Barney Miller

Season 2 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 11, 1975 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Yemana sees that there's no weather report in the paper. Harris says it may mean they won't have any. Yemana blames the spray cans, that the weatherman can't see because of all the underarm deodorant in the clouds. Barney has a directive from NYPD HQ saying all the catalytic converters must be removed from the squad cars. Harris points out that they just were put on the cars but Barney says that they are eating up too much gas. Harris asks what is more important, removing smog or saving energy. Barney says, 'Last month, America wanted to live. This month, it wants to go to the mountains.' They hear noise from the bathroom and Barney asks how much longer the plumber is going to be. Harris says that he makes $22 an hour, which is more than the police commissioner. Barney says the plumber's job is more important. Harris asks the plumber how long he'll be. He says he doesn't know because there's salt water in the sink. Harris asks where it came from; he says he doesn't know but it's turning brown. Harris then says it must be from the Atlantic Ocean because the Hudson River water is black. The plumber then says he found a hat in the toilet and Harris says 'Finders keepers.'Fish comes in staggering and panting. Yemana asks what's wrong; Fish says that he'sgetting dizzygoing up and down stairs, that the only working toilet is on the first floor. Yemana asks how many times he's done it; Fish says he's had three cups of coffee which means five trips. Yemana says he should have a doctor look at his kidneys. Fish says he did; and the doctor said it would be easier to fix the toilet. Wojo comes in with a man dressed as a priest. He tells Barney that he arrested the man for being a phony priest. He said the man was in front of a bank hustling Bibles with no ID and no permit. The man said he was offering Bibles for a small donation to his church--The Church of the Street. He says it's for people who wish to worship informally, 'out there.' Wojo says he's running a 'floating church.' He has a box filled with Bibles from different hotels around the area. Barney asks the man what he's called, and he says Father Paul. Wojo says he can't be called 'Father' because he's not a Catholic Priest, but Paul says he is a father. Barney tells Wojo That the Bibles may have been donated. He says to check out Paul's church, to make sure it's legit. Wojo asks how he will find it, and Barney suggests the Yellow Pages. Then a man in a trench coat comes in asking to see the man in charge. Yemana tells him that Barney is busy and asks him to wait; he sits at Wojo's desk. Fish says he's going to the bathroom and asks everyone if they want anything on the first floor. They all say no, but when he gets up, his phone rings. It's a woman calling ina crime, saying she heard a scream. Fish tells her to describe it quickly.

Part One: Chano comes in dressed in a suit. He's come back from an IRS audit. He's angry, he says he won; he's not going to prison and they're letting him live, but poorly. He sees Father Paul and asks what he's doing in the cage. Wojo says he thinks he's phony but Barney told him to check him out. Chano tells Father Paul that he should be ashamed of himself if he's not a priest and good morning if he is. Fish comes back in and asks the man at Wojo's desk if he can help him. The man asks if he can help Fish and he says 'Everything that can be done, has been done.' He then asks for more coffee and Yemana calls him a glutton for punishment. Fish asks the plumber how much longer he's going to be. The plumber calls that bathroom the worst he's ever seen and Fish says he doesn't remember what it looks like. The plumber says that people always make jokes about plumbers and asks when they are in trouble, who is the first person they call. Fish says 'The man in the cage.' Yemana comes to the man and says that Barney is going to be tied up and asks if there's anything he can do for him. The man introduces himself as George Webber and says he has a list of people he wants arrest warrants made up for. The first person on the list is the governor. Yemana says that he's not the only one, that they get two or three requests a week. Chano tells Fish that the IRS would not let him deduct any of his entertainment expenses, despite that they were on behalf of the NYPD. Fish asks who he entertained on behalf of the NYPD; Chano says that he has certain avenues of information that must be entertained every once in a while. Yemana shows Barney Webber's list; there are many high level officials on it. Yemana says he was going to call Bellevue, but he remembered Barney's advice about always checking things out. He says he was going to if it was just the mayor on it, but since the governor was, that is more Barney's level. In the squad room, Webber is sweating profusely. Harris tells him to take off his trench coat, so he does, revealing he has a belt of dynamite sticks around his chest. All the detectives are shocked. Barney then comes in, apologizes for making him wait, introduces himself, sees the belt and tells Webber not to get up.

Part Two: Webber does get up, and holds a detonator in his hand. He threatens to blow up the building. When Barney says that Webber will blow up also, he says that is the point, that he wants someone to pay attention to him. Barney says they all are and asks him to take off the belt; when he refuses, Barney tells him to keep wearing it. Webber says that he 's sick and tired of being lied to. Fish says he should try a divorce; Webber says that he's talking about politics and Barney says that there are elections. Chano says that you can't put someone else in office 'if you blow up your vote.' Webber says that elections and protests and demonstrations are cries in the wind.He says that millions of people are doomed to extinction. Barney agrees that the world is in terrible condition but Webber says he's talking about the city. He asks it anyone cares and Barney says they do. He has Yemana type up a warrant for the governor, Chano do one for the mayor(but Fish volunteers for it), Harris call the district attorney's office and the others make warrants for the city council. Fish requests to leave the room because of the coffee. Barney asks if he can go and Webber says he doesn't care. All the men finish their warrants and give them to Barney. He tells Webber that they will do everything they can to help him and asks to clear the building and Webber agrees. Harris and Yemana clear the upper floor, Fish goes to clear the first floor and Chano tries to get the plumber out. When he says that there's someone with dynamite, the plumber says he needs a snake, that they'd hurt the pipes with dynamite. However, he sees Webber and leaves but first he asks to get his tools. Father Paul asks to leave and Barney tells Wojo to take him to the 27th Precinct, but Webber asks him to stay because he wants to make a confession. Paul says that he heard him when he was talking to Barney. Webber says that he wants final absolution. Wojo tells him that he's not a real priest, but Webber says he will take his chances. Paul takes a Bible out of the box and tells Webber 'You're gonna to be all right.' He then offers the Bible to him. Wojo tells Paul to find a new hustle. Buchman the plumber asks for the fee for his work. Barney asks him if money is that important to him and he says if it wasn't, he wouldn't be a plumber. Barney then explains that they don't have the money, that he has to get a requisition for it. Chano comes in and says the building is clear and that he should leave, but Barney insists on staying. Chano says that the bomb squad and emergency services are downstairs, but Barney says that Webber didn't want to hurt anyone, so if he stays that it won't happen. Webber opens the Bible and finds that it's written in Hebrew. Chano starts yelling at Webber that he has a lot of nerve for what he's doing. Barney says that the detonator may be sensitive to loud noises, so Chano loudly whispers at him. He starts to slam the door but catches it before it shuts. Barney explains that Chano hates to see life wasted. Webber says he feels the same way, which is why he's doing what he's doing. Barney says that he needs a little determination and faith in man's initiative.Webber tells Barney that there is a sea of sludge 20 miles off of Long Island and that it is heading for the city. Barney says he should have faith in the Gulf stream also. Webber says it's hopless and Barney says if he doesn't have faith he should give up, but quickly says he should rephrase that. Webber says he should go and Barney says that maybe they will get a new building with decent plumbing. Webber says he thought Buchman fixed it and Barney says 'You have no faith in mankind, you have faith in plumbers.' Barney then tells him that he should go through with it if it's the only commitment he's stupid enough to make. Webber tells him that he came up here out of honesty and Barney's angeris just another disappointment. Webber says that no one is worth saving; when Barney says it's not true, Webber says that he'll find out that he can't trust anyone and calls Barney a coward. He tells Webber that he's gone too far and says to give him the belt. Webber agrees, saying 'Wait till they refuse to answer your calls! Boom!' As Barney takes the belt, the phone rings. It's Chano, asking if everything is okay. Barney says it is in the room but outside it could be better. Webber asks for aspirin, Barney gives it to him and tells Chano to send someone up to defuse the bomb. Webber takes a drink out of the fountain and tells Barney there's salt water coming out of it.

Epilogue: Fish comes into Barney's office and asks him if there's anything he can do. Barney asks him if he's heard about the sea of sludge. Fish said he's read about it. Barney asks if it worries him; Fish says it does a little, but there's nothing he can do about it. Barney says those are terrifying consequences, but Fish henever goes to the beaches. He says there are 'too many women running around hardly withnothingon, and, uh, I can't do anything about that either.'

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