DVD Review: Adam-12 (The Final Season)

Did the ride really ever stop for Officer Pete Malloy (Route 66‘s Martin Milner) and Officer Jim Reed (Kent McCord)? Their beat covered Los Angeles during the cultural upheaval. The youthquake was shaking the town. The old guard was be pushed out by a generation that came alive in the Summer of Love. Reed arrived as rookie, but he wasn’t out to shake things up for Malloy. He wasn’t pushing the envelope and questioning their tactics to make the cops more groovy to the kids. Reed wanted to be a good cop at his core. He wanted to become Malloy as the series progressed. The duo were constant in their passion for justice while the city around them changed. The show maintained its ability to mix the mundane calls with the high crimes. Adam-12: The Final Season ends with their last patrol after seven seasons.

“Camp” captures a kid on a burglary charge. Instead of just dumping the kid off at juvenile hall, Malloy offers to take the kid to a camp in the mountains. He’s under the belief that a wilderness week will tame the wild child. The kid isn’t ready for the woods. June Lockhart (Lost In Space and Lassie) plays the trouble teen’s mom. Ronnie Schell (Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.) pops up. “Team Work” introduces a new way of combating crime. Like Emergency, the show was a way to reach distant law enforcement departments with techniques that could be investigated. Adam-12 was like Cops with stories taken from real police officers. “Roll Call” makes Reed fake being a pizza delivery boy in order to scam a con artist. “Suspect Number 1” explains how a recently released 60 year old convict wants to get busted again since he wants to retire in the penal system. “Point of View” foreshadows the final episode when a fellow officer goes to Malloy for advice on how to deal with his wife.

“Earthquake aka Lady Beware” brings Sgt. Gloria Tyler (Beth Brickell) along on the ride. They must track down a rapist targeting teen girls. “X-Force” gets ugly when Malloy loses it while looking for missing girl. Could this lead to the end of his career? Keep your eyes peeled for Paul Gleason (Breakfast Club). “Alcohol” puts out an APB for a bald serial rapist. Is this a dig at Kojak from creator Jack Webb (Dragnet)? Later on the shift, they must remove a large woman from a phone booth.

“Credit Risk” pits Reed against his credit card company. Someone messed with his rating. Amazing how a fresh topic in 1974 remains an issue in 2012. Willie Aames is a troubled teen. “Christmas” introduces the heartwarming concept of Suicide by Cop. “Victim of the Crime” covers the most horrible crime that can investigated by TV cops. An old woman has her TV stolen. They need to get this woman her TV back or they’ll lose a viewer.

“Lady’s Night” gives the boys a night off. Malloy and his girlfriend (Aneta Corsault) take Reed and his wife (Kirstin Nelson) out to dinner. But work interrupts the evening in the form of a heist. “Gus Corbin” brings back the rookie concept in the form of Mark Harmon (NCIS). He’s trouble to Reed and Malloy. “Something Worth Dying For” appears to be the end of Reed and Malloy. Reed wants more than just the usual patrol duty. He spends time in the narcotics squad. When his raid on a drug dealer goes bad, Reed has to save a downed Malloy in a shooting gallery. Reed’s wife can’t take it. She can’t take the pressure of being married to a cop anymore. Will she test Reed’s love by making him quit? Can he leave Malloy? It does rate as one of the best ending episodes for a cop series.

Adam-12: The Final Season brings to an end a cop series that did its best to show what it truly meant to be a partner. Reed and Malloy proved that not every buddy cop show or movie had to involve the straight man and the wacky freak. While they series came to an end, their black and white patrol car must still be circling Los Angeles keeping the streets safe of Willie Ames.

The Episodes
“Camp,” “Team Work,” “Roll Call,” “Suspect Number One,” “Point Of View,” “Earthquake aka Lady Beware,” “X-Force,” “Alcohol,” “Credit Risk,” “Christmas,” “Pot Shot,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Victim Of The Crime,” “Pressure Point,” “Lady’s Night,” “Citizen With Gun,” “Follow Up,” “Suicide,” “Operation Action,” “Gus Corbin,” “Dana Hall” and “Something Worth Dying For.”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers bring out the glory of mid-70s Los Angeles with those bold kitchen colors. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels are set to let you hear the radio dispatches cleanly.

There are no bonus features.

Adam-12: The Final Season shows that Reed and Malloy didn’t drive off indifferently into the sunset. They were passionate about their policework. The final episode does a fine job of summing up the series instead of schmaltzing it up. The was a show about the two guys in the patrol car.

Shout! Factory presents Adam-12: The Final Season. Starring: Kent McCord and Martin Milner. Boxset Contents: 24 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released: April 10, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

Tags: , ,