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Recap / Barney Miller S 1 E 05

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 5
Title: The Courtesans
Directed by: Noam Pitlik
Written by: Sandy Krinksi and Jerry Davis(story), Jerry David, Chris Hayward, Danny Arnold, and Sybil Adelma (teleplay)
Air Date: February 13, 1975
Previous: Graft
Next: Stakeout
Guest Starring: Nancy Dussault, Rosanna De Soto, Audrey Christie, Anne Wyndham

"The Courtesans" is the fifth episode of the first season of Barney Miller.

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Wojo busts a whorehouse, and five hookers are brought into the 12th precinct for processing. Wojo, it turns out, really hates prostitution. He's extremely rude to the woman he's interviewing, a hooker named Linda, and Barney is forced to tell him to knock it off. It eventually becomes clear that Wojo is attracted to Linda.

Meanwhile, Barney's daughter Rachel wants her own apartment (despite only being 17!), and Liz brings Rachel into the squad room so the whole family can talk about it. Also, Harris and Yemana have busted a porn theater that is letting underage people in.


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Tropes:

  • Character Development: Harris started out as a Jive Turkey character but his evolution to pompous intellectual really begins in this episode. When he and Yemana are writing up their report on the porn movie, Harris gives it a Roger Ebert-style review where he criticizes the story and the acting and such. All Yemana writes on his report is "A Man and a Woman and Another Woman is a dirty movie."
  • Curse Cut Short: Linda says that when she gets really mad, she either starts cursing, or throws up. She gets mad at Wojo, says "You dirty son of a—", and runs off to the restroom to barf.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The second of only three appearances of Barney's daughter Rachel. (The last was in 1981 episode "Rachel".)
  • Hypocritical Humor: Wojo finally, awkwardly tells Linda that he'd like to see her socially. She spits back that if he wants to see her he can make an appointment and pay $50 in advance. After she leaves, Wojo, who's been ranting the whole episode about how Linda's a cheap tramp and no woman should sell herself and no man should pay for it, asks Barney if he can borrow $50 until pay day.
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  • Lethal Chef: Bernice, apparently. Fish brings in a cake. Everyone gets excited, until he tells them that Bernice baked it, which is when the other detectives beg off.
  • Miss Kitty: Rose, the veteran hooker who owns the dancing club that's really a brothel.
  • One Phone Call: Played straight on Barney Miller many many times. In this episode Wojo gets mad when Linda uses her one phone call to check her messages (for clients).
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Harris says that they caught the movie theater showing a film called A Man and a Woman. Chano says "That's not a dirty movie" (it isn't!), only for Harris to finish with ...and Another Woman.
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