Copyright ©2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Episodes without music credits use stock music.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers and the plots are given away!
★★★★ = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
★★★ = Better than average, worthy of attention.
★★ = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
★ = Below average, an episode to avoid.
S03E01: One Last Shot ★★★★
Original air date: September 12, 1974
Director: William Hale; Writer: Jack B. Sowards; Music: Patrick Williams
As in the season one finale, Leslie Nielsen plays a character who has a problem with booze. This time, he is a cop, Joe Landers, whose wife left him, quite likely because of his alcoholism, five years before. During a traffic stop Landers pulls over Frank Graves (Robert Drivas, the Son from Hawaii Five-O's Vashon trilogy) who is suspected of participating in a robbery. When frisking Graves gets rough, Landers pulls out his gun and during the scuffle accidentally shoots and kills his partner of 13 years, Mel Shaffer (Jock Mahoney), who is standing nearby. Later, Landers insists that Graves took his gun and shot Shaffer, but two witnesses from the neighborhood tell the cops otherwise. Stone has an idea what really happened during the confrontation with Graves, but is told by Landers to "butt out." Shaffer's widow Nina (Jacqueline Scott) knew of Landers' love of the bottle, but never said anything about it. Graves goes to see his brother Vinnie (Joey Aresco), formerly a member of the Grim Reapers gang, who tells him a gun is the only solution to his problems, but Stone and Keller show up and Graves is taken into custody. Landers becomes so unhinged by the finale that he believes that Stone is pursuing him in a witch hunt, so he goes to the station and shoots up the place including Stone's office. Fortunately Landers is subdued and ends up babbling in front of Stone and his late partner's son Corky (Rick Carrott), who is also a cop and, ironically, was the one who came upon the original robbery which led to the misidentification of Graves at the beginning of the show.
Stone and Keller are in the elevator at the station, going home. Keller wonders why Landers went after Stone. Stone says "It didn't have to be me, I guess, just somebody besides himself." Keller jokes, "It's still a hell of a thing to wake up to though, isn't it?" Stone says "Do you know that there are 45,000 other people with the same problem right here in the city? ... Ten million in the country." Stone says that it was Alcoholics Anonymous who defined it as "a disease of loneliness." A cop named Jeff asks Keller if he wants to go to "Lucky's" for a beer, and Keller declines. Stone says, "I hope you didn't do that for my benefit." Keller replies, "No. But on the other hand, I wouldn't want to end up in lost and found either." Stone doesn't understand what he means, then does understand, and the two of them banter humorously on their way out of the place, with Keller saying "That was pretty bad."
There is excellent acting by all concerned in this episode, especially Nielsen's character, who gets so drunk he is close to collapsing by the end of the show. The show is full of interesting little touches, like the way Landers chews gum to cover up the smell of liquor on his breath, and the way he ends up on a street with a couple of bums as a Salvation Army band plays nearby at the end.
S03E02: The Most Deadly Species ★★★
Original air date: September 19, 1974
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Hesper Anderson; Music: Richard Markowitz
Johnny (Larry Manetti, later of Magnum, P.I.), son of mobster Murray Brennan (Barry Sullivan) is abducted and murdered. His body is dropped off at a funeral home with instructions to bury it in a coffin underneath another stiff. Stone figures that this hit is the opening salvo in what might turn into a gang war. After a hard day's work, Keller returns home to find his neighbor "Andy" Anderson, an architect, has moved out because of "unexpected trouble in his family" and has sublet the place to Sydney Bruce (Brenda Vaccaro), a babely "decorator." Keller gets involved with her and they end up "doing it" for a couple of days. (Douglas and Vaccaro were involved in a romantic relationship around the time the episode was filmed.) It doesn't take us long to find out that Sydney is a hitman (or woman) who offers her services to Brennan to find out who killed his son. Information from Keller leads her to Lloyd Davies (James Luisi), who tells her that he was contracted by Charley Albanese (Steve Sandor), another local gangster, to knock off Johnny. Sidney shoots Davies dead. The usual investigative work leads Stone (minus Keller) to find out that the person they are looking for is a woman named Sally Banning (note the same initials, S.B.) who once lived with a "torpedo" back east and became very proficient at his business after he was knocked off, taking revenge for his murder and later turning into a professional killer herself. The cops tail Albanese, but they are too late, because Sidney shoots him dead too. Keller finds Albanese's body and then gets a big surprise when his new inamorata is revealed to be the person they are searching for.
Stone drives Keller home from work, wondering if he is OK. Keller says that when Stone said "Crime doesn't play any favorites," he was right. But Stone tells Keller that when he said in regard to Sidney "All women dream of marriage," he was wrong. Keller climbs the stairs to his place, looking sadly at where Sidney was staying. The camera pans up, showing the Transamerica Pyramid in the distance with fog in the sky.
The business about Sidney moving next door to Keller is far-fetched. Did she do this intentionally just to pick his brains? It seems a very peculiar coincidence that Anderson decided to suddenly move out of the place. Did Sidney murder him or something? How she manages to track down Davies is difficult to understand given the limited information that Keller tells her in a pre-coital chitchat as he explains what a typical day at work is like. Barry Sullivan is largely wasted, and after he pays off Sidney disappears from the episode.
- Keller's place is at 289 Union Street (thanks to Fred for sleuthing); when he and Keller drive down the hill further and turn right, in real life, this street actually doesn't go anywhere -- it is a dead end.
S03E03: Target: Red ★★★
Original air date: September 26, 1974
Director: Barry Crane; Writer: Rick Husky; Music: John Elizalde
Bill Bixby plays Jerry Schilling, an assassin-for-hire who intends to knock off Su Ma Sung, leader of a Chinese trade delegation which is heading to Washington, D.C. after a stop in San Francisco, the first such organization to come to the United States. Schilling, who has been bankrolled by General Robert West (Andrew Duggan), a right-wing crackpot and decorated Korean war hero who hates "Commies" with a passion, is using a custom-made rifle which is capable of hitting targets at a great distance and uses special bullets which cause a relatively large explosion. Schilling knocks off Emile Kestler (Curt Lowens), the guy who created the rifle and clues from Kestler's place start Stone and Keller on a cat-and-mouse trail after the hired killer. Schilling almost gets caught when he flees from his hotel and goes to a bar where he meets a hot looking blonde hooker, Kimberly Young (Cheryl Miller). He uses Young to help him escape from the cops who are close on his tail. Later, when she looks at his passport, he kills her by breaking her neck. (The passport reveals he is using the the alias Peter Dunne, who was born 3-24-30, is 5'8½" tall and was born in "Kenosh" (Kenosha, WI?).) Schilling shaves off his beard and dons a nun's costume which he has stored in a safety deposit box near Saints Peter and Paul's Church, 652 Filbert Street. He positions himself high up in one of the church's towers to kill the Chinese officials. In the nick of time, Stone and Keller arrive at the bank and quickly figure out what is going on. They climb up into the tower and Keller shoots Schilling dead at the very last second, foiling the killer's aim so that a car on the street behind the one containing Su Ma Sung explodes.
General West is taken from his house by Stone and Keller. West says it will take more than a couple of pictures of him with Schilling at a ball game (like at the beginning of the show) to make a case against him. Stone says "We'll throw something together to make it work." The general says "Military action, assassination, it's all the same. Stop the enemy, one place or another." Stone tells West that he may be right -- "We stopped you, didn't we?" -- before they drive away.
The whole business with the nun's costume is hard to take, because it's in a shoebox which is placed in the very large safety deposit box, including the nun's shoes. Also -- why does Schilling remove the nun's costume when he gets high up in the tower? Surely he would want to be wearing this when he escaped from the place after finishing his job!
- There is a scene during the show in a hospital where Schilling's young son who suffers from brain damage is staying. Not much comes of this, other than Schilling telling his wife Myrna (Linda Marsh) that they produced an "it," which seems designed to emphasize the fact that he is a very nasty guy. (Marsh's part is brief.)
- The bank near the end of the show is located because Young, the hooker, had a receipt from the safety deposit box taken from Schilling's pocket clutched in her hand while she was being murdered. (The box was registered under the name of Charles Pine, 2610 Kam Street, San Francisco 94133). Surely the detail-obsessed Schilling would have seen this!
S03E04: Mask of Death ★★★★
Original air date: October 3, 1974
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Robert Malcolm Young; Music: Richard Markowitz
At the beginning of the show, costume jewellry salesman Harvey Ross (Denny Miller), in San Francisco for a convention, is murdered with a long metal object by a woman he has invited to his Prince Hotel room. After Ross's body is discovered, Stone speculates in the morgue that whoever committed this killing had some kind of medical knowledge because of where the object was inserted in the dead man's body. Sergeant Woody Foster (Philip Pine) recalls a similar case about 8 months previously, which used the same method and took place in the same hotel. The "woman" who killed Ross is actually Ken Scott (John Davidson), a well-known female impersonator whose repertoire includes Carol Channing, Katherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and fictional 1930s film star Carol Marlowe. From Arthur Ganz, another conventioneer, Stone and Keller find out that Ross was last seen at a party thrown by Bobo Stanfield (Ann Helm), a rich bitch connected with the oil business. Soon after this, they are talking to Stanfield on her palatial estate. While throwing a couple of seductive comments in Keller's direction. she tells them that Ross, "a lecherous boor," made a total fool of himself at the party and was brought into line by Scott, who was also there. Stone and Keller go to visit Scott after a performance at The San Francisco Theater. In his dressing room, Scott camps it up for them, telling them as far as Ross was concerned, "I saw him, I lectured him, and I just forgot him." As Stone leaves, he says to Keller "Do you have the feeling that you just came off another planet?" Scott, who has been fighting serious headaches after finishing his act recently, has an extremely disturbing conversation in his mirror between himself and his Carol Marlowe persona after Stone and Keller have gone. Soon after, another travelling salesman is murdered at the Hotel Athena, this time one from a pharmaceutical company. A hotel employee named Winkler (John Fiedler) witnesses a woman leaving the scene in a vintage 1933 or 1934 Brewster limousine. After Winkler, who is a film buff, looks unsuccessfully through some mug books, he realizes the woman was a dead ringer for Carol Marlowe. Meanwhile, Scott's mental state is becoming more and more precarious and he is arguing with his business manager Sam (Herb Edelman) and Sam's helper Lori (Marianne McAndrew) about cancelling shows and taking a vacation. At Scott's lavish home, his chauffeur Raymond Howard (Ivor Barry) is listening to the radio news about the most recent murder and realizes his employer is the killer. He tells Scott that he is quitting, but his boss, in his Carol persona, kills him and puts Howard's body in a trunk. Acting on a hunch that Scott was the killer 8 months ago, Stone and Keller go to the library where microfilmed newspapers confirm that Scott was in town during that period of time. Keller finds some biographies about Marlowe which reveal she was "a very, very kinky lady" whose father was a travelling salesman who neglected her. After learning that Scott was a medic in the Marines, and his father was in the merchant marine, similar to a travelling salesman, Stone and Keller visit Scott once more. Keller finds several large hat pins on a table in Scott's dressing room, and takes one of these. A discussion with Scott's psychiatrist Dr. Thompson (John Zaremba) that his patient suffers from "psychic dualism" among other things convinces the two that Scott is the killer. They go to Scott's house where, in a scene like one in a horror film, Scott, who has totally gone off the bend, attacks Keller who is saved only by Stone pulling Scott off him.
Stone and Keller pull up to the theatre where Scott's name is being removed from the marquee (one of the letters of his name actually falls off). Keller says "That's probably the last time they'll have that up in lights ... He was good." Stone replies, "Yeah, maybe too good."
Davidson's performance, which is outstanding, is not something you would expect. But all the other members of the cast are also operating at a high level. There are some nice touches, like the way Winkler sticks his hand out for a tip after giving Stone and Keller a big "tip," saying "Force of habit" (this gave me a huge laugh), and the way Stone and Keller plus Scott's psychiatrist are reflected in a off-kilter way in a mirror.
- My Heart Belongs to Daddy and Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend, sung by "Carol Channing," were actually sung by Canadian female impersonator Craig Russell. Davidson's lip-synching is a bit off in the latter.
- Not only is the Brewster limousine the same as kind of car Carol Marlowe used to use, as we see in a picture in one of the biographies Keller got from the library, but Howard the chauffeur used to actually work for Marlowe. The lighting before Howard is killed is very creepy.
- Keller steals one of the hat pins which are on a table right beside where Scott is applying his makeup and looking in the mirror. Why doesn't Scott see this?
- Why don't Stone and Keller announce themselves when they enter Scott's place near the end of the show (aside from heightening the suspense)?
- We find out in this show that Stone served in Guadalcanal during World War II.
S03E05: I Ain't Marchin' Anymore ★★★
Original air date: October 10, 1974
Director: Paul Stanley; Writer: Albert Ruben
After Robert Zahn (Jack Stauffer), a decorated Marine who went AWOL from service in Vietnam during R&R in Hong Kong in 1969 and later fled to Canada, returns to San Francisco and is shot dead, Keller goes underground to try and find his killer. Keller gets help from the sympathetic Dr. Benjamin Blakely (Joshua Bryant) who is in touch with several local draft resisters and evaders. Keller is blindfolded and taken to a location in the middle of nowhere which is owned by the also-sympathetic Ron Harris (Michael Burns), who returned to the States after he was wounded in Nam. xThis episode is pretty suspensful, because it is likely that Keller will be unmasked, which is what happens when he leaves the hideout and is followed by Vale (Don Stroud), one of the other men staying there. Keller, fearing he will be killed, reveals he is a cop and accuses Vale of murdering Zahn, but it turns out that he was actually knocked off by Harris, whose real name is Randall and who fragged a lieutenant in Vietnam, an action to which Zahn was the only witness. Stone gets information from Zahn's girl friend Kathy Hollander (Renne Jarrett) as well as the military and Blakely which helps him track down Keller's whereabouts. Stone and the cops arrive just in time as Harris is trying to run over Keller with his truck.
Randall is arrested and taken away. Stone asks Keller some questions like what happened to the other people (Keller: "There was more of them than there were of me"). When Keller asks if the doctor will face charges, Stone says that the FBI will take care of him: "I'm in homicide, remember. That other war, that's for a different department."
I find it hard to understand, considering how many draft dodgers there were during the Vietnam War (more than 200,000 by one estimate), that the one doctor in the show seems to be a main conduit to them and the few deserters that Keller ends up with contain the one responsible for the murder of Zahn.
- The show begins with the usual stern-voiced announcer saying that the show took place during the spring of 1974 because on September 16, 1974, President Ford announced an amnesty for those who had abandoned the military, less than a month before the show was broadcast.
- Michael Douglas was 29 at the time the show was filmed; whether he looks too old for the part is debatable. James MacArthur was 33 when he pretended to be a draft dodger in the 1971 Hawaii Five-O episode To Kill or Be Killed which has the same director as this one.
- Zahn's girl friend says the term "R&R" means "rest and rehabilitation" which does not jive with the normal definition which is rest and recuperation, rest and relaxation, rest and recreation or rock and roll).
S03E06: One Chance to Live ★★
Original air date: October 17, 1974
Director: Seymour Robbie; Writer: David Friedkin; Music: Billy Byers
Martha Howard (Joanne Linville) is a lonely, middle-aged woman who talks like someone reciting bad poetry. She is being stalked by Bobby Nelson (Steven Keats), a psychotic loner who, according to his landlady, has mommy issues and often locks himself in his apartment and screams a lot. Nelson is upset because Howard got him fired from his job at a florist when she complained he wasn't handling flowers being delivered to her very well and he then started insulting her. The flowers were coming from Howard's boyfriend, a bigshot Canadian politician named Brian Downing (Edward Mulhare), who she had a passionate affair with some time ago. Downing is back in San Francisco, but he has come with his wife Edith (Pippa Scott), who spies on her husband and Howard at a restaurant. Later, the wife has an awkward conversation with the former mistress when she tells her to butt out of her and her husband's lives. Based on a couple of calls to the cops in the past, Stone thinks Howard is nuts, describing her to Keller as "not exactly a centerfold" when he hears about her affair with Downing. Keller is more sympathetic. He pursues and busts Nelson when she finds him in her apartment. Later, however, assistant D.A. Capiello (Paul Cavonis) handling the case refuses to prosecute because of identification issues (but Nelson must have left his fingerprints all over Howard's place, because he was wearing no gloves -- duh!). Nelson starts to make an issue of Keller harassing him, and even taunts some thugs to beat him up so he can accuse Keller of brutality. When he shows up at the station with his slimy lawyer Tomlin (Woodrow Parfrey), no one bothers to make an issue of whether Keller has bruises on his hands or elsewhere, though. At the end of the show, Howard decides to get out of town, but Nelson trails her to the airport, followed closely by Stone and Keller -- presumably Howard's apartment is close to SFO. Nelson lures Howard to the "flight deck" where you watch planes take off (she thinks it is Downing who has paged her) and tries to throw her off the roof. At the end, it's pretty ironic that Stone is the one who wounds Nelson as he tries to escape (accompanied by some jazzy music) because he has been nagging Keller throughout the whole show to do everything with Nelson "by the book." Dazed, Nelson wanders off the roof and plunges to his death below.
Stone and Keller, who must be on the night shift, like at the beginning of the show where Stone talks like he has been drinking, see Howard going into a movie theater alone and reflect on loneliness and what Howard said earlier, that "Solitude is a welcome caller." They are paged by dispatch to deal with another crime, a "916."
Although Keats' performance as the psycho Nelson is very good, the rest of this show is pretty awful.
- Howard uses some unusual answering machine to tape conversations which, in her lonely state, she listens to over and over. It uses tape similar to reel-to-reels.
- It's pretty funny when Keller recognizes Downing when he comes to Howard's apartment because she previously said that he was her "brother," trying to hide their connection. Keller says that he has seen Downing the politician making speeches, which is far-fetched, considering Americans' typical dismal ignorance of just about anything Canadian.
- A Seaside Cab with the bogus phone number of 555-9837 is seen.
S03E07: Jacob's Boy ★★½
Original air date: October 24, 1974
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Paul Savage
Brock Peters plays Jacob Willis who works for businessman George Todd (Dabney Coleman), though exactly what his "job" is is a big mystery (at one point, Willis is seen doing maintenance on Todd's yacht). Willis has become a surrogate father (and mother) to Todd's son Peter (Mitch Vogel) because when Todd's wife died, Todd buried himself in responsibilities for his work and from that point on, neglected looking after his son. In 1949, Willis, whose real name is Earl Barnes, was serving time for petty theft in an Tuscaloosa, Alabama prison, where he attacked a guard and then escaped. Recently, Willis was recognized in San Francisco by a fellow convict from way back then named Hoby Shuttleworth (James Griffith), who tells Willis that the guard died and he wants a payment not to expose him. Willis shows up at a bar where he hands over $500 to Hoby, but after he leaves, a scuzzy guy from the bar, Frenchy (Roy Jensen) steals the money, helped by Hubert "Gimp" Franklin (Robert Walden). Toby hits his head on a wall and dies after he is pushed by Frenchy, another SOSF incident where injuries like this would typically not have been fatal. Gimp, interviewed by Stone and Keller, puts the blame for Toby's death on Willis, and the two cops spring into action investigating. Todd is very concerned when he learns about Willis's past, of which he knew nothing, but he offers his full financial and legal support. Willis seemingly spends time at Todd's place looking after the son, but has his own apartment where he appears to be living the life of a respectable citizen. As well, he has a cabin near Santa Rosa north of San Francisco. When Willis decides to leave town after giving the cops his fingerprints which will reveal his past, Peter says he wants to come along, but Willis discourages this. Peter follows Willis to Santa Rosa anyway, but Willis puts the kid on a bus back home. The police in the area, responding to an APB for Willis, shoot and wound him, but Willis manages to get to his cabin. Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, aside from a confession by Frenchy, who gets hit by a car, that he was the one reponsible for Toby's death, Stone and Keller find out that Willis did not kill the guard 25 years before, but merely injured him. In the usual nick of time, the two San Francisco cops arrive at the cabin just as Willis is about to commit suicide and talk him out of it.
Willis makes an impassioned speech before Judge George Gilbert (Bill Baldwin), who says that after what happened and Willis's history for the last 25 years, the judge considers Willis to be rehabilitated and he is recommending that Willis be released with no bail and all charges be dropped, pending a decision by the legal authorities in Sacramento.
The relationship between Willis and Peter is peculiar, not helped by the fact the actor playing Peter was around 18 and looks it, whereas he is supposed to be less than 15, the number of years that Willis has worked for Todd. I'm sure that eyebrows were raised about a black man (Willis) looking after a white man's kid in this manner in 1974, if not for the scenes where Jacob and Todd give each other a hug. As the show went on, I kept wondering about this relationship, whether it was going to have a gay subtext, but that would have been totally rank and there is no way that the show could have gotten away with this.
S03E08: Flags of Terror ★★★½
Original air date: October 31, 1974
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Jerry Ziegman
In this nail-biter, three terrorists connected with an insurrectionist movement in the fictional African country of Batasi -- Dallam (Carl Franklin), Mary-Beth Hall (Katherine Cannon) and Murray (Elliott Street) -- return from Japan with cameras, each of which contains a powerful explosive which is triggered remotely. When they come through US Customs, suspicion is aroused, but they manage to escape from the building along with Sonny (David Giles), the brother of Dallam who has been waiting with an automatic rifle along with another guy. In the confusion, a young girl is shot dead, witnessed by her horrified father, whose name is Warren (Robert Hogan). Stone and Keller just happen to be nearby investigating smuggling on a cruise ship, so they, along with several other cops, give chase. The terrorists take two hostages, Kerry Martin (Adrienne La Russa), a ballet dancer, and Tim (Eugene Daniels), a military man, and flee to the harbor where they hold up on a yacht along with Keller, who they also grab while he is pursuing them plus Nick Solana (Julio Medina), a man who is doing maintenance on the yacht. A team of sharpshooters arrives at the scene along with Mehlman (Timothy Burns), a police electronics geek who tells Stone that in the camera with one of the terrorists on board the yacht is a code which can be used to override its deadly capabilities. Keller, who has a few words with Stone at the request of his captors, gets Kerry to find out the code while he is distracting Sonny, who gets killed by Warren, who has sneaked up onto the yacht by swimming in the harbor. As the terrorists and their hostages move towards a seaplane which arrives to take them to freedom, Keller manages to relay the code number with his fingers back to Stone who is on a barge nearby, co-ordinating things with the riflemen. Warren appears again and distracts the terrorists as the the bomb is disarmed. Mary-Beth is wounded and all the bad guys are all taken into custody.
Keller is harassed by Jack Leist (Richard Eastman), an annoying radio journalist who was earlier bugging Stone. He tells the man "Whatever they [the terrorists] talked about , whatever you're talking about, there's only one thing that happened today -- three people got killed [the third was the man who arrived at Customs with Sonny, shot by Keller at the docks]. So whoever ends up saving the world, nothing changes that fact." Keller leaves with Stone.
- There is some Canadian content in the show: Mary-Beth asks the supplier of the bomb-containing cameras in Japan if they were used in Québec the previous year, presumably by the terrorist group FLQ (Front de libération du Québec). But this organization was pretty much finished by the end of 1971.
- "Batasi" is a bogus country in East Africa, a newly-created state which was a former British cdony and the location of the 1964 movie Guns at Batasi, starring Richard Attenborough.
- It is not clear what happens to the Elliott Street character during the final confrontation.
S03E09: Cry Help! ★★★½
Original air date: November 7, 1974
Director: Corey Allen; Writers: Larry Brody & Leonardo Bercovici
Two boys, 13-year-old Paul Harris (David Gruner) and 14-year-old Tommy Sanders (Cliff Howard) are snooping in a closet at Paul's place when they find a gun. Just at this time, Paul's stepfather Bob (William Jordan) comes home. After Tommy leaves, Bob starts yelling at his son, asking where is his mother, suggesting that she is having an affair. Bob slaps Paul in the face and the neighbors who hear this outside phone the cops. Stone and Keller answer the call just after Paul's mother Bonnie (Mariette Hartley) comes home. Bob is apologetic, but Stone makes the kid take his shirt off, revealing various signs of abuse. When asked if his stepfather caused these bruises and welts, Paul is evasive, saying that he fell down at school. Paul and Tommy later meet in an abandoned warehouse. Tommy, who has been adopted, tells Paul that his original parents were much worse than Paul's. When the two boys return to Paul's place, Bob and Bonnie are fighting over the gun, among other things. They struggle and Bob is shot dead. We don't see who did this, but when Stone and Keller show up again, Bonnie says that it was Tommy. The two cops go to see Tommy's adoptive mother Ruth (Marge Redmond). She insists that Tommy couldn't be responsible for killing Bob, though Tommy's birth mother was a drunk and Tommy later shot his abusive father with a rifle when he was only 8 years old. Back at Paul's place, his mother tries to tell him that she is "messed up too." The two of them start arguing and she almost hits him. She picks up the phone and dials someone, pleading for help. Tommy disappears and tries to leave town, but only has a couple of dollars for bus fare. Stone and Keller return to Paul's, trying to find out where Tommy might have gone, but Paul cannot help them. Keller is beginning to suspect that it wasn't Tommy who shot Bob at all, but maybe Paul. He and Stone go to the Parent-Child Center, a place for abusive parents to get help which is staffed by volunteers. Ed Cooper (Eddie Barth), a spokesman for the place, talks to them about child abuse. When Keller wonders why Paul's father brutalized his son the way he did, Cooper says he doesn't know anything about the father mistreating his son; it was the mother who had problems. The cops put out an APB for Tommy, and when Paul is seen near the warehouse where the boys met earlier, Keller, suspecting that Tommy is there, goes inside and grabs him. When Bonnie shows up later at the station, Stone tells her he knows what happened, that she killed her husband and then tried to blame it on Tommy because the justice system wouldn't punish him since he is just a young kid. When Paul confronts his mother, she looks at him like he is not her child, and tells Stone, "Just get me out of here." She is taken away.
Stone and Keller talk to Tommy's adoptive mother, who is now adopting Paul, and the paperwork will soon be finalized. The two boys are seen playing together. Ruth tells them the best part of having the two boys together is "When they're supposed to be asleep, we can hear them laugh."
This is an emotionally wrenching episode, well-acted by all concerned. It makes a lot of sense to watch this show again after we learn what was really going on, to appreciate what Paul tells Tommy: "She [his mother] doesn't mean it" and also the scene between Paul and his mother where she nearly hits him and then has an emotional breakdown. The conflict between Tommy and his mother in this scene is cleverly left vague. It is obvious Paul doesn't want to tell the truth about the shooting, because he would either be incriminating his best friend or his mother. There is some heavy speechifying by Cooper of the Parent-Child Center: "250,000 children are beaten or injured each year. 35,000 of them end up seriously hurt. Two of them die every day."
- The Harris's live at 589 Hayward Street.
- It seems highly unlikely that the neighbors could hear the sound of the slap Bob makes on Paul's face.
- There seems something odd about the way Stone makes Paul take his shirt off in front of his parents so he can see the marks from Bob's beating.
- Tommy is almost nabbed by a couple of cops, but he makes his getaway on BART (the rapid transit public transportation system serving the San Francisco Bay Area).
- Keller finds the Parent-Child Center from a piece of paper Bonnie left beside her phone earlier.
S03E10: For Good or Evil ★★½
Original air date: November 14, 1974
Director: Michael Caffey; Writer: Morton S. Fine
On his way to a basketball practice coached by Stone, Paulie Hudson (Mike Evans) witnesses the execution of Chicano gang leader Juan Osorio by black gang leader Karpa (Hari Rhodes). After the practice, Stone gives the kid a hard time, suggesting he knows something about a TV shop that got knocked off the night before. Stone also asks a lot of questions about Karpa's operation where Paulie's brother is employed. Paulie doesn't offer up any information, so Stone just tells him to keep his nose clean and graduate from high school. Keller gets a tip from Lori (Alexandra Hay), a stripper, that there is a package in the ceiling of a local warehouse. When Keller investigates, he finds the gun that was used to ice Osorio. Paulie goes to a meeting of the multi-ethnic Cavaliers gang where he is a warlord, but is drawn outside by the presence of his brother Jimbo (Herbert Jefferson Jr.). Paulie tells his brother something is eating him up inside, that he knows about the murder of Osorio and wants to go to the cops. Jimbo says this is a really bad idea; instead he should talk to Karpa. The gun Keller found is traced to Lou Maxwell (Joel Fredrick) of the Ruxton Loan Company, another local gang leader. Jimbo takes Paulie to meet Karpa, and Paulie tells Karpa that he saw the killing. When Karpa wonders if Paulie is telling him this because he wants to blackmail him, Paulie says he wants to be part of Karpa's operation like his brother. Stone figures that Lori, Keller's informant, was set up as part of a scheme for Karpa to take over several parts of town. But when Keller goes to her place the next morning, he finds her dead. Stone tracks down Paulie, who is walking on the street with his girl friend Christina Jackson (Berlinda Tolbert), who wants get out of ghetto and become a teacher. Stone talks to Paulie, but this is witnessed by Karpa's menacing stooge Lloyd (Don Pedro Colley), who reports back to his boss. Stone and Keller pay a visit to Karpa at his jazz club. He professes ignorance about his alleged involvement in the local crime scene and tells them to get lost. Paulie is upset after his friend Dewey Childress is brutally beaten by the Cavaliers and dies after he squeals to the cops, who confiscated the gang's guns. Paulie goes to see Karpa, who is disturbed that he was talking to Stone. Karpa tells Paulie there is only way to deal with the situation -- to kill Stone. But when Paulie meets Stone at night on a rooftop, he cannot do this. As a result, Jimbo, who took responsibility for making sure Paulie toed the line, is ordered by Karpa to knock off his own brother. Jimbo takes Paulie for a walk on the docks, but cannot shoot his brother either. Returning to Christina's, Paulie and Jimbo are met by Lloyd and some other thug. Paulie escapes and gets Stone's attention quickly via a passing patrol car. He goes with Stone and Keller to Karpa's place where Jimbo is about to be killed. As Karpa, Lloyd and Jimbo leave the club, a gun battle ensures. Jimbo is wounded and Karpa is arrested.
Stone and Keller are cheering on Paulie at a basketball practice. Stone introduces Paulie to Mr. Becker (Larry Pennell), a basketball scout from the small Caldwell College, who will talk to Paulie later about playing for them.
I don't understand why Karpa would personally knock off Osorio. After all, isn't that the kind of dirty work which Lloyd does for him? Also, at the end, why does Karpa start to take Jimbo away from the club to be killed somewhere else? Why doesn't he just do this at the club and get it over with? Paulie's move at the end, where he throws a garbage can in Karpa's direction, is dumb. It results in Jimbo getting shot point-blank by Karpa. We don't know what happens to Jimbo after this. The last we see him, he is lying on the sidewalk telling his brother "Looks like we're both finally free." Does he die or does he survive? Paulie seems pretty happy in the Epilog, so I suspect it is the latter. Hari Rhodes appeared in three previous episodes of the show as Charlie Johnson, SFPD lab chief. His portrayal of Karpa is cool, but slimy.
- When Stone is coaching the basketball team, he looks like he is going to have a heart attack.
- During the final basketball practice, Stone addresses Paulie as "boy."
S03E11: Bird of Prey ★★
Original air date: November 21, 1974
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Guerdon Trueblood
Harry Cord (Brendan Burns) and his girl friend are walking down the street at night when they witness a violent fight involving a couple in an apartment building. Harry climbs up the side of the building and gets into their room but is punched out for his trouble. Later he does recall some details about the man -- perhaps an Air Force officer who has blonde hair -- but they are sketchy. The woman who was with this man, who escaped, is dead, her larynx crushed. Stone and Keller, after finding a matchbook in the apartment, go to a bar called Graf Zeppelin where military types hang out, including wives of men who are out of town on duty or on assignment. They talk to Jim Danielson (Christopher Stone), the bartender, who recognizes the murdered woman. Judy (Pat Delany), a woman who works in the bar, says the woman's companion was a colonel with a Distinguished Flying Cross, about 6 feet tall and good-looking. Using the information they have obtained, Stone and Keller go to McClellan Air Force Base and liaise with Dick Higgins (William Watson), an investigator with OSI, Office of Special Investigations. Details they know are entered into a computer which produces two results: Peter Johnson (Dennis Cole) and Carl Abel (Kaz Garas), both colonels. Higgins is very antsy about hauling these two men in for questioning because both of them are heroes. Johnson was a pilot in the Korean War and shot down over Vietnam, and Abel spent five years in a Vietnamese POW camp. Higgins suspects that neither of the men is the guilty party, but someone else is impersonating an officer. In order to further the investigation, Keller, who did Air ROTC at Berkeley and had a few hours in a T-33 (a Lockheed jet trainer aircraft), becomes a pencil pusher from the Auditor-General's office asking the two men geeky questions. After lunch with Johnson, where Keller is asked a lot of things that soon reveal his back story is full of holes, Johnson takes Keller up in a jet to demonstrate his flying skills and quickly has Keller screaming to be back on the ground. A film of Abel when he returned to the States reveals that he survived the camp by having a "switch," which is something he thought of (his girl friend) that kept his mind off the torturous conditions. Stone asks psychiatrist Dr. Frank Brice (Martin Braddock) if Abel could use this technique to murder someone and then dissociate himself from the crime. Brice administers pentothal truth serum to Abel which shows that he still loves his wife who divorced him when he returned from Vietnam. As well, Abel tells that a woman he recently dated from the Graf Zeppelin bar dumped him soon after they left the place. We are back to square one with Higgins' suspicions about an imposter when two Air Force cops stop Danielson on the street in San Francisco for possessing a colonel's uniform, having just picked it up at a dry cleaner's. Danielson knocks out one of the cops but is shot as he flees to his Aunt Thelma's (Vivi Janiss) place where he lives. After getting some information from the manager of the bar where Danielson works as well as Judy who said that Danielson fancied married women (who she describes as "retreads"), Stone just happens to be at the aunt's finding out some interesting things about Danielson: that his mother divorced his father George when the old man was in a jungle POW camp in Vietnam, similar to Abel's situation. As well, Jimmy and his father were never close after the divorce because his father was shattered, and, despite what he said earlier, Danielson himself was never in the military. Danielson doesn't go into his aunt's, but leaves the scene quickly when a backup for Stone spots him and pursues him to the Reddin Municipal Airport where Danielson has an antique byplane which is his hobby. Danielson takes off, but Johnson and Keller leave McClellan in a jet plane and quickly locate Danielson attempting to fly to Reno where he has a cabin. Danielson scoffs when Stone calls him, but, seriously wounded, ends up crashing into the side of a mountain.
Stone talks about Danielson, "a guy who wanted to be a hero all his life [who] ends up insane, while a guy like Abel, who thinks he might be going insane because of what made him a hero...," suddenly losing his train of thought. Stone, saying that "rank has its privileges," offers to drive Keller, who is wearing a captain's flight suit, back to town. Keller is not complaining. Stone says "Enjoy it while you can, my boy."
This show is interesting to see William Watson, who played a psychopath in a Hawaii Five-O episode, acting pretty normally, though his character in this show is very intense. Unfortunately, there are some time/topography issues near the show's end. After they interview Abel with pentothal, Keller says "Let's talk to the bartender" to ask him about some of the women who were killed. Then in the next scene, Danielson is picking up a colonel's uniform from the dry cleaners. Two APs (Air Police) stop Danielson because he is carrying this uniform. But how can they see it? It is over his back and he is facing them. After Danielson disarms one of the APs, he leaves the scene fast and as the cop gets off the ground, he says to the other who returns from the dry cleaner's: "That's our man." Presumably they are acting on the directive that Higgins sent out "to all military police in the San Francisco area requesting specific I.D. checks on all Air Force officers." But this still seems like a far-fetched coincidence that they suddenly stumble upon Danielson, giving away this big reveal. One of the APs pursues Danielson to his car (a Mustang) which is parked VERY FAR AWAY (not in front of the dry cleaners). Danielson jumps in the car and speeds away. This whole sequence is almost like it is edited into the story in the wrong place. Back at the bar, Stone gets a call that "APs just stopped a guy carrying a colonel's uniform" (who is IDd as Danielson from info obtained at the dry cleaner's). Stone tells Keller to go back to McClelland. This base, which is no longer in use by the Air Force, is actually 7 miles northeast of Sacramento, California. According to Google Maps, it would take at least 2 hours to get there, and that is if the traffic is good! As far as I can determine, there is no such place as Reddin Field. I don't think they mean Redding Field. The city of Redding is very far north of Sacramento; it would take 3-1/2 hours to drive there! Stone arrives at Reddin, driving like a maniac, but Danielson takes off. Stone calls McClellan where Keller has already arrived. Keller manages to find Johnson, they suit up and they pursue Danielson in the latter's jet, having now become pals.
- What is the point of Harry climbing up the building at the beginning? To give a stunt man some work, I guess! Stone notes that the clothing of the woman who is murdered at the opening is not ripped, saying "She didn't object to what was going on before."
- In the black and white documentary film of Abel made when he was interviewed after coming back to the States, there are editing techniques which suggest the use of more than one camera, which is unlikely.
- Keller again uses the expression "he goes bongos," referring to Danielson's interest in airmen's wives.
S03E12: License to Kill ★★½
Original air date: December 5, 1974
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writers: Don Balluck & Robert Keith
Barney Lujack (Murray Hamilton), Stone's partner of nine years, now a private investigator, returns to San Francisco. He is seeking vengeance against Johnny Waco (Burr DeBenning), a hitman who was responsible for the death of his son Patrick, also a cop, several years before. Patrick was shot dead by three men including Waco, all of whom got off on technicalities when the case came to trial. Barney had a nervous breakdown because of his son's death and had to quit the force. As the show opens, Barney tracks Waco down to The Buena Vista restaurant, having already knocked off the other two killers in Chicago and Miami. Waco has been contracted by an Oakland gangster named Merle Jackson to assassinate Robert Olsen, a bagman skimming money. Waco does this in a brazen way, walking into the restaurant and shooting Olsen dead, using a gun with a silencer. When Waco leaves the restaurant, Barney wounds him, then puts word out on the street that he is in town and will soon finish the job. Waco gets patched up, paying a doctor $500. He then gets one of Jackson's associates named Rick Bellows (Tommy Cook) to track down Barney. Barney goes to visit Stone, who is excited to see his old pal, and puts up Barney at his house. Waco is soon sitting outside Stone's place at night with a rifle, but he misses hitting Barney. Barney wants to apply to be a P.I. in California, and while Keller is doing a background check, he is finding information which makes Barney's appearance in town at the same time as Waco seem more than a coincidence. When Keller relays his suspicious to Stone, his boss will have nothing of them, especially since Barney has assured Stone that he is "at peace" with what happened to his son. Stone finally comes to realize the real reason for Barney's visit to town, saying "People have blind spots, especially when it comes to friends." Keller hassles Bellows who he encounters on the street and Murray goes to visit lawyer Paul Andrews (Ivan Bonar), threatening to throw him off his building, both of whom are connected to Waco and both of whom reveal that Waco is holed up in a motel. At this place, Waco switches rooms to another which has a birds-eye view of the one where Barney is expecting to find him. Waco conveniently misses hitting Barney, and Stone and Keller show up to find Barney just about ready to finish Waco off as the hitman is trying to escape. After trying to reason with Barney not to kill Waco, Stone shoots his old partner dead.
Stone is depressed over the loss of his friend. Keller wonders if Stone wants to go out that evening, but Stone says "I have a lot of things to sort out." Stone suggests that Keller come over the next morning and help him with some roses in front of his place which Barney, who had planted them with Stone's late wife years before, had mentioned when he was staying there.
Murray Hamilton is very good in this show, but it is very similar to S02E04 where Leslie Nielsen is also a cop out for revenge. In fact, the ending of these shows is virtually the same: the cops go to find some gangster whose life is in danger (Ray Danton in the previous, Burr DeBenning in this one), only to end up with the man who is out to kill each of these characters being himself killed by his partner (current partner in the previous, former partner in this show)! Damon Douglas, the tall skinny blonde kid from the season two opener also appears in this show as a witness to Olsen's shooting. As well, despite the fact that Waco is a professional killer, he seems kind of inept. When he is at Stone's, Barney, who is standing by the window, ducks down because he dropped some food just at the moment Waco starts showering the place with bullets. During the final confrontation at the motel, Waco knocks over something in his "other room" as Barney approaches where Waco was originally staying, and the noise alerts Barney, making him duck down on the motel balcony.
- A newspaper article with the headline "Chicago Gunman Slain" that Barney is carrying in his suitcase about his murder of one of his son's killers, D.C. Ballard, is written by D. Sheahan and Ron Anderson. The other killer, Duke Charles, was murdered the previous August in Miami.
- How does Murray know about Waco's hit at the restaurant at the beginning of the show?
- Stone and Barney are seen watching a football game at Stone's place. But Stone already knows the results of the game, which was played the day before!
- Stone, Keller and Barney are seen bowling.
S03E13: The Twenty-Five Caliber Plague ★★
Original air date: December 12, 1974
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writers: Tony Kayden & Michael Russnow
Businessman Alvin Cooper (Robert Webber) buys a 25-caliber automatic with a pearl handle to provide his wife Paula (Mary Murphy) with "protection" while he is on the road. When he arrives home, Cooper leaves the gun in his car. His brother-in-law Jack Graham (Jonathan Lippe), who accompanied Cooper to the Gun Exchange and who owes $5,000 he borrowed to cover gambling debts from Lou Damico, a shylock who runs the Superior Finance Corporation, takes the gun. That night, Graham meets with Damico's collector Ernie Moran and tells him he doesn't have the money he owes. Graham shoots Moran dead, then throws the gun away. The next day, three young boys -- Jeff Rydell, Teddy Bateman and Rick Thompson -- are playing war games and find this gun. Though Jeff (Lee H. Montgomery) thinks he has disarmed the gun by removing the magazine, when he pretend-shoots Teddy, his friend is killed. Jeff and Rick ditch the gun in a garbage can, the contents of which winds up at the "reclaiming area" (recycling depot) of the sanitation department. Jake Traynor (Darrell Fetty), one of the workers there, pockets the gun and later uses it to rob a liquor store with his friend Joe Markham (Tony Geary). They don't get much money for their efforts ($54), and cops quickly give chase which ends when the robbers' car rolls over. Stone and Keller trace the gun back to Cooper, who had earlier reported it stolen. Two goons employed by Damico have been following Graham around and when Graham's girl friend Jeannie Loring (Davey Davison) goes to Graham's place to get a suitcase so the two of them can split to Los Angeles, the thugs follow her back to her apartment. Graham flees to the roof of the building just as Stone and Keller show up, having been pointed in that direction by Cooper. The two thugs, one of whom is taken out of commission by Keller, are arrested and so is Graham.
Stone, Keller and Cooper find themselves at the California Casting Company, which has nothing to do with the movie business, but is a place that manufactures manhole covers from scrap metal (guns are specifically mentioned) as seen being recovered earlier at the sanitation department. Almost all the dialogue in the Epilog is an anti-gun rant. Stone: "Over 30 million Americans own handguns. Over 20,000 get shot with them every year." Keller: "That's right. Almost 10,000 homicides. Nearly as many suicides, almost 3,000 accidents. where somebody's dead or maimed for life." When Cooper wonders what he can do about the dilemma he found himself in, Keller recommends he write to his Congressman: "You're free to write him if you feel strongly about something one way or the other." Stone: "Yeah, what is it they say -- the pen is mightier than the sword? Well, maybe someday it might even stop a bullet."
This episode is sort of OK, but there are some things about it that bothered me. For example, taking the advice of the gunshop owner, Cooper puts the gun out in the open on what looks like the back seat of the car, and just leaves it there, which prompts Graham to steal it. Doesn't Cooper think about what might happen if he just left the gun there? I know he was first going to discuss the gun with his wife before giving it to her, but it seems dumb to leave it in the car ... or did he just forget about it? At what point did Graham actually take the gun? The reaction of the two surviving kids towards their fatally shot friend is disturbing. They just say things like "Teddy's dead," leaving his body in the tunnel where they were playing and running away. Later, Stone and Keller track the two boys down to a public park. The boys immediately figure out the two are cops and flee. The idea that Keller and especially Stone could catch up to these young kids who are running and apprehend them is ridiculous. At the end of the show, the camera focuses on one of the manhole covers, which says SFDPW (San Francisco Department of Public Works) on it, zooming in on the word "SEWERS," no doubt some heavy-handed symbolism relating to guns! I don't really have any major objections to what is said in the anti-gun rant in the Epilog, though it does suggest lack of imagination on the part of the writers.
- Cooper lives at 1441 West Madrid. Graham's address is 203 Madison.
- When Cooper reports the gun stolen, he tells the desk cop "I left it in my car and when I came out [it was gone]."
- The show is very similar to a seventh season Hawaii Five-O episode called Diary of a Gun, which was broadcast on March 18, 1975, around three months after this SOSF show.
- During one of Keller's final remarks in the Epilog to Cooper, the subtitles give the latter's name as "Cooperman."
- Jonathan Lippe later became Jonathan Goldsmith, who became "The Most Interesting Man in the World" spokesman for Dos Equis beer.
S03E14: Mr. Nobody ★★★
Original air date: December 19, 1974
Director: Corey Allen; Writer: Robert Sherman
Some time ago, Alex Zubatuk (Sam Jaffe) sold the shoe repair place he owned for 45 years to a guy named Weiss (Henry Corden). As the show opens, Zubatuk is hassling Weiss about the fact that the work and service he provides are substandard. Weiss tells Zubatuk and his friend Victor Karlinsky (Luther Adler) to get lost, saying that now Zubatuk, formerly the best cobbler in the city, is a "nobody." Weiss is doing more "business" than just fixing shoes; he also is involved taking bets for a gangster named Dempsey (George Murdoch). Weiss gets Marty Karlinsky (David Z. [Zooey] Hall), grandson of Zubatuk's friend, to deliver a box containing $50,000 and some books containing lists of all the bookies in Dempsey's district. A shady character named Lou Singer (Michael Vandever) is following Marty around and corners him with his car in an attempt to steal the box. During the ensuing confrontation, Marty is wounded, but he gets hold of Singer's gun and shoots him dead, then flees through an alley and throws the gun in the garbage. The box ends up down a open manhole in the street, unseen by anyone. Zubatuk witnesses the action that transpired and recovers the gun. When Stone shows up, Zubatuk pretends that he is the one who shot Singer. Dempsey contacts Marty, telling him that he better produce the box, and then sends a couple of hoods after him to make sure he gets the message. Marty's wife Chris (Laurie Heineman), who is expecting a baby, is totally freaked out by all of this. Zubatuk is arrested and held at the station for murdering Singer, but Stone knows the old man is a master of obfuscation and really didn't kill him. Stone gets assistant D.A. Gerald O'Brien (John Kerr) to try and rattle Zubatuk, but he doesn't have much luck either, even after telling him that the gun was stolen two weeks ago from a pawn shop in San Diego. Zubatuk is released from jail, and Stone follows him around, including to Marty's place where Zubatuk talks to Marty's wife and to the alley where the killing took place. Keller talks to Singer's former partner Larry Mason (Don Calfa) who says that Singer was after a bagman, meaning Marty. Dempsey's goons find Marty and grab him off the street, taking him back to their boss's place where the kid is given a good workover. Dempsey, figuring that Marty and Zubatuk were in this together, sends his hoods to the old folks' home where Zubatuk lives. Shortly after, Stone and Keller show up at Dempsey's and rescue Marty, who tips them off as to what is going on. Under threat of death at their home, Zubatuk and Karlinsky pretend that the money is buried in the place's back yard, dragging things out just enough until the cops luckily show up, which sends the two hoods scrambling, trying to escape in a florists' truck they commandeer and then run into a Chevrolet Corvair parked on the street. Back in the alley where the murder took place once again, Zubatuk and Karlinsky figure out by a process of elimination that the box with the money and the books is down in the manhole and they recover it.
D.A. O'Brien shows up and wonders where is the book from the box, because Zubatuk said he would turn it over if all charges against Marty were dropped. O'Brien knows that it was Keller and Stone who were behind this "deal," and O'Brien figures he better talk to Zubatuk before he changes his mind.
Although it has its serious points, this episode is relatively light-hearted, even if it does revolve around one of the show's major tropes, the fact that Stone seems to know everyone in San Francisco over a certain age, something which was parodied in Mad Magazine. In this instance, Zubatuk fixed Stone's shoes for nothing when he was a kid. Several of the actors are "old folks" including Celia Lovsky, who first executed the Vulcan greeting in the Star Trek episode "Amok Time." Her role as Zubatuk's wheelchair-bound landlady Nadia Baska in this episode was her last.
- Marty's address is 3231 20th Street.
- How does Zubatuk know Lew Singer, who he describes as "a bad man ... who steals money from the poor people all the time"? Is Singer a neighborhood fixture or something? Maybe Zubatuk knows people in the same way Stone does!
- Prior to becoming a director, Corey Allen was remembered for his acting roles, including the part in the James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause as the driver who got trapped in the car during the "chicken" race with Dean who went over the cliff.
S03E15: False Witness ★★½
Original air date: January 9, 1975
Director: Paul Stanley; Writer: Morton S. Fine
When patrol cops Jimmy Vega (A. Martinez) and Kevin Bryce (Les Lannom) see a drug transaction between pusher Robert Perez (Lloyd Battista) and a junkie named Chico (Rafael Campos), they attempt to make an arrest, but because Chico ditches the drugs in a passing truck and Perez's car is rented, D.A. O'Brien cannot make a case. This just pisses off Jimmy, because Perez was responsible for Ernie Silveira, Jimmy's best friend, dying of an overdose. We also find out that Keller has a connection to Jimmy, because the two of them were roommates while at the police academy, and Keller helped Jimmy make it through the more difficult parts of the course. During a birthday party for his "mamacita" (Carmen Zapata), Jimmy gets a call from Chico, who wants to meet because he has lots of dirt to relate about Perez. Of course, this is a setup, and Jimmy gets beaten up very badly by some of Perez's thugs. Jimmy then phones Perez and threatens him, a bad idea, because Perez's oily lawyer Howard (Malachi Throne) is standing right next to his client overhearing the entire conversation. Back at the party, Keller is leaving with his girl friend when he is hailed by Dorothy Silveira (Lenore Stevens), Ernie's sister, in the next car. Dorothy tells Keller to pass a message along to Jimmy to lay off Perez, or he is "one dead Chicano." Jimmy meets with Keller the next day, and convinces Keller to help him nab Perez. He wants the pusher for himself, he doesn't want to give him to Narcotics. That evening, Keller and Jimmy stake out Perez's place as a delivery man arrives. When he leaves, they break into Perez's, but the drugs that were in the package get flushed down the toilet and Jimmy gets shot. Despite this, Jimmy plants some drugs in a drawer which Keller finds. When they go to court, Howard uses the fact that Keller and Jimmy were friends to throw doubt in the direction of the jury, suggesting that policemen often lie to help each other out. Howard then offers the recording of Jimmy uttering threats as evidence. In the hospital, Jimmy dies from his injuries after telling Keller that he confessed planting the drugs to O'Brien. Keller tracks down Dorothy, who not only tipped him off about Perez seeking revenge but also made a similar call to Bryce, Jimmy's baby-faced partner. Keller meets with Dorothy, who had "something going" with Jimmy when her brother was alive, and appeals to her to help get Perez. She later tells Perez that one of her tricks wants to make a large heroin purchase. A Spanish-speaking cop, Ybarra (Tony Perez) plays the role of this buyer, and meets with Perez and his men on the docks. The suitcase containing the money is wired and the cops are listening in. When the purchase is completed, Perez is busted.
Stone and Keller console Jimmy's mother and father. After they leave, Keller thanks Stone for "keeping a lid on it," to which Stone replies, "Well, like you said, he [Jimmy] tried, and as far as I know, that's no crime."
Up to a point, this show is OK, but it deteriorates near the end with what happens with Dorothy Silveira. Earlier on, when she told Keller that Jimmy was in danger, it is odd that she suddenly appeared outside the birthday party, because how did she know that Keller would be there? Only a few minutes before, she was seen sitting beside Perez at his place and I'm sure she would have been aware that Jimmy was being beaten up around the same time. It's not like she showed up to warn Jimmy himself. When Keller meets with Dorothy near the end of the show, he says he wants her to help finish the job that Jimmy started, to put Perez away. When she says, "Man, you scare me," Keller tells her that her whole life must scare her, "sitting there doing tricks to get a fix in your arm." He asks her "How many times you got beaten up? How many times Perez got you screaming on the floor for a fix and won't give you one until you take care of one of his friends with their kinky hang-ups?" But up this point, there is no indication that this is the kind of lifestyle that Dorothy has, or how Keller knows all this. At Perez's place, she and some other woman were with Perez and Howard and appeared to be doing pretty good. Why would Perez pimp her out to other guys when he would probably be happy to have such an attractive woman for his own? When she subsequently gives Perez the big spiel about Ybarra, it's amazing that he cannot see through this ruse. Then there is the business of Jimmy planting the dope, which was planned by him well ahead of time. Jimmy signed out almost pure heroin from the evidence room, took half of it (which he used at Perez's) and then returned what looked like the full amount, but it was the remaining half cut with milk sugar. Everything working out at Perez's place as Jimmy planned depended on a certain sequence of events, and anything could go wrong. Fortunately for Jimmy, his little plan did not totally collapse!
- Much of the dialogue between Perez and Ybarra near the end of the show is in Spanish, with no English subtitles.
- There is some Canadian content in this show: Ybarra "runs junk from Mexico into Canada" and because "his arrangements down south dropped off, he absolutely has to make a delivery in Vancouver tomorrow."
- At Jimmy's bedside in the hospital, Keller tells his dying friend that he originally thought he was going to be an archaeologist.
- Despite the faults with the writing in this show, the big courtroom summation from Howard when he attempts to destroy Keller's credibility is actually pretty good.
S03E16: Letters from the Grave ★★★½
Original air date: January 16, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Tom Cannan
The body of convict Lew Kovic is discovered on Alcatraz, 20 years after it is assumed he drowned trying to escape from the place. In the mid-1950s, Kovic had been sent to Terminal Island for a murder originally thought to be committed by Syndicate boss Nick Lugo (Paul Stewart), but escaped from there when he found out his wife had cancer. He was captured and sent to Alcatraz. Kovic's son Lew Junior (Peter Strauss), who is a deputy district attorney, is as surprised as anyone at this turn of events. Junior's grandmother had received 2 or 3 letters a year from the supposedly-still-alive Kovic postmarked from various places like Peru, Argentina and Mexico City for the last 20 years. When Stone goes to pick up the letters, Kovic's brother John (William Windom), who manages an insurance business, shows up. Stone wants to let the Forgery Department at SFPD examine the letters to determine if whoever wrote them was involved in Kovic's death. John says he was not close to his brother, who he knew worked for Nick Lugo, who he also didn't know. After Stone leaves, Junior wonders to his uncle if Lugo had something to do with the death of his father. John says Junior should not knock on any doors as far as Lugo is concerned, that all that has happened to Junior (which John suggests, as his uncle, he has bankrolled in part) could be overturned. Stone investigates and finds a man named Stebbins was guarding Kovic the night he disappeared. He and Keller track down Stebbins, only to find that Junior is conducting an investigation of his own, and witnessed Stebbins just being run over by a car and killed near the dumpy apartment where he was living. Junior pays a visit to Lugo, who says that he and Kovic were "very close," but is evasive when asked questions about who wanted the old man dead, especially when Junior suggests that his father was murdered in connection with taking the rap for Lugo's murder charge. When Junior says he's not going to stop trying to find the truth about what happened to his father, Lugo tells him to get lost. Back at the station, Inspector Larry Mason from Forgery (Barry Cahill) tells Stone and Keller the letters, as well as the postmarks on the envelopes, were forged. The former were written by a left-handed person trying to duplicate the writing of someone who was right-handed. Stone gets a call from Bernie, the medical examiner (Stephen Bradley), telling him the guy who was the victim of the hit and run was not Stebbins, but someone else named Wilcox. He and Keller talk to Stebbins' ex-wife, Phyllis (Virginia Gregg), who lives in Sausalito. She tells them her husband was fired from Alcatraz in 1958 because he was "unfit." She also says he came into $10,000 about this time. Around this time, the real Stebbins (Lou Krugman) gets knocked off ... by Kovic's brother John, who was "supposed to take care of him." Stone and Keller go to talk to Lugo, figuring he had something to do with Stebbins' death, but Lugo tells them "get off my back." Lugo puts his foot in his mouth, though, when he refers to "Stebbins" who got run over the day before, which was actually Wilcox. Lugo says to Stone, "Stick it in your ear." Junior goes to visit a guy in San Quentin named Maddox (Jim Boles) who was familiar with what happened 20 years ago. When asked if there was a reason why Lugo would want to kill Junior's dad, Maddox says that "the Kovic brothers were moving up pretty fast at the time" which surprises the kid. Maddox says the brothers were running numbers, so Lugo took them both in. Keller trails Lugo, who picks up John Kovic downtown. The two of them talk about what to do with Junior, who is getting too close to the truth. After they discuss how John knocked off his own brother to keep Lugo out of jail, Lugo drops some heavy hints that John should also knock off Junior. When John returns to his office, his secretary (Christine Dixon) says he had a call that Junior wants to meet him at the Alcatraz Ferry Terminal to talk to him. The two of them wind up at the prison outside the cell formerly occupied by Senior, trailed by a couple of Lugo's stooges. Junior gets his uncle to finally reveal the truth about what happened 20 years before, that his father took the fall for Lugo and that his uncle murdered his father when he decided to break silence over this. Junior, holding some of the letters, tells his uncle that because he kept receiving them, he would always be looking for his father instead of the man who killed him. Stone and Keller arrive on the island by helicopter, but not in time to save John, who is shot dead by Lugo's men.
Junior reminisces about when he was 8 years old and could see Alcatraz from the window of his house in San Francisco, wondering if his father was looking back at him. When he heard his father escaped, he wondered why the old man never came home. In response to Junior asking what he will tell his grandmother, Keller suggests "The truth ... it can't be any harder than sitting at that window, can it?"
The acting in this show is very high calibre, especially that of veteran character actor Paul Stewart (who does not appear in the "starring" credits at the beginning of the show) as well as Windom who gets "special guest star" treatment in the credits. Once again we have the trope of Stone being a know-everyone. After he says he dealt with the Kovic case 20 years before, he says he will go and "talk to the family." Keller says, "What ... do you know them too?" (Stone does not, he only knows Junior from his work with the DA's office.) The fact that the forger of the letters (Eric Christmas) is tracked down and who makes the connection with John as the one who paid to have the letters made seems far-fetched.
- Lugo's office is at the corner of Lombard and Battery. After Stone and Keller visit him, Keller radios in that they are at Battery and Greenwich, which is the next intersection in front of where they are parked.
- Junior visits Maddox in San Quentin, the prison from which Peter Strauss's character Bobby Jepsen in S01E07 was released.
- While the fact that Wilcox was mistakenly run over and killed by John is explained because John hadn't seen Stebbins for many years, the reason that Junior encountered Wilcox in Stebbins' place is not, except for the building manager Greeley's (Joseph Mell) comment, "These guys come and go."
- At around 35:30 after the limo with Lugo and John turns right, trucks like those used in movie and TV productions are seen on the left ahead of them, parked on the other side of a two-way street. But when they pass where the trucks should be, they are on a one-way street with other vehicles (not the trucks) parked in the same area.
- The license number of Lugo's Mercedes stretch limousine "ISHI 2."
- Junior leaves a message with his uncle's secretary which sounds like they should meet at the Alcatraz ferry terminal at Pier 41, but when John shows up, Junior is already gone to the island. The secretary said the message was to meet him "there" as soon as possible.
- After Stone and Keller get into the helicopter, there is a brief cut before it takes off.
- There is another reverse tracking shot after Stone and Keller leave the medical examiner's office which goes on for just over a minute and a half.
- Junior's office phone number on his business card is 555-2323.
S03E17: Endgame ★★★
Original air date: January 23, 1975
Director: Jerry Jameson; Writer: Albert Ruben
After John Baker, an elderly cop, tells gambling and prostitution kingpin Al Doyle that he is going to make trouble for Doyle testifying before an upcoming grand jury, Doyle gets his henchman Sailor Renfro (Paul Mantee) to knock off Baker and make it look like he committed suicide. A meeting with Lieutenant Roy Devitt (Tim O'Connor in his last performance of this role) involves Stone, Keller, DA O'Brien, as well as two vice cops, Dwayne Rogers (Stephen Young) and Eddie Hill (Richard Lawson). Devitt tells everyone that, unknown to most people, Baker was working on a deal to retire early after his testimony, which makes Stone wonder why he would have killed himself before the deal was finalized. Keller gets a tip from a hooker named Lily Marlene that she wants to dish out dirt on Doyle, but when he and Stone arrive at her apartment, she is dead. They pursue her killer, James Ganby, who has just left her apartment building. He is shot dead by Keller, who gets hit by Ganby's car and is sent to the hospital, supposedy on the critical list. As Devitt and Stone are at the hospital, Stone's daughter Jeannie shows up concerned about Keller, having just flown into town. Devitt tells her that Keller is barely alive, and the problem is with his central nervous system. When the two cops get back to the squad room, Stone and Devitt start yelling at each other, Stone vowing that he will personally go after Doyle. Devitt takes Stone off the case, saying they will do the job with policemen, not some maniac looking for revenge. They yell some more, and Stone turns in his badge. Devitt files formal charges against Stone, who ends up at a disciplinary hearing where he is demoted to beat cop for refusing to obey a proper order and conducting himself "in an insubordinate and threatening manner toward a superior officer." Rogers and Hill take an interest in Stone, talking to Jeannie and tracking Stone down to a bar where he is getting plastered, then taking him home. Meanwhile, Jeannie is getting fed up with the aura of secrecy surrounding Keller, and she sneaks into his hospital room to find out there is nothing wrong with him. The news that he was turning into a vegetable was all a scam, as was the war between her father and Devitt. On the job as a beat cop the next day, Stone starts to get Doyle's attention, demanding a payoff from some merchant who is probably already paying protection money through the nose to Doyle and busting a couple of hookers from Doyle's stable. Soon Sailor approaches Stone on the street, but Stone says he will only talk to Doyle. Sailor calls him a "clown." Doyle agrees to meet with Stone, who is wired. Stone is driven to Doyle's yacht. But Rogers and Hill are freaking out, because they have been passing information from the department along to Doyle, and they know if Doyle is busted, then he will start making a deal where he names their names. The two of them show up as Doyle is giving money to Stone to keep his nose out of Doyle's businesses. Hill knocks off Doyle and Sailor, and Rogers takes Stone outside to be killed with Sailor's gun just as Keller and Devitt show up. A gun battle with cops versus cops ensues; Hill is wounded and both he and Rogers are arrested and taken away.
Keller is about to drive Jeannie to the airport to fly home when he and Stone are called away to deal with a shooting. They tell her to take a cab. After they have gone, she says "Be careful."
There are a couple of nifty twists in this show, though you have to wonder why Rogers and Hill would take Stone away to be killed somewhere with Sailor's gun at the end rather than just murder him on the yacht along with Doyle and Sailor. Stone really does not show his anger at Devitt when he comes home after the big screaming match, just describing Devitt as a "pencil-pusher" and someone he liked "before he got all those promotions," and Jeannie totally picks up on this. I'm also surprised that Sailor did not do a pat-down with Stone to find the recorder that he had taped to his body. I thought that Jeannie was going to be kidnapped by Sailor or something fishy would happen between her and Hill, who drops by at Stone's apartment late in the show to tell what an inspiration her father was, neither of which fortunately did not happen. Some of Stone's exchanges with Sailor and Doyle are quite delightful.
- Stone's beat is in a very sleazy part of town, near the corner of Keary and Broadway. Some of the establishments on Keary have signs like Topless Lady Wrestlers, House of Ecstasy, Live Bottomless Girls and Hardcore Movies. Near the corner where Stone threatens to give Sailor a ticket for parking near a fire hydrant, you can see the Swiss Louis restaurant at 493 Broadway in the background.
- Stone knows everyone: his wife and Baker's wife Elizabeth went to school together.
- For someone who usually does not drink, Stone does not seem to be really drunk when he is in the bar.
- When Keller tells Jeannie of the deception with him being in the hospital, she says "I'm bloody mad!" and calls him a "pig."
S03E18: Ten Dollar Murder ★★★½
Original air date: January 30, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: D.C. Fontana
Two kids -- Bobby Elliott (Mark Wheeler) and Charles "Tiny" Reynolds (Michael Talbott) -- are robbing taxi drivers for kicks. Bobby is the son of Inspector Irene Elliott (Carol Rossen), a member of the SFPD Burglary squad. Her husband Don, also a cop, was killed several years ago in a shootout trying to stop a gang war. Stone walked the beat with her husband. Bobby is suspected of stealing money from the principal's office at his school. He says he didn't do it, but knows who did, but doesn't want to rat on them. Irene, who has found $126 in Bobby's room which her son will not explain, gets Stone to talk to the kid during a basketball game the three of them are attending, and Bobby says that he has saved money from working overtime at his garage job so he can buy his mother a vacation. Soon after this, another taxi driver is robbed, except he is Riley, an undercover cop, and he is shot dead with Bobby's father's gun which was taken from a locked "shrine" which his mother has created in their house which contains pictures of his father and medals he received during his police service. The dead cop uttered the words "Tiny" and "Indian buckle" before he died. Keller tracks down one of several high school students with the name of "Tiny" and also notices that Bobby is wearing a belt buckle with an Indian head design. The kids named "Tiny" are brought to the station for a lineup but cannot be identified by the taxi drivers who were robbed. When Keller tells Stone that the clues he has uncovered suggest Bobby may be involved with the robberies and murder, Stone is incredulous. Keller asks him, "A cop's son can't be bad?" The bullet which killed Riley is matched to a slug used to flatten the tires of another driver, but the real clincher is when these two are matched to another slug from the gun fired by Don Elliott in 1958 during a case which is still open. Irene is very troubled when Stone and Keller tells her that her son may be a murderer. Bobby is setting Tiny and another kid named Eddie Cosak to take the fall for what has happened. When they rob another cab, Bobby leaves a bracelet of Tiny's on the front seat as well as a knife with Cosak's initials on it. However, Keller finds out that Cosak has been out of the state for two months. In a park, Bobby feeds Tiny some pep bills which, combined with booze, knocks him out. Bobby then feeds the exhaust into the car via a hose, killing Tiny with carbon monoxide. Stone goes to Irene's house and confronts Bobby, who pulls his father's gun on Stone and makes him go outside just as Keller and Irene are returning from the garage where Irene was looking for her son. There is a very tense confrontation with Bobby and his mother. Bobby runs away, and Irene shoots Bobby, though not fatally.
In one of the series' more serious endings, Irene leaves the hospital where Bobby is recovering. She says this was the first time she ever used her gun on a human being. As they walk to Stone's car, he asks her, "Did he ever tell you why?" She replies: "No."
There are a couple of things that keep this episode from being a four. One is the way that Tiny passes out before Bobby kills him. Tiny, who has been seen popping pills earlier in the show, is already "high" by his own admission. Bobby gives him more pills, and Tiny says he is going to sleep. But he falls asleep like with the snap of someone's fingers, which to me is not realistic. Bernie, the forensics guy, says "it looks like he took an overdose," though it doesn't look like Tiny gave him that many pills. And where did Bobby get the pills? Or for that matter, where did he get the ammunition for his father's gun? Of course, none of this would have happened if Irene hadn't kept her husband's gun in the shrine in the first place. Rossen gives an exceptional performance, though she seems a bit young. The actress was in her late 30's, I think the idea is that the character should be in her early 40's, because Bobby is about 18 years old. Wheeler's performance is also very good, especially at the end, where Bobby turns into a full-blown psychotic who accuses Stone of trying to get him out of the way and frame him so Stone can move in with his mother. He tells his mother "You don't even care about me. You never cared about me. All you care about is that crummy badge." Earlier on, Irene is predictably guilt-ridden about what Bobby has done, saying that she didn't bring him up properly, but Stone tells her that Bobby is responsible, and is "a man."
- There is a subsidiary story at the beginning of the episode where Stone and Keller bust a runner who is delivering $10,000 to a hitman.
- Carl Severn, one of the cab drivers is played by Bruce Kirby, who had a recurring role on Kojak as Sergeant Al Vine. Severn talks to the two kids, referring to a basketball game with the Golden State Warriors where Rick Barry got 32 points.
- Eddie Cosak's address is 2327 Pollard.
- Stone's daughter Jeannie is studying at Arizona State, soon to graduate with honors.
- Keller jokes about Stone taking Irene on a date to a Japanese restaurant. Stone replies, "What makes you think you are the only sex symbol around here?" Despite the serious tone of the show, there are several similar instances of humor between Stone and Keller in the show.
S03E19: The Programming of Charlie Blake ★½
Original air date: February 6, 1975
Director: Nicholas Colasanto; Writer: Rick Blaine
Joan Warren (Dee Wallace), a young woman, is raped and murdered in her apartment. Marlene Hollander (Susan Richardson), her roomate who found the body, tells Stone the previous week Joan received an obscene phone call. Stone tells Keller he wants to start the investigation with "every sex offender within three miles of here." Soon after this, Keller ends up interviewing Charlie Blake (Dean Stockwell), who has a history of making such calls. Blake refers Keller to his psychiatrist, Dr. Norman Jessup (William Smithers). There is another major suspect named Scheflera, who keeps flip-flopping on his alibi. Charlie finally admits he was with a girl named Jill Allerman (Lynne Marta) the night before; he didn't mention her name because he didn't want to lose her. When Charlie leaves, he makes an emergency appointment with Jessup for an hour later. Jessup resumes the conversation he had on hold, which is with what sounds like his girlfriend. Jessup's wife Eleanor (Sharon Acker) appears at the door of his office, overhearing the conversation; she is very pissed. Eleanor forces her husband to call the woman back and cancel their engagement. She grabs the phone and screams abuse at the woman. Jessup tells his wife she is drunk; she tells him he is weak and evil. When Charlie arrives, Jessup uses some kind of hypnotherapy on him. The psychiatrist tells Charlie "You're gonna have to bring those guilt feelings out in the open and they you will feel better." He gets Charlie to make a typical obscene call like he made three years ago. Charlie complies, and Jessup records the conversation on a reel-to-reel recorder. Keller goes to talk to Charlie's girl friend. She says she knows about his police record, but he told her this was for passing bad checks. We don't know if Keller straightens her out about this. Soon after this, Jessup's wife is almost passed out drunk at home when she receives a phone call. It is the obscene "call" that Blake made and that her husband just recorded at his office. Jessup is listening to her horrified reaction on his speakerphone. Eleanor reports the call to the cops. Stone and Keller come to see Jessup and his wife, but they conclude the obscene call and the fact that Charlie is her husband's patient is just a coincidence. Charlie and Jill go out to dinner; he assures her that he couldn't make "that kind of phone call" any more. He later goes to another hypnotherapy-type session at Jessup's office, where the shrink tells him that Joan Warren is responsible for everything that has happened to him. While Charlie is in a trance-like state, Jessup takes his necktie. He shows Charlie a picture of Joan from the newspaper, saying "She's laughing at you; she says you're sick and you're dirty." Jessup makes Charlie mime killing "Jill' by strangling a pillow and makes him repeat: "I killed Joan Warren." Jessup tells Charlie he will feel even better when he tells this to the police. Jessup tells Charlie to fall asleep until 7 p.m. and then go his house where he will wake up at 8 p.m. Later at his place, Jessup is preparing to out to a "sports dinner," leaving his wife at home. He tells his wife that he once loved her, but she bought him: "You bought this house, the clinic ... you bought my soul." Jessup smashes a priceless clock, then strangles Eleanor with Charlie's necktie. In a trance, Charlie arrives at Jessup's house. He wakes up as the clock chimes 8 p.m., finds Eleanor's body and leaves his prints all over the place. Jessup has a perfect alibi, having been with his lawyer Leonard Paxton (John Stephenson) all evening. When Stone and Keller show up later, Jessup connects Charlie in a roundabout way with the killing by saying Charlie was very disturbed during his recent session. Charlie is very confused, and tries to visit Jill, but she won't help him. Keller shows up and nabs Charlie as he runs away from Jill's place. At the station, Charlie identifies the tie used to kill Eleanor as his own. When Keller asks Charlie why he killed her, he says in a robotic way, "She was laughing at me, and called me dirty names. She said I was sick, so I had to kill her to stop her from saying those things ... I killed her. I killed Joan Warren." Charlie's confession sounds like it's an open and shut case, but a monkey wrench is thrown into the works when it's revealed that Scheflera has also confessed to the murder of Warren. Stone gets both men to take a polygraph the next day, and it says that both men are telling the truth. Keller asks Lenny Murchison (Fred Sadoff), the police psychiatrist, if it is possible Blake was programmed to believe he could have killed the two girls, and Murchison says that "To make someone confess to a crime he didn't commit, there'd have to be a strong motivation. He'd have to be convinced it was in his own best interest." Keller also has a brainstorm about the taped call that Eleanor received after seeing similar tapes in Jessup's study when they were there earlier. Keller goes to Jessup's office and, aside from seeing a clock with a monk on it which Charlie mentioned in his confession, plants some seeds of doubt in Jessup's mind regarding the lights in his wife's bedroom. Jessup quickly goes home to check out the lights, and in a big "AHA" moment, Keller and Stone step out of the next room, suggesting Jessup is rigging more evidence. The phone rings, and Jessup answers. It is Charlie, making the same kind of call he made to Jessup's wife, except this time, it is a recording that Charlie made in co-operation with the cops, and Jessup sort of incriminates himself by basically admitting that he made the tape that his wife heard (see below). Paxton is there, and while advising Jessup to keep his mouth shut, says that will not be taking his case and suggests Jessup retain other counsel.
Charlie is reunited with his girl friend Jill. Stone tells Keller he figured out the case at the same time Keller did, because of all the coincidences and because of "good, hard-edged psychology." Stone says to Keller "Generosus anubis labor naba," obviously an attempt to outdo Keller who earlier used the expression "Timeo Danaos et donas ferentes" (beware of Greeks bearing gifts). Stone's expression means nothing at all (though the last word seems wrong compared to the subtitles), and Keller tells him "How long did it take you to look that up in the dictionary?"
This show is interesting up to a point, but it starts to get stupid as it gets closer to the end. Whether someone can be forced to commit a crime while under "hypnosis" (or "programmed" as the episode's title suggests) is very debatable, though Murchison and Keller agree that the fact Charlie expressed "relief" when he confessed "I know this is gonna make me feel better," as well as the fact that because he was a sex offender on probation, he'd been "carrying a heavy load of guilt" may have contributed to him being vulnerable to doing this. I don't understand the business with the lights at the end at all. All of the lights except one were controlled by a switch on the wall, and there was a single light, supposedly the one Eleanor was using to read when her husband left, which lies broken on the floor. Keller (and later Jessup) both get a nasty shock from this light, suggesting that it was still on when it was knocked over. But Charlie said that when he was in the room, it was dark. So what? Then there is the call to Jessup similar to the one which was played for Eleanor. Jessup doesn't really incriminate himself, he just says, "You broke into my office. That's illegal. Those tapes are confidential and you can't use them against me. My lawyer will tell you that." (But Paxton says this is not the case.) Jessup doesn't say something like "You are trying to trick me with the tape I made," for example. If someone would like to explain this to me, please contact me and maybe I will rethink my rating!
- When the lie detector is administered to Charlie, some of the questions they are asking are not ones which can be answered by "Yes" or "No," but require very specific (and longer) answers, like "What time was it?", "Was the room dark or lit?", and "When you saw her first, where was she lying?", which is not correct procedure.
- William Smithers played a psychiatrist, the father of a girl who was murdered, in the banned episode of Hawaii Five-O Bored She Hung Herself.
- Jill has some very heavy bars on her front door.
- Why does does Keller pull his gun when he captures Blake? It's not like Blake is armed.
- Jessup drives a yellow 1973-1974 Mercedes 450 SL (thanks to Mike T.). Doesn't he have a receptionist in his office? He certainly seems well off.
S03E20: River of Fear ★★
Original air date: February 13, 1975
Director: Michael Caffey; Writer: Robert Malcolm Young
Dr. Bill Dunson (Peter Haskell) and his new bride Betty (Faith Quabius) have returned from their honeymoon in Hawaii, stopping in San Francisco on their way home to Duncan Falls, CA, where the doctor is taking over the practice from the kindly old Doc White who has been there forever, and, in fact, brought Betty "into this world 34 years ago." After a lovey-dovey scene in their hotel room where the two drool in each others' mouths, Betty has "something to say" to her husband, that her previous husband died in San Quentin where he was sent after an armed robbery of $220,000. She tells Bill she has this money, which is hidden in the stable on her property, and it is to be used for raising her two kids, Julie (Kim Richards) and Bobby (Stephen Manley). Almost immediately, Dunson clubs her on the head with the receiver from a phone, killing her, and makes it look like she slipped while taking a shower. Stone and Keller have suspicions about what happened, but it isn't until they run a check on Dunson that they find out he is not a doctor. In fact, his real name is James Cooper, and he was also serving time in San Quentin where it is very likely that he murdered Betty's husband, no doubt after finding out about the $220,000 windfall. Dunson quickly returns to Duncan Falls where the kindly old housekeeper, Emma Rand (Irene Tedrow, who specialized in this kind of role) is looking after the kids. Julie overhears Mrs. Rand talking to Doc White (Paul Fix) about Betty's death, and she is very suspicious of her stepfather (even the family dog growls at him). Dunson doesn't waste time, he tells Julie and Bobby that he wants the money, or there will be trouble. The kids, who knew about the cash and where it was hidden, have already moved it out of the stable, and much of the show is like a hide-and-seek game, with Dunson becoming more desperate to find it. The kids eventually take the suitcase with the cash and start on a journey to the house of "Aunt" Helen Baker (Patricia Smith), a kindly neighbor, but Dunson beats them to this place, after he murders Doc White who was getting too curious about his identity. Stone and Keller are soon on the scene and, with the local sheriff (James Gammon), arrive at Baker's place, but the kids and Dunson have gone to a nearby shed, where the money is supposedly located (but it is not). The kids escape and jump in a boat which floats down a river in the direction of "white water downstream" (which seems far ahead of where they are). Dunson is wounded by the sheriff, and Keller and the sheriff jump into the drink to pull the boat to shore and save the kids from a horrible fate.
The money, which is in a bag up a tree, is recovered, and Stone tells the kids that while "this money's gonna have to go back to the people [their father] took it from," there will be a "big reward" which "belongs to the two of you." When the kids run off to tell Aunt Helen, Stone says "That's the trouble with kids today, they don't understand the value of a dollar."
An IMDb user review of this episode suggests that it is a remake of the classic film Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum. If so, it is a pretty pale imitation. Dunson is a bland villain, and the plot is full of questions. For example, how did Dunson meet his new wife and how did they originally hang out together? How did Dunson manage to flim-flam his way past the California state medical board as well as Doc White to convince them that he was a doctor? Kim Richards' acting as Julie is very good, but the part of her obnoxious brother is clichéd with the kid opening his mouth at inopportune times and almost giving away his location and that of his sister when Dunson is pursuing them on horseback (!). Stone and Keller are seriously out of their jurisdiction again, though we have no idea how far the fictional town of Duncan Falls is from San Francisco. (There is a real Duncan Falls in Ohio.) The final scene where the kids are escaping in a boat on the river has a certain air of "we're making this up as we go along" about it, despite some interesting photography in the boat. I thought it would have been more interesting if Julie had taken the boat's oar and thwacked Dunson on the head as he tried to stop them from escaping!
- Dunson tells Stone and Keller that when Julie was knocking herself out in the shower, he was downstairs in the hotel having a haircut. But his hair doesn't look particularly "cut" though Keller does confirm that he really was in the barber shop.
- Julie is wearing a T-shirt which says "Equal Rights for Children."
- The population of Duncan Falls is 2,167.
- Dunson kills Doc White with an injection of "escadine tartrate" directly into his stomach after the two were visiting a patient and White cornered Dunson who was fleeing the scene. White had tested Dunson, exposing him as a phony by asking Dunson to give the patient 10 mg this drug, a potentially lethal dose. The autopsy results on White are received by the sheriff very quickly.
- Dunson tells Baker that he will contact her after he finds the money so she can pick the kids up. But how will he do this? He pulled her phone cord out of the wall!
S03E21: Asylum ★★½
Original air date: February 20, 1975
Director: Robert Douglas; Writer: Larry Brody
Susan Howard (Belinda J. Montgomery), a woman suffering from schizophrenia, witnesses the drowning of a patient at the Rabb Psychiatric Institute in a hydrotherapy tub. Another patient, Paul Bierce (Michael Anderson Jr.), sees the aftermath of this. Soon after, Bierce escapes from a field trip he is taking with several patients from the institute at the California Academy of Sciences. Bierce goes to the cops, and tells them about what he has seen, but because of their interrogation manner, he freaks out and winds up back at the hospital where he is heavily doped up. Later, Bierce is found dead, having hung himself. Pretending to be Stone's nephew, Keller goes underground at the institute as Steve Henderson to investigate after being given some drug by Lenny Murchison (Fred Sadoff), the consulting police psychiatrist, to induce symptoms which temporarily make him into a raving lunatic. Keller vacillates between violent outbursts and attempting to ingratiate himself with Susan and find out what happened with Bierce, finally telling her that he is really a cop. Unfortunately, his conversation with Susan is overheard by Dr. Hamill (Bettye Ackerman), who immediately tells the boss of the place, Jonas Rabb (James Olson), who up to that point has been a major suspect. Stone, interviewing the relatives of another patient who died under suspicious circumstances, figures out the killer is physical therapist Gene Watson (Robert Walker Jr.), an angel of mercy type who hastened the deaths of some patients that were considered lost causes. Following this, Watson accepted large donations to the hospital fromn their relatives for his "services." Stone shows up at the institute just as Watson slips some substance to Keller in the form of fruit punch which ends up with Keller walking around on the building's roof in a delirious state. Fortunately, Susan is able to coax Keller inside, where he is grabbed by Rabb.
Stone apologizes for the charade with Murchison who was giving Rabb the runaround as to whether or not Keller was a cop, and Rabb is glad that the hospital is now in the clear. Keller says goodbye to Susan.
Douglas does some intense acting, including screaming hysterically as he is brought to the institute in an ambulance. He manages to be pretty confrontational after this, even with his "uncle," Stone. The show does turn in an almost clichéd direction like where a journalist or cop goes underground in a mental institution and they find themselves in even more peril than when they were admitted. Most of the other patients are kind of faceless, except for Tim Yuro who plays Robert, committed as someone of unsound mind after he raped and murdered his own daughter; he is very protective of Susan, who he has "adopted" as his own child.
- Stone and Keller have a good exchange. Stone: "Are you thinking of going undercover in that mental institution?" Keller: "Yeah." Stone: "Well, now just between you and me ... you're crazy!" Keller: "Well, that makes me a natural, right?"
- The institute's address is 1850 Keary Street, San Francisco 94133. A letter with a donation was received by them dated November 5, 1974 from Mary Wilcox, who lives at 2543 Broadway Avenue.
S03E22: Labyrinth ★★★★
Original air date: February 27, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: Del Reisman
Three hoods show up at the Pierre Hotel -- Harry (Michael McGuire), Jack Vincent (Felice Orlandi) and a syndicate muscleman named Dominick (uncredited actor). Vincent is recognized by Al Ginnis (Michael Strong), head of the hotel's security, who tells the desk clerk (Dave Willock) to call the cops because he expects trouble. The trio go to room 717, where welterweight figher Tony Fabrieze (Don Gordon) has been holed up for two months. They want to talk to Tony about a fight in St. Louis where he took a fall which caused some important people to lose a lot of money. Dominick moves towards Tony with the intention of giving him a good workover with brass knuckles, but Tony picks him up and throws him through the window to the street seven floors below. Harry pulls out a gun and wounds Tony, but Tony punches out both Harry and Vincent and flees to the floor below where he encounters Pete (Shelly Novack), who is leaving his room (#610) where he has been having an affair with Judith (Julie Adams). Tony forces Pete back into the room and hides out. He later tells Judith to go downstairs and call his wife and child and get them to come to the hotel. Judith does this, but despite the fact she tells Tony's wife Marian (Claire Brennen) that her husband is badly wounded, Marian says that she couldn't care less. Judith tries to return upstairs, but the cops who have arrived don't let her. Stone wants all the exits to the hotel sealed and later orders the place to be evacuated. This is a very large hotel; Daly the manager (Ben Hammer) is freaking out. Harry and Vincent hide out in a bar on an upper floor, but when they try to escape via the parking lot, the cops are there and their driver Gogo Friezell (Tony Young), is shot dead ... by Harry! When the police start a room-to-room search, Pete takes the opportunity to get away, leaving Tony in one of the bedrooms of the suite, passed out on a bed. Ginnis, who was a cop for 20 years until a brutal attack which killed his partner caused him to lose his nerve and retire, earlier was watching the three hoods and Fabrieze, but did nothing. Ginnis looks like he is going to jump out the window where Dominick went flying because he thinks he is a coward and inadequate at doing his job, but Stone and Keller talk him out of this. Harry and Vincent, who have gone back up into the hotel and have been hiding out in the steam room of the hotel's gym, decide to split up after the cops tell them to leave. Keller and Ginnis chase Vincent down a stairway, with Ginnes finally capturing Vincent after doing a flying leap. Harry goes to the hotel's laundry room where he pretends to be an employee until he is confronted by Inspector Landers (Bing Russell). Rather than take Harry out of the building, Landers brings him to the fifth floor where Harry grabs some elderly man and threatens to break his neck. Stone offers to take the man's place as Harry requests a police helicopter to come to the roof and take him away from the scene. As Stone and Harry are just about ready to get in the helicopter, Keller shoots Harry.
Tony's young son shows up at the hotel as his father is taken away in an ambulance. Keller talks to Judith and says that Tony will survive. She has been concerned that her affair would be publicized if she got involved, but when she asks Keller if she needs any more information for his report, he says that they have everything they need. She looks very relieved. As Stone and Keller are leaving, Stone tells Keller the cops should consider having the policeman's convention at the hotel since they know the floor plan so well. Keller grudgingly says this sounds like a good idea, but he intends to take a vacation during that week if it happens.
This is a very good show, which makes effective use of the "set" (the hotel). The acting from all hands is exceptional, right down to the smallest parts. Michael Strong gives an excellent performance. We can sense that this guy probably hasn't had to contend with any real "crime" at his hotel security job, and when he is faced with actually dealing with something really serious, he totally falls apart. The only thing I found kind of weird was why does ... or maybe how does ... Tony's kid show up at the end? His mother is nowhere in sight! There is a very good score as well, even though it is stock music.
- When Keller is talking to the maid who Tony pushed out of his way on his way to the floor below after he was shot, he says he is looking for a "Stocky guy, he's got a big nose all pushed across his face." Is he referring to Stone?
- After Vincent is captured, Keller takes him downstairs, and Stone says to "Take him downstairs and book him. Murder one, three counts." But what is Stone talking about? Vincent didn't kill anyone in this show, did he?
- IMDb spells Strong's character's last name "Ginnis," whereas the subtitles on the DVD set use what we would expect: "Guinness." As well, the subtitles spell Vincent's last name as "Vinson." Vincent's real name is "Vince Tenny," according to Keller.
- The way Ginnis goes flying over the hole in the stairway to grab Vincent is pretty remarkable, considering prior to this, the defeated Ginnis had all the energy of a wet noodle.
S03E23: Solitaire ★★★½
Original air date: March 13, 1975
Director: Seymour Robbie; Writer: Dorothy C. Fontana
Tony Lo Bianco plays Al Wozynsky, an undercover narcotics cop who spends months using the identity of Casella, "an independent dealer with good connections," setting up an encounter with some drug middle-men on his way to meet with the big boss of the local narco racket named Marks (Antony Carbone). But this meeting is interrupted by another cop named Tom Wellaman whose girl friend Alice (Rosanna Huffman), receptionist in the narcotics division, overheard a phone call from Wozynsky relating details about the meeting to his superior Lt. Pete Alizo (Norman Alden). Alice figured that she was helping her boy friend on his way to becoming a detective by passing information about the location to him, but Wellaman is shot dead during the gun battle that ensues. Keller and Stone, who have been driving nearby and discussing Keller's current girl friend, show up to provide support, but Keller is shot in the leg and ends up in the hospital. Wozynsky meets with Alizo and Chief of Detectives John Condon (William Bramley) and is assigned to work with Stone while Keller is recovering, an idea that Wozynsky does not like at all. He likes the idea even less after he meets with Artie (Eric Kilpatrick), a dope dealer who immediately recognizes Stone, sitting in his car nearby, as a cop. Wozynsky then tells Artie that he is also a cop, but promises Artie a deal if he will help him "clean up this junkyard." Soon after this, Artie is found dead, victim of a fatal overdose, which Wozynsky blames on Stone. Keller is finally released from the hospital and does a lot of snooping around on Wozynsky's background, discovering that it is very unlikely Wozynsky is on the take and more likely to take a bullet than take a bribe, the latter according to his ex-girl friend Mianna (the gorgeous Sabrina Scharf). Wozynsky uses the fact that he has been IDd as a cop to his advantage, offering to sell his badge to Marks. He shows up at Marks' place, where he is treated with extreme skepticism by the kingpin. Wozynsky is just about to be shot up with the same kind of heroin which killed Artie when Stone and Keller break down the door as Wozynsky is dispatching some of the thugs in the room with judo moves. On the way out, Wozynsky tells Stone and Keller "You guys still messing around in my life?" while winking at them.
Stone and Keller are driving and discussing the odds on a 49ers/Rams game when they see some dirty hippie crossing the street against the light. They stop and take the guy in after finding some pot in his pocket. Once the guy is in the car, we find out that it is Wozynsky! The three of them have a good laugh about this.
Another very good episode, with excellent acting even from the secondary characters like Tina Andrews as Artie's girl friend Millie. Lo Bianco gives a hyperactive performance in his dealings with his superiors and Stone, telling them things like "I work solo," "It's not gonna work," and "I know I'm not 'Mr. Personality'."
- Tony Lo Bianco is the only credited guest star during the opening credits, something unusual.
- Vic Perrin plays Wozynsky's father, who had a complete breakdown after the death of his wife years before. Perrin provided the ominous Control voice in the 1960's sci-fi series The Outer Limits and did voice work as well as acting in many other TV shows.
- There is a pretty funny scene when Stone meets with Keller, recovering in the hospital. Keller says he doesn't know much about Wozynsky, but Stone points out that Wozynsky has only had one partner, who was killed when the two of them were on a job together.
- According to Wozynsky, Stone was recognized by Artie because he has been a cop for "23 years shakin' doorknobs and flashin' a badge."
- At the beginning when Stone and Keller respond to Wellaman's call for backup, Stone tells dispatch they will "respond to code 406," but Malden's lips don't match what he is saying when he says "406."
- Is Tony Lo Bianco's moustache for real?!?
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