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

"Your Bus, Ted"
Season 11 Episode 2
9/30/03
Teleplay by Tom Szentgyorgyi
Story by Bill Clark & Tom Szentgyorgyi
Directed by Mark Piznarski

SUMMARY

Everything's a bit shorter from me this week. Flu has hit me like a ton of bricks and has just about fried my brain. It's too bad. I can't do this episode justice: it's better than I'm able to write it! Here's all I've got by way of summary & then review:

THE TRIAL:

Sgt. Martens takes the stand and tells the jury the investigations Fraker launched into the 15th were weak. He also says how Fraker seemed to be out to get Tony. Fraker's former girlfriend also testifies and tells the jury she heard Fraker trash Tony several times. Things look good for the prosecution. Then Tony takes the stand. He tells the story of how Fraker came to confront and eventually shoot him. Sinclair cuts him up a bit during the cross examination, getting him to admit to several instances where he was looked at for excessive force and a time when the cops were called to his house for a domestic disturbance. The idea is to show the jury that Tony has a temper and is the kind of man who could have reached for his gun.

TRANNY PROS RETURN:

The squad investigates the death of a transvestite prostitute who's having an affair with a married man. Her tranny pros pal, Monica, who is known to the squad from a case last year, helps in the case but is a suspect in the disappearance of the victim's life savings. The married man, Josh McCain, owns a gym. He ends up confessing to the murder after Connie and Rita flip a friend of his who helped back up his fake alibi. The tranny pros pal admits to taking the money, but says she sent it to her son. Tony wants to make her a collar until a few kind words from Rita. He then changes his mind and lets Rita and Connie kick her loose.

SLICED:

A surgeon is mugged and his hand is cut so badly that he will likely never operate again. Clark and Sipowicz are on it. The doctor didn't see the guy who mugged him, but a guy named Nathan Dale once threatened him. Andy and Junior pick him up off the street. Nathan lies about everything but finally admits to a few robberies. They try to get him to go for the doc's robbery, but he won't. They put so much pressure on him, tell him they'll just fold it into the other robberies and drop the assault angle of it, that he goes for it. Otherwise, he thinks if he doesn't go for it, they'll pin the assault on him and things will be much worse. The doc comes in for a confirmatory ID but can't pick Dale out. After he leaves the line up, Andy and Junior assure him the guy will go away without his ID because he confessed. The Doc is very surprised.

Later, he comes back and tells the cops that no one robbed him. He says he hurt himself and then made up the robbery story because his wife is very ill and he needed the disability money to make sure she's taken care of. Andy and Junior are very pissed. They tell the Doc how much time they spent persuading Nathan to go for the robbery and now they're stuck. They send the Doc on his way while they try to figure out what to do. Tony is very pissed as well and wants them to just figure it out and make it go away. They're still trying to work it out when PAA John runs into the squad to tell them the Doc got hit by a bus down the street. They run down to see, and there he is, bloody on the street gasping his last. He whispers to Andy that he's worth more dead than alive and that he wants it know that his will and insurance and everything is with his attorney.

TONY AND RITA:

Rita offers to walk out with Tony after work, give him an ear. He tells Rita that he doesn't have much to say, and that he can't really think about it too much or talk about it too much. He thinks Fraker is trying to kill him with lies now. She tells him to have faith. They offer each other friendship and then part ways with Rita giving him a long look.

REVIEW

Lots of brighter spots in this one. It should have been the first show of the season!

The prostitute murder story didn't do much for me, except that Charlotte Ross got to showcase her hard-ass detective style which is always a plus. She's so good at it, and it's even better when it's paired up with Andy's style. Someday, maybe we'll see that again....

The investigation into the assault on the doctor was a cool story. I had an idea that Nathan didn't do it, but didn't know the doc was involved until I saw the shock register on his face when Andy told him the guy had confessed. The end when he walks into the bus was really chilling. A great scene--especially the bus driver's reaction. There were a few layers to this doctor character that worked: At first, he seems to be completely self-sacrificing. He throws his career out the window to help his wife. Then when he realizes he's about to let an innocent man go to jail, he puts a stop to that and then sacrifices his own life to help his wife. Of course, he's really quite selfish in the end, isn't he? He's going to give that bus driver nightmares for the rest of her life and perhaps put her career in limbo for a while, and he's left his wife with money--assuming the suicide doesn't reach the ears of the insurance company--but without a caring husband. In the end, he chickened out of the really hard stuff. Nice story.

On the trial: It was so much more intense this week than last. Martens finally on the stand. I contend he should have been first or second on Valerie's witness list. His testimony was pretty powerful. All of the testimony we got tonight was much better than Andy's last week. Things looked really good for the prosecution until Sinclair got his turn with Tony.

On Tony & Rita: I'm telling you, love is a'blooming. I know everyone seems sick of the office romances, but before you get your undies in too much of a bunch, back off a bit and think about it. First, it's a TV show, for cripe's sake. It's a TV show about people who are cops. The genre demands we see them at work and at play. Granted, the balance of that is left to personal taste and it satisfies some while pissing others off, but there it is. So, we've only got about 44 minutes a week in which we explore the work and play of these people. It's most efficient to examine the personal lives of our main characters while staying in the realm of their work worlds. If we venture too far out of that too often, we end up with a show that is a whole lot less cop and whole lot more soap. If we hooked up everyone in the squad with a non-cop or someone outside the squad, then we'd be having to get to know Mr. X in his carpet store and Miss Y in her job as a coffee house manager and blah blah blah. Besides, at the moment we have only ONE office romance: Andy and Connie. John Jr. and Baldwin--the only other two we know who are dating someone--are both seeing women who are not cops. And Baldwin's dating Valerie is kind of up in the air. So quit yer whinin' and get over it! The real interesting thing about this potential romance will be how Tony will pull off dating a subordinate when that's the very thing Andy used against Fraker. That could cause some really fun shit and, if rumors of Esai's departure are true, this may be the way it all ends. I think we may be in for a fun ride here.

QUICK HITS:

*My favorite scene--favorite in a long time--was the deal with the corn nuts. Oh, that was totally excellent. Especially so for me because my number one all-time most intense pet peeve is hearing people eat. I can't stand it. It drives me right up a tree. I have actually written complaint emails to companies which advertise food with those noises in their commercials (I'm such a freak, but c'mon, it's disgusting! Pringles, Kit Kat, Grape Nuts, Every Cereal Company On Earth, Campbell's soup! Stop it!!) I mean, I could be on a date with Brad Freakin' Pitt but if he's making chewing noises, eating with his mouth open, slurping things, he's outta there! It's beyond gross, and hearing MPG munching those things drove me to near madness. Andy became my hero of all time when he threw those things out the window. Aside from all that, it was a great moment because the scene beautifully illustrates partnership, the good and the bad. They've spent enough time together that Junior isn't really angry when Andy tosses his snack. Hell, he knew a few munches in that he was driving Andy crazy. It was a fun, funny moment and I'm all for more of that. (Oh, and next time you're eating with other humans, remember your manners, will you? Thanks.)

*I've had quite a few of you write me to say you think Fraker is in a wheelchair. I have no idea if he is for sure, but I seriously doubt it. Tonight, he was sitting down through the whole episode again, but that's what people do in courtrooms unless they're lawyers presenting cases. Also, the chair he was in looked just like the chair Sinclair was in: sans handles.

*Odd that Doc Devlin and Jr. haven't even had word one about the fact that she coughed up the fact of their fling in the courtroom the other day. I thought that was a pretty major blow to the prosecution and warranted some sort of reaction from Junior.

*Back to the corn nuts for a second: seems to me Junior still had quite a mouthful of them when he had to take off running after Nathan Dale. Maybe he did swallow them whole...

*PAA John and the tranny Monica were a funny little scene. Here's how much I don't know about gays: how on earth does Monica know John is gay? Maybe there was something in the episode she was in before that answers the question, but I've seen more than once on this show strangers saying things to John about being gay. How do they know? All he does is sit there. Yeah, I've heard all the "gaydar" jokes, but that's just BS stereotyping, isn't it? Seems odd to me. I dunno.

*Another great bit that harkened back to the Andy Of Old: the thing with the chair after Monica sat in it. Classic Andy, well placed. Nice.

*Hey, Fraker's girlfriend was perfectly annoying wasn't she? Her voice could kill. She seemed like the perfect uptight, female cheese-eater, didn't she? I can only imagine the reaction someone like her gets out of cops she's investigating. How does a man--even Fraker--sleep with such a thing? Dark room and promise she won't speak, I guess....and terrific to see that Fraker, who wants everyone to bow to his power and admit he's the king, can't do any better than a mousy little frump with a grating voice from hell. Great performance and great casting.

*Wasn't it nice to see a beverage on the table during Nathan's interview? It's been years since we've had the pleasure of refreshments during an interrogation. I miss that.

*I regretfully note the absence of Hank and Josh for two shows in a row....

CAST LEGACIES:

(fever prevents my usual leg work here, so sorry):
Previously on NYPD Blue: Casey Siemaszko as Captain Fraker, Daniel Benzali as James Sinclair, William Dennis Hunt as Judge Burns, Chandra West as Jennifer Devlin, Scott Allan Campbell as I.A.B. Sergeant Martens.

The rest of the fine cast: Peter Friedman as Dr. Auken, Kelly Mantle as Dan "Monika" Hofnagle, Erik LaRay Harvey as Nathan Dale, David Quane as Josh McCain, Dominic Pace as Rick Tulley, Rikki Dale as Candace Pierson and Joseph Carberry as uniform no. 2.

LINES OF THE WEEK:

Hooray, there's a damn glut of them! Here are a but a few:

John Jr. after Andy's tosses his crunchy snack: "I'd like to be reimbursed my dollar-seventy-five."

Monica referring to PAA John: "Maybe you can tell Mr. Nosy over here to stop staring at me because I'm not the proper queer he thinks I should be."
PAA John, always the perfect gentleman: "Your shirt's on inside out."

And the topper:

Andy upon realizing Monica sat in his chair: "Smells like whore."

NEXT WEEK:

The trial continues with more trouble for Tony; a former familiar face turns up like a bad penny.

If you're not reading this on Alan's site, go there and visit for all your NYPD Blue news, the official FAQ and more.

See you next week!

Amanda Wilson