Monday, March 9, 2015

Log 22: So This Little Guy Goes Into a Bar, and... (Episode 26, Season 1)

I've made it to the end of season 1! Only 6 more seasons or 148 more episodes to go! I'm not complaining, I've enjoyed sharing Adam-12 season 1 with all of you and all of your comments. All right, let's do this.

Episode 26

Reed learns that some people don't respect the badge, no matter who is wearing it.

Our story opens in the station, Jim is engrossed in a joke that Wells is telling him. He even refuses Pete's offer of coffee before roll call.
["Go away, Pete. Do you know how hard it is for me to find people who haven't heard all my jokes?"]
Pete heads to the break room sans Jim where he meets up Walters. He tells Walters about the overtime he and Jim had to put in last night logging 37 stolen dresses into evidence.
Does it bug you that the break room set is always changing? It bugs me. 
When Pete finishes his story, it is time for roll call. On the way to the assembly room, they walk past Ed and Jim. Ed still has not reached the punchline of the joke. Pete hopes it's a good joke, he's going to be hearing it all night long.

At the start of their patrol, Pete and Jim are in the black and white when Jim suddenly bursts into laughter.
"What's with you?" asks Malloy.
Oh, Pete, really? Haven't you learned yet not to ask such questions? Well, if you must know, he is thinking about the joke Ed Wells told him earlier. Now that Pete has opened the door, Jim will start retelling the joke.
The best part about Jim telling the joke is that we are treated to a new interior view of the car.

 Jim doesn't get very far with the joke before he is interrupted by the radio. They have been called to 1919 1/2 South Bayview Terrace Apt. 22 for a burglary report. He promises Pete that he will finish the joke later.
"I know you will."
He also promises Pete that the ending will "fracture" him.
"I can't wait."
They arrive at South Bayview Terrace and the see woman, Alice V. Hoyt. She invites them inside and they take a seat at her card table. Miss Hoyt becomes quite distressed when Pete moves a glass on the table.
Ms. Hoyt was doing her best to preserve the "scene" including any fingerprints on the glass. You see, her mink scarf is missing and she suspects that one of the ladies she had over for cards stole it. They have been jealous of the mink ever since her suitor, Maj. Collins, gave it to her. 

She realized it was missing when she looked in the refrigerator and did not see it. The fridge is her is personal cold storage for the fur. Pete decides to do some investigating in the kitchen while Jim continues to interview Alice.

Pete quickly solves the case of the missing mink.
Alice had accidentally placed the mink in the freezer. Everyone has a good chuckle at her frozen fur.

Back to the patrol car means back to the joke. Reed manages to tell some more of the story before he is, once again, interrupted by the dispatcher's voice. They are called to 522 North Hudson where a man is assaulting a woman. Jim doesn't think he will get to finish the joke. Pete tries to set his mind at ease.
"Don't worry, it's going to be a long night."

Pete and Jim arrive at 522 North Hudson and walk into a scene that looks like it came straight out of Coal Miner's Daughter. They find the PR, Muriel Fletcher, in her apartment surrounded by her five children. 
Mrs. Fletcher wants her husband arrested for beating her up and cutting her with a knife. After hearing her complaint, Pete and Jim arrest Henry Fletcher. This is not Henry's first time in handcuffs, he has been arrested before for burglary. Once they have the suspect out of the apartment, Malloy calls Reed over for a private conversation.
"This whole thing seem a little hinky to you?" He asks his partner.
Reed hasn't given it much thought, but Malloy has. He's noticed the lack of blood on the carpet where Muriel Fletcher said her husband cut her with a knife.
There's also no blood on the phone that she used to call for help immediately after the attack.
Furthermore, Henry seems very impatient to get going to jail. 
Oh, hey, look. Henry is played by Harry Dean Stanton! He was in my favorite Michael Nesmith-produced movie, Repo Man, and some other stuff.
Malloy decides to go back into the apartment and ask Muriel some more questions. He wants to get a better look at her injured hand. Muriel must have an amazing genetic make-up. Because the cut, that supposedly happened less than an hour ago, is already completely healed.
It then comes out that Henry and Muriel are on welfare. They concocted the story about the fight after Muriel had accidentally cut herself. They wanted Henry to be arrested because Muriel will get more welfare money if Henry is in jail. Armed with this evidence, Malloy instructs Reed to let Henry go. Henry's not happy, he complains that the cops always arrest him when he doesn't want them to do so. 
"That's life, Henry, no justice."
They return to the car and Reed returns to the joke. He finally reaches the punchline, which he thinks is hilarious.
Malloy, on the other hand, does not have the same hysterical response. This confuses Reed.
He studies Pete as if he is an exotic enigma.
All of this joke telling and feigning interest has caused the officers to work up an appetite, which means it's time for code 7. At the restaurant, Reed does not give up trying to convince Malloy that the joke is funny. He commits the cardinal sin of comedy and begins explaining the joke. This fails to change Malloy's mind.
"I can't help it. It just didn't do anything for me."
Reed goes on to badger Malloy over his lack of laughter at the punchline. Malloy promises to laugh at Reed's next joke, no matter what. But, Reed does not want his pity laughter. He doesn't see the point of telling Malloy a joke if he's not going to get an honest reaction. Now Malloy is getting irritated with the younger officer and doesn't hesitate to let him know.
"In about one minute,

I'm gonna give you an honest reaction.

I'm gonna paint you yellow."
I was hoping I could avoid the story line of the joke, but without explanation the quote from Pete doesn't make any sense. I didn't want to tell the joke, because it's really not that funny. So, in a nutshell, this little guy walks into a bar with a short, squatty yellow dog under his arm. There's another guy at the bar with a big, ferocious dog. (Isn't having all these dogs in a place where food and drinks are being served a health-code violation?) One guy challenges the other guy to a dog fight, bets are made, trash is talked. The two dogs fight, the big dog does not win as expected. When the owner of the ferocious dog inquires about the breed of the yellow dog, the little guy reveals that his "dog" is really a painted alligator whose tail has been cut off. I can see why Pete didn't laugh, animal cruelty is never funny.
Before Malloy can gather up his brushes and paint Reed yellow, Walters and Brinkman join them. Walters immediately notices Reed's dejected look and asks what is wrong with him. After Reed explains why he is upset, a curious Brinkman announces that he wants to hear the joke.
["Brinkman, who invited you?"]
Reed tells the joke again. Thankfully, through the magic of editing, we don't have to hear it again. At the end of the joke, it is evident that Reed and Brinkman have a similar sense of humor. 
The waitress has also listened to the entire joke (I guess she doesn't have any other tables). Her reaction is unlike any of the police officers'.
"I think that's the most disgusting story I've ever heard in my life."
Due the waitress' and Malloy's responses to the joke, Reed decides to shelve it for good.
"I'm not gonna tell that story anymore, too chance-y," announces Reed.
Malloy agrees and tell his partner his decision is a "good idea".
Their next call is a complaint of a loud party at 922 Courson Drive. As the PR is giving them the details of his problem, he mentions that the neighbor having the party is named Howard Hewlitt. Reed recognizes the name, he went to school and ran track with a Howie Hewlitt. 
As soon as they exit the elevator on Hewlitt's floor, an elderly woman stops the officers. Reed volunteers to handle the noise complaint on his own, he shouldn't have any trouble if this is his old friend Howie. He goes to the apartment where the party is being held while Malloy talks to the woman.
Oh look, show producer Tom Williams is at the party. He doesn't look to happy to see Reed, though.

The Howard throwing the party and Jim's old buddy, Howie, turn out to be the same party. Howie is happy to see his classmate and agrees to turn down the music. He leaves Jim to talk with his wife Jan while he goes find the stereo. Since the music does not get softer, Jim goes to find Howie. He finds him at the bar, not at the sound system. Jim reminds Howie that this is serious.
He threatens Howie with arrest if he doesn't comply and turn down the music.
Howie is annoyed that his old friend would ask him to turn down his music and then threaten him with arrest! What's the point of knowing a cop if you can't get special treatment? He doesn't want to go to jail, so he turns down the music. He makes sure to let his guests know that the reduced volume was not his idea.
Howie loudly announces to the party that they have to keep it down or the "fuzz" is going to make trouble. 
Jim then has to navigate a sea of angry faces to reach the door.
Jim's disappointment is apparent as he lingers at the door.

After handling the noise complaint, Pete and Jim return to the station. It's now the end of their shift and Jim has just left the lieutenants office after being asked to correct some punctuation on his report (I just think it is adorable that they have to correct their spelling and punctuation. It's like they're little school boys.) Jim then informs Pete that the lieutenant is now telling the infamous joke to some officers who just ended their watch. He's also telling it all wrong.
There's a right way to tell that joke?!?
Next, peals of uproarious laughter can be heard coming from the lieutenant's office. Jim is perplexed, how could they be laughing? The lieutenant didn't even tell it correctly. Or maybe it's him that didn't tell it right. Maybe that's why Walters laughed at the lieutenant, but not at him. Pete clears it all up for him.
"Oh, you tell it right. You're just not lieutenant yet."
The End
They then walk down the hall to the locker room to change out of their season 1 uniforms for the last time.
I like this episode, it is a return to form. The previous three episodes all focused on a single story, this one had the boys answering diverse calls while Reed's comical problem filled the time between dispatches. The classic Adam-12 formula. 
Or does this episode have a deeper meaning? Does it really illustrate why cops almost exclusively socialize with their brothers in blue? Is it showing the viewer that only cops understand other cops' jokes? The Howie Hewlitt incident certainly demonstrates one reason why it is difficult for officers to be friends with civilians. Some people expect their cop ally to cut them a break and then become angry when the officer can't do this. Are both the joke and the final call making the same point? Or is the joke just a fun way to pass the time until the next radio call?
Either way, this is a good episode. Other than the ever-changing break room set, there's not really anything I don't like here. So I give the final episode of season 1 a rating of:
You guys won't hear from me next week. I have something super duper important to do next weekend and I will not be able to concentrate on the blog. Don't worry, though, I'll share my special "assignment" with all of you!
Anyway, see you in two weeks with the first episode of season 2! KMA-367


  1. This episode gets a grudging "Wells" from me. I liked the bits where Reed had to put the smackdown on his old college chum but the parts with the joke, eh. Mark VII humor is always hit or miss. I liked the waitress.

    My prediction for what Rita is doing next week: Meeting Martin Milner.

    1. Actually, now that fact that this episode has Harry Dean Stanton in it has permeated into my brain, I raise the rating to an Unqualified Reed. I am a firm believer in Roger Ebert's Stanton-Walsh Rule: "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad."
      Also, I revise my prediction for what Rita is doing: Going bowling with Marty Milner.

    2. Keep guessing Bryan, all will be revealed this weekend. I'm glad that HDS was able to change your mind about this episode.