I’ve been thinking a lot about characters other than Starsky, Hutch, Dobey, and Huggy Bear in the series lately–and especially women in the show. For this post, I’m going to disallow any of their girlfriends or any women that are killed off–so no Terry Roberts, Gillian, Abby. I’ve also disallowed women who, although I love them, are only in briefly, so no Sweet Alice, alas. I wanted to focus on women who play a big (or at least a major part) in an episode. So here goes:
5: Edith Dobey-Captain Dobey, You’re Dead. Edith Dobey is one of those characters you swear is in more than one episode (Sweet Alice is my other character I picture in way more episodes than she is (2)). Even if the short time we get to see Edith, we know she’s strong, she’s not going to put up with any crap from any man, and heaven forbid, you try to get between her and her children. You can see the love between Dobey and Edith–they really do make a perfect couple.
4: Jane Hutton-Murder Ward. Suzanne Somers is wonderful in this episode. Intrepid reporter undercover at Cabrillo State, she’s not afraid to do what it takes to get her story. Her interaction with both Starsky and Hutch is great–she’s smart, she’s willing to risk everything for her story, and she’s going to do what she can to help them out.
3: Lisa Kendrick-Foxy Lady. Okay maybe she’s a little less than good, maybe she’s even a criminal but I’m glad she gets away at the end of this episode. Starsky and Hutch somehow manage to lose every brain cell when dealing with her because, you know, even though they are cops, a beautiful women shuts off their brains. I personally believe Lisa was in on the bank heist from the beginning. I also like to think that the man from the bank isn’t really from a bank at all, but rather someone she hired to pretend he was from a bank and she’s got that money stashed away somewhere. I hope she’s living the high life somewhere. She deserved to get away just because of Starsky and Hutch being so stupid!
2. Joan Meredith-Black and Blue. How much do I love Joan? She is one of the best female characters on the show. She’s not afraid of any man, and no man is going to show her up. Joan is not going to put up with any crap from anyone which is one of the reasons I love her so much. I love Starsky underestimating her and her calm, measured way of taking him down. Joan’s had to fight her way to where she is in the department, and no one is ever going to take that away from her. In my mind, Joan is going to be the first woman captain in the Bay City Police Department and if she doesn’t make chief of police there, some other smart, progressive police department is going to snap her up and Bay City is going to regret their loss.
1.Hannah Kanen-Deckwatch. Hannah is old, in a wheelchair, and appears frail, but man oh man, Hannah might be the strongest woman shown in the entire series. I love Hannah for her compassion towards Hector. She knows he’s a killer, she knows the danger they are all in, but she never strikes out. She doesn’t even ever raise her voice. She is calm in the face of adversity–wouldn’t you love to know everything about her? Wouldn’t you love to sit down with Hannah and find out her life story? I know I would. Hannah is a survivor and I like that. I don’t get the impression that Hannah has ever been a person who has sat back and felt sorry for her circumstances. Tragedy has surely struck her family but she is the kind of person who rises above it, who finds purpose and meaning in everything that happens. It’s Hannah who enables Hutch and Starsky to get their plan together. It’s Hannah who sees the man beyond the killer in Hector. I like to think that if there is a funeral somewhere in Bay City for Hector (maybe he’s buried in a potter’s field) Hannah would insist on going to the funeral because Hector, no matter how evil he was, was not born that way and was once his mother’s child.