Beware of Spunky Dunkers.
Calling all ol’ skool law and order fans! Strap yourselves in for one last set of ride-alongs with officers Malloy (Martin Milner, Route 66) and Reed (Kent McCord, Galactica 1980) as Shout! Factory rolls out Adam-12: The Final Season.
Seven years is a lifetime for a beat cop on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Whereas most jobs tend to get easier with time and experience, the patrolman’s job remains fraught with peril and uncertainty on a daily basis. Catching crooks is the easy part; making the charges stick is the problem.
“There’s just no equal justice under the law. The hypocrisy of the whole thing is beginning to get to me.” — Jim Reed
The pay is lousy and the hours are hell. Your uniform and your squad car make you a target. The very people you seek to serve and protect regard you with suspicion and enmity.
“Every policeman I know, at one time or another, has thought about pulling the pin and turning in his badge for good.” — Pete Malloy
With a mere twenty four episodes left until retirement, who could blame these boys in blue for keeping a low profile and restricting their stakeouts to the city’s safer Donut huts? But the occupants of police cruiser Adam-12 refuse to go gently into that good night: Malloy is kidnapped by a group of domestic revolutionaries (with a Patty Hearst-like leader), catches a nearly fatal bullet, and sees the possibility of his promotion to Seargent jeopardized by police brutality charges. Reed spends a month undercover with the narco-vice squad, emerging unshaven, disillusioned, and stunned to find his once solid marriage to Jean (Kristin Nelson, The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet) may be damaged beyond repair.
There’s also the case of the teenage joyriders who steal a truck carrying radioactive chemicals; a band of dope dealers using local Laundromats to dry out their marijuana harvest; a fat lady stuck in a phone booth; and a rooftop sniper…on Christmas eve, no less! As it was in the beginning, so it remained until the end; one jumbled case load of serious and comic situations after another. Love it or hate it, you can’t accuse this Jack Webb-produced procedural of being inconsistent.
Equally consistent is Shout! Factory’s just-the-facts-ma’am, bare bones presentation: standard definition 1.33:1 full frame, Dolby 2.0 Mono audio, and no extras. Only the absence of subtitles for the hard of hearing kept me from issuing this set a special citation for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“One Adam-12, Over and Out.”