In any case, this episode has nothing to do with pedophilia, since it has its historical roots in the Judge Wapner scandal. The detectives find the trail leads back to a highly respected appellate court judge, who has been trying to frighten Laura Rudman into remaining his love. She always comes secretly running to him for succor when she's stressed out.
Jill Hennessy involves herself in the case but introduces the appearance of impropriety because she, too, had once been the powerful judge's lover. Judge Thayer himself is one of those cool and self-confident men who take their power -- and the subjection of others -- for granted. "Power is an aphrodisiac," remarked Henry Kissinger, and he must have been right because Judge Thayer is no more handsome than he should be. If ever Jill Hennessey needed succor -- or Laura Rudman, for that matter -- they should have come running to me. I'd have treated Jill Hennessy decently. I'd have GROVELED.
Anyway, when Hennessey confesses to her three-month long affair with the nefarious Thayer, she's censured. Not to worry. She'll be back by next week. Thayer, on the other hand, gets what's coming to him in a court room scene in which he must allocute -- relate his criminal actions in detail. It's a good scene, and it reflects the care that was taken with this series in its early years. When he begins to speak, Thayer comes up with a politician's slant: "I never meant to hurt anyone." It's as if someone else had done the deed. When warned by the court, he continues in the same vein: "It's a shame that anyone suffered." Finally a reasonably accurate description of his actions is squeezed out of him, but it's like getting water out of a barrel cactus.
In this episode, as in all of them, a viewer has to pay attention because the tempo of the editing is vivace. You can blink, if you like, but don't get up and leave the room or you're liable to miss a critical link in the plot.