NYPD Blue, Season 1, Episode 8,
Tempest in
a C-Cup
Written by Gardner Stern
Directed by Daniel Sackheim

PLOT ONE: WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

Kelly decides to use the investigation of a string of cab robberies that ultimately led to the murder of a cop's father as an object lesson for James Martinez about how to secure a confession.

Step one: arrest the suspect, Luis Hernandez, but only tell him he's being charged for four of the six robberies, and make no mention of murder. That gives him an air of false confidence and makes him more amenable to talking without a lawyer.

Step two: once Luis declines an attorney, tell him truthfully about the airtight case against him for one of those four robberies, and explain that if he confesses to all four, it'll save them a few days of paperwork and they'll save him a few years of incarceration in return. Luis agrees, and makes a videotaped confession, detailing the events of the four robberies. Outside, James wonders why they need to go through this elaborate charade, since they have several witnesses who put Luis at the scene of the murder. John explains that witnesses aren't always reliable in court, and the only foolproof guarantee of conviction is a signed confession, which "never goes away."

Step three: inform Luis that they "just found out" about a fifth cab robbery, with a nearly identical M.O., except that this time, the cabbie's wrists were bound with duct tape -- just like the murdered cabbie from the sixth robbery, which Luis still doesn't know they know about. Luis reluctantly agrees to add this fifth robbery under the umbrella of the other four, since he's promised no additional jail time, as well as an opportunity to tape a "statement of remorse" for the judge. John and James thank him for being such a big help to them.

Step four: drop the nice guy act and tell Luis they know about the sixth robbery and the murder that followed. Luis, finally realizing how much trouble he's gotten himself into, decides to clam up. John tells him that "there's an easy way and there's a hard way," and leaves to give Luis some time to think about confessing.

Step five: get the confession by any means necessary. John gives James his gun and asks him to leave the room, then proceeds to lock the door and pull down all the windowshades. He makes Luis' choice appear very simple: confess or get the living daylights beat out of him. At first, Luis doesn't believe Kelly will really hit him, but John doesn't blink for a second, and begins counting down from ten. After a lame attempt to make it sound like self-defense, Luis finally breaks down and admits that he killed the cabbie after the man reached for his gun. John tells Luis that he's going to bring James, the DA, and the video technician back in, "and I better not have to send them out again."

Step six: fill out the paperwork and go home, feeling glad that justice has been served. One problem: James doesn't feel comfortable with the idea that John was willing to beat Luis to get the confession. John explains that he would never do that if he only thought someone might be guilty, but he knew Luis was guilty, and that he would probably go free without that confession. James asks how John feels about breaking the law that way.

"You're asking me if I believe in the Constitution," John begins. "Yes, I believe in the Constitution, and I hold onto that as long as I can, but in the case of a murderer like this who's gonna walk, I leave my gun and my jewelry outside with the Constitution."

"And if you're wrong about this guy?" James asks.

"Well, then God forgive me. If you want, I can make something up prettier than that, James, but that's the way it is."

PLOT TWO: A PISSY LITTLE DATE

Andy figures that since John is busy tutoring Martinez on the cab robberies case, he'll take a "busman's holiday" and volunteer for an undercover detail at a local strip joint that doubles as a money laundering outfit for the mob.

Working in tandem with Greg Medavoy, Andy poses as just another lecherous customer, and when a stripper named Monique offers to take him into a back room for a "touching party," he happily agrees. Unfortunately for Andy's libido, the law states he can't get his rocks off and have the bust still stand, and he has to arrest Monique and shut the club down without really enjoying himself.

At the station, Monique tries to convince Andy that this is just the kind of scare she needs to quit the business for good. Andy doesn't believe her, but doesn't really feel the need to put her through the system; the only problem is, if he lets Monique go free, he has to extend the same courtesy to her sleazy boss Frank Cantor, whom he's trying to use to get at his mob connections. Monique offers to give Andy all the details of what Cantor does with all the cash, even though it's putting her in a disproportionate amount of danger to avoid a $200 fine.

Unfortunately, when ADA Sylvia Costas interviews Cantor, he claims that Andy waited until after he'd achieved physical bliss before making the arrest. And because Andy doesn't have much credibility with her for calling her a "pissy little bitch" way back before he got shot, she's inclined to believe the allegations. Andy tells her about Monique's offer, and asks her to cut him some slack if everything's on the level.

Once Costas finds out that Sipowicz was telling her the truth, she prepares to eat some crow, but Andy admits that he still should be apologizing to her for his earlier insult, and suggests taking her out to dinner. Sylvia, almost in shock, asks Andy why she would want to go out with him, then realizes to her amazement that she does.

At a fancy restaurant, the two start hitting it off when Sylvia points out that Andy eats just like her father, and goes on to tell him the story of her college graduation. Andy, feeling he needs to share something in return, tells her that he raises saltwater tropical fish. Sylvia, amazed yet again, accepts Andy's offer to do this again sometime.

PLOT THREE: LAURA, LAURA, PANTS ON FIRE

Laura finally returns to work in the DA's office in the wake of the Giardella shooting, and tries to console Jimmy Craig over losing out on the chance to prosecute Ernesto Reyes. Jimmy figures that nobody outside their office cares about a man who killed a rival drug dealer, anyway, and wishes that he had a chance to go after Tommy Linardi, the man who took over the Marino mob.

In their interviews with Giardella, he frequently stated that if he was killed, Linardi would be responsible, but those taped conversations aren't enough to go the grand jury. Jimmy suggests that Laura "remember" that Alfonse made a dying accusation against Linardi -- which would be admissable to the grand jury. Jimmy offers to come back later and let her think about it.

Jimmy returns to her office later in the day, and lays his cards on the table to Laura: if she doesn't go along with his plan, he'll have her transferred and start spreading rumors about her being unstable. Laura asks for some more time to decide.

A few hours later, she bursts into Jimmy's office and plays him a tape of their previous conversation. Jimmy tries to play hurt by pointing out that Laura had claimed she wasn't taping it; Laura's response is a sarcastic, "Jimmy, please, you'll make me cry." Now she lays *her* cards out on the table: Jimmy's going to transfer her, but he's going to write her a glowing letter of recomendation, and if she hears one bad word spread about her, she'll start playing the tape. Jimmy has no choice but to go along.

MISCELLANEOUS THREAD:

The 15th squad gets a new civilian aide, a voluptuous blonde with the multi-syllabic name of Donna Abandando. On her first day as the Police Administrative Assistant (PAA), she draws a number of stares from the all-male detectives' squad, and has Medavoy particularly tongue-tied.


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