Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Season five of Homicide: Life on the Street begins with the departure of Captain Megan Russert, who has abruptly moved to Europe after falling for a French diplomat, and with the ascension to full "regular" status of former recurring character J.H. Brodie (Max Perlich), the Baltimore homicide division's official crime-scene photographer. Slowly recovering from the stroke that felled him at the end of season four, Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) returns to duty on a limited basis -- and with the warning that both he and Giardello (Yaphet Kotto) will suffer if he can't cut the mustard. Elsewhere, Bayliss (Kyle Secor) and Munch (Richard Belzer) wonder how to extract information from the sole witness to a murder -- the victim's pet pig. And in the main plot line, a deranged gunman who has already killed twice takes hostages at a Baltimore middle school, a crisis that will be carried over into the next episode.