Motor City Murders

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

Mason is on TV asking for tips for the whereabouts of Mrs. Burke and the kids. A caller says that June and the kids are in an apartment in the loft district. Fitch knocks at the apartment a few moments later, and gets shot at through the wood door for his troubles. Guess they found James.

The caption on screen informs me that there is now a hostage standoff. All the cops, swat teams and helicopters might have clued me in, but I guess they are just trying to be helpful for those who might be slow on the uptake. Some officers drop food off at the door and the son comes out to retrieve them, but drops the drinks when a siren scares him... and then he's dragged back inside. Fitch stares at the family portrait. The hostage negotiator isn't very good at his job, as his attempts to talk James into not killing his children results in the phone being thrown out the window. So much for communication. Fitch looks disgusted, so he takes matters into his own hands and is trying to go in for a chat... maybe over some tea. Mason isn't pleased that Fitch wants to go inside, since James has already killed four people... and a cell phone. After Longford says Fitch may be their only hope to save the kids, so she agrees to let him be wired and go inside.

Fitch approaches the building with his hands up and no weapons, broadcasting his moves to James very loudly. All the other cops surround the building and his partners look on concerned. We don't get to see much of what's happening inside, but since Fitch was wired, we get to hear his conversation with Burke. The mother... she's not helping matters. Fitch tells June to chill out for a bit, then relates to James about shared pain and people loving each other so much that sometimes it gets out of control. Fitch says he hurt his wife and kids and sometimes he thinks about ending it all, but that he can't do it when he sees his kids. He then pulls out the family photo, and tells James that he can make the choice to not kill his kids. James starts crying, then he's outside being tossed to the ground and arrested, as the kids and annoying mom are ushered out. Fitch picks up the family photo that's fallen and he just stares at it amid all the chaos.

Sanchez looks at the kids at the hospital, where they are getting checked out. Mason calls Stone into her office. She's putting him on homicide, and giving him Sanchez as a partner... which means more flirting and less of Stone dressing like a hoodlum. Everyone wins. Longford gets a call from Italy... he got the house, but he looks sad about it. Washington stares at the board o' murders, when Fitch walks over and says that every day is like the first day and that it never gets old. Washington wants to know about Fitch's claim that he occasionally feels suicidal and has hurt the ones he loves. Fitch's vague response: "It was true when I said it." Getting to know you... getting to know all about you. Fitch explains his mantra is to get the crimes solved... to make room for the next one. He then jokes that they are possibly the last assembly line in Detroit... which would be funny, if it weren't sorta true and miserably depressing to consider. Washington gets to change the crimes to solved.

The new partners then take James out of holding and hand him off to the cop who will take him to lock up, but as soon as they let him go and they've turned their backs, he's stolen the gun off of the corrections officer and shoots at Washington. Fitch quickly shoots at Burke, then calls for help as the strains of the "Baby Love" ringtone play. Yikes. What a cheerful and disturbing way to end the pilot of a show. And by that I mean I love it. Much more interesting than your typical procedural where the bad guys get locked up all nice and easy and the good cops just keep on fighting the fight unscathed.

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