Law & Order: Season 6, Episode 17

Deceit (27 Mar. 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 72 users  
Reviews: 1 user

A married lawyer is charged with murdering a colleague with whom he was having a gay affair. However, his wife vehemently comes to his defense and threatens revenge on the prosecutors if they pursue the case.



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Airs Wed. Jul. 01, 12:00 AM on WE


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerold Dixon
Robert Sella ...
Tony Conneca
Sela Dixon
Peter Ratray ...
Charles Hanna
Vince Viverito ...
Mannie Lane
Stephen C. Bradbury ...
Jim Nelson (as Stephen Bradbury)
Rebecca Hollen ...
Joyce Brandman
Karen Fineman ...
Jackie Ruggiero


After a gay man is found murdered, police discover he was suing the law firm who recently fired him. When a husband and wife both surface as suspects, McCoy and Kincaid have troubling which of them is the killer - since they share motive, means, and opportunity. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

27 March 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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A Very Dark Secret
13 August 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Peter Riegert and Mary Beth Hurt play a husband and wife who share a very dark secret at least in their eyes. It's not who killed a fellow attorney colleague of Riegert's, but the fact that Riegert is a closet case gay man who was having an affair with him.

Both men worked in a very conservative white shoe law firm where being gay isn't a real big asset. Viewers of this Law And Order episode should appreciate the fact that it wasn't that long ago that the Bar Association wouldn't even admit you to practice if you were gay. Hard to imagine, but such things existed before the Stonewall Rebellion.

Also in the mix is a female impersonator entertainer played by Robert Sella who also dated the deceased and found his closeted lifestyle way too confining. Most would in this day and age, still there are a lot of uptight closet cases who would react in the same way Riegert does.

Riegert as the closet case gay man who married out of convention because that's what was expected of him and Mary Beth Hurt as his iron butterfly wife who will do anything to protect her marriage really stand out.

This episode should be seen by young gay audiences as Riegert shows just how painful and demeaning a closeted gay life truly is.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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