Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Princess and the Pig (Season 4, Episode 15)

Episode 93

What's going on at the Cannery? Hopefully no chicanery.

Reed and Malloy are here, there must be trouble.

Or maybe it's just time for 7 and they want to hear Kathy Royal perform her hit song "The Princess of the Mind". Oh no, did you hear that scream? I guess they're here on official police business. Let's go inside and see what's happening.

So, this chick is up on stage screaming about death and murder. Is this the birth of punk rock? 

Judging by the faces in the audience, I don't think this is part of the act. I think Ms. Royal is having a nervous breakdown or something.

The club manager jumps up on stage and tells Kathy to get down. Kathy calls him a vulture then she tries to throw a guitar at him. (By the way, what happened to the band? I mean, if I were in a band I would not leave my expensive instruments laying around where some crazy broad could damage them.) Next she jumps off the stage and runs out the back door of the club. Reed runs after her. The manager promises everyone in the audience a drink. Malloy stays inside for the free drink.

Reed gets outside and hears Kathy saying something about "voices in the dark" and funeral songs. He finds her sitting behind a dumpster muttering and rocking back and forth. He kneels beside her and tries to get her attention, but she is lost in her own world. When she finally does realize that she is not alone, she grabs onto the officer and begs him to help her.
[Hey, crazy lady!] 
"Oh, help me."
[I will if you don't get mascara all over my uniform.]

Meanwhile, Malloy talks to club manager inside. David Bolanz doesn't want to file a complaint, he doesn't hold Kathy's behavior against her. In fact, it seems like he feels a little bit sorry for Kathy. She used to have an up and coming music career, she even had a song on the charts last year. 
Malloy's never heard of Kathy's hit song, "The Princess of the Mind". 

I imagine "The Princess of the Mind" is an unlistenable piece of cloying claptrap, like "I've Never Been to Me".
In case you forgot what that song sounds like, here ya go. If you can make it to the first chorus, you have a stronger stomach than me.

But, then Kathy started turning on and turning her audience off. This is the third time in two weeks that the "vulture routine" has been a part of her performance. Bolanz is sick of it and he's replacing her with another act.

Out behind the club, ambulance workers are struggling to load a screaming and thrashing Kathy into the back of the "bus". After they have her inside the vehicle one of the attendants walks over to Reed and lets him that she wants to see him. With a cautionary glance from Malloy, Reed heads over to the ambulance. 

"Thank God," exclaims Kathy as soon as Reed climbs inside. He tells her to calm down, but she just can't. She breathlessly tells Reed that she's not crazy. She knows there are people who want her dead. Reed tries to get away from her and her rantings. But as soon as he moves, she clutches onto his hand even tighter. She begs him not to go, she's frightened. Sensing that her fear is genuine, he tells her to wait a minute and promises to be right back.
Run, Reed, run!!!
When Reed steps off the ambulance the attendant states the obvious.
"She's kinda paranoid."
The attendant thinks it would help Kathy if Reed rode with her to the hospital. He also thinks she's having a delayed reaction to some kind of drug, but he doesn't know what. He's hesitant to sedate her until he knows what she took. 

Reed thinks it's a good idea for him to ride with Kathy, too. He just has to clear it with Malloy first.

Malloy doesn't think it's a great idea for Reed to ride with Kathy. But, he doesn't stop him, either. Before his partner leaves for the red and white emergency vehicle Malloy gives him a bit of advice.
"And Jim, don't become her psychological guardian."
Jim climbs back onto the ambulance and sits next to Kathy. Now that she's got Jim in her clutches, she asks him to stay when they get to the hospital. Jim agrees to hang around for as long as he can.
While the ambulance siren wails in the background, Kathy starts telling Jim how "they" are trying to kill her and she can't get anyone to believe her. Jim, sincerely interested in what Kathy has to say, asks her who wants her dead. Her answer gives a clue as to why maybe no one believes her.
"People, just people. People who know me."

[Look, if you want people to believe you, you may want to provide more details. Like names or even a description. Saying that "people, just people want to kill you" makes it look like you might be imagining the whole thing.]

Reed tells her to relax and she begins reciting the same lines she was muttering to herself behind the dumpster.
"The voices..." something about telling a story, blah, blah, blah...a hundred times they brought her somewhere to "play and sing their funeral song".
"What's does that mean?"
[Are those lyrics to a new song you are writing?
 If they are, you should stop. Just stop.]
According to Kathy, it all means "once you're hooked, you're dead". She then confesses that David and some other people got her hooked on drugs and now they're trying to kill her. She tells Reed that he has to help her stop them before they kill her.

Luckily, Reed is able to get away from Kathy and her vortex of lunacy. When he's back next to Malloy in the front seat of the Satellite he gives his partner an update on the damsel in distress. Doctors at the hospital determined she was having a delayed reaction to some sort of drug, probably barbiturates. Once they figured out what she had taken, they were able to sedate Kathy.

Before Kathy was lulled into a synthetic sleep at the hospital, she did give Reed some information. She provided him with the names of the men who've been supplying her with drugs. David Bolanz, the Cannery manager, is one of the names on that list.
Malloy, eyes on the road!

She wants them put away, but she'll only cooperate with the police if Reed sticks with her. Malloy doesn't like the way this chick is clinging to his partner.
"Oh, brother."
She also rattled off the names of the pills the drug circle has been feeding her. Malloy recognizes some of them, like grasshoppers and red rainbows, from a flyer they received from Narcotics. They've found pills with those same names on some juveniles they picked up on the Strip. Narco hasn't been able to find out who's been pushing the capsules, though.

Considering her mental state when he met Kathy, Malloy wonders if she's a reliable source of information. Reed, who's spent more time with singer, believes everything she's told him. If Kathy's telling the truth, then they have to share the information with Narcotics. Malloy tells his partner they'll meet with Mac and the narco squad when they return to the station.

This outfit makes my head hurt.
The pocket square, tie stripes, and shirt all clash with each other.
The boys meet up with Mac, Captain Grant, and Lieutenant Moore from Narcotics in the sergeant's office. Moore lays out his plan for an undercover operation involving Reed and Kathy. Reed will go undercover posing as an AWOL soldier who has just returned from Vietnam. He'll approach Bolanz with a story about a buddy of his who is smuggling approximately six kilos of pure Asian heroin into the states. Reed will push to make a quick sale of the heroin to Bolanz before his friend reaches the U.S. in a few days time. He'll claim that the MP's are on to them and they don't want to be caught with the drugs.

Reed thinks the story sounds good, but Captain Grant has some questions for Moore. He wants to know why Moore thinks Bolanz would buy from someone other than his regular supplier. Moore points out that there are factors working in their favor. Grant knows what he means. Heroin's been hard to come by in Los Angeles recently, the Mexican border's almost closed up and forty million dollars worth of raw horse was seized in New York a few weeks ago. The suppliers in town are having a hard time meeting demand. Moore will bet they'll be willing to take a chance on Reed if Kathy vouches for him.

Grant is now convinced that the story will work and he's willing to give it a try. Since the captain approves, Mac also gives his okay to the operation. But, there is one dissenter in the room. Malloy brings up something that everyone else seems to have forgotten, Bolanz was at the club when he and Reed were there. What if he remembers Reed?

Reed's been thinking about that, too. But, he doesn't think the fact that he and Bolanz were in the same place together a few nights ago should pose a problem. Malloy was the one who took the report from Bolanz while Reed was out back with the ambulance. If Bolanz saw him at all, he probably didn't look past the uniform. 

Despite his partner's doubts, Reed wants to move forward with the operation. If Reed is going to do this, Malloy also wants to have a part in the plan. Grant has no objections to Malloy helping them.

However, Mac does have an objection. Malloy is the only senior lead officer on his shift. The sergeant can't spare the head of a ten-car plan for two days. He's sorry, but Reed will have to go without has partner.
Consider yourself lucky, Pete.
The next day Pete starts his shift without Jim. He's got a temporary partner, a probationer who's only been out of the Academy for two days.

[Hey, kid, do you know what this is?]
[Yes, sir, a police car.]
While his new partner loads their gear in the black and white Malloy heads over to the other side of the parking lot where Moore is briefing officers who are part of the undercover operation. He hangs around awkwardly while the lieutenant instructs the detectives. Moore pauses in his briefing to let everyone know that the "worried-looking patrolman" is Reed's regular partner. In order to set Malloy's mind at ease, Moore tells everyone to make "double sure" they give Reed "the right kind of protection". 

Malloy lingers long enough to hear Moore tell everyone the signal Reed will use if he makes a deal. If Reed has his jacket on when he leaves the club after talking to Bolanz, that means he was able to set up a deal. Knowing that it's time to get to work, Malloy returns to his fill-in partner. The young man is raring to get on the streets, he hopes they see some action today.

Speaking of action, Reed hasn't seen any yet. He sits around Kathy's apartment, fighting boredom by inspecting her stuffed dog. Finally, Kathy comes out of the bedroom where she has been getting ready (or shooting up, don't forget she was "hooked" as of a few days ago). She sees Reed with the toy dog and tells him the pretend pooch's name is Poncho. 

While generic Mark VII plays in the background, Kathy tells the sad tale of how why she bought the toy pooch. Poncho is a replacement for the real dog Kathy brought with her to L.A. when she came out to break into the record business. The dog trusted her, she thought it was really beautiful that somebody had that much faith in her. Blah, blah, blah...why are we not watching Reed and Malloy catch bad guys?

[Oh, brother...]
Anyway, the apartment manager found out she had the dog and told her she had to get rid of it. She tried to hide the hound, but the manager found him one day when she was out. He let the dog out onto the street and it was killed when a car hit it. 

After Kathy tells her story she tells Reed she must ridiculous to him. He pragmatically answers that she doesn't look ridiculous, she looks frightened. She then confronts Reed with a question that she probably already knew the answer to. "You're married, aren't you?" she asks.
[Did you not see the ring or feel it when you were strangling my hand?]
Kathy's disappointed to be sure, Reed's been so nice to her and she feels she can trust him, but it's probably for the best. They'd make a pretty stupid couple anyway.
"The Princess and the Pig"
I would just like to point out that Kathy utters
 the title at exactly the half-way mark of the episode.
Which means this thing is half-way over!!!!
Now that all that sad stuff is out of the way and we've established that Reed is going to stay faithful to his wife, it's time to go to the club. It's almost noon, the time David usually shows up at the establishment. 

Before they leave the apartment Reed tries to set Kathy's mind at ease by telling her there are lots of people watching them, they are not alone. She doesn't feel so confident, however. She thinks they're always alone.
Okay, let's talk about this scene. It is one of my two favorites in this episode (hint: the other one is at the end) because I can personally relate to it. I have felt Kent McCord's hand on my arm like this. It was the first time I met him in Kansas City. After we finished our professional photo op he placed his hand on my arm, looked into my eyes and asked if I was going to be at the Q&A session later in the day. Of course I said yes. How could I say no under those circumstances? Even if my flight would have been leaving at the same time as the Q&A, I would have missed it.
Also, can we talk about that squirrel statue in the background? That thing is awesome! Sometimes props that were used on-screen in Adam-12 show up on Ebay. If this squirrel statue ever goes up for sale, I will engage in a fierce bidding war to obtain it. Be warned.

At the club Jim plays the tough guy by chewing on a toothpick, drinking beer, and using the word "ding-a-ling" when David accuses him of being a cop. 

Never trust a guy who drinks a beer like this.
Despite Jim's salty language, threats of physical violence, and impressive showing of chest hair; David still doesn't believe his story. He asks to see Jim's dog tags. Jim laughs at this request, "You don't take your tags with you when you go over the hill, pal. Rule one in the survival manual".
[C'mon, I'm a bad ass, AWOL soldier. Can't you tell by looking at me?]
David concedes that Jim's explanation about the tags makes sense, but he has one more challenge for Jim before he completely buys his story. He orders him to take off his shoes, he wants to see if they are government issue. So, Jim takes off one of his shoes. He's either wearing his everyday government-issued policeman shoes, or someone in Narcotics had the foresight to provide him with government-issued shoes. Or David has no idea what he's looking for. Either way, Jim passes his test.

David should believe the AWOL story based on Jim's socks alone. Obviously this is a man who has spent a considerable amount of time in a uniform and has no idea how to dress himself. Who with any amount of fashion sense would wear white socks with those dark dress shoes? Who would wear those shoes with jeans? 

After Bolanz finally believes Reed's story, he admits that normally he would trust someone who had the singer's backing. But, lately she's been "off her tree". He then starts taunting Kathy by asking her, "What's your name?" 

She's obviously embarrassed by Bolanz's question and would rather not answer. When it's obvious that he won't let up she confesses her real name is Weida Manki. Bolanz really lays into Kathy then, holding up her name change as a reason why she should not be trusted. 
[What? You know we're in L.A., right? Like Seventy-five percent
of the population isn't using their real name.]

After that Bolanz and Reed sit down to negotiate. Bolanz doesn't have the cash to buy all of the heroin that Reed is selling. When Reed threatens to take the H to another buyer, Bolanz tells him he can have the money in an hour. 

Bolanz goes the office to make some calls and Reed and Kathy get ready to leave. While they're gathering their stuff Kathy apologizes for not telling Reed her real name. It's not necessary, though. He's not upset that she didn't reveal this part of her past.
"That's okay, Kathy. It doesn't matter to me what you call yourself. The only thing that's important is who you are."

I just want to shake Reed at this point and yell, "Stop being so nice to her!" She obviously has a crush on you and you are not helping her get over it by saying things like this. He should say something along the lines of "I understand why you did it, Weida Manki is a terrible name...for the stage". But, Reed is a nice guy, not a horrible person like me.
On their way out of the club Reed puts on his jacket, signaling to the undercover detective watching them that he's made a deal with Bolanz. After the detective relays this information to the command post Moore instructs him to tail Reed for a few blocks then pick him up in the van.

About an hour later Malloy hears Palmer make a broadcast over the radio. He's dropping Reed and the girl back at the club. The undercover officers will cover both the front and back exits while Reed and Kathy are inside. Moore cautions the detective to keep a close eye on Reed and Kathy, he doesn't want the operation to blow up on them. 

When Kathy and Jim get back to the club David keeps them waiting for a few minutes. Then he bursts into the main room and tells Jim to come with him. He orders Kathy to stay where she is, they still have something to discuss. 

Jim's ride to wherever Bolanz's men are taking him is a brown van marked "Restaurant Linen Supply Company". They tell him to get in the back and stay down on the floor.

Unfortunately, the detectives watching the back of the Cannery don't see Jim get into the van. A Bronson Lager truck has parked in the lot, blocking their view of backdoor. They see the brown van leave, but they don't follow after it because they don't know Jim is inside.

The van brings Jim to the Spartanville Warehouse. Inside the warehouse office Reed meets with Bolanz's partner, Michael Hayes.

Oh, hey, It's Bobby Troup. 
Hayes and Reed agree on a price of four hundred grand for the heroin. Before Hayes shakes on the deal he tells Reed he has to check on something. 

He goes into the hall and talks to the two lackeys that brought Reed to the warehouse. They go off to do something and Hayes comes back into the office. He tells Reed to relax, it will only take a minute.

Somewhere across town Malloy and his partner listen to another report from one of the narcotics detectives. Steel says that Bolanz just ran out of the club and took off in his car. Palmer is following him in the van.

Malloy looks worried when he hears that Steel doesn't know where Reed and Kathy are. He thinks they're still in the club. Moore doesn't like the sound of that, he tells Steel to go in and take a look.

The next dispatch they hear from Steel doesn't change the expression on Malloy's face. Reed's gone and Steel found Kathy tied up in Bolanz's office. She blew Reed's cover after Bolanz leaned on her. Now Bolanz is on his way to the warehouse to kill Reed. Moore answers that they'll try to head off Bolanz. 

Now that his partner is in real trouble, Malloy wants to do whatever he can. He picks up the mic and offers to meet Moore at the warehouse. Moore doesn't want to take the risk of showing a black and white and putting Reed in further danger. Malloy's not about to take no for an answer when Reed's safety is in question. He starts the car and heads for the Cannery, maybe he can help there.

On their way to the club Malloy and Reed's substitute listen to another broadcast from detectives. Now they've lost Bolanz. 

Back at the warehouse, Hayes' gets the signal that the money is all lined up for the buy. He writes his phone number for Reed and instructs him to call when he has the junk tomorrow morning. Hayes then tells his men to take Reed back to the Cannery.

When Reed gets back to the club, Kathy is, weirdly, there all by herself. After she tells Reed what happened, they hear tires screeching and doors slamming in the parking lot. Since all of the detectives have left them there without protection, Reed decides they should make a run for it.
"Let's get out of here!"
After they run out two men with a guns run into the club. They run through the room and follow Reed and Kathy out the backdoor.

One of the men fires and hits Reed! Then Bolanz shows up in his green car, he shoots and hits Kathy!

Then 1-Adam-12 and Moore show up. The gun battle ends when Malloy orders Bolanz to throw down his gun. He and Moore run to check on Reed and the girl.
Is she dead???
Then my other favorite part happens.
Reed gets bandaged! Blink and you'll miss his half-naked torso leaning over the hood of the car. Thank God for the pause button!

Before Reed gets into the ambulance with Kathy (who is not dead), Malloy gives him an update on Bolanz and his associates.
"It didn't work out exactly as we planned. Instead of getting 'em for pushing, Lt. Moore is going to tag 'em for attempted murder."
Then Reed says something. But I couldn't make it out,
I was distracted by all that chest hair.

Malloy heads back to 1-Adam-12 and Reed heads to the back of the ambulance.
Maybe she is dead!
Jim holds onto her hand and jokes that they need to find a better way of leaving the nightclub, he's getting tired of making the trip in an ambulance. Kathy apologizes for getting him shot.

He tells her to look on the bright side, she was right about one thing; they were trying to kill her. 
She wonders what's going to happen to her, she really wonders.

I don't care. I'm just glad I never have to see her again.

The End

In case you couldn't tell, I hate this episode. If I were to make a list of my least favorite episodes this one would be near the top (Or is it the bottom?) of the list, probably right behind "Clinic on 18th Street".

There would also be another episode on that list which reminds me a lot of "The Princess and the Pig", season one's "Log 73: I'm Still a Cop". They're both atypical episodes that feature a minimum of interaction between Reed and Malloy. That interaction and partnership is one of the chief reasons why I love Adam-12 so much. Anytime a story shifts the focus away from Malloy and Reed as a unit it's not going to be one of my lost loved. 

So, "The Princess and the Pig" already has a big strike against it since it focuses more on Jim and Kathy rather than Jim and Pete. But, that alone isn't enough to elicit the extreme hatred I feel for "The Princess and the Pig". Make no mistake there are other episodes that show Reed paired with another officer that I don't hate. "The Princess and the Pig" earns my ire because of two other major factors; I find the story confusing and I can't stand Kathy.

Let's talk about Kathy first. It's great to see Reed getting some attention from the opposite sex and it's also great to see him in intimate settings with Kathy. However, I find her so pathetic and undeserving of Reed's attention that I want to smack both of them. Her for attaching herself like a barnacle to Jim then betraying him and him for being so damn nice to her. I just can't believe that the same Jim Reed who told "The Dinosaur", Art McCall, not to get his loyalties confused when dealing with a stalking victim would get himself so attached to this damsel in distress. 

While Jim's actions in this episode appear to be incompatible with his actions in earlier episodes, Kathy's personality seems incompatible with her chosen profession. She comes across as someone who is too much of a creampuff to enter, let alone survive in, the competitive world of the entertainment industry. The way she tells it, her hound dog was the only living thing that had faith in her before Jim Reed walked into her life. Did she not believe in her own talents as a performer? How do you decide to leave your hometown to break into the record business if your confidence is reliant upon your pet and the way he looks at you? 

If the only creatures who have ever believed in Kathy were her dog and Jim, she sure has a funny way of repaying their trust. She didn't have the sense to either leave her dog back home or find an apartment that would allow his presence when she comes to L.A. Her inability to find lodging that permits pets resulted in the animal's death. During the course of "The Princess and the Pig", she manages to betray Jim's trust by ratting him out to Bolanz. A deed that results in both Jim and her getting shot.

Kathy's loose lips are definitely one reason why she and Reed got shot. However, they also seemed to lack adequate protection at the club after Kathy blew his cover. This lack of protection is just one of many things that I find incomprehensible about this story. The part I find most confusing is the drug ring's desire to kill Kathy. A plan that seems to have been set in motion long before the police were involved. I would think that Ms. Royal is worth more to Bolanz and his cronies alive rather than dead, either as a performer people pay to see or as a paying drug customer. 

So, why try to kill her? Why even feed her drugs in the first place? They certainly didn't enhance her performance as a singer. As a competent entertainment draw wouldn't she be worth more to Bolanz and his partners? A popular performer would draw patrons to the club who would pay a cover charge, buy drinks, and possibly even partake in Bolanz's illicit wares. Maybe I'm missing something, but there are a lot of things here that don't add up. 

It's all of those things that don't add up combined with Kathy's annoying traits and a disturbing lack of Malloy equal one stinker of an episode. One that you shouldn't be shocked to learn has earned my lowest rating.

Do you agree? Let me know, somewhere out there in cyberspace. See you in two weeks with "The Tip". Have a happy Thanksgiving!