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

"One In The Nuts"
Season 10 Episode 3
10/08/02
Teleplay by Jody Worth
Story by Bill Clark & Jody Worth
Directed by Michael Switzer

This one wasn't as jam-packed with emotion as the last two, but a nice show nonetheless--well, all except for Truth or Dare...

SUMMARY

NIXED NUTS:

Poor Rocky Morton, the thief, has his two most prized possessions blown off and a bullet put into his head. Andy and John catch the case. It looks like a gay revenge murder, and they start investigating by looking at his friend Joel who was in the apartment next door (which Rocky also owns for his overflow inventory of stolen electronics) with a plumber.

Joe says they were just business partners and that Rocky was hetero. Rocky is found with a gun near his body, and it's unclear how many shots Joe and plumber heard.

Andy and John look into Rocky's background and find that in addition to a few collars, the cops visited his place a few weeks back for a domestic disturbance with his girlfriend. They go talk to Chloe O'Conner.

Chloe works at a porn video shop. She says she hasn't seen Rocky for a month. She says they fought over money he owed her. He took some nudie pics of her and put them on the Internet, and she wanted money for it. She says she didn't see him that morning and has no idea who robbed him.

Andy threatens to pin the whole robbery on her if she doesn't help. She coughs up the name Antwon Butler. Butler is a pimp Chloe says Rocky burned on a drug deal and who has been threatening to get revenge on Rocky. Andy and John take her to point out to them where Butler can be found. They have to get a warrant first.

Warrant in hand, they take a team to pick up Antwon. He tries to escape out a window, but is stopped by Greg and Baldwin after he shoots a uniform in the arm.

Antwon is hauled back to the 15th where Andy gets in his face. Andy threatens to push him out a window and tells him every cop in the building will say he jumped. Antwon can't believe they're so freaked out and admits he's a little freaked out. He explains what happened: he went to see "his boy" and rough him up a little and, in the process, knocked some cigarette ashes on his arm which may have burned him. He says he's real sorry about that, but the guy owed him money.

Andy asks about the shooting. Antwon is totally shocked and says he had no idea Dervis got shot. Dervis? Antwon explains that Dervis is the guy he roughed up and he has no idea who this Rocky is. He's telling the truth. They ask him about Chloe and find that he pimped her out for a while, and she got pissed off at him because she says he got her hooked on crack.

Tony interrupts the interview to tell them that a guy named Chris Nelson has been selling stuff from Rocky's place. They go pick him up.

Chris Nelson is a sleaze of the highest order who thinks he knows a lot more than he does. He claims to know all about electronics but is taken in hook, line and sinker by John who tells him there was a security camera outside of Rocky's place that recorded him taking off from the scene that morning. Of course, that's a lie, but it's enough to make Nelson spill the story. He was told by Chloe the crack whore that it would be an easy score. He went in with Chloe and held a gun on the guy. Rocky fought him, and during the struggle, Nelson shot him once in the leg. He swears he shot only once. He says Chloe took off.

They go back at Chloe telling her Nelson gave her up. She swears she took off during the fight and knows nothing about a murder. She says she came to NYC from Indiana to be an actress and ended up on drugs and hooking, and that Rocky often sold her as a sex slave. She says he wouldn't let her out and wouldn't give her money to go home. He kicked her out. She says Joel tried to help her but didn't have any money. After a suicide attempt, she came up with the plan to have Nelson rob him for some money to send her home.

After the interview, Tony says the M.E. reports that the bullet in Rocky's head came from his gun and that the bullet there didn't match the one Nelson put into his crotch. They consider that he might have shot himself to end the pain he was in.

They decide to talk to Joel again to see if the shots were far apart. Joel is in lock-up. He got picked up at the airport with a big bag of money, and now it looks like Joel is up to something. The tell him they'll do a paraffin test on his hand to see if he shot a gun that day. Joel finally admits that he and Rocky did business together but things got out of hand when Rocky started running whores. He was really pissed about what had happened to Chloe from Indiana. Joel was sort of in-love with her, and when Rocky said he wanted to blow her brains out, Joel decided to shoot him instead.

Andy make sure that when he writes it up, he mentions that Rocky planned to kill the girl.

SHOOTINGS:

A grocery store owner named Davis reports exchanging shots with a man who was trying to rob him. He's pretty sure he hit the guy, but can only describe him as a Hispanic male--well, actually, as a "chili-pickin' son of a bitch." Greg and Baldwin are investigating.

A few blocks over, Connie and Rita are looking into a case involving a Hispanic male who says he was shot by a robber on the street. Javier Rojas says he was shot by a six-foot black guy, wandered over to a doorway nearby, and convinced the couple living there to help get him an ambulance. Before the paramedics take him away, Connie and Rita try to get him to cop to the grocery robbery, but he doesn't. They talk to the couple who helped him and they say he just showed up needing help. The grocery store owner can't ID Javier from a photo.

A short time later, a Hispanic male is found shot in the gut and lying inside a porta-potty in East River Park. Connie and Rita go check it out. A drunk guy spending the day fishing found him. He doesn't know anything except where the body is.

They open the porta-potty and find the man, the stolen cash and whole bunch more evidence that makes him the guy who robbed the store and Javier's shooting a big mystery.

Connie and Rita go to the hospital but can't see Javier right away. They talk to his brother, Esteban, and ask what he was doing in that area that day. The brother says he went to see a woman but doesn't know her name. They mention the name of the woman who helped Javier, and Esteban says he knows the name: Liz Jiminez. Javier dated her in college.

They tell Esteban his brother, Liz and her husband all lied about the shooting, but he can't help explain the situation.

Liz is brought in. Connie, emotional over a problem with her sister, climbs down her throat and makes her stop lying. She tells that Javier is really the father of her baby, but that she married Ricardo years ago when she was pregnant and made him think that the baby was his. She says she chose Ricardo because he was a better husband but still lets Javier come see the child. That's what Javier was doing at the apartment that morning. Ricardo came back, and Javier hid in the closet. Ricardo heard a noise and went in with a gun and shot Javier.

ADA Heywood says the only way to make the husband a collar is to get Javier to say the husband shot him. Baldwin and Greg go to the hospital to try to make that happen, but Javier won't do it. He says he knows Ricardo is a better father to his son and he won't do anything to take him away. He repeats the lie about being shot on the street in order to keep his son's life normal.

TWISTED SISTER:

Connie's sister Michelle has left her two messages at the squad while Connie's been out on a case. Connie is surprised to learn Michelle's been in town for three months and has only recently called her. Michelle needs to see her immediately.

Down at the diner, Connie greets her sister whom she hasn't seen in a year. Michelle has a big black eye and a protruding belly: she's three months preggers and her husband Frank has smacked her around a bit. She tells Connie she doesn't want a lecture, and Connie tries hard to restrain herself. She says things have been good; it's just a "rough patch."

She asks Connie if she can crash at her place for a while. Connie wants to arrest him but Michelle begs him not to. Connie tries to get her to allow the cops to at least talk to him, scare him a little, but Michelle freaks at the suggestion. Connie promises not to talk to him.

Connie then sends her to a doctor for a check-up and gives her the key to the apartment. Back at the squad, Connie tells everyone what's going on. Andy wants to pick the guy up and Connie agrees saying she only promised that SHE wouldn't talk to Frank.

Tony tells Andy to wait on picking up Frank and deal with his case first. Tony promises to have some uniforms go get Frank so everyone can keep working their cases.

The uniforms get Frank coming out of a bar, but John and Andy aren't around to talk to him. Connie asks Greg and Baldwin to do it. She tells them that he's a guy who's been beating a pregnant woman.

They go in to talk to him with Connie looking on through the pokey room mirror. They confront him with the beating and threaten to lock him up. They scare him a bit and tell him Michelle never wants to see him again and he has to stay away from her or get thrown in jail. He agrees to leave her alone.

After the interview, Connie is really pissed. She tells Greg and Baldwin that they didn't do enough, weren't tough enough with him. Greg and Baldwin are pissed that she's mad at them. Greg confronts her and asks exactly what the problem is. She's emotional and says they needed to lean on him more, but Baldwin explains that they handled it right. Greg backs him up, then Baldwin tells her to just stop asking for favors. Tony breaks up the argument just as Andy and John arrive.

At Connie's apartment that night, Connie begins her lecturing. She asks what Michelle's plans are and Michelle says she's still thinking about going to college. Connie tells her to stop running around and get her life together, and offers to help.

During their talk, Frank shows up and begins pounding on the door. Connie opens it but won't let him in. He shouts over Connie's head to Michelle that he didn't like going to the police department. Michelle gets mad at Connie. Frank apologizes over and over and makes an inside joke. Michelle melts and agrees to go have coffee with him. Connie begs her not to, but she leaves anyway.

BALDWIN'S JONES:

During a meeting in Tony's office with several detectives and ADA Heywood, Maya comes skipping down from Anti-Crime and makes a rather obvious gesture for Baldwin to call her. He plays it cool, but Valerie notices it right away and asks him, in front of everyone, if he needs to make a call. He says no and moves the conversation along.

After the meeting, he confronts Valerie about embarrassing him in front of everyone. Clearly pissed off, she says sarcastically that she thought from the exuberance of Maya's gesture that it might be urgent. Baldwin gets this bitchy message loud and clear and Valerie turns heel and stalks away.

Later, Maya and Baldwin are playing Truth or Dare. He keeps taking truth; she keeps taking dare. Every dare he shoots at her is to loose an article of clothing, which she does without hesitation. She asks if he takes her seriously and he reminds her that she's the one who suggestion they just have fun. After a round or two, they're both half-naked and getting horizontal.


REVIEW

NIXED NUTS & SHOOTINGS:

Two nice, tight little stories, but I think they both were a little lacking in emotional impact. They got so close, but just missed it by a hair.

In the first story, they missed it by a hair, literally: Chloe's hair. I think the story might have had more of an impact if we'd have felt some sympathy for Chloe, and also for and Joel. We got from the lines spoken that Joel was sympathetic toward Chloe; Andy was sympathetic toward Joel, but none of that got transferred outside of those lines.

I think if Chloe had been likable, it would have been easy to understand her and Joel, and to want them both to fare well. Chloe, however, was anything but likable. For starters, her hair, clothes and tattoo were a little too rough. It's hard to feel sorry for a chick who craves that much attention. If she'd looked burned out from drugs and hooking, fine, but it seemed that this girl worked pretty hard at looking like a crack whore. I'm not thinking her dream of being an actress is all that realistic if she's dyed a red stripe down the middle of her hair....

It may have also helped if she'd had a tragic little tidbit that helped drive her out of the cornfield. Maybe her dad abused her or something. I just think there had to be something more for us to see--whatever it was that Joel saw in her, for starters.

In the shootings story, the impact might have been stronger if we'd have had the chance to get to know Javier a little more, perhaps through his brother and Liz. All we got from Liz was that he was unreliable back in college. I think the story would have had the biggest impact on her. She knew the truth long before we did--that Javier was a stand-up guy sacrificing a lot to keep his son's life normal--but it didn't register on her face at all or in the word she spoke during her interview with Connie and Rita. She remained a cold fish throughout, though it would have been clear to her by then that she made the wrong choice in a husband/father. It may have also helped to have seen more of that husband. Was it ever clear whether the shooting was an accident or intentional? Making it intentional and then having their relationship in question at the end would have been more powerful.

That said, the final scene with Javier in the hospital was really good. I wish Greg had had that last line, though, about Javier being a stand-up guy. I think Gordon Clapp could have given it the emotional punch it deserved.

The look of both stories was great: Loved the action scene where Antwon goes out the window and shoots the cop in the arm. The scene with Antwon in the pokey room was good, too. That all worked because it sort of broke from what you'd normally expect. Nice also that Tony ducked in to deal with Antwon on the cop shooting case. And I enjoyed the interview with Chris Nelson who epitomized criminal stupidity.

I also liked how much they were out of the squad in both stories. The scenes shot in NY are especially good.

Connie getting into Liz's face was a great moment, too, and almost counts as an action scene in my book. Charlotte Ross did a superb job of keeping her anger going from scene to scene, and it was completely believable that she would tee off on this lying woman because she was still mad over things with her sister. Add to that the fact that we nearly always see the women taking a quieter approach to interviews, and you have yourself a little gem of a scene. I'm thinking back on Blue actresses of the past, and I can't come up with one who could have brought so much believability to a scene where she's pissed off in an interview. Kim Delaney came close, but Ross really smokes in it.

Glad to see it. Won't it be fun when she and Andy get in a huge fight over something?

TWISTED SISTER:

I like this story a lot. First, I like the contrast between the sisters. One is all tightly wound up and, having made her mistakes young, living a pretty straight and careful life. The other is a little flaky and naive. Their love for each other is evident (lots of good chemistry between Ross and LaNasa), and so is their conflict.

Of course, Connie will be the hero--as it should be. I'd like to see her have just the tiniest little twinge over Michelle being pregnant since that's been such a theme with Connie. Tonight, at least, she all but ignored the fact that she was going to be an aunt.

For her part, Michelle is a classic battered woman. Her own insecurity stops her from seeing how badly she's being treated. It also stops her from really hearing the things she needs to hear from Connie. But in all that, she remains wholly likable--the kind of person it would be easy to love and the kind of sister you'd just feel compelled to take care of. She's sweet and childlike.

I have no idea where this story is going, but I don't think it's going to end well for sweet Michelle. Frank is so very sleazy (wonderfully played by Nicholas Lea). Let me just go on record as saying I hope with all my heart this doesn't end up like that ancient old storyline from ER where Sherry Stringfield's character ends up adopting her niece. Been there, done that. I'm looking forward to something unexpected.

BALDWIN'S JONES:

I honestly don't think I could have hated this any more than I did. The only redeeming thing about it was getting it clear that Baldwin isn't interested in Maya for anything but getting laid. Since she's the one who offered, that makes him seem a little less like a 'ho'dog, but not much. Hearing him say things like "lose the shirt" and "those pants have got to go" just made me laugh. Nothing sexy about any of that, especially since it was so totally out of character for the usually serious and smoldering Baldwin Jones. There is zero chemistry here, of course, and I suppose that's the point. I mean, if it's not clear as a bell that Valerie's going to be a player in his life again soon, I don't know what is.

Valerie, of course, has no business getting all ticked off at Baldwin for his sex life. She sure didn't take him up on many of his offers before and treated him pretty poorly, but then again, it's clear she still has feelings for him and is making them known the only way she knows how to. (One thing we know about Valerie is that she's so buttoned up she's practically incapable of making her feelings known in a rational manner.)

Maya has gone from fun and boldly perky to being downright annoying, hasn't she? Is this a ploy to get us to like Valerie again? If so, it's working on me...but only a little bit. ;) The thing that would really make me like the character Valerie is if she's got more reason to live than being in Baldwin's bedroom. It's sort of like Rita: there's no identity for these women outside of the men they're attached to. I can't say why that is: is it just the way it's written or is it written that way because the actresses aren't up to portraying more depth? Who knows, at this point. Whatever it is, it leaves us at times with some pretty thin characters, and that's not much fun.

QUICK HITS:

*Andy's and John's personal package inspections done at the scene of Rocky's unfortunate incident was very funny. If we had a "Motion Of The Week," this would be it. I wonder how many men watching were doing the same thing (of course, you guys do that ALL the time and you're not even aware of it...)

*Andy remains technically challenged. He had no idea what a PDA was. While it's endearing in it's own way, I'd like to think a cop as smart as Andy is about things would be learning things like that. This is one area where Blue is, for whatever reason, very unrealistic. Cops and criminals alike are pretty high-tech these days.

*RARE SCRIPT BLUNDER: In the first scene in the station house (about the third scene after the opening sequence) when Tony asks Rita about the case she and Connie are working, he asks about the guy "shot in the apartment." At that point, neither we nor the cops know he was shot "in the apartment." The story at that point was that he'd been shot down the street by a robber.

*How come no one calls Baldwin "D" anymore?

*Hank! No Josh...

*There's Connie in her dangerous ponytail again. Too easy to grab in a street fight.

*How about Connie's place? What the heck is Andy doing clearing things out of HIS closet? Looks like she's got enough room for him, Theo and all of Theo's trucks and dinosaurs.

*Nothing this week on Capt. Fraker and John Clark, Sr., but everyone is speculating that this story is far from over. I hope that's true. I loved the earlier story when Fraker went after Tony and how Andy strung Fraker up to protect Tony. Now, it would seem, Fraker is after Andy. He tried to get Junior to roll over, and the fact that Senior only got a 10-day rip for banging the hooker may be a clue that there's more to come. Senior certainly has a lot of reason to go after Andy, but does he have anything real? How will Tony play in this one? Should be fun. Should be especially fun to see where Junior lands: will he pick Andy over his dad? He should!

CAST LEGACIES:

Katherine LaNasa (Michelle Colohan): She's known from her work on the TV show "Three Sisters," and from a host of TV movies. She's also made appearances on The Practice, Seinfeld and Touched By An Angel, among others.

Nicholas Lea (Frank Colohan): Maybe most recognizable from a recurring role on X-Files, Lea has also done many TV movies. He was in the series The Commish and his many appearances include Lonesome Dove.

Ian Gomez (Joel Robinson): Anything but funny tonight, Ian played Larry on The Drew Carey Show and was also in Felicity. He's probably smiling ear to ear at the success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding: he played Mike in that film.

Joe Nieves (Javier Rojas): He was on Arliss.

Michelle C. Bonilla (Liz Jiminez): She's an SBP alum from a part on Murder One, but you've probably seen her playing an EMT on ER several times. She also had a recurring role on Dr. Quinn. And she played in the movie Price Of Glory starring Jimmy Smits.

Armando Molina (Ricardo Jiminez): He was on Blue in 1994 as a paper hanger. He's also done Seinfeld and Frasier.

Al Rodrigo (Esteban Rojas): He was in Murder One once, and has done The West Wing and JAG.

Kevin Rankin (Chris Nelson): Also an SBP alum from an episode of Philly.

Ned Eisenberg (Vic Davis): He's had parts in lots of movies, but may be known to you from several roles on Law and Order and L&O:SVU. He's appeared on The Sopranos, and Miami Vice and is an SBP alum from Public Morals and LA Law.

Rounding out the cast: Meaghan Faye O'Conner as Chloe, Robert "Duckie" Carpenter as Drew, Hira Ambrosino as Dr. Lee, Jayson Williams as Antwon Butler, Ron K. Collie as EMS Tech, David Harris, Jim O'Keefe, Lionel Pina and Eddie Goines as the uniforms.

Previously on NYPD Blue: Tanya Wright as Maya Anderson.

LINE OF THE WEEK:

I'm going for Chloe's reaction to Rocky's death: "Rocky's really dead? And Chris really shot him in the nuts?"
Andy: "Yeah."
Chloe: "Wow. That's the first good thing to happen to me since I got to New York."

NEXT WEEK:

Andy meets Frank; the squad deals with a child kidnapping and the death of a teenager, and Maya is back for more of....something. And this episode is the Blue directorial debut of Jesse Bochco.

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Amanda Wilson