Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 6 Episode 14

Lies and Other Truths

1
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Mar 06, 1998 on NBC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Lies and Other Truths
AIRED:
A slightly intoxicated man (driving with his wife) aggressively whips his car around a state-owned truck; the offended truck driver rams their car; their aggression results in a collision where both drivers die. The man's wife is in serious condition. Kellerman and Munch investigate this case. Falsone gets prepared for the final hearing in his bid for custody of his son. Meanwhile, the other detectives investigate the death of a man who made a mobile phone call from the coffin in which he had been buried alive. The coffin was buried in the parade ground of an old spy school. The victim might have remained alive if the lid hadn't been sabotaged to collapse. In the car / truck collision case, Cox's boss wants her to "verify" the results of the car driver's blood alcohol level to help protect the state from serious litigation. An old Russian friend of Gee's furnishes them with information that leads the detectives to the discovery of a group of men who couldn't make it as spies. (They call themselves the Silent Sons.) Cox asks Gee for advice on leaking the truth to the press. Falsone loses his custody battle. Cox is asked to appear before the state director of Health & Human Services; when he doesn't show, the secretary passes on a message from him: Cox's services are no longer required. The nut running the Silent Sons comes into the squad room, wrapped in dynamite. Bayliss talks him into the box. Julianna hits the road, heading north on I-95.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Sometimes its not worth digging it up

    6.8
    Immediately following ‘Something Sacred’ came a string of four consecutive episodes where, though the crime that formed the center of the episode was heinous, it could not be considered a ‘homicide’. Confused? It’s not that hard to understand. For example, in ‘Lies and Other Truths’ the central case involves a case of road rage between a car and a state road maintenance vehicle. Even though we see the crime in the teaser, it isn’t clear which side was responsible for the incident that leaves both drivers of the vehicles dead and the other passenger paralyzed from the neck down.



    Munch and Kellerman get called in on the case because of the aggressive of both drivers. However, for the detectives the investigation is perfunctory--- even if it is murder, it is as most a paper clearance with both suspects dead. The final arbiter on the decision is Dr. Cox who gets involved in a critical decision. The driver of the car had a .09 blood alcohol level--- just below the legal limit. The state pressures Cox, first subtly and then bluntly, into raising the level the rest of the way, in order to relieve Maryland of any possible liability. The importance of this becomes crystal clear when the widow sues the city.

    We haven’t gotten to know Juliana that well, but we know that she can’t bring herself to lie under oath. The pressure becomes so great that she turns to Mike, who in an effort to help tells her to go to Giardello, and have him help leak the story to the press. In a bureaucracy like this, there can be only one reaction to her integrity. She is summarily dismissed. Nor does she stay around to be with Kellerman--- she gets the hell out of a Baltimore, in a scene almost identical to her furious arrival in Baltimore less than two years ago. (She is still involved in Georgia Rae Mahoney’s civil suit, but this detail slips under the radar for the rest of the season.)



    And with that Michelle Forbes left the show. Though Juliana Cox had been given a lot of latitude in her role on this series, ultimately her character was never given enough to do to make her a viable presence on this series. Nevertheless, it was a loss for Homicide as her character was a much stronger presence than some of the later female characters introduced on the show. I missed Forbes.



    Though the central story is very interesting, the story surrounding it doesn’t work quite as well. Bayliss and Pembleton are called into investigate the death man who was found buried alive on the grounds of what used to be CIA training base. We learn the deceased, Ashley Akton, was a member of a group of spy wannabes known as the Sons of the Silent Service and that he was buried alive as part of a ‘training exercise’. These same wannabes have repeatedly applied and failed attempts to join law enforcement and military agencies, and are eventually revealed to be a small clique of bumblers who think of themselves as carrying on the arts of espionage in the Cold War. The suspect is Nelson Broyles, the owner of a spy paraphernalia shop and the leader of the Sons. Filled with the bravado of the true wannabe, he eventually arrives at headquarters wearing a dynamite laden vest prepared to blow the place to kingdom come. Convinced by Bayliss that he can resist the puny interrogation methods of the Baltimore PD, he surrenders the vest--- and proceeds to confess in record time.



    This case balances between suspense and very black comedy and never quite decides what it is. It doesn’t help that the Broyles character (played by the usually reliable character actor John Glover) seems too scattered to be a threat and too devoted to be funny. What is fascinating comes out in the parts where Gee , in helping the detectives along, contacts a former Soviet defector --- an ex-KGB agent--- to help his guys. Eventually we learn how the defector and Gee know each other--- the lieutenant was once a POW in Hanoi. Not only did he resist four months of KGB efforts to break him, he managed to convince the man interrogating him to defect! When asked by Frank how he did this, he demurs saying only that he helped convince his friend with 300,000 dollars. We’ve known Giardello has layers but this is a huge surprise.



    The one other continuing storyline that is finished up is Falsone’s custody dispute with his wife. Turns out Paul has heard so much over the past few weeks that he’s no longer sure that he’s fit to have more custody. Ironically, so has Janine, and when the judge ultimately rules in favor of her, she agrees to his original request. This is interesting but makes the last few weeks of this storyline seem to have been something of a waste of time if this was the end result.



    Ultimately, ‘Les and Other Truths’ is a mixed bag. Though it features good work by Yaphet Kotto and Reed Diamond, as well as good farewell for Forbes, the other leads are somewhat disappointing. Neither Secor nor Braugher show any of their brightness, and Jon Seda and Callie Thorne are big comedowns from last week. The espionage story is unnecessarily convoluted and personal stories are somewhat disappointed. It’s watchable and entertaining, but from this show we expect more.

    My score: 6.8moreless
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)

John Glover

John Glover

Nelson Broyles

Guest Star

Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell

Dr. Jesse Randolph

Guest Star

Julie Simone Robb

Julie Simone Robb

Ava Dietz

Guest Star

Monica Trombetta

Monica Trombetta

Janine

Recurring Role

Kristin Rohde

Kristin Rohde

Sally Rogers

Recurring Role

Ralph Tabakin

Ralph Tabakin

Dr. Scheiner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Munch: What about the other guy, Dietz?
      Cox: Brought back memories of Jayne Mansfield, let's say.
      Munch: Voluptuous starlet who was decapitated in an auto accident?

      Both Cox and Munch are referring to the death of actress Jayne Mansfield on 29 June 1967. The car in which she was riding slammed into then slid under a tractor-trailer truck. Visibility was limited due to a mosquito fogger operating upwind. Rumor and urban legend holds that she was decapitated; neither police reports nor autopsy records uphold that notion. The top of her skull was sheared off; her head was not separated from her body. Also killed in the accident were driver Ronnie Harrison, Mansfield's boyfriend Sam Brody and her dog. Her three children, riding in the back seat, survived. One of the children, 3-year-old Mariska Hargitay, went on to become an actress, now starring as Detective Olivia Benson (with Munch) in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has a head scar from the accident but no memory of the event. Jayne Mansfield was the fourth Playboy Playmate centerfold model to die since the magazine debuted in 1953.

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