Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 2 Episode 2

See No Evil

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Jan 13, 1994 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

See No Evil
Gee informs the detectives that they must meet with a sensitivity consultant. Felton protects a friend who's going to help his terminally ill father commit suicide. Pembleton investigates a routine murder that escalates into a case of possible police brutality. Bolander has no intention of meeting with the consultant to the point where he takes a suspension without pay. Lewis investigates the death of the father of Felton's friend and discovers the truth and confronts Beau.moreless

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  • Pembleton and Bayliss investigate when an officer may have been involved in a shooting. Lewis and Crosetti investigate when Felton's friends cancer ridden father is shot. When Bolander gets suspended, Munch tries to talk some sense into him.moreless

    This episode is great in many ways, the manditory sensitivity meetings with a shrink, setup by Giardello re-introduce the squad and delves into their personal life. These meetings take place all while questionable behavior runs rampant throughout the squad, Felton and Lewis cover up an assisted suicide while The Lieutenant himself tries as hard as possible not to implicate another officer in the shooting of a man.

    Munch's dramatic speech (classic munch) is great, when he tries to convince the skeptical, suspended, Bolander to attend these sensitivity meetings. Munch arrives at a local bar and requests a "Hemlock" from the bartender ,lol, and proceeds to make a scene. Munch is successful, as Bolander decides to show up to the meeting.. after a few drinks..

    This episode pieces together very nicely. Wilford Brimley is great as the ailing Harry Prentice.moreless
  • An interregnum brings frth an interesting picture

    When Homicide was commissioned in 1993, NBC programmers were so sure that it would succeed that they ordered four additional scripts from the production team. When the show only received middling ratings (at least in 1993 terms) the network backed away. Network head Warren Littlefield was committed to the show, however, and so made an arrangement that those four episodes would be filmed and no others. Technically, these four episodes were the ‘second’ season of Homicide. However, almost every fan of the show considers it an addendum to the first. The creators seemed to think so as well; all four episodes that were filmed were set immediately after the last episode of season 1.

    In the year between the season 1 and season 2, there were a few subtle changes in the style of the show. The color of the cinematography who been toned up a little. The camerawork would also change a little with fewer multi-angled shots, though they would still appear occasionally. More importantly, Fontana and co. would begin reducing the number of storylines per episode. Since the second season was so short ,however, it would be hard to notice these changes. They would become increasingly clear as the series moved on into later years.

    To be perfectly honest, it is hard to notice the changes in the episode that should have been aired first in sequence: ‘See No Evil’. (This episode would be the second aired for reasons which will be explained later). We are still involved with crime with a mixture of suspense and a raw humor (though in this case the humor is related to an outside activity) There are a lot of uneasy and provocative questions that are raised and little answers.

    The most obvious of the questions raised comes from the main story of the episode: Is assisted suicide on behalf of terminally ill people merciful or is it homicide? This is a question that Beau Felton must confront in regard to Harry Prentice. This question is elevated by the fact that the main suspect, the victims son Chucky, is also a childhood friend of his. Felton must confront this issue twice in the course of the episode. The first time appears when he learns that Prentice has retained a doctor to bring about the end of his life. He knows about the pain that the old man is in, but can not seem to reject his belief in the law. The second time occurs after Chuckie has killed his father. He knows that the act is wrong but he also knows that he can do nothing about it except try and save his friend.

    Daniel Baldwin gives his most complex and emotional performances as Felton. Not only do we get a great deal of insight into his life growing up, we see that despite the fact that (as he admits) he isn’t much of a cop, he still has the capacity to deal with moral issues.

    It is interesting to contrast Felton’s behavior with that of Meldrick Lewis. When he learns of Felton’s attempts to tam- with his investigation, we see one of the loudest display of emotion from the normally calm detective. We see that at this point in his career, he still has very clear cut ideas of what makes up a ‘real’ murder. AS he puts it : “You go when its time to go, and all the rest is homicide’. Yet, in the end, he uses his discretion to turn Chuckie loose. This goes to show that Lewis is not, like many detectives, made of stone.

    A clear contrast to this emerges is Frank Pembleton’s investigation in to the shooting of C.C. Cox. A drug dealer and suspect in a police investigation, Cox apparently dies from a stray bullet from an officers gun. However, it soon becomes very clear that the officer did not, accidentally or otherwise, fire the shot that killed Cox. There are several unpleasant possibilities in the murder of Cox, the most obvious which is that a police officer shot Cox. This does not however, deter, Pembleton from pursuing the shooter with more dedication than a scumbag like Cox probably deserves. As we are coming to learn about Pembleton, every murder must be avenged, every killer apprehended no matter what the cost.

    Normally Lieutenant Giardello would applaud this kind of dedication. However, he displays a surprising amount of resistance to any kin of investigation which would impugn police officers. First, he resents the brass’ decision to let the initial suspect twist in the wind for a few days, and then he refuses to let Pembleton bring in police officers gun’s to check if theirs is the gun that killed Cox--- which causes Pembleton to go over Gee’s head for perhaps the only time in working for him. It should be mentioned that the higher-ups in the police department show no qualms about doing either of these actions, which further shows how far removed they are from the real police. Keeping in with the tradition of earlier Homicide’s this investigation is not resolved until the next episode.

    What little humor in this episode that there is occurs when the department recommends sensitivity training for the squad.. Most of the humor comes from Bolander’s refusal to take any part in something that he considers ridiculous. Naturally, Munch is rather pissed at this, and delivers one of his funnier diatribes to a bartender and a very amused clientle of a restaurant. And then there is an amusing sequence where the already- sensitive Bayliss speaks impassionedly to the doctor only to realize that she is not the person he remembers. Yet even in this humor we see some very serious character insight. Kay Howard’s discussion reveals some of her deep misgivings of working with men who investigate mostly male killers and then trying to date one. We also get more insight into the fragile behavior of Munch combined with his own relationship woes. Rarely will we get such insight into the characters of this show.

    There are no easy answers to the questions posed in ‘See No Evil’. Maybe there are no answers at all. Like the detectives themselves, things are more often then not seen in shades of gray—or blue.

    My score:9

Wilford Brimley

Wilford Brimley

Harry Prentice

Guest Star

Jennifer Mendenhall

Jennifer Mendenhall

Kerry Weston

Guest Star

Michael Chaban

Michael Chaban

Chucky Prentice

Guest Star

Clayton LeBouef

Clayton LeBouef

Capt. Barnfather

Recurring Role

Gerald F. Gough

Gerald F. Gough

Col. Granger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions