Sunday, May 1, 2016

Log 16: Child in Danger (Season 3, Episode 22)

Episode 74

It's really hard to keep your eyes on the road when the person next to you is doing something annoying, like yawning dramatically. This is exactly the scene that's playing out in 1-Adam-12 right now, Pete is trying to drive and Reed is loudly advertising his fatigue. There has to be a story behind that yawn, so Pete asks his partner if he's alright. Jim answers that he's just tired from staying up with the baby last night.

At the mention of his godson, Pete's head swivels around like a barstool towards his partner. He demands to know what's wrong with the boy. Jim explains that Little Jimmy has a cold and fever of one hundred and two. He and Jean know this is perfectly normal and not a cause for great concern or medical intervention. Pete, however, does not agree.
"When my godson has a temperature of
 a hundred and two, I think you should call a doctor."
Jim's reassurances that the baby will be fine does not set Pete's mind at ease. The bachelor officer continues to give his partner parenting advice until the RTO interrupts with a call of a 211 in progress at 1605 Gagemont.


In a parking lot on Gagemont Pete, Jim, Marco, his partner, and the gold Mustang all meet up with the bar-back who called them. He was stacking boxes in the back of the bar when two men with guns came in the front. While the men were busy in the bar, he was able to sneak out undetected. He figures there are about seven people in the bar with the gunmen. After hearing the story, Pete decides that he and Jim will go inside.


As Pete and Jim walk through the backroom they hear a shot and a woman screaming. A man's voice shouts that everyone should get down on the floor. They creep out of the back and watch from behind a partition as the robbers announce they're leaving.


While the bad guys still have their backs to the bar, Pete moves, fast as lightning, to a new hiding spot behind the bar. One of the crooks peeks out the front and sees that the cops have arrived. He tells his buddy there's a change of plans, they'll leave through the backdoor now.

They start making their way to the back, but they're stopped by Pete. He pops up from behind the bar and orders the curly-haired gunman to "Drop it!" The windbreaker-clad clod does just the opposite, he aims at Pete and fires! Pete fires back and hits him in the shoulder.

While the injured crook falls the floor, the other one reaches for his gun. Now it's Jim's turn to stop one of them. He comes out from the wall and shouts at the bad guy, "Don't try it!" This guy must be smarter than his friend, because he actually listens to the police.

As Malloy is cuffing him, the first thief (or as I like to call him: Shooty McShooterson) complains about his shoulder. "I got pain, cop," he whines. Malloy feels really bad about causing that pain.
"You'll have plenty of time to get over it," he tells him.
Malloy finds the money from the robbery on McShooterson. He lets the bar patrons know that the money taken from them will be returned after it's booked into evidence.
This is an incredibly well-dressed group of daytime drinkers.
When McShooterson hears that their take was less than $100, he immediately regrets their actions and wishes he and his friend would have chosen a different path to get some funds.
"Lousy hundred bucks, we would've done
better on unemployment."


After they're through booking the suspects at the station, Pete and Jim are back in the patrol unit and Pete's mind is back on little Jimmy. He's shocked to find out that Jim didn't call home when they were at the station. The next chance he gets, Pete's taking Jim to a phone booth to call Jean so he can tell her to call the doctor. Jim thinks he's being silly, Pete doesn't care.
"Nothing's more important than my godchild."
His godson is important, but right now Pete has to focus his attention on the green car that just cut them while making a right-hand turn. They stop the driver, a teenaged girl, as she gets out in front of take-out restaurant.
Hey, look, it rained in Los Angeles!
Pete wants to point some things out to the young woman.
He starts off by telling her she should be more careful, she made a right hand turn and didn't yield the right of way to through traffic. She's got a good excuse for that: hot dogs. She's in a hurry to bring some back to the gang and the dorm.
Oh, hey look, it's Ronne Troup, daughter of Bobby Troup.
You remember her from  "Log 124: Airport", don't you?
She was the runaway with cold cream all over her face.
Pete goes on to point out that she's illegally parked in the red zone. Finally, he tells her she's in a bad neighborhood. (Aren't all good hot dog joints in bad neighborhoods?) They've had a lot of problems around here and she shouldn't be by herself, even during the daytime. The college girl laughs off his warnings and tells Pete he sounds like her "Daddy". Jim hears this and can't resist the chance to get in a dig at his partner.
"Yeah, I guess she told you, 'Daddy'."
Poor Pete, maybe he'll get some respect at their next call. It's a 415 at 11254 Ganeesha Way.

They enter the apartment building and are greeted by the diminutive and garishly made-up building manager. The elderly woman, who is wearing a bright red kimono and lipstick to match, comes out of her door to tell them they're too late. 


She had called them earlier when what sounded like World War III was happening in the Barstow's apartment, number five. But, since that's all over now and they're here anyway, she want's to know if they'd like to take a look at her clogged sink drain.
[We don't fix TV antennas or clogged drains.]
Malloy and Reed pass on the opportunity to practice their plumbing skills and head down to the Barstow's apartment. 

The door to apartment 5 is answered by a woman who looks like she's been through WW III. She denies that there has been any trouble, but Malloy and Reed can see that's not true. They can also hear something is wrong. A child sadly whimpers from somewhere in the apartment.
Mrs. Barstow is played by Susan Seaforth, who you may
 remember as Eva Graham from the Dragnet 1968 episode "The Starlet". She was also in the Patty Duke movie Billie, which also featured an extra named Kent McWhirter.


Hey, it's John Chandler, the actor who plays everyone's
favorite psychopathic suspects on Adam-12!
We'll see him again in "The Radical" and "Killing Ground", 

but never again in a tie-dyed shirt that resembles raw meat.
When Mr. Barstow joins his wife at the door, he also claims there is nothing wrong. Mrs. Barstow is quick to point out that she told the officers the very same thing. He also claims that there is nothing wrong with his child when asked by Reed. Both he and Malloy want to help, Mrs. Barstow just wants them to leave.

Mrs. Barstow finally goes to check on the child, who still continues to cry. After she leaves, Mr. Barstow admits that they do have trouble "up to here". He hasn't worked in four months and his wife wants to apply for welfare. "Maybe, we fought about," he concedes. 


Malloy asks they don't apply for assistance if they need it. To Barstow this would be admitting defeat. He's got something to prove to folks back at home who said it wouldn't work when he married his wife at sixteen.


After they've heard what Barstow has to say, Reed still wants to find out more about this family. He tries to get into the apartment by asking to use their phone. Barstow apologizes, it's been disconnected. He then shuts the door in their faces. In the hall, Reed tells his partner how we wished he could've gotten in there to look around. Malloy knows that would have been impossible.
"No way, no legal way," he tells Reed.
Back in the car Reed wonders what the odds are that the Barstow child is still crying. Pete wouldn't take that bet. 

"A woman who's been belted around and a
child that cries like it's scared to death."
Reed decides that he would like to call home now.


On their way to a phone booth, they pass by the hot dog joint and notice that the college girl's car is still out front. It looks like her car has broken down and she's getting some help from two men in a gray Mustang. 


[Hey, Pete, what's black, white, and red all over?]
While they wait for go-go boot girl to finish up in the phone booth, they watch the scene with the college girl's car. 



One of the men gets into the driver's seat of the girl's green car, while the other one starts the Mustang to push her car with it. Reed calls in on the radio for wants on the Mustang.
In a few seconds the RTO comes back and tells them its a 77th Division want for kidnap and rape. Just then the green car takes off and the Mustang follows. The black and white has been spotted and the kidnappers are starting to rabbit! 1-Adam-12 takes off after them, code 3.

See Reed biting his lip? That's his frustrated face, which he's making because they've lost the green car and the Mustang in the 900 block of Porter Street. Since they can't find the bad guys on the ground, they enlist the help of Air-10. 

The helicopter quickly spots the two cars entering a warehouse parking lot. The air unit also enlists another unit to respond. 1-A-12 will enter the lot from the west and backup will enter from the east.
In the parking lot, right before the police arrive, one of the men pulls the screaming and thrashing girl out of the car while the other one acts as a lookout. When the lookout sees the black and whites enter the lot he takes off running, his friend soon follows him. 

Reed catches bad guy number one.

Backup (Is that Marco again?) catches bad guy number two.

Malloy checks on the girl.
The shaken victim explains what happened back at the restaurant. She couldn't start her car, so the two men offered to help. Once one of them was behind the wheel, her car started right up. 
Malloy's heard stories like this before and he knows what really happened. The men stole her distributor cap when she was getting the hot dogs, they then replaced it when they looked under her hood. Although she was warned about the neighborhood, the girl still can't believe this happened to her.
"These things just don't happen."
"Except in a bad dream?"

After their latest trip to the station, Reed finally got to call home. Malloy is anxious to hear the report and asks his partner, "What'd she say?" It takes Reed a minute to figure out that he's talking about Jean. Once he does, he gives Malloy a full update on Jimmy's health. His fever broke and he's now as hungry as a horse. Reed also has a message from his wife for his partner.
"...tell Pete he's an old worrywart, but
 a sweet old worrywart."

The next call takes Reed and his worrywart partner to 1408 Westbridge Street where a 459 is happening right now. When they get to the driveway of 1408, a man in a white jumpsuit is loading piles of clothes into the back of a blue G-C pickup truck.
See, there's no M between that G and C.
His name is Calder and he claims to be in the moving business, but he can't produce a business license. His excuse is that he doesn't carry it on him. When Reed notices that the back door of the house has been jimmied, Calder has an excuse for that, too. The homeowner was supposed to leave a key, but forgot, so he had to break in. 
He doesn't have a good answer when Malloy asks him for the owner's name, though. First Calder says it's John Smith, then he thinks it's Jay Smith. When Malloy tells Calder they're going to check on the name, he gets defensive. That attitude gets him a pair of handcuffs.


They get ready to go check inside the house with Calder, but change their course to the garage when they hear banging and someone screaming for help. The racket is coming from a chest freezer inside the garage. Calder knows who's making the din, it's his partner.
"Better get him outta there before we have to use an ice pick," Malloy says to Reed.
Reed walks over, opens the white box, and pulls Calder's shivering partner out of the freezer.


"Let's go, Frosty."

Later in the car, Reed is being distracting again. Only this time he's laughing, not yawning. He's been thinking about the guy in the freezer. Instead of coming out of the frying pan and into the fire, that guy came out of the freezer and into the cooler. Reed finds this thought hilarious.
Malloy does not.

All the laughter in the car dies when they hear the address of their next call, 11254 Ganeesha Way. 
"Same place the baby was crying."
When they arrive at the apartment building this time, the manager is not eager to greet them. Their rap on her door is answered with her yelling that whoever is knocking should go away and take care of their own business. When she finally does open the door she is surprised that it's the police, not "her". Eve Barstow had been there earlier asking to use the phone, but the manager turned her away because she didn't have the required dime. She figures Barstow probably called the police by conning someone else into letting her use the phone. Sick of wasting their time with the cold-hearted manager, Reed and Malloy hurry down the hall towards the sound of the still-crying child.
There's that picture from 
"Log 174: Loan Sharks" again.
[You suck. Bye, Felicia.]

The door to apartment number five is answered again by Eve Barstow, this time tears stain her battered face. This meeting starts out like their first with Barstow telling the officers that there is nothing going on.

But then Pete asks if there's anything they can do to help and she weakly answers, "Please my baby."

Pete and Jim follow her into the living room, which is in a state of shambles. What they see there stuns both of the experienced and street-wise officers into silence.


After they regain their composure, Reed goes to call an ambulance and Malloy stays behind with Eve and the child. He demands to know "who did this?" from Mrs. Barstow.

In the middle of her explanation, the bedroom door flies open to reveal an angry Wally Barstow. He orders his wife to shut up. But she does just the opposite, yelling that he should have hit her again rather than striking the girl. Malloy, tired of Barstow hiding behind his door, commands him to come into the living room.
"Come out of there."
Instead, Barstow disappears back into the room and slams the door. Malloy runs to the door and finds that it's locked. He kicks it open only to find that Barstow has escaped through an open window. He's able to catch a glimpse of Barstow running through the parking lot. Malloy then jumps through the window to chase after him.

In the parking lot, the cowardly Barstow manages to evade Pete by stealthily moving between the wall of the building and the parked cars. Barstow finds an open car, he climbs in and attempts to make a getaway. But he doesn't get far, he finds the exit blocked by two cops and twelve bullets.
"Out!"
Reed pulls him out of the coupe and begins searching him. All the while, Barstow begs the officers not to hurt him and offers up lame excuses for what he did to his wife and child.
"You guys gotta understand, I never wanted that kid, never."
"It isn't my fault, you can't blame me."
His whiny justifications are met with steely silence from both Reed and Malloy.


He finally gives up trying to reason with the officers. 
"How would you know, you're just a cop," Barstow accusingly asks Reed.

"Yeah, keep reminding me of it, Pete," says Reed to his partner, continuing to ignore the pathetic Barstow.

                                                             The End

This one's pretty good. There's a good mix of fun and drama between the calls and the casting is right on. There is no one better from the Mark VII stable than John Chandler to play the whiny and cowardly, yet sadistic Wally Barstow. And this one also got an emotional reaction out of my cold, dead heart. At the end of this I found myself hating Barstow for his cowardice and his cruelty and I also found myself feeling rather sad for Pete. Pete, the lonely warrior who cares for all the children in the story, but who has no one (at least not that we know of) to care for him. 

But, "wait," you may say, "there is only one child in danger in this story". I think there are actually three children, of varying ages, in danger here. All of them are offered help by Pete and all of them, or their parents, dismiss his help. The first child is, obviously, James Reed, Jr. We get some comedic relief as Pete acts like an overbearing mother-in-law obsessively concerned with the baby's minor health issue. The Reeds don't listen to his advice, but they know it comes from a good place and they appreciate it. 

The next child is the adolescent college girl. Pete tries to steer her away from a bad neighborhood, but she is an invincible teenager who believes that nothing awful could happen to her. She ridicules Pete's advice until she learns how sage it actually is.

Finally, we have the child in danger referred to in the title, the Barstow girl. Both Pete and Jim want to help her and her family, but her parents refuse the help available to them either out of pride, shame, or fear. That is until the situation becomes life threatening. I love the final scene when Pete and Jim catch Barstow and just smirk at him while he offers up tired justifications for doing the unthinkable. Jim's final line asking his partner to remind him that's he's just a cop and not also a father brings the whole episode full circle. 

As I was thinking about that last line and how Jim is not "just a cop", but also a husband and father, that was when I started to get sad about Pete. Jim's got Jean there when he gets home, but who does Pete have when he returns to his four lonely walls? Who cares for Pete when he's done caring for all of the children (and adults) in danger? When I come away from an episode with questions like that, I know it's a good one. One that deserves high marks. (But not the highest, because I could have done without the thief in the freezer bit.) For what it made me feel, I give "Log 16: Child in Danger" a rating of:


Do you agree? Let me know somewhere, out there, in cyberspace. Next time I will be very excited to bring you "Log 56: Vice Versa"!

KMA-367









12 comments:

  1. Now I am only going to see a raw meat print! I had liked that shirt. That Chandler is great, I would like to see him be a nice guy just once. I kind of root for him a little anyway.

    I just love when reed makes his, usually, corny, but funny, jokes and Malloy makes a face.

    I did not realize that was the same actress who wore the cold cream. She was awful there, but sweet here. Someone must have told her, "no one likes a whiner."

    They used that building front a few times. It is a good building front.

    The freezer bit was silly. The humor can, once in a while, be a little broad, but it did give Reed a very good line.

    Today they could not have Malloy being a worry-wart about his godson because there are just too many ways to reach someone. It is funny you mention that woman's go-go boot because I am just over whelmed by the color of the dress and hat, but now that you pointed out the boots, I am going to like her now she is a Barbie!

    You rock, you just do, thanks for another awesome blog entry!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Addie! I always notice go-go boots because I so desperately wanted a pair until I figured out how impractical they were. I mean white boots? When are you supposed to wear those? You can't wear white shoes after Labor Day, so you can't wear them in the Fall or Winter, and it's too warm during "white shoe season" to wear boots. So, when do you wear them??

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  2. Great post! Shooty McShooterson :)

    I like this episode overall, but wasn't very fond of the Ronne Troup story. Poor Ronne had to play some really blah characters in the Mark VII universe. I do like that she's wearing what I would call a Mike Nesmith jacket, though.

    I LOVE how concerned Pete gets about little Jimmy.

    Thanks for the great Sunday night reading!

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Ms. Seven! You're right that is like a Mike Nesmith jacket. I think I saw him wear one like that in one of those "end of the show interviews". Specifically the one where Bob or Bert asked him why he wanted a house and Mike replied, "To keep the rain off of me", or something like that.

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    2. In the '70s (at least in southern California) we called it a "Marlboro coat", since at least one cowboy in every Marlboro ad was usually wearing one.

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  3. Don't know what I'm doing wrong but this is 2nd week I got deleted! I know I'm boring but gee whiz😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫😫

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment got through, maybe that's a good sign. I don't know what's going on either, Diane.

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  4. I just watched this one on Hulu. I liked it a lot, too. Love the godson stuff from Pete.

    Love your blog!

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  5. If that happened now, the police would question the woman about her bruises as they were putting handcuffs on the husband, after they kicked open the bedroom door. Loved the huge ears on the freezer guy!!!

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  6. If that happened now, the police would question the woman about her bruises as they were putting handcuffs on the husband, after they kicked open the bedroom door. Loved the huge ears on the freezer guy!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete