Dear Season 2,
Stop being so good! It's very difficult to come up with a new way to say "I love this episode" every week.
While dealing with emotionally-charged cases, Reed learns the importance of an unbiased attitude.
Reed and Malloy enter the station with a prisoner, who stops and takes a moment to take in his surroundings. He claims he has never been inside a police station before, but Reed knows this is not true.
|Mr. Bates here has a package that is 2" thick, filled with crimes like lewd conduct and enraging public decency. Today he has hit the "big casino" with a charge of 288 PC (lewd acts with a child).|
Mac stops to ask if Bates is the child molester. Malloy confirms that their prisoner is the molester and he goes on to report that his latest victim is not doing so well. Reed feels the need to give Mac some more information on Mr. Bates.
|"Right, Mr. Bates here is kinda rough on knee-high boys. Aren't you, mister?"|
Bates claims that he wasn't responsible for his actions, he had been drinking. His lack of culpability enrages Reed.
|"Why? To get up enough nerve to enter that playground restroom? Or were you afraid that little 5 year old might have attacked you?"|
Let's take a minute here and appreciate this scene. This is some pretty graphic dialogue for a 1960's show. I wonder what the viewing public thought when this episode was first aired. Had they ever heard this type of language on television before? Kudos to Mark VII for actually talking about child molestation without using euphemisms or changing the true incident to a less-explicit crime.
OK, back to our story.
|Malloy warns his young partner to take it easy.|
But, Reed is not done yet. He makes one more comment when Mac tells him to put Bates in the holding cell.
|"Yes, sir. I'll have it fumigated when he leaves."|
Let's stop again and talk about Bates' haircut. I often wonder if this actor already had this haircut or if Larry Germain said, "No, he's not creepy enough, let's give him some bad bangs". However it happened, the hair fits the character perfectly. (I am deeply sorry if I've offended anyone who has this same haircut.)
After Reed's final outburst, Mac wants to have a word with Malloy.
|Mac wants to know if what he witnessed in the hallway is Reed's "customary attitude".|
|Using his freckled digits for emphasis, Malloy explains that Reed is a better probationer than he or Mac ever was. He describes his partner as "better trained, better educated, smarter all the way around".|
While Mac and Pete are having their discussion, Jim works on his arrest report and chats with another officer who recently completed his probationary period.
He tells Jim that his first year out of the Academy has been a rough one. He recounts a story about a particularly trying case he worked on. He and his partner had arrested a purse snatcher who also hit women. The ex-probationer wanted to hit the guy but instead just told him off. His partner reprimanded him for his treatment of the prisoner. This was when the neophyte officer learned about sick people.
So, this guy is telling Jim this story as a way of giving him advice on dealing with Mr. Bates and I'm not sure that I agree with it. I understand his intention, but I think better advice may have been, "treat this guy fairly or else you won't get a conviction". By telling a story about "sick people" as advice on dealing with a child molester, is he saying that Mr. Bates shouldn't be punished for his actions because he is sick?
|Anyway, here's a cap of Jim listening to the story.|
When we next see our heroes, they are back on the street. Jim is glad to be out of the station. Pete praises him for his fair report and asks when his baby is due and if he is hoping for a boy or a girl.
Pete goes on to address what happened back at the station and asks Jim if he was thinking of his unborn son when he was leaning on Bates. Jim admits that maybe he was and apologizes for his actions. He sheepishly asks Pete if he wants to trade him in.
|"What for?" answers Pete. "You're the latest model, aren't you?"|
Before Jim can check his expiration date, the radio interrupts with a call of unknown trouble, possible DB (dead body).
They arrive at the call and meet neighbors Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Ryan.
|I think Mrs. |
Mrs. Cunningham suspects that a family who used to live in the neighborhood, the Ashtons, have hurriedly moved after killing their young daughter. She wants them to investigate an awful smell that is coming from under what used to be the Ashton's porch.
|Pete reacts to the smell. Jim doesn't admit that the smell is not coming from under the porch.|
Pete sends the ladies home then examines the area under the porch, he spies a sack that could be the right size for a child's body. Jim volunteers to go under the porch and get the sack, but Pete doesn't know if that is such a good idea. He asks Jim how many DB calls he's been on. Jim admits that he is only been on one, the one "back at the hotel" (meaning the DB call from Log 131: The Dicks Have Their Jobs and We Have Ours). Lack of experience does not deter Jim, though, he is going to get that sack.
|Pete's still not so sure about this.|
Jim climbs under the porch and emerges, covered in dirt and cobwebs, with the sack. Pete opens it and reveals the contents.
|"Pacific mackerel, fun to catch, hard to clean, and if you're moving; a great way to get even with your neighbors."|
Now Jim is angry. Pete knew all along what was under there, but he still let him climb under a porch, get his uniform dirty, and skin his knee; all for a sack of rotten fish. Pete knows he's taught his inexperienced partner a valuable lesson, now he'll know better the next time a busybody accuses recently vacated neighbors of murder.
They return to the station so Jim can get a fresh uniform. As he is changing, he has a question for Pete. He wants to why Pete has never taken the sergeants' exam, everybody says he would have done better than Mac on the test.
|Jim then pats Pete's tum-tum and reminds him that he's not getting any younger.|
"When opportunity comes along, you gotta grab it."
|Pete is horrified by this brazen invasion of his personal space.|
"I like what I'm doing. Is that all right with you?"
The light-hearted mood quickly changes when two other officers enter the locker room and begin talking about Bates' five-year-old victim. Jim silently listens to their conversation while Pete and Mac watch his reaction. One of the officers comments that the victim has died from his injuries. The news is too much for Jim to bear.
|Look at Pete's face when Jim punches the locker. |
I would be eternally grateful if someone could make me a .gif of this scene.
I wonder what happened immediately after Jim punched the locker. I imagine Mac ordered Grant & Benson out of the locker room. Then left himself, telling Pete that he was going to give him and Jim a moment but he wanted to see them in his office when they were ready. Pete nods at Mac, then sits in silence for a few seconds. He finally tells his partner that he knows it's hard but he has to pull himself together, if he breaks down every time something like this happens he won't be able to function on the job. Pete would then attempt a joke about Jim buying new locker doors for the entire room. He leaves the room and tells Jim he'll meet him in Mac's office.
Jim finally turns around after Pete is gone and reveals his wet, bloodshot eyes. He wipes his eyes, takes a deep breath to pull himself together then leaves the locker room and walks down the hall to the watch commander's office.
We next see Pete & Jim in the car, Jim worries about the locker door and if he'll make it through his probationary period. He doesn't believe it when Pete tells him that he has had to pay for a few locker doors himself.
They receive a radio call for a 459 at 1200 Loma Linda and something amazing happens.
|OK, watch carefully. Here they are before the radio call.|
|Then the call comes through and we see a shot of the radio.|
Wait a second! They were just wearing their class A uniforms, now they're suddenly in class C uniforms!
|They arrive at 1200 Loma Linda and they're back in their class A uniforms!|
I'm shocked that this mistake is not on the IMDB page for this episode.
Mr. Plaid shirt in the screen cap above has called the police because his house is being robbed for the third time in four months. Today he caught the pair in the act. He let the phone ring so they would think he was not home, then the one and a half thieves got to work. That's right, one and a half thieves. He gets in the back of 1-Adam-12 to show them what is happening at his house.
|This is the half thief, he has entered the house through a doggy door. He gathers the loot then drops it over the fence where the one thief, his father, is waiting in the back alley with the getaway car.|
Malloy and Reed catch both of them, haul the father off to jail and take the kid to juvenile detention. (Sorry, I'm not gonna spend much time on this call. There's a lot to cover in this episode.)
Later, Reed and Malloy are in the car discussing the future of Johnny Standish, the half thief, when the male dispatcher comes over the radio with a call of a 211 at the grocery store, the two suspects with guns are there now. Pete speeds to the address, which is located in the Universal part of town.
When they arrive on the scene, the suspects are backing out of the store while firing their guns. Pete and Jim chase them on foot through the streets and into an alley that is blocked with a high chain link fence.
|One of the suspects attempts to scale the fence, but he gets vertically tackled by Jim (or McCord's stuntman, but I want to believe that it is McCord).|
As soon as Jim pulls the surly suspect down from the fence, the prisoner starts hurling hateful language at the officer. Jim, having learned from his experience with Mr. Bates, keeps his cool and lets the abuse roll off of him like "water off of a duck's ass".
The insults continue after Pete reads them their rights, but Jim does not rise to the bait. A crowd gathers and Binger, the loud-mouthed suspect, tries to start an incident. Jim hiply warns him against it.
|"Do all the talking you want, Binger, but don't incite a riot. You dig?"|
Binger is still heaping abuse on Jim as they walk to the patrol car. Some young men in the crowd want to join Binger in disparaging the officers. But one of them goes against the crowd and points out that it is Binger and his accomplice who have wronged the community today, not the police.
They finally arrive at the car where Mac and backup officers have also assembled. Binger is upset that the crowd is not doing anything about the "pigs".
|"That's right 'soul brother'," says this young man. |
He was the one who pointed out earlier that Binger did not deserve the crowd's support.
Mac announces that Binger and his accomplice, Vern Bayliss, are to be charged with two counts of 187 PC.
Binger is still shouting "Kill these pigs!" as backup hauls him away.
Vern Bayliss whines, "All we wanted was a bottle of wine!"
|And Jim continues to look stunning.|
(Is Binger wearing the same sweatshirt with cut-off sleeves that Jim wore in Exactly 100 Yards?)
The final scene takes place in the locker room.
|Pete has something on his mind.|
He finds his partner and asks Jim why he was so quiet as they drove to the station. Jim explains that he was thinking about Bates and the five-year-old boy who was alive and well this morning. He wants to know if there is a "trick to it". Pete doesn't understand what he means.
|"Putting him out of your mind. The boy, Bates, and the others; I still haven't learned to shut them out."|
At this point the young man who spoke in Reed and Malloy's defense during the 211 call enters the locker room. His name is Jessie Smith and wants to talk to the officers but he feels silly. Reed thanks him stopping a possible riot earlier.
Jessie feels that he needs to apologize for what happened earlier. Not for his actions, but for the actions of those involved with the crime. (I think.)
I'm confused here. Is Jessie apologizing for the actions of Binger and Bayliss because they are part of his community or because they are fellow African-Americans? Anyway, Malloy says he understands (that makes one of us) and then gives us the greatest screen cap ever.
Mr. Smith leaves and Mac enters the room. He wants to know how Reed is doing.
|"That's a good question."|
|"He's doing just fine."|
As you may have guessed, I love this episode! It touches on themes explored in other episodes, it's chock full o' action, and it has a glaring continuity error! What a wonderful gift!
Jim gets emotional after the death of a child and asks Pete how to deal with the unique stresses of their job, much like S1 E7 Log 71: I Feel Like a Fool, Malloy and S1 E17 Log 33: It All Happened So Fast. Anytime Jim is vulnerable, it just breaks my heart, but these are still some of my favorite episodes.
Just like the previous episode, Log 52: Good Cop Handle with Care, Reed learns that a good cop does not let his feelings get the better of him.
All of these episodes also illustrate the strong "brothers in blue" bond between the two partners. Which is why I love the entire show. Their relationship is a beautiful thing.
I'm going to have to give yet another episode of season 2 the rating of:
Do you agree?
Before I say "See you next time", I have to let you all know that I won't be posting next Sunday. I'll be traveling for work the majority of this week, so between meetings and long days I won't be able to devote much time to the adventures of Pete and Jim. So, I am sorry to say, "See you in 2 weeks!"