Why Homicide: Life Everlasting was Nifty-Keen

They got everybody who ever appeared in the opening credits of a Homicide episode, not to mention several recurring characters, back for this movie. Everybody got at least a scene, but the focus was -- no surprise -- on Bayliss and Pembleton.

The story itself followed the usual Homicide routine. The killer wasn't any great mastermind, simply someone who was eventually found when the detectives finally got a break in the case after pursuing a ton of leads.

They did a very nice job of bringing closure to the two danglers from the end of the series' run. One was easy: what will Mike Giardello do now that he's quit the FBI? That's answered in the first few seconds of the movie -- he's joined the Baltimore City Police as a uniform.

The second was somewhat bigger: what happened to Bayliss? did he kill Mark Ryland? The answers are given over the course of the two hours, ending in a cathartic discussion between him and Pembleton.

And everyone got their moment on screen. It was great seeing Munch and Bolander together again -- and falling right back into their old habits -- it was great seeing Kellerman again (I'm only sorry we didn't see more of him), and it's nice to see that Gaffney and Barnfather are still assholes.

They came up with a good excuse for everyone to gather together one last time, and they brought closure to the the show's seven years. Unlike the last episode of the seventh season -- which was a good way to go out -- this movie was a great way to go out. Where I felt that there could've been more after the seventh season ended, I don't think there needs to be more now. It has ended, and ended in a satisfying way. We got to see everyone one last time, and bid farewell. I am content.

Homicide was the best show on television for seven years. It's one of the best television shows ever. I still will watch the reruns on Court TV with great assiduity.

NBC didn't always do right by the show while it was on the air, but they let it go out right. Bravo, folks!

[First posted on sff.people.krad at SFF.net on 14 February 2000.]

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