Motor City Murders

by admin September 22, 2010
Fall Pilot Season: Detroit 1-8-7

As I stated in my Terriers recap earlier this month, I'm not a huge fan of cop shows in general, unless they are particularly well-executed. I cited early episodes of NYPD Blue among the ones that I avidly enjoyed, and I would say that this show probably most closely resembles that of Southland. I mean that as high praise, and I'm certainly hoping that this cop show with Michael Imperioli lasts longer than his last cop show (RIP, Life on Mars). At least there's no mysterious time travel element for audiences to contend with here, it's just straight up solving crimes about dead people, which should be familiar territory for the TV watching world. Frankly, I'm just happy it isn't another CSI-esque procedural. And especially pleased that while it does air on network TV, it's got a little bit of grit to it. This likely means it will be cancelled, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

The show opens with the funky strains of Stevie Wonder playing as a voiceover discusses the insanely high homicide rate of Detroit, Michigan. A very young looking Det. Damon Washington is on his first day on the homicide beat (thanks to a helpful looking pop-up for that information) and he's eagerly anticipating the arrival of his first child. So much so that he's got "Baby Love" programmed as his ringtone to alert him the moment his child arrives. His partner, Det. Louis Fitch (Imperioli), who has been with the unit for 10 years, looks less than impressed... to say the least.

They get dispatched to go to the site of a double homicide on the east side. Washington starts rambling about how he used to patrol over the door and basically starts reciting his record for busting criminals when Fitch tells him to shut up. Thanks, Fitch. Even I kind of want this guy to shut up, and the show has only been on a minute and twenty seconds. They arrive on scene at a pharmacy and Washington immediately starts puking at the site of a dead body on the ground. The son of the pharmacy owner is one victim, the other is a girl who was working behind the counter.

In American (a hot dog joint), Sgt. Jesse Longford (30 years in homicide) is talking about meeting his cop father while he was on the beat, and how cops were treated well back in the day. Det. Vikram Mahajan (7 years homicide) says that his father brought the family down to the diner a lot when they moved from India. Chili dogs helped him assimilate. Their discussion of the proper use of ketchup is interrupted by a call to go investigate a report of a dead vagrant at the train yards.

Sgt. Longford says he's going to miss going to crime scenes when he retires, and Mahajan teases that he doubts that he'll think about Detroit when he's relaxing in Tuscany. Their victim isn't a hobo, but instead is a well-dressed man with a big old gun shot wound.

Outside the pharmacy Det. Ariana Sanchez (2 years homicide) lectures some smart aleck cop who just jokes about junkies in the neighborhood. She's a local and prays that it isn't someone she knows. She heads inside and finds out that Washington is responsible for the vomiting, and that there are two boxes of Oxycontin missing. (Seems a whole lot of trouble for such a small amount of merchandise. If you are going to kill people, steal more...) They also try and figure out why the pharmacist only got shot once while the girl has five bullets. Sanchez says that she must have tried to reason with the shooter, and Fitch puts together that she knew said shooter/junkie.

Down by the rail yard, Longford and Mahajan try and figure out why their divorce attorney got shot. Meanwhile, Washington and Fitch have moved on to the house of the girl's mother-in-law. Shannon (the girl) lived with the ex-mother-in-law and the kids from the marriage, even though she and the son split up. The son walks in and the grandmother assures him it is OK to go back to bed, as Fitch has to break the bad news about her demise. Mother-in-law says that Shannon's boyfriend Alvin has been in the picture for a while, but they are happy, and that her son, James, is in prison. The mother-in-law is upset about the future of the kids and as she's breaking down Washington's phone goes off. Clearly, he's never heard of the vibrate feature. Idiot. Fitch shoots a look that could kill.,/P>

At the station, Washington tells his wife that it is fine that she called... even though it was a false alarm, while Fitch heads in to complain to his Lieutenant about Washington's incompetence. She's sympathetic, to a point. He apparently complains about all his partners, and Washington comes highly recommended, and they are short staffed. Basically, Lt. Mason's words of wisdom: "deal with it." She then has to take a call from a neighbor who is complaining about Mason's teen daughter who is listening to her music loudly. She also gives her the same words of wisdom.

Longford and Mahajan have located the divorce attorney's classic car on the bridge above the train. There's no blood, so they go into a local office to look at the surveillance footage from the night before. Turns out the attorney got out of his car to confront someone about being sideswiped, and got shot for his troubles, then fell off the bridge.

Washington finds fake vomit on his desk, with people making gagging noises all around. He looks less than amused at his colleagues' taunts, but it doesn't end there. His phone rings, and it is his partner Fitch (sitting right across from him) who talks to him about babies and overpopulation and wonders just how special this baby is. Washington tries to explain about the infertility issues, Fitch unsurprisingly doesn't give a shit. Fitch just quietly threatens him about the phone going off again while they are out on the scene, and tells him he just doesn't like him for good measure before he hangs up the phone. He immediately resumes working on the case, asking about James, the prison bound ex-husband. He's in jail and the boyfriend Alvin was working all night. Sanchez gets a call from someone named John. She phone flirts and asks him to let her know if any Oxy hits the streets. Fitch looks very interested in this.

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