The main story for this episode is derived from the 1997 film THE GAME, a frustrating Michael Douglas vehicle about a wealthy mogul caught up in a mind-twisting game concocted by a mysterious organization. Douglas ends up loosing his fortune and reputation, and accidentally shooting his brother (played by creepy Sean Penn). It's all an elaborate rouse (set in San Francisco) arranged by his brother to teach him to have a heart. By the end of this film, the audience feels it's been cheated and manipulated beyond the point of credibility. The same goes for "Warplay" as Nash learns about a game played between two wealthy tycoons. A shoot-out in the middle of SF downtown, a faked cyanide death, Nash interrogating one of the gunman by dunking him in the Bay, the Mayor being such a wuss by sending in Caitlin Cross...this is all too contrived. Even San Francisco's reputation for being eclectic doesn't deserve this.
Nash once again justifies his brand of vigilantism as Caitlin protests his method of interrogating - "Nash, this is sadistic!" But Caitlin is implicated too as she angrily presses the button to dunk the prisoner into the freezing Bay waters. The writers even concoct a half-assed legal loophole for Nash "There's no law against killing a dead man!" as Nash shows Caitlin a Death Certificate for the prisoner. The prisoner supposedly died of cyanide poisoning (surely an unusual cause of death, requiring an autopsy); would this match a drowning or hypothermia as cause of death? Aw, heck, Nash is just funning with ya, Bubba. Besides, it's a cute form of torture, dunking a man sitting in a swing. Like Nash says "He had it coming, or worse." We're starting to agree with Caitlin - Nash does need an Internal Affairs monitoring him. After shooting a serial killer, and beating a convicted prisoner - Nash likes his torture victims to be hog-tied and trussed up. His justification is disgust and loathing of criminals, as he tells Caitlin "You're human. You're allowed." It's not enough to capture criminals, you got to get some licks in too - that is until you're caught on videotape kicking a Rodney King or something silly like that... Police officers aren't allowed to dispense out personal vengeance (though Nash tries hard) - only the courts are allowed to mete out justice. He is all too human, and that's why he's not allowed.
Mayor Willie Brown was pied in the face last week at a public ceremony. In NASH BRIDGES, he's portrayed as a slick politico who steers clear of trouble. But the Mayor we saw was a tough guy as he wrestled one of the three pie assassins down to the ground. The Mayor didn't bat an eye and continued with his event; he even condemned his attackers as cowardly. These pie hits are portrayed by the press as jokes (and by the pie attackers as a form of protest), but in reality they are security breeches, both violent and shocking. The Mayor ought to be portrayed with more respect, NASH BRIDGES...
For more, see synopsis for Episode 62