Homicide: Life on the Street

Season 7 Episode 17

Zen and the Art of Murder

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Apr 02, 1999 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • When the victim Williams was shot, he fell a bit a ways from the curb. When his mother got to his body you can see that there is at least a foot of space between the curb and the body. Later on the body has moved and it is flush up against the curb.

  • Quotes

    • Lewis: It was self defence.
      Bayliss: Was it?
      Lewis: Yeah.
      Bayliss: You know maybe it was anger you know, from what he did to Felder, from killing him. Or maybe I was looking for someone, sort of a delayed revenge from my being shot. You know did I see a black man with a gun and I flash back on that instance and I fire early. You know, takin that bullet I'm worried that I'm gonna be goin' down again so I'm pullin early because of the fear I guess.
      Lewis: No, no, no, now you're going after yourself on this. Now just think about what you said. The first thing you said after you shot that suspect, that's the most honest thing there is. You done good and this'll pass.
      Bayliss: It'll pass, huh?
      Lewis: Yeah it'll pass. It'll pass because this is what we do man. You're a cop, you go out there, you deal with this crap day in and day out and you get over it.
      Bayliss: I am a cop.
      Lewis: Yeah. And you know for my money you're a pretty damn good cop.
      Bayliss: Yeah, but I'm not a very good buddist. You know I really thought I got something out of buddism, you know. Who I am, you know. Who I tried to be. My sexuality, my spirituality. I don't, I don't have that. What I have is, I have a second in time. I have a split second in an abandoned building with a gun in my hand and every instinct is telling me who I am at that moment. That's what I got left. And that's all that I got left. Now I'm a homicide cop.

    • Bayliss: I know you went to the temple last night. You knew Roshi Felder?
      Moss: Nobody disrespects me and walks away.
      Bayliss: So you did know him?
      Moss: They don't walk away.
      Bayliss: You killed him?
      Moss: Yeah, I killed him.
      Bayliss: Why? He held all life sacred. He went out on the street to live with people like you because he wanted to help them.
      Moss: I didn't need his help, I just wanted the soup.
      Bayliss: Just wanted the soup?
      Moss: It was just the one night. It was raining. You can't wash windows in the rain. I was hungry. Ain't no shame in a man being hungry.
      Bayliss: No, there's not.
      Moss: All I wanted was a bowl of soup. I didn't take no bread, I just took the soup.
      Bayliss: And Roshi Felder he gave you that soup right?
      Moss: I took my own, I took it from the line like everybody else. That monk he can't leave a man alone. All I wanted was the soup.
      Bayliss: So what did he do?
      Moss: He gives me a spoon.
      Bayliss: A spoon.
      Moss: I don't need that monk giving me no spoon, I can pick up my own damn spoon. He gives me a spoon, I can't let him walk away from that, he don't walk away from that.
      Bayliss: So you went to the temple last night and you beat him to death because of a spoon?
      Moss: You don't talk to me like that. You think I can let you walk away. [Larry Moss pulls a gun]
      Bayliss: Easy. Drop the gun, right now.
      Moss: Hey, don't you worry about it. You die, I take care of myself.
      Bayliss: I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to shoot you Mr. Moss. Drop the gun.
      Moss: I don't need anybody's damn help.
      Bayliss: I won't help you. Drop the gun, and I won't help you. [Moss fires the gun in the air]
      Bayliss: You drop that gun, now!

    • Bayliss: Bailey, Cohen and Jeffries they aren't killers, they're not murderers. You're talkin' about buddists Meldrick.
      Lewis: You can't have it both ways there Roshi Bayliss. I mean if buddists are regular human beings with you know human failings for alcohol or sex or whatever then they're capable of murder. I mean it's been that way since Cain whacked Abel. It's the oldest human failings in the darn godit book.

    • Lewis: Who the hell would want to tick off a buddist monk?
      Munch: Maybe we should ask Bayliss. This whole zen scene is his cup of green tea.
      Lewis: Nope. I don't want to get Bayliss involved in this.
      Munch: Why not?
      Lewis: Because he'll become emotionally invested. He'll want to work the case. That's why not.
      Munch: So let him work the case. Speaking for the dead is a lot easier when you know the language. I don't know about you, but besides Richard Gere and this free Tibet thing I got less than nothing on the Dahla Lama.

  • Notes

    • Giancarlo Esposito and Michael Michele does not appear in this episode.

    • Music in this episode: Dishwalla "The Bridge Song" alb: And You Think You Know What Life's About; Terrell "Hopeful Sinner" alb: Beautiful Side of Madness.

  • Allusions

    • After Stu and Laura interrogate Jacko Bragg and check his alibi, Giardello says, "Get Bragg in a lineup. Maybe seeing him in person will jog Dawson's creaky memory." The show "Dawson's Creek" first aired roughly fifteen months before this episode and by April of 1999 had reached a wide audience.