Homicide: Life on the Street (1993)

Homicide: Life on the Street - Season 2 Episodes

Homicide: Life on the Street - Season 2

Homicide: Life on the Street - Season 2

The second season of Homicide: Life on the Street, an American police procedural drama television series, originally aired in the United States between January 6 and January 27, 1994. Due to low Nielsen ratings during the first season, NBC executives decided to order only a four-episode season, after which they would evaluate the ratings and decide whether to renew the show. Homicide was moved to a new timeslot of Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST, temporarily replacing the legal drama L.A. Law. NBC requested several changes from the series, including fewer episode subplots and less camera movements and jump cuts.

The entire Homicide cast returned for the second season. The uncertainty over Homicide's future was stressful for the cast and crew, and the logistics of scheduling the filming around the actors' schedules was difficult. Daniel Baldwin publicly criticized NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield over the matter, and it was initially reported Ned Beatty would not return at all. The second season was the last to include original cast member Jon Polito, who was reportedly dismissed because NBC officials were unhappy with his physical appearance. Polito was publicly critical of the show after his dismissal.

Homicide: Life on the Street S2E1
Episode 1

Bop Gun

"Bop Gun" is the second season premiere of the American police drama television series Homicide: Life on the Street, and the tenth overall episode of the series. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on January 6, 1994. In the episode, the Baltimore homicide unit investigates the shooting death of the wife of a tourist, played by guest star Robin Williams.

The episode was written by David Mills and David Simon based on a story by executive producer Tom Fontana, and directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. In response to network feedback and poor ratings from the first season, "Bop Gun" marked several changes in the series, including a less bleak visual style and a greater focus on one plot, rather than multiple subplots. It was also the first episode to focus primarily on a homicide victim, rather than on the detectives. Simon felt the dialogue was realistic, especially that of the dark humor employed by detectives as a coping mechanism for dealing with the horrors of the job.

Williams previously worked with Homicide executive producer Barry Levinson on the films Good Morning, Vietnam and Toys. This led to speculation that Williams took the role on "Bop Gun" as a favor to Levinson, but the actor insisted it was out of admiration for the series itself. A young Jake Gyllenhaal, the son of the episode's director, makes an appearance as Williams' son. The episode was the first to feature Chris Tergesen as music coordinator, which resulted in the use of more songs than previous episodes, including "Killer" by Seal and "Feels Like Rain" by Buddy Guy.

Homicide: Life on the Street S2E2
Episode 2

See No Evil

"See No Evil" is the second episode of the second season of the American police drama television series Homicide: Life on the Street, and the eleventh overall episode of the series. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on January 13, 1994. In the episode, Felton's friend kills his father in an assisted suicide, and Felton tries to convince Lewis to look the other way. In a subplot, Pembleton investigates what appears to be the police shooting of an unarmed suspect.

The episode was directed by Chris Menaul and written by series creator Paul Attanasio. Wilford Brimley made a guest appearance as Harry Prentice, an ill and bed-ridden man who convinces his son to help him kill himself. Attanasio deliberately wrote the script so it would be morally questionable whether police handling of both the suicide and the police shooting were done in an ethically correct way. Pembleton's investigation was based on a real-life investigation into a suspicious shooting featured in David Simon's non-fiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, on which the Homicide series was based.

Detectives from the Baltimore Police Department wrote a letter of formal protest to executive producer Barry Levinson over the negative portrayal of police in the episode. According to Nielsen Media Research, "See No Evil" was seen by 12.53 million household viewers. Although a drop from the previous episode "Bop Gun", it was nevertheless considered a strong rating for Homicide, which NBC was still considering whether to renew. The episode received generally positive reviews.

Homicide: Life on the Street S2E3
Episode 3

Black and Blue

Things begin to heat up between Pembleton and Gee over the alleged police brutality case and one of the suspects is an ex-lover of Kay's. Bolander meets a waitress who encourages him to resume his cello playing. Munch's girlfriend is less than enthusiastic when he surprises her with a new fish for her tank. Frank, in the box, gets the confession that Gee is looking for. Unfortunately, the suspect is anything but guilty of that crime.

Homicide: Life on the Street S2E4
Episode 4

A Many Splendored Thing

Bolander asks Kay if she would double date with him and Linda, to try to take the pressure off his first real date. A slain phone-sex operator is found clutching a note naming her boss as the perpetrator, Bayliss and Pembleton investigate. Munch has trouble dealing with Bolander's happiness, so he crashes the double date and makes everyone miserable. A man is shot to death over a pen at the library, Lewis and Crosetti investigate and find a man with a pen fetish. As Bayliss looks into the murder he begins to get involved.