TJ Hooker had some good episodes, but like all shows, there’s a few in the mix that just don’t quite fit in with the rest.

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

The classic show TJ Hooker ran from 1982-1986, bringing back fan-favorite William Shatner, known as Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, in the role of police veteran TJ Hooker of the LCPD. The series also introduced a young Heather Locklear, with Adrian Zmed and later James Darren joining the cast. These four cast members were all cops trying to make a difference on the streets in crimes ranging from burglary to murder. While sometimes redundant, there were also episodes that touched upon important subjects and were meaningful in the season line-ups. That said, here are the 5 best, and 5 worst, episodes of TJ Hooker according to IMDb.

WORST: “The Protectors” (6.6)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

Surprisingly, the series’ pilot didn’t get off to such a great start. Some shows garner attention along the way, and that’s exactly what TJ Hooker did. The pilot has Hooker training police recruits while under investigation for a shooting he was involved in that remains disputable, and we learn he’s going through a divorce and has recently lost his partner on the job. He partners with Vince Romano (Zmed) just in time for him and the rest of the recruits to be thrown into action against a crime spree, perfectly indicating what the show would be about and giving us a good insight into these two characters and their relationship.

BEST: “Night Vigil” (7.7)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

In the Season 4 opener, Stacy (Locklear) walks in on a robbery and is shot by bullets that penetrate bulletproof vests. While she recovers, her partner Jim (Darren), Romano and Hooker set off to find her shooter and to get the dangerous bullets off the streets.

Hooker continuously crosses the line to get justice for Stacy, letting his personal involvement cloud his judgment without regret. It shows the dedication Hooker has to his fellow cops, as well as family, as Stacy is his goddaughter. The episode’s end features a sweet moment between Hooker and Stacy as they discuss one of Stacy’s childhood memories, further outlining their special friendship.

WORST: “Blind Justice” (6.6)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

This Season 2 episode has Shatner’s then-wife Marcy Lafferty playing a witness to a robbery. The interesting twist is that she’s blind. What viewers may not have liked about this episode is the fact that she was so difficult for Hooker to deal with, refusing to cooperate with the investigation. Yes, there’s imminent danger, but we all know Hooker keeps his word and protects witnesses. The fact is that it could be seen as annoying and selfish–who wouldn’t want to stop a pair of robbers from hurting others? And why give the police such a bad time? Then again, we do get to see The Beach Boys perform in this episode, so that makes up for the rest of the plot.

BEST: “Exercise In Murder” (7.9)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

There’s plenty of drama all-around for the characters in this episode. Jim’s newest romance turns out to be involved in a bad way in their latest case, thus ending any hopes he had for love. Hooker has to deal with the fallout of shooting a nine-year-old boy by mistake, but is relieved when the boy recovers from his injuries.

Stacy, who has gone undercover, is discovered as a cop and disappears. Still, the team manages to solve the case and save the day as they always do. However, as it is in real life, it’s not without some repercussions, making for a realistic episode that contains heart.

WORST: “The Confession” (6.5)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

Morals run high in this episode, but it seems the play-out of the case, or the case itself, is what makes this episode rather unpopular. An Episcopal priest is raped, but because her rapist confessed to his awful crime in confession, she refuses to testify against him. While we can certainly admire her dedication to her faith, you would think she would want this man to be behind bars so he couldn’t hurt someone else. Perhaps this basis is the reason why the episode wasn’t rated highly. What does she ultimately decide? You have to watch to find out.

BEST: “Trackdown” (8.0)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

Hooker, Romano, Stacy and Jim are in a race against time to track down a young wife and mother that’s been kidnapped from a bus station by a deranged serial killer. The killer even begins using the kidnapped girl to lure other girls into his deadly trap.

Stacy goes undercover and is kidnapped as a result, but both she and the kidnapped girl are rescued while Hooker shoots the killer. It’s a reminder of the harsh reality of police work and a demonstration of some of the scariest characters in humanity, making for a great and intense episode.

WORST: “Chinatown” (6.4)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

Hooker gets a brutal reminder of his past when he goes looking for an arms dealer that’s using Chinatown as his playground. Hooker runs into an ex-flame, meeting her daughter in the process that leads him to question whether or not the girl is his own. The episode has a good premise but it has too much going on, and it’s hard to believe Hooker had a secret daughter. It’s just not believable for his character, so it throws off the entire episode as a result.

BEST: “The Throwaway” (8.0)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

When Jim is accused of planting a gun on a criminal he has history with, everything is put on the line as Jim’s loyalty is questioned. The evidence stacks up against Jim quickly, as his partner Stacy is unable to verify what happened having been in a different place at the time, and the gun planted was stolen from a police property room in San Francisco, where Jim worked previously.

Jim is understandably hurt and angry, only wanting to work the case, which is what he does despite Hooker’s warning him against it. This episode is meaningful because it outlines the hard work on the part of law enforcement and just how unfair its justice system can be to them from the inside, despite their dedication. James Darren portrays Jim’s reaction to the accusations convincingly and perfectly, further adding to the episode’s overall quality.

WORST: “Partners In Death” (6.4)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

When Jim saves Stacy’s life from an exploding car, it ignites a spark between them. Jim stays with her in her apartment that night to ensure her well-being, and they share a passionate kiss. The next day they’re smiling giddily at one another and acting somewhat awkward, their behavior placing Hooker in danger later on as a result of their newfound relationship which proves too distracting. Hooker splits them up to resolve the problem, and Jim and Stacy agree to just remain friends and that their kiss was a heat-of-the-moment situation. If that was the case, why in all the other times they were in danger together did nothing happen? How could something come and go so quickly? The pairing of Jim and Stacy was strange, and the timing was completely off. Plus their potential romance only occurred in this episode, so why was it ever introduced if nothing was to come of it? With this episode, we’re left with more questions than answers.

BEST: “Carnal Express” (8.2)

TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)
TJ Hooker: The 5 Best & 5 Worst Episodes (According To IMDb)

This episode provides the ultimate flashback to the 1980s with the costumes, the music and the dance moves. When a friend of Stacy’s and Hooker’s is kidnapped, Stacy takes the liberty of following a lead which leads to a job as an exotic dancer. They discover there’s more than meets the eye when they uncover a slave ring. This episode is scary in the regard that it’s something that could happen, which makes it compelling to watch unfold. Then again, this episode could also be rated highly because it features a dance number from Heather Locklear herself.

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T.J. Hooker – Complete Series DVD (¡ê34.01 Free Shipping)

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