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S3x05: Last of the Watermen

April 4, 2010

AIR DATE: 12/09/1994
WRITTEN BY: Henry Bromell & Tom Fontana
DIRECTED: Richard Pearce

I should admit that I do not care for this episode much at all. I welcome anyone who does enjoy this episode to show me different ways to frame it. I struggled as to how to enter this entry, particularly knowing there are awesome episodes on either side of this. Plus, let’s face facts, I’m just not a fan of the whole idea of episodic version of How Kay Howard Got Her Groove Back.

Howard and Felton chase a painful case that sends her fleeing Charm City into the safety of her country ass kinfolk and eventually a murder in good need of solving. Lots of down home fun, frolic and murdering! Corn on the cob as big as double sided dongs!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2010 11:28 am

    Looks like maybe Fontana also left town to spend more time with his family.

  2. April 4, 2010 11:29 am

    Ha. Seriously. Poor Henry Bromell. Holding down the fort.

  3. hsofia permalink
    April 4, 2010 11:40 am

    LOL @Redlami!

  4. April 4, 2010 3:47 pm

    I won’t lie this is a really boring episode, which is odd because I really like Howard.

  5. April 4, 2010 4:59 pm

    Once again, SM is takin ‘er easy for all us sinners.

  6. April 4, 2010 5:25 pm

    Apparently, so was Fontana!

  7. December 11, 2011 8:35 pm

    OK, I’ll bite (albeit long after anyone cares ;)). I know I’m unusual in this, but when I first saw Homicide as a sullen teenager, I remember this episode sticking in my head specifically – but more on that later.

    So – reasons that “Last Of The Watermen” deserves a closer look:

    1. Long overdue character development and backstory for Kay Howard.
    At this point in the show, we know a considerable amount about the other primary characters. Kay is something of an enigma though – we know she’s smart, dedicated and such, but there are aspects which are surprising – her almost girlish approach to dealing with romantic feelings and flashes of vulnerability beneath her earthy and no-nonsense exterior. This episode provides some of the answers – she’s a small-town girl made good from a Chesapeake fishing community that is slowly fading away. She comes from a family that is clearly loving but unable to disguise the void left by her mother’s death.

    2. Whither Baltimore?
    We’ve followed the detectives around Baltimore for 17 episodes, each of them as gritty and bleak in terms of atmosphere as they are outstanding in terms of writing, acting and cinematography. Why would anyone choose to come to this city where, as Kay points out, old ladies getting their tongues cut out becomes just another day in the job? “Last Of The Watermen” shows the fishing communities that sprang up around Chesapeake Bay slowly dying as years of overfishing have finally taken their toll and even the few remaining watermen are made to throw their catches back if they break the stringent regulations. This makes the episode in some ways an older cousin of the second series of “The Wire”, where the activities that sustained the working man in America and once promised the stability in which to raise a family can no longer do so – and the lengths that some of those men (who cannot look for work elsewhere) will go to to make sure that their family doesn’t go hungry. In that situation even “Bodymore”, as the nearest city, starts to look attractive.

    3. Stuck In My Head.
    This is a more personal reason than anything else, but the reason this episode stuck in my head all those years ago is the exquisite – and I do mean *exquisite* – use of the Counting Crows lament “Raining In Baltimore” to bookend Kay’s visit home. One of the saddest songs in the repertoire of a band who are not known for cheeriness at the best of times (and incidentally about being away from a loved one), it serves to emphasise the weight on Kay at that particular point, and the cinematography just works beautifully alongside it. As sad as the song is, it is also hauntingly beautiful and it’s reprise as she heads back to the city just fits perfectly – it wraps up the episode’s theme of never being able to truly return home and have it the way you remember it – but keep the best of it inside to get you through the tough times and does it in style.


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