Episode 5: "Newspaper Boy"
Credits :: Screen Captures :: Video Clips

It's a dark night as police officer Davis chases after a black street kid named Tommy Walker. He just wants to talk, but Tommy freaks, runs, and even shoots at him. Davis continues to chase him, hears another shot... and finds Tommy dead.

Cut to Cody's office. Ziggy is having lady troubles and in order to take the attention off of the humiliation of his rejection by a girl named Sheila, he razzes Cody for not scoring with the ladies himself. However, all levity comes to a halt as Tommy's parents enter - a church deacon and his wife. They believe their son was not killed in a chase, as has been claimed; they believe he was murdered by a dirty cop - namely, Davis. (Indeed, the audience knows something is fishy when Tommy's mother says the police claim that Davis shot Tommy because he mistook a bottle in his hand for a gun. We know from the opening segment that's not the case). They tell Cody that Tommy called a week ago, afraid and wanting to turn his life around. He'd told them he was in trouble. "Find out what he was afraid of," the mother urges Cody, "and you'll find out why they killed him."

Cody asks for help from his detective friend Frank (after being forced to pay up for a bet he lost on a baseball team). Frank advises him to forget about it - but Cody wheedles the police report out of him.

Cody and Ziggy drive off to the police station to question Davis. On the way Ziggy continues to razz Cody about being single - or as he calls it, "old and horny" - causing Cody to turn up the cheesy 70s soft-rock he listens to and tell a girl Ziggy's hitting on that it's Ziggy's favorite tune. "He likes to hit the skins to it. No lie!" She takes off at that!

Once at the station, they see Davis getting a hard time from fellow police officers. He won't talk to them, though - instead, he blames the parents for letting their kid run wild. After he storms away, his partner Officer Miller walks up. She's attractive and Ziggy perks up. Miller defends Davis, then as she walks off, Ziggy catches up and starts hitting on her. At first it seems he strikes out, but he eventually scores a date.

Back at the office, they have the police report. It states that Tommy is a drug dealer and gives a rehash of the story above - chase, broken bottle, etc. Cody and Ziggy seem ready to accept it but Gina isn't so quick to buy it. "Where's the bullet?" she asks. "Something just doesn't make sense here." In order to prove her point, she takes Cody and Ziggy back to the scene of the killing. She has Cody pretend to be Davis and Ziggy be Tommy so they can re-enact the chase. Cody gives it his best shot, but he can't catch up with Ziggy. Gina states she's just proven that Davis' story couldn't be legit - how could a man his age catch up with young Tommy before he hopped the wall? Something else is going on.

They hear a noise and turn around - it's a hobo. They ask him if he saw Tommy's killing, and eventually he admits that while he didn't see that, he saw what happened afterwards. Cody and Gina take him to the office, feed him, and get him to talk. He tells him that he saw Davis remove cuffs from Tommy's wrists and put a broken bottle in his hand. Cody now knows that Davis' story is totally bogus.

Meanwhile, Ziggy is out with Miller. Miller seems very interested in Ziggy. Cody calls and demands Ziggy get right back to the office, but Ziggy hangs up on him. Miller winds up paying for the meal, and then they go back to her place. She comes on strong, trying to convince Ziggy to come inside with her after some highly suggestive talk about handcuffs and Ziggy's "lethal weapon." However, Ziggy feels guilty when Cody once again pages him and he turns her down.

Cody and Ziggy set a trap. They have Ziggy pretend to be the hobo, then when Davis comes back to thank the hobo, they nail him. He confesses that he lied on the report, but tells them he didn't kill Tommy. He says that he's been set up and he falsified the report so that he could stay out of trouble long enough to find out who did it. He takes them to the hangout of the local street kids to show them the problem - "baby drug dealers." Tommy's been replaced by Jerome, an 11-year-old. The young kids are used because they get off easy in the courts. Davis explains that Tommy wanted to quit dealing because he didn't want people like Jerome following in his footsteps. However, because he wanted to get out, he was killed so that he wouldn't talk. Davis thinks that a dirty cop is involved.

Cody decides to go "undercover" to the street hangout the next day in ripped jeans, a denim jacket, and a handkerchief headband. Ziggy is mortified at being seen with this uncool poser, mocking the headband as "older than old." Cody huffily jerks it off. He walks onto the basketball court with "Yo brothers, what up?" as Ziggy cringes. Of course, he gets no response. He attempts to question them about Jerome and Tommy, but they continue to ignore him until he asks if they're scared to talk to him. They walk over, throw him a basketball. Here's Cody's chance to show them that he's really a cool dude after all. He shoots... it flies through the air in slo mo.... right over the basket. Poor Cody. He blames it on the loss of the lucky headband, but the good news is that after his humiliation he gets what he came for - Jerome's watching from the sidelines. Cody and Ziggy walk up to Jerome and try to question him, with no results. They offer him a ride home and he accepts, but instead of driving him home they take him to an ice cream stand. There, they talk to him about the hazards of drug dealing and ask him about Tommy. He's not too responsive - after all, he brags, he makes a lot more money than a newspaper boy. Before they get too far, police run up and arrest them both, accusing Jerome of selling Cody drugs.

Ziggy visits Cody in jail. Cody's really concerned. He knows that Jerome's in danger now because whoever tipped off the cops knows Cody's been talking to him. He urges Ziggy to go bail Jerome out and watch over him. Ziggy's not in too big a hurry - he figures that he has plenty of time while Jerome is getting processed. When he goes to get Jerome, however, he discovers Jerome's already been set free. The dirty cop has "expedited" the process, apparently. They tell him Jerome left just ten minutes ago. Ziggy takes Cody's car down to the hangout and sees Jerome getting into a red car. He follows until he sees the car stop, hears a shot, and sees Jerome jump out and take off running. Alarmed, he gets out of the car and then realizes he's been spotted as the driver of the other car starts shooting at him. He escapes by running up a nearby fire escape and jumping through the open window of an apartment where a couple are gettin' it on so loudly the whole street can hear. Who should it be but Sheila and her new flame Zach? Awkward moment! By the time Ziggy gets back downstairs, Jerome is gone.

Meanwhile, Frank visits Cody in jail. Cody tells him that he's very close to solving the case and that he needs to get out of jail ASAP in order to save Jerome's life - there are dirty cops he needs to be protected from. Frank lets him out, and Cody goes back to the hangout. Once again, the guys ignore him until he insults them, then they throw the basketball at him. This time, though, there's nothing funny about it. Cody defiantly throws the ball over the fence and doesn't back down when the leader of the street kids gets in his face. "I'm trying to save the kid's life," is all Cody tells him, but it's enough. He takes Cody to Jerome. Jerome finally spills it. He's working with a cop alright, but not a guy cop... a girl one. Miller.

Unfortunately, clueless and rattled by the attempt on his life, Ziggy has run to his new honey Miller for comfort! As she goes off to get him some water, he looks out the window and sees that same red car he'd been chasing! It dawns on him that she's the dirty cop. Panicked, he tries to think of a way to get out of there without tipping her off. He doesn't do a very good job of playing it cool, and finally decides to kiss and run... literally. He pulls her into a kiss, then shoves her away and turns to make his escape. Too bad he falls flat on his face as he attempts to run. She leaps on him. As the two struggle on the floor, Cody comes in, gun drawn. "You know, something told me you were having more bad luck with women," he jokes.

After they bring her in, Davis confronts Miller. She tells him that she did it because she didn't want to end up working all her life for a pittance. She also talks about how white folks make it impossible for black people to have power any other way. Davis tells her she's playing right into the hands of racists. Unrepentant, Miller is taken away as Davis watches sadly.

The show wraps up with Cody talking to Deacon Walker and his wife after church. Walker tells him that the church is setting up a youth outreach program in Tommy's name. Jerome, also fresh from church, is going to participate. Cody generously declares that they don't have to pay him, much to Ziggy's dismay. However, they all are wearing smiles as they watch a newspaper boy making his rounds after almost running over Cody... all is as it should be.


Solo Filmography :: South of Sunset