alleged shooting, ending with a shot of the news anchor stating "The investigation has centered on none other than the LCPD's own Sergeant T.J. Hooker"

- Hooker's tirade against the D.A. lawyer

BEST LINES:

"I'm dying to unload those barracudas."

-Hooker to Romano referring to the car thieves


"I like beernuts. Very little salt."

- Hooker to Stacy


"You got it, Big Daddy."

"No, you got it, Sunshine!"

"I saw you, in full living color on the six o'clock news, cop! You shot Greg!"

- David Harmon and Hooker during David's interrogation

"You're dead, Romano. Your partner's dead."

- Hooker to Romano re: his performance in the shooting simulator

"I've had it, Romano. You've taken Incredible Hulk pills or something."

- Unnamed Academy recruit to Romano after he has been beaten in a wrestling match


"Deal with it! You're going through the Survival Syndrome!"
"All right. I'm afraid to die!!"

- Hooker and Romano during their wrestling match


EPISODES : the formula | episode guide

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