Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Log 112: You Blew It (Episode 18, Season 1)

Episode 18

Pete is trying to teach Jim the importance of good judgement, but he's not setting a very good example. Poor decisions by Pete have made this a difficult shift for both officers. Maybe Pete can atone for his poor choices by catching a suspect wanted for armed robbery. 

Jim doesn't understand why fellow officer Hopkins has been suspended for 2 days without pay. Maybe he didn't go exactly "by the book", but he did break up a gang fight. Pete tries to make Jim understand that Hopkins used poor judgement. On his way to break up the fight, he banged up the patrol car and nearly hit a pedestrian. The bad decisions Hopkins made while getting to the fight resulted in his suspension.
"You know, sometimes you can go strictly by the book and wind up just as wrong."
"I guess I have to figure out how to get, uh, good instant judgement."
"It's not easy to come by. Just remember every time you're out in the street, your neck's out by a mile."
So, now we know that this episode will be about judgement. Let's see how Pete does at showing Jim good judgement on a call.
They receive a radio dispatch of a 390 415, intoxicated person disturbing the peace, at 2534 Hartfield Drive South. This is the address for Cal's Joynt, an address both officers know all too well. 
Jim describes it as a "little bucket of blood" and Pete adds that there is always something going on there, like the 211 that happened there last week.
Here we are at Cal's Joynt, which doesn't look like much. Probably because it isn't much more than a facade on the Universal back lot.
Jim thinks its "beautiful" and Pete comments that it "looks even better at night". (Believe it or not, they had sarcasm in 1969. David Spade did not invent it.)
As they enter this fine establishment the "Jack Webb Official Generic Psychedelic Rock Loop" music is playing very loudly and the TV on the wall is also "squawking" (according to Netflix closed captions). Pete approaches the bartender to find out what is going on. He tells Malloy that the guy at the end of the bar is causing trouble. 
Cal tells Pete, "He just comes in and starts to drink."
"Don't they all?," deadpans Malloy
Yes, everyone drinks in Cal's Joynt, it's the only way to forget about the cacophony of the awful blaring music and squawking television. But, this guy is different because he doesn't want to pay his bill. Pete reminds Cal that he can't do anything about that unless Cal is willing to make a citizen's arrest for defrauding an innkeeper. Cal is unwilling to do that, he doesn't want to start any trouble with the guy. Cal tries to run a nice place.
Nice place? "Mmm-hmm"
Cal's afraid somebody is going to belt this guy. He's been yelling at the other patrons and calling them names because he doesn't want to watch the movie they're watching. Pete decides to do Cal a favor and talk to the guy, maybe he can calm him down.
Pete makes his way through the crowd to the end of the bar.
Watch out, Pete, he's going to punch you!
Down goes Milner!
Jim rushes to Pete's aid and the crowd begins to turn on the cops.
Pete and Jim pull out their batons.
Then, thankfully, Mac shows up for some reason. 
Mac disperses the crowd, then gets the rundown of what happened from Pete and Jim. He tells Malloy and Reed that'll he check out what happened at Cal's while they return to patrol. Before they leave, Cal asks Malloy if he is sure he did not slip.
"Yes, I'm sure I didn't slip."
Hey, Pete, what do you think of your decision to perform a favor for Cal instead of going by the book?
"Well, I sure blew that one."
Ok, but if you didn't talk to the guy Cal may have had a major 415 on his hands.

"I know, but I didn't have to lean down like that so the guy could belt me."
True, but, I'm sure you'll get another chance to show Jim how to use good judgement. Another call or traffic stop should come along any second now.
Like this guy in the yellow car, who almost hit that pedestrian.
James Alvin Walker is cooperative and says he was rushing to a date with his girlfriend.
Reed notices that the paper tag on his car is torn and that his temporary registration is not in the windshield as it should be. Malloy goes to the car's glove compartment to retrieve the temporary registration.  Everything looks OK, the numbers on the temporary registration match up with the visible numbers on the paper tag.
Pete calls in a want for Walker and the car. While he is waiting for the return, an any unit hot shot call of a man with a knife comes over the radio! 
The hot shot is only 2 blocks from where they are, so Pete decides that 1-Adam-12 will handle the call. They rush off , leaving Mr. Walker with his traffic ticket.
Well, Malloy didn't go by the book. He should have waited for the return on the want. But, it seems like he used pretty good judgement. I mean, the want would have just come back with nothing, this guy was cooperative so there's no way the car could be hot. Besides, there is a man with a knife threatening someone only 2 blocks away! Pete's already screwed up once today, so he should be good for the rest of the shift.
Let's see what's going on at 1123 West Cosman Street.
This lady comes running out of her house to tell Pete and Jim that there is a man with a knife next door and she is sure he is going to kill the girl that lives there. She heard him threaten her when she was by the front door looking for her cat.
Looking for your cat? "Mmm-hmm"
Pete and Jim head over to the neighbor's house and do, indeed, hear a man threaten her with a knife. Jim knocks on the door and Betsy Blake, the "girl next door" answers.
She doesn't look like she's been fighting off a knife-wielding maniac. She calls, Howard, the man they heard, to the door.
When Pete asks if Howard has been threatening her, Betsy seems confused by his question. Then she realizes that her snooping neighbor has probably heard her and Howard rehearsing their scene from a play. She shows Pete and Jim the script to prove that Howard is not a knife-wielding maniac.
"Yep, it's a play alright."Pete gives the script back to Betsy and apologizes for troubling her and Howard. 
As they leave, Pete tells the neighbor that she did the right thing by calling them but she should not pay much attention to anything happening at Betsy's house.
Well, what do you know? That hot shot call turned out to be a false alarm.
"Cute girl, though."

Pete appears to be pretty happy, I bet the image of Betsy will make the rest of the shift a lot more enjoyable. Nothing could dampen his spirits now.
"1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, go to the station. Code 2," instructs the Communications Operator.
Hmmm, I wonder that is all about. 
They report to Lt. Moore and he asks them what happened when they went Code 6 about half an hour ago. Pete and Jim explain that they pulled over a driver who almost "creamed somebody in a crosswalk" and wrote him a citation. The Lieutenant then asks if they called in a want on the driver and what they got on the return. Pete explains that they did not wait for the return and starts to get an uneasy feeling about why they were called to the station.

"Did we blow it, Lieutenant?"
"You blew it, Malloy! The guy you just let drive off, James Walker, is wanted for armed robbery and the car he was driving is hot."
Reed tries to defend their actions, but the Lieutenant isn't hearing any of it.
Lt. Moore reminds them that they should have waited for the return on the want. He dismisses them and warns them that the Captain may want to see them tomorrow. Once they are outside Moore's office Reed comments on the Lieutenant's anger and Malloy points out it was justified.
"Oh, was he mad"
"It's worse than that. He also happens to be right."
Pete decides that he must redeem himself by catching Walker. He figures that they have the upper hand, Walker probably thinks he got away scot-free because they don't know he's wanted. The first step in his plan is to find out all they can about Walker. Malloy drives to a phone to call the station and request information on Walker.
After leaving a phone booth, they get their next call, a landlord-tenant dispute at 9173 Gloria Way.
When they arrive, the landlady is telling this man in a pajama top and sports coat to get out of her building. He had been banging on one of the tenant's doors and the landlady has had enough. He insists that he has to see the tenant. She is his sister, Janet, and she has threatened to kill herself.
Malloy tells the landlady, Mrs. Wilson, to bring her keys and they race up the stairs to Janet's apartment with Mrs. Wilson grumbling the entire way.
Mrs. Wilson tries to open the door, but it is chained from the inside.
They see Janet lying on the bed.
Pete kicks the door in to reach her.
Mrs. Wilson keeps muttering about kicking Janet out of the building, she doesn't want her living there anymore. When she realizes that Janet is not responsive, she decides that Janet won't die there, either.
She tries to pull Janet out of the bed! (Remember, these are based on true stories. This actually happened!)
Reed puts her in her place.
While Malloy is searching for the pills Janet has taken and Reed is on the phone with the ambulance, Mrs. Wilson starts taking her clothes out of the closet! This time Malloy takes care of her.

He tells her to go to her apartment and stay there. When Mrs. Wilson protests, Malloy tells her, "Right now or I'll put handcuffs on ya."
The ambulance soon arrives and a medic examines Janet. Malloy delivers the outcome of the examination to Janet's brother.
"She's dead, Mr. Larson. I'm very sorry."
 Later in the car,  a glum Reed tells Malloy that Janet committed suicide because her second marriage had ended. She was only 24.
"Twenty-four and that landlady, Mrs. Wilson, she'll probably live to be a hundred."
It's time to see what Flo has on Walker at the station, maybe this will lighten their mood.
Flo has really come through! She gives Pete and Jim Walker's arrest record and addresses for 3 of his girlfriends.
They hit the road to see if Walker is with one of his girlfriends tonight.
They have no luck at the first 2 addresses, but they see a familiar yellow vehicle in the driveway of the third address
What do men wanted for armed robbery do at their girlfriend's house?
Reed and Malloy are going to find out.

Turns out that men wanted for armed robbery do what most people do for fun at home. They get drunk and act out what they would do if the cops busted into the house.
Pete tells Jim to call for back up while he continues to watch the suspect and Annie through the window. 
Back up arrives. Pete tells them to watch the front of the house, he thinks they can get Walker to come out the back door.
There's that Mustang again.

As the back up officers go around to the front, Pete tells Jim his plan to catch Walker. Reed will knock on the back door and Malloy will cover Walker from the window. He instructs Reed to kick the door in if Walker doesn't answer. Finally, he cautions Reed not to stand directly in front of the door when he knocks on it.
Malloy, "You wanna take him?"
Reed, "What do you think?"
Reed shouts, "Open up, Walker, Police Officer!" through the back door. Annie is ecstatic, this is the moment she has been dreaming of! Finally, her man can show those no-good cops who they're dealing with! 
"Come on, baby, show him where it's at! Come on, baby, blow their heads off!"
Walker draws his gun and points it at the door. Suddenly, glass shatters and a gruff voice stops him and Annie cold.
"Hold it right there! Put the gun down on the table, very carefully"
Oh...this isn't fun anymore.
Reed busts through the door and cuffs the would-be Bonnie and Clyde.
After locking Walker in a holding cell, Malloy nonchalantly tells the Lieutenant about their evening. 
"Oh, yes, I've heard about Walker. Seems there were 2 officers on patrol who had him stopped once and let him go. Quite a coincidence, you two picking him up."
"You see, Lieutenant, it was like this..."
After Reed and Malloy change into their windbreakers and too-short pants, Mac walks into the locker room. He becomes the second person of the evening to ask Malloy if he is sure he didn't slip at Cal's Joynt. Once again, Malloy emphatically states that he did not slip.
"Yes, I'm sure I didn't slip."
Mac then tells Malloy how it took him, Walters, and Brinkman to bring down the guy that punched him. Pete is not surprised.
"He's got a fist like a mallet."
Mac wasn't even sure that the cuffs would hold him.
"Big wrists, huh?"
"No, small."
"Small?" asks a confused Malloy
"Yeah, he was a midget. About 4' 8"."
Mac walks away, leaving a stunned Malloy, as the other officers break into peals of laughter.
"I wish I could change my name and hide under a rock," thinks Malloy.
The End 

There's a lot to like in this episode. Malloy gets punched, which isn't something to celebrate, but I always find situations where Malloy is not in authority interesting. This is why Vice Versa, the one where Reed finally gets to drive, is my favorite episode of all time. I also enjoy the way Reed is taught about judgement in this story, there is no heavy-handed instruction from Malloy about which choice Jim should or not should not make. We just get to sit back, watch Malloy make poor choices and chuckle at the consequences. Malloy doesn't try to deny that his judgement has been less than stellar on this shift, either. He fully takes the blame for letting Walker go. Reed, in contrast, tries to explain why their actions were justified. The younger officer has not yet learned to back down when he and his partner are clearly in the wrong. It is cute that he jumps to Pete's defense, even though he has no hope of winning the argument. 
Despite all of the reasons I have for liking this episode, I don't find it that memorable. I always get it confused with the next episode, "Jumper Code 2". I think I get them mixed up because Pete gets reprimanded in both of them. I'm fond of all the parts of this episode, but I always forget that all of these parts are elements of the same story.
So, for these reasons, I rate this episode:
Do you agree? See you next time! KMA-367


  1. I like this one for all the reasons you named, especially Pete's willingness to take responsibility for his own choices. That always impresses me about Pete Molloy. Even when he's facing a disciplinary hearing for roughing up a suspect, he doesn't make excuses or duck responsibility. He did what he did, and he knows he was wrong, and whatever the consequences, he'll accept them and go on from there.

  2. I like to think that Howard was trying to score with Betsy. She's clearly out of his league and he's ensconced in the "friend zone" as we say today. So he's helping her rehearse her lines for the cross-cast version of "Deathtrap" her community theater is putting on in vain hopes that she will notice him as more than just a friend. Then beefy Officer Cockblock shows up at the door and squirrels the deal.

    1. "Beefy Officer Cockblock", that might be the funniest thing I have read all day. Actually is 10 minutes after midnight, so that is the funniest thing I have read in this new day. Did you notice Betsy tells Malloy & Reed,"Stop around anytime, fellas" as they are leaving? She says fellas, but she is only including Reed as a courtesy; that comment has to be directed at Malloy.

  3. I like this episode for all the reasons you mentioned. Additionally, "I was just looking for my cat," is a great excuse for snooping. I must remember to use that one.

    Bryan, that's hilarious!

  4. One thing I like about this ep is the trivia footnote, which I only realized a few months ago . . .

    "Flo" the records clerk - uncredited in her really brief scene - is the TV debut of the beautiful and ridiculously talented Jane Alexander, who would win a Tony award the same year and receive several Oscar nominations in the next decade. (She is heartbreaking in a little-remembered film called "Testament," during the early 80's nuclear war scare.) Oh, and she also has several Emmy nods, and has actually won two of 'em, in addition to A LOT of other honors in the last 40-odd years.

    . . . and she got her start (so to speak) on this show. Cool.

    "Switch to Tac-2"

    1. OMG, I did not know that was Jane Alexander. Thank you Scott. I first became aware of Jane Alexander in the mid-eighties when she starred and produced a film called Square Dance, which was made by Michael Nesmith's (of the Monkees) production company, Pacific Arts.