NYPD Blue Summary/Review by Amanda Wilson aka Puedo01@aol.com
Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

Season Finale: "Who's Your Daddy?"
Season 11, Episode 22
5/11/04
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:

SUMMARY

POPPA POPPER

Andy and Clark investigate the murder of Leslie Moss who is felled in her apartment from a fatal bonk to the head. They suspect her husband Andrew who self-admittedly gets up in the morning and puts on a prick suit. She's got a young son from a previous marriage, and Andrew thinks it's her ex-husband Ed who did it. Ed seems like an up and up guy, though, who loves his son very much. Alibis are checked out and Andrew's doesn't fit. He's got a long history of banging secretaries, too, and has spent a lot time with one of late. He's also put in several recent calls to a divorce lawyer. The investigation takes Andy into an interview with Leslie's son Eddie. He seems to be holding something back when Andy gets to questions about whether Andrew was home that morning. Andy's suspicions grow. He works a way to get Eddie alone and questions him further. But he focuses no on Andrew, but on Ed. Eddie admits that Ed has been angry at Leslie because she's making Eddie call Andrew "Dad." Andy goes at Ed with this information, uses his love for his son to get him to confess and then helps him write a statement.

SAD DAD REDUX

Clark picks Jen up at the hospital and takes her to breakfast. She's on her meds and being normal. She's a little embarrassed by her actions but grateful to John and his friendship. They plan to repaint her apartment later. 

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.

BAD DADDY

The jury returns a verdict of not guilty against Michael's dad, Craig Woodruff. He's a free man now. Michael is worried about this and thinks it's his fault. Baldwin reassures him. He's afraid his dad will come after him, but Baldwin says he'll protect Michael and legally keep his father away from him.

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.

SHE'S HER OWN DADDY

One of Kelly's narcotics informants comes in to tell the tale of her boyfriend who is expecting a big drug shipment. Irma is her name, and it becomes clear to Rita that she's recently left a lesbian relationship for this guy Pete. Turns out Pete's dad is being watched by the FBI for all kinds of nasty things, and the FBI doesn't want that case messed with. They do agree to let Irma wear a wire--once Rita is satisfied somewhat that Irma and Kelly aren't lovers--but Irma gets caught with the wire by Pete who tries to kill her. Pete's Dad turns him in to the cops in order to keep Pete from doing something really stupid and spending too much time locked up. The detectives get to Pete just in time to save Irma's life. She's very grateful to Kelly.

A FATHER'S DAY

Matthew Nicholas Sipowicz joins the world. Connie delivers this healthy boy, off screen, of course. Andy couldn't be more proud. He shows the photo around, tells everyone he can, and smiles nearly all day. After a hard day of playing Dad at work, he goes home to Theo to prepare him for more big brotherhood and read his number two Number One son a story.

REVIEW

If you missed the Dad theme, you must be blind. I didn't mind it, even if the writing was a little expository. In all honesty, my own too-recent drama with the loss of my wonderful father keeps me from writing too much about this episode. (Thank God I don't get paid for this.) I'll say this:

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.

QUICK HITS

*Clark gets a one-two punch. He's nearly even with Andy in the loss department. Two more to go....

*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.

CAST LEGACIES and a note from J.L. GARNER

Before I get into this week's cast legacy, a quick word from yours truly...

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."

LINES OF THE WEEK

Uniform to Andy after looking at the baby's photo: "He's got his mom's looks, no disrespect."

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")

MY THANKS

to all of you for hanging in with me this season, and for your thoughtful support. Blah blah blah about my life. And my thanks, as always, to Alan Sepinwall and to our new pal, Just Loopy Garner, and mostly, to the cast and crew of NYPD Blue. They pour their hearts out, and though I sometimes pick nits to the point of being ridiculous, I deeply appreciate the effort, and I have a great deal of respect for everyone involved. Well, almost everyone.

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,
Amanda Wilson