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

"Humpty Dumpted"
Season 9 Episode 11
2/5/02
Teleplay by Nicholas Wootton and Matt Olmstead
Story by Bill Clark & Nicholas Wootton
Directed by Dianne Houston

There's a summary and a review.

Summary

STREET KILLING

The squad is working the case of a college student who gets shot to death on the street. One of the DOA's friends is wounded in the shooting, and the third, Shawn Davis, is uninjured. Shawn tells Andy and John that he and his pals were out to get some ice cream. Andy and John don't believe it, though.

A witness, 15-year-old Lilly Patterson, tells Connie and Rita that she saw some "Spanish" looking guys roll up on the three victims and start shooting. Before she can give any more information, Lilly's mother arrives and refuses to let the detectives talk to her daughter anymore.

Anonymous calls later point to the shooters being two drug dealers named Cesar and Tito. Someone saw Tito and the DOA arguing earlier in the day. John knows Cesar from his days in narcotics and gets a snitch to locate him.

John tries to get Cesar to roll on Tito, but Cesar won't do it. He does, however, make a few passes at lovely Rita.

The only hope they have of finding Tito is Valerie Heywood, the ADA. She's called in to the squad and is confused about why they're asking her about Tito. They have to spend a few minutes reminding her of a very recent case with Tito in which she tried to prosecute him for having about 10 illegal weapons. Finally, she remembers it, and remembers that it was a huge mistake she made. Tito ended up walking after the judge threw out the search that produced those guns. That happened because Valerie called the wrong cop to testify about seeing a weapon partially exposed in Tito's car.

Valerie is devastated at the news that her blunder meant Tito walked and killed a college kid. She puts everything into turning Tito up, and succeeds.

John and Rita find Tito in a bar, but their interview with him produces nothing except a few lewd comments directed again at lovely Rita.

The last hope is to get Lilly Patterson to talk. Valerie convinces her mother to bring her in. The Mom is far from ready to let her kid talk, but after Valerie promises her all the protection the city can afford, she lets go. She's counting on them getting one of the men to confess, but she's still unsure. Lilly identifies Tito in a lineup.

John goes after Tito with the ID, but Tito won't move at all. He even threatens to find out who the witness is and have that person taken care of. John threatens him back, but they get nowhere.

The news seems to get worse for John and Valerie when a guy from the neighborhood, Henry Mayfield, shows up to ask if Lilly identified Tito. He says he saw Lilly talking to cops and wants to know. John and Valerie are on the edge of freaking out, knowing now that Tito will now be able to find out it's Lilly, when the guy says that if she was brave enough to talk, so would he. He adds that if he joins in pointing out the bad guys, others will follow. Much relieved, John and Valerie sign the guy up.

LOVELY RITA

Rita's day starts off really badly when she's greeted at the squad by a guy named Roger Simmons. Roger, it turns out, is married to an ADA just like Rita. He drops the bomb that he's found out his wife Gloria and Rita's husband Dan are having an affair. He's been getting into his wife's email, and gives the latest one to Rita. It's all about a meeting Dan and Gloria are scheduled to have at 2pm that day at some No Tell Motel.

Rita is beyond furious. She's so pissed off that she snaps at everyone who crosses her path. She's rude to Connie, snappish with Andy and throws a razor-sharp word dagger at Valerie so accurately that everyone is left shocked. Connie tries to get her talk about it, and warns her off being so mean, but Rita fires back with more anger and takes some lost time.

She uses her badge to get the key to the motel room where she knows Dan is having his "meeting." Without a lot of hesitation, she walks into the room to find Gloria perched atop Dan and the two of them moaning with delight. The moans soon turn to gasps of shock when they see Rita.

Rita orders Gloria out. Dan tries to blame Rita and accuses her of liking to dress up like a whore and maybe even working a few cops. She denies she ever cheated on him, tells him he's paranoid and tells him she's giving him one night to get his things together and get out of their house. She leaves.

Later, Connie, who is pretty pissed off herself, approaches Rita in the coffee room. She tells Rita that if she doesn't get herself together, they're not going to be partners much longer. Rita turns around in tears and spills the whole ugly story to Connie. Connie hugs her and they apologize to each other. Connie offers her a place to stay that night, but Rita declines saying she'll work something out.

GREG AND BALDWIN

These two partners end up on the outs a bit while investigating the murder of Isabella Gomez.

Isabella is found three-days-dead in her apartment. Greg is on the receiving end of Baldwin's foul mood early in the day but has no idea why his partner is being so nasty. Baldwin finally tells him that Valerie is preggers and that he's uncertain what's going to happen with it. Greg responds kindly and offers support, but gets really bent of out shape when Baldwin reveals that he's also told John. Greg is offended that Baldwin didn't tell him--his partner, the man he trusts his life to every day--first. Baldwin says he didn't mean to slight Greg, but that he just talked to John when they out for a run.

They work the case together, but Greg is pissed off the whole time. They interview Isabella's ex-husband, Luis, and one of her friends, Palo. They find out that everyone loved Isabella. She sublet some rooms in her building, and they talk to one of her tenants as well.

The tenant, Sofanya, arrives dressed to the nines with her hair done up. She's hot for Baldwin in a big way. The only problem is, she's a man. Suspicion lands squarely on her wigged head when she reveals that she talked to Isabella just yesterday. Of course, Greg and Baldwin know Isabella's been dead for three days. They press Sofanya for more details and find out that Palo called up yesterday and told Sofanya that she was supposed to pay her rent to him. Sofanya tells them that Palo said Isabella was in the shower, but that she wanted him to collect the rent. She says she heard Isabella shouting over the water to pay Palo. She didn't do it, however.

Sofanya tells them where they can find Palo's girlfriend. The girlfriend, whom Palo has seen fit to beat the crap out of for money, is reluctant to give him up. Despite the beatings, she loves him. She says she has no idea where to find Palo but she's sure his lawyer would know. Seems Palo decided he needed to sue the City of New York after falling off a stage during a 9/11 benefit.

Greg and Baldwin go to the lawyer's office. Even though the friction between them is strong, they work together beautifully and con the sweet, dumb secretary Debbie into revealing that Palo and his lawyer have a meeting in about a half hour. They go outside to wait, and have an argument again over Baldwin telling John first. Baldwin tells Greg he doesn't want to talk about it anymore, and that if Greg can't deal with it they may not be partners for long. Greg pouts a little.

The grab up Palo and hit him with all the evidence they have against him. He admits that he was there when Isabella died, but that he didn't kill her. He says she killed herself. He says that she loved him, wanted him terribly, and that he refused her because she was ugly. He says she then got a knife and began stabbing herself to death, and that was that.

Baldwin tells him to write it down, and to make sure he includes how Isabella managed to stab herself in the back. Palo looks a little confused and asks if he can amend his story. Baldwin says no, he wants the jury to hear it just the way Palo said it the first time.

MRS. HORNBY

Andy bows out of the first homicide investigation to finish his work on Mrs. Hornby's case. He's already found out that her business manager, Cory Beachum, is robbing her blind. Now he needs to put Cory away for it.

Andy tells Cory he knows what's going on, but Cory's enormous ego won't let him admit he's done anything wrong. Instead, he fires Andy as Mrs. Hornby's guard. Andy steps up into his face and reminds him that he's employed by the city as a detective, and that he's got prosecutors who are down at Cory's office right now going through his records.

Cory threatens to sue Andy and then leaves. Andy interviews Cory's bookkeeper, who is a mouse of a man. He's so terrified of Andy that it takes him no time at all to finger Cory and, while he's at it, offer up several other clients who've been trying to skirt the tax laws.

Andy heads off to Cory's office where Cory and his lawyer Frank are watching investigators haul files away. Andy shoves a warrant at the lawyer and slaps the cuffs on Cory. Cory is carted away by Andy as his lawyer promises to make bail for him in a few hours.

Later, Andy finds out that Mrs. Hornby has decided not to press charges. Knowing someone got to her, he heads over to her apartment. He finds Cory there and Mrs. Hornby crying on the couch. He grabs Cory and drags him out of the room. He cuffs Cory inside a closet and goes back to talk to Mrs. Hornby, who by this time is behaving like a completely confused child.

Andy tells her that Cory has stolen two million dollars from her--half of her fortune. She agrees to prosecute because it's what Andy wants. Andy tells her that she has to understand what's been done to her and prosecute because it's what she wants. He promises to find her someone honest who will help take care of her business affairs. She says she never wants to see Cory again, and Andy promises her she won't.

Andy spends the evening with Mrs. Hornby, but this time they're not just sitting around her apartment. He's taken her out to walk around the city. He buys her some peanuts from a street vendor and shows her how to make the transaction. She's amused, knowing that she's been hiding indoors for too long. She comments on how she'd forgotten that there are so many people in New York, and she says how much she loves the city. Andy convinces her that she needs to get a life outside her apartment, that she's fully capable of doing it. She promises to try.

BABY BRAINS

Valerie puts life into the tried and true effect pregnancy has on otherwise intelligent people. She's become forgetful and confused, and this is made worse by the fact that she's feeling so much stress over how to handle the situation. Not only has she blown the earlier case with Tito, but it takes her a while to recall the details of this big blunder.

She's shaken all day, and blows Baldwin off after she realizes that her error led to Tito killing someone.

Even though she was the key to getting Tito and Cesar locked up, by the end of the day, she's a complete wreck. She tells Baldwin that she should lose her job for what she's done.

Baldwin, who hasn't had the best day ever, turns the conversation to their situation. Valerie is still confused over it, and the main point of confusion now seems to be whether she wants to bring a child into this cold, cruel world.

Baldwin tells her that they can do it; they can raise the child in such a way as to balance off the evil in the world. He assures her they can do it together. She asks if he really wants to, he says yes, and the issue seems to be settled. They're going to have the baby.

Review

STREET KILLING

I admit I probably missed something, but were those guys going out for ice cream or not? The dead guy fought earlier in the day with a drug dealer, but they still could have had a hankering for some Cherry Garcia.

I enjoyed seeing Junior lead the pack. I think MPG (man, I hate writing out his name...) has enough presence to do that more often, and I hope we get to see it more. Now don't take this the wrong way, because I was firmly in the Pro-Rick camp and think to this day he did a fantastic job with what he had, but M-P makes me forget there ever was a Danny Sorenson.

OK, so now it's time to find out what's up with John's Dad. It's been long enough--where's John living? Has he talked to the Old Man lately? Time for another dust up.

LOVELY RITA

Well, she's finally getting rid of the freak. It's half-past time for that. It doesn't completely track with me that she'd have gone so far as to switch jobs to appease him and then toss him out (I'd have done it the minute he told me he didn't like me dressing up in those outfits...), but at least she did it. I'm not convinced we've seen the last of this guy, however. He seems a bit too controlling to just crawl away.

I think her being pissed off at the world was OK, but I didn't get all the lewd comments being directed at her. I'm sure it happens, but it seems to me that her slapping the guy would have had a bigger impact if she hadn't been verbally slapping her co-workers all day. What I'm saying is that I don't get the point of putting those two things in her story. Were we to think that she was over-reacting to the lewd comments in the same way she was over-reacting to her co-workers? I hope not. While she may have crossed a line with Connie and Valerie, she acted appropriately with the skels. Or were we to see how hard it is for women to be taken seriously by criminals? That's OK, but it's so far from the rest of her story that the two don't mesh at all. Maybe it was just her day to be treated like shit by nearly every man she encountered?

At any rate, I smell a set up, as I have for a while. One of the boys in the 15th is about to don steel mesh and hop onto a white stallion....

GREG AND BALDWIN

God, I love Gordon Clapp--everyone knows that--but I do hate it when they make Greg stupid. Neurotic is one thing, but stupid is another. That banana thing.... (see Quick Hits )

I guess I can understand why he'd be insulted that Baldwin told someone else first, but do we have to make him behave like a jilted lover? It actually put me more in mind of the kinds of fights junior high school girls have over secrets. It's just too silly.

Get Greg a woman!!! He's awesome when he's trying to impress women!!! Or, get Greg really, really mad. Right there are two things that would provide interesting conflict for him: the scaredy-cat cop has to deal with fear and anger and the neurotic, shy man has to deal with passion. I am not advocating that Greg be the focus of the show; I have a grip on the big picture. But, the truth is that Greg needs a life. To fail to give him one is to waste the great skill of Gordon Clapp and to throw away one of the most interesting, complex characters on the show.

I know it's Hollywood, and that Garcelle is a beautiful woman (who is really doing so much better than she was when she started), but they've got an actor in Clapp! Just like they have in Franz. I'd rather have Greg sneezing his way through a date, or breaking out in hives while breaking someone's arm than Valerie yammering on about the cold, cruel world. (See BABY BRAINS below). C'mon. I can't be the only one.

MRS. HORNBY

Now this story worked. Franz and Elmarie Wendel (Mrs. H.) were top-notch in a well-crafted story. The very first thing I love so much is that this was a real, live, honest-to-God story arc. More! More!

We got to know Mrs. H so well. She started out singing and dancing on our every last nerve, but by the end of it, we understood her to be rather helpless and childlike. And we got to see Our Hero using all of his gruff and nasty skills to save the day. At first glance, neither Andy nor Mrs. Hornby are lovable people, but we've gotten to know them so well and we see that Cory, who presents a nice exterior, is really the evil one. And what's the fun in a show like this if we can't see the good guys win like this? Bravo!

BABY BRAINS

From that home run to this error. The writing here was not up to the usual fine quality at all.

First, I've known enough pregnant women to know that it's true that pregnancy seems to sap some of the normal ability to deal with details, etc., and that's cool. To have her calling the wrong cop to testify on the search is one thing, but to have her spend so much time trying to remember that embarrassing moment is another.

Also, I'm no lawyer, so I could be way off base here, but if she'd called the wrong witness by accident, wouldn't she be able to say, "Hey, I need to call another witness...?" Or wouldn't the cop, the wrong cop, have known that it was his partner who needed to testify on that point rather than him? PAA John seemed to fully understand the implications, so it seems to me the cops involved would have as well. I realize not everything can be perfectly accurate, but this hole seemed really big to me.

Now, on to the baby thing: For weeks, the issue has been whether Valerie wants a child, a husband or some combination of the two. Now she's upset not because motherhood is scary and she's not sure she wants to get married, but because it's a big bad world to bring a child into?? Whoa! Where did that come from? Sure, it's a normal feeling, but it's a question that springs to the minds of people who have all the other huge questions already answered, like: How would I raise a child alone? Do I want to marry the father? If so, how will we work this out? Where are we going to live? If I don't marry the father, how much will he see the baby? Who's going to pay for all this? What are my parents going to think when I introduce them to my new boyfriend and tell them at the same time that he's the father of their unborn grandchild? Shouldn't I see a doctor soon? And a million other more important things.

One word for this: lame. I wanted to see them work out the real issues.

Quick Hits

* Everyone's ready to bail on their partners tonight! Sheesh! Can't someone just have a bad day??

* If Baldwin and Valerie do get married, Baldwin just better be asking Greg to stand up for him.

* Did Valerie ever go to a doctor? Hey, maybe it's a false alarm.... ;)

* Sometimes Greg is a brilliant cop. Most of the time he is, even if he's not familiar with plantains (why should he be?), but even I know that you can't determine the time of death by the age of the victim's bananas.

* I don't know about the other women here, but ADA Don doesn't seem nearly good-looking enough, not to mention the fact that he's an all-around asshole, to have a wife as beautiful as Rita and a hootchy-mama as beautiful as Gloria. If he were a sweetie, OK. If he looked like ... well, nearly any of the other guys on this show ... OK. But he's both a jerk and sort of icky-looking. Maybe Gloria's a little short on brains. Rita seems to have found hers again.

* I think Baldwin has the best apartment of anyone I've ever seen on television. I want to live there, I truly do. But what's up with the spackle? (Did I spell that right?) Is this some new decorating thing? Something we mid-west folk are too uncool to know is cool? Am I embarrassing myself? I think it looks stupid.

* Phone John's fantastic red sweater was nicely complimented by the red books on his desk. Red is, without a doubt, one of his better colors.

* Speaking of Our Beloved John, what's up with his new BF? How was the date? That guy was so nice, so good-looking ... what's up? Just a little mention of how blissfully happy they and Bridgette The Dog are would suffice. Maybe Bridgette could come for a visit.

* Hank and Eddie ... where are you?

* The first winner of the What The Hell Was That award for identifying JC's mug goes to Chuck Fish of Pendelton, NY. Chuck was the first of many to tell me it's a Buffalo Bills mug. Chuck wins the satisfaction of a job well done! The Bills, well, they don't win nuttin.

* The first winner of the Wasn't That Screwed Up? award is Lodi, who was one of a few kind souls who pointed out that in "In The Still Of The Night" Baldwin tells Valerie that he used to watch his parents slow dance to doo-wop music and then a few weeks ago, he told her that his dad was a no-show for most of his life. Either that was a continuity error or Daddy liked to dance before he took a powder.

* On a personal note: I would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thanks to my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers who provided us fans with an extraordinary season. It was fun! And congratulations to the New England Patriots who fought hard and deserved to win the big game. Well done, AFC.

Cast Legacies

Previously on NYPD Blue: Stan Cahill as ADA Harrison; Elmarie Wendel as Susan Hornby; John Vickery as Cory Beachum, Kiki Shephard as Marta the Maid.

Monnae Michaell (Mrs. Patterson): You may have seen her on The Practice, Judging Amy, ER, City of Angels or The X-Files. Rudy Ramos (Palo): He was in Hunter, and for you classic TV fans, he was also in The High Chaparral. More recently, he's done St. Elsewhere and really more recently, The Practice.

Vincent Laresca (Tito): He was in KPax. He's also done The District and Law and Order.

Jack Plotnick (Mike, the scared bookkeeper): He was on Ellen many times and has also done several Buffy's. He was in Gods and Monsters. Lisa Raggio (LeeAnn, Palo's beat up girlfriend) She was Private Gianelli in the movie Private Benjamin. Wow!

Kira Reed (Gloria, atop Don): You didn't see much of her, but if you'd like to see more, you can check out one of her 39 movies. They've got titles with words like "forbidden," "sweet," "carnal," "erotic," "cheerleader" and "desire." Kira also has her own fan club.

Also on tonight: Kirk Baily as Roger Simmons, Robert Lee Neely as Shawn Davis, Shvona Lavette Williams as Lilly, Rafael Noble as Isabella's ex, Rey Gallegos as Cesar, Allan Louis as Sofanya, Kristina Hayes as Debbie, Michael Spound as Cory's lawyer Frank, Billy Kane as Henry Mayfield, Ossie Mair as the hotel manager, Joseph Carberry as uniform, and the lovely and talented Michael Echols as uniform two aka Echols.

Line of the Week

Valerie and Baldwin stand close together in his apartment gazing into each other's eyes under soft-lighting against a back drop of spackle (?), making the biggest decision of their lives, to have a child together:
Valerie: You want to?
Baldwin: I do. I really do.
Valerie: With me?
Baldwin: Only with you. (A beat.) Unless Greg is available.

Week after next

The show will NOT be on Feb 12. The Feb 19 show will be on at 10pm, so make a note of it! Sounds like one you won't want to miss: Greg and Baldwin's partnership is still a little rocky, the baby issue isn't going to go so smoothly, and Connie plants a big ... question before Andy. All that and crime, too! Remember: Feb 19th at 10pm.


Don't be a stranger,
Amanda Wilson

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