Sunday, November 8, 2015

Log 35: Easy, Bare Rider (Season 3, Episode 2)

Episode 54

It's a little strange to watch an episode of Adam-12 after spending time talking to Kent McCord. It's a bit disconcerting to hear the voice that, just days ago, was telling you stories about Ricky Nelson now asking a naked man in a car if he walked off the beach without his trousers. It's an odd feeling, but a good one. 

I also get a little teary-eyed thinking that the man who played the dashing young police officer on my favorite TV show was happy to see me. Me?! I get a little choked up thinking about how incredibly blessed I've been.


Reed and Malloy have to call for assistance when a drunk driver presents an unusual problem. They then teach a young boy a valuable lesson and capture a ring of auto thieves. Just a typical day on patrol in Los Angeles.

The Story:

Reed can't believe it when a beige car makes an illegal turn right in front of the patrol car. Malloy, on the other hand, with his years of experience on the police force, isn't shocked at all by what he and his partner have just witnessed. He takes off after the vehicle.
After a short pursuit the four-wheeled land boat finally docks at the curb. Malloy stops the patrol car behind the expansive sedan. Both officers get out and approach the vehicle. When Pete reaches the open driver's side window, he looks inside and hesitates. Now it's his turn to disbelieve his eyes. 

Malloy is sure his rookie partner has never experienced anything like what is in this car. He summons Reed over to the passenger window. 
Come here, partner, you've got to see this.
Reed peers in the car, then apprehensively looks at his senior officer to confirm that he's  really seeing what he is before him.
I don't think that's the seatbelt.
Malloy asks the bare chested and obviously inebriated driver for his license. The man tries to reach into a nonexistent shirt pocket, but soon realizes that he's not wearing a shirt. He then searches his lower half for pockets and discovers what Reed and Malloy already know, he's not wearing any pants, either. Knowing that he is in violation of the law the driver volunteers to go quietly, he begins to open his door. But, instead of accommodating their willing prisoner, Pete pushes him back inside the car and tells him not to touch the door. 

Pete now attempts to investigate how this driver ended up with nothing between him and his vinyl seats.
"Do you have any idea where you left your pants?"
This guy knows exactly where he left he left his pants, Pismo Beach. He begins to babble about someone named "Dirty Ernie" who forgot to tell him that he left his pants behind. When Reed asks him to verify that he left Pismo pants-less, the man replies that the beach was deserted except for "assorted plant life and sea shells, sir". The motorist finds this tipsy tongue twister too funny.
"You mean, you walked off the beach like that?"
Now that Reed and Malloy have seen this guy naked, they should at least tell him their names. Pete and Jim introduce themselves to Mr. J. Simmons and shake his hand, his hand that was just searching all over his naked body for pockets.
"Officer Reed"
Officer Malloy shakes Simmons' hand while Reed looks for soap and water. 
After Pete discovers that Simmons only has a small towel for cover, he steps away from the car and looks up and down the street with an anguished expression on his face.
Much to his disappointment, this traffic stop has not attracted any curious, gaping crowds. Pete was hoping to borrow something to cover Mr. Simmons from an onlooker. Since his initial plan fell through, Pete sends Jim to the radio in order to ask for help and a blanket.

Now that his audience has shrunk (Bad choice of words, I know.), Mr. Simmons is suddenly concerned with his grooming. He asks Malloy if he can borrow his comb. Malloy wisely refuses this request, even after Simmons explains that "fine feathers make fine birds".
"Don't you think clothes would help a little, too?" asks Malloy.
Simmons doesn't "necessa-celery" think clothes would help. According to him the skin has to breath, like the nose.

While Simmons is extolling  the virtues of nudity to Malloy (who unfortunately decides not to listen), Reed communicates an unusual request to dispatch.
"This is 1-Adam-12, we're in the 900 block of Cynthia Street with a 502 requesting 1-L-20 with a blanket."
"1-Adam-12 verify, a blanket?" asks the confused RTO.
"1-Adam-12 roger, a blanket," replies a grinning Reed.
When Reed is in the patrol car Malloy turns his head away from the gruesome scene inside Simmons' car.
Simmons sees this as his chance to let his skin get some more air. He slides his bare bottom across the hot vinyl seat and opens the passenger door. As soon as Simmons' unshod foot hits the pavement, Reed scrambles out of the black and white to guide the undressed driver back into his vehicle.
Yes, you can see that the actor is wearing shorts in this shot. But, let's go with the illusion that Simmons really is naked. 
After Reed has Simmons safely back in the car, Malloy sits down on the same seat that Simmons' bare ass was just on in order to block him from the driver's side door.
Malloy tells him not to touch any door.
Thankfully, Mac shows up with a blanket seconds after Simmons attempted escape. They wrap it around their naked 502 and walk him towards the black and white.

Simmons is privileged, honored, and deeply grateful to be arrested by such fine officers.
Before he is taken to the "local slammer", Simmons begs the officers to keep looking for his trousers. They'll know them when they find them because the right pocket will be full of Pismo Beach clam shells. With a hearty "Auf weiner-swhien" to Mac, Simmons is whisked away to jail by Pete and Jim.

After Simmons is safely in jail and hopefully in some pants, Pete and Jim continue their patrol. A 415, family dispute, call comes over the radio for 1-Adam-29. Jim asks if that is the car with a reserve officer. Pete answers that, yes, that is the car with reserve officer Tom Stark. Stark should be able to handle a family dispute considering that he is a family counselor at his regular job. In fact, Stark signed on to be a reserve officer to learn first-hand about the problems that bring people into his office. He certainly didn't do it for the ten dollars a day, Pete explains. 

Well, now that we know all about this Tom Stark character, who we never see, let's get back to the activities of 1-Adam-12.

Reed and Malloy's next call takes them to a drugstore where the pharmacist has reported a 484, theft, suspect. 
That's him, he's the one, officers. The one enjoying the chocolate malt.
The druggist, George Edwards, has called because the boy, Bobby Loomis, has never spent more than a dime inside the store. Then today he came in and went on a shopping spree and used a crisp, new fifty dollar bill to pay for it all.
Malloy studies the fifty, as an underpaid civil servant, he's never seen one.
Edwards goes on to explain that Bobby is a good youngster who lives with his uncle, Ozzie. Edwards, who has worked at the store for eighteen years and knows everything about his customers, knows that Ozzie Loomis has never seen a fifty dollar bill in his life. The boy claims his grandmother sent the money to him, but Edwards doubts this is true.

As Pete and Jim approach the boy at the soda counter, he begins to gather all of his loot.

Bobby is in a hurry to get home. Pete understands this, but tells the boy that first they need to ask him some questions. Bobby knows this is about the money and gives them the same story he gave Edwards. Wanting to get to the truth, Pete asks Bobby when his next birthday will be. When Bobby replies that it is in March, Pete points out that he must have received the money from his grandmother about five months ago.

Bobby now knows that his lie has been uncovered. He gives the change from the fifty and the merchandise he bought to Pete. When Pete asks, "Where'd you get the fifty dollar bill, son?", Bobby confesses that he found it in a bag. 

On the sidewalk in front of the store Bobby shows them where he got the money. He unlocks a box on the back of his bike and extracts a burlap sack. Reed takes the bag and pulls out one of the many stacks of bills that it holds.
"It's two thousand bucks right here!"
While Reed goes to count the rest of the money in the bag, Malloy gets the full story out of Bobby. The youngster was collecting cartons from the supermarket refuse to build a dog house, when he got home he discovered the bag in one of the cartons. He knew it belonged to the market. 
By now Reed has finished counting all of the money. He's shocked to discover that the bag help twenty-one thousand dollars. He goes inside to call detectives.
Malloy stays outside with Bobby and asks why he didn't return the money. He explains that at first the money excited him. Then, after he kept it over a month, he was afraid the market would think he stole it. But, Malloy points out that Bobby did steal some of the money.
"You spent some of it today and you knew it wasn't yours. Wouldn't you call that stealing?"
Bobby knows Pete is right and realizes that he is in trouble. He asks if he can take his bike home before going to jail. Pete tells the youngster that his punishment won't be that harsh, but he will still have to face the consequences of his actions.
"Now I want you to get one thing straight, what you did was wrong, you kept something that didn't belong to you. As it happens, it was very valuable. But no matter how much or how little it was worth, if it's not yours, you can't keep it. Understand that now?"
Pete and Jim will take him to the station to tell a juvenile officer what he did. They'll then take the boy home to talk with his uncle. Bobby will also have to pay for the malt and the candy he ate. The boy dejectedly accepts his fate and asks the officer for a favor. He wants to take one last look at the fifty. Pete happily hands it over to him.
Here ya go.
"You know something? This stuff sure can get a guy into an awful lot of trouble."
When we next see the boys the sun has set and temperature has dropped. It's so chilly that they have stopped by the station to change into their Class A long sleeve shirts.
I can only think of one other episode where they changed shirts during the course of the story and that's "Hot Spell" from season five.
They pass a billboard for a movie called "Booby Trap" and Reed remarks he wants to see it because the ad makes it look good. Malloy is not familiar with the movie so his partner recites the advertising copy for him.
"a pulsating drama of throbbing romance, dark intrigue, tingling excitement, and exploding passions"

I could listen to Kent say those words all day long! If I ever have the chance to see him again, I must ask him to recite that line.
Pete is shocked when Reed tells him that the movie is about cops. Reed thinks it must be a comedy. 
"Either that or we work in the wrong division."
Malloy looks at his watch and sees that it's time for them to check the park again. Reed groans, he's tired of going to the park and coming out empty-handed. Pete points out that they'll have to keep going there until the watch commander pulls them off the assignment.

They drive into the unlit park with the radio chattering on in the background. When Reed spots a white van driving through the deserted green space, they know this could be the break they've been waiting for. He puts them Code 6 at Northside Park before they exit the patrol car. Malloy and Reed watch from behind some bushes as two men, Lou and Vick, get out of the van and open the back doors. When Lou and Vick open the cargo area, a cache of auto parts is revealed.

Reed asks Malloy if he's seen enough. When his partner answers "no", Reed's surprised that the goods inside the van aren't enough evidence to arrest these two.
"They've got a whole midnight auto supply there," argues Reed.
Malloy points out that the men will say it's all been bought and paid for in cash. The only thing they could bust them for now would be driving on public property, which is a traffic violation. Reed leaves their stakeout spot to call for backup, just in case this turns into more than a traffic violation.

Mac soon joins them in the bushes and tells them that Adam-15 is covering the front of the van. They watch as a red pick-up truck pulls up next to the white van. 

The driver of the red truck, who we'll call Mr. Mustache, asks Lou and Vick if they have the fuel injector he ordered. Vick, the younger, more talkative partner from the van, proceeds to tell Mustache, and the unseen cops, how they got the fuel injector off of a Corvette they followed to a mansion in Bel Air.  After Mustache pays for the injector, Lou tries to interest him in a Ferrari generator. Another customer then comes up to the midnight auto supply looking for a Porsche seat. Once again Lou and Vick have exactly what he is looking for. 

By now the officers in the bushes have seen and heard enough. Mac gives the signal and Adam-15 turns on their headlights, suddenly illuminating this black market Pep Boys.
What the...!?!
The cops bust in and breakup this little windbreaker party. While Pete is giving Lou the pat-down, he takes off running. Since Jim is busy frisking another bad guy, Pete has to run after him himself.

He chases Lou into the park and stops in the playground. In a tense scene that feels like it came out of a horror movie, Malloy searches the deserted, darkened playground for the thief.
Come out,...

come out,...

where ever you are.
Lou is watching Pete from the top of the monkey bars. When Pete is directly under him, Lou swings down and kicks the officer in the back. He then tries to get a chokehold around Pete's neck, but the agile Strawberry Fox is too quick for this dog. Pete easily flips the suspect over his shoulder and onto the ground.
Not today, buddy!
After Reed has finished handcuffing the last of the prisoners to each other, Mac sends him to go find Malloy. Reed happens upon his partner in the playground just as Malloy finishes reading Lou his Miranda rights.
"You, uh, need a hand?"
"No, we just called a truce. Where you been keeping yourself?"
"Back there. look a little wrinkled. What happened?"
"We just worked out on the bars for awhile, it was lots of fun."
Reed goes on to tell his older partner that he worries he sometimes tries to do too much on his own, he should pace himself. He lets Malloy know that he is always there for him.
"If you need help, just call. I'll be glad to lend a hand."
"Fine, pick up my hat. Will ya?"
After Malloy leads Lou back to the patrol car, Reed bends down and retrieves the hat. He brushes it off and follows his partner out of the playground.

The End 

Oh boy, I forgot how good this one is. I love how it covers so many aspects of a patrol shift. It goes from the absurd, to the sweet, to the mundane, to the thrilling and ends with Malloy's frustration. 

Each one of those parts is highly entertaining, too. Despite it's one technical gaffe, the 502 stop is hilarious. I love Reed's and Malloy's reactions to Mr. Simmons' hijinks.  The next call, with Bobby at the drugstore, feels a bit dated. In this day and age what pharmacist would call the police over a boy with a fifty dollar bill? The firm, yet caring way that Malloy teaches the boy the error of his ways is timeless, though.

The later scenes between Pete and Jim give us a glimpse into their close partnership. We see the happy, joking side of their relationship as they discuss "Booby Trap" while passing time in the patrol car. We then see, in the concluding scene, that, despite their friendship, Malloy can still get annoyed with Reed. Downright bitchy, almost, when he delivers his final line. But Reed doesn't let it get to him, he still picks up his partner's hat. He may throw it at him later, but at least he doesn't leave it laying in the dirt.

There was only one part of this episode that felt "off", when Reed and Malloy are discussing Reserve Officer Stark. This scene didn't add much to the story, so I'm not sure why it was included. Perhaps it serves to foreshadow the next call with Bobby Loomis. First Pete and Jim discuss a counselor turned officer, then we see Officer Malloy counsel Bobby on right and wrong. Or maybe this scene was put in the episode to teach the audience about reserve officers. Either way, it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of "Log 35: Easy, Bare Rider", which I rate as:

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


  1. Replies
    1. That's what I would have said if I were in that situation!

  2. Ok i loved the naked guy!!! Ir should i say naked silly guy!!! But i really don't remember anyone calling anyone else the B word!!!

    1. Well, the B word never happened on the show. That's just me imagining what Reed was thinking.

  3. Ok i loved the naked guy!!! Ir should i say naked silly guy!!! But i really don't remember anyone calling anyone else the B word!!!

  4. Very nice. I like your rating system. Clever.

  5. I'm pretty confident that the discussion of Tom Stark was indeed just dropped in to educate the public about the Reserve Officer program, whatever it was called. I get the feeling -- based on no evidence at all -- that the folks at Mark VII invited the LAPD to request such "public education" spots, and were generally happy to oblige.

  6. When Reed said, "1 Adam-12, Code 6, Northside Park" in a hushed tone, the dispatcher also replied in a hushed tone - I wonder if there's a button they could push when they needed their voices muted a bit.