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"Law & Order" The Troubles (1991)

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One of the more interesting Season One episodes

Author: olihist from United States
11 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Troubles" examines the murder of a Lebanese Drug smuggler who was being transported to a courthouse under Federal custody. What begins as a homicide investigation (and mini-turf war between the NYPD and the FBI) evolves into a complex courtroom trial involving the Sinn Féin and IRA, U.S.-British relations, and the legal issues surrounding international terrorism. The final minutes of the trial feature a particularly memorable performance by Michael Moriarty as Executive DA Stone (one of his most interesting from Season One).

There are certainly characterizations of the Irish and Ireland on this episode, as "GusF" very specifically lays out in his review (the Lebanese and Cubans are not portrayed very positively on this show either). And as most Americans after September 11 already know, inter- agency police cooperation does not always exist in the USA as it is eventually portrayed in this episode. But "Law and Order" generally succeeds in this episode in what the show does best: providing a riveting combination of police and courtroom drama.

Overall, this was one of my favorite episodes from Season One (along with "Subterranean Homeboy Blues").

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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Extremely inaccurate portrayal of Ireland

Author: GusF from Ireland
30 March 2008

To be honest, as an Irish person, I was pretty annoyed at this episode. It portrayed the Irish as either a background bunch of farmers or IRA men. The names were all stereotypical Irish names as well, e.g. Bridget, Sheila. True, I can think of people or friends of people I know with those names but neither are as popular as they once were. Bridget McDiarmid's dress was very old-fashioned and I can tell you that NO ONE in Ireland dresses like that, then or now. They did wear those forty or fifty years ago but not anymore. Plus, no one in Ireland would say "County Mayo," they would just say "Mayo." Anthony Heald mispronounces Donegal, another county, as well. (If I even start to go in to his accent, I'd be here for hours!) In real life, O'Connell would probably not acknowledge the link between Sinn Féin and IRA. Even though it's EXTREMELY common knowledge that they have strong connections, Sinn Féin maintains that they are completely separate groups despite the fact that both of its two main leaders were once in the IRA and may even have sat on the IRA military council. All of the Irish history and historical figures mentioned in it was correct though such as Michael Collins, Robert Emmett and Daniel O'Connell. And, like Stone said, the Battle of the Boyne was in 1690, about 300 years before. All in all, it seemed more like 1891 than 1991 to me. I'm sure it annoyed lots of other Irish people too.

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