Sunday, January 31, 2016

Log 85: Sign of the Twins (Season 3, Episode 12)

Episode 64

Reed responds with the usual, "1-Adam-12, roger," to the radio dispatch that they should see the manager at 1217 Mayberry Street about a zoning dispute. He then happily comments to his partner, "Good way to start the day, a nice nonviolent crime." 

Malloy cautions his partner that it may not be a nonviolent call, but Reed still seems happy to handle it. Then a hot shot call comes over the radio and Reed's plan for a pleasant start to the shift goes awry. An officer has been shot at the liquor store. Since it's only a couple of blocks away, 1-Adam-12 will handle the call. The zoning dispute will have to wait.

When Malloy and Reed roll up to the liquor store a crowd has already gathered around the injured officer who's sitting on the sidewalk. He grimaces in pain as Malloy stoops down to talk to him. His leg is bandaged but blood from the gunshot wound seeps through the dressing. The bystanders are quiet except for one man who complains that Officer Quinn should have stayed on his "tricycle" since he could have gotten them both killed.

Hey, it's Mark VII favorite Stacy Harris. Jack Webb's daughter Stacy was named after Harris.
Reed tries to talk with Quinn about the shooting, but the man in the beige cardigan just won't stop. The injured officer tells Reed and Malloy that he should have stopped the two suspects and the loud man interjects, "Yeah, you sure should have." By now Malloy's thoroughly annoyed with this guy. While he kneels next to Quinn, Malloy looks up at the loudmouth and asks, "Who are you, mister?" He answers that he's Carl Kegan, the owner of the store that was just robbed.

Knowing that Kegan was a witness to the shooting that brought down his fellow officer, Reed's got a few questions for him. Keegan's also got a few questions for Reed. He wants to know why they can't get "some decent cops" in the neighborhood "instead of these over-age rejects" like Quinn. 

Reed informs the ungrateful Kegan that Quinn is one of the best men in his division. He then proceeds to question the store owner about the holdup. Kegan's account of the crime includes very few elements about the appearance of the gunman. He tells Reed that the man wore a stocking mask, but isn't able to provide any other details.

Larry J. Blake portrays Officer Quinn, an actor with an impressive number of film credits, two hundred fifty-six according to IMDb. Blake's career started in vaudeville in the Thirties, then moved to film and television where he worked until the late Seventies. He is also the father of Michael Blake, who appeared as the "boy on the bike" in the Season 2 "Baby" episode.
Meanwhile, Quinn provides Malloy with a complete description of the holdup man. He did have a nylon stocking over his face, but Quinn was still able to see that the man was five feet, ten inches tall, weighed one hundred and fifty pounds, was wearing a t-shirt and khaki slacks, and had a beard.

I can't stop staring at the back of Reed's neck here. It looks like he needs a trip to the barber to get it cleaned up with the clippers.
No parts of Kegan's and Quinn's stories match. Kegan says the getaway car was a green and black Dodge coupe with out-of-state plates. He claims he could only see the back of the driver's head and that he had black hair "cut real short". Quinn, on the other hand, says the driver had lots of red hair and the car was a blue '69 Mercury sedan with local plates. He even managed to remember five of the six characters on the plate. The letters were H, Y, E, and two of the numbers were 3 and 2, he's not sure of the last digit.

The ambulance workers, who arrived while Quinn was talking with Malloy, load the injured officer onto a stretcher and begin wheeling him towards the red and white emergency vehicle. But, he has one last thing to tell Malloy. Malloy tells him to "forget it", but Quinn insists that he has tell him this "funny thing" he observed. Kegan had a gun and a clear shot, but he didn't fire.

After the ambulance has left, Reed shows Malloy his notes from the interview with Kegan. Malloy quickly reads over them and notices the differences between the descriptions. He goes to Kegan and confronts him with the discrepancies in the accounts. Kegan argues that Quinn is an old, color-blind man with bad eyesight. Malloy, knowing this isn't true, tells Reed to broadcast Quinn's description of the suspects and their car, not Kegan's.

Malloy reminds Kegan that the man he didn't want to shoot shot a policeman.
Malloy, curious about Quinn's final statement, asks Kegan why he didn't shoot. Kegan becomes immediately defensive in the face of the officer's questions. He accuses Malloy of thinking like a typical cop, questioning his reasons for not shooting someone over a "lousy forty bucks".  The irate Kegan then states that he's not a skilled shooter. Frustrated with the police and their questions, he stomps back into his store.

Shortly after this, Mac, detectives, and backup units arrive on the scene. After Malloy briefs Mac on the circumstances, the commanding officer sends 1-Adam-12 to the hospital for a follow-up with Quinn. 

Later, Mac joins Malloy and Reed at Quinn's bedside. The sergeant has good news for Quinn, he's just seen the doctor and found out that the motorcycle officer will be back in the saddle in no time. 

Malloy brings Mac up to speed on the conversation he and Reed were having with Quinn. They were discussing Kegan and his reasons for not shooting at the suspects. 

Mac finds it interesting that Kegan didn't fire due to moral reasons and inexperience with firearms. He looks at a file he has under his arm then tells Malloy and Reed to return to the liquor store and ask Kegan why he's lying. The folder Mac is carrying contains a crime report on a similar robbery that took place at Kegan's store a couple of years ago. However during that holdup Kegan shot it out with the two men, wounding one and killing the other.

For some reason Kegan is not happy to see these blue-suited babes. I bet Mrs. Kegan, if there is one, would be happy to see them.
Back at the liquor store, Kegan is not happy to see more cops. He's already got detectives tying up his phone, and a cop's blood all over his sidewalk. The last thing he wants to see are more LAPD badges. Malloy reminds Kegan that the blood was spilled while protecting him. He then challenges the store owner's reasons for not shooting during this latest robbery by bringing up the facts from the previous robbery. Kegan squirms and spouts excuses, but doesn't give any real answers to their questions. 

In fact, Kegan doesn't come clean until detective Boyd emerges from the store and informs everyone that they've found the getaway car based on the partial plate number Officer Quinn provided. The car, which does match the description Quinn gave, is owned by a man named Leonard Conway. Conway just happens to have two priors, one for grand theft auto and another for armed robbery. 

Now that they've found the car does have local plates, Boyd wants to know why Kegan insisted it didn't. Kegan finally admits he lied after Boyd informs him that aiding and abetting is a felony. The man with the red hair is his younger brother Willis and "Conway is the bum he's been hanging out with for the past couple of months". When Kegan hears that Boyd is going to put out and APB for his brother and Conway, he's upset that the police are going to "hunt him down like a dog". Malloy clarifies why they are putting out the APB.
"No sir, even though he's already shot a policeman down like a dog. We just want him in custody so he can't shoot anymore people."

Now that they are through with Kegan for the time being, Malloy decides that they should check out the zoning dispute call. 

Mrs. Wade is played by Sheila Bromley, who also played the old woman with a poltergeist and a bottle of stinky perfume in "The Sweet Smell". Long before Adam-12, Sheila appeared in a 1935 movie titled The Pace that Kills, sort of a Reefer Madness with cocaine instead of marijuana. Anyway, based on the poster, it looks pretty intriguing.

They meet with Mrs. Wade in her apartment, where she lives and reads horoscopes for profit. After Pete explains that she can't run her horoscope business from her apartment, which is in a residential area, Mrs. Wade admits that she's confused. She doesn't see the apartment as a place of business, it's where she lives.

Jim tries to make her understand that this is the problem, she can't charge for a horoscope reading in the same place that she is living. If she were to rent an office or a store, there would be no issue. Mrs. Wade protests, she can't afford to rent an office or a storefront. She doesn't want to violate the law, but she doesn't go anywhere other than her apartment and the senior citizen's club.

That gives Pete an idea, he thinks that Mrs. Wade should be able to get a license to read her horoscopes at the club.

This makes Mrs. Wade very happy. "Oh, Officer Malloy, how ingenious!" she squeals.

This makes Pete feel pretty smug.

This makes Jim...oh, who cares, just look at that face.
Since Mrs. Wade is an expert on astrological signs, she has a hunch about Pete. She asks him if he's a Leo. Pete confirms her hunch and asks how she knew. She could tell because Pete has the personality of a Leo, strong and forceful with an underlying sensitivity. She then guesses that his exact birthdate is July 23rd. Once again, Pete admits that she's right. She also predicts, based on his birthdate, that Pete will witness an act of violence this month and he must try to stay out of it.

After they leave Mrs. Wade's, Reed remembers that Pete's birthday is in October! Malloy says that's just a technicality, at heart he's a Leo.

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ 
OK, hold it, let's take a minute to discuss Peter J. Malloy's birthday. In the season one episode "Log 111: The Boa Constrictor", Pete tells snake owner and all-around squirrel Jane Alice Tipton that his birthday is March 17th.  Now we hear in this episode that his birthday is in October. Which is it? 

I think it's in October, and here's why. I think the date Pete gave Jane Tipton was false. He just picked a date out of his head, in this case St. Patrick's Day, to avoid giving the nutty Tipton any factual information about himself. I believe the October birthdate is true because there is another piece of evidence in the series to support this date. In the season five episode "The Surprise" Jim gives Pete the man-bag as a birthday gift and asks him if his birthday is on Sunday, the 15th. This episode originally aired in 1972. And in that year there was only one month in which the 15th fell on a Sunday, and that was October. So, based on my research, I conclude that Peter J. Malloy's true birthday is October 15th.

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ 
Back to the car, where Jim is answering a radio call dispatching them to the pharmacy at Fifth and Wilshire for a narcotics suspect. 

At the pharmacy, with it's groovy color-changing "Prescriptions" sign, Pete and Jim meet up with the pharmacist, Mr. Craig. He tells them about a boy who was in the store earlier that day. He seemed jumpy and nervous and he wanted some information on Seconal, it's uses, effects, and the signs of an overdose.

Hey, it's another Mark VII favorite, Howard Culver. The actor who also played the liquor store owner in the pilot episode.
When the pharmacist pressured the boy as to the nature of his curiosity, he tried to run out of the store. Craig grabbed him and a large bottle of Seconal capsules fell out of his jacket. The boy then shoved him and ran out. 

Malloy asks if he can describe the boy. Craig can do better than that, he knows the boys' name and his address since he lives right down the street.

See that bookshelf behind Mrs. Pendleton? If the gold and white Mustang is the "stalker Mustang", then this must be the "stalker shelf". I think it shows up in more sets than other piece of furniture. This is the shelf that the boys who were staying by themselves knocked over with a baseball, I also think it's in the Merodach episode, and the one with the lion. Someday I'm going to compile every episode this thing is in.
At the boy's home his mother, Mrs. Pendleton, shows the officers into their plush apartment.  She recognizes Malloy from the basic car plan meeting where he gave a speech about drugs. She may have been attentive when Malloy was speaking (and really what female wouldn't be), but she is not so observant when it comes to her own son. She's not sure if Terry is home or not. After a quick check of his room, she discovers that he's not. She doesn't seem overly concerned about his absence, either. 

Here it is, the worst dress in Adam-12 history. The color is awful, the fabric is too stiff and formal for daytime, the silhouette isn't doing anyone any favors, and it doesn't fit well at all. It is way too tight around the bust and arms. All those lines in those areas mean the dress is being pulled because it's too small. There are times when the sleeves look like they are about to cut off the circulation in Margaret O'Brien's arms. Oh, by the way, that's former child actress, Margaret O'Brien.
When Malloy and Reed present her with the bottle of pills taken from her son, Mrs. Pendleton goes on and on and on about how Terry is a good boy and excellent student and would never take drugs. Malloy practically has to shout to get her to shut up so he can make a point.

After Mrs. Pendleton stops talking, Malloy tells her that if she had listened to his speech she would know that drug use is not just limited to "bad" boys or poor students. When Reed asks if Terry usually gets home this late, Mrs. Pendleton reveals that she doesn't know. She plays bridge in the afternoon and doesn't get home until late in the afternoon herself.
[What is with these women and bridge, partner?]

When Reed hands her his card and asks her to call when Terry comes home, this prompts Mrs. Pendleton to run off at the mouth again. This time she starts babbling about how she wants them to leave, not because she's being rude, but because she doesn't want Terry to be frightened by two police officers because he's such a sensitive boy. Once again Malloy has to verbally "slap" her back into reality.
"Ma'am, he only asked you to call."

In the black and white, Reed broadcasts the description of the Pendleton boy then he and Malloy comment on his home life. It seemed to Reed that Terry "was bringing himself up". Malloy thinks, "May not be that bad, but she did lose my vote for mother of the year."

Terry is already sporting a windbreaker. As we all know, a windbreaker is the unofficial "uniform" of the Adam-12 bad guys, his future does not look bright.
As they make their way down the busy street, Reed spots a boy that matches Terry's description. When Malloy pulls over to the curb, the boy spots the patrol car and begins to run. Both officers take off after him.

They chase Terry down an alley where he climbs some boxes to the roof of a one-story building. He threatens to jump, but Pete thinks he'll only break a leg from that height. Terry refuses to answer any of their questions. After all, doesn't he have constitutional rights?

Pete confirms that he does and a relieved Terry asks to just be taken to the station. When Pete suggests that they go to his house instead since it's closer, Terry answers that he'd still rather go to the station.

All those pastels! Terry and his mother remind me of sweetener packets, yellow for Splenda, blue for Equal, and pink for Sweet 'n' Low. See how tight that sleeve is around her arm?
[Terry didn't want to come back here. Neither did we, but at least we get paid for this.]
Back at the Pendleton house Pete and Jim inform Terry's mother that the boy did not want to come home, at all. When they ask again if Mrs. Pendleton knows where the pills came from again, Terry interrupts and tells his mother not to say anything. 
"What doesn't he want you to say, Mrs. Pendleton?"

After Malloy informs Mrs. Pendleton that Terry could go to jail for illegal possession of narcotics, she finally decides to confess that the pills are hers. She also confesses her dependence upon them. At first she only took a couple to help her sleep, but now she takes up to eighteen a day.
[Eighteen!?!? A day?]

When Reed asks if he has a prescription for the pills, Mrs. Pendleton doesn't want to answer because she doesn't want anyone to get into trouble. (So, no, she doesn't have a prescription.)

Malloy tells her that everyone involved is already in trouble and she comes clean. A woman she plays bridge with has been getting her the pills. The bridge partner is married to a doctor and she's been ordering them directly from the wholesaler using her husband's order form. Mrs. Pendleton tries to defend her actions by citing the high cost of prescription medications. This does not sway Malloy, they'll still have to go down to the station and talk to the detectives. Before they leave, Malloy tries to show Terry the silver lining in the situation.
"I wouldn't be too upset about what's happened, Terry. It's just possible that you saved your mother's life."
I don't think Terry buys that. Oh, by the way, Terry is played by Buddy Foster. His sister, Jodie, was in "Log 55: Missing Child". I wonder whatever happened to that Jodie Foster, she was so cute in that episode.

After they leave the Pendletons at the station to be dealt with by detectives, Pete and Jim return to the patrol. They receive a dispatch to meet 1-K-35 on tac 2. On the tac, Boyd asks them to meet him behind the service station at Shelby and Kelton.

At the meet spot, Boyd explains that he wants Pete and Jim to stakeout the gray stucco house down the street. They received a tip that the house belongs to Kegan's kid brother.

Almost an hour passes without a sign of Kegan. Reed wonders if he and Conway will show up at all.

"Only time will tell."
When Pete sees a blue Mercury sedan, just like Quinn described, drive up the street he knows time has spoken. They watch from behind the service station as two men, one with red hair and another one with a beard, get out of the car and go into the stucco house. Reed radios 1-K-35 to find out when the detectives will arrive. He's told to standby for three minutes until they can get there. When Reed sees the two men leave the house with suitcases, he knows they can't wait one more minute, let alone three.
"Doesn't look like they're gonna standby."
Instead of waiting for Boyd and his partner to show up, Pete puts the black and white in gear and heads down the street.

When he pulls the Belvedere behind the Mercury sedan the suspects both produce weapons and begin firing.

Reed hits the red-headed Kegan.

Mandy Patankin, sorry, Conway sees that his partner has been hit and surrenders.

Malloy gets ready to cuff a bad guy.

The detectives arrive and Reed states the obvious, they had to get started without them. Boyd notices that Reed hit Kegan in the leg.
"Yeah, must've had Quinn's name on it."

The End

This is an easy one to breakdown:
The Good:
Pretty much everything. A great mix of drama, comedy, and action and we get to see Milner's and McCord's range of emotion through it all. At the liquor store both Malloy and Reed will stop at nothing to get the truth from the equivocatory Mr. Kegan. Their desire to find their comrades assailant and their frustration with the unhelpful Kegan is thoroughly evident. At the zoning dispute call, they're firm with Mrs. Wade on the law, yet helpful and sympathetic. Between those two calls, we've seen Malloy and Reed both protect (Quinn, Kegan, and anybody else who comes into contact with the gunman) and serve (Mrs. Wade).

With Mrs. Pendleton, they're frustrated again and I think I bit bewildered by her behavior, but their concern for Terry shines through. Finally, during the ultimate shootout with Kegan's brother and Conway there are no high-fives are smiles as the suspects are captured, just a distressed-looking Reed as he watches over the suspect he's just shot.

The Bad:
The title is the thing that bothers me the most about this episode. The "Sign of the Twins" is Gemini, not Leo, that's the sign of the lion. Now the title works if it isn't supposed to refer directly to the astrological signs that Mrs. Wade reads. Perhaps it's a reference to the duplicity displayed by some of the characters in the story. For instance, Kegan portrays himself as pacifist shop owner frustrated with the substandard protection his neighborhood receives. In reality, however, he's a man with misplaced loyalties trying to protect a brother who obviously cares nothing for him or any other human being. Mrs. Pendleton also presents a false "face" to the police during their first encounter. She makes herself out to be a harried, yet concerned mother when in reality she is a drug addict willing to use surreptitious means to supply her addiction.

I think "The Leo" or "Sign of the Scales" would have better titles. "Leo" because it could also stand for Law Enforcement Officer. "Scales" because with an October birthday, that is Pete's true astrological sign and it speaks to the scales of justice. Oh well, you can't have everything.

The Ugly:
Not Margaret O'Brien, I love her Vidal Sassoon-inspired haircut, it's that dress!

So since I didn't have any major complaints about this one, I give it a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments or Facebook or wherever, I just like to hear what everyone thinks about the episodes. See you next time with "Log 175: The Con Artists", the half-way point for season three!