Homicide: Life on the Street (TV Series 1993–1999) Poster

Andre Braugher: Frank Pembleton



  • Det. Tim Bayliss : You never say please. You never say thank you.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : Please don't be an idiot. Thank you.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : You know, every day I get out of bed and drag myself to the next cup of coffee. I take a sip and the caffeine kicks in. I can focus my eyes again. My brain starts to order the day. I'm up, I'm alive. I'm ready to rock. But the time is coming when I wake up and decide that I'm not getting out of bed. Not for coffee, or food or sex. If it comes to me, fine. If it won't, fine. No more expectations. The longer I live, the less I know. I should know more. I should know the coffee's killing me. You're suspicious of your suspicions? I'm jealous, Kay; I'm so jealous. You still have the heart to have doubts. Me? I'm going to lock up a 14-year-old kid for what could be the rest of his natural life. I got to do this. This is my job. This is the deal. This is the law. This is my day. I have no doubts or suspicions about it. Heart has nothing to do with it any more. It's all in the caffeine.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : You know, sometimes you're funny. Then there's now.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : He who loses control, loses.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : Life would be perfect, if it was just kids and dogs.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : It's "till death do you part." You die, you part.

  • Det. Tim Bayliss : You still believe that my cousin killed that boy because he was an Arab?

    Det. Frank Pembleton : Hikmet was not an Arab. Turks are not Arabs...

    Det. Tim Bayliss : My cousin could not consciously kill someone.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : I don't think it was premeditated. I think it was inherent. Jim's racism is so much a part of him, that he didn't have a chance to think about what he was doing. Jim is worse than a Klansman. 'Cause at least in their white sheets, they are recognizable. Your cousin's brand of bigotry is much more frightening because, like still water, it runs deep. He doesn't even see it himself.

    Det. Tim Bayliss : You're wrong, dead wrong.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : The only one "dead wrong" is Hikmet Gersel. Did you see what happened when the verdict was announced? They applauded. Those law-abiding citizens, those good people applauded the death of a child. Let me ask you something, Tim - and then you tell me whether or not it was racially motivated - if that boy had been American, if that boy had been white - do you think anyone would have cheered?

  • Det. Tim Bayliss : Fourteen years old... When I was fourteen, jeez, I was in the ninth grade, and I don't remember much of what I was doing, but I know I was nowhere close to picking up a gun and shooting another kid.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : How old should our shooter be?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : Not fourteen.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : So if he's what, fifteen, sixteen years old, it makes any more sense?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : No.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : How old should he be then? What's the cut off age? Seventeen? Eighteen?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : I don't know, but not fourteen.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : When you find out, clue me in, awright? I'd like to know when any of this killing, at any age, from six to sixty, makes any sense. One time I want to hear about a murder that makes sense. Just one time. For any reason.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : Meldrick! In the mood for a multiple homicide?

    Det. Meldrick Lewis : On a Friday night? Always.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : Virtue isn't virtue unless it slams up against vice. So consequently, your virtue's not real virtue. Until it's been tested... tempted.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : Do you think some people work harder to be stupider than others?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes.

  • Det. Tim Bayliss : I'm a detective, Frank. I'm a keen observer of the human condition. I pick up on the subtlest clues, I react to the slightest suggestion. In short, I deduct.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : Who told you?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : Brodie.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : Blind faith is the crutch of fools.

  • [Pembleton needs the clothes of a brain-dead child for evidence] 

    Det. Frank Pembleton : I need you to give me these clothes.

    Joan Garbarek : I can't.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : You have to!

    Joan Garbarek : I *have* to? Let me tell you what I *have* to do today, okay? I have to go in there and I have to watch the doctors pinch Patrick's legs. I have to watch them stick pins at the bottoms of his feet. I have to watch them pour cold water, first in his right ear, then in his left, to see if his eyes moved today. And I have to hear them tell me that they don't. His eyes don't. I hear them say this. Nothing else can be done. And this is just a little *boy*! And they have to say this about him? *You* have to have his clothes? *You* have to know what we saw yesterday? I have to remember... Patrick standing there, he *has* to see the dinosaurs! He *has* to go to that window! It's always "one more minute!" He *always* has to do what he wants! And then he falls down and I think he's just teasing and he's going to get up in a minute and I'm going to yell at him to just get up and not get dirty! I *want* to see him get up... from his *own* bed. Do I have to think that he can lay there like this for another 50 or 60 years? Do I have to think that this is what he wants? Why do I have to? Why do I think that it can't be Patrick in there?

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : You're not Catholic and you took communion?

    Det. Tim Bayliss : Yeah, is that wrong?

    Det. Frank Pembleton : If my God wins... You're screwed.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : You said summer was hell.

    Det.Tim Bayliss : Well... it was.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : It's all mind over matter, Bayliss.

    Det.Tim Bayliss : No, no, it's more than mind over matter. I know my mind and my mind remembers my ass melting into the tops of my shoes, all right? Summer was hell.

    Det. Frank Pembleton : There's no humidity in hell.

    Det.Tim Bayliss : What, you do a field report?

    Det. Frank Pembleton : By all reliable accounts, there's not a single drop of water to pass between heaven and hell. Hell is a dry heat.

    Det.Tim Bayliss : Oh. Well, book me a flight.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : [on pulling a quadruple shift]  I am soooo damn tired! My eyes are so far back of my head, I think I'm seeing things from a thousand years away.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : I'm tired of being the only one around here who gives a damn. You're looking at the new Frank Pembleton. Budding Republican and practicing selfish bastard. Savior of no one but himself. Shot of Gold Natty Bo. This is the new me.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : I watch my weight. I watch my diet. I watch my blood pressure. Every eight hours, no matter where I am, or what I'm doing, I hafta take a little white pill. If I don't follow the rules, I die. I'm not going to treat you differently. I won't. 'Cause that's not who I am. And who I am is all I have left.

  • Det. Frank Pembleton : You're Mrs. Nawls, Darryl's mother?

    Mary Nawls : I'm his mother.

    [she reads their faces and begins to panic] 

    Mary Nawls : Where's Darryl? Is he in trouble? Is he okay? Has he been in an accident or something?

    Det. Frank Pembleton : Mrs. Nawls, I'm a homicide detective.

See also

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