Sunday, April 24, 2016

Log 164: The Poachers (Season 3, Episode 21)

Episode 73

Pete needs to hit the gym at the Academy. He's sitting a lot lower in the driver's seat and the springs are fine. He's been putting on weight and his landlady is the culprit. She thinks he's undernourished and keeps bringing him fattening foods like pies and cakes.

Jim can't understand why his partner just doesn't refuse her calorie-laden contributions. Pete doesn't think it's as easy as that.
"You ever try telling a woman you don't like her cooking?" 
"Almost every night, I'm married."
The already over-worked springs on the Belvedere front seat are about to get more of workout. 1-Adam-12 receives a call of a GTA of a black and white unit. The grand theft auto has just occurred at the police garage. The male caucasian suspect is driving stolen shop number 80-265 code 3.
"If you're gonna steal one you may as well run an ad."
Just then the blaring, flashing, stolen billboard comes speeding towards them. Shop number 80-265 turns a corner and 1-A-12 chases after it, also code 3.

As the pursuit continues, the lead black and white becomes faster and more erratic. But then, the chase just sort of peters out (no pun intended) and the stolen car gets slower and slower until it eventually stops. "Looks like the joy's gone out of the ride," quips Pete as they pull up behind pilfered patrol car.

As Pete and Jim walk up to shop 80-265 with their revolvers drawn, the cheery suspect bounces out of the car and says, "Hi!".
"I don't know are you?"
He doesn't tell Pete if he's high or not, but he does tell him his name. It's Chick Wheelock. He also informs him that he has an uncle who is a cop in Minneapolis. Pete's not impressed.
"And you're under arrest in L.A."
Since he's under arrest, Pete tells Jim to read Chick his rights. When he's done he asks Chick if understands his rights. He does, but he doesn't understand why they're being read to him. He was just going for a ride.
"In a police car, code 3?"
Jim wants to know how Chick gained access to the police garage in the first place. Chick's surprised that they don't know the answer to that already. He works there, everybody knows him. Everybody except for Pete and Jim, that is. But, even if they don't know him, he knows them or at least their car. He washed shop 80-817 yesterday and he's going to wash it again tonight.
"I wouldn't plan on it."
While Jim goes to call a tow truck, Pete asks Chick to tell him what happened. Chick's not exactly sure. He was giving the black and whites "a first class job". Then the next thing he knew, he was on the street going code 3, until he ran out of gas.
"Now you're going code 2 to the station."
When Jim comes back and announces that a tow truck is on the way, Chick suddenly has his second bright idea of the day. If they take the cuffs of him, he can get a can of gas at a nearby gas station and drive the black and white back to the station. Then they won't need a tow truck.
The next call for 1-Adam-12 takes Reed and Malloy' to a hardware store where a man is holding a forgery suspect. A young woman is at the store trying to cash a check. But, something about it doesn't look right to the store owner. When Reed and Malloy arrive he hands her check and ID over to the officers. Malloy studies the identification and quizzes the woman on her name. She answers that her name is Ethel K. Meltzer, just like it says on the card.
After some more questions she decides that cashing the check at this store isn't worth the hassle, she'll just take it to the bank. Malloy stops her with a blunt statement.
"This is not your check, miss."
She insists that it is her check, her tax refund check. Malloy points out that a tax refund check would be marked as such, this check is marked OAB for Old Age Benefit.
"I think you've got quite awhile to go before you qualify."
Here come the waterworks.

Once the tears start flowing, so does the truth. Her real name is Lainie Marshall and she found the check and ID in a purse on the street. Lainie thought it would be easy to cash the check with the identification. She's never done anything like this and she's doesn't know why she did it today.

[Don't forget about me, I'm in this scene, too.
I don't do much, but I'm here.]
"You're not going to arrest me, are you?" asks Lanie. (Now, if there's one thing I've learned from watching Adam-12, it is if you ever find yourself in a situation where you ask that question; you are going to be arrested.) After all she didn't steal or forge the check, she just found it.
"Yes, ma'am, it's what you did after you found it." 

So far, it's been a big day for first offenders. But, otherwise, it's been quiet for a Saturday.
Does that billboard count as a "Stalker Mustang" sighting?
In order to break up the monotony, Malloy suggests they go check on the warehouses Mac asked them to keep an eye on.

Reed replies, "Why not?"

Then it must get very warm in the car. Because, suddenly, their Eisenhower jackets have disappeared!

They decide the first place they'll go, sans jackets, is to Merit Drug. It's been getting robbed pretty regularly by hypes looking for codeine. "Some of the kids are eating it like candy," says Malloy.

It's also quiet over at Merit Drug this Saturday. Jim checks out the lot and finds the gate undisturbed and locked up tight. He gets back into the car and they head of the parking lot. On their way out they meet up with another black and white.

It's Wells and his partner "Officer Stop-calling-me-Brinkman-my-name-is-Green". They're not happy that Reed and Malloy are in their territory. They don't believe that Mac asked them to check on the warehouse, they think 1-A-12 is poaching in their area. Malloy argues that he and Reed are just being team players.
"Somebody's gotta stop those guys who keep
 knocking over your warehouses."
Wells thinks he and Green are perfectly capable of thwarting the thieves on their own. They may even be able to teach Malloy and Reed a thing or two.
"Well, if you'd like to observe the experts
at work, feel free to tag along."
Malloy and Reed will pass on that offer.

When their next call comes over the radio, Jim is relieved that it's not a family dispute. Those type of calls are starting to get to him. But it's nothing a few days off wouldn't cure. Their next call is a 459 report at 207 Kelmore.

At the Kelmore address they meet up with a parking garage attendant who gives them the rundown on recent burglaries in the garage. Car strippers hit two times last month and many more times the month before. He's about to pull his hair out over all of this.
What hair he has left, anyway.
He thought he had finally come up with a way to beat the criminals. He spent $400 and had a closed-circuit camera system installed.
The thieves stole it.
That's what Malloy calls "rubbing it in". The attendant disagrees.
"That's rubbing it in."
When we next see the boys, night has fallen. The temperature must have also fallen, since they are back to wearing their Eisenhower jackets. Their next call sends them to see a woman about a prowler who is reportedly there now. The RTO clearly says that the address is 212 McWhirter.
But, Hulu closed captioning thinks she said "212 next quarter". Which is hilarious since McWhirter is Kent McCord's real last name. The last name he changed at the suggestion of Universal Studios because people could not spell or pronounce it. This closed captioning mix-up seems to illustrate that point perfectly.

At 212 McWhirter an elderly woman in a nightgown, robe, and slippers looks outside from her front window. When she hears a knock at her door, she first smoothes down her unkempt hair, then proceeds to answer the door.

When she opens the door Officer Malloy is on the other side with his flashlight in hand. He reports that there is no prowler outside.
Now we know why she wanted
to look presentable.
Officer Reed then comes inside the house and reports that he hasn't seen a prowler, either.  Despite what the two policemen have told her, Mrs. Pierce still believes that there was a prowler outside her window tonight. Just like the many other times she has called the police and they didn't find anything or anyone unusual.

With nothing else to do here, Malloy and Reed say goodnight to Mrs. Pierce. Malloy promises her that they will patrol the area more often and keep an eye on her place. This makes her feel much better.

Before the officers are out the door, Mrs. Pierce has something to tell them. She grabs Malloy's arm and whispers in his ear that it could have been a peeping tom after all.

[Sure thing, ma'am.]
In the car Reed chuckles about Mrs. Pierce making all of those prowler reports. Then his mood turns more somber as he reasons that she's probably frightened and lonely and just wants someone to talk to. 
He also figures that she may be right next time, there might be a real prowler at her house. Malloy reminds him that it's all part of the job.
"That's one of the reasons we're here, partner."
Their conversation about Mrs. Pierce ends when they receive their next call over the radio, a 459 silent at the mortuary.
[Hey, Pete, I hear the mortuary is really popular.
People are dying to get in there.]

[Keep making jokes like that and you
may be one of those people.]
Pete and Jim meet up with another unit at Callahan Mortuary. While backup checks the grounds around the funeral home, they check the doors. The front doors are locked, but a set of side doors have obviously been tampered with.

Inside the darkened establishment Pete and Jim find no signs of life in the first two parlors they check out. But the office has obviously seen some recent activity, it's been ransacked.

The next room they investigate is a coffin showroom (I guess?) with many examples of the mortuary's wares on display. Jim looks inside one of the caskets while Pete watches the hall. Jim freezes when he sees the lid on another casket start to open. Pete turns his attention from the hallway to see what is happening. They aim their guns and watch as the lid continues to rise.

The lid slowly opens to reveal a very-much-alive man. Pete shows him some hospitality and the man rudely shuts the lid.
"Welcome back to the land of the living."
[Sorry, not my stop.]
Since the suspect doesn't want to come out of the casket on his own. Pete and Jim will have to get him out.
"Okay, mister, out!" orders  Reed.

The next day they're back in the car with their jackets on and Reed can't stop thinking about the guy in the coffin. He'll never forget the look on his face when he spotted them. Malloy will never forget the look on Reed's face when that lid started to come up. 

Malloy doesn't want to spend all day talking about what happened yesterday, though. He wants to see if there's any criminal activity going on today. He suggests they go check out Merit Drug again.

They arrive at the closed-on-a-Sunday warehouse and immediately notice something that doesn't belong.

"Something new's been added."
They get out of the car and watch as two men load the green truck with boxes from the warehouse. The thieves take time out from their activity to ingest some of the narcotics they have nabbed.
"Stoned," observes Reed.
"And dangerous," adds Malloy.
While Reed calls for backup Malloy watches as the two blitzed bandits get in the green truck. He runs for the black and white, anticipating a pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. The truck goes right through the gates and Malloy is ready to take off after them.

The suspects try to drive out of the parking lot, but don't get very far.

The passenger tries to run, but Malloy easily catches him. He falls to the ground; "tackled" by pharmaceuticals, not Malloy.
[That was easy.]
This guy can barely stand while he's being searched.

At least Reed's guy has the truck to support him while he's being searched.

Hmm...what do we have here?
I couldn't get a good shot of him and he's not listed in the credits, but I am 99% sure that is Fred Stromsoe
 as "bad guy in a bucket hat".
After they get both suspects into the back seat Reed shows Malloy what he found on the driver and Malloy delivers his last pithy one-liner of the episode.
"You called it, codeine."
"Looks like the candy store just closed."

The End

Here's what I wondered after I finished watching "Log 164: The Poachers": Was all of this conceived together as an episode or was this a bunch of leftover footage that was edited together to create an episode? As I think more about it, I guess this was all conceived as an episode. After all, their conversations in the car relate back to the call immediately preceding the car scene. But, still, it all seems like a collection of random calls linked mostly by their wardrobe. No overall theme for this episode, no great lessons to be learned here, just a regular couple of days in the lives of Officers Malloy and Reed. 

There's nothing wrong with this episode, in fact it has some memorable moments and lots of one-line zingers from Malloy. It's just a change of pace from stories like "Log 76: The Militants" and "Log 165: Always a Cop". It's not bad, it's not great. It is, as someone described in a comment on this blog, a fine "utility episode".  Since "Log 164: The Poachers" is not bad and not great, it earns this rating from me:

Do you agree? Let me know somewhere out here in internet land. I'll see you next time with "Log 16: A Child in Danger".