Sunday, March 13, 2016

Log 155: I.A.D.- Blackmail (Season 3, Episode 16)

Episode 68

It's another day at somebody else's place of work for Pete and Jim. They roll into the parking lot of a factory and hide their car behind some trucks. After they check out their surroundings, Jim volunteers to take the side of the building.

Pete then jumps up onto one of the loading docks. When back up arrives he motions to one of the officers to join him on the dock.
My freckled fingers compel you to join me on this loading dock.
Malloy and the other officer get into position on either side of the dock door. The door rolls open and a man in coveralls come walking out and heads to the truck parked at the dock. He doesn't notice that Malloy is following him...until he feels a gun in his back.
"Don't make a sound, not one word!"
Pete then cuffs him to the inside of the truck and asks him who else is inside the building. Since Pete told him not to make a sound, the guy doesn't answer. After he shuts the suspect inside the truck, Pete returns to the dock and meets up with his stand-in partner.
Officer pinky ring here wants to know how many friends the guy in the truck has.
"He wasn't too friendly."
Lo and behold, Mr. Not-too-friendly does have a friend. When he comes walking out of the dock door Malloy hides behind some barrels and Officer We-don't-know-his-name-yet ducks under a tarp. When the guy calls for his friend "Chick", Pete pretends to be Chick and answers from his hiding spot.
"Chick is the truck ready?"
"Yeah, let's get moving."
"Hmmm, Chick doesn't usually sound that freckly," thinks the bad guy.
With his gun drawn, Chick's friend starts walking towards the truck. Pete pops up from behind the barrels when the man reaches for the truck door.
Hold it!
Pete and the bad man exchange gunfire. After Pete fires at him, the suspect ends up on the ground. 
After Pete cuffs the guy, he kicks Pete and sends him flying against the back of the truck. 
While a badly bruised Pete lies on the ground, another of Chick's friends comes roaring through the warehouse driving a forklift and toting a gun. After a brief shootout with Officer Pinky Ring he bails from the forklift.
Bang! Bang!
Oh, thank God for these appropriately-placed bags of stuff to break my fall! 
Officer Not Reed jumps onto the forklift and tries to turn it away from Pete, but it's too late!
Pete, move out of the way!
Actually, it's good that you didn't move. If you would have stood up, you would have been a tasty tidbit on the end of that fork.

After all the excitement is over, Reed finally shows up with yet another one of Chick's friends.
Hey, you guys, what's going on?
When Reed sees the damage the forklift has done to the truck, he thinks it's lucky that no one was in the way of the vehicle's skewers. Malloy's just happy that his friend alerted him to the rolling danger before he was a strawberry shish kabob.
"Luck had nothing to do with it, and at end of watch I'm buying a cop named Tony Johnson a steak dinner that says so."
That's me, I'm Tony Johnson.
Several hours later, after their watch is over Reed and Malloy should be hanging out in a nice restaurant lifting their glasses in a toast to Tony. Instead, they are hanging out in the locker room lifting weights and Tony is nowhere to be seen. When Tony does finally show up, he's in no mood for steak. While Reed and Malloy were waiting for him, Tony was with the captain, someone has "put a hat" on him.
Malloy's confused, he doesn't understand how someone could accuse a good cop like Tony of wrongdoing.
Tony isn't able to give his fellow officers many details about the investigation Internal Affairs has started on him, all he knows is that someone has accused him of blackmail. Under the circumstances, he asks to postpone their celebratory dinner until Wednesday. 

When Wednesday rolls around Tony is the hot topic of discussion at the station. Reed's been talking to his partner about the situation. The partner is scared by the investigation, he's on probation and he's worried that he'll fall with his partner. Malloy doesn't think Tony or his partner have anything to worry about. Reed wonders how he can be so positive that Tony hasn't gone bad.
"Because he doesn't have a dishonest bone in his whole body. In fact, he's probably the best policeman I ever knew."

Later in the day Pete and Jim take their meal break. They're supposed to meet Tony today for a steak dinner today. But, by the time he shows up, the steaks are almost cold.

Tony's late today because he was with IAD. After meeting with the "headhunters" all day he doesn't have much of an appetite. He orders coffee, black, then begins telling Pete and Jim what he found out.

A man name Rob Bender has accused Tony of blackmail. Last week Tony and his partner stopped Bender as he was getting into his car with a B-girl in an alley behind the Dead Angel bar. Tony and his partner only talked to Bender, warning him that B-girls are known to roll men after they've had too much to drink. 
Marty looks beyond the camera to ask the writers, "Really, 'Dead Angel'? That's the best you guys could come up with? That's the worst fake name for a bar, ever."
I agree. The name "Dead Angel" does not evoke an image of a place where anyone would want to go and spend money and have a good time. And since this episode was made in the early Seventies, I doubt it was intended to be a goth-themed bar.

After you get done scratching your head over the weird choice for a bar name, you may be wondering what a B-girl is. Well, I am here to tell you that they were not prostitutes. They were women hired to be sociable with bar patrons and encourage them to spend money on more drinks. 
Anyway, look at this picture of Reed, then let's back to the story.
According to Bender, Johnson called him at home the next day and threatened to tell his wife he had been hanging out with B-girls unless Bender paid him $200. Bender claims that Johnson instructed him to leave the money under an ashcan behind a service station. He was to leave the money there last Tuesday at 10 a.m.

This leaves Tony in quite a pickle, he has no way to refute any of Bender's charges. He has no way to prove that he didn't call Bender at home and he has no alibi for the time when the money was supposed to be dropped off. But, wait! Tony suddenly remembers that Pete called him last Tuesday morning and he was home to answer the call. He asks Pete if he remembers calling him on Tuesday.
Pete hates to let his friend down, but he called him on Thursday, not Tuesday.
While Johnson tries to think of some way to prove his innocence, the waitress calls over to their table. She wants one of the cops to throw out the bum who is sitting at the counter. Reed leaves the table to find out what is going on.

The waitress is upset because the "bum" has been sitting at the counter for over an hour. He paid for a cup of hot water to make tea, but instead he's been sitting there making tomato soup out of the water and ketchup. She wants the man arrested for stealing the ketchup. An annoyed Reed politely refuses to honor her request.

He asks if she usually leaves the ketchup on the counter for anyone to use or if there is a charge to use  it. She replies that you have to buy something to use it. Reed points out that he did buy something, but she won't hear it. She keeps arguing her point until Reed finally shuts her up by saying, "No crime, ma'am." Before he returns to the table Reed gives the old-timer  some coins and tells him to get himself something to eat. The man decides that he'll get himself a bowl of chili, at the restaurant down the street. 

Now that Reed has solved the problem at the counter, he tries his hand at Johnson's predicament. When he's back at the table with Johnson and Malloy, he asks if anyone has talked the the B-girl Bender was with that night. At first Johnson doesn't think there's any reason to talk to her since Bender claims the demand for extortion money took place over the phone. Then he remembers something that happened when they were in the alley, Bender had threatened to get his badge. The girl would have heard that.
"Seems to me that girl would be worth finding."
Johnson agrees, she would be worth finding. He asks Reed and Malloy for their help finding her at the Dead Angel, which is in their district.

Pete thinks it would be better to leave the investigation to the Internal Affairs Department. Tony, on the other hand, would rather have his friends find the girl. He thinks IAD is out to get him. Pete finally acquiesces to keeping his eyes open for the girl while they are on duty. Adding that If he finds her, he'll turn her over the IAD. In order to aid them in their search, Tony provides a description of the B-girl. She's a blonde named Ginger with a beauty mark on her right cheek.

It's now the end of Reed and Malloy's meal break and the three friends get up to leave. As he walks away from the table, Reed leaves the tip. The brusque blonde waitress swoops in to bus the table and collect the gratuity. She's not happy when she sees what Reed left on the table. She grouses that "one lousy dime" is no tip. Reed turns around to tell her what it really is.
"No, ma'am, it's a hint."
Later that night 1-Adam-12 gets a call to, you guessed it, the Dead Angel bar. Pete and Jim are dispatched to see the man about a 484 suspect.

At the bar one of the patrons complains that a B-girl has tried to swipe his wallet. The girl, who's actually a woman, argues that the man doesn't no what he's talking about. She asserts that his wallet fell out of his pocket while he has drinking. She was only trying to be helpful and pick it up for him, but he started screaming "bloody murder".

Oh no, Jackie is played by Miss Annoying Voice, Gloria Manon, from "Log 134: Child Stealer!
With her dark fluffy hair and popped collar, she reminds me of my favorite '80's lady cop...
Dee Dee McCall! (Seriously, don't you think they look alike?)
The bartender, who is inexplicably wearing a flower lei around his neck (Is the Dead Angel a Polynesian-themed bar?), tells the officers that he runs a "nice, quiet place". After the supposed victim confirms that all of his money is still in his wallet, Reed tells him to "take it and run".

Since they are here at the Dead Angel, Pete and Jim decide to inquire about Ginger. Jackie acts like she's never heard of her. When they explain that Ginger isn't trouble, but may be able to help one of their friends, Jackie knows exactly which friend they're talking about. She  then utters what, if you not familiar with cop slang, sounds like the dirtiest line ever in the history of Adam-12. Get ready to giggle like a twelve-year-old boy:
"Grapevine has it that he's getting rousted now by your own dicks."
And Jackie doesn't think that it could happen to a nicer guy.

The next day (Is it the next day? We'll say it's the next day.) Tony meets up with Pete and Jim in the locker room. He wants to know if they've had any luck tracking down Ginger.
Is that a windbreaker he's wearing?
 It looks like he got it in the Verdugos gang's garage sale.
When Pete tells him the bad news, Tony starts to freak out. Ginger testifying to what Bender said is his only hope.

"I wonder if I should tell IAD about the windbreaker. That may be evidence that he has gone bad", thinks Pete.
Later that night 1-Adam-12 is again called to, you guessed it, the Dead Angel bar. 
"Sounds pretty living to me," comments Pete.
At the Dead Angel, the bartender doesn't why the police are there. He didn't put in any call about a drunk causing a disturbance. In fact, he knows it's against the law to serve drunks and would never do such a thing. While he is telling Pete and Jim what a good, law-abiding barkeep he is, Pete spots something much more interesting at the end of the bar.

"Reed, look what we just found."
After chasing off Ginger's male companion, Pete refreshes her memory on the events that took place in the alley two weeks ago. Turns out Ginger has a very good memory. She remembers seeing Johnson's name on his name badge, she remembers Bender threatening to get his badge, she even remembers a conversation she and Bender had after the police left. When she and Bender were alone he asked if she had ever heard of a cop blackmailing someone for being with a B-girl. Bender also told her it was time to stop those cops from bothering people. 

After Ginger tells her story to Pete and Jim, they ask her to go to the station. For someone who seems to run afoul of the police quite often, she's happy to go with them. 

At the station Ginger recounts her story to Mac. When she's done, Mac takes her to tell it again to IAD. He then asks Pete to tell Johnson the good news.
As they leave his office, Ginger offers her help to any cop who is in trouble. All they have to do is look her up.

Malloy finds Johnson waiting in the coffee room. Although his friend's name has just been cleared, Pete doesn't look happy. 
"Yeah, she cleared ya."
Once Tony gets over his initial elation of being exonerated he then becomes confused by Pete's demeanor. He doesn't understand why his friend is joining him in the celebration. He starts to get angry when Pete won't tell him what's going on. Pete finally cuts to the chase and asks Tony the question that's been weighing on his mind.
"How much did you pay her?"
Tony thinks Pete must be joking, but he's not. He begins to recount Tony's deception back to him. First Tony tried the innocent routine, then he got Reed to suggest that they find the girl and Tony just happened to think it was a great idea.
Wait a second, does this mean that Pete and Tony think I am incapable of coming up with an idea on my own? Do they think I can only have a thought if it is suggested to me? Maybe Jean can tell me what to think about all of this.

Pete fell for Tony's charade, hook, line, and sinker, he wanted to believe his friend. But, he started to doubt Tony's innocence when they couldn't find Ginger. No B-girl makes herself scarce unless she's in jail or being paid to drop out of sight. The topper was the fake call to the bar.
"I mean, weren't we lucky that we just happen to find her sitting there."
Pete does have to hand it to his friend, he had a good plan. But, he made one big mistake, he briefed Ginger too well. Pete points out, "There isn't a bimbo in town that would cop out the way she did". Since he didn't receive an answer the first time he posed the question, Pete asks Tony again how much he paid Ginger.
"What did it cost ya? How much of that dirty money did ya have to pay her?"
Tony knows the jig is up, he admits that he paid her $100. But, he still tries to save his career by reminding Pete that he saved his life.
"You owe me!"
That may be true, but that doesn't mean Pete can ignore Tony's despicable actions.

"You owed a lot of policemen a chance to do their job without being branded lousy, think about that."
"They can't do it now, 'cause you got 'em dirty! One cop gets weak or greedy or stupid, that puts a hat on all of us and we have to swallow it."
"People calling us pigs. Wives and children and friends having to live with that. Because one rotten cop gets both his feet in the trough."
Tony tries one last time to appeal to Pete by telling him they're friends. But, It's too little, too late for Pete.
"That's right, we were. But you used that friendship, you wrapped your garbage in it. Now there's nothing left for it except the dump."
He turns his back on Tony and leaves the coffee room. 

Back in the office, Pete tells Mac there's something Johnson wants to tell him. When he and Pete are alone, Jim admits that he knewTony was dirty since they found Ginger.
Pete asks him why he didn't say anything.
"I didn't have to, did I?"

The End

Another good one from Season 3! The best part about the whole episode is the confrontation between Pete and Tony in the coffee room. Milner does an excellent job of portraying Malloy's visceral disgust of Johnson and his actions. He's evenly matched with Allen who does a superb job of playing a sleaze ball. Allen always seems to play the sort of character who will slap your back in friendship, then when your back is turned he'll slap your girlfriend's bottom.
The acting in the coffee room scene wouldn't mean anything if the performers didn't have memorable lines to deliver. Although the writers didn't do such a hot job of naming the bar, they did do a far better job of explaining how the actions of one dishonest cop affect an entire profession. His speech in this episode is a Mark VII classic.

I also enjoyed the part in the restaurant with Reed and the waitress. We don't usually get to see a citizen getting under Reed's skin. It's fun to see how he handles an annoying situation on his own. 

And we got to learn about B-girls, I love getting a helping of 1970's L.A. slice of life in an episode.

I give this riveting, very special Adam-12 a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. See you next time with "Log 66: The Vandals".


  1. I liked this episode . Jed does play a jerk well! It makes me sad to see PETE upset. He has that ability to make it look real!! Dee Dee McCall . Yes she does look like her except for the voice!! Gotta start watching HUNTER !! Always liked that show!! They remind me of MULDER n SCULLY!! I didn't care for that mean waitress!! Poor old guy was hungry obviously !! Making ketchup into soup. Couldn't have filled his tummy up much. I remember mom leaving a PENNY when the service was bad!!! Don't know if people still do that today. Now we know REED has come up with good ideas in the past!! Maybe he was having an off day😜😜😜😜😜 I'm sure Jean will fix him when he gets home👍👍👍👍 Another good blog!! Glad to have something decent to read❤️❤️😬😬😬👮🏻👮🏻👮🏻👮🏻👮🏻👮🏻👮🏻💟💟💟💟

  2. Maybe I can get Jeans to explain it to me.... only you, Keeley, only you!!

  3. Maybe I can get Jeans to explain it to me.... only you, Keeley, only you!!

  4. An interesting episode -- Pete spoke strongly and justified his feelings to the "bad" cop. I was proud of him for standing up to police officer's and going with his suspicions on Tony and B-girls! Good job Keely!

  5. You think the windbreaker was bad??? Did you catch the sneakers Johnson was wearing??? LOL!

  6. I love this episode. I'm with you 100% on Reed's independence in this one. His independence was partly interesting because we trust Malloy, so Ted Allen must be good, but we also know Reed is too good to be fooled, so who to believe.

    The big confrontation scene was very scary. The consistent, intense, anger/disappoint, of Malloy is chilling. He scared me to death.

    Just after that back in Mac's office, more of Reed's matured cop personality is shown when Malloy becomes, Grasshopper," with Malloy saying, why didn't you tell me?" And Reed's replying, "I didn't have to did I?" Malloy giving a little smile and shrug after that was such a good subtle way, showing he was moving on from the whole awful affair.
    That women's voice does not bother me in this episode at all, it is the other actress, Ginger, she is awful and I am not just talking about that ear piercing diction.

    And how great is it when they use Ted Allen? So great!

    Thanks Keely, love this blog!

  7. Loved this one. At first, I was left wondering IF JIM knew- then subtle expressions- he KNOWS- He's just letting PETE handle it. That what makes them such excellent partners-knowing each others' strengths and weaknesses.We don't get to see Jim's subtle frustration too often. He buys potholders he doesn't need and stuff like that- Buys the poor guy lunch. The waitress' attitude was what Jim "hinted" at- no potholders for you!

  8. I'm glad you liked this episode. I do too. You are my Adam-12 barometer, though I think we often have different views on shows in the series. The scene between Malloy and Johnson was powerful. So, though, were scenes in Mac's office between Malloy and Reed. They were understated, yet showed the bond between the partners. Reed empathized with Pete when Malloy left Mac's office to speak with Johnson. And Reed, I think, felt badly for his disappointed friend upon Malloy's return. Reed knew that Malloy knew deep down Johnson was dirty.

  9. Yes, Pete's finale confrontation with Tony is one of Milner's best moments in the series (up there with his interrogation by IAD detectives in season 4's "Back Up 1-L-20"), I think.