Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pick-Up (Season 4, Episode 13)

Episode 91

In a desolate spot of Los Angeles, a woman strapped to a stretcher is brought up a hill by police officers and ambulance workers. They load her into the back of the ambulance as a TV news crew records the whole scene. After Mac and Malloy shut the doors of the emergency vehicle the sergeant turns to the almost-sergeant and says, "Looks like he got another one".

I wonder how much that camera weighed and 
how long it took the poor camera man to get strapped into that thing.
Malloy walks away from the ambulance as the TV reporter approaches Mac with a microphone in his extended hand. He asks the sergeant if this victim is another rape victim. 

Mac doesn't know what happened to the woman they found, so he can't say what type of victim she is. All he knows is they found her at the bottom of the incline after some kids who were parked at the top of the hill heard her moaning. She's still alive, but appears to be in shock. He suggests the newsman check with the hospital in an hour for more details.

The reporter also wants to know if the Jane Doe is the latest victim of a serial rapist at work in Los Angeles. Mac would only be speculating if he answered that question, so he doesn't.

Once the reporter is done asking his questions Mac confers with Malloy. Everything about this victim matches the other rape victims. Malloy points out one difference between this victim and the other three, though.
"Except this time, the girl's still alive."
Mac thinks her survival may be owed to the kids who discovered her. He hopes the victim can supply detectives with a description of the creep who did this. He'd sure like to catch the guy and he's not the only one.
"Welcome to the club."

At the end of their shift Mac has some good news for Reed and Malloy. He's heard from the detectives at the hospital and the victim was able to give a description of the assailant. It's not much to go on. But, as Mac points out, it's more than they had before.
"Six feet, brown hair, blue jacket, about thirty."
Detectives are going to get a list together of all sex offenders who own a blue jacket (just kidding, they'll get a list of all that fit the description) and let Jane Doe take a look at their mug shots. 
They've also found out some more details surrounding the crime. The victim, whose name is Sharon Morton, was hitchhiking. The rapist picked up her up in a red sports car, then drove her up into the hills and assaulted her. 

The information about the type of car is encouraging, now DMV can crosscheck the list of sex offenders against those who own red sports cars. Reed wonders just how long that will take. The answer depends on how many sex offenders with blue jackets own red sports cars. These new developments in the case, while not huge, have Malloy feeling slightly optimistic.
"Well, it's a start."

When they begin their shift the next day Reed asks Malloy if he's seen the papers. He has and he's noticed that the rape case has made the front page. He really wishes the newspapers were able to report that they caught the guy.

They'll have to work on catching the rapist later, though, Malloy and Reed have just been called to the fire road behind Sunnyslope Drive for a 415 juvenile.

The actor playing Rusty is Jodie Foster's brother.
Behind Sunnyslope they find a young man tending to the blown tire on his dirt bike. Only, it's not his dirt bike. He borrowed it without asking from a friend of his brother's. Malloy is surprised to find out that the boy rode the bike all the way from Hollywood. 

While he goes to call impound, Reed asks the boy for his name. It's Rusty Cobb and one day he's going to race dirt bikes. Considering how far he drove today, that doesn't surprise Reed at all.
"I don't doubt that for a minute."

When they're back in the car Reed reminds Malloy not to forget that name. (Like he could ever forget that name.)
"Rusty Cobb?"
"Yeah, someday he'll be a famous dirt bike racer and you can sit on your front porch in your wicker chair and tell everybody how you busted him when he was only twelve."
That can happen someday in the future. But, right now, Malloy and Reed have to deal with the crimes of the present. They think they might be witnessing the beginning of one as a young female hitchhiker is picked up by a red sports car.

They begin following the speeding red coupe. Malloy signals for the Porsche to pull over by switching on the reds and honking the horn. 

But the driver of the 911 doesn't stop. In fact, he does just the opposite. He gains speed as they wind their way through the hills. The speed of the Porsche puts Reed and Malloy at a disadvantage, they can't get close enough to see the license plate number. Finally, the red car slows down. But not for the reason Malloy hoped. The driver quickly pulls over and shoves the female passenger out of the car before speeding away.

Malloy comes up to the same spot and slows just enough for Reed to jump out of the car before he takes off after the Porsche.

While Reed tends to the girl, Malloy continues the pursuit. He picks up the radio and lets communications know that he is still westbound on Mulholland Drive. Shortly after that he turns off the siren and picks up the mic again. Now he announces that he's lost the suspect's vehicle in the vicinity of Royal Oaks.

Back in the hills, Reed questions the girl. He's not getting much out of her.
"He was a man, average looking."
Malloy keeps driving through Royal Oaks until he spots a familiar vehicle.

He calls in the plate number and finds that Victor, Lincoln, Ida, three, two, eight has no wants or warrants. Malloy then gets out of the car to do some first-hand investigation. He checks if the car has been driven recently by placing his hand over the engine housing.
Until I saw this I never knew the Porsche 911 was a rear-engine car.
Then he opens the driver's side door and flips down the visor for some reason.
Is this legal?
Finally, he rings the bell to the house and talks to the owner of the car. Malloy finds out that William J. Taylor did have his red Porsche out recently. He owns a florist shop in the valley and he went there to pick up the books. He admits that he took Mulholland to come back home. After he answers Malloy's questions, Taylor has one of his one.
"What's this all about?"
"There was a situation involving a red sports
car like yours. We're just checking it out."
When Malloy explains the particulars of the situation involving the red sports car Taylor suddenly volunteers to be in a one-man show up. "What are we waiting for? Why don't we get down there and have her take a look at me?" asks Taylor. Malloy is taken aback by the man's helpful attitude.
"You don't have to confront her. Maybe you should consult an attorney."
Taylor doesn't see the point in that, he's not guilty of anything. He wants to go and get this over with. He shuts his front gate and follows Malloy to the black and white.
Where he brazenly gets in the seat reserved for Reed's buns only!
At the scene Reed is getting a lot less help from the victim than Malloy is from the possible suspect. He can't even get an address out of this girl.
"I'm a child of nature."
[With that hair?]
He does manage to get a name and an age out of her. Miss "I'm A Child of Nature, I Don't Use Hot Rollers" real name is Paula Jessup and she's sixteen. Which, according to Paula, is old enough to take care of herself. 

Reed's frustrating interview with Paula is interrupted when Mac arrives at the scene. Paula's far from happy that now three police officers have responded to her plight. She just wants to get out of there. Reed explains to her that she's a juvenile and has to play by their rules. He then leaves Paula to fill Mac in on what's been happening.

"Well, Mr. Average again," says Mac after reading the description that Paula provided.
"Yeah, he sure gets around," adds Reed.
Paula nervously scratches her head when 1-Adam-12 joins the party. After he parks the car Malloy leaves Taylor while he tells Mac about the super-helpful citizen. Mac's surprised that Taylor doesn't mind possibly being identified by their victim. But, he's game for it once Malloy confirms that Taylor insisted on it. The sergeant tells Reed to bring the girl over even though Reed doesn't think she's going to be much help.
"He almost drove me down here."
Paula hesitantly follows Reed over to the patrol unit. He points out Taylor and asks her if he's the man that picked her up. Paula smirks then answers Reed while insulting Taylor.

"I wouldn't get into a car with an old man like that."
Paula tells Reed they have the wrong guy and asks if she can go now. Since she is a minor, they'll have to contact a parent to come get her. Seeing no other way to get out of police custody, Paula begrudgingly gives up the name of her mother, Bonnie Jessup.

Later in Mac's office Reed demonstrates the perfect casual lean while Bonnie Jessup gives Malloy the rundown on the troubled relationship she has with her daughter. Bonnie is at a loss over what to do about her daughter. Paula is a chronic runaway who has told her parents she doesn't need them for food, money, or love.
Paula, at least go home for the hairstyling tips
this woman can give you! This bouffant is impressive.
Also, that's Barbara Hale from Perry Mason playing Mrs. Jessup.

Malloy, eager to get on with his day, let's Mrs. Jessup know Paula is free to go home at anytime.
"We're not holding Paula, Mrs. Jessup, you're free to take her home."
[Like right now. Reed and I haven't had lunch yet and we've got reports to write. So, go ahead take her. Now.]
Mrs. Jessup ignores his hint.
"Two years ago she was an A and B student...She ran away six times last year...We have another child, Brian, Paula's younger brother...Paula, what is it you want?"
[Did I mention I haven't had lunch yet?]
I'll use this perfect eye roll as the opportunity to tell you that Paula Jessup is played by Kathy Garver of Family Affair fame. Also, I got to meet Ms. Garver when I was in Maryland earlier this month. 
She was the only celebrity that did not tower over me.
In fact, Ms. Garver is probably shorter than me!
She's wearing heels in this picture and I'm in sneakers.
When they're back on patrol Pete and Jim discuss the latest developments in the rape case. Detectives have about fifty probables based on the description the victim gave and the computer is working on a DMV crosscheck of a red sports car. At the mention of "computer" Pete wonders whatever happened to "good, old fashioned police logic".
"What are you talking about?"
[Logic wasn't part of the training you gave me.]
"I don't know, it used to be a policeman would scrutinize the site of a crime and collect evidence.  Then some venerable old oriental gentleman in a white Panama suit would stand in a roomful of suspects and figure out the guilty party."
I think Pete is talking about this guy.

Jim argues that at least the modern, computerized methods of crime solving are faster. And easier on the eyes.
"Besides, you wouldn't look that good in a white Panama suit."
"I would look sensational in a white Panama suit."
"Just like an ice cream man."
Pete will have to wait on his white Panama suit fitting, there's a 211 in progress at the lumber yard. With bongoes and sirens blaring, 1-Adam-12 races to 2354 Norman. There they find that some of their work has already been done for them
A group of police scouts have already caught one of the men who held up the hardware store. The other one got away from them and ran into the neighboring lumber yard. While Malloy cuffs the suspect and takes him to the car with the assistance of the scouts, Reed runs into the yard to look for the other guy. 

Reed scans the large, seemingly deserted yard looking for the suspect. He stops behind a large pile of lumber and shouts at the hidden bad guy to give it up, he'll never get out of there.

The suspect decides, however, not to give it up. He pops out of his hiding spot and fires his gun in Reed's direction.
Is that comedian Steven Wright?
There is a resemblance.
Reed gets a shot back at the guy, then runs behind a dumpster. Which he cleverly uses as a rolling shield.

Back at the store Malloy radios for help. 

When backup arrives he runs into the yard to help Reed. He gets to his partner right after he has disarmed the gunman by shooting the weapon from his hand.

After the suspects have been cuffed and taken away Mac arrives on the scene. He compliments Reed and Malloy on their good bust. Reed, not wanting to take undue credit, points to Malloy and tells him, "You go ahead."
"The arrest was half made by the time we got here."
Mac, looking for the party deserving of his praise, turns his gaze to the backup officers.
"Not them," says Malloy.
The skinniest and lankiest scout explains that they were on their way home from a scout meeting listening to the police frequencies when they heard the 211 call. They drove past the store and saw two guys running out. The khaki-clad crusaders were able to grab one of the guys and pin him down until Malloy and Reed arrived.

"The rest was mop up."
"Well...not the part I was in," protests Reed.
"That's just a figure of speech," adds Malloy.
Before Mac congratulates the scouts on a job well done, he gives Malloy and Reed an update on the DMV crosscheck. So far nothing has turned up, but the computer is still punching holes in cards, so you never know.

Later in the day Reed wishes they did know something about the rapist. Malloy concurs. They both thought they had caught a lucky break when the Porsche began to rabbit, but Taylor just doesn't figure. The cooperative flower shop owner has really thrown the two officers for a loop. Malloy doesn't understand why he was so eager to be in a show up. It's almost as if he knew what was going to happen.

Maybe some food will help them understand Taylor's motivation to confront Paula. Reed picks up the mic and requests code 7.  The RTO answers by telling them to continue patrol and handle a call. A woman at 8240 Strathern has additional information on a juvenile problem.
"Mrs. Jessup."
Mrs. Jessup, being a typical mother, went through her daughter's things even though Paula told her not to. When she found little baggies full of pills, she called the police.

I wonder what fake drug slang the boys will use this week when referring to the narcotics they've found? 
"Yellow jackets and red crosses, a real mixed bag."
(OK, these names are actual slang drug terms. However, I don't know if they were in use in the early 1970's. Yellow jackets is slang for barbiturates and red cross is a name for ecstasy.) 
Mrs. Jessup is upset by what she's found among her daughter's things. She just can't believe that Paula would use drugs. Malloy's not ready to jump to the conclusion that Paula is using drugs just yet. Judging by the amount of pills Paula has, it's possible that she's selling them. 

It's also possible that Taylor is the one who supplied Paula with her stash. Mrs. Jessup and her daughter came straight home from the police station today, which means that Paula had the pills on her the entire time. After Taylor dumped Paula he volunteered to be seen by her because he knew that she'd never burn her own supplier. 

Mrs. Jessup is confused by what Reed and Malloy are saying. But, before they have time to explain, Paula bursts into the room. The mother and daughter begin to argue. Mrs. Jessup tries to convince Paula that she's selling poison. Paula argues that she has to sell drugs in order to live on her own. Which she feels she has to do since she can't stand living at home with her parents. 

Based on the evidence before them, Reed and Malloy need to arrest Paula. She waives her rights and agrees to go with them. Mrs. Jessup begs her indifferent daughter to cooperate with the police. Without replying to her mother, Paula begins to leave with the officers. On their way out the door, they run into Paula's little brother.

"You leave my sister alone!"
If Mrs. Jessup can't convince her daughter to cooperate, maybe Brian can. He asks his sister to please stay, then looks up at Malloy and asks if his sister will go to jail if she helps them.
"It's hard to say, son. If she helps us, it'll be taken into consideration."
Brian begs his sister to help the police. He misses her and wants her home, if she helps the authorities there's a chance she can come home instead of going to jail. Paula can't say no to the little brother who loves her so much. She says, "Okay" to his pleas.

When they return the station Taylor is being brought in for booking by some other officers. As he is being walked down the hall, Taylor loudly protests that they have the wrong man. He changes his tune, however, when he sees Paula. 

"I want to call my attorney."
After the Jessup - Taylor circus has passed Mac stops Malloy and Reed to let them know detectives have caught the rapist. Malloy bets they caught him a computer, but he's wrong. It was good, old-fashioned police logic. 
The victim had told them she hit her assailant with her purse before he drug her out of her car. It was big, heavy purse with metal tips at the corners. The detectives were able to get a latent print from the purse and some hairs from the metal tip. One of the detectives thought to check the hospital admitting reports for last night and found that the rapist had checked in with a hairline skull fracture. They arrested him as he was leaving the hospital.

"Then it wasn't the computer."
"Well, no, I just told you. What's wrong with him?"
"Oh, nothing, you just cleaned and pressed his white Panama suit for him."
"Hey, what's with you guys, anyway?"
"Goodnight, Mac."
"Goodnight, Mac."

The End

I like this episode, it's just not one of my favorites. There's nothing here that I particularly hate, but there's also nothing here that I particularly love. I think Kathy Garver does a great job playing a bratty, rebellious teen. Her character here is lightyears away from the character of Cissy Davis that she is most well-known for and she pulls it off quite well.  My favorite part is  Reed's shootout in the lumber yard and his reaction to Malloy's "mop-up" comment. I also think that the ending scene with Reed, Malloy, and Mac is funny and cute.

Outside of that, this episode makes me wonder. Wonder what Malloy would think of today's crime investigation shows with their heavy reliance upon technology. Would he sit in his wicker chair telling his grandkids about the days when he and his partner Reed used police logic without all these new-fangled computers? Or would he marvel at all the new tools today's crime fighters have to help them? Or would he just watch Matlock since he is a venerable old gentleman in a white jacket? 

I don't know, but I do know that I give "Pick-Up" this rating:

Do you agree? Let me know, somewhere out there in cyberspace. See you in two weeks with "Citizens All".