Law & Order: Season 2, Episode 20

Intolerance (14 Apr. 1992)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 93 users  
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An award-winning Chinese American high school science student is killed. Evidence points to the jealous family of one of the student's high school competitors.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Marian Borland
Stephen Pearlman ...
Leonard Willis
Pat McNamara ...
Ron Borland
Lee Wallace ...
Judge Thomas Simon
Carl Borland
Lianna Pai ...
Claudia Chong (as Liana Pai)
Kate 'Katie' Silver
Rex Robbins ...
Randy Borland


Detectives Cerreta and Logan investigate the shooting death of Tim Chong a brilliant physics student who was in the running to a national scholarship. He was gunned down just outside his school. His friends Katie Silver and Carl Borland were with him just moments before when he had been harassed by Asian gang members. Tim had been a member of the gang for a very short while but the police find that it's a dead end. They subsequently learn that Carl's mother, Marian Borland, was highly protective of her son who was Tim's only competition for the prestigious scholarship. When they get evidence that Mrs. Borland lied about the time she left work, she and her eldest son Randy are charged with murder. ADA Stone has to get a conviction without a murder weapon after the gun used in the shooting is ruled inadmissible. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

14 April 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Assimilation can be dangerous to health.
11 December 2010 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

This episode gets pretty complicated, and the racial issues are just icing on the cake.

A Chinese boy goes to "Manhattan (read "Bronx") High School of Science" and is number one in his highly competitive class, having won a couple of prizes for his scientific endeavors. He's about to win a national prize, "The Nobel of High School." He also has a Caucasian girl friend. And he's a good friend of the consistent runner-up, a white boy. Of course, some Chinese kids, especially gang members, resent his affiliating with the white folks.

One day, as school lets out, bang bang and Number One is shot dead from a white van. Serreta and Logan look into those with motives -- the gang members and the runner up. They find irrefutable evidence that the boy was shot by someone in the family of the kid who's always been Number Two, but who, exactly? Well, as it turns out, practically the whole family except for Number Two. But there's a mistrial that turns on perjured testimony and the case is lost. "The whole world's gone mad," mutters Stone.

Of course, Number One Son didn't have to be Chinese. His race had nothing to do with the murder. The motive was the desire for celebrity and adulation, "thumos", the Greeks would have called it. But it does give the writers a chance to haul in some observations about street gangs in Chinatown and the nature of victory.

Sometimes the writers stretch too far and you can hear their joints creak. The white girl friend complains that her Caucasian friends call her an "egg" -- white on the outside, yellow on the inside. I don't believe it. I think the writers found the term "Oreo" cute and dreamed up "egg" in emulation.

But sometimes the dialog almost scintillates -- WOULD scintillate if given a chance. An example. Nobody in this show ever laughs heartily. The most you hear is a snicker of disbelief or a chuckle over some insanity. Now imagine these lines being delivered in all earnestness.

Having found Number Two's family inculpated, Stone wants to indict all of them, against the advice of his boss, Adam Schiff. Stone especially want so get the mother.

Stone: "After all, she pulled the trigger. Not PHYSICALLY." Schiff: "Oh -- metaphysically." I don't know if anyone else will find that so funny but it always cracks me up, the notion of someone metaphysically pulling a trigger, the play on words and ideas.

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

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