Kojak (1973)/A Need to Know

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A Need to Know
Season 4, Episode 5
Airdate October 24, 1976
Teleplay by Chester Krumholz
Story by Stewart Alexander &
Cire Rodlak and
Chester Krumholz
Directed by Russ Mayberry
Produced by James McAdams
← 4x04
Out of the Shadows
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An Unfair Trade
KojakSeason Four
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A Need to Know is the fifth episode of the fourth season of Kojak, and the seventy-sixth episode overall.

Starring: Telly Savalas (Lt. Theo Kojak)

Also Starring: Dan Frazer (Capt. Frank McNeil), Kevin Dobson (Det. Bobby Crocker), George Savalas (Det. Stavros)

Guest Stars: Hector Elizondo (Carl Dettrow), Al Freeman, Jr. (Donald Mosher), Yuki Shimoda (Assassin), Jess Osuna (George Rhine)

Co-Starring: Maria Tucci (The Psychiatrist)

with Rudolph Willrich (Cafe Owner), Jason Matzner (Peter), Ernesto Gonzalez (Diaz), Mark Russell (Det. Saperstein), Vince Conti (Det. Rizzo), Lee Lawson (Mrs. Chambers), Kidon Bauman (Chambers Boy), Hortensia Colorado (Second Mother), Ron Max (Mason)


Plot Overview

Kojak and his crew are frustrated when they are forced to release a child molester they caught in the act and collared at a park because the man, an East German national named Carl Dettrow, works as a chauffeur for a foreign embassy and thus has diplomatic immunity, which Dettrow exploits to escape justice for his crimes (which include two previous arrests for child molestation while working in Washington, DC). Matters are further complicated when Kojak learns that Dettrow is working with the FBI on a matter of national security and Kojak expresses his doubts about the FBI's ability to keep the sex offender under control. Dettrow's psychiatrist later tells Kojak that, during her sessions with Dettrow, she learned that he is more likely to grab a child when he is under pressure. While Kojak's men tail Dettrow to prevent him from targeting another child, Dettrow dodges them and secretly meets with an assassin (who is later discovered to be working for the Communist Chinese), who he hires to eliminate the FBI agent he is working with and to get him a passport and forged identification papers so he can escape from the US at the first opportunity.

Kojak is later called by Crocker to come to a café when the café's owner reports that his son, a small boy named Peter, has gone missing. Earlier, Dettrow had stopped at the café after his meeting with the assassin and ran into Peter there, forcing Dettrow to flee to avoid temptation, but Peter followed him across the street to bring him back the wallet he had forgotten at the café. Kojak and Crocker soon find Peter hiding out in an alley following a police search and find out that the boy had been molested by Dettrow. Soon after, Dettrow meets with his FBI handler, Don Mosher, at a park. During the meeting, Mosher is stabbed from behind with a knife by the assassin, who then hands Dettrow the passport and papers he needed before the assassin is shot and killed moments later by an ailing Mosher, who dies moments after the police arrive. Dettrow attempts to escape by carjacking a car and forcing its driver to get him as far away as possible, but Kojak and Crocker catch up to Dettrow and arrest him. Dettrow invokes his diplomatic immunity and reminds Kojak that he cannot arrest him, but knowing this, Kojak arranges an unpleasant surprise when he and Crocker hand Dettrow over to several employees of the foreign embassy, who have been fully informed of Dettrow's history and plan to deal with him in their own way, much to his horror.


Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode was the only acting credit of one-time child actor Jason Matzner (who played Peter). Years after the episode was produced, Matzner went on to become a film producer, director and cinematographer

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments