Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 6 Episode 18

Full Court Press

1
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 03, 1998 on NBC
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Full Court Press
AIRED:
Munch and Gharty probe the death of a high-school athlete who appeared to have everything going for him. Pembleton and Bayliss have only one lead to a potential suspect, a pager number; however, Bayliss has a plan that should lead to the apprehension of their suspect. Kellerman and Ballard get a case with a drug dealer that Kellerman is less than enthusiastic to work. The victim is one of Georgia Rae Mahoney's lieutenants and there are four other unsolved murders in the last two weeks where the victims were members of the Mahoney organization. Pembleton and Bayliss apprehend the wrong suspect, but the fact the suspect was trafficking 200 Kg of narcotics gets them a commendation. Meanwhile, using the information provided to him by Falsone, Lewis has had members of the Mahoney organization under surveillance. Is Lewis involved in these murders? Kellerman receives some good news for a change; passing a tape of his conversation with Judge Gibbons onto the FBI won't be necessary. The FBI is about ready to move with their case against Gibbons. The body count of the Mahoney organization rises to ten and we see that Lewis is near the scene.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Not a three pointer, but still a pretty good shot

    8.4
    Well, at least this episode has a legitimate reason for Meldrick Lewis not being on the scene, as Clark Johnson gets his third credit for working behind the camera. (Johnson has since left acting for directing, he also directed episodes of ‘The West Wing, Law and Order: SVU and The Shield, and has since branched out into working in feature films such as SWAT.) There is a certain irony in this as, for the time first time this season, we see that Meldrick has been doing some behind the scenes work of his own.



    But let’s start at the beginning. The central case of the episode involves the shooting of a high-school basketball star. Munch and Gharty are the lead investigators, and they start clashing almost immediately. Gharty has a certain hero worship for the player Maryland has classified ‘Mr. Basketball’; Munch, by contrast, has a deep dislike for the kid and the more he hears how everyone regards him as some kind of role model, the more cynical he becomes. Turns out, there’s a lot to be cynical about the victim. He appears to be a solid B student, but his SAT scores are far below those that would get him into a college scholarship. It’s obvious that the staff of the high school has been lying to make the victim appear more desirable to the outside. And while most of the student body thought he walked on water, it becomes clear that he was a bully and tormentor to several students. The one who suffered the most, David Tarkofsky (yes, watching this at home gave me chills) clearly hated this man. After one particularly awful incident, he got his father’s gun, thinking more that he would take his own life rather than the victims. When he saw him, he just went blank and killed him. Trakofsky’s lack of guilt is frightening, yet one feels more for the killer than his victim.



    Up until this point in the show Munch and Gharty have gotten along all right, but this case brings out the worst in them. After they arrest Tarkofsky, Munch admits he feels affinity for the kid because he saw it from both ends of the looking glass in high school. He was harassed by people, so he bullied people back. Gharty thinks this is craps and, and half in jest, tells Munch to take a swing at him. Munch almost clocks him with an ashtray. Gharty manages to cool him off, but there is a lot of hostility. From here on, their relationship will get far worse.



    Another man having a bad day is Kellerman, who now appears to be almost completely burned out. Called out to work with Ballard on a shooting, he no longer seems to give a damn about doing his job. When he finds out the victim was a drug dealer, he cares even less. And when Ballard tells him that his victim was a player in the Mahoney organization, he all but does a dance of joy.



    But there’s nothing to joke about. Over the past two weeks, major players in the Mahoney organization have been dropping like flies. It’s not a drug war, though; the Mahoney crew is imploding. And Falsone, who catches a double shooting, knows why. The people who are dying are the same people whose names he has been feeding Meldrick on the sly for the past few months. And as we see, in several cut shots Meldrick has been doing something very wrong with this information. Falsone doesn’t want to know what, and we’re not sure we do either. We’re pretty sure Meldrick isn’t capping the victims, but given his attitude towards Georgia Rae, it’s hard to think about what he might be doing. Unfortunately, there will be consequences, and the spiraling outward has just begun.



    Mike Kellerman could give a damn about any of this; his investigation is half-hearted at best. He is far more concerned with the FBI and their lack of interest in his tape demonstrating Judge Gibbons as corrupt. Turns out, though, that the Bureaus been building a case against Gibbons for months and are on the verge of busting him. One of the agents tells Kellerman this, and the consequences are disastrous (though we won’t know this until later)



    And what have Pembleton and Bayliss been up to this week? They’re trying to track down the prime suspect in a murder. They have the suspect description and pager number, but have no idea where to find him. Bayliss dials the pager number at a bar the suspect is known to frequent, and they close in on a suspect. Unfortunately, when they move into arrest him, they find that have (completely by accident) arrested a man carrying enough cocaine for the largest drug bust in Baltimore history. The bosses play this up and they get a commendation, but they get no relief from Gee. Turns out, they never catch the suspect, and the man they’ve arrested will be back on the street in less than two years. (We don’t learn this, however, until the series is officially over)



    ‘Full Court Press’ features attention on Richard Belzer which, as is clear by now, doesn’t happen much. He and Reed Diamond give great performances showing different degrees of anger and malaise in their jobs. Also memorable is Steve Burns, best known for his work on the children’s show Blue’s Clues , and who demonstrates here that he can hold the stage dramatically with anyone. We also get some very funny moments when Munch confronts his former paramour Alyssa Dyer, in the morgue after an autopsy and some very amusing scenes with Secor and Braugher as they go on their wild goose chase. This isn’t as good as Homicide can usually be but as television goes, its not bad.

    My score: 8.4moreless
Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher

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

Kyle Secor

Kyle Secor

Tim Bayliss

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Daniel Baldwin

Daniel Baldwin

Beau Felton (Seasons 1-3, recurring subsequently, TVM)

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Det. Mike Kellerman (seasons 4-6)

Peter Gerety

Peter Gerety

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

Steve Burns

Steve Burns

David Tarnofski

Guest Star

Reg E. Cathey

Reg E. Cathey

Bernard Weeks

Guest Star

Victor Bevine

Victor Bevine

Officer Lester Sanders

Guest Star

Toni Lewis

Toni Lewis

Terri Stivers

Recurring Role

Clayton LeBouef

Clayton LeBouef

Col. Barnfather

Recurring Role

Granville Adams

Granville Adams

Off. Jeff Westby

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • Viewer Paul Strickland reports that when Bayliss gets into the car, he is/then isn't/then is wearing sunglasses in a way that makes no sense other than as a continuity error. A rare occurrence in Homicide.... Joe Weiss notes that the sunglasses were detachable and it was not a continuity error.

    • Music in this episode: James Brown "Good Foot" alb: 20 All Time Greatest Hits; Metallica "Ain't My Bitch" alb: Load.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Mencken High School: The victim's high school is Mencken High School, named after Henry Louis Mencken (1880 – 1956), a well-known writer, satirist, social critic and journalist for the Baltimore Morning Herald and Sun newspapers. He was known as the Sage of Baltimore, and there are numerous memorials to him throughout the city. His house is a private museum.
      Two things that Mencken was famous for were an elaborate hoax on the history of the bathtub in America (which is still sometimes quoted as fact) and the coining of the word ecdysiast, from the Greek, meaning to shed as a fancy, academic-like term for stripper.

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