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S04E03: No Place to Hide ★★★
Original air date: September 25, 1975
Director: Virgil W. Vogel; Writer: Robert Malcolm Young; Music: Richard Markowitz

When a young woman is shot dead in a laundromat, Stone and Keller find themselves involved with the world of gangs at the fictional and nasty Holton Prison, including those outside who have been paroled but have connections to two bosses in the jail, Carl Metzger (Todd Martin) of the White Brothers and Lafayette Delacroix (Ji-Tu Cumbuka), leader of the black Cadre. Jennifer O'Brien, the murdered woman, was refusing to co-operate in a plan devised by Metzger to smuggle drugs into the prison via her incarcerated husband Robert (Michael Bell). Taking advantage of the fact that Robert now feels his life is over because of his wife's death, Delacroix slips him a shiv and tells him to knock off Metzger, but O'Brien himself is murdered. (Metzger and Delacroix are surprisingly chummy in a meeting in the prison shower room later which suggests that the murder of O'Brien was planned between the two of them.) The next prospect for Metzger's smuggling plan is Lou King (Paul Carr), who is in Holton for embezzlement. King's wife Rita (Stefanie Powers) is visited by Holton parolee Jack Constantine (Chris Robinson, giving a totally slimy performance) who convinces her to co-operate if she wants her husband to remain healthy. Keller enlists the help of Pepper Collins (Stan Haze), a black guy out on parole from Holton who he has had dealings with in the past, to give him the scoop on members of the White Brothers who are possible suspects in Jennifer O'Brien's murder. Collins is only to glad to co-operate to "get back at the honkies." Rita, who was pals with Jennifer O'Brien, meets with Constantine at some out-of-the-way location which looks like a garbage dump to discuss the dope smuggling. Joe Max (Ben Frank), another ex-con from Holton who Constantine has "contracted" to knock off Collins also shows up and is shot dead by Constantine when he complains about his assignment. Rita flees the scene but some guy at the dump makes a note of her car license plate, which leads Stone and Keller to her. Rita refuses to talk unless Stone makes a deal to have her husband released, otherwise he is as good as dead. Stone makes the deal with a judge late in the evening and he and Keller go to see Rita to tell her, just as Constantine, who has broken into her place, is threatening her with a knife in a sequence which seems out of a slasher film. Constantine is taken away and soon after this, Rita spills the beans. It is an odd coincidence that Metzger has the same last name as Tom Metzger, described by Wikipedia as an "American white supremacist, skinhead leader and former Klansman [who] founded White Aryan Resistance [and] was a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s."

EPILOG:

Stone and Keller escort the Kings to a bus depot in downtown San Francisco which will take them to the airport and a new life under the Witness Protection Program. Keller gets to imitate Marlon Brando in The Godfather (not very well) when he says that Rita made "an offer that [Stone] couldn't refuse." As they are leaving the scene, Stone tells Keller that King's new name is "John Louis Smith," which Keller thinks is pretty lame.


Added: Wednesday 12 July 2017 07:14:08 MST
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I was curious those who watched The Glass Dartboard Streets SF. Did you like Keely's PERT chart to find the perpetrator? Keely was ahead of his time.
Enjoyed I Ain't Marchin'Anymore. Keller was the perfect undercover man. Steve attended Berkeley a younger man, and seemed to be a progressive type. He had some empathy for the draft dodgers but Keller had a job to do.


Added: Tuesday 11 July 2017 21:22:22 MST
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Big fan of The Glass Dart Board. That PERT chart makes me laugh every time. Truax is an unlikely criminal to look at him. I love the episode because Stone becomes very angry at Neely and his methods. They almost apprehended Truax in the night helicopter patrol. The nut job file and letters was a quick way to end the episode. Truax looked like a lonely man who could have used some lovin'. On a conventional 4 star scale,I would give The Glass Dart Board 3.5 stars.

Added: Tuesday 11 July 2017 16:41:44 MST
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S04E02: The Glass Dart Board
Original air date: September 18, 1975
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Sean Baine

Martin Truax (Lou Frizzell) is taking shots at the 35-story Balboa Towers using a high-powered German "Handel" rifle. As we find out later, he is aggrieved because his property was expropriated to get land for the building, and he feels he was not compensated enough. Truax wants $1 million or he will keep up his attacks on the place, even threatening to "destroy" it. When one of Truax's shots kills an accountant, the cops get even more interested than just investigating the shooting angle. Unfortunately, Stone has to contend with an old pal of his, Jacob Keely (Patrick Wayne), who has been promoted to captain while Devitt is on sick leave. Keely is a "squint," according to Keller, meaning someone who never leaves the office and squints when he goes outside and sees the sun. Stone uses tried-and-true methods including triangulation from high up in the building to try and catch Truax, but finds himself constantly frustrated by Keely, who micro-manages things and interferes with Stone's work. Keely uses a management technique for complex programming he developed called P.E.R.T. (Program Evaluation and Review), which consists of a large flowchart where data relating to the case is entered. When Keely shows this method to the men, some of them roll their eyes. Stone and Keller have a good chance of capturing Truax one evening, but Keely takes command in the helicopter being used to follow the suspect and sends everyone in the wrong direction. This causes Stone to go totally ballistic, telling Keely that he is "what went wrong" with the operation, because he let the shooter escape. Shortly after this, using P.E.R.T., Keely has a suspect named Harlan Jeffers (Paul Pepper) picked up, and everything about him falls into place except the fact that he does not own the rifle being used. With the help of the Balboa Towers' building manager Eli Mason (Joel Fabiani), Stone and Keller add to the lists they already have of people connected to the skyscraper, including those who were responsible for the building's construction. Their last resort is the architectural firm which designed it, and there they find a "nut file" with letters from cranks including Truax, who was complaining bitterly about having to sell his property. Stone and Keller go to Truax's place, where the shooter is undone by the fact that his 1953 Lincoln (license number AXO 995) won't start and his Airedale Terrier dog named Scruff. Truax ends up wounded by Keller and is taken into custody.

EPILOG:

Devitt returns from the hospital and Keely is promoted to Research and Planning. Keely tells Stone that he is an example of The Peter Principle, having risen to the level of his own incompetence. Stone says the fact Keely is being promoted would negate this criticism, suggesting that Keely planned this all along.


Added: Tuesday 11 July 2017 15:44:15 MST
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JACOB'S BOY
This is a pretty good episode, but far from great. Probably on par with "One Chance to Live". Brock Peters is very good (as always) as Jacob Willis. Peters always has this crazy intensity in everything I see him in. Whether it's the sympathetic defendant Tom Robinson in the classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD or a baddie in a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE episode he's always intense. There's just something about him. He also has these huge nostrils which are always flaring lol. I don't get any gay context between him and the boy because I basically see Jacob as a father figure to the boy. If the real father wasn't around and Jacob had to raise the boy as his own then of course there's going to be a strong bond between them, and as we see it's stronger than between the boy and his real father.

FLAGS OF TERROR
This is one of the best in the series! It's a suspenseful hostage drama and those are always great. Katherine Cannon plays the loose cannon in the group who definitely is the trigger happy one. Her Five-O equivalent is probably the chick from "Tsunami" or the chick from "A Woman's Work is with a Gun". Both crazy chicks! One correction, Mike, is that Dick Roth (played by Tom Hallick) is not the military guy hostage but one of the cops or feds that Stone coordinates with on how to diffuse the situation. I also wondered what happened to Elliott Street at the end. When the shooting starts he just disappears. I wonder how you would compare this episode to "Voice of Terror" on Five-O. Both are hostage situations and both feature a group of revolutionary wackos with Marxist ideas (even though Dellam claims to denounce Karl Marx).

POISONED SNOW
I agree that this is a very good episode. It's a really interesting (and highly original) premise. Clu Gulager is a cop on the edge who's had it with all the scum on the streets. He's gonna clean up the streets once and for all - by killing as many dealers and junkies as he can. Of course we saw in advance how the Mark Hamill character would play out by the episode's end, but it was still a highly engrossing episode. As with season 3, season 4 opens strong! The next episode is even stronger.


Added: Sunday 09 July 2017 21:50:28 MST
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S04E01 - Poisoned Snow
Original air date: September 11, 1975
Director: William Hale; Writer: Paul Savage

Clu Gulager is Inspector George Turner, a narcotics cop, whose girlfriend (also a cop) Maggie Collins (Janis Hansen) is shot dead when she attempts to make an arrest during a drug transaction. The hotheaded Turner, who describes the people he deals with "slime" and "human garbage," accuses his partner Phil (Alan Fudge), who was with Maggie at the time, of bungling the operation. Stone himself says that they shouldn't give women this kind of work, it is too dangerous. Turner was going to marry Maggie soon, after a divorce from his wife was finalized. He seeks vengeance, attempting to track down her killer, a guy named Cajun (Tony Geary, later of General Hospital). Turner gets a tip regarding Woody Parks (George Sawaya), distributor of the heroin. He and Phil attempt to bust Parks, but Turner pretends he didn't find any dope in Parks' car and they let him go. In reality, Turner does find the hidden drugs and laces it with rat poison. This has the desired effect of killing Cajun, but it also kills around 30 other junkies with the cops totally run off their feet dealing with this sudden epidemic of death. Turner's action also has extreme consequences, because his own son Andy (a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill) is a dope addict who dies after purchasing some of the contaminated heroin. I could see this plot angle coming a mile away, given that Andy was sniffing from a "cold" during a meeting early in the show with his father. This is a very good episode, with Stone being very intense, interesting photography including sequences with the camera in the back of Stone and Keller's car (no process shots) and extreme closeups when Stone is grilling Turner after the latter's scheme is revealed, some pretty crazy driving by Keller, interesting music (albeit stock tracks) and a great cast including several character actors. There is a reference to Captain Devitt, the Tim O'Connor character (though he is not seen) and a "real" phone number -- 386-8271 -- is mentioned.

EPILOG

Phil, Stone and Keller encounter Turner in the basement of the cop shop as he is being taken away in a paddy wagon. Turner, who is unrepentant, says "Nothing's gonna change," and there's "a different kind of poison" on the street now. When Turner asks his partner "How's it goin?" Phil responds, "I'm still trying", and shuts the paddy wagon door. Phil tells Stone and Keller,"He's wrong, you know. Things are changing all the time. Sometimes just not for the better, that's all."


Added: Sunday 09 July 2017 08:29:53 MST
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Ringfire & Mr. Mike
I Ain't Marchin' Anymore is a Classic. Keller has sympathy for those draft dodger types but has an investigation to do. Love the house and the spread of land in Northern California. Enjoyed the episode. Suspenseful. Didn't know how Keller would get out of there alive.
Jacob's Boy.
Very good episode. The Peter kid idolized Jacob as his mother died when he was 3 or so. The end of Jacob's Boy sure makes your eyes water. The way the prisoners were treated and such. Jacob was rehabilitated and made a compelling case to the judge.
Flags Of Terror an incredible episode. One of the best in the entire series. Capturing Keller was a smart move. Escalating the suspense quotient. Also, ypou could see what was happening through Keller's eyes. Impressive!


Added: Friday 07 July 2017 17:36:11 MST
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I AIN'T MARCHIN' ANYMORE
After a great start to season 3 with four very strong episodes we get the first average episode. Mike, I find it interesting that you call this episode "suspenseful" (in regards to whether Keller will be unmasked) because I think overall this episode has less suspense than the typical SOSF episode, including the previous four. I probably enjoyed it a bit more this time around than when I first saw it but I'd still call it pretty average. Good catch on Paul Stanley having directed the similarly themed draft-dodging Five-O episode "To Kill Or Be Killed". I wonder if his getting the job on this episode had anything to do with the other one. I think so. I doubt it was just a coincidence. In any case I was never exactly a huge fan of that episode either. I think the Five-O episode overall is stronger and packs quite a wallop at the end (it just takes a while to get there) but it's not one I choose to revisit often. Also you mention that both Douglas and MacArthur were the same age (29) when they went undercover as draft dodgers. This is not quite accurate. JMac, born in 1937, would have been around 33 when the Five-O episode aired.

ONE CHANCE TO LIVE
Mike, I see you're calling this one "awful" but apart from a few nit-picks you don't really explain why you think it's so bad. I personally don't think it's particularly great either but I probably enjoy it more than the previous draft-dodging episode. It's definitely far from awful. For starters we have this nasty creep played by Steven Keats (who always excels at these types). He then really gets under Keller's skin and accuses him of police brutality, even going so far as to get a bunch of thugs to beat him up to lay the blame on Keller (this is right out of DIRTY HARRY where Scorpio does the same). He's definitely a sick pup. I agree that Joanne Linville's character is kind of grating, though I think she's supposed to make you feel that way. She's a sorry-looking loner type, all the more strange that a high ranking Canadian politician would have any interest in her. In her peformance here she actually reminds me in some ways of Zohra Lampert, who I think could easily play a part like this. A somewhat sorry, somewhat off-kilter, odd duck type of character that Zohra excels in. Oh, and of course Keller knows who Downing is. We Americans know every single Canadian politician out there ;) We watch their speeches religiously!


Added: Wednesday 05 July 2017 23:04:49 MST
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Thanks for setting this up Mike - I think continuing the page for discussion of other TV shows is a great move. So many classic cop/detective shows from the 60's and 70's. Previously when I saw your post on The Invaders it brought back memories of a show I loved but had not thought about in 25 years or probably more. Great fun reading about it and remembering it again.

Added: Monday 03 July 2017 11:01:15 MST
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SOSF S03E07: Jacob's Boy
Original air date: October 24, 1974
Director: Harry Falk; Writer: Paul Savage

Brock Peters plays Jacob Willis who works for businessman George Todd (Dabney Coleman), though exactly what his "job" is is a big mystery (at one point, Willis is seen doing maintenance on Todd's yacht). Willis has become a surrogate father (and mother) to Todd's son Peter (Mitch Vogel) because when Todd's wife died, Todd buried himself in responsibilities for his work and from that point on, neglected looking after his son. In 1949, Willis, whose real name is Earl Barnes, was serving time for petty theft in an Tuscaloosa, Alabama prison, where he attacked a guard and then escaped. Recently, Willis was recognized in San Francisco by a fellow convict from way back then named Hoby Shuttleworth (James Griffith), who tells Willis that the guard died and he wants a payment not to expose him. Willis shows up at a bar where he hands over $500 to Hoby, but after he leaves, a scuzzy guy from the bar, Frenchy (Roy Jensen) steals the money, helped by Hubert "Gimp" Franklin (Robert Walden). Toby hits his head on a wall and dies after he is pushed by Frenchy, another SOSF incident where injuries like this would typically not have been fatal. Gimp, interviewed by Stone and Keller, puts the blame for Toby's death on Willis, and the two cops spring into action investigating. Todd is very concerned when he learns about Willis's past, of which he knew nothing, but he offers his full financial and legal support. Willis seemingly spends time at Todd's place looking after the son, but has his own apartment where he appears to be living the life of a respectable citizen. As well, he has a cabin near Santa Rosa north of San Francisco. When Willis decides to leave town after giving the cops his fingerprints which will reveal his past, Peter says he wants to come along, but Willis discourages this. Peter follows Willis to Santa Rosa anyway, but Willis puts the kid on a bus back home. The police in the area, responding to an APB for Willis, shoot and wound him, but Willis manages to get to his cabin. Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, aside from a confession by Frenchy, who gets hit by a car, that he was the one reponsible for Toby's death, Stone and Keller find out that Willis did not kill the guard 25 years before, but merely injured him. In the usual nick of time, the two San Francisco cops arrive at the cabin just as Willis is about to commit suicide and talk him out of it. The relationship between Willis and Peter is peculiar, not helped by the fact the actor playing Peter was around 18 and looks it, whereas he is supposed to be less than 15, the number of years that Willis has worked for Todd. I'm sure that eyebrows were raised about a black man (Willis) looking after a white man's kid in this manner in 1974. As the show went on, I kept wondering about this relationship, whether it was going to have a gay subtext, but that would have been totally rank and there is no way that the show could have gotten away with this.

EPILOG

Willis makes an impassioned speech before Judge George Gilbert (Bill Baldwin), who says that after what happened and Willis's history for the last 25 years, the judge considers Willis to be rehabilitated and he is recommending that Willis be released with no bail and all charges be dropped, pending a decision by the legal authorities in Sacramento.


Added: Monday 03 July 2017 03:26:09 MST
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