Homicide: Life on the Street Season 2 Episode 1

“Bop Gun” is the second season premiere of the American police drama television series Homicide: Life on the Street, and the tenth overall episode of the series. It originally aired on NBC in the United States on January 6, 1994. In the episode, the Baltimore homicide unit investigates the shooting death of the wife of a tourist, played by guest star Robin Williams.

The episode was written by David Mills and David Simon based on a story by executive producer Tom Fontana, and directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. In response to network feedback and poor ratings from the first season, “Bop Gun” marked several changes in the series, including a less bleak visual style and a greater focus on one plot, rather than multiple subplots. It was also the first episode to focus primarily on a homicide victim, rather than on the detectives. Simon felt the dialogue was realistic, especially that of the dark humor employed by detectives as a coping mechanism for dealing with the horrors of the job.

Williams previously worked with Homicide executive producer Barry Levinson on the films Good Morning, Vietnam and Toys. This led to speculation that Williams took the role on “Bop Gun” as a favor to Levinson, but the actor insisted it was out of admiration for the series itself. A young Jake Gyllenhaal, the son of the episode’s director, makes an appearance as Williams’ son. The episode was the first to feature Chris Tergesen as music coordinator, which resulted in the use of more songs than previous episodes, including “Killer” by Seal and “Feels Like Rain” by Buddy Guy.

Episode Title: Bop Gun

Air Date: 1994-01-06