The BEST Episodes of Homicide: Life On The Street

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2020

Network: NBC

Based on the factual book Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets by journalist David Simon, the series charts the lives of a team of homicide detectives in Baltimore, Maryland, both on and off the clock.

Subway

#1 - Subway

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 5, 1997

A man falls between the cars of a subway train in front of horrified witnesses. Was he pushed? While the man is still alive, the prognosis is he will be dead the moment they extract from the position he currently occupies: pinned between the train and platform. Homicide is called in light of this condition and the fact he may have been pushed. Pembleton questions the victim, and Bayliss questions the witnesses, especially a strange one named Larry Biedron. The victim has no relatives in the Baltimore area. He does have a girlfriend who is supposed to be jogging in the area; Lewis and Falsone try to find her to bring her to the scene.

star 8.94
133 votes
Directors: Gary Fleder
Writers: James Yoshimura
Betrayal

#2 - Betrayal

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 10, 1997

Frank and Tim investigate the death of a young girl whose abused body was found by the side of the interstate. Brodie goes to an interview with a new potential roommate. Kellerman finally gets his day in court, where he is supposed to take the 5th amendment. Frank and Tim disagree with their pursuit of the investigation. Frank tries a different approach with the mother and she tells him the story-- only they won't be able to get a murder one conviction. Julianna comes down to the courthouse to offer Mike some moral support. He sees Connelly come out of the courtroom and thinks things are going bad, so he prepares to give it all up. However, his appearance before the grand jury doesn't go quite as he expected. Brodie walks out of the building with his new roommate. The detectives try to celebrate Kellerman's freedom, though he has different thoughts about the situation. Tim tries to come to grips with the child abuse he experienced in his past and also tells Frank he doesn't want to be

star 8.80
81 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: Gay Walch, Julie Martin, Tom Fontana
Prison Riot

#3 - Prison Riot

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 18, 1996

A riot breaks out at the prison, where two inmates are killed. The squad goes to the scene, but Frank must still stay behind. Bayliss, Lewis, Kellerman and Howard interview the inmates; many of them have familiar faces. Frank works on his target practice. Bayliss thinks that one inmate really wanted to tell him something, so he puts together a deal to get the information. The inmate confesses to the murder and Bayliss doesn't believe him. Another riot breaks out and the truth is finally discovered.

star 8.75
81 votes
Directors: Kenneth Fink
Writers: Henry Bromell, Tom Fontana
The Documentary

#4 - The Documentary

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 3, 1997

On New Year's Eve, the detectives sit back in the quiet of the evening and watch a documentary that Brodie has made about them and their work. During the filming, Brodie also happens to capture the lunchtime bandit red-handed.

star 8.68
107 votes
Directors: Barbara Kopple
Writers: Eric Overmyer, James Yoshimura, Tom Fontana
The City That Bleeds

#5 - The City That Bleeds

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 27, 1995

Bolander, Munch, Howard and Felton all meet to serve a warrant, but Bolander, Howard and Felton are shot in an ambush. Pembleton becomes the primary in the investigation and is partnered with a detective who specializes in the psychology of their prime suspect: a pedophile. Stan's ex-partner Mitch Drummond offers his help. Kay's father and Beau's wife and the kids come to the hospital. A clerical error is discovered to be the cause of why the detectives went to the door marked 201, instead of 210.

star 8.62
143 votes
Writers: Jorge Zamacona, Julie Martin
Narcissus

#6 - Narcissus

Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired May 2, 1997

There is a major police chase after an armed suspect, as he holes himself up in a row house that is the headquarters of ARM (African Revival Movement). The head of that house, a former cop, calls in a favor, high in the police department. Munch and Pembleton try to work the case as Bayliss seems to be missing. Their investigation seems to be thwarted every step of the way. Stivers' has second thoughts about what she saw at the Mahoney shooting. An attempt to serve ""Burundi"" Robinson an arrest warrant breaks out into a war between the police and ARM. Gee goes into the house to confront Robinson and finds out who and what he knows.

star 8.62
107 votes
Writers: Yaphet Kotto
Three Men and Adena

#7 - Three Men and Adena

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 3, 1993

Pembleton and Bayliss have only twelve hours to grill their prime suspect in the Adena Watson case before they must let him go.

star 8.56
202 votes
Directors: Martin Campbell
Writers: Tom Fontana
Dead End

#8 - Dead End

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 3, 1995

The detectives continue chasing their only lead, the child molester. Munch is teamed with Stan's old partner. Beau has no feeling in his foot, but feels guilt about Kay's condition. Stan's ex-wife arrives in town, but has a hard time going to see him at the hospital. Barnfather and Granger want Russert to review Gee and see if he was negligent in his duties regarding the paperwork that led to the shooting. The pedophile is located and it is discovered he was responsible for the strangulation of a young boy, but not the shooting of the three detectives.

star 8.55
148 votes
Writers: Jorge Zamacona, Julie Martin
Hostage (2)

#9 - Hostage (2)

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 27, 1996

Night has fallen and the crisis is no closer to being resolved. Gee demands that Barnfather make a decision. Frank continues to trying to adjust. Frank insists on going to the hostage scene. The identity of the hostage-taker is made when he demands that his pig be brought to the school. When the pig doesn't arrive in time, he sets a fire and seriously wounds a hostage (who later dies) and then becomes badly burned. Brodie takes issue with Munch's treatment of Pembleton. The paperwork gets completed and the hostage-taker is formally charged. Frank makes a decision regarding his recovery.

star 8.52
107 votes
Writers: James Yoshimura, Julie Martin, Tom Fontana
Requiem for Adena

#10 - Requiem for Adena

Season 4 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 29, 1996

A young girl is murdered, in a style similar to Adena Watson's murder. Frank demands to work the case alone as Bayliss begins to think that the two crimes might be related. Bayliss' obsession with trying to get this case solved and linked to Adena's murder causes the two of them to clash. Howard learns that Brodie has a crush on her and tells him she doesn't like the joke that's being pulled-- only problem there is that it's the truth.

star 8.43
140 votes
Directors: Lee Bonner
Writers: Julie Martin
Colors

#11 - Colors

Season 3 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 28, 1995

Tim's cousin shoots a Turkish exchange student and his partnership with Pembleton may be in jeopardy when they both stand on opposite sides of the case. Lewis hires his grandmother to cook at the bar.

star 8.40
142 votes
Directors: Peter Medak
Writers: Tom Fontana
Scene of the Crime

#12 - Scene of the Crime

Season 4 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 12, 1996

Lewis and Kellerman's investigation of a murder in a housing project puts them at odds with a civilian-patrol group, run by the Black Muslims. Munch is excited because Stan is scheduled to come back June 1st. Russert and Munch catch a case where both the victim and shooter are dead. She with Howard must decide whether to circumvent the so-called ""blue wall of silence"" among police officers when it is discovered that the officer on the scene didn't react in time. Barnfather stops Lewis and Kellerman's charging of a Muslim, until something is leaked to the newspapers. The ""big man"" is scheduled to come to the bar, but changes his mind, twice.

star 8.38
140 votes
Directors: Kathy Bates
Writers: Anya Epstein, Barry Levinson, David Simon, Henry Bromell, Tom Fontana
Fallen Heroes (1)

#13 - Fallen Heroes (1)

Season 6 - Episode 22 - Aired May 1, 1998

Judge Gibbons has been stabbed. On their way to the crime scene, Bayliss and Pembleton talk about a book that Bayliss is reading, then Pembleton wonders if anyone would ever write a book about their Homicide unit. A probation officer is murdered in a drive-by shooting. The FBI gets involved with investigation of the Gibbons death. Agent Bauer mentions to Bayliss that Kellerman's confrontation with Gibbons probably got the judge killed. He wants Kellerman clear of the case. A fingerprint lifted from the Gibbons' crime scene points to Georgia Rae's son, Junior Bunk. Falsone and Stivers get a lead on their probation officer shooting case. As Junior Bunk is brought in for questioning, he eyeballs a handgun being put in a drawer. Pembleton and Bayliss get Junior in the box and he is no longer able to be intimidated. While waiting to be transferred to central booking, Kellerman, Lewis & Gharty harass Junior. Slightly freed up to make a phone call, Junior gets the gun out of the desk and begi

star 8.38
108 votes
Directors: Kathryn Bigelow
Writers: Eric Overmyer, Lois Johnson
Crosetti

#14 - Crosetti

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 2, 1994

Crosetti's body is found and Bolander is the primary and he thinks the evidence points to suicide. If it is a suicide, there will be no honor guard for the funeral. Refusing to accept the death as a suicide, Meldrick launches his own investigation and tries to thwart Bolander's investigation. Bayliss and Pembleton make arrangements for the funeral reception. Pembleton has reservations about going into the church for the services. Munch works with his brother, an undertaker, to arrange for a coffin. The preliminary ME report shows Crosetti had a blood alcohol level of .25 and wide variety of anti-depressants, The verdict: suicide.

star 8.38
168 votes
Writers: James Yoshimura
Fits Like a Glove

#15 - Fits Like a Glove

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 21, 1994

Gaffney allows a possible murder site to be washed down which causes Pembleton to go off on him. Russert takes Gaffney off the case and Pembleton is made the primary. Things get more complicated as a second victim is found. Beau tries to decide between his family and his relationship with Megan and he confides in Kay; his wife tries to reconcile with him. Russert wrestles with the media demands about the case. Something from Bayliss' past comes out when they try to get the liquor license for their bar. Bayliss goes to the liquor commissioner to work things out. A collector of the macabre comes in search of the victim's white gloves. A third victim is discovered.

star 8.38
148 votes
Writers: Bonnie Mark
Partners and Other Strangers (1)

#16 - Partners and Other Strangers (1)

Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired May 9, 1997

Bayliss has disappeared again as Pembleton and Brodie make their way to the scene of a shotgun suicide. The victim appears to be Beau Felton. Gee's letter, including information gained in the ""Burundi"" case, begins to make an impact at the highest levels of the department. Frank returns to the department with the news about his case. Lewis goes off, wondering who is going to be next. Det. Falsone comes to the squad with news about why he thinks Beau Felton killed himself. Lewis and Stivers discuss the Mahoney shooting. Cox finds something interesting about the Felton case; she digs in deeper and the results change the case to a murder. Bayliss turns up the next day and disappears again to his Uncle George's place. Pembleton and Howard try to work with Falsone to find Beau's killer. Gee finds out that Beau had been working undercover for the past six months on the Cantwell auto-theft ring. Megan Russert returns from France.

star 8.37
109 votes
Writers: Anya Epstein, Darryl LeMont Wharton, James Yoshimura
Fire (1)

#17 - Fire (1)

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 20, 1995

Bolander and Felton are suspended for 22 weeks without pay for incidents related to activities at a police convention in Washington, DC. Howard plans to take the sergeant's exam. Pembleton and Bayliss are assigned to investigate the death of a body found at an arson. At the scene they meet an arson detective that clashes with Frank's working style. Frank hesitates chasing a suspect, and later we learn that his wife is pregnant. Munch also decides to take the exam, and when the wagering begins on who is going to pass, everyone favors Howard. While the detectives are debating whether the fire was set to cover the murder, another fire is started.

star 8.36
200 votes
Writers: Julie Martin
Blood Wedding

#18 - Blood Wedding

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 13, 1996

Frank gets his first case as a primary-- unfortunately it is a case that involves the shooting of Danver's fiancée. Danvers is concerned about Frank being the primary and keeps throwing his opinions into the investigation. Danvers changes his perspective on the death penalty and also reflects on his past performance in many of the cases he's tried. Brodie continues to look for housing; the latest place he tried staying was the morgue. Kellerman is discouraged when it appears as though Cox may have only been looking for a one-night stand and nothing more-- so he takes a sick day. Gee takes some time out of his day to have a talk with Kellerman's former partners to see where they stand with him in regard to their testimonies to the grand jury. He also sees the Deputy Commissioner to see what can be done for Kellerman; what he learns instead are some truths about the Gaffney promotion.

star 8.32
111 votes
Directors: Kevin Hooks
Writers: James Yoshimura, Matt Witten, Tom Fontana
End Game

#19 - End Game

Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 10, 1995

Bolander has a relapse. The detectives sound off to the local news about the shooting. Apartment 201 is opened up and the occupant, Gordon Pratt, is a gun freak who once tried to be a cop. Russert and Howard declare a truce. They find the shooter, but lack of a weapon gets him released; later he is found with a bullet in his head.

star 8.32
172 votes
Writers: Rogers Turrentine
Map of the Heart

#20 - Map of the Heart

Season 4 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 26, 1996

A prominent attorney is murdered and the murderer presents himself to Pembleton and Bayliss with a videotape that implicates him. Brodie works on increasing his self-image. Kellerman is determined to find out who's the ""lunch bandit."" The NSA steps in on Pembleton's murder investigation and provides him with a guilty party, even though they know he didn't do it. Bayliss' disgust with the interference doesn't sit well with Gaffney who wants to charge him with insubordination.

star 8.31
164 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: James Yoshimura, Michael Whaley
Shaggy Dog, City Goat

#21 - Shaggy Dog, City Goat

Season 6 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 16, 1998

Julianna wins the recognition of her peers. At dinner, Julianna and her colleagues swap stories about how they've cracked cases. Julianna relates a story that happened a few weeks earlier, a suicide might actually be turn out to be murder, when it is determined that the victim was shot in mid-jump. A bickering elderly couple proves to be the key to the crime. Meanwhile, Falsone investigates the legal possibilities of obtaining custody of his son. Ballard and Gharty investigate the death of a drug dealer, which takes them up into the hills of western Maryland in search of their suspects. Georgia Rae Mahoney sues Stivers, Lewis, Kellerman, Giardello, Cox, the department and the city for the wrongful death of her brother, to the tune of $60 million. Lewis confronts Georgia Rae and winds up with a suspension for his trouble.

star 8.30
109 votes
Directors: Kyle Secor
Writers: Eric Overmyer
Full Court Press

#22 - Full Court Press

Season 6 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 3, 1998

Munch and Gharty probe the death of a high-school athlete who appeared to have everything going for him. Pembleton and Bayliss have only one lead to a potential suspect, a pager number; however, Bayliss has a plan that should lead to the apprehension of their suspect. Kellerman and Ballard get a case with a drug dealer that Kellerman is less than enthusiastic to work. The victim is one of Georgia Rae Mahoney's lieutenants and there are four other unsolved murders in the last two weeks where the victims were members of the Mahoney organization. Pembleton and Bayliss apprehend the wrong suspect, but the fact the suspect was trafficking 200 Kg of narcotics gets them a commendation. Meanwhile, using the information provided to him by Falsone, Lewis has had members of the Mahoney organization under surveillance. Is Lewis involved in these murders? Kellerman receives some good news for a change; passing a tape of his conversation with Judge Gibbons onto the FBI won't be necessary. The FBI is

star 8.30
106 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: David Simon, Philip B. Epstein
Forgive Us Our Trespasses

#23 - Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired May 21, 1999

Sheppard and Bayliss await the trial of Luke Ryland, the Internet killer. A number of delays keep the hearing from being held; the last time it is because Danvers can't make it due to being held up in another trial. Because of a technicality in the law, Ryland is set free. Bayliss is outraged and winds up pushing Danvers, who later threatens to put Bayliss up on charges. Gee's daughter Teresa arrives, to help with the celebration of her father's promotion. Gee asks Bayliss to apologize to Danvers and Bayliss declines. Lewis and Falsone look into the murder of a drug addict whose husband looks like the most probable suspect. The victim's mother-in-law isn't very cooperative and her sister is a nun who thinks her brother-in-law is an architect. Gee worries about whether or not he will be able to perform in his new role as Captain of the property crimes division, later he turns down the promotion. Bayliss and Lewis have words about the way each other handle their memories of the past.

star 8.29
105 votes
Directors: Alan Taylor
Writers: Tom Fontana
Sins of the Father

#24 - Sins of the Father

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 9, 1998

A white man is found lynched in a historic black section of the city; Falsone and Lewis investigate. The day after Tim's dinner date with the male restaurant owner that Tim was positive about, Frank is perplexed by Tim's interest in Laura Ballard. The autopsy reveals that the hanged man was also whipped. Gharty worries about Ballard getting involved with ""switch-hitter"" Bayliss. Lewis is convinced the lynching is related back to the victim's Civil War ancestor, infamous runaway-slave catcher and free-blacks abductress. Tim and Laura attend an art show.

star 8.29
106 votes
Directors: Mary Harron
Writers: Darryl LeMont Wharton, James Yoshimura, Julie Martin
Extreme Unction

#25 - Extreme Unction

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 28, 1994

The church asks that the public know the details of the murders. Pembleton has an interesting time in the box with a witness who has multiple personalities and is shown to be the killer, but before he can get a confession, her lawyer arrives and later she confesses on television. Pembleton begins to question his faith. Bayliss becomes a not-so-silent partner. Beau spends some time with his family and decides to end his relationship with Megan.

star 8.29
178 votes
Writers: D. Keith Mano