Law & Order: Season 7, Episode 7

Deadbeat (13 Nov. 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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A man is accused of killing his deadbeat, abusive ex son-in-law. He claims self defense, and the outcome of the case rides on determining who was in possession of the murder weapon at the time.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Max Schaeffer
Arlene Webber
Caroline Bennett
Victoria Lewis
Jimmy Pogosian
Pete Pogosian
Joe Kirby
Sam Pokras
Barbara Eda-Young ...
Betsy Graves


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the shooting death of Michael Malone who is found dead on the floor of his hotel room. While they're still examining the scene, Malone has visitors who definitely have a criminal backgrounds. According to Malone's girlfriend, the dead man was working for the FBI - after working for the CIA and others. It's all made up of course and Malone was actually Michael Webber who walked out on his family and owed his ex-wife Arlene a good amount of money despite making a hefty salary as a car broker. He liked living the party life and wanted to have it all. The evidence leads them to Arlene's father Max Schaeffer. He admits to shooting his son-in-law but says he acted in self-defense and records show that the gun used in the shooting actually belonged to the dead man. McCoy finds a hole in Schaeffer's story however and believes the murder was anything but an accident. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

13 November 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Detective Rey Curtis: How many child support payments did you ever miss, Lennie?
Detective Lennie Briscoe: My ex just kept my checkbook. If I ever forgot, she knew how to forge my signature.
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Paternal (2013) See more »

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Please, anyone but...............
31 March 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

There is only one truly innocent person in this Law And Order story, young Zachary Kady, son of Deborah Hedwall and grandson of Val Avery, a kid who dying and keeping him alive is costing big bucks. When his father who skipped out years ago he stopped any financial obligation toward his former family. It makes Avery and Hedwall mad enough to kill and they do.

This whole business makes both the police and DA's office look for alternative suspects. The deceased was a liar and a conman and there are any number of people who would like to have seen him dead. He has a girl friend in Miami Beach who is played by Deborah Props whom he has conned ruthlessly. Of course she's just one of those gullible people who have victim written all over them. As Jerry Orbach and Benjamin Bratt discover, she's believing her late boyfriend was undercover in the FBI and CIA, both of them. Props is outstanding in her one scene.

There's also a couple of leg breakers looking for him as well over one of his schemes. No one wants it to be Hedwall and Avery as perpetrators.

In the end Sam Waterston gives an act of mercy of sorts with young Kady in mind.

Avery and Hedwall aren't quite as noble as they first appear, but you still feel sorry for them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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