This next to the last episode of the third season mirrors last seasons' pair of closers (a Chinese gangsters storyline followed by ex-soldiers gone bad storyline.) This time it's ex-Navy SEALS who are making off with armored trucks whole (guards included). The storyline is, of course, ludicrous, as to why robbers would lift away an entire truck and the guards (as if the soldiers were collecting as much incriminating evidence as possible to hang themselves). The caper in "Touchdown" harkens back to 1970s series like BANACEK, in which whole trucks or trains are mysteriously hijacked and in outrageous ways. Come to think of it, the central character, played by George Peppard, was also a cool cat who dated beautiful women. The 'Cuda gets involved in a shoot-out/ambush, but Nash defends the 'Cuda after three giant bullet holes are punched into the driver side door - Nash kills the machine gun welding bastard and drops him into the Bay.
The more interesting case is Joe's. Nash tracks the owner of the ticket through his knowledge of street people such as scalper Boz Bishop. When Nash finally locates the beautiful girl which so struck the eye of football player Leon Washington, it's a former love of Nash's. It's as if every beautiful woman in San Francisco has been known previously by Nash. This is not mere coincidence in the series - remember that beautiful "Bombshell" ("Bombshell," Episode #41) earlier this year? She was beautiful too, and sure enough Nash had a history with her. Nash is, to use Joe's parlance, an international chick magnet (though not an international Man of Mystery - that's AUSTIN POWERS), but they're both cut from the same cloth. Just because Nash doesn't get the girl at the end of the episode doesn't mean he hasn't had her already.
The illicit Evan and Cassidy relationship continues to smolder as they both get bolder and more careless in hiding their romance. We know the outcome (in the finale, Nash finally finds out) but it seems so overwrought. Cassidy shows up at headquarters, Evan sends her roses at her place, she goes over to Evan's place - GASP! Nash the overbearing father will find out - but what was so illicit about this romance in the first place? Like an episode of SEINFELD, it's really about not much at all. Unlike the reckless romance in TITANIC, there's no class difference, no other piggish suitor (other than a possible Electra complex in Cassidy) to compete with or create tensions within. The taboo lies deeply within Nash, not Evan or Cassidy. It's just that Evan is an oversexed young buck, just like Nash used to be. Nash must confront the hypocrisy of parental authority - just imagine Cheech Marin lecturing his children on the evils of smoking marijuana...
Nash's sister Stacy shows up in this episode as if dropped out of nowhere and she is unpleasant. She is the lawyer and the haggler in the family, always arguing over everything. The brother/sister rivalry really brings out an uncharacteristic ugliness in Nash as he's not really glad to see Stacy. NASH BRIDGES brought Stacy out of the closet last season (in "Knockout," Episode #25), but unlike ELLEN, this was never mentioned or used as a storyline again. The appearance of Stacy has been sparse this season.
The seeds of Nick's physical collapse are set up in this episode as Nick's toothache becomes a serious problem. More on that in the season finale commentary.
For more, see synopsis for Episode 53