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

"Maya Con Dios"
Season 10 Episode 6
10/29/02
Teleplay by Tom Szentgyorgyi
Story by Bill Clark & Tom Szentgyorgyi
Directed by Mark Tinker

Fast-paced and angry. I liked so much about this one. There were just a few things off-kilter for me, but I fixed them! (well, sort of....) Before I get to that, here's a summary if you missed it:

SUMMARY

SHOT COP:

The squad responds to a report that a cop from anticrime has been shot. At the scene, they find one dead Pete Costello and his shot partner, Maya Anderson.

Maya, who just a week or so ago played Truth or Dare with Baldwin, took a bullet in her arm. She explains to Baldwin and Andy that she and Pete approached two guys as they were trying to steal a car and the two opened fire on them. Maya is a little rattled and can't describe the guys very well. She thinks she shot one of them, however.

Andy is more rattled than anyone by the shooting, especially after he hears that the cop had a family. He gets a call that Connie and Rita are a few blocks away checking out a report that an injured guy ran into a building. They find the guy, DeShawn, on the roof. He's dead.

On canvass, John meets a 12-year-old boy home alone. Robert Dupree is his name and he says he's home from school with a cold. He's got a lot of attitude and won't say much. He finally admits that he saw the two guys run away scared but didn't see their faces. John wants to know how he could tell they were scared if he couldn't see their faces. Clouds move in over little Robert's face. John tells him he can help the policeman who was shot if he talks, and that the bad guys are going to go away forever and can't hurt him. Robert says one of the men threatened to kill him if he talked.

John convinces Robert to go to the police station with him, and promises to let the kid call his Dad when he gets there.

At the station, Andy doesn't want anyone to know that Robert is there. He's afraid if anyone finds out, they'll be forced to call the kid's parents who will probably try to stop the kid from saying anything more. John disagrees with this idea and he and Andy get into a tiff over it. Finally, John agrees, even though any evidence the kid gives could be worthless in court. They want the kid to tell them what he can and look at mug books; they plan on catching the guy and not having any of it go so far as a trial.

Robert looks dutifully at the mug books and is able to tell the cops that the guy who threatened him was shot in the hand. Andy checks hospitals to find a guy with hand injuries. Meanwhile, they find out the dead perp's gun doesn't match the bullets found in Pete, so they conclude the guy they're looking for is the cop shooter.

Andy and John's plans to keep the kid under wraps are foiled by a third-floor cop who happens upon Robert in the men's room and wonders what he's doing there. He tells the desk sarge about the kid and the sarge tells Tony. Tony is a little pissed off and comes at John for an explanation. Andy and John both take responsibility, but Tony doesn't care. He wants them to call the kid's parents. Andy argues with him and an out and out shouting match ensues. Tony prevails, leaving Andy really pissed off. He calls Robert's dad.

Greg and Baldwin interview a guy named Vincent Architeto. He's got a record, and he's been worried about talking about what he saw. He does it, though, and explains that while looking out his kitchen window that morning, he sees the two cops approach the two bad guys. He watched the cops frisk the guys and then sees the bad guy with the female cop pull a gun and start shooting.

This news throws Greg and Baldwin: it's different in a very key way from the story Maya told. She said the guys opened fire as they were walking up and said nothing about frisking the guys. They make Vincent tell his story a few times so they have it clear. Baldwin knows he's got to talk to Maya again.

At the hospital, Baldwin gets a few minutes alone with Maya. He tells her what the witness said and she denies it. He tells her that he believes the witness and she still denies it. He tells her again and she starts to come apart: she admits that it was the way the witness said, that she frisked the guy and missed the gun. She starts to cry and fears that everyone will hate her.

At the station, Robert keeps looking over mug books. Andy tells him he's doing a good thing. Robert explains to Andy that when he heard the cop had died, he felt bad. He says it reminded him of 9/11 and how much he wished he could have helped then. Andy assures him he's helping now. He seems proud of himself.

His dad shows up then, worried, scared and more than a little angry that the cops took his son without calling him. He tells everyone he's taking his son home and that his son will not be a witness. He refuses to let Robert help and is afraid it will put him in danger. Andy takes a verbal jab or two at Tony and the two really go at it this time, shouting over everyone in the room. PAA John stops it by interrupting with news that a hospital called about a man with a hand injury.

Andy leaves to go get the guy and as he does so, Tony tells him not to come back unless he can cool down.

Out in the hallway before he leaves, Andy's fears come out. He asks Connie to promise that if anything ever happens to him in the street she'll take care of Theo. She promises.

Baldwin is still trying to deal with Maya's lie. He wants to make it OK for her, and the only way he can do that is to get her statement back from the DA. Of course, the DA on the case is former girlfriend Valerie Heywood. Valerie goes to the squad at Baldwin's request and hears this story from him. She's reluctant for a minute to help him help his new girlfriend. He says of Maya only that "we dated," making it sound like the nothing relationship it is. Valerie seems to decide it's not worth fighting. She gives the file to Baldwin and tells him to amend Maya's statement however he needs to and give the file back at the end of the day. Baldwin tells Val he owes her. She says he doesn't owe her a thing.

Andy and John bring in the perp with the missing finger. Martel, who is wearing a huge bandage with a little red stump on the end of one finger, swears loudly to God that he didn't do it. He tells the story of how he lost his finger this way: he was digging around in the garbage disposal trying to fish out a peach pit his girlfriend tossed down there when his girlfriend gets the bright idea to turn the kitchen light on to help out. Only thing is, she hit the wrong switch and his finger got chewed off.

Andy and John know the colorful story is bullshit (my word, not theirs). They try to get him at least to admit he was at the scene of the crime by trying to convince him he can put the whole thing off on DeShawn. Martel isn't playing, though. They figure they're going to have to let the DA go at him with ballistics, and probably try to force Robert to testify, and they get him to write down his fun little lie.

Tony, meanwhile, gets lied to again. Greg tells him Baldwin went back to see Maya again because she had something else to add, and says that he has no idea what that is.

The case breaks open further when Robert and his Dad come back into the station house. Seems Robert has told him his 9/11 perspective on things and wants to help. After the Dad makes sure that the cops didn't try to guilt Robert into it with the 9/11 stuff, he allows his son to help.

Robert is taken into the observation room to get an unofficial look at Martel. They don't need a formal line-up since they don't want the kid in court. They just want something else to go at Martel with. Robert knows right away that Martel is the man who threatened him. Tony tells Andy and John to do what they've got to do.

Back with Martel, Andy and John get a little rough. They sit down on either side of him at exactly the same time. Martel is a little curious. Andy asks him how his hand is doing. Martel goes along with the polite chit chat and even shows Andy his hand. The little red stump is right in front of Andy's face. He gently takes Martel's wrist and examines it further: "Cut right down to the bone did you say?" Martel fidgets a little bit, then starts nervously explaining the disposal story again. At this point, Andy tightens his grip on Martel's wrist and begins with his other hand to squeeze down on the little red stump.

John tries again at this point to get him to place himself at the scene by blaming DeShawn. A few squeezes later, he gives it up. He says, though, that DeShawn did the shooting but it was an accident because the lady cop didn't toss him. Andy keeps squeezing until he admits he also had a gun. They get him to tell the truth finally by telling him they've got ballistics evidence that will link his gun to the dead cop.

The case over, Tony tries to make amends with Andy. He wants to make sure Andy understands that as a boss, he's got a way he's got to play things. He also wants to make sure their argument isn't going to carry over into other cases in the future. Andy says it won't.

Baldwin heads over Maya's place that night and finds her leaving her building with a suitcase. She tells him she's leaving and probably won't be back. She won't hear that it's not her fault someone shot Pete. She says everyone will blame her for it anyway. She also says she knows she's not a good cop. Baldwin advises her tenderly not to get down on herself. She gives him a quick "OK" to shut him up, gets into a cab and leaves.

CHILD ABDUCTION:

Connie and Rita investigate the kidnapping of a baby taken off the street. The child is the adopted son of Alberto and Carlotta Cepeda, and they suspect his birth mother may have something to do with it since she's been asking the adoption agency about getting back into the baby's life.

A witness says describes the kidnapper as a heavyset Hispanic guy wearing a hat pulled low.

Connie and Rita go see the baby's birth mother, Luisa. She says she has nothing to do with it. She's clean of her meth problem now and has made some life changes, and sure, she's thought of trying to see her son, but the agency hasn't let her. She tells them the name of the baby's birth father, but assures them he wants nothing to do with the child.

Javier Sirota is brought in. He's quite a bit older than Luisa and admits that he slept with her but swears he thought she was old enough. He was married at the time. He says he also knows nothing about the child or the kidnapping. He says he hasn't seen her in a long time but has heard that she's gay now and seeing a woman named TT.

They bring TT in. She tries to deny she has a relationship with Luisa but that doesn't last long. They tell her if she doesn't talk, she and Luisa are both going away on federal kidnapping charges. They lie to her and tell her Luisa is also in custody.

TT explains that she found the adoptive family after Luisa saw them by accident on the subway with the baby and followed them home. After TT took him, she gave him to her aunt for safe keeping. She begs to see Luisa but is told she can only after she takes them to get the baby.

After the baby is rescued, TT is allowed to see Luisa. They have a good cry together. The last they'll have for several years.

JOHN'S DAD:

In the midst of investigating a cop shooting, John gets a call that his Dad is drunk and causing trouble in a bar. Andy tells him to go and straighten it out.

John Sr. is indeed a little tight and pretty angry that the bartender called his kid. John asks him what's going on and tries to take him home. John Sr. tells him get out and let him drink. John finally convinces him to leave by telling him he's already having a bad day on account of the cop shooting. That touches Detective Sr. in some way and he leaves with his son.

At the end of the day, John goes over to see his father. Sr. explains that he shouldn't have been drinking on an empty stomach. John is not so easily placated. He's worried his Dad is a drinker now. John, Sr. won't talk to him about it, so John grabs the remote and turns off the TV.

John Sr. tells his son to grow up; he says Johnny shouldn't be stunned that he sleeps with hookers and has a few drinks, and he turns the TV back on.

Johnny fans the flames a little by asking him if he's sure he just got a 10-day rip on the hooker case. He says he knows IAB tried to turn him out. John Sr. is only mildly angered by this and turns it on his son asking if he thinks his dad is a rat. He then explains that he got drunk because he's trying to work out the humiliation of having his kid find out he's a whoremonger and having his perfect career blemished.

John still believes something is going on, but his father won't talk to him anymore. He leaves.

CONNIE'S BABY:

Connie has plans to pick up the baby at the end of her tour if she can. She's getting the child in foster care and is working out the details throughout the day.

At the end of the day, all the paper work is done. Rita has a little present for the baby and Connie and Andy go off to the hospital to get the baby.

Connie is extremely nervous. She's chatting endlessly about how the formal adoption will be complicated and she's worried about it, worried about being a Mom and etc. Andy remains calm and has an answer for everything.

The nurses arrive with the little bundle and Connie is completely mesmerized. Andy leads her out of the hospital while keeps her eyes glued to the child in her arms and falls in love with her on the spot.


REVIEW

SHOT COP:

The pace was terrific--this story never stopped moving. But while there were several attempts to grab our emotions here, I think it missed the mark a little on that score. I have to get out what I didn't like first because it's driving me nuts:

The first thing that bugged me no end where that was concerned was Maya's complete lack of emotion at the death of her partner. Sure, she was covering for her own mistake, but you'd think she'd shed a few tears over it at the scene. Seems to me she'd be so consumed with guilt and shock that she'd be just a little weepy there as she tried to explain her lie. We later find that the mistake and the lie are so overwhelming to her she leaves her job. I'd have thought it would make her cry, too. And way before she got found out by Baldwin. That just didn't ring true to me. Maya is a lousy cop, a freaky girlfriend and probably drinks too much caffeine, but in the brief time we've known her she's never been without a soul. In fact, she's always had a lot of emotion--maybe too much--and it seems that a girl with that much exuberance would have equal amounts of sorrow.

The other thing that bugged me was the evidence. Before they got Martel, they knew through ballistics that he was the shooter. So why did they need anything more from the kid? They could have brought up the ballistics and done the hand-squeezing routine in the first go-round with Martel. They've used less to get confessions before.

And when they finally did get the kid to ID him, they already knew he was the right guy. If they weren't planning to use the kid in court (and they said they weren't), what was the point of getting the ID? They didn't even really use it against Martel in the second interview. What they told him about being "picked out" is the kind of lie they throw at other guys all the time. I may be missing something major here, but this made no sense to me.

I guess the answer is it gave them a reason to bring the kid back in for the conclusion of the 9/11 thing: They wanted to redeem his father in the story. I submit it might have been more interesting if that issue had come up in the first argument with Dad. Dad makes his accusations that the cops planted the idea on his son, Andy argues it and Dad leaves unconvinced with his son maybe trying to convince him as he's dragged out the door. We know the Dad is wrong and that the cops wouldn't play that card, but the Dad leaves still thinking bad of the cops. That's OK. Especially if the answer to changing the Dad's mind compromises the way they wrap up the case.

OK, on to what's good, and there's a lot. I loved the fights between Andy and Tony. They were top-notch. It's just too much fun when the squad members are at each other's throats. I like Tony's approach to it, too. Fancy was great at getting pissed off, but he always did it while maintaining the air of bossness (even when they were throwing real punches). Tony seems perfectly willing to jump right down to Andy's level and throw the same kinds of verbal punches. He's good at it, too.

I also liked very much the touches of humanity they added to Pete Costello. We never met him, but Tony and PAA John did. That combined with Andy's concern over what would happen to Theo if he got shot added a lot of humanity to the case and made it seem more personal. Would have been even better if PAA John had had the opportunity to comfort Pete's wife in the hallway or something, but there couldn't have been time for that with everything else going on.

Another super thing about this story is all the meaningful little side streets it took. The sub-story with Baldwin and Valerie was terrific despite the fact that I've never them together. I did like them in that scene. Baldwin took the high road by helping Maya but Valerie jumped one higher by helping him help her. I hope she'll continue to stay on the high road and not get back together with Baldwin.

I have to admit that I'm awfully glad Maya quit the job because she truly is a danger. It's a wonder she even made it to anti-crime considering her personality, the fact that she got so rattled by the beat up old lady a few episodes ago and the fact that she missed this guy's gun tonight. Hey, she was more rattled by that old lady than she was by seeing her dead partner.... Maya, you were fun, but adios and not a moment too soon.

Another fun side street was how everyone lied to Tony. Andy and John kept the kid a secret (which was truly dangerous and so very like something the maverick Andy would do), and then Greg lied to him about Maya's statement. Maybe Tony needs to tweak his personal BS detector a little. It'd be interesting if every time he's given a lie by these guys he acknowledges it on his face but lets it go with his words.

Another cool thing about this story was Martel and his little stump. That scene had me squirming and covering my face and balling my hands into fists and all that fun stuff. I kept waiting for Andy to jam the guy's hand really hard, and I wish he had. Maybe that's how they could have had the kid come back: Let's say they don't have ballistics yet; they're just waiting for it. Or better yet, they first guy is found without a gun, so they think the second guy is the shooter. This could be backed up with a few words from the kid who tells them the second guy threatened him with a gun. Then Andy gets carried away in the first interview messing with guy's stump, jams it into the desk and makes the guy throw up or something before they can use anything else to go at him. During the time he's recovering (and they'd lie to Tony again about what they did to the guy), the kid comes back and provides the useful ID. There, that did it, didn't it? Plus, we get to see Andy making a satisfying, creepy crunching noise with the cop killer's stump. OK, then. Let's move on....

CHILD ABDUCTION:

This story did nada for me, especially on the heels of the other missing kid story from a few weeks ago. The lack of urgency in this one was noticeable compared to that one. Was it because they had some inkling that the birth mother was to blame?

Whatever it was, it wasn't all that clear, and I think a few words from Task Force Tony would have made it a little easier to deal with. He was so fired up for the last missing kid, but this time, the writers didn't give him any fire for this kid.

The story just sort of lies flat. The lesbian angle wasn't fun. It wasn't a big shock, for one thing, and it might have been since the early description of the babynapper was that it was a guy. That never got played out, though.

The idea of the adoptive mother wanting her kid back and what that might have meant to Connie didn't get played out either. She could have told the women that it's better to leave the kid with his adoptive parents and that maybe someday they'd have had a kid or two of their own. That's what happened to her, after all.

I dunno. If there was an underlying thing I was supposed to get from this story, it didn't come through to me.

JOHN'S DAD:

Here, on the other hand, we have simply outstanding screen time. From the writing to the acting, it was all letter perfect.

Johnny, Jr. has grown up thinking his father can do no wrong, and John Sr. has been happy to allow that illusion to continue. But Junior keeps learning more and more ugly things about his hero father. First, the Dutch boy story, then the dead hooker, and now he's pulling pops out of his cups in the neighborhood bar.

"What's next?" he wonders, and he lands on the idea that his father has flipped for IAB. It's a great theory--after all, everyone was worried that Junior would end up losing his job over the hooker and when it's discovered that it's his father who had the hooker, he gets a mild slap on the wrist. Something must be up. I really, really hope so.

One of the most beautiful things about this scene was the subtle message that the roles of these two men are changing dramatically. You have Dad sitting there telling his son to grow up and all the while the son is one the one pacing the room, demanding to talk, pointing out his father's unusual behavior and, most beautifully, grabbing the remote to turn off the TV. That is SUCH a parent thing to do. I've even done it to my nieces a number of times when I'm trying to get them to the put their shoes on so we can go where we need to go. Bam, turn off the TV and you've got a kid's attention again. That John did this to his father has to be one of Blue's best subtle moments. I don't know who'd win an Emmy off that scene, but someone ought to.

Nods again to MPG and Joe Spano and the guy in the front office who said they should be cast as father and son. They're so good at this.

I really cannot wait to see where this thing ends up. It's the first time in a long time, in fact, that I've felt that way about a story arc. I hope it lasts a long, long time.

CONNIE'S BABY:

Andy is too supportive! When is this man going to freak out? Sigh. I don't care for this thing, as I've said ad naseum, but Charlotte Ross had another great moment when she fell in love with the baby.

In fact, she provided one of the best funny moments in the whole show tonight. I'd pick it as line of the week, except it really wasn't a line. It's when she's getting ready to leave and tells Andy it's time to go, but she doesn't want to rush him. She says that like she really means it. He says he's ready and she says OK real fast, spins around and books like hell out the door. It was clear that while she was nervous, she couldn't wait. I loved that.

QUICK HITS:

*What the H.E.double-toothpicks was Maya wearing??? Sleeveless, OK, but she was in a tank top, for God's sake!! Do real cops dress like this? I'd love to know so I could stop bitching about it. (I'm under the impression that cops on the street most always wear bulletproof vests these days....) That just added to the fact that her whole demeanor was off.

*Am I the only one who thought that dead cop was a dead ringer for the dead Andy Junior? Scary....

*The mourning ribbons they hung outside the squad were a nice touch. I wonder if they did that for Bobby and Danny? We didn't see it, of course.

*How much did I love the peach pit story? A lot. I give Kat Williams the Guest of the Week award for delivering that one so well. Especially considering the guy was probably on pain killers. (Martel, not Kat.)

*That poor baby, she still doesn't have a name! Who wants to suggest one? Let's get a name the baby thread going on alt.tv.nypd-blue. (I think we'll hear a name by the time the next ep airs, but that's two weeks away.)

*I guess the nameless baby was doing OK, though, since she got to go home from neonatal in a week.

*Greg went to call Pete's wife. Is that SOP? I'm thinking there are people, like the brass or a special squad, who show up at a widow's house to deliver that kind of news. It's not something I'd want to hear on the phone.

*I'm glad Rita didn't shove this gun in her pants.

*Did anyone hear "bullshit" this time? It's been in the last four, but if it was in this one I missed it. (Actually, I missed it in all the others, too, until I went back and listened for it.) They sure have been having fun with their new toy.

CAST LEGACIES:

Obba Babatunde (Kevin Dupree, the dad): He's got a long list of credits including the films John Q, Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs. He was in Chicago on Broadway. He's been on Dawson's Creek, Soul Food and All My Children.

Mark D. Espinoza (Alberto who's kid was napped): He was Jesse on BH, 90210.

Christian Copelin (Robert, the kid): He's an SBP alum from City of Angels. He's also done The West Wing, ER and Lizzie McGuire. Not bad for a kid born in 1990.

Alisa Reyes (Luisa): She's a soap vet from Passions and Bold and Beautiful. (Who makes up those names? They get paid for it, too.)

Peter Allas (Vincent, the witness): He's done ER, Seinfeld, The Agency and (giggle) 18 Wheels of Justice (There's another stupid name...)

Barry Sigismondi (Jerry): He's done ER and H:LOTS and also (say it with me now) 18 Wheels of Justice.

Benny Nieves (Javier): He was on Blue in 96. He's also done Law and Order twice, Oz and 3rd Watch.

Elisa Bocanegra (TT): She's got a little part in White Oleander (and Oprah chick flick, I think), and has done Gilmore Girls and Judging Amy.

Gwen McGee (Margaret): A vet of BH, 90210, Judging Amy and Seinfeld.

Fred Pinkard (the janitor): This guy has been in every TV show since the Brady Bunch. You've seen him a million times, I'm sure. Some of his other credits include Bochco's Hill Street Blues and Tinker's The White Shadow.

Previously on NYPD Blue: Joe Spano as John Clark, Sr., Mike Sabatino as uniform.

Rouding out the cast: Kat Williams doing a superb job as Martel, Gene Borkin as the tenant, Sandra Cevallos as Carlotta the mom, and Danielle Divecchio as the EMT.

LINE OF THE WEEK:

John to the janitor: "Don't step in the blood."
Janitor: "Goodbyeeeeee."

NEXT WEEK:

The show is pre-empted for mid-term elections. So do your civic duty and cast a vote. Then tune in November 12 for a show in which we'll see life at home with baby and how it's not sitting too well with young Master Sipowicz, Tony finally gets a personal life in the form of his estranged wife, and Baldwin and Greg present us some confession questions. Tuesday, November 12 at 10pm on ABC.

Take good care & feel free to drop me a line-- Amanda Wilson