Andy bangs on the neighbor's door at 5:00 AM; the neighbor is practicing his bassoon for a big concert later that evening. He returns to bed, only to receive a call to a crime scene. He arrives with Clark at the scene of a retired cop, Roy Shaughnessy, and his wife who were beaten and robbed in their home. Sipowicz worked with the cop at the 20th precinct. Shaughnessy has been taken to the hospital; his wife tells the detectives what happened. While leaving Clark makes an off-hand comment about "old-timers," or rather as he corrects himself when Sipowicz appears annoyed "all-timers." The neighbor comes across the hall and gives Connie complementary tickets for her and her husband to his recital. Medavoy and Jones are on the scene of arson, where Barry Tytel, the author of a book "Only Schmucks Pay Income Tax," has found that his vehicle has been torched. Medavoy is more interested in the content of the Tytel's book rather than the arson. Michael's foster father comes to talk to Jones about the fact that he has removed Michael from his family's care. He tells Jones that Michael's father has been by their house and it has made his wife nervous, so they felt it better to see if Michael could find a different situation. Sipowicz and Clark run their case by Rodriguez who seems "a little raggy" as Clark puts it. McDowell tells Sipowicz about the tickets for the chamber music event and he is somewhat less than enthusiastic at the idea of attending such an event. Shaughnessy comes into the squad and tells them about what was stolen, including a letter from Patton. As they were at the academy together Shaughnessy's talks about being older makes Sipowicz feel a little uncomfortable. Jones and Medavoy interview the ex-wife of their arson victim. She tells them about the many people that he has burned because of the contents of his book have backfired for them. Besides, if she was going to set fire to his car, she would have made sure he was in it. Sipowicz and Clark talk to a fence about collectibles, and he agrees, after they've applied a little pressure, to put word out on the street about the Patton letter. Jones and Medavoy go back to talk with Tytel, but Medavoy only inquires further about the tax advantages found in his book. Jones wants the victim to think further about who might have wanted to torch his car; Medavoy gives him the correct spelling of his name so that Tytel can create the necessary paperwork to help him to stop paying taxes. The fence has come into the squad with the Patton letter and he tells him that he got it from J.J. via a middleman. They want more info about "J.J.," which the fence can't give them and they decide to lock him up and give him to the DA for some added incentive to help them out. Ortiz drops off some case folder for Rodriguez, and he dumps some information on her about his not making the captain's list, which he believes is payback for the recent trial. He mentions that Det. Eddie Gibson was promoted to Sergeant and he thinks that his career is stopping at the lieutenant rank. She encourages him to wait it out another year. Jones finds Craig Woodruff, who accuses him of trying to turn his son into a "white boy" like himself. Jones is ready to beat him, but holds back, realizing that is probably what Woodruff would want. Jones and Medavoy respond to Tytel's office, where they find a poisonous snake is being removed from the premises. Tytel knows that his wife knows about his aversion to snakes. Tytel encourages Medavoy to let him prepared a revised tax-form for him. Medavoy wants to look at the ex-wife again and Jones gets information that a pet store van was illegally parked in the area near where Tytel's vehicle was burned. Shaughnessy is in to find out about the progress of his case and tells the detectives that he has never heard of the J.J. whose prints were found on the Patton letter. They tell him that they will keep him informed, something Shaughnessy comments that he's said many times on the job. Jones and Medavoy go to the pet store; Jones mentions to Medavoy that that Michael's aunt is going to be his guardian going forward. The pet store clerk, Ralph Bassett, admits to having driven the van that morning tells the detectives that because it is illegal, their store has not been in the possession of any poisonous snakes. Jones and Medavoy decide to bring him in for further questioning. Sipowicz and Clark go to J.J.'s apartment only to find out that J.J. was removed from his apartment by another older cop, who they believe is Shaughnessy. Sipowicz and Clark go to Shaughnessy's apartment and find out from the wife that J.J. did some work for them. Clark gets a call about Nicky, a friend of J.J.'s and someone he once took a collar with. They go to Nicky's apartment building and they find J.J. handcuffed outside and some commotion coming from the roof. They find Shaughnessy on the roof being beaten by Nicky, who was able to get the upper hand on Shaughnessy. They take Nicky into custody and bring Shaughnessy with along them, that is after the retired detective catches his breath. Jones and Medavoy interview Bassett, who says he was in the neighborhood of the arson for other reasons, in this case a girl. When they ask for confirming information and lay out to him what they already know and some of the circumstances of today's events Bassett confesses. He tells him about how is father is federal prison for tax evasion, due to his use of Tytel's book. Clark talks with J.J. about his relationship with Nicky. Clark tries to bluff him into a confession; meanwhile Sipowicz is talking with Nicky and trying to bluff him. Nicky caves in first and confesses to the crime. Tytel is told about Bassett's confession and Jones tells Tytel he is going to talk to the US Attorney about Tytel's book and its impact. Medavoy rejects Tytel's newly prepared tax form. Sipowicz and Clark talk with Shaughnessy about the case and retired life until Shaughnessy's wife comes to collect him. Jones talks with Michael about his aunt, his father and that fact that he won't be backing down his promise to Michael. Jones turns Michael over to his aunt, who is also worried about any possibility of visits from Michael's father. It was likely something that Shaughnessy said about retired life that causes Andy to change his mind about attending the chamber recital as he and Connie attend the event.moreless
After this episode, ABC put the show on hiatus to make way for it's new drama Line of Fire which premiered the following week in this time slot. The show will return in time for the February sweeps rating period.
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