Sunday, May 31, 2015

Log 123: Courtroom (Episode 9, Season 2)

Episode 35

So, I took a week off from all things Adam-12 while I focused on Route 66 for my MeTV blogathon post. As soon as I published the Route 66 piece I picked up my iPad and watched two episodes of Adam-12. It was like coming home again, it so wonderful to see all of those beautiful things that I missed; the Technicolor, the uniforms, the patrol cars, Reed. 

The episode I'm covering this week was one of the two that I watched after my week on Route 66. I'm surprised how much I liked this episode. Before I watched it in preparation for this blog post, I completely forgot it even existed. I seriously wonder if I even viewed it when I watched the series the first time around. Usually, when I forget about an episode it's because I either found it awful or awfully boring. Neither is true with this one.

Alright, it's been too long. Let's see what our boys in blue were up to in 1969.


Reed discovers a cache of contraband while serving a traffic warrant. Will the evidence he found be admissible in court?

The Story:

Reed has, as Ed Wells puts it, "pulled himself a couple of 'greenies'" or warrant cards. Reed is perfectly willing to share the joy of serving traffic warrants, but Ed is still nursing a bruised jaw from a warrant he tried to serve a couple of days ago.

Ed and his partner arrested a couple on a 502 (drunk driving) a few weeks back. The "wife", a wild red head, was arrested for battery on a police officer. She "kicked, bit, fought, and scratched" the arresting officers.
Reed says the wild red head, "a real tiger", sounds like a red head he used to know. I think he's talking about a red head he currently knows, Jean.
When Wells served the warrant the wife aimed a punch at her husband, but Wells' jaw got in the way. Wells doesn't blame the wife for being sore at her husband. She's a brunette.
I don't blame Reed for laughing, this is literally the funniest story Ed Wells has ever told.
Reed is still chuckling at Wells' anecdote when he and Malloy are in the coffee room.  He reads the details from each warrant card to Malloy while they drink their coffee. 
Reed's hair looks really short in this episode. I think he has a fresh haircut. It looks like Malloy is checking out the barber's handiwork.
Malloy recognizes one of the names, James Lewellyn Brown, he's arrested Mr. Brown before for possession for sale and possession of paraphernalia.

He decides that they will call on Mr. Brown and bring Wells and Brinkman as backup. There is an alley behind Brown's house, he might try to use it as an escape route when they serve the warrant.

When they meet up in front of Brown's house, Wells wants to know, "Since when does it take four guys to serve a traffic warrant?".
"We thought we'd do you a favor, Wells. Give you a chance to get your name on an arrest report," replies Reed. 
 Wells does not like being the butt of Reed's joke.
"Oh, that's funny. Where'd you get your partner, Malloy? In a crap game?"

Malloy is all business and doesn't have time to trade insults with his brothers in blue. He directs Wells and Brinkman to cover the alley in case Brown tries to rabbit. Before they go around back, Brinkman asks, "Do I get my name on the report, too?".  
"We'll think about it."
Now it's time for Malloy and Reed to serve Mr. Brown his warrant. When Brown answers Malloy's knock at his door, he immediately tries to shut the door. But he is no match for the dynamic duo of 1-Adam-12, they shove past him and enter the house.
"You might as well relax, Brown, you're under arrest."
In case you haven't noticed; in the Mark VII universe respectable men wear ties, hippies and criminals wear neck scarves.
Brown, of course, wants to see the officers' search warrant and know why they have so forcefully entered his home. Malloy and Reed admit that they do not have a search warrant, but they do show Brown the arrest warrant they have. 

Malloy explains to Brown why they are arresting him today. Several weeks ago he was issued a traffic citation, when he signed the citation he agreed to appear in court. When he didn't appear the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
He and Reed are here to serve that warrant.
Brown finds it funny that all of this is over a traffic ticket, he thought they were trying to "pull a number" on him and apologizes for his mistake. He recognizes Malloy, but doesn't remember from where. Malloy reminds him that he's arrested him before.
Brown assures him that he's been clean ever since.
(I think his fake mustache is falling off. It must have come unglued during his scuffle with Pete and Jim.) 
Brown willingly goes with Reed and Malloy. He regrets not paying his traffic ticket and is ready to pay his $620 debt to society.
On the way out of the house, Reed straightens up. Jean has trained him well.
While Malloy and Brown wait at the car, the ever-thoughtful Reed tells them from the porch that he is going back in the house to make sure the back door is locked. He's also going to let Wells and Brinkman, who have been waiting in the alley behind the house, that they are done here. Before he goes back inside, Brown assures Reed that the back door is secure.
Once Reed is already inside the house, Brown makes it clear to Malloy that he does not want his partner in there.
"Get that crumb outta there, just get him out!" he exclaims.
After walking down a hall and making a left turn, Reed reaches the back door in the kitchen. It's locked.
There is no dialogue during the next scene, so we can only guess at what Reed is thinking.
Hmmm, Brown must like to bake. Why else would he have all these baggies of flour lying around. This white powder is flour, right? 
He must be baking a birthday cake, I think these capsule-looking things are cake decorations. Is that thing under the cover one of those stand mixers that Jean is always bugging me to buy for her? I wonder what kind of mixer this guy has, I think I'll take a look. 
That's a weird looking mixer. I wonder if the other guys know how this thing works.
Back at the station, Mac and Malloy review Reed's discovery (and I re-write their  dialogue).
Mac: I don't know about that partner of yours, Malloy.

Malloy: Yeah, he was kinda shocked when I told him it was a capsule maker, not a stand mixer. At least he doesn't get himself shot like Wells, though.
Mac warns Malloy that they are operating in a gray area and Malloy knows it. The evidence that Reed has discovered may not be admissible in court since he found it in the kitchen and they served the arrest warrant in the living room. The recently handed down Chimel decision limits the police to search only the area within the immediate reach and control of the arrestee. Their case will depend on how the court interprets reach and control.
Malloy knew the search and seizure was legally questionable, but he points out that they couldn't leave $2000 worth of contraband sitting on the kitchen table.
While Mac and Malloy worry about the strength of the case, the other officers think Reed has hit a home run. Wells and Brinkman don't want to be left out of the action, they pester Reed at the report desk to make sure their names are spelled correctly in the arrest report.
This other officer congratulates Reed on his bust. Wells corrects him, its their bust.
"Oh, pardon me," apologizes Reed.
Reed starts to tell an embellished version of the Brown bust. He now claims that he thought Brown was acting hinky, which prompted him to look around. Wells can't stand it and he leaves as a man with a camera around his neck walks past them.

The man with the camera is a reporter, he enters Mac's office and asks Malloy if he wants to comment on the bust. Since they haven't been to court yet, Malloy refuses. He then asks for a picture of Malloy and Reed together.
Malloy's afraid that Reed will become impossible to "live with" if  he gets his picture in the paper.
Mac thinks that Reed, who is rather inexperienced in the courtroom, is about to get a hard dose of reality when this case goes before the judge.
It is now Mr. Brown's day in court. Before the proceedings, Pete and Jim are discussing Brown's attorney, who has already asked for two continuances. Jim thinks he keeps asking for them because he knows his client is guilty and this is a stall tactic to keep him out of jail. Malloy believes that there is a straight-forward explanation for the lawyer's actions.
Pete explains that Brown's lawyer, Dudley Gray, is a busy man who can't be in two places at once, that is why he asks for the continuances and the judge grants them. If Pete were in trouble, he would retain Gray.
Wells and Brinkman join Pete and Jim in court today. Their names are on the arrest report, so they may be called to testify. Wells is not happy that he has to be in court on his day off, he states that he was only joking when he told Reed to put his name in the report. 
Don't Wells and Brinkman look cute in their off-duty clothes?

Court is then called to order, the Honorable George R. Perkins is presiding. The session begins with a Deputy D.A., who is working on another case, asking for a continuance.
Oh my God! It's Jim's frat brother, Wally!
I wonder if they'll reminisce about that prank they pulled on the Alpha's with the blue moose?

Richard Combest, an overworked District Attorney is assigned to Brown's case. When we first meet him, he asks Pete about the wrong case. He's got so many cases, he can't keep them straight. When the judge calls on him, Combest states that he and Gray are ready for trial today. 

Combest then explains to Pete and Jim that he will call Jim to the stand first and keep Pete on reserve in case Jim gets "blown up" on the stand. 
Jim doesn't understand what Combest means by "blown up".
Brown's trial will not be heard in Judge Perkins' court, he assigns cases to the courtrooms where they will be tried. The Brown trial will be held in Division 4 court.

Mr. James Reed is the first witness called to the stand. The first questions the D.A. asks establish Reed's occupation at the time he was in Mr. Brown's house and the reason he was in the house. Reed answers that his partner and he...

I'm sure he's not the first cop to say this, nor will he be the last.

The arrest warrant is marked as people's one for identification and probable cause.

Dudley Gray starts his cross-examination by asking about the arrest. His line of questioning then focuses on what happened immediately after the arrest. He asks if Reed could have used the radio to tell car 43 to clear. 
Reed answers, "Yes, sir" they could have, but they would have had to gone through control and meet Wells' car on another tac.

Gray objects to Reed's answer. The judge sustains his objection and everything after "Yes, sir" will be stricken.

He then asks if Brown told Reed that the back door was locked and if he specifically told Reed to stay out of the house. Reed answers that he did not hear Brown say either of these things.

Gray then asks if Brown's kitchen is visible from the living room, Reed confirms that it is not. Reed also establishes that he did not have a search warrant. This ends Reed's time on the witness stand.

Next, D.A. Combest moves to have the methamphetamine (pronounced meeth-amphetines) found in Brown's home entered into evidence. Gray objects to this and cites the Chimel case.
He quotes the crux of the Chimel decision. "There is no comparable justification for routinely searching rooms other than that in which the arrest occurs."
Brown, who has wisely ditched the mustache for court, confidently adjusts his tie.
Combest and Gray then argue if the kitchen was in plain view of the living room and whether or not Reed needed to go back into the house. After both attorneys rest their case, the judge decides that the methamphetamine will not be entered into evidence. He states that the officers could only search between the front door and where the defendant was apprehended. Gray then moves that the case against his client be dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Judge Ricks personally believes that Brown belongs in prison, but he must abide by the law and turn Brown loose again upon society. The case is dismissed.
After Judge Ricks hands down his decision, Brown is the only one in the courtroom who looks happy. He congratulates Gray on the victory and tries to shake his hand. Gray coldly replies, "You'll get my bill" and does not accept Brown's extended hand. Reed voices everyone's frustration at the situation.
"All the time, all the effort, and Brown will be out on the street pushing speed before the day is out."
Gray overhears Reed's comment and hopes that Reed doesn't blame him for the verdict. His oath as an attorney and the laws of the state prevent him from taking into consideration the guilt or innocence of a client if he is charged with a public offense. Reed did his job and charged Brown with a public offense. Gray did his job and defended Brown to the best of his ability. 

And that's the part that irks Reed the most.
"Well, we enforce, the D.A. prosecutes, you defend, and the court administers, and a guilty man walks out of here scot-free. Doesn't seem logical."
Gray agrees, "You've got a point there, Officer Reed."
The End

My Evaluation:

In this episode, lawyers get the Adam-12 treatment. Just like the police, they are shown as hardworking professionals who face a unique set of problems and responsibilities during their workday. They are not made out to be crooks or super-attorneys. They have no nefarious schemes cooked up with their criminal clients. There are no surprise witnesses called to the stand at the last minute to save the case. Nope, we are shown a regular workday with two over-worked attorneys. One of them loses his case and the other wins. In the end, no one (except for the defendant) is happy with the outcome. Everyone knows that the system that produced the outcome is flawed, but they have all made an oath to uphold it and work within it. 

We also, as usual, get to see the police fulfilling their day-to-day responsibilities. Along the way, some good-natured ribbing takes place between Reed and Wells and I love those moments. Reed has finally emerged as a full-fledged ball buster on equal footing with Wells. At times, during the first season, Reed was taken aback at the amount of needling that went on at the station. He now easily trades barbs and insults with more senior officers like a seasoned pro.

Although Reed is now able to poke fun at his fellow officers like an expert, he still has a lot to learn about some aspects of being a police officer. Particularly, that every flashy bust may not be a slam dunk in the courtroom. Just as Malloy did not tell Reed about the fish under the porch in "Log 23: Pig is a Three-Letter Word", he does not give him advance warning that he is about to get "blown up" on the witness stand. He lets Reed take the stand thinking that everything will go well. When the prosecution doesn't win, Reed may be disappointed; but he has learned a valuable lesson through his experience. Just as the experience of crawling under that porch taught him about the stinky fish.

I really don't understand how or why I forgot about this episode. I must have been tired and fell asleep when I first watched it. There's nothing here that I didn't like, so I rate this episode:

(Come on Season 2, give me some stinkers! I have four other ratings that I barely get to use!)

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. See you next time! KMA-367


  1. There will be a stinker at the end of season 6. The Clinic on 18th Street. That's one episode I refuse to watch and skip every time.

    1. I'll watch it for comedic relief. Honestly, I can't wait to recap that one. It's going to be super easy, I'll only do the parts with Pete and Jim.

  2. That will take one sentence I think. Lol. They're only in one scene.

  3. Wells's pocket square has the same pattern as his tie which is, like, so tacky. If your tie has a pattern the pocket square should match one of the colors of the patter, not mirror the pattern itself. That way you don't look like you bought it as a set from Sears Roebuck, which is what Wells probably did.
    Brinkman on the other hand has a pretty classic look.

  4. I really like this episode. It's an important moment in the professional education of Jim Reed, and it's also a nice education for the viewers: The prosecutor and defender are collegial and friendly, each admiring of the way the other does his job. The judges have astounding workloads.

    And it's nice to see the Ed Wells, the biter, bit by his own overbearing personality. He keeps pushing to have his name on the arrest report -- and there he ends up, needlessly in court on his day off, because there's his name!

    It's a fun look at the larger process that Pete and Jim's adventures out in the street are a part of. I also rate it one of the best.