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"Barney Miller" Altercation (1982)

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Arnold Ripner faces Harris one final time

Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio
3 September 2014

"Altercation" begins with Harris excited about negotiating a new book contract, until the untimely arrival of slimeball attorney Arnold Ripner (Alex Henteloff, last of seven), in his sixth and final appearance, still gloating over his victorious lawsuit against Harris, and just itching to make a claim on the next novel. Harris resorts to simply punching Ripner in the mouth ("just once!"), but what Barney doesn't like about it is how this could jeopardize his prospects for promotion to Deputy Inspector. What Harris truly gets out of it is the satisfaction of knowing that his nemesis made very little from his victory, thanks to high court costs and attorneys' fees. Miriam Byrd Nethery (last of four) plays mugging victim Beverly Wakefield, whose purse was snatched (Beverly: "it's really my own fault, I shouldn't have been walking alone in such a dangerous neighborhood!" Barney: "where'd it happen?" Dietrich: "out front!" Beverly: "a policeman arrived ALMOST immediately!"). After she identifies the culprit (Robert Pastorelli), she shyly confesses to having a crush on the captain since 1966, when he saved her from a gang of hooligans, faithfully following his career ever since. Todd Susman (last of four) plays stockbroker Neil Hackett, caught in a drug raid trying to sell what he couldn't use to both Harris and Wojo. Rod Colbin (last of seven) plays Lawrence Wheeler, one of Hackett's partners, who has always believed him to be wholly reliable, shocked to see him languishing in a jail cell (Wheeler: "what are you doing in there?" Hackett: "not much!").

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