Harry O

Season 1 Episode 21

Elegy for a Cop

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Feb 27, 1975 on ABC
7.0
out of 10
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10 votes
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Episode Summary

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Elegy for a Cop
AIRED:
Manny Quinlan, Harry's old friend on the San Diego police force, is murdered when he comes to Los Angeles to take his addicted niece back home.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A slapdash schedule-filler with a few powerful individual scenes and loads of recycled footage, this episode is ultimately sunk by the confounding, purposeless death of a recurring character.

    5.0
    With almost half of its running time taken up by footage from the first Harry O pilot film, Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On, this penultimate episode of the first season is pure bottle show. Fair enough; frugality's no crime, and it's kind of a kick at this point to revisit Harry as he was originally conceived by Howard Rodman, Jerry Thorpe, and David Janssen (not that far from how he ended up in the series, as it turns out).



    Unfortunately, trying to wedge plot points and guest stars (Sal Mineo and Kathleen Lloyd) from Such Dust into a slapdash whodunnit has Rodman (the episode's credited screenwriter) doing backflips. The story is disjointed and frequently preposterous, and despite their professionalism Janssen and Anthony Zerbe can't muster much enthusiasm for it.



    Rodman's worst offense here, however, is in bringing Harry's erstwhile sparring partner, Lt. Manny Quinlan of the SDPD (Henry Darrow), to Los Angeles on a case of his own -- and then killing him off within the first 15 minutes of the episode with no interaction between he and Harry or his L.A. counterpart, Lt. Trench (Zerbe).



    Darrow reportedly enjoyed this story line, and he plays the hell out of it, but his scenes are disconnected from the rest of the material -- they seem like part of a much better episode, in fact. Janssen's narration in this and a few later sequences is moving as well, but shortly thereafter the narrative begins to arduously integrate the pilot footage and all but loses its way. And before that happens, Julio Medina briefly appears as Manny's brother, Jesus, in an over-the-top performance that's excruciating to watch.



    Ultimately, "Elegy for a Cop" feels like three different episode fragments grafted together to fill the schedule. That in itself isn't so unusual for a weekly television series trying to recoup some costs, but to pointlessly bump off a beloved character while doing it seems misguided and possibly cruel -- particularly in a show that's so astutely character driven. It's a waste, and a wasted opportunity.moreless
David Janssen

David Janssen

Harry Orwell

Henry Darrow

Henry Darrow

Det. Lt. Manuel "Manny" Quinlan [eps 3-15, 23]

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

Sue Ingram [eps 21-42]

Anthony Zerbe

Anthony Zerbe

Lt. K.C. Trench [eps 17-46]

Paul Tulley

Paul Tulley

Sgt. Don Roberts [eps 17-46]

Sal Mineo

Sal Mineo

Broker

Guest Star

Kathleen Lloyd

Kathleen Lloyd

Marilyn Quinlan

Guest Star

Julio Medina

Julio Medina

Jesus Quinlan

Guest Star

Margaret Avery

Margaret Avery

Ruby Dome

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Writer: Howard Rodman

      Quote 1
      ORWELL, VOICEOVER: My friend Manny Quinlan called in sick, took the day off, and came north to Los Angeles on family business. Two hours and ten minutes by the legal speed limit. My friend Manny was a legal man. Behind him was his wife, his children, his job, his mother and his father, his brothers and his sisters. My friend Manny was a family man. But very few people knew where Manny was going—only the people who had to know. His mother and his brother--Jesus--knew what he was trying to do, but they didn't know where he was. His wife knew he was in Los Angeles, but she didn't know where in Los Angeles. My friend Manny was alone.

      Quote 2
      ORWELL, VOICEOVER: Any honest policeman knows that if he's shot and killed in another city where he's not supposed to be, and his body is found with $2400 on it, then there has to be a scandal, and people have to question his honesty. But he can't answer for himself when he's dead—-he knows that…$2400 is a funny amount of money: it's $200 a month, $50 a week for a year, like a cheap and rotten policeman on a weekly payroll. Not a big crook, just a little crook without self-respect.

      Quote 3
      ORWELL, VOICEOVER: I came to pay my last respects, but I was trying to avoid private grief in a public place. I got there after the funeral was over.

      Quote 4
      ORWELL, VOICEOVER [WHILE WRITING MANNY'S NAME ON BOTTLE OF LIQUOR]: My mother is dead, so is my father, and I never had a sister. Even Sherlock Holmes had a brother, but not me. All I have are my friends: you take one of them away from me, you steal a piece of my life.
      ORWELL, to bartender: Put it up there by the light--I want to be able to read the name.
      BARTENDER: Whatta we do, open it when he comes in?
      ORWELL: He's not coming in, not in this lifetime…He had a previous engagement.

      Quote 5
      TRENCH: I have mixed feelings about you, Orwell. I suppose in some ways you're a good detective, but a really good detective is an organization man. You never share your information.
      ORWELL: I don't have information, if I want information, I go to you. What I have is hunches.
      TRENCH: But I don't trust hunches.
      ORWELL: Then what do you want me to share them with you for?
      TRENCH: That's why I always have mixed feelings about you.

      Quote 6
      ORWELL: I owe you lunch.
      TRENCH: No thanks. I don't eat hot dogs.

      Quote 7
      TRENCH: Orwell, this is what I'm talking about. You cannot live the way you do. You are living like a dinosaur after all the other dinosaurs have died out: you must evolve, Orwell. Crime is organized and you have to be part of an organization to fight it effectively.

      Quote 8
      BARTENDER: Hello, Harry.
      ORWELL: Leon, you can open that bottle now.
      BARTENDER: You know, you gave me too much money for it.
      ORWELL: Every once in awhile somebody will come in here and you'll see that you like 'em right away…because there decent, and just good people…So give 'em a drink out of this bottle. It doesn't matter whether they have money or not—-tell 'em the drink's on Manny Quinlan. Maybe they'll remember him. If you feel like it, tell 'em he was a friend of mine.
      BARTENDER: What'll I do when the bottle runs out?
      ORWELL: Nothing…Nobody lives forever.

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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