Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 5 Episode 12

Betrayal

0
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 10, 1997 on NBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Betrayal
AIRED:
Frank and Tim investigate the death of a young girl whose abused body was found by the side of the interstate. Brodie goes to an interview with a new potential roommate. Kellerman finally gets his day in court, where he is supposed to take the 5th amendment. Frank and Tim disagree with their pursuit of the investigation. Frank tries a different approach with the mother and she tells him the story-- only they won't be able to get a murder one conviction. Julianna comes down to the courthouse to offer Mike some moral support. He sees Connelly come out of the courtroom and thinks things are going bad, so he prepares to give it all up. However, his appearance before the grand jury doesn't go quite as he expected. Brodie walks out of the building with his new roommate. The detectives try to celebrate Kellerman's freedom, though he has different thoughts about the situation. Tim tries to come to grips with the child abuse he experienced in his past and also tells Frank he doesn't want to be partners anymore.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A frightening episode and a moment of truth for two deectives

    8.8
    This episode finds two detectives in the show at a crossroad in their lives. For one of them, it is a professional problem; for the other, it starts out seeming professional but ends up being far more personal.



    After three months of buildup, the time has come for Mike Kellerman to testify before the grand jury regarding the allegation that he took bribes from the Rolands while he was in arson. We have known this was an ordeal for Kellerman but it is only now that we understand the magnitude of the problem. If Mike testifies that he didn’t know about the bribery going on in his unit, he will be charged with perjury. If he testifies that he did know, he will be brought up on charges of failing to report graft. More importantly, if he survives that he will be ruined in the eyes of the other cops in the department. He is therefore faced with one option: taking the Fifth Amendment, an act which will have its own repercussions.



    After all the work that the writers have done at setting up this dilemma, they then sort of take an easy way out when he learns that one of the other detectives under indictment names Kellerman. Realizing that he has no other options, he tells the FBI investigator that he is will give her all the evidence that she needs for an indictment. The investigator is so impressed by Kellerman zeal and fire that when the time comes to question Mike, she stops short of asking him the hard ones. Afterwards, when a stunned Kellerman asks why she let him go she tells him that she was impressed by his loyalty and dedication, and anyway she has enough evidence for indictments.



    Not only is this difficult to believe as real it seems kind of disappointing that after everything that happens all we get is this. But as we see at a celebration at the Waterfront, Mike is now convinced that no matter what the grand jury says or what his colleagues say, they still think he’s dirty. He has gone through the system at one end and came out the other, and he is harder, bitter and more cynical for it. This will have immediate ramifications in the next few episodes. The more lasting consequences will not become clear until the season is almost over and Kellerman faces another, far worse ordeal.



    We’re not as upset about how the Kellerman storyline is playing out because a far more agonizing crime is happening in the main story. Bayliss and Pembleton are called out on the murder of another young black girl--- this one, dead from what blunt trauma on top of what may have been years of abuse.



    From the beginning of this episode to the end Tim is pissed off at just about everybody--- from the social worker who was called in to investigate claims of abuse at her home and did nothing to the assistant D.A. who ends up giving the killer a light sentence. He is shouting at the dead girl’s mother, her boyfriend and at Frank. This is the same kind of anger we saw involving Adena Watson and the murder of Janelle Parsons last year. But it is clear that this case has struck a far deeper nerve then usual.



    Then again, this case is more disturbing. The mother of the dead girl reported the girl missing and claims complete ignorance of how she got the bruising and welts on her body. In an unusual reversal, Frank takes the role of sympathetic voice as a fellow parent and manages to get the truth out of the mother—that her boyfriend struck her hard enough to kill her. But the more chilling part comes when she explains to Frank why she helped dispose of the body, lied to the police and protect her boyfriend from prosecution. He’s all the family she has left, and she has to protect him even if he did murder her daughter. The ultimate shock comes when we learn why--- she is pregnant with his child. Perhaps the most unnerving sequence in this episode occurs when the mother tells Frank that this baby will be safe because it’s his. LaTanya Richardson gives one of the most unsettling performances in Homicide’s history.



    Kyle Secor gives an astonishing performance in a season where he has already done some of his finest work. That he wasn’t even nominated for an Emmy was one of the biggest robberies in the history of the awards. Yet all of his anger does not prepare us for one of the more stunning revelations in the show. He reveals to Frank that he was sexually abused by his uncle from the age of five, and that we he revealed this to his father, the man never believed him or did anything to help him. It is stunning when we learned that Secor came up with the idea recently because it explains so much about Tim Bayliss--- why he wanted to be a cop, why he goes after child murderers with such furor, why he had such a terrible relationship with his father. (In an odd synchronicity, on NYPD Blue, the equally troubled and tortured Detective Russell, played by Kim Delaney, would reveal a similar pattern of abuse in her past.)



    Even more stunning then this is Tim’s telling Frank he doesn’t want to partner with him anymore. There has been a gulf building between the two detectives since Frank returned to duty and there’s clearly more going on then just this revelation. He will stand firm to this, not partnering with Frank till the season is almost over.



    ‘Betrayal’ is a stunning episode dealing with who is telling on whom, and who protects whom. It features brilliant acting and writing as well as brilliant camera work (one of the most breathtaking shots in Homicide’s history occurs when the camera follows Giardello as he circles a beleaguered Pembleton) It holds for a long time in the memory of the characters and the viewers and the images are not happy ones.

    My score: 8.8

    moreless
Max Perlich

Max Perlich

J.H. Brodie (season 5, TVM, recurring previously)

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)

LaTanya Richardson

LaTanya Richardson

Lynette Thomson

Guest Star

Tommy Hollis

Tommy Hollis

Nelson Hendron

Guest Star

Taborah Johnson

Taborah Johnson

Mary Ann Summers

Guest Star

Rebecca Boyd

Rebecca Boyd

Gail Ingram

Recurring Role

Helen Carey

Helen Carey

Maggie Conroy

Recurring Role

Pat Dade

Pat Dade

Monica Murphy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Pembleton: We really could have used her statement. You gonna yell at everybody today.
      Bayliss: You know I'm gonna get a confession out of that woman if I have to reach into her throat and bring it out with my bare hands.

    • Munch: Missing persons. How does a term like that make its way into the police lexicon. Who decides these things?
      Brodie: What's wrong with Missing Persons?
      Munch: If you're a missing person you know where you are. You're only missing according to somebody else's point of view.
      Brodie: Unless of course you're missing the person that was missing you.
      Munch: What?
      Brodie: I'm leaving now. And I won't be missing, I'll just be gone and that's from anybody's point of view, all right.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Viewer James Gray has told me that Taborah Johnson, who played Mary Ann Summers in this episode, is one of Clark Johnson's sisters. One of Clark's other sisters, Molly, does one of the musical numbers featured in episode #111, "Bones of Contention". James also mentions that a few years earlier, Taborah had told him that her brother Clark had landed a NBC series.

    • Music in this episode: Love Riot "Never Change" alb: Maybe She Will.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)