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Law & Order: Panic (2000)
Former US Marine, twice wounded. Sound like a man given to excessive panic?
A man and a woman were shot in a dark alley: she was the only one who managed to survive, who was the target? They had just dinner together at a local restaurant and she ran away from him in the sidewalk. The victim was a married novelist writer whose sales dropped recently after several best-sellers; the last novel was a real bust. Wrong path anyway. As investigation went on, detectives realized the murder weapon belonged to a CIA agent married to a coworker (former Marine) who maybe had an affair with the girl wounded in the shooting. Prosecutors needed evidences about this relationship, because neither the lovers nor their relatives or collegues were willing to testify. Actually, the two women were lovers and her husband (Tom Berenger a little aged from Platoon) wanted to make her pay.
An episode related to homosexuality and the reaction of the audience towards this topic (this time between two women, not between men as usual). Is it sex or is it love? Anyway, wait till the very end, surprises are around the corner.
Law & Order: Mother's Milk (2000)
He points the finger at her, she points the finger at him. Reasonable doubt.
An apartment's owner,after weeks without any news of the tenants, brought a new couple to see the flat. They noticed some blood stains next to the crib. The lodgers left the place with a big suitcase the last time super saw them. Unfortunately, they had no connection with neighbours but detectives managed to reach the father's parents. Maybe her girlfriend dumped him and he came back to his family. He attended the local church, the priest and a parisher said he was a very quiet guy (despite he had bad temper). His wife (Tessa Ghylin) worked part-time in a video store but they both found it hard to be parents. Who is the bad parent after all? The baby was put in a bag and buried alive in the grandfather's courtyard. Anyway he was previously starved to death, medical examiner said. Breastfeed is the issue.
We see in this episode sometimes a eighteen years old girl couldn't manage to deal with the burden of a child. He drove her crazy, but the husband gave her no support. Defense attorney was a heartless piece of cake, trial didn't progress the way it should have done, but Abbie did very good her job.
Law & Order: Collision (2000)
The system failed them both, miserably. And now we're left to clean up the mess.
A couple noticed a girl screaming from the park before their tenth floor apartment. Detectives found a bag full of clothes, some stains of blood and a pair of glasses. Thanks to these items, they managed to reach the victim's parents; they stated she suffered from schiizophrenia, she even assaulted her father's doctor at the hospital after a stroke. Back to her apartment (a real mess, rent paid by her relatives), Briscoe collected more information about this sick girl: her doctor stopped her treatment after she couldn't afford to pay his bills. She spent some time in a shelter, a bum sold her a knife; unfortunately they found her strangled inside a container. A guy's from the shelter (Seth Barrish) with bipolar disorder addicted to donuts had a special obsession for her. Police arrested him (one of the officer shot him by accident in the shoulder), he had just been realeased from prison. Is he really mad or Is he just acting?
Voices, maybe from Bill Gates, ordered him to kill her. But are they enough to prevent him from a conviction? McCoy proved he avoid medication on purpose during the trial. Anyway he was wrong, they were lovers, so things got more and more complicated.....Who really killed her? Wait till the very end.
Law & Order: Punk (1998)
Guards say they're looking for dope, but they're looking for your pride.
Two black boys were playing american football in a playground, when one of them noticed a white middle aged man on the ground, shot dead. He begged before being killed on his knees. The victim, a correction officer, lived Upstate and he came to the Big Apple to pay a visit to his child, a football player. Detectives tried to collect information about the inmates who got parole in the last few months. Anyway the officer was not so clean: working in a women's prison, he used to blackmail prisoners (raping them from time to time); the only chance prosecutors had to reach the truth was to persuade a single mother (Cara Buono), currently in the prison hole, to speak. The gun used in the murder belonged to a scarred portorican, connected to her thanks to prison brotherhood. When prosecutors realized she had a miscarriage because of the rape, things got worse....
It's hard to have sympathy for the murdered guy as the episode moves on. Who is the real victim after all? Other guards are involved in the case, so all become very difficult, because they considered inmates like "cage animals". Eventually we learn some "shocking" personal information about Carmichael.
Law & Order: Venom (1998)
You have any idea how many insanity pleas are successful? Less than 10%
Before enjoying a cigarette outside a theater, a couple heard a shot in the near alley. With the same slug, a man and a woman was shot, but the girl (Laila Robins) managed to survive. The shooter didn't take the pursue, the wallet and the gold watch, so he wasn't a burglar. At the hospital, the wounded girl said the victim was gay. Shortly after, detectives realized he wasn't the intended victim, but the shooter wanted to hurt his female partner (an escort not so young). She had an affair with a much younger guy and they usually met in a boat; he used to take a old-style bike to left their love nest. The 27 years old guy was married to a oldage woman and he was a real gold-digger, but the victim could put his fairy world at stake: after finding the gun, the police arrested him, but the gun belonged to another man, not so easy to find out for lawyers; judge ruled him out...but a deal between the two lovers was round the corner (Were they really "just" lovers?)
Nice episode, the plot shifted many times. I find it very original, there is no reason audience can find sympathy for the two suspects. Send them both to jail, McCoy!
Law & Order: Scrambled (1998)
Because they are a form of human life? A very rudimentary form
At a private clinic (cold storage room), a nurse was killed because she tried to stop a man from throwing away a lot of embryos in the sink. The murderer had access to the facility; detectives started questioning people who wanted to sabotage the clinic for "natural law" purpose. A maintenance man gave to the killer a free pass, in exchange for money. A middle aged woman (Lisa Eichhorn) held a grudge against the second wife of her deceased husband: she wanted embryos implanted inside or her for the legacy, the newborn baby could be considered a jackpot for her (despite the frozen embryos belonged to the first wife). Anyway there were no evidences against her, because a former police officer was hired to do the dirty work (get rid of the tank content) and the murder was just an accident.
Destroy property and not homicide: it's not easy for McCoy to convict the sender for the real crime. The topic was a matter very controversial at that time (nineties): Curtis and Briscoe had different views, there was a little argument between the two detectives, because they both made the topic too personal (sick wife for Curtis, deceased daughter for Lennie).
Law & Order: Agony (1998)
I made her say she admired me. I had total control. Total.
A tenant found out a postman dead on the hallway. Shortly after, Lennie got there and he discovered a woman (Christina Haag) severely wounded on her bed with the open door still open. Her parents told to detectives that she recently left her husband (a cocaine addicted who abused her). Actually he had a strong alibi (a high class hooker) and Van Buren decided to rule him out. Police start questioning her lover, an antique dealer, but he had alibi as well. Luckily the victim was able to speak to detectives at the hospital after some days of recovering: she had a one night stand with the killer, she only knew his name, Matt, a real pervert; actually the guy tortured her for several days. The suspect used to play rough on bed with sexual partners, there were proofs he could have been a serial killer. What about a deal to know about more cold cases (six bodies)?
A pact with the devil. That's what McCoy had to deal with. Anyway, when a woodworker got into the scene, it's not easy to decide what's the best solution for the criminal justice system. An episode without a trial, just plea bargains.
Law & Order: Flight (1998)
Well, he was having a mid-life crisis
A child was found dead in a kindergarten by a preschool teacher. Medical examiner stated he was killed by a bacteria brought from abroad that could cause quarantine. Science project or terrorism attack? None of this. Someone injected with a syringe the poison. A guy at the hospital died from the same reason shortly after, the two murders were connected, so detectives looked for the needle. Boy's father (Dylan Baker) have had an affair with a charming woman for almost a year, paying her rent with no intention to leave his wife; this situation drove his mistress crazy. Incriminated needle was found in her building trash and she confessed, but the married man denied all his involvement. Is he capable of hurting his own son? Emblezzlement from his employer and a ticket to Fiji island didn't help him.
Escaping from a boring life could have been the motive, but all the prosecutors were doubtful about that. Judge said marital privilege apply to this case and this make things very difficult for the conviction. To solve the case....McCoy wanted so hard to indict the corporation owner of the bacteria, but something terrible stopped all his efforts.
Law & Order: Bait (1998)
You want to put the bad guys behind bars, sometimes you got to get your hands dirty.
A shop owner, before opening up his store, figured out a seventeen years old kid was lying before the shutter, shot in the chest. Bums living there were not so clear to detectives. Luckily the victim managed to survive but he lied to police about what happened to him (two assumed black guys assaulted him, stealing his car). Actually, a teenage girl (his girlfriend) bought condoms at a local pharmacy and the receipt were still inside the stolen car: unfortunately she was killed as well that night. The right path involved a drug dealer, the young kid has just been a small fish. But the boy still hid something to the police, he was actually a snitch called "Mr. Weekend" by his peers who received a better treatment from a previous arrest under duress.
Detectives and lawyers had hard times in dealing with a fellow detective (José Zuniga) not so cooperative, because he had strong ties with the defendant. McCoy compelled Lennie to testify against his real will.
Law & Order: Loco Parentis (2000)
Kids are the same. Just the technology's different
A sixteen years old boy was found inside a plastic bag in a dumpster by two garbage men, killed by a karate gear. The place was a little far away from where the guy lived. His mother showed up at the crime scene very soon and this made detectives a little suspicious, because they thought she could have harassed her own child. Anyway, he used to sell candies to raise some money, some fellow pupils bullied him, considering him a nerd (he even tried to grow up his strength by practising bodybuilding to protect himself). Fingerprints in cigarette butts were enough to arrest a peer (Jacob Pitts), addicted to violent video games and porn movies. Detectives realized he used a strange weapon not so easy to found in performing the murder, maybe his father helped him in all this; everything against his mother's will.
Bad parenting? Is he really innocent or guilt? Audience have to figure out who is the real murderer. Briscoe was put in a bad position at trial, compelled to confess about his daughter's addiction.
Law & Order: DWB (1998)
The blue wall will shield you from civilian authority
Two guys, after a morning spent fishing in the river, found out a dead man on the ground. He was dragged for a quarter mile by a car that ran over him. He was black and he was repeatedly beaten before being killed. An african american witness (Russell G. Jones) confessed to Van Buren what happened (only because she's black as well); the victim was actually a part time cop. Some officers were in charge to prevent people from rob stores in their neighborhood, the victim went by chance in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's all become a matter inside NYPD, several white cops went under investigation, two of them were arrested. Immunity was granted for a highly ranked officer for his testimony, big mistake for prosecutors.
Legal tricks this time go against criminal justice system. Even the mayor put his reputation at stake for a statement made live on TV before knowing the real truth. McCoy jeopardized his place of work to take everything on the right track.
Law & Order: Cherished (1998)
He has no empathy. No conscience, no remorse
A baby was taken to the hospital after falling from a crib and he dead shortly after. Actually the accident must have been more violent than what his foster parents described at first: detectives realized they had another child adopted as well who rarely saw the light, but that was not enough for a warrant, so they kept on running in circle. Charmaichel managed to obtain that for a different reason (housekeeper's green card) and they were shocked when victim's brother (Spencer Breslin) suffered from a rare form of attachment disorder that made him dangerous for anyone around him (maid called him "El Diablo"). Lawyers believed he also killed a dog, so he need an around the clock attention by professional. Charmaichel wanted him arrested, while McCoy and Branch had doubts about a 7 years' old conviction. Things gone bad when they figured out the dead baby wasn't the one signed on the paper, but a sick toddler who was about to succumb to a cancer....
An episode that goes from a homicide to baby trafficking that involved more than one family, with issues with the russian consulate. A little boring in my point of view.
Law & Order: Sundown (1999)
The man she married was disappearing before her eyes
An old woman was found dead inside the clinic where she was hospitalized for a biopsy. She was punched several times causing her internal bleeding. A servant who used to steal things from the hospital was taken to the precinct and he confessed about a man, maybe a lover of the victim. Victim's children knew about the affair (their father had Alzheimer's disease) as well as a travel agent. Her "fiancèe" is a piece of work, not so easy to find for the detectives, he showed up as a doctor or an antique dealer for his preys, but actually he was a thief (he stole a gold cross jewelry from the killed woman). Anyway even the children could have their own motive, because of a life insurance. Her daughter confessed the crime, but she wanted to protect someone inside the family....
It's not easy to deal with such a kind of disease. The sick old man (George Martin) is very pitiful, Carmichael is shocked when she visited a clinic full of Alzheimer's disease patients. I know that, both of my grandmothers died from that illness.
Law & Order: Challenged (2008)
After 44 years? They want to pooch his testimony.
A middle aged engineer couldn't have dinner with his parents because he had a date. He was found dead in a different neighborhood, at a park used as drug spot. After asking some questions to drug dealers and thanks to fingerprints left in a public bathroom, detectives realized a gay living in a group home hooked up with a partner at the time of the murder; unfortunately, he was killed as well maybe because he was pointed out as a snitch by the local gang. The original victim had an affair with a man with low IQ living in the same group home and they had a date that night; the troubled guy recognized two black dealers as the ones who committed the crime. But he lied to the police, they weren't lovers, they were brothers and another family member (Armand Schultz) was involved....
Financial troubles for medical care caused by a member conditions are the key of this episode. The more a family is extended, the better this kind of situation could emerge.
Law & Order: Blood Money (1999)
I think these men should close their eyes and see my sister
An arab cabbie figured out his passenger was stabbed to death on the back seat: some black guy got him into the car before the lift. The victim was a old man of Italian origin whose wife died years before, retired from an insurance company but he probably still did some business on the side; he left a bank with his briefcase (full of money?) shortly before the accident. "Think so" related to the only witness was not enough for an indictment, so the only suspect was set free. Back in the WWII the salesman set up an insurance scam (life insurance involving Jews with no hope of collecting) in Eastern Europe and his son (Matt Servitto) hated him for that. Then it became a political matter with italian consulate that could be behind the murder. Things gone bad when police figured out he was shot before the stabbing by a Beretta gun. Insurance company chief was arrested for the "book" owned by the victim....
At first, I think this episode was a little out of time, because more than 50 years has gone by since the second world war. Anyway McCoy wants the truth, against all plea bargains and all start being interesting. The trial leaves to the audience all kind of surprises, please don't miss it. Best episode of the season, for sure.
Law & Order: Patsy (1999)
We'll ask her, when she wakes up.
A super found a tenant nearly dead in her apartment. The place was a mess, it seemed there must have been a fight. She was a travel agent, someone injected her a poison with a syringe on her thigh that led her into a coma. She didn't have any next to kin still alive, but detectives realized she had dinner in a fancy restaurant with a guy from Albany the night before. The man (Sebastian Roché), a political figure addicted to painkillers, could have been the reason victim's sister passed away years before (even if he hasn't been convicted for the murder). His DNA was found in the crime scene, thanks to semen marks left in the blanket, so he was arrested as a result. But he insisted, even at trial, that someone wanted to frame him. When the only thing defense attorney could achieve was a plea bargain, something changed and investigation went to the first homicide.....
Charmaichel attitude is the key point of this episode (she's the only one to believe about the escort service claimed by the defendant). Anyway it would be hard to realize if the defendant is the good guy or the bad guy, wait till the last lines. I've never seen McCoy so angry at trial.
Law & Order: Marathon (1999)
Your superiors were all over you. You were failing.
A married girl was shot dead at close range by a hispanic guy who ran away with a 800 dollar mountain bike after an attempted purse snatching. Police didn't manage to find the shooter but they found the bike, owned by a guy who live in the housing Project. Unfortunately, the guy (Guillermo Diaz) was too fast for Lennie, but Green is fluent in spanish and the suspect was located at the airport terminal where the detectives arrested him. But Briscoe and Green had to work hard inside hispanic community to find enough evidences to lock him up. Lennie heard the suspect's confession during a street basketball game, but he was the only one, so he need a double shift together with Green to find the murder weapon. Did the old detective manage to get over all odds?
Police investigation took the greater part of this episode, lawyers took only the back seat. Lennie confronted his partner several times and he seemed to be the one under investigation. Anyway uncle Lennie, you will always be the best.
Law & Order: Justice (1999)
These allegations are crap. Now, get out. I put that creep up for office.
Early in the morning in a urban garden, an old man discovered a dead body on the ground, killed by a blunt object. He was a lawyer who used to work late, his briefcase was missing. One of his client is a criminal in a death row with, as you can suppose, a bad attitude, but he had no motive in set up the murder. But the family of the woman murdered by the inmate had a strong one, as well as the real murderer (a burglar). There were issues in the murder investigations four years before without a fair trail. Carmaichael had to come back to square one. Thanks to a bartender and to a former junkie, proofs led prosecutors to a judge (Richard Masur), who was a prosecutor back then.
Former D.A. assistant Jamie Ross took a part in this episode as defense lawyer. She played dirty and that really annoyed McCoy, she always claimed attorney-client privilege even after she resigned. But she changed her mind at trial, putting her career at stake.
Law & Order: DNR (1999)
My mom's career always came first.
In a garage, a workaholic civil court judge (Lindsay Crouse) was shot and severely wounded. The shooter left the crime scene with the judge's car; some cigarettes butts were left near the body, Briscoe supposed an electrician worker might have known something. Some clues led to a doctor who bought the car shortly after the accident. It took some time for detectives to figured out who sold the used car the first time; anyway the perp was hired. Victim's husband, an unsuccessful architect, was the prime suspect; despite not so strong evidences, detectives arrested him, but the wife was ready to defend him (she can't believe her beloved husband could have done such a thing). Furthermore, she wanted to die because of the pain she was feeling (there's no way she could get back to a normal life). Anyway a call from a payphone set him up. Why did she protect him?
McCoy and Charmichael, as well as Dr. Skoda, found it hard to solve the case. There are some situation so irrational you can't understand from the outside.
Law & Order: Killerz (1999)
So the point is, Ms. Brandt, you didn't watch her like a hawk?
A little boy was found dead in a construction site (inside a pipe) with his pants down, hit with a rock. Some children from the neighborhood found the body before the police and they called 911. One of them sold tickets to see the body (LOL). A pervert, working on a gas station, might have been the murderer, but the only witness (a little girl) lied to the police the first time. She, together with another friend of the same age (Hallee Hirsh), was seen with the victim shortly before the murder. Green knows how to deal with children and he let one girl talk. The perp was the daughter of a car thief recently arrested, but the one who confessed could have lied to police another time. Who pulled the strings?
In this episode you could see what run inside a brain of a child whose father was ripped off at early age that led her violence to escalate. Did she deserve a juvie home or a nuthouse? Figured it out by yourselves. Much work to be done for both psychologists (Skoda and Olivet).
Law & Order: Gunshow (1999)
Six months from now, some other bright kid finds another way to tamper with the gun.
A white man in his middle twenties started shooting at a park, killing several bystanders. After the shock, Briscoe and Green started talking to witnesses. The shooter yelled damn ******* to the victims, all pre-med students. He wore a baseball hat and a bag left in the same park where dectectives found a sport gun, whose serial number belonged to a man,a paramedic (Neal Huff), who stole an old lady's identity. Green took this case as personal, acting very hard in arresting the perp and trying with all the efforts to extort information from him in the questioning room: he succeed. But the hardship emerged for lawyers: ballistic didn't manage to match appropriately the slugs to the gun (the weapon was modified) and that's why the defendant managed to escape the death penalty. Furthermore there was a jurisdiction issue over selling weapons and things went wrong before the Appellate Court......Anyway, there must be a way to put the blame on the manufacturer.
An episode that involved weapons, too widespread in United States. The part related to lawyers is very long. Anyway, I like McCoy's speech before the jurors. Wait till the very end, you will be surprised of judge's reaction.
Law & Order: Rumble (2008)
These guys, they're feeding their egos.
After a date with an asian girl during lunch break, a white collar started feeling sick. Internal bleeding caused his death after few hours. Detectives thought at first he was poisoned, but after attending a street fight in Union Square, they realized he was beaten very hard during a "sporting event". The girl pointed out a construction worker as the opponent, maybe he kept on beating the victim despite he surrendered: even in this fight you must play by the rules. Negligence homicide was the best Cutter managed to do, but the victim's brother, a fireman (again Pablo Schreiber), was not agree with the plea and he started a feud in which he killed the defendant together with some coworkers. Even an innocent bystander died in the riot. McCoy took advantage of terrorism statute to prosecute the offenders.
Video posted on the internet helped detectives and lawyers throughout the episode. An episode that reminds me "Gangs of New York" movie staged on the new millennium. McCoy seemed to be proud of his second in command.
Law & Order: Excalibur (2008)
Family is the most important thing. Family and public service.
A dead body was found inside a factory burnt to death inside a furnace. The factory's business melt gold and the victim was the owner's son-in-law. Detectives thought money laundering was behind the business. The victim booked a room in a fancy hotel with an escort, a 24 years old blond girl. Police used her (with an hidden camera) and a secretary to blame victim's brother-in-law, who ran a prostitution ring online. Other information were taken from a brazilian escort named Chanel (Paloma Guzman). Investigation could frame a "big fish" very close to McCoy (Fbi is involved as well) and Jack's career is at stake as a result, he could forget to be appointed as DA next year (they intimidate him).
The episode is focused on McCoy's character (he took a back seat for all this eighteen series); it showed what really happened backstage; people had rather plead guilty instead of ruin the family name and politics is very dirty beyond any law.
Law & Order: Personae Non Grata (2008)
It's Chrissy's arm, Bob. What's left of it.
Two "sanitation" officers caught two guys who were trying to take an abandoned couch into their van. A dead man was hidden inside the sofa. The victim was a marine deployed in Iraq; he had a partner in business, they stole maps from the local library, trying to sell them online; Van Buren faked her identity (32 years old girl!) online to locate the perp and he was arrested. But it's not about business: they shared interests over a girl they met online. Detectives didn't find the teenage girl, her mother (Melissa Leo) said she had been missing for over two years, but she's a pathetic liar: she used her daughter's b-frenz page to lure out money from innocent people. What detectives found in her boyfriend's basement is unbelievable.....
That's what happen recently: people pretend to be someone else in their avatar, much younger, charming and mysterious; it's easier for con artist to succeed. I'd rather meet someone I like face to face instead of chatting online, with surprises around the corner.
Law & Order: Strike (2008)
if I hear anymore crap from any of you, you'll all be working Traffic Court for the next five years.
After a strike against heathcare cuts a partecipant was run over by a car and killed as a result. A CCTV must have seen what happened, but the victim destroyed it just before the accident. A former inmate now working as a labourer in a golf court, recently realeased after spending nine years in jail for killing his wife (a crime he allegedly didn't commit), might have driven the SUV. He held a grudge against the victim who was the real killer of his wife ten years before and he recognized him during the strike by the way the man used an inhaler (he had cystic fibrosis and the perp had that special disease). The defendant appointed Rubirosa as his attorney and that turned her against Cutter for the first time at the murder trial. Rubirosa investigate his client, who lied to her several times: the truth was very different from what it seemed at the beginning.
Rubirosa is ready for a brilliant career ahead of her. McCoy, with a glass of Scotch in his right hand, is sure about that.