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

Liz tires of housework and tries her hand at social work, to Barney's dismay. Harris is intrigued by a master forger.

Empty your pockets, please.

Sure. Nathan Levine.

557 West 30th Street.

Ah, you got the
wrong Nathan Levine.

Mm-hm. Aren't you the
guy they call "The Bagman"?

No, that's another
Nathan Levine.

There are 32 Nathan Levines
in the greater New York area.

Yeah? How do you know that?

We got a club.

World Series, 1936.

Hey, hey, hey. Gimme that.


Sit down, Nathan.


Where'd you move
the policy room, huh?

Who knows from policies?

I'm not in the
insurance business.

One rotten Nathan Levine
gives the rest of us a bad name.

Well, if you're not
runnin' numbers,

what's these betting slips?

Betting slips? Yeah,
these betting slips.

Angelo P., 611,
dash-dash, 50 cents.

Oh, oh, oh. That's
a friend of mine.

Angelo Palermo. Uh,
6/11, that's his birthday.

June the 11th.

What's the 50 cents for?

That's what I'm gonna give him.

Hey, how are ya, Fish?

Good morning.

I feel fine, unless it's
some sort of a disease

to forget someone's
name once in a while.

Oh, it happens all the time.

It came right back
to me: "Bernice."

But she wants to
make a big deal out of it.

You forgot Bernice's name?

Only for a second.

I knew who she was,

I just couldn't think
of what to call her.

Now she says, uh, I'm
losing the rest of my faculties.

Hey, Harris, how many
of those checks you got?

Thirteen, totaling $374.30.

Why would a guy pass out

that much paper
for so little cash?

Well, he's crooked,
but he's not greedy.

Uh, does this look like
the same dude to you?

I don't know.

Checks are not my specialty.

Bills are more in my line.



I haven't got any.

Everybody's got peculiarities.

I'm sorry, I haven't got any.

Come on, Nathan, let's have 'em.

Now, now, what's going on?

He's being
uncooperative, captain.

I mean, he won't answer
any of the questions right.

Why don't you make
it easy on yourself,

Mr. Levine, cooperate
with Detective Wojciehowicz.

Answer the questions.


I sleep in the nude.

Sleeps in the nude.

Is that what you wanted to know?

I'm just tryin' to do my job.

Well, tell the
doctor I apologize.

I-I just forgot. Yeah.

Today, 2:00.

Okay, thanks.

I don't remember
making that appointment.

Maybe I am going out of my mind.

Yeah, when you're getting older,

that's the first
thing that goes.

Not according to Bernice.

Good morning.

Good Morning. Hi, Liz.

Hi. Hi. Hi, Woj.

Hi, Mike, you're
looking very well.

Yeah, I'm using a new soap.

Do you like it better
than the old one?

Well, the old one got
about the size of a dime.

And it got about that thin.

And it got very difficult when
you get the two pieces together,

you couldn't get any lather.

Nice to see you, Mike.


We got a make on
that paper hanger.

It's Harold Polansky,

and I got three
possible addresses.

Let's go. I'll tell ya,

I don't know how
they get away with it.

Oh, man, most people are
very poor judges of character.

Yeah? Well, it
really burns me up.

Anytime I wanna cash a check,

nobody wants to take it.

Hey, man, I mean, look at you.


Well, I mean, you
wear dishonest clothes.

I never have no trouble.

You know, you're right.

Most people are very
poor judges of character.

Raincoat and British Walkers.

You really mean
business today, huh?

Yes, I'm on a new case.

Social Services
called this morning.

Now, in case I don't
get home in time,

this is David's piano teacher.

Okay. Where are they
sending you today?

South Bronx. South Bronx?

That's a rough area.

The Rockefellers in East
Hampton don't need me.

Have you checked?

No. Snap judgment.

What kind of case you got?

Oh, it's, um, a mother whose
son just got out of prison.


Oh, Barney.

And he can't get a job
and she has two other sons,

both involved in street
gangs and both dropouts

and the husband drinks.

Couldn't they give you
something easy once in a while,

like an unwed mother?

They save the
biggies for the best.

Oh, I know. The South Bronx.

That's no picnic there.

Gang wars, arson.

Well, I admit, I'm
a little nervous,

but it's a challenge.

I mean, I know it's dangerous,

but it's stimulating
all at the same time.

My blood pressure hasn't
been this high in years.


Oh, I mean, in the daytime.

You know, you kiss
good for a social worker.

Oh. Tanks, tanks.

My field supervisor
will be very pleased.

She asked me if I had
good relations with the police.

What did you tell her?

I said, uh, whenever I could.

Listen, uh, give me a
call when you get up there.

Oh, Barney, it's not necessary.

I'll be perfectly all right.

All right. Okay, okay.


Give me a call anyway.

Oh, Barney.

Take care, Mrs. Miller.

I will, Woj, thanks. Bye, Mike.

Oh, no, look at this. See?

You save all the little
pieces and after about a year,

you melt 'em together and
you get a whole new bar of soap.

Oh, nice to see you again, Mike.

Bye. Oh, thank you, Fish.

How's Bernice?

Fine, fine, thank
you, Elizabeth.

Oh, give her my love.

Oh, and tell her I'm sorry I
forgot her birthday yesterday.


Okay, just, uh, sit
here at the desk again.

Oh, hey, inspector.

How you makin' out, Wojo?

All right.

Hey, well, well.

If it isn't Nathan "The Bagman."

Hello, inspector.

Hey, Nate, what'd they
nail you for this time,

same old thing?


Oh, yeah, huh.

Well, a leopard'll never
change his stripes.

Hello, Day Old Bakery?

What do ya got layin' around

that says, "Happy
Birthday, Bernice"?

What we got here?

"Previous convictions: seven."

That's all, Nate?

Well, a man can't be
unlucky all the time.

sleeps in the nude."

What's with "sleeps
in the nude"?

Well, that's his statement.

Oh, come on, that
ain't peculiarities.

Peculiarities is if a man goes
around collecting women's shoes,

something that line.

You don't do nothin'
like that, do you, Nate?

Nah. Nah, course not.

He may be a bagman,
but he ain't a weird bagman.

World Series, 1936.

Look at this.

Ha! Carl Hubbell,
Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott.

Nineteen-thirty... I was
at that World Series.

No kiddin'.

That was before I was born.

No kiddin'.

"Happy birthday, Bernie"?

You ought to be able to shove
in a "C" in there somewhere.

Hey, inspector. How are ya?

Hello, Barney. I just
stopped by to see you.

Come on inside.

Thank ya.

Oh, uh, excuse me, inspector?


Uh, you got my baseball.

Oh. Ha, ha.

Which hand?

Old hidden ball trick, huh?

Hey, you wanna
sell it, Wojo? Nope.

I'll give ya $20 for it.

No, thanks. Ehh.

I thought Polish
people like to bowl.

Barney, that Wojciehowicz,
is he a good cop?

Wojo? Yeah.

Well, he don't know
much about human nature.

Mike, uh, hold my calls
for a few minutes, will ya?

If Liz calls, put her
right through though.


Barney, I gotta talk to you.

Sure, what can I do for you?

I been offered this job with
the parole board, Barney,

and I've kinda been
debatin' in my mind

as to whether I
should take it or not.

Parole board? You should
be flattered by the offer.

I am, I am, Barney.

All them important cases
to discuss, you know,

and evaluating the
pros and the cons.

Pardon the pun.

And all them people in jail

filin' their petitions
to get out again.

You know, join
us in this society.

Well, then, I guess I
gotta take it, Barney.

I mean, somebody's gotta keep
them vermin behind bars, right?

What do you think, Barney?

I think we need you
more right here, inspector.

Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah.

The more you think about it...



Oh, thanks, Mike.

Hello, Liz?

Okay, you got there okay?

I just wanted to...

I can't hear you, what's goi...?

I can't hear you.

Who's arguing in the back there?

The brothers having an argument.

Wonderful. All right,
listen, as long as you're uh...

Did...? What was...?
Something break, Liz?

Liz, are you okay?

What? What's going on there?

Was that glass smashing, Liz?

Liz, are you okay?

Look, Li... Liz? Liz?

Phone went dead.

Yeah, I guess maybe
you're right, Barney.

Yeah, yeah. Okay, okay.

Barney, there's... There's
no way they can trace the call.

Mm-hm. I was afraid not.

Look, call the 5-1 in the Bronx.

Uh, tell them I wanna talk
to the watch commander.

Department of Social Services
says she was sent up here.

Oh, thanks, Mike.

Barney, I got the 5-1
on line two, Barney.

Uh, tell them I'll
take it in my office.

Thanks for the nice
powwow, Barney.


I'll give ya $25.

Oh, n-no thanks.

Why not, Wojo?

Well, I'm, uh, just used to
having it on my desk, inspector.

Huh? Come on, what's it to you?

"Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez,

Twinkletoes Selkirk".

All right, 30 bucks,
my final offer.

I just don't wanna
sell it, inspector.

Okay, Wojciehowicz,

if that's the way you want it.

You know, sometimes a man

could use a friend
among the higher-ups

in this little New York
City department of ours.


See you around, men.

All right, inside.

Stand over here, Mr. Polansky.

Big deal over a lousy little
baseball, for cryin' out loud.

Take a seat over there, please.

Oh, what's the difference?

Standing, sitting, I
don't care anymore!

Man, this dude's got checks
from banks in 32 states,

including Hawaii.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah, and look at this.

The blank checks match
the checks he's cashed.

Well, looks like we
got you, Mr. Polansky.

What is that, something new?

It's the story of my life.

Yeah, they sit up
there, laughing at me.

The break givers.

The gods of men.

Nothing for you today, Polansky!

We got a load of "no
luck" for you again.

Yeah, you sure?

No 10-52 at that address?

Well, my... My wife went
up there on a case, Frank,

and I got a call from her and...

Look, uh, would you do me a
favor and send a car around?

I know you don't
like to go in there.

I-I'd consider it a
personal favor, Frank.

Thanks. Yeah.

Yeah, I think we
got him up here.

Are you Nathan Levine?

I'm one of them.

Yeah, we got him up here.

They got his bail ticket.

Yeah, okay.

I gotta go see a doctor.

I got a 2:00 appointment.

It's only quarter to 1.

I also gotta pick up a cake.

I hope it ain't serious.

It will be if they
don't find a "C".

No, I mean, uh, I hope, uh,
whatever you got ain't serious.

Of course it's serious.

Everything that happens to you

immediately following the
age of puberty is serious.


You'll find out
when you get there.

For cryin' out loud.

I mean, it's baseball.

What's the big deal?

Hey, man, why didn't
you just give it to him?

I use it as a paperweight.

Hey, Wojo, man,
you could use a rock.

Next thing, he'd come
along and want my rock.

There's no end to blackmail.

Okay, Mr. Polansky, have
a seat over there at my desk.

Sign these papers, huh?

Hey, Harris,
fingerprints check out.

Beautiful. Yeah.

Yeah, we had to take
some new pictures.

You gained some
weight since the last ones.

It's guilt. It makes
you eat like a pig.

I used to be taller too.

Hey, man, I called over
to, uh, Manhattan South.

They said they'll
pick him up later.

Okay, hurry it up,
will ya, Mr. Polansky?

Easy, I'm not used to
signing my own name.

Hey, ain't that something?

These checks are
really great, man.

He's an artist, I'm telling you.

Ah, it's a curse.

I wanted to go into politics.

I am a student of
American history.

You know, when I was a kid,

I used to dream about signing
the Declaration of Independence.

Oh, yeah?

Now I can.

You wanna tell Captain
Miller we got his wife here?

Never mind. Thank you.

I'll tell him myself.

Hello. Hello. How are you?

Hey, Liz.

You all right?

Well, I am a little embarrassed.

Over what?

Five policemen walked into
that room and removed me

as if I were a
Brownie in a forest fire.

I'm s... I'm sorry.

I thought you were in trouble.

All that shouting on the phone,

that furniture breaking...

There was a family discussion

and somebody was making a point.

What about the glass breaking?

There are two sides
to every discussion.

Who pulled the
phone out of the wall?


It was the only thing
they all agreed on.

What were they fighting about?

Oh, the older
son, the ex-convict,

can't get a job and he was
taking it out on the family

and the furniture.

Well, I'm sorry.

My first day on a new
case and I'm preempted.


Barney, excuse me.

Here's the sheet on Polansky.

No question about it.

He's been passing all
the bad paper around.

Three arrests, two convictions.

He's a very talented fellow.

Look at the signatures
he made for me.

Hey, Benjamin Franklin,
Thomas Jefferson,

John Hancock, they look perfect.

They are perfect.

Why does he keep
getting into trouble?

Well, you see, he goes
on parole, he can't get a job,

writes a bad check,
goes back in again.

Gets on parole again,
can't keep a job...

Thank you, Chano. Yeah.

You know, a man like, I
mean, this could be an artist.

Of course, I haven't
heard of anyone

starting writing
the signature first

and then doing
the painting, but...

It's not just ex-convicts.

Everybody's having a
tough time getting a job today.

That's true.

What does your ex-con do?

He's a lathe operator.

Got his training in the
machine shop at Sing Sing.

Does he have any
real experience?

Are you kidding?

He was doing 10 to life.

Ooh. Those are real credentials.

All right, I'll see you
at home about 6, huh?

Um... 7.

Seven? Seven.

I have another call to make.

Where is it this time,
the Middle East?

You really wanna know? No.

I'm gonna try and
do it cold turkey.

Hey, Barney, look.

Winston Churchill, Pablo
Picasso, Eddie Fisher.

Eddie Fisher?

They're remarkable forgeries.

Oh, he calls them biographs.

Good. Very good.

Yeah, maybe so.

But he can't do Julian Bond yet.

Fish, what did the doctor say?

He said I was at...
That the time of my life

when my body is
going through changes.

Sou... Sounds like menopause.

It is menopause.

I caught it from Bernice.

It's not... It's
not giving ya...

It's not giving ya all
that much trouble, is it?

Well, just a little difficulty
in remembering things.

What's the serial
number of your gun?

186 693 478 A. See?

You got priorities.

You're... You're more
selective about your memory.

You remember things
that are important to you.

You think so? Sure.

What's your anniversary?

Sometime in February.

The 12th.

The 12th, right.

186 693 478 A.

Pretty good.

Mr. Polansky. Yeah.

Social Services never been
able to help get you a job, has it?

Nobody's ever
done anything for me.

Well, if you're ever lucky
enough to get paroled again,

give me a call.

Do I need a cop?

Cops do not help ex-cons.

Maybe, but you're in luck.

I happen to have a wife
who's a social worker.

I happen to have a brother.

He owns a machine shop
in Huntington, Long Island.

Polansky's Foundry
and Iron Works.

He's making money
hand over fist.

You think he'd help me?

Forget it!

He would help anybody
in the world except me.

Right? Right.

Huntington, Long Island.



You're welcome.

Who wants Clark Gable?

Hi. Hello.

Hi, Barney.

Hello, inspector.

Barney, I took your
good advice to heart.

You'll be happy to
know that I decided

to stay here, right where I am.

You and all your men
on the old firing line.

We would have
missed you, inspector.

Ah, I would have missed you too.

Most of ya.

Excuse me a minute, uh...

Yeah. Sure. Got a
phone call to make.

Go ahead, Barney.

Well, men, see you around.

See you, inspector.

Oh. Inspector Lugar.

Yes, what is it,
Detective Wojciehowicz?

I've, uh, decided to change
my mind about the ball.

What ball?

Oh, that? Ah.

Ah, forget it, son.

I-I put it completely
out of my head.

I'm not interested
in buying a ball.

I'm not talkin'
about sellin' it to ya.

I'm talking about
givin' it to you.

Don't sweet talk me with
that soft soap, Wojo, bec...

You what?

Givin' it to you.

You mean, you're gonna...

Well, that's, uh...

That's darn decent
of you, Wojie.

I-I hardly know
what... Oh, hey. Huh?

Inspector, uh...

it means a lot more to
you than it does to me.

That's true. That...

You old softy, you.

"Carl Hubbell, Lou
Gehrig, John Hancock."

Was, uh...? Was he...?
Was he with the Giants?

No, uh, he was one
of the original Yankees.


Yeah, yeah. Yeah,
utility infielder, right?

♪ And it's one, two,
three Strikes, you're out ♪

♪ At the old ball game ♪

Look at this, a little present
from our forger friend.

The Declaration of Independence.

Is the ink dry yet?

Barely. Heh-heh.

Hey, is his John Hancock

as good as the
one he did for me?

He didn't use John Hancock.

He used Harold Polansky.

Well, that makes it
a genuine forgery.

Listen, that's okay by me.

As long as he's
writing his own name,

he's not writing
somebody else's.


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