Sunday, April 26, 2015

Log 83: A Different Thing (Episode 5, Season 2)

Episode 31

I'm back from my week of travel and ready to recap another great episode from Season 2!

Synopsis:

Pete and Jim think there is more to a hit-and-run accident than meets the eye. Will they be able to investigate the crime and prove their suspicions?

The Story:

It's the beginning of the shift and Jim is still not awake, as evidenced by his gargantuan yawn.

His reason for not sleeping well last night? He had a weird dream that he delivered his and Jean's baby. In the dream, he wasn't nervous or anything. It all went down just as he was trained in the academy. Pete was in the dream, too, and said he handled it "just like a regular doctor". Pete agrees that the dream was pretty weird.

Jim then wants to know if Pete has ever put his academy training to use and delivered a baby while on the job. He did, once, and it was a "busy" experience.
She had twins, her husband passed out, and his partner got sick.

The radio then delivers a call to them, "1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, a screaming woman, 216 Kentucky Street, apartment 3. Code 2."

Pete and Jim arrive at the quiet apartment building and begin to wonder if they are at the wrong address. They don't hear a woman screaming, there is no crowd gathered, everything seems calm.

Suddenly, a woman's scream can be heard coming from apartment 3. They are at the right place. Jim knocks on the door, but there is no answer.
Pete isn't going to stand around knocking all day, there could be a woman in trouble! He decides to kick the door.

When the door opens, Malloy and Reed don't find a damsel in distress. They find two surprised women in karate uniforms.
Malloy asks one of the women, "Are you alright?"
Sarah Shapiro answers that she is alright, "Sylvia didn't lay a hand on her."
Pete explains to the women that one of their neighbors probably called the police because they thought a woman was being beat up, he and Jim certainly did. Sylvia and Sarah are shocked, they have been practicing their self defense moves for months and none of the neighbors have complained despite their yelling and banging.

As the ladies are talking to Pete, Sarah's husband bursts out of the bedroom and exclaims, "I told you the police would come! There they are brave and bold!"
Yes, there they are brave and bold. I wonder why Mr. Shapiro is wearing sunglasses indoors.
Sylvia and Sarah then begin debating which neighbor could have called the police. After listening to them for a few seconds, Mr. Shapiro erupts and announces, "It was me! I called the police!" He then removes his sunglasses, to show that Sarah and Sylvia have been using him as a practice dummy.
This is Pete and Jim's cue to leave. They'll let the Shapiros work this out on their own.
As they are leaving the building, Pete and Jim hear a distressed Mr. Shapiro yell "No!" several times followed by a loud thump. Jim asks if they should intervene.

"Shall we?", asks Jim.
"No way, pal," answers Pete
.
 
Back in the car, the dispatcher calls 1-Adam-43 to the scene of a felony hit and run at 1203 West Salem Ave. The location of the accident is in Adam-12's district, Reed lets dispatch know that he and Pete will handle the call.

When Pete and Jim arrive at West Salem Ave. a crowd has gathered around something on the street. The crowd disperses and we can see what they had been assembled around.

Pete checks the victim's pulse to confirm that she is dead.
Any woman that doesn't respond to this is dead. It's a medical fact.
Once Pete is positive that she is dead, he sends Jim to call a sergeant with a camera and get some chalk out of the trunk.

No one in the crowd witnessed the accident, but some of them saw the victim before it happened. One man tells Pete that he saw her drinking with a man in the Mermaid Bar. Pete asks anyone who saw her in the bar to stay and talk with him and Jim.

As Jim begins outlining the victim's belongings and body with the chalk, an ambulance arrives as well as Mac. He begins taking pictures of the scene.

Jim outlines her body with the chalk. One of her curls falls outside the chalkline and he sweeps it back inside.  I'm guessing that most hit and run victims probably don't look this tragically beautiful.
Mac takes pictures with an Instamatic...? Where's Marco Lopez and his big fancy camera?
The victim is given an identity when they find her driver's license. She is Barbara Stewart, 24 years old from Redondo Beach. 

While the ambulance crew removes Barbara's body, Reed studies the tire marks in the street.
Malloy thinks they are acceleration marks and points out that the tracks are intermittent, it looks as if the rear tires broke traction then caught hold again. Mac agrees and tells them to find a connection between the tire tracks and the victim. Reed and Malloy will start by interviewing witnesses.
Malloy interviews this man, Mr. Lyden, he is the one who told them about Barbara drinking with a man right before the accident. The man's name was Eddie and Mr. Lyden has seen them together 4 or 5 times in the past month. He wants everything he tells Malloy to be confidential, he knows Eddie can be violent. He has seen Eddie almost beat a man to death. Police were called to break up the fight, but no arrests were made. It was deemed a case of "mutual combat".

Reed interviews these two ladies. (My, the Mermaid Bar does have some well-dressed mid-day drinkers. That bow, though, ugh!) They weren't trying to eavesdrop, but they felt so bad for Barbara. She seemed like she wanted to curl up and die when Eddie refused to take her to Seattle. They overheard Eddie tell Barbara, "That's your problem, baby. You can keep it and love it."
Malloy also interviews the bartender, Mr. Budley, he tells Malloy that Eddie drives a blue Chevy.  He saw Barbara run crying after Eddie when he left the bar. He seems to think that Eddie's departure for Seattle is immediate. After several minutes, he finally rembers that Eddie's last name is Troy.

After their interviews Malloy tells Mac, "we think we got more than a hit and run" and asks for permission to return to the station to find the field interview (FI) card on Eddie Troy from the fight at the Mermaid.
I think the stalker Mustang had something to do with this.
After making their broadcast on the accident, Pete and Jim return to the station and search the FI cards for information on Eddie Troy.

Jackpot! They find a description of Eddie, his address, and the license plate number of his blue Chevy.
 They report the information on Troy and their hunch about the accident to Sgt. King in detectives. (Sgt. King? Who the heck is Sgt. King? Where is Sgt. Miller?)
I demand to see Sgt. Miller! Who is this pinky-ring-wearing, Jerry-Ohrbach-resembling, tie-straightening jerk? (Alright, that may be harsh. I'm sure this man is not a jerk, but I am very upset.)
Let's check IMDB and see when when Jack Hogan returns as Sgt. Miller.
Season 6?
As Lt. Fred Benson?!?
I can't go on.
But, I must.
Since there is no Jack Hogan to look at, enjoy this cap of Martin Milner.

Anyway, this Sgt. King person tells Pete and Jim that there is only circumstantial evidence against Eddie Troy, not enough for him to make an arrest. Also, he can't investigate the case further for 2 reasons, he doesn't have the manpower and officially it is a hit and run felony case which means that Accident Investigation does the follow-up. (Humph! I bet Sgt. Miller would have been more helpful.)


We next see Pete and Jim with Lt. Moore asking to investigate Troy themselves. King doesn't have the manpower and, since it is Sunday, it will be over an hour until someone from AI can come from their home to work the case. If they wait that long, Troy may already be on his way to Seattle.

Lt. Moore is running a short car plan and doesn't know if he can spare them. Reed convinces him to let them work the case by assuring the lieutenant that they will clear immediately if anything big goes down.

Their first stop is Troy's apartment building. The FI card did not provide an apartment number, his name is not on any of the mailboxes, the manager is not home, and his car is nowhere in sight; no luck there.
I wonder what the rent on a "spacious unfurnished 1-2 Bdrm. with full drapes, built-ins, and gold shag carpeting" as back then? $150?
They hop in the car to conduct a circle search of the neighborhood in order to, hopefully, find Troy's car. As they drive, the calls coming over the radio don't stop for a second. If they don't find the blue Chevy soon, they'll have to start taking some of those calls.

Lucky for them, Malloy spots the car. Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, Malloy discovers a piece of evidence.
His freckled fingers fish out familiar fabric from the felled female's fashionable frock.
And there's blood on the fabric.
Pete wants to get their "black and white neon sign out of sight", so they move the patrol car to a service station lot across the street and stakeout Troy's car.

The radio dispatcher is now assigning calls 3 at a time.
 
Reed listens to the radio (and looks damn good doing it).

Now that they have found the car and tied it to the victim, they have to prove that Troy had custody and control over the car at the time of the accident. Troy never registered the vehicle in his own name, so they can't use DMV records to prove the car is his.
 
Malloy drops some knowledge on Reed.

Reed thinks they'll just have to catch him in the car. But if they wait until he is in the car, he'll be able to say that's when his prints got in the car. They need to bust him with the keys in his hand unlocking the door. His possession of the keys will prove his custody of the car. If his prints are already in the car, it will prove that he was in it earlier.

Since they are running out of time, Malloy devises a ruse to bring Troy out to the car.  He calls Troy's number from the FI card and pretends to be Mr. Budley from the Mermaid. Impersonating the bartender, he warns Troy that the cops are on their way over to his place.
Milner did a pretty good impression of the bartender.
While they are waiting to see if Troy takes the bait, the gas station attendant starts asking questions.
Hey, you guys, what's going on? 
Official police business, don't you have a customer?
Pete's scheme pays off and they soon see Eddie heading towards the blue Chevy with a suitcase in his hand. The attendant, who knows all about Eddie, suddenly makes himself scarce.
You're right, I do have a customer.

Eddie unlocks the trunk, that's their cue.

Eddie tries to run when he sees the officers approaching. They're not letting him get away. No if's, and's or... 
or butts about it. 
While this "tough customer" is being cuffed he starts sobbing, "I didn't mean to do it! I didn't mean to do it! She made me mad. She wouldn't get out of the way of the car! She said it was my baby and I had to take her with me."

 The final image in the scene reveals the contents of Troy's suitcase.
Barbara sure liked polka dots, didn't she?
After Troy is in the jail at the station, he swears that his foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas. He loved Barbara, it was an accident!
Reed's not buying it, he doesn't think Troy knows the meaning of the word "love".
Malloy thinks maybe he did love her.
"Words mean different things to different people," he explains.

The sergeant from AI is waiting in the watch commander's office. He asks Reed and Malloy if they have determined a motive.
"The girl was pregnant, Troy was leaving town and she wanted to go with him, he wanted to write her off. That's about it."

"Her second mistake was getting in front of Troy's car."
The sergeant corrects Reed, getting in front of the car was her third mistake. The medical examiner's report uncovered her second mistake.
"The girl wasn't pregnant."
The End.

My Evaluation:

When I saw that this my next episode to cover I thought, "That's the one where the girl gets killed in a hit and run and that woman in the yellow dress wears that dumb bow in her hair." As you can see, it didn't make much of an impression on me when I first viewed it. I must have been distracted when I first saw this, because this episode is really good (despite the dumb bow).

Every scene is a surprise, nothing is as it seems in this story.
You think that screaming woman is being beat up? Wrong! She's practicing karate with her friend and possibly beating up her husband.
You think that the victim was hit by a stranger? Wrong! Her boyfriend did it.
You think she was pregnant? Wrong! She faked her condition to trap her boyfriend.

You think Reed's dream was really about him delivering the baby? Maybe not. According to dreammoods.com, "to dream that you are giving birth or see someone giving birth suggests that you are giving birth to a new idea or project". Is this dream really about Reed embarking on the new project of becoming a full-fledged officer instead of a probationer? Is Malloy in the dream because he is assisting Reed in his professional transformation? When he praises Reed in the dream for delivering the baby like a real doctor does this illustrate Reed's subconscious desire to be praised and accepted by his FTO? 
Or maybe a cigar is just a cigar.

My favorite aspect of this episode is the way it shows all of the steps of the investigation from what happened at the scene up to the capture of the suspect. No wonder this show was used as a training tool for police departments. I almost feel like I'm qualified to run an accident investigation after watching this. 

I also like that it showed the difficulties Malloy and Reed faced during the case and their solution for each setback. Who will handle the investigation? Homicide detectives don't have enough people to cover it, AI will take too long. Reed and Malloy can do it, but only if it doesn't get in the way of their main responsibility, taking radio calls. Reed's assurance that they will clear if something big goes down is a compromise the lieutenant can live with.

How do they prove Troy had custody and control of the car? It's not registered in his name and they don't want to set up an alibi for him? Malloy's experience provides the solution. Catch him with the keys unlocking the door! Luckily, in the end he confessed to the whole thing. (I wonder if he got a light sentence since she faked the pregnancy.)

Once again, Season 2, nice work! I give Log 83: A Different Thing a rating of:

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

Goodbye, Sgt. Jerry Miller! You will be missed!

4 comments:

  1. I always thought she didn't fake her pregnancy so much as she missed her period. She thought she was pregnant but hadn't had a positive pregnancy test. How did they do those then? Still with the rabbit? Beats me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. First and foremost:

    NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!!!!

    Sgt. Jerry Miller was a key witness in convicting a major organized crime figure in 1969, and was put into the Federal Witness Protection Program. His family moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where their cover identity was established as having been there for more than 10 years.

    In Manitowoc, Jerry was Frederick Coulson, hardware-store owner, and his 7-year-old son, Howie, became Phillip. Young Phil Coulson always remembered his father's work in his youth, and always wanted to work protecting the public and combating evil. That's why, in his adulthood, he joined the Strategic Homeland Interdiction, Enforcement and Logistics Division, where he later became involved with various extremely powerful metahumans.

    You heard it here first!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think your overview of this episode is terrific.

    I do have to say, though, I'm a bit troubled by the "comedy relief" call to the women practicing karate on the one woman's husband. The guy's got a black eye already, which is actually a fairly serious injury, and Pete and Jim hear him being assaulted, but they walk away while the audience laughs? This is one of those times when you really realize the differences between 1969 and today. Like the various times husbands on "Adam-12" talked about how they had a right to slap their wives around, and rarely were they told otherwise, I can't imagine this scene making it on the air today.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete