Night Heat

Season 1 Episode 21

The Source

Aired Thursday Dec 05, 1985 on CTV
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Source
Up and coming reporter Bobby Taylor, who Tom is mentoring, has a big story with huge implications and tells Tom about it. Due to the nature of the story and since Bobby only has one source and cannot reveal the person, Tom tells him that publishing the article might be dangerous. Bobby leaves angrily and Tom witnesses him being killed by a hit and run driver outside the Eagle's offices.
Tom is tormented by the incident and when the police label it an accident, he returns to the bottle. The case is kept alive because Kevin decides to do a good friend a favor and look into it further.
In a side story, most of the staff give Stevie their paychecks to cash for them. On the way back from the bank, Stevie is mugged and the cash stolen, leaving some with cash flow problems.moreless

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  • One of my favorite episodes - brilliant portrayal of a the dilemma of a journalist and challenges of a recovering alcoholic.

    What a terrific episode! After seeing his protégé Bobby Taylor killed by a hit and run driver, Tom faces a difficult decision: should he let the bombshell of a story that the young man was working on go or should he finish it in his memory? After escorting Bobby's widow to the funeral, they return home to find the apartment ransacked and Bobby's file missing. Later on Bobby's informant contacts Tom terrified that they are on to her. Tom promises to protect her and she only agrees to help on the condition that he promises not to reveal who she is. Tom agrees. This leads to a heated discussion in Elaine's office where she says she can do nothing without the name of Tom's source and he refuses to give her up. Shortly after, the lady turns up dead and Kevin makes Tom identify the body.

    A deeply shaken Tom arrives at Nicole's demanding a drink. In a terrific scene, Nicole refuses to be an enabler to her recovering alcoholic friend and he storms off to his office to dig into a bottle he keeps there.

    Eventually Kevin and Frank piece together enough evidence to make arrests, but must rush against time to save a punch-drunk Tom from putting his life in danger.moreless
Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush

Susan Taylor

Guest Star

Jessica Steen

Jessica Steen

Michelle Parker

Guest Star

Carl Marotte

Carl Marotte

Bobby Taylor

Guest Star

Louise Vallance

Louise Vallance

Det. Stephanie (Stevie) Brody

Recurring Role

Sean McCann

Sean McCann

Lt. Jim Hogan

Recurring Role

Eugene Clark

Eugene Clark

Det. Colby Burns

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In the Night Heat column byline at the end of the show, Bobby Taylor's name appears with Tom Kirkwood's. It is the only episode in the series where Tom's byline is shared.

    • We learn that Colby Burns has written a couple of short stories when he gives them to Tom and asks him to read them and offer feedback.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (opening commentary)
      Tom: You work at your craft for a gang of years and you get a certain reputation. Maybe you even deserve it. Then a bright kid comes along with enthusiasm like you've never seen before and he reminds you of a lot of things. Not the kid you were, but the kid you wanted to be.

    • (holding his regular glass of milk)
      Tom: This isn't gonna help. Give me a scotch on the rocks; just to clear my head a little. (Nicole stares at him in disbelief.) Come on, one drink won't make any difference.
      Nicole: You know better than that.
      Tom: It's a bar, isn't it? People come here and drink alcohol, don't they?
      Nicole: What the hell's the matter with you?
      Tom: I want a scotch on the rocks, very little ice.
      Nicole: You don't need a drink Tom.
      Tom: I don't need a drink. I want a drink!
      Nicole: It's the same thing.
      Tom: In my case you mean?
      Nicole: I'm not giving you a drink and you knew that before you walked in that door. So what are you doing here?
      Tom: Because I want you to stop me. Is that the answer?
      Nicole: I think it's pretty close.
      Tom: That's a lot of crap. I've got the wrong place. (gets up and heads for the door. Nicole goes after him.)
      Nicole: Tom. Tom. Don't do this.
      Tom: It's not your problem Nikkie.

    • Elaine: Why don't we make cops go to law school?
      Frank: You need a reliable source, right?
      Elaine: Mmhmm.
      Frank: You telling me he's (Tom) not reliable?
      Elaine: He is not the source. He won't tell us who the damn source is. Do you know what will happen? I will tell you what will happen. We will go to court and the judge will hold William Randolph Kirkwood here in contempt until he tells us where he's getting all his information.

    • Freddie: So have you heard about this new Cop of the Month thing, huh? Every Precinct is going to put a candidate, Lieutenant's going to make the nomination. So, what do you think me chances are? (greeted with silence) I got shot at!
      Frank: Yeah, but the guy missed.
      Stevie: Maybe you could be target of the month Freddie.
      Freddie: I am misunderstood and undervalued.

    • Lt. Hogan: Why do you always tell me what I can't do? Why don't you tell me what I can do?
      Elaine: It's a personality flaw.

    • (to Kevin and Frank after they try to get evidence in a creative - and illegal - way)
      Lt. Hogan: Of all the stupid, illegal, bonehead plays I've ever come across in my life, you two just topped everything. I won't even ask for an explanation because I don't want to hear it.

    • (closing commentary)
      Tom: I put Bobby Taylor's byline on this column because it's his story. I don't know how much that'll mean to his widow, or to the family of Michelle Parker who was killed because she told the truth. I know what it means to me. Bobby Taylor came to me because he thought I could teach him something, and he taught me. You fight for the truth. You win and you lose and the wins don't make up for the losses. They never do, but they're all we get.

  • NOTES (1)


    • William Randolph Kirkwood
      Is a reference to William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951), an leading American newspaper publisher. While a student in Harvard, he took over the San Francisco Examiner from his father. He became the paper's publisher in 1887 and became a crusader for civic improvement and exposed municipal corruption.

      After moving to New York City, he acquired the New York Journal and ultimately created an enormous publishing empire that at its peak numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities.

      He also served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and was defeated in the 1906 race for New York Governor. His life story was a source of inspiration for the lead character in Citizen Kane.

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