Sunday, October 26, 2014

Log 101: Someone Stole My Lawn or The Stolen Lawn (Episode 9, Season 1)

Episode 9

A quick note about the title of this episode, Netflix gives this episode the title Someone Stole My Lawn IMDB lists the title as The Stolen Lawn. As I pointed out before, these early episodes were originally only titled by the Log number, at some point the descriptive titles were added. I guess this one has a couple of variations.

In this episode things are not always what they seem and Reed learns some important lessons about being a police officer.

The story begins with Reed deciding which snack to buy from this gigantic, oddly placed vending machine. 
This thing is huge. How many Snickers bars does it hold? Oh wait, Snickers bars were probably like 18" long back then and only cost 4 cents.
Why didn't this scene just take place in the coffee room? Was it being fumigated for cockroaches? It seems that would have been easier than setting up this behemoth of empty calories in the hallway.

"Hey, Reed! Let's go!"
This thing is gigantic! I'm 5' 2", would I even be able to reach the coin slot?
After Jim gets his snack, he meets Pete in the car where the senior officer reminds him that PM watch starts promptly at 4:00 and they should be cleared and rolling by then. Jim clears them with 2 minutes to spare. As soon as they are rolling it becomes obvious that the topic of this shift's conversation will be Jim's stomach. It is empty and growling because Jean is worried about Jim's health and has put him on a diet. 
Jim: Don't tell Jean I'm eating peanut butter crackers.
Pete: Ha ha ha, you're whipped.
In the next scene, Pete and Jim's usual roles in the car are reversed. Jim is sullen and cranky while Pete laughingly recounts a story. Hangry (that's hungry and angry) Jim cuts Pete short and asks if they can go eat. Code 7 is denied and they are told to continue patrol and handle a 415 "man with a shovel".
The billboard above Hair Creations reads, "People are different, so are Bank of America's new checking plans".

This is the "man with a shovel", Mr. Jenkins. He is pissed because his beautiful lawn is now missing.
Mr. Jenkins tells Malloy that his "beautiful, Dichondra" lawn he grew from seed has been stolen. 
What the heck is a Dichondra lawn, anyway? Turns out, it's not what I expected at all. It doesn't look like grass, it looks like a plant! But, I don't know much about plant life. In fact, after reading that short description about Dichondra lawns in the link; I now know more about Dichondra than any other green, living thing on the planet.
While Pete takes the report from Mr. Jenkins, Reed canvasses the neighborhood for witness. As he talks to Mr. Jenkins' neighbors, he finds it hard to stay focused.
The lady in the yellow floral shirtwaist dress is Mr. Jenkins' next door neighbor, she called the police. Although I think her dress looks dated for 1968, I do like it quite a bit.

Jim runs away from this rack of ribs in order to stop himself from grabbing it hungrily.
This boy saw men who looked like pool cleaners "swiping the old grouch's lawn". He has written down the license plate number of the truck they were using.  Jim is so excited about this information that he forgets to ask for some of this boy's ice cream.
Pete then points out that the city is the victim in this crime. The lawns on the street side are city property, the homeowners are allowed to use it as long as they maintain it. Reed then requests that dispatch broadcast the description of the suspects and their vehicle to all units.
Walters and his partner hear the broadcast while arresting a couple of hippies. They think they may have seen a truck matching the description with rolled-up sod in the back; they plan to investigate after they book the hippies.
Now that that's over, it's time for code 7. Right? Wrong! They are sent to 793 Vista Wade to see the woman about a forgery suspect.
This is 793 Vista Wade. Some gypsies used to live here.

This is Mrs. Milne, she lives in this big yellow house now and she is worried about her stepson, Douglas. She thinks Douglas' friend from San Francisco, James Talbot, is trying to sell her stepson some stolen credit cards. She tells Reed and Malloy that Douglas is at the local pool hall trying to raise money to buy the cards from Talbot.
Reed and Malloy head over to the pool hall to see what is going on. As they approach the hall, the boys spot the patrol car and take off in different directions. Of course, our boys catch the bad boys.
Malloy will search Milne.

Reed will take Talbot. After searching him, Reed asks to see his identification.

Oops, dropped my wallet. Here, I'll bend over and pick it up.
Freeze Talbot! My partner may be green, but I know what you are trying to pull.
Feet back and spread 'em!
Well, what do we have here?
Grrr, knife bad.
You're under arrest for possession and concealment of a deadly weapon. What else have you got in your boots? Oh look, stolen credit cards.
When we next see Reed, it is 2 hours later and he is working on the report about Talbot & Milne. Malloy soon joins him at the report desk. 
Here, I don't want you to starve to death. I would have to fill out another report if you did.
While Reed has been writing, Talbot has been talking to detectives and he has "copped out" to many 211's in San Francisco.

Everyone, go to the 16:20 mark on your DVD or Netflix stream of this episode and hear the way Milner delivers this line. Go ahead, I'll wait. It's awesome, isn't it?

What follows is a great exchange between Malloy and Reed on how a cop can never be too careful.
"When do ever get over being scared when you have to take a man you know is armed?"
"When you lose sight of his hands and he kills you"

After the report writing is done, it's time for code 7. Right? Wrong! The "steak joint" where they wanted to eat was closed. Despite being denied sustenance again, Reed is still able to focus on the job. On their way to the "greatest pancake house in the whole world" (does that make it an "international" house of pancakes?) Reed spots a trespasser in a used car lot and tells Malloy to go back and check it out.

They catch this guy, Carl Robinson, in a Jaguar on the lot. They think he is trying to steal the car, he claims he was only looking at it.
Oh look, the gold Mustang is for sale!
Robinson begs Jim not to bust him because he is on parole for grand theft auto. He is trying to turn his life around, he has just been hired at Lockheed and if they arrest him he will go back to jail. Reed decides that they should him let go, an experienced car thief like Robinson would have chosen a more accessible car to steal; not one that is boxed in like the Jag.

Malloy: "You did a big thing."

"Yeah, but did I do the right thing?"

"Probably, but on this job the only thing that's black and white is the car."
Well, now it's quitting time. No code 7 tonight, but after they clock out Pete and Jim are going to chow down on some man-sized steaks. Right?

This is the first time we see Malloy or Reed in their civilian clothes.

Malloy describes his steak fantasy in great detail to Reed.

This fails to excite Reed who is suddenly not hungry.

Not hungry? 

Malloy is confused, why would Reed no longer be hungry?

This is why.

Malloy looks at Reed disapprovingly, then walks away in disgust.

When I first saw this episode, I was mildly amused with the whole stolen lawn incident. "Ha ha, that guy had his lawn stolen. Isn't that zany? Oh yeah, Reed is hungry, too. They never get 7, that stinks", these were my initial thoughts on this episode. But now, after I have watched this again I realize that this episode is not what it initially seemed. The calls within this episode are also not what they look like at first.
The first call, the stolen lawn, looks like a case of stolen property from a man's yard. But, due to Malloy's knowledge of the law, we come to find out that the property was stolen from land owned by the city, not the homeowner. During the second call, we find out that a suspect who seems to be clumsy really has a more vicious intent. What started as a routine search of a suspect, ended with an important lesson for Reed.  Finally, on the third call, a man who appears to be attempting grand theft auto has no such intent. He claims he only wants to "turn over" the engine, but I suspect he may have been trying to spend the night in the car. It is during this call that Reed learns very few things in police work are cut and dried. The same is true of this episode, it is not as clear-cut as it first comes across.
I really like this episode, so I have given it a rating of:

Do you agree?
See you next time! KMA-367!


  1. A couple of minor notes on this one.

    You write, the property was stolen from land owned by the city, not the homeowner.

    That's not quite it. The city is also the victim, but the homeowner still is. The lawn up to the sidewalk belongs to the homeowner; the lawn between the sidewalk and the street belongs to the city.

    My other note, also a correction, is just catching a typo.

    You write, Robinson begs Jim not to bust him because he is on patrol for grand theft auto.

    Well, I think he's on parole, not patrol.

  2. Thanks for the clarification and the catch of the typo. You're right, he is on parole. I've fixed that. I'm in shock that I only made 1 typo.

    1. I hasten (several days later) to add, by the way, that I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I'm a born corrector, there's nothing to be done for it, but if I'm not really engaged in something, I can't be bothered. When you get comments from me that point out typos or contradict something substantive (like who owns a lawn) that's me saying I'm really interested and involved in your writing.

    2. Thank you, Mr. Sheen! I'm so glad you find my writing engaging. I've never written this much in my entire life and that includes school papers. I'm very happy that it is interesting and minimally error-free!

  3. I'm so glad you got to this episode! I've been wanting to talk about it for awhile. I really like this one. Of course, I enjoy the story about Reed being hungry and snacking all day. It's cute that he throws his wrappers in the back seat because there's a $50 fine for “litter buggin'” But what I really like is seeing the evolving relationship of mentor and mentee, and you've captured this really well here.

    There's such honesty in their relationship, and Malloy has great patience. Instead of just being irritated with Reed, he asks him if he learned anything. Reed's not afraid to ask,“When do you ever get over being scared ?” Malloy gives him an honest answer.

    I especially like the scene with the suspected car thief. Malloy hasn't lost his trust or patience. He encourages Reed, asking him “What do you want to do?”

    I like that again, Reed isn't afraid to ask Malloy for advice, but Malloy responds, “It's your know as much as I do.”

    Reed looks so unsure of himself, but with Pete's encouragement, you see him slowly regain confidence as he makes his decision, and tells the suspect, “Just remember...We'll contact you at the first sign you've let us down.”

    Reed's face changes and you get a glimpse of Malloy's face changing too. He's happy to see Reed regaining confidence and proud of how he handled himself.

    He tells Reed he's done a good job, but Reed still needs confirmation, and Malloy's response is just perfect: “In this job, the only thing that's black and white is the car.” I love that line.

    Sorry this is so long. I just really like this one!

    Great job!

  4. I love the way Malloy lets Reed make his own decisions, but is still there to watch out for him by driving him all over town to steak joints and pancake houses; and by stopping a would-be assailant. Malloy must have learned how to be a good mentor from Mac. In the previous episode, Mac showed up with tear gas and bulletproof vests when they were facing the sniper but still let Malloy run the show.
    So glad you like this post, I found a much deeper appreciation for this episode when I gave it my full attention. Feel free to make comments as long as you want, I'm just so glad there are other people in the world that also want to talk about this show!

  5. I don't know if you're going to see this - nearly 2 years after your post on the stolen lawn episode. I watched this episode tonight (July 2016) and I have a question. When Reed asked Malloy at the report desk 'when do you stop being scared when you have to take a man you know is armed,' was he referring to Talbot? Was he? I am crazy curious to get an answer. I don't think he was referring to Talbot, because was it not the point of the scene on the street outside the pool hall was to teach Reed about guys who carried concealed weapons? OK. I feel better now. Thanks. And I hope someone sees this. Also, I loved the way Mr. Milner delivered the line about Talbot. He was a baaad boy. Great observation on your part. Thanks for the blog.

    1. I don't think he was really talking about Talbot, I think he was asking Malloy about his own experience. Malloy must have suspected that Talbot was armed or else he wouldn't have reacted the way he did. Malloy's actions seemed fearless to Reed. Reed was probably wondering when Malloy got past his fears when confronting an armed suspect.
      Blogger sends me an email anytime someone leaves a comment, so I always see them. It may take me awhile to respond, but I see them. Glad you like the blog! Thanks for reading.