Spenser: For Hire – Death by Design

by Alan Rapp on June 13, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Spenser: For Hire – Death by Design
  • IMDb: link

Spenser: For Hire - Death by Design television review

For Throwback Thursday we turn we turn our attention back to the mean streets of Boston. Spenser (Robert Urich) finds nothing but trouble after taking on a friend of Susan (Barbara Stock) as a client. Continually lied to by the college professor (Robin Groves) who asks Spenser to track down a gigolo (Burke Moses) who stole some jewelry from her, Spenser stumbles on something more complicated involving the money the woman stole to willingly give to the con man, a mobster’s (Hansford Rowe) interest in the professor’s work which could be turned into a profitable new street drug, and scummy private investigator (Leon Russom) in the middle of it all.

“Death by Design” shines a bit more spotlight on Hawk (Avery Brooks) who shows up early as Spenser’s back-up after the episode’s opening scene almost sees the detective run over and later as a potential rival as the episode teases the pair ending up on opposite sides for neither the first not last time in the series. Saving Spenser’s life from another hit also earns Hawk a shakedown by Belson (Ron McLarty) at the gym where Brooks offers a rebuke to the police detective that gets far more emotional than we usually see from the character. Other moments of interest include Spenser’s growing frustration with his client and our hero’s low-tech solution to break into the investigator’s office in a way which the overconfident braggart never say coming. Brilliant, just brilliant.

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