Show17

That $400,000 in stolen money would be worth about $2,867,800.83 today. The $1500 that Mason charges Arlene to find her trailer would be $10,754.25. Definitely a bit over the top as Della comments. Actually, although I realize Perry was testing her, I think he’d get in trouble today with the bar association if he did that. Arlene pays $2500 ($17,923.76) for her trailer and finds $18,000 ($129,051.04). Perry gets a $25,000 ($179,237.55) reward which he turns over to Arlene and her father. The way that girl spends money, she’ll need it. Submitted by billp, 12/27/2008.

Bill Emory states "the robbery took place on Tuesday, May 3rd". This episode was part of the 57-58 season. May 3rd was a Tuesday last in 1955. But Bill Emory has only been fired for the past 10 months. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 13 April 2015.

Anyone watching the syndicated version of this show will be puzzled about the picture on this page of Della and Paul Brinegar (dressed as the messenger), since that scene is always cut out of the televised versions. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 13 April 2015

This episode was unusual in that the murder seemed gratuitous, and as such morally unsatisfying: as has been argued, the victims are traditionally vile persons, or in a few cases - such as Sleepwalker's Niece, where the killing is integral to the plot - the character is (simply) undeveloped; but here neither is true: Uncle George is a nice guy and little reason - perhaps no reason at all in the syndicated versions - is given for his death...but it's PM so we know "someone's gotta get it", sentiment be damned. Lamented by Notcom , 08-24-17.

The more I think about this episode, the less sense it makes. 1) How could Arlene not hear someone backing up to her trailer? 2)Why couldn't she go to the police? 3) Where was the stolen money? 4)And, yes, why was George killed? DOD 05/13/18
+ And why in the world would Bill Emory tell the police that Perry would be at George Ballard's home when he, Emory, was planning on being there at the same time? Kilo 6/9/2020. Update: see Old Dave’s comment below. Kilo.

Tragg arrests Arlene and says the trial is the next day. In court both Perry and Burger have miraculously developed their cases. In fact, Burger says "the state has gone to a great deal of trouble to prepare its case". Those are two fast working attorneys! Submitted by Kilo 3/7/2018.
> Ah but we find out (see below) that's not really true...the pitfall of rushing things!! Notcom 120718.

Odd that Burger was unaware that Perry didn't lower and raise the shade as a signal when he questioned Perry in court. Tragg knew that when Perry tried to show him why he did it. Apparently Tragg kept that information to himself. Kilo 12/7/2018.

Perry placed a want ad in the paper as a way to locate the trailer. I guess we are to assume Mr. Hartsel at the Ideal Trailer Mart responded to the ad. Kilo 12/7/2018.

The "I'll throw you to the wolves without the slightest compunction" comment by Perry to Arlene is uncharacteristic. Must be a line straight from the book. Joe B. 05/24/19

In the opening scene we see the sun-bathing Arlene and her trailer in a secluded location. Where did her car go? She must have pulled the trailer there, probably with her Dodge Royal Lancer. Did someone steal her car, too? And, by the way, who tipped off Sackett that Arlene was going to be there with her trailer? It seemed like he knew right where to go. That couldn't have been just a coincidence. Kilo 9/11/2019.

I love the way Perry adds a little humor to this when Della hands the phone over to him and his client asks, "what did your secretary tell you?" and Perry responds, "just the bare facts."

Spoiler Warning! Do Not Read Below If You Have Not Seen The Episode

Too Many Fairlanes! (See Greg C's CARS Trivia) We see Perry driving his black 57 Ford Fairlane Skyliner (Lic No HGA 056) into George Ballard's driveway in daylight at 21:50 of the CBS/ Paramount DVD. The Skyliner nameplate on the side of the roof is conspicuous. At 26:59, it's dusk and the police lurking across the street in their own black 57 Ford sedan observe a man who they ID as Perry leaving Ballard's house and driving off in a black Fairlane. . . But Hey!... The cops don't notice that it's not Perry's car! The Lic No is MNN 527 (or 521) and it's a Fairlane 2-Door Hardtop! - note how the rear roofline differs from that of the Skyliner. This misidentification is an important story element and one of the most devious & delicious plot devices in any PM episode.
      Trailer Trouble. However careful the crew were in gathering their Fairlanes, details of the trailer theft were implausible:

  • I doubt that a Jeep could pull Arlene's large trailer out of the woods but there are contrary claims! Even so, any cops spotting Sackett on the road would have stopped him for the excessive (stolen) load.
  • Toaster, lamp & AirCond are seen in Arlene's trailer but Sackett didn't disconnect electrical service.
  • Since Sackett didn't stow anything, the interior would have been wrecked by the time he got to Ideal Trailer Mart.
  • Arlene would have had great difficulty getting her trailer into that wooded, sandy spot, even with her big Dodge Royal Lancer, (Lic No MLJ 766, see "1957 Headlight Oddities" at ep#3 Comments).

Added by Gary Woloski, 4/8/12.

Had to laugh when Paul handed Perry a photo of the balding, 40-something Paul Brinegar and referred to him as "the kid who swiped the trailer." Submitted by JazzBaby, 7/6/2019.

Above someone notes that Emory tipped off the cops that Perry would be at George's house. I thought the secret that Emory spilled was where Perry was meeting Arlene, allowing Tragg to pick her up. At the stakeout, the police officers engage in a "didn't that guy look familiar" discussion, before they settle on Perry. They certainly didn't expect him to be there. BTW, that ID is really definitive on the stand! Also, above someone asks why George was killed. First, it's a real shocker. You're not expecting it. Later in the series, a lot of the impact of the murder goes out the window when the victim is so despicable you are waiting for it to happen. George's killing works on a visceral level. The only plot explanation is that Emory goes there to recover the $1500 and is surprised by George. Of course, this means that Emory knows (1) that Perry is carrying the money, (2) that Perry realizes, at the house, that it's tainted, and (3) that Perry hides it in the roller blind. (Clearly, the killer took the money.) How could Emory possibly know any of that, unless he was hiding in the house and witnessed it? Then Emory left, reparked his Fairlane next to the house, and went back in the house to get the money? Of course, this leaves the great implausibility. Perry, under indictment for perjury, testifies to a timeline, otherwise uncorroborated, and everyone buys in, even without the tearful confession from the gallery. I was half expecting Burger to pop up and say, I think we'll go with our police witness's ID! Enough quibbling. This is a wonderful episode! Old Dave, 6/9/20
+ Re: Emory’s tipoff. You are correct, Old Dave. A re-viewing cleared that up for me. And I agree that this is one of the better episodes. 8.5/10 on IMDB. Kilo 3/3/2021.

The previous episode,”Demure Defendant”, is one of the best written, most tightly plotted in the series. This episode is so full of questions it rather spoils it for me. Quite a contrast. Do we blame the writers or the source material? DOD 06/22/22