NYPD Blue summary/review by Alan Sepinwall aka sepinwal@stwing.org 

 

"Gypsy Woe's Me"

Season 9, Episode 17

3/25/02

Teleplay by Nicholas Wootton & Matt Olmstead

Story by Bill Clark & Nicholas Wootton

Directed by Mark Tinker

 

Welcome to week two of the Alan Sepinwall summary/review reunion tour.

Unfortunately, this show wasn't nearly as much fun to write about as last week's, but

we'll get to that after a...

 

SUMMARY

CURSE OF THE GYPSY CAB: The detectives catch a shooting case in the

Bowery where a black man was shot and killed and witnesses reported a cab

Speeding away. The license plate comes back as belonging to Ryan Lipe, the

Paranoid twitch who helped Connie and Rita close a shooting case a few

weeks ago.

           Lipe is surprisingly candid about the incident, explaining that the

fare tried to rob him and he shot him in self-defense. He didn't come

forward on his own because he feels the Department is out to get him for

proving that his old DUI arrest was bogus. Andy points out that Lipe isn't

worth that kind of effort, and points out that there was no second gun found

at the scene. Lipe insists it was there and tells Andy and Junior where they

can find his own gun.

           In conference with ADA Haywood, Andy speculates that a passerby

might have swiped the victim's gun, and that Lipe's account has the ring of

truth about it. Lipe might have done it, but Andy doesn't think they have

enough evidence yet to put him into the system. Andy and Valerie start

arguing over whether to charge Lipe or release him before reaching a

compromise: Lipe goes home for now, but the investigation continues.

           Ballistics matches Lipe's gun to two unsolved homicides, both

involving black men, one of whom was armed, one of whom wasn't. Lipe,

brought back in for another interview, keeps acting like the world is out to

get him and denies any knowledge of the other shootings. After Andy

intimidates him as only a Sipowicz can, Lipe claims that he bought the gun

off of a white fare after getting robbed. 

           While Andy looks into Lt. Rodriguez's problem (see below), Clark

does a follow-up interview with Dawna Cahill, a travel agent who witnessed

one of the other shootings. She's looking to make a career change, she's

interested in joining the NYPD. ("Is it like boot camp?" she asks about the

Academy.) Clark, focused on the case, gets her to tell him that she saw a

gypsy cab like the one Lipe drives leaving the scene. Junior thanks her for

her help and, noticing a picture of her recent trip to Jamaica, which she

got comped through her job, tells her, "Stay a travel agent -- trust me."

           Andy and Junior rescue Josh Astrachan from having to listen to

Lipe's tortured account of his days in summer camp and interview him for a

third time. Andy wonders why Lipe went from the relative safety and security

of driving for a regulated yellow cab company to the more nebulous gypsy cab

business; Lipe says he got nailed by the Taxi & Limousine Commission for

failing to pick up (black) fares, and decided he'd rather have the freedom

of a gypsy cab. He proudly says that he had never been robbed until

recently, largely by not driving into the more racially-mixed neighborhoods

north of Central Park and by avoiding most minority fares. The first robbery

happened when a black teen jumped into the cab as soon as a white fare got

out; Lipe tried to say he was off-duty, and the kid pulled a gun on him.

Andy suggests that he might have gotten a gun after that and shot the next

guy to rob him -- then discovered that he liked it so much that he started

shooting defenseless black fares just for the thrill of it. Lipe tries to

pin it all on the hand of fate that's kept him down for so many years, that

his path crossed with these men and he had no choice in the matter, that the

unarmed men he shot were refusing to pay, which was as bad as armed robbery,

in his book. Andy says Lipe still has a chance to control his own destiny by

talking to them now and trying to cut a deal; once he goes into the system,

fate is out of his hands. Lipe goes for all three murders.

 

T-ROD'S JACKPOT: Daniel Vega, an old friend of Rodriguez who's been

retired off The Job for five years, shows up at the precinct to ask T-Rod for a

favor: his son Petey was in a bar fight and the other guy is pressing charges.

Tony says he'll look into it, and Vega hands him an envelope full of cash to

thank him for the favor. T-Rod hands it back, saying he doesn't work that way.

Vega apologizes: "I didn't mean no disrespect."

           Rodriguez visits with Phillip Riley, the other half of the bar fight, an

out-of-towner staying at a hotel. Riley claims that a drunken Petey bumped into

him, and when he said "Excuse me," Petey started hitting him with a pool cue.

T-Rod notes that Riley doesn't seem to have any bruises on him; Riley lamely

says most of the blows were to his midsection. Tony points out that Petey would

probably get jail time if Riley presses charges, and asks him to weigh the impact

of the crime versus the punishment. When he mentions that he's a friend of the

Vega family, Riley suggests that some money might make this go away -- money

that he might share with Rodriguez. T-Rod, smelling a rat, says that's not on the

table and leaves.

           Vega comes back to the squad at Tony's request, and when they're alone

in the coffee room, T-Rod asks who put Daniel up to offering the bribe, then rips

open Vega's shirt to find a wire taped to his chest.

           "I knew you wouldn't take money -- that's why I did it!" cries Vega, who says

he was trying to get out of a criminal jackpot. (He got caught using his old badge

for shakedowns.)

           "You think that's going to matter?" T-Rod retorts, right before Captain Fraker

and a squad of his IAB goons burst into the coffee room and hustle Vega out. As the

detectives gather around to see what the ruckus is, Fraker announces that Rodriguez

is suspended and demands his gun and shield. "It's okay," Tony tells his detectives as

he unholsters his weapon and hands it to Fraker.

           Fraker, having failed to entrap Rodriguez into accepting a bribe, is determined

to nail him for failing to report the attempt. "Is this what you waste your time on?"

Rodriguez asks him, before demanding to know when he can get back to his desk and

his squad. Fraker sneers as he tells Tony he's being relieved of his command.

           T-Rod is at least allowed to collect his things from his office, and he informs

the concerned detectives that he's being reassigned to Borough Command, and that a

(hopefully temporary) replacement will be assigned to run the squad. He won't give

out any details about his case, and when Andy starts asking why Fraker might have a

vendetta against him, Tony shuts him down and tells him to keep watch over the squad.

           "If IAB wants my hide, they're going to get it," he says. 

           At the end of the shift, the detectives debate what to do for the boss, but Andy

suggests leaving it alone unless Rodriguez calls them to suggest a course of action.

He, of course, chooses not to follow his own advice, and arranges a meeting with

IAB Sgt. Martens, the most decent guy Andy knows in the Rat Squad. After the usual

verbal shadow boxing, Martens reveals that when Rodriguez was undercover in

Narcotics, he once nailed a cop who was doubling as a drug dealer -- who just

happened to be Fraker's partner at the time. The partner got nailed, Fraker got stuck in

IAB from the stigma, and he's "a bitter prick" who's always blamed Rodriguez for it.

Andy is amazed to learn that T-Rod might have ratted out another cop, even one

dealing drugs, and wonders why he never heard about it. Martens' only advice is

pragmatic: "Good advice is start swimming so Rodriguez doesn't pull you down with

him."

 

COOLIDGE IN THE HOUSE: Baldwin and Greg, with some help from Connie and

Rita, respond to a call outside the Cat and Fiddle Bar, where a Tim Rickman is DOA

from an apparent blow to the head. Uniforms at the scene found a Joe Brady leaning

over the body, apparently trying to rob it. Brady, who says that he and Rickman were

"sort of friends," claims that he was just trying to help him. He says Rickman was

punched in the face by a giant black guy who he had called "a giant ape." The blow

knocked him to the sidewalk, where he suffered his fatal head wound. Brady says that

Rickman was gay, but he doth protest too much that he isn't. He asks to go home, but

Baldwin and Greg insist he come to the station so he can make an ID in the event they

find the black giant

           Using Rickman's cell phone, Baldwin contacts several of the victim's friends,

who say they had seen Rickman and Brady hanging around constantly for about a week.

At the station, they ask Brady to clarify the relationship. Brady says that he's an ex-

boxer who had fallen on hard times, that Rickman enjoyed hearing his fight stories and

liked to buy all their food and drinks. Again, he wants to make sure the detectives don't

think he's gay. They put Brady in the cage until they can sort things out.

           As it turns out, the Cat and Fiddle does have a 300-lb. black regular: Chester

Dodd, a bouncer who works at a nearby club. Dodd, who makes Baldwin look like

Tattoo from "Fantasy Island," comes in for an interview and admits to hitting Rickman;

he'd already been in two fights at the club that night and wasn't in the mood to be called

an ape. But in his version, it was only a light tap that didn't knock Rickman to the

ground. "When I walked away from that bitch, he was alive, screaming at his boyfriend. I

could hear it a block away." Dodd also has to stick around until the detectives can figure

out whose story to believe.

           Connie and Rita get a call off one of the business cards they left during their

canvass of the scene. An alcoholic shut-in named Fran Sewell explains that she was

looking out her window at the time and saw Dodd deliver a non-lethal blow and walk

away -- at which point Rickman and Brady started arguing and Brady knocked him down

for good. She keeps asking for her whiskey, and when the detectives try to get her to

come to the station, she freaks. She hasn't been out of her apartment in years and isn't

about to change that now. "You take me out of here and I'll start screaming!" she

declares. Connie says they'll let themselves out.

           Sewell's information is enough for another go at Brady, who finally admits that

he was letting Rickman touch him in exchange for money and free food and drink.

When Dodd hit Rickman, he was afraid to step in because of Dodd's size, and Rickman

started calling him a "faggot," "a queen," and "a bigger fairie then he ever was." Greg

suggests that Brady's best approach is to provide a statement explaining exactly this, and

that he was trying to help Tim after he fell, not rob him -- which might reduce the

charge to manslaughter. Brady reluctantly starts writing.

 

DADDY'S DYING; DOES JOHN HAVE THE WILL?: John Irvin's sister Delia

comes by the precinct to persuade him to give their father another chance. He blows her

off, saying he has too much work to do, and doesn't seem inclined to listen to her

protestations that Pa Irvin feels bad about their argument last week.

           John tries to put a good face on that meeting to Andy, saying, "He's very sick and

justifiably depressed... At least I got to see him."

           For whatever reason, John decides to give the old man one more chance and

returns to the hospital. Robert Irvin is looking significantly weaker than he was the last

time, and says, "I want to call a truce. Can we do that?" They again spar on the subject of

John's sexuality, and when Robert says that he really needs the love of his son right

now, John points out that he really needed his father's love when he came out.

           "I do love you, Johnny," Robert says.

           "I love you, too," John replies.

           "Can we leave it at that?"

           "Okay."

 

IN THE RING FOR RITA: Ed Laughlin, the uniform cop in charge of Andy and

Junior's crime scene (you might remember him as the ex-partner of Mary Franco,

Danny Sorenson's one-time squeeze), asks Clark if it's true that Rita was divorced at the

time of Don's death. John, incredulous that Laughlin -- who, by the way, is married --

might try to make a play for her so quickly, says, "She buried her ex a week ago. Go

nuts!"

           Later in the day, Laughlin introduces himself to Oritz, says how sorry he was

about what happened to Don -- and, since he recently lost an uncle, suggests that he

might be able to provide her with a sympathetic ear. Rita politely thanks him and walks

away, but Andy and Junior happen to be coming down the stairs as the scene unfolds.

           "Whatever you're doing, Laughlin, it's working," Clark qups. "Seriously. I mean,

she didn't make you for a douchebag at all."

           "If you've got a little puppy-love crush on her, just say so, Clark," Laughlin 

replies.

           The two men's paths cross again in the precinct lobby, and Laughlin tries to

provoke Clark into boxing him in the precinct's annual "smoker." Clark refuses to rise to

the bait, until Laughlin asks how Rita is in the sack. Clark says he looks forward to

kicking Laughlin's ass at the smoker; Laughlin thanks Clark for making his week.

           Clark and Ortiz both stay late at work to do paperwork, and Rita asks John if he's

just fighting Laughlin because of her. She says that men are jerks to her all the time,

that it's not a big deal.

           "Someone standing up for me, that's a big deal," she says.

           "You deserve to be stood up for," he replies.

           They trade Meaningful Looks and get back to work.

 

THEO'S GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!: As Andy gets ready for work and Theo gets

ready for school, Sipowicz the younger continues an ongoing campaign to go on

vacation to Disney World. Andy seems agreeable but says he needs more time to plan

it. Theo starts talking about all the neat things that he and Andy "and Connie" are going

to go see, and when a nervous Andy suggests that Connie might not come, Theo throws

a tantrum. If Connie's not going, then neither is he.

           With slightly less subtlety than a panzer attack, Andy keeps mentioning the

Disney trip to Connie until she asks why he keeps bringing it up. He says that Theo

wants her to come with them. Connie asks if Andy wants her to come, too. He says

(without any conviction at all) that he had never thought about it before, but he would

enjoy having her around -- staying in separate rooms, of course. Connie says she would

love to go.

 

REVIEW

           Nicholas Wootton and Matt Olmstead are two of the best, longest-tenured

writers on the "NYPD Blue" staff. Mark Tinker is the show's best, most important

director. Sometimes, though, even the biggest talents run out of inspiration, and "Gypsy

Woe's Me" felt pretty uninspired. I've seen much worse episodes, but aside from a

couple of individual bits, there was nothing to really get excited about.

           Maybe there was too much going on, with three different police cases (including

T-Rod's IAB mess) and three personal subplots that got more play than usual, but all of

the stories felt incomplete in one way or another. Some had logic flaws. Others lacked

the usual emotional punch. But let's take them on a case-by-case basis:

 

CURSE OF THE GYPSY CAB: Unlike the moving return of James Kilik last week,

Ryan Lipe wasn't a character I particularly needed to see come back, especially so soon.

He's not grating like some other "Blue" recurring characters I could name (Steve the

Snitch), but he's also not compelling enough to build an entire A-story around.

           I had a big problem here at the start: why on earth were Andy and John in charge

of this case? Rita and Connie had a prior relationship with Lipe, who was already

predisposed against trusting cops. If anyone was going to get it to talk, it would most

likely be them, and it seemed like bad policework not to send them on the first (and

subsequent) interviews with the guy.

           On top of that, we got another episode of the popular precinct game show,

"Who's A Collar?," with your hosts, Andy Sipowicz and Valerie Haywood. While

Haywood usually comes off as an incompetent boob, here she seemed completely in

the right, and it made no sense for Andy to just let Lipe go home. At the beginning of

the show, Joe Brady is just a witness to a murder, and he has to hang around all day

while the detectives look into his story; Lipe confesses to a shooting, and he gets to go

home before all the facts are confirmed? Excuse me? If the point was to show that

Andy's gut can sometimes lead him astray, it wasn't made strongly enough. (Much as I

loathe her, it demanded at least another appearance by Haywood to say Toldja-So.)

           There were some cute moments here and there -- Astrachan getting stuck

listening to Lipe's summer camp stories, Andy yelling "LIPE!" in his ear -- but overall,

Lipe lacked the pathos of Henry Coffield or Arthur Cartwell or J.B. Murphy or other

members of the "NYPD Blue" Lovable Losers Hall of Fame.

 

T-ROD'S JACKPOT: Well, we now know why Fraker has a mad-on for Rodriguez, and

I suppose it's a better reason than some other theories I've heard floated. (Several

people suggested that Lt. Dalto, the ball-busting woman who briefly replaced Fancy,

might be pulling some strings with her old IAB pals, but that never made any sense; her

beef was with Fancy, not T-Rod.) But I'm not sure the puzzle pieces all fit together, and

even if they do, I'm not sure I care.

           Rodriguez throughout this story has insisted that he never knew Fraker before

their recent interaction, and that seems to be the case. Wouldn't Tony remember the

name, if not the face, of the partner of a cop he turned in? As Andy's reaction to this

news showed, this is a big deal, regardless of what said cop did, and it doesn't gibe that

Rodriguez wouldn't remember every major detail of this particular incident.

           Maybe the story Martens heard is bogus, but whatever Fraker's motivations are,

he's such a two-dimensional weasel that he makes a dull adversary. (Dalto had this same

problem, which is why she worked well as a two-episode visitor and why I'm glad she

doesn't appear to be returning for this plot.) When the show has pitted other law-

enforcement figures against our heroes in the past, they've had more brains, more

charisma and, in some cases, more integrity than Fraker, who would probably piss

himself if Bobby Simone were still around to loom over him.

           Plus, the sting was so transparent that I'm flabbergasted T-Rod didn't see through

it sooner. As both an ex-cop and a former friend of straight arrow Tony, why is Daniel

Vega tossing an envelope of cash on Tony's desk? Rodriguez knows that Vega knows

that he won't take a bribe, and the unofficial NYPD code of conduct that we've seen for

years suggests that friendly ex-co-workers can ask for favors with nothing in return.

Even if you let that slide, an ex-cop would be a lot more subtle trying to make a genuine

offer. For Rodriguez not to immediately smell a rat -- or a Rat Squad -- makes him

seem much more naïve than he's been portrayed in the last year. The T-Rod we know

would have found some way to cover his ass while still ostensibly looking out for his

old friend, even if it was something as simple as filling out a report about the bribe and

leaving it in his desk, in the event that his suspicions about Vega proved correct. (I know

Fraker could still technically charge him with failing to report it, but Tony's defense

would be a lot better if he could say, "Oh, I wrote a report; we had two murders today

and I didn't have time to hand it in yet.")

           I'm glad to see the writers giving Esai more stories than James McDaniel ever

got, but this one isn't working for me. And if Dalto winds up being the temporary new

boss, I'm just fast-forwarding through the rest of this mess until T-Rod's inevitable

reinstatement.

 

COOLIDGE IN THE HOUSE: When the only thing in a subplot to get me excited is

the sight of Byron Stewart as Chester Dodd, there be problems in the 15th Precinct.

           (Stewart, for those who don't recognize him, played high school hoop star

Warren "Cool" Coolidge on "The White Shadow," the show that gave Mark Tinker his

start as a director; Tinker and Bruce Paltrow later brought Stewart and Coolidge over to

"St. Elsewhere" as an orderly.)

           While "Blue" never bothers too much with actual mysteries, the resolution to this

story was so telegraphed from the very start that all the following scenes felt like time-

wasting. Brady's nervous behavior and protests that he wasn't gay told the whole story,

to us if not the cops. Overall, this plot felt like a holdover from the Milch days, where

the show would spin its wheels for 45 minutes and then make it all better with a moving

or scary or funny interrogation scene -- only here, we got the wheel-spinning followed

by a pretty generic interview. In a better episode, I might not have minded, but the whole

show missed the mark like this.

 

DADDY'S DYING; DOES JOHN HAVE THE WILL?: This story was so good, so

moving last week, but tonight it just sat there. This episode was so overstuffed that there

really wasn't time to let the Irvin story live and breathe like it did last time; if the Brady

story got too much time, this didn't get nearly enough. It played almost like a Cliff's

Notes version (or a summary/review version) of what should have been the next stage of

John's goodbye to his father. Let's see: Delia comes back to convince John again, John

and Andy briefly discuss it, John goes back and John and Robert establish a shaky peace.

Not a bad outline, but that's literally all that happened. There wasn't even a real effort to

explain why John changed his mind.

           The final moments almost got to me in spite of that, thanks largely to Bill

Brochtrup's long tenure here, but if the writers were going to be this routine with the

reconciliation, I'd rather they just left the entire story on last week's dark note.

Sometimes a sad ending can be more satisfying than a happy one.

 

IN THE RING FOR RITA: Those of you who picked Junior as Rita's eventual

romantic partner can now collect your money. Those of you who bet on T-Rod are out

of luck. So are those of us hoping for a ban on intersquad couplings -- or, at least, a

return to more interesting couples like Bobby/Diane and Andy/Sylvia. They may not be

together yet, but those Meaningful Looks make the romance a formality at this point.

           Have Clark and Ortiz had any significant interaction before tonight? Anything that

might suggest why he might like her, or vice versa, for any reason other than that they're

both pretty darned nice-looking?

           In the waning days of Steven Bochco's "LA Law," the writers started throwing

together any unattached single people they could find, regardless of whether there was

any history or chemistry between them. (Blair Underwood and Cecil Hoffman's tepid

affair comes to mind.) While the "Blue" writers have usually drawn a quick beeline

between the new female cutie and whatever warm-bodied male was nearby, in the past

they at least took a little bit of time to set up an interpersonal dynamic before jumping

headfirst into the romance angle. (The one exception was Bobby and Diane, who

shagged on the first date, but the entire theme of that relationship was the scorching

sexual chemistry between them.) I know it could be argued that this boxing story with

Laughlin is acting as the set-up, but the final scene implied that Clark has already been

having these feelings about Ortiz, but we've seen no evidence of them before now.

           That said, the one saving grace of this subplot was Clark's withering disdain for

Laughlin. MPG has a real gift for sarcastic put-downs, and if the story had just been

about Clark tentatively taking a leadership role in the squad by looking out for a co-

worker, I would have enjoyed it. But unless I'm completely misreading the situation, it

was about a lot more than that.

 

THEO'S GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!: Speaking of awkard interoffice romance

stories, we're back to this silly dance between Andy and Connie. I had hoped that the

last time this plot reared its ugly head meant that the two had resolved to be friends --

and sometime-co-parents of Theo -- but that clearly wasn't meant to be.

           Seeing Andy act like a nervous eighth-grader with a schoolboy crush might be fun

under certain circumstances, but not here. Either Andy and Connie are eventually going

to hook up, which almost everyone but the writing staff seems to agree is a big mistake, or

they're not, which makes all of Andy's nervous flirtation a waste of time. 

           Whatever the reason, I'd like it to stop. Now. The friendship between Andy and

Connie is too interesting to waste on an implausible attempt to turn them into Andy and

Sylvia, Part Deux.

 

QUICK HITS:

* One minor thing that bugged me about the Joe Brady subplot: Upon hearing Brady talk

about the "giant black guy," why wasn't Baldwin's first question, "Someone bigger than

me?" Henry is a giant by most reasonable standards (I'm 6'3", and I feel puny next to

him), and it seemed odd that Greg or Baldwin wouldn't probe the details of Brady's

story by asking an obvious question like that.

 

* I recently got an e-mail asking me why the show had all but abandoned the sex scenes

that used to be its stock in trade. Since I was never one who tuned in primarily to see

Jimmy Smits or Kim Delaney's butts, it hadn't really occurred to me, but I realized that,

since the short-lived Danny/Diane affair, the only real on-screen nookie we've seen has

been between Baldwin and Valerie, and even that hasn't been as prolonged or graphic as

the old Bobby/Diane baby-making specials. Do other people really miss this stuff, or

would you all rather wait until we have an exciting twosome to start knocking boots

together?

 

* Where exactly were Fraker and his goon squad lying in wait, listening to Vega and T-

Rod on the wiretape? They sure got into the coffee room pretty quick, implying it was

somewhere in the precinct house. On top of that, how did they get into the coffee room

so easily? I can't imagine Andy or Baldwin not raising some kind of fuss.

 

GUEST STARS OF NOTE:

Familiar faces playing familiar roles include Austin Majors as Theo, Anthony Mangano

as Laughlin, John Billingsley as Lipe, Cheryl White as Delia Irvin, Peter White as

Robert Irvin, Scott Allan Campbell as Martens and Casey Sziemasko as Fraker. Mark

Tinker's brother Michael is listed in the guest credits, reprising his role as bartender

Pete McNeil, but I didn't spot him.

 

Familiar faces playing unfamiliar roles include Byron Stewart as Dodd and John Diehl

as Joe Brady. Diehl was one of Sonny Crockett's co-workers on "Miami Vice" and has

been seen steadily in movies for the past 20 years. (I always liked him as the dimwit in

"Stripes" who enlisted because he didn't realize the draft was over.) He also has a

recurring role as a high-ranking LAPD cop on FX's excellent, very "NYPD Blue"-esque

police drama "The Shield." Efrain Figueroa (Daniel Vega) is making his third "Blue"

appearance, having played different roles in "My Wild Irish Nose" and "Bats Off to

Larry."

 

LINE OF THE WEEK:

I was tempted to give it to Clark calling Laughlin a douchebag, but if there was one great

moment in this show, it was the exchange where Lipe complained about Andy only

referring to him by his last name:

           LIPE: "You will not take my dignity!"

           SIPOWICZ: "You keep dicking around with us, your dignity is the first of 10

things I'm gonna knock out of you... LIPE!"

 

IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE SHOW: One of the most frequently asked

questions in the Frequently Asked Questions list is, "When will the show be released on

home video?" I always used to say that "Blue" isn't the type of show to get an elaborate

home video release, that it doesn't have the kind of rabid fanbase (ala "Star Trek," "X-

Files" or "The Simpsons") that would buy tape after tape after tape.

           But the DVD revolution has changed what kinds of shows get collected, with the

success of more mainstream series on DVD like "The Sopranos" and "Friends." So

without further ado (drumroll please)...

           ...20th Century Fox's home video division will release the first season of "NYPD

Blue" as a DVD set sometime in the fall, most likely October. Assuming it's as popular

as other TV DVD sets have been, we could eventually see the entire series get collected

this way. No more silly FX, Court TV or TNT edits, no more low-quality pictures, no

more worrying about a particular episode getting skipped in the rerun cycle.

           No word yet on what, if any, extra content the set will feature, but Bochco and

Milch don't strike me as the type of people who would be interested in sitting around to

watch old episodes and record commentary tracks.

           More news as I get it -- if I get it.

 

NEXT WEEK: A repeat. The good news about the season premiere getting moved back

up to the fall is that we'll get 22 episodes again this year (technically, 23, since the

finale will be two hours). The bad news is that we get reruns every now and then,

including at least the next two weeks. With five episodes to go before the end of May,

we should be back in originals by April 23 at the latest, and possibly sooner. As the

saying goes, check your local listing for time and schedule.

 

And with that, I bid this gig another adieu. Amanda Wilson should be all settled into her

new job by the time the next episode airs, and as much of a nostalgia trip as it's been to

take up the job again, it's just too damn much work. I'll probably still piggyback onto

Amanda's reviews from time to time, but summary/reviewing is a young man's game,

and I'm not 20 anymore.

 

See ya in the funny papers,

Alan Sepinwall