Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 3 Episode 7

The Last of the Watermen

2
Aired Friday 10:00 PM Dec 09, 1994 on NBC
7.6
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Last of the Watermen
AIRED:
After uncovering the fact that an elderly woman's tongue was cut out, Kay decides it is time to take a vacation. She returns home and while she is there she looks into the murder of an environmentalist. The suspects include her brother, an ex-beau and their co-worker. Pembleton reluctantly becomes Felton's partner and they finish investigating the murder of the elderly woman. Munch is against having a television put in their bar.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Felton and Howard investigate a gruesome murder, that causes Howard to take a vacation, forcing Pembleton to partner with Felton once again. Howard tries to relax at home with her family, but soon becomes part of a murder investigation.moreless

    8.4
    In this episode Kay gets her revenge with Felton who has used her to deal with his own personal problems. That and the grossness of the murder she and Felton are investigating, makes her take a vacation.



    This episode focuses alot on Kay and introduces her family to the audience for the first time. At first it seems too convenient that a murder occurs almost as soon as Howard settles in back home.



    You get the sense that Felton really takes a liking to working with Pembleton, mentioning how easy solving the case they are investigating was.



    The three detectives quest of opening a bar is apparently up and running again, although we don't see Lewis and Bayliss making good on their past differences.



    All in all a good relaxing episode right after one where we find out Crosetti is dead.moreless
  • Kay Howard goes on vacation...Homicide style.

    8.5
    After a really grisly case, Detective Howard decides to go home and finds herself in the middle of a homicide investigation.



    This was an odd episode in the cannon of the series. In my opinion it was still a good episode, but without the trappings of the city and the squad room it felt odd and too different. It also hinged on a solid character, but not someone who was generally considered a favorite character.



    I admire what they tried to do. Extend the character of the location. Much was made in the series about the city itself. This episode took us to the waterways of Maryland, and the livelihood of the people that inhabit them.



    That not withstanding it didn't feel like a true homicide episode. Even though it was still a good and dramatic story.



    It did help to introduce us to characters we would see later. We did get to know Kay better...but still, this wasn't a show about hero figures and individuals. It was about a group of detectives and the city they live. This episode flew in the face of that.moreless
  • Fortunately, the only one of its kind.

    4.8
    As Homicide went into its third season, the show would begin to make some experiments with the format. Sometimes they would show the episode from the point of view of the less important characters, sometimes we would see things from another characters point of view. One of the latter experiments occurs in ‘Last Of The Watermen’ which explores the personal life of Kay Howard--- unfortunately, not very well.



    It is not difficult to believe that Howard--- or any of the detectives--- would become overwhelmed with some of the grimmer aspects of the job. The murder of Audrey Resnick--- a sweet old woman who was killed and had her tongue cut out and stuffed back into her mouth--- finally pushes her too far and she goes on vacation to her family’s home on the eastern shore of Baltimore in order to find some peace. But, as Thomas Wolfe said, you can’t go home again. The town has changed immensely--- her father has retired from his job, the oyster business in which he and so many of his colleagues worked is in decline due to economics and ecological changes, and a former flame of hers has gotten married and divorced. Now this could all be dramatically interesting or effective if it weren’t for the fact that about halfway through the episode, one of the men in charge of conservation is murdered and Howard is asked to help with the investigation (since this is the fist murder in several years).



    The overall effect is to turn this episode into a retread of ‘Murder, She Wrote’ particularly since all the suspsects are friends of hers. About the only thing that saves this from falling into cliché is the fact that the trademark realism that we see on ‘Homicide’ in present here. There are no plot twists,, no grand motives no trick to capture the killer. The person that we first suspect is the murderer and the reasons are no more arcane than what were plainly obvious. There is nothing sinister underneath it all, just a man who got upset at how his life was falling apart.



    While all of this exploration is different, unfortunately it is not very interesting--- particularly because the episode keeps cutting back to the murder of Audrey Resnick which Felton is investigating. And adding to the fun is the fact that Gee has enlisted the reluctant Pembleton to help him investigate this murder. The two have always shown sparks before, but there is more energy to their sparring. The two of them have a brilliant dialogue when Felton explains his standards for whether a death is a ‘killing’ or a ‘murder’--- something which insults Frank because he believes that every life has meaning and therefore every death does to. The two of them put some of their testosterone to work when while looking for the victims grandson who they suspect is the killer they take opposing sides in a basketball game and end up going one on one. They eventually do catch the killer and find out his motives are about as straightfoirward as we usually get on Homicide ; he killed his grandmother because he was sick of hearing her degrade him.



    Given what happened to Kay in this episode it is kind of hard to believe that she would return to her job feeling reenergized as she seems to be. However, maybe her feeling is one of relief of realizing that for all the ugliness that Charm City can muster up at times it’s more comfortable dealing with murder there than in a place that you once called sacred.



    ‘Last of the Waterman’ ironically only works as an episode whenever it goes away from its main story. Maybe it’s because Baldwin and Braugher have a much more energetic interaction than Leo’s interactions with her family or maybe it’s because of the differences with the story. Whatever the case, this kind of exploration into the detectives lives would be tried again but never quite like this. The creators would learn their lessons well.

    My score: 4.8

    moreless
Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher

Det. Frank Pembleton (seasons 1-6, TVM)

Kyle Secor

Kyle Secor

Tim Bayliss

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Det. John Munch

Ned Beatty

Ned Beatty

Stan Bolander (Seasons 1-3)

Daniel Baldwin

Daniel Baldwin

Beau Felton (Seasons 1-3, recurring subsequently, TVM)

Isabella Hofmann

Isabella Hofmann

Megan Russert (Seasons 3-4, recurring otherwise)

John Dossett

John Dossett

Chick

Guest Star

Michael Currie

Michael Currie

Wesley Howard

Guest Star

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams

Chris Haskett

Guest Star

Harlee McBride

Harlee McBride

Dr. Alyssa Dyer

Recurring Role

Kristin Rohde

Kristin Rohde

Sally Rogers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • As Pemberton and Felton get out of the car to arrest Artie Resnik, Pemberton is first seen with a new lit cigarette in his mouth. The scene cuts to Pemberton patting down Artie (who amusingly asks "Got a cigarette?") and Pemberton's own cigarette has now vanished. Felton gives Artie a cigarette, the scene cuts again to Felton lighting Artie's smoke, as Pemberton re-enters the frame with his cigarette back in his mouth. Felton asks if he killed her and he confesses, the shot cuts once more and Pemberton's cigarette has once again disappeared. Just before Pemberton cuffs Artie at the car Felton remarks (even more amusingly) "Lose the cigarette Artie".

    • In the opening scene of the episode Munch is sitting in the Laundromat as Gee enters. Munch throws a white shirt at his washing machine. It sticks on the door, half in and half out of the machine as we see Gee start to walk past behind him. The scene cuts to a fraction of a second later with Gee still walking past behind Munch, and Munch still sitting in his chair, but the white shirt hanging from the washing machine has now gone.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Felton: Hey, Griswald was a smoke hound with a rap sheet two feet long full of rapes and assaults and assorted other dark deeds. His death like his life was meaningless. Mrs. Audrey Resnick was a sweet, innocent old lady who died violently in what should have been the safety of her own home. That's a lose of life, Frank. That's murder.
      Pembleton: Huh, well stupid me, I didn't know there are now two kinds of homicide. I didn't know cops got to decide who's life was valiable, who's life was worth venging.
      Felton: A little old lady is brutally beaten by someone. Her tongue is cut out and stuffed back in her mouth. How can you not be outraged by that?
      Pembleton: I am, Felton. I'm outraged about that woman in Howard County who's car got jacked and she was dragged to her death at 65 miles an hour. I'm outraged about that four year old girl from Canada who caught a stray bullet in the head. I'm also outraged by the murder of Kenny Griswald, a meaningless little smoke hound. 'Cause where I come from, every life has meaning. Even yours, Felton. Even yours.

    • Munch: "What happened to the good old bar where you just go in and talk to the bartender, you think, you get depressed, and you drink, and you go home and puke?"
      Meldrick: "It's outdated, Munch."

  • NOTES (5)

    • Isabella Hofmann does not appear in this episode.

    • During a scene in the oysterman's bar, the background audio and video from a television are playing an episode of an old NBC show called Hardball that aired during the 1989 - 1990 television season. The audio featured the voices of its stars, John Ashton (Charlie) and Richard Tyson (Kaz). Part of the dialog featured is Charlie complaining to Kaz about someone "screwing around with this radio." I can't make a tangible connection regarding why this was used. Maybe someone on the production staff just liked Hardball, I know I did!

    • Jim Shanklin as Ken Bradley was listed in TV Guide as being in this episode, but was not listed on any of the on-screen credits.

    • Harlee McBride who debuted in this episode as Alyssa Dyer is married to Richard Belzer in real life.

    • Music in this episode: Counting Crows "Raining in Baltimore" alb: August and Everything After; Gregg Swann "Bored to Tears" alb: Fever Dream; Sky Kings "We Got it Goin' On".

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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