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.


(as Ed Sherin)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Le Clair
George Bell (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Justin Kennedy ...
Catrina Ganey ...
Mrs. Chapman
Judge Fred Naughton


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)  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The storyline of this episode continues on Homicide: Life on the Street: For God and Country (1996). Jerry Orbach (Detective Lennie Briscoe), Benjamin Bratt (Detective Rey Curtis) and Jill Hennessy (ADA Claire Kincaid) all play their Law & Order (1990) characters in that episode. See more »


The fact that this crime was plotted and committed as an interstate act, coupled with the number and types of deaths, would have made this a federal case. The FBI and US Attorney's office would have handled the entire matter, with the Baltimore Homicide and NYPD (and their respective DAs) playing a minor role, at best. See more »


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

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User Reviews

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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