What a horrific scene we were treated to just before the opening theme. The very notion of a baby being ripped from its mother prematurely is unfortunately not new in the realm of reality or fiction, but the gruesome sight of the bloody car seat and dead woman was just jarring. Claudette's simple two-word line, "umbilical cord" really made the scene hit even harder.
It is interesting to note that the denouement of this storyline didn't really bring out anything in Claudette or Dutch, the two primaries on the case. Instead, it was pregnant Danny who was given a much needed spotlight. You could see her range of emotions, from her discomfort with Dutch simulating the carving on her own stomach, to her repulsion with the young perps, to her own insecurity with her maternal instinct. Danny really shined in this episode. It is even more interesting to note that she told Tina "this isn't real to you yet" (more on that GREAT scene later) when the idea of having a child is probably only starting to become real to her now.
On any other dumbass cop show, Vic would be nothing more than a brutish thug. However, on this brilliant program, we can see just how smart Vic is. He meets up with Acevada and purposely says to a wire-packing Lem that Acevada is giving him reports. Lem then turns up the radio so that Kavanaugh can't hear a fairly unimportant story about vagrants using discarded couches in the district. In doing this, Vic makes Kavanaugh suspect Acevada of dropping the dime on the IAD investigation. He also makes Acevada think that he is gloating about running the Barn through Billings, and to some extent, he IS gloating about it. It would be easy for the writers to paint Vic as a knuckledragger, but he is fascinatingly portrayed as a master manipulator and cunning individual.
On the other hand, another of Vic's best qualities, trust, came back to bite him in the ass hard. He absolutely refused to listen to Shane's suspicions about Amoulio, and when he had no other choice, he was convinced that she had been dragged into it. Probably the best scene of the episode (and there were a few to choose from) was watching his escalating anger at realizing that she was in it from the get-go. However, he quickly turned it around, getting her back on board (for the time being, anyway), and topping it off by making Kavanaugh look like an asshole in the progress (next time, leave a car outside...it's not safe!)
Danny really gave it to Tina, and deservedly so. At first, I didn't really understand why Julian was chewing her out - her baton skills had improved considerably. However, I soon realized that she had gone into the cage armed, and her let her have it good. Danny actually went to offer her some supportive words, but defensive Tina would have none of it. Her remarks to Danny were way out of line...and Danny put her in her place good. Somehow, I predict bad things for this character.
I'm going to go on record now and change my Danny's baby prediction to Taylor Orrs. Hopefully we find out soon.
The last scene with Vic and Amoulia, and then Kavanaugh, was fucking great, just completely awesome. The look on Vic's face as he turned at the door had so many things behind it.
I was surprised when Tina lashed out at Danny. Not the fact that she did it, but that she skipped straight to the logic of "you're jealous because you're pregnant and I get all the guys' attention because I'm hotter looking." Talk about a heel turn, even Danny called her a bitch straight out. No one's gonna root for her now, they may not be so sad if bad things come her way.
"Quark - The Complete Series (NBC, 1978)" I remember this coming out, and I watched at least one episode. Looking at the episode guide I can see that it was a bit ahead of it's time... Richard Benjamin on TV in-between game show appearances!