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Recap / Barney Miller S 1 E 07

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Episode: Season 1, Episode 7
Title: Bureaucrat
Directed by: Bob Finkel
Written by: Rich Baer, Chris Hayward, Danny Arnold
Air Date: March 6, 1975
Previous: Stakeout
Next: Ms. Cop
Guest Starring: Milton Selzer, David Wayne, Claudio Martinez

"Bureaucrat" is the seventh episode of the first season of Barney Miller.

The 12th brings in one E.J. Heiss, arrested for disorderly conduct after being drunk out of his mind in public. Heiss, the eponymous federal bureaucrat, is charge of the [deep breath] "Bureau of Federal Regional Development and Planning for Underdeveloped Suburban Areas, Mines, Parks, and Indians". Heiss threatens to bring the full fury of the federal government down on Barney for booking him, but no one back in Washington will take his call.


A second plot involves Murray Grossman from the local deli, who delivers sandwiches for lunch. After Wojo finds a dead fly in his sandwich he calls the Board of Health, to the irritation of Yemana, who points out that Grossman's is the only place that delivers. A third plot involves Chano, who is late for work, but he has a good reason: his apartment was robbed.


  • The Alcoholic: Heiss, his drinking binges supposedly triggered by a fear of flying. He admits that having to fly out of Kansas City once sent him on a three-day bender.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wojo gets Murray's deli shut down. It soon reopens, having remodeled...and everything is at least 83% more expensive.
  • Big Eater: Wojo ordered four sandwiches for lunch.
  • Cultural Posturing: Yemana (Japanese) and Murray (Jewish) argue about what to call salmon on a bagel.
    Yemana: Where's my sashimi and cream cheese on a bagel?
    Murray: Here it is. It's called lox.
    Yemana: The hell it is. We had it before you did!
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  • Hangover Sensitivity: When Heiss finally sobers up, he is clutching his forehead and wincing from a terrible hangover. Barney asks Heiss how he's doing, Heiss says "Please don't shake me like that!", and Barney has to point out that he isn't actually touching Heiss.
  • Running Gag: Heiss rattling off the absurdly long title of his office in an effort to intimidate the cops of the 12th. Towards the end an embarrassed Heiss says his job title "takes five minutes to say and 30 seconds to forget."
  • Sarcasm Mode: Barney was usually the straight man, but he could sometimes get some snark in. Barney is wondering why Chano hasn't shown up for work.
    Wojo: He's on something.
    Barney: That's good, you got all the details.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: E.J. Heiss has the lengthy job title of Chief of the Bureau of Federal Regional Development and Planning for Underdeveloped Suburban Areas for Mines, Parks, and Indians.