Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 10:00 PM Sep 29, 2002 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The circumstances leading to the murder of a teenager and the wounding of a little girl in a drive-by shooting unwind from the points of view of the deputy district attorney, police, paramedics and reporters who report to the scene, and finally, that of one of the perpetrators and his grandfather. David McNorris, the deputy district attorney, manipulates the tragedy to feed his insatiable appetite for power, prestige, and media exposure. Detectives Joel Stevens and Bobby "Fearless" Smith and Officers Ray Hechler and Tom Turcotte encounter protective parents, traffic accidents, and a near-drowning as they investigate the shooting and track down the teenage suspects. Paramedic Teresa Ortiz tends to the wounded young girl and provides the detectives with the information they need to solve the case. Reporter Andrea Little flirts with danger as she strikes up a conversation with her lover's wife to get one scoop on the story, and shows humanity when she refuses to capitalize on a man's grief to get another. Perpetrator Cantrel La Fontaine makes a series of disastrous choices which end his life and break his grandfather's heart.

In the course of the investigation we also learn that David has used the shooting as another opportunity to get over on his wife Marian and his mistress, Andrea Little; Joel isn't entirely successful in hiding his depressed wife's suicide attempt from Teresa; Fearless is an inveterate storyteller with a life-list; Ray is under suspicion as a dirty cop; Tom is saddled with a critical father; and that Ray and Tom share a dislike and distrust of Joel and David.moreless

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  • Great start!

    Wow, this is the very first time I started to write a review before the episode is even over! What an exciting start. Great characters, great casting, great story. The thing that got me hooked was the switching of point of view between the main characters. It gives this fast track feeling, like your being sucked in to something that already started way before you were there. That is how all great stories begin. I really hope this is the beginning of an awesome show that keeps me excited like this. But as for now; what promise this show has!moreless
  • I hated network television and promised myself not to watch anymore. Forsome reason, I watched this episode. I regret nothing. What a gift.

    As I said in my summary, it was purely by accident I started watching this episode the first time it aired. I had actually stood up to shut off the television, but I gave it a second.

    I never looked back. One of the greatest television shows ever made (for me.) This episode remains a standout. How could it not?...They had to introduce all the characters, the narrative hook, and still tell a good story. They acheived all of that in this monumental episode.

    From the opening lines, which I'm sad to say I no longer know by heart, to the closing images...this was pure joy.

    I bought the DVD the day it came out. This remains one of my favorite episodes of the series.

Randy Kovitz

Randy Kovitz


Guest Star

Damien Leake

Damien Leake

Mr. LaFontaine

Guest Star

Kristin Bauer

Kristin Bauer


Guest Star

Kelly Rowan

Kelly Rowan

Marian McNorris

Recurring Role

Anthony Diaz-Perez

Anthony Diaz-Perez

Randy Warren

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Cantrel's point of view begins with a shot of him on the ground dying with his eyes wide open. When the shot is repeated at the end of his point of view, he is dying with his eyes closed.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Mr. La Fontaine: I've been trying to think of a prayer, but I'm coming up blank. It's been a long time. You, you, got any?
      Joel: No, no, I'm all out.
      Mr. La Fontaine: How about you? Prayer?
      Fearless: I don't have any prayers, but I do have a story.
      Mr. La Fontaine: Okay.
      Fearless: There was this wave, way out on the ocean. And he was just racing along having a great time -- and just sunlight glinting, spray just flying -- until one day he looked ahead, and he saw wave after wave in front of him crashing on the beach, and he got scared. And this older wave in front of him said, 'I know exactly what your problem is. You've been having so much fun being a wave, that you forgot you're really just part of the ocean.'
      Mr. La Fontaine: I like that. Part of the ocean. Okay. River, take my grandson home.

    • David: Shh! Listen! You hear that? That swirling sound. That's all of young Taylor's hopes and dreams and aspirations just spiraling round and round and whoosh! Right down the drain.

    • Joel: (to Fearless) Fearless, you know what, I can't do the good cop/bad cop thing.
      Joel: (shouting) You shot a six year old! What's wrong with you?

    • Ray: (to Joel and Fearless) Well, uh, you boys have a nice Southern California day.

    • Ray: Can you back up your car? I'm chasing a very bad man.
      Driver: Well, it won't start.
      Ray: I'm just going to squeeze past you.
      Driver: Look out! Look out! Don't touch my car!
      Ray: Well, we're insured, fully insured. (Under his breath) I hope we're insured.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Ray: Michael Bolton! I mean, I could see getting shot for Springsteen or Waits.

      Ray is referring to musical legends Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits.