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

Episode 10, Season 6

"Show And Tell" 1/12/98
Teleplay by Matt Olmstead
Story by David Milch & Bill Clark
Directed by Marc Buckland

Hey, it's a two-Hank episode! OK...we'll get to that later. ;)

SUMMARY

ONE HANKIE (not to be confused with Hank): Diane's recovery is explored as we find her the morning after she buys the bottle sitting alone in her apartment with the bottle on the counter in its brown paper bag, the bag twisted hard around the neck of the bottle--Diane has obviously done some hand-wringing with it on her ride home the night before.

Jill arrives, called over by Diane, and sees the bottle. Through tears, Diane tells Jill she's not been drinking, but says she felt as if she'd slip the day before after she and Danny cleared the case involving Jill's son, Kyle. The case made her feel good and happy, as if she were finally beginning to get back into the swing of things. But those feelings scared her terribly, and she bought the bottle.

She tells Jill she needs help, but also needs the routine of going to work. Jill promises to take her over to Widows and Orphans to find someone to talk to after their day shift. Diane lets her empty the bottle.

At the end of the day, everyone is working on the primary homicide case, after which Diane prepares to leave. Andy asks her quietly how she's doing. She gives him a half-hearted "OK," and he gives her a loving squeeze on the arm. He notes that Jill is sticking close to Diane and seems satisfied that Jill is taking care of her.

Diane arrives at Widows and Orphans and meets with a woman named Linda Krause. Diane seems embarrassed to be there and unsure of herself. Linda puts her at ease a bit, and Diane relates that she's mostly afraid of losing the memory of Bobby. She expresses herself in a characteristic jumble of words, but her meaning is clear: Diane is afraid to feel happy because she's afraid that will mean she's betraying the memory of the man she loved so much. Linda reassures her, saying they'll find a way for Diane to fit happiness and Bobby's memory into her life, and that instead of losing something, she'll have gained a lot.

Next day, Diane arrives at the house to do a 4-12 and a young woman is waiting for her. Diane introduces herself, and the woman tells her she found Diane through the list of Widows and Orphans. Diane says (paraphrase) "You lost your husband also?" The woman replies, "Yes. Your husband got my husband's heart." Diane winces with the memory, but seems pleased to see Beth Gilliam. They acknowledge letters they've sent and open the lines of communication further.

Diane goes upstairs and meets Danny in the squad room. Danny asks her "howzitgoin'?" She responds that it's OK. He's nervous, seeming afraid that this woman who snapped his head off in the locker room on his first day at work might try to take another verbal swipe. He ventures forth anyway, telling her he didn't mean to be a wiseguy by asking. She says, "No, I know..." The ice begins to melt slightly.

He tells her he was going to call her the other night, the reason being that he wanted to say he was glad they worked together on the Kyle case and that it went well. And also to tell her that he was hoping she was doing OK, and that he knows it's not going to be easy. He asks her if today was a better day. She says yes, and thanks him sincerely for asking.

 

CHEESE EATERS: Andy and Danny catch one at a supermarket where lots of money has been stolen and a security guard, who is an off-duty cop, has been shot to death.

Soon, Sgt. Martens (IAB) and an FBI agent, Francis, show up. Danny, Andy and Fancy try to figure out why, but neither Martens or Francis will say much. That angers Andy first, who gets into a little verbal battle with Francis. Then Danny gets ticked off and asks Francis to leave if he's not going to give them any information. Francis leaves; they've exchanged virtually nothing about the case, but we've learned that Danny is a Donny Osmond fan... (see Review and LOW).

Martens stays, but he and Andy begin going a few rounds. Finally, Martens agrees to share surveillance photos. They think two cops (brothers) are involved along with their two uncles (retired cops).

Andy blasts Martens for continually talking about how the uncles were once cops, and Martens finally blows a gasket and forcefully, heartfully, tells Andy to stop trashing his line of work. Andy shuts up.

Next day, Andy and Danny pick up the uncles. Agent Francis arrives, telling them they can't hold the uncles--he wants them out. He thinks the nephews did it instead. Martens arrives with them, and the uncles are sprung. Danny is furious, but Andy calms him down and gives him an idea. Danny has earlier recognized a snitch from the photos Martens showed them. Andy suggests he talk to the snitch and see if he can give them anything they can go at the nephews with. The idea works--Danny's snitch can not only get them in hot water, but in hot water over a murder. Martens, high and dry without Danny's information, let's Danny do the interview, and one of the nephews gives up the uncles for the robbery/killing.

The case isn't cleared too easily, however, when Francis arrives and tells Danny and Martens that despite this information, he's going to hold off picking up the uncle-skels and fold the case into a RICO case later on. Danny is angry, threatens to knock Francis' teeth into his throat, and walks away.

 

SYLVIA'S HANKIE: Sylvia is back in solid ADA form when she, Andy and Dornan sit down with the informant Tommy in Sylvia's office. Tommy apparently knows that Freddie is the real killer and that Freddie paid off Suarez to take the fall. Tommy is persuaded to help out, but after all the wrangling it takes to get this help, Sylvia realizes it's not enough. Tommy's a junkie skel, the only eyewitness and it's a four year old case.

Sylvia tries to get Freddie to confess based on this, but he won't. She learns he's dying of Leukemia, and offers the best medical help; he doesn't care. She offers to help anyone in his family or circle of friends who might be in a jam; there is no one. She asks him if he thinks God will judge him, he replies by asking her why she wants the confession so much when he's going to die anyway. He then tells her that she has no way to get to him.

At home later, Sylvia is upset. She crawls into bed, her back to Andy. She wonders at how far she's come from her first decision to become a lawyer, and she fears God will judge her harshly for not trying hard enough to make things right. Andy tells her to leave the judgments to God and not be too hard on herself.

 

TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, GREG MEDAVOY: Greg's got an annoyingly big caper going on. He and James cleared a case for the owner of a half-star Chinese restaurant, and the owner promised a free dinner for the whole squad. Andy, who hates Chinese food, is especially annoyed at Greg's self-satisfied chatter about the thing. Greg moves on, plotting the order (with a cell phone, by Danny, in the car on the way to the homicide) and later interrupts an interview James is doing to announce that the bike guy just left the eatery with the food, E.T.A 10 minutes.

The food arrives as Danny and Andy are in Fancy's office having it out with Martens and Francis. Little shots here and there of Greg stuffing his face as he peers into Fancy's office. It seems a toss up as to what's more interesting for Greg: the food, or the fact that IAB is in the house. The food wins first, but after he's done chowing down on the Chow Mien, his curiosity about the Rat Squad prevails.

In the locker room, he asks Andy what Martens is doing there. Andy glances skyward as he stands at the urinal, almost as if to say to God, "You made this too easy...I just have to f**k with this guy." He answers Greg's question with a question: "What'd you do with all them Chinese food containers?" And Greg's paranoia does the rest. He ends up knee deep in muck in the dumpster, getting rid of "evidence."

He runs into Martens downstairs, after Martens' run-in with Andy, and tells Martens that there is no more evidence and that Marten's has (hand gesture near his crotch) and that Martens can kiss (turns, flips up coat, sticks butt out.) Martens, who has no idea what he's talking about, looks bored and walks away. Greg shouts after him that he's not going to buy that Martens' innocent game because that would mean that, that, that he's been the victim...of...a...nasty..prank...by one of his coworkers. (Imaginary light bulb pops on over Greg's empty brain case.)

Greg marches upstairs and does the adult thing: he gives Andy the silent treatment.


 

REVIEW

ONE HANKIE: More thoughtful, moving dealings with the aftermath of Bobby's death here. I'm sure there are those who will complain about Diane's "whining," but you won't count me among them.

Diane's guilt over feeling good after the death of her husband is perfectly natural and painfully real, as are her fears that unless she mourns forever, she will lose him. Anyone who's ever had someone close die has been through that. It's probably the hardest part of letting go -- the part where you have to find a way to hang on while still living your life. Sometimes they call it survivor guilt. Eventually, she'll realize that Bobby would want her to be happy and go on with her lie.

Nice symbolism with Diane hanging onto the door handle in Linda's office, unable to really enter. I did feel, however, a little hit over the head with it when Linda spoke words to the effect that it's hard just walking through that door, and then we see another shot of Diane hanging onto the door. I got it without the extra explanation, but maybe that's just me.

Nice warm scene with Beth. Amazing they didn't both just break into sobs, though, it being their first meeting (and so forth.) Glad to know they'd exchanged letters--they weren't total strangers.

As for Danny and Diane: He is not hot for her body here, as many have speculated. His nerves come instead from remembering that in his very first conversation with Diane, she bit his head off. ("You don't know anything about my loss...") If we've learned one thing about Danny, it's that he's not stupid. He couldn't have missed that Diane greeted him with contemptuous stares and a barbed tongue. Danny knows he was resented. Who wouldn't be nervous trying to thaw that ice?

Danny's heart showed too: Despite her previously sharp attitude toward him, he reached out. He realized her anger was not drawn from anything he did, rather from her grief over Bobby. Takes a pretty big-of-him person to scale those kinds of walls.

Diane did her bit too. Danny was sitting at her late husband's desk as he spoke to her, touching it nervously, playing self-consciously with the light, but instead of the sharp looks he once got for just being there, she doesn't seem to notice. This was my favorite scene. I loved the look and feel of it.

Andy reached out to Diane--but seemed aware that she's leaning on Jill now. That's OK.

I loved this part of the story. My feelings stem from what I think is simply stellar writing and a very well-thought-out sequence of emotions for Diane. I also liked the look of it (desk scene, as I mentioned, and the scene with Beth). Kim Delaney's work moved me to tears a time or two again. So, sue me.

 

CHEESE EATERS: I saw this as a story about how the playground games of boys don't change nearly as much as the playgrounds themselves. Cops are just _so_ bogged down in pissing matches over territory like this--that part is so real.

I will say the bit about Danny's snitch just happening to have some information on the nephews and that information just happening to be a....woah!...murder! What a stroke of luck! Well, it DID move the story along, even if it stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

What was more compelling was the growing relationship between Andy and Danny. Danny was described perfectly by Francis: Donny Osmond with the personality of Andy Sipowicz. (wouldn't that make him David Cassidy? nevermind) We can't judge Danny by Rick Schroder's cover (which, frankly, does not look overly boyish to me, even I do think he could muscle up a tad). Andy helped Danny find perspective, but not in a fatherly way. He did it in the way you do when you run into someone who reminds you of you. You say, "I know that act..." And after the recognition, your more mature side arrives to give good advice--the kind you can't take from yourself, of course, but can easily dish out to others.

I love how different this is from the equally good pairings of Andy and TOG and Andy and Bobby. All different--all quite good.

Which brings me back to Diane, in a way. How many of us who are experiencing this growing acceptance of Danny (and Rick Schroder) are feeling a little guilty about it? Part of me feels disloyal to Jimmy Smits! Isn't that a laugh?? But, hey, I _know_ that Jimmy would _want_ me to move on with my life and like Rick....right?) Of course, some of us are still in The Anger Stage...

Nice humanizing of Martens. They've added a lot of flesh to this character over the past few seasons, all of it good. Everyone hates the Rat Squad, but seriously, why? It's a good question; an uncomfortable question for the cops, because it cuts at the very trunk of the Brotherhood Tree: a tree which shelters the Kyle Kirkendals of the world, helps Andy and Diane deal with their addictions and lets Greg eat free Chinese food while at the same time allowing corruption and crime to go unchecked.

 

SYLVIA'S HANKIE: Oh, now I get it!! She's going through her mid-lawyer crisis! That makes sense, sorta. On one hand, she's a new mom, has had some difficult things happen in recent months, is aging.... She's wondering just what her real contribution to things is--is she making a difference in this short, hard, life?

But here's what bugs me: While it's not out of place for Sylvia to feel those things and express them, it is out of place for her to do it during an interview with a skel at Riker's (last week). She was redeemed this week, when I saw the old Sylvia taking a hard line with Tommy. But then it fell apart again when she was with Freddie. After he told her she had no way to reach him, her hand went up to her mouth in near-shock that she couldn't clear this one up.

And really, this "mistake" she made that's leading her to question whether she'll make it into heaven--it doesn't even register a blip on my "bad karma" radar! And she's just too smart to think that she didn't try. Her whole job is about trying.

It is my sincere hope that this is over now. Perhaps it'll end up with a set up for Sylvia to leave---her job, at least. One good thing from this: Richard Gant as Sgt. Dornan.

 

TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, GREG MEDAVOY: For those of you who cringe at the antics of Medavoy (and sometimes I do), let us be glad that this was woven into the story so well. Works much better that way. Let us also take our hats off to Andy (David Milch/Matt Olmstead), for doing to Medavoy the kind of thing that we only dream of doing to our most annoying coworkers. And it produced a fine LOW, below.

 

QUICK HITS:

Francis: If I told ya, I'd have to kill ya

Francis: Asshole
Andy: Pants pisser

Medavoy's whole routine for Martens followed by the silent treatment for Andy.

Uncle Skel after Danny asks when he retired: "Nine years. Before you were born."
Danny: "Was that the last time you brushed your teeth?"

Matt Malloy (Jenkins): Nice work playing this guy who was wound up like a top. Had a part in Armageddon. 

Tom La Grua (one of the uncles): Was in Blue's "UnAmerican Graffiti."

Robert LaSardo (Freddie): Tons of talent here, no? You may recognize him from past eps of "Murder One."

Chad Allen (Tommy): Recognize this junkie's face? Chad played what had to have been a totally different role on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." He was also on "St. Elsewhere" when he was probably just a tot, a show that can boast involvement from our Executive Producer Mark Tinker.

Linda Carlson (Linda Krause): Also an alum of "Murder One" and "St. Elsewhere," as well as "Newhart."

Richard Gant (Dornan), Sybil Temchen (Beth) and Scott Allen Campbell (Martens): Reprising those roles.

Agent Francis to Danny: You remind me of Donny Osmond with your partner's personality.
Danny: Agent Francis, I'm proud to tell you that I got all of Donny's albums, including Mormon Hymns to Federal Agents who Steal Their Weekly Paychecks.

Andy to Danny re: Medavoy's paranoia: Don't ever pass a remark 'the sky is falling' and not expect the next time you see Medavoy to be wearing a hard hat.

Andy to Danny: You know, calming you down might be the best thing ever happened my gastric upsets.

 

Well, I've certainly said enough! :) Congrats if you made it this far!

Amanda Wilson