Sunday, October 26, 2014

Log 101: Someone Stole My Lawn or The Stolen Lawn (Episode 9, Season 1)

Episode 9

A quick note about the title of this episode, Netflix gives this episode the title Someone Stole My Lawn IMDB lists the title as The Stolen Lawn. As I pointed out before, these early episodes were originally only titled by the Log number, at some point the descriptive titles were added. I guess this one has a couple of variations.

In this episode things are not always what they seem and Reed learns some important lessons about being a police officer.

The story begins with Reed deciding which snack to buy from this gigantic, oddly placed vending machine. 
This thing is huge. How many Snickers bars does it hold? Oh wait, Snickers bars were probably like 18" long back then and only cost 4 cents.
Why didn't this scene just take place in the coffee room? Was it being fumigated for cockroaches? It seems that would have been easier than setting up this behemoth of empty calories in the hallway.

"Hey, Reed! Let's go!"
This thing is gigantic! I'm 5' 2", would I even be able to reach the coin slot?
After Jim gets his snack, he meets Pete in the car where the senior officer reminds him that PM watch starts promptly at 4:00 and they should be cleared and rolling by then. Jim clears them with 2 minutes to spare. As soon as they are rolling it becomes obvious that the topic of this shift's conversation will be Jim's stomach. It is empty and growling because Jean is worried about Jim's health and has put him on a diet. 
Jim: Don't tell Jean I'm eating peanut butter crackers.
Pete: Ha ha ha, you're whipped.
In the next scene, Pete and Jim's usual roles in the car are reversed. Jim is sullen and cranky while Pete laughingly recounts a story. Hangry (that's hungry and angry) Jim cuts Pete short and asks if they can go eat. Code 7 is denied and they are told to continue patrol and handle a 415 "man with a shovel".
The billboard above Hair Creations reads, "People are different, so are Bank of America's new checking plans".

This is the "man with a shovel", Mr. Jenkins. He is pissed because his beautiful lawn is now missing.
Mr. Jenkins tells Malloy that his "beautiful, Dichondra" lawn he grew from seed has been stolen. 
What the heck is a Dichondra lawn, anyway? Turns out, it's not what I expected at all. It doesn't look like grass, it looks like a plant! But, I don't know much about plant life. In fact, after reading that short description about Dichondra lawns in the link; I now know more about Dichondra than any other green, living thing on the planet.
While Pete takes the report from Mr. Jenkins, Reed canvasses the neighborhood for witness. As he talks to Mr. Jenkins' neighbors, he finds it hard to stay focused.
The lady in the yellow floral shirtwaist dress is Mr. Jenkins' next door neighbor, she called the police. Although I think her dress looks dated for 1968, I do like it quite a bit.

Jim runs away from this rack of ribs in order to stop himself from grabbing it hungrily.
This boy saw men who looked like pool cleaners "swiping the old grouch's lawn". He has written down the license plate number of the truck they were using.  Jim is so excited about this information that he forgets to ask for some of this boy's ice cream.
Pete then points out that the city is the victim in this crime. The lawns on the street side are city property, the homeowners are allowed to use it as long as they maintain it. Reed then requests that dispatch broadcast the description of the suspects and their vehicle to all units.
Walters and his partner hear the broadcast while arresting a couple of hippies. They think they may have seen a truck matching the description with rolled-up sod in the back; they plan to investigate after they book the hippies.
Now that that's over, it's time for code 7. Right? Wrong! They are sent to 793 Vista Wade to see the woman about a forgery suspect.
This is 793 Vista Wade. Some gypsies used to live here.

This is Mrs. Milne, she lives in this big yellow house now and she is worried about her stepson, Douglas. She thinks Douglas' friend from San Francisco, James Talbot, is trying to sell her stepson some stolen credit cards. She tells Reed and Malloy that Douglas is at the local pool hall trying to raise money to buy the cards from Talbot.
Reed and Malloy head over to the pool hall to see what is going on. As they approach the hall, the boys spot the patrol car and take off in different directions. Of course, our boys catch the bad boys.
Malloy will search Milne.

Reed will take Talbot. After searching him, Reed asks to see his identification.

Oops, dropped my wallet. Here, I'll bend over and pick it up.
Freeze Talbot! My partner may be green, but I know what you are trying to pull.
Feet back and spread 'em!
Well, what do we have here?
Grrr, knife bad.
You're under arrest for possession and concealment of a deadly weapon. What else have you got in your boots? Oh look, stolen credit cards.
When we next see Reed, it is 2 hours later and he is working on the report about Talbot & Milne. Malloy soon joins him at the report desk. 
Here, I don't want you to starve to death. I would have to fill out another report if you did.
While Reed has been writing, Talbot has been talking to detectives and he has "copped out" to many 211's in San Francisco.

Everyone, go to the 16:20 mark on your DVD or Netflix stream of this episode and hear the way Milner delivers this line. Go ahead, I'll wait. It's awesome, isn't it?

What follows is a great exchange between Malloy and Reed on how a cop can never be too careful.
"When do ever get over being scared when you have to take a man you know is armed?"
"When you lose sight of his hands and he kills you"

After the report writing is done, it's time for code 7. Right? Wrong! The "steak joint" where they wanted to eat was closed. Despite being denied sustenance again, Reed is still able to focus on the job. On their way to the "greatest pancake house in the whole world" (does that make it an "international" house of pancakes?) Reed spots a trespasser in a used car lot and tells Malloy to go back and check it out.

They catch this guy, Carl Robinson, in a Jaguar on the lot. They think he is trying to steal the car, he claims he was only looking at it.
Oh look, the gold Mustang is for sale!
Robinson begs Jim not to bust him because he is on parole for grand theft auto. He is trying to turn his life around, he has just been hired at Lockheed and if they arrest him he will go back to jail. Reed decides that they should him let go, an experienced car thief like Robinson would have chosen a more accessible car to steal; not one that is boxed in like the Jag.

Malloy: "You did a big thing."

"Yeah, but did I do the right thing?"

"Probably, but on this job the only thing that's black and white is the car."
Well, now it's quitting time. No code 7 tonight, but after they clock out Pete and Jim are going to chow down on some man-sized steaks. Right?

This is the first time we see Malloy or Reed in their civilian clothes.

Malloy describes his steak fantasy in great detail to Reed.

This fails to excite Reed who is suddenly not hungry.

Not hungry? 

Malloy is confused, why would Reed no longer be hungry?

This is why.

Malloy looks at Reed disapprovingly, then walks away in disgust.

When I first saw this episode, I was mildly amused with the whole stolen lawn incident. "Ha ha, that guy had his lawn stolen. Isn't that zany? Oh yeah, Reed is hungry, too. They never get 7, that stinks", these were my initial thoughts on this episode. But now, after I have watched this again I realize that this episode is not what it initially seemed. The calls within this episode are also not what they look like at first.
The first call, the stolen lawn, looks like a case of stolen property from a man's yard. But, due to Malloy's knowledge of the law, we come to find out that the property was stolen from land owned by the city, not the homeowner. During the second call, we find out that a suspect who seems to be clumsy really has a more vicious intent. What started as a routine search of a suspect, ended with an important lesson for Reed.  Finally, on the third call, a man who appears to be attempting grand theft auto has no such intent. He claims he only wants to "turn over" the engine, but I suspect he may have been trying to spend the night in the car. It is during this call that Reed learns very few things in police work are cut and dried. The same is true of this episode, it is not as clear-cut as it first comes across.
I really like this episode, so I have given it a rating of:

Do you agree?
See you next time! KMA-367!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Log 714: Everyone Nods (The Lost Crossover)

Hey, remember that time that Jim told Pete about his favorite blog
You don't? Well, lucky for you, I am here to refresh your memory.

Jim: Hey, Pete, guess what Jean and I did this weekend.

Pete: I don't know, paint your kitchen? Replace your bathroom sink?

Jim: No, we watched Dragnet.
 Pete: Dragnet? That show with those 2 square detectives?

Jim: Yeah, Pete, Dragnet. It was a really great episode. Friday went over to Gannon's house to watch the game, but his neighbors kept coming over and bothering them.

Pete: This sounds fascinating...

Jim: And Gannon's house is really great. It has this groovy yellow wall phone and gold medallion clock and some pretty nifty table lamps. Except, it's not a real house, it's a set on the Universal lot.

Pete: Did you fall asleep in the sun again? 'Cause I think your brain is fried.

Jim: No. You see Jean and I starting reading this blog,
and now we notice all sorts of cool things about Dragnet's sets and furniture and decor...

Pete: Blog?!?

Jim: Look, Pete, why don't you come over this weekend. Jean has this friend who is a computer programmer, she can explain what a blog is to you. And you can meet this boy who lives next door, he's starting a band with his family.

Pete: Oh, Jean has a friend. Look if this is another set-up. I've told you before, I'm a happy bachelor...

Dispatcher: 1-Adam-12, Shots fired at the laundromat at 332 East Vermont, see the man, handle code 3.

All units in the vicinity, check out Everyone Nods by Suzy Dragnet! It is a great blog with tons of interesting information about all things Dragnet. It is what inspired me to start my blog. I definitely give it a rating of:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Log 72: El Presidente (Season 1, Episode 8)

Episode 8

Pete and Jim have a busy day on patrol. They break up a fight, help a man with an international incident, capture an armed robber, and use tear gas to stop a sniper.

This episode is not a mini-masterpiece like the previous one, but there are some connections between the two. For instance, episode 7 was titled Log 71, this episode is titled Log 72. Does this mean that these incidents take place on consecutive days? Malloy also references something that he and Jim discussed in the previous episode. I love it when that happens, very few 1960's TV shows have that sort of continuity.

Our story begins in the locker room of the police station.
Reed's guardian angel, Stenzler, is watching over him. This is his view of the locker room.
Walters and another officer are helping Reed with his math homework.

Not really, Reed and his wife want to buy a house and he is trying to figure out the mortgage payments. When he tells Malloy this, Malloy's response is, "You wanna buy a house? You just finished painting the apartment."
See what I mean? Continuity! In the last episode Reed was telling Malloy how he and Jean painted the bathroom and Malloy remembers this!
Malloy thinks the Reeds are rushing things, he doesn't want Jim to get himself into a "money hole".
Malloy doesn't understand why Reed needs a house now. Reed tells him, "I gotta plan for the future, don't I?"
First you're painting bathrooms, now you're planning for the future. What's next? An arranged marriage for your unborn child?
The first call is "unknown trouble" at 3328 St. Victor Road.
There's that Mustang again.
As they approach the door, we can hear two women arguing. 
This lady, Thelma T. Walker, answers the door. She is yelling about someone named "Agatha" stealing her money. But, where is Agatha? Is Agatha a figment of Thelma's imagination? Is Thelma crazy? Drunk?
Malloy finds Agatha in the closet.
I'm surrounded by squirrels.

This is Agatha R. Zephyr. She's in the closet because, "Everybody's got to be somewhere."
Fun fact, my high school team was the "Zephyrs" and our mascot was an owl. I think they should make Agatha here the new mascot of the Zephyrs.

Malloy questions Agatha while Thelma observes and Reed poses for Law & Mantel Monthly.

Agatha hears that Thelma has accused her of stealing money's on!
Thelma really thinks that Agatha is trying to steal Mr. Walker, who just happens to come home in the middle of all this.
I can see why Agatha would want him.

Mr. Walker takes control of the two women and Malloy & Reed exit stage left. (Notice the bottle on the table.)
Back in the car, a cabbie flags down Adam-12 and tells the officers he was just robbed.
Malloy directs the cabbie to pull over with his large, freckled mitt.

The cabbie gets in the car to help them look for the thief.

They spot him and Reed gets out the car WHILE IT IS STILL MOVING!

Hey, look it's future Hill Street Blues TV cop James Sikking playing the cowboy/ robber.
Next, Malloy spots smoke coming out of a tent in a backyard. He asks Reed, "What does that look like to you?"
Huh? What does that mean, Reed? Have you been to Iowa? Does the entire state get together for a picnic?

Anyway, the boys find the homeowner and question him about the smoke and the tent in his yard, the broken down bus parked near his house, and the outhouses in his driveway.
This is Mr. Wilson, he is the president of the Westside booster club. Three months ago, he and his wife went to Mexico to ask a city down there to be a sister city to their Westside.
A busload of Mexican stereotypes then showed up at Mr. Wilson's door to accept the invitation. They also think he is the president, not of the booster club, but of the United States.

Mr. Wilson just wants them to leave by 5pm so his wife does not divorce him.

Malloy convinces them that "El Presidente" is very busy and they must leave after the "fiesta" they are preparing.

Here's what we learned on that call, Reed has (maybe) been to Iowa and Reed understands Spanish! Anytime the Mexicans say something in Spanish, Reed understood it.
You barely understand what I tell you in English, but you understand everything they say in Spanish?

Hey, look Pete! There's that Mustang again.
They get a radio call for more unknown trouble.

These boys have reported the trouble. Their neighbor, Mr. Slade, has fired shots at them from his window. More children in mortal danger!
First, Malloy tries to talk the sniper out of the house. But, when Slade fires a shot at him he knows that won't work. Back-up arrives and Malloy takes control of the situation and directs the other officers.

OK, men, here's how we are going to flush him out. We'll put on our bulletproof aprons, he's sure to come out and see how funny we look in those. If that doesn't work, we'll use tear gas. Somebody radio Mac to bring the aprons and gas kit.
Mac shows up with the supplies and sees that Malloy has everything under control. This is what I love about Mac, he lets Malloy remain in control even though he is the sergeant. 
Reed, it's time to put your apron on.
I know they are life saving devices and not a laughing matter, but these 1968 bullet proof vests crack me up.  They really look like aprons with a flap attached to protect the "family jewels".
Slade, come out and see what we look like in our hilarious bulletproof aprons.
I'm not coming out that easy.
You won't come out? Fine we're sending the tear gas in.

That does the trick.

After they capture the bad guy, Reed comments that he cracked up "living alone like that". Is this a warning to Malloy?
He then asks Pete, "Malloy, things like this don't seem to get to you, do they?"
"Sure, they get to me, but I was thinking about those kids. The way I figure it, Slade had his chance. If he blew it, that's tough. But, if he killed one of those kids that would have been a lot tougher."
This speech seems to echo some of the same thoughts Pete shared at the end of  episode 7, but in a less dramatic fashion.

This episode doesn't really stand out to me. The funny spots are mildly funny, and the stand-off at the end is not very tense or dramatic. So, I give this episode a rating of "Woods". Meh.

See you next time, KMA-367!