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EPISODES
: the formula | episode guide

PHOTOS:


Oscar and Corrigan wait for Dio at the porno theater


Corrigan informs Lorraine that Oscar has been killed


Stacy plays Monopoly® with Mary


Mary sneaks into the Frontier Hotel


Romano nurses his wounded eyes


While Romano lies wounded, Angie tells Mary she's leaving


Hooker confronts Parker about his partnership with Dio


The armored van runs Dio's gauntlet


Frank Dio realizes his future is worth baloney on a stick


SEASON: 3 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
EPISODE#: 3.43 < prev | next >

"Hooker's Run"
AIRDATE: 02.04.84

WRITER: Simon Muntner
DIRECTOR: Cliff Bole

TJ-HOOKER.COM RATING:       

WHAT SAID:  

A murderer's former girlfriend (Shanna Reed) could send him to prison with her testimony, if Hooker can keep her alive and plug the security leak that led to the death of another witness.

SYNOPSIS:  

Hooker, who has been working with an informant, Oscar Barr, is relieved when a bust is finally planned to apprehend big time criminal Frank Dio. At the meeting place, Dio spots Hooker and kills Oscar. Hooker arrests Dio, but he can't find the weapon or prove that he saw Dio shoot Oscar. Hooker's longtime friend and fellow officer, Phil Parker, agrees to hold Dio as long as possible while Hooker tries to find the weapon. Meanwhile, Parker, who is really working with Dio, tips off Dio's men to have Dio's girlfriend, Angie, killed because she may provide some needed information. Angie reluctantly agrees to testify and she is put in protective custody as well. While discussing the case with Parker, Hooker secretly tells him where Angie is hidden. When Dio's men arrive at the location and open fire on her room, Angie takes the opportunity to slip out. Hooker, knowing that only one other person knew Angie's whereabouts, confronts Parker who confesses that he is working for Dio. Meanwhile, Hooker is able to track Angie down at the warehouse where her father works. Corrigan arrives as a backup and they are able to apprehend Dio and his men before they can hurt Angie.

REVIEW:  

Easily one of the finest episodes of the Big Four Era (those episodes including Hooker, Romano, Stacy and Corrigan), "Hooker's Run" retains several key elements of the T.J. Hooker Episodic Formula while including some fresh takes on classic television cop show fare.

The story begins outside a porno theater, where Hooker, Romano and Detective Phil Parker are waiting to rendezvous with Corrigan and his informant, Oscar Barr, hoping to arrest known murderer and crime boss Frank Dio, ably portrayed by Alex Rocco. Parker is revealed as an old wartime buddy of Hooker's when, in a fit of nervousness, Hooker tries to calm his nerves by telling him, "Phil, calm down, this isn't the Mekong Delta."

Inside, Corrigan meets up with Oscar, a jittery black man who runs the risk of tipping Dio off due to his nervousness. Oscar tells Corrigan that he has big news for him after they take down Dio. Dio arrives, and Oscar moves to join him in the theater, where they proceed to watch the porno film. Dio is calm as he waits for Oscar's phony "drop" to arrive, but Oscar's nervousness tips him off. When Dio spots Hooker entering the theater, he pulls out a revolver and shoots Oscar dead in his seat. After a foot chase, Hooker catches Dio, who has discarded his gun in a garbage truck, thereby giving Hooker no witness and no weapon. "You know what you got on me? You got baloney on a stick, Hooker!" Dio spits. Hooker hands him over to Parker who agrees to hold him for 72 hours while Hooker can follow up on some leads.

Following with previously-established tradition, Corrigan becomes upset at Hooker's handling of the case, believing he has pushed Oscar too hard. He visits Oscar's sister Lorraine to inform her of his death, and also asks her if she knows anything about the information Oscar had planned to give Corrigan after the Dio arrest. However, Lorraine is angered by Oscar's seemingly meaningless death, and throws Corrigan out of her apartment without providing him with an answer. Nevertheless, Corrigan insists on paying for Oscar's funeral, and even spitefully refuses Hooker's offer that he and Romano would like to chip in.

Hooker and Romano meet up with Hooker's only lead, a call girl named Lucy, who fingers another call girl named Angie, Dio's ex-girlfriend. Hooker and Romano meet up with Angie, informing her that Dio has been arrested and that she is needed to testify against him. Knowing Dio's men will kill her if she talks, she refuses but goes along with them anyway, insisting that they stop by her apartment first to pick up some things and find a place for her little sister Mary (Love, Sydney's Kaleena Kiff) to stay. Hooker volunteers Stacy's apartment, and while they transport Angie to their waiting car, some of Dio's men make a failed assassination attempt on Angie which Mary sees from the apartment window.

Stacy picks up Mary while Hooker and Romano get Angie set up as a guest at the Frontier Hotel, a seedy dive "where even the cockroaches stay away," as Romano describes it. Hooker asks her why she stays a call girl when he knows she actually has a heart of gold. She can't give him a straight answer, but Angie reveals she is a diabetic just like her father, and needs more insulin within six hours. Romano stays with her while Hooker goes off to get more insulin.

During a brief stop back at the Academy, Hooker bumps into Parker, confiding in him where Angie is being held.

Stacy and Mary play Monopoly® and watch teelvision in Stacy's apartment until Angie telephones in order to talk to Mary and tell her she is safe. After Angie hangs up, Mary uses auto-redial on the phone to ring the main number, and learns from the Desk Clerk that Angie is staying at the Frontier Hotel. Thinking quickly, Mary distracts Stacy, a Hooker-trained police officer, by asking her to get her a soda pop. While Stacy's back is turned, Mary slips out to find Angie. Miraculously, she arrives at the frontier Hotel without incident, her Raggedy Ann doll still in tow.

Minutes after Mary's arrival, Dio's men take up a position in the building across the street from the Frontier Hotel, waiting for a clear shot at Angie through her hotel room window.

When Mary steps too close to the window, shots ring out. Romano dives on top of Mary and Angie, protecting them from the bullets and shrapnel flying through the room. During a pause in the shooting, Romano turns to look out the window. Shots ring out again, shattering a picture hanging on a wall across the room, but somehow Romano manages to get glass from it sprayed into his eyes. With Romano incapacitated, Angie makes good her escape, telling Mary she'll be back for her.

Hooker and Corrigan arrive at the hotel. Corrigan manages to shoot and kill one of Dio's men, and Hooker pursues the other onto the roof of the building across the street from the hotel. When he hears Dio's goon run out of ammunition, he taunts him out of his hiding place. They fight with wooden sticks, and Hooker easily bests him. However, the maggot will not talk, and Hooker returns to the hotel room to find Corrigan and Parker arguing. Parker chastises Hooker for trying to hide Angie and supposedly botching the case, saying "All we've got now is baloney on a stick."

The use of this phrase puts Hooker on alert. He does a little digging in the public records office, and finds out that his old war buddy Parker is really named Tony D'Amico, who used to run with Frank Dio twenty years ago. He tells Corrigan, who has just returned from Lorraine's apartment with some new information: Oscar had found out that Dio had an "old mark from twenty years back" that he was working with again. Hooker and Corrigan realize this must be Parker, alias Tony D'Amico. Also, Corrigan has found out that Parker has let Dio out on bail.

The subsequent confrontation which Hooker has with Parker in a locked elevator at the D.A.'s office is such a prime example of brilliant dialogue from a staple T.J. Hooker plot (an old Hooker buddy betrays him) that we are reproducing their conversation in its entirety here:

HOOKER (grabbing Parker by the lapels): Those are my friends out there who could have been killed!

PARKER: What are you talkin' about?

HOOKER: I'm talking about the sleaze out there who's tipped Dio off to every one of our moves! A sleaze named Tony D'Amico!

PARKER: Hooker...Hooker, please! Please, lemme explain!

HOOKER: My partner...my friends...they were in jeopardy because I trusted you!

PARKER: I'm your friend too, who pulled you out of a shell hole in the Delta!

HOOKER: You saved me, I saved you! That's what war's all about!

PARKER: Doesn't that count for something, huh?

HOOKER: Yeah, that counts for something–It counts for this! (Hooker punches Parker squarely across the jaw and he falls to the floor)

Immediately afterwards, Romano's eyes appear to be fine, and Hooker questions Mary about where Angie may have gone. She provides only one clue: that she was going somewhere were she could get some insulin. Hooker puts two and two together and realizes she must be going to visit her father, also a diabetic, at the Tuna Cannery where he works. Hooker and Romano make haste to the Tuna Cannery. There they find it deserted except for Angie, who is suffering from a diabetic attack. She reveals that she cares nothing for her own life but only for Mary, who is actually her daughter, not her sister. She asks Hooker to take care of her if she dies, and to pledge not to reveal that she is the girl's mother to her.

Dio and a large group of his goons arrive. He finds an insulin kit in 4Adam30's front seat, and realizes what is going on. Hooker leaves the Cannery to get the insulin, and is confronted by Dio, who blows up 4Adam30 along with the insulin.

In one of Hooker's periodic uses of MacGyver-esque ingenuity, he and Romano find some armor plating in the Cannery and proceed to armor-up one of the Cannery's vans. They use the makeshift tank to punch through Dio's gauntlet of men, escaping just as Corrigan and three squads of backup arrive. Hooker takes off after Dio on foot, easily besting him in a hand-to-hand, mano-a-mano contest. He makes clever use of Dio's own "baloney sandwich" catchphrase, and the case is closed.

Hooker and Romano visit Angie at the hospital, where she recovers from her diabetic attack. Hooker convinces her to enter the witness protection plan in order for her to assume a new identity, become a nurse, and give Mary the life she deserves.

Beautiful.

(reviewed by 4Adam30)

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GUEST STARS:

Tom Atkins
"Phil Parker"

Anne Bruner
"Lucy Douglas"

Paul Cavonis
"Charlie Lock"

Henry Holden
"Desk Clerk"

Kaleena Kiff
"Mary Quine"

Tina Lifford
"Lorraine Barr"

Jim Malinda
"Lou Campos"

Shanna Reed
"Angie Quine"

Alex Rocco
"Frank Dio"

Jason Ross
"Oscar Barr"

BEST MOMENTS:

- Corrigan's angry barbs at Hooker about pushing Oscar too hard

- Stacy playing Monopoly® with Mary

- Romano's injury during the shooting at the hotel

- Hooker's rooftop fight with one of Dio's goons

- Hooker's confrontation with Parker in an elevator

- Dio and his goons blowing up 4Adam30

- Hooker and Romano's impromptu armoring of a van at the Tuna Cannery

 

BEST LINES:

"Think about Oscar!"

"He's cold and dead, in the morgue, now get out!"

-Corrigan and Lorraine

"You're gonna leave me in the drink!"

-Stacy to Mary during their Monopoly® game

"I counted six, maggot!"

-Hooker to Dio's goon, who's just run out of bullets

"It's over, Frankie. Your future's worth baloney on a stick."

-Hooker to Dio upon his capture



"She's a very lucky lady. One more hour and she would have been in a diabetic coma, or maybe even dead."

-Romano to Hooker about Angie, in the hospital in front of Angie



"I may not always be right – but I'm never wrong!"

-Hooker to Angie in the hospital, after convincing her to join the witness protection program



EPISODES : the formula | episode guide

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