The seventh season of Homicide: Life on the Street aired in the United States on the NBC television network from September 25, 1998 to May 21, 1999 and contained 22 episodes.
The seventh season marked the debut of characters FBI Agent Michael Giardello and Detective Rene Sheppard. Recurring character Detective Terri Stivers became a regular cast member as of season 7.
The DVD box set of season 7 was released for Region 1 on June 28, 2005. The set includes all 22 season 7 episodes on six discs.
During the sixth season, NBC had been considered canceling the show in the face of consistently low ratings, but a number of shocks at NBC increased Homicide's value. Among those factors were the loss of the popular series Seinfeld and the $850 million deal needed to keep ER from leaving the network. As a result, the network approved a 22-episode seventh season.
Bayliss returns to duty to discover the bosses have renovated the squad room in an attempt to make everyone forget the tragedy of last May. Gharty and Ballard have also returned and Ballard debates about whether she should ask Falsone to the Lodge party. New detective, Rene Sheppard, tells her just to go for it. Seizing the opportunity, Lewis goes for it and asks Sheppard to the party; it seems that he and Barbara have separated and are on their way to divorce. Meanwhile, Falsone speculates if he should ask Sheppard to the party. The first case Bayliss catches, now partnered with Munch, involves the dismembered body of Angelo Faltislo, a friend of Gee's cousin, Mario Giardello. Stivers and Falsone's case is similar: Leo Grimaldi, another friend of Mario, is also found dead. When Gee goes to question cousin Mario, he finds Mario's body in the same condition as that of his friends. Gee's estranged son, Mike Giardello, an FBI agent in Arizona, returns for the funeral. Mike asks Falsone (w
Sheppard and Lewis investigate the death of a man who has a twin brother. Gharty talks about wanting to live his life; he and Ballard go to the hospital to investigate the death of a teenager. Bayliss has interest in Sheppard; later he seeks advice from Stivers, who tells him to get in line behind Lewis and Falsone. Lewis and Sheppard interview the remaining twin and his mother; she confirms his story and they try to point to the dead twin's girlfriend. Meanwhile the friend of the teenage victim in Ballard and Gharty's case confesses that his friend wasn't shot in Baltimore, but rather D.C.; he drove his friend back to Baltimore so their parent's wouldn't "kill them" for buying drugs in D.C. Gee hopes to get the case moved to D.C. Mike Giardello puts in for his FBI transfer, but the only openings they have in the area are for liaisons to local police departments. He interviews with Gaffney, who is so open to the idea, he can't wait to tell Gee. That's something Mike was going to wait f
MGee (Mike Giardello) and Ballard investigate a double shooting at the home of a prominent sports doctor and his wife, a dermatologist. The doctor (who was wounded) did not realize the deceased (thought to be a prowler) was his sister-in-law. Munch contends with the IRS; his Waterfront partners want him to make sure that his cousin, their accountant, has been paying their taxes. The Waterfront needs a loan to pay for some improvements. Gharty has taken the day off, to take care of personal matters, like his recent separation from Flora. Munch has his hearing with the IRS; he owes $30,000 in back taxes. Bayliss and Sheppard discuss his sexuality and the possibility of a date. Falsone takes MGee and Ballard to meet an old fight man who knew their doctor. Ballard becomes excited while watching Falsone spar in the ring. MGee and Ballard's investigation lead them right back to the doctor's house, where his wife may be guilty of conspiracy to commit homicide. Gharty stops by the Waterfront t
A woman brings to the homicide unit her mystery-writer husband's videotaped declaration that his literary agent is responsible for his murder. Ballard and Gharty catch the case -- only there is no body or crime scene. Meanwhile, Munch and Bayliss investigate the death of an elderly woman that occurred during a break-in -- was it a homicide? Munch would rather leave for his weekend rendezvous with Billie Lou. Ballard and Gharty's investigation becomes a red-ball as they find evidence in the writer's office that a crime was committed. A break leads to the arrest of the literary agent and his accomplice, although Danvers can't guarantee a conviction. Falsone asks Ballard if she would like to go out Saturday night; just then the jury comes back. And a sharp-eyed juror insures that justice is done.
Ballard is annoyed when she finds out that the fact that she had a date with Falsone is around the squad room. Munch has a doctor's appointment and he's not talking about it. Dr. Griscom calls on the homicide unit when he sees a number of deaths that are related by a poison named phosphozine. The FBI steps in on the poisonings and they put MGee in charge of a task force; they consider it an act of domestic terrorism. One of the victims was a priest; two others were his parishioners. Gharty suspects the communion wine. Following this idea, wine bottles are collected from churches around the city. A needle hole is found through one of the corks. A citywide canvassing of all places where wine can be purchased is launched. Gee disagrees with the bureau's policy of keep information from the public. One possible suspect is captured; however, strange as he is, he's not the one. Through an internal leak, the media is alerted and warns the public, sparking chaos. MGee suspects the source of the
Bounty hunters shoot, killing the wrong man, as they enter a building where their fugitive---a man named Joe Errico---has shot at them (and subsequently gotten away). Gharty has vague memories of a drinking binge from the night before. Falsone and Stivers catch the bounty-hunter case. Sheppard, during her days with the fugitive squad, had dealings with the head bounty hunter. Gaffney stops Gee and MGee on their way in, Baltimore magazine wants to do a father and son piece, using the wine case as a focal point. Gee is not interested, especially about the use of the wine case. Gharty struggles as he tries to reconstruct the events of the night before. Munch is bothered by Gharty's stories of Vietnam and each grows to dislike the other - perhaps some competitiveness over Billie Lou is beginning to brew here. Bounty hunter P.J. Johnson, who was identified as the triggerman, is charged and placed in one of the holding cells, near some of his previously captured quarry. Within an hour his ba
Lewis is transported to the hospital, as is the passenger of the car that MGee hit. Gharty is worked up about women and finances, because he and Flora and their lawyers are going to be working out the financial details of their divorce. Gee & MGee are not interested in cooperating with the bounty hunters; however, Knoll is the only one who can get any information on the whereabouts of Errico from Errico's mother. She has promised to page Knoll when her son calls. (Joe Errico has gone south to Miami.) Knoll offers to pay the expenses of having homicide detectives go to Miami and work with him, but Gee declines that generous offer and sends his detectives separately. In Miami, Bayliss and MGee work with Knoll to capture Errico. Knoll offers to split the huge bounty with the homicide detectives, which they of course refuse. MGee decides that the best use for the bounty might be for the man whose wife had died from the injuries she sustained in the car accident.
Mike Kellerman's new vocation is private investigation, where the majority of the work involves catching cheating spouses. Falsone and Stivers catch a case where a newborn baby's body is found buried behind a motel. A young couple had checked into the room where the baby was delivered. The room was paid for using the girl's credit card. When they locate the girl (Debbie at home with her parents), she collapses and is brought to the hospital. The boy, Craig, is also located. Both say that the baby was stillborn; however, the autopsy reveals that the baby took a breath after it was born, so the death is ruled a homicide. Falsone notes that of the two, only the boy Craig seems to show any compassion for the baby. Kellerman meets Sheppard for a beer and tries to ask her about Falsone's baby case, later he asks around the squad room. Kellerman is hired to conduct his own investigation by the girl's defense team. Gee demands that Falsone and Stivers find convicting evidence before Kellerman
Debbie Straub signs the plea agreement, pointing to Craig as the killer of the baby. Falsone wants more time to work on the case. Danvers reminds Kellerman there was a time when the truth mattered more than his paycheck. Gharty goes off when Sheppard and MGee ask to many questions about Kellerman's leaving of the homicide unit. Kellerman appears to begin doing the right thing, but doesn't pass anything on to anyone who might be able to do anything with it. Craig believes that Debbie isn't going to let him down and he has no plans to testify on his own behalf. Ballard searches for a dinner date when Falsone leaves a message he won't be joining her. When she sees him in the Waterfront later, she lets him know how she feels about his method of communication. The case goes to trial, Debbie testifies that Craig killed the baby; with no evidence to the contrary, the jury finds Craig guilty. Falsone talks with Craig about what really happened; however, it is all to no avail as the following m
A white bus driver striking a black female pedestrian sparks a riot. The driver is killed, and some distance away from the riot another body is found. MGee and Gharty look into the death of the driver while Lewis and Sheppard look into death of the other body. Lewis finds a clue at the scene, a button (later discovered to be missing from a police uniform). Gharty and MGee actively debate whether race was the motivation for the driver's beating death; MGee suspects the incident wasn't racially motivated. The bus riders are interviewed to find out what they know. Lewis and Sheppard approach a house looking for their witness (without backup). For her trouble Sheppard keeps hold of her suspect, but loses her gun and is severely beaten. Ballard is recalled from her hiking vacation. Lewis lays down the law for the residents of "Little Jamaica"; he wants Sheppard's gun returned tonight. The witness Sheppard caught identifies Hellriegel as the murderer, and the men who beat the driver to death
A body buried for 6 - 20 years is uncovered at a construction site. Munch and Lewis begin the process of trying to solve this old crime. Falsone and Ballard's relationship has heated up, and that fact becomes apparent to their fellow detectives. Sheppard returns to work, but is discouraged when Gee assigns her to desk duty. Gharty tells Billie Lou that he'll attend her bass-playing concert. Munch & Lewis with help from the ME and MGee, identify the body and then begin to piece together what happened to her. Gee lays down the law to Ballard & Falsone: they have to knock it off if they want to stay working on the same shift; they agree.
Gharty has a Vietnam flashback. Sheppard is placed back into rotation. Lewis asks Falsone to switch cases, as Lewis is still unsure about Sheppard's ability to be back on the street in the part of town where their call lies. Munch and MGee work a case where the victim was hit and run. One of the victim's possessions is a knife that has some meaning for Gharty, who later is able to recognize the tattoo found on the victim. Sheppard confronts Lewis about the case switch. She and Stivers talk more... after Stivers, working with Falsone, sees him "go off" on a potential witness... Munch and MGee find their hit and run vehicle, a rental SUV, whose renter claims to know nothing of the incident and says he had filed a stolen-vehicle report. Munch pulls the victim's DOD file and---for good measure---Gharty's! Munch, begins to spread doubts with the other detectives about Gharty's Vietnam experience, because the file tells him that Gharty had a less than honorable discharge. A kid, who had stol
The Internet is stage for a ritual murder, which was staged -- which was staged, or was it? The body is found the following morning and Sheppard takes the call, her first since the beating. Since Lewis can't be found, she partners with Bayliss. Second shift detectives Bonaventura and Austin catch word of the day shift's case. It seems the victim in Sheppard's case was a witness they had interviewed the day before about an online murder hoax. The detectives are informed about another murder that is scheduled for midnight. It's a red ball. The detectives try to put the clues together, but come up with nothing and must wait until the netcast begins before they can trace the killer. The trace is successful, but when they arrive at the scene, the killer has left them a computer with the words "Ha Ha Fooled You." Barnfather wants Bayliss reassigned as primary if something doesn't turn up soon. Sheppard goes online to flush out the killer. He advertises another murder will take place at www.i
Ballard and Bayliss are called to the scene of the mysterious death of a woman, whose body is found at the bottom of a forty-foot cliff. This victim was to be married the following morning. The two detectives work to determine whether the death was accidental or intentional (via murder or suicide). Meanwhile Sheppard and MGee begin investigating the death of a movie patron, whose body was discovered after the show ended and the theater cleared out. MGee mentions to Sheppard that his sister is about to have a baby, which means Gee is about to become a grandfather. Their investigation reveals that the movie patron was regularly loud and obnoxious and thus bad for business. When an overdose of a sedative is found in his bloodstream, the detectives question the theater owner, who was currently in litigation with the victim. Unfortunately for Ballard and Bayliss, their case remains unsolved.
Danvers brings news of his appointment to the District Court bench as the investigation of a government official named Janine McBride, begun on Law & Order continues in New York. Their prime suspect, Chesley Purcell, is dead and her shooter, Ned Burks, is in the hands of the Feds. What was her connection back to Washington? Gee expresses his anger with MGee over letting his "ham fisted" bosses at the FBI know what was going on, since they in turn had informed Wm. Dell, the Independent Counsel. Burks is given a limited amount of immunity for his testimony to Dell, but McCoy and Danvers get an order that allows them to be present at his questioning; but neither the Independent Counsel nor McCoy and Danvers get anything useful. Meanwhile, the Baltimore detectives investigate the background of Chesley Purcell and it turns up the name of a man in prison who still appears to be running his organization. So there could be no more leaks, MGee asks to be kept out of the investigation. (Sideshow (1) aired on Law & Order, season 9, episode 14.)
A woman comes looking for Falsone, knowing that he solved a real old case, wants him to look into a case for her from 1972. Her parents told her that she was responsible for her younger brother's death. Despite being three years old at the time, the woman has doubts about her parents' story. So Falsone and Stivers reopen this case, which was closed by Gee when he was a new detective. The reopening of the case makes Gee think that he may not have been totally focused on the case at the time. Their investigation reveals the woman's mother used her as a scapegoat for the mother's crime. Bayliss and Ballard's case involves a body that was shot, but the victim was already dead from a drug overdose. The male sergeant at the scene piques Bayliss's interest, so they get together for drinks. Their relationship doesn't develop, because word is spreading about Bayliss being the owner of the "In Plain Site" web site. Bayliss begins feeling pressure about his being different and considers celibacy.
Lewis and Munch begin to investigate the death of a Buddhist monk beaten to death. Lewis isn't interested in working the case with Bayliss, whom he feels, may become too emotionally involved. Ballard and Falsone agree to call their relationship quits. Ballard and Gharty's case involves a man who was shot down in the street; the three witnesses that saw the shooter all have different recollections of his appearance. As a result, their prime suspect cannot be charged. Gee asks for Bayliss's assistance in the Buddhist murder and to Lewis's dismay, Munch abdicates his position in the investigation to Bayliss. Lewis and Bayliss take different approaches to the investigation. Bayliss's approach leads him to the man who committed the crime, but cornering his suspect leads to a showdown with guns and Bayliss fires a fatal shot. Later Bayliss tries to reconcile the shooting with his own feelings about being a Buddhist and being a cop.
In Stivers and Falsone's case, a man is found shot dead in his bed, with no signs of a struggle. Gee lobbies Barnfather to find a way to get them the ability to have some control over their FBI liaison, so they don't experience the same problems they had with the Janine McBride case. Barnfather lets Gee know that there is Captain's position opening up and he should be inline for it with no catches. Lewis lets Ballard accompany him on a bar stabbing, when she accuses him of being afraid to work with a female, since the incident with Sheppard. While she does get to help him with the initial investigation, Lewis manages to work the rest of the case on his own, leaving her to handle the details. Meanwhile, Ballard's usual partner Gharty spends a "mental health day" at the Waterfront Bar, drinking and proposing to Billie Lou. Stivers and Falsone discover their victim had a bad breakup with his ex-wife Eleanor Burke, and she admits to committing the crime; however, as an assistant US attorne
Falsone and Lewis investigate the murder of a man in his own backyard. The victim's nose was removed from his body. Ballard and Gharty investigate the murder of a bartender at a strip club. Canvassing the neighbors, Falsone feels that one of the neighbors isn't what she appears to be. Later when they interview her husband, he gets the same feeling. The MEs complete a record setting day of completing autopsies, but find themselves with one unidentified extra body. Munch and Bayliss get the call, but insist that until they can get a crime scene to go to, the problem isn't theirs. Griscom finds the crime scene in the morgue freezer. Ballard mentions to Gharty that he might want to consider stopping his drinking. Falsone's theory about the victim's neighbors proves true when MGee checks into the Witness Protection program. MGee's phone call puts the wheels in motion to get the family moved. Falsone and Lewis arrive just in time to take their suspect into custody and away from the Feds. The
Emmet Carey is holding his two children hostage in the apartment of his wife's sister. He sees MGee on television and decides that he will talk only to him and occasionally Gharty who is also on the scene. The wife also shows up on the scene and gets past the security. Her screaming sets of Emmet, who fires two shots out that window that strike his wife dead. MGee has to keep the information from him as they continue to negotiate. The crisis ends when Emmet releases his stepdaughter, but makes a deadly choice for himself and his son.
When the men are nowhere to be found, Sheppard and Ballard team up to investigate the death of young girl, who's a teenage gang member. With the wedding one week away, Billie Lou asks for Munch's help with her neighbor's abusive boyfriend. After Munch approaches him strongly, the boyfriend retaliates by coming to the Waterfront and slamming Billie Lou's head on the bar. Munch claims he came on strong with the guy, because his "testosterone riddled behavior" was due to the celibacy Billie Lou imposed on him, to make their wedding night more special. Billie Lou wants to delay the wedding until the welt on her forehead goes away in about 3 weeks. After Sheppard and Ballard solve their case, Sheppard reminds Lewis that his problem with her is not going to keep her from doing her job.
Sheppard and Bayliss await the trial of Luke Ryland, the Internet killer. A number of delays keep the hearing from being held; the last time it is because Danvers can't make it due to being held up in another trial. Because of a technicality in the law, Ryland is set free. Bayliss is outraged and winds up pushing Danvers, who later threatens to put Bayliss up on charges. Gee's daughter Teresa arrives, to help with the celebration of her father's promotion. Gee asks Bayliss to apologize to Danvers and Bayliss declines. Lewis and Falsone look into the murder of a drug addict whose husband looks like the most probable suspect. The victim's mother-in-law isn't very cooperative and her sister is a nun who thinks her brother-in-law is an architect. Gee worries about whether or not he will be able to perform in his new role as Captain of the property crimes division, later he turns down the promotion. Bayliss and Lewis have words about the way each other handle their memories of the past.