Kojak: Season Three

Kojak: Season Three
After the third season of Kojak sets itself up with the usual protracted two-parter, this time involving a loan shark, there's an episode wherein two Puerto Ricans accidentally kill a priest while hijacking a truck full of toilets destined for a Catholic High School. Meanwhile, Detective Crocker (Kevin Dobson) coaches girls within said high school on how to avoid being raped. Without even considering that Kojak (Telly Savalas) and the gang crack jokes about Crocker letting a crime happen right under a nose while standing over the dead body of a priest, there are myriad things wrong with this plotline. Were toilets something of a commodity in the '70s? Do nuns and Catholic schoolgirls really punish toilets enough that they require an entire truckload of them? Did NYC detectives also coach teenage boys on not assualting Catholic schoolgirls or was the onus on the girls not to walk alone at night? Were the villains Puerto Rican because of the likelihood of being Roman Catholic, adding the whole "guilt" dynamic? And what's up with Kojak and the lollypop? Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg of hilarious impropriety and strangeness in this third season of the mid-'70s cop drama. Dead prostitutes inevitably pop up, as do weak-minded women driven to possible suicide by its mere suggestion. Each episode plays out with the same template order of crime, exposition, banter, interviews, climax and finale, interspersed with bizarre cinematography and random extended scenes of people walking to cars or looking around the police station. Occasionally, the narrative is spiced up a bit, with Kojak being implicated in bribery or winding up on the receiving end of a mob hit, but typically the series focuses on murdered prostitutes and crimes committed by visible minorities and sexually ambiguous men. Beyond nostalgia for fans of the series and unintentional amusement for a younger generation, the box set serves little purpose, which is likely why there are no supplements included. The important thing is that all 24 episodes are! (Shout! Factory)