Starsky and Hutch (1975–1979): Season 1, Episode 21 - A Coffin for Starsky - full transcript

A vengeance-seeking fiend injects Starsky with a chemical compound that will kill him in 24 hours, sparking Starsky and Hutch to race against time to track down the criminal and his poison formula so an antidote can be created.


I can't.

No, I can't.

I can't.



You have 24 hours to live, pig.

Count them, 24.

HUTCH: Hello?


Who is this?



Where's the doctor?
Where's the doctor?

Hi, buddy.

There's no effect
on your heart yet.

We'll be sending you
upstairs for some more tests.

You can sit up and
rest for a while now.

Doctor, I'd like to talk to him.

In a minute, but first,

I'd like to ask you
a few questions.

I understand you
and Detective Starsky

have been partners
for some time now?

That's right.

Yes, he said

you were his best friend.

Doctor, what are
you trying to tell me?

I don't think your friend

is going to make it.

His relatives,

any other close friends

should be notified.


Well, of course
he's going to make it.

You've got him in
hospital, don't you?

You're running tests on him.


Does he know?

He asked me to tell you.

Said he hates soapy scenes.


Hi, buddy.

How are you feeling, huh?


Could even think
I dreamed it all.

The guy who did it, Starsk,
was there anything about him?


But I wasn't exactly

rowing with both
oars at the time.

The doctor says I
was drugged first.

You know, something
to make me fuzzy enough

so I couldn't object.

But you were clear enough
to know what was going on?

Whoever it was, he
wanted to enjoy himself.

What about his voice?

Did you... did you...

did you fix a pattern?


it was about as dirty a
laugh as I've ever heard.


I got a feeling it's
somebody I know.

Dr. Franklin?

What about the 24 hours?

Does it hold?

If it's a
progressive-type poison,

yes, its term could
be predictable.

The blood sample
taken at the puncture

indicates a poisonous compound,

probably of the
organic-chloride grouping.

Unfortunately, it could
be any one of 50 varieties,

and we can't
prescribe the antidote

with any certainty

until we know the
exact composition.

That plain enough?

The part about the
poisonous compound was,

thank you.

You know, it's amazing.

You're well,

you think they've got a
miracle cure for everything.

You get sick,

they can't even cure
the common cold.

My best medical
advice at the moment

indicates a series of tests.

We'll be able

to deduce certain things

from changes in
your body chemistry.

Doc, pursuing our own, as
they say, line of expertise,

my partner feels he
can deduce certain things

faster than you can.

I mean, that's part of his job.

That's right, but you're
not going anywhere.

Look, you're thinking
the same thing I am.

We're looking for some
flake with a mean laugh

who knows exactly what
was in that shot, right?


Well, while I'm
still feeling okay...

We find him and ask him.

Okay, where are my pants?

I can't forbid this,

but I think it's unwise.

Doc, I appreciate
what you're saying,

but what it really comes
down to is one question...

Can you guarantee
that if I stay here,

you're going to be able

to come up with
the answer in time?

Okay, then, I'd like
to take a shot at it.

Now, if we don't score
by, uh, 10:00 tonight,

I'll come back and give
you another crack at it, okay?

Find my pants.

I've got your watch.

You forgot my pants?


You mean you want
me to hit the streets

with no pants, no
badge, no gun, no dignity?

What's the matter with you?

Do you believe him?


You know, you're right, Starsk.

I should've left you
lying on the floor

while I decided which pair

of your equally
crummy blue jeans

I should pack.

They're all looking at you.

This is Zebra Three.

Patch me through to R and I.


R and I, Collins.

Go ahead, Zebra Three.

Charlie, this is Hutch.

Pull every case we've worked on

in the past five years

and have them on our desks

when we get down there.

No chance, Hutch.

Everybody wants
everything yesterday.

Have you any idea
of our workload?

Collins, we'll be
there in 20 minutes.

That's how long you got.

Hey, take it easy.

He's got no way of knowing

what's going down.

Do it, will you, Charlie?

It's that important.

Captain Dobey will confirm.

Have him call Receiving Hospital

and check on Starsk.

Got any second thoughts

about leaving the hospital?

Do you?

I could be wrong...

but then I'll be walking
around tomorrow.

Well, the doctor
was pretty straight

about our chances.


As I see it,

it's "who do we trust" time.

Is that Huggy?

Hey, what it is?

Got a job for you.

Hey, I'm gainfully employed.


I got a job as a travel agent.

It's a hard buck,

but an honest one.

Need any airplane tickets?

What have you heard
about a hit going down?

On who?


Sparing the grim details,

some guy got into
my house this morning

and gave me a shot.

Oh, you got to be putting me on.

I don't think he was
putting me on, either.

Need your help, Hug.

You gotta ask?

I'll do everything I
can. Something'll turn.

Thanks, Hug.




Take a look at this one.

Sorry about the static.


It's 11:36.

I always did think you
were a clock-watcher.

Now, come on, Dave.

There must be something
you remember about this guy.

Eyes, hair, build?

Did you hear that?
He called me Dave.

The things some people won't do

to get on a first-name basis.


All right, let's see.


white male, 35 to
50, medium build.

Any or all possibly inaccurate.

Pull the computer cards

and run them against that make.

This way, we'll eliminate

the short, fat,
black, and female.

Then we'll run them
against the in prisons,

hospitals, out of towns...


Don't go away, now.

Get you some coffee?


What you got, Cheryl?

The hospital analysis

of the chemical
traces at the puncture.




and what might be bromoacetone.

They couldn't get
a fix on the rest.

Level with me.

Normal body functioning

depends on

the central nervous system


automatic impulses...

To see, to breathe, to
sweat, to swallow, cough.


certain progressive poisons
attack the central system

and block the impulses.

What happens?

Uncontrolled perspiration,
distorted vision,

loss of coordination,

difficult breathing, coma.

When it gets bad, I can
help the pain some, but...

Cheryl, he's going
to need the best

that the chemistry
field can offer, right?

How is it with your father?

He doesn't seem
to want to see me...

or anybody.

Can you ask him to help?

I've already tried. He
hasn't returned my call.

Look, I'll go out to the house,

if I have to.

Thank you.

Twenty possibles reduced
to these three primes.

Vic Bellamy... Janos
Martini... and Al Wedell.

Vic Bellamy.

We busted him
out at the University

about a year ago

with a suitcase
full of Red Devils.

Pimp, pusher, armed robbery,
a couple suspected homicides...

Really hated me. No-taste bum.

Here's Al Wedell.


I busted him

with six kilos of
Mexican brown H.

Big dealer.

Knows something about
chemistry from testing his stuff.

He promised to waste us both.

Cold, calculating type.

Really thought his
clients were dirt.

Didn't have time for anybody.

Janos Martini.

Good old boy.

Used to run a porno studio

for the kinky trade...
you know, whips, chains.

He once beat his
girlfriend half to death

in front of a camera.

Yeah, good old Janos...
mixing business and pleasure.

Well, we don't have
an address on Janos,

but he shouldn't
be too hard to find.

A nude girl and a Brownie,
and he's back in business.

What about the others?

Al Wedell

dropped out of action
several months ago.

Same for Martini.

The only address we
have is on Vic Bellamy.

That makes him our first stop.

Open up. Police.

In a minute.

We're going to
look awfully stupid

if he goes out the back.

Don't shoot! I told
you... in a minute.

Vic! Don't shoot.

What's going on?

I don't know. Ask them.

How long has he
been in that cast?

Four weeks. Why?

Hey, what is this?

How about strike one?

Sorry, lady.

You got a feel on him?

Same as always. A crumb.

Want me to drive?

What, and get us both killed?

Why am I trying

to make you feel better?

You know something, Starsk?


It's always toughest
on the ones left behind.

I'll believe that when I hear it

from somebody who went first.

This is Zebra Three to Control,

Detective Hutchinson.

Put me through
to Dobey, will you?

Yeah, Hutch?

Scratch Bellamy.


Listen, Cheryl's located
four supply houses

that handle chlorohydrin.

I'm getting teams out to them.

What about Wedell and Martini?

No, nothing yet.

Well, what the hell

are you guys doing down there?

What do you mean,
what the hell am I doing?

Listen, Hutchinson...

You listen to me, captain!

Wait a minute, wait a minute,

I'm not through yet.

Come on.

Captain, you'll have
to forgive Hutch.

He's feeling a bit skittish.

Yeah, well...

Tell him I am too.

Hey, did you hear that?

Captain, I think Hutch
wants to apologize.

Oh, come on, let's not get
sickening about this, huh?

What about Martini's old
girlfriend, Sweet Alice?

Do you have a
current address on her?

Yeah, I've got an address.

Why didn't I think of that?

That's a good idea, captain.

Uh, hang a right.

Wait a minute, wait.
Maybe she's busy.

If she is,

how do we get invited in?

What do you say

we slip 20 bucks under the door?

Sweet Alice? Yeah.

Make it at least 50, huh?

Oh, you are a romantic.

Hey, I'll take the back.

Wait 20 seconds and then knock.


Open up. Police.



Do you mind if I
go in there, sir?


Appreciate it.

You can go.

Hey, Hutch?

Sorry, Alice.

Hi, Handsome Hutch.

Come on, let me in.


Well, howdy, Starsky.

Y'all come on in and
have a drink, huh?

Hiya, Sweet Alice.

Hey, did you stop by to bust me

or just for

a little friendly conversation?

I know. You're
looking for somebody.

How do you feel about Janos?

Oh, my. Time heals.

I just mildly hate his guts now.

Well, then you wouldn't
mind telling us where he is?

Knowing he wouldn't find
out it was me that told you that.



He's got a little business

ingeniously called
Sexsational Films.

He bought himself
a grocery store

and he's calling
it a sound stage.

It's somewhere on
Channing Avenue, I think.

Hey, what's the matter?

Thanks, Alice.

Hey, wait. What's the beef?

Nothing trivial, I hope.

No, afraid not.

Hey, are you all right, Starsk?

Man, you're just
sweating all over the place.

You got a fever?

Uh, yeah.

Oops. We got to go around back.

Would you mind moving?

Does that handle it?

You got a warrant?

No, I don't got a warrant.

You got a warrant?


Well, that about covers it, huh?


You know something,
Starsky? He's right.

We can't go on in there

without probable cause...

Like stupid here
taking a swing at us.

Wait a second.

Which of one of these
flakes are you calling stupid?

The creepy-looking one.

You've gotta be more specific.

Oh, it's the guy

who never picks on
anybody his own size.

Gets his kicks intimidating
young girls and old women.

Now, you two
turkeys better split.

If you're here
when we come out...

Can you believe
they bought that, huh?


Easy, easy, easy.


You going to make it? Huh?

My stomach hasn't hurt this bad

since Aunt Rosa sent me
her special chicken soup.

Easy. Easy, now. Come on.

Just try to relax. Take it easy.

She never could
get the hang of it.

She made great wonton, though.

You think you can you make it?


Give me a minute.


How do I look?

You look terrible.

You okay?


Okay, Ginger, this
isn't a gum movie.

Take it out of your mouth.

All right.

Could you give
us a little feeling?

Come on, come on.

All right, everybody.

Settle down.

Stand still.

This will be a take.

Roll film.


How are you doing,
Janos, old buddy?

You remember Janos?



Where were you at
4:00 this morning?

What are you guys, crazy?

What's the beef?

Don't answer a
question with a question.

At my apartment.

We started shooting at 5:00.

I was here by
4:30. Ask the crew.

Come on, Janos.

You expect us to take the word

of these flakes on anything?

Tell him a funny story.

I don't feel too funny
this morning, Janos.

So I want you to pretend

that I told you a
real knee-slapper.

What do you guys want?

I want you to laugh.

Oh, Jesus.

Hey, careful with that lens.

It cost 2,500 bucks.

Well, now, that's funny.


I bet it's worth
every penny too.

Gives a great close-up.

Laugh, Janos.


Hey, wouldn't want

to lose my pension
at this point.

You can laugh better
than that, Janos, huh?

You're right about this
thing giving great close-ups.

Oh, please, please...
don't drop that lens.

I'm in hock

to my wife's brother for that.

Laugh, Janos.


Come on, Janos, laugh!

Give it to me from the belly!

Unfortunately that's not it.

Thanks, Janos. A
great performance.

Really great.

Well, that's 12 hours gone.


The pessimist says
the bottle's half-empty...

and the optimist
says it's half-full.

Oh, it hurts, Hutch.

Oh, God, it hurts.

I know. I know.

Buddy, I'm here. I'm here.

How are you doing, huh?

I'm scared.

Well, I don't know

what there is to
be scared about.

We've still got seven hours.

Oh, that's right.

Just enough time

to catch the double
bill at the Rivoli

and still finish that
book I've been reading.

Well, we know it's not Bellamy,

and we know it's not Janos.

All we've got to
do is to find Wedell.

Only he ain't turning up.

We got a whole police force

looking in this city,

and he ain't showing.

That's because you and me

aren't on the streets.

As soon as we get
back on the streets,

we'll turn that turkey.

Probably find him in a trashcan.


Hit the streets, run
down a few alleys.

Bust down a few doors.

Get a few snitches working.

The guy won't have a chance.

Cheryl, will you hurry
up with that stuff?

Here, this will help.

Boy, that arm's
been really getting it.

You okay?

Oh, yeah. I'm fine.

The room's in pretty bad shape,

but I'm doing just fine.

I can't give you
anything stronger

without knocking you out.

Please, that's all I need.

What's the good
of all your books

and all your junk, all
your toys, your stuff,

if it doesn't do anything?

What's happening here, Cheryl?

Nothing very good.

You're doing all
you can, Cheryl.

I did go out to campus.

Dad was in a faculty
meeting. He couldn't come out.

Wouldn't, I guess.

What's the matter with him?

How come you have to
keep making excuses for him?


Don't antagonize
the people I need.

He's doing all he can.

He's sent his assistant
to open up the lab

and run a spectrograph
on the slide

from the hospital.

He's a new boy.
Knows his trade too.

But he said even learning
the composition won't help

unless they know
the proportions.

There's no way of testing that

from the slide.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


That brings us back
to finding Wedell.

You can stop looking.

We just located
your third possible.


He's been dead four days.

Heart attack.

Detective Hutchinson?


Oh, excuse me,

but I'm supposed to
look at some pictures.

Ted, will you help
this lady out, please?

But they told me
to speak to you.

You see, I work at
Crawley Pharmaceuticals.

I was at the doctor

when you folks came around.

Bad cold.

Ted, do you still
have those pictures

around here?

Here, lady, have a chair.

Hey, you want this water?

You know...

If this was a cowboy movie...

I'd give you my boots.

You're my pal, Hutch.


Lady, lady, please. I'm busy.

Ted, will you...

But the pictures...

I mean, the man, I
do recognize this man.

This man?


Vic Bellamy.

You mean this man

came into your place and
bought some chemicals?

No, not chemicals.

That's what's so strange.

I mean, that's why I remember.

He wanted to buy
all the materials

to make a leg cast.

Thank you.

Thank you, lady,
very, very much.

I'll take it. I'll take it.

I've, as they say,

a vested interest in this case.

Besides, he's our only lead.

Listen. I've got
to get out of town.

I need the money now.

They got me staked out.

Starsky and Hutchinson.

They were here a while ago.

They just came back.

Where is he?

I didn't want to lie.

He made me.

Where is he?

The roof.

Stay here.

Has he got a gun?


He made me lie.

That's terrific.


Vic, it's not murder one yet.

What was in the hypo?

Vic, give it up!


Hold it! Hold it!

What's the matter, Hutchinson?

You lose your piece?


Maybe you're
afraid to shoot, huh?

Kill me, and you
kill your partner.


You're dead, Hutchinson.

Thanks, buddy.

What'd you have to do that for?

He was the only guy that knew.

Seemed to be a good idea

at the time.


I'm sorry.

We're going to have to take him

upstairs now.

If his timetable is right,

he's got less than two hours.

Hey, buddy.

I have to go now.



Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, okay.

Well, that's it, huh?

No, that's not it.

Look, Hutch, we
only have two hours.

I don't care if we
got two minutes,

we don't give up.

We've missed something, captain.

We've been in such a hurry...

we've rushed right past
something important.

Look, Hutch, we put 200
names in the computer.

We get 20 possibles
and three primes.

It's not our fault if
they all wash out.

They didn't all wash out.

Vic Bellamy didn't wash out.

He was...

Vic Bellamy... only had
a 10th-grade education.

How the hell did
he get the smarts

to pull something like this off?

You think somebody hired him?

Absolutely. Don't you?


Somebody's got to tell me who.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.


I'm so sorry.

For Vic and you and
me and your partner...

Stop being sorry.

I'm sorry. Honest.

Help me!

Vic wasn't smart enough
to do this by himself.

He had to have help.
Who helped him?

I don't know.

Who helped him?

I don't know.

Tell me!

I don't know his name!

Tell me!

He hired Vic.


He has something to
do with the University.


Hello, Cheryl.

It's 2:30.

I'm sorry it's late, but
I have to talk with you.

It's been quite a while.

Come in.

Thank you.

Dad, why haven't you wanted
me to come and see you?

Are you somehow
blaming me for Jerry?

Your brother's dead.

Let him lie.


Tell me.

It's important to me.

You're important to me.

I can't help thinking...

that when you told the police...

You lit the fuse.

Jerry was peddling
drugs on campus.

I just wanted him to
stop. I just wanted to help.

Jerry was a good boy.



Hutch, what are you doing here?

Cheryl, I may need your help.

Bear with me.

I want to talk to your father.

Detective Hutchinson,

you're not welcome in my home.

We've gone way
past that, professor.

Hutch, what are
you talking about?

Ask your father. He knows.

I just spoke with
Vic Bellamy's widow.

Vic Bellamy?

The man that your brother

was pushing dope
for when he was killed.

If you don't leave
my house peaceably,

I'm going to have to
call the campus police.

You'll find them
busy, professor.

They and some detectives

are opening up your laboratory.

But why?

They'll be looking for
a poisonous compound

injected into Starsky.

Cheryl, your father is the
man who wants to kill him.

That's insane.

Yes, I guess it is.

At least, that's what
the defense attorneys

will plead.

But you see, Cheryl,

your father
contacted Vic Bellamy

a few weeks ago,

after he got out of prison.

The two of them held a grudge

against me and Starsky.

It was a perfect partnership,

wasn't it, Professor?

Dad, please tell him
it isn't so. Tell him.

Yes, professor, go on, tell me.

Where did I make my mistake?

The compound itself.

It was far too sophisticated

for anybody as
simple as Bellamy.


You'll not find
anything in the lab.

Well, then they'll come
here. They'll tear this...

It is here, isn't it?

Of course it is.

There's enough stuff
for both Starsky and me.

Dad, Dad, please,
what is this all...

Just shut up!

Can't you ever keep
your mouth shut?

You have it all figured out.


But why?

Because they killed my son.

They killed Jerry.

Professor, you don't think...

you don't think

that we wanted
to kill him, do you?

I read your story
in the police report.

Dad, Hutch tried to
protect you in that report.

Jerry was an addict,

stoned out of his mind


That's a lie.

Sir, his mind had
already been taken over.

His brain was soup.


We tried to calm him down.

We tried to bring
him back to the house.

It's in the report.

He grabbed my gun.

It went off accidentally.

It's not his fault.
He was spaced out.

Stop it.

Professor, I'm asking
you... I'm begging you.

Please stop this
before it's too late.

My boy is dead.

He was a good boy.

He's dead.

I'm asking you to
save my partner's life.

Professor, give it to me.

Give it to me.

Give it to me.

Dad, please.

Dad, it's all right.

It's all right. It's over.

Two cc's hydrochloride.

One cc bromoacetone.

Four cc's benzyl cyanide,

one cc diphenylamine.

Yes, I think

your friend is going to make it.

Thank you, doctor.


Hey, hey, hey.

What are you doing here?


Come in.

The doctor returned me to work

as soon as possible.

Well, sit over here.

Watch yourself.

How are you feeling?
You look awful.

Oh, I'm okay.

You don't look okay.

I'm okay.

I'm going to talk to
those doctors personally.

Oh, wait a sec,
wait a sec, captain.

The doctors say

recovery has to start somewhere,

and it's best to become active

as soon as possible.

You don't look like

you're going to be active to me.

What do you think, Hutch?

I think he looks terrible.

I think you ought to
go home and go to bed

till you get better.


How long did the doctor say

before you'd be fully recovered?

Couple of weeks, captain.
It's not that import...

Shut up, Starsky!

We know more
about this than you do.

You're going to
take two weeks off.

Well, if you insist...


Would you get a
glass of water for me?

Yeah, sure.

Captain Dobey here.

Hey, captain.

Yeah, tell Starsky I
got his reservations.

Starsky's confirmed
for two weeks

in the pleasure capital
of the Caribbean.


get on that phone.

It's important you hear this.

Would you mind repeating that?

Well, it's a great little
hotel in St. Thomas.

Yeah, all the New York
secretaries go there.

Yeah, it'll be full

of all the kinds of girls

Starsky says he wants.

It's got the other
stuff he asked for too...

Tennis, scuba, marlin fishing.

It's the greatest.

Uh, yeah, we'll take
the proper action.

Thanks very much.

Thanks, buddy.


What do you think you're doing?

Is that any way to
treat a convalescent?