Law & Order (1990–2010)
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The Pursuit of Happiness 

After a business owner is shot and killed, suspicion falls on his Russian mail order bride and the man she is having an affair with.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lennie Briscoe
Mike Logan
Anita Van Buren
Claire Kincaid
Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (credit only)
Miss Farrell
Alex Nunez
Bill Marcus ...
Phil Guardino
Stan Feldman
Irina Cooper (as Natalia Negoda)
Roger Serbagi ...
Judge Robert Quinn
Don Peoples ...
Art Koslow


Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the murder of businessman William Cooper who was found dead in his office. The man had been at his business late the night before and was killed with the gun he kept in his desk drawer. His wife Irina - a Russian mail-order bride 30 years his junior - says he has no enemies and seems to have a valid alibi. When they learn she was seen with a young Hispanic-looking man however, they focus on an affair as being the principal cause of the shooting. Irina worked in a lab and one of her colleagues Alex Nunez, proves to be her lover. They are charged with murder and ADA Stone is prepared to plea bargain but neither will give in as it soon becomes apparent that they are very much in love and will not betray the other. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

1 December 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "inside joke" from the writers of this episode is that, at one point, they reference tickets that the victim and his wife had to see the "Guys and Dolls" revival playing Broadway at the time, and starring Faith Prince. Ms. Prince played one of the leading roles in this episode as well. See more »


Schiff misspoke when he referred to an ace high straight flush. That would be a royal flush. See more »


Adam Schiff: Quick, lock the door. Someone might walk in with a case we can win.
See more »

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User Reviews

Mail Order Marriage.

One of the less ambiguous episodes. A wealthy middle-aged man brings in a pretty young Russian bride and treats her as a servant, keeping her in a gilded cage as someone puts it. She falls in love with a younger Puerto Rican man -- who doesn't look particularly handsome to me. His head is the shape of a cube. However, the two conspire to kill the rich guy and make it look like an interrupted burglary. They manage the scene clumsily and there's soon little doubt about what went on. The well-off husband had to be disposed of before the bride's two years' probation was up.

The trail leads to an abortion because the wife was pregnant and Hubby couldn't be sure whether it was his baby or the PR's. But the abortion is a kind of meander and, though it represents a reality intrusion, doesn't make the plot any more mixed in its values. There is good and, mostly, there is bad. The villains may be a little sympathetic but there's no doubt they deserve what they get.

That murdered hubby, by the way, must have been quite well off. I had an internet bond with a Russian woman half my age, Juliet Vladimirovna, and we looked into the kind of marriage that the hubby in this episode had arrange. It developed that in order for me to import her as a bride I would need three times my current income. Undaunted, I plunged into the bureaucratic morass and looked into moving to Mexico, thinking the bar might be lower. Alas, I would have needed FOUR times my income to get even a transient resident visa. I was too poor to be a Mexican, a sobering thought. Juliet found a job in Sweden and hooked up with her boss. I hope they both choke on pickled herring. Maybe that's a little off topic. I guess it IS off topic. Can I take it back?

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