Sunday, February 12, 2017

Eyewitness (Season 4, Episode 23)

Episode 101

A little boy named Gary Colvin has been missing since noon, Malloy and Reed are out asking people in the boy's neighborhood if they saw anything. The boy he walks home with said a man in a yellow sedan picked Gary up. The two officers are now asking a woman on the street if she's noticed a car like that. The woman, who knows Gary and is worried about him, didn't see anything. She couldn't, at twelve o'clock she was downtown.

It really does get cold in L.A.! You can see Mac's breath in this scene!
Poor Reed doesn't have his gloves, he must have been freezing.
After they cover the rest of the block, Reed and Malloy meet up with Mac at his station-wagon command post. Of the people they talked to, nobody remembers seeing the yellow car. Malloy and Reed may not have uncovered any new information, but Mac does have something to report. The friend Gary was walking home with today remembers the letters from the license plate of the yellow sedan, they were IDK. The boy also has the best reputation for telling the truth in the entire class. Malloy hopes in this one instance that the boy is not telling the truth, he hopes little Gary wasn't taken by a stranger in a yellow car.

Mac's talked to Gary's mother, babysitter, and teacher, everyone close to Gary. Everyone except Gary's father. He's separated from Gary's mother and lives out of town. Gary's mother hasn't spoken to his father in months, but she does have his new address. Mac has passed it along to detectives to check it out. 

Reed and Malloy have done all they can and now Mac needs them to take some calls. There are four other cars out looking for Gary and calls are beginning to back up. Mac asks them to clear and head over to the next block where there's been a call of a barking dog.

As soon as unit A-12 pulls up to 118 London Court, they can hear the dog barking. The incessant barking doesn't sound vicious or menacing, it sounds more like the poor animal is anxious and agitated. Malloy and Reed park the car and walk to the yard at the back of the court. 

There they find the source of all that noise, a sweet and lonely German Shepherd locked in a pen. When Malloy tries to make friends with the dog by sticking his hand through the chickenwire, the dog's owner appears on his back stoop to warn the officer.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you."
Malloy turns his attention to the dog's owner and tells him that they got a complaint about a barking dog disturbing the neighbors. The owner, Kenny Ludlow, guesses that it was the old lady next door who made the complaint. Last week she complained about his hi-fi, the week before that she made a stink about his car being too loud. Now it's the dog. 

After Kenny properly introduces himself to both officers, he tells them a little bit about the dog. Kenny acquired Blackie last week after a friend of his moved back east. Kenny's not going to keep the dog, though. He plans on selling him as soon as his friend sends him the paperwork. He should bring a nice price, he's supposed to have a pedigree a mile long. The mention of "a pedigree a mile long" piques Malloy's interest. He finds it curious that a dog with such a lineage would have a commonplace name like "Blackie".
"Usually a dog like that has a name as long
as his pedigree. Something like Prince Griswold
out of Bremerhaven, you know?"
Malloy asks to get a better look at the dog. If Ludlow is selling, he might be interested in buying. Ludlow is hesitant. If he opens the pen and Blackie runs away, he'll be out the four hundred dollars the dog is worth. Malloy presents him with a better idea, he'll go in the pen with the dog. Ludlow isn't crazy about this plan, either. He claims Blackie will tear the officer to pieces. The confident Malloy can't be deterred, he'll take his chances with the supposedly vicious beast. Ludlow reluctantly unlocks the door. 

Malloy enters the pen and Blackie doesn't immediately rip him asunder. Instead, he lies docilely and allows Malloy to pet him. Ludlow, fearing the impending carnage that is sure to occur, tries to excuse himself and go back into the house. Reed thinks he should be there to witness whatever his dog does next.
"Why don't you stick around?"
After Malloy thoroughly inspects the dog, paying particular attention to his ears, he asks Ludlow a strange question.
"This friend of yours, the fellow that gave
 you the dog, is he blind by any chance?"
Ludlow answers that of course his friend is not blind and asks Malloy why he wants to know. Malloy informs him that the dog has a tattoo from the Eye Dog Foundation in his ear. The dog that Ludlow wanted to sell for four hundred dollars is actually worth about four thousand dollars. After Malloy tells him this, Ludlow suddenly has nothing more to say. Malloy, however, has one more thing to say to his partner. "Give him his rights," he tells Reed.
 When they're back in the car, Reed wants to know more about his partner's clever bit of police work back at Ludlow's. He asks Malloy if he knew it was a seeing eye dog as soon as he saw the animal. 
"I saw the harness marks on the dog's shoulders
and knew instinctively they weren't from pulling a sled. Brilliant, huh?"
"Yeah, amazing."
After they've both established that Malloy is an incredibly adept officer, the RTO comes over the radio with a call to see a woman regarding a possible kidnap. It's on Dwight Avenue, in Gary Colvin's neighbor. They checked the address before but nobody was home. 

At 5634, Reed and Malloy meet with Naomi Ernst, a lady who may or may not have seen something that can help them in their search for Gary Colvin. Mrs. Ernst's eyes are so bad now that she can't be sure of what she saw or didn't see. 

Earlier today, when she was on her way out the door to the market, she saw a man with a little boy in his arms up the street from her house. She then saw the man and the boy get into a yellow car, it might have been a taxi cab. 

When Reed and Malloy tell her that they already have another eye witness, Gary's playmate, who confirmed that the yellow car was not a taxi, Ms. Ernst is relieved. If she was wrong about the taxi, then she probably also was mistaken about something else. She could have sworn the man and boy were covered in blood.

After they leave Ms. Ernst's house, Reed sums up the predicament the detectives will be facing. Who should they believe, an adult witness with bad eyes or a six-year old child? Both he and Malloy are glad they're not responsible for figuring this one out. 

Suddenly, they drive past something that may give a clue as to which witness can be trusted. A yellow sedan with the letters IDK on it's license plate passes them going the opposite way on the street. Since these are the letters Gary's friend saw on the plate of the yellow car that picked Gary up, Malloy executes a U-turn and begins tailing the vehicle.

Malloy turns on the red lights and sounds the horn three times, signaling the bright yellow car to pull over. Fortunately, the driver does pull over instead of rabbiting and sending them on a high-speed chase. 

Did anyone out there ever watch Who's the Boss?? Do you remember the episode where Tony got Sam a car? I swear that car was the same color as this one.
Pretty close, don't you think?

The officers approach the car and find a man and a small boy sitting in the front seat. Neither one is wearing seat belts, but that's not why Pete is so testy with the man. He has to ask him twice to step out of the car and Pete does not like asking twice.
"Step outta the car!"
While Pete interviews the man, Jim talks to the boy.
"Gary, you okay, son?"
"We didn't do nothing, honest!'
[Son, you're lucky I'm with the LAPD, not the grammar police.]
Poor Gary is understandably freaked out by the presence of the police.
"He's my daddy, don't hurt him!"
But, Gary has nothing to worry about, he and his father aren't in any sort of trouble. Pete and Jim are going to give him and his father a ride back to Mrs. Colvin's house.

Once they get there, Gary runs out of the police car to his mother. He's super excited to tell her that his father is there and that he has a new car. 

Terry apologizes to his estranged wife for taking Gary without asking permission and tells her that he now has a job and a car. He also apologizes to Pete and Jim for acting without thinking. Terry embraces his wife and son and then all three go inside the house so Terry can get the coffee his wife has agreed to make him.

With the missing child case now resolved, Pete and Jim head back to the patrol unit to leave the neighborhood. Before they can get in the black and white police car, Ms. Ernst runs up to the car. She's relieved they found Gary and hopes the Colvin family gets back together. Since they found Gary, but not in a taxi, Pete and asks her if she's sure she saw one earlier. She admits that she can't be positive about anything anymore, she didn't even recognize Terry Colvin and she's know him for years. 
After they thank Ms. Ernst for her interest, 1-Adam-12 receives a call about a domestic disturbance at 17420 Upton Drive. They hop in the car and drive away, code 2.

The only injured party on Upton Drive is this guy's portable TV set. His wife took it and locked herself and the TV in the den after Mr. Red Sweater here has spent the entire weekend watching all varieties of football. When the police arrived she decided to make good on her threat to break the set into pieces by throwing it out of the den.

When she emerges from the den the wife tells Pete and Jim they're not needed, she's taken care of the problem. 

The husband then proceeds to make some jokes at his wife's expense. He also explains how particularly cruel her punishment was. The Rams were on the five-yard line when she unplugged the TV! Reed then makes an observation that illustrates how deep this man's obsession with football runs.
"Wait a minute. There aren't any games on today," Officer Reed points out.
The man then admits that he was watching a rerun of an earlier game. He then does a few more minutes of schtick, driving his wife from the room. Pete would also like to skip out on the rest of this guy's nightclub act.
"If you two think you can settle this by yourselves, we'd like to leave."
Red Sweater is fine with them leaving, but he wants to know about the insurance before they leave. Both officers are bewildered by this comment.

"What about it?"
He wants them to sign his insurance claim form as witnesses.
This funny man is full-time comedian, actor, and writer, Norm Crosby.
He's also a part-time Jack Webb impersonator.
(Not really, they just wore similar red sweaters.)

Pete doesn't see the point in this, the man's wife broke the set intentionally, there's no way the insurance company is going to pay for the set. Red Sweater begs to differ, though, he's covered for malicious mischief.

When they're back driving through the streets of Los Angeles, Reed can't get old lady Ernst off his mind. What if she really saw a man and a boy covered in blood getting into a taxicab? Shouldn't they at least check it out?  Malloy decides his partner's hunch is worth looking into and pulls over to a telephone booth.
Reed makes a few calls then comes back to the car with some news to report.

He found a cab that picked up a man and a boy. They fit the description Mrs. Ernst gave them exactly, including the blood. Reed also managed to get the address where they were dropped off. Malloy starts the car, they'll head over to the address and check it out.

The man and boy were taken to a doctor's office and they're still there. In order to get everything straightened out, the doctor takes Reed and Malloy to see Frank Slater and his son, Chris, in the treatment room.

Pete and Jim explain to a confused Frank Slater that an eyewitness saw him and his son bloodied and getting into the cab. They're here now to make sure everything is all right. 
While his son lays unconscious, Frank Slater tells the officers how the boy cut his head on a packing crate while they were moving into their new apartment. The cut was deep and required the boy to be put under while he received twelve stitches. Slater also explains why they had to take a cab. His wife went grocery shopping and took the car. 
Satisfied with Slater's story, Pete and Jim wish him and his son well then leave the doctor's office.

Back in the car, Jim can't help but gloat about his brilliant piece of police work. But, Pete isn't forthcoming with the praise his partner is looking for.
"Not a bad hunch, wouldn't you say?"

"Don't take all the credit, Sherlock.
We had a pretty good description of what really happened.
You oughta call that Mrs. Ernst and
thank her for making you look so good."
Jim agrees that he should call Mrs. Ernst when they return to the station. But first, they'll have to deal with another call that has just been sent their way. They are to see the man about a recovered vehicle report at 1728 O'Connell Street.

That's Frank DeVol as Professor Mark.
DeVol was an actor and composer who wrote
the theme songs for My Three Sons, Family Affair,
and The Brady Bunch and many other movies and TV shows.
Professor Mark knows he has to fill out a report now that he has found the car he reported stolen the day before yesterday. Malloy and Reed confirm that he will have to fill out the report, it will only take about five minutes. They also ask, out of curiosity, where he found the car. Telling them might take longer than five minutes, so the professor decides to show them. Rather than going outside, he takes the officers to his study where is formerly missing VW Beetle is parked.

Turns out Professor Mark is an expert in the science of miniaturization. He suspects the theft of his VW Beetle and its reappearance in his house is all a birthday prank being played on him by his devoted students from Aero-Tech. Students who must have been paying attention to his lectures on the importance of planning in mechanical engineering, because they managed to rebuild the car in his house while he was out for less than two hours this morning. 
Now that the car has been recovered, Mark does not want to press charges. There's no telling what his crafty students would dream up to get even with him if he were to involve the police. 

While Malloy and Reed were inside Mark's house getting the report filled out on his recovered car, a 211 occurred at 9740 Los Feliz Drive. As soon as they clear the RTO announces some additional information on the 211. The suspects' vehicle, a white over blue Corvette has been seen in the vicinity of Griffith Park. Since Malloy and Reed are near the park, they'll meet Air-10 on tac 2. 

When Reed hooks up with the helicopter on the radio he and Malloy are advised to continue heading east on Forest Lawn Drive, the suspect's vehicle is also heading east through the park in the direction of Travel Town.
Travel Town, what the heck is Travel Town?
Well, it's a railroad museum in Los Angeles'
Griffith Park and it looks pretty freakin' awesome. Check out their website.
After Malloy turns on the reds to begin their high-speed pursuit of the suspects, Reed asks Air-10 for additional information on the men they are chasing. The copter pilot comes back with some chilling news, the suspects held up a liquor store and left the owner DOA. Reed and Malloy should approach the men with caution.

Air-10 then reports that suspects' vehicle has just pulled into the Travel Town parking lot, it looks they are going to steal a blue Mustang and leave their Corvette behind. Malloy and Reed are familiar with the parking lot and know there is only one way out of it. Now they just have to beat the suspects to the exit.

1-Adam-12 comes screaming into the parking lot as the suspects are headed towards the exit.
But, instead of giving up, the two men abandon the stolen Mustang and begin running.

They narrowly miss the Travel Town trolley.

Reed and Malloy get stuck on the other side of the tracks and have to wait for the trolley to pass.

Then, one of the suspects knocks down this father walking through the museum with his daughter.

They then run onto this train and begin shooting at Malloy and Reed from the entrance to the car.
That's future Officer Woods, Fred Stromsoe, as one of the suspects.

The suspects then board the antique train where a child's birthday party is in full swing.
All the kids scream when the gun-toting criminals run through the party.
All the mothers scream when the good-looking policemen run through the party.
Is that a smile on Malloy's face?
The running and shooting continues through the travel museum and around several frightened visitors. 
Then Malloy manages to hit the suspect in the tan windbreaker.

His cohort, however, doesn't slow down and climbs onto the roof of one of the trains. Air-10 makes a dispatch telling Malloy and Reed this, even though they don't have portable radios to hear the broadcast. The suspect shoots at the officers from the roof and they take cover behind a bright yellow train car.

While Malloy distracts the suspect by firing more shots, Reed manages to stealthily climb up the ladder leading to the roof where the suspect is hiding. 

"All right, hold it!" he shouts.
Only he doesn't hold it and Reed ends up shooting him and knocking him off the roof.

"I'll put out a code 4."
(Dude, they can't hear you!)
[Hey, Pete do you think Air-10 will put out a code 4?]
[I would think so, but it's hard to tell since we don't have portable radios on us.]

The End

This is exactly the sort of Adam-12 episode that I like, one with a large number of varied calls. That's exactly how I feel about "Eyewitness", too, I like it. I don't love it, I feel that the attempts at humor fall flat. I don't hate it, I really enjoyed the tour through Travel Town. I do find this one interesting, though. Malloy and Reed encounter a lot of people in this one, but end up arresting very few of them. They counsel families, take a report, and talk to people; but only end up arresting Ludlow and at least one of the 211 suspects (it's unclear if the guy in the dark jacket lives or not). Most of the people they encounter, who actually need the police, decide they can work out their differences on their own.  "Eyewitness" is a reminder that the police are not only interested in punishing us, but also helping us. 

Although this one was interesting, I found it to be:

Do you agree? Let me know somewhere, out there in cyberspace. See you next time with "Wednesday Warrior", the last episode of season four.



  1. I love the lady who plays Mrs. Ernst. I also love her in other episodes of A-12. I can't remember the actress's name or who she plays in which other episodes, but I love her calm voice & demeanor. (Turns out Old Lady Ernst isn't the only person with memory deficits.) Then there's Red Sweater's wife, who plays a lush with a black eye in yet another unknown episode. And how can I forget Fred Stromsoe? Don't think I even recognized him with the moustache, but he's another favorite. Isn't Red Sweater / Norm Crosby the same actor whose dog locked him out of the car in still another ep?This ep is just FULL of recycled actors. I like it, anyway, but not as well as your comment about the mothers screaming when the handsome officers crashed the kids' party. I think it rates the button-down shirt / blazer combo. Thanks for the laughs, Keely!

  2. Hi Keely!!

    It is always funny to see Stromsoe playing a bad guy. I love the, teacher's car, scene. In HS we did stuff like that to teacher's and their cars, well not so sophisticated, but we were pests.

    Your screen cap of Reed's, "Yup, amazing," is so perfect.
    I like when they follow, seemingly, out of nowhere hunches and are, of course right.

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  5. I enjoyed this episode as a stable, multi-issue affair where things get wrapped up fairly quickly. That may be the only qualm I have -- while their hunches prove right and they're able to win the finale shootout (which could have used a few more seconds epilogue, unless ME-TV clipped something that I missed), it has too many well-folded finishes. Like the dog story -- was there a stolen service dog that they were aware of, and the 'owner' wasn't quite as hinky (I love that word!) as maybe a real thief would be. Also, the yellow-car driving dad Mr. Colvin should have been give a bit of a lecture on custodial rights. But seeing Frank deVol and Norm Crosby, recovered from his concrete car, added to the feel-good portion of the episode, brief as they were. However, now i'm getting melancholy because I'm nearing the end of your blog!

    1. I can't begin to tell you the anger I feel at this woman for flaking out on her blog. To not finish the last 2 seasons after getting everyone interested is a CRIME.