Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day Watch (Season 4, Episode 10)

Episode 88

Adam-12 races through the streets of Los Angeles to its next call. Malloy turns the sirens off just before the black and white Satellite comes to a stop at a gas station. Reed and Malloy hop of the vehicle with their guns drawn.


A man comes out of the station office and they immediately tell him to "freeze". He stops in his tracks and tells them not to shoot, he's the owner and the victim of the crime. Malloy and Reed relax, just a little, when they find out that the stickup man left fifteen minutes ago. 

Malloy is puzzled, though. He asks the owner, Williams, why he used the silent alarm if the thief had already left. Williams explains he thought the alarm would be faster than the phone. Too much valuable time had already been lost when the suspect locked him in the men's room and he had to break the door down to get out. After that he didn't want to waste any minutes on a phone call. 

That explains that. Now Malloy and Reed have some more questions for Williams, like what did the suspect look like. 
"T. Williams", wonder if that's an homage to producer Tom Williams.
"He was colored," answers Williams.

"What color?" asks Reed

An annoyed Williams shouts that the gunman was black. Reed presses him for a specific description and the station owner begrudgingly supplies them with more details. The stickup man was around thirty, wearing grey slacks, a blue jacket, sunglasses, and gloves. Williams further describes the suspect as having "one of them bushy haircuts".

"A natural," says Reed translating Williams' description into the latest vernacular.

Williams knows what the guy looked like, but he can't say if he had a vehicle or not. He was inside doing the books and heard a noise. When he turned around the bandit was standing there with a "cannon" pointed right at his nose. Even with a gun in his face, Williams did manage to keep his cool. When the thief tried to get him to open the floor safe, Williams told him that he was only an employee and that the owner was the only one with the combination. His lie prevented the crook from getting the almost six hundred dollars in the safe. The crook only made away with the cash from the register and Williams' wallet, about one hundred and thirty dollars.

While Reed goes to the car to broadcast the description of the suspect, Williams broadcasts his frustrations to Malloy. This is the third time this year he's been robbed and he wants to know when "you people" are going to do something about it.
"We're trying, Mr. Williams."
When Reed returns from making the dispatch Williams is telling Malloy he is going to start bringing his gun to work. Malloy cautions him to think twice about that. The angry business owner doesn't care what the officer has to say, though. He vows to shoot the next punk with a gun who steps through his door. 

Their business with Williams finished, Malloy and Reed head back to the car. As they get ready to leave, a van from a local TV station arrives.

Williams gladly talks with the reporter.

After they leave Williams and his gas station Malloy and Reed continue their patrol. Their next encounter with a citizen begins when a man in a black convertible flags them down. 
The man seemed like he wanted to talk when he flagged them down, but now that he's got the officers' attention it's taking him an awful long time to get the point. They find out that his name is Paul Soren, he's from San Francisco, and he is in L.A. on business. After much prodding Soren finally tells Malloy and Reed why he called them.


Earlier today he gave a ride to a teenaged girl he saw hitchhiking a few miles from where they are standing. She looked like a typical teenager wearing jeans with flowers painted on them and a purple fringed vest. At the beginning of their ride they engaged in the usual small talk. She asked Soren where he was from and if he had a family or not. She said her name was Jo. 
"That's probably short for something."

[Wow. Hard to believe the SFPD
 hasn't recruited you as a detective.]


When Soren asked where Jo wanted to be dropped off she replied "anywhere", as long as he gave her twenty dollars first. He thought she was joking, but soon realized she was dead serious. The girl threatened to start screaming that he molested her if he didn't hand over the twenty. In case that didn't scare him into paying up, she added that it would cost a lot more than twenty dollars to fight her accusations in court. Not knowing what else to do, Soren gave her the money.



After Soren provides a description of the girl; seventeen, long blonde hair, blue or greenish eyes, and a cute face; he wants to be done with the incident. He's not interested in filing a formal complaint. He has to be out of the city and on his way home tomorrow. Malloy, however, is able to change his mind. He convinces Soren that the girl needs to be taught a lesson.



After they leave Soren Pete and Jim continue to discuss what happened to him. Pete thinks he got off cheap. If she had called the police he could have had a lot more trouble, especially if she was a juvenile. 


Pete glances at his watch and announces it's half past. They'll do one more go 'round then call it a day. 


They start their last tour of the district and spot Willy, an old drunk, as he teeters into the street. Pete figures they should pick him up before he walks under a truck. It seems Willy wouldn't mind being picked up. He unsteadily waves them over as Jim shouts at him to get out of the street.


When they safely meet up with Willy on the curb Pete notices that he has a bottle of champagne in each one of his coat pockets. Willy claims he found them, but Pete doubts that story is true.
"That doesn't sound too probable, Willy. This stuff's expensive."
Willy insists that it's the truth. He explains that he and his friends found the bottles in a condemned building on First Street. They've been holed up in there since Tuesday, enjoying their intoxicating treasure trove. 

After five days of being inside, Willy was getting a little stir-crazy. So, he left his friends behind in search of sunlight. As soon as he stepped outside he found the sun and something else. Something he wants to show to Pete and Jim. Pete agrees that they'll go with Willy if he then shows them the building with the champagne.

He leads Pete and Jim down an alley, until they stop in their tracks. There it is, they see it too.


A pink elephant.
No, Pete and Jim haven't been hitting the bottle between the calls. This elephant is a photographer's model. It's part of an ad campaign photoshoot that the photog has set-up in the alleyway. 

The elephant is interesting, but it's not the most eye-catching thing about the photoshoot.
(Those shoes are terrible.)

Now that they've seen the elephant, Willy will take Pete and Jim to see his friends and their bottles.

Since Pete and Jim were going to call it a day right before they ran into Willy, I'm assuming everything else that happens in the episode takes place the next day. 

The next day Malloy and Reed spot a girl that looks very familiar. 


She's not wearing a purple vest, but everything else about this blonde hitchhiker matches the description Paul Soren gave them yesterday. Malloy decides to swing around the block before they talk to her.


They make their trip around the block and come back to find the girl has been picked up. Reed thinks they've lost her for good, she could be anywhere now. What Malloy sees on a nearby corner proves his partner wrong, though.
"Wrong, partner. Jackpot."
The teenaged hitchhiker is on a nearby curb struggling with an older man who is holding her by the wrist. Malloy parks the black and white to investigate. As they approach the man and the girl, she shouts at them to help her. She claims he's trying to attack her.

After Malloy tells him to let her go, the girl demands that the man be arrested. But Malloy is not slapping the cuffs on anyone before he hears both sides of the story. The girl tells her account first.
It's Ronne Troup, back as another screwed-up teenage girl.
She tells the officers she was hitchhiking and the man picked up her up. Once she got in the car he started "talking dirty". She told him she wasn't that kind of girl and asked to be let of the car. Instead of stopping the vehicle, he continued driving and starting talking about taking her up in the canyon.


Now that Reed has her story, he needs a name to go along with it. He asks and she replies, "Carole Walker". The man is surprised, she told him her name was Jo. She hands her student ID over to Reed as proof. Sure enough, it says "Carole Walker".
[I guess Jo is short for Carole, Pete.]
Before another shouting match starts, Reed decides it's best to separate these two. Carole comes with him while the man, Mr. Johnson, goes with Malloy. 
Once he and Malloy are alone, Johnson tells the officer a story he's heard before. He picked Carole up and as soon as she got in his car she demanded twenty dollars. When he refused she threatened to call the police and accuse him of getting fresh with her. Johnson told Carole he would save her the trouble of calling the police, he'd take right to the station instead. She did not welcome his suggestion, however. When she heard it she changed her tune and said she was only joking about the twenty and the molestation charge.

Johnson knows his story of what happened is completely different from Carole's, but he's confident he can prove every word of it. Malloy doesn't think that's possible.
"I'm afraid it's just her word against yours, " he tells Johnson.
Johnson's not afraid, though. He's got an ace in the hole, his attache case holds a voice-activated tape recorder. He uses it for work, but today he used it to record every word he and Carole exchanged when she was in the car. He offers to play the tape back for Malloy, but he tells Johnson it would be better to hit "play" when they are in front of detectives at the station. 

Having heard all he needs to hear from Johnson, Malloy walks back to where Reed waits with Carole. He tells, "Get in the car, miss." Carole doesn't move an inch, instead she asks if they are going to arrest Johnson. 

Malloy repeats his request, "Get in the car, please."

"This isn't right," she protests.
"Neither is extortion."
The station set must have been under construction during the filming of this episode, because we don't get to see or hear what happens when Johnson plays his tape for detectives. Malloy does give us a recap when he and Reed are back in the car.


At the station they discovered that Carole was twenty-four years old and had two hundred and sixty dollars in her purse. She had a good thing going, until Johnson and his tape recorder shut it down. 

The link operator breaks in with a new call, there's a 211 in progress at a service station on South Wallace. Reed recognizes the address.
"It's Williams again."
Malloy's not surprised that they are being called back to his place of business. "It figures," he adds.

When they arrive at the station, Reed and Malloy find Williams has been injured in addition to being robbed. The station owner holds a bloody rag to his head as he tells them about the latest robbery. This time the thief did his homework. He watched the news after the last robbery and knew that Williams was the proprietor and had the combination to the floor safe. He also knew about Williams' gun. He made off with it and all of the money from the safe. 

Even though he was bumped on the head, Williams did manage to see how the bandit got away this time. His getaway car was a red, foreign sports car. Upon hearing this bit of information, Reed leaves the station office to make a radio broadcast. While he's gone Williams tells Malloy that the suspect was high. When Malloy questions how he knows this Williams walks over to the counter and pulls out a gun.
"Put that thing down right now," orders Malloy.
Williams does as he is told and also points out the weapon is nothing more than a realistic-looking toy gun. Now that he has the officer's attention, he begins to pontificate on law enforcement. He feels a "good, old-fashioned lynch law" is needed to stop "these people". He doesn't believe the cops can do it. They can't even stop him from being held up with a toy gun. A fact that makes him sick every time he thinks about it. Malloy, on the other hand, thinks Williams shouldn't worry so much about the toy gun.
"Don't let it bother you, he's got a real one now."
Shortly after leaving Williams' service station the link operator comes over the air to let all units know that 1-Mary-82 is in pursuit. He's southbound on Sepulveda approaching Vermont. Reed comments that they could intercept at Hoover. He and Malloy then exchange wondering glances when they hear that the vehicle being pursued is a red sports car with one male negro occupant. 

The next voice they hear over the radio is that of the motorcycle officer involved in the chase. He announces that the suspect's vehicle has jumped the curb near Hover (or Hoover as Reed said) then his broadcast suddenly ends. After a second of silence, 1-A-12 lets the RTO know that they will assist 1-M-82.

They find the overturned motorcycle near a fence in a dirt lot. A red sports car is stopped against the fence. Officer Woods is on the ground next to his motorcycle. He's been shot and he's bleeding. Malloy stays with him while Reed calls for ambulance. 

You thought this was Officer Grant, right? Wrong. In this episode this is Officer Woods, Officer Jerry Woods.
Officer Woods tells Pete that the guy in the red car opened up on him "with a cannon" then went over the fence. 

Malloy asks Woods if he knew about the want on the car. Turns out the motorcycle officer didn't, he was on 7 right before he spotted the red car. 

When backup arrives Pete and Jim head over to the fence. Woods tells them to be careful, the suspect is "gun-happy".


I like it when they jump over fences.

Pete and Jim climb over the fence and into the scrap metal yard on the other side. 


They wade through the sea of rusting cars and hubcaps until Jim spots a man in a blue jacket and a "natural" running into the yard office. He gets behind a car for cover and calls for Pete. 
The suspect begins firing at him through a broken window in the shed. 



A short gun battle between the officers and the suspect ensues. It ends when he shouts that he's out of bullets. "Don't shoot no more," he begs.

Malloy orders him to throw out the gun and come out with his hands up. The suspect tosses the gun out of the broken window then emerges from the shed with his gloved hands over his head.
After Reed cuffs him he takes a good look at the gunman. Something's not right about this guy. He reaches up and tugs on his "natural" and discovers it's anything but.
"Pete..."


[Wouldn't a stocking mask have been much easier?]

"Had you fooled, you thought it was some n*##er pulling them jobs."
Malloy can't resist commenting on the irony of the situation.

"It's strange you held up Williams' gas station. You two have so much in common."

The End

I'm going to keep it short and sweet this time. This episode frustrates me. There are parts of it that I like, particularly the All in the Family-esque exchange between Reed and Williams where the young officer schools the older business owner on the proper term for the suspect's "bushy" hairdo. It reminded me of many such conversations I had with my grandmother in the 1980's.

But there were also parts where I felt cheated. I wanted to see that condemned building where Willy's friends were hiding out with their stash of champagne. The pink elephant was cute, but the champagne they discovered sounded more interesting. I also wanted to see and hear what happened when Mr. Johnson played his tape for detectives. When the scene on the street ended, I thought we'd be going to the station next. I was kind of disappointed to see Reed and Malloy in the car after that.

Also, the timeline and how it relates to the title frustrates me in this one. Is it "Day Watch" or "Days Watch"?

On top of all that, this episode "creeped me out", too. I'm hoping it was never acceptable for middle-aged men to give rides to teenaged female hitchhikers. If it wasn't, it should have been. 

This episode does do a good job of showing that criminals don't all come in one color and bigots operate on both sides of the law. I just wish it would have shown more action in two of the stories. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. I give "Day Watch" a rating of:


Do you agree? Let me know somewhere, out there on the internet. I'll see you next time with "Assassination"!

KMA-367

4 comments:

  1. Just one quick comment for starters: I remember the days when hitchhiking was a kicky thing to do, even though I never did it, myself. According to stories told to me by participants, no potential transporter was ruled out on the basis of age, and middle-aged men didn't rule themselves out based on an "old men transporting young chicks is creepy" rule. It didn't hurt if a driver happened to be good-looking, or if s/he had a joint or drugs to share, but that seemed to be incidental. Hitchhiking just had a built-in excitement factor, the thrill of meeting new & different people in addition to getting a free ride. (I never knew anyone who hitchhiked with the intention of extorting money from drivers.)

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  2. Sorry to repeat this, but you take just fantastic screen shots and you write so damn well. I wish this whole blog could be published in book form!

    I was sorry we never got to the Champagne stash as well. You are right, we did get a little cheated in this one. Do we know where it came from, I cannot remember. I mean does it tie into anything else in the episode? I always feel like I missed something there.

    The hitchhiking and middle aged men thing is odd. A man puts himself in a potentially bad situation, as demonstrated here, but I thought in the 60s and 70s, a lot of the kids hitchhiked and everybody was in danger from everyone else. Hitchhiking is sort of illegal, but I am not sure about picking people up. Anyway it is safe in Reed Malloy land.



    "Jo," probably being short for something is annoying. Malloy was probably thinking just what you said.

    The racism is dealt with so well. It was not patronizing to anyone, including us. And the guy being robbed three friggin' times and wanting a lynch law, is horrible, but made sense from a bigot, so the racism and character rang true.

    I do not know what it is with Jack Webb and the names, "Jerry," and "Woods," but to me that officer is,"Grant," and he is my favorite, Non Reed, Malloy, on the show. I wish we saw him more.

    I love when they jump fences as well, but I never thought of it before. The episode with the little girl being held captive by her father is awesome for clearing fences!
    Reed was a natural, but Malloy being heavier and older, I wonder if he had help, it does not look like it though and we know he played baseball and basketball.

    That actor who owned the gas station played a very similar character on, "Barney Miller," except also always drunk, I think, but you are too young and it is not on NETFLIX yet. You kids!

    Another great blog entry. You rock, Ms Keely!

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    1. George Murdock had a recurring role on"Barney Miller" as the slimy Internal Affairs investigator Lt. Scanlon. (I think you're conflating him with the foggy Inspector Luger.)

      He also played "God" in Star Trek V.

      Objectively, this isn't one of the all-time best episodes, but it definitely stuck in my memory for 30+ years until I finally saw it again.

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  3. I think no matter how old I get, I'd always be willing to give a ride to Ronne Troup!

    Jo's first victim, Fred Holliday, later appeared with Kent McCord again in "Galactica 1980".

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