This episode is only nominally sans Gannon. There is another episode which is nearly Gannon-less as well. In both of these episodes, Joe operates with a new partner. You'll never guess who it is!
This set is nearly as sterile as some of season one and season two for Parker Center, but again, it's pink instead of green. No bueno.
Freeze, you know who it is - It's me, bitches.
I'm not a baddy…or am I?
Three-shot, drapes, louvres. I don't know about you, but I wish the louvers were still the distorted downtown L.A. backdrop from season one.
HOLD THE PHONE
A note about hand shots - Usually all of the hand closeups are Jack Webb's hand(s).
Here, you can observe (probably) Anthony Eisley's pasty white hand.
Charlie - Red
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO FISHING?
I KNOW A LONESOME PIER.
We also get another hit of Elaine Devry.
Wooden phone booth with a pre-Bell Labs redesign pay phone, typical for our "shady" sets.
Bookmaking is gambling, but with organized crime.
So…mafia - or as Dragnet calls it, "the syndicate."
Anthony Eisley is all style smoking his cigarette back there, while Jack cradles the phone.
New set: banquettes, cool table lamps, and backlit plants.
Interesting and crazy economical production style!
PEW PEW PEW
"Charlie Red always has fire for his friends."
There is a nice overt move from the saturated colors of the bar sets to the pastel neutral blues of Carol's apartment:
It actually is a pretty stylish episode.
One thing that I love is when Clark Howat is in the Carol's apartment set and he rolls the side chair over to the sofa.
Yes. Low upholstered chairs on obscured smart casters. That is one hell of a detail. If someone would recreate that in their midcentury set and have a character slide the chair, heads would explode.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU JUST SAID
Weren't we trying to bust a bookmaking ring or something?
This shot is crazy. The short guy about to be eaten by a plant, the tall guy next to the low picture with a giant orange butterfly over his head? Flowers between the men?
We could call this the wallpaper episode.
Having the drapes in excess of the size of the window was also totally normal.
Elaine Devry in the same outfit in the morning in your apartment, not normal.
James Doherty was writing lines for this week's very small cast; some lines have a pulpy feel in this episode. I think it's a top twenty episode; maybe a top ten. Art Director John E. Chilberg, II is wearing Russell Kimball's stylistic hat, looks like.
The curve of the wing chair is nice, but the lamp is still a terrifying departure.
Let me be clear. I'm not anti-drum lamp shade. If anything, I'm anti-cone shaped lampshade.
White, volumetric papery shades are nothing but unimaginative.
That's a neat bell pull dividing the men.
Are you ready for the money shot?
(Mad Men did this one when Roger Sterling was tripping with Timothy Leary, but without the hundo.)
"Pew pew pew!"
This is a fantastic establishing shot.
It captures exactly what economical high-rise modernism stood for in 1968.
This is it. It is firm. It does not change.
It is formulaic. It is delicate. An algorithm for organization, optimism (if briefly), and practicality.
Modernism says, 'let us be rational.'
Now, here is what takes place inside of the modern apartment building.
Some sad plants. A drum lampshade, flowers…
Wait, could that be?
A curvaceous critique buried in blue and gold - the key residential colors of Dragnet Style.
John McCarthy and/or Sturtevant somewhere found a ceramic blue and gold cat for Carol's apartment. Best thing in the room.
Who was Carol? She is uncredited. Was she Joe Friday's "Special Lady?"
With a headshot and some imagination, they guys have created a character that doesn't exist.
She is literally seeping out of the walls by way of wooden mouldings on both doors and all of the walls. Dark blue wall to wall carpet. The absurd French-looking side table. (Just paint it gold, already!)
Clark Howat engages the most masculine thing in the room - a gold chair. Joe is on her floral print sofa against a floral pillow. If that isn't weird enough, John McCarthy and/or Sturtevant used prints under glass, which they never do, or if they do, it never shows.
Carol's apartment brings out the bourgeois in weird.
A few weeks and an art director ago, we were on Russell Kimball's turf in the fourth victim's apartment which looked good enough to have been appropriated from another production.
At last, another wooden phone booth. By contrast, this bar set is supposed to be gritty, right?
There are actually some extras back there. The Usual Bar Set is swinging! The bartender is wearing a red vest instead of a red or orange jacket.
What is the world coming to?
THERE IS A JUKE BOX BEHIND YOU
I wonder if they had wrap parties in The Usual Bar Set.
It has never come to life quite like it has in this episode.
A symmetrical gold American eagle is above the cash register.
Large, shimmering tropical fish flank the shelves of bottles and glassware.
The Payphone Bank Set is still nice - the wall sort of looks like it was faux-finished with vomit.
I like the blue tiled column, though. It's sweet.
Did they pull that secretary from the very first shot and recycle her into the very same episode?
OMG YES HOLD THE PHONE
Scroll up and look - her hair is amazing.
YES WE AGREE
Love the clock shot!
But it's meeee……..clark howat….
Oh, Hi, Anthony.
YES WE KNOW IT IS A SICK BURN
BUT YOU BETRAYED THE FORCE
A bit of a treat, here - our epilogue with Bill - in an unexplored nook of the Gannon household.
See you next week.
Christopher Lawrence Drucker
Now serving one to fourteen
years in the State Penitentiary,
San Quentin, California.
Twenty-five other suspects were found guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery, obstructing justice and violating gambling laws. All have served jail terms and are now on probation.
Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Anthony Eisley as Lieutenant Chris Drucker
Clark Howat as Captain Nelson
Elaine Devry as Maggie Hinton
John Dennis as Bookie Agent
Art Direction - John E. Chilberg, II
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee
Written by James Doherty
Aired 6 February 1969
I'm being dismissed,