Copyright ©2017 by Mike Quigley. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
Episodes without music credits use stock music.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers and the plots are given away!
★★★★ = One of the very best episodes, a must-see.
★★★ = Better than average, worthy of attention.
★★ = Average, perhaps with a few moments of interest.
★ = Below average, an episode to avoid.
S02E12: The Runaways ★★½
Original air date: December 6, 1973
Director: Seymour Robbie; Writer: Robert Malcolm Young
Three kids from Oregon with the last name of Morgan have been living on the streets since they arrived in town three and a half months ago. Currently they are squatting in an abandoned building, and the youngest, Sharon (Debbie Lytton), is sick. 19-year-old George (Larry Wilcox), who promised their late father three years before that he would look after Sharon and his younger brother Jack (Barry Livingston, of My Three Sons), breaks into a pharmacy to steal antibiotics. The elderly pharmacist Chesley (Ben Niems), who lives in the building, hits his head on a radiator during an ensuing scuffle, killing him. George flees the scene, taking the druggist's gun with him. Stone and Keller, soon arriving, find Sharon with Jack in their nearby building, tipped off by a newspaper delivery carrier, and take them to the hospital where the doctor says Sharon has symptoms of pneumonia and anemia. Both Jack and his brother George, who has had a troubled background including escape from a reform school where he was serving one year for assault, don't want their family unit to be broken up by public health officials. A social worker gets Judge Millie Cox (Jeanette Nolan) involved with Sharon and Jack's case. George kidnaps Millie when she takes Jack to lunch, then calls the authorities and says that Millie will not be freed until Sharon is released from the hospital. George hides them all out in one of the Golden Gate Park windmills. Sharon, still in the hospital, is not co-operative with Stone at all, especially after she finds out he is a cop. Millie, who has been a advocate for the rights of children for about 30 years, gives George a lot of "speechifying" while she is being held captive. At one point she tries to escape, but like in episode S01E20, where Stone was held captive by a gang (a show with several parallels to this one), she gets stopped on he way out of the building. Stone gets Keller to fly around the windmill in a helicopter to distract George and sneaks inside. There, George is finally convinced to give himself up.
George is taken away to face consequences of the pharmacy robbery and the pharmacist's death. Millie is reunited with her close friend Harlan (Kent Smith, co-star of another Quinn Martin production, The Invaders, whose position around the court seen earlier is not established -- probably a judge or some kind of legal advocate). Millie says she will also make efforts to have the children adopted and deal with the children's uncle Alvin Sparling (Ted Gehring), who has come to San Francisco to "reclaim" them. After the kids' father's death, Alvin tried to give the children a "Christian upbringing," which included abusing Sharon by burning her hand with a hot iron after she broke her glasses. The show ends with a warm and fuzzy moment between Stone and Keller as they watch Millie and Harlan get into a car.