Law & Order: Season 10, Episode 4

Merger (13 Oct. 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
8.1
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The 15-year-old daughter of a wealthy family is killed. When the child of another wealthy family is implicated, the DAs find themselves being stonewalled by both families.

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Title: Merger (13 Oct 1999)

Merger (13 Oct 1999) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Anne Twomey ...
Pepper Garrison
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Michael Garrison
Paul Hecht ...
Mr. Deliasa
John Ramsey ...
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Ethan Vance
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Nick Vance
Lee Shepherd ...
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Sammy Morris
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Green investigate the murder of 15 year-old Christie Garrison who is found just outside her building with her head bashed in. The girl comes from a very wealthy family and the police first suspect Sammy Morris who worked for their friend and neighbor, Mark Vance, as his chauffeur. Morris is cleared and the police learn Christie had gone out to a club after her parents thought she'd gone to bed. She left the club with a boy - who turns out to be the neighbor's youngest son, Ethan Vance. His older brother Nick seems to have had sex with her prior to her death as did Ethan and they are both arrested for statutory rape. The solution to the murder lie elsewhere however. Written by garykmcd

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13 October 1999 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy: They've got expert witnesses from everywhere including the pros from Dover.
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References MASH (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pick Your Suspect. You'll be Wrong.
22 September 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A fifteen-year-old girl is found dead of a head wound in the courtyard of the elegant apartment complex in which she lives. Brisco and Greene follow the usual initial red herring, the limousine driver who didn't show up for work that day and whose actions were problematic at the time of the killing.

He's rather quickly disposed of and the detectives now find themselves investigating two very wealthy families. The plot begins to look like some turgid tale by Charles Dickens out of Agatha Christie.

I was frankly confused by the editing as well as the complicated subterranean motives. They boggled the shrink's mind too, so I don't feel too bad. An example of what I mean by clumsy editing. One of the suspects says something to the effect that Brisco and Green should talk to a white informant who lives in Jersey -- something like that. The two detective look up at one another meaningfully. This exchange of looks is a device that ordinarily leads to a cut after which the detectives are interrogating the white informant. But, no. There is the expected cut, but then we see Brisco and Green entering the apartment of an African-American household whose connection to the plot is tenuous.

It doesn't get any clearer when Sam Waterston and Angie Harmon take over. There seems to be a gaggle of suspects, all of them rich, all of them powerful, all of them seemingly having something to hide. And the climactic reveal comes out of a clear and dazzling blue sky with only a few scattered wisps of cloud.

It's not a terrible episode but neither is it among the best. It raises no particular moral conundrums. It evokes curiosity and confusion rather than thought. The local color is as good as always. The setting is identifiably New York City and when there is thunder overhead it's followed in a later scene by rain. (You don't get that in LA movies.) The acting is up to par too. My suspension of disbelief was challenged by only one character, a matronly black cook who isn't around long. Waterston is a fine actor, good at circumspection. Angie Harmon is okay too but -- well, I miss Jill Hennessy terribly. She had a swan's neck, a face full of good bone structure, and an endearing and sexy wobble when she walked, and her voice was mellow and welcoming, whereas Angie Harmon's is a little hoarse. I wouldn't want to have an argument with Angie Harmon. She'd win.


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