Paper Proposal

For my essay, I hope to explore the scene in episode 3 in which Bayless gives the new janitor a cup of coffee after her child has gone missing. I am interested in the scene because there are so few female characters on the show, and the issue of sexuality and motherhood are prominent in the scene. The janitor continuously tells Bayless “not to be nice to [her]” (Homicide, episode 3). This seems to imply that she has had previous problems with sexual advances in the workplace. There is also a clear economic divide between Bayless and the janitor. When she explains why her baby was in a cage, she describes how being a mother is a full time job, but she is working several jobs to try to support her child. Further, I find Bayless’s interest in the woman intriguing since she looks a bit like a grown-up Adena Watson. Perhaps Bayless’s obsession with the Watson case is giving him an interest in the new janitor. Overall, I hope to examine the power relations in the scene and how they relate to the greater themes of the show.

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