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

Season 7, Episode 5
"These Shoots Are Made for Joaquin" 2/8/00
Teleplay by Lee Hubbard
Story by Bill Clark & Lee Hubbard
Directed by Jeff McCracken

Here's the skinny on the plot (the real skinny--not much time for details tonight, sorry! You'll probably like it better this way anyway...)

SUMMARY

JILL, DON, DIANE

Diane is approached by a smooth narcotics officer who's investigating Don. He asks her to help him out by getting Jill to talk to him about things she may have done to help Don. Jill admits to Diane that she's delivered a few packages for Don, though she thought they were pastries, and that she helped Don beat a tail or two. Diane tells Jill not to say anything until she can find out whether or not to trust Denby. At a bar, Denby, a drunk, tries to get Diane to drink before he'll tell her anything. She refuses, so he asks her for a couple of kisses. She gives him that reluctantly, and finds out that the prosecutors don't even need Don or his information in order to go after Don's drug bosses. He advises Jill shouldn't talk. Diane leaves him disgusted but having been able to protect Jill.

ANDY, DANNY

Andy and Danny investigate the murder of a loan shark man in his home. The DOA's brother shoots at the perp. After following a dead end that leads them to a drunk, they find the real killer and he gives it up that the brother hired him to kill the loan shark. The brother confesses he did it because he was in love with his brother's loud-mouth wife.

JAMES

James' fate is revealed. He's passed the exam to be a sergeant and will be leaving to take a desk job. He's ambivalent about it, but tells how Gina wants him off the street. Greg is distracted by the impending loss of his partner.

DANNY, MARY

Danny still seems a little sweet on Diane as he overhears her making arrangements to meet Denby after work. He thinks it's a date. Mary arrives from upstairs in anti-crime to look through the photo files and Danny's attempt to hide their intimate relationship only draws more attention to it. Diane & Jill meet Mary and all are friendly. Danny's embarrassed.


REVIEW

JILL, DON, DIANE

Jill's been running drugs?!?!? My. God. And she seems to have known that's what she was doing even if she didn't want to admit it. She knows she bought too easily that line about it being pastries his mother made for private parties. What makes me think this is that she definitely knows she dodged tails for him. So how does doing either of those things protect her kids? Maybe I'm too damn practical, but I'd say this guy'd have to be one hell of a good lover--I mean off the charts--to have let him play me for such a fool. The drug running, the tail dodging--that's endangering her own kids.

Cool, though, that Jill's on the verge of real serious trouble on the job. Adds some spice to our angelic detectives....

The scene with Denby and Diane was summed up for me in this line from Diane: "I don't wanna hear any more clever crap." Me either. For the first time, I had to roll a scene back several times to get the point. The point was, for those who missed it, that the prosecutors don't need Don or his full cooperation to put their bad guys away and that anything he says about Jill might very well be used against her.

I held my breath wondering if Diane would drink and was relieved she didn't. Well, sort of. Maybe drinking would have been better that swapping spit with that louse. I'm trying to think if I have a friend I'd do that for... I think I might have known enough after the first peck on the cheek to tell Jill to keep her mouth shut and would have kept mine shut too.

Good though that Diane has so far managed to keep herself out of trouble in all of this. Seems to me she's got potential for getting into trouble on the job over this, too.

ANDY, DANNY

Great guest actors here, especially the guy who played the drunk! (John Toles-Bey) The fingerprint guy (Barry Gordon) was an interesting addition to the regular line up of extra cops. It's a little look-see into the false glamour of police work, isn't it? There are a lot of guys out there who are just dying to be "real" cops who get a little stiffy when up close to "real" case work. That is, of course, part of what drives us all to be fans of police dramas (stiffy excluded in some cases, of course).

In reality, it's not so much the sensational facts or the high-tech the world of latent prints that leads cops to killers. It's just eyes and ears. It wasn't hard at all to spot the brother as the killer, was it? And that's just about the way the real cases go all the time.

This one did, however, remind me a whole lot of the case they worked last week...

JAMES

After serious illness, street and courtroom murders, we have someone leaving the show for the most mundane of reasons--a job transfer. I don't want to hear any complaints from those of you out there who bitched to high-heaven that everyone always dies on this show. You should be happy.

This exit works for James, of course, for the same reason it worked for Kelly: That is, it doesn't matter to the story if we ever see or hear from this character again. It mattered in the case of Simone, who couldn't very well have been off on the roof with his pigeons the whole time never to be seen and keeping Diane from kissing Danny or Denby. And it wouldn't have worked for Sylvia to go on living but never be seen and preventing us from seeing all of Andy's moment's with Theo. They had to die. James doesn't and so it's good he's not.

As for Nick Turturro--I think he's making a good decision by leaving, though it can't be easy to give up a steady paycheck and the friends who've become like family over the years. Sadly for him, the story just didn't lend itself to development of James the way it used to when Kelly was around. James' young buck role couldn't last and didn't. The character ran out of steam at least three seasons ago. Here's hoping a long and successful career for Nick Turturro!

DANNY, MARY

A great big THANKS to Mr. Milch and everyone else who decided NOT to have Diane & Mary acting jealous and stupid when they first met. Good for you!

Danny and Diane still have a little tension going on, and that's just A-OK, but I'm glad it's not playing out into a silly soap-opera thing. Danny's got his thing going with Mary, who may or may not be the love of his life, but he still thinks pretty highly of Diane. This seems totally real to me. I loved the scene when Mary walked in and Danny jumped eight feet high, grabbing paper clips and so forth. Most of what was really going on wasn't happening in the dialogue, and that makes it oh so much more interesting.

QUICK HITS

CAST LEGACIES & SUNDRY INFO

Jimmy Smits (ok,ok---a reasonable facsimile) as the late Bobby Simone. Sheeri Rappaport returns as Mary Franco.

Also seen before:

Scott Cohen (Arthur Denby)--He was on Blue in '94 in "Double Abandando," but you may also know his face from his three visits to Law & Order, his appearance on Oz or perhaps his time on the soap One Life To Live.

Bertila Damas (Rosie Enriquez)--She was in Blue's episode "Steroid Roy" in '94.

Barry Gordon (Preston Ross)--This familiar face can be seen in a slew of TV works but was on Blue twice before: "Twin Petes" in '98 and "Simone Says" in '94. He was in another Bochco show, LA Law, in the 80s and is most familiar to me from his days on All In The Family. Gordon was also president of Screen Actors Guild for several years.

John Toles-Bey (Terrell Biggs)--He's got an impressive resume, too, including a 1994 gig with Blue. He was awesome!

Ray LaTulipe (Josh)--He's one of the recurring background guys. Got to give Andy a bit of lip this week.

Newbies: David Zayas (Joaquin) is new to Blue but has been on Law & Order three times.

Sherman Augustus (Larry Watson)--He's done Chicago Hope among many other things and was also an NFL player for San Diego and Minnesota. (Cool....)

LINES OF THE WEEK

Joaquin, admitting he'd hired someone to kill his brother because he was in love with his mouthy sister-in-law: "My brother was a prick. If she could love him, I thought I could make her love me too."
Andy: "Believe me. Jail is sometimes preferable to what you would have wound up with."

Greg to John: "Thanks for taking my back."
John: "Of course."
Greg, after an awkward pause: "That was just a figure of speech."

Danny to Mary after her first appearance in the squad room: "Think anyone noticed anything?"
Mary: "Good thing you gotta out of undercover work."

And the best of the best:

Fancy, after Andy & Danny ran the case for him: "Keep me posted."
Andy: "Any cases you don't want us to keep you posted on? What's the point in saying that?"
Fancy: "OK, then, get outta my office."


NEXT WEEK

We say goodbye to James; Diane and Jill get in deeper with Don; Another appearance by Jimmy Smits. ;)

Amanda Wilson puedo01@aol.com