NYPD Blue Summary/Review by Amanda Wilson aka Puedo01@aol.com
"Here Comes The Son"
Season 9 Episode 9
Teleplay by Jonathan Robert Kaplan
Story by Bill Clark and Jonathan Robert Kaplan
Directed by Charles Haid
As always, the summary then the review.
MASSAGE MURDER: Andy, John Clark, Greg and Baldwin catch the case
of a guy shot to death during a robbery at a massage parlor. The guy who is
dead tried to stop the robbery and got shot to death for his trouble.
Three wallets from the robbery were found a block away, including that
of the DOA. Four similar massage parlor robberies in the Bronx may be
connected, and a detective team from that area is coming in to share
information. John Clark, Sr. is part of that team.
The elder Clark and his partner Halverson arrive. The Clarks are not
really speaking to each other and everyone gets down to business quickly.
Clark, Sr. runs his cases. His son asks if there are IDs on the johns.
He responds sarcastically that most guys who go to massage parlors don't
show ID. Clark, Jr. tells him how stolen wallets identifying some of the
johns, including the DOA, were found in their case. Eager to be away from
his kid, Andy and all of the self-created tension, Clark, Sr. says that none
of the johns in his case were robbed and that maybe their cases aren't
related at all.
Andy points out that the weapons and the descriptions of the perps are so
similar the cases probably are related. John, Jr. suggests they look for
reports of lost or stolen wallets in the areas around the Bronx parlors
shortly after the robberies there.
His father takes this as a jab and asks John, Jr. why he doesn't just call up
and tell his Lt. how he screwed up by not doing that in the first place.
John, Jr. diffuses that quickly and says he just wants to check all bases.
This pissing match is broken up when one of the johns who lost his wallet
at the 15th's robbery shows up to claim it. He's a cardiologist from a nice
neighborhood and he's very nervous about the situation.
Andy and John talk to him with Clark, Sr. and Halverson looking on from
the observation room. The Doc won't admit anything about his how his wallet
was lost or where. He tells him he wants to talk to his lawyer.
After the interview, Clark, Sr. gives his son some flack for not getting
anything out of the doctor. He demands that he and his partner be able to do
the rest of the interviews.
When Clark, Sr. is running the case for Tony, he can't keep his facts
straight. Andy fills in the blanks: One of the guys robbed in the Bronx
reported his credit card stolen. The credit card company said it had been
used that morning to buy a big screen TV. The clerk at the store got the
license plate of the guy who bought the TV: Vincent Perez.
While staking out Perez, Andy fills John, Jr. in on the beef he and
Clark pere had. About 20 years ago, they were working a case together. Andy
did what cops do in nearly every case where they think they've got the right
guy for the crime: he waited to read the perp his rights until he'd given the
perp a really good chance to confess. This is one of those controversial Blue
Wall things: cops stand by each other in this practice. When it came time
to go to court, Andy testified that he read the perp his rights at the
appropriate time. Clark then testified that he didn't hear Andy read the guy
his rights. The perp went free, Andy got drunk and made a rather big issue
out of it with Clark. Later, the perp went out and killed someone. Andy got
drunk again and made an even bigger issue out of that with Clark. Andy now
sees where he went wrong pushing the issue too far but also thinks Clark is
tortured by the fact that his act of "honesty" got a woman killed.
Perez is caught and Clark, Sr. and Halverson do the interview with Andy
and John, Jr. in the observation room. Clark, Sr. makes a huge issue out of
that fact that Perez has been read his rights. Perez is busting at the seams
to tell his story, but Clark, Sr. keeps interrupting him to tell him that he
better tell the truth, the cops are on his side, bla bla bla.
Finally, Perez is allowed to tell his story. He bought the stolen credit
card from Julio Alameda and he tells them where Julio can be found. Clark,
Sr. rubs it in that he got the guy to talk without roughing him up. Of
course, he omits the fact that Perez would have told his story to any cop who
looked at him for more than two seconds....
When they go to pick up Alameda, Clark Sr. gets popped on the jaw.
Andy and John, Jr. rush in to get Alameda into custody and Clark, Sr. begins
screaming that they are not to hit him. Andy says "not here," Clark, Sr.
says "not anywhere," Alameda is screaming police brutality, and Clark, Jr. is
loudly reminding everyone that he hasn't hit anyone. Alameda is cuffed and
put in the car.
Andy asks Clark, Sr. to hold up on the interview until they've had a
chance to get to the doctor to ID Alameda. Clark, Sr. says he won't wait
more than an hour because talking to the doctor again is a waste of time.
Andy tells him again to wait; it'll give them something to go at Alameda
At the clinic, Andy and John are able to convince the doctor to look at
some photos. He picks Alameda out of the array.
Back at the house, Clark, Sr. and Halverson are interviewing Alameda.
Clark, Sr. is bending over backward to be nice and it's getting him no where.
Alameda demands food and smokes before he can think about what to tell
them, and Clark,Sr. goes out to get them. He asks Andy to have the courtesy
not to talk to Alameda in the meantime.
As soon as Clark, Sr. leaves Andy and John go right into the room with
Alameda. They take away his cigarette and begin screaming threats. John
grabs him and shoves him into the cage as payback for him hitting his dad.
He threatens to have every cop in the station house know about it so they can
get a lick in, too. Alameda's attitude is beginning to change a bit. John
brings it home by telling him a witness picked him out. Alameda then talks.
He tells them his buddy Carlos was the trigger man. With us of a rather
clever question, John gets him to cop to all the Bronx robberies, too. And he
tells them where they can find Carlos.
In the observation room, Clark, Sr. and his partner are looking in.
Apparently, they didn't believe Andy when he said he wouldn't talk to the guy
(either that, or they got that pizza really fast). Clark, Sr. is worried
his son will go to jail for brutality. His partner tells him to relax because
the kid got the job done.
Later, Andy and John agree to give the collar to Clark, Sr. Clark, Sr.
is pissed off that his son hit the perp and will take no explanation for it.
Andy follows him out the door and tells him to calm down. Clark, Sr.
isn't hearing it. Andy tells him he's sorry if he pushed their problem too
far 20 years ago, but asks him to stop taking it out on John, Jr. Clark is
not hearing it too well. Andy tells him how he lost a lot of time with Andy,
Jr. and how he regrets it. Clark, Sr. tells Andy to go to hell.
NO GOOD DEED...: Two guys disguised as exterminators robbed an elderly
woman and assaulted her. Her screams drew the attention of a neighbor, Phil
Ewell, and a guy nearby doing a roofing job, Chris McPherson. They are able to
chase one of the guys down. They scuffle with him a bit and he ends up at the
Connie and Rita are leading the investigation. Greg and Baldwin are
talking to other witnesses.
At the hospital, Connie and Rita find the perp is in surgery. His wife,
Shelly Hertzner, tells them he was out that day with a friend named Andrew
Greg and Baldwin pick Andrew up. Greg gets him easily to confess after
making a rather detailed account of how Andrew might tell the story of his
exploits to his grandchildren. He lets Andrew know that they've found the
incriminating exterminator uniform in his apartment.
The case seems to be all sewn up until the perp who was caught by the
bystanders dies of his injuries. Connie and Rita and Baldwin and Greg
reluctantly go about finding out what happened.
Baldwin and Greg interview one of the witnesses from the scene, a woman
named Cheryl who makes no secret of the fact that she's got it bad for
Baldwin. She tells them how the men struggled with the robber and how one of
them whacked the guy's head into the curb.
Valerie informs the cops that McPherson could be charged with
manslaughter because witnesses say the perp was no longer struggling at the
time McPherson slammed his head into the pavement. She adds that Ewell can
be charged as well because he was holding the perp down at the time.
Both McPherson and Ewell are brought in. McPherson can't believe he may
be charged. Connie doesn't arrest him and he leaves. Ewell says he won't
testify against McPherson and leaves also.
VEE AND MR. JONES: When Valerie comes to the squad on one of her
usual riding ADA gigs, Baldwin calls her into a room for a private confab. He's
angry at her for always acting in front of other people as if she doesn't
know him, but he's got a much bigger problem a second later when she drops
the bomb that she might be pregnant. She's taken two tests and they've both
come up positive. Baldwin questions her about birth control. She reminds him
that, yes, she was on the pill, but these things happen some times. She's
extremely distressed over it and barely wants to talk to him about it. She
says she's not sure what she's going to do or how she wants to handle it.
Baldwin tries to comfort her but she's not having much of that. He asks his
place in her decision. She tells him she's not sure yet and leaves the room.
That evening, Valerie shows up at Baldwin's house. She's extremely
upset and confused. He tells her not to worry about him. She's unsure how
she wants to handle things. He tells her that if she wants to keep the
baby, he'll be there, marry her if she wants. He tells her grew up without a
dad and won't let that happen to his child. He says he'll support her no
matter what she decides to do.
He invites her to stay and she tearfully accepts.
THE HUSBAND: During the investigation of the robbery/assault, Connie and
Rita get to know each other a little. Rita reveals she left Vice because her
husband wasn't happy with her working those kinds of cases, especially
undercover. She says she left in order to save her two-year-old marriage and
says she and her husband are trying to work it all out.
While Rita is out of the office, her husband, ADA Don Harrison, arrives
to grill his old friend Tony about the people Rita is working with. He
assumes Connie is a party girl since she's single. Tony tells him it doesn't
seem that way to him. Harrison expresses concern that men in the squad will
try to move in on his wife and he asks Tony to keep an eye on her. Tony flat
out refuses to do it.
MRS. HORNBY: The elderly eccentric Andy took a job guarding last week
wants him to come back. Her lackey, Cory, comes to the squad to convince him
with more money. He offers Andy 600 a week under the table, but Andy says
That evening, Cory calls and promises Andy 800 a week. A few hours
later, he shows up at Mrs. Hornby's. She acts like he's a long lost friend.
Andy struggles to be polite.
Mrs. Hornby tells him that she is now convinced her maid, Marta, has been
stealing from her. Marta has been her maid for 10 years, but she's
convinced. She wants Andy to take care of it.
She seats herself at the piano and begins singing "You Make Me Feel So
Young." Andy sits down and taps his toes a little.
CONNIE: Andy returns from his job with Mrs. Hornby and Connie has been
She goes in to say goodnight to Theo and Andy sees how much Theo has
become attached to her. He also notes how much Connie has been enjoying
playing mom. He gazes out the window with a look of concern.
MASSAGE MURDER: Here's a story that has many themes working under
the surface of the homicide investigation. Those themes almost got tied together,
The father-son battle is a classic struggle, and what's bad about that is
it's so predictable. Junior wants to follow in his old man's footsteps, but
he's got to do it his way. Pops doesn't approve, can't get over his own ego,
and there's friction. Andy is there to give sage advice to both and the
story goes on and on and on. I enjoyed the story, but I didn't learn
anything new about John, his father or Andy.
The other struggle was the unanswerable question of how far is too far
in police work. If they follow the letter of the law--even the spirit of the
law--they risk letting criminals walk. Of course they risk it by not
following the law, but if they all lie about it, who's to know? Many police
officers feel Miranda is a very bad thing, and it's not uncommon at all for
them to find ways around it. That may shock some, but it happens a lot. Is
it worth the risk? It seems to be if the guy they're trying to catch is
really the guy who did it (as was the case in the incident Andy cited to
John, Jr.). Of course, if the guy is innocent it's another matter entirely.
(What's interesting to me is that cops like Andy ask us to trust them
entirely with decisions like this but then they get all pissed off when we
ask questions of them about things like corruption. But I digress..)
John's dad, who advocates doing everything by the book no matter what,
is dead set against beating suspects (also illegal). We know Andy's way is a
little different. Are we willing to accept that Andy is right? Here's
a character we've come to love and cheer for up against John's dad who has
been shown to be a blundering, myopic jerk, yet Andy breaks the law
consistently in order to get his job done while John Sr. plays by the rules.
Certainly it would be far more interesting to have John, Jr.
contemplating these weighty matters instead of me. After all, he's got a
little more at stake. I think his failure to think it all over, perhaps
doubting both of his father figures, may be the missing element that would
have sewn the whole thing together nicely.
NO GOOD DEED.....goes unpunished. Again we're confronted with the
question of how much is too much and again we get no resolution. There isn't
any right answer in cases like those, but I would have been a lot more satisfied
if I'd known, for example, that Connie and Rita let those guys walk because
they were utterly convinced they should not be prosecuted. As it stands, the
guys just left without being arrested. Will they be? Will Tony or Valerie
pursue it again? We have no clue, no hint, nothing.
Of course the broader theme of these two stories next to each other seems
to be that if you feel that the guy who accidentally killed the perp was
justified because the perp was fighting him and he was just trying to do the
right thing then you must agree that the methods of cops like Andy are OK,
too. I hear that, but I didn't feel all that moved by it. It's easier to
justify the illegal means when you're already sympathetic to the
person/people using them to get you a result you want. Sad, maybe, but just
as common in plain folk as bending the law is in cops.
Another small digression that interests me: this story is being aired
(totally coincidentally, I'm sure) at the same time that hockey dad is on
trial for manslaughter for accidentally killing the other hockey dad who
tried to beat the crap out of him. Certainly the behavior of both dads is/was
deplorable, but what about the roofer in our show here? The witness said he
dashed the man's head on the curb when all the man was doing at that point
was mouthing off. He'd stopped the physical stuff. Does that seem any more
fair just because he was catching a robber instead of arguing over, say, a
bad call in his kid's hockey game?
VEE AND MR. JONES:
Garcelle has finally arrived! She
must have been
working hard, and it's paid off. She was super in this one. She nailed it.
(Even in her little scene where she's running down the manslaughter
possibilities, she seemed so much more relaxed.)
I don't have any complaints about the story, either, though I'm sure
there are some out there upset at the "soapish" quality of it. Pfffft. It's
a show about people, OK? What.Ever.
Of course we know Baldwin would do the right thing because he's a
stand-up guy, but what will Valerie do? Not to suggest she's not a stand-up
girl--she is;she always plays by the rules--but since there really are no
rules here it'll be interesting to see what she decides.
Does this fire up any of the men who think they should be included more
in such decisions? That's a tough one, too. It's her body, after all. But
it's as much his child as hers. Will he call in the Maternity Police? If we
are all supposed to be guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness, whose rights win in the case of a mother and unborn child? And
who gets to decide who wins? I don't want you to answer these questions to
me--I've got my own thoughts on them, thank you very much. It's just going to
be interesting to see where B and V land on these issues. Let's hope they
have a lot of tension and dissension before the final decision is made.
Perhaps Connie will get a chance to weigh in.
THE HUSBAND: He's a freak. And frankly, she's a freak for letting him do
this to her. Maybe she's embarrassed that she married a man with so many
insecurities. There is no excuse for what he did with Tony. None. And there's
no excuse for him wanting her to quit Vice and her then quitting Vice because
he didn't like "the outfits." This relationship is disgusting. The only
hope for Rita is that she'll get a grip, walk out on the guy and not feel
even one tiny, little bit of regret or guilt over it. Maybe when she finds
out about his chat with Tony, she'll do just that.
What am I thinking?? Of course she will! Her horrible marriage just has
to be a set up for a better relationship with someone in the squad, right?
MRS. HORNBY & CONNIE: Not much to say about Mrs. H, except I can't
believe Andy is buying her crap about the maid stealing from her.
As for Connie, this was nearly a carbon copy of what we saw last time.
So, was Andy's look of concern because he doesn't want Theo to get too
attached to Connie? Or was it because he realizes how much Theo needs a
mother? I hate both of those ideas and don't want to see either one of them
turn into a story. My guess is, however, that it's the second thing. He
realizes Theo needs/wants a mother and that this may push him to make the
mistake of trying to start a fire with Connie which he will quickly put out
when he realizes how silly it is. Andy needs a woman, and that woman is not
Connie. He needs a breath-of-fresh-air kind of woman, someone we haven't met
*I hated the whole thing where the girl was throwing herself at Baldwin. I
don't know why, but it was really bad.
*OK, so if being pregnant explains why Valerie has "been the way" she's
"been," then does that mean she's been pregnant the entire time she's been
the riding DA? I think being pregnant has turned that woman around! She's
*It's good for us to know that these characters talk a whole lot more than we
know about. (Andy reminding John that if Theo barfs in school, he knows about
it). We certainly don't need to know every time Theo barfs in school, but
John does. And while we should be assuming that he does know, many of us are
far too busy trying to figure out what "slippage" means to bother with such
detail. Anyways, I thought it was a nice reminder to some of us lunkheads
that we don't see every minute of these character's lives, just the important
*Is it me, or is Rita's voice higher this week than it was last week? I
mention this because hearing her speak after Connie and Valerie (in the scene
where Vee explains the manslaughter charges) made it really stand out, and
not in a good way. Someone give that woman a whiskey.
*I know I mentioned this in the summary, but I also know that only two of you
actually read that (yeah, don't try to fool me), so I'll say it again:
either John Sr. didn't believe Andy would stay out of the room with Alameda
or he got that pizza really, really fast. That was an interesting shot. I've never
seen Blue do anything like that before. I assumed he came sneaking
back---anyone with half-a-brain would have--but it seems to me that a guy
like him would have listened at the door, heard all that racket and just
busted back in. It seemed a little out of character for him to have walked
all the way down the hall and watched through the mirror, especially since he
was so concerned about his son getting in trouble for beating perps.
CAST LEGACIES, sort of: Sadly, imdb.com has not been computing for me
for the past two days (I think it's my computer, not their problem), so all I
can give you this time is a cast list full of my own surprises and one note
from my waning memory. Here's the note:
Director Charles Haid: He was Renko on Hill Street Blues. He's been on
NYPD Blue before, and I think he's directed Blue before as well. So there, you
have Henry and Renko reunited and it's not on Bravo.
Joe Spano as John Clark, Sr., Austin Majors as Theo, Frankie Jay Allison as
Chris McPherson, Darryl Alan Reed as Phil Ewell, Michele Morgan as Cheryl
Who Wants Baldwin, John Lacy as Halverson, Christopher Allport as the
doctor, Melissa Marsala (no relation to Chicken Marsala of The Sopranos) as the
saucy Shelly Hertzner, Lloyd Lowe, Jr. as Andrew Sime (one letter off Slime,
you'll note), Pete Pano as Perez, Stan Cahill as ADA Harrison Who Is A Jerk
To His Wimpy Wife, Kurt Caceres as Julio Alameda, John Vickery as Cory the
Lackey, Elmarie Wendel as Singin' Susan Hornby, Kiki Shepard as Marta the
Malevolent Maid, Rick Pasqualne as Looks Good in a Uniform number 1 and
Ralph Garman as Looks Good in a Uniform number 2.
LINE OF THE WEEK:
Mrs. Hornby (singing): "You make me feel like...."
Andy (decidedly not singing): "Spring has sprung."
Next Week: Another new cop?
Stay warm, (unless you're already living in a warm climate, in which case,
can I move in?)