'Homicide' cops are called before the victim is dead

Today's TV

December 05, 1997|By Chris Kaltenbach

Baltimore's own TV showcase may make you think twice about taking the subway.

Vincent D'Onofrio guest stars as a salesman who falls between the cars of an oncoming subway train in tonight's installment of "Homicide: Life On the Street" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11). The police suspect his fall may not have been an accident, however, which explains why the homicide cops are called in. What is certain is that this man, while alive when the show begins, is going to be dead when it's over; the only thing keeping his insides from spilling outside is the subway car that's practically sliced him in half.

D'Onofrio pulls off one of the toughest tricks in acting, making the belligerent seem sympathetic. He's abusive to the people trying to help him, and he's definitely not going to go quietly into that good night. Andre Braugher matches him note for note, as Pembleton struggles to keep the guy awake and alert while detectives try to figure out just what happened.

A subplot, the search for the guy's girlfriend, works less well, as Lewis and Falcone (Clark Johnson and Jon Seda) use the occasion to speculate about such things as men's sexual urges. Still, "Homicide" is once again great stuff, must-see TV that lives up to the name.

Pub Date: 12/05/97

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