Law & Order: Season 6, Episode 19

Slave (21 Apr. 1996)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 87 users  
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A woman is killed after stray bullets travel through her apartment window. Briscoe and Curtis learn that an abused 13-year-old who was forced to work for a drug dealer by his drug-addicted mother was the shooter.



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Title: Slave (21 Apr 1996)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Cassie Rickman
Andrew Gellis
Marla Rubinoff
Tom Signorelli ...
Mr. Merrick
Lonnie 'Nacho' Rickman
Ross Morales (as Agustin Fernandez)
Clayton Doyle
Frank Doyle


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of Carol Merrick who was shot in her bed with her husband lying next to her. The police suspect her husband who clearly has a drinking problem and blacked with no memory of what might have happened. Ballistics determines however that she was shot from 50 to 100 yards away and that it was likely a stray bullet fired from the roof of the building across the street. Some kids had been seen there and are identified as Lonnie Rickman and Clayton Doyle. Clayton admits that Lonnie tried to shoot him and that both of them were working for a known drug dealer, Roscoe Morales. Lonnie meets with Dr. Olivet who finds that he was likely abused by his mother. When the DA learns that Lonnie's mother gave the boy in payment to Morales to settle her drug debts, they have to find a way to get the boy to testify against the drug dealer. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 April 1996 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Detective Lennie Briscoe: You were out of line, Rey. Just accept it and move it on.
Detective Rey Curtis: As a cop, okay, I should have stepped in but as a parent? Man, that kid was selling crack. That rates a big hug and a trip to Disneyland?
Detective Lennie Briscoe: This really burns you, huh?
Detective Rey Curtis: Hell, yes. The guy's fighting for his kid's life.
Detective Lennie Briscoe: What, by beating up on him?
Detective Rey Curtis: If it comes to that. I'm not one of those parents who has a problem taking a strong stand against drugs. I never took drugs and I don't feel like a hypocrite telling my kids not to.
Detective Lennie Briscoe: So if I tell my...
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Remade as Law & Order: UK: Deal (2011) See more »

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Mom, What Happened To YOU?
23 December 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

A complex story that begins with the usual false lead. A woman is shot through the head from a nearby rooftop. Brisco and Curtis manage, however implausibly, to track down the person responsible for the shooting. He's just a snotty kid of about twelve who is the "slave" of a local drug dealer (Agustin). The kid (Adam Zolotin) runs errands, delivers cocaine, and sees to it that someone is bumped off when it's necessary. The dealer is the kid's virtual father.

How did this arrangement come about? The kid's mother (Karen Young) is a crack addict, and the small-time drug lord keeps her happy. The price is that the kid has become the Agustin's willing "slave." The kid worships only two things: his boss Agustin and his crack-head mother.

The episode is engaging for two reasons, aside from the depressing and Dickensian plot. There are a couple of outstanding performances. Not Agustin, the head villain. He's a stereotype and the part could have been phoned in. But Karen Young as the beaten-up, abject mother does a splendid job of projecting a kind of angry hopelessness. She was a shy but compliant whore in "American Psycho," which illustrates her range as an actress. Make up has made her blond hair and ordinary features convincingly lusterless.

The other is Adam Zolotin as the defiant and thoroughly corrupted kid who hates cops and refuses to involve his boss or his mother in the murder. Where does anyone find a twelve-year-old boy who can act so well? I'm not sure he could add such zest to any other role. It's hard to imagine his playing some introverted accountant. But that's just to emphasize how compelling his performance is here.

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