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NYPD Blue: Oscar, Meyer, Weiner

Kelly and Sipowicz looks into a brutal murder-robbery of an upscale couple. A noted, but flagrantly gay Hollywood screenwriter reports that his 1958 Oscar statuette was stolen. Licalsi contacts Lastarza, and informs him that she is being blackmailed by former associates of Marino.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x10
Production Number: 0K12/5112
Airdate: Tuesday December 07th, 1993

Guest Stars
Beau BillingsleaBeau Billingslea
As Det. Hankin
Bill Clark (2)Bill Clark (2)
As Det. McDermott
Carl Gabriel YorkeCarl Gabriel Yorke
As Det. Sherman
Clifton PowellClifton Powell
As Louis Futrel
Gail OGail O'Grady
As Donna Abandando
Gordon ClappGordon Clapp
As Det. Greg Medavoy
Johnny Williams (1)Johnny Williams (1)
As Sammy Meyers
Larry RomanoLarry Romano
As Richie Catena
Markus RedmondMarkus Redmond
As P.O. Lucas
Robert GossettRobert Gossett
As Lonnie Edwards
Tom TowlesTom Towles
As Inspector Anthony Lastarza
Betsy AidemBetsy Aidem
As Renee Pendergast
Bruno AlexanderBruno Alexander
As Det. Francini
Charle LandryCharle Landry
As Kenny Prins
Jon PennellJon Pennell
As Bryce
Renee ORenee O'Connor
As Rebecca Sloan
Richard McKenzieRichard McKenzie
As Simon Rickman
Tony RizzoliTony Rizzoli
As Scholnick, Esq.
Main Cast
Dennis FranzDennis Franz
As Det./Sgt. Andy Sipowicz
David CarusoDavid Caruso
As Det. John Kelly
Sherry StringfieldSherry Stringfield
As Laura Michaels
Amy BrennemanAmy Brenneman
As PO Janice Licalsi
Nicholas TurturroNicholas Turturro
As Det. James Martinez
James McDanielJames McDaniel
As Lt. Arthur Fancy
Cultural References
(referring to an offer he made to Donna for her signed Rangers Pennant)
Donna: Not interested.
Sammy: Hey, don't believe those collectible prices they quote you on the TV, Miss. That market's pumped like Holland Tulips.

Tulips, in the early 1600s are the earliest known example of a speculative bubble in collectibles. There are known instances of a tulip bulb costing more than ten times the annual income of skilled craftsmen. Since then, Tulip Mania has become a byword for a speculative bubble.

Title: Oscar, Meyer, Weiner

A weiner is a packaged meat product, akin to a sausage. Often called "hot dogs" in the USA, there is a strong name-brand recognition with a company named Oscar Mayer, who, for many years, ran a series of very successful ad campaigns with slogans like "I'd love to be an Oscar Mayer Weiner". There are even jokes surrounding the catch-phrase with a man singing it absent-mindedly as the last of three wishes from a Djinn. The title connects aspects of the statuette theft storyline, given the Oscar statuette, the connection to film (of which MGM -- Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer -- is one of the most well-known studios), and the euphemistic use of the term weiner to refer to a man's genitalia, especially in the case's connection to homosexual oral sex.

This episode is heavy on racial issues, some are overt, others subtle. The central case, of an upper-class, very liberal couple brutally killed in a robbery, which matches other robbery-murders in which the known descriptions of the perps are black, leads to questions about race-based connections to the couple. Naturally, there is some animosity on the part of those questioned, despite the facts of the case. Sipowicz, who has done everything by the book, takes personally the accusation of racism from one of the men questioned. At the end, Fancy invites Sipowicz to have dinner with him, in a crowded restaurant frequented by blacks, to make a point: "These people are all doing their jobs, no matter how they feel about you. Why do you feel uncomfortable? Now suppose they had guns and badges." It's an effective scene with a good point. Though Sipowicz was just doing his job, and doing it properly, it doesn't change some of the underlying feelings about a very complex situation, and calls for an effort to be tolerant all around.

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