Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Parole Violator (Season 4, Episode 17)

Episode 95

That man in yellow looks familiar. 

Oh, look, it's Pete. Apparently he coaches basketball. Is there anything he can't do?

One of the players, a young man named Kyler, wants to talk with Pete privately after practice. Pete tells him to wait for him at his car.
So, it's official. The gold Mustang is Pete's car.
Kyler has something on his mind, but he's he having a hard time getting the words out. 
"Why don't you spill it?"
It's tough, Pete being a cop and all, but Kyler comes clean. His friend Larry Ciprio is using drugs again. He begs Pete to help Larry get straight again. Kyler doesn't want the junk to get Larry the way it got his brother. Pete assures him that he'll try to help Larry.
"I'll do what I can."
(In other news, Pete changed out of the yellow short-sleeved sweatshirt he was wearing during practice into another yellow shirt.)

The next day, Pete tells Jim they'll be having lunch with Steve Hernandez. Pete's trying to act like everything is normal, but Jim knows that's not true. Especially since Pete has just asked him if he remembered the hot sheet. 
"What are you upset about?"
"What brought that on?" asks Pete. Jim explains to Pete that he knows he's upset when he starts asking him questions like that. In all their time as partners, he's never forgotten the hot sheet. Pete's unnecessary question is a clear indication of his mental distress.

Pete's got to admit it, Jim is right. He comes clean and tells his comrade his concerns about Larry Ciprio. This also explains why they are having lunch with Steve Hernandez, he's Larry's parole officer. 

At the outdoor Mexican restaurant, that clearly gets its decor from garage sales, Hernandez finds it funny that Malloy is asking about Larry Ciprio. Lately, he's been keeping a closer eye on Ciprio. Hernandez began watching Ciprio more closely when he received an anonymous letter tipping him off to the fact that Ciprio is using again. Hernandez has the letter with him  in Larry's file. Malloy opens the folder and takes a look.

Malloy's confused when he reads the note. It says Larry Cipreano, not Ciprio. Hernandez explains that Ciprio is a shorter, easier-to-pronounce version of Cipreano. 
[Makes sense. If I had a name that was
hard to pronounce. I would change it, too.]
Hernandez has been keeping tabs on Larry by investigating all of his old drug contacts. He can't find evidence that Larry has been buying narcotics from any of them. Despite this, he knows something is going on with the young man. He went by his apartment this morning and found that Larry, along with a lot of his stuff, was missing. He noticed his clothes and basketball plaques were gone.

The mention of plaques piques Malloy's interest. He knows if Larry has taken those out of the apartment, he's probably not living there anymore. The plaques commemorating the team's victory in the park league last year were important to Larry. He'd be sure to take them with him if he left.

Hernandez will continue to keep an eye on Larry. He'll check out all of his regular haunts, but he doesn't want to pick Larry up unless he's sure he's using again. Larry is already kind of paranoid and thinks the cops are out to get him. Hernandez doesn't want ruin any small amount of trust he's built with Larry.

At the end of their conversation Malloy asks Hernandez to call him if he finds Larry. He wants to talk to the young man. Hernandez hopes he does find Larry,he is worth saving.

After their lunch break is over Malloy hypothesizes that Larry may have moved back home with his mother and younger brother. Reed is sure that Hernandez will look into it. Their discussion about Larry is put on hold when the RTO's voice breaks in over the radio. She dispatches them to Sixth and Alvarado where someone has been hit with an automobile.

They race to the location code 3. When they arrive Reed and Malloy find a young boy on the ground and a small group of adults nearby. 

Reed tends to the boy while Malloy asks the bystanders if anyone saw who hit the boy. A woman in a white trench coat speaks up. Nobody saw the driver, but they all saw the car. She describes it as a gold sedan with a white top. 

 A worried Reed watches as the boy's eyes flutter open. The small child looks at Reed and says, "Daddy, you came home, you finally came home." The boy then asks "daddy" to hold him.
[I swear I've never seen this kid. He's
obviously in shock. C'mon, we don't even look alike.]
After the boy is loaded onto the ambulance, he's still asking for Reed. 
"Boy seems to think you're his father. You're not, are you?"
[I told you, I've never seen him before.]
The attendant thinks it would help keep the boy quiet if Reed rode with him to the hospital. Malloy tells him to go ahead, he'll meet him at the hospital.
[Look, kid, the last time I did this I ended up getting shot.]
At the hospital Pete and Jim meet up with Bobby's mother, she thanks Reed for riding with him in the ambulance.
[He must have thought you were his father,
 he was a police officer, too. His name was Tom Porter.]
[Oh, hey, Marge. You've changed your hair.]
When they're back in the car, Reed tells his partner about the grip the poor little guy had on his hand. Malloy gives him some advice.
"Jim, do yourself a favor and stop thinking about him."
[As soon as you stop thinking about Larry Ciprio.]
They come to a stop at an intersection and watch as a white over gold sedan plows right through a stop sign. Malloy takes off after the car and wonders if it could be the car responsible for putting Bobby in the hospital. As they follow after the vehicle, Reed picks up the mic and asks for wants, warrants, and DMV on 145-OZI. The RTO lets him know that there are no wants or warrants on the car which is registered to Dennis Baker. 

The car finally comes to a stop after Malloy blasts the horn and turns on the reds. Reed asks the driver to step onto the curb. As he follows Baker to the sidewalk, Reed notices the sedan doesn't have any dents or scratches.

While the driver is taking his license out of his wallet, his young passenger shouts from the car that Baker should tell the cops to "buzz off".  Baker seems embarrassed by his friends and comments to Reed that kids have "no respect for the law". Malloy walks over to the vehicle to handle the passenger.

"Get out of the car, please."
He repeats himself more forcefully when the young man tells him not to be so touchy. The young man gets out of the car, then reluctantly steps onto the sidewalk after Malloy threatens to make it "tough" if he way he wants it that way. Baker watches the action and tries to make excuses for his friend's behavior. He tells Reed the kid reads too many underground newspapers. 

After Malloy gets the kid's license he goes back to the car to run him. While Malloy is occupied, the young man turns his attention to Reed. 
He shouts, "Hey, cop, ain't you got nothing better to do?" 
Reed wastes no words with his response.
"Why don't you button it?"
When Malloy is finished in the car he walks up to Reed and shows him a note. Baker also sees what Malloy has written.
I think this is a hand stand-in. Where are Milner's freckles?
[Um, okay. If you say so, Pete.
Personally, I think he's a little scruffy.]
Malloy walks over to the gold sedan and orders the young man out of the vehicle. He then proceeds to search and cuff him. Baker wants to know what is going on and Malloy lets him know his friend is wanted for selling narcotics. Baker's friend asks him to secure a bond for his bail.
As soon as Baker signs the ticket Reed has written him for running the stop sign, he rushes back to his car. He takes off without saying goodbye to his young friend.

Reed, sensing this isn't a regular bust, walks back to the patrol car and asks the man in cuffs who he is. Malloy knows the answer and introduces his partner to Officer Morry, an undercover Narcotics officer. 

They all climb in the black and white. Even though Morry isn't a suspect, Reed still gets in the back with him. Morry turns to him and asks how he knew he wasn't on the level.
"It wasn't you. It was Pete, he wasn't playing it the way he usually does. He'd never show me a note like that so Baker could read it. I think he bought it."
Morry's pretty happy with the way everything turned out. He thinks his "arrest" should help establish his cover as a badass drug dealer with Baker. Maybe now the man will trust Morry enough to sell to him. He thanks Reed and Malloy for their help and tells them to "take me in and jail me." Malloy is happy to oblige.
"Our pleasure."
Later in the day they stop at a phone booth so Reed can call the hospital to check in on Bobby. When he gets back in the car he reports that Bobby is out of surgery and the doctors think he is going to make it. The next bit of news isn't quite as encouraging.
"He could be paralyzed, but they won't know until he regains consciousness."

"We're not having much of a day."
Malloy starts the car and they immediately receive a dispatch from the RTO. They're instructed to meet Mac on tac 2. When Reed switches the frequency Mac lets Malloy know that he's received a call about Larry Ciprio. He's at the park now. Hernandez has also been advised and he'll meet them there.

At the park they meet up with Harry, the groundskeeper, he tells Pete that Larry is practicing in the gym. Pete asks Jim to wait outside for Steve then hops over the railing to the building.
Inside the gym Pete tries to play it off as if he's just there to pick up some papers he forgot. But, Larry knows better. Pete wouldn't just "stop by" in his uniform on a casual errand. He knows Pete is there for him. Pete decides to come clean and admit why he's really in the gym.
"Okay, I came looking for you, to talk. No harm in that, is there?"
Larry also knows that Kyler told Pete he was using again, his friend told him about the breach of trust. According to Larry, though, Kyler didn't have his facts straight when he talked to Pete. He adamantly declares that he is not using again.

When Hernandez and Reed show up, Larry begans to back out of the gym. Hernandez tries to halt his escape by telling Larry that the evidence supports what he told Pete. He can't find anything that points to Larry using again. But, as his parole officer, he has to check out the accusations. The presence of three officers makes Larry feel cornered. 
"Stop making me feel like a junkie!" he shouts at the three men.
Pete tries to show Larry that he's on his side. But it doesn't matter, the young man runs out of the gym.
"I believe you, Larry."
Hernandez isn't sure what to believe. He tells Pete that he just doesn't know.

At the beginning of their shift next day, 1-Adam-12 is told to meet 1-L-90 on tac 2 again. Mac has good news for Reed and Malloy. Bobby has been responding to treatment, he's going to be okay. 

They next get a call about the other young man on their minds. They're dispatched to Selzer and Northside to meet Hernandez.

When Malloy meets up with Hernandez he inquires if there is any news about Larry. Hernandez responds by reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small package. He hands it to Malloy.
"Looks like heroin. Where'd you get it?"
(There's that hand stand-in again.)
Hernandez found the heroin sitting right out in the open on the dining room table in the house that Larry shares with his mother and younger brother. He couldn't believe it. As a parole officer, he's heard of careless junkies; but this was just idiotic. 

Finding the white powder out in the open was weird, but what's even weirder is the fact that Hernandez doesn't remember seeing it when he first entered the house. He's pretty sure he would have spotted the narcotics had they been there. The way he sees it, they have to bust Larry now. If he's clean they may, at least, be able to find out where the heroin came from.

While Malloy puts them code 6, Hernandez vents his frustrations to Reed. If only he didn't have so many cases, he might have been able to keep closer tabs on Larry. Despite his caseload, he can't help but feel responsible. Reed tells him he's not alone.
"That makes two of you."
When Malloy comes back from the patrol unit and lets them know they're clear to assist on the arrest. Hernandez points out the Cipreano house and they're on their way. Malloy and Hernandez will go to the front while Reed covers the back.

At the front door of the yellow house Hernandez and Malloy are greeted by Larry's mother. She recognizes Malloy's name when Hernandez introduces him. She recounts how Larry speaks often and well of his basketball coach. She tells Malloy that Larry thinks of him as more than a friend, he's almost an uncle to her son.

When Malloy thanks Mrs. Ciprio, she corrects him. Their family name is Cipreano, not Ciprio. It's a good name and she can't understand why her sons use the shortened version of it. 

They all go inside house where they find a Larry who is not happy to see either officer. He just wants them to leave him alone. 

Pete will do that if Larry can tell him where the heroin Hernandez found came from. Larry doesn't think the officer will believe him, but he gives him his story anyway. 

During a weak moment Larry bought two bags of the junk. He swears he didn't use any of it. He knows Pete probably doesn't believe him considering the slump he's been experiencing on the court. But that shouldn't mean anything, even Jerry West misses once in a while.

Pete asks about what Kyler told him. Larry's aware of what his friend told Pete, Kyler was with him when he made the buy. He tried to talk him out of it, but he didn't listen. Afterwards, when he was filling the syringe, Larry thought about how hard he fought to get clean. He was able to resist the temptation and not use any of the heroin he bought.

As Hernandez listens to Larry's story he watches his mother and suddenly realizes something. She was the one who sent the anonymous letter. It had to be her, she wrote Cipreano instead of Ciprio. At first Mrs. Cipreano tries to deny her involvement. However, she confesses and admits that she wrote the letter and put the bag where Hernandez would find it. She did it to get the drugs out of her house and away from Larry and his brother.

Larry realizes that Hernandez will have to report him. He broke his parole when he bought the drugs. Hernandez tells him he's right, but the fact that he didn't use them should work in his favor. Even though Larry may not be facing jail time, he tries to make a break for it. 

Hernandez grabs him and slams his against a wall. He points out to Larry that he's a chicken. He needs to face the situation, not run from it. They've all been wasting their time trying to help him, now he needs to help himself. Malloy reiterates what Larry's parole officer has just said.
"We're still with you, Larry. But you got to do it yourself."
Larry backs down and assures Hernandez he won't run. He apologizes to his mother and promises that things will be different from now on. She tearfully hugs her son.

With both Trini Lopez and Carmen Zapata, this episode has an all-star cast of Mark VII's powerhouse Latino talents.

[Awww, that's nice.]
Meanwhile, Reed walks over to the shed behind the Cipreano house. He peers through the window and sees something that sets him running for the door of the shed.

He yanks open the door, runs inside, then checks the pulse of Larry's brother. 
Inside the house Pete is talking with the Cipreanos and Steve when he hears his partner yelling for him. Everyone runs out of the house to the shed as Jim uses the radio to request an ambulance.

"...possible overdose of heroin."

Later in the day Reed finds Malloy on the phone at the report desk. When he hangs up Reed asks if he was talking to the hospital. Malloy reports that he was and shares some good news.
"We're two for two in the small boy department today. Frankie's gonna make it."
Reed sees this as a minor victory.

"Good. I wonder how many won't."

The End

This one arouses no extreme emotion in me. It's nice, it introduces the audience to the parole officer and gives them a glimpse into their job. It also shows us what happens when an undercover officer gets "arrested" while on the job. It's an acceptable slice of life with ups and downs, good news and bad, and it all ends with a comment on the futility of it all. 

Nothing over the top or particularly memorable, so it earns a middle-of-the-road rating.

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


1 comment:

  1. I just started Season 7 again last night, and there was Bobby's mom, A/K/A Mrs. Tom Porter, as the woman who offed her disabled husband by putting an electric comb in the bathtub with him. I hadn't really noticed before how much that actress gets around! Same for Carmen Zapata. I like her best in the episode with the baby carriage headed for the lake. As far as this episode goes, I like the Larry character and the undercover narc best (aside from Reed & Malloy, of course) just because they seem the most believable & likable to me. Their segments of the episode make it more entertaining, as far as I'm concerned, so I guess I like at least part of this ep better than you did, Keely. Thanks for sticking with this project even when you don't care too much for some of the eps!