Law & Order: Season 5, Episode 15

Seed (15 Feb. 1995)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.5
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While investigating a fertility doctor for a separate case of fraud, McCoy and Kincaid discover evidence that he may be inseminating his patients with his own sperm.

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Title: Seed (15 Feb 1995)

Seed (15 Feb 1995) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael Aronson
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Dr. Jordan Delbert
Jordan Clarke ...
Mr. Parker
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Clara Brock
Ron Frazier ...
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M.E. Heather Coyle
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Nathan Brock
Deborah Tranelli ...
Christine Kennedy
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Storyline

Briscoe and Logan's investigation of a shooting seems to be an open and shut case. A distraught woman walks into a bank where her husband is a vice president and pulls a gun threatening to shoot him. A security shoots her first....end of case. Lt Van Buren however wants them to find out what the woman meant when she screamed that her husband killed her baby. She supposedly had a miscarriage but the fertility doctor she was seeing, Jordan Delbert, raises concerns when he clearly lies to the police. A review of his files reveals something else however: to cut expenses, Delbert began to use his own sperm to inseminate his patients. The challenge for ADA McCoy will be to get one of the victims to testify against him. Written by garykmcd

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15 February 1995 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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This episode is based on the true story of Dr Cecil Jacobson. See more »

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References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Artificial Insemination Provided.
19 August 2011 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A somewhat unusual episode in this superior series. The forces of law and order not only fail to convict the perp -- who is a real slime ball to begin with -- but the episode ends on a note of hopelessness. They haven't gotten him and they never will, barring the seasonable interposition of a gracious Providence.

The heavy is an arrogant fertility doctor who makes a living shooting his patients full of hormones and, who knows, eye of newt. It doesn't work, although he continues to collect his fees.

It begins, as almost all episodes do, with a crime that's at most tangential to the A story. The detective follow one of the threads and it leads to a doctor who dispenses with the use of anonymous sperm donors to impregnate his patients and substitutes his own sperm instead. It boosts his profits because, knowing he himself isn't HIV positive, he can skip the expensive lab tests. Also, there's the satisfaction, if that's the word, of knowing that there are a couple of dozen kids walking around New York City bearing his chromosomes. (One wonders if they all go to medical school because it seems to run in families.)

But the agents of social control can't find anything illegal about what he's done. They could nail him for murder because of some curious circumstances but they can't get any of the victims to testify. The mother and father with the most damning evidence are an interesting pair. They won't testify because they don't want their son to know he was adopted. "So what?", asks McCoy. It's a good question. Do they need to feel the same pride in parenthood that that forked radish with the MD diploma does? There was no disguising the adoption in the case of my son because he was taken into a family of Scottish/German and Russian Jewish forebears, and he's Korean. It's never affected him, except that he seems to have an insatiable appetite for kim chee and raw fish.

I'm just kidding, but I kind of enjoyed the way the episode toyed with certain traits of human nature -- never mind the law -- that illuminate some of our more masked sentiments. We have this conviction that a man must father his own child. And all women seem to be aware of that biological clock ticking in the back of their minds. I've had friends who felt guilty about their children having been born by C section rather than by taking the usual trip down the birth canal. We may think of it as "normal" but these feelings aren't universal among humans. Samoans, for example, whom I lived with and studied for a couple of years, have no such beliefs. I speak to you as your anthropologist. That will be ten cents.


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