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A police homicide investigation unit investigates violent crimes in the city of Baltimore.
Det. Tim Bayliss: You never say please. You never say thank you. Det. Frank Pembleton: Please don't be an idiot. Thank you.
Dr. Julianna Cox, CME: Don't you even wonder why? Det. John Munch: Why what? Dr. Julianna Cox, CME: Why he lied. Det. John Munch: I'm a homicide detective. The only time I wonder why is when they tell me the truth.
[Bolander, the primary investigator into the suicide of Detective Steve Crosetti, is being pressured to rule it a murder] Det. Stan Bolander: Is that what you're asking, Lieutenant? To make it a murder? A murder with no murderer? A murder that can't be solved? If you order me to do it, I'll do it. Hell, my clearance rate is so low these days one more open murder isn't going to make much difference. Everyone says 'Do it for Steve', and I keep thinking that if he chose to commit suicide, what right to I have - what right does ANY of us have - to make that go away? I don't agree with what he did, but if that was his final statement, should I wipe that clear just for our peace of mind? I mean, nobody wants to admit it, but everyone knows what happened.
Det. John Munch: [looking at corpse] With those beady eye and that mustache he looks like a cross between Steve Buscemi, John Waters and Edgar Allen Poe. Det. Tim Bayliss: Aren't they all the same person?
Det. Tim Bayliss: I can't stop seeing her face. Adena Watson's face in the rain. Wounds on her body. She was so tiny. I try not to care, but if I do that, if I actually stop caring, then I stop being who I am. No job's worth that.
[At the scene of a priest's murder] Det. Laura Ballard: Heaven can wait. Homicide can't.
Det. Tim Bayliss: You still believe that my cousin killed that boy because he was an Arab? Det. Frank Pembleton: Hikmet was not an Arab. Turks are not Arabs... Det. Tim Bayliss: My cousin could not consciously kill someone. Det. Frank Pembleton: I don't think it was premeditated. I think it was inherent. Jim's racism is so much a part of him, that he didn't have a chance to think about what he was doing. Jim is worse than a Klansman. 'Cause at least in their white sheets, they are recognizable. Your cousin's brand of bigotry is much more frightening because, like still water, it runs deep. He doesn't even see it himself. Det. Tim Bayliss: You're wrong, dead wrong. Det. Frank Pembleton: The only one "dead wrong" is Hikmet Gersel. Did you see what happened when the verdict was announced? They applauded. Those law-abiding citizens, those good people applauded the death of a child. Let me ask you something, Tim - and then you tell me whether or not it was racially motivated - if that boy had been American, if that boy had been white - do you think anyone would have cheered?
Det. Mike Kellerman: I just want you to know that I'm here for you. And if you want a hug, I'd be happy to give you one. Det. Tim Bayliss: A hug? Det. Mike Kellerman: Yeah. Det. Tim Bayliss: Do you and Lewis hug? Det. Mike Kellerman: Yeah. Det. Tim Bayliss: A lot? Det. Mike Kellerman: No, not a lot. Det. Tim Bayliss: But enough. Det. Mike Kellerman: What do you mean? Det. Tim Bayliss: Well, do you want Lewis to hug you more? Det. Mike Kellerman: Forget I brought this all up. Det. Tim Bayliss: No, no, no, no. *You* brought up the hugging thing.
Det. Beau Felton: You have the right to remain silent; although personally, I don't feel remaining silent's all it's cracked up to be... Smoke?
Det. Tim Bayliss: I'm a detective, Frank. I'm a keen observer of the human condition. I pick up on the subtlest clues, I react to the slightest suggestion. In short, I deduct. Det. Frank Pembleton: Who told you? Det. Tim Bayliss: Brodie.
Det. Stan Bolander: It's hard to meet single woman on this job. You meet plenty of widows, but the timing just don't seem right.
Det. Tim Bayliss: Fourteen years old... When I was fourteen, jeez, I was in the ninth grade, and I don't remember much of what I was doing, but I know I was nowhere close to picking up a gun and shooting another kid. Det. Frank Pembleton: How old should our shooter be? Det. Tim Bayliss: Not fourteen. Det. Frank Pembleton: So if he's what, fifteen, sixteen years old, it makes any more sense? Det. Tim Bayliss: No. Det. Frank Pembleton: How old should he be then? What's the cut off age? Seventeen? Eighteen? Det. Tim Bayliss: I don't know, but not fourteen. Det. Frank Pembleton: When you find out, clue me in, awright? I'd like to know when any of this killing, at any age, from six to sixty, makes any sense. One time I want to hear about a murder that makes sense. Just one time. For any reason.
Det. Stan Bolander: Sometimes I wanna call my wife just to hear the sound of her voice. But I know that five minutes into that phone call, my blood pressure is going through the roof, the phone is sailing across the room and I'm wishing that she's on a plane falling out of the sky. It's over. I know it's over. But I had to replace six telephones before I, I really got the hint.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: Lemme tell you one thing, all right? You gotta do everything I say. Det. Mike Kellerman: Well, there's nothing I won't do; but some things are gonna cost you extra.
Lt. Al 'Gee' Giardello: It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.
Det. Frank Pembleton: You know, every day I get out of bed and drag myself to the next cup of coffee. I take a sip and the caffeine kicks in. I can focus my eyes again. My brain starts to order the day. I'm up, I'm alive. I'm ready to rock. But the time is coming when I wake up and decide that I'm not getting out of bed. Not for coffee, or food or sex. If it comes to me, fine. If it won't, fine. No more expectations. The longer I live, the less I know. I should know more. I should know the coffee's killing me. You're suspicious of your suspicions? I'm jealous, Kay; I'm so jealous. You still have the heart to have doubts. Me? I'm going to lock up a 14-year-old kid for what could be the rest of his natural life. I got to do this. This is my job. This is the deal. This is the law. This is my day. I have no doubts or suspicions about it. Heart has nothing to do with it any more. It's all in the caffeine.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Do you think some people work harder to be stupider than others? Det. Tim Bayliss: I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes.
[over a dead body] Medical Examiner: Another drug dealer. Collect all thirteen in the series, win a set of dishes. Det. Stan Bolander: Live stupid, die young.
Det. Stan Bolander: The Italians are an unforgiving lot. Lt. Al 'Gee' Giardello: I know, but we make great pasta. It balances out.
Det. Paul Falsone: You know, I was thinking of printing up one of those bikini calendars. You know, the cops of Baltimore type thing. Det. Rey Curtis: What happened? Det. Paul Falsone: You seen the cops in Baltimore? Det. Rey Curtis: You're right. Munch in a thong would be a little hard on the eyes.
[looking over a dead body] Det. John Munch: From the tracks on his arms, large caliber wound, proximity to a heroin market... I'd say it was a heated dispute about the symbolism of red and blue in 18th-century French romantic poetry.
[Bolander sees bird droppings on his car] Det. Stan Bolander: Would you look at this? Pigeons! Det. John Munch: Not from a pigeon, it's from a waterfowl. Det. Stan Bolander: A what? Det. John Munch: A waterfowl. From a mallard. Det. Stan Bolander: A duck? Det. John Munch: A well-fed duck. Det. Stan Bolander: Right, like you can tell the difference. That couldn't come from a seagull, I suppose? Det. John Munch: No, gulls have a milky white splurter. Notice the lobular pattern, these splays within splays. Det. Stan Bolander: Munch... why do you know these things?
Det. John Munch: [Bayliss is taking some pills for his back pain] What d'ya got there, Timmy? Some good stuff, huh? Percodan, Percocet, Tylenol, greenies? Det. Tim Bayliss: They're muscle relaxants! Det. John Munch: Even better. Det. Tim Bayliss: You don't get any! Det. John Munch: No-one's willing to share their drugs anymore.
Det. Beau Felton: So you admit you deal drugs? 'Pony' Johnson: In today's economy? You bet!
Det. Frank Pembleton: It's "till death do you part." You die, you part.
Det. John Munch: The only thing I have in common with Judaism is we both don't like to work on Saturdays.
Det. Mike Kellerman: You sure you want me with you? Det. Tim Bayliss: Yeah, sure, why not? Det. Mike Kellerman: I don't know, uh, last time we worked together you were kind of snarky. Det. Tim Bayliss: Snarky? Det. Mike Kellerman: Yeah, snarky, you know, from the ancient Greek, meaning butt head.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Blind faith is the crutch of fools.
Det. Mike Kellerman: There's no absolutes in life; only in vodka.
Det. Frank Pembleton: He who loses control, loses.
Det. Tim Bayliss: Homicide, sweet homicide.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Meldrick! In the mood for a multiple homicide? Det. Meldrick Lewis: On a Friday night? Always.
Det. Frank Pembleton: You know, sometimes you're funny. Then there's now.
Sgt. Kay Howard: If you were going to hide a body, where would you bury it? Det. John Munch: In a cemetery.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: Baltimore, home of the misdemeanor homicide.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Life would be perfect, if it was just kids and dogs.
Det. John Munch: I don't like to form attachments with people. They either get suspended or throw china at you.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: Luther, Luther. Look both ways when you cross the street, my brother. Luther Mahoney: You do the same.
Sgt. Kay Howard: You're a man. Det. Beau Felton: I'm your partner. Sgt. Kay Howard: I'm a woman. Det. Beau Felton: You're a cop.
Det. John Munch: Life should come with a money back guarantee. If you're not satisfied, return unused portion for a full refund.
Det. Stan Bolander: Meldrick, Crosetti's dead. He can't have any secrets any more.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: We're talking about sacred freedoms here - notably, your Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Hey, if it was good enough for Ollie North and Mark Furhman, who the hell are you to incriminate yourself at the first opportunity?
Det. Tim Bayliss: So does the violence make them stupid or does the stupidity lead to violence? Det. John Munch: Well, that's chicken and egg semantics. The important point is that we win some cases because our brains are repositories for intelligence and their brains are day-old banana pudding.
Det. Frank Pembleton: You said summer was hell. Det.Tim Bayliss: Well... it was. Det. Frank Pembleton: It's all mind over matter, Bayliss. Det.Tim Bayliss: No, no, it's more than mind over matter. I know my mind and my mind remembers my ass melting into the tops of my shoes, all right? Summer was hell. Det. Frank Pembleton: There's no humidity in hell. Det.Tim Bayliss: What, you do a field report? Det. Frank Pembleton: By all reliable accounts, there's not a single drop of water to pass between heaven and hell. Hell is a dry heat. Det.Tim Bayliss: Oh. Well, book me a flight.
Det. John Munch: You're saving your really good lies for some smarter cop, is that it? I'm just a donut in the on-deck circle. Wait until the real guy gets here. Wait until that big guy comes back. I'm probably just his secretary. I'm just Montel Williams. You want to talk to Larry King. Bernard: I'm telling you the truth. Det. John Munch: I've been in murder police for ten years. If you're going to lie to me, you lie to me with respect. What is it? Is it my shoes? Is it my haircut? Got a problem with my haircut? Don't you ever lie to me like I'm Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams. Bernard: Who's Montel Williams? Det. John Munch: I'm not Montel Williams.
Det. Frank Pembleton: I'm tired of being the only one around here who gives a damn. You're looking at the new Frank Pembleton. Budding Republican and practicing selfish bastard. Savior of no one but himself. Shot of Gold Natty Bo. This is the new me.
Sgt. Kay Howard: What is y'all's fascination with sperm? Det. Meldrick Lewis: It's just a healthy curiosity. If it weren't for our daddy's sperm, wouldn't none of us be here. Sgt. Kay Howard: Or your mama's eggs.
[Crosetti and Lewis are in adjacent stalls in the men's room] Det. Steve Crosetti: Got any toilet paper? Det. Meldrick Lewis: Nope. Det. Steve Crosetti: Got five ones for a five?
Det. Tim Bayliss: [upon learning that having Crosetti's favourite pastries at his funeral would cost $200] That silly man and his silly cookies.
Det. John Munch: Name one miracle that's happened in your lifetime. Det. Stan Bolander: How 'bout the fact that I haven't killed you yet?
Det. Steve Crosetti: Either it's murder, or this library has a very strict overdue policy.
[answering the phone at Christmas] Det. John Munch: Ho-ho-homicide.
Det. John Munch: [coming out of a bar and then saluting an American flag] I'm too damn sober.
Det. John Munch: Homicide: our day begins when yours ends.
[Detective John Munch has shown up unexpectedly at Detective Stanley Bolander's double-date] Det. Stan Bolander: Every fairy-tale has a nightmare, and this is mine.
Det. Frank Pembleton: You're not Catholic and you took communion? Det. Tim Bayliss: Yeah, is that wrong? Det. Frank Pembleton: If my God wins... You're screwed.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: You go when you're supposed to go, and everything else is homicide.
Det. John Munch: But what if they make me take a test? I can't take tests. I always clutch. What if I take it and fail and all our dreams come crashing down? Det Tim Bayliss: Well, then it's simple. Meldrick and I will harm you.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: I've been a cop for a long time. And drugs out there, we're never gonna win that. There's a hundred open-air drug markets in this city and fifty thousand drug fiends out there. And we are taking on human desires with lawyers, and jailhouses, and lockups, and you and I both know human desire is kicking us in the ass.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Virtue isn't virtue unless it slams up against vice. So consequently, your virtue's not real virtue. Until it's been tested... tempted.
[Pembleton needs the clothes of a brain-dead child for evidence] Det. Frank Pembleton: I need you to give me these clothes. Joan Garbarek: I can't. Det. Frank Pembleton: You have to! Joan Garbarek: I *have* to? Let me tell you what I *have* to do today, okay? I have to go in there and I have to watch the doctors pinch Patrick's legs. I have to watch them stick pins at the bottoms of his feet. I have to watch them pour cold water, first in his right ear, then in his left, to see if his eyes moved today. And I have to hear them tell me that they don't. His eyes don't. I hear them say this. Nothing else can be done. And this is just a little *boy*! And they have to say this about him? *You* have to have his clothes? *You* have to know what we saw yesterday? I have to remember... Patrick standing there, he *has* to see the dinosaurs! He *has* to go to that window! It's always "one more minute!" He *always* has to do what he wants! And then he falls down and I think he's just teasing and he's going to get up in a minute and I'm going to yell at him to just get up and not get dirty! I *want* to see him get up... from his *own* bed. Do I have to think that he can lay there like this for another 50 or 60 years? Do I have to think that this is what he wants? Why do I have to? Why do I think that it can't be Patrick in there?
Lt. Al 'Gee' Giardello: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Baltimore, do as I tell you to.
[Lewis and Kellerman drove up to Hazel, Pennsylvania to bring a female suspect back to Baltimore] Police Officer in Hazel, Pennsylvania: You guys from Baltimore, here to pick up Rose Halligan? Det. Meldrick Lewis: That's correct. I'm Detective Lewis, this is... Police Officer in Hazel, Pennsylvania: Uh, you can't have her. Det. Meldrick Lewis: What do you mean? Police Officer in Hazel, Pennsylvania: Regulations stipulate a policewoman escorts a female prisoner. Det. Meldrick Lewis: [gesturing to Kellerman] Meet Detective Michelle Kellerman. Police Officer in Hazel, Pennsylvania: You're not a woman. Det. Mike Kellerman: I used to be.
Det. Beau Felton: Kay might die. I'm not gonna close my eyes and pretend that nothing bad's gonna happen. Because you know what? It already did. So you gotta tell me, what're you supposed to do when your partner dies on you? Det. Meldrick Lewis: What you do is... You keep going. Det. Beau Felton: What do you mean, you keep going? Det. Meldrick Lewis: You get up, you do your job, you make it through every day... And you hope that one day you're gonna wake up and it won't hurt so much. Then the next day it will hurt a little less, and the next day, even less than that. It's not like you forget them, you know? Your life is changed forever. It's not ever gonna go back to the way it was... But you get through it... You just keep going on. Det. Beau Felton: That's it? Keep going? Det. Meldrick Lewis: That's it. Det. Beau Felton: Meldrick, that's the stupidest thing I ever heard. Det. Meldrick Lewis: You're spitting on my advice. You call me down here, I open my heart to you, and now you're spiting on what I got to say. Det. Beau Felton: Basically, yeah. Det. Meldrick Lewis: Gimme back the giraffe. Det. Beau Felton: What? Forget it. Det. Meldrick Lewis: You don't like my advice, you ain't getting the giraffe.
Det. Stan Bolander: How come every time I open that refrigerator, there's one drop of milk left in the carton? So who has to go to the 7-11 and replace the carton of milk? Det. John Munch: Me. Det. Stan Bolander: That's besides the point. He's doing that on my behalf. He could be doing something else for me.
[working a murder case since the squad is shorthanded] Lt. Al 'Gee' Giardello: My first job as a foot soldier in I don't know how many years, and it's a stone-cold whodunit.
Lt. Al 'Gee' Giardello: Oh, I get it. You don't feel anything at all. You're the type of guy that two weeks from now, you'll be stopped at a traffic light and all this will hit you and when it hits, it'll hit hard. It'll hit you so hard that your heart will burst into a hundred pieces.
Det. John Munch: I took the liberty of having my craw removed years ago so that I could sleep at night.
[on the engine that Detective Meldrick Lewis has bought for the car he is building] Det. Steve Crosetti: Let me tell you, that doesn't play with me. See, when you buy a house, you don't buy a pile of dirt with a toilet on top. You get four walls which constitute a dwelling. You, if you look closely, have squat here.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: Remember kids, don't just say no to drugs, say "No, thank you".
Det. Tim Bayliss: What I have is, I have a second in time. I have a split second in an abandoned building with a gun in my hand and every instinct is telling me who I am at that moment. That's what I got left and that's all I got left... and I'm a homicide cop.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: In this job you gotta be able to howl at yourself, or else you die inside.
Risley Tucker: Say Baltimore, and I'll tell you within ten blocks where you were born. Yeah, you from here. You got that home grown look. The not-too-southern, not-too-northern, not on the ocean but still on the water look. With maybe a touch of inbreeding.
Det. Frank Pembleton: [on pulling a quadruple shift] I am soooo damn tired! My eyes are so far back of my head, I think I'm seeing things from a thousand years away.
Det. Meldrick Lewis: Don't nobody know nothing 'bout no shooting at no cops?
Sgt. Kay Howard: Let me tell you what happened to me last night. Det. Beau Felton: Is this about sex? Sgt. Kay Howard: No. Det. Beau Felton: Forget it. Sgt. Kay Howard: I'm lying in bed... Det. Beau Felton: Ooh, what were you wearing?
Det. Meldrick Lewis: [punchline to a joke Lewis tells in episodes broadcast nearly two years apart] ... so the bear says, "You didn't really come here to hunt, did you?"
[regarding an uncooperative witness] Det. John Munch: We're gonna neutron this little bastard!
J.H. Brodie: Well, you're a girl. A woman. A woman. A woman with wild red hair. I can't stay with you. Sgt. Kay Howard: What are you afraid of? I'm going to chain you to the bedpost and cover you with butter? J.H. Brodie: Only thing is, I know that you won't.
Det. John Munch: Every evening is as random as the next, death doesn't follow a schedule.
Det. Frank Pembleton: You're Mrs. Nawls, Darryl's mother? Mary Nawls: I'm his mother. [she reads their faces and begins to panic] Mary Nawls: Where's Darryl? Is he in trouble? Is he okay? Has he been in an accident or something? Det. Frank Pembleton: Mrs. Nawls, I'm a homicide detective.
Det. Frank Pembleton: I watch my weight. I watch my diet. I watch my blood pressure. Every eight hours, no matter where I am, or what I'm doing, I hafta take a little white pill. If I don't follow the rules, I die. I'm not going to treat you differently. I won't. 'Cause that's not who I am. And who I am is all I have left.
Det. Stan Bolander: Have you been smoking the dope in the evidence room again?
Sgt. Kay Howard: Do be a milk drinker. Don't be a crack addict.
Potential Waitress: I'm not really a waitress. I write. One-acts. Det. John Munch: Hunh, one-act plays. Potential Waitress: Read them and we'll talk about them, okay? Det. Meldrick Lewis: You're a writer and you had to ask me for a pen? Potential Waitress: My life is total irony. Det. John Munch: All in one act, huh?