Sunday, January 25, 2015

Log 73: I'm Still a Cop (Episode 20, Season 1)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Adam-12 had no patrol car, no radio calls, no dispatcher voice, almost no Jim Reed, and very little Sergeant MacDonald?  Well, wonder no more, this episode has none (or very little) of those things.

Episode 20

The other kids at school don't like Pete because he is a cop.

Oh look, Pete and Jim are in plainclothes and they are in an unmarked car. They must be working undercover.
No, I don't think so. I think Jim is dropping Pete off at school. Pete is a college student? Since when?
Who's this lady? 
Peggy Tompkins, Pete's history instructor from last year. Why have we never heard about Pete's studies before?
Bye, Pete! I know you're busy with school, so I probably won't see much of you this week.
Pete and his lady friend head over to the campus cafeteria for a satisfying lunch of Wonder bread sandwiches and potato chips. On the way, Pete explains that he has traded in his old car because the dealer had a buyer for it. His new car should arrive tomorrow.
See this cashier? You'll see her later, too.
While walking to a table in the cafeteria some students stop Miss Tompkins and ask her about community seminars. Pete is curious about this too and asks Peggy what the students were talking about. 
(Why, Pete, why did you have to ask that?!?)
Peggy explains that the students are unhappy because they feel the curriculum is outdated, the professors are too traditional, and that there is racism on the campus. She goes on and on. Pete's responses are short. He's probably thinking, "If I keep my answers short, she will think I am not interested and shut up". It doesn't work.
Blah, blah, blah.
Are you going to eat that?

The same students who asked about the community seminars approach Pete and Peggy's table. They tell Miss Tompkins that they are having a meeting tonight and want to know if she can come. They also invite Pete, but first they ask if he is faculty.
"Just a retread student"
A faculty member who is with the students asks Pete if he is a businessman.
"No. I'm a police officer."
Paul Banner rescinds the invitation to Pete after he discovers that he is a policeman.
OK, who do we have here? Paul Banner in the green sweater and suede jacket is played by Geoffrey Deuel, brother of Pete Duel who played Gidget's brother-in-law. The professor with the pipe is played by Paul Carr, who played the husband whose wife had thrown hot grease on him in episode 6. The beefy guy in the back is played by Jerry Quarry,  who was also a professional boxer. And there's that other dude and the chick.
Jerry Quarry also posed for some pictures with Milner and McCord.
I never knew why this existed until I read the credits for this episode.
Pete leaves once the students turn hostile towards him.
I'm outta here.
Time for the next scene. Let's see where it takes place.
Oh, thank God.
There is some time before roll call and Reed wants to get some coffee. But, Malloy is being a big ol' cranky-butt and would rather sit and stare at his shoes. Reed has noticed a change in his partner over the last few days and wants to get to the bottom of it. He asks Pete what has been bugging him, but Pete denies that there is a problem. Jim knows his partner and he knows that is not true.
"Don't give me that. The last couple of days you've been a real drag to work with. If I didn't know better, I'd swear you were getting a little badge-heavy out there on the street."
"Look, I don't know what you're talking about but I don't wanna go into it, okay?"

They're both annoyed with each other and decide to skip any further discussion about Pete's mood. Before he leaves, Jim lets Pete know that his problem is affecting both of them.
"Look, it may be your life, but I gotta live it with you, too. At least for eight hours a day."
After his lovers' spat with Jim in the locker room, an unnamed Sergeant tells Pete that the Lieutenant wants to see him.
"Okay!"
Pete's day just keeps better. The Lieutenant tells him that "some guy name Watson", who Pete gave a traffic ticket to yesterday, has complained about Pete's attitude. Watson felt Pete was antagonistic and not too polite. Watson is only trying to help Pete, though. He feels Pete should be made aware of his foul disposition before he runs into a real cop-hater. Pete finally admits that something has been bothering him.
"I guess I have been a little bent out of shape lately. Sometimes I get tired of people treating me like I had some kind of a social disease just because I'm a cop."
Next, Lt. Moore gets a phone call with a report of a possible riot developing at the college. He's going there with five units to control the situation.
"Malloy, you and Reed will roll with me."
Oh good, they're rolling somewhere! Maybe we'll get to see Pete and Jim in the car. Maybe they'll talk about Pete's problem. Maybe they'll get a radio call and it will be a funny call and they'll have to deal with some crazy old lady. 
Or maybe not.
Well, there must be a huge disturbance at the college. There sure are a lot of blue suits here.
What's the situation, Mac?
"Some hotheads are holding the President in his office. They want him to sign some confession."
In addition to the hotheads in the President's office, there are also some students staging a protest.
No surprise here, Paul Banner leading the demonstration.
What exactly are they protesting, though? It's hard to say. Paul shouts about the students being old enough to fight in a war, but not old enough vote. He goes on to vociferate that the students are smart enough to attend a university, but not smart enough to decide the curriculum. The signs they carry address racism, the draft, and their desire for freedom and campus rule. These kids really need to get a more focused agenda if they want to accomplish anything.

The officers march through the protest on their way to the President's office. I think they are a striking presence in their dark blue uniforms, but the students don't seem to agree. They start chanting "oink, oink" and "here come the pigs" when the cops cut through their demonstration.
What is wrong with these girls? Why are they not throwing themselves at these officers? Ladies, here's a tip, a uniform means he has a j-o-b. Scruffy Paul Banner may have a bullhorn, but does he have a source of income?
On the way inside the building, Malloy has to put up with Paul Banner calling him a "student bull". When they reach the President's office door, they find it is being blocked by beefy Jerry Quarry. Blink and you'll miss the funniest scene in this whole episode.

Really?

You may be big, but there is one of you and two of us.

Move it!

"Hey, easy!"
They enter the President's office. He doesn't seem to be in any real danger, so I'm not sure why he couldn't have just walked out on his own.
We're here to save you.
 The students milling about his office have presented him with a list of demands. He could have agreed to some of the demands, he would have agreed to discuss all of them.
"But not like this, ladies and gentlemen, not like this."
The president then leaves his office escorted by the officers. In the hall, they are confronted by the protesting students who were last seen on the front steps. Paul Banner tells the students over his bullhorn, "They're leaving, but we're staying. Everybody down." 


The students stage a sit-in. Even the cashier from the cafeteria takes part. She's wearing the same dress, the wardrobe department just gave her a jacket to wear over it.
Protesting outside the building is one thing, but now the students are interfering with the business of the college. Dr. Lane, the President, has no choice but to end the sit-in. Lt. Moore hands him an announcement to read.
"California penal code, section 602-J, states that every person who willfully commits any trespass by entering any lands with the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any lawful business or occupation carried on is guilty of a misdemeanor."
Dr. Lane orders the students to leave or be subject to arrest. They start chanting, "No, no we won't go!" Lt. Moore informs them that they are in violation of the law and that if they do not leave, they will be arrested. The students do not move. Moore appoints Malloy and Reed as the arrest team.
Malloy goes up to each student, identifies himself, tells them they have been informed that they are in violation of 602-J. He then asks if they will leave.
If they refuse, like Jerry here, two other officers come over and haul them out.

In the days before video cameras, the latest technology to record the arrests were tape recorders and cameras. Reed records the answer each student gives when Malloy asks if they will leave.

And Marco Lopez takes a picture as each person is arrested.
Back at the station, the jail is now overflowing with disgruntled students. Malloy tells the Sergeant that he is going to have a long day booking the students.
"Better you than me."
He decides to start the bookings with Paul Banner. As Malloy leads him out of the holding cell, Banner warns him that he better not come back to the campus alone.

After the bookings are done, Reed comments that the students "weren't too friendly". He then asks Malloy when his next class is. It's tomorrow.
"Think they'll cool off by then?" asks Reed.
"No. I just hope I do," answers Malloy.
The next day Malloy arrives on campus in his brand-new Mustang. As he is parking his new ride, a car full of students stop to taunt him.
"Come on Fuzz, let my people go-go!" (Huh? Could a young George Michael and/ or Andrew Ridgley been watching this episode and been inspired to write "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go?")
Later, that same day, Peggy Tompkins wants to talk to Malloy. She doesn't understand why the police had to drag the students off to jail. Malloy explains that they broke the law and were arrested. Unfortunately, force had to be used because very few people go to jail willingly. Besides, the students wanted to use the drama of the arrests to bring attention to their demands.  
"If there's gonna be law, somebody has to be around to enforce it. And when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, that means putting people in jail. By force, if necessary."


"That's quite a speech, Pete. I didn't cops were so articulate about their work."
Peg is right, it was quite a speech. This scene had a lot of speaking, a lot. So much talking. Too much for my taste.

Despite their ability to see eye-to-eye on the use of force, I think Malloy wants to get some after-class one-on-one tutoring from Miss Tompkins. If you know what I mean. What he says to her at the end of their conversation is filled with innuendo.
"Well, Peg, there's probably a lot of things you don't know about cops."
[Like how they like their eggs in the morning.]
Pete and Peg begin walking through the campus, but are stopped in their tracks when they see Pete's car.

Sorry, Pete, I guess you can't show Peg the backseat now.
Great, now I have to ride with Jim again.
When Pete returns to work he turns in a malicious mischief report on the vandalization of his car. Lt. Moore wonders if Pete is going to the college to get an education or to make some kind of point.
"I don't know. Maybe a little of both."
When we next see Pete, he is back in the college cafeteria wearing the most God-awful shirt ever created.
Despite the fact that Pete is wearing a striped velour turtleneck, Prof. Pinter still wants to sit with him.
The professor claims that he doesn't know who damaged Pete's car. he then tells Pete that he thinks it would be a good idea for him to transfer to another school. His presence is a distraction for the students. Their anger is being directed towards him instead of the ideas that the police represent.

 I'm confused about what Pete is distracting them from since it doesn't seem like the students have a specific agenda. I'm also confused about how the police figure into their desires for change. Other than a general dislike of cops, most of the students' hatred towards Pete or the police seems to be a reaction to their arrests. Maybe that's what he means, the students are so bent out of shape over being arrested that they are unable to move forward with their plans. I don't know. How many more minutes are left in this thing? Where's Reed?

Anyway, Pete is upset with the professor and he lets him know about it. In a very Joe Friday way, complete with finger pointing.
"No, it's your turn. You listen. You like to start the fire, but you don't want anybody to get burned. You like to stir 'em up, but if a student gets arrested or my property gets destroyed, you don't want any of that to be your fault, do you?"
Prof. Pinter shouldn't blame Pete for distracting the students. They themselves let Pete distract them. They shouldn't be mad at Pete. They broke the law, they were arrested. That's not Pete's fault. He doesn't deserve to have his car vandalized, he didn't do anything wrong. He also shouldn't have to leave the school, he's not in the wrong here. But the professor seems to be condoning the destruction of Pete's car and suggesting that Pete is a problem who should be removed from the school.
Shortly after his confrontation with Prof. Pinter, Peg brings Pete to see Dr. Lane. He is worried about something and has asked her to bring Pete to his office.
If you haven't see enough of Pete's ugly velour turtleneck, here's an extreme close-up of it.
A timing device has been taken from the electrical lab and Lane is afraid that it may have been used in the creation of a bomb. The President is afraid that the bomb may be planted in Pete's car. Fortunately, Pete's car is being repaired and it is not on the campus. But if it wasn't used to make a bomb to plant in Pete's car, what was the device used for? They decide to question the person who took the timing device.
Sally took it. She claims she took it to do some experiments at home. However, the device is not at her home. She may have lost it.
Paul Banner and the other dude are questioned, too. Sally breaks down and admits that Banner asked her to get the device. The other dude reveals that Paul told everyone to stay away from the entrance to the Administration building at 5:30. After hearing this piece of information, Pete tells Dr. Lane to clear the building and call the police. They don't have much time, it's 5:20. He orders everyone out, except for Paul Banner.
"Not you. Where did you plant it?"
Pete's had enough of Paul Banner. He slams him up against the wall in order to convince Banner to reveal the hiding place of the bomb.
Banner tells Pete that he'll get them both killed if he doesn't let them leave the building.
"Not me, you. You'll get us killed if you don't tell me where you put it."
[Let me just point out that this turtleneck has a zipper in the neck. Ugh.]
As the clock ticks closer to 5:30, Banner finally gives up the location of the bomb.
It's in the fire extinguisher.
At first Banner tries to open the fire extinguisher. But, he's useless. 

This is not a job for the hands of a mere college student.

It takes enormous, freckled fingers to disarm a bomb!
Pete is sweating because of the intensity of the situation. Or, because he is wearing velour. In Los Angeles.



Whew!

Banner starts whining about how he only wanted to scare everyone.
"They'll be scared all right: the school, students, everybody. So I guess you got what you wanted." 
"Now all you gotta do is pay for it."
Next time we see Malloy he is back in the cafeteria with Peggy when the student group, sans Paul Banner, tells her that they will be having a meeting to discuss another protest rally. They think it would be a good idea for Malloy to be there, too.
"I'm still a cop, Carlton."
They know that, but they also know that Malloy is a student. They think it would be helpful to get the perspective of a cop and a student. Peggy wants to make sure that Pete will be treated fairly.
"Are you sure you're not just looking for a whipping boy, Jack?"
[Because I've already asked Pete about being mine and he said, "no go".
]
That yellow coat is way too big on Sally. I'll bet it's being used to cover up the fact that she is wearing the same dress she was wearing in Dr. Lane's office.
The black guy is now the spokesperson for the group. 

Jack, Carlton, whatever his name is, assures Peggy and Pete that they have a new-found respect for Pete. They would like the chance to earn Pete's respect, too.
"I'll be there."

After the students leave, Peggy reminds Pete that he has an early shift tomorrow.
"Didn't you tell me you had to be on duty at 5:00 in the morning?"
[At least that was your excuse for not taking me out tonight.] 
"Don't remind me."
The credits roll and students enter the cafeteria wearing the same clothes they wore at the sit-in several days ago.

The End

In case you couldn't tell, I do not like this episode. It is missing too much of what makes Adam-12 "Adam-12". No scenes in the patrol car, no dispatcher voice sending them on wacky or dramatic radio calls, and important members of the cast are almost entirely missing. 
There is too little Reed in this, he's only in a scant amount of scenes. When we do see him, he has little to do and hardly any lines. I seriously wonder if Kent McCord was ill when this episode was filmed. He sounds like he has a cold in the locker room scene.
 Lack of Reed really hurts this episode. After all, the show is about Reed's development as an officer. It's nice to have a Malloy-centric story. But, it would have been nice to see him talk through his problems with his partner.
Also, the student protests and demands are non-specific and confusing. Maybe that was done purposely. If this show is told from the cops' perspective, it may be that cops at the time didn't understand what young people were "complaining" about. I think I would have been able to understand the story better if the students' demands were more clearly defined.
Finally, there was a lot of talking in this episode. Three long scenes of nothing but talking. Pete talking to Peggy, Pete talking to Peggy again, and Pete talking to Pinter. If I want to see people talking at each other, I'll watch Dragnet.
I really can't think of anything that I liked here, other than the scene when they moved Jerry Quarry out of the way. So, since I liked almost nothing in this episode, I give it a rating of:

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

17 comments:

  1. Aw, any episode with Stacy Harris in it gets at least a Wells in my book. Every time I see Stacy Harris in anything I shout, "HEY YOU'RE THAT PHONY PARK RANGER!"

    This episode is good companion piece with the Dragnet episode "Night School" where Friday has to deal with hippies in the class room and get defended by Moshe Dayan.

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    1. When I first saw Stacy Harris in this, I thought, "Didn't we just see you as a heroin addict a few episodes ago? Good job cleaning up your act and becoming the president of a college".
      This episode does remind me a lot of the Dragnet "Night School" ep. , but I like that much better. The Dragnet episode cracks me up because it takes place over several weeks, but the men in the class NEVER change their clothes and wardrobe just adds jackets and jewelry to the women's costumes to make them different. It must have been some sort of Mark VII requirement that an episode about college contain a red cardigan. Friday wears one throughout the "Night School" ep. and Peggy Tompkins has one draped over her shoulders in this.
      Ultimately, this episode had too much talking, not enough Adam-12-ing for me.

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    2. Hey Bryan i do the same thing " you're the phony Forrest Ranger guy" i loved that poor soul. This episode was not a fave for me either not enough Jim and Mac. And ugh, who buys Petes clothes? He needs a lady and not Peggy her views are to liberal to be a cops girl. That velour turtleneck no words really, no words. I enjoy your synopses every week. Keep em comming. And can we talk about those large freckled hands? Yum

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    3. Glad you enjoy the blog, Jill!

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  2. I didn't think if was THAT bad, but I just watched the Dragnet episode "The Big Prophet." Now that was painful. So much talking!

    I did enjoy getting a little peak into Pete's off-duty life. Even though it never comes up before of after this episode, I really liked that he was taking some college courses. What else does this guy do?

    I wish we knew more about the specific case that inspired this episode. Now that would be interesting!

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    1. Oh my God, "The Big Prophet"! Trust me, that did cross my mind when I was complaining about the talking in this one. I thought, "Well, at least it's not the Big Prophet". But the "Prophet" does contain Friday's awesome line about heroin being the bomb. You really must read Suzy's post on "Prophet" if you haven't already.
      I wish we did see more of Pete's private life. I would have loved to have seen his apartment at least once. We did get to see Friday's apartment a couple of times on Dragnet.
      I also wonder what happened in the real case. Was there a bomb, did they really paint "pig" on the officer's car? At which university did this take place?

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    2. "The Big Prophet" also gave us an awesome 90's techno song.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2x1y8RZ_xw

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  3. I like this episode much better than you do, generally for the reasons -- except the silliness of the protesters' ill-defined unrest. I love "the mix as usual," of course, but it also makes episodes like this one so enjoyable to me, a chance to see Molloy out of uniform and off duty. It's fun to see him, like Joe Friday, continuing his education.

    I'm never sure, when I watch old '60s-'70s stuff dealing with hippies and youth-protest movements, how much the producers just didn't understand what they were angry about, and how much they just wanted to discredit them. I'm also not sure, though, that the youth-protest groups were actually better-organized than Mark VII portrayed them.

    I was born in 1961, so I wasn't politically savvy enough to understand much of what was going on. I know that there was a desire to end the war in Viet Nam. I know that there was a desire to combat racism. But I don't know to what extent campus movements were actually aimed at changing school policies and curricula. So it's hard for me to judge whether this episode was fair or unfair to the protesting students.

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    1. I was born in 1973, so everything I know about 1960's youth protests, hippies, etc. I learned from television and Jerry Rubin's book "Do It!"

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  4. While this was a rather 'blah' ep I think the highlight was Pete's dialogue with Peggy on the park bench. Prosaic but fairly eloquent, Milner - arguably one of our country's underrated but dependable TV actors - delivers as usual. (And it was refreshing to see a reasonable counterpoint to the routinely pro-hippie/protest stance.)

    We have to wonder if the production was running out of money at the end of the season that this was yet another episode shot completely in the studio / backlot. (I do remember Milner stating in A&E's 'Jack Webb' Biography special that the first season was so low-rated that there was a real threat of cancelation.)

    I think Ann Helm resembles Yvonne Craig ('Batgirl') from that same time period.

    Scott
    "Switch to Tac-2"

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    1. Of all the "talk-y" parts in this ep, the one on the bench is the one I like the most. Thank goodness, they were able to turn things around. A world with only one season of Adam-12?!? That would be too awful to imagine! I do see a slight resemblance between Yvonne Craig and Ann Helm, but there is
      something about Ann Helm's nose that bugs me.

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  5. Love this blog! Very well written. I really enjoy the visuals with the captions - helps me to re-live all the small details that I appreciated about the episode.

    Keep up the good work, Rita!

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    1. Brittany! Good to hear from you! Thanks for checking out the blog, hope you are doing well!

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  6. I saw Gary "Officer Wells" Crosby playing a corrupt beauty pageant producer in an episode of The Bionic Woman last night. I like to think that Wells got kicked off the force for being a jackass and started smuggling secrets to the Reds with Bert Parks using the "Miss United States" pageant as a front.

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    1. Don't forget he also spent time as a firefighter for LA county. But, he was a jerk at that job, too, and probably also got kicked out of there.

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    2. Oh, and Gary Crosby was reference in the episode of MST3K I watched last night (Danger Death Ray) so it's been a Gary Crosby kind of weekend.

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  7. I was immediately post-college age during the time of hippies, protests, and general unrest. During that time, 3 major issues (racism, women's rights, and the Viet Nam war) came together to create major upheaval. The military draft lottery was in effect, and many young men hated the thought of being forced to risk their lives for a war they didn't believe in. Protests were a way of getting "the establishment" to pay attention to citizens' concerns about all 3 issues. Some truly terrible things happened during that time, but it's generally accepted that progress was made in all 3 areas as a result of the protests. It always interested me that many of the "hippies" of that time ended up being "normal" citizens in adulthood. I was never involved in any actual protests, but no one could help being aware of what was going on, especially when there were urban and university fires, shootings, and arrests happening in many parts of the country. The funniest, most benign activity of the time was streaking, and I always regretted that I never saw a streaker. I think Adam-12 did a reasonable job of presenting some of the activities of the time.

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