Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Grandmothers (Season 4, Episode 3)

Episode 81

[Hey Jim didn't you go to college with a guy whose dad was named Ozzie?]
Poor Pete's got a headache and Jim is concerned about him. Or maybe he's just sick of hearing him complain about it. Either way, he thinks his partner should do something about it. Pete has an idea of how to get rid of the pain.
"Yeah, like get a new head."
Now, Pete don't go doing anything rash, we all like your head just the way it is. Maybe you can try this remedy from Jim's great aunt Latitia.
"Your great aunt. Sure."
"You take a piece of brown paper and soak it in strong vinegar,
put in on your forehead. Headache goes away just like that."
Aunt Letitia must be on the Gannon side of the family. 

It doesn't look like Pete is going to try this remedy. He hopes Jim is kidding, if he's not he's going to take him back to the station and turn him for a partner with a full set of marbles.
"OK, just trying to help."

Maybe a call will help Pete forget about his head. Like the one that has just come over the radio about a 211 that just occurred at 465 North Main Street. Luckily, it's code 2 so the sirens won't bother Pete's head.

There's that mustang again.
465 North Main is a shop called Grandmother's house and it's run by a bunch of, well, grandmothers. They sell handmade quilts, doilies, pot holders, bedspreads, you name it. All of the ladies working in the shop are in quite a tizzy over the robbery when officers Malloy and Reed come strolling through the door. 

One of them, Mrs. Kovacs, who isn't very strong, fainted during the robbery.
"I'm not very strong."
Mrs. Frieda Pine, a diminutive yet tenacious septuagenerian, was in the store with Mrs. Kovacs when the robbery happened nineteen minutes ago. Mrs. Pine was able to keep her wits about her during the holdup and she's now able to provide Malloy and Reed with a full report of the crime.

In fact, she probably gives them the most detailed descriptions any witness has ever given in the history of the LAPD. She knows the exact minute the crime happened. She knows the approximate age, weight, and height of the suspect. She knows his hair color, eye color, and that he had a blemish on his neck. She also remembers the what his clothes looked like, right down to the smudge on the left knee of his pants. 

She also knows he was a hype.
"A hype?"
"A drug addict, you know, strung out on heroin."
(Mrs. Pine must have watched a lot of Dragnet.)
The robber also had a gun, which Mrs. Kovacs thinks he was waving, but Mrs. Pine knows he was shaking due to his condition. Whatever his mental state, he was smart enough not to leave any prints. He didn't touch anything and he made Mrs. Pine take the money out of the cashbox. She gave him everything, $43.75. The thief was sick and desperate, but he did say that he would pay the money back
"I wouldn't count on that Mrs. Pine."
In the middle of her account of the robbery, Mrs. Pine takes some time to tell Pete about the business she runs with the other ladies. Most of them are widows and alone. The shop gives them a chance to do something useful with their time instead of "rotting like a bunch of vegetables". The other women knit or sew things to sell while Mrs. Pine, who was "born with ten thumbs", organizes and markets the wares. She's a dandy organizer.
"I'll bet you are."
After Reed has the report written he asks Mrs. Pine to sign it. Reed lags behind his partner has they leave the store and for some reason he sets his report book down on a table full of potholders.

When he meets up with Malloy outside, Reed tells him he forget his book and has to go back in to retrieve it.

Malloy's been a cop for too long, he knows his partner didn't forget his book inside. He recognizes that his partner is acting hinkey when he comes out of the shop. He's not going to let Reed get away with this, he'll question him just like he would any other suspicious character.

"What'd you buy?"
"Buy? Me?"
"Buy. You."
Jim tries to feign innocence, but Pete knows better. He tells him to turn over his hat. Jim reluctantly turns over his hat and reveals his "crime".
"Two potholders, my, my."
Malloy tosses the potholders at his soft-hearted partner before pulling away from the curb. Farther down the street Reed catches Malloy looking at him sideways. Without Malloy saying a word, Reed feels the need to defend himself. 
"Alright, so I bought some potholders. It just so happens that we need a couple of potholders at home."

Pete nods in mocking agreement and says, "sure". But, he'll have to wait to rib Jim more until later, the radio breaks into their riveting potholder conversation. A 211 has just occurred in 77th division, three suspects in a yellow convertible are heading northbound on the Hollywood freeway.

"I don't believe it."
As soon as the dispatch from the link operator ends the yellow convertible turns onto the very street 1-A-12 is patrolling. Talk about luck. Reed stealthily picks up the mic and fills communication in on what's happening.

They continue following the car and Reed continues to keep dispatch updated on the pursuit. He holds the mic down below the dash so the suspects don't see him talking into it. If the men in the yellow car see him with the mic in his hand both officers that they are certain to rabbit.

After two miles of the tailing the yellow vehicle, Malloy knows their luck is about to run out. His intuition tells him that the suspects are bound to get hinkey, sooner rather than later. When they turn a corner, his instincts prove correct. He flips on the reds and the siren and lets Reed know they are now in pursuit.
"We're off and running."
There's no need to hide anymore.
I think Ron Burgundy supplied the jazzy
 flute music that played in the background of this chase.
The chase ends in a parking lot when 1-A-12 and 1-L-20 block the convertible. Two of the suspects are captured by a pair of officers in the lot. The third suspect makes a break for it, the other officer runs after and tackles him.
There goes Reed tackling another suspect.
But, wait a second...Reed's here in the parking lot.
Whaaat? That was Mac making that tackle?
A winded Mac is impressed with the efficiency and teamwork demonstrated in capturing the suspects.
"Well, pretty nice work. About fourteen minutes
 from crime to arrest."
Malloy would rather focus on Mac's performance.
"We have our moments. That was quite a run
 and tackle for a, uh, desk jockey, a man of your, uh, seniority."
"Malloy, there's a cruel streak in you."
A 211 has just occurred at 4224 North Spring, 1-Adam-12 is dispatched to handle the call code 2. It's their third 211 call of the day. Not that anyone's keeping track.
"Must be our day for 211s."
The proprietor of the business, Mr. Clover, meets Pete and Jim on the sidewalk in front of antique shop. The affable shop owner was in the back putting some things away when suddenly there was a gun in his face. At the other end of the gun was a man asking for exactly $115. Mr. Clover certainly thought this was strange, but since there was a gun pointed at him he didn't ask questions. He handed over five brand new twenty-dollar bills, fresh from the bank, and fifteen singles.

After Clover tells them the particulars of the robbery, Malloy asks him the question he's been dreading.
"Can you describe the man, Mr. Clover?"
Mr. Clover can only say for sure that the man had sandy hair and blue eyes. Other than that nothing about the man stood out to Clover. He was just an average guy who was medium height with medium build wearing average clothes. Clover chuckles at his inability to recall anything about the robber. He knows it seems unusual that he doesn't know what he looked like, but he did have a gun in his face. And it's not like the guy was 6' 5" wearing green leotards.
Well, look at that. It's the episode director, Ozzie Nelson.
 The man who was the creator, star, director, 
and producer of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
aka the show where Kent McCord got his start in television.
Here's Kent and Ozzie together on
"The Blue Moose" episode.

(Kent's the big guy with the moose head, Ozzie's the one with the tie.)
Did you ever notice that a lot of the personal details from Kent's life get worked into the show? They have been in pursuit on McWhirter Street at least twice, Jim Reed worked at an airport in his younger days just like Kent did, his daughter, Kristen McCord, shows up in "Operation Action" and people from the Ozzie and Harriet universe keep popping up. Ozzie directs and guests in this episode. The eldest Nelson son, David, directs the season 7 episode "Ladies Night".  An episode that co-stars Kristen Nelson, wife of younger Nelson son and Kent's friend, Rick Nelson. Kristen Harmon Nelson is also the sister of Mark Harmon, aka Gus Corbin, and Kent's daughter is named after her. I find all these connections from the show to Kent's personal history fascinating and I wonder how it came to be that they were incorporated into the show.

In other news, dig the toilet 
seat picture frame behind Ozzie. 
Do you put a picture of someone 
you like or dislike in a toilet seat frame?
OK, back to our story...

When Reed and Malloy hear that the thief had sandy hair and blue eyes they realize that they've heard that description earlier in the day. They think it might be the same guy that held up Grandmother's House. They ask Clover if the man who robbed him was wearing a green short sleeve short, grey pants, and brown boots. Their mention of green jogs something in Clover's memory, he does recall the man wearing green. He also remembers that he seemed like he was on something. He was careless with his gun, waving it around a lot. 

The part Clover can't seem to forget is the bandit asking for a specific amount, $115. He just can't stop laughing over the absurdity of this. For a man who was just held up at gunpoint, Mr. Clover is pretty cheerful.

Take notice of this white building with black trim
and script writing behind Reed, you'll see it later.

Pete and Jim are in the car discussing the similar descriptions of the 211 suspect from Mr. Clover and Mrs. Pine. Jim thinks its the same guy, Pete doesn't think a green shirt and blue eyes are much to go on. Then, as if this has all been scripted, the RTO comes over the radio with a call related to their conversation. They are to see the woman about a 211 report at 465 North Main, Grandmother's House.
There's the white building with the black trim
and the script lettering behind the car now!
And how many times have they driven past
that Pontiac dealership with the Indian head sign?
Mrs. Pine has called them back to say, "I told you". Turns out the man who robbed the store actually came back and repaid the money, just like he said he would. Mrs. Pine knew he was a nice boy. He even apologized and gave her some extra money for causing trouble, $60 instead of $43.75. 
"Brand new twenties fresh from the bank."
Now that the money has been returned Mrs. Pine hopes that Pete and Jim don't have to arrest the suspect. Pete explains it's not that easy.
"Once a felony complaint has been filed,
it's up to the District Attorney's office.
But, I'm afraid he didn't really give you back the money."
Mrs. Pine thinks this is silly, Pete has the money in his hand. They tell her that this money was taken from someone else. 
"An antiques shop was held up not far from here,
a hundred dollars in new twenties was taken, like these."
The fact that she and the other ladies won't be able to keep the money, upsets Mrs. Pine. She knows the others will be disappointed, too, when she breaks the news to them. Jim tries to make it up to her as best he can.
"Mrs. Pine, I'd like to buy some more of these potholders, four of them."
"Four? Oh, officer, you don't have to."
"No, no, it's nothing like that. My wife loved them, she asked me to buy some more."

When they're out of the store, Pete lets Jim know that his story is about as flimsy as a doily.
"I wonder how Jean got so crazy about
those potholders she hasn't even seen yet.
Jim informs his partner that he and Jean are on the save wavelength. Pete hopes that's true. If it's not, he has a good idea of what he'll be getting for Christmas.

"1-Adam-12, day watch, clear."
Pete and Jim are back to work after a day off. Jim did nothing but rest and relax, and give his wife the potholders. Which she loved, by the way.
"I always said you had a great wife."
While they're at a stop sign Jim spots the first crime of their shift.
"Classic rolling stop."
They'll handle this call code 2. Pete honks his horn to signal the driver to pull over.

The driver gets out of his car with a smile on his face, he's actually happy to see the officers. He was on his way to the station, but now they'll save him a trip. When Pete asks him why he was going to the station the man opens his trunk to show them the reason. 

"It's a lid of marijuana."
The man knows that, he just paid $12 for it.

But, if you don't know what a "lid of marijuana" is, as I didn't, I found this explanation from helpful.
The term 'lid' of marijuana goes back to the 60's. Back then you could buy a 'lid' or a 'can' of pot. The can was approximately 1 oz, the lid was1/8 oz. The term came from the practice of breaking up a brick (a kilo or later a key) of tightly packed marijuana and storing and selling it in Price Albert tobacco cans. A can held approximately one ounce. the lid would hold aproximatley1/8 oz. No one weighed it really, it was all done by eye. By the time I was in high school in the early 70's the term can had gone away and the term lid referred to an ounce. The Term Lid died off as the product quality changed.
It just so happens this guy has a perfectly good reason for buying the marijuana: he's a priest. He even has the credentials to prove it. Now, he wasn't buying the pot to replace the church incense. No, he bought it so the police could use it as evidence. A junior high boy in his parish told the father about a creep who's been selling grass to to the schoolchildren. The priest, Father Meginnis, decided he was going to do something about it. He disguised himself in old clothes and went to the pusher's apartment to see if he could buy some marijuana. Meginnis talked a good game and the pusher wanted his money, so it was easy for him to make the buy.
This guy must be a priest. As a condition of his
 vow of poverty, he only buys clothes from
the secondhand store. Like this sweatshirt with cut-off
 sleeves that used to belong to this man
 from "Log 23: Pig is a Three-Letter Word". 
Reed's looking at him like that because
 he recognizes that sweatshirt, it used to be his!
 Jean must have gotten rid of it after he
trained for the Police Olympics in it.
So I guess that makes it thirdhand, not secondhand.
Anyway, Father Meginnis is ready to take Pete and Jim to the drug dealer's apartment. But they advise him to slow down, they need to check with Mac first. Pete radios the station while the padre anxiously waits. Fortunately, he doesn't have to wait long, Pete has the answer in mere seconds.
"OK, it's our baby. We'll follow you, Father."
But Meginnis would rather ride in the police
car, he's never been in one before.
They get to the apartment building and Meginnis asks if they would have a better case against the pusher if they catch him in the act. When Malloy says, "Yes, sir", the father decides to run the show. He'll buy more marijuana while the officers follow and listen.

Malloy and Reed position themselves on either side of the apartment door before the priest knocks. After he raps on the door the unkempt dealer answers. He seems annoyed to see Meginnis again. The priest plays the part of a pothead perfectly.
"You again? What now?"
"Peace. I just need some more grass."
(Also, it's that guy from The Breakfast Club. This is his first of four Adam-12 appearances.)
Despite his wariness, Smitty (that's the pusher), invites Meginnis into his apartment and proceeds to sell him another lid of grass. After the father counts out twelve dollars and Smitty hands him the grass, Reed and Malloy come busting through the door.
The weed cost $12, the show is Adam-12. Coincidence?
When Smitty realizes that he's been set up he takes a swing at Meginnis. Instead of turning the other cheek, the father turns and socks Smitty in the gut!

When it's all over Reed and Malloy return Father Meginnis to his car. Before he drives away, Reed tells Malloy wait, he needs to say something to the priest. After his quick, private chat with the padre Reed returns to the car and a curious Malloy. "What was that all about?" he asks his partner.
"Oh, I just gave him a warning
about those rolling stops."
Hey, remember that headache Malloy had at the beginning of the episode? I wonder what he did about that. Reed does, too.

Well, Malloy had a date that night and his headache kept getting worse. He tried everything, aspirin, cold towels, you name it. Nothing helped. Finally, out of desperation, he decided to use Aunt Letitia's remedy. He soaked a piece of brown paper in vinegar and put it on his forehead. Much to Pete's surprise, it worked! Ten minutes later, his headache was gone.
Just like that.
[No, not really. I went on my date and she
 refused to get near me the whole night
because I smelled 'like an Easter egg'.
It was horrible and she never wants to see my again.]
[Ha, ha just kidding.]
Pete and Jim may be chuckling over the headache story, but when the radio interrupts with a 211 in progress call at 465 North Main their smiles quickly fade. "Oh, not again," groans Reed.

Here's a better shot of the Pontiac sign.
1-Adam-12 is met at the curb by Mrs. Kovacs she tells them to hurry, he's still inside. Jim goes around back with her while Pete peeks in the front window.

Through the sliver of open space between the curtains Pete sees a young man with sandy hair pointing a gun at Mrs. Pine. He clutches his stomach as he demands more than the $18 she has in the cashbox. While she explains that it's been a slow business day the gun shakes in his unsteady hand. In the background, a door opens and the shadow of Reed holding the shotgun comes into view.
Neither Mrs. Pine nor the gunman notice Reed sneaking into the room, they also don't notice that Malloy has come through the front door. They both notice Malloy, however, when he suddenly comes up behind the gunman and grabs his weapon.
After he's been disarmed and Reed is patting him down the suspect mutters that he's thankful it's all over, he couldn't go through robbing the grandmothers again.
"You won't have the chance," Reed tells him.
While Reed takes him to the car and puts out a code 4, Malloy stays behind to make sure Frieda Pine is all right.

When he comes out of the shop Reed notices something strange about his partner's uniform.
"What's in the pocket?"
Malloy says it's "some stuff" and tries to walk away, but Reed's not going to let that happen. "Like what? Let's see," he says as he reaches into Malloy's right shirt pocket.
[Panties again, Pete?]
Nope, just a doily.
"Oh, nice," says Reed.
[That's worse than potholders.]
"Just don't say a word, Reed."

The End

Well, this episode is cute. Isn't it? Mrs. Pine is sweet, Ozzie (Who, by the way, is my favorite of all the Nelson men; including Ricky.) is lovable, the priest is appealing, and Pete and Jim and their banter in the car is adorable. And it does have some spicy parts to liven it up, too. The car chase, the drug buy, and the final confrontation with the 211 suspect are all exciting. But overall, none of the parts really grabbed me.

In fact, some of the parts irritated me. Crazy headache remedies, potholders, and doilies- in one episode? Two running jokes is a lot of silliness for one installment of Adam-12.  Even it's predecessor, Dragnet , would have only had one Gannon recipe per episode. 

The slight irritation I experienced at the extra foolishness didn't make me hate the episode, but there was nothing here that really made me love "The Grandmothers" either. So, it earns a rating of:

Do you agree? Let me know how you feel about this one somewhere, out there in cyberspace. See you next time with "The Radical".

KMA- 367


  1. I like this episode . I love the way Malloy n Reed bug each other ! Like they've been friends for years. Keely u really have good eyes and a great memory. As may times as I've watched this show I don't remember seeing that cut off t-shirt. I have to say it looked best on Reed!!!! I've started watching for that green car that keeps popping up in many of the episodes. Never noticed that before either!!

    1. That's probably why I remembered the cut-off sweatshirt, because Reed wore it! Do mean the gold Mustang? That's in over 150 episodes!

  2. I like this episode too, mainly for the Reed / Malloy banter, but I really like the spunky Mrs. Pine. My favorite part, though, is Malloy's jabs at Mac about his "seniority" and Mac's reference to Pete's cruel streak. I love all of Adam-12's references to Kent's personal life too. You mention roles played by Kristen Nelson in the show- - - doesn't she play Reed's wife in Season 7? All the various interconnections are fascinating. I hate to be disagreeable, but I don't like Ozzie Nelson's portrayal. To me, his character comes across as ineffectual and rather foolish, but I guess that contributes to the "fluff" portion of the episode. Can't wait to see your analysis of "The Search" and "Ambush", Keely!

    1. Yes, Kristen Nelson was Jean Reed no. 2 in "Ladies' Night" and "Something Worth Dying For". No disagreement, just conversation. I can't wait to get to "The Search", too!

    2. In your comments, you mentioned "an episode" that Kristen co-starred in, and I meant to ask, was she in an episode other than the two in Season 7, where she played Jean # 2? If so, I wondered what that episode might be, because I can't remember recognizing her in any role other than Jean # 2. Thanks!

    3. She only played Jean #2 in "Ladies' Night" and "Something Worth Dying For". Those were the only times she was on the show.

  3. "Kent's the big guy with the moose head, Ozzie's the one with the tie."

    Personally, I saw nothing wrong with Kent's head! LOL! (It's all in the way you read the sentence...LOL!)

    1. You're right, Nancy! That could be taken the wrong way! lol

  4. Thanks so much for the screencaps! I really look forward to them when you do post them! You're the best!

  5. In my younger days in small town Oregon, it was $10 for a 4 finger lid of Oregon Homegrown. Circa 1968 - 1972. The four fingers was the depth of the dope in the baggie. Mexican dirt weed was cheaper.

  6. I love this episode -- just the warm jousting between partners, where Malloy has a good-natured ribbing of both Reed and Mac. The different issues are well-knitted and I think the direction by Nelson, and his performance as the flustered yet buoyant victim, were skillfully delivered. What i really liked was Frieda, as portrayed by the unflappable Florence Lake. It was her second of three appearances on the show; for me, her shining moment on TV was the unlikely date of Lou Grant a few years later on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, 'Lou's First Date,' where Rhoda fixes up the newly single WJM executive producer with -- by accident -- the mother of a co-worker who was 40 years his senior. It's a classic, and she's wonderfully delightful as Lou's date Martha Dudley. What makes this episode is the interplay between Malloy and Reed, and some good guest turns. Again, Keely, you rock. Hope all is well!

  7. I just watched this episode (again). I love Adam-12. I just think Malloy and Reed were so cute. 😉 So, I was looking for a site just like this. I wanted to see if anyone else remembered lids or ounces looking bigger than the ones on this episode. (Yeah, I was one of THOSE kids.) Anyway, I swear I remember them looking bigger. Maybe it's just because of the shape of the bag hanging in their hands. Also, the dealer said this was prime stuff and only asked $12 for it. In the 70's I grew up in, prime usually went for $20. And it WAS good for sure. AND, you got seeds (which we usually tossed out) so you could grow that good stuff.