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The late John Ritter, mostly known for his comedic turns in the classic
"Three's Company" and the most recent "8 Simple Rules," had a brilliant
dramatic turn as an arrogant doctor who becomes the chief suspect in
the death of his pregnant wife. Ritter is superb as a man so
self-centered that he feels that he is above the law. He and regular
cast member Chris Meloni have a powerful confrontation, allowing both
actors a chance to show their skills.
As always, there is a "Law & Order twist, and this one is a stunning jaw-dropper.
Ritter was truly deserving of an Emmy nomination if not the award itself.
What a commentary on the kind of husband that John Ritter was in this
episode that his wife Tricia Paoluccio who is a drug counselor at a
methadone clinic takes up with Bobby Cannvale one of the clients. So
John Ritter in a very carefully planned assault, blitzes his wife from
behind and cuts open her uterus in an abortion of his own choosing of
One of the more monstrous acts ever perpetrated on an SVU show the dead baby is found in a dumpster. Paoluccio recovers, but she can't identify anyone. Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni work hard to crack this one and Meloni takes it personally.
Whether a charge of murder can stick to Ritter will depend if the seven month old took any live breaths and that will be hard. Not her fault, it's the law says Stephanie March that a fetus is not deemed a person in New York State. A law to prevent others from controlling a woman's right to choose may just let a murderer go free.
You'll spend a lot of time mulling over the ethics involved in this episode.
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