Kojak - Season 4 Episode Guide & Reviews

Kojak - Season 4 Episode Guide & Reviews


Copyright ©2016-2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Timings refer to the DVDs released by Universal and Shout! Factory.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers and the plots are given away!


JUMP TO SEASON ONE, SEASON TWO, SEASON THREE or SEASON FIVE
PILOT EPISODE
(The Marcus-Nelson Murders• MAIN PAGE


RATINGS:
★★★★ = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
★★★ = Better than average, worthy of attention.
★★ = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
= Below average, a show to avoid.
1. (S04E01) Birthday Party ★★½
Original air date: September 26, 1976
Director: Nicholas Sgarro; Writers: Robert Hoskins & Steven W. Carabatsos

SUMMARY:

During a liquor store robbery, a cop is seriously wounded (he later dies). When the shooter, Tony Papas (Marco St. John), is being booked, he overhears Stavros talking on the phone about Kojak attending a birthday party for his niece Ellena "in the old neighborhood." Papas, who knows Kojak from the Greek community, makes his one phone call to Lena Martin (Donna Mitchell) who gave the liquor store the once-over before Papas robbed it. He tells her, in Greek, about the party. Stavros excuses himself from the area to avoid any conflict of interest. Lena soon shows up at the park where the party is taking place with Papas' antsy brother Geno (Richard Gere). When Ellena wants to show the present she got from Uncle Theo to some of her friends who live on the other side of the park, Lena meets her on the way there and convinces Ellena to come away with her. Shortly after, Kojak gets a call at the precinct demanding Tony be released, or Ellena will come to a bad end. When Kojak tracks Lena down to a specific apartment building with the help of some guys from the Greek community, including Nico (Daniel Faraldo), she is not there, but a bottle of suntan oil is. This provides a clue that Lena, who has been identified as having jet-black hair, is actually a fair-skinned blonde (which she is). Another clue found in the apartment is a painting that Ellena made with an artists' kit that her uncle gave her at the party. This picture shows a scene from an airport. Ellena hates planes and flying. McNeil tells Kojak to get off the case, because he is too close to it, but Kojak hands over his shield and gun, saying he is now a private citizen. Pictures of Lena are sent around to travel agencies and when Geno picks up some tickets that Lena has ordered, he is recognized. He is also being tailed by Nico and the neighborhood boys. When Kojak arrives at the apartment where Geno is hanging out, Geno is shot dead by Stavros after he draws a gun. It turns out the tickets are a diversion, and Lena is a stewardess who has doped the kid and taken her to the airport with the intention of fleeing the country. But Ellena has left further clues in another painting, which gets Citizen Kojak and men from the station arriving quickly at Kennedy Airport's charter terminal where they arrest Lena just as she is about to board a plane with Ellena.

REVIEW:

This show has an interesting premise, but there are a lot of problems. At the beginning, Lena, who is parked in a car across the street from the liquor store, and Geno both just disappear after the robbery. It seems like a very odd coincidence that Tony arrives at the station just as Stavros is talking about where Kojak is and Tony formulates the plan about kidnapping the niece. You would figure that the kid, being around her policeman uncle, would have been cautioned about talking to strangers or going somewhere with them, but she leaves the park with Lena without any questions. When Kojak returns to the station after the kidnapping, Tony drops a big clue from the cage in the office where he is being held, saying "Where's my cake?", suggesting that he knew about the party. No one seems to attach any significance to this. Lena is a nasty piece of business, relating a story to Ellena about how she pushed some kid out of a window when she was young, with the suggestion that Ellena better co-operate or she will get the same kind of treatment. Lena must have at least two rooms she is using: the one where the suntan oil is found and the one which she vacates prior to going to the airport where Geno is shot. The final clue Ellena paints for her uncle, found in the second room, is a picture of a red onion. Kojak hates onions. He suggests that it is a "Bermuda onion," but Bermuda onions are not red! Presumably the idea is that the kid is being taken to Bermuda, but why would Lena have told her about this -- not to mention the fact that she really was a stewardess? The ending is really "nick of time," with Kojak and his pals getting to the airport at the very last minute, despite the fact that Lena's cab has what seems like a huge lead.

MORE TRIVIA:


2. (S04E02) A Summer Madness ★★★★
Original air date: October 3, 1976
Director: Jeannot Szwarc; Writers: Jack Laird & William P. McGivern

SUMMARY:

On a sweltering hot summer day, Molly (Fionnula Flanagan), the wife of detective Jeff Braddock (Joseph Mascolo) is having a total meltdown because her dog Topper has died. This exacerbates her fragile mental state, because it brings back memories of their son Tommy. They had bought the dog for their son, who died some time ago because of something to do with a can of benzene in a storage locker (exactly what is not specified). As well, Molly has been refusing to go out of the house and neglecting her "wifely duties" like buying groceries and so forth. Molly knows that her husband has a mistress, Gretchen Hodges (Judith Chapman), a freelance photographer who lives in a secure apartment building and indulges in drugs and men other than Braddock. Molly spies on Hodges while her husband is at work on a case with Kojak, seeing Hodges having a run-in with Caesar Ogilvy (Brian Murray), another of her boyfriends, in front of her apartment. The manager of the building told Ogilvy to get lost when Hodges said that she didn't want to see him. When she comes outside, he argues with her, slapping her in the face. Molly follows Gretchen to a trendy cafe called Rumplestiltskin's. Unknown to her, her husband is supposed to have dinner with Hodges at this place, but he is delayed. Using the can of benzene, an empty bottle and a rag, Molly fashions a Molotov cocktail and hurls it into the place while driving on the sidewalk, knocking over tables. In the resulting conflagration, three people are killed, including Hodges, and 17 are taken to the hospital. Kojak, Stavros and McNeil show up at the cafe, and so does Braddock, who was arriving for dinner, but says he "heard the sirens." Molly abandons the car and throws the key away in a vacant lot. At the hospital, the medical examiner shows some jewelry belonging to the dead Hodges, which Braddock is disturbed to see. Braddock returns home and is further upset to find his car is missing, and his wife has no logical explanation for this. He reports the car as stolen. He tells his wife to get out of town for a few days, but she keeps rattling on about their dead son. Braddock, who knows more than he is letting on, tells Kojak that he found a certain jeweller who made the bracelet for Hodges, and he and Kojak go to her place. The building manager talks about Hodges' sexual history with numerous men while Braddock winces. Fortunately, this manager is the day man; Braddock only came to the place in the evening. The doorman tells them about Ogilvy and his assault on Hodges. When Kojak and Braddock check out Hodges' apartment, Braddock removes pictures of the two of them together that are in one of her dressers. Later, Crocker talks to the night security guy at the building, but cannot get any specific details about her "other" boyfriend. Braddock goes to visit Pearl Johnson, Hodges' cleaning lady, who knows him because of his frequent visits. He threatens to bust her son, who was supplying Hodges with drugs, unless Pearl keeps her mouth shut about his trysts. Braddock tracks down Ogilvy, who plays piano in a bar. When Ogilvy goes outside to smoke a joint, Braddock confronts him, saying that "Gretchen belonged to me." Braddock threatens to arrest Ogilvy, and the two of them fight. Braddock's gun goes off, and Ogilvy is dead. Kojak just happens to be arriving at the bar at the same time. Back at the station, McNeil is pissed because what happened will be hard to sell to Internal Affairs, not to mention the media. Kojak backs up Braddock, saying that Ogilvy was far from clean-living (Ogilvy's arm revealed that he was a junkie). As Braddock is being interrogated, though, Kojak gets a call saying that it was a woman who threw the bomb. More and more pieces of what really happened start to fall into place: Braddock showing up at Rumplestiltskin's on the other side of town after telling Crocker that he was taking his wife out to dinner, confirmation from the night security guy that Braddock was the evening boyfriend, and Stravros' remembering that Braddock knew Hodges from several months before when she was a witness to a holdup and Braddock drove her home after he took her statement. Braddock returns home to find that Molly has a new dog. She is babbling incoherently and cannot tell him what happened to the car keys. When Molly breaks into a big smile, Braddock realizes she was the one who bombed the restaurant. He goes into the bathroom. What Kojak shows up soon after, water is pouring from under the bathroom door and Molly is holding Braddock's gun. Kojak calls the station and says he wants to report a homicide: Braddock's.

REVIEW:

This is an outstanding episode which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last frame. There is powerhouse acting from everyone and a very effective score by Cacavas. The ending of the show is kind of ambiguous. Water running under the door and the reaction of Kojak and Crocker would suggest that Braddock is dead, but typically this would mean he is in the bathtub and the water is running over the edge, like he has slit his wrists or something (or he has been shot -- but would he have been taking a bath or a shower?). There is no doubt a gap between the time Molly takes Braddock's gun out of the drawer where he normally keeps it and the time Kojak shows up. Kojak doesn't hear the gun go off as he is arriving, for example. But "homicide" could refer to either Molly shooting her husband or the murder of Ogilvy. I think it is more likely the former, especially because only minutes earlier, Braddock told his unstable wife "Why don't you kill me?"

MORE TRIVIA:


3. (S04E03) Law Dance ★★★★
Original air date: October 10, 1976
Director: Edward M. Abroms; Writer: James M. Miller

SUMMARY:

Burl Slote (Martin Kove) murdered three people during the robbery of the Award Diner four years before, but his sentence was overturned on appeal because his rights were violated according to the appellate court, so the case is being retried. Other than Crocker, who was the first cop on the scene, all of the eyewitnesses are dead, untraceable or unavailable for various reasons with one exception. In court, Crocker, who was a rookie at the time of the robbery, does not make a good impression in front of the jury, especially because of an improperly conducted search he made when arresting Slote. Aside from him, the only witness is Lionel Lessonbee (Rudy Challenger), owner of the diner, who Slote's brother Henry (Bruce Glover) confronts in the elevator of his apartment building and stabs to death. Because the case is destined for failure and Slote will be released, the district attorney David Fox (Jack Bannon) is ready to give up. In response, Kojak makes a big speech in the room full of D.A.s and others which causes everyone to fall silent, much to Fox's amazement. Following this, Kojak tracks down a 90-year-old Greek woman who was a witness, but cannot speak English. From her, he finds out that Lessonbee's wife Carol (Roxie Roker) was also present in the diner that day, even though it was originally claimed she was not there, instead tending to the family catering business. Crocker also recalls a former acquaintance of Slote named Jack Boston (Howard Vann, uncredited) who may have important information, but when he and prosecutor Josh Candoo (David Wilson) track Boston down, a huge fight takes place with both Crocker and Candoo getting beaten up badly (this fight is actually not seen). However, Boston does provide information that years before, someone was planning the robbery of the diner with Slote, which Kojak and McNeil figure is Slote's brother Henry. When Kojak goes to Lessonbee's funeral to talk to his wife, she totally refuses to co-operate, but when Henry shows up at the funeral home and threatens to kill her, Kojak nabs him. Back in court, Candoo is dragging things out as much as possible in front of no-nonsense Judge Rowland Burk (E.A. Sirianni). While biting their fingernails waiting to see if Lessonbee's wife will show up after being served a subpoena, Kojak takes the stand himself and has to endure questions from Slote's slimy lawyer Kingsley (Biff McGuire). Luckily, Lessonbee's wife does show up after being persuaded by "Boy Wonder" Crocker and the original verdict against Slote stands.

REVIEW:

Another excellent show in every way. The direction at the beginning is very interesting with Kojak and this older woman named Mae Lester (Sara Seegar), who could be described as a "court groupie" who attends trials while she is knitting socks. Mae is friendly with cops and people working in the court building; even the judge tolerates her speaking up during the trial! The two of them walk through a huge crowd of people in the courtroom hallways, which is rather odd, because there is almost no one attending Slote's trial. The scene in the district attorney's room is also hectic, and lends credence to Fox's comment that "we make all kinds of deals with all kinds of crud" because they are dealing with 1,700 murder cases in the current year alone. "Justice is out, movement is in," according to Fox. Sharon Gless, later of Cagney & Lacey, has a small role as an assistant D.A. in this scene.

MORE TRIVIA:


4. (S04E04) Out of the Shadows ★★★½
Original air date: October 17, 1976
Director: Jeannot Szwarc; Writer: Gene R. Kearney

SUMMARY:

Yet more boiling hot summer days (temperature up to 106°F), and a psycho nicknamed "The Grim Reaper" is going around at night murdering people with no rhyme or reason, stabbing them to death. His victims include a hooker, a pawnbroker, an evangelist, a landlord, a garage mechanic, a department store salesman and a clerk in a supermarket. Another guy, Roger Villers (Ken Sylk), who is unravelling mentally because he is unemployed and just went through an acrimonious divorce after he discovered his wife cheating on him, is going to the crime scenes the next day and spray-painting messages. When he meets with his wife Jenny (Lara Parker) for coffee, Villers is ranting loudly, much to the concern of the other people in the restaurant. Jenny wants him to meet with their son and provide child support as well as go to group therapy, all of which enrages him even more. After Villers is caught by the cops, he seems to know all the answers regarding the killings except one: that he used a switchblade as a murder weapon instead of what the medical examiner described as a bayonet that was thrust in with such force during one of the killings that its tip broke off. Switchblades have been illegal in New York City for 20 years. Crocker and McNeil totally browbeat Villers when he is taken to the station house, but Kojak, who doubts he is the Reaper, is surprisingly sympathetic. Kojak later interviews Villers himself. After hearing the tape, McNeil says, "If that man killed all those people, he's insane, and he's insane if he didn't." When the murder weapon is found down a sewer, Kojak predicts that the killer will go after the person who sold it to him, which is exactly what happens. Kojak takes Villers to the room where the hooker was killed and after asking him several questions, tells Villers that he knows he is not the one responsible for the murders. Around this time, a message is received from a clerk in a surplus store that someone was hassling him over a knife bought there which was "defective," but the person who sold it, Ted Owens (Howard Honig) is off sick, yet the clerk gave the customer his name. Kojak and others race to Owens' apartment and confront the killer. When a knife is thrown in Crocker's direction, the Reaper is shot dead, and he falls backwards out a window on to the street below.

REVIEW:

The sultry atmosphere from only two episodes before persists in this show. The heat is putting everyone on edge. McNeil would like to lock up Villers and throw away the key, saying that Villers "has all the facts," but Kojak manages to see through Villers' façade, that he is living the killer's acts after they are committed. The ending is another one where the bad guy is dealt with in the nick of time. Salome Jens as Villers' Russian-accented neighbor Olga Nurell, who spends a night with him and tries to be nice, bringing him breakfast in bed, is largely wasted.

MORE TRIVIA:


5. (S04E05) A Need to Know ★★★½
Original air date: October 24, 1976
Director: Russ Mayberry; Writers: Chester Krumholz, Cire Rodlak & Stewart Alexander

SUMMARY:

Carl Dettrow (Hector Elizondo) is arrested for attempting to lure and molest a child in a public park after surveillance by Crocker, Stavros, Saperstein and others. When taken back to the station, Dettrow acts dumb, which makes Kojak want to strangle him, over McNeil's procedural objections. Kojak and McNeil are summoned to a meeting near the U.N. building with Donald Mosher (Al Freeman Jr.), who works for some U.S. government agency. Mosher tells them to let Dettrow go, because Dettrow works for a foreign embassy as a chauffeur and has diplomatic immunity. Both Kojak and McNeil are disgusted by this turn of events, but after Dettrow is released, Crocker follows him on his own. Dettrow meets with some Asian guy (Yuki Shimoda) on a park bench and later goes to play chess in a public park. When Dettrow calls George Rhine (Jess Osuna), Mosher's boss, to report he is being followed, Rhine sends one of his men to "dispose of" Crocker. When he later meets with Kojak, Crocker tells him that Dettrow stopped to visit his psychiatrist (Maria Tucci) on his way to the chess game, and Kojak goes to talk to her. She doesn't say too much, but comments that Dettrow is "driven by a compulsion." To kill some time, Dettrow goes to a cafe where the owner's six-year-old son Peter (Jason Matzner) bumps into him by mistake. Elsewhere, Rhine's man attempts to take out Crocker, but Crocker instead shoots him in the shoulder. Kojak gets Stavros to follow Mosher, who is starting to have second thoughts about the plan to keep Dettrow away from the cops, especially Kojak, who is threatening to expose the whole operation. Dettrow returns to the cafe, where Peter acts friendly towards him. But Dettrow leaves again and meets with the Asian guy, who is across the street. He tells the Asian that he is supposed to meet with Mosher later. The Asian guy says "Be calm, you are not going to kill him. I am." Despite the fact that this meeting is not particularly close to the restaurant, Peter follows Dettrow and offers him a Hershey bar, which his father may have purchased for him with money Dettrow gave his father after Peter bumped into him during the first visit to the cafe. Dettrow tells Peter to go away, but then starts talking to the kid, saying that he (Dettrow) is a "very important person" who has "very smart brains" who "should have a very important position" and that Peter is a "nice boy." Stavros is calling Kojak from near the cafe when he finds out that Peter has disappeared. Kojak arrives soon and Peter's father identifies Dettrow as the man who was at the cafe earlier. Shortly after this, Kojak and McNeil meet with Rhine and Mosher. Rhine tells them that "we're on a very important mission," and "what we're working on can literally save thousands of lives in the next few weeks." Kojak and McNeil are not impressed by this. Kojak and Crocker manage to track down the abducted Peter. When Rhine tells McNeil that he might have grounds to charge Dettrow now, McNeil calls him "a moron." The cops then go to Battery Park where Dettrow turns over a strip of film to Mosher. The Asian guy sneaks up and stabs Mosher in the back and takes the film, but as Mosher expires, he pulls out his gun and shoots the Asian guy dead, also in the back. Dettrow escapes, hijacking a car which is pursued by Kojak and Crocker as well as a patrol car. Eventually, Dettrow is boxed in and he is captured. He gives Kojak and Crocker his line about how he cannot be arrested because he has diplomatic immunity. However, a large limousine from Dettrow's embassy approaches and takes him away, presumably because of his espionage activities, not to mention his personal problems. As he is hustled into this limo, likely to be eventually killed by the people from his home country, he suddenly starts yelling at Kojak that he doesn't want to go and instead would prefer that Kojak arrest and charge him or send him to a hospital where he can receive treatment. Kojak and Crocker are not interested, and Rhine is nearby watching everything that happens.

REVIEW:

This episode is actually pretty good, but there are a lot of things which you have to second-guess. For example, Dettrow's country is never specified. Some WWW comments suggest it is East Germany, probably because Dettrow has a German-sounding accent. The soundtrack gives a big clue because it prominently features this Eastern-European-sounding instrument like a zither or a cimbalom (it almost sounds Greek). The Asian guy's country is also not specified, again rumored to be Communist China. The fact this character is played by a Japanese actor does not help. Dettrow is double-dealing, taking money from Mosher for the film and also from Mr. Mysterious Asian after Mosher is killed. The U.S. government agency is also not specified. In Rhine's office there is a large Great Seal of the United States on the wall behind him, but there is no writing around the outer rim of this which would say F.B.I., C.I.A. or some other organization to specifically identify it. I'm sure the whole issue of child molesting caused CBS's Standards and Practices department to have a brain aneurysm over this show. When Kojak and Crocker locate Peter, who appears totally shell-shocked on what looks like a fire escape, it is obvious that something really horrible happened to him. (Dettrow previously molested two other children in the park at the beginning of the show prior to this episode and was also picked up in Washington, D.C. where he worked for his country's embassy some time ago for two other incidents, the charges for which were both covered up.) But how does Kojak get into the kid's confidence? He pulls out a Tootsie Pop and offers it to him! This is kind of cringe-inducing, especially considering the end of the show, where Kojak comes to the cafe which Peter's father owns and gives the kid a box of candy. Kojak gives the box of candy to his father (Rudolph Willrich), and when the father tells Kojak to give it to him directly, Kojak says "Little boys should not take presents from strangers"!

MORE TRIVIA:


6. (S04E06) An Unfair Trade ★★★★
Original air date: October 31, 1976
Director: Nicholas Sgarro; Writer: Burton Armus

SUMMARY:

Jimmy O'Connor (David Selby) and Dan Garrett (Charles Brown) are working undercover in the barrio when they confront two punks -- Victor "Chino" Ramos (Tito Goya) and Hector Diaz (Lionel Pina) -- who they witnessed stealing a battery out of a car. As the two are being taken away, Hector grabs Garrett's gun and points it at Garrett, then O'Connor. Hector cocks the gun and O'Connor shoots him in front of several witnesses, including Hector's sister Alicia (Livia Genise). (Hector later dies in hospital.) Predictably, the big police brass are quickly on the scene, including Chief Wilson (Joe Silver). Despite cautions from the Policeman's Benevolent Association representative and Kojak, O'Connor can't keep quiet when he is brought back to the station. Alicia is brought there for an interview where she says that her brother did not have a gun. Chino is also grilled, saying that the battery was bought off "a man," and as far as he is concerned, the police are "pigs." Back in the barrio, things are complicated by the presence of Thomas Serio (Jaime Sanchez), the Spanish community's representative to the mayor's office. Although it's pointed out to him by Garcia (Francisco Prado) that Hector was a thief who laughed at local people who tried to help him, Serio says "we have to do something," describing his quest as "a moral responsibility." When Kojak goes to see Wilson, he is told to handle the aftermath of the shooting with kid gloves because the Spanish community are "very emotional people." Kojak replies, "That's a bigoted line, no matter who said it." Meanwhile, Serio stages a re-enactment of the shooting where Alicia continues to insist that her brother was unarmed. Kojak talks to George Sanchez (Carlos Cestero), the assistant district attorney handling the case, who is also Puerto Rican. They are interrupted by Serio, who suggests that O'Connor should be charged with murder. When Sanchez challenges Serio, he is told "Whose side are you on?" O'Connor is depressed, telling his wife Janet (Mary-Joan Negro), who is finally pregnant after 12 years of trying, "I'm laid out for the slaughter ... I'm a dead man." When a drive-by throws something at them as they are sitting on their building's steps, O'Connor goes back to the barrio and confronts Alicia, asking her why she is lying. O'Connor is knocked out when someone throws a bottle at his head. After he is brought back to the station, O'Connor gets some very bad news -- his wife lost their baby because of a miscarriage. Soon after this, Alicia is interviewed again when what she told to the newspapers about the shooting does not tally with what she told the police in her interview. Serio shows up again, and goes into an "us versus them" rant against Sanchez who is there, basically accusing him of betraying his own people. Sanchez lets Serio have it right back, saying "It is either right or it is wrong ... it is false or it is true ... and that is the law." As Sanchez leaves, he tells Kojak that it was "dumb" to interview Alicia again, something Kojak agrees with. In the barrio, Alicia is confronted by Chino and gang members about what she is saying to the cops. When she tells them that saying her brother was unarmed was a lie, she is threatened with a knife and dragged into a stairwell. Kojak shows up and rescues her. At the grand jury proceedings, Alicia tells the truth and both O'Connor and Garrett are exonerated. But when he overhears Chief Wilson talking to Serio, suggesting that they will be looking into his (O'Connor's) background and that things will change so "a tragedy like this will never happen again," O'Connor leaves the court building in disgust. When Serio goes to leave and get in his car, O'Connor is nearby and pulls a gun, asking Serio how does he feel now. Fortunately, the gun is not loaded and O'Connor is disarmed by Kojak. Kojak asks him, "Do you know what you just did to yourself?" O'Connor replies, "It doesn't matter, Lieutenant," and walks away, his career as a cop finished.

REVIEW:

Another excellent script from Burton Armus, the show's technical advisor, no doubt drawing on his experience in the machinations of a case like this. The acting is also of a very high caliber, especially David Selby, who knows he is screwed as soon as he shoots Hector, and things just get progressively worse. Kojak has a lot of great lines in this show, even when he is under the gun from the higher-ups. At the end of his discussion with Chief Wilson, who is going out of his way to kiss Serio's ass, Kojak says "I bet when you used to be a cop, you loved the job."

MORE TRIVIA:


7. (S04E07) A Hair-Trigger Away ★★★½
Original air date: November 7, 1976
Director: Sigmund Neufeld Jr.; Writers: L.T. Bentwood, Andy House & Jack Epps Jr.

SUMMARY:

Len Gittings (Walter McGinn) and his partner Morgan are surveilling Joe Mallick (Sam Lucante), a bagman who is shot dead during a drug transaction by the dealer, Don Luiz Cabrillo (Hurd Hatfield). When Cabrillo escapes, taking all of Mallick's cash with him, Morgan pursues him, but Gittings accidentally shoots and kills his partner. The usual heat comes down from Internal Affairs with Gittings being assigned to a desk job, but McNeil pulls strings and gets Gittings back on the case which he has been working on for a long time. As if all this is not bad enough, Gittings' personal life is a mess. Divorced from his wife, Gittings' girl friend Claire (Lynn Redgrave) has become a junkie because of her own divorce, and she has taken to hanging out with a bunch of addicts in a warehouse. Kojak goes to talk to Mallick's brother George (Dominic Chianese), a local mobster who is not particularly interested in what Kojak has to say. Gittings and Kojak team up to investigate several players in the drug scene and try and get the case wrapped up. Crocker works with Gittings too, but tells Kojak that doing this makes him nervous because Gittings is acting in an unstable manner. While working with Crocker, Gittings pretends to hassle a hooker named Amy (Irene Cara) for information, but this just results in her getting beaten up by her pimp. She later comes to the station house where she calls Gittings "a pig." George Mallick has suspicions that Cabrillo is involved with his brother's murder. In fact, his brother met with Cabrillo's girl friend Allison (Morgan Fairchild) prior to getting killed, so it is quite likely that she helped set him up for his execution. But after a meeting with George Mallick and one of his thugs, Cabrillo escapes after causing George to be hit by a car in a spectacular stunt. George has already paid a large sum of money to Dan Hudson (Dan Hedaya), a local heroin distributor, to knock off Cabrillo, who meets with Sonny Scammons (Ben Slack), one of Hudson's employees. Scammons was already negotiating with Cabrillo to buy all of his "product" after the assassination of Joe Mallick. Kojak and the cops have been following Scammons and Cabrillo is shot dead by Kojak when he attempts to escape from Hudson's long-range rifle. Gittings almost shoots Kojak during this altercation. Back at his place, Gittings tells Kojak that he hopes Claire will soon be able to break free from her addiction.

REVIEW:

This show has outstanding acting by everyone concerned, especially McGinn and Redgrave as well as a script full of clever exchanges, great direction and locations and an above-average score by Cacavas. But there are a lot of places where you have to guess what is going on (the summary above has my interpretation of some events). For example, if Gittings has been working on the case for such a long time, why does Kojak have to help him connect the dots? It sounds like Gittings really hadn't achieved as much as might have been expected. Why Gittings kills Morgan is never explained, though it most likely because of the stress connected with his job, or perhaps because his vision is becoming bad or a combination of the two (Gittings squints before he fires the fatal shot). Ditto for the end of the show when Gittings almost plugs Kojak (there is a moment when Gittings thinks Kojak is Morgan). There are also a lot of questions about the topography at the beginning of the show. After shooting Mallick, Cabrillo runs across a boat which is anchored nearby, and Morgan goes to some door on a small building down the dock, which will not open. Morgan then leaps over to what looks like a pile of logs that he climbs up, where he is shot by Gittings. But then Cabrillo shows up at the door which he goes through and locks from the other side. The ending of the show is ridiculous. Hudson attempts to knock off Cabrillo with a rifle which has a scope, standing on the roof of a nearby building, giving new meaning to the expression "can't hit the side of barn door." In fact, when Cabrillo and Scammons first meet, there is the usual "Kojak shooting pause" where Hudson has plenty of opportunity to knock off Cabrillo, but does nothing. As well as being an inept shot, Hudson can't hear when Crocker and Stavros sneak up and quickly subdue him. Then, for some reason I can't understand, Cabrillo goes to the roof of another building, where he is shot dead by Kojak, rather than just escaping down the street. The show gets 3½ stars despite the above faults because of the acting, especially the touching scenes between Gittings and Claire as well as those with Kojak taking care of his man Gittings.

MORE TRIVIA:


8. (S04E08) By Silence Betrayed ★★★
Original air date: November 14, 1976
Director: Sigmund Neufeld Jr.; Writer: Chester Krumholz

SUMMARY:

When longshoreman Johnny Bannister (uncredited actor) is found murdered after complaining about having to co-operate with gangsters involved in hijacking items like electronic components and radios, Kojak is on the case. One of the men on the docks named Gino (Cliff Osmond), a slow-witted gentle-giant type, is playing both sides of the fence, hanging out with the workers and also with Dagger, who is behind the robberies. The men are suspicious about Gino, who is always boasting about how he beats Dagger at cards. Kojak has an informer on the docks, Hank Yankowski (Paul Mantee), who the men respect. Hank, who was promoted to shop steward after Bannister's death, has a meeting with Dagger, who wants to buy his co-operation. Hank responds by taking Dagger's money and stuffing it in his mouth. Soon after, Gino overhears Hank having a phone conversation with Kojak. He takes Hank to a meeting with Dagger where Hank is also killed. Kojak goes to see Dagger and has some very harsh words. After this, he gets a tip from a bartender in a place near the docks that "Dave" (Michael Mann) might have some information. Dave runs a back-room gambling den, and Kojak raids the place. Dave, who is also a fence, reveals that a big score of a million dollars worth of watches is coming down soon. Kojak goes to see Clara (Beth Porter), who is either Hank's girl friend or a friendly neighborhood hooker. She doesn't know anything about who killed Hank. When Gino shows up at Hank's wake, he makes a generous contribution ($100) to the pot being collected for Hank's elderly mother (Virginia Christine), which he says he won in another game with Dagger. Gino starts to argue with one of the longshoremen present named Bender (Charles Siebert). Kojak breaks up the fight and takes Gino downtown to interrogate him. He doesn't learn much because Geno doesn't want to be seen as a stoolie. Geno does give Kojak Bender's name, but when Kojak questions Bender, he is told that the last person to see Hank alive was Geno. Geno comes to the longshoremen's bar where he is confronted by several of the men. He leaves in a hurry without incident; when he gets outside, he encounters Dagger who says "You're with us now." Kojak meets with Geno, who feeds him information from Dagger about the upcoming heist, which includes the wrong pier. Geno goes to the correct location with Dagger and his men, and is supposed to kill one of his friends, Fred (Louis Guss), who is charge of the gate, but obviously he does not, since Fred appears later on. Kojak and the men are at the wrong place, but they go to the warehouse where Dagger conducts his business, and confront the crooks, who are arrested. Meanwhile, Geno goes to Hank's funeral. The men there are really pissed at Geno now, and after the coffin is put in the hearse, they surround him and kill him. Kojak shows up, and, of course, the "code of silence" is in effect. Kojak yells at the men that he will find out who is responsible, saying "I have a code too."

REVIEW:

This show has some similarity to On the Waterfront inasmuch as it deals with squealing among dock workers and the code of "D&D" (deaf and dumb) in that movie. Cliff Osmond gives a very good performance as Geno, though you have to wonder why he ended up keeping bad company with Dagger in the first place. Kojak reveals a bit about his past when he tells Dave the fence a story how, during World War II, he captured a Nazi officer, who said that shooting a squad of Greek commandos standing with their hands up was "really nothing terrible, since most of them would have died sooner or later anyway." Then, smiling, Kojak says, "I broke his jaw." Dave is very quick to tell Kojak what he wants to know.

MORE TRIVIA:


9. (S04E09) A Shield for Murder ★★★★
Original air date: November 21, 1976
Director: Jeannot Szwarc; Writers: Robert M. Young & William P. McGivern

SUMMARY:

Kojak gets himself into very hot water when he tells Assistant District Attorney Greg Burton (Charles Kimbrough) what he really thinks of him in the courthouse hallway after Burton rushes a case where Kojak was trying to collect more evidence which might have resulted in a conviction of innocent instead of guilty. Kojak calls Burton a "conviction-hungry lawyer." Burton says he expects an apology for that comment, and Kojak says, "I hope you're holding your breath." Moments later, a young guy named Daniel Shaw (Uegene O'Neill) tries to assassinate Burton, but is shot by a cop on the courthouse steps outside as he tries to escape. Kojak asks why he did it, and Shaw replies, before he dies, "Because no one cared." Burton, who is standing nearby, says that two years ago, Shaw's girl friend and aspiring figure skater Karen Foster (Mary Beth Hurt) got 20 years to life for killing her mother. He makes sure that Kojak can hear that she signed a confession before he took the case. Kojak becomes obsessed with finding out about the Foster case, even though he is in charge of a high-profile narcotics stakeout near the docks which is expecting 20 to 30 kilos of heroin to be delivered. Murtle Carr (Cynthia Belgrave), Shaw's landlord, says that he was a loner with no friends who kept his place clean and even went to church. Kojak talks to Sally (Ellen O'Mara), a waitress at a restaurant that Shaw used to frequent. Sally says that Karen's mother, who ran a pizza parlor down the block, was "real hard on her." Her mother made Karen do deliveries, which was unusual for a girl. The night of the murder, Sally, who was working at the pizza place at the time, recalls there was a big order called in for college students up the street by an old man who worked for the college. Kojak goes to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a women's prison, where Karen is being held and recently tried to commit suicide. He talks to her psychiatrist Dr. Garvey (Michael Lombard) who says that she is "filled with such deep loathing for herself, it permeates the air around her." Kojak talks to Karen, but she is very withdrawn, saying "I killed Danny too, however it happened." Kojak goes and talks to Lt. Dekker (Kenneth McMillan), an old-school cop in Manhattan North who was in charge of the Foster murder investigation. He says they had Karen cold because she sat up all night after she killed her mother with the butcher knife in her hand. Dekker says of Karen she was "a bad penny": "The only thing that kept her from being a hooker was she gave it away." Meanwhile, Burton goes to visit Edna Morrison (Geraldine Page), a high-society political mover and shaker who, it is rumoured, is going to back his campaign to run for district attorney. After he is ushered into Morrison's inner sanctum, Burton is surprised to see Dekker there, who reports that Kojak went to the prison, then came to see him. Morrison asks a bunch of questions about Kojak like whether he is honest (Burton replies "very"). Dekker suggests that Kojak be loaded up with work; Burton says that "it will all blow over." When Morrison asks Burton directly if Kojak will be a problem, he replies, "No ... I don't think so." As he leaves, Morrison tells Burton, "You get along with that man until we can determine how much of a problem he is going to be and what more, if anything, we shall have to do about it." McNeil has a talk with Kojak because he is getting heat from various sources above, considering Morrison wants Burton to be D.A. and even bigger and better things. Burton calls Kojak, asking him to go to lunch at a fancy restaurant, but this does not go well after Burton suggests they should let bygones be bygones, and sitting nearby is a journalist named Ward (Bob Levine) who Burton invited to witness them burying the hatchet. Kojak leaves in disgust, asking Burton in a voice loud enough to be heard by everyone in the place, "What the hell are you so scared about?" Kojak keeps visiting Karen in Bedford Hills, wanting to know the reason she killed her mother. At the office, he starts to get a lot of hassle connected with paperwork he has to do and cases he is involved with start to get messed up in legal bureaucracy. When he needs a writ to bring Karen down from Bedford Hills to Riker's Island, Kojak goes to Angus Moore, who owes him a favor big time, because Burton's office will not co-operate. Moore says he will do what Kojak wants, but warns him that Morrison "makes and breaks guys bigger than us, just for the fun of pulling strings." Kojak goes to visit Morrison. He lights up a cigar, even though she tells him not to. She says that her work is "disseminating power. It's not quite sex, but it keeps the adrenaline going." After not getting anywhere, Kojak says, "OK, lady, enough. I just don't like what's happening to me. I don't like being pushed around. I don't like my men being pushed around." When he brings up Daniel Shaw, Morrison acts dumb. After more give and take, Kojak finally leaves, saying "Call off your dogs, or this whole thing's going to blow up right in front of your face in this pretty green room library or whatever it is." Some bigwig who has even more power than Morrison comes into the room cautioning her that she might be getting over her head. Kojak comes to Riker's Island to take Karen to a skating rink, but one of the nurses there named Slovack (Janet Ward) is in touch with Dekker who then tips off Burton. Dekker calls some punk named Ryan (Matthew Cowles) and arranges for him to knock off Kojak. Kojak takes Karen to the pizza place where she used to work, but she freaks out. Ryan calls Kojak and arranges a meeting after mentioning Shaw and Karen, but the hit by Ryan and another guy fails when a team of patrol cops just happen to be driving by. Kojak gets raked over the coals, though, because while he was meeting Ryan, the heroin bust turned into a real bust and Kojak's leadership of his men is questioned by Internal Affairs, bolstered by testimony from Ryan about how Kojak worked him over, which is baloney. Kojak goes and talks to Anton Lenco (Noberto Kerner), the janitor from the college who ordered pizzas the evening of Karen's murder, but he is not helpful because is paranoid about losing his job and not becoming an American citizen. Garvey calls Kojak that Karen is ready to talk to him, but Slovack overhears his call and contacts Dekker to tell him what is going on. Dekker tells her that "it's all coming down around me" and that Kojak must not talk to Karen. Slovack hassles Karen so much that she goes into a catatonic state. The doctor tells Kojak to stay away, or he will make it an official order. Late at night, Kojak gets a call in his office from Lenco, who tells how Karen came to deliver the pizzas, and he heard her crying and screaming in the basement of the building, in the boiler room. He later found her alone in the closet, unable to talk with blood on her; "she was crazy scared." Then she ran home. After this, Lenco was visited by some people who suggested he keep his mouth shut about what happened, or he might have trouble with his refugee application because he "did it to her." Kojak confronts Burton on the street to tell him that Karen was raped the night of the murder. Burton's response is "She delivered anything; how do you rape a dumb girl like that?" Burton tells Kojak, "Stop following my shadow." Kojak tells him, "I'm not following your shadow; I'm following what you're afraid of." Kojak goes to Dekker's office and asks questions about a taxi which left the pizza parlor which was never checked out because Karen had confessed. When Dekker says he was only too glad to close the case and that Karen was "a slut," Kojak yells at him why didn't he investigate who was in the cab that left the scene of the crime. He tells Dekker, "You got a reputation for being a good cop, but to me, you stink." Burton goes to see Morrison, telling her that Kojak is like "a wild dog." He tells her he doesn't know what to do, but she tells him to solve his own problem. Kojak gets information from Moore that after the murder, Dekker, who was almost broke prior to it, bought a farm in upstate New York for $30,000 down afterwards. Kojak gets one more day to try and get information from Karen. Morrison calls Dekker and basically tells him to knock off Lenco, otherwise everything will be unraveled. Internal Affairs wants to relieve Kojak of duty, but McNeil makes a case that the narcotics case is still ongoing, so they give him another 48 hours. Kojak gets very bad news when he gets a phone call that Lenco has been murdered, but a witness nearby identifies Dekker as the likely killer. Luckily, Saperstein manages to track down the driver of the taxi which left the pizza place. When Kojak arrives, the driver recalls he picked up two boys and wondered why they were never mentioned in newspaper accounts of the trial. The driver went to see both Dekker and Burton and was told what he saw was not important. Following this, the driver got a nice payment which allowed him to retire from hacking and open a flower shop. Kojak meets Dr. Garvey and Karen outside the pizza joint. They go inside where Kojak gives Karen a knife, saying "Show me." Karen locks herself in a room and relives what happened -- that she was raped at the fraternity house, came home and was followed by the two boys who raped her. When they tried to pay off her mother, the mother grabbed a knife, and one of the boys took the knife and killed the mother. In other words, Karen did not do it. Back at the station, Kojak finds out that the heroin bust was finally successful, and that Dekker has been found dead in his car, having committed suicide. On the front seat of the car was an envelope presumably with a letter confessing what really happened with the case. One of the boys involved in the rape was Morrison's grandson, who is charged with the second boy and taken away at the end of the show. Kojak meets Morrison in front of the court house and tells her "You're headed down the tubes, baby."

REVIEW:

This is not my favorite show of the series, but it is probably the best one. Interestingly, both of these episodes are in the fourth season, and they are both directed by Jeannot Szwarc. The acting is this show is superb, especially Geraldine Page, who plays her part in an imperious manner, but the scene where Telly Savalas meets her at her house and gives it right back to her is a real classic, like a mongoose dealing with a cobra. Page is very creepy in one scene where she tells her grandson that she wants to get in her limousine with him and draw the blinds and pretend that they are lovers! The ending where Kojak brings Karen to the scene of the crime, especially considering that Dr. Garvey told him earlier to stay away from her, is a bit much, done in a very artsy way, and considering much of what Karen recalls is done in a fashion like a dream sequence, it is unlikely that anything learned there can be used in court as evidence. Presumably the taxi driver's testimony and the letter which Dekker left were sufficient to send the two boys away. What is really amazing about this episode is the fact that Kojak manages to survive everything that is thrown at him. The direction, photography (DOP is Sol Negrin) and score are all outstanding.

MORE TRIVIA:


10. (S04E10) The Pride and the Princess ★½
Original air date: November 28, 1976
Director: Charles S. Dubin; Writer: James M. Miller

SUMMARY:

This episode begins with Ray Sappo, a hitman from Detroit (Gene Gross) attempting to assassinate a nun, Sister Lepar Angelica (Maria Schell). When he sees she is a nun, he cannot kill her (not only that, she is someone he recognizes from a long time ago), so he calls whoever hired him and says that he was only taking this job as a favor. He is convinced to continue with his mission, saying "this pays us off once and for all." But then the Sister goes by cab with her protector Toza Stefanovic (Herb Edelman) to a park where the two of them borrow a van from Peter Dushan, a classical dancer who is the Sister's nephew. Stefanovic and her go to a church where Sister Angelica takes some photos in the churchyard. When Sappo, who has followed them, tries to shoot her there, she is wounded during a ricochet of Sappo's bullet. Stefanovic almost kills Sappo using some martial arts moves. Kojak is quick to arrive and the Sister and Sappo are both taken to the hospital. In the courtyard is the mother of local Mafia don Vito Coletti (Vivian Nathan). She gives new meaning to the expression omerta, meaning the code of silence. When Kojak asks her what happened, she says "We saw nothing," and that her son won't be happy with what happened in "his" church (because her son has donated lots of money to it). When the priest Father Moiso (Norman Parker) corrects her, saying it is "God's" church, Mrs. Coletti abuses him for not being Italian enough. Kojak interviews Sister Angelica in the hospital, after telling the very pushy Stefanovic to get lost. When he says that Father Moiso has never heard of her Order of the Sisters of the White Garden or her specifically, she says it is a small organization located in Albany made up of nuns who came from Europe, specifically Montenegro, after the war. Coletti (Harry Goz) is disturbed there was shooting around his mother who was praying at the church, and shows up at the hospital. When he sees the unconscious Sappo, who is about to be taken into surgery, Coletti says he doesn't know the man, though he hesitates before saying anything. Kojak tells Coletti that his mother is "the closest thing to a consigliere [advisor] that you've got." Meanwhile, Stefanovic removes the Sister from the hospital under the guise of her being a corpse after calling a hearse from a funeral home. He later tells her that he returned the van they borrowed from Peter, but he made another copy of its key. The Sister asks if he wants to do what they were unsuccessful doing in their first attempt using the van again. At the station, Crocker talks to the Sister's order in Albany, and finds out that Stefanovic was instrumental in helping them to escape from the Communists in Yugoslavia during the war. They ended up in Sicily, but Sister Angelica was killed there. Pictures developed from the Sister's camera taken from the churchyard reveal that she was hanging around Washington Square Park, so Kojak goes there, and talks to Marlow T. Caswick (Ron Hunter), a perpetual student for 15 years who has an IQ of 180 and a photographic memory. Caswick recalls seeing the Sister and Stefanovic talking to some young guy who is a dancer, who is Peter Dushan (Sam McMurray), who just happens to be rehearsing in the park nearbyd. Dushan, who is very swishy, tells Kojak that Angelica the nun is not a nun, but his aunt, a Yugoslavian princess named Viva Dushan. Peter was born years after the war, and his father did not get along with the Princess. Duke says that everything that they had (meaning either his aunt or the nuns) was lost in in Italy, including the "family jewels ... the family fortune." He says "those storm troopers [meaning Nazis] in their big black boots ... they just came in and took it." When Kojak and Crocker to Peter's garage to check out the van, they find it is not there, and Duke lets out a high-pitched scream. Stefanovic and the former nun, now Princess, using the van to kidnap Coletti's mother, who tells Stefanovic he is "a dead man." McNeil returns from a trip to Albany to investigate the nun's order, and reports that Coletti's village in Sicily was a big resistance center against the Germans before the Allies arrived. Stefanovic was like someone out of an Errol Flynn movie the way he would deal with the Nazis. But there was no Princess in Sicily, according to Albany, just the nuns. A novice disappeared and after everything blew up, Sister Angelica was killed. As well, someone betrayed the village because the SS troops just marched right in. Kojak and McNeil speculate on the coincidence that around the same time the princess's jewels disappeared, the novice also disappeared and the village was betrayed. Peter said that the princess was carrying around a quarter million dollars worth of jewels. Mamma Coletti is being held captive in the van in Peter's garage by Stefanovic and the Princess who call her son and tell him they want the jewels, but he instead offers them money. His mother says that he knows nothing about the jewels. This is confirmed when Kojak visits Coletti, who knows only that Stefanovic smuggled the nuns out of Yugoslavia, then joined the resistance group which Coletti, who was a young man, headed. Kojak tells Coletti it is interesting that Sappo, the hitman, is also from the same village, as the cops have recently learned from an inquiry to Detroit. Time is running out for Mrs. Coletti; Stefanovic has threatened to cut her throat if the jewels are not delivered. When Kojak has a brainstorm as to what is happening and arrives at Peter's garage, they find the Princess with Mrs. Coletti, who says "I have seen no one. I am not kidnapped." The Princess and the mother are taken to the station house, but Coletti and his lawyer are quick to spring his mamma. The Princess tells Kojak they were tipped off that Coletti had the jewels after they saw a picture of Coletti's daughter's wedding where she was wearing a pendant from the purloined jewelry. She and Stefanovic went to see the mother, but got nowhere, and Vito would not see them at all. Stefanovic goes to the church and breaks in through a window. He finds the jewels in various places around the altar, but Coletti shows up with a couple of his goons, who Stefanovic manages to dispatch with his martial arts skills. Coletti is just about going to kill Stefanovic, egged on by his mother who says "Kill him ... now," when Kojak and the cops show up. Kojak lays his theory about what happened to Coletti, that his mother was the one who hired Sappo and was the one who betrayed the village. McNeil adds that, according to immigration, when she arrived in the States, had she $68,000 in cash as well as a carload of furniture and "religious items." Coletti is horrified to hear all of this. The mother, who has been totally tight-lipped for the entire show, then blabs away in a very long speech (this is the entire speech): "Four sons I had. They are little. When their father is killed -- vendetta. So the men from the village come. They teach the little boys our way ... our code ... how to hate ... who to hate. Among my people, the woman will do as she is told. I am a young girl, 19, so they teach them and, one by one, my sons die -- vendetta. Policia. War. And I learn how to hate. You know what I learn? I learn to hate is not enough. To protect you ... power. Power ... protection. Money ... protection. The agente [Kojak] is right. Where does the mother of a shepherd get such things? I will tell you where. From God. He is a great bargainer and I bargained with him for you [meaning her son]. I say to him: I give you me, but you give him power. He sent the nuns with the jewels but he give to me the greatest gift of all. He showed me how to pay back the village for my dead sons." After this, Coletti is led away as he says no one will be believe that he didn't know about all this. The Princess thinks she can get off, but Kojak tells her "You ain't no fairy princess and he [Stefanovic] sure the hell isn't Robin Hood." McNeil chimes in with what she will be charged with: burglary, possession of burglar's tools, grand theft auto, flight from lawful arrest, aiding and abetting and interfering.

REVIEW:

I did not like this episode at all, aside from the fact it is sort of light-hearted, a huge contrast to the previous two-parter. It was complicated, convoluted, and badly written (or badly edited). I had to watch the bloody thing three times and the last time made extremely detailed notes! While the passage of the nuns from Yugoslavia is easy to follow, we do not find out where the Princess was when all this was taking place. Was she pretending to be one of the nuns? It is obvious she eventually assumed the identity of the one nun who was killed, but what is the significance of the novice who disappeared? Also, nothing is mentioned about how the Princess's jewels ended up in Sicily with the nuns and how Coletti's mother got her hands on them. It is possible to sort of figure out what is going on by not thinking too hard about this show, even taking Mrs. Coletti's rambling speech into consideration. Harry Goz as Coletti must be one of the most laid-back Mafia dons ever!

MORE TRIVIA:


11. (S04E11) Black Thorn ★★★  WHO LOVES YA 
Original air date: December 5, 1976
Director: Charles S. Dubin; Writer: Leon Tokatyan

SUMMARY:

Bounty hunter Salathiel Harms (Rosey Grier), who appeared in S03E18, returns, hunting down hitman Tony Mira (Barry Snider), who skipped $200,000 bail in San Francisco. Among the charges against Mira was using an "explosive device to cause death and destruction." After registering at the Gramercy Park Hotel under the name of Cosimo Medici, Harms goes to visit an old girl friend of Tony, Julie Di Nata (Swoosie Kurtz), who runs a school of astrology, only to find out she hasn't seen Tony. He is in town, though, and he drops in on Matty (Danny Aiello), a low-level hood who runs a bar, trying to get an introduction to "Mr. C" (Leonard Cimino), whose full name is Cordick and who runs a meat importing and exporting company in addition to peddling heroin. When Matty tells Mr. C about Tony's visit, Mr. C is not interested, and tells Matty to take care of him. Matty sends one of his thugs outside, where Harms is attempting to take Mira into custody. The thug knocks out Harms (hard to believe, given Harms' size), but gets stabbed to death by Mira. Harms gets shot in an ensuing confrontation, but later digs the bullet out of himself. At the cop shop, Kojak and McNeil have their hands full with new special narcotics prosecutor Whelan (John Reilly), who is complaining bitterly that the cops are taking over Matty's bar, which the feds spent $83,000 to buy as part of their own drug-related investigation. Stavros is working undercover at this bar as part of an NYPD operation involving gambling. After the fracas with Harms and Mira, Kojak shows up at Matty's, and Stavros as "Charlie the Bartender," who discovered the thug dead in the alley, plays very dumb. He takes the opportunity to give Kojak some abuse for a change, calling him "Baldy" and "Knobhead." (Kojak calls him "Fat One" and "Hot Lips," though.) Mira phones Matty and says once again he wants to talk to Cordick, who is now interested, because one of his own hitmen has proven to be useless in eliminating Whelan. Mira goes to visit his old girl friend Julie, and is upset to see a photo of himself which was taken from him when he was arrested in San Francisco that later ended up in Harms' hands. (Harms gave it to Julie when he visited her earlier.) Feeling betrayed, Mira kills Julie. Mira finally gets to meet Cordick, who offers him $100,000 if he will knock off Whelan, a job which Mira gladly accepts. When Whelan goes to the dedication of a new municipal pier, Mira is there disguised as a cop. He plants a bomb in Whelan's car, but is caught in the act by Harms. Mira flees the scene after hijacking a police car, and Harms follows him after "borrowing" a taxicab. A French Connection-style chase follows for about three and a half minutes which leads back to Cordick's packing plant. In the meat locker there, Harms grabs Mira and puts him on a hook while engaging in some "gentle persuasion" to get him to spill the beans on who hired him. Kojak and Crocker, who have showed up, watch all this from the sidelines. When some packaged heroin falls out of one of the beef carcasses, Kojak pays Cordick a visit and busts him. Kojak bends the rules with Mira's extradition, telling Crocker to give Harms his handcuffs back with Mira attached to them.

REVIEW:

This show isn't as funny as the previous one which starred Grier, though it has several amusing moments, like when Kojak realizes that Harms is back in town, which causes him to roll his eyes. Seeing Rosey Grier jammed into a Volkswagen "bug" he is renting also provides a few laughs. There are some good lines, like when Harms tells Kojak that his job keeps him in "grits and watermelon" and Kojak replies, "Why don't you cut that shuffling-down-the-levee-Old-Man­-River routine?" McNeil doesn't take Whelan's complaints lying down, telling him "One of my men [Stavros] has his tochus [ass] on the line in there [Matty's bar]," and that the place has provided "a gold mine of information." Despite this, McNeil and Whelan are on friendly terms later when they go to the pier dedication together, with McNeil all decked out in his full dress uniform, though I have to wonder why Whelan would be going there at all. I also have to wonder how Kojak and Crocker can figure out during the chase at the end of the show that Mira and Harms are going to end up back at Cordick's, considering that Mira and Harms have a huge lead on them. At least this show is more amusing than the "light hearted" one from the previous week, and Cacavas provides a good funk score.

MORE TRIVIA:


12. (S04E12) Where Do You Go When You Have Nowhere to Go ★★★
Original air date: December 12, 1976
Director: Jeannot Szwarc; Writers: Chester Krumholz & James Duff McAdams

SUMMARY:

Joe Arrow (Stephen Macht), a Mohawk Indian, runs into trouble getting work as a high-steel worker because he has "too much of a temper." He tries to get a job from Albert Beck (Martin Rudy), a construction and real estate magnate who Joe says owes him a favor, sending him letters and phoning him, all of which are ignored. One night, Joe finally gets into Beck's apartment which is high up in a building by coming down from the roof. Beck has just returned from hanging out with McGuinness, described later by Beck's secretary Yolanda (Patricia Mauceri) as his "broker," but in reality a fence. When Beck, who is very drunk, hits Joe on the head with his attaché case containing half a million dollars worth of diamonds, saying that McGuinness put Joe up to this, the two of them fight. Pushed backwards, Beck hits his head on what looks like a fireplace, which kills him, and Joe flees with the jewels. Aside from his employment problems, Joe's life is a mess and things just keep getting worse and worse for him. He goes to a bar that caters to Indians and gets in a fight there with some guy who is hassling him, saying that other customers in the bar are "Uncle Tom-Toms" who sit around all day drinking and talking about "going back to the reservation." Then Joe goes to a park where Ben (Rudy Bond), his union's business agent, is at a picnic and tries to get his card back so he can work. Joe starts a fight after Ben says "no wonder they don't let them drink firewater" and starts making typical "woo-woo-woo-woo" Indian chant noises. During this scuffle, a bunch of art works on display nearby are damaged. Joe ends up in court and has to face repaying the cost of this art, which amounts to $7,526.94. Even in court, Joe cannot keep his mouth shut. Joe's mother (Maria Antoinette Rogers) has a menial job sewing feathers on to dolls and wants to leave New York, and his sister is "giving up" her native ways and going to marry a white guy, Patrick, the son of Dugan (Charles Welsh), the bartender at the Indian saloon. Only Joe's girl friend Stella (Blair Brown) tries to bring some normalcy into his life. Kojak knows that Joe killed Beck and robbed the jewels and Joe admits to Kojak that he did this, but Kojak cannot arrest him, because there is no evidence. Kojak tells Joe, "I can't make an arrest without your co-operation." The cops play a cat-and-mouse game with Joe, putting the heat on local fences to not buy any of the jewels. Joe is starting to have nightmares over what has happened to him. Eventually, Stella takes some jewels to Dugan, asking the bartender to sell them, and the jig is up, because Crocker and Stavros have been surveilling the place. When he finds out what Stella has done, Joe almost kills her. The cops show up and Joe is busted after a chase through the neighborhood, though Kojak looks like he would really prefer not to have done this at the end of the show.

REVIEW:

This show is pretty good, though no doubt issues could be raised over the fact that Stephen Macht is, as far as I can determine, not a native Indian, which would cause a big kerfuffle these days. Macht gives a very expressive performance, nevertheless, as does Brown. The blow to Beck's head seems hardly strong enough to be fatal. The music by Cacavas has an "aboriginal" sound to it, using a lot of solo recorder.

MORE TRIVIA:


13. (S04E13) Dead Again ★★★
Original air date: December 19, 1976
Director: Sigmund Neufeld Jr.; Writer: Burton Armus

SUMMARY:

Julie Winston (Brooke Adams) comes to police headquarters to report that she has seen a man, Frank Kelton (Roy Jenson), her former neighbor in Ohio, who was killed the year before in "a gangland thing." As she was checking out a bunch of artists displaying their wares, Kelton appeared and suddenly started following her. With the information she gives them, the men at the station, including Kojak, really have nothing to go on. Despite this, Kojak gives her a ride home to her apartment where she tells him she is working temporary jobs and has no friends in New York. She jokes that Kojak is the first man she has ever had in her apartment since arriving in the city, describing him as "charming." Kojak leaves her, but he has barely arrived back at the station house when he gets a call that Julie has been found dead, having been thrown off the roof of her building. Shocked, he goes to the scene of the crime where he tells Rizzo and Saperstein to tear her place apart to find clues. Kelton is up to no good in New York, working on a plan to extort large amounts of money from Braden's Department Store by threatening to plant bombs in the place. Kelton is an expert in explosives, which he used in Ohio to fake his own death. He is working in cahoots with Andy Rhodes (John Durran), a manager at Braden's. Considering the lack of information about Julie's past, Kojak goes to West Virginia to confront Kelton's sister, who opened up a restaurant in a small town after suddenly coming into a lot of money. He gets a hostile reception from the sister. Julie had described her and Kelton as "terrible people." Back in New York, Kojak has to deal with the chief of security at the department store, Tom Donnelly (Simon Oakland), a cigar-chomping former policeman who wants to enlist the cops' help to deal with the bomb threats, but is discouraged from doing so by Gerry Proctor (Bill Cort), president of the company, who wants to avoid bad publicity, considering $20 million worth of sales are at stake. After a test bomb is detonated in one of the store's washrooms, Kojak and Crocker meet with Donnelly who gives them a cock and bull story about how the explosion was due to a compressor failure. Kelton makes further threats, doubling the amount of extortion to $200,000. When another bomb goes off while a money drop is being made which no one picks up, Kojak has a brainstorm that Rhodes is involved with the scheme, which is verified by his phone records. Rhodes has left the store with a payoff to deliver to Kelton, so the cops go to Rhodes' place where he shows up after finalizing the deal and persuade him to talk. Following this, Kelton is nabbed at the bus depot as he attempts to leave town. At the end of the show, Kojak and Crocker are on their way to Julie's wake, when another damsel in distress (Julie Scarwid, uncredited) runs into Kojak with a tale of woe upon arriving in New York. Remembering his experience with Julie, Kojak takes her under his wing.

REVIEW:

A good show, especially the way it shows Kojak's reaction to what happened to Julie and the philosophical conversation Kojak and Crocker have in the Chinese restaurant about Donnelly and how he is enjoying the "good life" after leaving the force for his security job. The script is by Burt Armus, and shows his usual insight into the world of cops. I find it kind of far-fetched that Stavros is able to track down the artist who sold Julie a painting and get him to make a sketch of Kelton (for $40!). This artist is the same person who took money from Kelton to reveal Julie's address where the painting was going to be delivered, which I'm sure was not mentioned. When Rhodes is being grilled at his place at the end of the show and wants to make a deal, Kojak will have none of this. He tells Rhodes, "Goodbye, garbage."

MORE TRIVIA:


14. (S04E14) The Godson ★★★
Original air date: January 4, 1977
Director: Russ Mayberry; Writer: Joseph Polizzi

SUMMARY:

A young black kid whose father was killed a couple of years ago and whose mother has a mundane job in a restaurant is Kojak's godson, dating back to the days when Kojak was just a detective. The kid's name is Theo Kojak Stone (Todd Davis). He is involved in a protection racket with local storekeepers, and when he gets picked up the cops, he is put in the cage at the station. Stavros lets him go, telling the kid not to bring any dishonor on his godfather. Kojak is not too happy about the kid getting released. Theo gets involved with a gang which ripped off a shipment of Highland Bell whiskey and electronic components in the neighborhood, during which a cop was shot dead. The gang is headed by Eddie Gordon, played by F. Murray Abraham, giving a slimy performance to rival the character he played in A Question of Answers, the opener for season three. (Kojak refers to Gordon as "scum.") Kojak visits the kid's mother (Rosalind Cash) and brother Bobby (Haywood Nelson), who is a lot less mouthy than Theo. Kojak gets invited to dinner, and later takes Theo on his rounds, including a trip in a paddy wagon full of crooks picked up during a dope bust, trying to convince the kid that a life of crime is not for him. Despite this, Theo gets recruited by Gordon to help with an elaborately planned robbery of Van Ord Jewelry, which is moving its showroom and warehouse. A lot of people seem to know about this move, including Gordon, who has inside information from one of the company's employees. Brian Dennehy plays Pete Connors, a security advisor who decides to transport the millions of dollars worth of jewels in a very low-key way without any armored cars or heavy guards. On the day of the move, everything seems to go according to plan, but Gordon has this geeky guy from his gang reprogram the very large elevators in the destination building as the truck containing the jewels arrives there. As the truck with the stolen jewels leaves the building, it is surrounded by cops. During the ensuing gunfight, Gordon is shot, as is Theo, whose injuries are fatal. After Kojak goes to Theo's funeral, his mother seems accepting of what has happened. She tells him "The street won."

REVIEW:

The whole business about the geek from the gang reprogramming the elevators while the robbery is ongoing using a controller which hooks up to an elaborate computer system seemingly for the elevators is a bit much. Transistors stolen during the earlier robbery are used for this in some way. As far as the "family" aspects of the episode are concerned, the show is very good. Some of the language in the episode is pretty rank. When Bobby's mother asks him if he remembers Kojak, Bobby replies, "The honky cop." Kojak tells him, "The honky friend, Sambo." Later, when Kojak takes Theo to his mother's restaurant where she is working, Theo tells her she is a "dumb nigger slaving away" like his father. Kojak belts him in the mouth.

MORE TRIVIA:


15. (S04E15) The Condemned ★★★
Original air date: January 11, 1977
Director: Noel Black; Writers: Michael Grais, Mark Victor & Anthony Spinner

SUMMARY:

Ex-boxer Willie Daniels (Paul Benjamin) drops in to his wife Rita's apartment to give her some perfume, but finds her dead. A snoopy neighbor thinks that Willie has killed her, and runs outside to hail a passing cop car. The police come inside, but Willie escapes, and flees the scene in a car driven by his friend Jake Riley (Dorian Harewood), a pill-popping Vietnam veteran. After a chase, they find themselves cornered and run into a church where they take hostages: a priest (Stephen Joyce) and two women, one elderly named Maggie (Jane Hoffman) with a heart condition and a young one, Olga (Trish Hawkins). Kojak arrives at Rita's apartment and realizes there is no way that Willie could have killed her and totally messed up her place, given the few minutes he was at the scene. The action switches to the church where several heavily-armed cops are surrounding the place, all under the command of Lieutenant Connors (Roscoe Orman). Kojak shows up and enters the church, where he talks to Willie, advising him and Riley to surrender. The two have asked for a car to take them to the airport and a plane to leave the country. When they won't listen to Kojak, he leaves and, trying to find Rita's killer, goes to visit Victor Morales (Luis Avalos), a slimy character involved in pandering, prostitution (which included Rita) and coke pushing from his hardware store which he uses as a front. (Morales describes Rita as "a business investment.") Kojak gets a book from Morales which lists all of the johns patronizing his girls. Then Kojak sends Crocker to Riker's Island where Willie's son Louis (Richard Cummings) is being held on a burglary charge. On the way back, Louis looks through Morales' book and suggests that "T.J." refers to one of Rita's customers, T.J. Smith. (Rita was not Louis' mother, but a hooker his father married after his mother died.) When he gets to the church, the conversation between Louis and his father is not very nice, basically consisting of him telling his dad that he is a bum who neglected him badly when he was growing up. The cops go to see Smith, who is a basketball player. He denies killing Rita, even though his hand is badly cut. Around this time, Riley is shot by an overzealous marksman. He eventually dies. A search of Smith's apartment provides ample evidence of his connection to Rita, and he is confronted by Kojak and his men as he meets with Paul Lawford (Jack Betts), the owner of the basketball team. Smith acted as a pimp for Lawford, who he set up with Rita in a "love nest." Smith tells Kojak that Lawford told him to go Rita's and "work her over, [but] it got out of hand." As Lawford is busted, he tells Smith "You belong to me." Kojak says, "That went out with plantations." Kojak returns to the church, where he tells Willie that he has caught Rita's killer. Willie comes out of the church with Kojak and the hostages, but he pushes Kojak away from himself on the steps after asking Kojak to tell his son not to grow up a loser like he has been. The cops shoot Willie dead. Kojak visits Louis in jail and passes his father's message along, hoping that he won't become like his dad.

REVIEW:

The story, which is basically about two losers -- Daniels and Riley -- is very good. However, considering the two-hour deadline before the hostages will be killed, you have to wonder how Crocker can transport Louis from Riker's Island (which includes getting him out of jail, accomplished only after some difficulty with his jailer because of the lack of paperwork) in such a short time. I don't know exactly where the church is located, but it would typically take 30-35 minutes to get to Manhattan South from Riker's. Tracking down Smith also takes a bit of time, as does Crocker getting a warrant to search Smith's place. (Crocker cheats a bit, he applies for the warrant, then goes to Smith's place to search it, and finally picks up the warrant.)

MORE TRIVIA:


16. (S04E16) When You Hear the Beep, Drop Dead ★★★★
Original air date: January 18, 1977
Director: Jeannot Szwarc; Writer: Gene R. Kearney

SUMMARY:

With the help of her hairdresser Barry (Dale Robinette), Carol Krug (Susan Sullivan) concocts a plan to murder her husband Kenneth (Eric Braeden), a rich, philanthropic type whose idea of a good time is attending meetings concerned with the poaching of African elephants and similar causes. Wearing a black wig, the blonde Carol sets up residence in an apartment building pretending to be Linda Hooper, a hooker/actress/waitress from Texas who carries on loud conversations with the windows open, talking to her "boyfriend" (supposedly Kenneth, actually Barry) about how he jerked her around, knocking her up, and refusing to do anything other than pay for an abortion. Linda tells "Kenneth" that the only solution for her dilemma may be to get a gun. But this elaborate plan is soon to get derailed. Kojak and his men are trailing a duo of second-story men, Wilson and Stiles, who break into Linda's place after she goes out. When they attempt to arrest the two men, one of the robbers mistakenly shoots the other one dead. The apartment landlady, Mrs. Whipple (Helen Craig), thinks that the police presence has something to do with the "tramp from Texas," though it actually does not. Kojak is intrigued, though, because of Linda's conversations that people, including the burglars, overheard. Lt. Steve Nicola (Alan Manson) reminds Kojak that he can't just make up a case based on things that he has heard like this. Someone actually has to engage in criminal activity before an arrest can be made. Back at home, Carol tells Kenneth about reviving her acting career and how frustrated she is rehearsing with some woman in the cast who is kind of a dim bulb (Linda). Carol gets Kenneth to help her out, reading some lines from the play's script: "I never promised to marry you. Now I will see that you get proper medical attention, see that some amount of money is set aside so you can go back to Texas when this is over.... Don't you ever threaten me again -- ever, you understand? We'll do this my way, not yours." Carol captures all this on tape, and later, with Barry's help, uploads it to the answering machine in Linda's apartment ... except Kojak and the cops are still there, and they hear the whole thing. When Kojak picks up the phone and says "This is the police," Carol hangs up and tells Barry not to worry, that the landlady probably called the cops because of the argument that Linda and "Kenneth" had earlier. Kojak captures other messages from the answering machine which he investigates: a call to a doctor's office, which Linda never kept, regarding the abortion; a message from Swampgas (Joe Turkel), a Creole gunrunner from whom Linda was going to buy the gun to use to kill Kenneth; and a call from Julie (uncredited actress), a waitress who Linda had befriended and told about her "boyfriend." After pursuing these leads, Kojak visits Kenneth and Carol, wanting to speak to Kenneth privately about the fact that the woman he is having an affair with wants to kill him. But Kenneth, who is totally oblivious to what is going on, knows nothing and tells Kojak he is mistaken, and why would he have an affair considering how gorgeous his wife is? Kojak is just on the verge of getting kicked out of the place when he rattles off the message that was left on the machine based on Kenneth's reading of the script, which Kenneth is horrified to hear. After Kojak steps out to allow the couple to digest these accusations, Carol tries to convince Kenneth that she left this message on Linda's machine as a practical joke. This doesn't go over well. She is then hard-pressed to explain how Kenneth's socks and robe also ended up at Linda's. Finally, Carol starts screaming at Kenneth, asking if he really is having an affair with Linda, the girl she was rehearsing with, saying that she is disgusted with him. Kenneth becomes progressively more and more shocked, finally asking Carol if she would really kill him, and then realizing the answer is "yes." Barry phones at this time, as part of his and Carol's original plan, telling Kenneth that if he doesn't want some revealing pictures of Carol to be released to the newspapers, he should come to a hotel to talk about this. When Kenneth tells Barry to do whatever he wants with the pictures, Carol knocks Kenneth out by hitting him on the head with what looks like a camera. She then tells Barry to come to the apartment immediately to kill her husband and finish the job. But when Barry shows up, he gets cold feet. Kojak, who is outside the apartment on the street, talks to Crocker who confirms yet more about what is really going on with Carol's deception. Crocker and Rizzo soon show up at the apartment where Carol is shot and wounded by Kojak just as she is about to kill Kenneth and Barry is arrested outside.

REVIEW:

This is a cleverly written show, very well directed by Jeannot Szwarc and with high production values, which is my favorite Kojak episode. As Carol, Susan Sullivan, is not only very sexy but very nasty. Aside from the subject matter of adultery, prostitution, an illegitimate child and abortion, some of the script is pretty rank. When Barry says that Carol and he are two "gutter rats," she totally agrees with him, telling Barry, "Do you know how many men I slept with to get my first job ... in a chorus ... before I was 18 ... so I could take off my clothes in front of a lot of other men?" She tells him that she wants to kill Kenneth, from whom she will inherit a lot of money, "so I can stand on my own two feet and never submit to another man again." An outstanding episode all the way.

MORE TRIVIA:


17. (S04E17) I Was Happy Where I Was ★★★
Original air date: January 25, 1977
Director: Nicholas Sgarro; Writers: Jerrold Freedman & Sean Baine

SUMMARY:

There is trouble in the barrio with a Guardian Angels-like vigilante gang "protecting the people," meting out justice to those who are messing up the community. The cops are getting nowhere after the murder of two pushers, a pimp and a policy runner in two weeks, so Kojak enlists Enrique Alvarez (Tony Diaz) to go undercover. Alvarez grew up in the barrio, but has been away for 10 years and has been working on Staten Island. When he returns and gets a job in a bar, he is recognized by Teresa (Patricia Triana), an old girl friend, though she does not know that he joined the police. After the murder of Kincaid, a bill collector, Alvarez, who used to be a member of The Ambassadors, the vigilante group, convinces them to let him join again. Disturbed by how bad the poverty and crime in the barrio is, Alvarez starts to take his undercover job a bit too seriously. When Paco Rodriguez (Norberto Kerner), owner of a second hand store, is arrested as a suspect in Kincaid's murder, Alvarez gives Kojak a bunch of mouth in public. McNeil and Kojak later meet with Alvarez, and McNeil tells him that he was sent to gather intelligence, "not to do missionary work." Paco is released from jail, but Alvarez convinces him to go back to the cops to identify Belding, the bill collector who threatened him. After Paco is later murdered because of this, Alvarez gets even more vocal when Kojak makes a speech to a crowd for help. Kojak takes Alvarez off his assignment, but he sticks around the neighborhood, even after revealing to the other vigilantes that he is a cop. Alvarez and his pals decide to knock off Al Gregorio (Raymond Serra), the head of the local mob and they tail him to a restaurant near Coney Island. But Rizzo and Saperstein have also been trailing Gregorio, and Kojak shows up at the place just as the gang starts shooting, knocking off the mob boss. Unfortunately, Alvarez is shot dead by Gregorio's bodyguard.

REVIEW:

A pretty good episode, with Kojak telling Gregorio at the beginning that he wants to find out who is killing his men, so the two of them can get back to playing "basic cops and robbers." The ending is very sad, because Alvarez was showing an interest in Teresa, who lost her husband Ernesto because he got hooked on junk provided by some of Gregorio's pushers. Alvarez does seem a bit too "missionary"-like at times.

MORE TRIVIA:


18 & 19. (S04E18 & S04E19) Kojak's Days ★★★★
Original air date: February 1 & 8, 1977
Director: Charles S. Dubin; Writers: Chester Krumholz & Matthew Rapf

SUMMARY:

This episode is a slice-of-life with Kojak and the men from the precinct dealing with a number of issues over the span of two days:

REVIEW:

I suspect that these all these stories were supposed to be individual shows, but with the end of season four coming up and the possibility that the show might be cancelled, the writers decided to consolidate all these ideas into one two-part episode. Surprisingly, it works very well. Kojak is seen with his current squeeze, Elenor Martinson (the gorgeous Maud Adams). In the space of an hour or so in the morning, she gets to see what a busy guy Kojak is. In a restaurant, he listens to the waitress Rosey complain that her boyfriend's sentence was longer than she expected it to be after asking Kojak for a favor, some informer named Frankie the Mouth (Gregory Rozakis) keeps talking to Kojak over his shoulder in the next booth and a woman named Harriet who wants a job as a legal secretary (but looks like a hooker) hassles Kojak. Then Kojak and Elenor go to Simon's Suits, a tailor shop where Kojak uses the phone and some kid takes a bet from Kojak on the upcoming hockey game between the New York Rangers and Detroit. At this point, Elenor abandons Kojak, because she is getting kind of fed up with Kojak's routine. Despite everything that happens which results in Kojak being unable to hang out with Elenor or spend a night at her place, they finally get together for a fancy dinner -- in his office -- which is catered by Louie. The ending is pretty cute.

MORE TRIVIA:


20. (S04E20) Monkey on a String ★★½
Original air date: February 15, 1977
Director: Ernest Pintoff; Writer: Jack Laird

SUMMARY:

Vinnie Pomerantz (Joseph Hindy) is a detective who is constantly short of money, especially after a night of poker with the men he works with. In addition to being a cop, a job he has had for 9 years, he is moonlighting as a taxi driver to make ends meet. During a raid on a warehouse full of contraband, he finds himself alone in a back room where over $10,000 in cash is lying around. Dinky Geller (Jack Hollander), who he was pursuing, suddenly appears and tells him. "Take it, kid, who's to know?" As Geller gets lost, Pomerantz pockets the cash and later spends it on a coat for his wife Letitia (Judith Light) and pays off some of his bills. Soon Pomerantz gets a phone call from Shelley Briscoe (Albert Paulsen), the gangster behind the warehouse operation, making him the proverbial "offer he can't refuse." A friend of Briscoe's, Sammy Jurgens, is soon to be on trial, and Pomerantz is the district attorney's chief witness. If Pomerantz suffers "a convenient memory lapse" during his testimony, $10,000 will be his. Pomerantz succumbs to this tempting offer, and after the trial, Kojak does not seem to be annoyed, saying that cops being on the end of a losing case "happens to the best of us." Pomerantz takes his wife to a fancy restaurant. Briscoe is also dining there and sends a bottle of Dom Perignon to Pomerantz's table. Vinnie reacts by throwing the booze in Briscoe's face. Luckily, Kojak arrives just around this time to serve Briscoe a subpoena from the grand jury, saying it's "for the best performance of the year by a toilet bowl." Later, Pomerantz gets another call from Briscoe, seemingly not that upset about the restaurant incident, for one more big job -- the rubout of Danziger (Vincent Van Lynn), a protected witness who will also be testifying at the grand jury. Pomerantz accepts the job, but at the last minute, McNeil assigns him and Crocker to be the ones who bring Danzinger from Riverside, where he is being kept in seclusion, back to New York. The two of them pick up Danzinger in a bulletproof hearse and start back to town. Pomerantz is supposed to disable the hearse en route (which he does) and leave Crocker with the witness while he goes for help. But Pomerantz, perhaps wanting to return a favor for when Crocker recently saved his life during their capture of a guy with a knife, sends Crocker to a nearby farmhouse and stays with Danzinger. Two of Briscoe's goons show up and start hassling Pomerantz, who is shot dead during the ensuing altercation when Crocker returns. Kojak, who has been alerted to something going wrong with the operation, including word from Midge Piper (David Margulies), an informant, that "Briscoe has bought himself a flatfoot," arrives on the scene. Unfortunately, Pomerantz passes away, but not before making a "deathbed confession."

REVIEW:

Much of the show is OK, but the ending is badly staged. Crocker and Pomerantz arrive at the hideout where Danzinger is being kept. On their way back to New York soon after this, two of Briscoe's thugs, who are parked at the side of the road, start following them. The street where Crocker and Pomerantz are driving on from that point is a narrow one-lane middle-of-nowhere "service road" covered with snow which says "no cars allowed." Unseen by Crocker, Pomerantz disables the hearse by reaching under the steering wheel and pulling out a wire, which causes the vehicle to stop. Crocker goes away to a nearby farmhouse to get help, and when he left, Danzinger was still in the car. Considering how close the hoods were to the car when they started pursuing it, they seem to catch up to it quickly. They get out of the car and start asking why Pomerantz isn't following Briscoe's plan, at which point they see that Danzinger is no longer in the car. At the end of the show, Pomerantz tells Kojak and Stavros that he "parked him in the woods cuffed to an elm." But this makes no sense at all, first, because of the time that it would have taken to do this before the hoods, who were very close, caught up to the hearse, and second, because this location is like the frozen wastes where someone wrapped around a tree if they were relatively close to the road would be VERY obvious.

MORE TRIVIA:


21. (S04E21) Kiss It All Goodbye ★★★
Original air date: February 22, 1977
Director: Telly Savalas; Writers: Oliver Crawford & Robert W. Lenski

SUMMARY:

Ben Wiley (Christopher Walken) and Jamie Webb (Peter Hadreas) are robbing Burbridge Furs. Wiley tips off the police and also blocks the main exit so when Crocker and Saperstein show up, Webb is unable to escape. Webb pulls a gun and is shot dead. Crocker pursues Wiley outside and when Wiley fires at him, Crocker responds, but hits Polly Ames (Carol Lynley), who is walking nearby. Crocker's bullet results in nerve damage with paralysis of the lower limbs. Crocker is totally shocked and cannot function at work, even having some harsh words with Kojak, his boss. Despite Ames' playing up her injuries for all they are worth, the cops find out some interesting facts about her which make her not as innocent as she seems and suggest that she was acting as a lookout for Wiley and Webb:

Crocker goes out of his way to chum up to Ames, though she resists him at first. He tells her "I can't forget you ... I can't walk away." He is seen pushing her around on the snowy streets in her wheelchair and he even cooks her a meal at her place, where he is wearing an apron! Crocker also arranges for her to be treated by a neurologist named Dr. Athos who helped a patrolman injured in a similar fashion. Wiley, who is seen hanging around near Ames, but at a distance, eventually visits her and tells her he needs money. She tells him to take all the money in the safety deposit box, because Crocker told her she could sue the city for "a million." Wiley visits the bank, but gets paranoid because he thinks the cops are watching. He returns to Ames' place. When Crocker calls her, checking up on how she is, she totally rejects him. After hearing the evidence from Kojak and McNeil that she was the lookout for the robberies, Crocker goes to Ames' place just as she and Wiley are leaving for the bank to get the money and then parts unknown. During the ensuing confrontation, Ames is dumped from her wheelchair on top of Crocker on the ground. As usual, Kojak shows up at the last minute and grabs Wiley just as he is about to run out the door. The final scene between Crocker and Ames after she is arrested is a touching one.

REVIEW:

A must-see episode for fans of Crocker. The acting by Kevin Dobson, Carol Lynley and Christopher Walken is very good. We get to learn a few things about Crocker in this episode: he has been on the force for 6 years and is a Detective Third Grade. Kojak says that Crocker being totally gaga over Ames, a woman whose lifestyle suggests she is a kept woman, is not consistent with the fact that "he goes to these church functions in order to find a date."

MORE TRIVIA:


22. (S04E22) Lady in the Squadroom ★★★★
Original air date: March 8, 1977
Director: Edward M. Abroms; Writer: Burton Armus

SUMMARY:

Detective Josephine (Jo) Long from the sex crimes unit (Joan Van Ark) is attending the scene of the latest in a series of brutal assaults and rapes when McNeil shows up and says that he wants her to join the homicide detectives of Manhattan South, as per a directive from on high. She doesn't like the idea, saying, in one of the series' funniest lines, "I will not work with that Greek bowling ball." Kojak is not too excited about her joining the team either, telling McNeil, "It won't work ... there's a personality conflict." Stavros, on the other hand, tells Long that her presence might be an improvement, because they will have to keep their pants pressed and watch their language around the squad room. Kojak and Long go to the hospital where the latest victim, a nurse named Lesley Smith who worked at the place, is in very bad shape (she later dies). Kojak has some harsh words for Dr. Bernard (John Becher) regarding the number of assaults that have occurred recently, something the doctor is not too anxious to publicize. There is also the matter of 46 ounces of cocaine missing from the hospital in the last four months along with other "inventory losses." The man responsible for the attack on Smith is named Ringer (George Maharis, playing against type). He is supplied by people who work at the hospital, in particular Flarrety (Christopher Murney), who works in the hospital's pharmacy and has access to restricted drugs like pharmaceutical cocaine. Flarrety keeps upping his price which eventually causes Ringer to murder him. Long takes a lot of ribbing from her fellow cops. Some of their jokes are not particularly nice and there is gallows humor which is also pretty offensive. She is conflicted , saying "I don't want to be an experiment; I don't want to be a crusader." When she is not around, Kojak tells McNeil, "She wants to stay. She'd make a lousy housewife but apparently she doesn't want to be a hooker [!!!]." McNeil replies, "She's a cop." Crocker and Long end up doing surveillance on Ringer across the street from a restaurant where he is meeting with Mike DeBrieno (Louis Zorich), who is Ringer's "Mr. Big." These two guys are followed to an alley where they are about to make a transaction for coke, but Ringer escapes and Long gets knocked out. She feels bad about this, especially since all the men in the squad room seem to be shunning her. But then, in a surprise move, they give her a helmet as a present and everyone breaks into laughter. Long is conflicted even more, telling Kojak "I don't belong here" as Kojak, who is topless, washes himself down. Kojak yells at her, jolting her back to reality. The show ends with the captured DeBrieno co-operating with the police to bring down Ringer, who is nabbed in a public park. Long gets wounded during the final confrontation, and prior to her being carried to a car by Kojak and taken the hospital, she tells McNeil, "I'm sure glad I'm getting out of Manhattan South." McNeil replies, with tongue in cheek, "So are we."

REVIEW:

This show, written by its technical advisor Burt Armus, is full of quotable lines. If anyone should know what "effect" a woman would have on an all-male squad room, it is Armus, and he provides an excellent script, complimented by great acting. There is a very funny exchange between Long and Kojak. Near the beginning of the show, when Long is dithering about whether she really wants to work at the station, she says "Couldn't you just leave me with my normal garden variety degenerates?" Kojak replies, "Some of our leading degenerates are right here on the squad ... including me," as he leers at her, very close. Later, when Long is playing cards with Saperstein and Rizzo as they are doing surveillance, she tells them, "Because I became a cop, it was automatically assumed that I was fighting the woman's war, you know, running around, gung ho, screaming, 'Let me at those chauvinist pigs [an expression which is overused in the show].' But if all I want to do is a day's work and a job I like, then I automatically get a reputation as a traitor to the women of the world. I mean, it's all bunch of bull!"

MORE TRIVIA:


23. (S04E23) Sister Maria ★★
Original air date: March 15, 1977
Director: Ernest Pintoff; Writers: Ross Teel, Charles Sailor & Eric Kaldor

SUMMARY:

Harry Harmon (Murray Hamiton), boss of an airline, is on trial for using his planes to smuggle drugs, but there are more serious charges against him, including murder. The chief witnesses against him are one of Harmon's pilots, Stuart Bayless (Drew Snyder) and Bayless's girl friend Val Day, a stewardess. These two are under police protection from NYPD officer Fowler. Harmon hires a hitman, Marvin Rubicoff (John Kellogg) through another hitman, Walter Zeif (Harold Gary). Rubicoff, who is a lush, knocks off Bayless, Day and Fowler after they emerge from a seafood restaurant called The Galley. As he flees the scene, Rubicoff sideswipes a truck, damaging his stolen car, which is later found abandoned. Harmon's lawyer J.J. Florentino (Ted Beniades) is not at all happy about this turn of events. At his office, Kojak gets a visit from Day's soft-spoken sister Maria (Season Hubley), who is a nun from the Good Shepherd Convent in Dayton, Ohio. Maria was supposed to go with Bayliss and Val to the seafood restaurant, but had a terrible headache and bowed out, telling the two of them to go without her. She says that she came to New York to give her sister support during the trial. On her way out of the office, Maria runs into Harmon, who has been brought in for questioning. He tells Kojak "He doesn't look like the kind of man who would have people killed." Florentino shows up almost immediately and is quick to get his client out of the place. Kojak later meets Maria at a restaurant, where she is not wearing her nun's outfit and actually looks very sexy. Kojak calls her "a sight for sore eyes." Maria gives Kojak several postcards which her sister sent from various exotic destinations. They discuss the case against Harmon. Meanwhile, Rubicoff's wife Helen (Gloria Grahame) is not happy with the $10,000 her husband got for the hit on Bayliss et al. She calls up Zeif and tells him she wants more money, describing her husband to his face as a "schlepper," a Yiddish term meaning "someone so stupid or ill-educated that he is employed to fetch and carry things." Zeif shows up and shoots both of them dead. Harmon, who is getting paranoid about nuns following him, meets with Maria in his car and has a frank talk with her, offering to make a sizeable donation to the convent where she teaches. She rips up the check and tells him, "You are going to hell, Mr. Harmon, and I shall take you there by the hand." When she tells Harmon she has postcards with dates and places on them (in addition to the ones she gave Kojak), Harmon looks nervous. After this, Kojak visits Maria, telling her that her sister was "smuggling stuff that ruins lives" and no better than "street vermin." He suggests that she go back to Dayton, telling her "you're a joy, but you're a pain." Later, Maria encounters Zeif at her place, who has been sent by Harmon to silence her. When he asks her for the postcards, she pulls a gun out of her purse and kills him. Kojak talks to the D.A., who decides not to pursue any charges because Zeif was obviously trying to kill her. The new batch of postcards which she gives to Kojak make for a much stronger case against Harmon. Stavros is supposed to take Maria to the airport for the flight home to Ohio, but he puts her in a limousine instead and she doesn't get on the plane. Kojak talks to Maria's convent in Dayton; they tell him that she does not sing songs or play the guitar, which Kojak saw her doing recently. He finds out from Crocker's surveillance that Harmon has received a large floral arrangement. Quick work by Saperstein determines that Harmon will go to lay this at his mother's grave shortly, so the cops quickly arrive there to find Maria with a gun pointed at Harmon. It turns out that Maria is not Maria, but Val, Maria's stewardess sister. The woman who was killed by Rubicoff was the nun, who went with Bayliss to the restaurant as mentioned above. Both Harmon and Val are taken away. Whether she will face any charges is a good question.

REVIEW:

This show makes sense up until the last three and a half minutes, which is when we get the big reveal about who "Maria" really is. (I didn't even notice this during my first viewing of the show several months ago.) There have been clues prior to this that there is something fishy going on. When she originally comes to Kojak's office, Maria says about her sister "I killed her," which can be read more than one way. At the restaurant where she is not wearing her habit and, in fact, looks like a major babe, she is giving Kojak the "Kojak-is-the-coolest-guy-in-the-world" look, something that even Kojak picks up on. It is odd that she is not wearing her nun's outfit; according to one WWW page, this is allowed with some orders, though nuns who do this usually have "modest, modern dress." And then there is the issue of the gun. Do nuns typically have guns? Where would she have gotten it? (There is even the question of where Val got it.) However, there are several things which are totally illogical. If Maria goes with Bayliss and is killed, wouldn't the cops look in her purse to identify who she was? Surely Maria is not carrying her sister's ID, and it is highly unlikely that Val would have put it there. Val as Maria identifies "Val's" (i.e., Maria's) body at the morgue and most people who had any dealings with Val would not have seen her closeup because, as Florentino says, "they keep her locked in an anteroom away from the other witnesses," likely to keep from getting her testimony cross-contaminated with that of the other witnesses and vice versa. Obviously Harmon has never seen Val close up, because he has several opportunities to do so throughout the show and never says anything. This show would have made a lot of sense if the two women were twins, but perhaps the scriptwriters thought that was too gimmicky. As it stands, this big reveal is just dumb.

MORE TRIVIA:


24. (S04E24) Another Gypsy Queen ★★½
Original air date: March 22, 1977
Director: Joel Oliansky; Writer: Gene R. Kearney

SUMMARY:

Julian (Paul Rossilli), a young gypsy man, is standing in front of his clan's "reading parlor" after his girl friend Nora (Toni Kalem) is taken away because his clan cannot pony up the $40,000 which Victor (Michael Egan), the boss of her clan, wants as some kind of "dowry." Just at that moment, Victor sees E.G. Roberts (David Faulkner) in a taxi being driven on the street, a man who Julian thinks betrayed his family years ago in East Germany. Julian had given Roberts a lot of jewellery to get him and his family out of the country where there was still a "wall," but most of the people trying to flee were killed. Julian pursues this taxi in another cab and figures out where Roberts lives when it arrives at his apartment building. After hearing that Julian's uncle Gregor (Jerry Jarrett) would take revenge on Roberts at any price, Sonia (Kathleen Widdoes), who is with Julian's clan, wants to make sure that that Roberts really is guilty. She decides to distract the police, who are currently hunting for the serial "Fur Coat Killer," who has killed three women. Sonia goes to the precinct in disguise as "Mrs. Lewis" from Miami who was hassled by the killer on her first day in New York. She talks to Kojak and helps produce a sketch of Roberts, who she saw in the cab (though at a distance and only for a few seconds). Roberts is eventually hauled into the station and put in a lineup, but Sonia acts dumb and fails to identify him, which totally annoys Kojak, since the man is an exact likeness for the sketch. Sonia decides to become a detective and track down a hooker who the Fur Coat Killer attacked recently before he was scared off by a cop. She enlists the help of Victor, who has 100 men in his "tribe" that scour the city. They locate the hooker, whose name is Susan (Victoria Walter). She tells them that the man who attacked her was wearing a hearing aid. Sonia and her friends also look in old newspapers and construct a timeline for the killer's attacks. They figure that he works at the Central Park Zoo Children's Area, where Kojak and his men were already investigating. This is quite correct; the man in question is named Ken Lane and he has access to a laboratory-like building where Dr. Logan (Leonard Jackson) cares for animals before they are shown to the public. A family of foxes which were exposed to chemical sprays from a cropduster and who keep dying off motivate Lane to attack women wearing furs. He hates furs made of red fox, silver fox, raccoon and ocelot in particular. Kojak goes to visit Sonia at her place, which he calls "The Tea Leaf Hilton." He is tempted to bust her, but she keeps telling him about things that she and her friends have investigated. Based on this information, Kojak gets Crocker, Saperstein and Stavros to go to the area of Roberts' apartment after hearing that Julian has a long-range rifle and is trying to assassinate him. Crocker finds Julian on the rooftop of a neighboring building with his uncle Gregor, but Nora intercedes, telling Julian to surrender. As Julian and Gregor are taken away, Roberts appears and tells Julian that it was not he who betrayed Julian's family but the East German border guard who was bribed. Roberts has kept a jade crucifix out of all the jewels, which he gives to Julian, saying that he has been trying to return it to him ever since. Kojak and his men go to the zoo, where Lane is confronted and arrested. Sonia is chummy with Kojak, and invites him to the wedding of Julian and Nora where he dances with her.

REVIEW:

This episode has kind of an unusual plot structure for a one-hour show, with two stories for the price of one (revenge against Roberts and tracking down the Fur Coat killer). As well, the whole business about Lane being concerned with animals' welfare is kind of an unusual subject for a show of the era. When Kojak goes to visit Sonia at her place, he has a pretty negative attitude towards gypsies, particularly that she is trying to con him. I don't understand why Sonia wants to find out where Roberts lives, since Julian already followed Roberts' cab to his apartment building, so he knows where Roberts lives. But maybe Julian didn't communicate this information back to Sonia. It's also hard to understand how the cops find Roberts in the first place, by showing the sketch around to various people including the doorman in his building, who recognizes him (this seems far-fetched). Kojak tells Sonia, "Just what I need, another Queen of the Gypsies," referring back to the episode which starred Zohra Lampert.

MORE TRIVIA:


JUMP TO SEASON ONE, SEASON TWO, SEASON THREE or SEASON FIVE
KOJAK MOVIES
(including pilot, The Marcus-Nelson Murders) • MAIN PAGE