• Craig Hunter

PT - Banacek - 022 - The Two Million Clams of Capt'n Jack

Updated: Jan 26

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Welcome everyone to The Predictably Treacherous podcast.  Today's episode is Banacek "The 2 Million Clams of Cap'n Jack".  This episode was directed by Richard T. Heffron, Shirl Hendryx, Pat Fielder, and Richard Bluel and written by Stanley Ralph Ross.  The original air date was February 7th, 1973

Let's get right to the episode summary. 

Banacek is hired to retrieve valuable stock certificates stolen from a major food company on the eve of a planned merger.

Or alternatively, "that episode with the Highliner Fish Sticks guy."

The Crime

The Barron Banknote Building

An old guy is opening a large safe in the presence of a security guard and an insurance man.  They pull out a cloth wrap containing a stack of security certificate plates for the dystopian sounding united foods company.  The old guy is a tech who prints new certificates from the original plates. 

The old guy looks like he smells like an ashtray. He has a ratty old cardigan with holes in the shoulder.

The three leave with the certificate plates in a brief case.  The old guy is telling the insurance man that they are going to run off 50 certificates at 1000 shares each.  They are about to get in a security elevator that only has two stops.  There are three guards now and the lead guard with the briefcase gets on the elevator when the old guy collapses at the drinking fountain.  The insurance man says go ahead and the guard goes down the elevator alone while the rest stay with the old man.  When the elevator arrives at the bottom floor the doors open and all that's in the elevator is the empty briefcase.

Banacek Intro

Banacek is playing touch football with a group of middle-aged guys including the insurance agent who was present at the robbery.  His boss, Mr. Morgan arrives.  He played the head of the CIA on an episode of Columbo, season 5, Identity Crisis. Mr. Morgan wants Banacek on the case.  He wants the stock certificate plates returned within 48 hrs.  

Disgruntled Insurance Agent

The agent lets us know that the engraver regularly gets dizzy spells and has been cleared of any wrongdoing.  The guard was found a block away unconscious.  He is now in jail on suspicion of being black--I mean robbery--but claims he's innocent.  Seems he served time previously for armed robbery. Capt'n Jacks company was being acquired by United foods owned by Sloan.  Mr Morgan invites Banacek to a cocktail party so that he can talk with Sloan and Capt'n Jack.  The insurance man is upset and defensive.  

Ladies Man

Now at Banacek's home, he and Felix are reviewing slides of Sloan, Capt'n Jack , Capt'n Jack's attractive daughter, and their back stories. Seems Capt'n Jack and his brother had a falling out years ago. The daughter arrives and...hey, it's Lucille Bluth.  She looks great.  She was also in a Columbo episode, Season 4, Mind Over Mayhem.  

She invites him to take her to lunch so that they can discuss what's happening with the plates. She purports to have an interest because she is due 10% of her father's business and the merger has been delayed as a result of the theft.  

They head out to "Steak Joint" (one of the all time great names for a restaurant).  They flirt and he invites her to the cocktail party. They leave and she kisses him in the car.  He drops her off at the airport.  She is a traffic reporter and needs to catch a helicopter.  

Polish Proverb

when an owl comes to a mouse picnic, it's not there for the sac races.  

erica is coming on a little strong for just fun and games.  

side note:

lucille has an old flame named roger.  roger has a current wife named lucille.  Roger's Lucille slaps Banacek's Lucille and Banacek and his Lucille leave.  

...alright Banacek, save us from this pointlessness...

The Big Reveal

Now with Crawfish and the Insurance Man.

Here is how it went down:

- how did spencer get out of the elevator and the building? the basement.  This was espisito's domain.  

- when he first met espisito, he scratched his arm.  then when he visited espisito's apartment, he was shirtless and there was a band-aid...small pox vacinnations. banacek asked if he was leaving the country and he denied it.  

- espisito and capt'n jack both had chess boards with the exact same pieces set up.  so they knew each other and had a game going but how did they know each other.

- capt'n jack wasn't getting much for his share of the sale of the company.  

1:08:08 1:10:26

- dizzy spell was real.  if there was no dizzy spell than espisito would have dragged all the bodies out and dumped them a block away.  

- spencer stepped into a duplicate elevator directly below the real elevator.  pressing the button released gas that knocked him out.  

- espisito worked for the building contractor, not the banknote company.  he built the elevator extension and he built it narrow enough to fit between the 3 inch security bars below the real elevator.  

- the elevator traveled down to the first floor, but the duplicate elevator opened in the basement.  

- espisito dismantled the duplicate elevator panels, dragged spencer out and dumped him about a block away where he was found.