"I Love My Wives, But Oh, You Kid"
Season 12, Episode 12
Teleplay by William Finkelstein
Story by Bill Clark & William Finkelstein
Directed by Alan Rosenberg
I hope you can forgive my tardiness with the last episodes. My job and the holidays are overwhelming my hobby. I spent some of the time in NYC: a little work, a little fun (if you're wondering which shows to see while there, I recommend Wicked, Avenue Q and Billy Crystal, if you can get tickets). And, I saw a young uniform cop on 5th Avenue who is better looking than any TV cop I've ever seen. He had a great PR thing going with the tourists, too. Don't tell me they aren't good looking in real life...but I digress.
Andy, Clark and Baldwin are on the task force as backup. Rita and Murph are among the women detectives undercover, playing weak and trying to attract the killer. The plan is to visit all 35 AA meetings in lower Manhattan and see who they hook.
Rita and Murph visit Hal's studio and meet his wife Paige. Paige is extremely friendly, in a left-over 60s kind of way. She takes a call from Hal while the detectives are there and speaks to him as if they're madly in love. Hal agrees to meet the detectives at the precinct house.
When they speak with Hal, they discover that he has been having an affair with Tracy for about a year. He's genuinely upset that she's been murdered, but is also a little worried his wife will find out about the affair. His alibi is that he was home in Westport with his family that night.
Later, Baldwin finds that there have been a lot of phone calls from Tracy's apartment to the home of Annabelle Matheson in Manhattan. When Rita and Murph go to Annabelle's apartment, they see Hal walking out the door with a woman and stopping to kiss her goodbye as a couple of kids look on. They drive up to him as he walks down the street and ask who the woman is. He tells them she's his wife.
Back at the station house, Hal explains that Annabelle is his wife, but that Paige is also. Actually, Annabelle and he aren't legally married. He faked a marriage with her, using a fake minister, when she got pregnant. He's been staying half the night with Paige, leaving Connecticut and then staying half the night with Annabelle. Both women think he likes working in the middle of the night when its quiet. Neither knows about the other or, presumably, about Tracy.
Back at Tracy's place they hear a phone message from an OB-GYN's office. There, they discover that Tracy was pregnant and that a private detective was following her asking questions.
The private detective informs them that he was hired by Paige, and that when he told Paige Tracy was pregnant, she offered him $10,000 to have Tracy killed. He refused.
Paige is brought in to the station house. She describes her life with Hal as nearly perfect, their passion is like a mist, she says, and everyone could see it. Even Tracy, and that Tracy coveted it. She claims the comment to the private detective was just a joke. When the come back at her with the fact that her EZ Pass recorded a trip into the city in the wee hours the night Tracy was killed, she cracks. She says she tried to talk Tracy into an abortion, but Tracy refused, so Paige killed her. They tell Paige the whole story of Hal's other wife and family and advise her to get a good lawyer who will try a temporary insanity defense.
When they take Paige out of the pokey room to have her locked up downstairs, Annabelle appears and asks if she can pick up her husband now. Paige pegs her for Hal's other wife and tries to attack her.
Rita and Murph then tell Annabelle about Hal's other wife, Tracy and how her marriage to Hal is not legal. They also tell her they'll inform Hal she's already left so that she won't have to take him home. When they talk to Hal and explain that Paige is the killer, Annabelle walks into the room. He offers her the beginning of an excuse, she hushes him, tells him it's all right and then takes him home, leaving two very confused detectives in her wake.
This nervousness is a little more than his usual fear of women. Greg explains in a private talk with Baldwin that he only mentioned to Bridget he'd consider a place in Manhattan in order to impress her and maybe ensure he'd see her again. He knows he can't afford an apartment in the city, and is worried he's dug himself in to a big lie.
Baldwin tells him he thinks Bridget likes him for him, and that his financial situation won't matter to her. Mr. Smooth tells Mr. Bumpy to just relax and trust that Bridget really likes him. He suggests Greg be honest with her.
At the apartment, Bridget is running down the list of wonderful things about the place. Greg plays along. He asks about the stove, and when she begins to tell him, he slams on the brakes. He takes Baldwin's advice, and the two begin to talk about how Greg can improve his lot. Bridget suggests he try real estate, and she points out that many of the techniques he uses to be a good detective are the same as what he'd need to be good at real estate. She asks him along on an appointment that evening where her goal is to close a deal.
At the appointment, the prospective buyers are unable to agree. The wife loves the place, the husband doesn't. When the wife leaves the room to take another look around, it's Greg's turn at bat. He tells the man that he's learned two things in life: 1) when the woman of the house ain't happy, ain't nobody happy and 2) making the woman in your life happy is something you never regret. The man buys it and the apartment, and after the couple leaves, Bridget tells Greg he just made $17,000. He laughs, truly in joy, and tells Bridget it was a lot of fun but he'd never consider taking the money. She tells him he should consider real estate for real. Then she invites him out for a drink to talk it over and, she says, to see if he can close another deal. Greg beams a smile that could light up London.
It's good that our last season of watching Andy will see him taking care of AA which took such good care of him.
And who knew Rita and Murph were such good actors? Their performances at the AA meetings were incredible. Hell, even I want to kill them... Seriously, it was only a few minutes, but it was nice to see these actors (the real life ones) doing a number other than tough-but-pretty cop.
Speaking of tough but pretty...
Anyway, this story was interesting to me only because I thought the woman who played Paige was so completely trippy. Other than that, I didn't much care for it. I think there could have been a lot more done with the surprise of his other wife--more than just Hal saying, "That's my wife" and then casually admitting everything. And the big hole for me was the fake marriage. Sure, you get a fake minister and you might be able to pass that off on your girlfriend, but don't you also need a marriage license in NY? And if you don't need one, could they have mentioned that for the millions of us for whom that is not a handy fact?
Additionally, it's never fun to watch a woman (Annabelle) who is that pathetic.
Everyone loves seeing the underdog win. Maybe it's the spirit of Christmas that's gotten to me, but I feel that if no disaster befalls Tiny Greg, I shall consider it a good end to his miserable (but enjoyable) existence in the 15th squad. He and the genuinely lovely Bridget can start a rich new life together selling real estate in Manhattan, living in a lovely city apartment and spending their money for fun. And the best part: Greg will be the envy of all.
Of course, we're only half way through the season....I guess I shouldn't count my chickens.
*A shout out to Little Rhody: Tracy was a student at RISD (you heard it pronounced, as they do pronounce it, RIZ-dee). Too bad she got murdered. I wondered, though, where the undoubtedly rich parents who funded her education at that fine, fine school were.
*Bale is nervous, but I was kind of hoping for a little more on his secret life this week.
*Did you catch the references to Jones in two of the cutaway shots? There was a Great Jones Avenue, which was hard to miss. And later there was a quicker shot of the Jones Diner.
*Christmas decorations! They're cheap and cheesy, just what you'd expect in a rundown, zero-funded city building. I did think, though, that PJohn would have selected a much classier display if there had been money. Of course, he's a guy who exemplifies the idea that you can find joy in anything, beauty anywhere, if you just look for it. He probably loves them.
*Speaking of Broadway (I was, at the top of the review), you can catch Gordon Clapp on stage this spring in Glengarry Glen Ross. I think it starts in April. I'll be there at some point for sure.
Previously on NYPD Blue... Mary Page Keller as Brigid Scofield
Previously on NYPD Blue as someone else...
--Vic Polizos (Nick Mastriano) -- was in Season 2's "Boxer Rebellion." He's also shown up on "St. Elsewhere," "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law," "China Beach," "The Practice," "Judging Amy," and the films "C.H.U.D.," "Prizzi's Honor," and "Eraser"
--Nanci Linari (Allie Reese) -- appeared in Season 7's "Sleep Over." Since then she's been on "Judging Amy" and "LAX," and did voice work for numerous video games
Not previously on NYPD Blue... --William Russ (Hal Matheson) -- best known for playing the dad on "Boy Meets World," his other credits include "Mister Sterling," "Deadwood," "CSI: NY," "JAG," "L.A. Dragnet," "Wiseguy," and the miniseries "V"
--Kimberley Quinn (Annabelle Rhulen) -- has been on "Cold Case," "Diagnosis Murder," "Nash Bridges," and "Suddenly Susan"
--Judith Hoag (Paige Matheson) -- her resume includes appearances on "7th Heaven," "CSI," "Crossing Jordan," "Without a Trace," "Six Feet Under," and "Boston Public," as well as the TV-movie "Breast Men," and the role of April O'Neill in the first "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie
--Rae Allen (Bertha Kunitz) -- most recently, she's been on "Joan of Arcadia" and "The Sopranos," but her career stretches back to appearances on "The Untouchables," "All in the Family," and "Soap"
--Corbin Bernsen (Bob Cavanaugh) -- I can't say that I ever heard of this guy. Someone told me he was on another Bochco show... "L.A. Law," maybe? (Yes, Amanda, it's sass.) He's currently appearing on "General Hospital."
--Brenda Bakke (Claudia Weintraub) -- you've seen her on "CSI," "Dark Angel," "Brisco County, Jr.," "Star Trek: TNG," and in the movies "L.A. Confidential" and "Hot Shots! Part Deux"
--Robin Bartlett (Evelyn Winker) -- she's been on "Mad About You" (the recurring character of Paul's sister), as well as "L.A. Dragnet," "Judging Amy," "West Wing," and the movies "Regarding Henry," "Dangerous Minds," and "City of Angels"
--Antoinette Peragine (Nancy Donavan) -- has appeared on "Six Feet Under," "ER," and the movies "Junior" and "Fearless"
--Jennifer Straley (receptionist) -- appeared on an episode of "The Bold and the Beautiful" earlier this year
--Cameron Dye (Paul Hartley) -- his other roles include appearances on "Cold Case," "CSI," "Smallville," "Frasier," "Brooklyn South," "Quantum Leap," and "Miami Vice"
--Edward Edwards (Norman Reese) -- you've seen him on "JAG," "Desperate Housewives," "Monk," "24," "CSI," "Buffy," and "L.A. Law," and the movie "RoboCop"
To those of you who are hanging in there with us, thank you. And I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous holiday!