(TV Series)

(1980)

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7/10
A Sam episode.
MartinHafer12 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A woman is attacked and raped by a masked man. Soon, a convicted rapist is discovered nearby and arrested. The case appears pretty conclusive--especially after a forensic odontologist says the bite marks on the victim matches the suspect's teeth. However, Sam disagrees--saying that his new method using an electron microscope shows that he couldn't have bitten the victim. Much of the show consists of the court case--especially the prosecutor's attempts to impeach Sam's testimony for the defense. I could say more but it would provide a few spoilers. My advice is to see this one.

This is a very interesting and cutting edge episode. In the 1980s and beyond, such analyses of bite marks became more commonplace--though even more recent advances (such as 3D reconstruction) have provided even more precise procedures. There were only three problems with the show. After not behaving like an idiot for much of season five, Monahan is back to his old ways--in a rush to convict the first person he suspects and behaving horribly towards Sam. The latter seemed much more uncharacteristic, that's for sure as here he seems like a real jerk. Another problem is that when Sam is ultimately vindicated, the truth is ridiculously far-fetched! How the wounds occurred seemed pretty silly and more like something from a bad novel than from real life. And, hearing a convicted sex offender saying he's 'cured' is ridiculous and highly over-stated! Still, a very good show with some very interesting cutting-edge forensics.
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7/10
Good Quincy episode.
Paul Andrews11 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Quincy M.E.: A Matter of Principle starts as a woman is brutally raped by a ski masked psycho, outside her apartment block the police arrest known rapist Robert Denvo (Robert F. Lyons) for the crime. At the forensics laboratory Odontologist Dr. Winter (Wallace Rooney) compare cats of Denvo's teeth to bite wounds found on the victim & he concludes they match perfectly. However laboratory analyst Sam Fujiama (Robert Ito) says he has developed a new more accurate way to identify bite marks using an electron microscope which contradicts the findings of Dr Winter. In court Sam's new method puts sufficient doubt into the jury's minds & Denvo is acquitted, however shortly after Denvo is released another woman is brutally raped & murdered & Sam's new technique isn't looking quite so good anymore when all the evidence points to Denvo...

Episode 2 from season 6 this Quincy story was directed by Ron Satlof & after the lacklustre season opener Last Rights (1980) this is the first great episode of the sixth season. Here Quincy takes a back seat for the majority of the episode & it's his trusty lab assistant Sam who gets to play detective having just developed a more accurate way to identify teeth marks. Not everyone believes Sam's new method though & when a woman is raped & murdered after an accused rapist is set free due to his technique Sam starts to question himself & Quincy is the only one who supports him, the majority of A Matter of Principle focuses on Sam & the effect the case has on him. There's a pretty good murder mystery as well as you just know Sam is right & Denvo didn't do it but the actual rapist & killers motives are a little slim to say the least, add to that a watchable if short court trial & there's enough going on to maintain ones interest. All in all a good episode that gives one of the secondary character's a chance to shine for a change, there's not much humour here & the overall message about believing in yourself is a little heavy handed at times but at only fifty odd minutes in length A Matter of Principle is well worth watching.

The opening of A Matter of Principle sees a woman attacked in her apartment by a rapist & killer wearing a ski mask who reminded me of the killer from the exploitation classic The Toolbox Murders (1978), the original that is & not the rubbishy Tobe Hooper remake. Interestingly it is stated in A Matter of Principle that Sam has been working at the county coroner's office for six years & since Quincy by now was in it's sixth season you could make the argument that the series has run in almost 'real time'. Set largely in the laboratory A Matter of Principle is well made but unremarkable. The acting is fine although Ito can't really carry an episode like the peerless Klugman can, no offence but he isn't the lowly laboratory assistant for nothing!

A Matter of Principle is a good classic Quincy episode that might lack some trademark humour but it gives one of the other character's a chance to play detective & solve a murder. Fans of the show should like it & I think it's one of those episodes that more casual viewers would enjoy.
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7/10
Good murder mystery episode where Sam takes the lead
rayoflite247 November 2015
A Matter of Principle begins with a young woman being raped and murdered in her apartment by a masked assailant. Nearby, Bob Denvo (Robert Lyons), a man with a prior charge for assaulting a female, is seen acting suspiciously and apprehended by police as a suspect. At the coroner lab, a pathologist matches bite marks on the victim to cast molds of Denvo's teeth, but Sam (Robert Ito) runs his own newly developed test using a specialized microscope which disputes the original findings indicating the attacker was not Denvo. Lt. Monahan (Garry Walberg) and the District Attorney (John O'Connell) blast Sam for casting reasonable doubt on their case against Denvo which is going to trial, but Sam is convinced that his test is correct which means that the killer is still out there.

This is a fairly good episode which has Sam taking the lead in the story with Quincy (Jack Klugman) playing more of a supporting role. We saw something similar in the previous episode, but unlike that one at least it was one of the series regulars that was promoted to lead for a week here rather than an unfamiliar guest star. I think the substitution is more acceptable under this scenario. There is a crime as well as a decent murder mystery featured which keeps things interesting. I have to say that I also particularly enjoyed the scenes where the usually mild-mannered Sam gets fed up with Monahan's rude and dismissive attitude towards his findings and finally stands up to him. You tell him Fujiyama!!

Overall, this is a worthwhile second episode of Season 6 which is a huge improvement over the previous one and should be of particular interest to the Sam/Robert Ito fans as he takes on a more substantial role in the story.
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