Does one believe what one sees or sees what one believes? That is the question ...
After someone is killed in a bar, five barflies work with a sketch artist to produce a composite of the man they saw. It just so happens that the sketch of the killer bears a striking resemblance to Ed, that Ed doesn't have an alibi (he was off fishing by himself), and that Ed had a prior connection to the victim. This means Ed is suspect number one and it also means Ironside will move heaven and Earth to clear his name. Eventually the investigation leads to an unmarried woman and the man who apparently doesn't want to marry her. The woman in question is played by Anne Whitfield, (someone from my neck of the woods), and is another one of the sadly under appreciated actresses of that era. She really has far too little screen time in this episode. If you enjoy seeing her keep an eye out for her in the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Nautical Knot" where she is better presented.
Will Ed go to the gas chamber? You'll never know unless you watch the show ...
But the one thing I have to point out is an error so bizarre that I had to rewind the VCR tape three times to be sure I wasn't seeing things. (Why yes, I do still use a VCR - doesn't everyone?) At the beginning there is an extended scene where the five barflies describe the killer in exacting detail to the police sketch artist. (It should be noted that in real life such sketches are usually fairly crude, not nearly as good as you see in these police shows.) All of the witnesses agree that the picture is correct in every detail. The police Lt. (played by Norman Fell, who would later become Mr. Roper in that annoying TV show Three's Company) thinks he recognizes the person and goes to compare the sketch with a photo of Ed. Here's where it gets bizarre: The person in the sketch has his hair combed left to right and Ed has always combed his right to left. (As it turns out the real killer combs his hair just like Ed does.) When the Lt. looks at Ed's picture, it's printed backwards, so that the sketch will match the bassackwards photo in his hand!! I cannot figure out how this happened. Did they deliberately print a backward photo so that the photo would match the bungled sketch? Or did someone give the artist the backwards photo to draw the sketch? Did the producer / director think that no one would ever notice? To be sure it's not enough that it ruins the program but things like this stick out like a sore thumb.
And I, for one, do not like a sore thumb.
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