Sunday, November 22, 2015

Log 45: Bright Boy (Season 3, Episode 4)

Don't forget, if you haven't entered the drawing for the Kent McCord-signed season 3 DVD set, you still have time to do so. All entries must be received by December 4, 2015. Here are the rules if you missed them last week:

-Fill out the "Contact Form" to the right with your name, e-mail, and a message that says "Please enter me in the drawing for the DVD's" (or something like that) and hit "send". One entry per e-mail address, please.

-Or e-mail me at with the same information. One entry per e-mail address, please.

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-All e-mails must be received by Friday, December 4, 2015. Any e-mails received after December 4, 2015 will not be entered in the drawing!

-The winner will be announced in my Sunday, December 6, 2015 blog post. 

Good luck!!!

Episode 56

Pete and Jim get some help on an investigation from a boy with a photographic memory. They also run into a hard-drinking, fast-driving she-devil and a few Southerners who are ignorant of the law.

So far it's been a quiet day, so quiet that Malloy is ready to fall asleep. The freckle-faced officer yawns and suggests to his partner that they request Code 7 to give them a "break in the lull".
[Hey, Pete, maybe this will wake you up; that gold Mustang is following us again.]
Reed picks up the mic and asks for a meal break. But, the response to their request does not come from the familiar voice of the female dispatcher. Instead, the male link operator's voice comes over the radio with a hot shot call. 2-X-ray-9 is in pursuit of a 1966 blue Chevrolet driven by two female caucasians. 
The next broadcast announces that 2-X-9 has TA'd and that the blue Chevy is now northbound on Figaro heading towards the Pasadena freeway. These two females are covering a lot of ground, they've made their way out of Rampart Division and are now speeding through the Northeast Division. After they hear that the chase has moved to Avenue 26, Reed and Malloy are no longer worried about getting some coffee to wake them up; the blue Chevy is headed their way! Pete pulls the black and white into a red zone and waits for the suspect's vehicle to appear in the rear-view mirror.
The gold Mustang waits, too.
The next radio dispatch relays that 11-A-31 has lost the suspect's vehicle. The blue Chevy doesn't go missing for long, though. "Here she comes," says Pete as he and Reed hear screeching tires and a horn in the distance. He puts the black and white in gear and takes off after the blue streak.
The Mustang has also followed them into the parking lot.
Malloy manages to end the multi-division chase by cornering the blue Chevy in a parking lot. Once the vehicle has come to a stop, the senior officer opens the driver's side door and is immediately attacked by a drunken she-devil. Malloy cuffs the squirming, screaming shrew as she calls him a "lousy, fascist pig". 
"You think this is any way to treat a lady?" she snarls.
"Nope," answers Pete.
(Oh, hey, look, Google Photos has made me a .gif of this scene from my screen caps. That was nice.)
Pete walks the "lady" to the patrol car where they are met by Reed and her younger sister, already cuffed and waiting in the back seat. Reed tells his partner that a supplemental broadcast was put out on the blue Chevy, it's stolen. She-devil admits that she "borrowed" the car from that "creepy John" so she could teach her kid sister to drive.
"Where, Indianapolis?"
As Pete forces her into the backseat, she keeps hurling insults at the "stinking' fuzz" who are all alike "beating up on innocent women and children".
Pete's all broken up by this. 
Here's an image to haunt your nightmares.
After they've dropped off Miss Congeniality at the station, where she blew .34 on the breathalyzer, Pete and Jim are back on patrol. There's no time for Pete to yawn now, they receive a call to "see the boy" about possible 459 suspects who may be there now at 157 Stone Street. 
I feel like they are only ever called to this street and the Universal backlot. I wonder how much those houses were worth in 1970. I wonder what they are going for now.
On Stone Street, a young boy waits for them in the driveway of number 157.  His name is Harold Frederick Ruskin and he's not sure if he's witnessed a burglary, but he's sure he's seen something suspicious happen.

Harold was biking down the street when he saw a small moving van slowly cruising up the street. The two guys in the cab were looking around as they drove. They stopped the van at 157, where the garage stands open and empty. One of the two men went to the front door. When no one answered the other man got out of the truck and took out a large set of keys, he unlocked the door with one of those keys. The two men then began carrying things out of the house.
Reed suggests that maybe the owners gave the men a key so they could move them.
Harold doubts that theory. He looked in the window before Reed and Malloy arrived and there was still a lot of furniture in the house. 
Reed asks Harold if he remembers what the men took.
Harold remembers exactly what the men took, he begins reciting detailed descriptions of every item they carried out of the house. He even remembers that a large, wrought iron lamp they took had six glass pendants hanging from it.
Reed can't believe this kid's memory.
Malloy's found a kindred spirit. He also has a photographic memory, if he remembers to load the camera.
As Reed and Malloy begin to walk up the driveway towards the house, Harold comes running after them, he forgot to share an important detail about the truck. He tells the officers that he first noticed the truck because of the funny slogan it had on the side, "Move right! Don't ship it, ram it!".
"Ram it?" asks a puzzled Reed.
Harold explains that the name of the moving company was spelled "Ramm".
Reed and Malloy go on to check the house, with a little help from Harold. The trio finds nothing amiss.
[Look, kid, I work alone. Why do you think I always send junior over there to check out the back?]
Shortly after they've checked the doors and windows, the homeowners return. Reed explains why they are there and what is going on. Mrs. Marshall is understandably worried.
"Oh no, Walter, my jewelry!"
Everyone runs inside to see if anything of value is missing.
Except for Harold, he gets shut out.
Just before Harold says, "Screw you guys, I'm going home", Reed calls him into the house.  It looks like he was right, the Marshalls were burglarized.
During the commercial break, Detective Sam Poster shows up to get statements from the Marshalls and Harold. He lets everyone know that there have been three other recent burglaries with the same MO. The thieves dress up like moving men, then steal a van, then case a neighborhood looking for a house where no one is home. 
I hate the interior of this house, it's like warehouse meets castle.
Poster then commends Harold and tells him he's a "bright boy, a real bright boy". 
I don't know what kind of memory Harold has, but I have a "Universal" memory.  
I remember when Sam Poster used to look like this.
Harold explains to Poster that he guesses he has a photographic memory. His father, a lawyer, says that Harold can look at one of his briefs and then repeat it word for word. Poster seems to doubt Harold's abilities. The detective would like the boy to come to the station to look at mug shots, but he doesn't think his memory will work on pictures.
Pete has full confidence in Harold's power of recollection, "Wanna bet?" he asks Poster.
After Pete and Jim are done at the Marshall's, they return to patrol. Their next call takes them to 635 East 34th Street where shots have been fired. 
The shots can be heard ringing out as they race towards the address.
In the backyard of 635 East 34th Street Pete and Jim find a couple of yahoos having a good ol' time laughing, huffing spray paint, and shooting rifles. Before entering the yard, Pete orders the men to stop shooting.
"Alright, you in there, put the rifles down!"
The good-natured rednecks stop shooting and invite the officers into their backyard. As Pete enters the yard they announce his arrival with "Here come da fuzz, here come da fuzz".
"Here come da fuzz" was obviously inspired by Laugh-In's "Here come da judge". Speaking of Laugh-In, Marty and Kent made several appearances on the show. Does anyone know where these can be seen? I would do just about anything to see these appearances.
When Pete asks these two what they are doing, one of them responds by telling him, "We're sitting here, man, quietly blowing our minds". Then the other genius adds that they are also passing the time by shooting at a box of dynamite.
You heard right, Pete, these two Southern-fried morons are trying to get a big bang out of a box of dynamite by shooting at it. See, there's the box.
That box looks kinda familiar, I think I've seen it somewhere before.
Oh yeah, in this Dragnet episode! Except the dynamite in Dragnet is "Vulcan" brand, these rednecks are shooting at "Hercules" brand dynamite. 
The baby-faced patrolman in that Dragnet episode looks very familiar, too.
Ben Roy and Everett Joe are very surprised when Pete and Jim tell them to get on their feet. They haven't broken any laws, they're just two consenting adults sniffing some paint in the privacy of their own turf. They ask if there are any laws against paint or possessing firearms. Pete and Jim confirm that there aren't laws against those things. The two idiots argue that they should be let go then, right?
"Wrong, there is a law against shooting off a gun in the city limits."
And a law against "Possession of explosives without a permit".
Pete also adds the charge of disturbing the peace to their growing list of violations before marching these two off to the back of the patrol car.

As one call ends, another begins. Next they're dispatched to Heavenly Hair Beauty School to see the woman about a 415 complaint. 
This is the woman they have to see, Marnie Prout, the proprietor of the beauty school. Here she is chastising one of her students for not using enough hairspray.
"We don't want our creation to fall apart," says Marnie.
Pete and Jim walk in, looking terribly uncomfortable amongst all of this femininity, as Marnie is teaching her charge proper hairspray technique. 
[Isn't there a policewoman that can handle this one, Pete?]
Ms. Prout has called the police because one of her clients called to complain about her service. Marnie only charges three dollars for one of her students to do a haircut, shampoo, and set. Isn't that cheap? What do they expect for three dollars, Vidal Sassoon?
"I really wouldn't know, ma'am," responds Reed when Marnie asks if three dollars is cheap.
Pete and Jim point out that a customer calling to complain isn't disturbing the peace. Marnie knows that and gets to the disturbing part of her story. Lorean Harper, and Marnie knows it was her by the accent "dripping with honeysuckle and blackstrap molasses", was the one who called to complain. When she called she also said there was a bomb hidden in the beauty school and it's set to go off in about ten minutes.
"And you're just standing here?" asks Pete.
Why, yes, Marnie is just standing there. She doesn't want to disrupt her clients or her business.
Let's take a minute to appreciate the thing of beauty that is Marnie's coiffure. It's like a fantastic, swirly sculpture, I just love it. I find it fascinating, I want to know more about it. How does one create a hairdo like that? How much time does it take to sculpt this? How long is her hair when it's unfurled? How tall is this hairdo? How much hairspray does she use? Do I have to wait until I am over sixty to rock this 'do? 

I can't get over Marnie's hair, Reed can't get over Marnie's nonchalant attitude about the possibility of bomb going off in her beauty school.
"Ma'am, if this is for real, you're not gonna have any business."
Good business practice or not, they start checking for a bomb and clearing out the customers.

Luckily, no bomb is found. But, this seems to make Ms. Prout even more upset. She grouses about that "Southern-fried ding-a-ling" as she walks out of the shop with Pete and Jim. Even though no explosive device was found, Pete and Jim still have to find this Lorean Harper. They ask Marnie for a description of Mrs. Harper, which she readily provides. 

Until they ask about Harper's hair color, Marnie explains that that's how this problem started. One of the beauty students over processed Lorean's hair yesterday. Marnie offered to fix it, but Lorean stormed out. Marnie can't come up with an answer to their question and she doesn't have to. Coincidentally, Lorean is spotted in the parking lot next door.
"There she is!"
And there's that Mustang again!
When Mrs. Harper sees two policemen headed her way, she tries to make a run for it. After she is easily caught, Mrs. Harper admits that she made the call. She also tells them that she is sorry she didn't have a real bomb considering what was done to her hair. From what he can see sticking out of her hat, Pete doesn't think it can be all that bad.
"It looks like I'm wearing a Spanish omelette!"
[Forget what I said. It is that bad.]

Honestly, in today's post-punk world, Lorean Harper's orange streaked with black hair wouldn't be that bad at all. By today's standards, it's almost conservative. I don't really see a resemblance between her hair and a Spanish omelette, though. 

Just like our other Southern friends from earlier in the episode, Lorean doesn't understand why they are making such a fuss about little ol' her; she didn't do anything. Pete and Jim school her in the California penal code, of which she violated section 148.1. The divorced Mrs. Harper doesn't seem too upset when they go on to tell her that she is being charged with a felony that could get her locked up for one to three years.
"Well, there is one consolation. That should be plenty of time for my hair to grow back."
Back at the station, Pete thinks they may have ruined poor old Mac's day. He couldn't find anything wrong with their report.
"Hallelujah," rejoices Reed.
They decide to check in on Harold and Det. Poster. As they enter the detectives' room, Harold has just finished looking through the last of the mug books. Just as Poster expected, the boy wasn't able to find pictures of the two men among the hundreds in the books. Pete and Jim suggest that it may be because they've never been arrested and therefore don't have mugshots.
Poster had a feeling they'd come up empty.
The detective doesn't believe that boy's memories are accurate, he thinks the boy may be embellishing his recollections. He finds Harold "too detailed to be believable". Malloy doesn't agree, he'll optimistically believe the boy until proven otherwise. Poster, the pessimist, wants to see proof before he believes the boy.
Seven years on the force and Pete is still an optimist.
Pete and Jim then have the task of taking Harold back home. In the car the perceptive young man tells the officers that he doesn't think Sgt. Poster believes him. Jim assures Harold that he and Pete believe him. 

At the next light 1-Adam-12 pulls up next to a beige Corvair. Harold immediately recognizes the driver of the Corvair as the younger of the two moving-van bandits. Pete and Jim are confused by this identification, Harold had described the younger thief as a man with short, blond hair. This man has long, brown hair.
I'll show you the guy with long, brown hair later. For now, look at this man with short, strawberry blond hair.

Harold is positive this is one of the men despite the differences in hair color and length. Since they haven't gotten any other leads in the case, Pete and Jim decide to follow the Corvair. They let Harold out to walk home before they begin their investigation.

They follow the Corvair into a residential neighborhood and watch as the man parks the car and enters one of the houses. Pete and Jim park the patrol car and follow him to the same house. The same long-haired man from the Corvair answers the door.
"We're police officers, we'd like to ask you some questions."
"Well, for openers, is that your own hair?"
Long hair thinks that's kind of personal, but Jim explains that they have a reason for asking.
You see there's been a rash of mop-top wig robberies in recent months. Why just days ago, they arrested two teenaged girls for stealing similar wigs and imitating the musical group the Dingbats.
(For some reason that guy's hair immediately made me think of this Gidget episode.)
When Malloy asks if they can come in, long hair steps back to let them. At the same time, he reaches into his jacket for a gun.
Reed immediately rushes the guy.
Then gets him up against this wall.
Where Malloy swats the gun out of his hand!
While Reed restrains the dingbat, another man with a gun appears at the top of the stairs and fires at Malloy!
Malloy returns fire and hits the man. He falls down the stairs and lands in a heap at the bottom.
Reed then emerges from the other room with the first suspect and does what should have been done long ago. He takes that awful wig off of the man's head.
"I thought you said this was your own hair."

"It is, bought and paid for."
(He's got you there, Reed.)
While Reed goes to call for an ambulance, Malloy has a few words with suspect. He starts off by asking why they came "up shooting for a few lousy burglaries". The suspect explains that they weren't shooting because of the burglaries, but because they are AWOL and due to go to Vietnam. They've decided they're not going to go because they don't believe in war and killing, it's against their principles.
"You don't believe in war and killing in Vietnam?"
"That's right."
"But it's alright to kill here in your own country? How do you square that with your so-called principles, buster?"
The suspect explains that he and his partner don't want to die for the "lousy establishment". Pete shows him his buddy laying on the floor and asks what he died for. The suspect can't come up with an answer, but Pete can.
"Nothing, not one damn thing."
Later, at the station, all of stolen property recovered from the suspects' house is brought into the detectives' room. Everything is as exactly as Harold described it, except for one thing. Poster points out that the wrought iron lamp only has five glass pendants instead of six like Harold described.
Harold proves himself by finding the missing pendant under the mink coat.
"What does it take to make you a believer, Sam?"

The End

There are some good parts in this one and some not-so-good parts in this one. The parts I liked best all had to do with cases other than that of the main storyline. Of all the stories in this episode, the one about Harold was probably my least favorite. I didn't think the writers did a great job of showing us his amazing skills of recollection. Heck, I feel that my memory is just as good as his. Since Harold's memory didn't seem all that remarkable, the conflict with Poster just seemed pointless.

Everything else about this episode, I liked. Some parts even fascinate me. Besides Marnie Prout's amazing hair, I am also intrigued by the paint-huffing, gun-toting rednecks. I don't think I've ever seen paint sniffing portrayed on any other "classic" TV show. In fact, I may have only seen it on an episode of Intervention. I wonder if the original 1970 audience had seen this behavior before. Did they know what those two were doing with the plastic bags and the spray paint? Could this episode have inspired some curious kids to try what they saw on screen? Makes you think (at least it makes me think).

I also want to point out that I thoroughly enjoy the way Milner really seems to physically give it his all in certain scenes. His tussle with that nasty lady in the first call looks very violent. I'm sure it's all acting and he didn't actually hurt her, but Malloy doesn't seem to be holding back when he is putting the cuffs on that chick. Then, when they are the burglary suspects' house, Malloy hits the guy's hand to get him to drop the gun. That looked like it hurt, a lot. So, yeah, I hope we get to see more of Malloy hurting suspects, that rocks.

Since this one is about half like and half didn't like for me, I give "Log 45: Bright Boy" a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know what you think in the comments. I won't be around next weekend. So, if you celebrate, have a great Thanksgiving.  I'll see all of you on December 6th when I announce the winner of the giveaway!