Law & Order: Season 8, Episode 4

Harvest (29 Oct. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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The prosecution of the shooter in the death of a young mother and wife hits a snag when it is suggested that her doctor may have killed her to give away her organs and advance his career.



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Title: Harvest (29 Oct 1997)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Donald Cosgrove
Attorney Hilburne
Jacob Sutter
Marty O'Neal
John Ramsey ...
Dr. Hsu
Richard Thomsen ...
Mr. Fuller
Luce Ennis ...
Mrs. Fuller


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of Nancy O' Neal, the victim of a drive-by shooting while she was returning home with her husband Marty. The husband's story doesn't stand up to scrutiny but the truth - that he was in that neighborhood to buy a diamond ring from a fence - makes more sense. They locate the fence who saw three men in the area where the shooting took place. They quickly track down the shooter, Elias Camacho, but Jamie Ross notes an anomaly in O'Neal's time of death and it appears the hospital prepared to harvest Nancy O'Neal's organs before she was officially declared to have died. The DA's office believe that the doctor in charge, Donald Cosgrove, may have precipitated her death in order to deliver her organs to a hospital where he was hoping to get a job. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

29 October 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack McCoy: [to Dr. Cosgrove] Why would you order a morphine drip for a patient who was brain dead?
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User Reviews

First, Do No Harm
28 October 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This episode contains two great aspects of the Law & Order series: an interesting story, and a disturbing villain. A woman is shot in what looks like a typical robbery or gang shooting; basically, she is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is shot by some young hoodlums. She dies later on in a hospital. The investigation starts by focusing on the street punks who shot her, but her actual death in the hospital begins to look suspicious. It becomes clear that a stylish, egotistcal doctor let her die so he could arrange for her organs to be used for medical research, resulting in him getting a more lucrative job. Law and Order has great stories with thrilling twists, and this situation is a fine example of such a plot. What seems like a simple crime, a person dying in yet another shooting by riffraff, actually involves a shocking and sordid incident in which a slithery person lets someone die, despite the saving of life being the whole point of his profession. And this doctor makes a great villain: he is smug, smooth and urbane, and it is revealed that his profession has let him enjoy the high life: multiple homes in New York City, fancy sports cars, and so forth. There is a great scene in which the doctor is indignant and outraged that he is being associated with the young punk who shot the woman in the first place, who he describes as "street scum." He seems to firmly believe he is a much finer form of human being than the other criminal. One criminal shot a gun at someone from a distance in the dark, another watched someone die slowly, despite having more than enough training and equipment to save her, and then lies about it repeatedly, all because he is rich, but not rich enough. He clearly is the more ruthless of the two criminals, yet his sense of entitlement is so profound he scoffs angrily at being associated with the other criminal. He also clearly believes that his job as a doctor is not to save lives, but to earn a high salary, and will sacrifice lives to do so. His motives and glaring lack of a conscience are held under a microscope for the viewer to see, and Law and Order allows us to see criminals and their crimes in detail, as opposed to the summaries of such incidents in the newspaper. Well done NBC.

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