NYPD Blue Summary/Review by Amanda Wilson aka Puedo01@aol.com
Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.
"Only Schumcks Pay Income Taxes"
Season 11 Episode 9
Teleplay by William Finkelstein
Story by Bill Clark and William Finkelstein
Directed by Donna Deitch
After a long delay, I present you with a summary and review of the
last episode which aired in November before a long hiatus. I know
you've forgotten the story, so read on! There will be a quiz Tuesday
night when the next new epsiode airs. Thanks very much for your
GOOD OLD ANDY Andy and Junior are working a home
robbery in which a former cop and his wife are assaulted and robbed.
The former cop, Roy, is someone Andy knows from the academy and the
two worked together in the 20th precinct. John calls Roy an
old-timer which offends Andy. Roy is off the job now due to
disability. He fell through a roof while chasing a perp at some point
and when he had to leave, he wasn't ready to quit the job. Andy
predicts Roy's pride, coming in this case after the fall, will be an
He's right: Roy hangs around the investigation, making sure
everyone knows his days as a cop are over, but something's not right.
Andy and Junior track down an item stolen from Roy that's unusual,
and they get the hit they need. They go looking for a skel named JJ
after the find his prints and mug shot, and when they get to his
apartment, his girlfriend tells them some old guy who looks like a
cop held a gun on JJ and took him out of the place in cuffs. The
detectives rush over to the apartment of one of JJ's known associates
and find JJ outside, handcuffed to the armrest of Roy's car. Up on
the roof, they find JJ's pal Nick kicking the stuffing out of Roy and
stealing his gun away from him. He's about to shoot Roy when Junior
stops him and hauls him away. Roy makes an excuse about how he'd
have had the guy if he hadn't tripped over a drain pipe.
Andy and Junior are back at the station trying to wrap up the
case so Roy doesn't get in trouble. They need JJ and Nick to turn on
each other. Junior tells JJ Nick has done that, but JJ doesn't
believe the lie and refuses to talk. Andy is doing the same to Nick
who also won't flip, but when Junior comes into the room and confirms
Andy's lie that JJ has pinned it all on Nick, Nick folds. Both men
then confess and Roy is let off the hook.
Before he leaves, he laments his early retirement. Andy tells
him to make the best of it.
BALDWIN'S KID Baldwin's attempt to save Michael
meets a few more obstacles. Michael's father, who is under suspicion
in the unsolved murder of Michael's mother, keeps coming around the
foster home where Michael lives and intimidating the family. The
foster dad tells Baldwin he can't handle it and won't listen to
Baldwin's promises that it'll be taken care of. He dumps Michael back
on family services which is now trying to find him a new home.
Baldwin goes to meet Michael's father and finds him in a bar.
The man taunts Baldwin, calling him a white man. Baldwin is nearly
provoked into punching him but realizes that if he does so, he could
be charged with assault and lose the whole war. He walks away.
Michael's aunt, his dead mother's sister, is persuaded to take
him in. She's very nervous, however, and tells Baldwin she will not
put up with the boy's father coming around. Baldwin promises his
help, and promises Michael he won't give up.
SCHMUCK Greg and Baldwin catch the case of a guy
whose car has been burned up. His name is Titell and he's written a
book called Only Schmucks Pay Income Tax which promotes the fabulous
notion that Americans are not required to pay income tax at all;
paying taxes is merely voluntary. His sure-fire plan can save you
thousands, blah blah blah. It's just the kind of scheme Greg is
interested in, and Greg keeps hammering away at the details of it
while Baldwin spends his energy trying to find out who torched the
guy's car. Titell thinks it's his ex-wife, Carolyn, but her alibi
checks out. What's more: she tells the cops that Titell has had a lot
of threats based on his book and how it ruined people's lives. Greg
seems unwilling to believe that. The idea of not paying taxes is
far to attractive to him. While Baldwin isn't looking, Greg agrees
to allow Titell to file his income tax return for him. Baldwin tries
in vain to tell him the whole thing is a scam and keeps working the
case. He gets a break after a deadly snake is found in Titell's
office. One of the cars that got ticketed near the scene of the car
fire was a van from a pet store. At the pet store, the detectives
meet Ralph who tells them a little to strenously that poisonous
snakes cannot be legally sold and cannot be imported into the US.
They take him in. After a little badgering, Ralph coughs up that his
father lost his pet store after following Titell's advice and getting
busted by the IRS for tax evasion. Poor Dad is taking an extended
vacation in Danbury now and Ralph was just after a little revenge.
Titell is grateful the case is solved but Baldwin lets him know he
needs to be looking over his own shoulder because Baldwin intends to
tell federal prosecutors all about him. Greg comes to his senses,
somehow recalls all the scam cases he's handled as a cop, and tells
Titell to throw his tax return away. It's not easy for him, though.
T-ROD'S BAD DEA
Tony spends the morning sniping at
everyone who dares cross his path. His foul mood is oppressive even
to Rita who never fails to walk into his office wearing a coat of
near-pathetic hope. He realizes he's taking it all out on her
unfairly and asks her to shut the door so he can explain. He tells
her he's been passed over for promotion to Captain's pay. She tries
to assure him it's meaningless but he knows better. He knows it's
payback for the trial and seems resigned to the fact that his chances
for further advancement in the NYPD are similiar to the election
hopes of Dr. Howard Dean. His injury is further insulted by the news
that the hapless Detective Eddie Gibson has been promoted to the rank
of Sergeant, making him a boss.
BEATING A DEAD MOOSE Andy is awakened too early in
the morning by the sound of scales on a bassoon. He puts on his
robe, flops over to the apartment across the hall and pounds on the
door. A very attractive young man opens the door and is immediatley
sorry for having disturbed his new neighbor. Andy tells him to knock
it off and goes back home to bed. Later, Andy is called out early to
investigate a case. Connie, still home but about to leave for work,
answers a knock on the door and finds the musician there. He's
obviously wowed by her beauty and the fact that she's a cop --which
is apparent from her weapon, etc. -- and he stumbles around as he
offers another apology. He gives her two tickets to his chamber music
recital that night and attempts to flirt. She recieves it all
graciously and shuts the door.
Later, she asks Andy if he wants to go. He wants to know if
that's a trick question. She tells him to forget about it, and he
seems to until after a series of comments about his age and after
listening to his own advice to Roy. They get a sitter and get all
dolled up to go to the recital. Connie loves it; Andy is tortured
until he reaches for her hand and settles his mind on what's most
important in his life.
GOOD OLD ANDY A nice little story, and I enjoyed the
action-packed scene where they're chasing Roy down, but the theme is
one we've seen many times before: Andy wrestles with his age. It's
not that it's a bad theme--in fact, it's quite valid for a guy in his
50s who still has to work like a guy his 30s--but I'd like to think
the creative minds behind the Final Draft software at Blue could come
up with another way to explore it. Something other than Andy running
into an old colleague or guy he used to know back in the day. I'm
not sure what that would be, but maybe a clue can be found in the
kinds of things that happen in people's lives that make them wish
they could retire or make them realize they can't. Andy might wish
he could retire because he's exhausted, or because he's emotionally
wrung out from all the same old political crap in his job, or the
constant flow of violence that hasn't ceased since his early days. Or
maybe he realizes he can't retire because his bills are increasing,
he's got more kids than an Irish Catholic married to a social worker
Morman or something. Maybe some sort of other thing can come up in
his life that makes him consider these things and get refocused.
Nice how he got refocused with Connie, though. I guess being married
to a woman nearly 20 years younger would make him feel a little more
spry from time to time.
BALDWIN'S KID This story still doesn't do much for
me, but the acting going on here makes me not care about that.
Baldwin and the dad are just off the charts here. If that intensity
were played in more scenes during the show, we'd have something we
couldn't take our eyes away from. Henry is just kicking ass here.
In terms of the story, I found the explanation of why the aunt didn't
take Michael in at first a little weak. Also, I thought Baldwin's
little speech when he drew back from punching Craig was unnecessary.
He thought better of it. I got it, I got it. No need to explain. I
think I speak for most when I say Henry's face and some of our own
brain cells filled in the blanks just fine.
SCHMUCK Greg finally gets a story! What worked for
me in this one was the extremely sharp contrast between Greg and
Baldwin. Baldwin has a whole lot of really serious stuff going on
that means ten-thousand times more than anything on Greg's mind, and
he powers through this investigation with one hand tied behind his
back (actually, that one hand was holding his cell phone as he tried
to work things out for Michael while the other hand was smacking the
schmuck all around the place.) Baldwin has a take-no-shit attitude
throughout and he's got zero tolerance for crap. It was a nice
change from the usual eye-rolling responses we see to Greg's
lame-brain ideas. And as for Greg, well, he was perfectly tortured.
Here's a man who has spent his entire life walking that thin line
between total geekdom and being a man of substance. He is so
put-upon by the world that the idea of a free lunch is very hard to
pass up. But what bothered me by the story itself is that while we
know Greg is a bit of geek and a man with big dreams and schemes of
his own, we also know that underneath it all he's very much a man of
substance and he's too smart to have even gotten close to falling for
this. He's at least seen, if not worked, enough cases where
unsuspecting people are scammed by such things. And if the words
"tax" and "laws" haven't ever met his ears in the same sentence in
all his 50 years on the planet, I'll be shocked. Cops are supposed to
have at least an idea that laws about things generally mean that
there are, well, laws about things. He's sworn to uphold them. I
can't believe that Greg, who we know to be a good cop even if he's
sort of a born loser, would even get near that. This charcater has
grown a lot of depth and complexity over the years: he's more than
one man, in a way. He's smart, he's a good cop, he's also a buffoon
at times and has a whole lot of silly weaknesses. So what's the
problem writing him a story that plays on all of that? I'd like it a
whole lot if the next time Greg gets a story it could be something a
little more believable. You can still make him the butt of jokes if
you must, but there's no need to change his character and make him
suddenly stupid. I think that's sort of cheap.
T-ROD'S BAD DEAL Tony's foul mood was annoying. I
wonder if a guy who got the shaft as badly as he did would just sit
there going through files and taking it out on his squad. Is the
fight all gone out of him? This scene was clearly a set up to his
departure and to give us a little more background information on his
replacement. His replacement, it was hoped by the producers, would
be a fun little surprise to the Blue faithful but someone let the cat
out of the bag not too long ago and ruined the fun for those who
didn't know. Just in case you still haven't heard--and maybe a few
of you haven't--I'm not going to do anything more than give you the
clue I just did.
THE DEAD MOOSE A girl just doesn't dream of meeting a
bassoon player, you know, but Steven Bochco has gone and changed all
that..... What a man, what a man. (And I don't mean Mr. Bochco, no
offense intended.) I got mixed messages here, however. My first
thought when I saw the Beefcake Bassoonist was "Here's a new
boyfriend for Phone John!" Apparently Andy agreed since he later
referred to his new neighbor as a "fruit." But then he shamelessly
flirted with Connie, and I began to wonder. For her part, Connie
seemed amused that the guy was so blown away by her in the way an
older woman gets amused when a teenage boy develops a crush. I got
no read that Connie was similarly attracted and no read that Andy was
jealous (I still think he thinks the guy is gay.) So, this seems to
be a fun little look-see into the more mundane annoyances/joys of
life that make up most of our days. I liked it a lot.
*If the Bassoonist and P. J. get together, they could run up to
Provincetown this summer and tie the knot in a "very special" NYPD
*On Andy's bedside table: a Bose acoustic radio. Them things ain't
cheap. Seems like an odd indulgence for Andy. Wouldn't rather have
spent that 400 bucks on a tropical fish tank? Or a couple of weeks of
*Lots of nice little directing touches--really good
visuals--scattered throughout this one. I especially liked the look
of the scene between Baldwin and Craig. And the shot of Baldwin's
face when Michael left was outstanding. I liked how it was smashed up
next to the blurry traffic lights in the transition shot that
*So, where was Connie going when she left the squad room? She didn't
appear to do any work at all, and when she took off, there was no
mention of what she was doing. Ditto Rita who didn't do anythig all
day but read that stupid book and be all mewly with Tony. Where's
the writing for these women?
*Andy was rightfully offended by the Cole Porter reference, but
Junior didn't get off without a hit either. Yes, everyone's a
Springsteen fan but the Boss' heyday would have been shortly after
Junior himself was Born in the USA. Or maybe in Kindergarten. (He's
in his late 20s, right?)
LINE OF THE WEEK
The schmuck to Greg afer Greg tells him he can File 13 his tax
return: "Fine. I'm going out to piss away my tax savings on two
Ukranian hookers and a T-bone steak."
ON THE NEXT NYPD BLUE
Connie and her unborn child are threatened.
Thanks for hanging in there,