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SEASON: 6
EPISODE#: 6.3 < prev  | next >

"Honor Thy Father"
AIRDATE: 09.27.86

WHAT WOULD HAVE SAID:  

The brutal murder of Stacy's father (special guest star Richard Herd) sends Hooker off on a deadly mission.

SYNOPSIS:  

The story opens as preparations are underway for a dedication ceremony of a new Vietnam veteran's memorial near the Academy Precinct. Hooker, Romano, Corrigan and Captain Sheridan are finishing putting on their dress uniforms in the LCPD Academy locker room. After some playful banter and comments that it's good to see Captain Sheridan again after his retirement, Hooker comments that he's looking forward to hearing the speech that a high-ranking Army official will be making at the ceremony today. "We need to teach some of the younger recruits a thing or two about duty...about honor," he says.

"Sometimes, Hooker, too much duty and honor can come back to haunt you," Sheridan says as he nervously exits.

"Now, what is that supposed to mean?" Corrigan asks.

At the ceremony, the Army official makes his speech, duty and honor the main topic of the day. Hooker, Romano, Corrigan, Stacy and Captain Sheridan sit in the front row of spectators. Sheridan twitches in his seat a couple times. Lurking in the background we see a young Vietnamese man, late teens or twenties, who seems to sneer in the direction of Sheridan.

The ceremony breaks up, with the participants milling about at a reception.

HOOKER: "You look a little under the weather, Dennis. Anything the matter?"

CAPT. SHERIDAN: "No, no, it's nothing ... it's just hard sometimes when you're forced to remember such a tough time in your life, I guess."

HOOKER:
"We all went through it. Romano, Jim, me, you ... we understand. You can't let it eat you up, Dennis."

CS: (terse) "No, you didn't all go through it, Hooker ... not the way I did. Look, I just need to be alone for a little while. I'll see you all later."

Sheridan breaks away from the group, kissing Stacy on the cheek. Stacy explains since he retired, he always gets jittery when the subject of Vietnam comes up. "Funny, I never noticed it before," Hooker says as the group heads off.

As Sheridan walks to his car, the Vietnamese man intercepts him. Sheridan's face goes white. "Thang Huynh," he says quietly.

"That's right, old man. And if you know what's good for you, you'll get in the car with me and act like everything's a-ok."

"Thang Huynh, listen to me, please," Sheridan pleads.

"Too late for talk, 'dad'. Get in the car and shut up."

Thang Huynh is holding a gun. Sheridan realizes he has no choice, and gets in the car.

Back at the Academy, Hooker, Romano, Corrigan and Sheridan regroup and discuss their patrols for the day. Romano comments that things have been a little slow lately--the street scum must have taken the week off or something. Hooker tells him he still hasn't learned to appreciate these down times, because before you know it you'll have more trouble than you can handle. At that moment, a phone call comes in to the desk officer, who hands it to Stacy. Corrigan comments to Romano that even after all these years, he's still got a thing or two to learn from Hooker. Stacy stumbles away from the phone, Corrigan steadies her. "What's the matter, honey?" Hooker asks.

"It's dad, Hooker--he's been shot!"

---

Stacy, Corrigan, Hooker and Romano arrive at Valley Hospital to find Sheridan in emergency surgery. A doctor informs Stacy that the prognosis does not look good, but Captain Sheridan appears to have temporarily stabilized. Stacy is allowed to see him, but told she has no more than a few moments.

The room is dark as Stacy enters. She quietly rushes to her father's side. At first Sheridan doesn't respond to her, but eventually he coughs himself awake and sees Stacy's sobbing face.

SHERIDAN: "Stacy ... so much ... pain ... you and your mother ... I've caused ..."

STACY: "It's okay, dad. I love you."

SHERIDAN: "No, Stace ... you don't ... know ... I ... I ..."

STACY: "Dad, who did this to you?"

SHERIDAN: "Hooker ... tell Hooker ... he came ... back ..."

STACY: "Who did, dad? Who?!"

SHERIDAN: (puts his hand on Stacy's wet cheek) "You'll always be ... my ... little ... girl ..."

STACY: "Dad. Dad!"

The heart monitor goes flatline, and Captain Sheridan passes away.

---

Thang Huynh makes his way to an old ACME garage on the docks. He meets up with a powerful looking old man in sloppy clothes, reporting that Sheridan is dead. "We both have our revenge now, Conner," he says to the old man.

"Not quite, Thang Huynh, not quite..." the old man says. "There's one more mess to clean up."

"Wait a minute Conner, we had a deal. You bring me here from Vietnam, I kill Sheridan, you send me home with lots of money. Simple! No more from me!"

"We can't have any loose ends dangling, Thang Huynh, you must know that," Conner says.

"What are you saying, Conner?"

"I'm saying you've got another job to pull, and then we're even."

"No. You did not mention this to me before! Why this all of a sudden? Hey man, we had a deal!"

"The stakes have changed," Conner says. "There's a chance we'll be discovered unless you do one more thing..."

"What's that?"

"Kill T.J. Hooker."

---

Hooker, Romano, Stacy and Corrigan walk through a cemetery after the burial of Captain Sheridan. Jim has his hand on Stacy's shoulder. Each member of the team takes their turn trying to console Stacy, but it is obvious she's an emotional wreck. Hooker suggests she take some time off. She refuses, insisting she won't rest until she nabs her father's murderer.

STACY: "Hooker ... before he died ... my father said something to me, something I don't understand. He wanted me to tell you something."

HOOKER: "What a damn good cop he was. Just like my old partner Johnny ... always thinking of the job, up until the very end. What did he say?"

STACY: "He said, 'Tell Hooker he came back.' Who do you think he meant? Do you have any idea?"

Hooker pauses, we can see the wheels turning in his brain as he wracks it for a clue.

HOOKER: "I can't imagine anyone who would want to kill your father, Stace. There's just so few people who even had a bad word to ... say ... about him ..."

He pauses in realization.

STACY: "What is it?"

HOOKER: "No, it couldn't be. Not him. Not--here."

CORRIGAN: "Don't keep us in suspense, Hooker! Who is it?"

HOOKER: "I may have to handle this alone, Stacy. This could be more dangerous than you realize."

STACY: "Who is it, Hooker?!"

HOOKER: "Your father's brother."

---

Corrigan, Romano and Stacy have a drink at Sherry's bar that night. They mention that Hooker has gone off looking for clues as to the whereabouts of Conner Sheridan, Stacy's uncle. Corrigan, sensitive to the fact that Stacy is still hurting (yet eager to get to the bottom of things) asks her why she never knew she had an uncle.

"I don't know, Jim. I guess that's something I'll never know, either. I know something had been eating at Dad lately. He definitely wasn't himself. He had been making plans to move down to Florida...as a matter of fact, he was ready to leave last week, but then the ceremony came up. I convinced him he should stay around here at least long enough to see that through. Now I can't help thinking I'm the one responsible for...for..." She breaks down.

---

Hooker, in plainclothes, patrols L.A. at night, entering a seedy bar on the outskirts of China Town. A Vietnamese stripper dances on a small stage to some Asian-influenced disco. Hooker walks up to the bar and questions the bartender, Charlie, an elderly Asian man who seems to be made up of equal parts spiritual mentor and conniving criminal. Hooker asks him about Conner Sheridan. "I got no info for you today, Hooker," Charlie says. "I haven't seen Conner since he was captured by the Cong back in Nam."

"I've got a feeling you're lying to me, Charlie," Hooker says. Charlie glances over Hooker's shoulder at a pair of tough looking young Vietnamese men. They move closer to Hooker's back. Hooker presses for answers. The two toughs lean in for an attack, but Hooker whirls around with a gun in his hand. The two toughs laugh, and one attempts to kick the firearm from Hooker's hand. In a lightning-quick maneuver, Hooker grabs the man's foot and throws him to the floor. The second pounces and Hooker makes short work of him with a punch squarely across the jaw and a powerful thump on the back.

"Now let's get down to business, Charlie. Answers. You got 'em. I want 'em. It's just that simple," Hooker says. Suddenly another young Vietnamese man walks behind Hooker and clumsily bumps into him, slipping a note in his pocket.

"'Scuse me, Alexander," the man says as he makes a hasty exit.

"Sorry, friend, I'm afraid you've got me confused with ... somebody ... else ..."

Hooker says, as a realization dawns on him. "Thang Huynh--!! Damn!" He says, as he makes for the exit, attempting to follow him. He's just too late, as Thang has already gotten into a red Porsche and starts to peel off. Hooker leaps onto the back of the Porsche, but Thang bobs and weaves and sends Hooker thudding against a dumpster. Hooker falls off the car, stunned an unable to move. Thang pulls up alongside him.

"Read the note, Alexander. Next time, you not get off so easy!"
The Porsche speeds off. Hooker reaches into his pocket, and takes out the note.

---

"'11 o'clock tomorrow. ACME garage on the docks,'" Romano, sitting in 4Adam30 as Hooker drives, reads off the note Hooker received the night before. "'Come alone or the girl is next.' What does this mean, Hooker? And why is it addressed to 'Alexander'?"

"A nickname I picked up back in 'Nam," Hooker replies. "Only one person in that bar last night could have known it. And that was Thang Huynh."

"Who's he?"

Hooker goes on to explain that Thang Huynh was the son of a Vietnamese peasant that Conner Sheridan -- who served in the same platoon as Hooker and Dennis Sheridan, with Dennis as the commanding officer -- had an affair with. While Thang wasn't Conner's son, Conner did conceive a child with Thang's mother, who was already married. This caused an uproar in the village which wasn't helped by the fact that it seemed Conner was becoming increasingly short-fused and violent at the drop of a hat. Tensions only eased when Conner was injured in a minor battle and sent away to a V.A. hospital. Dennis Sheridan stepped in, trying to make amends for his brother's horrible behavior. Conner had always been a troublemaker, and Dennis, being the older brother, felt obligated to clean up his messes. However, he was met with much resistance from Thang's family, and only served to make the matter worse.

When word came that the village was an imminent Viet Cong target, Dennis tried to get the family to safety before the ensuing battle. They refused. When the attack finally came, Sheridan's forces were ambushed, and the entire village was gutted. It was the worst battle Hooker and Sheridan saw during there time there, and Dennis couldn't help feeling it was all his fault. A handful of Dennis' troops were lucky to escape with their lives. It was assumed everyone in the village had died...until now. Thang apparently had escaped, and Hooker has every reason to suspect that he was somehow involved in Dennis Sheridan's murder.

Romano asks what happened to Conner Sheridan. Hooker explains that, while Conner was in the hospital, he heard rumors that Dennis was getting involved with Thang's family, and suspected that Dennis was now having an affair with Thang's mother. He sent Dennis a bitter communiqué swearing if anything ever happened to the woman that he would kill Dennis. He asked for a transfer to a different platoon, and on his first mission with them the entire force was captured by the Viet Cong. He was still MIA as far as Hooker and Dennis knew. And Dennis decided it would be best never to tell Stacy about him.

"But he is the only man I know who has ever threatened to kill Dennis Sheridan and really mean it," Hooker says. "He has to be the one ultimately behind Dennis' death."

Romano asks Hooker if he plans on going to the ACME garage alone. He insists that he must, for Stacy's sake.

---

Conner and Thang meet again at the ACME garage. Conner is upset that Thang didn't kill Hooker when he had the chance. "I thought you'd want a piece of him, man," Thang explained. "What are you, afraid of him or something?"

Conner denies it, but his actions speak otherwise. He seems jittery and nervous. "Well, at least now I'll get the chance to finally see him suffer, the way that I suffered all these years." He tells Thang he's going to make the preparations for their meeting at eleven.

---

At Sherry's Bar, Stacy tries to convince Hooker to take her with him. Hooker refuses, stating that it's just simply too dangerous. He's seen Conner in action, and if Conner is in L.A. he will undoubtedly be there. Stacy finally relents and promises to stay put, but Hooker thinks she may just be play-acting. He takes Romano aside and asks him to make sure Stacy doesn't try to tag along, then he makes for the ACME garage.

---

Hooker arrives at the garage, in plainclothes. He gets out of his car and slowly walks the perimeter of the building until he reaches an entrance. It's open. He draws his gun and steps inside the darkened garage.

"Conner!" he shouts into the darkness. "Conner...you've got Dennis. You got what you wanted. Leave now while you've still got a chance!"

No answer.

Suddenly Thang appears behind Hooker and puts a gun to his head.

"Bang, you dead, Alexander!"

Hooker throws away his gun.

---

Romano drives over to Stacy's apartment to make sure she hasn't gone off to the ACME garage. He walks up to the building's entrance and rings her number. When there's no answer, he glances over at the building's parking lot. A sign that says "Reserved for Stacy Sheridan" is all that fills her usual parking spot, and a chill goes down Romano's back. He rushes to a pay phone and calls Corrigan.

---

"Where is he?" Hooker asks, with his hands raised and a gun at his head. "Where's Conner?"

"He here, all right," Thang says. "He gonna watch you die now, Alexander!"

"Is this how you want it?" Hooker shouts into the darkness. "You want some...kid...to do a man's job? Looks like the Cong did more than just capture you, Conner. Looks like they turned you into a coward!"

Conner bursts forth from the darkness, screaming like a lunatic. He barrels into Thang and Hooker, and all three of the men scramble for Thang's gun. Conner manages to get to it first. His eyes are wild. His hands shake as he levels the gun at Hooker.

THANG: "Do it, man! You kill him now! Do it!"

CONNER: "Shut up! I'll do what I want!!"

Hooker glances between the two of them. He knows what's coming.

THANG:
"Just get it over with so I go home!"

CONNER:
"I said shut up!"

Conner pulls the trigger.

---

Stacy is driving quickly towards the ACME garage. Romano and Corrigan race there together to try to stop her.

---

Thang lies dead. Conner turns to Hooker.

CONNER: "You're next, Hooker. It's you, it's all your fault! Soon you'll all be dead! Every last one of you responsible for taking her away from me!"

HOOKER: "We didn't take her away from you, Conner. Why can't you understand that? Dennis...he never laid a finger on her. The Cong did it!"

CONNER:
"Shut up! You're lying! That's it!" He levels the gun.

HOOKER:
"Go ahead, coward. Pull the trigger, rather than fight like a man. You'll never learn. Dennis tried his damnedest to teach you some sense. It's time someone else did it for him."

CONNER:
"I don't need a gun to kill you, Hooker." He tosses the gun into the darkness.

The two men immediately lash out at each other, and an intense hand-to-hand brawl erupts. Right jabs, head butts, knees to the stomach, rabbit punches to the solar plexus...the men fight like enraged animals. Conner begins to weaken. Hooker has Conner face down on the ground in a headlock.

HOOKER: "Give it up, Conner."

CONNER:
"Nothing ... to give up, Hooker. Soon you'll be dead."

HOOKER: "I don't think so, scum. You may have been Dennis Sheridan's brother, but that doesn't mean you can get away with murder ... with acting every bit as devious as the Cong did. I don't know how you made it back to the States ... I don't know how you managed to get Thang Huynh here ... but no matter what you've got now--money ... power ... I'm going to take that away from you, the way that you took Dennis from his daughter Stacy. Except it won't be quick, you hear me, punk? I am going to make sure you rot away in a six by six cage with the rest of the scum of the earth for the rest of your miserable life ... so that every moment, of every day, you'll be forced to think about what you could have done ... to save yourself ... to put things right. You make me sick, Conner. You give vets a bad name ... you give the human race a bad name."

Conner realizes Thang's gun is now inches away from his hand. Before Hooker can react, the gun is back in Conner's grasp. He smashes Hooker across the face with the butt, and rolls to his feet.

STACY: "Drop it, Conner."

She stands in the distance, leveling her service revolver.

Conner stares at her with a quiet rage. He becomes more and more angry with each silent second.

Romano and Corrigan pull up behind her. "Stace, no!" Corrigan shouts.

CONNER: "Looks like you're gonna have to shoot me ... niece."

They continue to stare at each other.

HOOKER: "Stacy, for God's sake...do the right thing! Honor your father!"

Conner whips his gun up to shoot her. She shoots first. Conner slumps to the ground.

"Call an ambulance," Hooker tells Romano.

Stacy stands over Conner, who has been winged in the shoulder. He spits at her as she handcuffs him and reads him his rights. Hooker puts his hand on her shoulder, nods and smiles.

"Now wash your hands, Stace. It's over," Hooker says.

---

Stacy is going through her father's belongings. She picks up a photo of herself, her father, and Hooker from when she was a small child. It's obvious she always thought of Hooker more as her father's brother than anyone else. She packs a few things into a box, and opens a desk drawer. All it contains is a single sealed envelope with the word "Stacy" written on the outside. Fighting back tears, Stacy opens the envelope and reads the letter. We hear the letter's contents in Dennis Sheridan's voice.

"Stacy...Now that I've moved away and retired, I just wanted to send you this note to let you know something that means the world to me. There comes a time in every parent's life when they have to realize that they need to let go of their children and let them fly away on their own. That time is now, Stacy. You're finally free of your watchful old Dad! There are so many things I've wanted to teach you, Stacy, and so many things I've wanted to tell you. Hopefully we'll have plenty of time for talking. I can't wait to watch you grow even more. I want you to know that no matter where I am, no matter how far away I might be, that I am your father and I will always love you. I'll talk to you soon. Love always, Dad."

She folds the letter and places it in her pocket for safekeeping.

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GUEST STARS:
Richard Herd
"Dennis Sheridan"
James Handy
"Conner"
Dustin Nguyen
"Thang Huynh "
Keye Luke
"Charlie"
BEST LINES:

"Hooker...tell Hooker...he came...back..."

- Captain Sheridan to Stacy, on his deathbed

"I know Stacy wants to help, Junior, but her head's filled with too many emotions right now. We've already lost Dennis, and I'll be damned if I let the same thing happen to his daughter."

- Hooker to Romano after Captain Sheridan's funeral

"Now let's get down to business, Charlie. Answers. You got 'em. I want 'em. It's just that simple."

- Hooker questioning Charlie at the bar

"I've had a bad day, Charlie--I just watched one of my oldest friends get lowered into the ground. Now you can either give me the information I need, or it's gonna become a bad day for you, too."

- Hooker questioning Charlie at the bar

"Bang, you dead, Alexander!"

- Thang Huynh to Hooker

"You make me sick, Conner. You give vets a bad name ... you give the human race a bad name."

- Hooker to Conner

"Stacy, for God's sake...do the right thing! Honor your father!"

- Hooker to Stacy as she confronts Conner


EPISODES : the formula | episode guide | the lost season

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