Law & Order: Season 11, Episode 5

Return (15 Nov. 2000)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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When a suspected murderer tries to seek shelter in Israel, the DA's office faces the difficult task of extraditing and trying him in New York while also satisfying the Jewish community.


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Airs Sat. Jun. 13, 6:00 PM on WE

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eli Becker
Sam Schacht ...
Nathan Becker
Sal Bonafiglio
David Wike ...
Bruce Ornstein ...
Lev Berenson
Lynne Charnay ...
Rose Caplan
David Caplan (as Rick Wasserman)
Sylvia Becker


When a suspected murderer tries to seek shelter in Israel, the DA's office faces the difficult task of extraditing and trying him in New York while also satisfying the Jewish community.

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Release Date:

15 November 2000 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Eli Becker was born on January 5, 1965. See more »

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User Reviews

Denial Is Not A River In Egypt
6 April 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Law And Order was really reaching for a good plot gimmick when they used the Israeli law of return as an integral part of the story. In fact they cheated a bit here.

Evan Handler is the son of one of the partners in a leather goods store who has his father's partner killed because he's been caught stealing to feed his lifestyle which consists of quantities of cocaine. When Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin get finally on to him he flees to Israel, citing their law of return which is that any Jew who wants it can claim Israeli citizenship.

That includes criminals and that's there for a reason as it's still uncomfortable in many places on the globe to be Jewish and Jews are subject to persecution which can take the form of arrest and warrants for specious crimes. This is all a result of the Holocaust and there for good and sufficient reason.

What it never was intended to be was to offer a place of sanctuary for a murderer who happens to be Jewish. But Handler invokes it and part of the episode involves the very WASP Angie Harmon going before a rabbinical court to get this guy declared unJewish because he was really adopted. So if he hadn't been adopted there would be no story.

I also cannot believe that politicians would bring to bear pressure on acting DA Dianne Weist for Handler. The man he murdered wasn't exactly an Eskimo.

The best performance in this episode is given by Sam Schacht who is Handler's adopted father and who flat out refuses beyond all reason to believe his son is guilty. I've rarely seen denial done so well on the big or small screen.

But this was in the final analysis an inferior episode in a series that usually has only good ones.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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