(NOTE: This column originally ran in The Star-Ledger of NJ on Feb. 27,
Farewell to NYPD Blue: Best Interrogations
By Alan Sepinwall
(With links to the original reviews or summaries where
- "NYPD Lou" (11/2/93): See main story. Sipowicz pounding the killer's bones
into paste would have been more satisfying, but not half as memorable.
- "Tempest in a
C-Cup"(11/16/93): While investigating a string of taxi cab
robberies and murders, John Kelly gives young James Martinez a crash
course on how to secure a confession, including when to use violence as a
last resort. If criminals were smart, they'd use this episode as a primer
for what not to do in police custody. Fortunately, most criminals aren't
- "Cop Suey" (10/25/94): The
show's first on-screen beating: Sipowicz plays human lie detector, yelling
"Beep, beep!" and smacking the perp upside the head everytime he denied
beating his wife to death.
(1/17/95): In a storyline inspired by the Son of Sam murders (which
"Blue" producer Bill Clark helped solve during his time with the real
NYPD), Simone patiently talks a serial killer into giving it up by playing
to the guy's ego. The definitive example of Simone's soft-sell
- "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby"
(11/26/96): Simone puts his massive frame to great effect, flinging
around weasely little murder suspect Henry Coffield, stripping him of his
thick glasses, threatening to strip him of his clothes and thoroughly
stripping him of all dignity to get to the truth.
- "What a Dump!" (2/25/97): A
shocking instance of Medavoy getting physical. Riding a sugar buzz after
binging on peanut butter and torqued even more to hear a lesbian cop
referred to as a "dyke," Greg takes a phone book to the head of a
- "A Box of Wendy"
(1/13/98): Simone's tendency to offer soda to uncomfortable suspects
goes from running gag to full-out sprint in this episode about a mentally
unhinged killer who confesses to multiple crimes in exchange for a few
2-liter bottles of Coke.
- "Lost Israel" & "Lost Israel, Pt. 2" (11/25/97 &
12/9/97): Simone zeroes in early on the father of a murdered, sexually
abused boy as the perp and spends most of two episodes gradually breaking
the man's defenses in a variety of locations. The dad finally gives it up,
confessing that he himself was molested as a boy and Simone, trying to
appear sympathetic, puts his hand on the guy's shoulder, then recoils like
the very touch is radioactive.
- "Danny Boy" (12/1/98):
Before the writers saddled him with an office-supply fetish and assorted
emotional scars, Danny Sorensen was a really interesting, fun character,
nowhere more than in a scene from his debut episode where Danny wins over
Sipowicz by getting info from a reluctant witness named Julio. When Julio
starts whining about his recent run of bad luck, Danny, showing a
sarcastic streak that sadly wouldn't last, suggests he write it up for
Reader's Digest: "You could call it, 'My Worst Day Ever, By Julio.'"