Law & Order: Season 6, Episode 13

Charm City (7 Feb. 1996)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 64 users  
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A man leaves a poisonous gas bomb on a train and kills a lot of people. The man is found guilty, but says this is just the tip of the ice berg. This episode crosses over with Homicide Life on the Streets.

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(as Ed Sherin)

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(created by), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Charm City (07 Feb 1996)

Charm City (07 Feb 1996) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Le Clair
Kevin Geer ...
Raymond Anthony Thomas ...
George Bell (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
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Justin Kennedy ...
Belcher
Catrina Ganey ...
Mrs. Chapman
W.T. Martin ...
Judge Fred Naughton
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate a gas attack in New York city subway system that left 20 people dead, all African-Americans. In Baltimore, Detectives John Munch and Frank Pembleton read about the attack and realize that it's quite similar to a similar gas attack in a church some 5 years ago where the victims were also African-American. They travel to New York to help out in the case but after getting the cold shoulder from Briscoe and Curtis go about investigating on their own. They soon arrest Brian Egan and are convinced that he is also responsible for the Baltimore attack. Egan's lawyer asks for and receives a change of venue to Westchester County where ADA McCoy will have to convince an all-white jury that Egan is guilty. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

7 February 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first crossover storyline for "Law & Order" (1990)_ and Homicide: Life on the Street (1993). The crossover was a unique circumstance in that while both shows appeared on NBC, neither program shared a common production company, producer, or writing staff, and the styles of the programs were diametrically opposed. Nonetheless, the experiment was successful enough that two more crossover stories were done in later seasons. Richard Belzer (Detective John Munch), Andre Braugher (Detective Frank Pembleton) and Kyle Secor (Detective Tim Bayliss) all play their Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) characters in this episode. See more »

Goofs

When Det. Pembleton is informed Egan's confession is inadmissible, he is seated, without a coat or hat. Kincaid is looking directly at him whilst speaking [30:15] when she looks to the door to see Pembleton, now wearing a coat and hat, enter the room and says that he is leaving. See more »

Connections

References Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ambiguous.
18 December 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A racist leaves a gas bomb on a subway train in Harlem and kills more than twenty people. The detectives track him down with the help, and often the interference, of a couple of detectives from Baltimore.

A high-priced defense lawyer shows up and slathers racial stereotypes all over the courtroom -- "Sure, slavery was an obscenity but it end A HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS AGO!" He brings up the race of the defendant, who is a white man, repeatedly and claims he's being blamed by African-Americans simply because he's white. The name of Louis Farrkhan is raised, a notorious black leader of the Nation of Islam and generally considered a vicious anti-Semite.

McCoy puts on a spirited case and the defendant is convicted, but questions arise. The perp was no more than a truck driver for a chemical company. How did he learn how to build and plant a somewhat sophisticated gas bomb using volatile chemicals? Who paid for his expensive lawyer? The last scene is chilling. McCoy and Kinkaid ask him, and he won't answer except to say that his government didn't convict him -- McCoy's government did. And nobody knows what's going on. He's just the tip of the iceberg. It's as dispiriting as it is because it sounds like it was written yesterday instead of in 1996.

This is a "cross-over" episode with two or three detectives from one of the spin-offs, "Homicide: Life on the Streets." There are a few other cross-overs in the series and they're mostly a nuisance, interfering with a comforting and ritualized formula. Andre Braugher always brings a welcome animation to his role, but Richard Belzer's character is a pain. On the plus side, one of the Baltimore cops puts a move on Claire Kinkaid and she smiles knowingly, in a way that Jill Hennessy rarely has an opportunity to do.


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