Barney Miller

Season 1 Episode 8

Ms. Cop

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 13, 1975 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Nick tells Chano about a story in a Japanese newspaper he is reading about a thermomter factory closing. He says it was because they found swordfish in the mercury. Barney has reports he needs typed up. Nick tells him that the new detective, Janice Wentworth, is the best one but she is in the restroom. Fish says he's been waiting for 20 minutes for her. Chano then takes a call from a Miss Busch from the phone company reporting obscene calls. This is not the first time, because she specifically asks for him. He tells her that they have a lot of material, but when she asks for an example, he says that if he did, that it would become an obscene phone call. She tells him he has a nice voice, and when he returns the compliment, Nick says that she likes him. Chano then says that the voice never matches the face. Wentworth finally comes out of the restroom and Barney asks her to type up his reports. She objects because they weren't her cases, but Barney says that it's just because she's the best typist. When she reminds him that she ranked 'expert' at the police academy firing range, he says. 'Don't type them, shoot them.' Wentworth says that she thought being a plainclothes cop meant not filing out so many forms. Chano says that they do lots of heroic things but if they didn't fill out reports, no one would ever hear about them. Chano then takes a call about a bank robbery in progress. Barney has the male detectives go out, but Wentworth has to watch the squad room. Barney tells her that the men have a rapport with each other and that it's always hard with someone new. Wentworth says, 'Espescially when that somebody is a woman, huh?' Barney tells her that everyone thinks she's 'a lovely cop.' He then realizes what he said and leaves. Wentworth then says, 'What time do you want dinner?' Part One: Wentworth is typing at Wojo's desk when Liz comes in looking for her husband. She tells Liz she's glad that Barney is married because she thought he didn't like women on the police force. She says that she's been typing and filing since she came in and the first bank robbery that comes in, she's told to mind the store. Liz is upset at hearing about the robbery and Wentworth tells her not to worry. The men then come back in and Liz gives Barney a big hug. Wentworth asks how the case went, saying that she heard there was shooting on the scanner. Chano says the only one who got hit was the suspect. Wentworth says there were two phone messages: one for Fish from Bernice, and one for Chano from Miss Busch. After taking Liz into his office, Barney asks Wentworth how things were in the squad room. She says that she typed and filed all the reports and even cleaned the coffee cups. Barney then asks, 'Dinner ready?' Miss Busch tells Chano that they have traced an obscene call and gets the location of it. He goes to arrest the perp, but when Wentworth asks to go with him, he refuses. In the office, Liz tells Barney about a vacation to Paris that would cost $26,000 all told. Barney says that they can't afford it, so Liz just asks him to take her to lunch. Barney asks why she came down to see him and she says that she had an urge to after she read about a police officer killed in Massachussetts. She also says that the law enforcement wives group therapy session suggested they do an imaginative joke for them. However, Bernice is doing the same thing with Fish on the phone, but he doesn't want to hear a joke or go to lunch with her. Wentworth then takes a call about a potential suspect that checked into a local hotel. Barney tells Fish to go and asks about partners, but Chano and Nick are out and Wojo and Harris are working at Narcotics for the week. Barney asks Fish to go alone, he suggests taking a patrolman, and Barney says no uniformed officers, then says he will go with him. Wentworth asks to go with him, Barney asks Fish, and he says that 'it would kill Bernice if she found out I died in the company of another woman.' When Liz says that that is terrible, Fish lets Wentworth come with him, but he insists on driving.' Part Two: Nick takes a call from someone who had a distinctive looking car stolen. He jokes that maybe the car ran away. Then he pauses to grab a pencil, but instead uses it as a chopstick to eat his Chinese food. Chano brings in the obscene phone caller, a Charles Hackman. After hanging up with his call, Nick realizes that he ate his eraser. Barney comes in after lunch and a session with the group therapy group. He says that he feels closer to Liz, especially after an 'extortion' of two weeks on Martha's Vinyard next summer. Hackman asks him about therapy and Barney suggests he get some. He says he tried to but when he called to make the appointment, he never got past talking to the nurse. Chano asks him if he ever tried to make personal contact with any of the women he calls, but he says the voice never matches the face. He tells Chano that he works writing verses for a greeting card compnay, but he doesn't have a phone because he would never get any work done. Wentworth then comes in with the suspect she and Fish were tracking down. She is so excited about making her first arrest that when Barney asks them what happened, she keeps talking and Fish can't get much in. He does tell Barney that when she burst into the room and yelled 'Freeze!' that the suspect threw the gun he was holding out the window. Barney tells Fish that she is high as a kite. Fish says that she took the elevator and he took the stairs and she still beat him to the fifth floor of the hotel. Hackman admires what she was doing, and when Chano says he has one phone call, he makes it an obscene one to Wentworth. A few days later, Chano tells Miss Busch that she may have to testify in Hackman's trial. Barney tells Wentworth that she is being transferred as part of the NYPD's new program putting more women into the field and giving them more experiences. Wentworth sees it as a bad thing, having to leave just when she is getting along with the other detectives. When Barney tells her she is assigned to Youth House, she refuses to go, but Barney tells her she has no choice. He confides that he felt the same way when he was assingned to the 12th Precinct. As she leaves, Barney tells her that he still thinks she's a lovely cop. Epilogue: Wentworth visits the squad room to say hello to the detectives and jokes that she wanted to give them a hand. Chano says that they haven't typed or filed anything, and Fish says there are green things growing in the coffee cups. Barney comes out and Wentworth tells him that she has been transferred to Vice. Liz comes in and drags Barney into the office. She tells him that the group therapy has a new approach: sex. Barney tells the detectives 'No calls' and goes into the office.