Law & Order: Season 5, Episode 13

Rage (1 Feb. 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 75 users  
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A smug African American stock broker who resents other people of his own race is accused of murder. However, he hires a high-profile civil rights attorney, who presents a "black rage" defense.

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Airs Wed. Nov. 05, 2:00 AM on WE

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Title: Rage (01 Feb 1995)

Rage (01 Feb 1995) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Jerome Bryant
Keith Charles ...
William E. Cooke
Olivia Birkelund ...
Joan Stillman
Bernie McInerney ...
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Benjamin 'Bud' Greer
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Dr. Kenneth Price
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Dr. Bettina Osgood
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Storyline

A successful white stockbroker is found dead of rifle wound to the head. Although it initially looks like a suicide, the medical examiner reports that he was murdered. His coworkers immediately point the finger at "golden boy" Bud Greer -- a young, black junior trader. Bud tells Logan and Briscoe that success isn't about money, it's about power and with his major competitor dead, Bud now has the power. When Bud pleads insanity due to "black rage" the ADAs don't buy it for a second. Written by Anonymous

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1 February 1995 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Narcissism, Color Irrelevant.
28 October 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I may get some of the terminology wrong here because, unlike the character played so admirably by Courtney Vance in this episode, I didn't graduate from Stanford, magna cum lauda, and then Harvard Business School, summa cum lauda. That may be why my bank account could crawl under a duck's belly, to borrow a trope.

A broker is found shot dead in his apartment, a murder staged to look like a suicide. Brisco and Logan track down the killer, Vance, a black man who lives in a crummy apartment, his millions of dollars of bonuses for performance notwithstanding.

It's a little complicated but Vance had made some "phantom trades" or something that made millions on the books but were stashed away because the traders had been fabricated by Vance. I hope I got that right. His boss found out about it and Vance shot him. Vance is in a position to hire the best defense team -- and he does. Their case? The boss and everybody else disliked Vance for his snobbery and Vance was driven to murder the man who was about to expose him because of "black rage." Viewers may recall that this was the excuse offered by the lawyers in the case of a very savvy and intelligent African-American who committed mass murder on a train somewhere in Queens.

I can't imagine that real trials consist of moral arguments back and forth between interrogators and witnesses, as happens in this episode. Yet, the issue is important enough. Does a life time of humiliation and coded insult qualify as an excuse for a final, violent hijacking by one's amygdala? Can you shoot somebody because you just can't take it anymore? How about if YOU'VE been treated with tolerance and acceptance but you just can't get the degradation of your ancestors out of your head? At what point does the violent act -- had it been the other way round -- become a "hate crime"? Unlike some episodes, this one doesn't pull any punches. Vance dislikes not just the whites he sees as so condescending, but the blacks who insult him for being what they see as a traitor to the race. He represent no one but himself. And he sticks smoothly and confidently with that egocentrism. Courtney B. Vance is the guy for the role too. Nobody does that unruffled poise better.


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