Spenser: For Hire – A Day’s Wages

by Alan Rapp on September 3, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Spenser: For Hire – A Day’s Wages
  • IMDb: link

Spenser: For Hire - A Day's Wages TV review

Throwback Tuesday takes us back to the mean streets of Boston and the travails of a smart ass private detective. What starts out as a relatively simple job for Spenser (Robert Urich), looking into who is stealing from a local dress manufacturer (Edward Binns), becomes far more complicated by thief’s death and the business owner’s underworld connections. “A Day’s Wages” returns one of Robert B. Parker’s most notorious characters in crime boss Joe Broz (Raymond Serra) who is slowly squeezing the life out of the business in able to turn a profit with his own scams of selling knock-off merchandise to high-end clientele. The story ties in Hawk (Avery Brooks) by having him perform protection for the victim (Erik King), although it turns out not that well before being sidelined for most of the episode by a deal with Spenser. And with Belson (Ron McLarty) and Quirk (Richard Jaeckel) receiving little more than last-second cameos, the story stays centered on Spenser for nearly the entire episode.

“A Day’s Wages” is one of the series’ best for a number of reasons including Broz’s involvement, the tangled web that Spenser has to navigate in a short amount of time before Hawk goes to war, and a guest-appearance by Frances McDormand as an outspoken worker in the factory who gets roughed-up by Broz’s goons (which still isn’t enough to stop her for standing up for herself and her co-workers). The episode is also notable for touching base with Susan (Barbara Stock) attempting to better understand Spenser’s need to do his type of work and a pretty damn good car chase through the streets of Boston ending in a shoot-out between Spenser and three of Broz’s goons.

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