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

Season 7, Episode 10
"Who Murders Sleep" 3/7/00
Teleplay by W.K. Scott Meyer
Story by David Milch & Bill Clark & W.K. Scott Meyer
Directed by Karen Gaviola

First, apologies for a less-than effort from me this week. Stellar effort from Schroder, Milch, Gaviola & Company, but for me, it's Super Tuesday, which may have meant news interruptions during Blue for some of you and has also meant my attention is elsewhere since I'm one of those news people who pesters you with election returns. (back off now, I do radio, so I didn't interrupt Blue, OK?) ;)

Here's the Summary, such as it is:


ANDY & DANNY'S CASE

Andy and Danny catch the nine-year-old homicide of a little girl who's body has been found bricked up in a wall in a Manhattan building. After the body is identified, they go visit a retired cop who handled the case in New Jersey when the girl went missing there years before.

Retired cop Paul Hoffman, who presents Andy with a scary look into a lonely future, comes to NYC with all his case materials to help out. He won't, in fact, let anyone touch his case materials outside of his presence. (Later he wanders off and becomes disoriented so that only Andy and Danny can make him feel safe enough to let them take him home.)

Andy and Danny spend hours sorting through the information and find that one of the men, Herb Garnett, who had ownership in the building where the child was found also did some demolition work for the girl's family. His son worked on the demolition also. Andy and Danny talk to them both. The father thinks what happened to the girl was an accident and so he helped brick up her body so his son wouldn't go to jail. The son refuses to admit he did it until Danny throws him to the ground, threatening to kill him and send his father to jail.

Danny's disturbing behavior seems to be based in something that happened earlier....

DANNY'S DREAM

Danny is awakened by another nightmare and leaves Mary in bed to go try to deal with it alone. Away from her in the bathroom, Danny cries as he prays to God to take the burden away from him, saying he's tried to do right by keeping in touch with his sisters and saving money. Mary hears all of this through the door but gets back into bed so Danny won't know she's heard. Danny then leaves for a walk making it clear that he doesn't want to share what happened with Mary. Mary lets him leave without a word of protest, and as soon as he's gone, begins to cry.

The dream and the long walk make Danny late for work. This concerns Andy a bit, but what moves Andy to finally ask what's going on is when Danny beats Billy Garnett's head on the floor. Danny won't talk to Andy at first, but seems willing to open up a little to Diane who suggests they have dinner if he's not busy with Mary. Danny agrees, pleased with the invitation.

Later, Andy tells Danny he's mad that he won't talk about it, since he reached out about his date last week. Danny tells him he's having nightmares where he's trying to save his sisters from fire but can't. Another where he's holding their hands, walking him down the stairs of the plane from Norway. He tells Andy how hard it was to take care of them when he was only six himself. He doesn't answer Andy's question about whether he's still in touch with his mother, but says how tired of it all he is. Andy offers to be there for him.

At dinner, Diane tells him he's precious to her because he's the first friend that she was able to make after Bobby died and that she'll be there to help him out if he needs it. Danny remarks how lucky he is to have friends like her and Andy. They squeeze hands a bit and Danny seems much happier eating dinner than he did waking up that morning.

GREG'S CASE

Greg, D, Diane and Jill are working a street shooting in which a kid is dead and an innocent bystanding dog (one long-hair named Jerry) is wounded. They've got a suspect in Calvin Rowley, who was caught running away with a fanny pack that contained a gun with one round missing. They're trying to get a little more on Calvin.

They could wrap it up neatly if they could get the bullet out of Jerry's snout. But Jerry's owner says no to the surgery fearing for Jerry's life. This angers Greg, a life-long long-hair dog allergy sufferer, considerably. He tries to get a judge to court order the surgery, but that doesn't work. He tries to get the dog's owner to pick Calvin out in a line-up, but that doesn't work since she was paying attention only to Jerry.

Faced with letting Calvin go, D wants to try something. As Calvin's walking out of the house, D runs at him threatening to kill him for shooting "my half-brother." This scares Calvin badly and he begins asking for police protection. Calvin's story then begins to unravel until he confesses being the bag man in the murder for his brother who is the real killer.


REVIEW

ANDY & DANNY

This story is an example of what Blue does so well: Weaving the personalities of these people who are cops into the work they do. After all, Blue has always been less about police work than it has been about the people who are doing the police work.

In this old cop from Hoboken (which sounds so much like the words "old" and "broken") Andy sees a frightening picture of a future he fears. "Half-senile and living alone." Andy describes Hoffman but wonders if he's not describing himself in 20 years.

Hoffman may not mirror Andy in looks but he certainly does in attitude. When he's lucid, he's cranky, controlling and a little bit rude. When he's confused, he's childlike.

DANNY & HIS DREAM

In the case itself, Danny sees something of his past that he is having a hard time coming to grips with, especially in light of all these dreams.

We do not find out specifically what it is, but I think it's safe to say two things: A) It has something to do with his sisters (one or both of them) being abused in some way and B) It'll be his friendships with Diane and Andy that get him in a more comfortable place with it.

Danny doesn't want to know what it all means, but hell, we live for it. Here's my take:

The whole "get off me" controversy sparked here by Danny's last dream seems simple enough to me: The fire is what he was talking to and the fire represents whatever evil it was that hurt his sisters and that he was powerless to stop. In the dream, it was between him and his sisters. Whatever it was (his mother or father or someone else) was between him and his sisters in real life too.

He clearly feels all the responsibility for them and also feels in some way that he must have failed them during their childhood. I think in his mind he knows he was only 6 and couldn't have stopped this "fire," but in his heart he takes the whole thing on.

So, what about Danny & Diane? Friends for now, but he's still interested in more. I think that's plain. She may be eventually, but seems like she's holding back a lot still. Anyways, even though nothing's going to happen now, what do you suppose might happen when Danny finds out that Diane was abused? Mr. Protector will either fall deeply in love or freak out totally? Or maybe it'll happen another way: Diane will find out that Danny's sisters were abused and that he was powerless to stop it. Either way, it's an interesting set up.

I don't, by the way, think at this point that Danny was abused. At least I hope not....I like it that it was his sisters. It's more interesting and certainly different.

What about Danny & Mary? Sweet, that girl, so upset that Danny was upset and not sharing it with her. I felt so bad for her lying there--she'd done everything she could think of to make a nice little boyfriend-girlfriend nest for him: she cooked for him, she slept with him, she laughed with him, she made him laugh, but when it came down to the real stuff, he walked away. He just couldn't share it with her, or take comfort in her, or even try to rely on her in any way. He saved all that, small though it was, for Andy and Diane. Ouch. That had to hurt. This says to me that this relationship isn't real strong and probably won't last. Unless they can work it out...but then, maybe he'll work it out with Diane instead.

Let me also say here how impressed with Rick I am after seeing this one. He was outstanding tonight. I think it's his best work almost since his debut on Blue in "Danny Boy." Danny is a sweet guy tortured by things he couldn't ever have hoped to control, but he tries so hard (to be his family's paper clip), and the way this conflict twists inside him really came through clearly tonight.

His interaction with Andy was much more like it, as well. Rick was selling it tonight. Totally believable to me.

GREG'S CASE

I was groaning when I saw Greg sneezing at the damn dog.I know I wasn't alone in that either, was I?

The reason was that we had seen Greg with the funky eye-doctor glasses, then Greg with the paper stuffed up his nose and about to puke on the DOA, and this week, Greg with allergies. A little of this is fantastic, it adds color and texture and Gordon does it so damn well, but every week? Yeah, I was getting pissed off, and then I stopped.

The minute Medavoy walked into the pokey room alone and began talking with Calvin the skel, I knew I was going to love this episode.

We see so much Medavoy The Circus Act that we tend to forget what a really fine actor Gordon Clapp is, and what a really unique character Medavoy is. There's no denying Clapp's talent: he's great. You really think he's Medavoy, don't you? ;)

And Clapp isn't the only thing that makes Medavoy so good: this is a greatly complex character. Medavoy is a gold mine of neuroses and a strong cop. Your perfect little unlikely hero. Too bad he has to spend most of his time playing the "unlikely" part of it rather than the "hero" part. This week, though, he was hero and that's what made this story so entertaining for me.

Yes, yes, yes, the other secondary characters are great, but put my vote for more screen time to Clapp's Medavoy.

One more note about Clapp: he takes Milch's best one-liners and delivers them as well as Dennis Franz ever does. See LOTW below.

QUICK HITS

CAST LEGACIES & SUNDRY INFO

Sheeri Rappaport returns as Mary; Eric Sait played Calvin Rowley; Jack Wallace was Det. Hoffman; Julianna McCarthy (whose eyes I remember from many TV shows) played Jerry's Owner; Ken Magee as Herb Garnett and Rich Hutchman as his son Billy. Jerry the Dog as himself. (I guess...poor thing was uncredited.)

Our writer/story contributor W.K. Scott Meyer did producing/writing duty on the show High Incident.

LOTW

I need assistance here because I wrote them down one place and am now somewhere else without them and the polls are about to close and...oh, hell...they were both Medavoy lines.

One was his summation of the case while standing in Fancy's office which included the fact that the bullet was "lodged in the snout of a dog" and ends with "So, that's where we are on this?"

The other had to do with D's portrayal of the "huge, black, grief-maddened half-brother."


Again, Super Tuesday apologies....if I could figure a way to make doing THIS pay, then I wouldn't have to bother with the real job. Hey, how about everyone who reads this sends me 10 bucks? ;)

Amanda Wilson