Law & Order: Season 14, Episode 4

Shrunk (22 Oct. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 54 users  
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A popular Broadway composer is accused of murder. His psychiatrist blames it on a traumatic episode he had as a teenager, but McCoy discovers that the doctor may also have a motive.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Frederick Barrett
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Molly Regan ...
Margot Dalton
David Pittu ...
Stephen Cane
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John David Myers
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Helmar Augustus Cooper ...
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A popular Broadway composer is accused of murder. His psychiatrist blames it on a traumatic episode he had as a teenager, but McCoy discovers that the doctor may also have a motive.

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22 October 2003 (USA)  »

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John David Myers: Dr Barrett told me to sing when I'm scared.
Detective Lennie Briscoe: He tell you to whistle when you stab naked girls?
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Cold Blooded Manipulator
20 April 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the most cold blooded villains that Law And Order ever had on the series was in this episode Shrunk where Robert Foxworth plays a psychiatrist who manipulates one of his patients to kill another patient whom he had been kanoodling with. Trying to prove this was going to be almost impossible for Sam Waterston.

Oddly enough Foxworth had played another villainous role in Law And Order as an arrogant, narcissistic writer who looked for a while to be the real killer, but was in the end a red herring. This time no mistake about it.

The problem is that Foxworth has created a dependent relationship with the actual doer of the deed John Shea. The character that Shea plays is clearly based on Stephen Sondheim. Foxworth's got Shea so strung out on the meds he prescribes that Shea is totally lost in a world that Foxworth has created for him.

Foxworth dominates this episode, he's one of the creepiest, scariest perpetrators Law And Order ever had on the show. And this is a lesson to all of us that professional mental health therapists no matter how far up the educational food chain they are, can wield an incredible power over a willing and gullible patient.

The ending is also rather interesting. I only wish they had done a followup to this one, maybe in the next season.


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