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SEASON: 3 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
EPISODE#: 3.29 < prev | next >

"Carnal Express"
AIRDATE: 10.08.83

TJ-HOOKER.COM RATING:         

WHAT SAID:  

Stacy goes undercover as an exotic dancer to crack a white-slavery ring.

SYNOPSIS:  

With Hooker's help, Bonnie McCall, a reformed drug addict, tries to make a comeback singing in a neighborhood club. While Hooker attends her show, Carl Melak and Earl Hannaman are also watching Bonnie. When Hooker leaves, Malek and Hannaman grab Bonnie and force her into a car. Hooker witnesses what is happening and tries to stop them, killing Hannaman. Malek drives away with Bonnie to a waiting ambulance. Dobbs, the driver, and Malek load her aboard a plane bound for Mexico where she will be sold into slavery. Thinking that the Pleasure Palace, a disco bar, had something to do with Bonnie's abduction, Stacy goes undercover as a dancer there. In the meantime, Hooker contacts Det. Ritchie Pace and he is able to give them Malek's address. When they drive up, Malek tries to escape, but is taken into custody. Dobbs, meanwhile, needs a girl to sell and decides to abduct Stacy. He drugs her and heads off to the airport. Hooker returns to the Pleasure Palace and confronts Lorraine, the manager, who has been giving Dobbs tips on girls. She breaks down and tells Hooker about Stacy. He rushes to the airport and manages to stop the plane just as it is about to take off. The following day, they learn that Bonnie has been located and is one her way back and the slavery ring has been broken up for good.

REVIEW:  

This episode began at a nightclub, wherein a busty blonde was onstage singing in front of a cruddy 80s-style "rock band". Hooker was in the audience watching her.

She leaves the stage, comes over to his table, and begins thanking him for helping her clean up her act. "Now let's get this straight," Hooker declared "You helped yourself. I just pointed you in the right direction." Hooker leaves with a peck on the cheek. The blonde ("Bonnie") goes to her dressing room, and is kidnapped. The two thugs involved take her to an ambulance in the same parking structure as Hooker's car. Chase ensues. Hooker stands firmly planted in front of the other getaway car, shooting and killing the driver. The ambulance gets away.

Corrigan and Sheridan arrive on the scene. Seems Bonnie has been staying with Sheridan until she can get back on her feet. All three officers swear to forget about their other cases until this one's solved. "I'll bet my pension something bigger than rape's involved here," Hooker muses.

Next day: Hooker remembers that 4 other beautiful ladies disappeared from the same area a couple months ago. Romano arrives at Hooker's pad (a hotel room filled with boxes of junk, next door to two women who strut around in bikinis). The only explanation Hooker can come up with for Bonnie's kidnapping is...white slavery. Somehow he knows it's connected to the Pleasure Palace, an exotic nightclub Bonnie applied for a job at three days previous. Sheridan decides to apply there under cover against Hooker's wishes. Romano is intrigued, especially since Sheridan used Hooker's address on her job application, forcing the two to temporarily switch residences. Romano mutters something about the bikini women, and when Sheridan asks for an explanation, Hooker cuts in with: "You're too young to know what he's thinking."

She gets a job, catches the eye of the club owner (who's actually in league with a white slaver from South America). She dances in a pathetic scene which is used in the series' opening credits. Eventually, she's kidnapped, and Hooker & Romano must chase down the plane carrying her off to South America. They succeed. Hooker chases the mastermind (Virgil Dobbs) through a series of abandoned city buses, shooting him in the chest after shouting "Freeze!"

All's well that ends well. Hooker sics the FBI and the local "polissimos" on the South American white slavers, and the women are scheduled to return in the next week.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.



--Reviewed by 4adam30

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GUEST STARS:

Billy Drago
"Carl Malek"

Ray Duke
"Quinn"

Marla Heasley
"Joan"

Richard Lynch
"Virgil Dobbs"

Eric Mason
"Alberto Mendez"

Trisha Noble
"Lorraine Daggett"

Kathy Ryan
"Shirley"

Beth Schaffel
"Bonnie McCall"

Lionel Smith
"Richie Pace"

Michael Swan
"Peterson"

Shawn Weatherly
"Claudia Cole"

Peter Brown
"Lt. Drummer"

Chuck Tamburro
"Hannaman"

BEST MOMENTS:

- Stacy's by-the-numbers exotic dance, including such moves as: apathetic finger-snapping, forced painful smiles, and lackadaisical butt-wiggling

- Hooker's out-of-nowhere deduction that Bonnie's kidnapping had to be a case of "white slavery"

- Hooker and Romano chasing an airplane in their squad car

BEST LINES:

"I'd better be seeing the safe return of five other beautiful women, or you've just begun to hurt."

- Hooker to Dobbs after he shoots him against the side of an abandoned bus


EPISODES : the formula | episode guide

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