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NYPD Blue: Personal Foul

Kelly arrests one of his closest friends after an argument during their weekly basketball game inadvertently and without clear reason results in a death of one of the players. Meanwhile, Sipowicz grows suspicious of a husband whose wife was killed, shot while they were out driving on the FDR Expressway.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x6
Production Number: 0K08/5108
Airdate: Tuesday October 26th, 1993

Director: Brad Silberling
Story: David Milch
Teleplay: Burton Armus

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Guest Stars
April Grace
As Judy Foster
Dean Norris
As Father Jerry "Curly" Downey
Gordon Clapp
As Det. Greg Medavoy
James Pickens, Jr.
As Nathan Foster
John Ottavino
As Jimmy Craig
Markus Redmond
As P.O. Lucas
Peter Appel
As Angry Driver (Harvey(
Robert Costanzo
As Alfonse Giardella
Sharon Lawrence
As ADA Sylvia Costas
Teddy Coluca
As Driver
Tobin Bell
As Jerry
Clarence Felder
As Hardwick (Corrections Officer)
Donald Berman
As Player
Earl Carroll
As Court Clerk
Gary Werntz
As Marshal
Joe Sagal
As Legal Aid Lawyer
Joel Swetow
As Jerry the Doctor
John Rothman
As Zimmer
Michael Jayce
As Larry Kohnstam
Tom Alan Robbins
As Larry Kohnstam
Tom McCleister
As Corrections Officer
Main Cast
Dennis Franz
As Det./Sgt. Andy Sipowicz
David Caruso
As Det. John Kelly
Sherry Stringfield
As Laura Michaels
Amy Brenneman
As PO Janice Licalsi
Nicholas Turturro
As Det. James Martinez
James McDaniel
As Lt. Arthur Fancy
Episode Quotes
(Kelly goes to give a confession, his first in five weeks. He discusses his marital status, expressing that he's mostly given up on reconciliation, and also expressing his interest in Janice Licalsi, who shot and killed a gangster and his driver when he ordered her to kill Kelly)
Kelly: The other woman, I mean, in terms of my romantic interest for her, I don't want to talk about that right now.
Father Downey: In what terms then?
Kelly: Well, she's a good person, but certain events have taken place and she's ended up doing something that most people would think is wrong.
Father Downey: Do you think it's wrong?
Kelly: (pause) Yeah, I do.
Father Downey: Does she?
Kelly: (sighs) So far, she seeems OK with it.
Father Downey: Well, if she's the good person you say she is she can't be OK with it, you know that.
Kelly: I don't know that.
Father Downey: I think that's why you're here. What exactly did she do?
Kelly: I don't want to talk about that.
Father Downey: What, a venal sin, a mortal sin, what?
Kelly: I can't say.
Father Downey: I'm your priest, what do you mean you can't say?
Kelly: I can't say.
Father Downey: Yeah, well, then why don't you come back here when you're ready to stop acting like a tube steak?

Cultural References
Father Downey: What, a venial sin, a mortal sin, what?

The two concepts are mostly limited to the Roman Catholic religion. Sins are divided into two different types -- venial sins are "minor", forgivable sins, usually unintended. Mortal sins are serious and potentially damning of one's soul to Hell. Janice Licalsi's actions would almost certainly constitute a mortal sin (argument can be made that it was self-defense or in protection of others, but it's certainly skirting a dangerous line if there is a God, such that absolution is strongly suggested)

Father Downey: Yeah, well, then why don't you come back here when you're ready to stop acting like a tube steak?

The term tube steak is a euphemism for the male sexual organ. He's basically exasperated with John's pussyfooting around with him in what is generally considered a sacrosanct and protected discussion, and thus should offer no external risks to privacy. Such a reference in the middle of a confessional would be rather unexpected, generally inappropriate, and creates a highly comic component to an otherwise serious scene (as a tention release, it works). The very close, friendly relationship of John and his Priest makes it clear that this is not as utterly inappropriate as one might initially think. Kelly, on the other hand, possibly correctly, doesn't believe that it's right for him to reveal someone else's indiscretions in his own personal confession.

Warning: NYPD Blue season 1 episode 6 guide may contain spoilers
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