Season Finale: "Who's Your Daddy?"
Season 11, Episode 22
Teleplay by Nicholas Wootton & Matt Olmstead
Story by Bill Clark & Nicholas Wootton & Matt Olmstead
Directed by Mark Tinker
Just in time for Father's Day....the summary and review of a Dad-infested episode. I meant to hold this off. Yeah, that's the ticket. It wasn't that I didn't have an Internet connection for weeks on end, not at all... Hey, if you're still out there, thank you. Here we go:
During the day, Clark calls to check in with her but gets no answer. PJohn interrupts an interview to let Clark know that she's called, is slurring her words and not sounding good at all. Clark rushes to her apartment where for the second time in his 30 years on earth, he finds a loved one dead by suicide. She's taken another bottle of pills, and this time he was too late. He comes unglued. Andy is later called to a bar where Clark is drunk and about to get arrested for a fight. Andy gets him out of trouble, but Clark walks away agitated and very angry. No one hears from him all day. At night, he appears on Andy's doorstep looking like hell. He's busy, nervous, two seconds from a total breakdown. He comes over to apologize and fidgets the entire time. He won't sit, stand still or stop. He says he can't stop because then he'll think. He breaks down when he explains he doesn't want to be a burden. Andy catches him and tells him he's family. Clark straightens right up, reigns it all back in and starts moving again. He says he's going for a walk and leaves.
Later, Baldwin gets a call that Michael's Dad went looking for Michael at school. Baldwin finds Craig in a bar, takes him into an alley and entices him into a fight. Baldwin gets the best hits in and stops.
Andy pulls Baldwin into the locker room before he leaves for the day and tells Baldwin to cool it all down. Baldwin is angry at first, then realizes Andy is right. He takes the advice and even asks Andy to keep an eye on him. Andy promises he will. He tells Baldwin to cover his ass by taking a photo of his own injuries, writing up how Craig hit him first and informing Gibson of it all. He then reminds Baldwin that he's the one standing between Craig and his son.
The Clark story was the best in the bunch. Not only was MPG truly touching, but the writers nearly redeemed themselves for the months they put the aftermath of Clark's father's death on the shelf. I say "nearly" because there's no excuse for not showing in some small way Clark reacting to this over the past several months. You don't let a great loss get in the way of life, as I've learned, but there are private moments and there is a quiet force within that pushes you and that you often don't recognize right away. It would have been more real to see these things from time to time in Clark. To have seen his struggle to keep it all knitted up would have added even more depth to Clark's unraveling in this show. Luckily, MPG carried it all in his face and body in this episode. I chose the words "knitted up" a moment ago and now, thinking of his hand movements while he was in Andy's apartment, I think they are even more appropriate. While his face was falling apart, his hands were busy trying to keep things together in their proper places. Nice work, and I wish there'd been a little more time spent on it.
Two other scenes got me: Andy looking back over his shoulder at young Eddie after he'd gotten the boy to help seal his father's fate. That was mighty powerful. That one shot made the whole scene and said things the words in the scene didn't.
And the other was Andy reading to Theo.
*Andy fathers a child, then Clark, then Baldwin, then young Eddie, then Theo.... the only fatherly chore he missed here was giving Medavoy some Pepto-B when he walked out of the bathroom groaning over his tummy.
*What's up with Medavoy doing nothing? Seriously. All due respect, but does someone seriously think we enjoy watching the other B detectives more? If so, you're wrong, and I've got the Medavoy fan mail to prove it.
*Speaking of B detectives, what's up with Kelly using a crime scene weapon to free Irma The Sexually Confused Snitch? Either I watch too many crime shows or our beloved writer's aren't watching enough.
*Our beloved writers: They balked at every Internet suggestion floating out there in cyberspace on what to name the new Sipowicz baby and instead chose themselves. Matthew (Olmstead) Nicholas (Wootton) Sipowicz. I think that's far funnier than some of the suggestions I heard in Cyberland, I must say. They hit almost everyone in the big credits this week: they got themselves, of course, and there was an FBI guy named Markus (not sure of the real spelling, but there's a little bit of the director in there). Was there a Bill I missed?
*I loved the wacky guy who bought 11 toasters and defecated in the donut shop at 6:40am. Great makeup job on that guy, too. He looked like he'd left his tin foil hat on too long in the sun.
*Baldwin bet it'd be a girl and lost 20 bucks. If he'd thought about it, he'd have known it couldn't be a girl. There's no one on the writing staff to name her after! Where was his head, indeed.
*It's such a boy's club in Blue land that baby Michelle wasn't even mentioned in Andy's pep talk to Theo. You'd think from that speech that Theo hadn't been sharing his life these past few years with a baby sister in the house. That Theo hadn't already gone through the big brother syndrome (he was bedwetting, as I recall.)
*I was beyond disappointed that PJohn only gave Andy and Connie a card. Where's the tastefully decorated gift? The Free Babysitting certificates? The office present?
*While I'm on the subject: I did think the bet with Baldwin was a nice touch of reality regarding the baby, but most of the cops I know would have had a precinct-wide pool going that would have had a pretty big pot. In this case, Medavoy would have been running it. Then there's the rather odd fact that while Andy was keen to show off the photo and share the weight of his new son with his co-workers, he failed to give them his child's name. He told only the uniform and no one else, no one who'd really care. What's more, they didn't ask.
Wow... is the season really over already? It's been a real blast doing this for Amanda and Alan over the past few months. In addition to being a whole lot of fun, this has been pretty educational as well... it wasn't until I started sifting through filmographies over at the Internet Movie Database and TV Tome back in late January that I realized how much some of these guest stars have been around. Folks like Ellen Geer, Jerry Doyle, Lance Guest, Sam Bottoms, Ron Dean... Every single week I find myself saying at least once, "Oh, so you mean he was that guy in...?"
I hope you have all had as much fun reading about these people as I've had researching them.
See you in the fall, --J.L. (I'll give you a hint: it *doesn't* stand for Jennifer Lopez) Garner
(Amanda: It does *too* stand for Jennifer Lopez)
And now, the cast legacy:
Previously on NYPD Blue... Jessalyn Gilsig as Det. Kelly Ronson, Chandra West as Dr. Jennifer Devlin, Andre Jamal Kinney as Michael Woodruff, Cyrus Farmer as Craig Woodruff, Michael B. Silver as ADA Leo Cohen, Eugene Lee as Ernest Stallworth, Ralph Garman as Officer Gruden, Patrick Robert Smith as Uniform #3,
Previously on NYPD Blue as someone else... --William Dennis Hurley (Stu Condell) -- played Mike Graf in the Season 9 premiere "Lie Like a Rug."
--Tim Kelleher (Ed Pisarchik) -- had a small role in the pilot episode. Has also appeared on "Dark Skies," "The D.A.," "CSI," "ER," "Enterprise," "Voyager," and the film "The Birdcage."
--Norman Large (judge) -- was in the Season 8 episode "Franco, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn." Used to be an opera singer before turning to acting; he's also appeared on "JAG," "Lois & Clark," "Star Trek: TNG," "Voyager," and "L.A. Law."
Not previously on NYPD Blue... --Mark Moses (Andrew Moss) -- his most recent guest appearances include "Las Vegas," "The District," "West Wing," "ER," "The Practice," "Boomtown," "Ally McBeal," and "Enterprise."
--Rich Hebert (Joe Murphy) -- credits include "The Sopranos," "Line of Fire," "L&O: SVU," "21 Jump Street," and the movie "Conspiracy Theory."
--Geoff Meed (Pete Murphy) -- he's been on "Navy NCIS," "CSI: Miami," "ER," "The Shield," "Enterprise," and the films "Leprechaun 4" and "Kickboxer 5."
--Sara Ramirez (Irma Pacheco) -- past roles include "L&O: SVU," "Third Watch," "Spin City," and "As the World Turns."
--Leslie Marshall (Barbara Pisarchik) -- has appeared on "Philly" and "7th Heaven."
--Robert McLeod (court officer) -- you might have seen him in the films "Goldfinger," "The Omen," and "Superman: The Movie," as well as on TV shows like "Lovejoy," "The Saint," and in the 1988 TV-movie version of "The Bourne Identity" (with Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith).
--Abigail Rose Solomon (foreperson) -- has been on "Sex and the City" and "L&O."
--Gregalan Williams (Agent Marcus) -- currently appears on "The District." Has previously done "Civil Wars" and "L.A. Law" for Bochco, along with appearances on "Boston Public" and "The Sopranos," a recurring role on "West Wing," and roles in the films "Old School," "In the Line of Fire," and "Above the Law."
PJohn upon hearing of the birth of the youngest Sipowicz boy: "I
love the name Matthew!"
Andy: "We'll be calling him Matt."
(yeah, that from a guy who named his other kid "Theo")
I'm kidding! Lighten up!
Have a great summer & I hope to see you next season...it'll likely be our last...
Don't be a strangler,