There are a lot of cars in Los Angeles, but the one that has just run a red light in front of 1-A-12 is from Nevada. Reed checks that it's clear on the right, Malloy turns on the reds, and the chase is on. It's a brief chase that ends after the Mercury Cougar turns a corner onto a residential street. Much to Malloy's satisfaction, the Cougar pulls over to the curb after he sounds the horn.
Reed and Malloy get out of the patrol car and approach the coupe from either side. The driver admits he ran the red light and has no problem handing his license over to Malloy. So far the traffic stop seems to be going pretty well.
Well, at least it is from Malloy's side of the car. On the other side, Reed stands just behind the window and watches as the guy sitting next to the driver pulls a gun from his jacket. As soon as he sees the firearm, Reed springs into action."Malloy, gun!" he shouts. Both officers scurry behind the Cougar and aim their weapons at the back window.
|"Alright, drop the gun! I wanna see four hands up on the windshield! You got that?"|
The driver tells the passenger, "Drop the gun, stupid" and two pairs of hands slowly appear in the windshield. When the passenger tosses the gun out of the window, Malloy deftly hops to the right side of the vehicle. He instructs the man in the green windbreaker to reach out of the window and open the door from the outside.
Once both men are face-down on the turf, the passenger wants to know why the officers got so excited.
|"Suppose you tell me," counters Malloy.|
|Malloy has also uncovered something attention-worthy: the trunk key is missing.|
|Reed attempts to tickle the driver, William Berry, until he tells them what happened to the trunk key.|
Meanwhile, both Reed and Malloy have missed that fact that the passenger, Thomas Moore, has stolen former officer Tony Johnson's green windbreaker.
|Malloy tells his partner to stop the tickle torture, it's weird and most likely not legal.|
After Mac has another officer take Miss Sunshine to his office. Malloy gives him the rundown on Berry and Moore. Moore was traveling light, he only had the gun on him; Berry only had his driver's license, and neither one of them had the trunk key.
After the suspects are booked, Reed and Malloy take them to the detectives' room. While they wait for Det. Stone the former friends begin bickering and fighting as best they can with their hands cuffed behind them. Reed and Malloy restrain the two men then move them farther apart. When Det. Stone enters the room, he wants even more distance between the two. He asks Reed to take Moore to the holding cell.
|"Hey, man, if you're clean, you got nothing to worry about. If you're dirty, you're better off copping out."|
|Reed shows off his talent of raising one eyebrow before unlocking the holding cell.|
Later that night a tow truck arrives at the garage with the stolen Cougar. Reed and Malloy watch as it is lowered from the hoist. Once the car is on the ground, they finally have their chance to see what is in the trunk. They've recovered the missing key from it's hiding spot in Berry's shoe. Malloy unlocks the trunk and lifts the lid. What they find inside offers some explanation to Berry and Moore's behavior, and raises a lot of additional questions.
At the report desk Reed can't help but wonder about the girl and how she ended up in the trunk of that Mercury Cougar. He's upset that he won't be able to take statements from Berry and Moore. Mac and Malloy think Reed should be happy, he was the one who persuaded Moore to talk. Both of the senior officers want to know how Reed did it.
|"Sorry, professional secret."|
That night, when they are back in the patrol car, Reed is still not talking. His partner can sense that his thoughts are preoccupied with what they found in the trunk. Malloy asks Reed if is still uptight about the girl. Reed is still thinking about her, and so is Malloy. They both believe Berry and Moore must have picked her up somewhere, robbed her, then killed her. The younger officer then asks a rhetorical question of his partner that reveals how deeply this case has affected him.
|"Things like that scare you to death, don't they?"|
1-Adam-12 rolls up to what could be 2221 Wismer or a Charmin factory that has just exploded. The sight of all that toilet paper brings a smile to Reed's face.
|"Get a load of that," he says to Malloy|
|Jim agrees, the same thing happened to his sister once.|
|This "girl" is a sophomore in high school? Did she get left behind for ten years!?|
Reed asks which one killed her. Mac can't give him answer on that, Berry and Moore can't seem to agree on that detail. Malloy wants to know if robbery was the motive for the killing. That much Mac can answer. The girl had $7.40 in her purse, she fought them for it and ending up taking a bullet.
At the start of their next shift, Reed and Malloy find Vickie Herman waiting for them at the front desk, She wants to rap. Malloy directs her to a nearby bench for their conversation.
|Miss Herman looks fetching in her golden yellow, drop-waist mini-dress accessorized with a fringed, suede shoulder bag and black boots.|
She's there to tell them that the boys who performed the toilet paper prank are making noises that they want to get even with her father for calling the cops. Vickie's tried telling them that her father didn't file a complaint, but they don't believe her. She's heard they're coming back tonight and when something gets broken this time, it won't be an accident.
Her father doesn't realize that the boys can be dangerous. He thinks they're nice boys, he's been conned with their polite "Eddie Haskell" routine. In reality, one of the boys is an acid head and the other is a sexual predator with a short fuse.
Reed asks if she's talked this over with her mother. Vickie would love to, but Mrs. Herman died ten months ago. She hasn't talked to her father about the boys' true nature because he looks at her and sees what he wants to see, which is "Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Orphan Annie all rolled into one".
|"Have you thought about restoring his vision?"|
|"I don't want it restored."|
|[I don't think this is the last we'll see of Miss Herman, partner.]|
|[I think you're right.]|
Later that day, in the black and white, Pete asks Jim how old he thinks Miss Herman is. Jim figures that she is sixteen going on thirty, with all of the problems that affect girls who are sixteen and pretty.
|"And then some," adds Pete.|
Reed keeps careful watch of the driver as he comes up to the car. When he sees the man reach into his jacket laying on the passenger seat, he decides not to take any chances. He immediately draws his gun and tells him to "Hold it, mister!".
The confused the driver then does as he is told when Malloy instructs him to put his hands in the windshield.
Reed reaches into the passenger window and retrieves the jacket. After he inspects it and finds there are no weapons hidden inside, he returns it to the driver and explains why they acted as they did.
He tells him that under similar circumstances, a man pulled a gun on them. He cautions the driver the not to make sudden moves when he's been pulled over by the police. The man tells Reed that he doesn't like it "one little bit". Based on this statement, Reed and Malloy think they've found a citizen sympathetic to the dangers the police face.
That is until he launches into a tirade about how he should not be treated like a common criminal.
|[I guess we should be thankful that he's only assaulting us verbally.]|
Later in the night, Pete and Jim are once again called to 2221 Wismer. Only this time it's not rolls of toilet paper that are being thrown, it's rocks. And this time trees aren't being decorated in paper, they're being ripped out of the ground. When John Herman sees the boys uprooting a small tree in the front yard, he rushes out the door yelling at them to put it down. His wife planted that tree.
Herman begins fighting with the boys. After a few swings, he falls to the ground clutching his side.
By the time the ambulance has arrived, Reed has returned from chasing the boys. He chased them for over three blocks and caught them when they were trying to go over a fence. Backup found Bob North in a gas station restroom on Cofax.
Mrs. Jones then comes over to tell Reed and Malloy that Mr. Herman must have fought the boys because they were pulling up the tree his late wife planted. She planted it for luck.
He begins digging a hole to replant the tree when Mrs. Jones appears and tells him that she would like to help. Reed would be glad to have her. As she brings the hose over to the hole, she tells Reed that Mrs. Herman planted the tree on their wedding anniversary.
|"When was that?"|
|"A year ago tonight."|
These two tragic tales also seem to shake Officer Reed. When the other, more senior officers are telling him to rejoice in the fact that he got the suspect to talk and break the case, he can't stop thinking about the girl they found in the trunk and the circumstances that put her there. I'm haunted by his statement to Malloy that "Things like that scare you to death, don't they?". It's a sobering glimpse at the vulnerability behind the facade of a big, strong police officer. Then after Mr. Herman is taken away in the ambulance he attempts to set things right in a small way for a family that has already suffered a great loss by replanting the tree.
I find myself thinking about episodes like this long after the credits end and the Mark VII logo appears on the screen. The ones where we get to see not only the procedural aspects of the case, but also the emotional reactions of the officers are among the most interesting episodes of the series. "Log 66: The Vandals" shows us the procedures, especially during the traffic stops, and the emotions so it earns high marks from me. I give it a rating of:
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. I'll see you next time with "Log 36: Man Between".