Sunday, October 25, 2015

Log 174: Loan Sharks (Season 3, Episode 1)

Episode 53

It's Season 3 and while there were some changes made to the show in this season, I thought I would use this space to tell you about some changes I've made to the blog. First, I've dropped the fake name. This blog is no longer written by "Rita Malloy", it's now written by the equally lovely and talented (or so I've heard) "Keely S.". Why the change? I was really bad at having a fake name. I've always promoted the blog through Facebook and I use my real name there, so that meant I was promoting a blog I wrote under a fake name using my real name. It just boils down to the fact that I'm just not smart enough to use an alias.

I've also changed the way I number the episodes in the post titles. I used to list the episode number first, then the season next. Now I'll do it in the more accepted format of season first, then episode number.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let's see what Season 3, Episode 1 has in store for us!

Synopsis:

There have been a number of beatings at local industrial plants recently. The LAPD wants to put a stop to them, but without witnesses they can't catch the culprits.

The Story:

Before we get to the story, let's talk about the new opening for season 3. This one is my favorite of all the opening credit sequences. I found it very thrilling the first time I saw it. I've never found the opening credits to any other TV show exciting, so this one must be special.

It starts with a shot of the city seal and LAPD slogan on the door of the black and white. We then hear the voice of Shaaron Claridge, our beloved RTO, announce, "1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, a 211 in progress. 1-Adam-12, handle code 3."
The door slams shut and 1-Adam-12 then races down the street towards the call with sirens wailing as the theme music swells.
The theme song continues as the credits roll.


Finally, having arrived at their destination, 1-Adam-12 comes to a fast stop with a close-up shot of the car's front grill.
Oh hey, check out the motorcycle cop in the background.

"Log 174: Loan Sharks" also starts out with 1-Adam-12 racing to the scene of their latest call with sirens blaring. Since the car is doing so much racing around in the first few minutes of this episode, let's take a look at it and see if there is a new car for this new season.
Well, it's black and white and kind of rectangular shaped. Maybe it's a new car? I have no idea.
I can't tell by looking, so I will consult my sources. According to LAPDcops.com, the season 3 car is a 1969 Plymouth Belvedere, the same car that was used in season 2. At the time season 3 was being produced, the LAPD had started using the Mercury Montego for their patrol cars. The Montego was not liked by officers, Jack Webb knew this and decided not to use it in the show.

The 1969 Plymouth Belvedere carrying officers Reed and Malloy comes to a stop in the parking lot of an industrial plant. Malloy parks the car near a crowd that has gathered around a badly beaten man who is lying on the ground with a baseball bat next to him. He kneels next to the man to get a better look at his injuries.
"He's been worked over pretty good," observes Malloy.
Pete asks if anyone in the crowd knows the man on the ground. Instead of answering his question, the crowd begins to leave. One man stays behind and tells the officers, "I think he works in there". He then, reluctantly, tells them that the beaten man is Roy Jenkins.


When Malloy asks the man if he knows what happened, he claims he only got there a minute ago. "Same old story," comments Reed before he leaves to go question the other workers.


While Reed is off trying to get more information, the ambulance arrives at the scene. The man from the crowd is still hanging around as the attendants load Roy onto the stretcher. He asks if Jenkins will be OK. 
Pete, sensing that the man may want to talk about what happened to Jenkins, begins asking him questions. He finds out that the man's name is Charlie Barnes and that he's worked with Jenkins for a couple of years, but not much else. Pete then inquires about the bump on Charlie's head.  Barnes tells him that he hit it on a work bench that morning. Pete obviously doubts his story. He points out that it is still bleeding several hours after the time Charlie claims the injury occurred. Pete knows there is more going on here than what he is being told, he implores Charlie to be forthcoming.
"Now with a little of the right kind of help, we can stop it. But we need witnesses, somebody like yourself."
Pete's plea falls on deaf ears, however. Charlie doesn't want any trouble and refuses to help. 
Charlie suddenly has to get back to work and takes off.  Shortly after he leaves, Reed returns from talking with the other plant employees. He hasn't had much luck getting any information, either. Everyone was "scared to death" and refused to talk to him.

As the ambulance leaves, a young man pulls into the parking lot. He approaches the officers and tells them not to waste their time trying to get fingerprints off the bat found near Roy Jenkins.
"Both of those dudes were wearing gloves."
This young man is Jim Russell and he is the best thing that has happened to Malloy and Reed all day. Without hesitation he begins recounting the events that occurred just before the officers arrived. He knows the police can't do their job without witnesses.
"I mean how are you guys supposed to put those two ugly goons away if nobody lays it on you?" reasons Russell
Malloy's glad he feels this way. "Well, it's nice to know there's at least one full set of brains in the crowd," he tells their young witness.
Russell had just pulled into the parking lot when two men bailed out of a "groovy Mach 1" and started beating Jenkins with the bat. Charlie Barnes tried to help, but he was "cracked across his skull" with the bat. Russell then came up with an idea to stop the fight. He put his car in gear and started driving straight towards the "goons". The threat of being run over sent the two assailants on their way.

In all the excitement Russell did not manage to get the plate number of the Mach 1. He also can't give a good description of the suspects, but he can recount every detail about their vehicle. He lovingly describes the car as a candy apple red Mach 1 Mustang with a black interior, carburetor scoops over the hood, chrome hood pins, a wooden steering wheel, "and racing skins".
"Skins?" asks Malloy
"Yeah, tires," clarifies Russell.
Well, this is great Malloy and Reed have a witness willing to put his story on the record. With that description of the Mach 1, they should easily find these guys and Jim Russell will certainly be able to identify the vehicle and the suspects. Right? Unfortunately, Mr. Russell, who works at the plant with Charlie and Roy, doesn't think his son's involvement is such a great idea.
That's Mr. Russell with Jim, not Jim his son, but Jim Reed. I'm a little annoyed that the writers choose to give a secondary character the same name as one of the main characters. It's a little confusing to describe this episode with all of these "Jim's" flying around.

Both Reed and Malloy give it all they've got trying to convince Mr. Russell that his son's involvement will put an end to the violence happening at the plant. Malloy gives a thorough description of each assault, the injuries each man has suffered, and the impact it's had on their families. But, Mr. Russell still doesn't understand why his son should help. "Why should he get mixed up in something like this?" argues Mr. Russell.

"It's simple, Mr. Russell. Because how are we gonna put ugly goons like that away unless some cat lays it on us?" retorts Malloy. 

Later in the day Pete and Jim talk with the a distraught and baffled Mrs. Jenkins at the hospital. She can't understand who would want to hurt her husband like this, as far as she knows he hasn't got an enemy in the world.
"So who would want to hurt him like this?" she desperately asks the officers.
Pete was hoping that she could help them answer that question. While she's talking to them, she drops a piece of folded paper. Without realizing it, she's just begun to help them. 
Pete retrieves the paper and realizes it's a racing form. He asks if Roy likes to bet on the horses.
Mrs. Jenkins confesses that her husband does bet on the horses, but not as much as he used to. He slowed down after a streak of bad luck over a year ago that ruined their credit and put them behind in their bills. In order to help get them caught up Roy took out a loan of $200. 
Here's Reed listening to Mrs. Jenkins. No real reason for this screen cap, I just felt it was time for a picture of Reed.
Mrs. Jenkins also reveals that Roy did not get the loan through a bank. He borrowed the money from someone at the plant. He's been paying $20 a week regularly and the loan is still not paid in full. She begins to wonder why they are asking so many questions about the money. Pete explains that they're trying to understand if there is a connection between the beating Roy took and the money. He also thinks the assault may be about more than just the money.
"It's only an educated guess, but maybe somebody's trying to prove a point and they decided to make Roy their prize example."
Some time after they leave Mrs. Jenkins at the hospital Reed and Malloy are on patrol when a hot-shot call comes over the radio. A 211 has just occurred at the liquor store located at 507 Moorpark. The suspect, a male caucasian wearing a plaid shirt and khaki pants, was last seen walking southbound from the location. 
The call was for 1-Adam-11, but they are close enough to check it out.
A supplemental broadcast then informs them that the suspect was wearing a cowboy hat and boots and had a six-inch blue steel revolver. The suspect was also HBD. 
Reed chuckles at the last part and says, "A drunk stick-up man?"
(Oh, so HBD does not mean "Happy Birthday" in this situation! Turns out, it means "had been drinking".)
They decide to cruise the park near where the suspect was last seen. As they drive, Reed shines the spotlight out of the window. Eventually it lands on a man who matches the suspect's description. As they exit the car to confront him, Pete tells Reed, "watch yourself".
"Police officers, mister, on your feet!"
The tipsy suspect unsteadily raises himself up and grips the tree as Reed frisks him. 
"Shoot, I can't even rob a lousy liquor store right."
He doesn't find a gun or any other weapon on the unkempt cowboy. After Malloy reads him his rights the cowboy tells the officers that he felt sorry for the liquor store clerk and only managed to steal $2.
Malloy can't believe he only stole $2.
Then, after the hapless stick-up man left the liquor store, he was robbed. The man who robbed him took the gun, the money he stole from the liquor store, his Sam Houston watch fob, and his last half pint of wine. 
Pete and Jim find his story amusing.
But not so amusing that they'll let him go free.
"I guess I go to jail, huh?" figures the cowboy.
"That's about it, friend," responds Malloy.
At the beginning of their next shift Pete and Jim meet with Mac and Sgt. Strong from intelligence before roll call. Strong fills them in on what they have discovered through their investigation of the violence that has taken place in the major industrial areas. They've determined that a takeover began about six months ago when some hoods from the Northeast began infiltrating the local factories. First they started a bookmaking operation, then when they got the gamblers deep enough in debt, they started a loan shark operation. They think the organization will move onto labor rackets next.
Here's Sgt. Strong explaining all of this. Hey wait a minute, that's Lt. King from "Log 34: Astro". 
In case you're confused about what a labor racket is (I know I was) here's a definition I found from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:
Labor racketeering is labor corruption committed by, in alliance with, or under the auspices of organized crime groups. The types of crimes include extortion of employers by threatening unlawful strikes, work stoppages, picketing, and workplace sabotage; and soliciting and receiving bribes from employers in exchange for allowing the employer to ignore the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Intelligence is sure that Roy Jenkins was mixed up in all of this. He was paying back his $200 loan $20 each week. After a while that didn't even cover the interest, Jenkins started to "kick" and they worked him over. 


They've known it was "organization people" from the start, but the department couldn't make a move without evidence. They finally have the evidence they need from Jim Russell, he came through "like a champ" and identified the two men who beat Jenkins.
Here are Pete and Jim looking at the mug shots of the "muscle", Jack Bennett and Paul Bertino. I have screen caps of their mug shots, but wouldn't you rather see Pete and Jim? I know I would.
Malloy wonders how they got Jim's father to cooperate. Strong tells him, "Well, that wasn't easy, but we worked on him like a Dutch uncle and he finally gave".
Huh? What the heck does that mean?
A Dutch uncle is an informal term for a person who issues frank, harsh, or severe comments and criticism to educate, encourage, or admonish someone.
Anyway, Pete and Jim are in Mac's office because Strong wants them to stick close to the parking lot around quitting time. They've found some witnesses willing to testify about the criminal operations inside the plant and they don't want them to be scared off.


When 1-Adam-12 reaches the parking lot John Russell runs right past them. Malloy calls him back to the car and they find out that he's just gotten off the phone with his wife, she told him that Jim is overdue from school.

"Is that unusual for him?" asks Malloy. John answers that he's never late, he also didn't show up for work at three o'clock.
Reed requests that 1-L-20 meet them on tac 2 while Malloy stares at the camera.
Mr. Russell waits in the back of the black and white and grows impatient. Malloy assures him that Mac is doing everything he can to find his son. Reed adds that communications is making broadcasts about Jim every fifteen minutes. Every car in the city is picking up those broadcasts and looking for his son.


Finally Mac contacts them on a tactical frequency and inquires if Jim Russell wears Ben Franklin glasses. "1-Adam-12, that's a roger," responds Reed. Mac informs them that a newsboy saw two men escorting a boy who fits the subject's description into a red Mustang. He then confirms that the Mustang had a black interior and a hood scoop.
"They've got Jim, they've got my son," exclaims Mr. Russell.
The next order of business for Malloy and Reed is finding that Mustang. Which they do on the second to last of the blocks that Mac assigned them to cover. They park behind the Mach 1 then get out of the patrol car for a closer look.
The hood is still warm.
It has a black interior and a wooden steering wheel.
You know who those belong to.
Those bastards have kidnapped Ben Franklin!
Somehow Malloy finds the house where the goons are hiding out. When Mac, Strong, and Reed meet him at the back of the house he lets them know that two men who look like Bennett and Bertino are in the den, but there's no sign of Jim Russell.
Malloy and Reed will kick the back door, when Mac and Strong hear the back door bust open they'll take the front.

Malloy breaks down the back door and surprises the two men. "Freeze, don't try it," he orders the one that has a gun near him.
Hey, my mom has that same fox hunt picture in her house!

After the two "ugly goons" are cuffed, Reed and Malloy begin their search for Jim Russell. They find him tied up in one of the bedrooms. After they release him from the restraints he greets them with a cheery "Hiya, fellas!".
"Hi yourself," says Reed.
Malloy jokingly asks him, "What are you doing? You're late for work."
Despite his "not too groovy" experience, Jim is still up to testify in front of the grand jury tomorrow. He tells them "If somebody doesn't do something soon, there's going to be real trouble". Malloy wonders what sort of trouble he is talking about.
Jim starts telling them about the real "crime": the way Bennett and Bertino treat that Mustang.
Malloy's heard enough.
But, Jim's got a lot to report. He keeps talking the whole way through the house and out the door.
As he shuts the door, Malloy contemplates going back to the bedroom for the gag.
Ha, ha, I wonder what sort of wackiness they will show behind the closing credits. Probably lots of Malloy eye rolls as Jim Russell goes on and on about the Mustang.
What?!?!
Here's another change for season 3, no more acting during the closing credits. I'm not a big fan of this update, I liked watching what they were doing as the credits rolled.
The End

My Evaluation:

I found this one boring. There was a lot of talking and not a lot of action. Talking with Charlie Barnes, talking with Jim Russell, talking with Mrs. Jenkins, talking with Sgt. Strong. Too much talk, not enough action for my taste. Organized crime is a big subject to cover in a half hour show, I think Adam-12 may have bit off more than it could chew in this episode. Without the time to cover the whole subject in-depth through action, it seems they resorted to covering it through dialogue.

This episode also doesn't work as a small, personal story about Roy Jenkins. It was hard to care about what happened to Roy Jenkins or if his assailants were brought to justice since the audience never got to meet him before he was lying in that parking lot. Listening to his wife talk didn't make me care about him any more, either. 

I wish season 3 would have had a better opening episode. But as I see it, it has one rated:
I want everyone to know that I won't be bringing you another episode next week. I will be code 6 at an undisclosed location next week. As soon as my report is finished on my investigation, I will share it with all of you. 
KMA-367
Love, 
Keely

13 comments:

  1. I loved the poor cowboy stick up man. He was so pathetic.. I felt sorry for him. And I would give pretty much anything to have that groovy Mach 1. That's a beautiful car!

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  2. I love reading your comments !! And the pics,are great!!!! Will be waiting in anticipation for your report on your undisclosed location next week!!!!! STILL JEALOUS BUT HOPE U GAVE A GREAT TIME WITHπŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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  3. There are more than a few, Jim, James, Jimmy's over the seasons.
    I just watched, "Assassination," and the kid selling flowers, who Reed scares to death, is a, "Jimmy."

    I love when they talk money on this show. A $200. loan, for a huge betting debt? And it has to be paid back over time?! Amounts are always very funny.
    I like this episode more then you did, maybe because I liked the wife and that kid, Jim, a lot, so the talkiness did not bother me, plus I luuuuv Kenneth Tobey (not like a crush, just always love him in everything).

    What a horrid organization. I just assumed they were skirting around saying, "The Mob."

    You notice everything! Maybe the camera person was chewing gum or something and it annoyed Martin Milner. lol

    Sorry to repeat my self, but your screen caps are Awesome!!! I am literally in awe of you screen capping talent!

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Jim Russell was Mickey Rooney's son.

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    1. Wow! He was, I just looked it up on IMdB. Thanks for letting me know.

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