Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 5 Episode 22

Strangers and Other Partners (2)

1
Aired Friday 10:00 PM May 16, 1997 on NBC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Strangers and Other Partners (2)
AIRED:
Mike and Julianna wake up the morning after a night of drinking and passion. The investigation into Beau's death continues; Howard wants to be the primary while Frank tries to maintain control. Gee asks her to step aside and let him do the job with a more unbiased approach. The investigation creates some unlikely pairings: Pembleton with Gharty and Bayliss with Falsone and Munch on his own. Meanwhile, Howard and Russert make arrangements for Beau's funeral. Lewis and Kellerman's investigation into a homicide is stalled; when Kellerman's hangover laden police work is shoddy. When it appears as thought the investigation is going nowhere; Kay demands to be put on the case. Gee refuses. Because of his bad day and finding Julianna drinking with someone at the Waterfront Bar, Kellerman suggests that they should stop drinking. Frank tries to call Mary; eventually they connect and reconcile; with Frank saying that he is willing to give it all up. They find out who killed Beau, but when they go to arrest him, they find he is gone. Government officials offer commendations for Beau and Gee eulogizes him. Gee also finds out there will changes in the department next year; members of the squad may be rotated into different departments in 3-month intervals.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
Saturday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One door close; another door opens.

    8.8
    And so we have arrived at the end of another season of Homicide. This episode would show certain parallels with more high-profile drama season finales. In 1997 The X-Files would end it’s season with Fox Mulder apparently dead of a shotgun suicide and NYPD Blue would end with Detective Simone being set up to look like a dirty cop in order to be used as an undercover operative while Detective Sipowicz woul be under suspicion for a murder. However ‘Strangers and Other Partners’ wraps up its more dramatic storylines by the end of the episode (after a fashion) and ends with one of the more unassuming cliffhangers that any series used.



    But let’s back up. Homicide, IID and the Auto squad have to work together on Felton’s murder, trying to simultaneously find his killer and learn if his disguise remained intact. Needless to say, nobody’s very happy about this turn of events. Falsone is pissed at having to work with IID with the implication that he was part of the problem. Everyone’s pissed at the idea of working with Gharty, though with the Homicide squad the reasons are more personal --- they all remember ‘Scene of the Crime’ and Gharty’s refusal to get out of his car. But the squad has divisions within it too. Pembleton makes it very clear he doesn’t want Howard or the newly arrived Russert working different angles on the investigation, citing they are taking the case too personally. What comes as a surprise is that Giardello agrees with Frank and has both of them taken off the case in order to arrange the funeral for Beau.



    This is out of character behavior for Gee. Looking back to how Gee let Crosetti look into Chris Thorman’s shooting in the first season, and how he let Lewis work Crosetti’s suicide (while Howard and Felton did his work for him), one can not escape the feeling that the lieutenant is operating on a double standard. Yes, Megan and Kay have personal reasons for wanting to lock up Felton’s killer. But personal issues have rarely biased Gee before. It is particularly puzzling, considering Gee has had the best relationships with the two women detectives. One wonders if Fontana had plans for the following season and was trying to give a suitable send off to Melissa Leo and Isabella Hoffman. While the show does give both actresses a chance to shine, it doesn’t seem keeping in with the realism of Homicide.



    Simultaneously, it seems that the writers are trying to introduce two new characters to the series. Falsone and Gharty get to do most of the heavy work in this episode. They are the ones who figure out who the leak was: Eddie Dugan, Falsone’s informant and as, we find out, the man Gharty used to get Felton undercover. They handle the interrogation in a confrontation that smacks of classic Homicide. We also get some interesting background into both detectives. The biggest insight comes when we learn Gharty, so cowardly in his behavior one year earlier, finally found some guts while working another case six months earlier, in which he took a terrible beatdown. Despite the fact he finds his stones, several of the detectives will never develop respect for him when he joins the squad.



    We also get a touch of Homicide when the killer is revealed--- when the detectives try to make the collar, the killer has skipped town. And he does not come back; Felton’s name remains in red forever. There may be some closure for the detectives but sometimes there is no real justice.



    While the murder is being worked, two other key storylines from this season are dealt with. Frank finally talks with his wife (who we learn is now six months pregnant) and does something that we would honestly not think he could do; he says that he’ll give up his job for his family. He has finally chosen between the two passions in his life. Simultaneously, the seeds for his ultimate departure have been planted.



    If things are improving for Pembleton, they’re on a definite down turn for Kellerman. He has begun to hit the booze a lot harder and now its effects are being felt: he is having blackouts of the nights before and he is having trouble doing his job (as we see when he loses an eyewitness at a crime scene.) Both of the major relationships he has formed are deteriorating: Meldrick is becoming openly hostile with him (doubtlessly because of the Mahoney shooting) and Juliana is openly having problems with him. What’s more, when he makes an effort to resurface from his haze, Juliana makes it very clear that she has no intention of stopping her wild ways. Unfortunately, things will only get worse for Mike from here on.



    With all the angst and trauma going on, the cliffhanger of the episode comes after Gee has a talk with the commissioner about a new administrative policy for the Baltimore PD. From now on, detectives will be rotated through the various divisions every three months. Homicide is no longer the elite of the department and in a matter of months they may all be gone.



    This was actually in keeping with real life. In 1994 the new commissioner instituted a four-year limit on assignment to specialized units. He believed that rotating officers through departments would lead to a greater showing of knowledge and skill. Unfortunately, he did not consider if the detectives would have enough time to develop specialized skills before moving to a different post. This led to a collapse in drug investigations, while many brilliant detectives (including some who appeared in Simon’s book) retired rather than leave the squad.



    The rotation would signal a major change on Homicide as well. Melissa Leo departed the show while four new characters (three of whom appeared in the two-part season finale) would join the unit. It would be a symbol of the sweeping changes that would take place over the shows final two seasons.



    So in many ways ‘Strangers and Other Partners’ is a fitting conclusion to the fifth year of this remarkable series. We (like the squad) prepare for a great change that is coming for a series. As Gee says in his speech given in honor of Felton, the bodies still fall but they will remember who has fallen. The detectives aren’t perfect but they work for the best. The show aims high and hits the target most of the time.



    My score:8.8

    moreless
Max Perlich

Max Perlich

J.H. Brodie (season 5, TVM, recurring previously)

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)

Jon Seda

Jon Seda

Det. Paul Falsone

Guest Star

Peter Gerety

Peter Gerety

Stu Gharty

Guest Star

Scott William Winters

Scott William Winters

Eddie Dugan

Guest Star

Ami Brabson

Ami Brabson

Mary Pembleton

Recurring Role

Jay Spadaro

Jay Spadaro

Salerno

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Near the beginning of the episode, there's a meeting in Gee's office with Gee, Pembleton, Bayliss, Howard, Russert, Falsone and Gharty. When the meeting is finished they all walk out of the office, but Munch is there as well. He's wearing sunglasses like he was just outside, but he definately comes out of Gee's office door. If he wasn't in the office for the meeting, where did he come from?!

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Lt. Giardello: Bodies will fall. Phone still rings. We still fill out our daily grunt sheets and argue over overtime. Board still collects names. Red and black. And long after the cases blur and our long and our, long after the cases blur and fade entirely from our memory we still remember our own. I'm not gonna stand here and say Beau Felton was perfect. He had problems but we grant him special standing for a time he stood with us. He worked homicide. Thank you all for coming.

    • "Bodies still fall. The phone still rings. We still fill out our daily run sheets and argue about overtime. The board still collects names... in red & black. But long after the cases blur, and fade entirely from our memory… we still remember our own." -G (at Felton's memorial ceremony)

    • "Girls, Girls! You're both pretty!!" -Munch (to Gharty & Falsone)

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More
Less