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"Law & Order" Return (2000)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Denial Is Not A River In Egypt

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
6 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Possible spoilers for TWO episodes (11.5 and 13.11)

Author: je77-761-754168 from Red Bluff CA
13 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think Midnight Raider is confusing this episode of Law & Order with one that aired in season 13 (episode 11, "Chosen"). While each episode deals with a Jewish suspect and makes specific focus on Isreal, the subplots and issues surrounding each case are very different.

"Return" revolves around a murder-for-hire suspect claiming the right of return to Isreal in order to avoid being arrested and prosecuted in Manhattan and McCoy's efforts extradite, while "Chosen" deals with the robbery and murder of a bookie whose money is sent to the Isreali cause, a motive the defense lawyer is certain will play well to a jury he packed with Jewish citizens (which neither McCoy nor Southerlyn realized until it was too late).

Both are typical McCoy going to the extreme to make his case.

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A Case of Identity.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
21 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good episode in the sense that it's up to par in an above average series.

The murder of an owner of a clothing store on Orchard Street leads to a couple of red herrings, including a transgender who has the role in his or her pocket.

The killer is quickly identified as a hoodlum who did the deed for $5,000, the deed being necessary during a felony robbery.

The man behind the deed is the son of the Jewish co-owner, and he flees to Israel. By law, Israel has first dibs on any Jewish refugees. But McCoy and his team uncover the fact that Eli, the miscreant, was ADOPTED and was the son of somebody named MARY KELLY.

So does he qualify for refuge from the NYPD because he's Jewish. Talmudic ponderings reveal that, while he was circumcized, had a Bar Mitzvah, and was given a Hebrew name, he has not led a Jewish life and in other respects so he is disqualified and Israel deports him.

Eli, in his mid-thirties, is bald and looks a little like the Republican strategist Steve Schmidt. It doesn't save him.

One wonders what the story would have looked like if Eli had qualified in all the required ways and been held in Israel. Delicate diplomacy, national conflicts, would have been involved and the story perhaps more interesting.

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0 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Of all the bad L&O shows, this may be the worst

Author: ( from Lubbock, Texas
2 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jack McCoy hits a new low for prosecutors in this case, prosecuting a man for first-degree murder (which at the time could have meant the death penalty) because he skimmed off funds from his company and sent them to Israel, and killed a man who threatened to rat on him. This show was made before the 9/11 attacks, which showed exactly how vulnerable Israel (and the United States) are and how crucial it is to support the state. One would hope that Israel issued a warrant for McCoy for kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder among other things (he and the United States Government would ignore it, of course, but he should have that on his head). It is not stated, but I find it very likely that some Islamist prisoner in the pen quickly murdered the man for standing up for his country.

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