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Ironside: Let My Brother Go

Our look back on the debut season of Ironside continues.

*

Episode: Let My Brother Go

Airdate: 2 November 1967

Plot: What, no murder to solve? This week's episode casts Ironside as a tough-hearted Mother Teresa. The Chief is having trouble getting his Big Brother program for at-risk youth off the ground. It seems the boys in the hood would rather make zip guns than play touch football in the park with a bunch of off-duty cops. Sheeze, kids.

Whatever arrangement Ironside thought he'd worked out with a resident gang isn't working; the Mambas continue intimidating anyone from joining in the fuzz-sponsored reindeer games. Perhaps pro-football star "Bat" Masterson, who happens to be a childhood friend of Mark's, is just the star attraction Ironside's boys' club needs. Unfortunately, Bat comes with his own set of baggage - a no-good, ex-con younger brother. Before you can say "wheelman," we've got us a dead man.

Guest stars: Ivan Dixon plays Charles "Bat" Masterson. You might recognize him as Kinchloe from Hogan's Heroes.

Here come the fuzz. Here come the fuzz: The episode begins with a parade of police vehicles, including the Ironsidemobile, driving through San Francisco with lights flashing and Ironside looking particularly stone-faced. The Chief is dead serious about something and he's got the backup to prove it. Their destination - the clubhouse where the Mamba gang hangs out. Ed is the first cop to hit the ground, banging on the door in that perpetually pissed-off way he has about him.

Kind of wordy for a password at the door, but I guess it works: "Well, whaddaya know. We got the fuzz out here."

Number of times the word "fuzz" is used in this episode: 11

Sometimes you feel like a nut: The fuzz enters the club while Ed yells at the Mambas to stay where they are. The place is surrounded! Inside, the Mambas pose like a page torn from the 1967 Sears catalog: all bright solid colors, patterned vests, and striped tapered pants with sneakers. After taking a grim assessment of the room, Ironside scolds, "I thought I was your friend. I thought we were working things out pretty good. Even had jobs in sight for some of you. I suppose that makes me some kind of nut."

When you care enough to steal the best: The Mambas are caught with an incriminating piece of fancy audio equipment - a Hi-Fi set. Oh yeah, and a stash of handguns hidden in the wall.

Triple-word score: When a search warrant is flashed in the gang leader's face, he says, "Like man, I was a dropout. I don't groove with those big words."

Bartender, keep 'em coming: At the end of the day, Ironside is taking his failure with the Mambas particularly hard. Time for a drink. Mark joins his boss in throwing back a few, observing, "This job doesn't pay much and the hours are terrible but it's a swinger for fringe benefits."

In the days before we "watched" TV: Mark tells The Chief, "I'm going to my room to look at television."

Is there a problem, Officer? Bat Masterson's first brush with the law is a close call with a fire hydrant. Luckily, all it takes is an autographed football and a promise to move his car to avoid a ticket.

Not enough autographed footballs in the world: Bat's ex-con brother Joe has a decidedly different opinion of the fuzz. "Cops, man. When you walk out on parole, you're their property big brother. And let me tell you, they owns ya."

Complimentary continental breakfast: In one scene, Bat dons a brick red blazer. He looks like he's off to work the front desk at the Hyatt.

What the well-dressed policewoman will wear: Brrrr, it gets mighty cold there in San Francisco, as evidenced by Eve's camel hair coat, trimmed with a fur collar and cuffs. Taupe handbag and white gloves finish the look.

It's fun to stay at the YMCA: Despite what Mark says, ("The chief will swing for our kids in the neighborhood") it's not that kind of a boys' club.

Who wears short shorts: When we see Bat coaching a few kids in the park, the only cop on the field is illuminated by the huge number 43 on his football jersey. He's also the only white guy and he's sporting knee socks and incredibly short, tight shorts. If all the football-playing cops look like this, there's a reason why more neighborhood kids aren't participating and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mambas.

West Coast Story: The Mambas hit the streets to beat down the kids who played ball with the cops, jazzed up with Quincy Jones' soundtrack. Again, the kids are wearing straight-legged tight pants, Keds, striped t-shirts, and solid button-down crew neck shirts. All that's missing are a few Bob Fosse moves and jazz hands all around.

Does this gang have a retirement plan? These "kids" look like their average age is pushing 30-something.

Chief, cook and bottle washer: Ironside and his crew sit down to a meal of spaghetti and Chianti. While we watch Ed and Mark stuff unruly pasta in their mouths, Ironside says, "This isn't bad Eve. You're no Mama Turino but you're improving."

Eve's flirtatious comeback: "Thank you Chief, I won't tell her you said that. It might hurt her. I had her put it up for you." Then, in her best Eye-talian accent, she purrs, "Mama, she's a-cooked it a-for you hurrself, the way you laayike it. Spayshul." She ends with a wink and salutes Ironside with her wine glass. As always when someone makes a joke at Ironside's expense, there's a reaction shot of each of the other team members looking . . . confused.

Service with a smile: Eve serves coffee in this episode twice, once as the self-proclaimed "den mother of this snake pit."

The latest in Hi-Fi surveillance equipment: Ironside plants a bug on Joe's coat that's the color and size of an iPod ear bud.

Keeping a low profile . . . Not! Ironside and the crew wait in the van to tail their suspect. When Joe leaves the house and crosses the street, the hulking Ironside paddy wagon creeps out from around the corner to follow fifty feet behind Joe. For all their subtlety, they might as well be driving a blaring ice cream truck.

-

Previously:
* A Cop and His Chair
* Message From Beyond
* The Leaf in the Forest
* Dead Man's Tale
* Eat, Drink and Be Buried
* The Taker
* An Inside Job
* Tagged For Murder



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Posted on October 15, 2008


MUSIC - Lil Zay Osama.
TV - Use Satellite TV Spectrum Money For 5G.
POLITICS - Rudy's Friends In Ukraine.
SPORTS - Women Love Soccer.

BOOKS - Small Creatures Such As We.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Illinois Tully Monster Just Got Weirder.


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