Eighty-seven times two is one hundred seventy-four. Do you know what that means? It means I'm halfway through the series! Wow, time flies when you're having fun. I'll bet that's what Mac says to his wife on their anniversary. Thanks for sticking with me. (I'll bet he says that, too.)
Uh oh, Reed's signed himself up to be the chairperson of another committee. This time he's volunteered to pick out an anniversary gift for Mac and his wife. He's collected twenty-eight dollars from the men on the watch and has no idea of what to spend it on. Him and his big mouth, he can't even pick out a present for Jean. Maybe an idea will come to him on their way to the call at the bar at 19224 Franclar. There's an intoxicated person disturbing the peace there.
When they arrive at the bar they find a group of people, including the bartender, gathered outside. The barkeep tells Malloy and Reed they better get some help, there's no way only two men can subdue the wild man inside the bar. He shows them how the man damaged his face as proof of his savagery.
|"Look what he done to my face!"|
|[I don't think we can totally blame him for the way your face looks, sir. Genetics may have |
had something to do with that, too.]
As they talk to the bartender all sorts of crashing and banging can be heard coming from inside the bar. He begs them to do something, this lunatic is wrecking the place. Malloy tries to get a sense of what they're dealing with, he asks if the man inside is drunk. The bartender has only served him two beers, so he knows he's not drunk. This guy is just "plain lousy mean". Malloy and Reed knows it's time to go inside and see what's happening.
They walk in and are immediately greeted by a bar stool flying at their heads.
|"On your feet, fella."|
The man makes it clear he's not moving. Malloy and Reed advance towards him and try to convince him to put down the pool cue he's brandishing. When he thinks they've come far enough, he shoves the pool table straight at them and reveals something they weren't prepared for.
Reed finds himself faced with a situation he's never encountered before. Malloy's not going to let this stop them from doing their job, though.
|"How do you arrest a guy in a wheelchair?"|
"The easiest way you can."
|"Now get this through your head, mister. We're taking you outta here, one way or another. We'd like to do it the easy way. It's up to you."|
|"Believe me mister, I wish you could. Look, right now you're sore at the world, maybe you got a reason to be. But this isn't going to solve anything."|
|In the middle of his speech, Dobish throws down the pool cue. |
Sensing they are no longer in danger, Malloy and Reed put their batons back in the rings.
(Thankfully, Milner wasn't
"pinned for the count" when he had polio as a teenager.
I couldn't imagine anyone else as Pete Malloy.)
|"Ain't it a riot?"|
(After seeing Dobish's mangled nose and cauliflower ear I was not
shocked to learn that the actor who played this part,
H.B. Haggerty, had been a pro-football player and a professional wrestler.)
A comment from another patron that all wrestlers are phonies was what set Dobish off to wreck the place. The bartender tried to grab him and got an elbow in the face. Malloy joins Reed and the barkeep and asks if he wants to press charges. Now that he's heard Dobish's story, he declines.
|"Nah, he's got enough trouble. Why should I give him any more?"|
|"Alright, tell me."|
Next stop: liquor store!
Bernie suggests a bottle of Chateau Marmot '59, it makes a wonderful gift. Pete and Jim didn't tell him they were shopping for a gift. But after working half his life in a liquor store, Bernie can tell when somebody is shopping for themselves or someone else. When Pete tells him it's for Mac's twentieth wedding anniversary, Bernie gets all misty-eyed. He remembers when Mac first came on the beat. He didn't look old enough to wear the uniform.
|[That was a long time ago. Mac looks like he's outgrown his uniform now.]|
|"How much Bernie?"|
|"The sticker says thirty-five dollars."|
|"Hey, Malloy, congratulations on your promotion."|
(By the way, this is the same liquor store from the pilot episode.)
|"What about me? I have to live with this rank-happy clown."|
As they drive along a gray sedan starts following 1-Adam-12. No matter how slowly Pete drives, the car will not pass them. Jim glances over his shoulder and sees that the car is still behind them. It's following too closely for him to make the plate. All of this is making him nervous.
When they get Mr. Heyes out of the car, he's willing to take whatever ticket they need to give him. But first, he just wants to know what he did wrong this time.
|"This is a thirty-mile-an-hour zone, you've been following us at less than twenty for a quite awhile now. We'd like to know why."|
|[It all started last night when this white|
over gold Mustang started following me...]
Feeling sorry for this poor sap, Malloy decides not to cite him. But he does give him a piece of advice about following police vehicles, it's not a good idea.
|"There's too many oddballs running around |
and a lot of them don't like police. We have to be pretty careful."
|"Poor guy, no wonder he's got black and white fever."|
|Isn't that sign redundant? Aren't all |
vehicles methods of transportation?
|Ask and ye shall receive.|
Pete's not going to let him get away that easily, though. He points out that Moore and the other man didn't seem too friendly when they drove up. Moore tries to brush it off by blaming the disagreement on the other man's Latin temper. When the man walks up and calmly asks Moore for his money back there is no hint of a temper, though.
Moore tries to shut Mr. Diaz up by telling him that all sales are final. But Diaz argues that he did not buy the car. Moore told Diaz the money he handed over was only for the security to cover a test drive. The men continue to go back and forth, but Malloy just wants to get to the truth.
|"What money is he talking about, Mr. Moore?"|
|"Six hundred fifty dollars for this?"|
|Malloy glances over at the witness working in the office.|
|"We got a call, Mr. Moore. It's our job to investigate it."|
Diaz explains that Moore told him the hundred dollars and paper he signed were for security, in case he had an accident while test-driving the car. Now that he has returned the car safely, he wants his money back. Malloy asks if he read what he was signing and Diaz admits that he does not read English very well. Malloy and Reed's conversation with Diaz is interrupted by shouting from the lot office. They all turn to see Moore berating the woman who works for him. Malloy starts to piece together the mystery of who called the police.
|"Somebody sure called us, partner, I think maybe I know who it was. Hang tight."|
|"I'm investigating a call, Mr. Moore. I'd advise you not to interfere."|
|"Of all the stupid...What'd you do that for? I don't|
need no cop to handle a fruit picker like Diaz!"
|"He's right over there, what are you waiting for?"|
Hearing about Moore's policies makes Malloy think detectives may be interested in his business. He hands Mina a card for Lt. Jacobs in bunco. She agrees to call the detective. Then, with a smile on her face, she watches as Malloy descends the office steps. (Suddenly, she feels dirty again. But in a different way.)
They race to the store and fight their way through the crowd gathered at the front door. When they finally get inside they find Bernie lying on the floor. He's been shot in the chest. Another man kneels over Bernie and tells him he's going to be all right. Once Reed comes back from calling an ambulance Malloy questions the other man.
|It's Alfred Shelly, he was on 16 Dragnet episodes and 5 Adam-12 episodes.|
|[Denim jacket? Are you sure it wasn't a windbreaker?]|
|(The attendants tattoo says "Mom".)|
|Reed looks like he's fighting back tears.|
It's hard for Jim not to be effected by this.
|"Things like this make me wanna throw up."|
"That's a good sign. When they don't, you're in trouble."
|And right past this car with what could be a script on its roof.|
The older of the two men claims that it's his camper, the motor just conked out. Malloy decides to walk around the truck and see if he can determine the problem with the vehicle.
|That doesn't look right.|
|Neither does that.|
|"The kind we ask when we see a camper that doesn't quite fit on the pickup."|
|"Turn around, put your hands on top of your head and interlace your fingers!"|
|Reed takes care of the other guy.|
|"Now's as good a time as any, partner."|
|(There's that Mustang again.)|
|"Happy Anniversary, Mac, from the boys and Bernie."|
|[Is it a tennis racket?]|
They arrive at the park and find the man with long blond hair, wearing a denim jacket, and blue jeans lying face down on the ground. His motorcycle lays on its side nearby. Malloy crouches down and turns the man over. He discovers that he's been shot. He also discovers a gun in his belt. Malloy empties the revolver and counts the bullets.
|"One shot fired."|
"Yeah, the one that did Bernie," comments Reed.
|"That's three dollars for every year of his life."|
The EndAfter four episodes mostly focused on a single crime, this type of episode is a welcome change. I like to call these installments with lots of varied calls "utility episodes" (thanks to my friend, J.A.S. for coining the phrase). They may not be as memorable as those focused on a single theme, but they do the job of entertaining while showing Reed and Malloy doing their job.
"Anniversary", written by Leo Gordon, does a great job of being entertaining while showing us a day in the life of Malloy and Reed. It's an excellent study of the two officers, the people they meet, and the emotions they experience. The story starts out with them being called to a frightening situation at a bar. While Reed's apprehension can be read on his face, Malloy is firm and unwavering. Then when it's revealed that the man is in a wheelchair. Malloy decides to take a minute and talk to the man in order to find out the reason for his actions. The cause of Dobish's anger, polio, is heartbreaking, but the script treats him with respect and never veers into maudlin, heart-string-pulling territory.
After their trip to the liquor store their encounter with Mr. Heyes is humorous, but still grounded in reality. In fact, If I had to bet I'd say this part was definitely based on a real-life case. It's too far out not to be. The piece of advice he receives is sound and, sadly, based on a reality that is still relevant. There are a lot of oddballs out there who don't like police.
Finally, the scenes with Bernie run the gamut from funny to sad. Their first scene in the liquor store is amusing, especially when you try to picture a skinny, young Mac. The latter scene is tragic, made even more so by Reed's reaction. When he looks over at the gift-wrapped bottle of champagne, you can see that he's fighting back tears. It's quick and it's a subtle, but it's evidence of McCord's growing skill as an actor. That glance of Reed in the liquor store is another shining facet in this gem of an episode.
An episode that I rate: