I'm a little surprised this thread didn't carry over from the new old board (you can find it here
), but the other night I ran across one of my favorites: the episode of Hill Street Blues
in which Officer Joe Coffey is killed.
I was a devoted fan of Hill Street Blues; from Day One, I never failed to watch it, even once, during its first six seasons on the air -- and that was without benefit of a VCR. I wasn't so lucky during the seventh and final season; I've seen most of those, but to this day, there's one I haven't seen, the one in which Henry Goldblume gets carjacked while on his way to a camping trip and begs for his life.
In any event, the one in which Joe Coffey is killed is, like all the other, full of day-in-the-life stuff; his partner, Sgt. Lucy Bates, has become the guardian of a teen named Fabian, but still has to contend with his junkie mother, who keeps demanding cash. Joe overhears Lucy borrowing money from desk Sgt. Stan Jablonski the day after she borrowed money from him, figures out what's going on, and insists they put an end to it. So they confront the mother and tell her this is truly the last time she's getting any more money out of Lucy. Later, Joe presses Lucy to go to City Hall, file the papers and finalize the guardianship.
After the end of shift, all the guys plan to attend a poker night. While Lucy is shopping for potato chips and such at a neighborhood grocer, Joe tells her the store is out of Garcia y Vega cigars, so he's going to stop in at Al's Smoke Shop up the street. He opens the door, says, "Hey, how you doin'?" to the man behind the counter, and asks if they have any Garcia y Vegas. The man curtly says "No." Joe says, "I think you do -- I see them, in the back." And as he looks toward the back of the store, he sees a pair of feet on the ground, protruding behind the counter. He looks up at the nman behind the counter, looks down again, and before he can reach for his sidearm, the man behind the counter lifts his right arm and fires one shot into his stomach from a large-caliber revolver.
Joe stumbles backward, spins around, and presses his face into the window set in the door, and the man fires a second shot into his back. This shot forces him through the glass and onto the front stoop.
Lucy hears the shots and heads up the street, calling for Joe with her walkie-talkie. Some pedestrian tells her he heard something at the smoke shop. She calls in shots fired, officer down and catches a glimpse of the shooter just before he gets into a van and drives off.
Cut to: a while later, as the sun begins to go down and there's a touch of snow in the air. Detectives Neal Washington and J.D. LaRue are investigating, and Joe's still on the ground, and Lucy complains that he hasn't been covered. Captain Furillo -- who has been on disability because he got shot fairly recently -- comes by, and he and Lucy share a wordless embrace.
One thing about this episode was, at the time, there was a lot of hype and hoopla about Ed Marinaro leaving the show, so I never got to watch it with any surprise at what was going to happen; instead, I could only watch it waiting for it to go down. Which, I suppose, is a legitimate experience, but I might have liked to have been genuinely shocked.
Any how ... anybody have any favorite TV bits of their own to share?