NYPD Blue: Summary/Review by Amanda Wilson aka Puedo01@aol.com

Season 7, Episode 7
"Along Came Jones" 2/22/00
Teleplay by Jody Worth
Story by David Milch & Bill Clark
Directed by Farrell Levy

Welcome Henry! (Forgive us if we don't call you HANK!)

If you've seen the show, scroll on down to the review or quick hits. For those who's dog ate their homework, here's a quick summary:


THE NEW, NEW, NEW GUY (AKA THE NG2K)

Detective Baldwin Jones, Dee to his friends, joins the 1-5 to take over for James Martinez. He's greeted warmly by all, except Andy, who seems to be a bit threatened.

Baldwin's about 6-4 and young and comes to the squad via the NYPD's Bias Investigations Unit--the unit that looks into things suspected of having a racial motive. He arrives without Art Fancy having any idea he's coming. Fancy's miffed about this and has it out with Jones' former boss, Lt. Abner. Seems Abner slighted Fancy because he's mad Fancy never got rid of Sipowicz. Abner considers Sipowicz a bad, racist cop and makes that clear to Art. Abner also didn't see eye to eye with Jones all the time. Jones liked to give people the benefit of the doubt in his work; it would seem Abner

preferred to see things as black or white. Fancy and Jones have a conversation about this and find that they're on the same page when it comes to the big race issue: they both like to take people as they find them, race, and even prejudices, aside.

Jones is featured throughout the rest of the story, so more on that below.

DANNY & ANDY

They start off as lead detectives on a street robbery turned homicide. Turns out the victim is a cop. An anonymous 911 call tips them off to the fact that the dead cop, Frank, was having an affair with his partner, Lisa. Andy is reluctant to go after this angle, not wanting to push it and thinking instead it was just a robbery. Fancy pushes it and they have to look into the love-triangle.

They interview the partner, Lisa, who knows right away that something's up. She's not forthcoming, however, about her relationship with Frank. Andy really pushes though and pisses her off to the point where she throws coffee at him. She admits to the affair but says it has nothing to do with his murder.

They believe her and turn instead to check out her old boyfriend. The old boyfriend has an alibi; Frank's wife, who is not pissed off at Lisa, isn't good for the murder either and they are left with nothing.

Enter Jones, who's been out on the street with Greg, Jill, Diane and all the cops from Anti Crime (except Mary...) shaking up the neighborhood for leads. Jones gets one that leads to a skel named Darnell.

Jones gets the interview so that everyone can see what he's made of. They're all impressed when he bops Darnell a good one in the jaw and gets him to confess that he shot the cop by accident. (Darnell said he had earlier stolen a gun he couldn't handle and the hair-trigger went off.)

DIANE, JILL

Diane struggles with telling Jill about Don's death. She seems not angry about the situation with Don in her apartment and stealing Bobby's ring, probably figuring Jill did not know about it (even Jill wouldn't go that far.) And feeling the empathy only another widow can.

She speaks with Andy about it who tells her he thinks it'd probably be best for both her and Jill to have this secret told. At the end of the day, Diane takes Jill into the coffee room and tearfully reminds her that anything could have happened to Don. She takes Jill's hand during this and tears begin to roll down Jill's face as she realizes what's happened. (Andy had heard about the dismembered DOA from the night before so it seems reasonable Jill would have also). Diane, wording things carefully so as to let Jill know what's happened without actually having to say it, asks if it would be important for Jill to know any details if anything had happened to Don. Jill shakes her head. The two embrace and a devastated Jill leaves Diane in her own pool of grief. Diane had been wearing Bobby's ring all day.


REVIEW

THE NEW, NEW, NEW GUY (AKA THE NG2K)

Three news (the first for Simone, the second for Sorenson and the third for Jones.) NG2k is just much simpler.

So, OK, do we have someone normal in the squad now or what? This guy seems totally cool. He's got some Simone smooth to him; that's not hard to see. He has no outward quirks (paper clips), no obvious signs of alcohol abuse (Andy, Diane), other types of abuse (Diane, Jill, perhaps Danny), and no allergies (Greg). And, while he is black, he's not in any additional minority category (John). He and Fancy (and Hank, now that I think of it) seem to be the only folks unfettered by horrible circumstance. This is good. This is really good. There has to be at least one character on a show that doesn't have some awful trauma to deal with.

This, if it holds, will also make him an even more perfect target for Andy's contempt as the days go by. Andy's already started with him ("Are we boring you?") And it would seem that Jones' years in the Bias Unit have made it easy for him to peg the Andy-types of the world. ("No," he responded, smiling a knowing smile). It'll be fun to see just how much of a grip this guy really has on Andy.

Lots to look forward to there--as long as every little thing isn't race centered. It does get old when all the black characters ever do is race-related stuff. I realize there has to be a certain amount of it because it's such a real issue in the world, but there's so much more than that. It's so obvious that it's in danger of becoming a cliche--hell, it already is with Fancy most of the time (the Jill arc excepted, thank God)--hope it's not that way with Jones.

Jones & Medavoy: Jones is the Anti-Greg (not to mention, the Anti-James): He's tall, smooth, young, good-looking and seems to have a good feel for people. Greg remains socially inept, as always, but backs Baldwin up perfectly in the interview with Darnell. Greg is impressed with his new partner and so willing to be his friend, and Jones takes to the inner sweetness of Greg's character. He pats Greg on the shoulder with one of his big hands (nearly covering half of Greg's back) in a very big brother kind of way. It's good to see Greg partnered with someone who won't roll his eyes at him and maybe even become protective of him in some way.

As for the actor, he's mighty impressive for such a new talent. He held his own so well with James McDaniel and Dennis Franz. He looks like a great fit.

DANNY & ANDY

Who seemed like filler this week? :) All to make room for NG2k I guess. They spend the whole time chasing down leads that end up nowhere and Jones gets the collar in the end for the cop homicide. (Pretty huge deal, even for a guy's 20,056th day on the job, nevermind his first.)

Andy seemed extremely miffed about this new addition to the unit. I think it's less the fact that the guy is black than it is the guy worked in the Bias Unit. Andy feels threatened, much as he did last week, and is likely afraid he's going to be pegged yet again as a big blow hard racist. So of course, he immediately starts acting like one. That's classic Sipowicz for ya. The twist is that Andy is less an outward racist jerk than he used to be and has positioned himself more in the role of reverse discrimination victim. At least that's what he feels---he's still a little too blind to see that his racism, while not so in-your-face as it once was, is still there. Everyone in the squad is more mature than Andy on this point. Everyone.

He put his anger away for a few minutes to be good to Diane. I think it's the first time, really, that we've seen him so tender with her since Bobby died. Loved it when he told her "I'm also available for checkers."

DIANE, JILL

Diane opted not to keep the secret from Jill. I wouldn't have either, would you? Andy was right; you can't keep a secret like that from someone you consider a friend.

She has no anger about the ring, and this makes sense to me as well. She's looking at it like this, I think: It was she who allowed the meeting between Jill and Don to take place in the apartment. When you invite the wolf in, you have to expect that some of your chickens' feathers will fly. Not that it didn't upset her--clearly it did because she wore the ring to keep it close--but I think she knew she couldn't really blame it on Jill. If she'd wanted Jill not to meet Don at her place, she could have refused to give Jill the keys. Diane's own loss played a heavy role in this too. Now she and Jill have something in common that neither of them ever expected to share.

The final scene between the two was very moving. And it was Kim Delaney's performance that I found most touching, especially as she watched Jill leave. (How is it that Delaney is ever over-looked for things like SAG award nominations, by the way? That's just fucked up.)

QUICK HITS

CAST LEGACIES AND SUNDRY INFO

Henry Simmons (NG2k): He may be remembered by some as a player on the soap "One Life To Live" or on the soap "Another World." He did OLTL in 97 and AW from 97-99. He was also in a movie in 99 called "Snow Days," which was a comedy with Bernadette Peters. (I didn't see it, so I have no idea what kind of role he had.) So, a warm welcome to Henry! See ya tomorrow night and then next week, and the next and the next....

James Pickens, Jr (Lt. Abner): Perfectly smarmy this week, he's got a slew of movie credits including "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Ghosts of Mississippi." But he may be more recognizable to Blue fans from having been on "The Practice" no less than eleven times playing a cop. He's got a strong Bochco legacy, too, having been on Blue in the 93 episode "Personal Foul" and having appearances on "Doogie Howser, MD" and "LA Law."

Amy Carlson (Lisa Marantz): She was on the "Guiding Light" in 98 but also, interestingly, was on "Another World" from 93-98, so she shared some screen time back then with our new guy Henry.

Ann Dowd (Ann Collins): She's been on "Law and Order" three times and has also played on "X Files," "Judging Amy," and "Chicago Hope."

Rounding out the cast this week: Billy Concha was back as Officer Miller; Jeff Cahill returns as JB; Shaun O'Hagan played Officer Jack Gorman; Darshanie Bruite was the store clerk and Michael McFall played a character called the Well-Oiled Patron.

LINES OF THE WEEK

Andy explaining to Danny why having a guy from the Bias Unit is a Bad Thing: "Every word from now on you gotta dry clean first. Fruit, wink, wop, get 'em all out while you can."
Danny: "I'm done. I said all mine over my morning cereal."

Danny trying to calm Andy down: "Andy. Breathe."
Andy: "I don't do that stuff."

Andy, feeling sorry for the dead cop's wife who knows her husband slept with his partner: "The day female cops got assigned as partners in radio cars, the wives demonstrated outside police headquarters."
Danny: "Like that was the day guys invented cheating."


TOMORROW NIGHT

Yes, another episode TOMORROW NIGHT. That's Wednesday, 10pm, ABC. No excuses, now, for missing it. We'll see a bit more "relationship" develop between Andy and Jones as the men of the 1-5 investigate the disappearance of a Russian family's children; Jill and Diane team up on a hit and run death.

Well, how do you like Mr. Jones?

Amanda Wilson - Puedo01@aol.com