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EPISODES
: the formula | episode guide

PHOTOS:


Hooker talks down Beth from her high school's roof


Stacy bests Romano in a bicycle time trial


Hooker , Sheridan & two undercover cops react to Romano's tirade in the hospital


Hooker announces Tootie's arrest


Hooker removes his pants


Hooker and cadet win the tandem race with help from Hooker's tongue


Stacy & Romano mope on the sidelines while a badly bandaged Tom Clemons cheers





SEASON: 2 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
EPISODE#: 2.16 < prev | next >

"The Connection"
AIRDATE: 12.18.82
WRITER: Donald R. Boyle
DIRECTOR: Corey Allen

TJ-HOOKER.COM RATING:       

WHAT SAID:  

Hooker searches for a dealer supplying PCP to high-school students.

SYNOPSIS:  

When Hooker and Romano save a young girl from jumping to her death while high on PCP, Hooker vows to get the dealers who are preying on young kids. Across town, Tootie Nelson, working with his nephew Kenny and his girlfriend Sue Anne, is operating out of a pinball warehouse, Kenny has been stealing and selling quantities of PCP on the side without Tootie's knowledge. Kenny has made a deal with Tom Clemens, an undercover cop, and Hooker and Romano will act as backup for the drug bust. When Kenny and Tom meet, Tom gets confused when Kenny suggests they drive around. Kenny discovers Tom is wired and throws him from the moving car. Hooker obtains Sue Anne's address and he and Romano arrive too late as they see Tootie's men fleeing from the scene having just killed Kenny. Sue Anne tells Hooker everything and they begin to trail Tootie. They startle the dealers when Hooker announces over the P.A. that they are under arrest. Tootie hops into his truck containing barrels of liquid PCP and takes off. Hooker, pursuing him, punctures one of the PCP containers, spraying Tootie. With the drug being absorbed into Tootie's skin, he drives off the pier into the river. Hooker jumps in after him and saves him so he can be put away for good.

REVIEW:  

An exceptional episode through and through, "The Connection" contains some incredible sequences, all of which would satisfy the most ardent T.J. Hooker fan. The episode begins atop a high school, where Beth, a young girl who has taken PCP, is about to leap to her death thinking she can fly like a butterfly. In her delirium, Beth thinks Hooker is her father ("Don't you love me? Don't you love me, Daddy?" "Yes, I love you, your father has always loved you," Hooker says, thinking quickly).

This sequence introduces the "PCP effect," which the episode's director uses to simulate the effects of the drug on the mind of its user. In this case, the world doesn't seem that much different: we see the world from Beth's point of view, but it has a strange orange glow to it that looks vaguely like Saran wrap shot through an orange filter and superimposed over some footage of the high school's courtyard.

After a beautiful tirade from Hooker about drug pushers as Beth is taken away struggling in an ambulance, he and Romano get out on patrol looking for leads to find the scum responsible. Their first stop is a local bar (featuring a cameo by J.J. "You can call me Ray" Johnston as the bartender) where they meet up with an informant named Eli. Hooker demands information about angel dust pushers dealing to kids in the area, and it isn't until Hooker violates Eli's personal space with a strange headlock/embrace that Eli coughs up any information. He puts Hooker onto the trail of a man named Kenny and his girlfriend Sue Anne, but can't give anything further than that. He vows to give Hooker more information later.

Unbeknownst to Hooker, Kenny and Sue Anne work for Tootie Nelson, one of L.A.'s most notorious PCP pushers. Kudos to Claude Earl Jones for his portrayal of Tootie, a chillingly evil cross between Sorrell Booke and James Best (as Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, respectively, from "The Dukes of Hazzard"). Tootie is the cold and calculating uncle of Kenny, a southern ne'er-do-well who pushes PCP to school kids for his elder relative.

After initiating a beautiful subplot in which Romano and Stacy compete for Hooker's partner slot in the upcoming inter-academy tandem bicycle competition (Stacy has a better record than Romano, as evidenced by her trouncing of him in a coy sequence on the training ground. Romano is convinced Hooker won't pick her because she's "a girl"), the episode kicks into high gear when cadet in training Tom Clemons (played by Animal House's James Daughton) gets involved in a bungled undercover sting operation to nab Kenny which results in Tom's hospitalization. For a man who was punched once and thrown from a moving car, Tom is bandaged and becrutched like Wile E. Coyote after a fall from a southwestern mesa. Hooker and Romano question Tom in the hospital, but when they are out of Tom's room and in the presence of Captain Sheridan, Romano goes ballistic, questioning why Tom was rushed into undercover duty, and declares that the LCPD's cadets are treated like meat--and he doesn't want any part of it.

Fortunately for Hooker, Eli comes through with Sue Anne's address, which he gives to Hooker on a stained sandwich wrapper. However, Hooker and Romano arrive to find that Tootie Nelson is not beyond killing his own flesh and blood to cover his tracks: Tootie's henchmen arrived earlier, and oh my god - they killed Kenny!

However, all is not lost, as Hooker and Romano are able to trail the henchmen to Tootie's hideout, a huge warehouse which contains a PCP processing plant (a single table with a bunsen burner in-between some old crates). Hooker and Romano stealthily attach a futuristic "tracer" to Tootie's jeep (a process that involves some stretching of Adrian Zmed's dancer's muscles), and use it to follow Tootie to the docks, where Tootie is about to make a sale of several barrels of freshly-processed PCP.

From a hilltop just above Tootie's stopping point, 4Adam30 pulls up slowly and quietly. Hooker and Romano exit their car and, with Romano on lookout, Hooker activates 4Adam30's loudspeaker system and announces:

"This is the LCPD. You're under arrest. Possession of PCP."

All hell breaks loose as Tootie attempts a getaway, pushing his henchmen out of the jeep and tearing off down the pier. However, Hooker is able to pop off a couple shots at the vehicle, and manages to hit one of the PCP barrels--which just happens to be in line with Tootie's face. As the angel dust comes squirting out of the barrel, it washes over Tootie's eyes, nose and throat like smog on an L.A. ozone alert day, and again we are treated to the "PCP Effect," this time from Tootie's point of view as the drug takes effect and he careens his jeep, in a marvelous display of poetic justice, off the end of the pier. Hooker removes his own gunbelt and dives in to save the floundering Tootie so that he can be brought to justice.

Back at the Academy, Romano and Stacy beg Hooker to find out who will be riding with him in the tandem race that day. As Hooker removes his pants in preparation for the ride, Captain Sheridan intervenes and forces Hooker to make his decision. In a brilliant display of Shatnerian scenery-chewing, Hooker informs them that he had made his decision that morning, based on the not unsizeable wager he placed with Captain LaSallie, the rival precinct's commanding officer.

When the race starts, Stacy and Romano find themselves moping on the sidelines while Hooker rides with a new cadet who had just transferred in earlier that week, and whose tandem record easily beats both Romano and Stacy. Tom, recently released from the hospital, sits behind them, hooting, hollering and waving his crutches in the air as Hooker and the cadet ride to an easy victory. All is forgiven, and Romano lifts Hooker into the air triumphantly, allowing Hooker to bellow like an animal in victory.

Beautiful.

Absolutely, gosh-darned beautiful.

(reviewed by 4Adam30)

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GUEST STARS:

Corrine Bohrer
"Beth Arnold"

Michael Paul Chan
"Doctor"

James Daughton
"Tom Clemons"

Julian Deyer
"Carl Leland"

Julianne Gold
"Angie Defelice"

J.J. Johnston
"Bartender"

Claude Earl Jones
"Tootie Nelson"

Richard Lineback
"Kenny"

Terri Nunn
"Sue Anne"

Kimberly Sedgwick
"Teenage Girl"

Sherri Stoner
"Cindy Palmer"

Susanne Severeid
"Janet Britten"

Vincent Caristi
"Eli"

Dana Goldstone
"Chambliss"


BEST MOMENTS:

- The entire opening sequence: Hooker and Romano talking Beth down from the roof of the high school, Hooker's tirade about getting the scum who provided her with PCP

- The bizarre "PCP Effect" meant to depict what the world looks like to a person on angel dust

- Two words: Tootie Nelson

- Hooker's matter-of-fact announcement over 4Adam30's loudspeaker that Tootie Nelson is "...under arrest. Possession of PCP."

- The tandem bike race subplot

BEST LINES:

"I got jive on dust, man!"

"Then I'll take jive! I want some meat on the bones you just gave me."

- Eli and Hooker discuss the local PCP scene

 


EPISODES : the formula | episode guide

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