NYPD Blue, Season 1, Episode 7,
NYPD Lou
Written by Ted Mann
Directed by Gregory Hoblit

PLOT ONE: ON WINGS OF PIGEONS

John and Andy catch a missing persons case involving an immigrant Polish family named Wentz. Young son Rudy never came home from a trip to the grocery store, and his parents are panicking. Though John pursues a line of questioning to determine whether the boy may have run away, both detectives can see that there's too much love in the household for that to be the case. After they've left the building, Andy says that he doesn't see a happy ending to this story.

The detectives and Martinez canvas the area, showing Rudy's photo to everyone who passes by, but the closest they get to a tip is a neighborhood kid's comment about a strange homeless man named Freddy who takes an interest in all the kids.

Eventually, the bruised corpse of a young boy is found in an abandoned lot a few blocks from the Wentz's apartment building -- "Look at that, John," Andy roars, "he could see his house." -- and a devastated Mr. Wentz identifies it as his son. Cops at the Port Authority bus terminal report that a man fitting Freddy's description was spotted catching a bus, and he's arrested trying to get off in New Jersey.

With John busy on another matter (see Plot Three), Andy handles the interrogation alone. Freddy confesses that he's "friends" with all the local kids, but doesn't want to talk about Rudy Wentz. Andy suggests that Freddy is looking to unburden his conscience, and Freddy finally admits that he raped Rudy, then strangled him to keep the boy from telling anyone. Andy manages to hold his temper long enough to get Freddy to write out and sign his confession, but as soon as he's out of the interview room, he vents his rage by shattering a door with his fists.

Andy and John decide to go together to tell the Wentzes that their son's murderer has been caught, and find the two of them standing across the street from their apartment, staring up at a white pigeon perched on the roof. Mrs. Wentz asks if they see a light in the bird's eyes, because she has a feeling that it's actually Rudy's spirit watching over them to let them know he's okay. Andy replies that he does think he sees a light.

PLOT TWO: ADIOS, ALFONSE

It's finally time for Alfonse Giardella to take the stand in Laura and Jimmy Craig's murder case. As usual, Laura arrives at the hotel suite on time, while Jimmy is late, and Alfonse uses the time alone to offer her a brand- new Cadillac and to express his desire for her. Laura stays composed long enough to excuse herself to the bathroom before she bursts out laughing. Giardella hears none of this, and continues to talk about his plans for the two of them when the window washer right outside the suite pulls out a shotgun, shatters the window, and kills Giardella.

Laura's extremely shaken up, as much by the idea of having to testify against the shooter should he be caught as by her own near-brush with death. John tries to reassure her, and makes sure she has a ride home after he takes her statement. Jimmy, meanwhile, seems only concerned insofar as it's hurt his case against the drug dealer.

PLOT THREE: THE WOLFMAN

The One-Five gets a visit from the supernatural: namely, Lou the Werewolf, a local vagrant with delusions of being a creature of the night. He makes an appearance in the precinct lobby, attempting to no avail to get Sgt. Agostini, Det. Kelly, and anyone else who will listen to lock him up before the full moon arrives. He returns later, but John, busy trying to keep Laura together after Giardella's murder, kicks Lou out before he can presumably go into the old spiel again.

The next day, Lou is back again, only this time trying to confess to murder. John consents to listen to him, and Lou offers him a knife that he claims he used to kill a drug dealer. Kelly, ever astute, asks Lou why a fierce wolf like him would kill with a knife instead of his teeth, and suggests that maybe Lou witnessed someone else commit the murder and was so disturbed by it that he felt responsible. Lou starts to cry, and says that he saw two dealers arguing the day before, and one threatened to kill the other if he didn't get some money owed him by the next day. Lou had tried to tell Kelly so he could stop it, but John brushed him off, and when the second dealer didn't have the first one's money, he got killed.

John, realizing that he blew it, tells Lou that "you did the best you could" under the circumstances, and after Lou ID's the killer in a mug book and then a police line-up, arranges with ADA Costas for him to be set up in a hotel at least until the trial. When the attorney questions Lou's reliability on the stand, John assures her that "he's a stand-up wolf."

PLOT FOUR: MAKE ROOM FOR ANDY

Andy Sipowicz Jr., Andy's 18-year-old son, shows up at the precinct to ask his estranged father (they haven't seen each other in three years) for $700 to help pay for his impending wedding. Andy Sr. tries to get some details about his daughter-in-law-to-be, but all Andy Jr. will say is that she's a 20-year-old car salesperson. When Sipowicz suggests that this may be a shotgun wedding and tries to offer the boy some fatherly advice, Andy Jr. angrily walks out.

Andy decides to look out for his son, anyway, and he and John drive over to Ft. Lee, New Jersey, to look for the woman at her place of business. Under the pretense that she may be needed as a witness in an investigation of someone else, John asks the woman's boss for some information, and finds out that not only is she closer to 30 than 20, but that she sleeps with anything on two legs, including one of her coworkers. The boss also speculates that she's only marrying "that dumb kid" as a household convenience -- someone to satisfy her sexually when she wants, and do her chores the rest of the time.

That night, Andy follows her and her boyfriend to a sleazy motel and breaks in on the two in coitus interruptus. He explains that he's Andy Jr's father, and orders her to break things off with the boy, however she has to do that. She demands money to take care of the abortion (of a baby which is definitely not Andy Jr's), and Andy tosses her the $700 that Andy Jr. had asked for.

The next night, Andy Jr. meets his father at a diner, and lambastes him for breaking him up with the woman he loved. Andy tries to explain himself, saying that he may not have been a good father once, but is trying to be now. It doesn't matter; Andy Jr. still hates his father, both for being drunk all the time while he was growing up, and for what he just did. When Andy realizes that he isn't getting through, he excuses himself and walks out into the rain.

MISCELLANEOUS THREAD:

Janice spots John arranging a ride home for Laura after her statement, and invites him to get together that night. John declines, saying that he has to look in on Laura, which doesn't sit too well with Janice. But they smooth things over the next day, and that night at Janice's place, John tells her that he wants to do whatever it takes to make this relationship work.


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