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PHOTOS:

SEASON: 3 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
EPISODE#: 3.33 < prev | next >

"Walk a Straight Line"
AIRDATE: 11.05.83


TJ-HOOKER.COM RATING:         

WHAT SAID:  

Hooker must decide whetehr to report a veteran cop's alcoholism after his on-the-job drinking leads to the shooting of the cop's partner.

SYNOPSIS:  

Awaiting a burglary tip, Detectives Dietrich and Fernandez hide inside a bar called Markey's Place, while Stacy, Corrigan, Hooker and Romano are in position outside. Inside, Cowboy and Buddinger tell everyone to hit the floor and motion to the bartender to open the cash register. Dietrich accidentally knocks his liquor bottle over and shots are fired. In the melee that follows, Fernandez is hit and both robbers escape. At the bar, they discover a marijuana cigarette containing PCP known as "sherm," and track down a dealer called Pinwheel who was recently seen selling them. Through Pinwheel's description, they are able to pick up Cowboy but Pinwheel will not make an identification and Cowboy is released. After another robbery is committed and another sherm is found, they track Pinwheel down again. He has been badly beaten but is able to identify Cowboy. Romano figures out the robbery pattern and they set up in the area. When Cowboy approaches, Dietrich, obviously drunk, threatens to kill Cowboy. Cowboy grabs Dietrich's gun and throws him into a van where he knocks him unconscious. Hooker manages to pull himself into the van and after a struggle, knocks Cowboy out. Dietrich, who is dismissed from the force, promises to get his life back in order and joins Alcoholics Anonymous.

REVIEW:  

Following the previously-established T.J. Hooker Episodic Formula:

1. THE CRIMINAL.
The dual gangs of 4Adam30 and 4Adam16 (Hooker & Romano, Corrigan & Sheridan) chase after a "cowboy" who has a propensity for knocking over nightclubs which are in the vicinity of sporting arenas ("The Colesseum", "The Arena"), and which also feature dancing girls. The cowboy is motivated by his drug habit.

2. THE MORAL DILEMMA. Hooker must turn in an old partner (Sam Dietrich) of his who has begun drinking on the job. His habit turns deadly when his current partner is shot on a stakeout because Sam was boozing it up. Hooker realizes a number of things have driven him to drink...pressures on the job and pressures at home (Sam's wife spends money extravagantly). When Hooker finds her at the hospital where Sam's partner is staying, she's wearing a fur coat and tells him she's off to the country club. "You sure know how to stretch a cop's salary," Hooker says. "It's called credit, Hooker," she spits back. "And a little creativity when the bills come in, that's all." Hooker later confronts her at the country club about Sam's drinking. She blurts out "Why do you all have to be so macho? Why can't you let us in?" "Many reasons," Hooker replies. "Partially, it's protecting our woman from danger."

Sam is eventually caught drunk driving by 4Adam16. Hooker is called on the scene, and takes Sam home. A later confrontation in the cops' locker room has Hooker spewing about how he turned to drink when his wife left him.

3. THE INFORMANT. "Pinwheel," a rastafarian conga player who sits on the beach drumming, has sold dope to the Cowboy. 4Adam30 confronts Pinwheel, Hooker eventually throwing Pinwheel's stash (hidden cleverly inside his drum) into the ocean.

4. HOOKER'S LOVE INTEREST. Sadly, no love interest. But he does ogle the dancing girls a bit. So does Romano.

5. THE FINAL CHASE. 4Adam30 and 4Adam16 stakeout a club they suspect the Cowboy will strike at next. Sam wants to join in. Hooker won't let him. He does anyway, and blows their cover. Hooker winds up running after the Cowboy's getaway van and, in another aspect of the Hooker formula (tho not used every episode), Hooker leaps onto the moving van, gets inside, and puts a headlock on the cowboy. The van crashes.

6. THE TIDY ENDING. Hooker and Sam's wife join Sam at his first AA meeting. "Hi, I'm Sam...I'm a cop...and an alcoholic." Freeze frame of Shatner, proud of his old partner.

Beautiful. Beautiful.


--Reviewed by 4adam30

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GUEST STARS:

Vincent Baggetta
"Sam Dietrich"

Ned Bellamy
"Carl Buddinger"

Ron Jospeh
"Fernandez"

Belinda Montgomery
"Laura Dietrich"

Mitch Carter
"Cowboy"

Maurice Emmanuel
"Pinwheel"

BEST MOMENTS:

- Sam dropping a bottle of hootch during a stakeout which reveals his and his partner's presence to a gang of thieves

- Hooker coming down hard on Sam's wife for spending Sam's money extravagantly

- Hooker's leap onto the back of a van

BEST LINES:

"One day Frances said 'It's over.' There I was, no wife, no kids. I needed a friend. And I found one, all right."

- Hooker to Sam, recounting how he found a friend in the bottom of a bottle after Fran left him

"This shouldn't have happened to me, Sam. You and your booze!"

- Sam's partner, wailing at Sam from a hospital bed


"Next time the cowboy comes calling, you drop a dime on me."

- Hooker to Pinwheel, pointing woodenly


EPISODES : the formula | episode guide

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