Rick Pinzolo (Stanley Tucci)
“I had nothing to do with that.”
The Rag Trade Arc
Rag Trade’s Victims
  • 7th Avenue Freeze Out
  • Joey Bottles throws himself out of the window while the OCB is interrogating him.
  • Next of Kin
  • All Or Nothing
  • Maxine’s roommate got killed by one of Pinzolo’s men.
  • Where’s the Money?
  • The police shoots David Sternberg when he was forcing Pinzolo to go to the bank and give him the money he cheated Eli out of.
  • Postcard From Morocco
  • Pinzolo kills Carol when he discovers she’s working for the police now.
  • Raglin shoots Pinzolo before he can escape to Morocco.
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • White Noise
  • Total dead, 5
  • Most kills
    Rick Pinzolo, 2 dead
  • Joey Bottles, 1 dead (himself)
  • John Henry Raglin, 1 dead
Recurring characters: Eli Sternberg: Jerry Lewis; David Sternberg: Ron Silver; Enrico Pinzolo: Stanley Tucci; Carole: Patricia Charbonneau; Phil: Harry Goz

7th Avenue Freeze Out
(Original airdate: 12/14/88)
Writer: David J. Burke & Stephen Kronish; Director: Robert Iscove

When Eli Sternberg can’t get a loan to bail out his garment business, he turns to Rick Pinzolo [the Mafia boss who owns Amici Trucking] for the money. Eli’s son David goes to the OCB for help when he finds out Eli is in debt to the mob. Vinnie meets with David, then reluctantly agrees to take the case, running into opposition from Eli, who doesn’t want a hood working for him. [Coke Bottles uses a stun gun on Vinny, then smashes his leg with a bat.] Pinzolo demands that Vinnie keep him apprised of everything going on. [He gives Vinnie a beeper: “Welcome to la famiglia.”] Vinnie wins Eli’s trust when he gets a delayed shipment released from customs. Guest Cast: Johnny “Coke Bottles” : John Santucci; Epstein: Jack Wohl

Next of Kin
(Original airdate: 12/21/88)
Writer: Alfonse Ruggiero Jr. & John Schulian; Director: Bill Corcoran

Eli impatiently awaits news from Sri Lanka, where a terrorist’s bomb exploded at David’s hotel. Vinnie is hit by a taxi, and Frank talks Raglin into taking over the case when he learns that Vinnie can’t return to work for awhile. [A drunken] Eli speaks out against Pinzolo at a fund raising dinner. Pinzolo visits Vinnie in the hospital and Vinnie suggests his partner can take over for him, opening the door for Raglin. [In protective custody, Coke Bottles is convinced Pinzolo has a contract on him and jumps out a window to his death. Vinnie takes credit with Pinzolo for eliminating an incriminating witness against him.]

All or Nothing

Maxine (Joan Chen)
(Original airdate: 1/11/89)
Writer: Suzanne Oshry; Director: Gus Trikonis

Raglin follows Pinzolo’s crooked trail into Chinatown, where a garment worker’s strike has snarled an important order for the Sternbergs. Meanwhile, Eli’s niece Carole sews up her alliance with Pinzolo. [She’s sleeping with him, thinks Eli stole the business from her father.] Raglin tries to get Maxine to realize the strike isn’t helping, and they end up in a tryst. [Her friend is murdered to warn her off.] Guest Cast: Maxine: Joan Chen

Where’s the Money?
(Original airdate: 1/18/89)
Writer: David J. Burke & Alfonse Ruggiero Jr.; Director: Robert Iscove

Raglin uncovers evidence that Carole is working with Pinzolo to bankrupt Eli. David confronts Pinzolo [with a pistol] and forces him to take him to the bank to give him the money he cheated Eli out of, culminating with David getting killed as a suspected robber. [He is shot by security guards at Pinzolo’s instigation.] David’s death sends Raglin into a tailspin, digging up memories of a past case where another innocent bystander was killed [bomb under car].

Postcard from Morocco
(Original airdate: 1/25/89)
Writer: Stephen Kronish, John Schulian & Alfonse Ruggiero Jr.; Director: Roy Campanella II

Raglin pursues a lead that David left him about Pinzolo’s murderous past [David and Rick sold dope together in college, when Rick made his bones with the mob with the un-necessary murder of a small time dealer], but they can’t find the body. Eli offers Raglin money to kill Pinzolo. Raglin urges Frank to get Carole to testify against Pinzolo, but she has been killed. [Her body recovered from water. Rick: “I had nothing to do with that.”] Revealing that the reason he quit undercover work is because he was tortured into giving up two fellow agents, Raglin vows to bring this case to a successful conclusion. Deciding things are getting too hot for him in the States, Pinzolo plots an escape to Morocco. Raglin confronts Pinzolo at the airport, and when Pinzolo figures out Vinnie is a cop, Raglin kills him. [He just plain shoots Pinzolo on the steps to the plane. Raglin calls Frank professore on their parting.]

Stairway to Heaven
(Original airdate: 2/1/89)
Writer: Alfonse Ruggiero Jr.; Director: James Contner

Frank shows up at Vinnie’s house in the middle of the night and states than his wife is dying and he can’t afford the liver transplant she needs to save her life. Vinnie leaves a box containing a million dollars on the front seat of Frank’s car. Frank confronts Vinnie about the money and Vinnie confesses it’s money Roger gave him as a “parachute” in case he ever needed to bail out of undercover work. After arguing with Vinnie about the ethics of using the money, Frank finally decides he’d rather save Jenny’s life, so he pays for the operation. Frank and Vinnie turn themselves into Paul for using the money, but Paul dismisses it when he can’t find any record of Roger or the money in his files. After Jenny recovers, she tells Frank that their stale marriage is what almost caused her to die, so she insists he move out before she gets home from the hospital. Guest Cast: Dr. Auricchio: David Wilson

White Noise
(Original airdate: 2/15/89)
Writer: David J. Burke (story by Ken Wahl); Director: James Whitmore Jr.

Concerned that Vinnie is addicted to the pain pills he’s been taking for his leg, Frank calls in Paul, who orders Vinnie to undergo a routine physical exam. At the hospital, Daryl is undergoing therapy and, holding Vinnie responsible for his downfall, he accesses Vinnie’s file and orders that he be held for psychiatric evaluation. When Vinnie resists, he is sedated [and restrained] and locked up against his will. While in his drug-induced twilight zone, Vinnie’s worst nightmare comes to life in the form of Sonny Steelgrave, who blames Vinnie for his death. [This all gets resolved in their morality play dream dialogue, and Sonny fades away. A fellow inmate believes Vinnie’s protestations and phones for outside help. Frank gets Vinnie out. At end of final credits: “Ah-ah, tookie-tookie.” from that same fellow.] Guest Cast: Taylor: Garwin Sanford; Dr. Hasburgh: David Schramm; Patrick: John Novak

Aria for Don Aiuppo
(Original airdate: 12/7/88)
Writer: Alfonse Ruggiero Jr.; Director: Jan Eliasberg

Vinnie is questioned about his connection to Don [Raphael “Rudy Flowers”] Aiuppo, thus learning his mother is dating the retired mobster. Checking into it, he finds Rudy and Carlotta were in love as teenagers, then is stunned when Rudy proposes and she accepts. Mark digs up information showing that Rudy is in the country illegally and sets him up to be deported, not knowing it also means Carlotta will leave, too. At the last minute, Rudy changes places with his brother, Tito, who wants to return to Italy. Guest Cast: Tito: James Costy; Magdelena: Karen Kondazian; Officer Cumerford: John Destry