This two-parter, focusing on one specific cab in the Sunshine Cab Company’s fleet, is something that it is safe to say would never happen on today’s TV. More than anything, it shows the limitations of what TV was able to do in the 1980s, both technically and in terms of story.
This two-parter is just a collection of stories that each cast member has about cab number 804. It’s never established why this cab is special. The cabbies vaguely talk about how it seems to work alright and not break that much. They’ve all shared some dramatic life experience in that cab. They are as follows:
- Bobby defended himself during a stickup, and eventually got $48 out of the would-be robber after turning the situation around.
- Tony claims he stopped a guy from killing himself by yelling at the man, who was about to jump off the 59th Street Bridge, “Hey, don’t do that!”
- Louie gets hustled for some $200 by a child, but then hustles the kid back and wins $800 from him. He leaves the kid with $20.
- Elaine picks up some rando played by Tom Selleck, who asks her to take him to an art auction in the country, then asks to spend the night with her because he’s leaving for London tomorrow. (Was Tom Selleck hot in 1978?)
- Alex delivers a baby in the backseat after the father almost faints when the mother starts going into labor early.
What links these stories? Is the cab some Stephen King mythical zone in which things happen? It’s worth noting, in this bizarro-land episode, that John, who crashes cab 804, is completely fine – not that any of the cabbies care. They barely talk to him all episode, choosing to share weird, extreme stories about Crazy New York Shit that happened to them in this cab.
The second episode ends with Alex trying to drive the cab, which has been fixed by Latka. The cab breaks down before it begins moving. So what is there to take away from this episode? Bobby saves his own life, Tony saves someone else’s, Louie wins money off a child, Elaine has a crush on a passenger, and Alex delivers a baby. The cab breaks in the end. Nothing matters. The end.