Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 6 Episode 5

Baby It's You (2)

6
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 1997 on NBC
8.1
out of 10
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22 votes
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Episode Summary

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Baby It's You (2)
AIRED:
The young man that was stalking Brittany in Baltimore is interviewed and relates that he saw her being attacked by someone. When going to question the parents, the New York and Baltimore detectives discover that the Janaways have returned to Baltimore, so they make the trip to Charm City. They get the father in the box and he demands that they prove he did it. The attorneys fight over jurisdiction, but the judge rules in favor of Baltimore and the two teams of prosecutors must work together. When the father is put on the stand he gives an alibi, a surprise that gives the detectives 48 hours to verify this alibi. When the alibi checks out, they bring in both of the parents to get to the truth.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A nice attempt, but one that just doesn't emrge

    7.0
    Considering the ratings that the first Law and Order/Homicide crossover generated (they were among the best ratings in either shows history), it seems only natural that NBC wanted a sequel. The fact that the producers of both shows (Tom Fontana and Dick Wolf) waited so long explains how many obstacles there were in filming the first one. (Indeed, things could have gotten even more complicated considering that both producers considered including ER in the mix. It’s a good thing the show declined; filming in two different cities is hard enough, adding Hollywood would have probably made things all but impossible) A critical decision was reached when Wolf managed to agree that the story be a two-part tale told across both shows, rather then two separate self-contained stories. In other words, to understand the whole story, viewers had to watch both shows. (This led to syndication problems that would not be resolved until 2004, when TNT aired both episodes on its network)



    ‘Baby, It’s You’ was a far different animal than the previous crossover. Unlike the previous story, it continued a practice of Law & Order of adapting stories from the shows headlines--- in this case, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. The show begins with the suspicious death of Brittany Janaway, a fourteen-year old supermodel. It appears as if Brittany has died from toxic shock brought on by what appears to be a vicious sexual assault. Lennie Briscoe and Rey Curtis try to investigate the death while under a huge amount of media attention, brought on by the death and the parents of the deceased.



    From the beginning, the investigation is compromised by a series of leaks to the press, amplified by the suspicious behavior of the Janaways themselves. They and their attorney Leslie Drake (memorably played by the master of disreputable characters Dan Hedaya) do everything in their power to turn attention away from them, including the offer of $250,000 reward for information, and the private hiring of a criminal profiler. All of this seems to be a way of keeping the attention of them, which only adds to their suspicion.



    Eventually, the trail leads to Baltimore, another city the Janaways call home. This time, instead of trying to bypass the PD, Briscoe calls Munch and asks him for assistance, tracking a lead. Munch isn’t wild about helping the cop who slept with his ex, but he is a lot more congenial then the single-minded Pembleton. He and Falsone investigate and learn that Brittany may have been raped in Baltimore and that a suspect (the son of a former babysitter) was there that day. Showing an asperity we don’t normally associate with him, Ed Danvers sends the detectives to New York to interrogate him, and if necessary, extradite him.



    This time around the atmosphere is a lot more comfortable than it was in ‘Charm City’, as Munch and Falsone are on their best behavior. The mystery increases when the suspect says that he followed her to the Janaway house in Baltimore and saw her being raped by someone--- he doesn’t know who.

    When the story changes series, the Janways have fled the media circus that they helped incite and returned to Baltimore. It quickly becomes clear that Dr. Janaway is under suspicion for literally raping his daughter to death.For the first time in a very long time, Homicide focuses its energy on points of law. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) wants jurisdiction over the case because of depraved indifference by the father. Danvers wants to prosecute in Baltimore because the crime fits the pattern of felony-murder. The court makes a split-ruling--- the case is tried in Baltimore, but McCoy is allowed to c0-chair the prosecution.



    The episode focuses on Zeljko Ivanek for the first time this season, and seeing him in action with McCoy is a vivid contrast on how both shows regard the D.A. McCoy is a relentless, righteous and zealous prosecutor, willing to twist the law in order to punish the guilty--- not unlike Pembleton in some cases. (In several episodes of Law & Order, we have seen McCoy bend, if not completely break the law, to get a conviction and it has had repercussions) Danvers, on the other hand, is level-headed and professional. He wants to win, not punish. If he can avoid the risks of a trial, he will do so in order to see that some justice is carried out. Danvers is more pedestrian but also more realistic a character than McCoy in that regard. Watching the two of them interact is new territory for Homicide and it gives Ivanek some good screen time.



    In essence, this episode is more like Law & Order than Homicide. To the extent that Homicide is involved, it focuses on Ivanek, Jon Seda, and Richard Belzer—and since we don’t see a lot of Ivanek or Belzer normally, it’s a welcome change.

    The major twist comes when the defendant reveals that he had an alibi for the time of the murder--- he was having an encounter with a woman he was having an affair with for the past ten years. Unfortunately, the action from this episode starts falling afterwards. Through interrogations it is reveal that Mrs. Janaway sexually abused her daughter regularly and was responsible for the assault that killed her. Problem is, we haven’t had so much as an inkling of this so far and we don’t get any real explanation as to why she did it. This is like a lot of Homicide but in this case the build-up has been so great it’s a disappointment to just get this.



    Still, there are things to admire in this episode. Among them is the chemistry that Lennie Briscoe and Munch share. They have a good rapport and its good to see them doing more than arguing about John’s first wife. (Belzer had a busy week; the same week this crossover aired, he also appeared in an episode of The X-Files) Also interesting is the performance of Seda. He goes after the killer of Brittany Janaway with a fervor that is on the level of Bayliss. He can be intense, but unlike some of the other detectives he isn’t world-weary enough to believe that a man is capable of raping his daughter to death. His talks with McCoy about this are among the better parts of the show. During the course of this episode a minor storyline sets up that he is divorced and has a three year old son. Throughout the season we will see him fight for shared custody of him.



    ‘Baby It’s You” works better as an episode of Law & Order than Homicide. We don’t get anywhere near the character stories that we usually get (of the rest of the Homicide cast, only Lewis and Giardello get any significant screen time) and the story’s resolution is unsatisfactory. There’s some good acting from Maureen Anderman and Tom Tammi as the Janaways, but they spend most of the episode as if they are in some kind of fog. The trial is somewhat disjointed and, like most of Homicide’s ventures into the courtroom, seems out of place despite Ivanek and Waterston’s work. The episode is little more than above average, which makes it the least of the three Law and Order/Homicide crossovers.



    Law and Order: 7.8

    Homicide: 6.5

    Average: 7.1

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Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher

Det. Frank Pembleton (seasons 1-6, TVM)

Kyle Secor

Kyle Secor

Tim Bayliss

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Michelle Forbes

Michelle Forbes

Dr. Julianna Cox, CME (1996-1998)

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Det. Mike Kellerman (seasons 4-6)

Peter Gerety

Peter Gerety

Stu Gharty (Seasons 6-7, recurring previously, TVM)

Benjamin Bratt

Benjamin Bratt

Det. Reynaldo "Rey" Curtis

Guest Star

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec ADA Jack McCoy

Guest Star

Carey Lowell

Carey Lowell

NYC ADA Jamie Ross

Guest Star

Sharon Ziman

Sharon Ziman

Naomi

Recurring Role

Sagan Lewis

Sagan Lewis

Judge Susan Aandahl

Recurring Role

Zeljko Ivanek

Zeljko Ivanek

ASA Ed Danvers

Recurring Role

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