"Christmas Story" was BARNEY MILLER's first holiday-themed episode, set
on Christmas Eve, with Nick off duty by midnight, showing a romantic
interest in an attractive mugging victim (Nobu McCarthy) who
reciprocates in kind, unaware of her nighttime profession. Santas all
over town are being assaulted by the same culprit (John Morgan Evans),
until a disguised Fish catches him in the act. A disgruntled shopper
(Jay Gerber, 4 episodes) shows his apathy toward the department store
where he made the purchase by returning it- through their front window
(decapitating a manikin!). He claims he had good reason to refuse it,
the directions for assembly are in Japanese! Inspector Luger drops by
to wish the 12th good cheer, sporting a gift from "one of our generous
merchants...lousy half pint!" He's hinting to Barney that he might be
free for Christmas Day, lamenting that 8th Ave. has changed since the
old days, "both sides lined with porno palaces, massage parlors, eh?"
(Yemana: "that stuff's hard to wrap!").
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