(ALAN'S NOTE: The real world conspired to make both Amanda and myself unavailable to review the Nov. 23 episode. Fortunately, alt.tv.nypd-blue regular Rod Peterson stepped in to write one after the fact. Thanks, Rod!)

NYPD Blue Summary/Review by Rod Peterson aka LRod@pobox.com
Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.


"We Like Ike"
Season 12, Episode 8
11/23/04
Teleplay by--didn't get it
Story by-- didn't get it, either
Directed by someone--too lazy to go look at the tape.

SUMMARY

ST. JOHN

Clark, looking and acting more and more like his old self, continues to attend to Skitty Lucy as the trial concludes in a mistrial. Finally, the powers that be decide to take witness protection seriously (last week Bale wouldn't authorize any overtime for it) and Clark and the Girls are assigned to the job.

In what seems like the very first morning, shots are fired as John-boy escorts Lucy to coffee. His previous months of debauchery apparently not having affected his shooting, John guns down the gunner and still has time and presence of mind to cop a partial of the getaway car's license plate.

He and the gang get busy with the clues assembled so far and come up with a name and a car, from which they collar a mope who did the driving. There was other sideplay involving the shooter's girlfriend that include good acting and odd affect, but hey, I, sir, am no Amanda.

ADA Munson later comes to John and tells him she appreciated his work on the case (so did he), that she wasn't sure what to expect (she couldn't have) from the debacle he caused in their previous association (she was right), and the next thing you know the pheromones were as thick as mosquitoes in a swamp.

I could be wrong, but Munson reminded me of Officer Mary (was that her name) that Danny was doing the mattress mambo with several seasons ago. In any event, I got the "uh-on" feeling during that scene.

During the day Lucy lets slip a name, the eponymous Ike, and upon investigation it turns out he's Kerensky's brother (the guy who was on trial; does Amanda explain all this in her reviews?). Andy collars him up in short order and he and Clark have a go at him, but hit a stone wall.

Man, this is wearing me out. You almost have to write a whole screenplay just to synopsize the story.

I'll try a little chase cutting here. It turns out that Lucy and Ike were doing a little mattress mambo themselves which winds up providing a tool to shame Ike into trying to off himself after Andy and John try unsuccessfully to get him to talk by pointing out that he's been hiding his involvement in the arson (see Kerensky above) and letting his punch hold the bag. Man, I love these screenwriting metaphors.

It seems Ike survives, unhappily since he knows his brother (Kerensky--geez, I feel like I'm writing the history of the Russian Revolution here) has a long reach, but between him, Lucy, and the car-driving mope all rolling on him, it looks like he'll be going away for a long, long time.

BLACK-EYED BOUNCER

Greg tries grovelling before the boss about the 30 day rip (how did it come to be that the 30 day rip was a fait accompli), but Bale's not having any. Greg sees a lawyer, who although advising against fighting the rip, says he'll represent him and that he knows all those trial court judges; they practically belong to the same club.

Most of the rest of Greg's invovlement in this episode is discovering Andy studying for the sergeant's exam. HELLO!!! What? More in a bit. At least I think we're past the possibility of Greg eating his gun. He's more in the fighting mode now, which I'm glad to see. Although I like Gordon Clapp okay, I'm not as obsessed with him (or Bill Brochtrup) as Amanda is, so I can't say whether this was one of either's finest performances (and I have no idea what Brochtrup's wardrobe was like, so those who live for that part of the review will have to move on).

BALE

We see a couple of sides of the Lt tonight. First is the hardcase who tells Medavoy his decision stands with regard to his rip. Then he turns around and on just the rumor of Andy's studying, offers up his own study guide to him. Then he pulls out all the stops on getting protection in place for Lucy.

MICHAEL WOODRUFF JONES

I hate this storyline and I always have. I don't know if its the actor or the writing, but I've felt this kid is a trainwreck from the very first. Baldwin solicits a couple of narcs in the house to put some stink on Michael's father. After all the time they've spent making Baldwin out to be the straightes of straight shooters, how do they expect this to be believable. Andy gets word of it, too; more below.

Now there's another hearing and Michael doesn't show up. Baldwin is accused of either hiding him (illegal) or losing him (incompetent) and the opposing attorney moves to have Baldwin enjoined from any involvement with Michael.

Since I can't stand this storyline, I'll move along and just say that the scene toward the end where Michael's father clearly threatens Baldwin should have had more made of it. I mean they allow threats as testimony in murder trials don't they?

Aaah, I hate this story line and none of it works for me. In the preview it indicates the father turns up toast, so maybe we're near the end of it. Of course a lot of ng discussion in the past has suggested that Michael is actually the one that killed his mother; maybe he did his dad, too. Oh, spoiler warning. Sorry.

ST. ANDY

I'm conferring a second sainthood for this review. It appears that the "redemption of Andy" (isn't that how it's described on some of the TNT ads?) is complete. Not only is he studying for the sergeant's exam, but he never told Greg once not to spread it around, which I was waiting for during the entire doughnut sequence, and he graciously, I mean graciously, thanked Bale for loaning his Patrol Guide, complete with notes, AND found time to counsel Baldwin on solicitation fo a criminal act.

I think if this weren't the final season, I might be tempted to blow off the studying as some sort of crazy plot twist, but going back to the ng denizens and their speculations, maybe they (the writers) really are ramping up Andy for a supervisory denouement.

REVIEW

I don't have all of the insights and warm squishies that Amanda seems to be able to share. I will say that on the whole, I enjoyed the episode. It was as good as last week; in fact it's not even in the top three of the season, so far as I'm concerned, but I was entertained and there were some satisfying moments (finally assuring Kerensky of state-provided housing for the rest of his life; and seeing Andy matriculating) as well as some shouting-at-the-screen moments (Baldwin would NEVER do that; ADA Munson-run away, run away).

QUICK HITS

Hmm, I didn't know we were going to do this. Will this be on the final?

Okay, I have one seriouos one. I'm sure my stalkers will find it no surprise that I spent some time when I was working as a union rep. I worked for the Federal Government (strike two?) and among the things I learned was a little bit about Conduct & Discipline. There is a whole handbook of that title devoted to the concept of progressive discipline.

Although there probably isn't any comparison between the FAA and the NYPD, I can't believe that any bureau the size of the NYPD wouldn't have a similar program.

Basically, unless you're caught gambling, selling drugs, or sleeping on duty, there's little in the way of major consequences that can be applied without having established a well documented path of counseling, verbal warning, written warning, verbal reprimand, and written reprimand before you can get to assigning days at the beach.

I don't have any experience in any police department, but knowing burocracies, I don't believe any 2nd level manager would be able to get away with a 30 day rip on a first offense, if the employee put any kind of effort at all in fighting it.

Alright, fire away. I've heard all the remarks about government workers, civil service, real world, etc. We all have a reality that is based on experiences. Mine says this one isn't realistic.

CAST LEGACIES

Uh, isn't that someone else's job? I mean I can't be held responsible if my teammate didn't send in their report, can I? Oh, wait a minute; I just remembered; Amanda assigned this to both Chicago Mike AND me. I'm the one who didn't contact him. Sorry, Mike.

LINES OF THE WEEK

Again, if I had known there was going to be a quiz...

I know I've left out lots of stuff, and butchered a lot more. This is hard. I don't know how Amanda does it. But I'm sure glad she does.

NEXT WEEK

Aww, I blew it already with the Craig's-Dead spoiler. Who cares what else happens. Although that sergeant's test is coming up pretty soon, isn't it?

Hope to see you then!

In the meantime, check out Alan Sepinwall's NYPD Blue Homepage. It has to be the longest-standing site of its kind on the web! (It's certainly the best.)

Alan Sepinwall's NYPD Blue Homepage

NOT Amanda Wilson