Sunday, May 17, 2015

Log 93: Once a Junkie (Episode 8, Season 2)

Episode 34


Pete and Jim receive a tip that their informant, Tee Jay, is using junk again. Is the information reliable?

The Story:

The action starts in the patrol car. Somebody has called the station to report that Tee Jay is using again, Malloy and Reed are going to investigate the validity of the information.

Reed thinks someone is trying to get Tee Jay in trouble. Malloy, however, knows that, "Dried-up users don't always stay that way".
Reed feels sorry for "poor, old Tee Jay".
Malloy isn't so sentimental about it.
"Poor, old Tee Jay is a source of information, period."
Reed isn't buying Malloy's callous remark. He thinks his partner really cares for Tee Jay. After all, Malloy went to the trouble of getting Tee Jay a job at Duke's. Even though Malloy says it was no trouble, he had to have put some effort into convincing Duke to pay another dishwasher. Reed points out that Duke needed another dishwasher like he needed a hole in the head.

Before Malloy can argue further with Reed, the radio interrupts with a call. They are to see the priest (that's a new one) at Our Lady of Mercy, a 211 has just occurred.
"Our Lady of Mercy" sounds like the name of a Catholic Church, but it looks a "Universal" Church.

The priest they see is Father Joe, he is still recovering from a slug to the back of the head. He was hit from behind while he was unlocking the church safe. When he came to the church's money was gone and a man was standing there. The man ran off when Father Joe tried to say something to him.
Reed and Malloy ask Father Joe if he knew the man.
"They call him Tee Jay," he answers.

Poor, old Tee Jay...
Would Tee Jay really have robbed a priest? Malloy and Reed are going to find out.

When we next see Malloy and Reed, they have caught up with Tee Jay. But, they are not having a friendly chat with Tee Jay as we have seen in past episodes. No, Tee Jay is running from 1-Adam-12.
Reed shouts to Tee Jay, but he keeps running from them.
And runs right into this oncoming car.
The man who hit Tee Jay asks Malloy why the police were chasing him.
"Is he a criminal, a thief?" 
"I don't know, sir. I don't know what he is."
Tee Jay's altercation with an automobile has landed him in Central Receiving hospital along with Father Joe, Pete, and Jim.
After the doctor is done examining Tee Jay, Pete tells him he is under arrest and begins reading him his rights. Father Joe objects.
Pete continues to read Tee Jay his rights, when he is finished Tee Jay asks if they caught the guy he was chasing. 
"The guy you were chasing?", asks Pete.
Tee Jay explains that he was chasing the "punk who slugged the father". He was going to visit Father Joe when he saw the guy running from the church. Tee Jay went inside the church and saw the father "on the deck" then went running after the mysterious man. He caught up with the assailant in an alley, where he had dropped the stolen money. Tee Jay picked it up, they fought briefly, then the guy kicked him in the shins and split. He put the cash in his jacket and ran after the perpetrator. That's when Pete and Jim caught up with him.
I don't think Pete believes Tee Jay's story. Either that or he has taffy stuck in his teeth.
He's not buying it, this is the deadpan of disbelief. 
At the end of Tee Jay's story, Pete points out that they only saw him when they turned into the alley. 
Tee Jay replies that he didn't see the car that hit him, but it was there. 
 The nurse then calls Pete over for a private conversation.
She thinks Tee Jay is clean, there are no new needle marks and his eyes are clear. She asks if Tee Jay is an informant.
Pete tells her, "He was".
When they are done at the hospital, Pete and Jim give Father Joe a ride back to the church.
Is it wrong that I think that Father Joe is kinda cute? I think he looks like Misha Collins from Supernatural.
Remember this face.
Anyway, back to our story. Father Joe thinks Tee Jay's story is perfectly logical and doesn't understand why he was arrested.
"I'll give you something else logical, father. Tee Jay needed money, you had it."
The priest is shocked by Pete's unfeeling attitude towards Tee Jay. Tee Jay had told him that Pete was his friend. 
"The man's an ex-convict, he lives in an area I patrol. It's my business to know about him."

Father Joe is disappointed that Pete sees his relationship with Tee Jay as "business". Pete states that he is only going by the book. To which the Father replies that he also goes by a book. He asks Pete whose book has more answers in it. 

Back at the church, the detectives have arrived to investigate the crime. Father Joe walks them through the details of the attack. The lead dick sends Pete and Jim back on patrol. As they leave, Pete mentions that they will be at Duke's cafe. The detective asks if it is the same Duke's where Tee Jay works. Malloy replies, "That's right."
Father Joe interjects that he is surprised Tee Jay did not tell the officers about Duke's.
(See doesn't he look like Misha Collins?)
Pete suggests that Father tells them about Duke's.
Tee Jay and Duke had fight two weeks ago and Tee Jay quit his job.
This guy does the best wide-eyed, slow-head swivel when he hears about Tee Jay quitting his job.
This guy is Sgt. Burdick, he is played by Barney Phillips. Barney also played Friday's partner in a bunch of black and white Dragnet episodes. He shows up in another Adam-12, too.
Malloy and Reed head over to Duke's for lunch and an explanation. As they ride, Reed asks his partner if Tee Jay let him down.
"Reed, if it makes you feel any better to think of me as a bleeding heart, go ahead. You're wrong, but that's your business."
Although Malloy claims he doesn't care about Tee Jay, Reed thinks Tee Jay values Malloy's opinion. He conjectures that Tee Jay didn't tell them about quitting his job because he was afraid of disappointing Malloy.

When they arrive at Duke's, Duke is on the sidewalk in front of the cafe buying a newspaper. Malloy stops the car to talk with him.
Duke is upset that it didn't work out with Tee Jay, he kinda liked the guy.
(Duke always reminds me of the guy who ran the Peach Pit on Beverly Hills 90210. The actor who played that guy, Joe E. Tata, actually appeared in 3 episodes of Adam-12.)
When Reed asks why Tee Jay quit, Duke reveals the truth. Tee Jay didn't quit, he was fired.
When asked why he fired Tee Jay, Duke first says that he can't stand a sneak and a liar. He tells Malloy not to send any more sneaks or liars to him looking for work.
"I'm not sure I sent you one the first time."
(What's this? Is Malloy defending Tee Jay now that Duke is disparaging him?) 
Duke goes on to tell them that he doesn't like junkies or their friends. They continue to press Duke for the specific incident that lead to Tee Jay's dismissal. He finally informs them that he caught Tee Jay giving money to a "mainliner who's been pushing the hard stuff for years". He didn't see any drugs being exchanged, but two junkies passing cash between each other was enough for Duke. He fired Tee Jay after he witnessed this.

Much to Reed's disappointment, Malloy has now lost his appetite and starts the car. Before they depart, Duke inquires about their interest in Tee Jay. Did the officers bust Tee Jay? When Malloy confirms that they did bust him for robbery and assault, Duke comments that they don't make jails like they used to. 
Duke spots Tee Jay across the street.

Well since Tee Jay is standing right there, of course they are going to talk to him. Tee Jay is standing on the street and not sitting in jail because Father Joe got him an attorney who was able to get him released on a writ of habeas corpus. 
(Are you like me and don't remember anything from Social Studies class? Here's a definition.)

Malloy wants Tee Jay to come clean and tell the truth. Tee Jay has seen them talking to Duke and knows he can longer lie about how he lost his job. 
Malloy wants to know more about the "mainliner" that Duke saw with Tee Jay.
Tee Jay claims the man was a friend who had asked for a loan. Reed wants to know how Tee Jay is supporting himself since he was fired. He tells the officer that Father Joe has been paying him to do jobs around the church. 
"Job around the church?" asks Reed.
"Not the one you're talking about!" retorts Tee Jay.
Pete and Jim then make a stop back at the station to talk to Sgt. Burdick. He thinks that Tee Jay's association with the other junkie may explain the tip they received. Someone could have seen Tee Jay with his friend and assumed that Tee Jay was also using drugs again.

Burdick may have an explanation about the tip they received, but he doesn't have an explanation for the robbery at the church. They have no leads and no fingerprints to identify the guy that Tee Jay claims committed the crime.
Sgt. Burdick does most of the talking in this scene, but wouldn't you rather see Pete?
Burdick then takes a call from his partner. The call is about a mugging that happened around the time Tee Jay was fired. The victim was struck from behind, like Father Joe. The mugger did not get any money from the victim, he was broke. His lack of funds upset the attacker, who then began yelling about how he needed a fix. (Hmmm, I wonder if this has anything to do the case Pete and Jim are investigating. I'm sure we'll find out later in the episode.)
Here's a cap of Jim at Burdick's desk. I believe in equal opportunity.

When they are done at the station, Pete and Jim go back to patrolling the streets. To pass the time, Jim asks Pete how often it doesn't work out when he tries to do a favor for an ex-con. 
Pete makes it clear that Tee Jay being in trouble only upsets him because it means that he will have one less contact on the street. Which will make the job that much harder. 

They receive a dispatch of a 484 at the Majestic Hotel, 662 Tamarack Street.
This dank, dark, depressing establishment is majestic in name only.
The desk clerk has called the police because his "baby", a .45 automatic pistol, was stolen from the front desk. He knows it was one of the hotel residents, they're the only people that would enter this joint.
Pete asks to see the registry. The clerk doesn't think it will be much help, most of the names in it are fake. There are 13 Smiths, 9 Joneses, and 4 Wests registered.
"And one Tee Jay," Pete adds.
Pete figures that it couldn't hurt to ask if Tee Jay knows anything about this theft. The clerk shows them to Tee Jay's room.
Pete knocks on the door, but there is no answer.
The clerk is ready to unlock the door with his passkey, but Pete stops him.

"You ever hear of a search warrant?", Pete asks him.

The clerk can't believe Pete won't open the door without a warrant, his gun is in there. The policeman told him as much downstairs. Despite his protests, Pete is not going to budge on this matter. 
"Mister, we want to recover that gun as much as you do. But, we'll do it legally or not at all."
This man wants his gun and he knows it's in there! Beefy Officer Freckle-Face here is not going to stop him. He tries another approach and tells Pete that there could be junk, "dope, the hard stuff" in the room. He's heard moaning coming out of that room, the kind of racket a junkie makes when he needs a fix and can't get it. 

So which is it? Is there junk in the room? If there is junk in the room then why does he hear noises that sound like somebody wants a fix and can't get it? If the junk is in the room, they should be able to get their fix.

Pete decides to see check out the clerk's claim and allows him to open the door. 
Nobody's home, so this guy is promptly ushered out of the room. He is not happy about that.
As Pete, Jim, and the angry desk clerk make their way down the hall, a shadowy figure in the room next to Tee Jay's watches from his door.

Reed and Malloy return to the church, they want to ask Tee Jay if he knows anything about the stolen gun. When they arrive the Father is working on his hobby, his stereo equipment. He tells the officers that Tee Jay is not there, then immediately confesses that he did not tell the whole truth. Tee Jay is there at the church, just not in the room they are in.
When Tee Jay enters the priest's office, Malloy searches him for the gun.

Tee Jay never wears a belt, which I find odd since his shirt is always tucked in. Is he not allowed to have one as a condition of his parole? Does he not allow himself to have one? Is it too much of a temptation to "tie-off" and shoot up if he has a belt? Although, I'm sure he could find another method somewhere. It bugs me. My grandmother always taught me that if your belt loops could be seen, they shouldn't be "empty".

Tee Jay thinks his friend Andy, who is an ex-jockey, could have stolen the gun. He was the friend that Tee Jay had lent the money to at Duke's. He has needed a fix in a bad way and Tee Jay was not able to help him. Now Andy may have taken matters into his own hands.

Tee Jay goes on to tell them that Andy is also the one who robbed the priest. Tee Jay had encouraged his friend to come see the Father. Unfortunately when Andy came to see him he was opening the safe. The temptation of the cash was too much for him, he hit the priest and took the money.
Tee Jay has been reluctant to turn his friend over to the authorities because he can empathize with Andy's situation.
"Father, I've been there. It's no fun. Andy's a good kid, so he fell off a horse and onto a needle. It could happen to anybody."
Father Joe then asks Tee Jay if Andy would use the gun. 
"Father, a man needs a fix bad enough, he'll blow the cross right off your chest."

After that dire prognosis, Reed, Malloy, and Tee Jay take to the streets to find the armed Andy. It has been 24 hours since Andy's last fix, he's desperate and dangerous. The radio interrupts their discussion of Andy's state of mind, a 211 has just occurred at a nearby liquor store.

When they are close to the liquor store, Reed spots Andy in the street.

Then Reed gets ready to...
jump out of the car...
and chase after Andy.
He corners him on the street and orders Andy to put his hands against the wall.
Andy can't comply, though, he's in too much pain from withdrawal.He's also dropped the gun, it's on the sidewalk near his foot.
At this point Malloy and Tee Jay arrive. Tee Jay runs up to his friend and Andy clings desperately to him. When Tee Jay asks Andy if he used the gun, Reed discloses that the gun is not loaded.
Andy tried to load the gun. But, he was shaking so badly, he couldn't complete the task. The liquor store clerk was afraid of Andy, at first. But, when he saw him shake, he just laughed at him.
Andy's story is pathetic, but he is still under arrest.

(I think last week I had said that there is always some fun in each dramatic episode. I'm ready for some fun now.)

The final scene opens with Pete and Jim arriving at Our Lady of Mercy. Loud "Generic Jack Webb Rock Music" can be heard in the background.
Father Joe and Tee Jay are arranging his stereo speakers. The loud music is coming out of those speakers. They don't hear the policemen enter the office.
Malloy then performs a great public service and takes the needle off of the priest's record. He explains the reason for their visit, the bartender up the street has complained about the noise.

As the four men chat, we find out that Andy is still in the hospital and Tee Jay is still looking for a job. Tee Jay has a positive outlook on both situations.

Reed then discloses that they were just at Duke's and Malloy had a talk with Duke.
Malloy sheepishly tells Tee Jay that he should go talk to Duke about a job.
After Father Joe and Tee Jay thank Malloy for talking to Duke, he tells them that Reed says he should apologize to the father.
"I was looking for answers, they weren't there."
"But you looked."
"Yes, sir, but in the wrong book."

Then somebody turns the music back on and Tee Jay and Father Joe return to arranging the speakers.
The End.

My Evaluation:

This is a perfectly decent, dramatic Adam-12 offering. But, this just did not excite me. There's some interesting stuff here and some confusing stuff as well. The confusing parts frustrated me and took my focus away from the good parts.

OK, first the good. I like the theme of friendship and protection that runs through this episode. There are three different relationships in this episode that involve one friend protecting another. 

First and foremost, Tee Jay really cares for his friend Andy. He can empathize with Andy's situation since he has been through it himself. He knows what it's like to crave a fix and be willing to do anything to get it. Tee Jay wants to help his friend, but he doesn't have the resources to get Andy through his hardships. Even when the situation takes a criminal turn and Andy assaults the priest, Tee Jay follows the code of the street and won't go to the authorities. Although Tee Jay tries, his efforts are misguided and the situation comes very close to being deadly. Once Andy gets professional help his circumstance changes for the better. 

The second friendship featured is Father Joe and Tee Jay. The priest is Tee Jay's friend and he cares for Tee Jay by following his book, the Bible. He extends charity to Tee Jay by helping him pay his bail and getting him an attorney. He does not judge Tee Jay for his past indiscretions. He sees Tee Jay as a man, not a junkie. He recognizes the good in Tee Jay.

Finally, Pete may not consider Tee Jay a friend, but he does protect Tee Jay throughout the story. He puts on a tough exterior and acts like Tee Jay is only an informant, but it is obvious that Tee Jay means more to him. He protects Tee Jay by following the law. He does not overstep the confines of the legal system in order to prove or disprove Tee Jay's guilt. When the desk clerk offers to unlock Tee Jay's room to search for the gun, Pete makes it clear that that will not happen. He also doesn't say a bad word about Tee Jay. Pete doesn't deny that Tee Jay could be using when they receive the tip, but he investigates the information before arriving at a conclusion. When Duke calls Tee Jay a "sneak and liar", Pete does not agree with his assessment. Pete believes that Tee Jay is innocent of these accusations until it is proven otherwise.

Now the parts that confused me. I was perplexed by the Bible talk and the loose ends in this story. What answers did Pete find in the priest's book? What answers was he looking for? Why compare the Bible and the book of law? The two books aren't mutually exclusive. Aren't some modern laws based on biblical laws? Doesn't "Thou shalt not murder" show up in some form in both books? Was all of this thrown in just because their was a priest in the story?

There are two loose ends in this story that bug me. Things that get mentioned once and never come up again. While Sgt. Burdick is questioning Father Joe he asks if it is possible that Tee Jay was there during the entire attack. This just seems like a wasted bit of dialogue that goes nowhere. I guess this line was used to show the police have to investigate every possibility, but I just thought it was unnecessary.
Then when Pete and Jim are at Burdick's desk his partner calls about the mugging that happened near Duke's. This, also, is never brought up again. Did Andy commit this crime? I guess that's the implication.

Despite the good parts, I just didn't find this one compelling. So, I give it a rating of:

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


  1. I always remember the actor who played Sgt Burdick as the alien in the one Twilight Zone episode who was a cook with a third eye on his forehead. And I love your description of Pete. Beefy officer freckle face Indeed. Lol!

    1. You're right! My husband pointed that out to me as I was watching the episode, but I forgot about it as I was writing this. Shows which show is more important in my universe. I can't take total credit for beefy Officer Freckle Face. Someone else on here called Malloy beefy Officer Cock Block, that was my inspiration.

  2. Like Jean Reed last week, Tee Jay is another character who will disappear from the show for a prolonged period of time, only to return late in the show's run.

    1. And he returns with his food truck, which I think Pete helped him get.

    2. Pete did help him get it, as I recall. It was in the episode where Pete is attracted to the new dispatcher.

  3. I always love seeing Duke. Tee Jay is always good as well.
    It should have been a better episode over all, if for no other reason. John freakin' Kerr!

    1. I don't know much about John Kerr, I've only seen him in this and read his IMDB biography. I was surprised to learn that he was both a practicing attorney and an actor.

  4. Great recap. What really bothers me about the Tee Jay character is the spelling of his name. Does he like to golf or something? I never thought about the similarities between Duke and the guy from the Peach Pit, but you are totally right! I almost threw my sister a Peach Pit theme breakfast for her 40th birthday last month, but then went with "Friends" theme instead. It was pretty lame, but I tried and she liked it. I digress as usual.

    1. That bugs me too! Tee Jay stands for Theodore James, why couldn't it just be T.J. ? Although, Tee Jay may be easier to type.
      You can always save the Peach Pit idea for her 45th or 50th birthday.

  5. Keely, try to see, "Tea and Sympathy, " John Kerr is great in that one.

  6. Hi Keely....once again, love your interesting and entertaining blog on Adam-12 shows....always neat to read your take on, love, love all of the beyond handsome photos of Officer Malloy this week. Thanks!! Hope you have come back down to earth (or not!!) on your so deserving fabulous meet with Mr. Kent McCord!! What a once in a lifetime chance and I am still so thrilled for you!!! And always will you know the odds of having the chance of that Keely?? Very and will always be thrilled for are so LUCKY!!! Thanks for your weekly blogs...always excelllant!! Take care!!

    1. Thanks, Terry! I'm slowly coming back down to earth, very slowly.

  7. Poor Tee Jay never really did pull his life together. A few years after this, he had a mental breakdown and left Los Angeles, settling eventually in Boulder, Colorado, where he founded his own, shall we say, rather unique, church, and, living under the name of "Exidor," unknowingly befriended an extraterrestrial.

    1. I've heard of Tee Jay's post-LA adventures, they sound like a great premise for a TV show. I've also heard that his extraterrestrial friend had a cute female friend, she sounded like the perfect match for Gus Corbin.

  8. Duke reminds me of Dick Miller.

  9. I think Pete made "the wrong book" comment because he hadn't shown compassion towards (or trust in) Tee Jay, and at that point, he obviously knew had been wrong all along.

  10. Poorly written episode, way too many coincidences. Why is it that every call they receive is related one way or another to Tee Jay?