Starsky and Hutch (1975–1979): Season 1, Episode 16 - Losing Streak - full transcript

Starsky and Hutch have to locate and rescue a washed-up jazz pianist now compulsive gambler running for his life after stealing $2,000 in counterfeit bills from a mob-connected club owner.

This is Zebra Three.

Request a code seven at
Dody's, 12th and Willow.

They make terrific hamburgers.

You know, Starsky,

you were right about
these hamburgers.


They are terrific.


Are you all right?

Yeah, I'm fine.

It's that tooth again, isn't it?

You know something?

You ought to be a detec...

No, no, no, no.

Don't open your mouth.


You talk,

you let the cold air in,

it aggravates the cavity.


Good evening, Mr. White.

Good evening, Mr. White.

What's Vic Rankin doing here?

He said he had to see you.

Well, Toby asked him to sit in

for a couple of numbers.

People seem to like it,

so I let him play.

Get rid of him.

Mr. White...

It might not be that easy.

He's pretty wound up.

I think he wants that money.

I said get rid of him.

How about that! Out of sight.

Hey, man, you're
still the greatest.

Thanks, Toby. Thanks.

You got time to give us another?

No, no, I'd like to,

but I've got to see your
boss about something.

Well, how do you
follow that, huh?

Guess I'll lay down

a couple of yards of
"Autumn Leaves" for you.

I hate to see good
liquor go to waste.

Where's White?

Sorry, Vic, I'm afraid
Mr. White ain't going to have

the time to see
you tonight after all,

so go home, huh?

Look, he's going to
have to make time.

He owes me $2000!

Oh! Oh...

Take a hint, Vic,
get out of here.

While all your fingers
are still in one piece.

Look, I worked for
him for five weeks.

He never paid me.

I need that money.

I don't want to
tell it to you again.

All right, all right,

all right.


Next time, don't
wait for me to tell you.

I don't want that
bum around here.


Uh, Mr. White,

can you come out a minute

and have a talk with Murray?

Foote, I have
other things to do.

Can't you handle it?

Well, it's the cash register.

The tapes, they're are
all messed up again.

All right. I'll be out.


Zebra Three, come in, please.

Zebra Three here. Over.

Have your pickle?

Investigate a woman screaming

at 211 South Barclay Street.

Possible assault in progress.

Ten-four, we will respond.

You all right to drive?

Hmm? Yeah, I'm fine.

Mm, mm!

Now, Starsky, you
know, sooner or later,

you're going to
have to do business

with the Tooth Fairy.

How many times
do I have to tell you?

I don't know where he is.

I tried to warn your husband,

Mrs. Rankin...

No money in there.

Let's get out of here.

I better not find out

you're lying to me, Mrs. Rankin.

Have a good day.


No, B.

E. B.

It's E.

It's B.

Vic Rankin.

I used to buy his
records in high school.

Are you related?

He's what the world

laughingly calls my husband.

Excuse me, Mrs. Rankin.

Here you go.

Excuse me,

have you got any whiskey?

That's refreshing,

a cop who drinks on duty.

Uh, no, you don't understand.

I got a toothache.


Okay, Mrs. Rankin,

what happened to your husband?


At the risk of shocking you,

Detective Hutchinson,

the truth of the matter

is that your high school
hero is trying to kill himself,

but he doesn't have the
guts to do it all at once,

so he just does it
an inch at a time.

Because my husband
is a compulsive gambler,

and he just...

fell off the wagon,

so to speak, a
couple of days ago.

So he's in some
kind of trouble, huh?

And that's what
this is all about?

When Vic is gambling,

he's always in
some sort of trouble.

Tonight, they say,

he stole $2000.

Who is they?

Gil White, he, uh...

He's got a jazz club
called, uh, GW's,

and Vic played there...

uh, I don't know,
about six months ago,

but he never got paid for it,

so apparently he just broke
into White's office tonight

and took what he
thought he had coming.

Mrs. Rankin...

Vic worked for
White six months ago.

How come he waited this
long to collect his money?

Why else?

He heard about a
big poker game tonight

and he needed a stake,

and he had to steal that money.

Hi. I'm Olivia.

Anything I can do for you?

Uh, yeah, we'd like
to see Mr. White.

I'll see if he's in.

Did anyone ever tell you

you're as cute as a teddy bear?

Follow me.

I can't help it.

Mr. White says he'll be
happy to see you now.

Oh, thank you.

Mr. White.


Olivia tells me you're cops.

That's right.

Is there some sort of beef?

Well, we thought
you could tell us.

We just came

from Evelyn Rankin's apartment.

Oh, yeah.

I'm sorry about that.

I heard my boys
got a little rough.

I was just going to phone her

and apologize.

That's it?

You have a lady and her
apartment all busted up,

and you're just
going to apologize?

She file a complaint?

If it'll make you
feel any better,

I'll offer to pay for damages.


What about the $2000
stolen from you tonight?

If you want to file a
complaint, we're police officers.

Well, no, there's
no need for that.

I'm afraid tempers
got pretty hot earlier on.

Uh, wait a second.

Are you telling us

that Rankin didn't
steal any money?

That's right. Not a nickel.

Let's just say what
happened tonight

was a disagreement
among old friends.

How quaint.

If that's all, gentlemen...

Yeah, that's all. Thanks a lot.

Man, that is weird.

It is?


Oh, yeah.


Well, what?

Well, what do you want to do?


There can't be

that many big poker games

in town.

Oh. Hmm.

Yes, Mr. White?

Those two guys
who just left are cops.

You and Lemke hit the streets.

I don't care what it costs,

you have to find
Rankin before they do,

and put him away...
this time, for good.

Yes, Mr. White.

Poker's sure getting popular.

That's the third big
game, and still no Rankin.

I need chips.

That's what I'm here for.

A thousand.

I call.

I call,

and I raise you another 500.

I'm out.

Too much for me.


Five hundred more
to you, Rankin.

What's the matter?
You got a bad memory?

What the hell's that
supposed to mean?

Well, can't you remember

if you've got an ace buried?

We ought to bury him.

This stuff he's been
giving us all night

is counterfeit.

What are you talking about?

The creep's a rip-off artist.

Now, wait a minute. I didn't...

I think he's killed him.

You're sure it was Rankin?


He's still alive.


Who started this whole fight?

Rankin, all the way.

We caught him
playing with queer.

With who? Oh, counterfeit.


He bought in with
counterfeit 20s.

Yeah, see for yourself.

That was his.

It's pretty good paper, Starsk.


About how much money was here?


Oh, it's all his.

It's exactly $2000.

Would you excuse us
for a minute, please?




Do you remember that flyer

sent around by the
Treasury Department?

Oh, yeah. Huh?

They said there was a
rumor that somebody was...


Somebody was going to dump

about a million in
cash on the street.


Suddenly, a lot of things

are starting to make sense.

Listen, would you...

Would you excuse
us for a minute?


Like, why White would send over

a couple of thugs to
Rankin's apartment

to look for money

he told us was never stolen.

Are you starting to
get a bad feeling?

Oh... This is private?


If Rankin did get the
money from White,

then he can put White in prison,

which means that White

has a good reason to kill him.

Who is it?

It's me, Foote.

Come in.

We've covered the streets.

Now, Rankin doesn't
have that many friends.

If he turns up, we'll find him.

The people in St. Louis

are very unhappy with us

for letting that $2000 get out

before they were ready.

We'll get Rankin, Mr. White,

you can count on this.

I have to get this
to a safe place.

After that, I'll be back here.

Oh, Foote,

don't make me wait too long

to hear from you.

You know, that is really funny.

I mean, Vic is in trouble,

and you two
hotshots come in here

asking for help.

Look, lady,

we don't have a lot of time.

So we just thought that, maybe,

as his loyal, loving wife,

that you might care

whether he was killed or not.

Now, don't you ever

talk to me about loyalty again.

And don't come in here
with any cheap shots like that,

not until you
have lived with him

for 12 years.

Not until you have pulled him up

out of the gutter

and nursed him back to health

because he has stolen
somebody's money to gamble with.

Look, Mrs. Rankin, I don't think

that you quite
understand the situation.

Now, if we are right,

Mr. White is going to
try to kill your husband.

Then let it be over with.

Because I can't...

I can't pick up the pieces...

not anymore.

Twelve years is long enough
to ride any losing streak.

Mrs. Rankin...

Where would he go?

Does he have any friends?

You have not been listening

to anything I have said to you,

have you?

He does not have
any more friends.

They are all gone!


Evelyn, it's me.

Oh, Vic...

Where are you?

I'm in trouble, honey.

I know.

The police are here,

and they say you shot a man.

The police?

Don't tell them anything.

No, Vic, listen.

You have to give yourself up,

because the man you
shot is going to be all right,

but you're in danger.


Hello, Vic, this is
Detective Hutchinson.

We want to help you.

Oh, no.

Mrs. Rankin...

He sounded so scared.


Mrs. Rankin, there has got to
be somebody that he would go to.

Belinda Williams.

Belinda Williams?

She used to sing with
Vic a few years ago.

Do you have any idea

where we may find
this Belinda Williams?

I don't know, but Vic might,

because, uh...

oh, about seven
or eight years ago,

she got pretty heavy into drugs,

and she doesn't sing anymore.

I guess she just
makes her living

any way she can.

Starsk, this is Belinda.


Who is it?

Belinda, it's me, Vic,

Vic Rankin.



Okay, okay, I'm coming.

Well, what are you looking at?

What'd you expect?


You look fine, Belinda.

How did we end up like this?

Belinda, look, I'm in trouble.
I need a place to hide.

Still trying to fill an
inside straight, huh?

I shot a man.

The police are after me.

I just need a place
to rest and think.

I haven't slept all night.


It's not much, but
you're welcome to it.




Vic, I'm kind of strung out.

You wouldn't have any
bread on you, would you?

No, I'm all tapped out.

Funny money?

No, I haven't heard a whisper.

It could be important, Huggy.

Well, what are you going to do

when you find all
that bogus bread?

Buy yourself a dental clinic?

You're hilarious.

Anyone ever tell you that?

Well, my cousin, Elijah,
he always used to say:

"Be true to your teeth,

and they'll never
be false to you."

Hey, this lovely could be

your connection

to Belinda Williams.

Hey, Orange.

Huggy Bear, I heard
you wanted to see me.

Yeah, I'd like you to meet

a couple of friends, Starsky...

Hiya. Hi.

And Hutch.

How do you do?

This is my dog, Sandy.

Hey, love, I'd like to
ask you a question.

All right. Goodbye.

I didn't know

Little Orphan Annie
was still around.

Yeah, she's developed.

Rooming house
over near the docks,

211 Farrington.

Thanks. Thanks, Hug.

See you later.


Mr. White?


This is Belinda Williams.

I talked to your man,
Foote, last night.

He said you'd give
me $100 for Vic Rankin.

Right here.

You turned me in!

It's not what you think.

I needed a fix.

How do you get out of here?

There's no other way...

There's another way
out of here, isn't there?

No, no!

Hold it. Police.

Don't shoot. Don't shoot.

That was foolish.

Yeah, Detective Starsky here.

Yeah, I want a black-and-white
at 211 Farrington Street.

Yes, right away.

I lost them.


Meet the queen of the May.

Who's the goon?

His name is Lemke.

Three guesses where he works.

White's Jazz Club?

You've got it.

I wonder who told White's people

that Rankin was here?

You needed a fix pretty bad,

huh, Belinda?

What would you know about it?

Well, I know that
you were a friend

of Vic Rankin's,

and that, probably,

he came here for some help.

So what?

What's Vic to me?

He's just some guy that
used to play the piano.

I could have
gotten $100 for him.

You have any idea where
he might have run to?


He couldn't have gone far.

He's wounded.

How badly?

I don't know.

I don't know.


I didn't want to sell him,

but, I mean, what else
could I do, you know?

Now that he's gone,

what am I going to do?

That's a good question.

Go on, Belinda... die a little.

You know,

with Lemke working
at the Jazz Club,

I'd say that gives
us reasonable cause

to search the place, don't you?

Yeah, maybe we'll find
his curly-headed friend.

If we get lucky,

maybe we'll find
something else too.

Get the sneaky feeling
friend White is here?

Take a break, huh?

Hey, he works
slow enough as it is.

What do you think you're
doing? You guys got a warrant?

We don't need a warrant.

We're looking for an
armed and dangerous felon

known to frequent this joint.

And you think he's
hiding in there?

Well, you never can tell
about these criminal types.

Damned clever, some of them.

All right, wise guys,

I'm easy to live with.

What's the problem?

A pint-sized goon
named Ernie Lemke.

Oh, you're looking
for little Ernie?

Oh, we've got little Ernie.

The guy we're looking for is
the curly head who runs with him.

Hey, hey, that's
my private office.

You got no business in there.

You never can be
too sure, you know.

You know, if we'd had our way,

we would have busted
in here the other night,

after that card game was over.

I'd have laid odds

we'd still have had
a pretty good chance

of finding counterfeit
money around here.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Oh, I'm sure you don't.

Any more than you know anything

about Lemke and his
pal trying to kill Vic Rankin.

They tried to kill Rankin?

Worse than that.

They missed.

Well, I assure you,

I had nothing to do with that.

I know that Rankin

has owed Lemke some money,

but I had no idea

it would come to this.

Hey, you know something?

When you lie,

the hairs on the
back of your neck...

curl up.

You sweat, White.

Because after we've got Rankin,

we're coming back for you.

Well, so much
for this terrific idea,


You'd have thought
that he'd move by now.

Well, maybe he has.

There is such a thing
as a telephone, you know.

Oh, yeah...

Yeah, but who's
White going to call?

Lemke's in jail,

and his curly-headed
friend's on the run.

Well, maybe his
curly-headed friend

will call White,

and when he does,

White'll make a move,
probably to meet him.

Clever, huh?


Bet you're dying to know

how I figured that one out.


Starsk, why don't
you give it up?

The tooth isn't
going to fix itself.

I don't know.

Stranger things have happened.

No, they haven't.

Zebra Three, come in, please.

Zebra Three here. Over.

See the man on the corner

of Marshall and Chandler

regarding the purchase
of a dental clinic.

Dental clinic?

Ten-four. Well, that's terrific.

How are we going to
keep an eye on White

if we have to meet Huggy?


Hey, remember
those jewelry robberies

last year?



The one where we
staked out the four...

No, three people.

At three locations.

No, four locations.

No, no.

It was four different people

at three locations.

Three different
people at four locations.

All at the same time.

That's what I said.

Hey, buddy.

Who, me?


You want to make 20 bucks?

Uh, what you got in mind?

See that Rolls-Royce over there?


The one with a flat tire?

That ain't got no flat tire.

It does now.

Yeah. You're a cop?!

Look, when the guy
comes out to fix that tire,

I want you to call me.


You won't forget to
bring the other half

when you come by?

If it's all the same to you,

I'll mail it to you, okay?


Right there.


All right, mama, work it.

Hey, you folks
sure take your time

about getting to a place.

Then again, Starsky,

you didn't have to rush so fast

and get your clothes wet.

That's very funny, Hug.

Uh, take a powder, Pepper.

Get me a coffee,

black with sugar, okay?

What do you fellas think

of my latest enterprise?

She could shake up
any market, couldn't she?


And gives the best
spit-shine in town.


Hey, you got
something for us, Hug?

Mm, I'm not sure.

Got something, maybe nothing.

You guys know a cat
named Spaceman Sam?

"Spaceman" Sam Carter.

Yeah, he used to
play drums for Rankin.

He did some time too, didn't he?

Yeah, and worked in
the hospital as an orderly.


Oh, and Rankin contacted him?

I'm not sure, but
somebody tried.

Left messages

at two or three
different places.

Said the man

who needed him was hurt,

and that Spaceman

should remember the carnival.


The Mardi Gras Ballroom.

About 10 or 12 years ago,

Rankin used to play there,

you know, when he was very hot.


See you, Hug.

Hurry, hurry.

I bet that's his car.

I got blood.

I got blood here too.

After you.

Vic Rankin?

Vic? Police.

We want to help you.

I'll take the stairs.






That man I shot last night,

you're sure he's
going to be all right?

He's going to pull through.


Man, I've done a
lot of stupid things,

but I've never

done anything like this before.

Counterfeit money.

I've really made a
fool of myself this time.

Now, look, I'm ready

to make any statement you want,

tell you anything I can,

but I would appreciate
it if I could see my wife.

Has anybody called Evelyn?


Has anything happened to Evelyn?

She was forcibly taken
from her apartment

about an hour ago.

Oh, my God.

If I talk now, they'll kill her.

The fact of the matter is, Vic,

that White doesn't even
know you're in custody,

and he's passed
the word on the street

that he wants to make a trade.

My life for hers, huh?

That's right.

We'll do everything we
can to protect you, Vic...

but, at best, it's a long shot.

Well, haven't you heard?

Those are my favorite odds.

All right, what do
you want me to do?

Mr. White?


Vic Rankin sent me
to talk about a trade.

Come on in.

I'm never been so
scared in my life.

Look, just do what we told you,

and chances are we'll
get out of this okay.

Yeah. But please,
whatever you do,

will you watch out for...

Hey, relax.

Don't worry, huh?

Hey, Hutch?


Look, you've got to
promise me one thing.

Yeah, name it.

When we get through this thing,

don't ever let me talk
myself out of it again, huh?

Oh, the dentist?

Oh, man, this
thing is killing me.

Well, Starsky,
it's your own fault,

you know that.

Listen, I'm going to be over
at the counter over there.

Hey... here.


You better go around
and cover the back.

I will.


Keep moving,

to the center of the floor.

How do I know it's not a trap?

Oh, come on, White,

you know that's not my style.

All I'm interested
in is Evelyn's safety.

Vic, run! Don't worry about me.

Where's curly?

I don't know. Maybe
he moved around back.

Do you think we should move?

I can't.

She's in the line of fire.

All right, Vic, we're here.

Then let Evelyn go.

Come on, get out of the way.

I said let her go!

Vic, I'm not
leaving without you.

Please, Evelyn, for me!

Come on...

All right... get out of here.

She's on her way out, Vic.


I'll get him.

Hold it! Police!

You're going to be all right.


looks like I finally
won a long shot.

Yeah, me too.

What you got there, Starsk?

Well, Monsieur
White did me a favor:

He kicked me in the jaw.


Uh, you were holding
the other side of your face

this morning.

Hey, they seem to like him.

He's like a different person.


Oh, hey, uh...

is he going to those Gamblers
Anonymous meetings,

like, you know, the judge said?

Yes, officer.

You know, I think

he's really going
to make it this time.

But, listen, guys...

no kidding,

thank you

for getting him this job.

It wasn't easy, you know.

What I'm trying
to figure out is,

does she keep that dog

for protection or companionship?

Starsky? Shut up.