Sunday, July 12, 2015

Log 64: Bottom of the Bottle (Episode 15, Season 2)

Episode 41

As you may have guessed by the title, the underlying theme of this episode is alcoholism. Up to now, most of the alcoholics featured on the show have been the "funny" male drunks, usually played by Foster Brooks. This episode deviates from that formula, the drinkers featured here are not all "fun" and one of them is a woman.


Malloy and Reed track down an alcoholic's shot-gun toting lover and rescue a girl who has attempted suicide.

The Story:

It must be Sunday, because Reed and Malloy are booking one of their regular "customers" at the jail. 
This is Louie, he wants Reed and Malloy to remember that the drunks are important to the police. The LAPD would be out of business if it weren't for them.
After they've booked Louie, Malloy and Reed head out to patrol the streets of Los Angeles. 
I can't wait for next week's episode, "Log 27: Who Spilled the Paint?".
While they're in the black and white, Reed wonders how many times Louie has been arrested and what happened in his life that made him crawl inside a bottle.
Malloy theorizes that Louie himself wouldn't be able to answer that question. 
Reed agrees that Louie wouldn't know the reason for his drinking, "He'd be the last person I would ask."

Before they can start guessing at the genesis of Louie's problems with alcohol, the radio breaks in a with a call of a 390-415 (intoxicated person disturbing the peace) at the bar located at 4093 South Paul, code 2.
Mixed drinks for sixty-five cents! No wonder they have a happy hour and a half.
Malloy and Reed enter the bar to find two men engaged in a slugfest while an excited female spectator cheers them on. They're barely two steps inside this fine establishment when a chair, thrown by one of the pugilistic patrons, comes flying at their heads. After ducking to avoid getting hit with the chair, the officers rush forward to stop the fight.
Reed handcuffs the man who threw the chair while the woman jumps on Malloy.
(Go for it, girl! I don't blame you at all!)
After everyone has calmed down, Malloy wants to know what the heck is going on.

The bartender, who was one of the men duking it out, explains that the women was already at the bar when the other man showed up and ordered a water. The bartender turned his back and heard the woman drop to the floor. He told the couple to leave and the man took a swing at him.
This is the guy who took a swing at the bartender. His name is Christopher Pilaf, he's married to the woman in green. He's also very sorry about the whole thing and offers to pay the bartender for any damages.
The bartender doesn't want Mr. Pilaf's apology. He wants him to pay for the damages, but not in cash. 
"In Hell you will, you can depend on it."
(Are those pickled pig's feet in that jar? Gross.)

Mr. and Mrs. Pilaf don't end up in Hell, not today anyway, just jail. Mr. Pilaf is taken back to Central division with Malloy and Reed while his wife is taken to Sybil Brand Institute (maybe she'll run into Susan Atkins there).
"I've never been arrested before."
Does this guy remind anyone else of Maj. Freeman from M*A*S*H? You know, the psychologist or psychiatrist.
This guy. Maybe it's the mustache.
After Reed explains the process of being booked to him, Pilaf tells Malloy and Reed that he left his wife six months ago. He couldn't take her drinking anymore.

Malloy and Reed have returned to their patrol after booking Mr. Pilaf. They receive a call for a 211 silent at a liquor store, but are immediately told to disregard. 1-Adam-16 will handle the call. As they are being told they are not needed at the liquor store, a green Dodge speeds past them. The driver and the passenger of the Dodge wave their arms out of the windows. Malloy flips on the reds and the sirens and begins pursuing the green car. 
The chase leads them past this sign.

Their pursuit ends with the Dodge crashing into this white guardrail.

Does that "NOT A THROUGH STREET" sign and white guardrail in front of the house with the creeping foliage look familiar to you? It should.
You've seen it before.

In episode 7, when this redheaded filly drove her crimson pony car into the same fence.

Well, back to the story at hand. The driver and passenger of the Dodge jump out of the car as soon as it hits the guardrail. Reed and Malloy exit the patrol car with guns drawn and tell the two young men to keep their hands in sight. With their hands in the air, the two men excitedly tell the officers there is a girl dying in the backseat. Reed looks in the back window and verifies their story, there is a girl lying on the backseat, bleeding profusely. He calls for an ambulance while Malloy frisks the driver and passenger. Malloy doesn't find any weapons and tells them to relax. 

The senior officer then asks, "what happened to the girl?". The two young men explain that they found her in the park with her wrists bleeding.
Malloy applies pressure to stop the bleeding.
(It took me forever to figure out what he was doing here.)
While Malloy is with the girl, Reed asks the driver for his license. He is incensed that he is going to get a speeding ticket for his act of charity. He was only driving that fast in order to get her to the hospital. Reed explains that his reckless driving could have gotten the girl, themselves, and other people "wiped out".

Michael, the driver, also doesn't understand why the officers didn't pull along side of the Dodge. Didn't they see him and Eddie, the passenger, waving at them? Reed tells him that policemen have been killed, shot, or swide-swiped that way.

The girl is Carmella Hermosa, she goes to school with Michael and Eddie. They honked at her when they saw her in the park and she didn't even look. That's when they knew something was wrong. Eddie states, "When Carmella doesn't look, something's wrong." 

The ambulance arrives and removes Carmella from the backseat. Malloy searches her purse for ID and finds none. Without identification to verify her address, he asks Michael and Eddie if they know where she lives. Michael brags that he knows where she lives and even has her phone number. Eddie's not impressed, he tells his friend that she has given her number to "you and everybody else". There may not have been any identification in her purse, but there was a suicide note. Reed summarizes the note for the curious teenagers.
"It says nobody loves her."

The next day Mac has some bad news for Pete and Jim. Carmella's father is filing a complaint against both of them, he claims that his daughter had a wallet with fifty dollars in it. But, the wallet and the fifty dollars were not among her personal items at the hospital. Pete tells Mac that when he checked the purse, there was no wallet. If there was one, it was gone when they got there. Mac hopes Pete can prove that.

Pete and Jim react to the news that a complaint is being filed against them.

In the car, Pete and Jim discuss how they are going to prove that the wallet was not in Carmella's purse when they searched it. Pete wants to check the park, Jim suggests that they talk to Michael and Eddie. Before they can get anywhere in their investigation, they receive a call of shots fired at an apartment house.

The manager at 9501 James Street takes them to apartment 538. The door of 538 has been blasted with a shotgun, twice. No one answers the door at 538, either they're not home or they're unable to answer the door.
Pete tells the manager to stay in the hall while they go inside. Jim unsnaps his holster, just in case.

They don't find anyone inside the apartment, but they do find a picture of their old friend, Mr. Pilaf. The manager tells them that Mr. Pilaf pays the rent, but only Mrs. Pilaf lives here. He also tells them that she has a rugged-looking boyfriend who rides a motorcycle. He then remembers that he heard a motorcycle start up after he heard the shots.
Let's take a moment to enjoy the view in the Pilaf's apartment.

As Pete is talking to the manager, Mr. and Mrs. Pilaf return home after their night in jail. A visibly shaken Mrs. Pilaf reaches for a drink when Pete asks her if she knows who would have shot up her door. Mr. Pilaf takes the bottle from his wife and he tells her "we've gotta deal".
I can't stand Mr. Pilaf, there I said it. He's an annoying, touchy-feely man, who I imagine reads lots of self-help books and probably wants to talk about feelings all the time. 

Mrs. Pilaf continues to deny that she knows a shotgun-toting motorcyclist until her husband reminds her that they've agreed to make a new start. She finally admits that she had been seeing a man called Monk. When she tried to break it off with him, he threatened to kill her unless she gave him two hundred dollars. After she gives the officers his phone number, Jim calls the station to get an address on Monk. Pete suggests that the Pilafs stay somewhere else until they find him. Mr. Pilaf refuses to leave the apartment.
Pete and Jim will be in touch with the Pilafs.

They return to the black and white and meet Mac on tac 2, he now has Monk's address for them. He instructs them to stake out the house and wait for him there. Later, when Mac arrives at Monk's street, they tell him the suspect was seen returning home with the shotgun about a half hour ago.
Mac requests any available "A" unit to meet them.

An available unit arrives as Mac prepares the tear gas gun. He tells them to cover the rear of the house, he'll backup Malloy and Reed.

Malloy and Reed walk up to Monk's door. The senior officer knocks and orders Monk to come out with his hands up, but there is no response from inside the house. Looks like the door is going to have to be kicked.
But wait, what's this? Reed is kicking the door? And Malloy has the shotgun?  Maybe Malloy decided it was time for Reed to practice this essential part of police work. 
Poor baby, it takes him two kicks to open the door. You would think his legs would be more powerful after all that running he does.

They check all of the rooms downstairs and there is no sign of Monk.
I think this is Reed's nervous, frown-y face.

No Monk here.

Reed looks so scared and anxious during this whole scene. Which, I guess, is understandable, there could be a nut with a shotgun behind any of the numerous doors in this house. He nervously curls and uncurls his fingers around his gun grip as they search for Monk.
(Monk may be a shotgun-toting, motorcycle-riding maniac, but he has fabulous taste in art.)
No Monk here, either.

They head upstairs to continue searching for the suspect. He's not in the first two rooms they open, which means he must be in the one at the end of the hall.    They each stand behind walls on opposite sides of the hall and cover the door.
Malloy tells Monk to come out and throw the shotgun out, butt first.

Monk thinks it is a better idea for Malloy and Reed to come in and get him. He unlocks the door for the officers. Malloy tells Monk that they are coming in, but neither he nor Reed move one inch towards the door. 
As expected, a shotgun blast comes through the door.
Mac hears the blast and calls Malloy downstairs.
Before he heads down the stairs, Malloy gracefully hands the shotgun off to Reed.

Monk fires another round through the door.

Downstairs, Malloy lets the commanding officer that he and Reed were not hit with buckshot, he also lets him know that Monk is in the back bedroom. The room has a window that faces the backyard, Mac should have no problem firing the teargas into the room.

Malloy returns upstairs and takes cover behind a now buckshot-scarred wall. 

Soon after, he and Reed hear glass shattering in the room where Monk is hiding. Monk then begins to cough and cries that he can't breathe or see. The teargas creates the desired result, it drives Monk out of the room.
Monk comes out of the room, but somehow, the teargas does not. If it does, it has no effect on Reed or Malloy.
It looks like Monk will be charged with ADW (assault with a deadly weapon) and WPLD (white pants after labor day).

They cuff Monk and bring him downstairs. The whole way down, he complains about Mrs. Pilaf. When they reach the first floor, he states that he would never hurt a flea. That may be true. But, if you're human, he'll try to blow your head off with a shotgun.
"Drunks, if you guys only knew."

Later that night, Mac has some good news for Malloy and Reed. One of the Good Samaritans found Carmella's wallet in their car and dropped it off at the station while they were out rounding up Monk. Her father then enters the office. After Malloy returns the wallet, Reed asks Mr. Hermosa about his daughter.

"She'll heal, the cuts will anyway."
Mac: "I guess that let's you guys off the hook."

Malloy: "Kinda looks that way, doesn't it?"
And with that, Malloy and Reed leave Mac's office.

They walk down the hall to the locker room and begin to change out of their uniforms.

Unfortunately, they don't get very far.

The End

My Evaluation:

After watching this one I felt as empty as one of Mae Pilaf's liquor bottles. It didn't make me happy, it didn't make me sad, it didn't make me angry. I think my apathy stems from my ambivalence towards the Pilafs, I just didn't care about them or what happened to them. Mrs. Pilaf is just sad and pathetic, although that may be how the character was intended to be. You know how I feel about Mr. Pilaf. I also thought he was foolish to not follow Malloy's suggestion and leave the apartment before a suspect was apprehended. What good is a new start if your head gets blown off with a shotgun?

Although I didn't care about the Pilafs or their fate, I did like the scenes where their would-be assailant was captured. I always enjoy seeing the methods surrounding the apprehension of a dangerous subject and the lead actors do a great job of adding human emotions to those procedures. McCord does a wonderful job of portraying a nervous, young officer without a bullet-proof vest facing an armed suspect. Milner, who's character is probably just as scared, expertly plays a seemingly confident, more experienced officer. I wonder if Malloy did all of the talking with the suspect because Reed was just too frightened to form words. 

I would have like this episode a lot more if it had focused more on Carmella Hermosa, the girl who is popular with all the boys at school, but doesn't feel loved by anyone. But, I guess there wasn't much else for uniformed officers to do in an attempted suicide case.

I didn't hate "Log 64: Bottom of the Bottle", but I didn't find a whole lot to love here, either. So, I give it a rating of:

Do you agree? 

This is where I usually say, "See you next time." Which, in this case, is going to be in three weeks. I have a lot of traveling coming up, so I will see you all on August 2 with "Log 54: Impersonation".


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Log 14: S.W.A.T. (Episode 14, Season 2)

Episode 40

There are some episodes that I can't wait to cover and there are others, like this one, that I dread. I was not looking forward to this one for completely superficial reasons, I hate the SWAT uniform and I don't like seeing Pete and Jim wearing it. When I watched this again, I was pleasantly surprised, they wear the SWAT uniforms less than I thought. Maybe this won't be so bad.


Pete and Jim deal with a sniper situation.

The Story:

A city street in chaos, people running, sirens wailing, shots ring out, and 1-Adam-12 speeds through the middle of all this.
They almost hit a woman in red as she runs across the street.
She makes it across the street and a bullet narrowly misses her head. 
Pete and Jim take cover. Jim fires at the man who started all of this confusion, a sniper on a nearby roof. Pete gets on the radio and requests an ambulance.

The sniper disappears behind a ledge and the terror subsides for a few seconds. In that time Pete uses the car's loudspeaker to tell everyone on the sidewalk to stay calm, stay near the buildings, and not go out in the street. 

Their next order of business is to rescue a man who has been shot and is lying in the middle of the street. Just like the time they rescued an injured Ed Wells, they lie down on the seats of the car. Pete tells Jim, "Stay low, don't give him an angle."

They reach the man and pull him inside the car while staying low to the ground.
Jim: "Doesn't look too good."

Pete:"Neither will we if we don't get out of here."

Pete then speeds away out of the sniper's range. After the ambulance takes away the injured man, Pete makes a radio broadcast to advise that all units stay away from Ninth between Grove and Elm and Tenth between Grove and Elm.

He then begins the next order of business: sealing off the area. He requests eight units to establish a perimeter and direct traffic away from the sniper's range. Pete also recommends that Mac set up a command post, roll a SWAT team, a logistics truck, and a sound truck. Finally, he requests that another ambulance be sent to the location.

Before the area can be sealed off, a motorcycle officer comes down the street. Pete yells at him, "Get back, sniper!" But, his warning is too late. The officer is hit by one of the sniper's bullets. A man then runs out to the street and helps move the officer to safety.

Once they have the motorcycle cop safely in an alcove, Reed watches for the sniper to go behind a ledge. When he is out of sight, they begin to move the officer towards the patrol car.

They pass some bystanders on their way to the car, Malloy tells them to follow and stay close to the buildings.
Marco Lopez is the cool guy in the middle of this train, Reed is the caboose.

They meet the ambulance where the black and white is parked. Malloy asks the motor officer if he heard the broadcast about the sniper. He didn't, his radio was B.O. (bad order).

As the ambulance leaves, Mac arrives to set up a command post. Malloy lays out the situation for him, there is a sniper on the roof of the Rex theater and they've been told by the ambulance attendant that there is a victim four blocks away on an apartment sundeck. Reed adds that they have cleared the sidewalks, but they have not been able to evacuate the apartments across the street.

While Reed and Malloy are talking to Mac, Officer Parks joins them. He and his partner have checked out the inside of the Rex, there's a stairway from a balcony to the roof which leads to a steel door. The sniper has barricaded this door from the outside. Parks' partner is staked out on the door inside the theater. He asks Mac how they will get the sniper down. Mac replies that they will use SWAT teams, who are due to arrive soon.

This is Parks talking to Mac. Alfred Shelly plays Parks, he was on sixteen episodes of Dragnet and five episodes of Adam-12.

Mac sends the officers to evacuate the nearby area, telling them, "Right now, though, the main thing is to get any potential targets out of his way."

But, before Malloy and Reed can get to the apartments across the street, there are more potential targets to get off the sidewalk. They happen upon this dog barking on the sidewalk.

The dog's owner, an extra from an all-male version of Annie, tells him to come back, "You might get killed!".

The sniper shoots at the dog and hits the sidewalk near the dog's feet. The dog, Tippy, runs away from the gunshot and his master. The boy takes off after his furry friend and our boys in blue spring into action. While Reed covers him, Malloy runs towards the boy, scoops him under his arm, then he also grabs the dog and runs down a stairwell with both of them.

Malloy, the boy, and the dog wait in the stairwell for Reed's signal.  After he reloads, Reed begins firing at the sniper again. Malloy, carrying the boy and Tippy, runs from the stairwell to a doorway around the corner. Once they are safe, the boy asks why that man is trying to kill people. Malloy does not have any answers for him.
"I wish I knew, son."

After they rescue the boy and Tippy, Reed and Malloy make their way to the apartment building. In the building, Katy Anderson shows them to Mrs. Bell's apartment. She is worried about Mrs. Bell, who is still in her apartment and has not answered the door. The officers aren't able to get a response from Mrs. Bell, either. Reed then points out there are bullet holes in the door. Malloy, sensing that the situation may be dire, kicks down the door. Inside the apartment, they find Mrs. Bell lying on the floor. She has been shot, but is still alive. Reed uses the CC unit to call Mac and request an ambulance.

Using a blanket as a makeshift stretcher, they carry Mrs. Bell to the hallway. Katy then tells them about Mr. Bunch. He is also still in his apartment. He sleeps days and didn't want to go anywhere except to bed when the evacuation started. They go around the corner to Mr. Bunch's apartment, he answers the door and makes it clear that he is not leaving.
"I'm not going anywhere. You got some nut out there with a gun, that's your problem. I'm gonna get some sleep."

That is until we hear a gun shot and glass shattering, then Mr. Bunch runs down the hall in his bathrobe.

On their way out of the building, Reed and Malloy meet the ambulance workers who are transporting Mrs. Bell.  She did not survive the gunshot. This brings the bodycount to two, a telephone lineman was also killed.

Our heroes return to the command post just as the SWAT team arrives. (Finally, we're over ten minutes into this thing!) Sgt. Baron, apologizes to Mac for being late. Mac tells him he's right on time.

If I wrote the dialogue, it would have gone more like this:
Baron, you know this episode is named "S.W.A.T.", don't you? You might want to show up for more than the last twelve minutes of it. You were late when Malloy was a hostage, too. Said you were doing "research". Next time you may want to research getting to the scene a little earlier. Now get out of here and go put on that hideous coverall you call a uniform.

Apparently, Malloy and Reed have trained with Baron because they are going to be SWAT One. Parks and two other officers are going to be SWAT Two. Mac sends them to go get their gear in the SWAT truck. 

But, before that can happen, the same guy who helped save the motorcycle cop comes up to the command post with some important information. He thinks he might know the identity of the sniper. He used to work at the Rex theater and suspects one of his former co-workers, Johnny Kursko. Kursko was an assistant manager who had a key to the roof. He also blamed the neighborhood for the Rex going out of business. On top of all that, Kursko didn't show up for his business class today and he's not at his apartment. 

While Ron Thompson was telling Mac and Baron about Kursko, Reed and Malloy have put on their ugly SWAT coveralls and dumb SWAT caps that sit 4" off their head. Mac comes over to laugh at them. (Not really, he comes to tell them more information on Kursko.)
Kursko escaped from an Eastern penitentiary thirteen months ago, the warrant for his arrest says he's extremely dangerous. 

Mac tells the officers to use minimum gunfire, they're responsible for innocent people. Then Baron gives them all their SWAT assignments. 
Malloy's going to throw a grappling hook onto the roof of the Rex then climb up to the roof along with Reed and Baron.
Reeds going to throw smoke bombs to create a diversion when the hook hits the roof.

Soon after the SWAT teams head over to the Rex, a reporter approaches Mac with some questions about SWAT. First he wants to know what an S, W, A, T team is. Mac answers that SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics and the officers assigned to the teams are trained to handle special situations like this. The reporter than wants to know if the purpose of the SWAT team's mission is to kill more effectively. Mac tells him that the opposite is true, the idea is to employ the minimum firepower necessary.

Now that we know more about SWAT, let's see them in action. One of the team members is a lookout on a roof, Parks and his partner are on the sidewalk, and Pete, Jim, and Baron are on a lower roof next door to the Rex. They start the operation with Parks and his partner throwing smoke bombs and military firecrackers in the street. Next, Reed throws his smoke bombs onto the roof of the Rex. Finally, Malloy throws the grappling hook. He, Reed, and Baron climb the rope onto the roof.

Look at that hat, yuck.

Once on the roof, Malloy figures that the best way to capture Kursko is to circle him using the the exhaust fans for cover. Next, we finally get to see Kursko close up.
I did not expect Kursko to be hiding behind this structure. This shot of him startled me.

Kursko tries to make a run for the door and Malloy tells him not to try it, the door is covered from the inside. He orders Kursko to come out with his hands up. But Kursko's not giving up that easily.
If this were filmed in the '80's I have a sneaky suspicion that a then-unknown Kevin Spacey would have played Kursko.

While Malloy keeps Kursko talking, Reed slowly climbs up the doorway that Kursko is hiding behind.

When Reed reaches the top of the doorway, Kursko pulls a stick of dynamite from his jacket. Out of prison, he was somebody, he had something. But, those people down there took it away and now he's going to get even. He lights the dynamite then tosses it as Reed drops down and tackles him.

Reed drops out of the sky and lands on top of Kursko. Why is this nut granted my wish?

They cuff Kursko and he totally breaks down sobbing, "Will somebody help me?".

They come down from the roof and place Kursko in the back of a cruiser. Now that they're done doing SWAT stuff Baron suggests they "get out of these monkey suits". (Yes, do that!) But, before Reed can change, the reporter has a few questions for him. 
First he wants to know why Reed didn't shoot Kursko, he would have shot him.
"That's not what I get paid for."
"You should have shot him and got it over with. Why didn't you? Give me one good reason." (Gee, is this guy blood thirsty or what?)
"Because it wasn't necessary."
The End

My Evaluation:

I feel like this episode was the test and "Log 152: A Dead Cop Can't Help Anyone" and "Log 43: Hostage" were the lessons to prepare for it. From watching those two episodes I knew what they were doing in this one without every step of the procedure being explained. I knew why they were laying down on the car seats to rescue the man who had been shot. I knew that they first had to seal off the area, then evacuate, then eliminate the threat. All while protecting innocent people and using minimum firepower. I always like an episode that makes me feel smart. 

I also favor episodes where Reed and Malloy work together as a team and communicate almost telepathically. Very little is said between them when they are rescuing the old man or the motorcycle officer or the boy and Tippy. Reed knows its his job to cover Malloy while he moves cops, boys, and dogs to safety. When they're on the roof, Malloy knows he has to keep Kursko distracted while Reed positions himself on top of the doorway. They work as a team and there are no individual heroes. Reed drives this point home at the end when the reporter asks if he was the officer who captured Kursko. He answers that he was "one of them".

There are some parts, other than the obvious, that I didn't like here. I felt the reporter and his questions were a contrived plot device to tell the audience more about SWAT. Although, probably no more contrived than Lt. King delivering his speech about helicopters during "Log 34: Astro". Also, the information about Kursko came about a little too conveniently. But, it is only a half-hour show, they don't have an extra twenty minutes to have detectives uncover his identity. 

I started out really strongly disliking this episode for purely superficial reasons and now I've been able to find some positive aspects about it. But, it's never going to be one of my favorites. I have not been able to find anything positive about the SWAT uniforms.  Despite the uniforms, I give "Log 14: S.W.A.T" a rating of:

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