Saturday, January 17, 2015

Log 51: A Jumper- Code 2 (Episode 19, Season 1)

What a weird episode. I did not notice how strange this episode was when I first viewed it. But now, seeing it after closely scrutinizing the 18 episodes that aired before it I realize that this may be the most far-out episode of season 1.
 The main reason it is so weird is the context in which it was broadcast. This episode was the second one filmed after the pilot, but the 19th episode aired. A lot of the dialogue in this one makes it sound as if Reed has only been on the job 3 weeks instead of 19.
Also, the camera angles used in this episode are not used in any others. The car shots do not look like what we have become accustomed to.
Finally, one of the scenes in Log 51 is an outtake from the pilot episode and it's like Malloy is suddenly possessed by Jack Webb during this sequence. Actually, Malloy is just "off" during this entire thing. He speaks in one-liners the entire time, not the more natural dialogue of the previous 17 episodes (his language in the pilot is not natural at all). 
Prepare to be freaked out by:

Episode 19

Before we even get to the opening scene, let's talk about the credits. The radio dispatch calls heard during the opening credits for episodes 2- 18 have been the following: 
-Possible 459, suspects there now
-415 man with a gun
-No want, Lincoln X-Ray Ida 483
-A 415 group fight group with chains and knives. 
Each one punctuated with "1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12".
The radio dispatches for this episode are different: 
-Possible 459 suspects
-See the woman, unknown trouble
-No want, Lincoln Xray Ida 483
-Family dispute
-See the man, 415 juvenile.
Again, each one punctuated with "1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12". Unlike other episodes, some of the calls in the opening credits are played out in the episode itself. The pilot also has unique opening credit dispatches that are a preview of what will happen in the episode.

This episode is bizarre from the beginning. Who is responsible for this?
Nooo, not Gannon! I love Harry Morgan, I wish his name was on a better episode.


Alright, let's get started. This episode isn't about one aspect of police work like judgement or detectives or what happens when an officer kills a suspect, it's just Reed and Malloy trying to get through an unexciting shift.

Pete, Jim and the other officers are in the parking lot of the real Rampart station, not a set at Universal Studios, loading their cars at the beginning of the shift. Brinkman, played by Charles Brewer instead of the familiar Claude Johnson, and Miller are making fun of Reed and Malloy. 1-Adam-12 was unable to respond to a 211 last night due to a flat tire. Malloy returns the insults to the officers in 1-Adam-11.
"I let the air out myself, so you two would have something to log for a change."
Brinkman and Miller race off in response to a dispatch of car strippers in the act, while Reed questions the camaraderie among the officers. He asks Malloy if the insults are always poured on this thick. Malloy admits that the jibes from Brinkman and Miller were probably justified.
"You gotta admit, two flats in two days."
He and Reed leave the station in search of another nail to make it three flat tires in three days. However, after an hour and a half with no calls they haven't found anything to do. They listen enviously to radio dispatches relaying Sanchez and Johnson's capture of a stolen vehicle. Malloy comments that Sanchez is able to find so many stolen cars because he has a photographic brain, just like him, and memorizes the hot sheet. "It's a real gift, isn't it?" asks Reed. 
"If you don't forget to load the camera." [Zing!]

Compare the screen cap above and this one below from episode 18. All of the car shots in this episode are so much closer than they have been in previous episodes. I've read the car tow rig with three cameras had not been built when they filmed the pilot and all close-ups had to be re-shot. Maybe the three-camera tow rig still wasn't ready when they shot this episode after the pilot. If you want to read more behind-the-scenes stories, www.lapdcops.com is a great resource.
I think I prefer the Log 51 shot to this. More close-up Malloy is not a bad thing.
Malloy and Reed finally get a call to the see the woman at apartment 5, 203 Ott Street for unknown trouble. Whatever the trouble is, it must be urgent.
"Well, you certainly took long enough!"


She brings them inside to show them what the trouble is.
Yep, it's the TV.
This lady thinks that her upstairs neighbor moved her "antenn-i" and ruined her color "T and V" reception when he was on the roof installing his "antenn-i". Of course, she didn't see him do it. She can't see through the ceiling.
Neither can Pete and Jim.
She wants Malloy and Reed to fix her television reception!
"Lady, we're not allowed to give that kind of service."
She then tries to make Reed understand why they should offer that kind of service.
"You look like a bright young man to me."
"Read what it says on your Police machine...Read your slogan, both sides."
"To protect and to serve."
She then tells them to scratch the slogan off since they don't "give no service" that she can see.
OK, it's going to be one of those nights.
When they are back on patrol, Reed asks Malloy for some guidance on filling out the report for the last call.
"PR referred to T and V repairman"
Finally, Pete and Jim may get some excitement. They get a call of a 459 silent at  2319 East Jonah, code 2. Pete makes a U-turn and starts down a street that I know I've seen somewhere before.
This looks familiar. 

Oh yeah, the opening credits! I wonder if Richard Neil Morgan is related to Harry Morgan?
Malloy starts racing towards East Jonah or maybe it's East Joanna? The Communications Operator is clearly saying East Jonah, but Malloy keeps saying East Joanna. I know all of the radio parts were dubbed in post-production, but I'm not sure why the street names don't match up in this sequence. Whatever street it's on, Malloy know he's racing towards Toby's drugstore, which has already been hit twice by users.
Until, the radio puts the brakes on their plans. They are informed that 1-Adam-49 will handle the call.
I know it feels that way Pete, but trust me, that is not true.
But, hey guys, here comes another radio call for you. Maybe this one will provide the excitement you've been craving.
"1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, a tree down 119 Barn Street." 
Well, at least setting out flares to warn motorists of the tree will help pass the time.
"Let's be happy in our work, Reed."
Malloy decides it's time to take a break from all this excitement and take 7. Reed has been thinking about having Jean pack a lunch for him, he asks Malloy if he thinks this would be a good idea.
"I don't know, she's your wife." [Imaginary laugh track thunders.]
Reed clarifies that Jean is a good cook. He was asking if it would be inconvenient, but he understands if the single Malloy thinks its too much trouble.
"It's no trouble being single." [Ba-dum-bum]
As they are leaving Fallon's coffee shop, Malloy and Reed see a high-speed chase involving two patrol cars and a blue Mustang. They head down the block to see if the other officers need any help. Brinkman asks where they were fifteen minutes ago. Didn't they hear the all units broadcast?
["Don't say it," thinks Malloy.]
"We were having lunch," admits Reed.
["He said it."]
"Say goodbye, Reed."
Both Reed and Malloy say goodbye and move on to a 415 juvenile call at West Magnolia. Pete and Jim think they are traveling through LA to their next call, but they are really traveling through a dimension of time and space known as the "Pilot Zone". 
A wondrous land where Reed's hair is suddenly shorter, the patrol car mysteriously finds it's missing hood ornament, and Malloy channels Jack Webb.
In case you haven't guessed, the next scene was cut was from the pilot episode and inserted into this one. If you're not an Adam-12 obsessive, you may not  notice the evidence that this next scene is an outtake from the pilot. Lucky, for you, I am obsessed and can't wait to point out the evidence to you!
Here are Pete and Jim talking to the PR's in front of the painted tree backdrop used in the pilot.
Here's Jim in the pilot standing in front of the same leafy background.
Here are the juveniles who have been disturbing the peace.
Here are the same juveniles being arrested after the major 415 in the park from the pilot. Notice Binky's striped trousers in both caps?
Here is the car parked in front of the PR's house. Notice the hood ornament and silver letters spelling out Plymouth? Only the car from the pilot had these brand markings.
Here is the car from an earlier scene in this episode without the hood ornament and "Plymouth".
Here is Reed yelling at the juveniles while Pete prays that he shuts up. See how flat their collars lie, see how short Jim's hair is on the sides?
Here they are in similar positions from earlier in the episode. Notice how their collars sit higher on their necks and Jim's hair is not "buzzed" on the sides?
I think that about covers the visual clues which make it obvious that this call is an outtake from the pilot. There are other, auditory, clues that this scene is taken from the Jack Webb-written pilot. When Pete is talking to the PR's it's as if he is reading directly from the LAPD handbook as rapidly as he can, reminiscent of Dragnet. The PR has a few lines, but they only serve as prompts for Pete to recite more law and policy. Then, when he is speaking to the juveniles, there is liberal usage of the phrase "you people". A phrase Joe Friday loved to use.
After they leave West Magnolia street, Pete asks Jim for his take on the situation.
"Paint me a picture," commands Malloy.
Reed answers that the park could develop into a hot spot foreshadowing the major 415 that takes place in the pilot episode.
"You're learning junior, you're learning," praises Pete.
Pete talks some more about the juveniles, then...BAM!
Back to our regularly scheduled program.
Reed spots an erratic driver and comments, "Looks like a 502, he's really weaving".
Malloy responds, "Give him a ball of yarn and he could knit us both a sweater".
Which causes me to internally shout, "Aargh! Weaving and knitting are two different things!"
 Weaving is done on a loom, it creates fabric by crossing horizontal and vertical threads. Knitting is done with needles or a knitting machine, it creates garments by looping threads together. If someone is weaving, they will not be making a sweater for you. They are making a piece of cloth. The following back and forth would have made more sense:
Reed, "Looks like a 502, he's really weaving".
Malloy, "If he's weaving, stay with him. Maybe he'll make some gabardine, I could use some new slacks."
Not as zippy, but it would not make the fashion design major in me cry out in anguish.
Anyway, they pull over the guy who was weaving and it is apparent that before he started weaving he had been drinking.



"Do you know why we stopped you?"
"Police brutality?"
When Malloy asks this guy for his license, he admits that he doesn't have one. Which causes Malloy to make this face:
I call this the "Mm-Hm, I see. Let's go" face.
You may recognize our drunken friend, played by Hal Smith, as Otis the Drunk from The Andy Griffith Show.

After dropping the drunk off at the station, Reed and Malloy have three hours left until the end of their shift. They're hoping to receive a call that will make the rest of their watch pass quickly. They think they're in luck when an "all units in the vicinity" call of a 211 at the liquor store comes over the radio. Malloy is ready to roll on it, but his hopes of making a high-profile pinch are dashed. The communications operator sends them on a disturbing the peace, loud piano call instead.
"It's a good thing this job doesn't pay by the call."
"Yeah."
"Tonight, we'd owe the city a week's salary."
Before they can tell the aspiring Liberace that the piano is too loud, they receive a dispatch to cancel their last call and handle a jumper code 2.
"Hang on, junior, looks like we're gonna do some police work," announces Malloy to Reed.

 Inside the building, the manager unlocks the jumper's apartment for Malloy. He tells him that the jumper is Charles Levering, a good tenant who pays his rent on time. After Reed and Malloy walk through Levering's apartment, Malloy stops at the window to assess the situation and form a plan of action.
Malloy removes his gun from the holster and empties it.
He then hands the bullets to Reed.
Reed asks, "What are you going to do?"
"Try and keep a man from killing himself," answers Malloy
Malloy then hands over his hat and baton to Reed.
Next Malloy climbs out of the window and joins Levering on the ledge, leaving his bewildered partner inside the apartment.
(I know Reed can be annoying, but this is extreme!)
Pete then tries to convince Levering that by jumping he would not only kill himself, but also injure the innocent people in the street. Malloy extends his gun to Levering, trying to convince Levering to use it instead of jumping. A tense Jim listens to the exchange between Pete and Levering.

He anxiously clutches his partner's hat.
Malloy tells Levering to use the gun and he will take his chances on getting to Levering before he drops into the crowd. Levering remarks, "Your heart sure bleeds for those people. Don't it?"
"That's what I get paid for."
Levering begins to doubt that a cop would hand him a loaded gun and asks Malloy to open it. Malloy tells Levering that he will hand him the gun.
Levering reaches for the gun.

Instead of Levering grabbing the gun, Pete grabs Levering!
I mean,  really grabs Levering! 
They crash through the window! 
And end up like this.
Mac shows up soon after Malloy's and Levering's spectacular re-entrance. He asks if Malloy is OK.
"OK? Look at this face! He's perfection," exclaims Reed [OK, he didn't say that. You caught me.]
Levering is not happy that he is still alive.
"I think you're a dirty, filthy, rotten liar. What do you think of that?"
"I think it's good that you're alive to call me that."
After Russo and Boyd take Levering away, Mac reveals that he is not happy with Malloy. He expresses his displeasure with my favorite line from this episode. Actually, this might be my favorite line from the season. Maybe the entire series.
"I oughta pull your tail feathers."
Mac is not happy that Malloy put himself in unnecessary danger in order to save Levering. Reed tries to give his opinion on the matter, but Mac doesn't want to hear it.
"Reed."
"Yes, sir."
 "You've been on the job three weeks. You don't have an opinion."
"Yes, sir."
If this episode had been aired in the order it was filmed, Mac's comment about Reed being on the job for three weeks would have made more sense. But, since this was aired as the 19th episode, when viewers perceived Reed to have been on the job for that many weeks, it seems like mistake.

After Malloy and Reed receive their dressing-down from Mac, he sends them back into the field. On the way out of Levering's apartment, Malloy stops and does something out of character. 
He stops and says to Reed, "Now let that be a lesson to you."
It's obvious that Malloy is putting on a show here for Mac or the crowd to cover up his misjudgment. We've already seen Malloy own up to his mistakes several times in past episodes. This attempt at saving face just doesn't fit the character.
Reed seems just as confused as we are after Malloy leaves the apartment.

The End

Before I give my final assessment, let me point out that Levering's apartment looks strangely familiar. 
Notice his faded red couch against this green wallpapered wall with a window. I've seen this someplace before.

Ah, yes, episode 3!
OK, it is not hard for me to rate this episode at all. I find it bizarre and out of step with the episodes that preceded it. I only like the last the scene with the jumper, and even that ends on a weird note. So, I give this a rating of:

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

11 comments:

  1. I judge this episode a little more highly than you do, because I don't ding it points for being aired out of order.

    That said, I didn't realize it was also used as an opportunity to show those outtakes from the pilot. I wonder if that had to do with its extremely-delayed showing. Did the network think, "Jim just busted these guys last week! People will notice if the leftover footage in the very next episode! Let's hold it a few months and give people time to forget Binky!"?

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    1. I doubt that is why it was held back. The network or Jack Webb never seemed to care when the same actor played a cop one week and a criminal the next week on Dragnet.
      I'm excited that I opened everyone's eyes to the pilot outtakes in this. I thought I was the last to know about this when I learned of it.

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  2. I wonder if they used the same "Don't act! Just read from the TelePromTer!" style of shooting that Jack Webb favored for Dragnet.

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    1. It sure seems like they used that style of shooting in the Webb-directed pilot.

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  3. There was something off-kilter about this one. Certainly inserting the scenes that were over a year old did not help with the flow. (Must've been an easy week for the cast and crew - production was probably shortened by one day, and everything, minus the parking lot intro and car shots, were done on the Universal backlot.)

    In the third season there was another attempt at 'alternate' camera angles for the car shots. (The center camera was tilted higher so that more of the dashboard was seen, but less out the rear window.) It lasted one episode.

    The members of the "juvenile" gang appear to have an average age of 29.

    Harry never directed another episode of this series - coincidence? I think not. ;-)


    Scott
    "Switch to Tac-2"

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    1. I wonder what was deleted from the original story of this episode to make room for the pilot scene. I guess we'll never know.
      All of the "juveniles" on Adam-12 look to be about 30 to me. I guess it's like when you look through your parents high school yearbook and all of the teenagers in it look much older than they are. I think our modern eyes perceive anything from the previous generation as old, not young.

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  4. Good Job! I found it strange that it seemed a little out of order, since Reed was only three weeks on the job, but I didn't realize there were scenes from the pilot.

    I'm so glad you pointed out the difference between weaving and knitting. That bugged me too, but I do really like the way Milner delivered the line. It had so much potential, so I like it. Your suggestion for improvement is a good one.

    I don't see how he could have possibly wrestled the jumper off that ledge and through the window.

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    1. I never thought about that. That ledge probably was not wide enough for the elaborate dance steps required to get Malloy and Levering through the window.

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  5. I never picked up on the fact that this episode was directed by Harry Morgan, or thw stuff from the pilot.

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    1. I'm glad I also able to show you something new about this wonderful show.

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  6. Just watched this episode on COZI today, and I remember thinking the first time I saw it that that ledge couldn't possibly have been wide enough for Malloy & the jumper to perform the contortions shown. I've also always thought that they were too far from the window at the beginning of their maneuvers to have managed to crash through it. I always like watching either Reed or Malloy be a hero, though, so there's no complaint coming from me. I had never noticed the insertion of scenes from the pilot---not sure if that's because I unquestioningly love to look at those 2 guys or because I've seen Season 1 far fewer times than the other seasons. I have 2 Season 1 DVD sets, and neither one of 'em works worth a rip. They're really crappy. They play OK on the computer, but I don't like watching them that way. Ergo, I kinda skip most of Season 1 when re-starting my bliss.

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