Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Search (Season 4, Episode 5)

Episode 83

It's the beginning of their shift and Reed and Malloy are on their way to the patrol unit. In the station parking lot they meet Mac who tells them that 1-Adam-12 is back from the garage; all tuned-up, washed, and polished. They're finally out of X-ray-25 and back in their regular car. Malloy, for one, couldn't be happier. "'Bout time," he tells the commanding officer before he and Reed head to the car and load up their gear.

Reed picks up the radio mic and begins the shift as he normally would, announcing "1-Adam-12, P.M. watch, clear." But, the response back from the RTO is not what he expects.
"1-Adam-12, you're not readable," says the female voice.
He tries again and this time she repeats the phrase "1-Adam-12, P.M. watch, clear," back to him, letting him know that the dispatch went through.

Neither Reed nor Malloy make much of the temporary trouble with the radio. Instead of dwelling on it, Reed asks his partner how the car is running. Malloy answers that it's running great. Their conversation is then cut short when the three beeps indicating a dispatch from the link comes over the radio. The male operator reports that there is a 211 in progress at the market at Los Feliz and Vermont. 1-Adam-12 is instructed to handle the call code 3.

Reed picks up the mic to roger the call, but once again he's told that he's not readable. Malloy suggests that there may be a short in the button and tells him to press down harder. Reed does just that and tries again, this time he comes through loud and clear. 

Malloy says they better have the radio looked at. But, there's no time for that as they race towards the market. 

1-A-12 drives up to the market just as two men are with guns and paper sacks are backing out of the store. Malloy shouts at them to, "Hold it!". But, they the men do the opposite and begin shooting at the officers. After they exchange fire with Malloy and Reed, they men take off in different directions. 

Malloy chases after the guy in the yellow jacket. He runs down the street and gets into a parked car. Malloy gets to the curb just in time to see the car drive away.
He turns around and heads back to the market where Reed is coming through the door with the other stick-up man. Malloy breezes past his partner and shouts that he's going after the other one. He drives away in the black and white leaving Reed stranded with the suspect.
[What the heck am I supposed to do with this guy? Walk him to the jail?!]
Malloy speeds off into the night with his red lights burning and sirens blaring. He broadcasts the details of his pursuit and a description of the suspect's car. The female RTO answers by telling all units that 1-Adam-12 is in pursuit and asking Malloy to repeat the description of the suspect's vehicle. The male link operator then asks him to repeat his location.

Malloy follows the suspect into Griffith Park.

[Oh, this guy's gonna get it now, it's 10:05.]
He broadcasts an update on his location and the link operator repeats that Malloy has entered Griffith park. 

Speeding through the twists and turns of the park road, the chase takes him to the intersection of Griffith Park Road and Reese Drive. Malloy tries to update Communications with his location, but his dispatch is not readable.

The link operator asks him to repeat, but Malloy takes a corner too fast and loses control of the car!

With the siren wailing and tires screeching, the car rolls several times. It makes a  loud crash as it lands on the side of the road. Then, suddenly, only crickets can be heard, their chirping a stark contrast to the cacophony of the crash.

Back at the market, backup has arrived. Reed listens with the other officers as the link operator asks 1-A-12 to repeat the cross street. He hopes that it's only the faulty radio preventing his partner from answering.
"There's something wrong with our radio."

In the park an unconscious Malloy lies in the demolished patrol unit unaware that the RTO is asking him to acknowledge the call. 

Suddenly, Malloy is roused from slumber by the familiar voice requesting, "1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, code 1." Once his eyes are open, he rips his tie off and gasps for air. He searches the car for his lifeline to the outside world, the radio microphone.

He finds it on the floor and uses the cord to drag it towards him. He picks up the mic and lifts it to his mouth, he struggles to get the words out.
"1-Adam-12, TA, below Griffith Park Drive and Reese Drive. Officer needs help."
But his dispatch isn't addressed, the RTO continues to send other units on calls and approving code 7's. In the midst of the chatter she repeats the code 1 request for 1-Adam-12.

Since the radio is no help, Malloy tries to attract attention by turning on the red lights and sirens. He flips the switches under the dash, but his effort only produces a spray of sparks.

Understanding that he will have to leave the car to find the help, Malloy tries to move his leg and realizes that it's broken. Now a new plan starts to form in his mind. To set it in motion, he first unbuckles his safety belt.

When I saw this I immediately thought of my
 grandmother who never wore a seat belt
because she thought it would slice her in half
 if she were in an accident. I guess she never saw
 this episode of Adam-12 that disproved her theory. 
Malloy tries to open the driver's side door, but finds it blocked by a large rock. He carefully slides across the seat to the other side and takes the shotgun out of it's holder. He then empties the shells and uses the butt of the gun to force the damaged passenger side door open.  The link operator issues a code 1 request for 1-Adam-12 again.

Once he has the door ajar Malloy takes the shotgun and launches it out of the car. Exhausted, panting, and sweating, he then slides back to the driver's side and takes out his penknife. With the knife he cuts off a length of the shoulder harness stored above the window. He then tosses that out of the passenger side window, too. The link operator issues a code 1 request for 1-Adam-12 again.

Mustering all of his strength, Malloy opens the passenger side door and flops out onto the ground. After he catches his breath, he drags himself towards the shotgun and seatbelt pieces. 

Meanwhile, Mac has arrived at the market. As soon as Reed sees the commanding officer he wastes no time in asking him to be put in an L car, he wants to start searching for Malloy on his own. 

Mac tries to convince Reed to come with him to the command post at the park. But Reed won't hear of it, he can't stand around waiting while his partner could be injured or worse. Mac doesn't even put an fight, he asks the other officers to drop Reed off at the station so he can get a car. Before he leaves, Mac gives Reed a bit of advice. Reed explains why he may not be able to follow his advice.
"Hey, Reed. These things happen, be a pro."
"Yeah, we're close, Mac. You know, real close."

Back at the park, Malloy puts the finishing touches on the project he's been working on. He's created a splint for his broken leg by tying the shotgun to his leg with the cut pieces of the safety belt. While he finishes securing it, he hears the link operator announce that a command post has been set up at the Griffith Park observatory. Then, as he gingerly hoists himself up to take a seat on a fallen tree branch, the male dispatcher repeats, "1-Adam-12, code 1".

With the splint in place, Malloy slowly and carefully stands up then hobbles back to the car. Once he's back in the unit, he groans and grimaces from the pain of his short journey. Suffering from injuries other than a broken leg, Malloy rips off his Sam Browne belt and tosses it aside. 
I know how you feel, Malloy. I always rip off
 my belt after a long day, too.
While the link operator reads off the list of cars involved in his search, Malloy attempts to take apart the radio microphone. The dispatcher's voice is soon drowned out by the sound of a helicopter rotor. 

Malloy suddenly remembers that he has a means of alerting the air patrol to his location, the road flares. Putting aside his pain, he pulls himself to his feet. He holds onto the car and works his way down to the trunk. After all of his effort to get there, he finds the damaged lid impossible to open.

In desperation, he moves as quickly as he can to his discarded belt and picks up his revolver. He raises it in the air and begins firing, but the helicopter takes no notice and disappears into the night sky. A devastated Malloy collapses to the ground.

By now Reed is in an L car, slowly driving through the night with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding the spotlight out the window. 

After his failed attempt to make himself known to the helicopter, Pete tries to fix the radio again. In the middle of working on a screw, he puts down the mic and his penknife and starts to shiver.

Fearing that he may be going into shock, he covers himself with a jacket he finds in the car.  He gives up on fixing the radio for the moment and tries to use it in its current state. With much effort he speaks into the microphone. He gives his location and lists his injuries, he's bleeding internally and has a broken leg. Pete ends his dispatch with "send an ambulance". As expected, there is no response from the voice on the other end.

Although the intended audience didn't hear Malloy's broadcast, there was one person listening to it. Unbeknownst to Malloy, there was a man hiding in the bushes the entire time he was talking. The scruffy stranger emerges from his hiding spot when Malloy finishes his attempted dispatch.

The sight of another human being gives Pete hope and his face lights up when he sees the unkempt man. He begs the man for help; his situation is dire, he thinks he may have a ruptured spleen. 

But when "old Boone" crouches down beside Pete, he makes it clear that he is only there to help himself; to Pete's weapons and ammunition. After he scoops up the revolver, Boone tells Pete that he's been hiding out in the park for the past twelve days, ever since he shot a man during a robbery. He thought he had it made until tonight when the park came alive with police searching for Pete. 

Boone shoves Pete to the ground as he searches the mangled car for the shotgun shells. When he finds them, he stashes them in his pocket then rips the mic head off. Next, he cruelly disassembles Pete's splint and takes the shot gun with him. He's sadistically pleasant as he walks off, leaving Pete lying on the ground and wincing in pain.

"Have a nice day."
After Boone does his damage the radio delivers another devastating blow to Malloy. The command post is being moved out of Griffith Park.

This decision doesn't sit well with Reed and he tells Mac exactly how he feels. He finds the sergeant at the new command post and demands to know who's working the park. Mac argues that Pete has probably moved out of the park, they searched it methodically and found no sign of him. But Reed's not hearing it, he knows his partner is in the park and he wants to keep looking there.

After Mac makes it clear that he cares about Pete just as much as he does, Jim concedes and asks his CO for a new area to search.  Mac assigns him to the side streets, north of the freeway between Pass Avenue and Glendale Boulevard. Jim apologizes to the sergeant and heads out into the darkness.

A spent Malloy lies back listening to the radio chatter. He chuckles to himself when he hears Mac ask Reed for his location and Reed confess that he is not in his assigned location, but the park. Malloy appreciates his comrade's willful ways.
Perhaps inspired by his partner's determination, Pete decides to try radio communication one more time. He picks up the coiled cord and examines the two exposed wires where the microphone used to be. 

He brings the two wires together and discovers that they make a sound, a sound that he can hear over the radio. Reed, still driving through the park, hears it too. He picks up the microphone in his L car and tells Mac to clear the frequency, he thinks he has something.
[It's either an S.O.S. or Pete is playing "Operation".]
Although Mac can't hear what Reed is hearing, he still allows him to conduct an experiment to test his theory. With Mac's permission, Reed makes a broadcast directly to Malloy. He asks his partner if he can hear him.
Malloy responds with "one for yes". Reed tells Malloy he's on Reese drive and asks if he should  continue south on the road. The radio crackles with sound once for yes. Finally, Reed asks Pete if he's injured. 
When Pete answers with one sound for yes, Jim responds by asking if he's been shot. After the radio crackles twice for no, Mac interrupts. He can now hear Pete's signals, too, and he's sending an ambulance to the park.

Jim continues on Reese Drive. When he thinks he's in Pete's vicinity, Reed gives the siren a blast. Malloy signals once to let him know he's close. Now Reed begins shining the spotlight out the window, he tells Pete to signal when he sees the light.

A blast of static comes over the radio and Reed knows he's finally found Malloy. He radios the location to Mac then runs out of the car. 

He sprints through the brush and discovers Malloy just as the link operator announces that the officer has been found and the command post is EOW.

Reed kneels beside Malloy and puts his hand on his neck searching for a pulse. Malloy, roused from his semi-conscious state by the touch of his friend, forces his eyes open and utters the one word that defines their relationship.


The End

Ah, "The Search", this is one of those episodes that is usually on any Adam-12 fan's "top-ten list" of favorite episodes and it's easy to see why. It's an exciting, emotional, nail biter of an episode that is a testament to the depth of Reed and Malloy's friendship. An illustration of their deep bond as professional partners and close friends.

But, it's so much more than that. It's also an episode where you can learn new things, specifically what to do if you ever break your leg when you're stranded in the woods and have a shotgun handy. It's an episode that has something for the car buffs, too. They can watch for the exact moment that the Plymouth Satellite transforms into a Belvedere and then a Mercury Montego. "The Search" is also one of those episodes that makes you think. What happened in the real story this was based on? How did the actors prepare for this story? Did Milner talk to officers or doctors about the symptoms of a ruptured spleen? Did they ever catch the guy Malloy was chasing? What about Boone?

I love "The Search" for all those reasons and a couple more. In this story we get to see another example of Reed's growth as an officer. Here we see him standing up to Mac by fighting to continue the hunt for Malloy in the park. He even goes outside the rule book and lies to his commanding officer, something the rookie of a few years ago would have been too scared to do. This is also one of those rare times that we get to see McCord emote through his facial expressions alone. I love watching those tight close-ups of his face when he's behind the wheel of the L car. Not just because of McCord's amazing bone structure, but also because you can really see the anguish Reed is experiencing as he searches for his friend, mentor, and partner. 

No surprises here, you know exactly which rating "The Search" will get from me.

So, last time I said I may have something extra to celebrate since this is my 100th blog post!! Here's the "extra", some pictures of my Adam-12 memorabilia collection. We moved into a new house about two months ago and it has over twelve feet of built-shelving in the living room, the perfect space to display some of my collection. (And family pictures, too, I guess.)
Here's all of the shelves, the first two
contain books and Adam-12 stuff.
Shelf 1
Shelf 2
Here are some close-up's of my stuff. Sorry about the glare on some of these.
Telegram and Secret Lives of Adam and Eve,
both from the Martin Milner Private Collection.

This is the Jack Webb shelf. Picture of McCord and Webb,
"TV Guide" cover with Webb, Milner, and McCord illustration.

Press photo and 1968 NBC ad.

Christmas card Marty and Kent sent out during
 the run of the show, signed by McCord.

I just love these pictures. Especially the one of Milner,
 I swear you can count his pores in the picture.

Route 66 picture and "TV Guide" cover.

Comic books

Nashville Beat ad and mug that belonged to Milner. 
More "TV Guides" and my pinewood derby car.

Some well-loved pictures I purchased on Ebay.

Hand re-touched press photo
and another "TV Guide".

This isn't on the shelves, but it hangs over my desk where I work on the blog.
This movie poster also belonged to Martin Milner.

I hope everyone enjoyed the virtual tour through my Adam-12 "museum". It's my small way of saying "Thank you for sticking with me through 100 blog posts!".

I can't wait to hear what everyone else loves about "The Search". See you next time with "The Ferret".



  1. Your museum is awesome Keely, the best I've ever seen. I'd love to have that set of shelves/display case. You're also the only other person I know of that has that 1 issue of comic book besides me. (The one on the right with the baboon) Mitch

  2. I have tears all over again, looking at the pictures and reading your words. I have watched this episode SO MANY times, and it just never gets old. I just love the close-ups of their faces and the exquisitely nuanced depiction of their emotions. They really don't even need any words at all! Pete's agony is palpable, and Reed's distress is crushing. I love it when Jim just puts his heart out there to Mac, without regard for the male ego's requisite toughness, letting him know how truly important Pete is to him. I love that he, at first, secretly defies Mac and follows his gut feeling, and that his hunch is correct, permitting him to say, "Mac, I've got 'im!" This is the first time I remember being aware in the series that Jim has evolved into a truly smart, independent, adult cop who is a force to be reckoned with. This is where I first realized that I truly loved both their characters, and the reality of their on and off-screen friendship. I remember reading somewhere that Martin was very proud of his portrayal in this episode, and his pride was certainly well-founded. These two men are treasures, and I'm so glad that we have these visible memories of Martin!

  3. P.S. Deleted this by mistake, so hope the rewrite works. Thank you so much for sharing your collection! It's hard to believe that your love of Adam-12 and your collection of treasures grew out of your starting to binge-watch it on a whim. (I remember reading that at the beginning of your first blog, I think.) You rock!

  4. Awesome items, very nice display. Mike Halasi.

  5. Thank you for sharing your treasures!!! I enjoyed looking at your keepsakes!!! As for the show this one was especially hard to watch after losing Martin. To see that pain in his face. He looked so lost and alone, made me blubber like a baby! The hope of him being rescued by Boone, turned into anger by his treatment of Malloy! I thought wait it's just a show. But then remembering that these were taken from real life incidents. It's hard to understand that people can treat each other with such lack of love! As bad as things were back then to being so much more horrible today! Relief came as Reed knelt down beside his buddy, partner and friend. The one word Malloy used to sum it all up, PARTNER!! Great job one again Keely❤️

  6. Does anybody know Raj Pandey, whose post is repeated 6 times above? Looks like major dangerous SPAM to me!

  7. Richard "Dick" Peabody from Combat! tv series played Boone.

  8. Wonderful post! This is one of my favorites too. Such great performances from both Milner and McCord. I've wondered about the real story behind this one too. Thanks for letting us see all your memorabilia! You have some real treasures.

  9. Like the collection in your library. As for "The Search", it is one of my all-time favorite episodes in the series. Oddly enough, as I stated somewhere else on another page, it was one of the episodes of the series that always stuck with me years after its airing back in 1971. I always remembered that there was an episode where Malloy was alone in the patrol car pursuing a suspect and he has an accident. But this episode had everything in it that made me want to sit there and watch and hope that Pete would somehow pull out of it.

  10. Keely, I'm halfway through, but I'm wondering why he hasn't leaned on his horn, or turned on his lights and siren? Is there something preventing him from doing that (other than a dramatic device?) :-)

  11. BTW, this is a top 3 episode for me so far.

  12. Don't EVER break up that collection Keely - it must be forever in one set. Don't get rid of it piecemeal if you get older - it MUST be kept together. It's important American History.

  13. Shared memory from a year ago, so I had to read this again. I still love it so much!