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"Barney Miller" The Vandal (1978)

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Farewell to Jack Soo's Yemana

Author: kevin olzak ( from Youngstown, Ohio
25 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Vandal" sadly turned out to be the final episode for Jack Soo's unforgettable Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana, broadcast two months before his unexpected death from cancer of the esophagus. Nick and Barney arrive for work on time, only to discover the office a complete shambles, victimized by a vandal during the night, after a skeleton crew was left by 4:00 AM (Yemana: "never been this bad before! Where'd all these papers come from?" Barney: "I'm afraid those are the files, Nick!" Yemana: "oh my God!"). Wojo confirms that nothing has been stolen, and that a message for Barney was scrawled on the wall, 'Miller is a dirty---' (Barney: "marvelous!" Yemana: "they spaced it nicely!"). Dietrich surveys the damage ("no, I straighten out my desk on Friday!"). Nick tries calling downstairs for assistance ("you never can get a cop when you need one!"). Suspicion falls upon Levitt, who was present at the time it occurred, but claims to have heard nothing. Meanwhile, a TV executive (Howard Honig, third of five) and a disgruntled viewer (Jay Gerber, third of four) debate the questionable merits of broadcast television. Harris can't resist the opportunity to plug his story ideas to the downtrodden executive, who promises to get back to him, his fingerprints now on file! It's Harris who checks on all of Barney's threatening letters ("not all of them were sent to you, some of them were addressed to 'the pig in charge!'"), finally picking up the vandal responsible (Christopher Lloyd, first of two), who's been holding his grudge against Officer Miller for 17 years! The final scene finds Barney asking Nick to start reorganizing the files (Yemana: "why me? He did it!" Barney: "just get at it will you?" Yemana: "yes sir!" Barney: "something else you'd like to say?"). Nick turns to read the nasty message on the wall left to Barney and sarcastically answers, "I have nothing to add!" Jack Soo goes out with a laugh, just the way he would have preferred. Broadcast Nov 9 1978, Jack died Jan 11 1979, a special tribute show done at season's end, featuring clips of some of the best remembered scenes from his 78 episodes. His last words to Hal Linden as he was being taken into the operating room: "it must have been the coffee!"

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