HILL STREET BLUES "Spotlight on Rico" (TV episode)

4/28/1983. Thursday, 10 pm. 1 hour.
NBC. Season 3 of 7. Episode 55.
Police drama.
Code: HSBS 4/1983


The temporary return of a brutal narcotics cop, the issuance of promissory notes instead of paychecks, and Goldblum's problems with a murder suspect (Jonathan Banks) create unrest at the station until a new police robot injects a little fun into the situation. (JB’s plot continues in the next episode.)


Writers: Jeffrey Lewis, Michael Wagner, David Milch, Karen Hall; Steven Bochco.
Director: Rick Wallace.


Daniel J. Travanti as Captain Francis X. Furillo
Michael Conrad as Sgt. Philip Esterhaus
Michael Warren as Officer Robert Hill
Bruce Weitz as Detective Michael Belker
James B. Sikking as Lt. Howard Hunter
Joe Spano as Detective Henry Goldblume
Barbara Bosson as Fay Furillo
Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport


Dennis Franz as Detective Sal Benedetto
Jonathan Banks as Carl Brown, aka Reggie Orson, etc. with multiple personality disorder. Listed 2nd of guests.
Marco Rodriguez as Rico
Michael Lerner as Rollie Simone
Dennis Burkley as Sonny Crockett (really!)
Leonard Stone as Mo "Mouse" Feldstein
Kathleen Lloyd as Linda Wulfawitz
George Innes as James Willett Frame


T.J. (one persona) is a murderer. When he breaks out of the station, he creates total mayhem, breaking glass, screaming, etc. Puts nightstick to woman officer's throat, throws her to ground while attempting his escape. Hits a cop with the nightstick.


Carl suffers from multiple personality disorder, and the role contains many different characters. His face goes blank between personalities, and he does some touch, usually to head or face, as new persona arrives. T.J. goes berserk, breaks glass, growling, screaming, as he holds a roomful of cops at bay. Jimmy has lots of attitude, gestures. Carl (the basic personality) is relieved and grateful when others are 'killed' before his death. We see Reggie, Franklin Butterbaugh, Jimmy, T.J., Pete, a kid, and Carl; others mentioned, not shown.

Joyce Davenport is his lawyer.


This is highly recommended--wonderful acting, in a very intense role. Good business includes Jimmy’s wonderful toothy smile, the blanked out, head down walk in station hall. JB’s character was so realistic that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police used a tape of the episode to demonstrate the kind of havoc that can be created by "somebody completely out of control." (NJW88)


Street person grunge, stained sweatshirt and baggy trousers.


"He has a blue windbreaker, and blue eyes, and a cruel mouth." (Another persona describing T.J.)

"I don't wanna be here 'cause he might come back."

"Hey, hey, my life's not rough enough as it is without you guys all over my back."


4 minutes in 4 scenes, from 10 minutes in to 10 minutes from end.


Dennis Burkley, episode 55. (SAN 1/1981; ROW 8/1986)
Charles Haid (WSR 8/1978)
Veronica Hamel (SHO 4/1994)
Kathleen Lloyd, episode 55 (GC 2/1981)