NYPD Blue, Season 1, Episode 9,
Ice Follies
Written by W.K. Scott Meyer
Directed by Dennis Dugan

PLOT ONE: PISTOL-PACKIN' PAPI

James is worried about his brother Roberto, who checked himself out of his chemical dependency program early and moved back to his old apartment. He tells John that Roberto's phone has been off the hook for the last few days, and that he's afraid to go over there and see what's happened. John offers to go with young Martinez. He enters Roberto's apartment alone, and finds him sitting in a chair, dead of an overdose.

James doesn't get much time to deal with his grief, because his father Hector, who never really came to terms with his younger son's addiction, has decided to kill Brick Top, the dealer who sold to Roberto. James calls in John and Andy for support, and they spot Hector approaching Brick Top with his hand in his jacket. Unfortunately, in the process of trying to disarm Mr. Martinez, his gun goes off, which leaves them no choice but to bring him to the station on a concealed weapons charge.

While the detectives seek advice from Lt. Fancy -- who suggests that they may not be doing James a favor by just letting his father go -- James tries to talk some sense into his Papi. Hector, furious with grief, blames James for not taking good enough care of his younger brother, and their angry words quickly turn into an all-out brawl. Several of the detectives burst into the interview room to break it up, and James tells John that he doesn't want his father released.

At the arraignment, ADA Costas agrees to release Hector, pending a possible dismissal, and the judge, taking into account Mr. Martinez's grief, admonishes him not to get into any trouble for the next six months. Outside the courtroom, John tries to convince Hector to stop his foolish quest for vengeance and tend to his family, but his words don't get through.

When Papi doesn't come home, James decides to stake out Brick Top himself in hopes of stopping his father from doing something stupid. Sure enough, Hector shows up, but has apparently mellowed. He apologizes to James for his earlier outbursts, and wonders if he has only himself to blame for Roberto's death, since he wasn't as strict with Roberto as he was with James. He tells James that he loves him, and the two head home to be with Roberto's mother.

PLOT TWO: JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE OUT...

As she arrives at work, Janice gets a call on the lobby pay phone from an Italian hood named Richie, who claims to know all about her dealings with Angelo Marino. He asks her to meet him during her lunch break, and she reluctantly agrees.

As it turns out, the late Mr. Marino kept a journal that listed, among other things, all his "friendly cops," including Janice and her father. Richie gives Janice $500 and a license plate number, and tells her that if she doesn't run the plate through the computer and get him the address, he'll make sure a copy of Marino's book falls into the appropriate hands. She asks for time to think about it.

John, who saw Janice get the pay phone call, asks her about it at dinner that night. She claims it was just a snitch who didn't want his voice recorded by calling on a precinct phone line, and asks John to trust her.

Richie calls again on the pay phone the next day, and when Janice says that she still hasn't decided whether she'll run the plate for him, he suggests that if he has to call again, he'll do it on a precinct phone. Again, John happens to see Janice on the pay phone, and again asks her about it, this time while the two are in bed together. Janice finally tells him the truth, and John asks for a chance to meet with Richie himself and help sort it out. Janice doesn't want John involved, and asks him to let her figure out a solution on her own.

Her answer involves going to see Inspector Lastarza of the Organized Crime Unit. She tries to confess all her sins, but when she gets to the part about killing Marino, he cuts her off, explaining in no uncertain terms that the late Alfonse Giardella confessed to that murder and that he considers the case closed. Janice reluctantly continues, and gets to the part about Richie's approach. Lastarza figures that Richie works for Tommy Linardi, Marino's successor, and tells Janice that he'll think about what to do with her.

Janice tells John about seeing Lastarza, which doesn't please him, considering that Lastarza let Giardella off the hook for shooting Andy way back when. Janice says that her involvement with Marino was becoming "a cancer," and she didn't want it spreading to John, who she knew would kill Richie if he got a chance to meet with him. John doesn't know how to help her with all of this; she tells him that she loves him, and hopes that'll be enough to get both of them through it.

PLOT THREE: SKATING FOOLS

Detective Medavoy turns 40, but despite his advanced years, still can't muster the courage to say even a word to gorgeous PAA Donna Abandando. John, Andy, Mike Roberts, and some of the other detectives from the squad take Greg out for a celebratory birthday lunch, where his mood turns reflective, as he wonders whether he's happy with his lot in life.

While going over some paperwork, Greg spots the autographed NY Rangers penant hanging over Donna's desk, and, miraculously, tells her that he used to play hockey as a kid. Donna, a hockey nut with Rangers season tickets, invites Greg to go skating with her the next night, but he declines, because of the long commute home to his wife Marie and his two daughters.

The next day, he suddenly changes his mind and asks Donna if the invitation is still open. She cheerfully says it is, and the two share a delightful afternoon skating at a nearby rink. Donna notices that Greg's usual stutter has vanished; he explains that it's a nervous condition, and that he feels totally comfortable with her, and compliments her on her beauty.

Det. Roberts, whose clumsy pass at Donna was politely rebuffed two days before, decides to needle Greg the next day, pointing out that Greg's wedding ring is mysteriously missing. Andy stands up for Greg, and tells Roberts to peddle his sour grapes elsewhere. Greg explains that, for the first time in years, he took his ring off last night "just to see if I could," and it accidentally went down the kitchen sink. Donna apologizes to Greg for getting him into trouble with a coworker; he assures her that she isn't causing him any problems.

MISCELLANEOUS THREADS:

Donna has trouble adjusting to one particular aspect of her new job -- fielding all the calls from nutcases who think that their thoughts are being monitored by aliens -- and finds an unlikely tutor in Andy, who had plenty of experience fielding the psycho calls after he got shot. UFO nuts, Andy explains, just want to feel like someone else understands them, and if you give them advice that jibes with their delusion, they'll stop feeling so paranoid. Donna promises to follow Andy's advice, and the next time she gets a call from a man being chased by the "laser death squad of the Galactic Gravity Shelf," she informs him that the death squad has been recalled and that the Shelf is on the verge of defeat. "These are great days," she cheerfully says.

Andy thanks Sylvia for giving Mr. Martinez a little rhythm on the concealed weapons charge. She smiles and says how amazing it is what one nice dinner can buy. Andy suggests going out again that night, and Sylvia agrees.


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