Homicide: Life on the Lanai

Written by Lunaand Jess


[Fade up on Detectives TIM BAYLISS and FRANK PEMBLETON, in the car on the way to a crime scene.]

Tim: No, no, Frank, you're not listening to what I'm saying.

Frank: What you're saying is nonsense. You're telling me that bad manners are responsible for violence.

[They pull up to the crime scene and park.]

Tim: I am *saying* that people aren't raised to be polite anymore. Good manners are what keep us civilized, Frank! Little things like saying "please pass the salt," that used to be so important, are dying out. Politeness is dead in America.

[The detectives get out of the car. The dead body of a young black man lies on the ground. Various uniform officers are about.]

Frank: No, this guy is dead in America. What have we got?

Uniform: Victim was shot several times with a semi-automatic weapon, my guess is a typical nine millimeter.

Tim: Another gangbanger.

Frank: Find any ID on the kid?

Uniform: He had a woman's purse in his hand. [The uniform hands Bayliss and Pembleton an evidence bag.] There's a Florida ID and a Medicare card in there, both with the name Sophia Petrillo.

[Frank looks through the plastic bag at the photo of SOPHIA.]

Frank: I think we can safely assume our victim is not a little, white-haired grandma from Miami.

Tim: Mm. I think we can safely assume he didn't ask politely when he snatched her handbag. [Frank rolls his eyes at this.]

Frank: Bag his hands and roll him.

[Cut to the interior of a plane. Detectives Bayliss, Pembleton, MELDRICK LEWIS, MIKE KELLERMAN, JOHN MUNCH, and Lieutenant GIARDELLO are seated on the plane]

Tim: You really think this sweet old lady is a suspect?

Frank: We don't know if she's a sweet old lady, Tim! We haven't even met her yet. All I know is, we found her identification at the scene of a homicide, and we're gonna go down to Miami and we're gonna find out what she knows!

Kellerman: So we're all -- all of us, practically the whole shift, including the Lieutenant -- going down to Florida at department expense to check out a minor lead on Bayliss and Pembleton's case?

Munch: Bayliss and Pembleton's non-redball, stone-cold-whodunit, dead drug dealer case.

Lewis: It does sound kinda hinky, Gee.

Gee: The bosses. You never know what they'll come up with.

Munch: Yeah. Next they'll be transferring in a beauty queen to work Homicide.

Gee: I wouldn't put it past them. Just enjoy the ride.

Theme song:
Thank you for taking the call
Travel out to where the victims fall
Your heart is true, you're a partner and a confidante
And if you threw a redball
Involving everyone you knew
You would see, the biggest clue would come from me
And the confession would say
Thank you for taking the call....


[Fade up on the Miami house. Cut to living room. ROSE NYLUND emerges from the kitchen, carrying a coffee mugs. She sits on the sofa and blows on the coffee. DOROTHY ZBORNAK and SOPHIA PETRILLO walk in the front door.]

Dorothy: Ma, I'm telling you, I have had it!

Sophia: Pussycat, would you calm down?

Dorothy: Calm down? Calm down?! You expect me to calm down?

Rose: What is it, Dorothy?

Sophia: Somebody forgot to take her Metamucil last night.

Dorothy: I took Ma shopping. On the way back from the mall, at a red light, she mooned the car next to us.

Rose: Sophia!

[Doorbell rings. Dorothy walks over and opens the door. It is her ex husband, STANLEY ZBORNAK.]

Stanley: Hi, it's me, Stan.

[Dorothy shuts the door and walks to the kitchen. Doorbell rings again.]

Dorothy, yelling from the kitchen: Go away, Stanley.

Munch [sighs nostalgically]: Ahh, Stanley....

Frank: It's not Stanley, ma'am. Baltimore Homicide, open up.

[The girls gasp.]

Rose: Oh, my God! Somebody killed Baltimore?

[Dorothy walks to the door, followed by Sophia and Rose. She opens the door. Frank, Tim, Meldrick, Mike, John, and Giardello are standing outside. All show their badges simultaneously.]

Frank: I'm Detective Pembleton. This is Detective Lewis...

[Meldrick tips his hat.]

Frank: ...Detective Kellerman...

[Mike cracks his gum.]

Frank: ...Detective Bayliss...

[Tim gives a weak wave.]

Frank: ...Detective Munch...

[John gives a thumbs-up.]

Frank: ...and our esteemed Lieutenant, Al Giardello.

[Gee stands there, stone-faced.]

Sophia: Giardello, huh? Is that Sicilian?

[Gee breaks into a grin, and opens his mouth to speak, but Frank cuts him off.]

Frank: Which one of you is Sophia Petrillo?

[Dorothy stands behind Sophia and holds her protectively.]

Dorothy: Sophia is my mother.

Frank: Well, your mother is wanted in connection with the murder of Juju McGee.

Sophia: What are you gonna do, Detective? Read me my rights?

[Cue dramatic music. Fade to commercial.]


[Fade up where the last scene ended, as the detectives begin to file into the living room and the girls react to Frank's statement.]

Frank: We found a woman's purse at the scene of a homicide in Baltimore. Your mother's ID was inside. Now, we need to understand how it got there, and what connection she had with the... unfortunate... Mr. McGee.

Dorothy: This is ridiculous. My mother didn't kill anyone!

Frank: We have to investigate all possible leads, Ms. Zbornak.

[Sophia, Dorothy, and Rose look scared.]

Tim: Now, I'm sure we can clear this up easily. [He produces a photograph of the dead Juju McGee.] Do any of you recognize this man?

Rose: He looks kind of like someone I knew back in St. Olaf....

[Dorothy and Sophia groan automatically. Tim and Frank look interested.]

Rose: Yes, he looks just like Donnie Talbot, who used to work for Julius Heggenflecker. Julius ran the general store in town, and he was such a strange old miser. He never participated in any of the town festivals. Why, I remember one Watery Cheese Day when he refused to sell anyone false noses. Well, you can imagine it just spoiled the unveiling of the Watery Cheese statue entirely....

[Everyone looks bored. Frank throws an irritated glance at Tim, who seems engrossed.]

Rose: I'm talking too much, aren't I?

Frank: Well, actually, Mrs. Nylund....

Meldrick: Yes.

Tim: No, Frank. No. What Rose here has to say is very interesting. Please go on.

Rose: Well, why don't you come into the kitchen with me, and I'll tell you the rest of the story over one of my Honey Brown Maple Sugar Rice Krispies Logs?

[Tim eagerly follows Rose into the kitchen.]

Frank [shaking his head]: My partner.

Dorothy [shaking her head]: My roommate.

Frank: Munch, why don't you take Ms. Zbornak somewhere and talk with her? I'd like to interview Mrs. Petrillo separately.

Dorothy: We can go out on the lanai and talk.

Munch: Lanai?

Dorothy: Yes, the lanai.

Mike: A lanai. You know.

Munch: Lanai?

Dorothy: Lanai. Lanai!

Munch: What's a lanai?

Mike: It's one of those decks people have, behind the house, built low to the ground, you know?

Munch: Oh, a patio.

Dorothy: It's not a patio. If I meant patio, I would have said patio. It's a lanai!

Mike: It's a lanai, Munch.

Munch: Okay. Let's go out on this - lanai?

Dorothy: [exasperated] Lanai!

Munch: Whatever. Let's go.

[Dorothy and Munch exit.]

Frank: Mike, Meldrick, why don't you go help Mrs. Nylund in the kitchen?

Meldrick: Uh-uh. Did you hear that story she was telling?

Mike: I tried not to. I think we'll sit in on your interview, Frank.

Gee: I think I'll supervise as well. I have an... interest, let us call it... in any investigation that involves a fellow Sicilian.

Sophia: So you are from Sicily!

[Gee opens his mouth to speak but Frank interrupts him again.]

Frank: Mrs. Petrillo, we'd better get to the business at hand.


[Fade up in the house at night. Cut to the lanai, where Dorothy, Rose, Mike, Meldrick, Munch and Gee are sitting.]

Rose: Anyone for more coffee?

Mike: Oh, we'll get it, Mrs. Nylund.

[Mike and Meldrick stand.]

Mike: She's a nice lady.

Meldrick: Yeah, but she's nuttier than a fruitcake.

[They enter the living room. Frank and Sophia are sitting on the couch, Tim is in a chair.]

Frank: So you don't know Juju McGee?

Sophia: You've asked me that three times; you think we've been introduced in the last half hour? I don't communicate with the dead. Who do you think I am, Whoopi Goldberg?

Meldrick: Sounds like you've met your match here, Frankie.

Tim: Hey, are you guys heading for the kitchen? Can you bring me some more of that Rice Krispies Maple Syrup Honey Log?

[Mike and Meldrick walk into the kitchen. Meldrick starts another pot of coffee. Mike rummages through the fridge and pulls out a cheesecake.]

Mike: So do you really think that old lady whacked Juju?

Meldrick: I dunno, Mikey. She seems like a real firecracker.

Mike: She's 82 years old, Meldrick!

Meldrick: Calpurnia Church was no spring chicken neither.

Mike: Who?

[Mike walks to the counter. He takes two plates from the cupboard and two forks and a knife from the drawer. He places them on the table, then walks to the coffeepot and pours himself a cup. He takes a drink, makes a face, and spits it back into the cup.]

Mike: How many times do I have to tell you? Two! Two packets, Meldrick. See how light this is? This tastes like Earl Grey's sweatsocks!

[Back door slams shut, Blanche enters, glowing from a sexual encounter.]

Blanche: Girls, you'll never believe how flexible Mel Bushman is -- why, hello.

Mike: Ma'am.

Blanche: Call me Blanche.

[Blanche takes a minute to ogle Mike and Meldrick.]

Blanche: On second thought, call me yours.

[Munch bursts in.]

Munch: What is taking you guys so long?

[Blanche has her back to that side of the room, and she starts to turn around at the sound of a male voice.]

Blanche: Why, hello.

[Blanche stops dead in her tracks at the sight of Munch.]

Blanche: Oh, my God.

Munch: Blanche? Blanche Hollingsworth?

Blanche: I should have let Big Daddy shoot you when I had the chance.

Munch: Nice to see you, too, Blanche.

Blanche: What are you doing in my house, you - you - you louse?

Munch: I'm helping investigate a homicide, you - harlot!

Blanche: Cretin!

Munch: Hussy!

Blanche: Jerk!

Munch: Slut!

Blanche [gasps, shocked]: You - you YANKEE!

Mike: I take it you two have met.

[Blanche and Munch look at him in disgust as he licks cheesecake from his finger.]


[Fade up in the living room. Frank is talking on the phone. Sophia is sitting on the couch and Tim is in the armchair.]

Frank [into phone]: What do you mean the report isn't back yet? ...Well, get through the backlog, then! This is important! ...Petrillo. P as in Purple, E as in Elephant... Yeah. Yeah. Call me back. [He hangs up the receiver and glares at the phone as if it had personally offended him.] Forensics says they haven't gotten around to running the prints on the handbag yet. It looks like we're going to be stuck here for a while.

[Munch storms into the room from the kitchen and stalks out the front door. Blanche follows a moment later, backing out of the kitchen while laughing with Lewis and Kellerman.]

Blanche: Don't go anywhere, boys! I'll be back in just a minute. [The door closes, and she turns.] Ohhhhh! I could just kill that man!

[Cut to the lanai, where Dorothy, Rose, and Gee are sitting.]

Rose: You know what I don't understand? Why did Baltimore send an entire squad of Homicide detectives down to investigate one case? And you know what else I don't understand? Why would you assume Sophia didn't just have her purse stolen? And you know what I else I don't understand?

Dorothy [irritated]: What, Rose?

Rose: I don't understand why you park on a driveway, and drive on a parkway!

Dorothy: Lieutenant, I must apologize for my roommate. She's a little worn out from the stress... of having to support the weight of her own head.

Gee: Perfectly all right. You see, Mrs. Nylund, I've discovered that it's best not to ask these kinds of questions. There are no answers, and the questions themselves only make life more complicated. Life should be savored like a fine wine, tasted slowly and made to last, because once it is gone it can never be recaptured.

Dorothy: How true.

Gee: It's something I learned on my trip to Italy.

Dorothy: Oh, you've visited Italy?

Gee: Picture it: Sicily. 1965. A young man journeys to the land of his father's ancestors, with his new bride beside him. Together, they discover the beauty of the Italian countryside, and cement their union by creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Rose: That's beautiful!

Gee: Good wine, wonderful food, a beautiful woman, and a long lazy meal while the sun sets over the Mediterranean. And for dessert... [Dorothy and Rose lean forward in their seats] ...Gelati. [They fall back into their seats as Blanche enters.

Blanche: Dorothy, can I see you for a minute?

[Dorothy steps aside with Blanche]

Blanche: I could kill him! I could just kill him, I hate him so much! What is he doing here?

Dorothy: Who on earth are you talking about?

Blanche: John Munch. What is that horrible, beastly man doing in my house?

Dorothy: He's one of the detectives from Baltimore that came to talk to Sophia. You mean you know him?

Blanche: You remember I told you I was engaged to another man when I met George?

Dorothy: It was Munch?

Blanche: Don't look at me like that, Dorothy, I was young.

Dorothy: Young and stupid!

Blanche: I was just going through a rebellious phase. All the boys I knew were part of society, and I wanted to meet someone who was... a rebel, an outsider. Someone who wouldn't be caught dead at a cotillion ball.

Dorothy: I understand. Every young girl goes through a phase like that. But... Munch?!

Blanche: From the moment we met, we had a wild kind of chemistry. You might not think it to look at him, but John Munch has certain... hidden talents, you might say. But he's also an arrogant, self-centered, unstable fool. That's why I was so quick to leave him for George.

Dorothy: Oh. I thought it was because you're in and out of beds faster than people with Medicare.

Blanche [shakes her head]: Now he's here in my house! I can't stand to see his face, Dorothy; what am I gonna do?

Dorothy: Blanche, I know it hasn't escaped your notice that there are quite a few attractive younger men among the detectives.

Blanche: Why, you're right. I must be a gracious hostess to those men, especially that Mr. Meldrick Lewis. He's clever and charming and handsome - he practically screams Blanche. At least, he will when I'm through with him!

Dorothy: There's a girl. Go have some fun.

[Blanche struts back into the house.]

Dorothy: Tramp.

[Cut back to the living room. Frank and Tim are still talking to Sophia, after having shown her a photograph of the purse in question.]

Sophia: I'm telling you, I haven't seen that purse before in my life. There's no way on earth it belongs to me. Look at this face! Would I lie to you?

Frank: I'm a Homicide detective, ma'am, everyone lies to me. [The phone rings. Tim picks it up.]

Tim [into the phone]: Detective Bayliss. Yeah. You found what? Are you sure? Well, that's - wow. Yes, yes, I'll tell him. [He hangs up and turns to Frank and Sophia.] They found shell casings at the scene with Sophia's prints on them. You were the one who loaded the gun that killed Juju.

[Dramatic music swells in the background.]

Frank: Mrs. Petrillo, I'm afraid we're going to have to arrest you.

[Cut to commercial]


[Fade up on the living room. Dorothy, Sophia and Rose enter the house, all looking very tired. Rose flops into the armchair; Dorothy and Sophia sit on the couch.]

Rose: Boy, what a night.

Dorothy: You can say that again. You really lucked out, Ma, getting released on your own recognizance. You could have spent the night in jail.

Sophia: Can you believe it, Dorothy? I'm 82 years old, and I'm up for the murder of some man I've never even seen.

Dorothy: I know, Ma.

Sophia: All this time, I've thought that if I killed anyone, it would be Stanley. But this is scary, Dorothy. What if I go to jail?

Dorothy: You won't go to jail, Ma. You didn't do this. We're gonna get you the best lawyer money can buy.

Rose: Dorothy's right, Sophia.

Sophia: Johnnie Cochran? Can you get me Johnnie Cochran, Pussycat?

Rose: I don't know about you girls, but I'm famished. I'm gonna go have some of my Maple Brown Sugar Molasses Rice Krispies log. Do you want me to bring you some?

Sophia: No, it'd rot my dentures.

[Rose walks into the kitchen, sees Bayliss sitting at the table.]

Rose: Hi, Tim.

[Bayliss' mouth is full.]

Tim: [mumbles]

[Rose opens the fridge, closes it again.]

Rose: Have you seen my log?

[Bayliss downs an entire glass of milk.]

Tim: I, uh...I just ate the last of it, Mrs. Nylund.

Rose: Would you like me to make you another one?

Tim: Oh, I couldn't ask you to...but would you?

[Dorothy and Sophia enter the kitchen. Sophia sits down at the butcher-block island while Rose starts making her log and Dorothy opens the fridge.]

Sophia: What are you doing, Pussycat?

Dorothy: Oh, don't start with me, Ma.

Sophia: What are you talking about?

Dorothy: You always do this to me. Just me. No one else. Just your daughter.

Sophia: You're eating...chocolate mousse?

Dorothy: The same thing I eat every day, Ma. Cheesecake.

Sophia: Cheesecake.

Dorothy: What's wrong with cheesecake?

Sophia: It's so, you know... white-girl.

Tim: I like cheesecake.

[Blanche sticks her head in.]

Blanche: Can everyone come into the living room, please?

[Tim, Sophia, Dorothy and Rose enter the living room, where they see Mike, Meldrick, Frank, Gee and Munch.]

Blanche: Now, I know you all are trying to put Sophia in jail, but I'm from the South and pride myself on being a good hostess, so I insist that you stay here.

[Frank starts to protest.]

Blanche: I won't hear it, Mister. Now -- Sophia will sleep in Dorothy's room, so Mike and Meldrick, you can sleep in Sophia's room.

Sophia: But I wanted to sleep with Mike.

Blanche: Take a number, you old bat. Rose will stay in my room, so Frank and Lieutenant Giardello, you can have Rose's bed. Bayliss, I've set up an air mattress on Rose's floor for you.

Munch: What about me?

Blanche: Oh, you can sleep out on the lanai. Or in the trash can, for all I care.

Munch: Patio.

Blanche: Lanai!

[Blanche and Munch glare at each other while everyone else heads to bed. Cut to Blanche in her boudoir, wearing a red negligee and patting powder on her bosom.]

Rose: What are you doing, Blanche?

Blanche: I'm gonna go see why they call it Charm City.

[Blanche leaves her room, and knocks on Sophia's door and poses seductively. Kellerman answers from the other side.]

Mike: Who is it?

Blanche: It's me, Blanche Devereaux.

[Mike opens the door, sees Blanche, looks stunned.]

Meldrick: Mikey, what's goin'--whoa!

Blanche: Like I said, I pride myself on being a good hostess.

Mike: I'm gonna have to ask you something, Blanche.

Blanche: Your wish is my command.

Mike: You have to do everything I say.

Blanche: Well, there's nothing I won't do, but some things are gonna cost you extra.

Mike: I'm gonna have to ask you to go back to your own room.

Blanche, angrily: Or what? You gonna read me my rights, Detective?

Mike: You have the right to remain silent.

[Mike shuts the door in Blanche's face.]

Blanche: Well, I never!

[Blanche storms into the living room, flicks on the lights, and sees Munch asleep on the couch.]

Blanche [sighs]: Johnny Munch.

[Munch wakes up, sits up, and puts on his glasses.]

Munch: Is this a nightmare, or did I die and go to Hell?

Blanche: Oh, I wish you would. And I thought I told you to sleep outside, with the other dogs.

Munch: Nice outfit, Grandma.

[Blanche wraps her robe around her body and Munch stands up.]

Blanche: You are hateful!

Munch: And you're nothing but a jezebel!

[Blanche slaps Munch; he slaps her back.]

Blanche: I hate you.

Munch: I loathe you.

Blanche: Are you as turned on as I am?

Munch: More.

[Blanche and Munch fall into a passionate embrace, and sink onto the couch.]


[Fade up on the house in the morning, where Gee, Frank, Sophia, Tim, Rose, and Dorothy are having coffee.]

Dorothy: This is wonderful espresso, Lieutenant Giardello! It tastes just like my mother's.

Gee: Of course. It's a Sicilian recipe. [He smiles at Sophia.]

Sophia: We have a tradition of good coffee.

Rose: I thought that was Colombians. Although I never figured why that Valdez man was riding a donkey when he was up so far north. Wouldn't it be slippery with all that ice?

Dorothy: Colombia in South America, Rose, not British Columbia in Canada....

Frank: We need strong coffee this morning. Tim kept us up for hours on a sugar rush. [He glares at Tim, catching him in the act of dunking some of Rose's confection into his coffee cup.]

Dorothy: Did you hear the racket Blanche was making last night? [Sophia and Rose nod.] I guess she did get lucky after all.

[Meldrick and Mike enter, both looking exhausted. The others exchange glances, eyebrows raised.]

Rose: Good morning, boys. coffee? [She pours them each a cup.]

Meldrick: Thanks. I'll need it. I kept having these horrible nightmares about a raisin in a skimpy nightie.

Mike: You kick when you dream. And you hog all the sheets.

Dorothy: But if neither of you was with Blanche last night, who...?

[Munch enters, wearing Blanche's bathrobe.]

Munch: And so another day begins. A fresh slate. An unmarked sheet of paper. Coffee? Who needs it? I'm a man with all the energy of a child! I'm galvanized! I'm juiced! I - [he slumps] - really need some coffee.

[He pours himself a cup and turns to leave, as Blanche comes into the kitchen, wearing her somewhat disarrayed negligee. Everyone stares at them.]

Munch: Shameless wench.

Blanche: Sleazeball.

Munch: Virago.

Blanche: Pig.

[Munch exits, and Blanche leans against the wall.]

Blanche: Now I remember why I fell in love with him. [She sighs.] Oh, don't look at me like that! I know we're not right for each other, but - sometimes it's good to recapture old memories, to lie back and... reminisce.

Sophia: If reminiscing is what you're doing all that time when you're on your back, you've got to stop living in the past!

Blanche [scowling at Sophia]: Anyway, he'll be leaving soon to cart this withered old witch up to prison for the rest of her life. [She stalks out after Munch.]

Meldrick [cringes]: I may never be able to sleep again.

Gee: Lewis, Kellerman, come with me. We're going to go to the Italian market Sophia told me about, and pick up some ingredients for a great Sicilian feast.

Mike: All right, but thinking about Munch and Blanche Devereaux? I may never be able to eat again.

[Gee, Lewis, and Kellerman exit.]

Dorothy: Now, Detective Pembleton, surely you can't think my mother really committed this horrible crime.

Frank: Well, at the moment, Mrs. Petrillo is our only suspect. We have her identification with the body, and her fingerprints on the shell casings.

Sophia: But I told you the truth! I've never owned a gun in my life, and I don't know this Jujube.

Tim: Juju.

Sophia: For all I know, he could be Jojo the dog-faced boy! I didn't kill him.

Rose: You've got to believe her, Detective. She would never do something like this.

Frank: I'm sorry, but Sophia will have to come back to Baltimore with us to face a trial.

Sophia: I'm telling you, it wasn't even my purse in the picture you showed me!

Rose: Wait a minute! Let me see that picture!

[Frank produces a photograph of the purse found with Juju's body. Rose studies it.]

Rose: Now I see what's happened! Oh, Sophia, of course you're not guilty. This isn't your purse at all!

Frank: You recognize this handbag?

Rose: Well, of course I do. The bag you found is mine!

[Everyone stares at her, dumbfounded. Cut to commercial.]


[Fade up. Frank, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia walk into the living room, talking.]

Frank: Mrs. Nylund, this is your purse in the photograph?

Rose: Yes. Girls, do you remember when my purse got stolen a few years ago?

Sophia: Yeah. We were at Blanche's stupid Citrus Festival, and you were carrying my wallet in your purse for me.

Frank: Did you report your purse stolen?

[Rose nods.]

Frank: We'll have to check that out, of course.

Dorothy: Not to rain on anyone's parade, but how did Ma's fingerprints show up on the shell casings?

Sophia: Wasn't your gun in your purse that day it was stolen, Rose?

Frank: They let you get a gun?

[Rose nods.]

Sophia: I loaded Rose's gun for her. We Sicilians know our way around firearms.

Dorothy: Well, that's great! Ma, you're free!

Frank: Not so fast, Mrs. Zbornak. We do have to confirm these stories. We won't know for sure until --

[The phone rings, interrupting Frank. Rose answers.]

Rose: Hello? Yes, he's here.

[Rose covers the mouthpiece with her hand.]

Rose: It's for you, Detective Pembleton. Kay Howard?

[Frank takes the phone.]

Frank: Yeah, Kay? Oh, you did? All right, thanks for calling.

[Frank hangs up the phone.]

Frank: That was my sergeant back in Baltimore. She said that while we were down here, she found the real killer. I guess you really are free to go, Mrs. Petrillo.

[Dorothy, Rose and Sophia clap and cheer. Blanche enters, dressed in normal clothes.]

Blanche: Did I hear you right? Sophia's name is clear?

[Munch walks in from the lanai.]

Munch: Excellent news. I'll go pack.

Rose: But boys, you have to stay for tonight's feast!

[Tim peeks his head out from behind the kitchen door.]

Tim: Yeah, Frank, we have to stay for tonight's feast!

Frank: All right, we'll leave after supper.

Blanche: Dorothy, can I see you in the kitchen please?

[Dorothy and Blanche walk into the kitchen, where they find Bayliss eating Rose's log with his fingers.]

Blanche: Oh, for God's sake! Get out of here!

[Tim leaves, then comes back, grabs the log, and leaves again.]

Dorothy: Honey, what is it?

Blanche: It's Munch. I can't get him out of my head, Dorothy. I don't want you telling everyone, but --

[Blanche leans in.]

Blanche [whispering]: Last night, we slept together.

Dorothy: No!

Blanche: Yes.

[Dorothy rolls her eyes.]

Blanche: And now he's leaving.

Dorothy: What's the problem, Blanche? You have one-night stands all the time.

Blanche: This is different, Dorothy. Johnny and I shared something special at one time, and I think we recaptured some of that last night.

Dorothy: From the noises I heard, you recaptured a lot of it last night.

Blanche: Oh, I don't know why I expected you to understand. You're just a substitute teacher.

Dorothy: There's honor in what I do.

Blanche: Honor?

Dorothy: Sure, it's not the most glamorous job in the world, but I like it. You want glory? Go work at ER. Substitute teaching's fine by me.

[Mike and Meldrick enter, carrying grocery bags.]

Dorothy: Did you boys have a nice time at the market?

Meldrick: I gotta loosen my waistband just thinkin' 'bout eating all this food.

Blanche: I'm going to go lie down. If anyone cares to join me, my room is at the end of the hall.

[Blanche pauses. Dorothy, Mike and Meldrick unpack the groceries.]

Blanche: I said, if anyone cares to join me, my room is at the end of the hall.

Mike: We heard you the first time, Mrs. Devereaux.

[Blanche sighs, and leaves the kitchen. In the living room, she finds Sophia and Rose sitting on the couch.]

Rose: And so the bear says, you didn't come here to hunt, did you?

Sophia: Rose, that's the best St. Olaf story I've ever heard.

Rose: Oh, it's not a St. Olaf story, Sophia. It's a joke. Meldrick taught it to me. I don't really understand it, though.

Blanche: Where's Lieutenant Giardello?

Rose: Oh, he's out on the lanai with Detective Munch.

[Blanche sighs again and walks to her room. Cut to the lanai.]

Munch: I really liked her, Gee. What should I do?

Gee: Ah, Munch, you're asking a question that is ages old. Two lovers, long apart, find each other again. Is this a sign from the gods? Or is it Fate, playing a cruel trick on you? I can't answer your question. You must find the answer within yourself.

Munch: How, Gee?

Gee: It seems to me that your relationship with Blanche was like that moment when you get a shock. For that moment, time stands still for you, and it stood still for you last night. But ultimately, you two cannot be together. Your love was just a violet spark between the flicker of the light, Munch. You must tell that to Blanche.

Munch: Tell her what, Gee?

Gee: That your love was just a violet spark between the flicker of the light.

Munch: But I don't know what that means.

Gee: Just say it.

Munch: Okay.

[Gee stands.]

Gee: I'm going inside to help Sophia with dinner. Are you coming?

Munch: In a minute. I'm just going to sit out here on the patio -- I mean, the lanai -- for a little bit.

[Fade out on Munch, looking forlorn.]


[Fade up on the entire group, sitting around the kitchen finishing a massive Italian dinner prepared by Sophia.]

Gee: Bene!

Meldrick [pushing his chair back]: Mrs. Petrillo -

Sophia: Call me Sophia. You boys arrested me for murder, I think that counts as a formal introduction.

Meldrick: Sophia, this is the most delicious meal I've ever tasted. If you ever need a job, you can come cook for us at the Waterfront anytime.

Mike: I feel like I've just had Thanksgiving dinner. I'm going to be fast asleep on the plane.

Meldrick: Well, then you ain't sitting next to me. You snore.

Mike: Do not!

Meldrick: Like a motorboat. [Mike glares at him.]

Sophia: I couldn't have done it without Al's help. Paisan! [Gee and Sophia embrace. Gee leans over so that she can kiss him once on each cheek!

Frank: Well, much as I hate to break up this gathering, it's time we got going. We have a flight to catch. [He stands and shakes hands with Sophia, Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche.] Thanks for your hospitality.

Dorothy: You're welcome, detectives, and I'm glad we got all this confusion cleared up. I still can't believe anyone would suspect my mother of murder.

Sophia: I still can't believe you haven't had a date in six years.

Dorothy: Ma!

Mike [standing and shaking hands]: Well, it was nice meeting all of you.

Meldrick [standing and shaking hands]: Definitely.

Blanche: Now, you two have to promise to look me up the next time you're in Miami, and I'll show you the best sights in the city.

[Blanche looks at them suggestively. They glance at each other.]

Meldrick: We have to be going.

Mike: Definitely.

[They bolt. Blanche pouts.]

Tim [standing]: Thanks for having us. I've had a wonderful time.

Rose: Oh, I almost forgot! [She goes to the stove.] I baked another Honey Sugar Syrup Marshmallow Maple Crunch Log for your trip! [She gives it to Bayliss.]

Tim [his adoring gaze flickering between Rose and the log]: I love you.

Frank: You're not going to eat that on the plane, are you?

Tim: Probably not. I'll probably finish it in the airport.

Frank: Gee, I think we should talk about getting me a new partner.

Gee: We've had a very interesting time here in Miami. [He beams at Sophia and kisses her hand.] It's always good to meet a fellow Sicilian.

[Munch and Blanche are the only ones still seated at the table. Dorothy notices this.]

Dorothy: Why don't we give these two some privacy to say goodbye?

Sophia: And miss the best part of the show?

[Dorothy scolds her and everyone files out into the living room, leaving Munch and Blanche alone.]

Blanche: John.

Munch: Blanche, I -

Blanche: You don't have to say anything. I understand that you have to go. It's your job, and anyway, I was the one who dumped *you* thirty years ago, not the other way around.

Munch: Yeah, right. Thanks for reminding me.

Blanche: I just want to know one thing. What happened last night - does that mean you're still in love with me? Even just a little?

Munch: No, Blanche. What we had was a long time ago. Whatever love we shared, that time has passed.

Blanche: Well, then was it just meaningless sex?

Munch: No -

Blanche: Because I'm okay with that too, you know.

Munch: No, Blanche, that's never what was between us.

Blanche: What was it then?

Munch: It... it was a violet spark between the flicker of the light, Blanche.

[He leans across the table and kisses her gently on the cheek. Then he walks away. As he leaves, Sophia, Rose, and Dorothy, who were obviously eavesdropping, come in. Blanche sits at the table looking sad.]

Sophia: We, uh, couldn't help overhearing.

Rose: I'll get the cheesecake. I have a feeling we'll be up talking for a while! [Rose rummages to the fridge.]

Blanche: I just don't understand it, Dorothy, I just don't understand.

Dorothy: Oh, honey, you wish that you and Munch had stayed together?

Blanche: No! Not at all. I just don't understand what the hell he meant by all that violet spark nonsense!

[Cut to the plane, where all the Homicide boys are sitting. Meldrick and Mike are dozing, heads resting on each other's shoulders. Munch is stretched out across a double seat reading a magazine about female bodybuilders. Frank is leaning on the window sleeping. Tim sits across the aisle from Giardello, finishing Rose's log.]

Tim: Mm. Well. This was really an interesting investigation, Gee.

Gee: To say the least. Sometimes the most routine cases take us on an interesting journey. We discover new friends, people from our past [he indicates Munch], and underneath it all, the truth.

Tim: Do you think we'll ever see Sophia and Rose and Blanche and Dorothy again?

Gee: I've been a cop a long time, Tim. I can tell you how to work a case until there's nothing left. I can tell you how to break a lying witness. But one thing I can't tell you is whether we'll see those ladies ever again.

[Tim ponders this.]

Tim: Want a bite of my log?

Gee [disgusted]: Tim, never say that in my presence again.

[Gee turns away and tries to go to sleep. Tim shrugs and happily finishes the dessert by himself. Fade to black.]