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Route 66: 1x14 Play It Glissando 1/3
Route 66

This episode opens with sirens, an ambulance, and a not-quite-escorting police car.

What has befallen some unfortunate soul?

Why look, it's Tod!  Buz is sitting by.  Since it's Tod on the gurney, we know that this is in medias res! 

The paramedic isn't wearing gloves.

Poor Buz.  "Don't look!  I'm having feelings!" 

The paramedic tries to make conversation and asks if they know who did it.  "Yeah," Buz replies!

A meaningful cut to this woman, in the police car.

They unload the ambulance at what looks like the service entrance.

The detective grabs Buz and says that he needs a statement. 

They pile into the police car to give the statement. 

The detective gestures to the back seat.

"From the top, from the time you and Stiles met her last night."

"That's not the top.  You gotta go back, uh... before that."

"Chapter One: I Am Born.  Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night..."

Wait, wait, not that far back.  Buz just means yesterday afternoon.

Some music wends us gently into the flashback as Buz narrates about how great it was to be alive yesterday and how they were going to crash at "one of the plushest pads on the coast" for a few days. 

They look around their suite.  I wonder what those books are?

Buz shows Tod a brochure.

They chose a very welcoming photo of her for the brochure.  Tod and Buz wonder if she's the girl they passed upstairs.  She sings every night at eight at the Surf Bar.

Buz says he now has plans for eight o'clock!

"*Untranscribable sound of disagreement*, I think she's more my type."

Buz looks at the picture again.

Then he gets really angry for five seconds.  He looks actually offended, and it's funny.  "Who's the music buff in this wing, who knows the language?"

It's balance.  Last week (yesterday, anyway: thanks DVDs!) we saw Tod's deep abiding love for racing, this week Buz gets to show us what he knows about jazz.

With a girl like that, Buz explains, "You've gotta play it glissando."


"Cool," says Buz, because Tod is a hopeless square.

Tod looks like he doesn't know what "cool" means either.  

Buz provides a helpful example.  "Like I say to her, 'Baby, I don't dig the fuzzy stuff, but the hard bop really knocks me out.  And when she's through laughing sometimes she gives me a pity-kiss.  Now she tags me for the progressive type." 

(Had pop taken off in 1961?  The Beatles didn't invade until a couple of years later - hence Illya Kuryakin's haircut in the later seasons of The Man From UNCLE.  I'm so glad they never did that to Buz.)  

Tod continues to look unconvinced.  Buz has a lot of imaginary conversations with imaginary women in his head.  But they do drive for hours between ports of call, what else is he going to do? 

Buz knows more about hip music than Tod, so he wins this round.  Tod is appalled that there's something his street urchin friend knows more about than him, and he gets his revenge by shoving the suitcase at Buz and demanding he "Unpack."

Eight o'clock, at the Surf Bar!

She's a good singer, so Buz is thrilled.  Tod is just happy that Buz is happy or something. 

More happy smiles.

Buz gets a note saying she'll be through at 8:30.  Tod wants to know just how he arranged that so quickly. 

"I told her I was a pupil of Sticky Mack."

Tod is once again frightened by a glimpse into Buz's hip world full of people called "Sticky Mack".

Then the song ends, and Buz narrates us to the next scene: "That's when it started, when I made the date with Kitty Parker.  If I hadn't, none of it would have happened.  At least not to Tod."  I too would feel guilty if my friend was just being polite and trying to understand my hobbies and got shot for his trouble.

After her set, Buz and Kitty meet up.  Tod's still tagging along.  Kitty apparently keeps high-energy company and she takes them to a jazz spot to test if Buz is actually the aficionado he claims to be.

Gabe Johnson.  Or McGarrett, if you prefer. 
Da da da da da da, da da da da da...  Anyway.  He's there with his trumpet.

Buz sings Gabe Johnson's praises and passes Kitty's test.  "I thought maybe you were just a tin ear. But you dig Gabe Johnson!  Incandescence." 

Tod wears the put-upon look of linguistic prescriptivists everywhere, and inside he weeps at what has become of the language of Milton and Shakespeare. 

Kitty says there's a concert tomorrow, all Gabe, and it shall be a wonderous affair as he and his trumpet do Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

"Hey.  Who's Gabe Johnson?"  I think Tod is kidding here, I mean, he's looking right at the poster, and from context and Kitty and Buz's fangirling, he should have been able to figure it out.

Buz and Kitty laugh at him.  Tod never laughs at Buz when Buz doesn't know something! But I believe this is what Tod wanted.  Letting Buz have his moment, since usually Tod's the one who's borderline-patronizingly didactic.  Or perhaps Silliphant wanted Buz to have his moment and so Tod is forced to play dumb.

Buz is delighted, so Tod's plan is working.  "Hey, square.  You ever heard of Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis, Chet Baker?" 

Tod does his shifty-eyed look because he doesn't know (or is pretending not to know) who any of those people are.  Except Baker!  Tod says "Trumpet." 

"Put Gabe Johnson at the top of that list." 

They sit down and McGarrett plays some trumpet for us. 

Tod is not enthralled.

Buz wants to share his interests!  It's cute.

Tod's a good sport.   He's not impressed, but chacun à son goût! He's hoping the actual plot starts soon.

The trumpet music ends and everyone claps.

And Gabe is gratified.  Ew, wipe your mouth.

So then they leave just before midnight.  Buz's narration tells us he's annoyed because a second before or after, they'd have missed the almost-head-on-collision. 

The plot crosses the center line and Tod has to swerve out of the way.

Tod rushes over to meet it, glad that he won't have to sit through any more jam sessions.

This weeping woman, who has the central conflict in her purse, says her husband just tried to kill her.

More babbling about how her husband cut her brakes and tried to murder her.  Jana freaks out because she recognizes Kitty, and surmises the two men must be Gabe's friends too.  They haven't actually said she's Mrs. Johnson yet, not until Kitty's next line, but we know where this is going.  Let's not be coy!

Kitty recognizes the woman and calls her Jana.  Jana Johnson, Gabe's wife. 

Buz's inner fangirl is troubled by that revelation.  His mussed hair reflects his inner torment!  Or something.

Jana tries to run away, falls over, and Buz goes over to help her up.  He says he'll call the sheriff. 

Next Part: 
Play It Glissando 2/3


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