Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Barney Miller S 1 E 12

Go To

Episode: Season 1, Episode 12
Title: Hair
Directed by: Allen Baron
Written by: Jerry Ross (story), Ronny Perlman, Chris Hayward, and Danny Arnold (teleplay)
Air Date: April 17, 1975
Previous: Escape Artist
Next: The Hero
Guest Starring: Michael Lembeck, Charles Fleischer, Florence Stanley, Henry Beckman

"Hair" is the 12th episode of the first season of Barney Miller.

The 12th is notified that a Detective Gardeno will be transferred to the squad room from Narcotics. When Gardeno shows up he looks like Che Guevara, wearing a dirty rumpled jacket with a communist star, and sporting an earring and a gigantic black beard. Barney has to issue a direct order to get Gardeno to shave and wear a suit. Gardeno complies (and no one recognizes him), but he complains about what he regards as an unexciting posting in the 12th Precinct. He asks Capt. Miller to transfer him back to Narcotics, where the action is. Gardeno winds up getting some action when he and Chano respond to a report of a man in an apartment building threatening his wife with a gun.

Meanwhile, the usual set of weirdos cycles through the squad room, including a drunk guy named Cooper arrested for disorderly conduct, and a drug addict who climbs the bars of the holding cell (Charles Fleischer, who later voiced Roger Rabbit). Liz Miller and Bernice Fish pop in to take their husbands to lunch, but Fish isn't in the squad room. Bernice is not happy to find out that her husband took a long lunch in order to visit...a massage parlor.


  • Bait-and-Switch: The episode ends with the detectives commiserating about good luck charms.
    Yemana: You know those cute little Japanese dolls that you rub on the belly for luck? [Beat] I'm taking one out to dinner tonight.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The fourth of five episodes in the thirteen-episode first season to feature scenes outside the squad room. There would only be eight more such episodes over the remaining seven years of the show.
  • Expy: Detective Gardeno, with his gigantic bushy black beard and generally rumpled appearance, is an obvious clone of Al Pacino in Serpico.
  • Handshake Refusal: Fish doesn't respond to Gardeno's outstretched hand, although it's mostly because he's shocked at Gardeno's bearded, unkempt appearance.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: Fish was late getting back because he went to the Garden of Eden massage parlor, which gives happy endings—but he only got a massage! (And he fell asleep on the table.)
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Bernice is worried because Fish is very late getting back. Liz tries to calm him down, saying "The boys would know if anything was wrong, and you don't see any of them worried." This is immediately followed by Barney throwing open the door to his office, and worriedly asking "Fish?"
  • Literal Metaphor: When Bernice says she could have given Fish a massage, he smiles and says "Bernice, haven't I always told you, you rub me the wrong way?"
  • Mathematician's Answer: Bernice is upset after hearing her husband went to a Happy-Ending Massage parlor.
    Bernice: Where did she massage you?
    Fish: On 14th and Lexington.
  • Mood Whiplash: The broad comedy of Fish's wife confronting him about going to a massage parlor is interrupted by a phone call, informing the 12th that there was shooting at Chano and Gardeno's domestic violence call and both have been taken to the hospital.
  • One Phone Call: When Cooper the drunk is offered his one phone call, he says "Do you know anybody who delivers?"
  • Taking the Bullet: Subverted. Chano says that Gardeno is a hero: he pushed Chano out of the way, and took a bullet in the hip that probably would have hit Chano, two steps below on the stairs, directly in the forehead. However, Gardeno confesses to Capt. Miller that he didn't mean to knock Chano aside and take the bullet. What actually happened was that he panicked and turned to run away.