The District

Season 4 Episode 15

D.C. Confidential

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Feb 14, 2004 on CBS

Episode Recap

This episode is a parody on L. A. Confidential.   In numerous flashbacks, the series stars are characters in the 1954 murder of a jazz singer.

The episode opens at the Korean War Memorial on a foggy evening. Mannion's voiceover provides commentary.   He is describing it as a detective story.

The scene shifts to Jack walking the halls of police headquarters as he writes his story on a legal pad.   While walking, he finds Sherry, Joe Noland, and others cleaning out Ella's office.   He makes them stop, and he and Sherry get into an argument about her lack of a real office, but he stands firm that she can't have Ella's office.

The scene shifts back to the streets of Washington.   An old man is walking around DC.   He visits the Korean War Memorial and several other DC landmarks.   After dark he stops to light a cigarette.   Someone comes up behind him, stabs him and walks away, leaving him dead with the knife stuck in his back.

As the police investigate the scene, they identify the old man as Lewis Cato. In his pocket they find a bar napkin with a poem written on it.   Mannion recognizes it as lyrics to an old jazz song.   Back at headquarters, he plays a record of it, featuring Sonny Farmer, Ella's uncle, playing the saxaphone.   Mannion says Sonny was very big on U Street in the 50's, he recorded only the one album, and Ella had said that he died very young.

Nancy finds an old newspaper clipping in Ella's office things that identifies Sonny Farmer as the primary suspect in the murder of a jazz singer Dinah Wilson in 1954.   The article speculates that Sonny may have committed suicide after murdering Dinah Wilson.

Debreno and Page look for links between Cato and Farmer.   They go back to one of the original detectives on the case.   He provides some background, but is not very much help.   With additional work they find that Cato was a Korean War veteran, and he visited the memorial every week.

Nancy and Page find that Cato had been a bartender in the Hi-Note Club, the bar that Sonny Farmer played in.   Cato and Sonny had served together in Korea, and he (Cato) died in 1953 from war wounds.   When they ran Cato's fingerprints, they found that the Lewis Cato who was just killed at the Memorial was really Sonny Farmer.

Debreno goes to the Hi-Note Club to talk to Collette Upshaw, a piano player who has been there since the 50's.   She tells him that Sonny and Dinah were in love, and Sonny would never have hurt Dinah.

The detective who originally worked the case has located the original evidence and case files, and gets them to Nancy and Page.   This includes a bloody scarf that Dinah Wilson was strangled with.   New DNA methods may allow them to identify the blood, but it will take some time.

Nancy and Page go to see Aida Boatwright, the daughter of Charles Boatwright, who was the owner of the Hi-Note Club at the time of the murder.   She is very wealthy, and lives in a large mansion.   As the interview her, she is polite but somewhat evasive.   Even with his jazz club, her late father's estate could not account for her significant wealth and lifestyle.

Not satisfied, Sherry goes to see Collette Upshaw and finds that Charles Boatwright made his money on royalties from jazz songs he wrote, but he didn't write them.... Sonny did.

Sherry starts working in Jack's office in retaliation for him not getting her one.   When he comes in and finds her there they have a huge argument.   During the argument he inadverdently tells her that he still loves her.

DNA results on the scarf comes back, and they reveal that Charles Boatwright killed Dinah.   She was leaving his club to be with Sonny.   Boatwright knew that his club would be hurt badly if she left.

When they find out how much money Sonny's stolen songs had earned, they search Aida's house and find her clothes with Sonny's blood on them.   She had murdered him because he had come back to claim the songs and the royalties that were rightfully his.

Jack finally gives Sherry a great office.... which the mayor's liason is currently in, and makes Sherry tell him that he now has her "broom closet".

At the end of the episode Jack finally has Ella's office cleaned out and is ready to move on.   As he looks at the office, now empty of all Ella's things, he thinks, "An office is just a bunch of stuff.   Yours won't be here, but you will.   You hate goodbyes as much as I do."   He takes one last look around, then turns and walks away.