Sunday, September 13, 2015

Log 114: The Hero (Episode 22, Season 2)

Episode 48

I'm sure the title of this week's episode has been used to describe Martin Milner many times. Marty may no longer be with us, but, thankfully, the character of Pete Malloy will never cease to exist, inspire, or entertain.

Synopsis:

Malloy and Reed witness a young man save another man from a burning building. The hero seems incredibly reluctant to accept any accolades. Is he just humble or is there more to the story?

The Story:

Their shift is nowhere near over and Reed is already yawning. Maybe watching the late, late show last night wasn't such a good idea.
"Oh great, we still got six hours to go," says Malloy in reaction to his partners loud yawn.
Reed can't stay weary for long, though. Malloy startles him when he suddenly puts on his hat and adjusts the rearview mirror to see his own reflection. 
"What happened?" asks Reed.
Malloy doesn't explain his sudden obsession with his headgear and he becomes quite annoyed when Reed asks if the hat fits. "It fits fine!" he protests. They soon have to turn their attentions to more important matters when Malloy spots smoke billowing in the distance. He points the car in that direction to go check it out.


Well, you know what they say, "Where there's smoke..". They pull up in front of a burning warehouse, Malloy rushes out of the car while Reed uses the radio to call for assistance. A young man in a peacoat appears and jumps over the fence that surrounds the lot of the building.
He ignores Malloy's request to "Hold it!" and runs towards the fire. Pete runs after the teenager and then flips himself over the fence with the skill of a gymnast.
Up...

and over!
(I give this performance a 10!) 

The young man watches Pete come over the fence as cries of "Please, help me!" can be heard coming from inside the warehouse. Finally, the adolescent races into the building towards the anguished voice.
Pete reaches the doorway and, keeping his own safety in mind, decides not to enter the deadly flames.


After two minutes and two seconds, the familiar wail of an approaching fire truck can be heard in the distance. Backup officers at the scene quickly move bystanders out of the way.
The trucks stop and firemen swiftly get to work unfurling their hoses. As they prepare to extinguish the fire, the young man emerges from the building carrying the man who was shouting for help. The heroic teenager then collapses near the entrance. Reed, Malloy, and firefighters carry both to safety.
Malloy tends to the brave young man and tells him, "You took quite a chance, son."
Rescue workers put the old man, a security guard, on a stretcher and take him to an ambulance. Once he is on the ambulance, both officers turn their attention to the hero. They insist he also be examined, but he won't hear of it. He insists that he is alright.

They take him to the ambulance despite his protests.
Reed and Malloy begin walking towards their patrol car, they will follow the ambulance to the hospital. On their way across the lot,  Reed stops and examines Malloy's head covering. "Hey, partner," says the rookie to his FTO, "you got soot all over your new hat."
The senior officer quickly snatches it off his head and grumpily tries to clean it with his sleeve while the rookie chuckles.

At Central Receiving hospital Pete and Jim have finished taking their report from the heroic young man. We find out that his name is Lauro Perez and the man he rescued is going to be alright.

A plainclothes officer, Sgt. Sam Poster, enters the examination room. After Pete introduces Poster to Jim, Lauro asks if he can leave. Not needing any further information from him, Pete tells him, "Sure". 
After Lauro is gone, the three officers discuss the fire. Poster informs Pete and Jim that the Fire Department thinks the fire was arson. One of the firemen at the scene saw a man looking a the fire "like it was a beautiful woman". They don't have the suspect in custody, yet, but they do have a description. Lauro does not fit the description.
Poster asks if Pete and Jim talked the guard that Lauro saved. They did interview him and found out that he smelled smoke, saw the flames, then got excited and fell while running for the alarm. Before he leaves, Poster comments the old man was lucky that Perez heard him yelling for help. 

With their duties at the hospital complete, Pete and Jim return to the black and white. Before Jim sits down, Pete hurriedly snatches his precious hat off the bench seat.
What's the deal with the hat, anyway? Pete never elaborates as to why he is so protective of it.  Reed says it's a new hat, but Pete is pretty tight-lipped about the hat. Maybe he borrowed it from Brinkman.
After Malloy rescues his hat from being crushed by Reed's butt, they continue their patrol and talk about Lauro Perez to pass the time. They both agree that Lauro is an exceptional young man. However, Reed thinks his nonchalant attitude about his valiant deed "seems funny". Malloy doesn't see anything so odd about his behavior.
"What'd you expect him to do, wait around for a brass band?"
 Pete's getting hungry, no wonder he seems a little cranky. After deciding they will go for hamburgers, Jim picks up the radio to request Code 7. The response is what every hungry officer fears, "continue patrol and handle a call". Pete takes it all in stride, though. He brushes off the denial and says, "So much for the heartburn."

Instead of heartburn, they get a 415, possible jumper, call. Looks like they'll have to enter this fine-looking piece of property and find this guy who is hanging out of the window. 
Let's see what's behind door number one.

[Is that a gun in your pocket, officer?]

[Trust me, it's a gun. If you come any closer, I'll jump out of a window.]

[I bet she thought you looked cute in your new hat, Pete.]
OK, if that's not the right room, then the one next door must be the right place.
[What the...there's nobody on the ledge in here.]
[Just this guy and his bottle.]
Pete and Jim look out of the open window, but there's nobody hanging from it. Maybe their jumper is right in front of them. 
Reed asks the man if he was sitting in the window a moment ago. He was, he needed some air. 
After they establish that the man does not want to kill himself, but probably has killed several bottles of cheap wine, they put him to bed to sleep it off. He seems very satisfied with the way Reed and Malloy have protected and served him and lets them know this before they leave.
"Officers, you want to know something? I feel just like a 'thaxpayer'," he slurs.
Back on patrol, they decide to try again for Code 7. But before Reed can even get the "one" of 1-Adam-12 out of his mouth, they are told to go to the station. 
"That lady back there probably complained you stole her towel," Reed tells Malloy.

[I did, to cover my eyes.]


Inside Mac's office, they are introduced to Lt. Chavez from Community Relations. Chavez and Mac have both read their report on the fire and think that Perez deserves a citation from the Department. Chavez is going to talk to Lauro and he wants Malloy and Reed there with him.

At the Perez house Reed, Malloy, and Chavez are introduced to Lauro's little brother and father. They're both very proud of Lauro. His father is overjoyed with Lauro's actions. Even though his wife passed away and he works, Lauro doesn't get in trouble like other boys. Lauro looks uncomfortable while his father sings his praises.
Now that we can get a good look at him, I'll tell you that Lauro is played by '80's soap opera heartthrob, A Martinez! I always thought he looked like a hotter version of Mickey Dolenz.
Here's some prime '80's A for you.
Lauro's little brother probably senses that something is bothering him, he offers his brother some chocolate to make him feel better.
This is the "Log 114: The Hero" version of Chekov's Gun.
Mr. Perez tries to joyfully embrace his eldest son, but Lauro pushes him away and storms out of the house.

When they're back in the car Reed is still thinking about Lauro. He doesn't understand why he is so reluctant to be honored. Malloy suggests that he may still not feel well from the smoke inhalation. Before they can propose more theories on Lauro's behavior, they are called to see the woman at 4551 Lake Lane Drive for unknown trouble.

At 4551 Lake Lane Drive, they meet up with Mrs. Kerry in front of her boarding house. She's worried about Mr. Gladstone, he's locked himself in his room again and won't answer her knock. She's afraid the situation is urgent since Gladstone has a bad heart, sometimes he even needs oxygen from a tank. 
Malloy knocks on Gladstone's door, but there is no answer. Mrs. Kerry tells them that the windows are also locked, they'll have the break down the door. Malloy  kicks in the door. Inside, they find Gladstone unconscious on the floor. Reed goes to radio for an ambulance while Malloy begins CPR on Gladstone.
I often wonder about these CPR scenes. It's almost always Malloy giving CPR to another man. Did Marty's mouth actually touch the other actor's mouth? Did they crack up about it after filming the scene? I can see Marty joking about these types of scenes, he seemed like the type of fun-loving guy who would use humor to "break the ice" in this type of situation.
Reed returns and after a few tense seconds, Gladstone begins breathing on his own. Now that his lungs are working Malloy gives him some oxygen from the tank. As they hear the ambulance approaching, Reed runs out to direct them to the right address.



Later that same day (is it still the same day?) Reed and Malloy are at the report desk when Lauro arrives to receive his citation. He doesn't seem excited to be receiving the honor at all.
"Do we have to do this?"

OK, Lauro has changed his clothes, it's not the same day.
While they are waiting to be called into Mac's office Sam Poster joins them at the report desk. 
But Poster is wearing the same clothes from the hospital scene. So, it is the same day?
Poster tells Pete and Jim how they caught the arson suspect the same day as the fire, still smelling of smoke (So, this scene is taking place on another day). Lauro is very stiff and awkward while Poster is talking, almost as if he is trying to hide from the detective. After their chat with Poster, it's time for Lauro to receive his citation. 
Chavez introduces Lauro to the press.
After he is given his award, Lauro gets the real prize: a ride in 1-Adam-12, in the opposite direction of the jail. While they have him alone, Pete and Jim try to find out why Lauro is acting so funny.
"You don' t seem to dig all this hero jazz, Lauro," states Pete.
Lauro doesn't understand why everybody is making such a fuss. What was he supposed to do? Let the old man die? He also points out that he didn't do it alone, Pete and Jim helped him rescue the guard. Pete argues that they didn't do anything until Lauro was already out of the burning building and he was only doing his job. Reed thinks Lauro should enjoy his time in the spotlight, his father is. "Yeah, lot he knows," says Lauro under his breath.

They reach the Perez house and Lauro's father is on the curb waiting for them. He asks the officers to come in for a minute, but Reed begins to explain that they can not. Mr. Perez then comes around to the driver's side and whispers to Pete that they are having a surprise party for Lauro.
Pete agrees to come inside.
When the open the door they are greeted with party decorations and an assemblage of boisterous friends and relatives.
Mr. Perez introduces Malloy and Reed to the crowd.

Then the party really starts rocking. Somebody turns on the stereo and everyone starts dancing. Two girls take Pete's and Jim's hats and try to drag them onto the dance floor.
I love watching Pete squirm away from his would-be dance partner. Jim, on the other hand, seems like he's ready to boogie. Also, the music in this scene is not the Webb Generic Psychedelic Rock music. The recording that is played almost sounds like an instrumental version of "You Made Me So Very Happy" by Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

Pete and Jim politely refuse the girls and begin making their way towards the door. Then Pete realizes that they are missing something.
"The hats!"
But where did that girl put the hats?
Here they are, on the couch. But don't worry, Lauro's little brother is watching them while he holds a fully loaded pistol chocolate bar. Everything should be fine.
Or not.
Pete doesn't need a fingerprint kit to see the chocolaty evidence the little brother has left behind.
He takes a moment to collect himself. While Jim thoroughly enjoys what is happening.
Pete retrieves his hat from the youngster's head. The boy offers the policeman some chocolate as consolation.
They finally make their escape from the party and run into Lauro and his girlfriend, Rita, on the porch. Reed reminds Lauro that the party is inside, but he doesn't seem interested in returning to the festivities. On their way to the car Malloy is preoccupied with cleaning his hat while Reed wonders about Lauro.
"What's wrong with that kid?" asks Reed.

"He eats too much chocolate," retorts Malloy.

"I mean Lauro."

"I know what you mean!"
Next, we either join Pete and Jim in the middle of their conversation or Jim just knows what Pete is thinking and doesn't have to preface this statement with an opening question.
"You know we haven't got a thing to go on."
Malloy knows they haven't got anything to base their suspicions on, but he also knows that something has been bugging Lauro since the fire. They agree it could be guilt that is bugging him, but don't know what is causing the guilt. Pete decides they should just ask him. 

They return to the Perez house and ask Mr. Perez to get Lauro. Rita then comes to the door and tells them that Lauro is not there. She won't tell Pete and Jim where he is, but she will show them. 

Mr. Perez is understandably confused and wants to come along. However Pete advises against that, he tells him to go inside and assures him that they will talk to him later.

Rita shows the officers the way to Lauro's hiding place, Mr. Perez follows.

They reach their destination, a church, and Rita explains that Lauro was coming to see them as soon as he was done here. Mr. Perez arrives after Pete and Jim have already gone inside. He asks Rita what is going on. She answers him by taking his hand and leading him inside.


When Pete and Jim enter the church they see Lauro kneeling at the altar. He finishes his prayer and joins them at the back of the church.
Lauro finally tells them how the fire really started. He was in the warehouse, it was dark, he lit a match for light and accidentally dropped it.
"What were you doing in there, Lauro?"  
He admits that he broke into the warehouse.
Pete asks why he broke into the warehouse.
Lauro explains that he and Rita want to get married, his crime was motivated by his need for money to buy a ring. He goes on to tell them that he got scared and ran out when he saw the flames, then he heard the watchman calling for help and couldn't leave him behind. 

Lauro has to go with the officers now, but before he does, his father apologizes for failing him. He is still proud of his son, though, he saved a man's life and now he has done the right thing by telling the truth. Lauro, Rita, and Mr. Perez leave the church with their arms around each other.



The next day (I guess) Pete and Jim meet up Lt. Chavez at the station.
Chavez is wearing the same clothes he wore in an earlier scene. Maybe he and Poster just have multiple sets of the same shirt, tie, and jacket. Joe Friday always wore the same thing, perhaps these detectives take after him.

He's sorry about the way things worked out with Lauro and he's going to do everything he can to help him.


Later, while they are on patrol, Jim offers to bring in something to clean Malloy's hat. 
"Jean uses it, it'll clean anything."
Thinking about Pete's chocolate-stained hat must have made Jim hungry because he suddenly remembers that they never got that hamburger (from what, like 3 days ago?). He requests Code 7, only to be denied. They are told to continue patrol and handle two calls.

The End

My Evaluation:

There are parts of this story that I really like and parts that really bug me. First off the parts that I liked. I enjoyed all of the humorous aspects of this story. The jumper call cracked me up as did the part where the little boy ruins Pete's hat. Those faces that Milner could make to convey Pete's frustration were just hilarious! I also liked Lauro and his family very much, especially Mr. Perez. He is so joyful when Lauro is being honored then so distraught when he finds out the truth about the fire, you can really feel the love he has for his son. 

Now the parts that I had problems with. First, the small problem of the hat. Why is Pete's sudden obsession with his hat never explained? Is this preoccupation with his headgear only inserted into the story to illustrate how much Malloy values his hat and measure his level of irritation when said hat is destroyed? Who knows?

I am more annoyed with, of all things, the police work in this story. I find it hard to believe that Reed or Malloy never entertained the notion that Lauro may have set the fire until several days later. If Reed brought up his strange behavior after the hospital why didn't they go see Sgt. Poster then? Sure, they had a suspect, but Pete should know that sometimes the most obvious suspect is not always the culprit. I'd have to say it is fairly obvious to anyone watching the episode that Lauro did it. Why didn't the writers let Reed and Malloy in on the secret? I like the story of an honest young man committing a crime out of desperation then saving someone hurt by his actions and finally redeeming himself through confession. However, as an Adam-12 story with experienced police officers, it lacks plausibility.

Also, at the end of the story, Lauro starts telling Pete and Jim how the fire started and they question him on the details. Shouldn't one of them have read Lauro his rights? Usually when a suspect starts to say anything that remotely resembles a confession, Pete or Jim stop them and read the Miranda rights. Why didn't that happen here? Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems like a glaring error.

So, taking all of that into consideration, I give "Log 114: The Hero" a rating of:

Before I sign off this week, I would just like to say that the Adam-12 fan community is great bunch of people! The outpouring of love and support I've seen this week for the Milner family and each other has really been touching. I'm glad to be a part of it.

Anyway, let me know what you think of this week's episode in the comments and I will see you next time! KMA-367

12 comments:

  1. When they go to the house with the old man, it's daytime when they get the call, but you can plainly see its dark when they get there are and talking to the landlady. Then after they make entry, it's light again. And that guy had the worst teeth ever. I always thought his breath must have been awful.
    And I always thought this episode was only one day... One shift. And the thing with Petes hat was cute. Martin was so cute when he was aggravated, like with the kid and the candy bar. Lol.

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    1. I love that part with the kid and the hat! I thought it was one shift, too, but then I thought about it. This is a LOT of action for one day.

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    2. True. But some days are busier than others

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  2. I remember watching A Ramirez on the soap opera "Santa Barbara" .. Yummy. And I could watch Pete go over that fence all day. He's adorable when he opens the wrong door in that apartment building. Like "Yikes!!" Wonder how she got cast... Did they ask for an ugly woman or what? Man I sound catty. Lol.

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    1. I always wonder about those casting jobs, too. For instance, there is a Dragnet episode where one of the characters is referred to as "Fat" Donna. I can imagine the casting director saying, "We think you're the perfect actress for this role."
      Actress, "Are you calling me fat?"
      Casting director, "Yes!"

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  3. There are often episodes that have "tiny" sub plots,never explained. One silly thing I think of was-could Malloy do to turn off that kooky rich stalker (who moved into his police district even!) My thought is we don't know everything, neither do they.I'm curious about the police reports the writers had to use to write the stories. I always wondered how they happened to have a spare u iform all the time when locker looked empty at the openings- of different episodes? ( HUH?) TV magic. I love the characters...and 99% of the story lines

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    1. Ah, yes, Penny Lane, she was the "kooky, rich stalker". Whatever happened on the date she had with Pete will remain one of the great mysteries of the ages.

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  4. The way they end this one kind of bugged me as well. They could have kept the gooey ending if they wanted and still handled the arrest more realistically.

    I did not realize they do not give a reason for the fussiness of Malloy with his hat. I thought it was a new hat and it did not fit just right. I did not realize it is never explained. Weird they did not and weird I did not realize it. lol

    Thank you Ms Malloy, another fine post. B)

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    1. Thanks, Addie. You're right, the ending to this one was "gooey", sticky sweet. Usually, only Mark VII Christmas episodes, like the Dragnet "Big Baby Jesus", have this type of maudlin storytelling.
      Maybe the explanation for the hat nonsense was edited out.

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  5. I would have to check with the official Major League Baseball scorekeeper but I think this is the lowest rating you've given an episode yet.

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    1. You've been paying attention, Bryan! Yes, this is the lowest rating I have given to a season 2 episode thus far. I gave a couple of controversial low ratings in season 1. I gave "I'm Still a Cop" aka Malloy goes to college, and "Tell Him He Pushed a Little Too Hard" aka Darren #2 and his neighbor fight over a boat the lowest score under my old rating system.

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  6. Watch "Archie's Bitter Pill, Part One," an episode of "All in the Family." A Martinez plays Manuel, Archie's bar assistant in that series, and he's good in this episode. I suspect they didn't read Lauro his rights because he turned himself in, he didn't commit (intentional) arson, and it would seem unduly harsh from a dramatic point of view for someone who was basically a good kid.

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