Skippable — Homicide: Life on the Street

A list I made for myself, for re-watching one of the best television series of all time.

It’s a work in progress posted as a response to Brooklyn 99’s episode “The Box”…

Titles in bold below are ones that I think are essential viewing. Titles in strikethrough are skippable. Titles with no decoration are optional.

There are a few character arcs that I’ve highlighted for revisiting certain key storylines: The Adena Watson Arc, the Officer Chris Thompson arc; the Luther Mahoney arc, etc.

To be cleaned up when I find the time…

Season 1

Pretty much fully formed right out of the gate.

  • Gone for Goode – Essential viewing. Establishes character and is an amazing pilot. Even now it seems innovative. Bingeable Crosetti arc Howard/Felton arc
  • A Ghost of a Chance – Baylis 1st case (Baylis Route-Adena Watson) / Howard Route?) Lee Tergeson. Officer Chris Thormann arc Crosetti arc Howard/Felton arc. Jeff Mandon (Officer Fred Hellriegel)
  • Night of the Dead Living (Adena Watson, some) SKIPPABLE Lee Tergeson . Officer Chris Thormann arc Crosetti dead arc
  • Son of a Gun – Essential viewing. Bingeable Lee Tergeson. Officer Chris Thormann arc blinded in this epCrosetti dead arc Howard/Felton arc
  • A Shot in the Dark – Essential viewing.Bingeable. Lee Tergeson. Officer Chris Thormann arc Crosetti dead arc Adena Watson arc
  • Three Men and Adena – Essential viewing. Bingeable Adena Watson arc
  • A Dog and Pony Show – Essential viewing. (ida May Keene) Lee Tergeson. Officer Chris Thormann arc Crosetti dead arc Howard/Felton arc
  • And the Rockets’ Dead Glare (Munch) skippable, Crosetti episode Howard/Felton arc
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Electrolite Neutron Magnetic test! Best ep of season one. (WIRE REF) Bingeable Howard/Felton arc

Season 2

A four episode season, which has to be one of the shortest for a network season of a renewed show.

  • See No Evil (beginnings of Pembleton police involved shooting. Otherwise skippable) Crosetti case Howard/Felton arc. Jeff Mandon (Officer Fred Hellriegel)
  • Black and Blue GREAT STANDALONE EPISODE ***** (Bingewatch) Julianna Margulies, Isaiah Washington. Directed by Chris Menaul, the episode’s teleplay was written by James Yoshimura based on a story by series executive producer Tom Fontana. Yoshimura considered “Black and Blue” the favorite script he wrote for Homicide. 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 (WIRE REF). Jeff Mandon (Officer Fred Hellriegel). Amazing Box scene
  • A Many Splendored Thing – was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay of an Episodic Drama.Bayliss’ introduction to BDSM.
  • Bop Gun – Stars Robin Williams. was the final appearance by Jon Polito, who had played Detective Steve Crosetti who was one of my favs. (Bingewatch) (WIRE REF?) Howard/Felton arc

Season 3

  • Nearer My God to Thee – Introduction to new shift commander Megan Russert. and a white glove murders (skippable?) Howard/Felton arc
  • Fits like a glove (part 2 of white gloves murder) (skippable?) Howard/Felton arc
  • Extreme Unction – Part 3 of white gloves Bingeable?
  • Crosetti – Essential Bingeable. Lee Tergeson. Officer Chris Thormann arc. Crosetti dead arc 
  • The Last of the Watermen – Nice Melissa Leo episode. Skippable. Howard/Felton arc
  • A Model Citizen – Bayliss gets a GF, emma zool. skippable Howard/Felton arc Bayliss Q
  • Happy to be Here – emma zool pt 2. sjkippable Howard/Felton arc
  • All Through the House – Ho-ho-homicide. Great standalone.
  • Nothing Personal – crosetti’s cases get divided BINGEABLE Howard/Felton arc?
  • Every Mother’s Son – kid shoots kid. bar stuff. Howie Mandel Howard/Felton arc
  • Cradle to Grave – Skippable.
  • Partners – Skippable
  • The City the Bleeds – Detectives get shot BINGEABLE Howard/Felton arc
  • Dead End – BINGEABLE Howard/Felton arc
  • End Game – Steve Buscemi BINGEABLE best of the season… STANDALONE Howard/Felton arc.
  • Law and Disorder – John Waters Chris Noth – BINGEABLE
  • The Old and the Dead
  • In Search of Crimes Past – skippable
  • Colors – good scene chewing
  • The Gas Man BINGEABLE bruno Kirby. Last Ep w/ Beatty and Baldwin. DVD has commentary. STANDALONE last appearance of Felton and Beatty

Season 4

  • Fire (Part 1 and 2) – introduces Kellerman
  • Autofocus – introduces Max Perlich (skippable)
  • A Doll’s Eyes – Marcia Gay Hardin. BINGEABLE. The sound design in this is great. Tiny Mandy Patinkin cameo
  • Heartbeat – Edgar Allen Poe. Fun, but skippable.
  • Hate Crimes – Good LGBT-friendly but skippable.
  • Thrill of the Kill – Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Unit)
  • Sniper (Part 1 & 2) – Jay Leno cameo. Sound mix is really terrible in part one. fades in and out in parts….
  • Full Moon – Rev. Horton Heat. skippable.
  • Law and Order “Charm City” (Season 6, Episode 13) BINGEABLE
  • For God and Country (Crossover with Law and Order) starring JK Simmons
  • The Hat – Lily Tomlin GREAT STANDALONE
  • I’ve Got a Secret
  • Justice (Part 1 & 2) Bruce Campbell! Part 2 written by David Simon
  • Stakeout Jim True (The Wire) Adena Watson Story
  • Map of the Heart – Starring Terry Kinney (OZ)
  • Requiem for Adena – Chris Rock. End of Adena Watson Story
  • The Damage DoneStart of Luther Mahoney (#1)
  • The Wedding – Meldrick’s wedding
  • Scene of the Crime – directed by Kathy Bates. David Simon and Anya Epstein STANDALONE Peter Gerety introduction
  • Work Related – STANDALONE Frank has a stroke

Season 5

this season ha new credits? e4 Brodie being evicted is an insufferable running plot/gag.

  • Hostage (Part 1 and 2) – Russert is gone.
  • Prison Riot – feat. Charles S. Dutton and Dean Winters
  • Bad MedicineLuther Mahoney arc (#2) David Simon, starts and ends w/ Tom Waits song. Where’s Felton. AMAZING standalone. Most like The Wire. Kima-like character. Perfect like WIRE. Kellerman corruption arc STANDALONE
  • M.E. Myself and I – Dr. Juliana Coxs (Michelle Forbes) arrives…. Edward Herrman? Perfect NETWORK version and inverse of ep before. Kellerman corruption arc
  • White Lies – Great Munch episode, Kellerman gets suspended. Pembleton stroke arc. Otherwise skippable.
  • The Heart of Saturday Night – Pembleton arc. Skippable.
  • The True Test – Elijah Wood. Pembleton stroke arc .
  • Control –Luther Mahoney arc Pembleton stroke arc.Mekhi Phifer
  • Blood Wedding – Pembleton stroke arc concludes. Danvers episode. Bingable
  • The Documentary – New Years Eve episode. Barry Levinson cameo. Skippable
  • Betrayal – Kellerman arc. Adena Watson. STANDALONE
  • Have a Conscience – Kellerman aftermath,Luther Mahoney arc. Amazing episode.
  • Diener – the answer is in the episode title. Pembleton aftermath, but skippable.
  • Wu’s on First – STANDALONE. Eric Stoltz, Joan Chen. Writen by David Simon Wire related. Journalism.
  • Valentine’s Day – Neil Patrick Harris.Luther Mahoney arc. Pembleton aftermath
  • Kaddish – Great Munch-centric episode, but otherwise skippable.
  • Double Blind – Lee Tergerson? Edie Falco. Officer Chris Thormann arc. Crosetti dead arc great episode if you ignore the Kellerman arc. Bayliss abuse arc
  • Deception – Luther Mahoney arc bayliss abuse arc
  • Narcissus – Mahoney aftermath. Yaphet Kotto wrote it. about police corruption. Not terribly nuanced but nice to see a Giardello episode. works as a standalone, but skippable.
  • Partners and other Strangers (Part 1 & 2) – John Seda, Toni Lewis, Russert and Peter Gerety return! Mahoney after math. Felton’s death what’s his last episode? Howard/Felton arc? Pt 2 wire-like ports and stolen cars. David Simon wrote pt 2, but it’s not great. Performances seem kinda weak. Ends on a cliffhanger. 

Season 6

Big cast change up. Much of the Mahoney storyline is spread throughout multiple episodes. Kellerman is insufferable in this season.

  • Blood Ties (Part 1, 2 and 3) – Russert is gone. – Introduction of Laura Ballard (Callie Thorne). Gerety and Falsone become full time cast. James Earl Jones, Mekki Pheiffer, Jeffrey Wright. Kay Howard (Melissa Leo) is gone to Fugitive squad. Brodie is gone.  Mahoney aftermath. Robert F. Chew plays Prop Joe on The Wire. Mekhi Phifer. David Simon wrote pt 2 and 3 w/ Anya Epstein
  • The Subway – Vincent D’Onofrio.Inspired by this clip. This episode won a Peabody and inspired the X-Files episode “Drive” (w/ Bryan Cranston) .  Pembleton stroke aftermath. STANDALONE Buskers are a band called top ten
  • Law and Order “Baby It’s You (Part 1)” (Season 8, Episode 6) – A 14yo model dies. Skippable. JK Simmons plays Dr Skoda. Different charater from prev. appearance.
  • Baby It’s You (Part 2) – crossover w/ L&O. This episode is great. Doesn’t need the L&O episode. 
  • Birthday – Weird flashback blue peeps. Mahoney aftermath.
  • Saigon Rose – great episode on race. Introduction of Billie Lou the bartender.Mahoney aftermath (a bit).
  • All is Bright – Carol Kane. AIDS Bernie Munch. Mahoney aftermath (a bit). Ballard centric. Like an HIV PSA. Bayliss flirts w/ cox. Skippable
  • Closet Cases – Peter Gallager. Cox and Bayliss.Seems dated Gay men represented.  Mahoney aftermath Baylis Q Skippable outside of Mahoney arc.
  • Sins of the Father – Bayliss Q. Based on Patty Cannon. Race issues/civil war
  • Shaggy Dog, City Goat – Mahoney aftermath. Juliana Cox episode. One of my favs. A suicide w/ a gunshot wound. Based on fictional Ronald Opus case. feat Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows. Meldrick suspended
  • Something Sacred (Part 1) – Stivers joins Homicide. Skippable. Michael Pena
  • Something Sacred (Part 2) – David Simon wrote part 2. worth it for the scene of Pembleton and Munch dressed as priests. Mahoney aftermath. I think you can go in blind. feat. Michael Pena. Great Performances rock rock.
  • Lies and Other Truths – Roda rage and buried alive. Michelle Forbes last episode. Skippable
  • Pit Bull Sessions – Mahoney aftermath. w / Paul Giamatti.  book references. Eye camera. Dog fights. Jon Seda is great! STANDALONE
  • Mercy – Alfre Woodard Mahoney aftermath judge recording euthanasia. Skippable. 
  • Abduction – Child abduction. VERY skippable.
  • Full Court Press – Mahoney aftermath. Feat Reg E. Cathey (The Wire Treme).
  • Strangled not stirred – Saturday night hun. Mahoney arrests Meldrick reinstated… sort of. Skippable.
  • Secrets – written by Yaphet Kotto. Essential. Bayliss comes out to Ballard. Lewis is back. Mahoney aftermath. 
  • Finnegan’s Wake – Adena Watson. directed by Steve Buscemi. Charles Durning.
  • Fallen Heroes (Part 1) – Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Mahoney aftermath. Reference to the book The Corner. Mekhi Pheifer. Clayton LeBouef? The bear joke! Everyone quits, is shot, or is fired! Etc.

Season 7

Intro of Giancarlo Esposito and Michele Michelle or something. Ballard and GErety are my fav prtnering. Ballard and Falsone are dating, Actors are missing from episodes. See previous seasons.

  • La Familia – Terrible intro to Rene and Giardello Jr. Sexist. Esposito and Kotto don’t have a whole lot of chemistry. SKIPPABLE
  • Brotherly Love – Clark Johnson’s bad driving. Way better intro as-is to Rene and Mike G, jr.
  • Just an old-Fasioned Love Song – Skippable
  • The Twenty Percent Solution – Straight up whudunit. Not essential but might be a nice standalone.
  • Red, Red Wine – Skippable
  • Wanted Dead or Alive (Part 1) – Chris Meloni Garaty arc. ref to first episode, getting shot…. Shepard treated like a normal cop. Car chase. Lewis bad driving.
  • (part 2) stupid miami montage. Episodes w/ Naiomi in (Sharon Ziman). Still worth Chris Meloni’s performance. Otherwise unremarkable.
  • Kellerman PI (Part 1 and 2) – weird shots. Jenna Malone. worth watching! Mahoney epilogue.
  • Shades of Gray – Corey Parker Robinson (The Wire). Gerety’s quiet racism. Gary D’Addario (Gee is based on him) in 13 episodes. Jeff Mandon (Officer Fred Hellriegel). Sheppard assaulted.
  • Bones of ContentionAftermath of Sheppard assault. Best of the season so far.
  • The Same Coin – Gerety arc PTSD, Margo Martindale. Munch is a real asshole here…
  • – Adena Watson arc, surprisingly not out of date take on the internet.
  • A Case of Do or Die – Wallace Shawn. Not much of an episode. A bit of background on ballard. Skippable
  • Law and Order “Sideshow (Part 1)” – a little clunky. Lesbian and government. Seems dated and topical. Plus we’re back to calling Shepard Detective Cutie pie. Skippable
  • Sideshow (Part 2) – written by David Simon. Rene assault arc. Political corruption. It would be handled far better in The Wire. 
  • Truth will Out – a cold case from the 70s, Bayliss is outed. One of the better ones of the season.
  • Zen and the art of Murder – Bayliss shooting. Bhuddism. Great ep. Misidentificaion. No Sheppard?
  • Self Defense – a decent episode about internal police politics. skippable only because it doesn’t contribute to over all. No Shepard or Bayliss.
  • Lines of Fire – directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Standalone. Mike G episode.  skippable only because it doesn’t contribute to over all. Missing most of the cast. STANDALONE
  • The Why Chromosone – Dir by Kyle Secor. Starring JD Williams (The Wire). Amazing
  • Identity Crisis – A nice episode. Mike G resigns from FBI Gerety stops drinking.
  • Forgive Us Our Trespasses – sequel to Adena Watson, Shepard aftermath, ref to End Game S3, Bayliss’ shooting, zen and the art of murder, Who killed Gordon Pratt. Luke Ryland?

Season 7

Intro of Giancarlo Esposito and Michele Michelle or something. Ballard and GErety are my fav prtnering. Ballard and Falsone are dating, Actors are missing from episodes. See previous seasons.

  • Homicide: The Movie – update of original credits. Ed Begley Jr. Jason Priestly, Eamon Walker. Munch joined Law and Order in NYC, Mike Gee is a street cop. Melissa Leo is back. How did Gerety make Lt over Ballard? Stivers? Or Howard? Priestly is terrible. … but Pembleton and Bayliss in the box and Munch and Bollander… ref to all the shootings of cast members. The Wedding, Narcissus, Full Court Press (Reg E. Cathey is back). Mike Giardello and Kellerman would be great partners,



Meldrick’s bear joke (Clark Johnson):

Homicide: The City That Bleeds (s3e13), Fallen Heroes (s6e22); The Wire: (S1E5) The Pager; The Sheild: Blowback (S1e5) said by Ken Davitian  in Armenian.

Clark Johnson appears as Meldrick Lewis in Law and Order SVU S15e5


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