Law & Order: Season 4, Episode 17

Mayhem (9 Mar. 1994)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 85 users  
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Briscoe and Logan catch three unrelated homicide cases in one shift: an aspiring actor shot in his car, a Lorena Bobbitt copycat who killed her husband, and a grocery store owner killed in a robbery.

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Title: Mayhem (09 Mar 1994)

Mayhem (09 Mar 1994) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
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Scott Hexter
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Mrs. Louisa D'Angelo
Joyce Reehling ...
Jack Hallett ...
Bauer
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Zelda
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Dory
Peggy Cowles ...
Mrs. Hexter
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Jill Templeton
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Logan have a rough shift when they catch a series of unrelated murders. All Briscoe hopes for is that he'll get out of the shop to make to the Knicks/Rockets basketball game that evening. The first killing is the shooting of man in a parked car. Later in the day there's a virtually identical shooting and they fear they may have a serial killer on their hands. In their next case, they arrest a woman who has cut off her cheating husband's genitals. The third murder involves a violent drug user. After they make their arrests it turns out that one of them is innocent. That person won't make it out of Riker's Island jail alive. Written by garykmcd

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9 March 1994 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The normal pattern is broken by showing the detectives as they work a shift involving four separate homicides (including one they roll up on while working another) vs. the usual crime, arrest, and prosecution. No court scenes are shown- although ADA Kincaid, EADA Stone, and DA Schiff are shown in some scenes. See more »

Quotes

Det. Mike Logan: We're going for a record.
Det. Lennie Briscoe: What scares me is the day's not over yet.
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Connections

Remade as Law & Order: UK: Dawn Till Dusk (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unsettling episode
23 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode is very atypical for several reasons.

First, Logan and Briscoe deal with several unrelated homicides while a clock is ticking down to the start of an evening basketball game for which Briscoe has been fortunate enough to acquire two tickets.

Second, there is really no "Order" part, since no case is ever brought to trial. The ADA's appear briefly in the course of debating whether they have enough evidence against the portly eyeglass-wearing chubby mama's boy who is an unlikely suspect in some serial killings, mainly because he resists disclosing his alibi, a homosexual tryst.

The "mama's boy" is ultimately cleared when his mother discloses this to Logan & Briscoe. The pair of detectives run down to Riker's with a release order for the man, only to discover that he was shanked to death in the prison by another inmate who evidently wanted his sandwich.

Briscoe shows a momentary "spasm" of anger at this injustice but shortly afterward joins Logan in shrugging it off as yet another part of a bad day which dragged on so long that they missed their ballgame.

This episode is troubling because even though law enforcement officials like Logan, Briscoe and Stone are depicted as "somewhat" concerned about prosecuting the wrong person, this doesn't prey on their minds all that much, especially considering that their errors led to this man being slaughtered while ostensibly in the "protection" of a holding cell while awaiting indictment. As much as I greatly enjoy L&O it does bother me that the show regularly depicts the detectives and the prosecutors as very willing to ignore or minimize clearly exculpatory evidence in their all-encompassing drive to complete an arrest and conviction. I'm not naïve enough to believe that law enforcement officials are purely dedicated to serving justice (as opposed to being focused on their rate of "case closure") but I would LIKE to think that having been directly responsible for the violent murder of an entirely innocent suspect, the detectives would be bit more upset about THAT than about missing a basketball game.

But L&O is about nothing if not "real life" so I suppose we should be afraid, very afraid, that this is often what "justice" is all about.

/brrrrrrr


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