The Streets of San Francisco - Season 5 Episode Reviews

The Streets of San Francisco —
Season 5 Episode Reviews


Copyright ©2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Episodes without music credits use stock music.
Special Guest Stars are indicated with an asterisk (*).

WARNING: The following contains spoilers and the plots are given away!


SEASON ONE   SEASON TWO

SEASON THREE   SEASON FOUR

PILOT EPISODE    MAIN PAGE


SEASON 5 THEME MUSIC: Opening Credits • Opening Credits Extended (Episodes 1 & 2) • End Credits

RATINGS:
★★★★ = 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.

S05E01 & S05E02: The Thrill Killers ★★★
Original air date: September 30 & October 7, 1976
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Cliff Gould
"Buddy Boy" count: 1
Guest Stars: Michael Douglas*, Patty Duke Astin, Darleen Carr, Tina Chen, Jan Clayton, Susan Dey, Norman Fell, Gary Frank, Paula Kelly, Jim McMullan, Doris Roberts, James Shigeta, Barry Sullivan, Dick Van Patten, Joseph Wiseman

The show begins at a trial for two radical types, Nick and Marie Tannenger (Jonathan Lippe and Patricia Mattick), which has been going on for 14 weeks. Along with two others -- Winston Stiles (Gary Frank) and Gareth Foster -- they had invaded the home of an oil executive named Dauber, picked as a random symbol of the establishment. Dauber, his wife and daughter were all going to be kidnapped, but then the father fought back, with the result that he and the other two members of his family were all killed. Stiles is testifying for the prosecution that the two Tannengers did the killing, but they also shot Foster, who attempted to stop what was going on by getting in the way. Stone is present in the courtroom with Dan Robbins (Richard Hatch), his new partner, who was responsible for busting Nick Tannenger. The courtoom is thrown into an uproar when the Tannengers' attorney Banchik asks Stiles if the only reason he is co-operating with the prosecution to avenge the death of Foster, with whom he had a homosexual relationship. After court is adjourned, Keller, who has shown up, talks to Stone and Robbins about becoming an associate professor at Berkeley. It sounds like he is having second thoughts about being a cop because of a shooting he was involved with. Keller and Robbins, who are pals, have dinner that evening, where they further discuss Keller's decision. The next morning, four of the Tannengers' inner circle -- Susan Rosen (Patty Duke), Barbara Ross (Susan Dey), Gary Jelinek (Anthony Geary) and Arlen Washington (Ron Glass) -- kidnap the sequestered jury in the bus which is being used to take them back to the courtroom. The jury is driven to an abandoned military ship on the waterfront and an ultimatum is sent to the cops: "The Tannengers must be released at once. You will fly them, and those wishing to leave with them, to a free country of our choosing. You will pay a forfeit of five million dollars for the freedom of your 12 representatives. You have 33 hours to announce your compliance and to make all arrangements. At 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, if you have not agreed to our demands, the first of your jurors will be executed." When the bus is being driven away from the docks back to the "car barn," the cops see it and take pursuit, but Washington, the driver, manages to escape. The cops ask the Tannengers for help, but predictably this produces no results. Their lawyer Banchik is so disgusted by their response, he tells them "The two of you are the greatest argument for the death penalty I've ever seen." The cops figure they have an in because Barbara Ross has a young daughter. According to Barbara's mother (Marion Ross), the kid has been in the hospital for the last couple of weeks with a respiratory infection and her mother calls periodically to check on her. The police monitor the calls at the hospital, and eventually Barbara phones. They trace her call, amazingly fast, to a pay phone which Keller goes to check out. When he tries to apprehend Barbara, he is shot in the heart. Keller is rushed to the hospital, where his condition is perilous, but he survives. Meanwhile, conditions with the kidnapped jury are deteriorating. There are personality clashes among them, they are trying to figure ways to escape and they are freaking out because their captors are going to start executing them soon. The first one to die is Thurman Barber (Dick Van Patten), who is first forced to make a taped statement. Stone, who is in charge of the investigation, hears certain sounds on this tape which lead him to believe that the jury is being held somewhere on a ship. Only problem is, there are dozens of possibilities where this could be. Stiles is hypnotized by police shrink Lenny Murchison, and as the clock ticks away, he manages to give them enough information to suggest that the jurors are being held on one of the "dead ships" -- "empty, abandoned, in dry dock or in salvage" -- of which there are up to 200 in the harbor. Barbara's car is found on a specific dock, narrowing the choices down to five. A team of divers with special listening equipment which can further narrow down the search do their work, and Robbins dons skin-diving equipment and climbs up the anchor of the ship which is most likely to contain the jury. Not surprisingly, it does, and the kidnappers are confronted and busted just as they are on their way to execute more of the hostages.

EPILOG

Keller is released from the hospital. He tells Stone he has taken the job at Berkeley, where his class is full, and that he is going to miss Stone "a little bit." He then says to Robbins, "Take care of the big ape for us. He needs all the help he can get." After Keller leaves, Stone and Robbins get into an argument about who will drive. Stone tells him to cut out the "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" when addressing him and "Just do your job, keep your mouth shut until I tell you to do something."

REVIEW:

This is one major production, with several notable stars, aside from those mentioned above: James Shigeta as the prosecuting attorney, Ward Costello as Captain Roy Devitt (a role previously played by Tim O'Connor), James Hong, Hari Rhodes, Irene Tedrow, Van Williams and Kenneth Tobey. Stone's daughter Jeannie (Darlene Carr) is also present, and there is a suggestion that Stone hoped that his daughter and Keller would be an item at some point. Overall, the script and production values are high, but like with the original pilot episode for the show, things start to deteriorate a bit near the end. Everything is rushed, and not just because more hostages are in peril. Robbins suddenly reveals he is a scuba diver, he joins the frogmen who are planting sensors on the ships, and shimmies up the anchor (an interesting stunt) to save the day. As well, I found the foursome in charge of the kidnapping not to be particularly "radical." They seemed far too normal, not your typical "dirty hippie" left-wing types. You can see this when their followers are demonstrating after the two Tannengers leave the courtroom at the beginning of the show. The Tannengers themselves, the foursome who do the kidnapping (who are in the crowd) and the remainder of the protestors are all too "nice" looking. The terrorist types in the earlier episode Flags of Terror were well-dressed, but far more unhinged. I also don't understand why the title is "The Thrill Killers." These people are not out to kidnap and/or kill the jury members for kicks, but to make a political statement. Still, the interaction between the jury members being held hostage is interesting and we have good closure to Keller leaving the show.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The first part of this show ends with an Epilog, during which Keller is taken to the hospital. The second part begins with a brief "previously on" segment rehashing this epilog. Following this, the four acts of the second part are labelled ACT V, VI, VII and VIII.
  • In addition to the lengthy list of guest stars, which is so long that it required an extension of the opening theme, Michael Douglas appears as a special guest star, since he was leaving the show and moving on to establishing a film career.
  • Robbins is referred to multiple times during the show as "Dan." His full name is not revealed until part two when he introduces himself to Stone's daughter at the hospital where Keller has been taken.


S05E03: Dead or Alive ★★½
Original air date: October 21, 1976
Director: Michael Caffey; Writer: Burton Armus
Guest Stars: Howard Duff, Max Gail, Arlene Golonka, Paul Stevens, Alex Henteloff, Tom Bosley*

After Gail Dobbs (Lisa Eilbacher) is raped and murdered late one evening after finishing an outdoor tennis game, the cops determine her killer was Donald Wilton (the hulking Max Gail), who had parked his bread truck in the vicinity. After visiting with Stone, Gail's father Larry (Howard Duff), known as a "heavyweight" with "lots of money" posts a reward of one million dollars for the capture of Wilton dead or alive. Dobbs "bought a file clerk" in the police department for an "official record" of Wilton's arrest and gets a printer to run off five thousand copies of a wanted poster with Wilton's picture which is then plastered all over town. As a result, people are going crazy watching for Wilton, even forcefully grabbing people on the street who have a resemblance to him. Stone is fed up, listing various offense he intends to charge Dobbs with if Wilton is killed. Even Dobbs' lawyer George Driscoll (Paul Stevens), who accompanies him everywhere, thinks that Dobbs has gone too far. Wilton hides out in a warehouse, but is eventually discovered by a watchman. When another guy who wants to split the reward with this security guard shows up, the two of them fight, with the result the guard is shot and Wilton escapes with the guard's gun. Eventually getting fed up with all the attention he is receiving, Wilton phones the police where he talks to Eddie Clark (Tom Bosley), who has been involved with the case ever since the beginning when Gail was killed. After Wilton gives Clark a location where he will surrender, Clark calls Tom Springer (Ben Frank), an old friend who is not a policeman, and makes a deal to split the million dollar reward with him if Tom will go and apprehend Wilton. Only problem is, Tom has a gun, because he has heard that Wilton shot someone, and when he meets Wilton, the two of them struggle and Tom is shot, dying later in the hospital. After a lot of work, Robbins finds Wilton's mother (Claudia Bryar), who works in a home for senior citizens and is living under the name of Thompson. When they show up at the mother's place, Wilton is there, trying to fleece his mom for some money and her car, but he escapes. As he runs down the street, he is shot by some greedy citizen who is after the reward. Wilton is busted, but so is the man who shot him.

EPILOG:

Dobbs meets with Stone, telling him "let's let bygones be bygones." But Stone is disgusted, and tells Dobbs all the things that resulted from his desire for vengeance: a sailor who resembled Wilton and was badly beaten by a mob is in the hospital, the people who attacked him might go to jail, the watchman who was shot is on the critical list, Tom Springer is dead, Eddie Clark, who was going to retire in 11 months and 4 days after 24 years on the force, has had his career destroyed, the man who shot Wilton is up for charges, and Wilton himself is in the hospital. Dobbs gives Stone a lot of mouth, throwing his weight around, but Stone tells him that if Wilton dies, Dobbs will be charged with first degree murder. He says to Dobbs, "l'd get the best medical care for Wilton that your money can buy." As they leave, Robbins wonders if the D.A. can make such a charge stick, and Stone says "l don't think he knows. But he's gonna try, and we're gonna help."

REVIEW:

This show's script is by Burton Armus, a former New York police officer who wrote several scripts for Kojak and also starred on episodes of that show, where he acted as a technical advisor. This episode does a good job showing the hysteria which results from Dobbs' offer which seems a ridiculous amount of money for the times. But we have two characters who are kind of peripheral, another San Francisco cop in the form of Eddie Clark who we have never seen before and will never see again (for obvious reasons), and Dobbs' lawyer Driscoll, who doesn't seem to have any function other than reminding his client that what he is doing is foolish. Richard Hatch's chemistry with Karl Malden in this episode is insignificant, and at one point when Robbins has to drive a car in a big hurry, it looks like Hatch doesn't know how to drive (at least as smoothly as Michael Douglas used to do), reminding me of the way Maurice Evans drove in School of Fear.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The show is now divided into five acts instead of four. In this episode, the first teaser-like act is only 2 minutes and 49 seconds long. All the remaining fifth season shows will follow this format.
  • Wilton is seen hanging around a sleazy part of town with adult bookstores and a place called Gayety which offers hard core "fantasy fulfilled" for $1.99.
  • There are the usual large crowds in the background when filming. The one at the end cheers when the vigilante who shot Wilton is taken away in a squad car.
  • The merchant seaman named Paul Hartley who was attacked because of his resemblance to Wilton was discharged from his job on 9/2/76.
  • How does Stone know that Eddie was involved with Springer? Stone seems to know when Eddie wants to talk to him about what happened. Did Springer spill the beans before he died at the hospital?
  • Stone refers to Robbins' "carrot juice you drink." He addresses Robbins as "Daniel" near the end of the show.


S05E04: The Drop ★★
Original air date: October 28, 1976
Director: Harry Falk; Writers: Norman Lessing, Robert Malcolm Young; Music: John Peter Smalley
Guest Stars: Eugene Roche, Dabney Coleman, Joseph Hindy, Parker Stevenson

This is the second show in a row featuring a rich father which involves a large sum of money. In this one, Andy Horvath (Parker Stevenson) is kidnapped for ransom and his girl friend Tina Wells (Susan Pratt) is murdered as he is being nabbed. The international company where his father, Andrew Horvath Senior (Dabney Coleman), works has a policy not to pay ransom in cases like this, but it doesn't take long the father to acquiesce to the kidnappers' demand for a million dollars. The head kidnapper knows that Stone is listening in to calls made to Horvath Senior. Stone, who has been up for 36 hours, finally gets a brainstorm to listen to old interrogation recordings and see if they can match the voice on the current tapes. From one particular expression, Stone figures out the caller is Charlie Springer (Eugene Roche), who Stone helped put away a long time ago. According to the San Quentin prison psychiatrist, Springer is "a psycho-neurotic bordering on megalomania with prounounced homicidal tendencies." When Horvath Junior is put on the phone to assure his father that he is still alive, a train whistle is heard in the background. This results in narrowing down the location of the kidnappers to a place called Cogan's Point Crossing. Charlie wants Stone to be the drop, the man who handles the money, which is duly assembled and placed in two suitcases. Stone is "jerked around" big time going between different phone booths where Charlie is placing calls to direct him to the final location where the money is to be delivered. On the way there, suffering from major sleep deprivation, Stone runs into a truck, immobilizing his car, so he borrows the first vehicle which appears on the scene, saying it is a police emergency. Stone eventually connects with Charlie, who handcuffs him in a room where Andy Junior is being held. Stone manages to get himself free from a bed that he is attached to, and he and Junior knock out Charlie's two accomplices, Eddie (Joseph Hindy) and Willis (Martin Kove) and take their weapons. Charlie attempts to flee, but Stone follows him and shoots at his car using a gun from one of these two. The other cops, who have been tailing Stone, finally reach the cabin.

EPILOG:

Andy Junior is delivered home and his parents are grateful. Stone says there is only one thing he wants in the world at the moment: a bed. He asks Robbins to drive him home, but tells his partner he wants a full report on his desk the next morning. As they are about to leave, Robbins asks if he really wants that report, but Stone has passed out, asleep.

REVIEW:

This episode is not without interest, but the whole business about using the train whistle to pinpoint the kidnappers' location is really far-fetched. Near the end of the show as the cops are trying to figure out where Stone has disappeared to, there is the sound like a train whistle on the soundtrack at around 43:35, but nothing is made of this. The business with checking the tapes to find a voice matching Charlie's during the current phone calls is also difficult to understand -- how many of these tapes were there in the police department's archives, anyway? What is particularly dumb is when Charlie tells Eddie to "waste 'em both" near the end of the show, but Eddie suddenly yells out to Willis, who is in the other room, "Start sorting out the money. We'll split the money now, and then we'll waste 'em later." This merely proves what Stone said prior to this, that Eddie's two associates were "idiots," giving Stone an opportunity to get free while the three kidnappers go to the other room, duh! Hatch manages to get kind of excited during the chase at the end, but his yawning during the epilog, pretending to be tired like Stone, is just lame.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The music during the final chase is kind of jazzy. The composer is John Peter Smalley, this is his only score for the show.
  • Stone addresses Robbins as "Daniel" twice.


S05E05: No Minor Vices ★★½
Original air date: November 4, 1976
Director: William Wiard; Writer: Arthur Bernard Lewis
Guest Stars: Maureen McCormick, Lou Frizzell, James Olson*

In S01E02, James Olson was a religious crackpot killing prostitutes. In this show, he is Vic Lawson, a micro-managing father killing men who have been screwing his 18-year-old daughter who has become a prostitute. The daughter, Cindy, is played by Maureen McCormick who was Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch! As he murders two of her clients, Hal O'Brien (Glenn Sipes), a photographer, and Mel Hollingsworth, a businessman, he calls them "scum" and "corruptor," so obviously he knows what his daughter is up to. Aside from being a hooker, Cindy is a high school student who takes time off from her classes to pose as an advertising model and appear in display booths at trade shows. Lawson wants to move to another job located out of San Francisco and to take his daughter with him, away from the city's "moral decay," which she resists. After Cindy is grilled by Stone and Robbins and smirkingly tells them that she is of legal age, Robbins drives her home. He gives her some friendly advice and she gives him a kiss, which is witnessed by her father who pursues Robbins in his car and takes a shot at him, wounding him in the shoulder, thinking that Robbins is Harry Delman (Lou Frizzell), her most recent customer. Seeing her father becoming more and more controlling (not to mention deranged), and knowing that he has shot O'Brien and Hollingsworth, she goes to Delman's company and tells him to get out of town. Her father tracks her down by asking questions of her answering service and shows up to add Delman to his list of victims, but so do Stone and Robbins. Lawson is wounded in an exchange of gunfire and he is taken into custody.

EPILOG:

Cindy leaves the police station with Stone and Robbins. Robbins has his arm in a sling. Stone tells Cindy her father will probably have to stand trial, but it sounds like he is in a mental hospital because he is "under observation." Cindy says she still loves her father. Robbins tells her that her father blamed the men he killed or tried to kill when she was just as much at fault as they were. Cindy says that she will move in with her aunt in town so she can finish high school and continue with her modelling career. In an awkward exchange, Stone gives her "a little bit of fatherly advice," that she is bright and attractive and has a great future as a model, if only she (dot, dot, dot). Stone adds, "Now you know what l'm trying to say. Why don't you give up that kind of life?" All she can say is "Why?" The show ends with a closeup of Cindy's ass shaking as she walks away from them, and as she goes out of the frame, the camera suddenly focuses on a street sign in the background which says "DO NOT ENTER - WRONG WAY." Puh-leeze, this is as almost as bad as the pun in the title of the episode!

REVIEW:

This is another process-of-elimination episode, with the cops trying to figure out why the two murders (plus one of a man named Walter Reeves who was shot 8 days before; he was also connected to Cindy) are all related. Some of the dialog in this show is pretty rank. You would expect Stone to be shocked when Cindy tells him "You don't understand that sex isn't such a big deal." He isn't as preachy as you might expect, and Cindy gets the best of him at the end of the show, where Stone is left sputtering away. Sure, she may be "legal" in terms of her age, but what were the laws regarding prostitution in San Francisco in the mid-1970s? There was an opportunity for an "AHA" moment when we realize that Olson is Cindy's father which is wasted. Hatch's acting in the show is pretty bad, but his part is badly written. There is an embarrassing moment when Robbins is interviewing a woman named Frazier (Terrence O'Connor), the boss of Cindy's modelling agency. Robbins makes a big deal out of calling her "Ms." rather than "Miss." She asks him if he has ever done any moonlighting, because he has the makings of a model, and he replies "I was hoping you had something else in mind." When she tells him "l'm sort of married," he replies "That's too bad." You have to think how Keller would have dealt with this situation!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • After O'Brien's murder, Stone and Robbins are seen hanging out with a private detective named Bill Korman (Roy Applegate), who was hired by O'Brien's wife because she suspected that he was having an affair. Korman gives a copy of O'Brien's "little black book" (which is actually red in color) to the two cops, with no indication of how he got it or why the cops are even with him in the first place.
  • Hollingsworth, the salesman, is from White Falls, a bogus town in Northern California near the Oregon border. Stone has to take a plane there to talk to the local Sheriff Groves (Buck Young) as well as Hollingsworth's wife. Hollingsworth's address was 1845 Ferndale Drive, Whitefalls (that's how it's spelled on his hotel bill), CA 94133. 94133 is actually a ZIP code in San Francisco. You have to wonder how Lawson gets there so he can knock off Hollingsworth -- does he also take a plane?
  • Stone wonders to the White Falls sheriff if Hollingsworth was "a closet plunger," meaning a gambler.
  • Hollingsworth's bill from when he was in San Francisco at an appliance dealers' convention at the Larchmont Hotel on August 8 and 9, 1976 shows some real-looking phone numbers -- 249-5747 and 282-9069 -- but also a bogus one for Cindy, 555-3545, which is matched up with a number in O'Brien's "little book." Hollingsworth's wife says he was at the hotel on Thursday and Friday, but these two days were actually Sunday and Monday.
  • Reeves, a professional gambler who was shot and killed on 9/4/76, was connected to O'Brien through a poker game. Cindy tells Stone there were thousand dollar bills on the table at the game, which is interesting, because these bills were officially discontinued on July 14, 1969, by the Federal Reserve System, due to "lack of use."
  • Cindy's boy friend Jim Foster (Peter Davies), who her father says has "tight pants," gives her a lift home in his 1976 Ford Maverick (thanks to Mike Timothy for IDing the car).
  • Delman meets Cindy at the Hastings Hotel, phone number 555-2300. The bell captain at this hotel (Bert Rosario) and those at a couple of others identify Cindy as being a call girl.
  • Ginger Matson (Emmaline Henry), the boss at Cindy's paging service, makes a big noise when Stone and Robbins ask for information about Cindy, saying that it is confidential. But someone from there (it may not be her specifically) has no problem about telling Cindy's father that she has gone to see Delman (including her phone number) when he phones pretending to be someone from an advertising agency that has to get in touch with her immediately regarding a modelling job.
  • As Lawson is breaking down the door at Delman's company (which makes aircraft survival equipment), Delman tries to call the cops, but asks out loud, "How do I ask for police protection because I've been seeing a teenage hooker?"
  • When Robbins brings Cindy home, it is raining, but in subsequent scenes a few minutes later, when Robbins is being pursued by her father, the streets are dry and it is sunny out.
  • In a heated exchange near the end of the show, Lawson tells Cindy he caught her mother in bed with another man when Cindy was 7 years old. Following this, the mother ran away with this guy, but there is a suggestion that Lawson killed him too. There is no mention of what happened to Cindy's mother.


S05E06: In Case of Madness ★★½
Original air date: November 11, 1976
Director: Barry Shear; Writer: John W. Bloch
Guest Stars: Desi Arnaz Jr., Jess Walton, Conrad Janis, Lazaro Perez, Betsy Slade

B.J. and the Rainmakers, a rock group fronted by B.J. Palmer (Desi Arnaz Jr.) is rehearsing. Dave Breen (Conrad Janis), who owns the studio where they are playing, shows up and tells them that he is fed up with the kind of music they are making, which he likens to "hallelujah singing" from the "two-bit church" where discovered B.J. There is a physical confrontation between Breen and B.J., but the rest of the group separate them. Breen suggests that B.J. is "acting crazy" because he wants to break the three-year contract he has with the group and they will then sign with another producer named Earl North. Breen kicks the group out of the studio. Later that evening, the building security guard Chuck Moran (John Beal) finds Breen dead. There is no record of B.J. signing out of the building, so he is number one suspect in the murder, but Moran, who is a lush, was very drunk around this time (and is later fired from his job over his drinking). Stone and Robbins go to B.J.'s hotel room, but he has gone to see his doctor, a neurosurgeon named Kevin Morely (Stuart Moss, uncredited) because he is having blackouts and violent episodes (depicted by the camera using a weird lens). B.J. wonders if these states are the result of what the doctor describes as "hereditary degeneration." Lois Flynn (Jess Walton), who acts as a den mother/tour booker/road manager for the Rainmakers, comes to Stone's office. She tells him that B.J. has a wife, Donna (Cassie Yates), and a son Ricky, from who he is estranged. B.J. lives separate from the other musicians, who live in a "mansion" that they bought by pooling their money. The three of them go to this place, where Little Jo (Mwako Cumbuka), the bass guitarist, tells the cops that Breen "wanted us to stick to hard rock, but B.J. -- he wanted to do things with a little soul." Stone and Robbins ask the group questions, but don't get any solid leads. Later, Lois meets B.J. in front of the San Francisco City Hall. B.J. wanted her to track down his father regarding his condition, assuming his father was dead, but Lois tells B.J. his father is still alive. When they go to an old folks' home where his father is staying, B.J. is shocked to see that his father, who is suffering from dementia and, according to the doctor, "hasn't known anyone in over 20 years," looks like a zombie. Stone puts out an APB for B.J., who appears to be avoiding them. Tipped off by Lois, Stone and Robbins go to see Morely, who refuses to discuss B.J.'s condition because of patient confidentiality. The group is just about ready to go to Breen's funeral when they get word that B.J. has signed a contract with North (Tom Stewart). Sheryl (Betsy Slade), who is a gofer for the group, knows that Vince Perez (Lazaro Perez), the drummer, lied about when he left the studio, and is concerned that the cops will think that B.J. killed Breen so he could hook up with North. Sheryl goes to B.J.'s to talk to him about this, but when she arrives there, she is run over by someone with a "borrowed" car. Stone and Robbins confront B.J. at the funeral. He has an alibi for the time of Sheryl's killing, but cannot remember what happened the night Breen was murdered. Stone says, "We never had a better suspect and less to book him on." The group goes to Nelson's studio where they spend all night, making a record which Nelson says is "bar none, the finest album l have ever made." B.J. heads home and calls his wife to say that their album is finished, suggesting that she will benefit from its royalties. He passes out, and, presumably alerted by Donna, Stone and Robbins soon arrive at B.J.'s room. He is taken to Franklin Hospital, babbling that he killed Breen. Stone discounts this confession, saying that B.J. is not sure what happened, and that he suspects Sheryl saw who really killed Breen and that's why she was silenced. Stone calls Lois and tells her to come to the hospital, because B.J. tried to kill himself which might be tantamount to a confession of guilt. When Lois arrives, she goes to B.J.'s room with Robbins. B.J. tells her that he killed Breen, but she says, "No, B.J., you didn't kill him." Based on information they have just received from Tanner, Robbins confronts Lois with the fact that she went by cab to B.J.'s hotel and left it by another cab around the time of Sheryl's murder and then was the last person to arrive at the funeral. Stone reads Lois her rights, but she blabs away, saying that she loved B.J. and Breen had fired her, "So I went to the studio, and I did what I had to do." Stone tells her to wait for her lawyer.

EPILOG:

B.J. has had an operation to remove the tumor which was causing his blackouts. He has been reunited with his wife. Before Stone and Robbins go, B.J. gives them a copy of their latest album, which, according to Donna, has been "four weeks on the charts, and it's 16 with a bullet." Stone has no idea what she is talking about. Robbins has to clue him in that it means "a mark that says a record's hot."

REVIEW:

This episode is a bit better, aside from the rock music, which is pretty awful (there is no credit for this at the end of the show, the score is the usual stock tracks). The music takes up about a minute at the beginning of the show and a montage of several songs for 47 seconds (it seems much longer) when they are in Nelson's studio. The writers are going out of their way to get Robbins more "involved" in the plot, like when he tells Stone he recalls the year before he dealt with a call where "Moran was working as a guard at a junk shop. He got sloshed and let a heist be pulled right under his nose." After Stone and Robbins talk to Vince, who is tending the flower garden outside the group's mansion, Robbins tells Vince that he is making a mistake, because he has a shade azalia which is in the sun. Robbins pulling the plug out of the group's instruments to get their attention at the mansion seems kind of harsh. At the end of the show, where B.J.'s head has been shaved and is bandaged, Robbins' comment that B.J. will have to rename his group "Melonhead and the Rainmakers" is dumb.

MORE TRIVIA:


S05E07: "Till Death Do Us Part" ★★★★
Original air date: November 18, 1976
Director: William Wiard; Writer: John D.F. Black
Guest Stars: Jessica Walter, Michael Baseleon, John Milford, Harry Guardino*

Ben Jarris (Harry Guardino) is a New Jersey-based lawyer and financial consultant who has laundered and invested over $640 million in racket money in the last four years for people who got it from gambling, prostitution, and counterfeiting, among other things. When he hears that the Mob is coming after him, Ben calls his wife Maggie (Jessica Walter), who is also his secretary, and tells her to get out of town fast. Ben is kidnapped shortly after this, and his wife assumes that he is dead. She flees to Chicago to stay with her brother- and sister-in-law Marty and Ann Jarris (Al Rossi and Hope Alexander-Willis), but the mob knows she is there because Marty tells them so during a phone call. (Marty and Ann are found brutally murdered later.) Maggie then flies to San Francisco and meets with Stone, who she knows was offered a bribe of $25,000 to lay off a dope dealer, but because he refused to go on the take, he is considered an honest cop. She has copies of contracts, deed transfers, checks, every document she and her husband ever handled, all on slides. Stone contacts some federal agents he knows and they will meet with her soon, but in the meantime, she has to be protected. For the first night, Maggie stays at Stone's place in his daughter's bedroom, but by the next morning, there is already a tap on Stone's home phone. When Stone leaves his office later, he is followed by a couple of thugs. They are busted, but they have no ID and won't utter a word down at the station house. Stone figures that if they are so dumb (literally) they don't know their own name, they are not mentally competent to be turned loose and should be evaluated in a state hospital for 30 days. Stone doesn't know who he can trust, and he hears that some high-priced hit men are converging on the area. Maggie is taken to a safe location, but soon after she arrives, someone is calling the place, which no one knows about. In the garage below this building, the car Stone was using is wired with a bomb, which seriously injures one of the cops from the detail guarding Maggie. Stone sets up another safe house, but some guy cleaning cars in the police parking lot puts a bug on his car. At the new location, Maggie spills lots of beans regarding people in photos which Lt. Ed Crowley (John Milford) got from the FBI, and provides information about a corporation in San Francisco. A guy named Turkle (Michael Baseleon) pretending to be a milk truck driver figures out where Maggie is hiding because of the bug. After the picture show is over, Stone leaves to investigate a tip that he got a phone call about, and Turkle shows up at the safe house. He kills one of Maggie's two guards by firing through the door, and the second guard is also killed, but Maggie shoots Turkle dead using the first cop's gun. Stone goes to the meeting place, 616 West Grover Avenue, to find that Ben is still alive, and he wants to meet with Maggie to get the slides back. He and Stone are just about ready to leave when Maggie shows up by cab. Ben tries to run away, but he is shot dead by mob sharpshooters on nearby rooftops who brought him to San Francisco. Several cops show up to take care of these guys. Maggie runs to Ben, but he is dead.

EPILOG:

At the airport, Maggie meets with federal agent John Andalla, who will take her back to Washington, D.C. to testify. Then she will be given a new name, a new identity and maybe even plastic surgery. Maggie doesn't suspect she will live a long time, but Stone bets her a buck that she will. Maggie says that if he wins the bet, he has to take the buck and buy himself a dry martini, which will likely taste better than the crappy coffee which she had at Stone's house. As she leaves on a government jet, Stone tells Robbins "If you ever find a girl like Maggie, marry her."

REVIEW:

This is an excellent show, well acted, directed and especially photographed -- for example, the shot at the end of Act V with Maggie holding Ben's dead body and the Transamerica Building in the distance. While Harry Guardino gets special guest star mention, he is hardly in the show, but at least his part is longer than that of Michael Baseleon, who plays the milk truck driver and has only a few brief lines. Robbins is OK in this show, and lends his ear to Maggie when they are walking near the harbor before she starts to play safe house roulette.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Stone tells Maggie that his "federal attorney friend [presumably meaning Andalla] ... said he's flying in this afternoon to take [her] into his custody." Assuming this is the same day that Ben is killed, Maggie seems to recover very quickly from her husband's demise.
  • Canadian content: One of the crooks Maggie identifies in the photo show is a Canadian timber broker. She also sees a picture of Ben and his mistress.
  • The plane Maggie leaves on at the end of the show is a U.S. Air Force plane, but it is kind of small in size, probably just used for transporting government witnesses and so forth.


S05E08: Child of Anger ★★½
Original air date: December 2, 1976
Director: David Whorf; Writer: Charles Larson
Guest Stars: Dorothy Malone, Leslie Ackerman, Jerry Douglas, Guy Stockwell, Tom Drake, Steve Sandor

Julia Desmond (Dorothy Malone) is a middle-aged, well-known couturier or fashion designer (the actress was 50 years old when the show was broadcast). She has a thing for younger men, including her current squeeze Jerry Stillman (Pat Renella). Julia's daughter Melanie (Leslie Ackerman) arrives at her mother's company to have lunch, but Julia is abusive, calling Melanie "dumpling," and ridiculing her clothing and hair. Stillman also shows up, asking for $50,000 to pay off money he lost during a horse race. When Julia tells Johnny to get lost, he belts her in the face and gives her a violent kiss just as Melanie opens the door to her mother's office. Melanie follows Johnny outside to a parking lot where two thugs -- Ken Manning (Steve Sandor) and Ethan Prince (Jerry Douglas) -- employed by Frank Kyd (Guy Stockwell), the guy to whom Jerry is indebted, show up to tell him his loan is overdue. There is a struggle and Stillman is shot dead. His body is later found in a park near the Golden Gate Bridge. Stone and Robbins get a tip from some mysterious guy in a shadowy warehouse connecting Stillman with Julia, saying "He worked her over the other day" (how anyone would know this is difficult to understand, considering Julia's office door was closed when this happened). They go to visit Julia at her company, just as she is giving her daughter more abuse. When the two cops grill Julia in her office, Melanie is listening at the door. At a climactic moment, Melanie bursts into the room to say that she was the one who knocked off Stillman. At Stone's office, in the presence of her mother and her mother's lawyer Ira Foster (Booth Colman), Melanie explains how she killed Stillman and correctly identifies the gun that she supposedly used from an assortment of weapons. Both Stone and Robbins are skeptical about Melanie's story. Out on bail, Melanie invites members of the press to her house where she proceeds to dispense dirt on her mother's relationship with Stillman and other men. Kyd is not happy about what has transpired, because Melanie really knows what happened and could blab to the cops at any time. He tells Prince to get Manning to take care of Melanie. Stone and Robbins bring Stillman's Porsche to Melanie's place and ask her to demonstrate how she took his body to the park. She is unable to drive the car (a stick shift) and how she manipulated Stillman's body (which weighed 180 pounds) into the car is not believable. Meanwhile, Manning refuses to knock off Melanie, telling Prince to do the job himself, so Prince shoots Manning, who is perceived as a liability to the operation. After Prince leaves, Manning, who is barely alive, drives the car crazily down several San Francisco hills, eventually crashing into a truck as he dies. Stone and Robbins are at the point where they are almost totally discounting everything Melanie has told them so far. Melanie's father Hank (Tom Drake), who is divorced from Julia, wants to let his daughter come and stay with him. As they leave a park where they have met, Prince nearly runs over and kills them with his car. Melanie finally tells her mother what she thinks of her, that she is tired of being humiliated, but says she can stop everything that has transpired because she knows who really killed Stillman. She leaves home for her father's, but Prince is following her, because he intends to finish the job that Manning wouldn't. Her father is not home when she arrives at his place. Prince enters via an open window and is about to kill Melanie when Stone and Robbins, acting on a tip from Julia, show up and Prince is shot dead.

EPILOG:

At her mother's house, Melanie is apologetic, telling Stone and Robbins "I should've told you the truth from the beginning. [...] I guess I had to learn things the hard way." She tells her mother she is sorry, too. As they leave, Stone and Robbins discuss why is it everybody has to learn the hard way, whether parents might know what is best for their children, whether being young doesn't always make you wrong and whether being older always doesn't make you right.

REVIEW:

This show would have been better if we were given more examples of Julia's abusive behavior towards her daughter before Stillman's murder and the daughter herself had been more revengeful towards her "insensitive" mother, even to the point of being psychotic. The actress playing Melanie is far too bland. There is more emotion in the last few minutes of the show with Melanie screaming her head off as Prince is trying to kill her than anything that preceded it.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • The whole sequence around the killing of Stillman is ridiculous. Melanie witnesses the whole thing, and in one shot from the reverse of her, it is pretty obvious that both Manning and Prince should be able to easily see her.
  • When they find Stillman's body in the park, Robbins tells Stone he is going to make a mold of a tire track nearby. If so, why didn't they compare this to Stillman's car, which Melanie supposedly drove there (but actually did not -- he was dumped there by Manning and Prince).
  • Julia smokes when Stone firsts interviews her; he pulls out a lighter for her cigarette.
  • Stone resists when Robbins wants to give him some "nice red clover tea."
  • Melanie gives the story about her mother to a reporter from the San Francisco Gazette, but when it finally appears in print, it is in the San Francisco Dispatch.
  • Melanie's father lives at 2310 Division Street.


S05E11: One Last Trick ★★
Original air date: January 6, 1977
Director: Kenneth Gilbert; Writers: Chris Kazan, Gloria Goldsmith & Jack B. Sowards
Guest Stars: Lee Purcell, Michael Bell, Peter Brown, Sherry Jackson, Richard Lenz

Despite Stone's objections, former hooker Carol Revson (Lee Purcell) goes undercover to find out why her friend Joy Adams (Sherry Jackson), who she introduced to the trade, was murdered. Joy was sharing her $1,000-a-month apartment with a traffic division cop named Lane Jarvis (Gordon Pinkney) who was doing some undercover work on his own to help his girl friend escape from her lifestyle. At the beginning of the show, Jarvis is taking snapshots of "new faces" on a yacht in the harbor with a zoom lens. Shortly after this, he is blown up in an explosion triggered by Arthur Parker, who works for Carl Halsey (Phillip Pine), boss of the prostitution racket. Joy's returning to her former occupation causes a lot of friction with her boyfriend Dave (Rick Lenz), considering the two of them are supposed to be married in a couple of weeks. When Joy first meets Halsey, he slaps her around, telling her that she now works for him, not for her former pimp Nick Malone (Michael Bell), who is one of his employees. Carol ends up working at a party where she and several other hookers have been contracted. She has to find some way to get the cops involved, but Inspector Brady from Vice (Peter Brown) tells her they can't just bust a private party. When Carol mentions one of the girls named Sheila (Deirdre Berthrong) is only 17 years old, the police are quick to show up and shut things down. Stone and Robbins arrive and pursue Parker, who is wounded and arrested. After they take Joy home, Halsey is waiting for her in her apartment. She screams a lot and Stone and Robbins rush back and rescue her.

EPILOG:

Carol meets with Stone and Robbins. Robbins tells her she was helpful, but also "a pain in the neck, a thorn in my side, [and] a great cause for concern." Halsey will be charged with attempted murder. A delivery man brings her a bouquet of ragweed, a joke between her and her boyfriend. Stone is incredulous.

REVIEW:

Despite the fact that Lee Purcell is a major babe (and still is these days), this episode is full of problems. For example, how does Parker know that Jarvis will be exactly beside the place where the bomb goes off on the docks? When Stone and Robbins show up after the bust at the party near the end of the show, Parker is suddenly running through a room in the building and they chase after him before he is shot and wounded. (It looks like something was cut out here.) I could predict the finale with Halsey in Carol's room at the end a mile away. Robbins' relationship with Carol is badly written and badly acted by Hatch. She is obviously pissed off by him. When they first meet, he puts his foot in his mouth because he wonders if she was also a hooker like Joy at one time. Eventually they decide to put their differences aside and work together. But prior to this, Robbins seems unduly agitated about Carol helping them. Stone tells him that "She has you pegged as a square. Now, why don't you leave it that way?" and rushes out, leaving Robbins brooding. There are questions at the end, like will Parker be charged with the murder of Joy and Jarvis, and will Vincent, the sales manager for the company who ordered the party, testify that Halsey solicited prostitution?

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Carol, wearing an outfit including orange hot pants, is busted after she goes back to work outside the Golden Peacock Greek Restaurant. A trick is only 10 bucks, reduced from 20 because she likes the client's face! When she is being booked, Robbins gets all antsy. Chewing gum like it's going out of style, she tells him, "I don't have time for you now, honey. But you come back when your girlfriend's asleep." Brady tells Stone she was booked for "working the street," and he replies, "She never worked the street a day in her life." What does he mean by this? She was a hooker before! [In the Other TV Shows Discussion Forum, George suggests "It means that she had been the high class type, not on the streets, and/or that Stone could see that she wasn't experienced, based on that $10 incident, etc."] By the way, how does Nick know to come and bail her out?
  • Halsey's hit man is named Parker in the show, but there is no one in the credits with this name.
  • Halsey is first identified by A.D. Fletcher (Cass Martin), a tax consultant whose business card was found in Joy's effects after she was killed and dumped in the harbor. Fletcher says that he used to do Joy's taxes, but "all [he] did was check out her math." Considering he used to work for the IRS, she wanted him to find out anything he could about Halsey. Would a tax preparer have this kind of access?
  • As Stone and Robbins are talking to Fletcher, in the background is the Alhambra movie theater at 2330 Polk Street. It is showing Creature from Black Lake, Lifeguard and Harold and Maude.
  • Parker is seen in a sleazy part of town where there are businesses like "XX Rated Girls" and "Exotic Live Acts: Topless Lady Wrestlers."


S05E12: Monkey Is Back ★★★½
Original air date: January 13, 1977
Director: Richard Lang; Writer: Sean Baine
Guest Stars: Gary Lockwood, Fred Sadoff, Art Metrano*

Twenty years ago when he was attending Fairmont High School, Charley Belasco (Gary Lockwood) wanted to join a gang called The Saints. As an initiation, he had to rob a liquor store. But a clerk got killed, and Belasco went to jail for 20 years. Now that he is out of jail, he is taking revenge on members of the gang. The first two to die, Brockton, a mechanic, and Grogan, a school teacher, were shot dead with a zip gun the previous month. This is a homemade firearm which does not lend itself to typical forensic analysis examining the characteristics of bullets left behind at a crime scene. The latest victim is Frank Jennings (Earl Boen), a wino. After killing these men, Belasco spray paints the word "Monkey" (his high school nickname) nearby. Belasco has a bad temper, which caused him to recently blow up when he was not allowed to join his company's bowling team. As well, he does not get along well with his boss at Luce & Company Meats where he works, and when he starts to argue with the boss about taking time off and then attacks the boss with a club, he is fired. Belasco's next victim is Joseph Ness (Hal England), a banker at Bayshore Civic Savings. He is killed in the steam room at the YMCA and "Monkey" is again written on the wall. Stone and Robbins do the usual process-of-elimination detective work, searching for the common denominator among the dead men. They get a lead that a local hood named Tony Pellegrino (Art Metrano) goes by the nickname of "Gorilla." They tail him and discover instead that he is involved with a string of robberies where a victim is phoned, told to take the money out of the cash register and bring it out of the store in a paper bag, so at least that particular case is solved. They pick Pellegrino up at a massage parlor run by his girl friend. Stone and Robbins figure out that all of Monkey's victims went to Fairmont High. They go there, talk to an administrator and look through a bunch of annuals. They then compare the information they got with their own gang files, and find that eight of The Saints are still living in San Francisco. Police shrink Lenny Murchison (Fred Sadoff) provides helpful ideas relating to graffiti including "Monkey" written on a wall 20 years ago, as well as a handwriting analyst who says whoever is writing "Monkey" is "just as frustrated and angry today" as he was when he was in school. The next person on the list of potential victims, who are being knocked off in alphabetical order, is Alex Poore, who passed away two months before. When they go to his grave, they find Monkey's signature spray-painted on it. The following victim is likely going to be Timothy J. Rossiter, a financier. Stone and Robbins visit him, suggesting that he "stay in for a few days," but Rossiter pooh-poohs this idea because the next evening, Fairmont High is having its 20th anniversary reunion which he intends to attend. Stone, Robbins and other cops work undercover at this event where Belasco shows up, using someone else's name, and lures Rossiter into the kitchen on the pretext of meeting the school's head cheerleader who he had the hots for. Describing Rossiter as "the worst" of the gang, Belasco shoots him, but fortunately the cops have provided Rossiter with a bulletproof vest. Stone and Robbins are quick to arrest Belasco who calls everyone "creeps" as he is taken away.

EPILOG:

Stone and Robbins meet Murchison near a hot dog place which he says is the best in town. (Stone met him there earlier in the episode and threw his hot dog in the harbor because he did not agree with this opinion.) Murchison says that he is working on a book about graffiti, inspired by the help he gave the two cops during the show. He says the title of the book, which is a graffiti we saw earlier, is "Support Your Local Police ... Steal." Stone says, "You know, you've got taste, just like this hot dog," and he gives his and Robbins' weenie to Murchison.

REVIEW:

This show has a premise that I'm sure many of us have thought about -- of getting even with those people who made our high school years miserable. I know I have ... though I didn't spend 20 years in jail to increase my level of anger. The episode has a logical script with a focus on the process of how the crime is solved, and good acting.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • There is a very funny scene at the reunion where a woman named Betty Johnson (Francine York) puts the mash on Stone, who is pretending to be a teacher, saying that she goes for the "older, more mature type of man."
  • When Belasco is looking up his victims in the phone book, this appears to be a real phone book; at least there are no typical bogus "555" numbers in it.
  • The landlady for the late Alex Poore's apartment helps the police to create a sketch of Belasco, who showed up looking for him, but isn't very helpful because she wasn't wearing her glasses when she met Belasco. She tells Tanner and the sketch artist, "Glasses make you look older, don't you think?"
  • As an alibi for when Jennings was killed, Pellegrino says he watching porno at the Double-X Theater, "all that kinky stuff." Stone laughs himself silly when he finds out the movie which Pellegrino says he was watching was seized by the vice squad prior to its showing that evening.
  • When Stone wonders if Rossiter's crush showed up, Robbins suggests she is a tub ... but he is just joking.


S05E17: Innocent No More ★★★
Original air date: February 24, 1977
Director: Kenneth Gilbert; Writer: William Robert Yates
Guest Stars: Darleen Carr, John Lehne, Roy Poole, Jordan Rhodes, Frank Marth, Mark Hamill*

A gang of punk kids called The Jackals is terrorizing old people, attacking them on the streets and breaking into their homes to brutalize them and steal their possessions. In just two months, this gang has committed 42 acts of robbery, assault, burglary and felony animal torture. Most of the kids in this gang are underage, so they will only get a slap on the wrist for their misdeeds. At the beginning of the show, they commit a home invasion where an elderly woman named Mrs. Helen King dies. Two gang members, Paul T. Brown (uncredited actor) and 16-year-old Billy Wilson (Mark Hamill) are nabbed outside on the street. Billy's father Bob (Frank Marth), a building contractor, ex-city supervisor and "a real close friend" of Stone's, is quick to get to the police station to take his son home. Wilson says that his son is "innocent" and "a very good boy." He blames his son's problems on "bussing kids from one area to another area" with the result being kids like Billy will mix with "hardened criminals." Wilson wants Stone to talk to the D.A. and drop the charges "in the interest of justice." Stone tells Wilson that the juvenile court where Billy will be tried is just a “civil proceeding,” but Wilson wants all charges against his son dropped. Stone asks how can he release one suspect and let the other one go? Wilson leaves the office in a huff, saying “I thought I had a friend.” Robbins tells Stone the juvenile system stinks, because if Billy were 21, he would be charged with felony murder and would be put away for life. Tanner tells Robbins that Billy is “guilty as sin” because his prints were everywhere inside the King house. When Billy and his lawyer, Harry Clark (Roy Poole) meet with Stone the next day, Billy gives him some bullshit story about how he was inside the house selling newspaper subscriptions three days ago to Mrs. King, who was a “real nice lady” showed him antique things all over her house. Outside later, Clarke tells Stone that he is paid to believe what Billy is saying, and that it is unlikely a murder charge will stick because it is now known that Mrs. King died of a heart attack and “the D.A. couldn’t get manslaughter on it.” (This was not the case in S04E13, Spooks For Sale, where a security guard died of a heart attack while attending to a break-in.) The cops get a break when a witness who almost ran into one of the gang kids named Tommy Dido (Cosie Costa) the night before IDs him from a mug shot. Robbins tells Stone that while Billy has never been convicted for anything, he has been arrested five times for suspicion of assault, battery, grand theft and once for extortion. The two of them go to the crime scene, where Stone speaks to Mr. King (Bill Quinn) who tells Stone that he knows it’s hard to prove a case, adding “Whatever the law says, it’s God’s will. They’re only children. One can’t blame them.” The forensics people recover a strand of hair at the King house, as well as a guitar string that was used to tie the wife up. Carl Evans (John Lehne), a reporter from KBAY-TV, enters the story at this point, wanting Stone to make a statement, but Stone has nothing to say. Evans mentions the fact that Billy’s father is a golf partner of Judge Brewster, who will be presiding over Billy’s trial. Later, the assistant district attorney Jerry Billings (Jordan Rhodes) suggests to Stone that he is getting pressure from higher up regarding this case, including Brewster, about the possibility the kids arrested will be tried in adult court. Stone goes to talk to Joseph Hess (Jack Donner), the principal at Billy’s school, who describes the kid as “disturbed and violent.” Hess tried to talk to Billy’s parents, but they are both in denial. A student at the school whose back Billy cut up is willing to testify against him in court. Tommy Dido is arrested, and Stone tells Robbins to book him for first degree murder: “I want that whole gang of hoodlums charged as adults.” Billy goes to court in front of Judge Mildred Byrnes (Winifred Mann), who is regarded as lenient, but, surprisingly, after Stone makes a speech saying that the punishment should match the crimes, and that “if we don’t show these vicious juveniles that they can’t get away with murder, there there’s no system of law that can govern this city,” the judge rules that Billy is “not a fit and proper subject for juvenile jurisdiction,” and that Billy must be remanded to the adult division for criminal proceedings. Henry Brown (Don Stark), leader of The Jackals and Billy’s brother, makes a threatening call to Stone’s daughter, who is visiting her father, threatening to kill her. After this, Billy tells Stone he will give him the names of everyone in the gang if he gets total immunity, but Stone says no deal. Henry phones Stone at the station, threatening him as well. Stone rushes home to find his house is trashed, and Jeannie is missing. Fortunately, she was just out shopping, but The Jackals have taken and killed a dog that Jeannie was house-sitting for a neighbor. Billy goes to adult court, but when the issue of bail comes up, Billings is told not to object. This happens, and Billy walks, which is a ruse by the cops so they can follow Billy and he will lead them to the other gang members. The cops tail Billy to the gang’s hideout on the docks, but King is also tailing him. King takes potshots at the Jackals’ clubhouse with a rifle from a nearby building, but despite this, the cops round up all the gang members including Billy. A search warrant is executed at the Wilsons’ house and recovers a guitar missing one string, the same one which was used to bind Mrs. King. At Billy’s preliminary hearing, things don’t look good because the testimony of the officer who originally arrested him is not convincing, but when Billy’s mother is put on the stand, she admits that she threw the guitar in the garbage after reading about the crime in the newspaper. As Billy is taken out of the courthouse, King appears, this time with a pistol and threatens to shoot him. Stone takes the gun away from King. Stone tells Robbins he doesn’t ever want to see people taking the law into their own hands.

EPILOG:

Billy gets a sentence of 8 years to life in state prison. Stone and his daughter are seen in a pet shop buying a dog to replace the one that was killed. Stone says the dog is cute and Jeannie says her father is cute, too.

REVIEW:

This is a very good episode, albeit kind of talky. It has one of Karl Malden’s most emotional scenes when he thinks his daughter has been kidnapped by those who tossed his place, and then when she returns. There is a lengthy sequence, almost 4 minutes long, at the beginning of Act IV where the two of them bond after this by jogging on the beach. Stone tells Jeannie that he wants to retire, but she talks him out of this. Later, the two of them go to a fancy restaurant, but Stone is called away almost immediately by the shootout on the docks. Although the Perry Mason-like ending with the guitar is kind of cool, I don’t know how they can make a connection between the guitar and the string which was used to bind Mrs. King (the judge sustains an objection when Billings tries to make the mother admit that she is aware of this). I found it kind of hard to take how King managed to plant himself in a location where he could shoot at the Jackals’ hideout, and why the cops didn’t manage to find him. Richard Hatch has a couple of serious scenes in this show, and Mark Hamill portrays the spoiled rich kid Billy well. The Epilog is really nauseating, though.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Stone’s daughter has blonde hair in this show.
  • Officer Hague, who arrests Billy and testifies at the hearing, is played by Carl Weathers.
  • When Evans first meets Stone, although he is from a TV station, there is no TV cameraman with him. He is just using a portable tape recorder, trying to get a statement.recorder
  • When Robbins is seen calling Stone at the beginning of the show, a November 1976 calendar is seen behind him.
  • Who is the person who gets into the police car at 14:25 outside King’s place? It is not King, but a younger man.


S05E18: Once A Con ★★★
Original air date: March 3, 1977
Director: Richard Lang; Writers: Robert Dellinger & Michael Seims
Guest Stars: John Rubinstein, Devon Ericson, Joanne Nail, Linda Marsh

John Rubinstein plays Walter J. Young, a three-time loser convict who is attending classes at college in order to become a better person when his sentence is finished. Young has strict conditions about the hours he can spend on the campus, and must return to jail every night. When Mary Wilson (Jenny Sherman), a third-year art major, is attacked and killed close to where Young is on campus, he freaks out, because he figures that the cops will think that he was involved. He returns to jail later than he should and gets his bunkmate Raymond Vasquez (Ron Castro), on the same program and who was working late, to vouch for him, saying that the two of them were together. Stone and Robbins want to talk to Tina Harrington (Joanne Nail), Mary's best friend, but she is out of town, returning soon. Instead, they meet Jackie Collins (Devon Ericson) who is Tina's roommate. Jackie tells them that Mary had a boyfriend who "had a mean streak." Stone shows Jackie a picture of a ring that Mary owned which was ripped off her finger during the attack, but Jackie says she doesn't know anything about it. The next day, Stone and Robbins go to the campus and talk to Colonel Whitey Zellers (Peter MacLean), head of campus security. He has narrowed down the killer to one of three suspects, all convicts working on the "study release program," including Young. Zellers says whoever was behind Young's participation in this program is a "fuzzy-brained bleeding heart," and Stone points out that it was he who sponsored Walter. Stone talks to Young, who says he knows nothing about Mary and tells Stone that he was with Vasquez the night before. The two cops also talk to Tina, who has returned. She tells them Mary's boyfriend, with whom she broke up before the semester started, was Judd Davis (James Sheridan), a "medical student [who] always gets stoned on something or other and he gets kind of weird." They confront Davis in the college parking lot where he is pushing pills to a couple of other students. Hauled down to the station, he admits grudgingly that he has an alibi for the time of Mary's murder -- he was shacked up with one of his professors' wives in a motel. This woman, Julie Hart (Linda Marsh) is summoned to the station where she also grudgingly admits this is true. Things begin to not look good for Young when Vasquez talks to Stone and Robbins, saying that Young asked him to lie about where he was the night before, and some guy who Young ran into when he was running from the area where the murder took place shows up at the cop shop offering to be a witness. With the help of Jackie, who works in the student records department at the college, Stone goes to the physical therapy gym where Walter is helping some disabled kid. Vasquez beats them there, telling Young that he spoke to the cops because his parole is coming up soon and he doesn't want to mess with it. Young flees from the place as soon as he sees Stone and Robbins coming and leads them on a chase across the campus. He is eventually captured and taken back to headquarters. Young is IDd in a lineup by the bus driver who took him away from the campus on the night of the murder as well as the guy who ran into him; then the murder weapon (a knife) is discovered in Young's locker. Stone gets a visit from Lisa Denning (Eddie Benton), Walter's girl friend. She says there is no way that Young could have killed Mary because he was with her and they saw the stabbing from her apartment. He didn't admit that he was with her because he would "be thrown out of the program [because] the residential section of campus is off-limits." Lisa phoned the police and reported the crime, which is backed up by a recording that was made of her call (we see her making this call at the beginning of the show). To make things even more confusing, Robbins takes a call from the D.A. saying that Walter just made a full confession. But when Stone goes to see him, Walter says he did not kill Mary, he confessed because he wanted to avoid the gas chamber after D.A. Billings (Jordan Rhodes), who made it sound like he had an air-tight case, made Walter "a deal." A jeweller named Thorgeson (Vern Louden) shows up at the station, responding to flyers that were distributed showing Mary's ring. Thorgeson says his son made this ring, and gives Stone a book listing customers, one of whom purchased it. After he sees something in the book, Stone and Robbins return to the apartment shared by Tina and Jackie. They find out the ring was purchased by Tina, who gave it to Mary in "friendship." Jackie neglected to show Tina the flyer with the ring and Tina wonders why the killer would only have taken the ring, not Mary's purse, money and credit cards. Stone suggests that Mary was killed because someone was jealous of her, someone "who loved you [meaning Tina] very much." All eyes suddenly fall on Jackie, who is sitting nearby, looking very angry. Jackie tells Tina to stop listening to the cops, but Stone says it is very odd that Jackie was the only one who knew they were suspicious of Young, knew the location of his locker and suggests it was she who put the murder weapon there. Robbins says they will find out soon enough if this is the case if they compare her fingerprints to those in the locker and on the knife. Jackie suddenly starts blabbing away, telling Tina, "I didn't mean to. It was an accident. I only meant to scar her because she was so beautiful. And then she turned, the knife slipped, and..." She continues, "Tina, I was afraid I was losing you. I was afraid you'd leave me." Stone and Robbins hear this entire conversation.

EPILOG:

Walter and Lisa are seen working together at the therapy pool. Stone talked the authorities into letting Walter stay on the college program; he will be up for parole in a couple of months. Robbins says that Zeller pulled Young's file and Stone explains that is so some "fuzzy-headed bleeding heart" won't ask questions about him in the future. When Young asks Stone, "Did he call you that?", Robbins says, "No, he called him a a horse's rear end." Stone doesn't think that is very funny, and throws Robbins into the pool.

REVIEW:

This episode kind of jerks the audience around, especially with another Perry Mason-like finale where everyone's eyes suddenly look in Jackie's direction in the final scene of ACT V as if to say "OH MY GOD, SHE IS A LESBIAN!" Well, maybe not, perhaps they are just "friends." But you do think back trying to recall how Jackie acted during various scenes during the show. Robbins is not just rude towards Stone in the epilog (see above). When he first finds out that Stone sponsored Walter, Robbins laughs, saying "I didn't know you were into prison reform. You actually sponsored a student-convict?" Stone says, "You know, that's the trouble with your generation. You think you're the only ones who have a franchise on..." Robbins says "Compassion?" Stone says, "Mistakes!" The acting is pretty good throughout, aside from Hatch, who is kind of robotic in some scenes.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • Mary was murdered on 10/10/76.
  • I couldn't figure out what was with this jail where Walter is supposed to report every night. Was this on campus, or the city jail, or what? Well, duh, there is a shot which establishes that he is staying at the Camino State Prison. However, despite it looking like there are links on Google to a Camino State Prison, I don't think there is any such place. Camino, CA is 136 miles or 2 hours and 20 minutes northeast of San Francisco, so I sort of doubt Walter is commuting from there every day. There is a prison in El Dorado County, which is on the way to Camino, but it is about 9 miles before you get there. The sadistic prison guard who has an almost sexual delight in hassling Walter on his return there is played by Todd Martin, who was a white supremacist prison gang leader in S04E03, No Place to Hide.
  • This is the second show in a row where a bus is seen at the beginning, and one of its disembarking passengers is attacked.
  • When he gets back to his cell at the prison near the beginning of the show, Walter smokes. Vasquez says this is not a good idea if he wants to keep his privileges.
  • I am not convinced that it would be possible to blow up the color photo of the ring and have it be as clear as the black and white photo which results, not to mention whether this is the same shot in both cases.
  • While Peter MacLean, the actor playing Zellers, was born in Massachusetts, his character has a very peculiar accent.
  • Stone uses the expression "Book him, murder one" twice and just "Book him" once.


S05E19: Interlude ★★★
Original air date: April 28, 1977
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Larry Alexander; Music: Robert Drasnin
Guest Stars: Lois Nettleton, Linden Chiles, Jed Allan, Arthur Roberts, Alan Feinstein*

Carolyn (Lois Nettleton), the wife of public prosecutor Jerry Blake (Linden Chiles), and Alan Dawes (Jed Allan), a friend of hers and her husband who co-owns a public relations firm, go to the Mark Hopkins Hotel because they are having an affair and they want to "do it" for the first time. But Carolyn says "I just can't go through with it." Dawes says that is OK and leaves. When Carolyn leaves a few minutes later, she sees a man being strangled to death in roomn 1248 across the hall. She drops her purse and looks away, and the killer, Roger Kellaway (Alan Feinstein) sees her for a second. Kellaway recently escaped from the Illinois State Hospital for the Criminally lnsane where he was confined after murdering his wife Amy. He has come to San Francisco, because he thinks his wife is there and still alive. The guy he killed was Gordon Dillworth (Ward Wood), a private detective who was hired by Kellaway's brother Jack (Arthur Roberts) to bring him back to Chicago. After Carolyn flees, Roger takes Dillworth's body across the hall to her room where he leaves it in the bed. While doing this, he finds a custom-made matchbook from Carolyn with "The Blakes" on it in the garbage can. Going to the company that made this matchbook, Roger tracks down Carolyn to her home at 121 Coast Street, then follows her downtown to where she meets Dawes. She tells Dawes that she witnessed a murder, which she reported to the cops anonymously. Dawes tells her that since she didn't see who did it and she didn't see Dillworth actually die, she "doesn't know anything." Dillworth's body is soon discovered by Camila Ashland (Mary Johnson), a hotel maid. Roger follows Dawes to his penthouse apartment, where he enters, clubs Dawes on the head and shoots him in a manner that it makes it look like Dawes committed suicide. At the police station, Carolyn's husband Jerry has been hassling Stone and Robbins regarding a case relating to a guy named Brody who was involved with a drug robbery and murder. This case keeps going on in the background of the show and Jerry's preoccupation with it is one of the reasons Carolyn's marriage is falling apart and she was getting together with Dawes. Roger tracks Carolyn to a park where she is hanging out with her son Artie. Roger chats her up, and she doesn't recognize him, no doubt to his relief. Meanwhile, Stone and Robbins find Dawes' dead body. Dawes' business partner, Alexander Dichter (Paul Comi) can't understand why Dawes would have killed himself. He says that Dawes was "very discreet, never said anything about what he did or with whom." Roger starts stalking Carolyn, giving her a ride from a store where she was shopping to her car. They talk about their two marriages, continuing a conversation which Roger tried to initiate at the park. When Roger drops Carolyn at her car, he addresses her as "Amy," the name of his dead wife. That evening, Carolyn is supposed to have dinner with Jerry to celebrate their anniversary at a fancy restaurant, but Jerry is once again tied up at the office with the Brody case. Roger shows up at the restaurant, which Carolyn mentioned to him in their earlier conversation. After they dine, Roger takes Carolyn home, and they share a passionate kiss in his car before she goes inside. Once again, he addresses her as "Amy." Roger goes to the courthouse, where Jerry is finishing his work, and attempts to run him over with his car. Later at the hospital where Jerry is being patched up, Carolyn hears for the first time that Dawes is dead. She is very upset. Stone and Robbins later show up at Jerry and Carolyn's place and ask her some frank questions about her activities prior to Dawes' death at the hotel and elsewhere. Jerry, who has been listening to them from the next room, joins the conversation. When Stone tells Carolyn that Roger Calloway was the person in the room opposite to her, she freaks out. Roger, who has seen Stone and Robbins going into Carolyn's place, phones her, and says he wants to meet her at the park where they were earlier, knowing that the two cops will leave to go to there. Once Stone and Robbins have gone, Roger enters the house and accuses Carolyn of calling the police. When Jerry enters the room and asks Carolyn who Roger is, she identifies him as her husband, but Roger says that Jerry is dead, because he thinks he killed him the night before. Roger keeps referring to Carolyn as "Amy." Stone and Robbins soon return, having been alerted by some cops who spotted Roger's car outside. Roger is subdued and disarmed, and Stone places a call for someone to come and pick him up.

EPILOG:

Roger's brother Jack has come to take Roger back to the Midwest. Stone and Robbins find out that Roger killed Amy, who he originally met in San Francisco, after he found her in bed with another man. Jack says, "I had no idea he'd gone completely schizo." After Jack leaves, Stone and Robbins meet Jerry and Carolyn. Despite the discovery of some evidence which will make the case against Brody a done deal, Jerry and his wife are leaving for a second honeymoon in Mexico.

REVIEW:

A pretty good show, though there are a few questions. Where does Roger get the gun that he uses? Perhaps from the dead Dillworth? You would think that the cops might be able to trace this gun back to the P.I. You have to wonder why Roger doesn't close the door before he strangles Dillworth; obviously someone might come down the hall! Roger meeting Carolyn at the park also is a head-scratcher. She was talking to Dawes earlier about going there with her son, but Roger was far away when he was observing her and I don't think he was overhearing their conversation. Carolyn smokes in the hotel room at the beginning of the show and also at the restaurant. Her dropping the matchbook in the garbage can is what really gets the plot in motion and you would figure that inasmuch as she seems uncomfortable about being in the hotel with Dawes at all, she would have been more careful about throwing it in the garbage can. It's really amazing that Dawes' apartment door is left open as is the front door at Carolyn's house, both allowing Roger to enter!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • As Carolyn runs from her room to the elevator after the murder, the door of her room (Rom 1245) is only open a few inches. But when Roger looks across the hall a few seconds later, the door is completely open so he can see into the room.


S05E20: Dead Lift ★★★
Original air date: May 5, 1977
Director: Michael Preece; Writer: Larry Brody
Guest Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Mahan, Bert Freed, Diana Muldaur*

As beefy bodybuilder Josef Schmidt (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is doing his 33rd of 35 laps around Golden Gate Park, he is hustled by a jogger named Irene Lupoff (Hilary Thompson). According to her boyfriend later, "Irene had this thing for sociology. She liked interesting people, she'd bring 'em back here. Construction workers, firemen, garbagemen. She said she wanted to get into their heads, see what they were thinking, get it all down on tape." Irene invites Josef to her place where she gets him to take off his shirt. He slathers baby oil over his chest and she gets out her tape recorder and wants to know how he keeps in shape. But Josef is annoyed that she refers to him as "a body freak," and tells her to turn the recorder off. Josef then does typical poses which cause her to burst out laughing, saying that he looks "ridiculous," "like some big ape or something." He picks her up and throws her around, breaking her neck. At his job in the Anchor Brewing Company, Josef is fired because he is working too hard, lifting heavy metal beer kegs with such speed that the other people working there look bad. Josef doesn't take this too well, kicking kegs around before he leaves. Stone and Robbins have a brief fragment of the taped conversation before Irene's recorder was turned off, and they go to the park where she liked to run, but they don't make much progress. A guy named Garver (Jerry Ayres) who works for the San Francisco Dispatch (described as a "neighborhood newspaper") is able to help the cops produce a sketch of Josef. Armed with this sketch, Stone and Robbins go to gymnasiums where people engage in martial arts, wrestling, boxing, weight lifting and so forth. They finally get a big clue when Stone mentions baby oil, which was found at Irene's, to the manager of one of these places, and he says that they should be looking for "a pretty boy, one of those Mr. America types." Meanwhile, Josef, whose rent is due, gets a job as a model for a class at the San Francisco Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street). A well-to-do dame, Judith Winters (Diana Muldaur) is one of the people taking this class, and Josef is impressed by the drawing she has done of him. At a gym which specializes in bodybuilding, Stone and Robbins meet Jenks (Bert Freed), who is furious because the bad publicity from Irene's murder by this "jerk" is giving bodybuilding a bad name. Jenks is an enterpreneurial type who sells dietary supplements and courses and whose International Bodybuilding Federation has affiliates in 70 foreign countries. Judith, hearing that Josef lost his job recently, takes him to an advertising agency where he learns that he can get a job making a lot more money than posing at the art class. Stone talks to a Colonel Langley (Barry Cahill) at the Pentagon who gives him some interesting background on Josef: that he was "emotionally unstable [and] hypersensitive to criticism, especially from women" as well as had a "short fuse [and an] abnormal inability to cope with his temper." Josef was court-martialled out of the army because of an incident where he seriously injured a prostitute who laughed at him because she thought he was "ludicrous." At Judith's place, she tells Josef about a bodybuilding contest for Mr. San Francisco which is to be held that afternoon, and convinces him to go. After some resistance, he appears there, but Judith invites a couple, Paul and Riva Allen (Peter Brandon and Irene Robinson), and while Josef is flexing his muscles on stage, Paul keeps laughing at him because of what he describes later as "the narcissism involved." After the contest, Josef and Judith return to her place on Nob Hill by cab. Henry Wilcox (Larry Mahan), one of the hangers-on at Jenks' gym, wanting to collect a $1,000 reward from Jenks for information leading to Josef's capture, sees the two of them and calls in a tip to the cops. At Judith's, she tries to restore Josef's confidence, but he works himself up into a total rage, and starts smashing everything in her living room. Two patrol cops, then Stone and Robbins arrive. After a struggle with the two cops, Stone and Robbins manage to take Josef into custody, promising him that he will get help and telling him "Nobody's gonna laugh at you."

EPILOG:

Jenks gives Henry his $1,000 reward, but it is for merchandise or services provided by the gym. Henry objects to this, but Jenks tells him he is already in arrears for his membership. Jenks wants to know what will happen with Josef, and he is told that he will be charged with manslaughter and there will probably be psychiatric studies as well. Robbins assures Jenks, "Don't worry, your empire's safe." Jenks figures that when Josef gets out of jail, he will have a job waiting for him: "He'll be a winner when he gets out." As Stone and Robbins leave the gym, Henry tries to sell them his $1,000 reward at a discount. Stone tells him, "Dan and I were just saying we are out of shape," but Robbins adds, "Yeah, so far out we decided it was too late to do anything about it ... so enjoy."

REVIEW:

This show is a fan favorite and Ah-nold is pretty good, though his destruction of Judith's place at the end of the show is really over the top. One gym owner tells Stone "Lieutenant, can you imagine these guys using baby oil? They rub the oil on, you know, to show off their meat." Jenks tells Stone and Robbins "For 30 years, I've worked to make bodybuilding legitimate in the eyes of the public, so that they look upon us as something more than circus strongmen or guys that aren't really men at all." I don't think Arnold would agree with either of these opinions. The other contestants at the Mr. San Francisco contest -- Robbie Robinson, Ed Corney, John Isaacs, Franco Columbu, Roger Callard -- were all famous body builders.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When Irene goes to record Josef's conversation, she pushes the PLAY button on her cassette recorder. Whether she is simultaneously pushing the RECORD button is not seen.
  • I don't think that Josef really throws Irene around so much that her neck would break. I would like to know why he keeps his eyes closed when he is doing this.
  • Josef stays in the Graystone Hotel. Judith's street address is 1904 Elmhurst.
  • Josef goes to the Taraval Police Station (an actual location in San Francisco at 2345 24th Avenue) and wants to "talk to somebody about a crime." When he sees the cops roughing up some junkie, however, he has a flashback to when he was arrested and jailed by two MPs for the assault while in the army, and leaves the place. At the end of the show, Stone does not put handcuffs on Josef. I don't know if this is because he is being kind, or they don't fit. In the scene with the MPs, they are using handcuffs.


S05E21: Breakup ★★★½
Original air date: May 12, 1977
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Anthony Lawrence
Guest Stars: Pernell Roberts, Sharon Acker, George Murdock, Lawrence Pressman

Charlie Finn (Pernell Roberts) owns a small business, a fabric company which makes draperies for hotel rooms among other things. He is strapped for cash because business is not doing well at the same time as his wife's lawyer, Larry Drake (Lawrence Pressman), is hassling him regarding his wife's alimony payments and the IRS is calling about unpaid taxes. Finn's wife Ethel (Sharon Acker) actually thinks that Drake has gone too far. Finn goes to see Drake, a former city prosecutor, at his home and the two start yelling at each other. Finn punches Drake, who flies through a window, landing outside, seriously injured. In a coma, Drake is taken to the hospital, where he is expected to recover. There is another person with a connection to Drake who also does not wish him well. Harlan Betts (George Murdock) was sent to prison by Drake when the latter was a D.A. Over Betts' objections, he ended up in a prison where an old enemy of his, Clyde Davis, was serving time. The two of them eventually fought, with the result that Davis was killed, but Betts ended up with a permanently damaged left arm. As a result, Betts, currently working as an auto mechanic, is seeking vengeance against Drake. At the beginning of the show, Betts lures Drake to an out-of-the-way location, the old abandoned shipyard at Hunter's Point, where he unsuccessfully attempts to run over Drake with his car. Ironically, when Finn goes to see Drake at his house, Betts is outside, trying to knock off Drake with a silenced pistol. After Drake is hospitalized, Betts dresses as an orderly and goes to Drake's room where he smothers him with a pillow. As Betts emerges from the room, he runs into a nurse and knocks her tray to the floor. The nurse remembers him. Stone and Robbins, through a process of elimination, determine that Betts had it in for Drake, but things are complicated by Finn who is willing to take the rap for punching out Drake, but not for what looks like murder. The nurse's ID of Betts is what seals the case against him; Stone and Robbins go to the garage where Betts works and arrest him. Finn, on the other hand, is so distraught that he is thinking of committing suicide. Fortunately, he is tracked down to an empty lot that he owns which is at the top of a cliff. Stone as well as Finn's wife plead with him not to drive over the edge, but when Finn steps on the accelerator, he finds the car has run out of gas. He and his wife find this to be pretty funny.

EPILOG:

Finn goes to court, but gets a suspended sentence. His wife, who recently got her real estate license, says she should be able to support the family. Stone says the case against Betts is "foolproof." Finn has a $1,000 fine he has to take care of. He asks Stone if he knows anyone that wants to buy a used station wagon.

REVIEW:

A logical script and solid acting make this a very good episode. I have to wonder why Drake's partner is Jerry Billings (Jordan Rhodes), who, three episodes before, was working for the City of San Francisco as an assistant district attorney. Billings makes a deal out of the fact that Drake resigned from being a D.A. and went into private practice, but there is no mention of why Billings himself seems to have followed the same route.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • It's hard to understand why Drake doesn't recognize Betts when the latter is trying to run him over, despite Drake having prosecuted "over 50 major cases" during his eight years as a D.A.
  • There is mention of the "Adult Authority," which sounds like another name for the parole board. Betts would have to get permission from this organization to move to another state, and Stone and Robbins track him down with an address they get from there.
  • There is an interesting musical cue as Betts goes up the stairwell in the hospital, though the music is just stock.
  • Robbins takes Stone to a health food restaurant where they have a drink made out of steamed eggplant. Stone doesn't like this; he prefers beer.
  • When Betts makes the nurse drop her tray, she asks him to "Give me a hand," but his left arm is crippled. He tells her "I'm busy," and leaves.


S05E22: "Let's Pretend We're Strangers" ★★
Original air date: May 19, 1977
Director: Walter Grauman; Writer: Carol Saraceno
Guest Stars: Linda Kelsey, Mark Wheeler

While burglarizing the apartment of Valerie Foster as he is wearing a blue jumpsuit, a wool cap and a mask, Billy Martin (Mark Wheeler) attacks her and clubs her over the head when she comes home, killing her. Her friend Michelle Rhodes (Beverly Washburn), who identifies the body, is very upset. A major suspect is another tenant in the building who has gone to Las Vegas, Harvey Robinson (Ted Chapman), who Billy ran into on his way out of the place. Shortly after the murder, Billy was picked up by two patrol cops on the street. He has $200 on him, which Rhodes said was an amount that Valerie usually kept at her place, plus a ring later established as belonging to her. At the station, Billy tells Stone that he knows Valerie, who he met in a bar, and he spent the night with her -- that's why his fingerprints are all over her apartment. Stone is not impressed by Billy's criminal record. Susan Harper (Linda Kelsey) from the Public Defender's Office takes Billy's case. She picks Robbins' brains, getting him to say that Billy is guilty as hell. At the preliminary hearing, Harper demolishes one witness's testimony and makes Robbins look foolish because he never kept a record of the serial numbers of the $200 found on Billy and also was prejudiced towards her client because of his previous encounters with the law. As a result, the case against Billy is thrown out. Stone later tells Robbins, "Daniel, you've been had." Robbins tells Harper the way she treated him was "really low-class," and she replies, "All's fair in love and war and the courtroom." Robbins tell her, "You're supposed to be the public defender. You certainly didn't defend the public by getting this case dismissed." He then offers to buy her a drink, and she says OK if he makes that dinner. When Billy, on his way out of the court building, thanks both of them for their help in getting him exonerated, Robbins glares at him. Robbins and Harper get together for dinner and a dessert, and he suggests that she join him on a fishing expedition up the coast the next weekend. Stone needles Robbins about his new girl friend, threatening to come with the two of them. Robinson returns from Las Vegas, and tells the cops about the suspect in Foster's murder who ran into him who was wearing a blue jumpsuit. He IDs the guy as Billy from a photo lineup. Billy later comes to see Harper, and she recommends that he turn himself in because of Robinson's positive identification. Later, Billy breaks into Harper's office and snoops in her desk, getting the copy of Robinson's witness statement which gives his address. He then goes to Robinson's house, smothers him while he is sleeping and sets his place on fire after adjusting the clock time. Then Billy goes to a meeting with Harper, creating a perfect alibi for himself. The weekend jaunt with Robbins and Harper is still on. The two of them go fishing, get submerged in the ocean and perhaps do other things as well. They engage in role-playing to try and avoid talking about work. When Stone talks to Billy, he is told that when Robinson -- who Stone suspects was killed -- died, Billy was talking to his lawyer. Robbins and Harper return, and Stone tells Harper it doesn't make sense that Robinson died smoking in bed, because he had kicked the cigarette habit two years ago. She refuses to believe Billy is guilty of anything and Robbins goes totally rank on his girl friend, saying "You've defended hundreds of cases. How can you be so blind? Aren't you ever gonna get it through your mind that Martin is a killer, a psychopath?" After Robbins is sent out of the room to cool off, Stone tells Harper, "I think Billy Martin is smart enough to set you up." Although he can't prove anything, Stone lays out his theory about how Billy created the alibi involving her and Robinson's death. When a bum named Dorsey Chandler (William Benedict) shows up at the station wearing the jumpsuit which Billy was wearing at the beginning of the show which had the pocket ripped off by Foster, the cops find gloves from the same garbage can where Chandler found the suit which have Billy's fingerprints in them. Billy goes to Harper's office and sucks up to her, thanking her for all her help, but she tells him that she is dropping his case. This enrages him, and he returns to her office later that evening. He starts haranguing her, saying he fears she will testify against him, even though she tells him that she can't do this because she was his attorney. Stone and Robbins show up at her office just as Harper is attempting to flee from Billy. He is cornered in the hallway by Robbins, who shoots and wounds him. Billy is busted, with Stone saying he promises that Billy will "survive to stand trial for Murder One." Harper tells Robbins that she was wrong about Billy. He replies, "Yeah. Almost dead wrong."

EPILOG:

Billy goes to trial, charged with two counts of homicide and one count, attempted homicide. He pleads not guilty, and the judge orders him held without bail. Harper asks Robbins if he wants to "try again," suggesting more role-playing like during their last outing. He tells her, "I'll see you in court."

REVIEW:

This episode has potential, but it is totally sabotaged by Richard Hatch's acting, which is the worst I have seen yet (I have finished watching about half of the fifth season shows; I am not watching them in numerical sequence). The problem with Hatch is he is always going from nothing to something and then back to nothing. His attempt to be romantic with Harper is ridiculous, but his big rant to her (see above) is a classic of bad acting, with him pounding Stone's desk. Too bad, because there are some interesting things in the show, like the way Harper suggests a junkie hooker named Kim Wilson (Maggie Wellman), another of her clients, transform herself into Mary Poppins, and the way she deals with a senior citizen named Swafford (Nolan Leary) who says a woman with dementia climbed on top of him in their rest home and then started screaming that he tried to rape her. I totally don't understand why Robinson is a credible witness identifying Billy. If you look at the scene where Billy runs into him, Robinson barely notices him, and Billy is wearing his mask (which is hardly a "ski mask" as mentioned in the show) to boot!

MORE TRIVIA:

  • When Harper first talks to Billy, there is some guy in the cell next to him overhearing their conversation. So much for confidentiality!
  • We add a bit to the little we know about Robbins' background. He tells Harper that when he was a kid, he went to "private schools [and] camp in the summer."
  • Robinson's address is 1900 Filbert Street, Apartment 8-C.
  • Billy is seen being chauffeured around by an older-looking woman named Yvone [sic] in a Lincoln Continental, who talks about a trip the two of them are taking to Lake Tahoe.
  • Robbins' car that he uses for the camping trip is a Ford Bronco.
  • Kim, the hooker that Harper is trying to transform, tells her that she got a receptionist job which pays $110 a week.
  • There is interesting photography where Billy dumps the suit, the camera is looking up from the bottom of the garbage can.


S05E23: Time Out ★★★
Original air date: June 2, 1977
Director: Kenneth Gilbert; Writer: Robert Heverly
Guest Stars: Cliff Gorman, Hebert Jefferson Jr., George McAllister, Christina Hart, Richard Lynch*

Four convicts from San Quentin are escorted by two guards, Charlie Sims and Eddy Mack (Cliff Gorman), to California Northern University where they talk to students about why they are in the joint. They are Harry Kraft (the sinister Richard Lynch), mug shot number 52407, the most dangerous of the four, serving 10 to 20 for trafficking heroin; Joseph Kimberly, 72450, "the brains" of the group, serving 5 to 10; Billy Telson (George McCallister), 52470, with less than a year to serve, who "grew grass and distilled acid"; and Jerry Washington (Herbert Jefferson Jr.), 42760, up for parole in two years, a junkie. During the class, Kraft grabs the gun of Inspector Thompson (Dale Tarter), a cop who is there (perhaps the class instructor), and the convicts take the two prison guards hostage. On the way to their car, Sims is shot. The car is driven to a some isolated spot and they switch vehicles to a Ford Econoline van. Kraft is about to execute Mack, but a police helicopter above makes him change his mind. Stone and Robbins eventually find Mack, who is still tied up in the car. He gives them some tips on where the convicts might go. When the four arrive in San Francisco, Telson and Washington are dumped on the street and told to make their own way. After he gets home, Mack is steaming to his wife Susan (Davey Davison) that the convicts betrayed him: "l trusted them. I recommended them, and they turned around and stuck a knife in my back." Mack goes to a pool hall where two ex-cons on parole, Benny Lester (Ray Sharkey) and Wes (Kenneth O'Brien), hang out. They tell him to get lost, but Mack beats them both badly. They tell him that Washington is likely going to the apartment of Corrigan, his pusher. Mack goes to this place and surprises Washington, who attempts to flee down the fire escape, but falls to the ground below. Stone and Robbins also show up, having been tipped off by the guys in the pool hall. Stone reads Mack the riot act, telling him to keep out of their investigation or he will bust him for interference. Mack gives Robbins, who is argumentative, a bunch of mouth. Kraft and Kimberly go to a men's clothing store where they steal some suits, tie up the owner and steal his car. Telson goes to the house where his wife Nancy (Christina Hart) lives. She is not home. He finds a gun hidden under the mattress in the bedroom. When his wife's new boyfriend shows up, Telson holds him hostage until Nancy returns. Meanwhile, Kraft and Kimberly go to see Evan Taggart (Hal Buckley) who was the one who ratted Kraft to the cops several years ago. Taggart owns an air freight business and they tell him to arrange passage out of the country to Acapulco in an hour. Kraft is very convincing, telling Taggart if he doesn't co-operate he won't be killed but will be made to suffer much like Kraft has in prison for the past five years. Mack, meanwhile, has trailed them to Taggart's place and he sneaks into the apartment and shoots Kimberly. Kraft escapes and hijacks a Seaside Taxi. An APB is put out for the taxi, which was doing a blood run, delivering plasma for victims of an accident at Bayshore General Hospital. When the cab is spotted, Lynch escapes into a warehouse, where he is eventually caught by Stone and Robbins. The two cops then go to Billy's wife's house, where Billy is getting desperate. Mack, who has been in Stone and Robbins' custody ever since the shooting at Taggart's, acts as a negotiator and convinces Billy to give himself up.

EPILOG:

Stone is fed up with Mack telling him how to do his job. Considering Mack is still in custody, Stone tells him to keep his mouth shut. Biily is taken away. Back at the station house, Mack asks Stone if he could put in a good word for Telson and Washington in his report, because they were forced to come along by Kraft and Kimberly at gunpoint. Mack tells Stone that his pursuit of Washington may have been too extreme and that he was after the men "Not just because I thought they were dangerous, but because I thought I'd been used." He concludes, "I guess in some ways, prison walls brutalize us all, huh?" After Mack leaves, Robbins wonders "He knocks himself out trying to get those men back into jail, now he's trying to get 'em out ... He's a hard man to understand." Stone replies, "Maybe when you get a little older, you might."

REVIEW:

Another good episode. The script is pretty logical, though I don't understand how Mack knows where Taggart is located. Stone and Robbins are given his address by Inspector Carson (Jerry Hardin, a character actor whose credits go back to 1958, including "Deep Throat" on The X-Files). After Mack is found at the scene where Washington fell off the fire escape, there is a testy exchange between him and Robbins, who gives Mack "a look." Mack: Well, what's troubling you? Robbins: You're not trying to help us. You're just getting back at them as a personal vendetta. Mack: I have a job to do inspector, just like you. Only mine's a little different. You arrest them, testify against them in court, then send them to me for the next five to ten years, and I have to live with them. Robbins: But you don't have to brutalize them. Mack: I don't brutalize anyone. All I do is keep them there. The ugly things that happen inside are the things they do to each other. Which are exactly the things they'd be doing to innocent people if they were out on the streets. Now if you object to the things that happen to men in prison, stop sending them.

MORE TRIVIA:

  • On the university campus, there is a huge crowd watching as Stone and Robbins deal with the aftermath of the escape.
  • After Lynch is busted, Stone says "Book him."
  • Taggart lives at 2190 Washington, apartment 205.
  • When Robbins and Stone leave for Lincoln Park where the abandoned police vehicle with Mack in it has been spotted by the helicopter, the rear tires on their car are smoking something fierce.
  • When Mack gets to Taggart's place, the door to the place is open, he just walks in!


SEASON ONE   SEASON TWO

SEASON THREE   SEASON FOUR

PILOT EPISODE    MAIN PAGE


SEASON 5 THEME MUSIC: Opening Credits • Opening Credits Extended (Episodes 1 & 2) • End Credits