NYPD Blue, Season 2, Episode 3,
Written by Charles H. Eglee & Channing Gibson
Directed by Mark Tinker
PLOT ONE: THE CHINESE CONNECTION
There's been a murder in Chinatown, and it turns out it's an
off-duty cop. Even though Our Hero John Kelly is under a lot of heat
from the department, he's still the best detective in the 15, so Fancy
assigns him to the case, along with a fast-talking Chinese-American
detective named Harold Ng, who works in Robbery. The killer left his
jacket at the scene (an on-looker pulled it off while trying to grab
him), which contains an apartment key and a lottery ticket that leads
Kelly and Harold to him. Kelly becomes suspicious of their suspect
when a lawyer who works for a Chinatown druglord shows up to
represent the perp -- Kelly's convinced the druglord's trying to cover
for one of his own people. Kelly also starts to think that Harold (who
doesn't seem to be translating everything the non-English-speaking
suspect says accurately) may be on the druglord's payroll.
In the end, it turns out that Kelly was wrong - the guy they
had in custody did do it, and the druglord was just trying to get him
to confess for the good of his organization and the neighborhood.
Harry tells Kelly that if it had been the Mafia, Kelly would've been
more accepting. Kelly apologizes.
One benefit to this case is that all of a sudden Kelly's gone from
being a suspect in evidence-tampering to the guy who caught a cop
killer in record time. Commander Haverill realizes he may have a
tougher time getting rid of Our Hero than he'd hoped.
PLOT TWO: BEEP BEEP
Remember the wife-beater from the season premiere that
Sipowicz threatened to drown if he touched his wife again? Well,
apparently he didn't heed Andy's warning - his wife is found beaten
to death in her apartment. The husband claims to have been at work
all morning, and also claims that he saw two "suspicious" guys
hanging around the neighborhood. Andy -- who's working the case
with a transferee to the 15, Adrianne Lesniak (more on her in a
minute) -- is convinced that the husband did it, but doesn't have
enough proof until he finds a deaf shut-in who saw him (the
husband, not Andy) dumping some trash in the next-door apartment
building that morning, despite the fact that their building has a trash
chute. Andy finds the bag, which contains bloody clothes that would
seem to fit the husband, but since he didn't find them for 36 hours,
they're not enough proof.
So Sipowicz - with some help from Lesniak - essentially beats a
confession out of the husband.
PLOT THREE: THE NEW GUY (OR SHOULD I SAY "GAL"?)
Turns out Lesniak was transferred over from the Bronx because she was
discovered having an affair with one of the other detectives on her
shift. She's since broken it off, but when she goes out with the other
detectives from the 15 for beers, her ex shows up and starts harrassing
her, until John "Buttinsky" Kelly gets in the way -- which Lesniak does
PLOT FOUR: GREG AND DONNA SITTING IN A TREE....
Now that Medavoy's divorce has been finalized, he and
Abnadando are getting especially frisky. Unfortunately, while they're
necking in the coat room, Fancy walks in, then walks out quickly.
They're both terrified (especially after finding out why Lesniak
has come over to the 15) that one of them will be transferred,
but Fancy eventually talks to Greg and tells him, in a roundabout
way, that if he doesn't see it again in the office, there won't be a
PLOT FIVE: NOW THAT ANDY'S POPPED THE QUESTION....
Andy and Sylvia both try to dance around the issue of Andy's
impromptu proposal, though Sylvia does admit that "the nicest thing
that ever happened to me was when you asked me to be your wife."
Andy has more on his mind, though, because he thinks he
could've saved the battered wife (see Plot One). Sylvia offers to make
him dinner so they can talk, and Andy comments that "I don't want
to trouble you." Sylvia responds, "Yet you want me to be your wife?"
She says that she intends to get married, and that she doesn't
want anyone in her life but Andy, but they both need more time to
get comfortable with each other again. Andy agrees to go have
dinner at her place, though almost backs out when he finds out that
she doesn't have any food yet. Finally, they walk out of the precinct,
hand in hand, to go grocery shopping.... (awww.....)
Well, this was a schizophrenic show: I loved everything with
Sipowicz and hated everything with Kelly. The cop killer storyline
really didn't do anything for me - a friend who I watched it with
summed it up best when he said, "Was that or was that not the longest
confession in history?" I liked Harold Ng, but the rest of the
Chinatown plot was kind of blah. In addition, rather than make use
Caruso's next to last show to build up his fate, they pretty much put
all the "Kelly's in a lot of trouble" stuff on hold.
Both Andy storylines, on the other hand, were spectacular. For
those who'd been waiting to see someone literally beat a confession
out of a suspect, y'all got your wish - but it was done in a realistic
way. If ever I expected either detective to pull major Gestapo tactics,
I think it was here, considering Sipowicz's hatred of the type of guy
who would hit a woman. "And the fact that Fancy essentially gave
his approval to it (he did hear the bulk of Lesniak's conversation with
the wife-beater) gave me a chill. The show seems to get more reactionary
with each passing week, and while there's a part of me that cheered when
Andy started saying "Beep Beep," there was a part of me that was
disturbed - both by the fact that Andy was doing it,and by the fact that
I approved. You can justify it by saying that the guy was the scum of the
earth - which he was - but if you give cops the power to beat who they
want to, eventually Andy might wind up smacking around the wrong guy.
As for the stuff with Sylvia, not a lot of time was spent on it,
but I just loved the extra spring the two of them had in their steps
when they first saw each other, and the final discussion about going
grocery shopping was a gem - I wasn't being sarcastic when I wrote
- Geography/Continuity Alert: Up until now, the 15th Precinct
was supposedly located in midtown, just below Central Park (hence
all the investigations of those posh Central Park West murders). Now,
however, according to Fancy (in his conversation with Lesniak in his
office), they're on "the Lower East Side" and are investigating crime
in Chinatown, which is *way* downtown (trust me, I worked there
this summer.) Excuse me?
- Speaking of Lesniak, is she Janice's replacement or just a
temporary character, ala Sharon LaSalle? I like her - she didn't take
any of Sipowicz's shit when he tried to take out his anger on her, and
she didn't put up with Kelly trying to be Mr. Sensitive Guy. One
question, though: is it me, or were all the closeups of Martinez when
Lesniak arrived at the precinct just a coincidence or is Adrianne due
for another office romance? I mean, I've been hoping for James to
get a girlfriend for a while, but I was hoping it wouldn't be another
- I hope we get to see Harold again - he was an extremely well-
rounded character for only one appearance. The bit where Kelly
suggested that Harold talk slower and he pretended to not realize
that he was talking fast was priceless, and while I didn't love the
"moral" at the end of the Chinatown storyline, Harold showed some
- Greg and Donna seemed a *lot* friskier than they'd been, even
last week. How much time has passed between episodes, exactly?
- Reason No. 72 & 73 Why Arthur Fancy Is the Coolest Boss In the
World: First he overlooks the fact that Kelly was a)late, and b) had Andy
sign him in on-time. Then he lets the whole Greg-Donna thing go. This is
a guy who I would have no problem showing loyalty to if I worked for him.
- When Kelly went into the suspects apartment alone, after having
told Greg, James, and Harold to walk away, was he planning on shooting
the guy if he saw him or what? My guess is that he just planned to get
rough with him - but if that's the case, wouldn't it have been a better
idea for any of the other three (who don't have IAB breathing down their
necks) to have gone in?
- Line of the Week: "Ask him if he knows anything about the Grassy
Knoll while you're at it."
- Speaking of good lines, has anyone else noticed that none of the
really big cliche phrases has been used so far this year? Not once have I
heard any detective "reach out" to someone. Kelly has not asked anyone
"Are you okay?" Sure, Kelly said Haverill was "squeezing my shoes"
tonight, but methinks one of the behind-the-scenes lurkers (Mike, you
know who you are) got a copy of the Drinking Game to the producers...