Barney Miller

Season 1 Episode 11

Escape Artist

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Apr 10, 1975 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Gusek insists that his wings are not "chazerai." This is a Yiddish word meaning junk or trash.

    • One unusual aspect of this episode: Usually the other detectives complained about the way Yemana made the coffee; here, Yemana was the one that first complained about it.

    • This would be the beginning of the 'Harris writing a novel' story arc that would last throughout the entirety of the series.

  • Quotes

    • Barney: (entering and seeing Jeffers in the cage) I see Mr. Jeffers is still here.
      Yemana: Only beacuse he like it here.

    • Harris: Hey, Yemana. How do say "Get me a cup of coffee" in Japanese?
      Yemana: Why?
      Harris: Well, see I got this Japanese detective in my novel, see, and every morning when he comes in he says "get me a cup of coiffee" but it's in Japanese.
      Yemana: Are there any other Japanese detectives in the room?
      Harris: No.
      Yemana: Then who's going to understand?
      Harris: Hey, what's the difference? It just adds a little color to the book. Come on. Give it up.
      Yemana: Uh... 私ã"ã'³ãƒ¼ãƒ'ーã''å¾-なさã"
      Fish: (arriving) Get it yourself. What am I? Your maid?

    • Wojo: (referring to the informant) The guy'd sell his own brother for fifty bucks.
      Fish: Seventy five. He gets out next June.
      Wojo: You're kidding.
      Fish: Didn't you like it?
      Wojo: It wasn't bad.
      Fish: Then how about a little smile?

    • Barney: (reading a newspaper) "Detectives Amangual and Wojciehowicz arrest..." Oh, they spelled your name wrong again, Wojo.
      Wojo: I don't believe it. You spell it the way it sounds—Wojciehowicz.

    • Barney: Anything happening I should know about?
      Everyone: Harris is writing a book.
      Barney: A capella. Pretty good. I had in mind something more in the nature of a crime.
      Yemana: The coffee.
      Barney: I would hesitate to call our coffee a crime. A shame maybe... (takes a sip of the coffee) Oh, that's a crime.

    • (Barney is trying to organize a rescue team for Mr. Gusik, who has escaped to the roof)
      Yemana: Barney... He jumped.
      Barney: Oh, my God. Was he killed?
      Yemana: Nope. He just flew all the way to the ground, sailing in a big circle. Just as pretty as anything you've ever saw. Landed right in front of the ambulance.
      Chano: What'd they do with him?
      Yemana They took him to Bellevue.
      Barney: I don't know what for.

    • Jeffers: Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
      Harris: This cat is dynamite. I'm going to write that down.
      Barney: It seems you found an admirer.
      Jeffers: Do me a favor—don't tell him it's from Aldous Huxley until after I leave.

    • Fish: (shaking Jeffers' hand),Oh, Charlie Jeffers. How are you?
      Jeffers: How do you do?
      Fish: I recognize you from your APB circulars.
      Jeffers: I'm sorry to hear that.

  • Notes

    • The very day he starts writing his novel Harris tells Chano that he can't put him in the book because "You can't use real people. You'd get sued." Ironically this is exactly happens to Harris in Season Seven after he includes in the book a character based on slime ball lawyer Arnold Ripner.

    • This is the first of Leonard Frey's two, unrelated appearances on Barney Miller. He can also be seen in season six's "Vanished."

    • Roscoe Lee Browne was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1976 for Outstanding Single Performance By A Supporting Actor for this episode.

  • Allusions

    • Aldous Huxley

      (1894 - 1963) An English philosopher, poet and writer best known for his dystopian novel Brave New World (1932)

    • Harris says, "there are eight million stories in the naked city and I'm going to sell me one," playing on the opening to the TV show, The Naked City.

    • Mr. Jeffers is sarcastically referred to as "The Happy Wanderer," which is a German popular song written in 1953 celebrating the joys of hiking in the outdoors.

    • Mr. Gusik breaks into an impromptu performance of "The Impossible Dream," a song from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha.