Homicide: Life On The Street

The WORST episodes of Homicide: Life On The Street

Every episode of Homicide: Life On The Street ever, ranked from worst to best by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The worst episodes of Homicide: Life On The Street!

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.

Last Updated: 11/24/2022Network:NBC
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Full Moon
star
7.07
170 votes

#1 - Full Moon

Season 4 - Episode 17 - Aired 4/5/1996

Kellerman and Lewis (with Brodie) investigate a shooting at the New Moon motel, where everyone there has a motive for the crime. They split up and canvass the denizens of the motel; Lewis also searches for the victim's missing boot. The murder is just one of the many crimes that has occurred or is occurring at this establishment.

Sideshow (2)
star
7.38
124 votes

#2 - Sideshow (2)

Season 7 - Episode 15 - Aired 2/19/1999

Danvers brings news of his appointment to the District Court bench as the investigation of a government official named Janine McBride, begun on Law & Order continues in New York. Their prime suspect, Chesley Purcell, is dead and her shooter, Ned Burks, is in the hands of the Feds. What was her connection back to Washington? Gee expresses his anger with MGee over letting his ""ham fisted"" bosses at the FBI know what was going on, since they in turn had informed Wm. Dell, the Independent Counsel. Burks is given a limited amount of immunity for his testimony to Dell, but McCoy and Danvers get an order that allows them to be present at his questioning; but neither the Independent Counsel nor McCoy and Danvers get anything useful. Meanwhile, the Baltimore detectives investigate the background of Chesley Purcell and it turns up the name of a man in prison who still appears to be running his organization. So there could be no more leaks, MGee asks to be kept out of the investigation. (Sideshow (1) aired on Law & Order, season 9, episode 14.)

Directors: Ed Sherin
Writer: David Simon
La Famiglia
star
7.42
111 votes

#3 - La Famiglia

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/25/1998

Bayliss returns to duty to discover the bosses have renovated the squad room in an attempt to make everyone forget the tragedy of last May. Gharty and Ballard have also returned and Ballard debates about whether she should ask Falsone to the Lodge party. New detective, Rene Sheppard, tells her just to go for it. Seizing the opportunity, Lewis goes for it and asks Sheppard to the party; it seems that he and Barbara have separated and are on their way to divorce. Meanwhile, Falsone speculates if he should ask Sheppard to the party. The first case Bayliss catches, now partnered with Munch, involves the dismembered body of Angelo Faltislo, a friend of Gee's cousin, Mario Giardello. Stivers and Falsone's case is similar: Leo Grimaldi, another friend of Mario, is also found dead. When Gee goes to question cousin Mario, he finds Mario's body in the same condition as that of his friends. Gee's estranged son, Mike Giardello, an FBI agent in Arizona, returns for the funeral. Mike asks Falsone (w

Directors: Nick Gomez
Writer: Tom Fontana
Homicide.com
star
7.53
109 votes

#4 - Homicide.com

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/5/1999

The Internet is stage for a ritual murder, which was staged -- which was staged, or was it? The body is found the following morning and Sheppard takes the call, her first since the beating. Since Lewis can't be found, she partners with Bayliss. Second shift detectives Bonaventura and Austin catch word of the day shift's case. It seems the victim in Sheppard's case was a witness they had interviewed the day before about an online murder hoax. The detectives are informed about another murder that is scheduled for midnight. It's a red ball. The detectives try to put the clues together, but come up with nothing and must wait until the netcast begins before they can trace the killer. The trace is successful, but when they arrive at the scene, the killer has left them a computer with the words ""Ha Ha Fooled You."" Barnfather wants Bayliss reassigned as primary if something doesn't turn up soon. Sheppard goes online to flush out the killer. He advertises another murder will take place at www.i

Directors: Jay Tobias
The Same Coin
star
7.55
135 votes

#5 - The Same Coin

Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/29/1999

Gharty has a Vietnam flashback. Sheppard is placed back into rotation. Lewis asks Falsone to switch cases, as Lewis is still unsure about Sheppard's ability to be back on the street in the part of town where their call lies. Munch and MGee work a case where the victim was hit and run. One of the victim's possessions is a knife that has some meaning for Gharty, who later is able to recognize the tattoo found on the victim. Sheppard confronts Lewis about the case switch. She and Stivers talk more... after Stivers, working with Falsone, sees him ""go off"" on a potential witness... Munch and MGee find their hit and run vehicle, a rental SUV, whose renter claims to know nothing of the incident and says he had filed a stolen-vehicle report. Munch pulls the victim's DOD file and---for good measure---Gharty's! Munch, begins to spread doubts with the other detectives about Gharty's Vietnam experience, because the file tells him that Gharty had a less than honorable discharge. A kid, who had stol

Directors: Lisa Cholodenko
Heartbeat
star
7.58
140 votes

#6 - Heartbeat

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 12/8/1995

Lewis and Kellerman interview a suspect and uncover a 10-year-old crime, which is assigned to Howard and Munch. Tim lets Frank's secret about Mary's pregnancy slip out. Howard and Munch find the body from the 10-year-old murder bricked up in a wall. John has a date with Alyssa, the ME, but finds himself in bed with her new roommate before their date, so he begins avoiding her. Howard and Munch's murder suspect has a fascination for former Baltimore resident Edgar Allan Poe. Munch plays up that angle while trying to break their suspect.

Zen and the Art of Murder
star
7.62
132 votes

#7 - Zen and the Art of Murder

Season 7 - Episode 17 - Aired 4/2/1999

Lewis and Munch begin to investigate the death of a Buddhist monk beaten to death. Lewis isn't interested in working the case with Bayliss, whom he feels, may become too emotionally involved. Ballard and Falsone agree to call their relationship quits. Ballard and Gharty's case involves a man who was shot down in the street; the three witnesses that saw the shooter all have different recollections of his appearance. As a result, their prime suspect cannot be charged. Gee asks for Bayliss's assistance in the Buddhist murder and to Lewis's dismay, Munch abdicates his position in the investigation to Bayliss. Lewis and Bayliss take different approaches to the investigation. Bayliss's approach leads him to the man who committed the crime, but cornering his suspect leads to a showdown with guns and Bayliss fires a fatal shot. Later Bayliss tries to reconcile the shooting with his own feelings about being a Buddhist and being a cop.

Directors: Miguel Arteta
The Hat
star
7.64
173 votes

#8 - The Hat

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/19/1996

Gee is sent upstairs to see Barnfather and everyone speculates about the vacant Captain's position. Lewis and Kellerman are sent to Pennsylvania to extradite a woman back to Baltimore where she is a suspect in the murder of her husband. Munch tries to find a videotape in Brodie's pile. Later after reviewing the tape, they discover a key piece of evidence isn't contained on the tape. Munch wants the tape erased, but Brodie delivers the tape to court and that results in the outcome Munch feared. On the trip back from Harrisburg, Kellerman convinces Lewis that they have time to stop at Neptune's Castle and they lose the suspect, for a moment. Later they lose her again but find her at the house of her dead husband's mistress, delivering a hat. Much to everyone's surprise but not the viewers Gaffney is promoted to Captain over Gee. Captain Gaffney lays down the law.

Directors: Peter Medak
Gone for Goode
star
7.69
233 votes

#9 - Gone for Goode

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/31/1993

Lewis and Crosetti uncover a woman who's been killing her husbands for insurance money. Howard tries to keep her cases-solved record perfect, but she is reassigned with Felton as her partner. Bolander convinces Munch to help him finish up an unsolved case. A new guy, Tim Bayliss, from the mayor's office gets his first case in homicide, the murder of an 11-year-old girl. His partner Pembleton, we find out, is less than enthusiastic to work with him or anyone else in the unit.

Directors: Barry Levinson
Night of the Dead Living
star
7.73
205 votes

#10 - Night of the Dead Living

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 3/31/1993

On a slow and hot September night in the squad room with no air conditioning, the detectives spend the night together. Bayliss has a new suspect brought in on the Adena Watson case, a twelve-year-old boy. Munch deals with his breakup of his latest relationship. There is a mystery about a solitary lit candle in the squad room: who lights it and why? Bolander debates about calling the Dr. Blythe for a date. Santa Claus drops by depressed about today's society. Gee finds an abandoned baby in basement of the building.

The Heart of a Saturday Night
star
7.74
137 votes

#11 - The Heart of a Saturday Night

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/15/1996

Family members of murder victims (Widmer, Rath and Silvio) are in a support group where they discuss their feelings about the loss they have each suffered. Short-handed, Gee investigates the Widmer homicide at the Waterfront Bar. Bayliss' homicide is unidentified for 48 hours before she is identified as being Rath. Lewis and Munch investigate a car jacking at Federal Hill, where the mother is the victim and the 3-year-old daughter in the car at the time is missing. Meanwhile, Howard, Kellerman and Pembleton stay behind. Frank interviews the two witnesses that Tim had in for questioning and gets a lead on a suspect. Cox joins the support group meeting late; she is still coping with the death of her father.

Directors: Whit Stillman
Son of a Gun
star
7.78
239 votes

#12 - Son of a Gun

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 2/10/1993

Crosetti lays out more theories on his Lincoln assassination conspiracy theory. Then Gee comes in with news that Crosetti's friend Chris Thormann has been shot. After they follow up on a new lead in the case that takes them nowhere, frustration begins to set in for Bayliss. Bolander meets his neighbor, a man who works with wood. One of his projects is a coffin. Together, they drink Stan's beer and discuss life, love, and etc.. Kay and Beau's suspect in a murder hired a hit man to kill a man she disagreed with about a bust of Spiro Agnew. Their case leads to a solution for Meldrick's case involving the ""black widow."" Crosetti demands that he get the case to solve Chris' shooting. Stan meets Carol for their first date; however, they get interrupted when his neighbor is found dead. Gee talks with Bayliss about his frustration. Chris is going to survive, but what level he will recover to is yet to be determined.

I've Got a Secret
star
7.79
172 votes

#13 - I've Got a Secret

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired 2/2/1996

Lewis and Kellerman try to subdue a large man who's gone on a rampage. The large man is finally subdued and they find him digging up his mother. This case brings out some information about Meldrick's family, and he tries to see his brother, who doesn't want to see him. Kay tries to keep the identity of her new boyfriend a secret, mainly from John, which drives him crazy. Pembleton and Bayliss investigate the death of a man whose body is found in a car. Scheiner says he died from internal bleeding, not the gunshot wound to the groin he was treated for at an emergency room earlier that day. They discover that the doctor may have had a motive for doing a less than adequate job treating her patient.

Directors: Gwen Arner
Work Related
star
7.80
143 votes

#14 - Work Related

Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired 5/17/1996

Mary gave birth to a girl named Olivia; Tim is more excited about it than Frank. Their latest case involves a multiple shooting a restaurant. Lewis is back from his honeymoon, but while working a case with Kellerman, he confesses that they have yet to consummate their marriage. Later he tells him that they've separated. Tim stops by to see Frank and Mary's baby. They get a suspect for their case in the box. Frank collapses in the box while interrogating a suspect. Frank is put under the knife to release the pressure built up in his head from the stroke he had. After the surgery the doctor tells them that he doesn't know if Frank will recover.

Directors: Jean de Segonzac
Writer: Tom Fontana
A Many Splendored Thing
star
7.82
198 votes

#15 - A Many Splendored Thing

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/27/1994

Bolander asks Kay if she would double date with him and Linda, to try to take the pressure off his first real date. A slain phone-sex operator is found clutching a note naming her boss as the perpetrator, Bayliss and Pembleton investigate. Munch has trouble dealing with Bolander's happiness, so he crashes the double date and makes everyone miserable. A man is shot to death over a pen at the library, Lewis and Crosetti investigate and find a man with a pen fetish. As Bayliss looks into the murder he begins to get involved.

Writer: Noel Behn
Fallen Heroes (2)
star
7.82
138 votes

#16 - Fallen Heroes (2)

Season 6 - Episode 23 - Aired 5/8/1998

The search for Georgia Rae and the war against her organization begin. Stivers, uncomfortable with the whole situation tells Gee about the Luther Mahoney shooting. Ballard and Gharty begin to deal with their recovery. A lead on Georgia Rae's whereabouts is uncovered. During the assault on the building, Georgia Rae's body is found and Bayliss takes a bullet that would have hit Pembleton. Gee asks Pembleton to get to heart of the Luther Mahoney shooting that started it all. Pembleton and Falsone start with Lewis and then they move onto Kellerman. The truth about the shooting comes out and Kellerman claims sole responsibility, Pembleton asks him for his badge. To protect Stivers and Lewis from prosecution, Kellerman resigns. Feeling remorse for the hesitation that caused Bayliss to take a bullet for him and with Gee's plans to cover-up the truth about the Luther Mahoney shooting, Pembleton decides it is time to resign.

Directors: Kathryn Bigelow
Sniper (1)
star
7.86
169 votes

#17 - Sniper (1)

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/5/1996

Jay Leno stops by the Waterfront Bar while in town visiting his cousin Mary; Munch and Bayliss don't want to bother him. A new year starts out with a clean board and Brodie begins his work taping with the detectives. A sniper takes the city hostage, threatening to and executing people every 8 hours. The sniper uses Hangman as a way to leave clues for the detectives. Bayliss is the primary and his back is giving him trouble as he worries about surgery his doctor wants him to have. To combat the pain, he keeps taking muscle relaxants. A suspect is found and cornered and he shoots himself before they can take him into custody. Russert gets demoted when Barnfather doesn't like the way she handled the investigation.

Directors: Jean de Segonzac
Ghost of a Chance
star
7.86
223 votes

#18 - Ghost of a Chance

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 2/3/1993

Bayliss and Pembleton continue to struggle with the Watson case. Bolander and Munch discuss ""iguana style"" and are called to check out the homicide of a victim that isn't dead, at least the first time they're called. While checking out some leads for the Watson case, Crosetti gives his theory on the conspiracy to kill Abraham Lincoln. Lewis wants to flood Memorial Stadium. Bolander expresses an interest in Dr. Blythe; Munch advises and sends flower's in Stan's name. Danvers needs a stronger case; however, Howard is frustrated with a dead end. Then the ghost of the victim leads her to the undiscovered proof. Tim attends Adena's funeral.

Writer: Noel Behn
Baby, It's You (2)
star
7.87
188 votes

#19 - Baby, It's You (2)

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/14/1997

The young man that was stalking Brittany in Baltimore is interviewed and relates that he saw her being attacked by someone. When going to question the parents, the New York and Baltimore detectives discover that the Janaways have returned to Baltimore, so they make the trip to Charm City. They get the father in the box and he demands that they prove he did it. The attorneys fight over jurisdiction, but the judge rules in favor of Baltimore and the two teams of prosecutors must work together. When the father is put on the stand he gives an alibi, a surprise that gives the detectives 48 hours to verify this alibi. When the alibi checks out, they bring in both of the parents to get to the truth. (Baby, It's You (1) aired on Law & Order, season 8, episode 6.)

Directors: Ed Sherin
Happy to be Here
star
7.90
175 votes

#20 - Happy to be Here

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/18/1994

Bayliss continues his relationship with the artist, but she's told her boyfriend. When she tells Bayliss that her boyfriend hit her upon hearing the news, it makes Bayliss so mad he confronts him. Pembleton and Bayliss investigate the death of a woman who's received a delivery of fresh flowers, although she's been dead over two weeks. Bolander and Munch investigate the shooting of Thorne's source, who's linked to a cocaine cartel, then Thorne is shot. Gee tries to get the department to get him a replacement for Crosetti. Thorne's daughter decides to keep his newspaper going. Beau tries to find out where his wife has moved the family. With Meldrick and Bayliss' disagreement over the artist, Munch is left without partners for the bar. Bayliss goes over the edge when the artist dumps him, so he holds up a liquor store for 11 cents; Pembleton gets him out of it.

Writer: Julie Martin
Red, Red Wine
star
7.91
137 votes

#21 - Red, Red Wine

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/6/1998

Ballard is annoyed when she finds out that the fact that she had a date with Falsone is around the squad room. Munch has a doctor's appointment and he's not talking about it. Dr. Griscom calls on the homicide unit when he sees a number of deaths that are related by a poison named phosphozine. The FBI steps in on the poisonings and they put MGee in charge of a task force; they consider it an act of domestic terrorism. One of the victims was a priest; two others were his parishioners. Gharty suspects the communion wine. Following this idea, wine bottles are collected from churches around the city. A needle hole is found through one of the corks. A citywide canvassing of all places where wine can be purchased is launched. Gee disagrees with the bureau's policy of keep information from the public. One possible suspect is captured; however, strange as he is, he's not the one. Through an internal leak, the media is alerted and warns the public, sparking chaos. MGee suspects the source of the

Directors: Ed Bianchi
Justice (2)
star
7.93
174 votes

#22 - Justice (2)

Season 4 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/23/1996

Jake Rodzinski has trouble dealing with the verdict of the trial and takes justice into his own hands. Kellerman is back from a family wedding in Wisconsin picks up the case of the murder of Kenny Damon. Lewis is not allowed to know all the details of Kellerman's investigation, because of his past relationship with Rodzinski, their chief suspect. Bayliss is at odds with Pembleton over the disposition of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Directors: Peter Medak
For God and Country (2)
star
7.94
173 votes

#23 - For God and Country (2)

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired 2/9/1996

Continuing the investigation in New York City, Egan's wife is questioned by Frank and Tim. Just a few hours later, Egan's wife is killed and Egan's son is seen running. Kendall is taken into proctective custody until he gives up the suspect's name. Lennie Briscoe and Rey Curtis (from Law and Order) come to Baltimore. Munch finds out that Lennie knew his ex-wife a little too much (She moved to NYC after divorcing him). The suspect tried to escape in a seaplane but is caught. NYC ADA Claire Kincaid comes down to extradite him back to NYC, which made Frank upset. While extraditing him, the suspect has a heart attack and dies at the train station. (Charm City (1) aired on Law & Order, season 6, episode 13.)

Directors: Ed Sherin
Watch Now:Amazon
Stakeout
star
7.95
172 votes

#24 - Stakeout

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired 3/15/1996

The entire squad is put on 24-hour surveillance when a mass murderer has been identified, isn't at home and doesn't know that they know. Gee debates leaving the squad in the midst of the stakeout, so he can attend his daughter's wedding in California. As the detectives rotate through shifts on the stakeout, the main topics of discussion are the homeowners and Bayliss' plans to leave the unit.

Directors: John McNaughton
Blood Ties (2)
star
7.95
144 votes

#25 - Blood Ties (2)

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/24/1997

While Pembleton is still interested in the housekeeper's ex-boyfriend, Ballard still thinks that the Wilson family needs to be looked at more closely. Also, a body is found at Camden Yards during a game between the Orioles and the A's. Falsone questions Stivers about the Mahoney shooting and that begins to make her nervous. Tensions mount because there appears to be a leak to the press within the unit about the Wilson case. Orioles' security wants the case quickly resolved. Munch and Kellerman have only 48,000 possible suspects. The victim is discovered to be a dead Yankees fan. Tim gets his old high school French teacher to help them check out the whereabouts of the housekeeper's ex-boyfriend. He is cleared because of his current incarceration in a Haitian prison, which leaves the Wilson men as more probable suspects. Are Gee and Pembleton protecting Felix Wilson because he is a prominent businessman in predominately black Baltimore, as outsider Ballard suggests? Munch and Kellerman g

Directors: Nick Gomez
Watch Now:Amazon

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