Oddball (i.e. heterosexual) show-tune composer Gil Larkin is working with singer Mona Cameron and falling for her despite her being married. When Gil discovers bruises on Mona’s shoulder, he decides to pay her husband a visit.
Apparently, wife beating is no longer the hoot that it was in the dark ages . . . a week ago . . . in the previous episode Mink. It truly was a different time.
Gil goes to confront Mr. Cameron, who is on the phone wheeling and / or dealing. Cameron shouts, “Richie, don’t!” as a man knocks Gil out from behind. Richie, still unseen, then shoots Cameron. Gil wakes up with a gun in his hand, Mr. Cameron dead, and the phone blaring out public domain pop music.
Gil realizes he is being set up, but has two clues — the name “Richie” and the caller who might have heard what happened. The caller has hung up, but he finds a note listing two clients who were scheduled to talk to Cameron that night.
This really isn’t much of a frame-up as no one saw Larkin go to Cameron’s office and he had no appointment. He could have just quietly slipped away after regaining consciousness. And it was risky of Richie to knock him out. Had Gil been unconscious when the cleaning lady came, that would have actually exonerated him.
Gil goes to see the first person on the schedule, a Japanese dancer. This was pretty bold casting in the 1950’s — there was no reason to make the dancer Japanese; unless she was the murderer, and that was somehow relevant. I’m not sure whether this was a progressive casting choice or a yellow herring (I know, I know).
The next person on the list is a wacky DJ. It is hard to tell whether this giggling beatnik doofus is high, hyperactive, ADD, drunk or all of the above.
He inexplicably hums the tune that was playing through the phone. In this case, it is a pickled herring.
He joins the ranks of Hollywood DJs that you could not pay people to listen to (Stevie Wayne, Dave Garver, Johnny Fever, etc). I would include Wolfman Jack in that list, except he actually was inexplicably successful.
Gil returns to Mona’s apartment where the police are waiting for him. They take him downtown to give a statement. Returning to Mona’s place, he discovers an album of the tune that was playing through the phone. It is an LP, but luckily he chooses exactly the right track. When he accuses Mona of framing him, she calls Richie out of the bedroom.
When they say they can’t allow Gil to live, effectively confessing, the police barge back in. Mona tries to pull a switcheroo on the cops, acting as if Richie had just barged in on she and Gil. She gives a pretty great O-face (as in “O, Crap!“) as she realizes in about 3 seconds that there is no point to even trying this.
- AHP Deathwatch: Gil and Mona are still alive, but that’s it.
- AHP Proximity Alert: Harry Taylor was in 6 episodes this season. Jack Mullaney just appeared 4 weeks ago.
- Frank Gorshin, in his first role, has a bit part. He would go on to at least two iconic roles: The Riddler on TV’s Batman, and Bele the black & white dude on Star Trek (not to be confused with the white & black dude).
- There must be some weird Alfred Hitchcock / Ten Commandments connection. In the first season, AHP used eighteen actors from that movie. And nine more in season two. Of course, it was a cast of thousands.
- George Lucas gave Wolfman Jack a “piece” of American Graffiti to appear it. It wasn’t Star Wars, but it was huge and set him for life.