Sunday, January 24, 2016

Log 46: Pilgrimage (Season 3, Episode 11)

Episode 63

This is the second of the three Adam-12 Christmas episodes, I wish I could have covered this a month ago. But, like Pete says, "You can't have everything".

It's roll call on December 24th and Mac is reminding the officers that this Christmas Eve will be just like all the others, full of car clouts, pick pockets, purse thief, shoplifters, and deuces. In other words, it won't be a "silent night". (In case you were wondering, like I was, car clouting is the crime of breaking into an automobile.)

At the end of his speech Mac reminds the men to "spread the Christmas spirit around" by picking up one of the bags of Christmas candy and toys at the back of the room. Before they leave with their bags of goodies, the assembly has a surprise for their commanding officer. Jim Reed walks to the front of the room with a package for Mac. After he hands the box  to the sergeant, a strawberry blond heckler from the ranks shouts, "Open it up, Mac!" 

Mac carefully opens the wrapping to reveal a familiar-looking object.
A tie, just like the one he's wearing, and the one he has at home, and the one he has in his locker.
He tells the men, with just a touch of sarcasm, that he "deeply appreciates the long thought and careful consideration that must have gone into the selection of this gift".

"What else do you get the sergeant who has everything?"
Mac knows Jim is right, he does have everything.
"Thanks and Merry Christmas,"he says to the officers as they leave the room.

Although Reed just got done spreading some Christmas cheer to Mac, once he and Malloy are alone in the car, he confesses that just can't get with the holiday spirit. It just doesn't feel like Christmas like to him. Malloy, turning the conversation from feelings to actions, asks Jim if he's finished his shopping yet. Jim responds that he is "just about" finished, then tells his partner about an interesting purchase he made.
"I bought some real outta sight lingerie."
"What'd get for Jean?' asks Pete.
"Ho-ho-ho," says Reed as he feigns laughter at his partner's joke.
Malloy then asks Reed to remind him that he has to get a gift for his landlady. Reed needs his partner to return the favor and remind him that he has to get some mistletoe. 
"The last thing Jean said was, 'don't forget the mistletoe'."
"Outta sight" lingerie and mistletoe? The Reeds are going to have a very merry Christmas Eve!
Before Pete can ask Jim where he plans on hanging the mistletoe, the radio calls them to Chandler and Hollywood Boulevard where a 211 just occurred.


When they arrive at the corner of Chandler and Hollywood, Pete and Jim find a donation-collecting Santa sitting on the sidewalk holding his head, his collection pot, bell, and sign have been knocked over and are laying next to him. Several holiday shoppers stop in their tracks to watch a bespectacled man help the Santa.




Pete and Jim listen intently as the Good Samaritan recounts how an old wino came up to the Santa and hit him over the head with a length of pipe. The drunk then absconded with all of the change that Santa had collected. The man ran after the thief, but he couldn't catch up with him. 


"What kind of a fink'd slug Santa Claus?" asks the not-so-jolly old elf.
While the victim talks to Pete, Jim broadcasts a description of the suspect. He's a male caucasian about fifty-five years old, wearing a black beret, an old brown jacket, and gray pants. 

The officers leave after Santa insists that he doesn't need a doctor. He's not going to let the assault stop him, he gets right back to ringing his bell and collecting donations. Between his cries of "Merry Christmas", Santa tells the Good Samaritan what he would do to the thief if he ever got a hold of him.

Later, In the black and white, Reed's Christmas spirit is on the wane. He can't believe someone would attack one of Santa's helpers on Christmas Eve.


As Pete approaches an intersection to make a right turn, a strange looking couple with a small child tries to run across the street just as the signal changes to "don't walk". After Pete almost hits them, Jim asks the family to step back up on the curb. They exit the car to talk to these weirdos.


Malloy asks the man, clad in head-to-toe denim, if he saw the "don't walk" sign. Jim Nasheboo confirms that, yes, he and his wife did see the "don't walk" sign and explains that is why they were running. They thought is was OK to cross the street since the traffic light was green. When the pedestrian signal changed to "don't walk" they thought they were being instructed to run across the street, so they did.


This couples obvious inexperience with traffic signals prompts Reed to ask where they are from, 'cause he knows they ain't from L.A. Tom tells the officers that he and his wife are from the Zuni reservation in New Mexico, they just got off the bus here in Los Angeles. (You don't say.)
This is Tom Nasheboo and his wife, Rosa. Rosa is carrying their baby, Crucita, on her back. These two say they are from New Mexico, but they speak and act like they are from another planet. I get that they are from an American Indian reservation, but they just seem a little too "isolated". Or maybe they're just idiots.
[My parents are idiots, even I know what a "don't walk" sign means.]

While the Nasheboos are speaking with Malloy and Reed, Crucita drops her doll. The ever-observant Reed sees this and picks it up.
He tries to give it back, but Crucita has fallen asleep out of boredom.

The Nasheboos were on the bus traveling to Tom's cousin's house, but they fell asleep on the bus and missed their stop. Tom shows Malloy a slip of paper with his cousin's address on it. 
Malloy has some bad news, the address is all the way across town. They'll never get there, even if they "don't walk, but run the entire way. Reed shows the Nasheboos where they can catch the bus. Since it's across the street from where they're standing, Malloy gives them a refresher course on crossing a street before leaving them.

On their way back to the patrol car Malloy grabs Reed, there's something he wants his partner to see. A man leaving a local tavern matches the description of the Santa slugger.
"Does he ring any bells?" asks Pete.
"Yeah."
"Looks like he's been liquefying his assets."
"Let's get him."
When the beret-wearing bandit hears Reed yell, "Hold it!", he does the exact opposite and begins to run down the street. Reed runs after him and, of course, catches him. While he's searching this guy Reed finds some rather incriminating evidence.
He claims he's a coin collector.
"Sure you are."
"So I'm a pipe collector, too. There's no law against that, is there?"
With the cards stacked against him, this merry mugger concedes that he did rob the Santa.  Reed and Malloy inform him that the Santa was collecting donations for the mission, he could have gone there if he needed help. The suspect defends his actions by insisting that he is free-enterprising capitalist who was just doing away with the middle man. He also has a good reason for not going to the mission.
"Besides, they don't serve no booze at the mission."
(His use of a double negative would imply that they do serve liquor at the mission.
Also, this is not the cap that goes with that quote, but I like the way Reed looks here.)
It's now time to stick this guy in the back of the black and white. When they reach the squad car the street corner Santa comes running out of nowhere and begins braining this guy with his bell. Reed grabs the red-suited fat man as a crowd begins to gather.
How did the Santa even know where they were?
The beret-wearing wino wants Reed and Malloy to arrest Santa for assault and battery. When they don't immediately restrain the jolly old elf, the thief tells them that he wants to make a citizen's arrest and they have to arrest the Santa. Malloy hands his partner handcuffs.

As Reed slaps the cuffs on Mr. Claus a little girl in the crowd comments on every child's worst nightmare. "Mommy, Mommy, look he's arresting Santa Claus!"



Reed tries to distract her with an offer of candy, but she doesn't want candy "from anyone who'd arrest Santa". He then tries to tell her that this man isn't the real Santa, but that just confuses the girl. The crowd turns against Reed after Santa asks them, "What kind of a fink would arrest Santa Claus on Christmas Eve?".

Reed looks to his partner for help.
But Malloy is enjoying this too much.
I'm sure Reed's Christmas spirit is now at an all-time low. If he could just get some mistletoe, that would probably help him regain some enthusiasm for the holiday.  Oh, good there's a florist shop right ahead. He asks Malloy to stop.
"Okay, Lover."
But Jim won't be getting any mistletoe at this shop, before Pete can park the patrol car, the dispatcher redirects them to Cahuenga and Crest for an ambulance traffic call.

As 1-Adam-12 arrives at Cahuenga and Crest with its sirens wailing, the ambulance workers lay a sheet over the body of the TA victim. The victim's car is flipped on it's side and festively wrapped gifts are strewn in the street. Another man, this one unscathed by the accident, leans unsteadily against a black Cadillac. After Pete and Jim briefly talk to the ambulance attendants, they split up. Jim goes to interview witnesses in the crowd gathered on the curb while Pete talks to the driver of the Cadillac.

As Mr. Selfridge hands Pete his license he explains that he didn't see the stop sign. 
It's Foster Brooks, playing a more realistic drunk than the comic drunks he usually portrays.
Pete informs Selfridge that he's going to give him a field sobriety test. Selfridge, however, refuses to take the test. He argues that he is not drunk, he only had a few drinks at the office Christmas party. Pete lets him know the consequences of his decision.
"Do you understand that by refusing to take the test you can lose your license?"
Mr. Selfridge isn't too worried about what will happen if he doesn't take the test,  He'll let his lawyer handle it. "You know how it is, officer," he says to Pete.
"No, I don't know how it is."
"And neither does he."
As Malloy begins walking Selfridge to the patrol car, Jim is finishing up his interviews with the witnesses. After he's done, he takes a closer look at the packages in the street.
 At the car Malloy reports a Code 20 to dispatch and requests a Traffic sergeant while Selfridge dozes in the backseat.
In case you were wondering, a Code 20 is "Notify press of a newsworthy event". I think this is the first time they've used that code on the show.
Reed joins his partner and shows him the card from one of the Christmas gifts that were thrown from the victims car.

The deceased man had a wife and children.
Before we move onto the next scene, I want to point something (actually, some people) out.
See the blonde girl in the coat, white boots, and white headband behind Reed? See the lady almost out of the frame in a dark dress with a tan coat and white shoes? 
Well, if you didn't see them in the scene where Reed arrests Santa, here's your chance to see them again. They must have gotten warm walking over here where the TA occurred since they've shed their winter outerwear.
OK, back to our story.

After they've dropped Selfridge off at the jail, Reed comments on an all-too-common theme throughout the holidays.
"You know, sometimes I think the Christmas spirit is alcohol."
Their next call takes them to Summers Department Store to see the man holding a shoplift suspect. At the store the man they see is Jason Lamb. They meet him and the suspect in the security office. Lamb sits behind his desk where he has displayed all of the items that the suspect, Sandy Quillan, pilfered from the store. Sandy, a sullen, young pregnant woman, sits in a chair against the wall with her head down while Lamb recounts her activity in the store.


Jason shows Reed and Malloy all of the goods that he saw Sandy put in her tote bag. He adds that she was "bold as brass" while taking everything and made no attempt to hide her thievery. He also adds his opinion on why she took the things.
"You'll note there's not a necessity in the lot. Probably gonna sell it to support her habit."
(How did she manage to steal a policeman's hat?)
Sandy, who's been silent the whole time while Lamb has been going on about her and what's she done, finally speaks to refute his notion that she will sell the merchandise to support an addiction.
"I was never on the hard stuff."
Mr. Lamb goes on to say that he doesn't understand why Sandy made no effort to hide her actions, it was like she wanted to be caught. Sandy states, in a flat monotone, that she did want to be caught. Now that the police are there and she is "officially under arrest", Sandy is willing to tell them why she wanted to be arrested.
Pete stops her confession to correct Sandy on a point of the law. They're not arresting her. Mr. Lamb, the security officer, has already done that. He and Jim are only the transporting officers.

Sandy explains the sad reason why she wanted to be caught; she has two kids at home, another one on the way, and no money. She thought if she were arrested, at least her kids would be taken care of. 

Jim asks Sandy where the father of her children is. She then imparts the tragic tale of Rick, the children's father. She and Rick thought life would be "one long trip, free love, and freak outs forever." Then the kids came. Sandy changed her ways, but Rick did not. About a month ago Rick overdosed, he was in a coma for three weeks, he died last Friday.

Jason Lamb is clearly affected by Sandy's story, he tells her to relax while he talks with the officers. Out of Sandy's earshot, Lamb reminds Pete and Jim that he is usually a real hard-nose when it comes to shoplifters. But, Sandy isn't a run-of-the-mill shoplifter and he's willing to make an exception in her case. Lamb asks Jim for the crime report back, he's decided to forget the whole thing.
Jason Lamb is played by Mark VII favorite, Len Wayland. This is his first of four Adam-12 appearances.
Lamb tells Sandy the good news, the charges are being dropped against her. He maintains his reputation as a hard-nose by saying that Pete and Jim persuaded him to drop the charges. He assures her that the Department of Social Services will help her and her children. Jim adds that they have Christmas candy and presents in the car for her kids. Sandy is overwhelmed that she will now be able to give her kids "some kind of Christmas".
"But it wouldn't have been any kind of Christmas for them without their mother, now would it?" asks Pete.

When they are done at Summers, Malloy asks Reed if he feels better about Christmas now. Reed reports that he is finally beginning to get a good feeling about the holiday. There's just one more thing that would really put him (and hopefully Jean) in the mood, mistletoe. 
"No sooner said than done."
Pete pulls over to a florist shop.

"Look at it this way, you can't have everything."
Jim doesn't think his partner is funny.
Later that night Malloy and Reed are cruising through the Cahuenga Pass when Malloy points out the glowing cross that overlooks the Pilgrimage Theater. "Sure stands out on a night like this," he remarks. Reed agrees,"Like a beacon," he adds. Reed then thinks he sees a fire ahead in the distance. Malloy decides they should check it out.

If you're like me you were probably wondering, "What the heck is a glowing cross doing in the middle of Los Angeles? It's not exactly the bible belt." Well, I did some research to find out what exactly that cross was doing in the middle of Los Angeles. This cross was built in 1922 to honor Christine Wetherill Stevenson, an heiress and arts patron who died that year. Ms. Stevenson was instrumental in the building of the Hollywood Bowl and the Pilgrimage Theater, an amphitheater constructed across the street from the Bowl. The Pilgrimage theater was built with the intent purpose to showcase religious plays, including The Pilgrimage Play written by Stevenson.

Although both have been rebuilt, both the cross and the theater still stand today. The theater was renamed the John Anson Ford Amphitheater in 1976, and since the mid-1960's has been used to showcase all types of performing arts. If you want to read more about the cross and the theater, click here or here.

When Reed and Malloy stop the car to investigate the fire, guess who they find camped out in the hills? The Nasheeboos. Malloy is surprised to find the family here since they left them at the bus stop hours ago. Tom explains that he and his wife and daughter waited for the bus, but it never came. They started walking, got lost, and ended up here. While her husband is talking to the officers, Rosa discovers that Crucita is missing! Reed, Malloy, and Tom leave to begin searching for the child. Rosa stays behind at the camp in case she returns to the fire.

Malloy finds Crucita's doll, but no sign of the girl, a short distance from the camp. He knows they are going to need more help finding her and fast. He sends Reed to put in a call to the watch commander.

Backup units quickly arrive and report to the command post that Mac has set up. He briefs the officers on the dangers in the hills and the urgency of the search.
"We've got animals out there, a deep lake, and sheer drops. With the night and the cold, we gotta find her in a hurry."

Scores of officers fan out into the wilderness to find the eighteen-month old girl. Reed finds the next clue to her movements when he finds one of her moccasins. 
He calls Pete over to look at the lone shoe. They keep looking, hoping that they are getting close to finding the small girl.

Finally, Pete looks up and spots Crucita atop a high embankment. He remains fixed on the toddler while his partner goes to retrieve her.
[Goodbye, cruel world, my parents are idiots and I can't take it anymore!]

Malloy watches as Reed scoops Crucita up in his arms, safe and sound.
[Will you take me home with you? At least you know what "don't walk" means.]

They carry the little girl back to her parents for a joyful reunion. 



After the Nasheboo family has been reunited, Jim's Christmas spirit is almost at one hundred percent. Pete then spots the one thing that will make this Christmas eve perfect for his partner, a mistletoe bush. He plucks off a sprig of the parasitic plant and hands it to Reed.
"Merry Christmas, Pete."
"Merry Christmas, Jim."

The End

This is not my favorite of the three Christmas-themed episodes, that designation belongs to "The Yellow Dump Truck" from season one. But, this one isn't too bad. It's got a lot of action and a good mix of funny parts (the gift for Mac, the search for mistletoe, the arrest of Santa) and serious parts (the drunk driver, Sandy Quillan). 

It also has some parts that I just don't know what to make of them. Those would be the parts with the Nasheboos. I don't know if the writers were trying to use naivete to make them look sympathetic, but it didn't work. Not for me, anyway. I found Tom and his wife irritating and dense. Thankfully, they are not in the majority of the episode. Due to that fact, "Log 46: Pilgrimage" garners a rating of:


Do you agree? Let me know if the comments. See you next time with "Log 85: Sign of the Twins"!
KMA-367

3 comments:

  1. I liked the outs sight pjs. No I can't spell that other word!!!! Felt bad for Sandy!! I did like the ' idiot' couple. Their little girl is cuter do smart since she tried to get herself adopted by Jim. 1-10 scale 5 and that's cause the boys are cute

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funny ad libs sweetheart! Am going to work with a smile on my face.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oof. Casting Foster Brooks as a drunk driver was pretty tasteless.

    (Santa's mugger is played by Stanley Adams, best remembered as Cyrano Jones in STAR TREK's "The Trouble with Tribbles".)

    ReplyDelete