Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 5 Episode 5

M.E., Myself and I

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 01, 1996 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

M.E., Myself and I
The new Chief Medical Examiner (CME), Julianna Cox, speeds into town. An FBI agent, Pandolfi, conducts interviews with the squad about Kellerman. Frank looks for way to celebrate his anniversary with his wife. The new CME arrives on the scene of a homicide that Lewis and Bayliss are working on, they lay down their respective ground rules. Bayliss' murderer confesses to committing another crime. Kellerman is worried by the ongoing investigation and takes it out on another arson officer. Brodie offers to make chili for the Lewis family but the dinner turns into a fight for Meldrick and his wife. From a suggestion by Frank, Bayliss and Lewis get the other body exhumed and checked out. Frank and Mary celebrate their anniversary. Bayliss gains some insight into the new CME.moreless

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  • The doctor is in!


    Despite the tremendous strength of Melissa Leo and the countless number of excellent performances by female guest stars, Homicide was not a show that was known for having a strong female presence. (It is possible that this may have been one of the reasons for its low ratings.) Furthermore, the show had lost a lot of its feminine influence when Megan Russert ran off to Paris. In an effort to try and compensate this, the writers tried to introduce another robust female personality. Considering the way that we meet Dr. Julianna Cox (driving full speed to her job in Baltimore) one can’t help but think that several viewers considered Cox ‘a rating boosting bimbo. However, this is tremendously unfair not only to actress Michelle Forbes but to the writers of the show. Like all of the characters on Homicide, Cox had a lot more layers than it seemed at first glance.

    The big problem with Cox, however, was the same problem as J.H. Brodie. She might be the chief medical examiner for the city of Baltimore, but ME’s have no bigger role on the show than does a videographer. The writers would try to compensate for this by putting Cox in places where the medical examiner wouldn’t usually be (the squad room for one) and doing things that no ME would do (talking to suspects, being on the street with every murder, and so forth) It was a noble effort to keep her on the show, but in the end there are only so many places you can put the coroner on a show about police.

    Despite all that, the writers managed to do a much better job of fitting Cox in Homicide then they would a several other characters and when she eventually left the show in March of 1998, her absence was really felt. This has a lot to do with Forbes’s strength as an actress. She is amusing, energetic and almost brash in her behavior and when she appeared on the show, interesting things could happen, starting with this episode.

    Through Cox we would see the workings of a big-city police department and how some crimes slip through the crack. While investigating the strangulation of a prostitute by a homeless man, Bayliss learns that he killed another working girl two months earlier. When Cox investigates, she finds out that one of her staff members ruled the crime an overdose as a favor to one of the lazier detectives on the second shift. Her reaction is swift and sure; she fires the examiner. In her own way, Cox has the same attitude towards death that the other detectives have and in many cases she is as righteous in them.However, Cox is not a prude. As she tells Bayliss at the episodes end, she drinks too much and has affairs with the wrong kind of people. She’s going to do a bit of both here.

    But even if you don’t like Cox, there’s a lot of other stuff going in this episode that crackles. For example, the FBI has begun their investigation into the bribery allegation against Kellerman and the lead investigator seems hell-bent on uncovering all his vices. Edward Hermann, known for playing patrician, fatherly roles takes on the role of grand inquisitor with extreme viciousness. His scenes with Meldrick Lewis and Lieutenant Giardello are very well written and he’s good enough to actually take the wind out of Gee’s sails.

    Kellerman is already beginning to tense up about this investigation. He begins to become snarky with Lewis, gets drunk later that night and gets in a bar fight with another detective. At the same time, he is keeping a lot in--- we learn that he hasn’t yet told his parents about the pending indictments. He seems justifiably upset about what’s going on, but it’s not until the next episode that we learn why he’s so concerned.

    Meanwhile, Frank is making slow progress in recovering from his stroke. For the first time since he rejoined the unit, he is able to give pertinent advice on an investigation. But he’s also going through something a lot more painful. He and his wife are celebrating their tenth anniversary and he wants to celebrate by making love to her--- which is difficult because his blood pressure medication is leaving him impotent. We see the depth of Frank’s love of his wife when he goes to his doctor and all but pleads with her to let him do this. The sight of Frank this upset is a noteworthy event and it gives Braugher another angle to play off. He is able to go forward this time, but there are further marital obstacles ahead.

    Frank’s marriage isn’t the only one having difficulties. Meldrick and Barbara have been having problems almost since the honeymoon began six months ago. When Meldrick invites Brodie to stay at his place (Bayliss gives him his walking papers at the episodes start) things get notably worse when he simply mkes a comment about a painting of Meldrick’s. In fairness to Brodie, this marriage is not standing a very strong foundation and this fight was probably going to happen anyway. Still, we know Brodie isn’t going to be here long either.

    However, the last scene of the episode has the emotional pow that you get with Homicide. Standing in the morgue Cox tells Bayliss that her father has just passed away. However, her sorrow unfolds as the scene progress, until we, like Bayliss realize whose body she’s standing over. It is a shocking moment because earlier in the show we see that her father is still alive and looking decent. However, we won’t realize the full significance of this until ‘The Heart of a Saturday Night’. The scene represents some of the best work that Forbes will do.

    ‘M.E., Myself and I’ isn’t classic Homicide. There’s an awful lot going on and not much time to tell all of it. Still, it does do three things well. It introduces a new character effectively. It sets the stage for stories that are slowly unfolding. And it highlights several of the shows stars in unlikely places for dramatic punch. It’s not perfect but it’s very,very serviceable.

    My score:8.4

Edward Herrmann

Edward Herrmann

Thomas Pandolfi

Guest Star

Robert Carlson

Robert Carlson

Off. Byron Denys

Guest Star

Karen Williams

Karen Williams

Barbara Lewis

Guest Star

Zeljko Ivanek

Zeljko Ivanek

ASA Ed Danvers

Recurring Role

Ami Brabson

Ami Brabson

Mary Pembleton

Recurring Role

Beau James

Beau James

Det. Willard Higby

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Lt. Giardello: What have you got.
      Bayliss: Dead prostitute middle Branch park.
      Homeless Man: I killed her.
      Lt. Giardello: What do you want from me, applause?

    • Munch: Hahaha. What'd have a lovers spat?
      Bayliss: No you know I should have listened to you because I shouldn't have let him stay at my place. Now I see why he got evicted from his own house.
      Munch: What did he do? Eat all the bagels and clog up the bathroom?
      Bayliss: No it's worse. This morning he tried to get intellectually stimulated. You ever talk about Nietzsche over a pop tart?

    • Kellerman: He's gonna be talking to you guys trying to come up with stuff that makes me look dirty, you know, stuff that he can tie in to the bribery investigation.
      Lewis: Hey, don't worry about in Mikey. Munch and I have got your back don't we Munchkin.
      Munch: I don't know, I've never been interrogated by the FEDS before, I'm liable to tell them that Kellerman kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.

    • Pandolfi: You're a funny man, Al. May I call you Al?
      Giardello: No, you may not.

    • Lewis: I'm Lewis, this is Bayliss, and that's the young Jimmy Olsen over there.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music in this episode: Los Lobos "Georgia Slop" alb: The Neighborhood; Jimmy Scott "There's No Disappointment in Heaven" alb: Heaven; The Beastie Boys "Groove Holmes" alb: Check Your Head.