Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Thinking Makes It So 

Fontana is accused of using excessively violent tactics to force a kidnapping suspect to reveal the location of the victim. Prosecutors are left to decide whether the ends justified the means.



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Episode credited cast:
Joe Fontana
Ed Green
Anita Van Buren
Arthur Branch
Mitchell Lowell
Teri Lamm ...
Cheryl Grant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arnie Burton ...
Hotel Manager
Joan Cathcart
Susan Cella ...
Assistant ME Mel Fine


A man is killed while apparently trying to rob a bank. The manager who was giving him the money refuses to say anything. Later it is revealed that the manger's daughter was kidnapped and what he was giving the robber was the ransom. So Green and Fontana try to find the girl. They learn that the man who was killed is a con artist and he usually works with his father. Eventually Fontana finds him and makes him tell where the girl is. While being tried, his lawyer claims that Fontana strong armed him to reveal where the girl is. Fontana denies it but McCoy is worried. Written by

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Release Date:

29 March 2006 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode title is from Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2: "... there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so ..." See more »


Jack McCoy: Like it or not, in evaluating the case against Mitchell Lowell, Detective Fontana's actions are irrelevant and must be ignored. Like it or not, the law says that you must focus only on what the defendant did. I'm realistic; I know you're good people, and as such, it's next to impossible that you could ignore what you heard, or didn't hear, in this courtroom. And I also know that by asking you to weigh the defendant's actions against the police officer's, Mr. Dworkin is, in effect, appealing to ...
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User Reviews

Most persuasive
21 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

Peter Jacobson returns for his final appearance as defense attorney Randolph Dworkin whose clownish borscht belt shtick in court belies a razor sharp mind. I do so hope SVU brings him back on one of their episodes.

He's got a real sleazy client this time, a con artist in Stephen Schnetzler. Con artists aren't lovable tricksters going after the very rich. This guy and his son have a deadly scheme.

They probably had Michael Countryman's movements down real good. Schnetzler during a small window of opportunity when Countryman's little girl is alone. She's snatched and Schnetzler's son contacts the victim and asks him to assist in a bank robbery for ransom. The FBI says there were two other such incidents where the kids were found dead and the other never found though there's no link to anyone.

When Dennis Farina and Jesse Martin figure it out it's Farina who goes out to the Hamptons where Schnetzler has a pair of ex-wives he bilked. He has to be most persuasive in getting the whereabouts of the child out of Schnetzler.

It's the technicalities that Jacobson pins his hopes on getting the case dismissed. Truth be told Farina crossed the line in a good cause. They have quite a battle of wits on the stand. And Sam Waterston as well is evenly matched with Jacobson and he knows it.

If there was ever an episode that justified a little torture this was it.

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