Barney Miller (1975–1982): Season 2, Episode 6 - The Arsonist - full transcript

The officers look out for an arsonist. Chano arrests a man who assaulted a vending machine with a deadly weapon.

Hi, guys.

You're late.

I couldn't help it.

I'm doing your filing.

I don't like to do filing
when it's my filing.

When it's your
filing, I hate it.

I'm sorry.

Heh. It's all right.

Hey, Fish.

A penny for your thoughts.

Save your money.

Hey, uh... Hey, Chano.

Huh? What's with Fish?

Oh, he's depressed.

'Cause I'm late?


because he says he's been
on the force for 25 years

and he feels he hasn't
got anything to show for it.

That's crazy.

I know.

Hey, you know,
Fish, I really envy you.

I mean, you got a steady job,

you got a nice
retirement plan, and, uh...

And you got a wife who's
always gonna be there.

You're vicious, you know that?

Morning, Harris. Sorry I'm late.

It's okay with me, man.

You know, Harris,
you're amazing,

the way you can
sit there and type

without even looking
at your fingers.

Ah, it's simply a
matter of mind control.


You can carry on a
conversation too, huh?

Ah, you see, one section
of my brain is typing out

this very simple
routine arrest report.


The rest of it's talking to you.


but you make it
seem like a snap.

"It's okay with me, man.

It's simply a matter
of mind control.

One section of..."

Oh, Wojo.

Wonderful to see you again.

Oh, yeah, uh, I
overslept a little.

Didn't your alarm go off?

Yeah, it went off.

But I was in a different
borough at the time.

Twelfth Precinct detectives.
Sergeant Amenguale speaking.

Oh, Lexington Avenue?

Okay, 23rd Street station.

Good. Okay, we'll be right over.

What's going down?
Somebody shooting up

the Lexington Avenue subway.

Wojo, as long as you're up...

I was just in the
Lexington Avenue subway.

Five minutes earlier, and
I'd have been there already.

As a matter of fact, if I'd
been five minutes later,

I'd be there right now.

Timing is everything.

Barney, have I ever told you

that you should be
proud of yourself?

Listen, I appreciate it.

Whatever it was you had in mind.

You know,

I like it when it's all
peaceful and quiet like this.

If you listen real careful,

you can almost hear a stream

trickling down a mountainside.

I forgot to jiggle the toilet.

I'll type it up, Wojo.

Hold it right there.

I'm not sorry I did it.

I suppose they go easier on
you when you're sorry, but I'm not.

Mr. Lindquist, do you want to
hang around here for a minute?

I'll take your statement.

Be right back.

I have never seen
anything like it in my life.

Like what?

He shot a candy
machine in the subway.

To death.

It deserved it.

You know, the thing is, Fish,

I kind of understand
what he did.

You know, that frustration?

You can't go around shooting
things that frustrate you.

A man would wind up alone.

All right, Mr. Lindquist,

we're gonna need
your full name, please.

Lindquist, comma, Francis Mark.

Thank you, Mr. Lindquist,

we should zip right
through this, huh?

Uh, Harris, Hm?

Take a run over to the
24th Street fire station.

It's Engine Company 51.

Oh. Beautiful. It's
almost lunch time.

They do some fine
cookin' over there.


Oh, yeah.

Occasionally they
burn something.

They've had six fires
in the last four days.

All suspicious origin.

Take Wojo with you. Okay.

Don't I have time
for a cup of coffee?

You would have, if
you hadn't been late.

Doesn't make any sense.

I was late this morning.

I'm not late now.

Logic is on your side,

but the captain ain't.

Follow me, please.

Another day, another dollar, hm?

Exactly what I've saved:

$30 a month for 25 years.

Shows a certain
amount of self-discipline.

I could have been a millionaire.

Twenty-five years ago,

my brother asked
me to go in with him

and manufacture Excelsior.

I said, "Who needs it?"

I found out everybody did.

Now he's netting 40,000 a year,

and I get nauseous every
time I open a box of anything.

You can't look backwards, Fish.

Onwards and upwards, huh?

Speaking of Excelsior.

Three days a week, I put
20 cents into that machine

and I can count the
number of Butterfingers

I've gotten out
of it on one hand.

I reported it to the company.

All I got was lip service.

Mr. Lindquist, if the
machine kept cheating you,

why didn't you go
someplace else?


I wanted that machine
to give me a Butterfinger.

It wouldn't, so...
So you shot it.

Oh, I even gave
it another chance.

I put in 20 cents
and I got back zip.

Mm. No Butterfinger.

So I let it have six
right in the coin slot.

It was like doing all the
things I ever wanted to do

but didn't have the guts.

Yes, yes, I know, Mr. Lindquist,

we all have dreams of glory.

Like not tipping a waiter.

You know, that's
my favorite. Yeah.

You got a lawyer?

My cousin Louis.

Well, you better
call him up, huh?

I like him but he
doesn't like me.

Come to think of it, I
don't like him, either.

I like his wife.

Barney, I'm charging
Mr. Lindquist here

with firing a gun in public,

for his criminal possession
of a firearm, and, uh...

I don't know how to
write up the rest of this.

Have, uh, assault
with a deadly weapon?

He shot a candy machine, Barney.


A candy machine? Yeah.

Now, that man could
be in a lot of trouble.

See, if it was a
cigarette machine...


You know, I'm gonna let
them figure this out downtown.

Mr. Lindquist, you finished
with your phone call?

My cousin Louis wasn't there,

but I left a message
on his recorder.

Uh-huh. Well, we gotta
take you downstairs,

fingerprints and
photographs, okay?

Those message
recorders are intimidating.

You know, I said
everything I had to say,

I still had 22 seconds left.

I was afraid to hang up,

because Louis is a bully.

Ah, Mr. Lindquist,

you really do hate
machinery, don't you?


There's a stamp
machine on Sixth Avenue

I'd like to put a
contract out on.

You know, as far
as I'm concerned,

you can just file
that in the garbage.

This was made up
with scientific precision.

I mean, composite sketches
can be a very useful tool.

Harris, look at it.

It's a picture of Woody Allen.

Well, I'm gonna check out
Woody's movements yesterday.

Oh, good, any luck?

Well, we talked to the
guys from the fire station.

We also talked to a witness.

Oh, good.

Not much of a witness, Barn.

She's a hooker.

Hookers have been known to see.

We took her downtown.

The police artist
made up this sketch.

That's a very interesting face.

Woody Allen, right?

Looks more like a
young Albert Einstein.

Oh, don't worry.

I'll check him out too.

Hello, Fish.

Kotterman. Again?


What did they take this time?

Two hundred and
fourteen dollars in cash

and three bottles of Scotch.

Thank God they were on special.

You got coffee?

Help yourself.

Hello, boys.

Hello, Mr. Kotterman.

Again? Like clockwork.

I've checked out all our files,

and all our local arsonists
are accounted for.

State prisons, federal
prisons, burn wards.

I don't think this guy's
gonna be in our files anyway.

Oh, Harris has
got another theory.

Sherlock Holmes.

I mean, psychology
is a very important part

of modern criminology.

Wojo, hold off your
rebuttal till later.

I mean, this guy doesn't
set fires for money.

I mean, he just
likes to set fires.

A pyromaniac.


What's the difference
what he's called?

I'm just trying to get
inside this dude's head.

Fire is a symbol
of total emotion.

You show me a
dude who loves fires,

and I'll show you a guy
who is sexually frustrated

and socially inadequate.

You can file that
in the garbage too.


Heck, Barney, I like fires.

I sit in the wintertime

and watch the fire all
night long just dancing.

It's exciting.

Doesn't mean I'm...
I'm socially frustrated

or sexually inadequate.

You got that backwards.

What's the difference?

Actually, not that much.

This guy's just another hoodlum.

You know, he's using fire
instead of throwing rocks.

Oh, you got a firebug, huh?


Thank God I was only
held up at pistol point.

We're very sorry to
hear that, Mr. Kotterman.

Well, listen, it's my own fault.

I didn't have to own a
liquor store on 11th Street.

I could have been a
shepherd living in Montana

where the deer and
the antelope play.

But no, I had a sense
of duty to my fellow man.

I wanted to bring
him his daily needs.

I'm sure everyone
appreciates your attitude.

Well, let me tell you,
I learned one thing.

Bread cast upon the water

gets soggy and it sinks.

Kotterman, I need details.

Three kids with a gun came
in and said "Stick 'em up."

That's all they said?

There was nothing to discuss,

it was perfectly clear.

What do they look like?

The same.

The same as what?

The same as always.

I've been robbed so many
times they all look like friends.

All right, uh, Wojciehowicz,
if you have no objections,

we're gonna use Harris'
analysis as a jumping-off point.

Let's make copies of this thing

and circulate it in
the neighborhood.

Right. Where?

I would suggest porno
theatres and bookshops.

I mean, there's a
supermarket of erotica

on 10th Street for
your one-stop shopping.

And check the local bars

and the massage parlors.

Only don't get too
wrapped up in your work.


You get some copies made
and I'll make out the itinerary.

All right.

Twelfth Precinct, Harris.



Uh, we got another fire.

Yeah, thank you very
much. We'll be right over.

Burlesque theatre,

started in one of
the dressing rooms.

Very good, very good.

Kid stuff.

Lucky coincidence.

Get on it.


You drive this time.

I want to look out the window.

Tell the truth, do you
think I'll like it in prison?

Not if they put you
in the machine shop.

Oh, that would
be hell, wouldn't it?

Look, I wouldn't worry
too much, Mr. Lindquist.

You're a first offender.

Is your cousin a good lawyer?


But his wife has great legs.

Well, the judge

will probably take your
record into consideration.

You'll probably get probation
if you promise not to do

that kind of thing again.

Look, that depends
on the new machine.

Mr. Lindquist,

your attorney is
downstairs arranging bail.

He was delayed because
of an accident on the way.

Oh, Louis loves accidents.

He'll go to see as
many as he can.

That's how he gets
most of his clients.

Barney, lunch.

Why did she marry him?

With legs like that,
she could have anyone.


Chicken on white,
mayonnaise, right?

Yeah, thanks, how
much do I owe you?

Do I offer money
when I'm at your house?

No. Sorry.

Twelfth Precinct, Sergeant
Amenguale speaking.


Oh, yeah?


Yeah, thanks a lot.

Hey, Barney,

that was the dispatcher with
some good news for a change.

Seems Wojo and Harris
are bringing in a suspect

for that burlesque
fire. Anybody hurt?

No, nobody was in the theatre.

Box office opens at 6:30.

Interesting. A firebug
with a conscience.

I'm Louis Lindquist,

attorney for Francis Lindquist.

Mr. Lindquist.

Here, I've got
his release papers

and his bail ticket.

Chano. Yep.

Francis, for God's sake!

What's the matter with you?

Shooting up a subway.

What were you,
drunk or something?

When are you ever gonna grow up?

The world doesn't owe
you anything, you know.

I realize there are things
that I can't have, Louis.

However, I paid
for that candy bar.

You got a lot of
principle, Francis. Yes.

Who was it that said,

"A little principle in the wrong
hands is a dangerous thing?"

I think it was Allen Ludden.

Mr. Lindquist.

These are in order. I
need your signature.


You know, I'm not
making a penny out of this.

Mr. Lindquist, step
outside, please,

move down there.

I want to check your
valuables, if you don't mind.

Oh, thank you.

Okay, come on.

You people are making
a dreadful mistake.

If so, we will
apologize, Mr. Forman.

Not a bad match, huh, Barney?

Pretty good, pretty good.

We spotted him
watching the fire.

Watching fires is an
American tradition.

And then we chased
him into the porno theatre.

Another American
tradition, I'm afraid.

I swear, as God as my witness,

I had nothing to
do with that fire.

Yeah, then how come
you were running?

Because you were chasing me.

That's 'cause you
were running. Oh.

Wojo, this is a
matter of perspective.

Check him out at BCI.

Right, Barney.

Sit down, Mr. Forman.

Excuse me, officer.

What has the young
man alleged to have done?

He's being held on
suspicion of arson.


Lindquist is the
name, Mr., uh...?

Forman. Edwin Forman.

Mr. Forman, I'm an attorney.

Now, if I can be of
any assistance to you,

just call me at that number,

anytime, day or night.

If I'm not there, my
wife will take a message.

Her name's Sharon.

And she has great legs.

And I bet they match.

All right, Francis.

You're on your own again.

Now, go on out there
and conform, will ya?

I'll try, Louis.

And I can't give you a
lift. I'm meeting a client.

Oh, that's okay.
I'll take the subway.

And if you get shafted
by another machine?

I'll remember what you told me.

Right. You don't
break the law, Francis.

You find a way to take
it out on somebody else.

Well, I'll certainly
give her a call.

We've had seven incidents

of suspected arson, Mr. Forman.

I'm gonna ask you to
account for your whereabouts

on each one of those occasions.

I was at home.

I haven't given
you the dates yet.

I'm home most of the time.

I take care of my mother.

Your mother ill?

I don't think so, but she does.

What were you doing
at a burlesque house?

Every so often I
have to remind myself

there are other kinds
of women in the world.

Hey, Barn.

Mr. Forman's got
no prior record.

No arrests, nothing.

I told you that.

But, uh, he's got
one minor violation

for improper storage of gasoline

in the trunk of his car.

Can I get you some water?

It's a little late for that.

Mr. Forman been
advised of his rights?

Yes, he has, Barney.

Okay, you got one
phone call, Mr. Forman.

As God as my witness,

they're driving me into the sea!

What happened this
time, Mr. Kotterman?

They spray painted filth

all over the side of my store.

Young kids.

I'm not gonna
tell what they said

because it's disgusting.

It isn't even funny.

You want to fill out a
complaint, Mr. Kotterman?

No, save your paper.

I just thought I would come
in and keep you informed.

Thank you, Mr. Kotterman,

a little whitewash
helps us do our job.

Certainly. I can
handle it myself.

Listen, I've been fighting
this city for 40 years.

I've been robbed at night,

robbed in the daytime.

I've been
vandalized, terrorized,

my garbage has been
pushed into the street.

The only thing that hasn't
happened to me so far

is that I haven't been burned

down to the ground.


With my luck, it's gonna happen,

I can feel it in my bones.

Mark my words,
it's gonna happen.

Mr. Kotterman...

Listen, if there's
one thing I trust,

it's my instincts.

You know that arsonist that's
been running around town?

With my kind of luck
he's gonna catch up to me.

You can bank on it. Believe me.

Mr. Kotterman...

I'm psychic, did you know that?

You see, if you're
born in February,

you get like that.

And I'm telling you
that I've got a feeling

that any minute
my whole business

is gonna go up in smoke.

And what am I gonna have left?


Well, a little insurance.

So okay.

I can take the
bitter with the sweet.

Let's see, I, uh... I
arrived here at 3:15.

I should be back
in the store by 4:00.

It's nice to spend an
occasional 45 minutes

away from the store.

Mr. Kotterman,

see that young man
sitting over there,

talking on the telephone?


That's the arsonist.

How...? How...? How...?

How long has he been here?

Been in custody about an hour.

Before that he
set a different fire.

Oh, my God.

I'm under arrest.

I'm at the police station now.

I burned seven buildings.


It's not all right, Mother.

I'm not precocious, I'm sick.

And I wanna get help.

I need a doctor.

Mother, I don't want
to see Doctor Paul,

he's a pediatrician.

Anybody got a match?

No, you can't.

No, you can't go
with me, Mother.

She can't go with me, can she?

No, it's against the
law. No, she can't.

You can't. Heh-heh.

She can't.

No, you can't go with
him. No, she can't go.

Gentlemen, it's 5:00
and we're over budget.

Good night.

Hey, you don't have
to kick me twice.

I have an engagement
with a young lady

that I chanced to
run into at a fire today.

No kiddin'.

The one with the
enormous personality?

Tassels Taliferro,

the Wicked Witch of the West.

Hey, you wanna join me?

She's got some friends.

No, thanks.

I got a date over in Queens.

Does that mean you're
gonna be late again?

Yeah, I guess so.

Well, you two can
dissipate if you want.

I am going to jog two miles

and then play an
hour of handball.

After that have a
little light dinner,

and go right to bed.

Because a policeman

has got to take proper
care of his mind and body

in order to be able to
handle any emergency.

As long as you got nothin' to
do, you want to go with me?

Is it an emergency? I
told you, she's got friends.


Aren't you going home?

I don't know.

Bernice is visiting her mother

up in Poughkeepsie.

That's funny.

Liz is in Philadelphia
with the kids,

visiting her brother.

As long as you got nothing to
do, you want to do it together?

Sure, what do you want to do?

I don't know. What
do you want to do?

I don't know.

What do you want to do?

I don't know.