Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Stone is reluctantly forced to pursue criminal charges against a woman who kidnapped a young girl and took her away from an abusive foster home, even though he thinks she should receive psychiatric care instead.


Jace Alexander


Dick Wolf (created by), Paris Qualles | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Michael Moriarty ... Ben Stone
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Christine Baranski ... Rose Siegal
Stephi Lineburg ... Wendy Sylvester
Lisa Eichhorn ... Arnette Fenady
Camryn Manheim ... Beatrice Hines
Bruce MacVittie ... Brian Sprague
Jesse Moore Jesse Moore ... Daniel Freeman
Zelda Harris ... Janel Decker
Ann McDonough Ann McDonough ... Peggy Sylvester


Detectives Briscoe and Logan pull out all of the stops when 10 year-old Wendy Sylvester's school friend complains that she hadn't seen her for two days. She was a ward of the State but her foster mother treated the girl like a servant and hadn't bothered calling the police believing she would return at some point. Her mother is an alcoholic and also hadn't seen her. A diary leads the police to believe that she may have been close to one of her teachers and the school confirms that a volunteer, Annette Fennady, may be that person. Fennady says she hasn't seen Wendy for some time but Logan's thinks she lying. After they find the girl in a hidden bedroom in the basement she is charged but her defense is that she was actually protecting the girl. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

4 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Chris Noth (Mike Logan) & Ann McDonough (Peggy Sylvester) also worked together on episode 3.16, The Good Wife: After the Fall (2012), of The Good Wife (2009) as Peter Florrick & Joan Anderson respectively. See more »


At her arraignment Arnette Fenady is charged with, among other things, endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, implying there are different degrees of seriousness to the crime. However in New York state endangering the welfare of a child doesn't have different degrees, there is only one, it is a class A misdemeanor. See more »


References Mary Poppins (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Routine Plot, Great Child Actors
3 May 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

Really good casting for the little kids in this one, but the plot gave me deja vu.

Boiled down: Little girl goes missing from school, and she may have been kidnapped by a well-to-do author. Given the state of her foster home, where she's ignored by a cruel, cigarette-smoking Camryn Manheim and occasionally even beaten, perhaps she's better off with the kidnapper.

The wrinkle: Is the kidnapper (played by Lisa Eichorn, who I recognized as the victim-turned-hitwoman in season 3's "Point of View") doing the deed out of pure altruism, or out of a sense of dissociation from reality, where she's perceiving the kid (played excellently by Stephi Lineburg) to be her own dead daughter who died when she was only a few months old?

The other standout child actor in the episode is Zelda Harris, playing Lineburg's classmate who initially reports her missing. The kid's got acting chops for sure, more than holding her own in scenes with the other adult actors and in a one-on-one park bench interview with Jerry Orbach. And Christine Baranski (currently one of TV's most prestigious actresses with starring roles on "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight") isn't bad at all as the defense attorney.

Still, this is an average episode, that doesn't really do anything unique. There are better episodes pitting prosecutor Ben Stone's rigid principles against the reality of the cases he pursues. While there's some tense excitement in the detective segment, when Logan and Briscoe still aren't sure exactly what happened to the vanished child, things become more routine once the plot starts settling into familiar territory.

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