Lou Grant

Season 3 Episode 20


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 18, 1980 on CBS

Episode Recap

Joe Rossi is extremely happy with a scoop that fell into his lap. City supervisor Kirby was seen in Aspen with a strange woman, rather than attending a conference. Charlie introduces his team to Marcy, a new consumer affairs reporter Charlie headhunted from the Long Beach Sun.

Suddenly Los Angeles gets hit by an earthquake, followed by a power outage. With all the computers and the printers out of service, there is some question about whether the paper will be published the next day. Mrs. Pynchon is worried that 64 years of continuous publication will be interrupted.

When it is discovered that Long Beach still has power, Mrs. Pynchon asks Charlie to contact his old friend at the Sun. Perhaps they can typeset and print the Trib? Charlie has his doubts, as he knows people at the Sun are still sore with him for stealing away Marcy. To his surprise the honor code among newspapermen is stronger than any resentment. If the Trib can get its copy ready for printing before midnight, the presses of the Sun will print it.

The reporters go out on the street to see how people are coping. After a few hours looting breaks out. Animal takes a photograph of some looters and has to run for his life. Rossi learns from several people in the emergency services that the situation could have been much worse if it hadn't been for the decisions made by Supervisor Kirby. Rossi starts to doubt whether it is a good idea to print his earlier Kirby story.

When it becomes clear that the power will not return in time for the presses of the Trib to work, Art is sent to the offices of the Sun, with the copy and some editors. The situation at the Sun is hectic; it is practically impossible to reach its offices by phone, so Art decides to leave a line open to the Trib. When Lou walks away from his desk for a while, a Trib employee notices the phone off the hook, listens to silence on the other end and puts the receiver back. Now there is no communication between the Sun and the Trib. Unfortunately Art was told not go ahead with the printing without a clear okay from Lou. Time is running out and Art has to make a difficult decision: he orders the presses of the Sun to start working.

Marcy knows the private telephone number of the editor of the Sun and she succeeds in getting in touch with Art. Lou orders him to start the presses. Art informs him that will be impossible ... as they have already started.

Art returns to the offices of the Trib with (a leaner version of) the paper. He has had to drop Rossi's article about Kirby. Rossi, uncharacteristically, does not mind.
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