|Index||2 reviews in total|
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Can a sex offender be reformed, or is he permanently damaged goods?, 4 January 2011
Author: caroaber from United States NYC
Veteran actor Burt Young ("Rocky," "The Sopranos," etc.) plays Mr.
Darnell, a recently paroled violent sex offender. Now working and
reconciled with his adult daughter, Darnell is the prime suspect in the
rape and murder of a teenaged girl. D.A. Jack McCoy and company are in
a race against time to get a civil commitment under the Mental Hygiene
Law while investigators work to gather enough evidence to convict the
The question is, Is Darnell cured of his violent sexual proclivities? Or does he remain the same mad dog criminal the state put away years before?
5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
McCoy Goes Too Far., 19 January 2011
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (email@example.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have no idea where the writers thought they were going with this
episode but it casts Jack McCoy is an impossibly self-righteous and
possibly criminal persecutor -- not prosecutor. In this respect, and in
its ultimate conclusion, it's the most unusual story to appear during
the first ten years of the series.
The story opens with a parole hearing. Burt Young, looking old but acting no more skilled than in his feature films, has spent 18 years in Sing Sing after being convicted of rape and is now asking for early release. He's been a good inmate. He expresses remorse, says he's overcome his impulses after eighteen years of penitance and claims he only wants to get a decent job, settle down with his daughter, and make restitution to his victims. His daughter -- a spot-on performance by Lisa LoCicero -- is eager to accept him.
McCoy is present and gives an impassioned speech about a rapist's character being unchangeable and no restitution being possible. The Board overrules McCoy and Young is released.
McCoy is not only dissatisfied but he does something about it. Young is monitored wherever he goes. Posters identifying Young as a serial rapist appear all over his neighborhood. ("That didn't come from our department," remarks Brisco.) A young girl is found raped and murdered, smothered to death, in an apartment in a locked building. The detectives discover that in the basement of the building next door, a long-abandoned ventilation shaft runs into the basement of the victim's building. Further investigation leads to the discovery that Young had lived in the building next door as a child of seven or so, and McCoy concludes that he probably discovered the shaft, remembers it now, and used it to gain entry into the victim's building where he raped and -- for the first time -- left the victim dead.
McCoy is now convinced that Young is not just a serial rapist but a murderer as well and police surveillance increases. They toss his apartment and find stroke magazines emphasizing bondage. Olivet, the police shrink, advises McCoy that there is "no cure" for serial rapists. (Neither is there one for the common cold.) The detectives enter the woodworking shop where Young has a job and loudly announce that Young is a rapist. He's fired.
When Young appeals for relief from what he sees as harassment, he's advised to leave town. Young would like to live in upstate New York with another relative, but the police have already queried the Broome County officials and they refuse to allow him to move there. Young then expresses a desire to move to the town in Ohio where he was born, but the police are ahead of him and he can't move there either.
An angrier-than-ever McCoy proposes to Schiff, the DA, that Young be charged with something he hasn't done. Schiff replies, "Do you realize what you're saying? False arrest? I won't allow the law to be dragged through a sewer to catch a sewer rat." With no preamble, Young is caught by his own daughter while assaulting the daughter's roommate, and his daughter beats his brains out with a baseball bat. McCoy's intuition is proved correct. "I guess he couldn't hold himself back anymore," says Brisco. The question of how much pressure the police practices put on whatever it was that Young couldn't hold back is not addressed or even brought up. Nobody ever defines "harrassment." The viewer is left to conclude that "once a serial rapist, always a serial rapist, and next, a murderer," and that McCoy should have been allowed to do whatever he wanted in order to prevent a rapist from continuing his career. It endorses a policy of allowing law enforcement to draw up its own rules (there's a name for governments like that) and that a criminal can't change, even after eighteen years in the slams.
The viewer is left to draw his or her own lessons from the episode. Mine are different from McCoy's.
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|