Barney Miller (1975–1982): Season 2, Episode 16 - The Sniper - full transcript

Wojo and Luger become targets of a sniper. A con man is selling charter flights to Saturn.



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Nick, Nick, Nick, please,
you're killing my teeth, man.

What's the matter?

What's the matter, man?

How can you put people
through that kind of pain

and not even know
you're doing it?

Some people are like that.

But I don't want to
give any examples.

Nick, uh, I've got some
more changes for you to post.

Uh, I'll, uh... I'll do that.

Nick's got it.

I beg of you.
Let... Let me do it.

What did I do?

Excuse me. May I
speak to someone?

I'm Captain Miller.
Can I help you?

My name is Stuart Sobel.

I'm having a little
problem with my wife.

Over here, Mr. Sobel.

This is Sergeant Fish.

Sit down.

Thank you.

Is that your department?

Yeah. I started in Homicide

and worked my way up.

What seems to be the
trouble with your wife?

She moved out of the house.

And the problem?

Well, you've got to understand.

My... My wife has been
very disturbed lately.

Ever since she went through
the change, she's been, uh...

Uh, changed?

Exactly. She started reading
a lot and then she dropped out

of the Hadassah. And
now she left the house

and moved in with her sister.

I still don't see any problem.

Well, she withdrew half our
life savings from the bank.

Seven thousand
dollars I had in there.

She took $3500
without even asking me.

Seems like a small
enough price to pay,

I mean, if she's
considering divorce.

You wouldn't believe
what she's considering.

She's using the
money to... To go to




Saturn where?

What do you mean,
"Saturn where?"

Saturn, New York? Saturn, Ohio?

I mean Saturn.

Up there, Saturn.

Hold that thought.

Harris, you want to
meet the first shipment

from the Fruit of
the Month club?

Twelfth Precinct, Harris.



Yeah. Okay.

Uh, Barney, there's been a
shooting outside the building.

It's Wojo!

What happened?

What? This neighborhood
is going to the dogs.

That's what happened. Amenguale.

Is your friend all right?

He was fortunate. Excuse me.

All the excitement.

What about the people
walking up and down the street?

Barn, there wasn't
a car in front.

And... There was nobody
in the alley across the street,

so it's gotta be somebody
from up on the roof somewhere.

Maybe in a window. Kogen's
doing a house to house.

Yemana and Harris are gonna
make sure he doesn't miss anything.

Okay, now, take it easy.

Did you see that hunk
of granite that came off

the side of the building? A
heavy-caliber rifle, probably.

- Have a cup of coffee.
- Okay.

Nobody saw anything.
Nobody heard anything.

Just like always. You'd
think a guy walking around

with a rifle would attract
a little bit of attention.

Maybe if he didn't
have any clothes on.

Yeah. Maybe.

One thing that makes me
madder than anything is...

Is getting shot at
like that, you know?

I mean, in 'Nam... 'Nam,
we more or less expected it,

but getting sniped at in
the streets of New York City,

it's... It's... It's... Tacky?


New York is no different
from anywhere else.

Los Angeles. Detroit.

That's right. That's
right, I'm telling you.

They're shooting
cops all over the place.

Don't take it personally, Wojo.

The... The irrational act

of one antisocial citizen

who wants to shoot a cop
instead of seeing a doctor

doesn't mean the
world is going crazy.

Yeah. That's what I meant.

Don't... Don't blow
it out of proportion.

Don't make it too big.
Otherwise you'll find yourself

walking down the street
kicking people. Right.

Screaming in closet,
bitin' bottles, right?

You better go down and give
Harris and Yemana a hand.

Right. Right, Barney.
Can I go with him?

Only if you heard
what I just said. Okay.

I think you're
absolutely right, captain.

A man has to maintain
his perspective.


Barney, Mr. Sobel has
a problem with his wife.

I don't know how
serious it is yet.

All right. If you want
me, I'll be in my closet.


I hate to take up your time when
you've got troubles of your own.

Your troubles are our
troubles, Mr. Sobel.

As you were saying?

My wife has been
behaving very strangely

the last few months, you know.

She's been under
a doctor's care.

Any port in a storm.

All of a sudden...
All of a sudden she...

She became interested
in metaphysics.

That kind of junk.

She, uh... She went to a...

The other day
she went to a hotel.

She got out of the
house and went to a hotel.

And she, uh...
She... She... She...

She was listening
to this man talk

about ecology and
space and all that garbage.

He says that...
That there's life...

There's life on other planets.

He says that... That we're
all going to die one day

and that... That the "in" people

are going to Saturn.

And it costs $3500?

How'd you know?

I've seen that sort of
confidence game before,

Mr. Sobel.

I also have a wife
approaching metaphysics.

Shoot, man. You know
what I'm going to do.

I'm gonna get me one of them new

houndstooth flak vests.

You know, the kind with about
three inches of steel in them?

I wouldn't stoop to
wearing something like that.

I'd rather sneak into work.

Anybody come up with anything?

Nothing yet, Barney.
Nobody heard a shot.

I mean, nobody seems to
even know anything happened.

How come you can never get
a witness when you need one?


Barney, I'm going to bring
in a Mr. Morton Hackler.

He stays at the Hotel Greenwich.

What did he do?

He organizes junkets
to other planets.

He's apparently got a
lot of people convinced

there's a better life up there.

And what does he
charge for this service?

Thirty-five hundred
dollars apiece.

Why don't you just turn
it over to Bunco, huh?

I will. If he's not legitimate.

Rebecca, it's not the money.

Oh, okay, part
of it is the money.

I-I didn't say you
weren't entitled.

I just said I didn't want
you to throw it away.

Rebecca, nobody's
ever been there before.

An M1 or carbine.
Something like that.

Smells like a quick hit-and-run.

I mean, it's happened
at other precincts.

Some weirdo wants to take a...

Shake up the police department.
He throws a slug and runs,

and if he's lucky he
doesn't hit anybody.

Yeah, we'll probably
never see him again. Right?

Hey, man, I don't care.
I got my vest ordered.

Hey, Barney.

Hi, how are you?

Well, now, what's this I hear?

Had a little, uh, bing-bang
over here this morning, eh?

Fortunately it was
just a minor incident.

Yeah. This the joker?

That's Mr. Sobel. He's
a legitimate customer.

We haven't made a collar yet.

Watch it, Sobel.

Ah, you let him get away, huh?

Uh, inspector, it
all happened so fast

I didn't get a real
good look around.

Got rattled, did you?

Well, the bullet just missed
me by a couple inches.

One bullet?


Well, uh,

it was a .30 caliber
slug, you know?

It made a hole about that
big in the wall down there.

One bullet.

I was hoping we could
have locked this up

all nice and clean and neat.

We did a door-to-door.

We investigated any building
that was possibly involved.

I'm sure you did,
Barney. I know you did.

I was just hoping that I could
go to division and tell them,

"My boys at the 12th
Precinct grabbed a loony

who took a potshot
at 'em this morning."

You know, short and
sweet, neat and clean.

You know? No, instead
I gotta go and say,

"A sniper over at the 1-2
precinct fired one round

"at one of my
detectives, who ducked.

"Then they made a routine
search of the rooftops,

"and the door-to-door,

and they come up empty."

Excuses. You know
what I mean, Barney?

I'm sorry, inspector.

I guess if I'd have got hit

it would have
made it a lot easier.

Oh, no.

I mean, uh... I ain't no coward.

I mean I get scared if there's
something to get scared about.

I'm not stupid.

No, no, I ain't sayin'
that, Wojciehowicz, I...

We... We just aren't as good
cops as you used to have way back

a million years ago,

but this happens to
be a sensational group

and we do the best we...

Well, I gotta go
to the bathroom.

Combat fatigue, you know.

I've seen a lot of it.

Listen, Barney, I
hope he didn't think

that I thought he was being
a coward, know what I mean?

Well, he may have
misread you, inspector.

Wojo is a very passionate man.


Polish people are like that.

Barney, I hope you get a chance
to explain to him, you know,

that I meant no offense by it.

All I'm trying to do is make all
you guys look good on the books

down at headquarters,
you know what I mean?

Well, I'm sure after he
thinks about it a while,

he'll understand.

I hope so Barn.
Yeah. Well. Yeah.

See you.

See you around, guys.

Don't do anything
I wouldn't do, huh.

How do you like that, Barney?

All right, all right.

I hope I'm not intruding.

Don't give it a second
thought, Mr. Sobel,

happens all the time.

Absolutely, Mr. Sobel.

You see, we policemen work
under a great deal of pressure,

and to relieve the tension
we insult each other a lot,

but it doesn't mean anything.

That's why you see so many
different ethnic types around,

you know, it gives us a lot
of ammunition, you know.

Just a little dirty laundry,
nothing to get excited about.

Step inside, Mr. Hackler.

That's the man.

That... That's the fake.

Wait a second, Mr. Sobel.
Hey, take it easy, eh?

He's the one that's
poisoning Rebecca's mind.

Barney, this is
Mr. Morton Hackler,

a non-resident of New York,

or any of the other old
familiar places for that matter.


Where are you from, Mr. Hackler?

I was born in
Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The one that we know?

The same.

However, for the
last several years,

I've been living
out of the country.

Any place in particular?

Are you speaking
of the physical me,

or the psycho-sensorial me?

Why don't we start
with the substantial you?

Physically, I've been
spending a good deal of time

in North Dakota, several
miles outside of Fargo.

And the rest of you?

Has been living on Saturn.

What did I tell you? As
phony as a two-dollar bill.

Barney. Barney,

you ain't never
gonna believe this.

I get out, get into
my car... Bang.

Somebody fires a shot
through the windshield.

Weird, ain't it?

Same size slug.
Probably the same rifle.

It's gotta be the same freak.

Don't worry, Barn,
we'll run him down.

Maybe we'll get lucky,
he'll fall off a roof.

Tell Kogen I want
two men up on our roof

with binoculars
around the clock.

Maybe he'll get
cute once too often.

Okay. You know, Barn,

for a while there I figured
earlier maybe it was a guy

who had a... A thing
for me, you know.

But I feel better now that
he took a shot at Luger.

Gentlemen, forgive me.

Terrorism seems
to be all the rage.

Should I be calling a lawyer?

Mr. Hackler,

we don't have a formal
complaint against you yet.

Actually, we'd like
some information.

Mr. Sobel here says that

you're planning to
colonize the planet Saturn.

You're charging
3500 bucks a head.

Is that true?

Not exactly the
head, Captain Miller.

The mind.

The consciousness.

The being itself.

And the head stays here.

In a manner of speaking, yes.

With the money.

From the metaphysical standpoint

the body itself is
totally unimportant.

But from a legal point of view,

it's the only thing we
can get our hands on.

I understand.

Tell me, Mr. Hackler,

what happens to
the rest of the body

when the mind is out of town?

Yeah, you can't leave
the bodies on the streets.

That's illegal too.

Well, I don't think that would
be too much of a problem.

After all, they are

The man is crazy.

He should be a
ride at Disneyland.


We haven't caught him yet,
but we've got him on the run.

I-I-I wanna use your
phone, you know,

call division, tell 'em we
got everything under control.

They get a little
insecure down there,

you know what I
mean? Help yourself.


Oh, if you're going to
embarrass me, I'm leaving.

Look, I'm not going
to embarrass you.

I just want to prove to you

that you're making
a fool of yourself.

Mrs. Sobel, I'm Captain Miller.

We appreciate your
coming down here. Listen.

This isn't the first time he's
attempted to put me away.

That's not true, Rebecca.

I heard those
conversations with the doctor.

"Rest," "quiet,"

You think I didn't know
what you meant, Stuart?

You don't know what
you're talking about.

How many times did you tell me,

"You're going out of
your mind, Rebecca"?

An expression.

Oh, and how many
times did you say,

"You're driving me
crazy too, Rebecca"?

Also an expression.

Well, I've got an
expression of my own now.

Goodbye and good luck.

Uh, Mrs. Sobel. Mrs. Sobel,

I still have a question.

Did you at any time

give any money
to anyone for a trip?

That's all he's worried
about. The money. Heh.

Oh, hello. Hello, Mr. Hackler.

Oh, I loved your talk.

Oh, thank you very
much, Mrs. Sobel.

You see, you see?
Such politeness.

Rebecca, this man's
a crook. He's a fake.

When did you say ever say,

"Thank you very much,
Mrs. Sobel" for anything?

Mrs. Sobel, we think
Mr. Hackler may be a fraud.

Why? Why, because he said so?

Rebecca, you can't
get to Saturn from here.

And even if you could get
there, there's nothing up there.

How do you know? Have you
ever been there, Mr. Know-it-all?

Look, I've never been to
Japan, but I know it's there.

Sure. Pictures.

Pardon me for interrupting,

but Mrs. Sobel, did you
give Mr. Hackler any money?

Not yet.

But I was looking forward to it.

If you wanted to go somewhere,
why didn't you ask me?

I don't want to be obligated.

All right, let's stop playing
esoteric games with each other,

Mr. Hackler.

If I ever find out that you've
taken money from anyone

for interplanetary travel,

I'm going to have you up here
on attempted grand larceny.

Do you people really
think that there is nothing

in the entire solar system

compared to what
you've got down here?

You mean, New York?

Rebecca, I don't care
about the money that much.

I... I just don't want
you to go anywhere.

I, uh... I can't get
along without you.


the doctor says I can't
give you children anymore.

So what? So what?

Hackler says that there
isn't any room for any.

Besides, we got four.

But they're all out of town.

Rebecca, come
home with me. Please?

All right.

Thank you very much, Mrs. Sobel.


We're going home

and I want to thank you
very much for everything.

That's quite all
right, Mr. Sobel.

Goodbye, Mr. Hackler.

If we don't see each other
again, drop me a card.

Barney, Hackler's clean.

All right, turn him loose.

But stay in touch.

Okay, Hackler.

Mr. Hackler, tell
me the truth. Hm?

All kidding aside.

Do you really believe
you've been up there?


I'm just curious.

What's it like?

It's heaven.

So if Saturn is
heaven, then hell is...?


Barney, we got some great news.

We chased the guy right
out of the neighborhood.

Yeah, the dummy took a
shot at the 43rd precinct

and they got him.

Anybody hurt?

Nope. I guess all he could hit

was the side of a building.

Hey, Barney,

I got some bad news for you.

That freak got away
from us, you know?

We chased him right into
the open arms of the 43rd.

They grab him.

Yeah, I just heard the news.

Ah, well. We'll get a crack
at something else, you know?

There's enough loose flakes

floating around this
city for everybody.

Let's just be thankful
that nobody was hurt.

I suppose so,
Barney, yeah, only...

You know, it's... It's not...

It's not the worst
way in the world

for a cop to go,
know what I mean?

I'm not sure I do.

What I mean is, Barney,

there's nothing
in the world worse

than an old cop.

Aw, Fish, no.

Come on, Fish, present
company excepted.

You know what I mean, Barney.

When it was me and Foster
and Kleiner and Brown.

There weren't four better
cops on the force than us.

So, what happens:

Foster died of
pneumonia, sucking for air.

Kleiner, three
strokes like that,

he lay there like a carrot.

The sweet red-headed son of a...

Brown. He got put
in a happy house

up there in New
Hampshire, you know?

They're feeding him tapioca
three times a day on a spoon.

Last month I go
up to see him, say:

"Hey, Brownie, how are you?"

That's no way for a
cop to die, Barney.

Know what I mean? Sorry.

I mean, I expose
myself like this,

because it's just...

Oh, listen, they...

They still got my
car down at ballistics.

Will somebody give me a
ride down to Manhattan South?

Heh. I'm afraid the only
one who's got a car is Fish.

Yeah, well, I'll grab a cab.

Hey, listen to this.

Says here that this wheat farmer

saw a glowing object
hovering over his field.

It hung in the sky about
a minute and a half,

and just darts off. Vanishes.

Oh, boy.

Another flying saucer.

Where was this?

About 10 miles from
Fargo, North Dakota.

Hey, some of
Mr. Hackler's friends, eh?

We just got a post
card from the Sobels.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.

"Twelfth Precinct, NYPD.
Manhattan." Etcetera.

"Having a wonderful time.
It's very beautiful here.

"Thank you for
your consideration.

Best regards."

Sent from the Franklin Manor.

Where's that at?

Uh, Philadelphia.

The devil, you say?

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