Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 7 Episode 23

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 21, 1999 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: Raising Children Catholic
      Munch says that he must sign an agreement to raise any children he and Billie Lou might have in the Catholic faith. The requirement for this agreement in a mixed marriage was taken out of Catholic canon law in 1983.

    • Using Ryland was a mistake. The 180 days statute meant that Ryland, arrested around January based on the season's timeline, would have not been an issue until July, clearly not the case when the detectives still have their coats on as shown.

      The purpose was to have Sheppard and Bayliss be involved. But they worked on a prior case, "Red Red Wine," which the timeline would've worked out perfectly for. And by editing a couple of words by Lewis the show would've been unaffected.

      Even better, the moral dilemma would be heightened. Wally Flynn, the Wine killer, would be near death at the time. Was it wrong for Bayliss to kill a man who's near death? That's the type of question Homicide delivered best, and would've been a better payoff in the Homicide movie when he questions Pembleton about it.

  • Quotes

    • Danvers: What do you want?
      Bayliss: To tell you that I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry for what I've done. [shakes hand]
      Danvers: Apologies accepted.
      Bayliss: Great.
      Danvers: We'll get Luke Ryland, Tim.
      Bayliss: Yeah, I know. These things they just take time, patience. Course being the murder police I've learned an inescapable truth. Justice is a bitch. See ya.

    • Bayliss: It's a grand old building isn't she, John?
      Munch: Yeah it's grand. If you like a leaky roof, and a men's room with a backed up toilet.
      Bayliss: Think of all the men and women who've walked in and out of this building over the last 85 years. Not just cops but everybody in some sort of crime. Robbery, fraud, missing persons, homicide. Criminals, victims.
      Munch: I'm gettin' a chill.
      Bayliss: You know who I started thinking about today. Gordon Pratt.
      Munch: Gordon Pratt. That little weasel who shot Bolander, Felton and Howard?
      Bayliss: Yeah.
      Munch: What the hell are you thinking about that little scum wad for?
      Bayliss: Well when he got released Pratt was found shot to death and I was put in charge of the investigation.
      Munch: Nice an all job you did too.
      Bayliss: I never really closed that case, John.
      Munch: That's what I mean. Somebody shoots three of our own they deserve to have an unavenged death.
      Bayliss: You really believe that?
      Munch: Yes.
      Bayliss: You believe that he deserves to die?
      Munch: Yes.
      Bayliss: And that his murderer should go free?
      Munch: Yes.
      Bayliss: You know when I got shot my whole perception of the universe just completely changed. But when I shot that, that homeless guy, that Larry Moss suddenly I knew what it was like to take another persons life. Suddenly I was just like the person who killed Adena Watson. See Frank said that I would never be a good homicide detective because I didn't have the killers instinct. Frank was wrong. You know I always suspected you.
      Munch: Of what?
      Bayliss: Killing Gordon Pratt.
      Munch: Why in God's name after all this time do you dredge up Gordon Pratt out of the muck.
      Bayliss: I don't know, just came to my mind. Goodnight Johnboy.

    • Lewis: Sheppard almost got me killed. Now that's an ugly fact, plain and clean. And I got a right to my feelings about that but you on the other hand, you been around this dump for several years and you still ain't learnt the key to good murder police, which is this. 'Whatever you see. Whoever's around you, you keep them away. You keep them at a distance.' But not you, you come up on a crime scene and the first thing you want to do is put a chalk outline around yourself. You comin'?

    • Sheppard: Did I say something funny?
      Bayliss: You sounded like Frank.
      Sheppard: The almighty Pembleton.
      Bayliss: Yeah, yeah, you can't believe how many times Frank and I chewed over a case, spat it out, tried to get that nasty taste out of our mouths, but we'd weigh the value of every life lost. Try to figure out what it all really means you know, this whole life thing.
      Sheppard: He was your partner.
      Bayliss: Yeah.
      Sheppard: He was your best friend.
      Bayliss: No. Frank didn't have best friends. I worked with him for six years. We spoke maybe two times since he left here, that's it. You know he quit here once before. He got on his high horse and he rode on out of here. So I thought, you know, he'd come back this time too, but er, he's gone for good now.
      Sheppard: And you need his advice?
      Bayliss: Yeah.
      Sheppard: Give him a call.
      Bayliss: Yeah maybe I'll call.
      Sheppard: I'm sorry I'm not Frank. I'm sorry I'm not someone you can talk to.
      Bayliss: What you talking about, I can talk to you.
      Sheppard: Yeah, I know but it's different. I mean you loved him didn't you?
      Bayliss: Yeah, I did. I loved him. [pause] So you said it was a slam dunk, huh?
      Sheppard: Yeah.
      Bayliss: Good, good. I could use a little righteous justice about this time. I'll drive. Frank hated when I drove.

    • Lt. Giardello: I remember another rookie. Stumbled into my squad room full of innocence, full of himself.
      Bayliss: Yep.
      Lt. Giardello: I watched you grow from a boy into a man, Bayliss. I watched you do excellent work. Arh, there was some mistakes.
      Bayliss: I don't know what you're talking about.
      Lt. Giardello: Ed Danvers.
      Bayliss: Oh.
      Lt. Giardello: He's threatening to take you before the department trial board.
      Bayliss: Oh screw him. Little midget.
      Lt. Giardello: No, Bayliss. No. On this day I'm being elevated to Captain, it's a day I've worked hard for. It's a day I've waited for with great anticipation. I don't want anything to happen to spoil this day with unpleasantness. So I'm gonna ask you to apologize to Ed. Now I'm gonna put it to you in the form of a request in the hopes that you'll do me this favour in honour of my promotion.
      Bayliss: I can't.
      Lt. Giardello: Bayliss.
      Bayliss: I can't, sir.
      Lt. Giardello: Then I have to withdraw my request and put it to you in the form of an order.
      Bayliss: I refuse.
      Lt. Giardello: My order?
      Bayliss: Yes.
      Lt. Giardello: Haha. I'm gonna give you till this evening to reconsider. After that the fury's will be unleashed. Ciao.
      Bayliss: You know. Seven years ago I walked in here with a file box and a lot of idealism. I had a clear vision of justice, of morality and no matter what has happened to me, whatever happens around me, I still have that.
      Lt.Giardello: Maybe. But on this job I've seen people change and sometimes for the worst and those that change the most are the ones that don't admit it.

  • Notes

    • The final dialogue, too, mirrors the opening conversation of Lewis and Crosetti in the series pilot. The show comes full circle, then ends.

    • This episode ends the same way the series began: with Det. Lewis looking for a bullet and saying "If I can just find this thing, I can go home."

    • A transcript of this episode can be found at http.//www.windowseat.org/homicide/scripts/

    • At the end of the summer and throughout the fall rumors were abound about a wrap-up TVM (that would perhaps air during the February 2000 ratings period). Then in November after Andre Braugher and others had signed contracts, work began on this movie, which was at one time slated for March, but instead was completed and ready to air in February, right after the NBA All-Star game.

    • This has consistently been the best show I've ever seen on commercial network television and I will miss it.

    • CourtTV reshowed the first episode of the series, following the completion of this episode's airing.

    • Music in this episode: Beck "Sissyneck" alb: Odelay.

    • In September of 1999, Richard Belzer would reprise his role as Detective John Munch, this time on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit".

  • Allusions