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

Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved.
"And The Wenner is...."
Season 11 Episode 8
11/18/03
Teleplay by Tom Szentgyorgyi
Story by Bill Clark & Tom Szentgyorgyi
Directed by Paul Eads

SUMMARY

SERIAL KILLER

Another woman is dead. From her new desk duty (see below), Connie tracks down a guy who was busted over and over for impersonating officials as away to rob. Turns out he's been dressing up as a cop. After a series of remarkable lies, and the fact that he's near the scene of at least two of the murders, he becomes suspect one. Last week's victim who lived, Lisa, is brought in but can't ID him at all. They're about to let him go when Rita finds out he used to work with a guy who was a sex offender. Lisa reported two men attacked her. It's starting to look like Jimmy the bar owner hired someone to do this. After being unable to ID the impersonator, Lisa was to go straight home. They try to find her there to show her more pictures but can't. Worried she's been attacked again, they get her super to open her place. Inside, they find a wall dedicated to the murders: newspaper clips, pictures of the victims. Also found: Ketamine and a diary of the victims' activities which includes all the dead girls plus two more.

They split up to go to the women's homes. At one, Diane, Junior and Andy find the next victim having tea with Lisa who was posing as a charity worker. Among the things inside Lisa's briefcase are drugs, the rope, a dildo and a matchbook from the Time Bar.

Later, she confesses she did it because James Carlin made fun of her tits--they were too small--and refused to hire her as a waitress. It becomes clear she was a little scary in the head before that final straw. Case over.

ANDY & CONNIE

Andy and Connie start the day talking to Tony. They tell him they're getting married and they're pregnant. The wedding is on for 8pm, but they keep the pregnancy a secret from just about everyone for a while. Tony backs them and promised to cover for them where necessary. PJohn is asked again to do the ceremony, and he also plans the party. Andy tells John Jr. he's going to be a father again; Jr. spends a good while calling him a stud. Diane guesses the pregnancy and makes Connie promise not to hide anything from her because of her situation. The wedding goes off at 8pm with Theo and Michelle standing up for their parents and PJohn officiating.

JUNIOR

John J. calls his girlfriend to ask her about the latest serial killer victim who worked at the same hospital. Devlin doesn't know anything about her, but takes the opportunity to tell John she's back on her meds and seeing her shrink. She wants to know if he's there "at the other end." He tells her he is, not to worry, but concentrate on her health. They hug and she takes off. He does not invite her to Andy's wedding.

DIANE

At the end of one long day, Diane gets the good news that her biopsy has come back negative and she's in the clear.

REVIEW

SERIAL KILLER

Just because it's something most of us do when watching or reading a mystery, I entertained the possibility that a woman did it, but I didn't think about it for long. I sure didn't suspect mild-mannered, stuttering Lisa from the last episode, so it was fun to have it turn out to be her. The tension of making her such a perfect victim stood up through the entire show, which was just the way it should have been done. I totally bought her freaking out scene with the detectives where she says she's so scared to go home. And when they're going to her house, we're all thinking the bad guys got her. All of that worked perfectly, and it made the moment they found the evidence in her bedroom so powerful. I was still so sold on her being a victim at that point, that I wondered if the real killer was her boyfriend or something and she was a junkie just doing something really weird with him. It took me a minute to catch up, and I thought it was really cool.

That is, until her motive came out. Man! What a ripoff! I was so disappointed. It was sooooo thin! I know they tried to get more into this, I can sense it, but whatever was done just didn't work. Was it the acting? I don't know: that actress really sold me on her victim routine, but when it came to the final scene, she didn't seem like a killer *at* *all.* If they were going for a chick whose cheese isn't quite on her cracker to begin with--and I think they were--there just wasn't enough there to back that up. Andy's attempt to put words in her mouth flopped, too. Four episodes, and I was hoping at least for the level of freak we got in a Box of Wendy (that was the guy who confessed after four liters of Coke). I don't know where the thing broke down this week--writing, acting--but broke down it did, I'm sorry to say.

Another few words about the primary motive and why I think it didn't work: OK, she's pissed at the guy for making fun of her tits. Wha??? I realize there are women out there who have self esteem issues when it comes to, ah, breasticular endowment (no, breasticular is not a real word. Yet) however, the idea that a woman would become homicidal over this is just a little too far out there for me. It is not, for example, the same as a man flying into a rage over someone making fun of his joint. That happens all the time. In fact, you could argue that every murder in men's history is in some way connected to some slight or perceived slight of one party's manhood. War, anyone? OK, well, women just aren't wired that way. We base our femininity on so many different things (admittedly, most of them are body parts) that if one is lacking, it doesn't mean all that much. And if it does get the girl down, who she gonna call? Bust boosters! Get real: women are far more likely to fly into a *surgical* rage than a homicidal one over small breast size. What I'm trying to say is that the breasts are not to woman as the joint is to man.

And let us not forget that when it comes to sex, most women can have whatever they want. The truth is that, big or small, there's always a fine crop of men out there will to do just about anything to see them.

In short: Not enough plot.

ANDY & CONNIE

It's done. After all my wailing and gnashing of teeth, it's done. Cutesy-ville sets up a pup tent in the middle of our formerly-gritty cop show. Well, that's what I was prepared for. Until the best moment of the whole gooey affair: It's the first moment Andy lays eyes on Connie in her lovely, white wedding dress. Connie looks back at him and says, rather sharply, "What?" Ahhhh! She's still in there! It *wasn't* sweet or cute or adorable or any of that crap. Thank you, Writers and Producers and Charlotte and Dennis for that one, glorious, hopeful moment of reality. We'll throw roses at your feet for more of the same, and we'll love you forever if you keep Connie from getting all mommy-fied in this process.

As for the wedding, it was sweet and cute and adorable. I wanted PJohn to go on with his sappy little poem; his delivery of it had me sold and I think I'd have liked it much better than what he actually said. Andy & Theo's moment was nice, but I do wonder how the child ever got past the new baby and into the new, new baby so quickly. Wasn't he having issues? I guess they got cut out (I've seen his name in the credits a lot this year, but his face only once, so....)

Sigh. I guess my hopes of seeing these two do what they do best--police work as a team--is pretty much in the shitter.

JUNIOR

Devlin's back on her drugs, huh? Who cares. Get it over with, already. (That's the ubershort review on that.)

DIANE

This woman looked so comfortable draped over the furniture in the 15th that I didn't even notice she had no desk. Here's the deal: Kim Delaney *belongs* on NYPD Blue. Did anyone notice that when Andy was in on that one interview, it worked? I'm sure you did. It was a great way to set up and strengthen the Clark character and to remind us what Russell can do. They worked that guy great together. With Connie parked behind a desk, without Connie parked behind a desk, the time has come for Diane to come home. Put her desk on the other side of Andy and Junior and let's get it going. Bring her back.

As for her breast cancer scare: Was there a big moment of relief I missed? I was kind of hoping for some really huge moment of relief, tears of joy kind of thing after all that tension.

QUICK HITS

*Greg wants to get hammered, eh? Of *course* he does! He hasn't been nailed since Donna left, so why not get hammered? Seriously, I was intrigued by this comment from Greg and, as usual, was left wanting more. I wanted to see him snot-flyin' drunk. When I imagine Greg drunk, which I did immediately when he said he was going to get hammered, I imagine a very happy drunk. A guy who just laughs his ass off the whole time. So to see Greg giggling like a school girl through the wedding after draining that glass of wine was a real treat. I wanted more.

*I realize the cops would probably just rearrange the facts here, but the search Diane did that turned up that rope seemed completely illegal. They got into the house and bedroom OK because there exigent circumstances, but opening that drawer? I'm thinking that was not in the rule book.

*The creep with the parking ticket: homage to Bill Clark and the Son of Sam case.

*Either something is wrong with my TV or the wardrobe folks got into the happy pills: It looked to me as if Tony was wearing pale purple (which looked really nice on him, by the way) then Rita & Diane were wearing complimentary shades of purple. In once scene, the three of them are sort of in a semicircle in the squad room which encompassed all the other squad members. It was purple, purple, purple. Oh...well, maybe I'm the one into the happy pills.

*I liked very much the scene where Andy and Connie are telling Tony their deal. It's obvious they've talked it over and thought of every contingency and come up with the perfect way to break all this huge news to the boss. They get in there with their plan to lay it all out, Connie begins in her best calm voice, couching the big news in lots of fancy words and then Andy just blurts the whole mess out in 2 seconds, playing all the while with the tape dispenser on Tony's desk. It was beautiful. Not, as some are fond of saying, "Classic Andy," but rather Andy's childish side coming out to play. He's so nervous, but also proud and happy and excited about sharing the news (remember when Sylvia was preggers?). His playing with the tape dispenser added a fun side to things, and you know he was blurting out the news because he just couldn't stand keeping it a secret any longer. You might argue he wanted to get it over with and calm his own nerves. You might just as successfully argue that he was like a kid opening a Christmas present. I think it's both. At least that's what I got out of what was Dennis' best moment this week. Very nicely done! Bravo!

*PJohn wanted to know about whether would Love and Cherish, Love and Honor, Love and Wallpaper, etc. etc. and then he gets out there and *forgets* to say that line! Did anyone else notice? I loved that. It was so real. And isn't it nice to see Bill B. standing up for a change? The man has legs! Maybe he sits most of the time because he's taller than damn near everyone except Henry Simmons and, I think, MPG.

*Anyway, I know this wasn't planned, but there was Gay John performing a marriage ceremony on the very day the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny gays the right to marry. So there was our PJohn, marrying *two* people at once. Bless his heart!

*I feel like I'm forgetting something.

CAST LEGACIES

Tina Holmes as Lucy Wenner, Chandra West as Jennifer Devlin, Michael Reilly Burke as James Carlin, David Marciano as Raymond Gerson, Kate Williamson as Edith, Eden Roundtree as Donna Hallenbeck, Barry Squitieri as janitor, James Eugene Davis as uniform, and starring Ray LaTulipe as Josh Astrachan.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Friends, if you're reading this at Alan's site and want to join a lively, mostly very intelligent discussion of NYPD Blue, pop over to the usenet group alt.tv.nypd-blue. I'm there, and if you're a newbie, I promise not to let the big bad net people chew you up (too much). Seriously, it's fun, most everyone's got a great sense of humor; even once in a while you'll find a good soul or three or four there, so read for a while and then jump in and join us. And if you're there already, don't forget to drop by Alan's site for a refresher on the FAQ and other fun stuff: Alan Sepinwall's NYPD Blue Homepage.

LINE OF THE WEEK

Connie after getting a long look from Andy seconds before the wedding: "What?"

NEXT WEEK

Baldwin's story with Michael comes back to the forefront.

Have a great week!
Amanda Wilson