Homicide: Life on the Street: Season 5, Episode 18

Double Blind (11 Apr. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Chris Thormann must confront the fact that the assailant who shot and blinded him is up for parole, and he might get it. Pembleton and Bayliss investigate the murder of a chef, and the ... See full summary »



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Title: Double Blind (11 Apr 1997)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Billie Rader (as Monica Kenna)
Robert Bornarth ...
Ray Felton ...


Chris Thormann must confront the fact that the assailant who shot and blinded him is up for parole, and he might get it. Pembleton and Bayliss investigate the murder of a chef, and the family's background of abuse triggers bad memories for Bayliss. Written by dav3id-2

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Release Date:

11 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in March 1993 and April 1997. See more »


Det. Frank Pembleton: This man was a bastard.
Det. Tim Bayliss: Yeah, he was.
Det. Frank Pembleton: He got what he deserved.
Det. Tim Bayliss: Yes, he did.
Det. Frank Pembleton: Manslaughter, 5 years suspended.
Det. Tim Bayliss: What are you talking about? It doesn't work that way!
Det. Frank Pembleton: [laughs] It doesn't?
Det. Tim Bayliss: No! No, you can't just go through this world giving every bastard what he deserves!
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References The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

When Bayliss and Pembleton switched places
6 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

Easily one of season five's best episodes, Double Blind, in typical Homicide fashion, bravely juggles with many shades of gray. In the first storyline, Bayliss (Kyle Secor) and Pembleton (Andre Braugher) follow the case of a man who used to brutally beat up his wife and is killed by his daughter; in the second, Lewis (Clark Johnson) has to support Chris Thormann (Lee Tergersen), a police officer shot and blinded (A Shot in the Dark, season one) by Flavin, a criminal who is now up for parole after saving the life of a prison guard.

The two plot lines are the thematic flip sides of each other: in the first one we have the killing of a despicable man seen through the eyes of the murderer; in the second, the prospect that a redeemed convict might go free is shown from the point of view of his victim. The show, as usual, raises problematic questions but gives no easy answers or self-congratulatory epilogues. Ultimately, the daughter is caught by the same legal system who had been unable to help her; Flavin's parole is denied, and yet Thormann's life will never be the same again. There are no winners: what remains is just a great sense of loss.

Intriguingly, in this episode Bayliss and Pembleton switch their trademark attitudes. Far from being out of character, this is an example of sharp psychology from the writers. Pembleton, the self-righteous public avenger, for once actually identifies with the girl, possibly out of pity for his own neglected wife; on the other hand, sensitive Bayliss becomes more and more inflexible - as a former victim of domestic abuse himself, morally condemning the young girl is a way to distance himself from his own painful past.


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