Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 3 Episode 15

Law and Disorder

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Feb 24, 1995 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
38 votes
  • Bayliss reluctantly investigates his fellow detectives in the death of the cop killer, Pratt. Bolander regains his memory and Felton returns to work. Munch is embarrassed when his past comes back to haunt him. Pembleton and Lewis investigate a shooting .

    A great episode, Bolander's brain is healing and his memory has returned. At first (knowing that the character "Bolander" only stays around for season 3) I thought Bolander would make a not so graceful exit like Crosetti did, this is not the case as he appears to be healing ok.

    Munch's marijuana filled past comes to the surface again, the nude portrait of him surrounded by marijuana pipes is hilarious.

    Pembleton and Lewis' difference opinion is also well done in this episode, after the case is closed the detectives (who disagreed the whole time) say they both would investigate the same type of case the same way given another opportunity. Thats what makes the multiple personalities in Gee's crew so great, if everyone thought the same way and followed the same path, i think many murders would go unsolved.
  • Episode gives us nothing,buts its an interesting nothing

    Technically speaking ‘Law and Disorder’ isn’t part of the three episode arc involving the detectives shooting story line. The urgency of the previous episodes is gone and the overall tone is a lot more humorous than the previous three episodes. Yet the story is carried forward in a very meaningful way and some even more troubling issues are brought to the front.

    Gordon Pratt, the man accused of shooting Bolander, Felton and Howard was found murdered at the end of the previous episode. As you might expect, nobody is very shaken up about it. Lewis, Munch and Pembleton all basically shrug it off. Bayliss, however, is the primary and can not dismiss it easily. However the one person who might have been willing to help him, Giardello, basically leaves Bayliss to fend for himself and offers no real support whatsoever. Now a year and a half ago in ‘Black and Blue’ Gee was enraged at Frank Pembleton’s relentless pursuit of investigating his fellow police officers for murder. This time, when Bayliss tells him he suspects police involvement Gee displays no emotion at all. In fact when Bayliss asks to be left off the case the lieutenant refuses.

    Even more surprising is the reaction of Pembleton. The man who has proclaimed that every life has meaning, even the criminal seems utterly uninterested in solving Pratts murder. In fact, he goes out on a call rather than work on it leaving Bayliss stranded. In their minds Pratt has transcended being the usual Bad Guy. This is justice, even if it is vigilante justice.
    So who did kill Gordon Pratt? We have no idea. Was it one of the detectives in the squad? The writers give us no clue. Years later, in the series last episode, Bayliss will reveal that he always suspected Munch of the murder, and he does go after him a little here. But the timing never worked for me. In the last episode, he seemed to be at Bolander’s bedside at the time of the killing Who did it? The question matters but it will never be answered. The detectives have moved on to other things.

    Pembleton is back at work in full force. First, we see him in a very funny teaser picking up a fugitive from a New York City detective---- Mike Logan from ‘Law And Order’ and they engage in a contest of the superiority of New York City over Baltimore or vice versa. Then he goes out on a call with someone who is nearly as disagreeable--- Meldrick Lewis. A woman is killed in the front of a supermarket from a gunshot which seemed to come from overhead. The two detectives vehemently disagree how to pursue the investigation. Frank wants to look on the poor section of a street; Meldrick wants to investigate the more affluent people on the other side of it Eventually, they find out that the shooting was an accident--- agirl from the rich section of town fired the gun in the air and the stray bullet killed her. The two of them never agree even after they find the killer.

    Another man back is Beau Felton. The least seriously wounded of the three detectives, he has wheedled the superiors into going back to work. He is eager to get back into the saddle--- until he goes out on the street on a call. This leads to Gee giving Feltonn a royal chewing out about how unfit he was for the job BEFORE he was shot. Felton is feeling more stress than expected (but he recovers from that awfully quickly).

    But having a worse day by far is Detective Munch. Those of us who might have suspected that Munch was a member of the counterculture are proved correct when a nude photograph of Munch is prominent displayed in an art museum across the street from his squad. Everyone finds this hysterical except for Munch. It turns out that the artist Brigitta used to be one of Munch’s girlfriends and takes this opportunity to exact vengeance on him for breaking up with her. Things get even worse for Munch when she ‘alters’ the photograph only to have Munch’s name and face appear in the newspaper the next day--- something which upsets his partner a great deal.

    With a fine mixture of comedy and drama (including a very funny scene in which Frank and Meldrick stumble across a murderess while investigating a completely different case) fine acting (including a memorable cameo by John Waters) and some very troubling moments, ‘Law and Disorder’ is a fine way to wrap up what has been a very well written arc. Some questions we have will never be satisfactorly answered but that is how life on the street is sometimes.

    My score:8.75