Sunday, November 13, 2016

Citizens All (Season 4, Episode 14)

Episode 92

It's another hot day on patrol in L.A. Reed notices that the driver of the Chevy in front of them keeps checking them out. He runs the plates, but it turns out that Ocean, X-ray, Ida, 787 has no wants or warrants. Without any probable cause to pull the guy over, they'll never find out why he's spooked. 

Oh well, time to move on to the northwest corner of Dunkirk and La Brea where a purse snatching victim is waiting to see them. 

And she's not waiting patiently either.
I hate this polyester-nightmare maxi-dress. It's too short on this actress, the side slit is so high, it's almost obscene, and that print. Also, I've heard that is Columbo's car behind her. I've only seen one episode of Columbo (yes, the one with Martin Milner), so I wouldn't know.
Instead of a "Hello, officer, thank you for coming to my aid", this woman greets Malloy and Reed by asking why the police are never around when she needs them.

Without a waiting for a response from either officer she begins telling them that thieves got her purse which contained everything; checkbook, credit cards, license. She had to borrow a dime to call the police. Malloy tries to take control of the interview by asking her to calm down and start from the beginning. "What happened?" he asks the brassy broad.

She doesn't calm down, but she does start of the beginning. With machine gun rapidity she tells Malloy that she had just left her apartment to go shopping, she stopped at the corner for a light, that's when a truck hit her car from behind. When she got out to see what the damage was, a creep jumped out and stole her purse. 

With some prodding from Reed and Malloy, she does slow down her narrative to fill in some details. Like her name, Laura Thomas, and her address, 14429 Delnar Drive. This last bit leaves Malloy confused. If she lives on Delnar Drive and the purse snatching happened near her apartment, then why are they here, over a mile from the crime scene? He wonders why she didn't just go back to her apartment after her purse was taken and call from there?

Laura has a perfectly good explanation for that. She tried to follow the truck the two men were driving, but "some stupid man driver" got in her way and wouldn't let her pass. The two thieves and Laura's purse got away from her. 

Knowing that she saw the truck the men were in, Reed asks her to describe it. Laura's annoyed that he would even ask for such specifics. In exasperation, she tells Reed that it was "one of those little ones, open in the back".
"Like that one, only it was red."
When Reed asks if she saw the license plate, Laura proudly announces that she certainly did see it. "It was blue and white," she reports.

Malloy is not blown away with her skills of observation, however. He'd be much more impressed had Laura actually taken notice of the numbers on the plate. Laura's incensed that they need numbers. All they have to do is look for a blue and white license plate, what's so hard about that?

Malloy, who doesn't even know where to begin on this one, lets his partner handle it. Reed explains that the license plate she described sounds like a Nevada plate. There are quite a few of those in Los Angeles. Laura can't believe there would be that many Nevada plates on little red trucks in L.A. 
Yes, this woman's voice is annoying.
But she's funny, so I'll give her a pass.
Since they've gotten everything she can provide on the description of the car and its plate, Malloy tries to get more out of her on the two men. She doesn't have much to say about the driver, but she did get a good look at the man who jumped out of the truck to take her purse.  He was a "dirty-looking thing" with hair almost as long as Laura's. He was about Malloy's size, but a lot younger.
[And I'm getting older every minute I'm with you, lady.]

Reed tries to stifle a laugh after Laura's unintentional insult to his partner. Malloy moves on and asks Laura what the purse snatcher was wearing. She didn't take much notice of his outfit, other than the Indian headband and swastika-emblazoned T-shirt he was wearing. 

While Reed goes to broadcast the description of the suspect and the vehicle, Laura tells Malloy that the police are to blame for her purse being snatched. If she wouldn't have stopped after her car was hit, as the law says she should, her purse would have never been stolen.  
Malloy reminds her that the police only enforce the laws, they don't make them. Laura doesn't seem to care, she thinks an honest citizen has no chance between the crooks and the police. 

Once they're back on the street, Malloy does have to admit that Laura was right about one thing. There can't be too many red pick-ups around with Nevada plates. Reed agrees and doesn't think it was too smart of the crooks to use a vehicle that stood out like a sore thumb to pull the job. The mention of a "sore thumb" reminds Malloy of a story.

"There was a guy over in Wilshire division that kept pulling 211s, he always wore the same thing: lime-colored slacks and a zebra-striped jacket. We picked him up in traffic court when he was appearing for a citation, in the same outfit. And he could never understand how we knew it was him."

After Malloy's story they keep driving until they come upon a man standing beside a blue car with the hood up in Griffith Park. They pull up behind the car, get out and offer to help the man. He insists he'll be fine, his car overheated and he's just waiting for it to cool down.

While the driver is facing the police car and talking to Malloy, Reed comes around to the front of the disabled vehicle by way of the passenger side. With the driver's back to him, Reed manages to plant his hand on what is supposed to be an overheated engine. 

He takes note of the license plate number then joins his partner.

 "'Bout time for 7, isn't it?" asks Reed. The driver, unfamiliar with cop "shop talk" asks what that means. Malloy explains that 7 is lunch or a coffee break, whatever they have time for. The driver thanks them for stopping by, then lets them be on their way to their break. They drive off and leave the man with his car.

Only Reed and Malloy don't leave the park for the nearest taco stand. They drive around the bend until they know the man can't see them and park the car. Reed tells his partner that the car's radiator wasn't even warm. Malloy's not surprised, that guy was definitely hinky.

Reed pics up the mic and requests wants and DMV on the blue car. The RTO responds that there are no wants on the car and it's registered to a Warren Jarvey. The name Jarvey sounds familiar to Malloy, but he can't think of where he heard it. 

They decide to take a look and see if Jarvey is up to anything. 

They watch from behind some bushes as Jarvey stands by his car. He doesn't seem too considered with trying to start it again or looking under the hood. He acts like someone waiting for something or someone to arrive.

Sure enough, another car drives up and Jarvey flags it down. Jarvey then runs back to his car and retrieves an envelope. He hands it to the other man, who examines the contents then stuffs the envelope in the front pocket of his polyester slacks.

Then the other man reaches inside his car for his keys, then he and Jarvey begin walking towards the trunk of his sedan. Malloy recognizes that they are witnessing the exchange of some sort of goods. He tells Reed, "That's it" and they run back to the patrol unit.

With the red lights flashing in the back and steady in the front, 1-Adam-12 pulls in between the cars belonging to Jarvey and the other man. Jarvey and his friend try to make a break for it as the doors declaring "To protect and serve" swing open. They come to their senses, however, when they see Malloy and Reed emerge with guns in hand.

After the commercial break, Malloy frisks both middle-aged miscreants while Reed stands guard with the shotgun.
An angry Jarvey feels betrayed by the "lousy fink cops", he thought they were going to lunch. Malloy gives him a simple explanation as to why they are here arresting him instead of stuffing their faces with tacos.
"We weren't hungry."
After Jarvey and his accomplice are in handcuffs Malloy takes a walk over to the gargantuan open trunk of the dark sedan. Inside he finds a briefcase containing stacks of twenty-dollar bills. Jarvey tries to play innocent. "Don't ask me. I never saw it before," he says with a sly grin. Malloy then opens the envelope that Jarvey handed the other man and finds it stuffed with cash. Malloy gives Jarvey a smirk and that's the last we see of Griffith Park.

So what happened to Jarvey and his poly-clad partner in crime?  Oh look, here comes Mac. Maybe he'll fill us in on the details.

Mac finds the boys enjoying coffee at a picnic table at Jacey's Bar-B-Q. He sits down and congratulates them on the arrest.
"That was a great bust. $150,000 in funny money."
He also tells Malloy that he was right about the name Jarvey, he's definitely heard it before. But, not in association with the Jarvey they busted today. His brother is a well-known paperhanger who's been busted for passing phony payroll checks. He also has another brother doing federal time for forged securities. 
"Sounds like quite a family."
Mac agrees, the Jarvey family is quite a family. One Los Angeles can do without. He then wonders when Malloy and Reed are going to get back to busting people like Jarvey. "You guys plan on taking the rest of the day off?" he asks.
[He's got the keys, don't ask me.] 
"What was that you said about a great bust?" 
"Yeah, well, don't let it go to your heads.
Finish your coffee and hit the streets."
They do exactly that and then get called to a 507 hi-fi (minor disturbance involving a hi-fi stereo) at 11150 Gordon Avenue.
[I better write that down.]
As soon as they turn onto Gordon Avenue it's apparent why they were called.

They meet up with the PR, Jason Walters, one of the neighbors who has to put up with the racket coming out of 11150 day and night. Walters has asked the owner of 11150, Everett Jones, to turn the music down several times. Jones does for awhile, but it always starts back up again. Walters didn't want to call the police, he's always tried to get along with his neighbors, but he just couldn't take it anymore.
Walters goes on tell them that it wasn't always like this. Everett used to keep his place real nice, but then his wife died and Jones completely changed. Now there's a bunch of kids with funny clothes and hair coming in and out of his house and blasting the stereo at all hours. 

Pete and Jim will go next door and see what they can do. They advise Mr. Walters to go back in house while they talk to Jones. 

In order to reach Jones' door the officers have to make their way through way a lawn strewn with litter and motorcycles. Pete first tries the doorbell, but that's either broken or can't be heard over the raucous rock music. He then tries knocking. First with his knuckles, then with his nightstick.
The door opens a crack and a long-haired young person peeks out. Pete asks to speak with Mr. Jones and the door shuts without a word from the person on the other side. Sensing that the message won't get passed onto Jones, he raps on the door with his baton again.

This finally has the desired effect.

Once again the door opens a crack, this time the elusive Mr. Jones makes an appearance.
"What do you want?"
Malloy would like to come inside and speak with Mr. Jones, but he won't allow it. Unless they have a warrant, that is. Since they don't Malloy asks Jones to step out onto the porch. With a gaggle of long-haired adolescents watching from the window, Jones unlatches the door and steps onto the porch.

Pete and Jim tell Jones that he can have his party, as long as he keeps the music down. Jones lays into them for making, what he sees as, an unreasonable request. This is his home and property and what happens there is no business of the Los Angeles "Gestapo".
"That kind of talk doesn't help, Mr. Jones."
Jones bristles at Pete's statement. How dare Pete tell Jones how to talk, he's a public servant and Jones is one of the citizens who pays his salary. 
Reed scoffs at Jones' tirade.
Pete doesn't want to make a federal case out of noise complaint, they just want to do their job. Now that they've done it, Pete's ready to go. "Let's get out of here," he says to Jim after Jones goes back in the house. 

On the way back to the car Jim notices that Pete's not his usual calm self.  "Jones kinda got to you, didn't he," Jim asks.
"That 'I am a citizen' routine gets a little thick after awhile.
They never seem to get it through their heads that we're citizens, too."
When they're back in the car Jim tells Pete to calm down, he looks uptight. Pete explains that the look on his face isn't because he's upset, he's just been thinking about what Jones is going through. With his wife gone and no children, maybe Jones surrounds himself with the kids because he can't take being alone. 
"You sound like you're sorry for him."
"No, just trying to understand him. Mad doesn't solve anything."
Pete's also sure the young people in Jones' house are playing him for a sucker.

The RTO's voice dispatching them to a 415 at the drive-in on Marshall and Fifth ends their conversation about Jones. 
When they get to the address a large crowd is watching two men throw punches at each other in the parking lot. Malloy parks the unit then he and Reed run out towards the pair. Reed grabs the larger and louder of the two men.

Before Reed can even ask him what's going on the man starts shouting how he wants "that creep" arrested for jumping him with no reason at all. 

The other guy remains quiet until Malloy asks him what's going on. He explains that the big guy with the big mouth came looking for trouble. When he got it, he started to scream. The quiet guy with a big stain down his shirt starts to explain that the trouble started because he's a motion picture actor. Malloy knows his name, Ron McKee. This surprises McKee because usually people know his face, not his name.

Have we ever seen either one of the hang the mic on the car like this?
While Reed calls in the big man's description, McKee tells Malloy that it all started when big mouth pulled in next to him at the drive-in restaurant. He started making wisecracks to the waitress about McKee either being a phony or a pansy like all movie actors, just loud enough so McKee could hear what he was saying. McKee, wanting to get out of there, called the waitress over to take his tray. But, before that could happen, the big guy came over and asked McKee for his autograph. McKee refused, instead telling the man to grow up. The big man then upended the tray right into McKee's lap.

Once Reed is done talking with communications he calls Malloy over to the car. They both head over to talk to the big man. Before they can say anything to him, he starts yelling about having McKee arrested or suing him. Malloy would like to know on what grounds they are supposed to arrest McKee. The waitress didn't see McKee hit the man. Neither he nor the police would have much of a case in court.

This guy thinks he knows what's going on. McKee probably bribed these two cops with a pass to a movie studio or something. Well, he'll sue all of them. He knows his rights. 

Reed's glad to hear he knows his rights. That will save him the trouble of reading them since he's going to arrest him for outstanding traffic warrants. His bail is set at $385. The big man now has nothing to say.

I blame the gold Mustang for all of this trouble. It must make people crazy, it seems to be at every crime scene in Los Angeles.
While Reed loads him into the backseat, Malloy stops to give some McKee some advice. He tells him next time he should try and walk away. McKee states that he did, but some people just won't let you. Malloy gets where McKee is coming from. "Tell me about," he chuckles before heading to the patrol unit.

When they're back on the streets Jim suggests they swing Everett Jones' house before ending their shift. Pete agrees, with one stipulation. If Jones is having another party, it's Jim's turn to knock on the door.

As they drive around Jones' house, which is thankfully quiet, they notice a red pickup truck. Jim doubts this the very same one driven by the men who snatched Laura Thomas' purse, it has California plates. That may be, but Pete doesn't think it will hurt to take a look. 

They park the unit and approach the red truck. Pete opens the unlocked passenger side door and pulls out something very interesting.
"Call a backup unit and cover the front."
While Reed is on the horn with communications, Malloy heads up the stairs to Jones' back door. As he's standing there he hears what sounds like holdup going on inside. Jones tells someone named Ray to take whatever he wants and begs him not to hurt anyone. Ray then instructs another someone named Joey to get the TV set and hurry up. 

Backup quickly arrives and Reed sends them to cover the front. He then goes to join Malloy at the back door, but his partner stops him. One of the holdup men is coming out. Both officers rush for cover in the bushes on either side of the door.

A few seconds after they both crouch in the shrubbery Joey comes out of the house carrying Jones' TV. He also happens to be wearing a t-shirt with a swastika on it and a beaded headband.
I'm confused by the meaning of the swastika on the T-shirt. Is this Joey's way of rebelling against his parents, by wearing the very symbol that represents the regime his parents and their generation fought against? Or, is this his way of taking back the symbol from the Nazis? Is he wearing it to thumb his nose at those who co-opted it as a symbol of hatred. Is he saying through his apparel, "This symbol doesn't belong to the Nazis, it was around for 5,000 years before they adopted it"?
I wonder what the swastika meant to early-seventies youth subculture. This is not the first time we have seen Nazi regalia on a young person in an Adam-12 episode. If you remember there was a teenaged boy wearing a Nazi coat in the first season. We've also seen the swastika on the show before, but clearly used as a symbol of hate. This usage, on Joey's T-shirt, perplexes me. Especially since he has paired it with a Native American-style headband. Maybe someday I'll have the time to research all of this.
Joey doesn't get very far before he is stopped by Reed and a backup officer. 

Meanwhile, Malloy sneaks inside the house as Jones is being held up at gunpoint by Ray. Reed comes in, too, after Joey has been hauled away.

Ray's not happy that Jones only has sixty dollars to contribute to his cause. He threatens to blow a hole through Jones. When...
1-Adam-12 to the rescue!
Now Jones is happy to see Malloy and Reed, Ray could have killed him and his long-haired friends. (Not really though, Reed discovers that Ray's pistol didn't have any bullets in it.) After a backup officer cuffs Ray and marches him out the door, Reed asks how the gunman gained access to the house. Jones' answer isn't much of a surprise. 
"Just knocked on the door, I try to make everybody welcome."
I've done a horrible job thus far of pointing out the actors in this episode and where you may have seen them before.  Let me try to rectify that. Jones here is played by Vic Perrin. You may have seen him on a Dragnet episode, he was in five of them or you may have heard him in a Scooby-Doo or Captain Caveman or Smurfs episode. I also think he looks like Henry Gibson from Laugh-In.

Malloy challenges Jones on his declaration.
"Even the Los Angeles Police Department?"
Jones apologizes for his earlier actions. Malloy tells him that isn't necessary, they'd just appreciate it if Jones would start being more careful about who he lets in his house. These words from Malloy act as a wakeup call to Jones. He promptly tells all of the young people hanging around his house to get out. 
"All right kids, party's over. Everybody go home."
[And stay off my lawn, too!]

The End

I like "Citizens All", it's a well-balanced episode that combines humor, action, and emotion. It starts out with humor from Laura Thomas, her misguided attempt to catch the purse snatchers, and her haughty attitude directed at the police; who she feels are inept. The episode then veers into cloak and dagger territory in Griffith Park with Jarvey and his counterfeit currency exchange. After that there's more comedic relief from Mac when he tells Pete and Jim in a firm, yet humorous, way to get back to work. 

Next we see some of the emotional aspects of the policeman's job. Namely the frustration Pete and Jim feel when dealing with someone who compares them to the Gestapo. But, Pete's feelings toward Jones don't stop with anger and frustration. He tries to understand why Jones acted the way he did. It's a gesture that makes Malloy even more of an admirable character. 

The episode winds down with two action sequences, the fight at the drive-in and the capture of Roy, before ending with Jones seeing the error of his ways earlier and another caring deed from Malloy. Instead of lecturing Jones on why the robbery happened to him, Malloy gives him a bit of friendly advice. 

In addition to all of that, this episode has something else I really enjoy: subtle facial reactions from both lead actors. An eye roll or smirk from Milner is always welcome, but a slight twitch of the lip to hold back a grin or scoff from McCord is a special treat. It's great to see his understated reactions as Jim is forced to deal with clueless or rude citizens throughout the course of his day.

I'm trying to think of something I don't like in this one and I just can't. So, I give "Citizens All" a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know, somewhere, out there in cyberspace. See you next time with "The Princess and the Pig".



  1. Like someone said on your FB page, Keely, I love seeing John Smith from "Laramie" playing Ron McKee. He and Robert Fuller were GREAT in "Laramie", and they contribute a great deal to my addiction to Westerns. Also, you're so right about Vic Perrin looking like Henry Gibson. The first time I saw this ep, I thought he really might be Henry Gibson. Like you, I love the subtle facial expressions exchanged by Reed & Malloy whenever there's a dig about Malloy's age, or when a particularly annoying citizen (like Laura Thomas) expresses indignation about how they do their job. Incidentally, I like her dress, and it's fun to see the old braless look that was popular in those days. I remember the old test: if you could hold a pencil under a bare breast, you were too well endowed to go braless. Ah, the good old days! Comfort was all, except for platform shoes. A friend of mine broke her ankle falling off her platforms. Love your insights and your humor, as always, Keely. Please keep up the good work!

  2. It is Columbo's car, at least one of the two used. It's a 1959 Peugeot convertible, Model 403. Only 504 were produced in France, and Falk's production company owns two (the second is used as a backup car).

  3. Vic Perrin is best-remembered for his voice rather than his face. He was the "Control Voice" that messed with the horizontal and vertical in the 1960's version of "The Outer Limits".

  4. I cannot *wait* to read your post about "The Princess and The Pig." Next episode ...

    1. What is your prediction on my rating for "Princess"?

    2. Well, I wasn't going to say anything because this is your gig, but since you asked ... I think you're either going to love it or hate it, with no in-between, because it is (with the possibility of "Death of a Pig") possibly the *least*-typical Adam-12 episode I've yet seen. I'll wait until you've written your blog entry before I give any more details because this is your stage, but I have very strong feelings about "The Princess and The Pig."

    3. You are right. I have very strong feelings about "The Princess and the Pig", very strong.

  5. And see if you can pick up one of the biggest bloopers I've ever heard in any TV series. You will, if you're paying attention, and you'll hardly believe it.

    1. I have watched that ep many times (just saw it 3 times on DVD the other night). After reading your comment last week, I looked for a blooper, but I didn't find one. Guess I don't really get that much of a kick out of finding bloopers, anyway. I just love the series!

    2. I wasn't looking for it, either - it jumped out at me! I replayed it at least five times to make sure I wasn't imagining it, but I'm almost positive I wasn't.

    3. BTW, I watched it a second time this week with a friend, and she didn't pick it up either, even when I told her to look for it. When I said what it was, she became pretty convinced that I was right, but not 100% convinced. Don't spend your time looking for it; it's not worth it - you'll either notice it, or you won't.

    4. BTW, I noticed that you said it was a blooper you HEARD. We'll see what Keely says. Not searching for it, myself.

    5. Keely may or may not hear it, but it doesn't much matter - I may just have a good set of speakers. But I'm about 95% certain that when I point it out, you'll at least say to yourself, 'Yeah, I can see why he thinks this.' And if it's true, then it's a blatant, astonishing error.

    6. BTW, if it doesn't jump out at you, then looking for it would be an exercise in futility, especially when I'll say what it is in the next day or two - whenever Keely writes her blog entry.

      Her latest comment about having strong feelings about the episode is intriguing.

      Keely and I are usually within one ranking of each other, so I'm pretty sure we think the same thing, but she has said a couple things in the past that have surprised me, so we'll see ...

      And I *know* that, despite her happy marriage, she has a crush on both of the stars, and this is an episode that arguably portrays McCord at his most swoon-inducing. :-)

    7. I so agree, Don. There is NOTHING like Kent McCord doing gentle tenderness! (redundant or not) Like many A-12 viewers, I totally share Keely's crush! I keep thinking about the "P & P" blooper, though, and it seems to me that I wondered briefly about something I thought I heard during one of my recent viewings. Seems like, around the time of the stake-out or the shoot-out, I might've heard someone call either Reed or Malloy by the wrong name, or refer to one of them by the wrong name. Seems like I wondered about it at the time, but not enough to investigate. Might do it after reading Keely's blog.