Thursday, February 7, 2008

Law & Order “Quit Claim” Never Quits

This was another excellent episode for the clearly improved Law & Order. They’ve gotten back to basics (meaning less personal information about the characters being shoved at us), which has allowed them to concentrate on the story.

In this episode, an apparent con artist, Kim Brody (January Jones), seemingly pulls the wool over everybody’s eyes, all the while leaving a trail of bodies and a real estate scam in her wake. She even seems to con the Feds into getting her busted out of custody from the DA’s office by using a terrorism angle with the real estate scam. She cons her attorney and just about anyone else all the way through the case. She does it so well that she almost causes Cutter to compromise his ethics to indict her. Of course, at the end, we’re left to wonder who she really is and if there is a con, how complex is it?

There were a few things that didn’t seem quite right with the episode in the first half. For example, why wasn’t the real estate con brought to the forefront earlier? One would think the people who found themselves evicted when their property was sold underneath them, despite being told that the title was only being passed along temporarily, would have complained to someone. I believe the detectives said that it appeared this had gone on for two months, which seems long enough for complaints to surface. The other matter is that again, the detectives use odd methods when wiring or monitoring a sting. Last week, they had a politician wired; yet she was able to somehow stop the tape. This week, they manage to have proper surveillance in the room where the sting was taking place, yet they didn’t seem to find the need to wire THE PERSON who was the major player in the sting. This allowed her to easily separate with the suspect, and her apparent accomplice. I think the Law & Order people need to take a refresher course called “Proper Wiring and Surveillance for Maximum Impact” or something like that.

The dialog and relationships between characters are much more natural. Lupo/”Lupes” (Jeremy Sisto) and Green (Jesse Martin) seem comfortable enough with each other to have a dialog about whether it’s socks on or socks off during sex. When Lupes admits to being “socks on”, Green had the right answer, “I get it man, I just can’t believe you’re telling me that.”

Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) was on top of everything. She comes up with an ingenuous way to show how someone’s appearance can change as they get older by showing her own picture when she was younger. Cutter (Linus Roache) responds to seeing the photo by saying, “Whoa, might have stood a chance with you then.” It was a bit of a mystery to me, though, as to why it seemed that he was just seeing the picture while they were in court. Wouldn’t she have shown it to him beforehand? She also catches the mismatched socks on the defense attorney.

Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) seems to be very comfortable in his new DA skin. First, his comment that when talking to higher ups with the Feds, saying, “Every response from him consisted of a verb, a subject, and 9/11. The arrogance.” Jack later fights the Feds by “taking prisoners” and arresting some of them for kidnapping so he can use them later in a “prisoner exchange.” But Jack clearly knows when to draw the line and cut his losses, in this dialog:

McCoy: This is a far as I go.
Cutter: Are you telling me not to do it?
McCoy: You’re a grown up, you’re on your own. I’m getting off the train.
Cutter: (to Rubirosa) How about you?
Rubirosa: All aboard.

Later, however, Rubirosa attempts to smack some sense into Cutter when she tells him she’s getting off the train when Cutter seems ready to suborn perjury. Thankfully Cutter does the right thing and backs away at the last moment.

This episode had an interesting story, good dialog, and clearly shows a solidified cast that hopefully will keep the show around for much longer. And maybe it sets up another instance where Ms. Brody can get her comeuppance – if it’s due – in a later episode. Because we know that Law & Order never quits.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site, These Are Their Stories.


joseph said...

I think Cutter should have allowed the lawyer to testify. After all, he couldn't have known for a fact that it was perjury, and the woman was a suspect in EIGHT murders.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't McCoy allow someone to commit perjury before?

joseph said...

After a month of research, I finally found the evidence I needed to back up my previous comment: On the episode "Bitter Fruit" (Det. Curtis's first) a little girl is killed by a man who is later killed by the child's mother during the arraignment. McCoy is almost sure that the mother had something to do with the kidnapping/murder of her daughter, but since he has no evidence, he subtlety asks the killer's mother to lie about knowing the child's mother involvement in the crime.

uncle dave said...

IMHO this was about the weakest L&O I've seen. With eight homicides on her hands you would think Jack would be as anxious as ever to prosecute Brody. There HAD to be a way to penetrate her opaque testimony, and the DA's office never found a way to get there; likewise they couldn't obtain prints, DNA, lift the lipstick mark off the last victim -- huh? It was totally unsatisfying and did not make sense.

Anonymous said...

I found this episode somewhat implausible. A known mob hangout gets robbed, twice, and there's no payback? Really? I thought for sure when she strolled out of the court house free as a bird she was going to be gunned down in the street. No DNA match from the lipstick on a victim to the prime suspect. "Mac" Taylor wouldn't have let this happen.

Executive Solutions said...

I did enjoy the episode. I knew this was one the D.A's office was going to lose.

However, the mob angle was a bit weak. There's no way the mob gets gunned down and there's no information on the street. no informants who know or saw what happened. and no retaliation.

jennielucas said...

Quit Claim had too many little story lines and hooks that, in old-school Law & Order style, should have all been linked, or at least explained, by episode's end. For me, this was a sad mess. Next episode, please.

Executive Solutions said...

While I enjoyed the episode, I thought L&O dropped the ball by not having a follow up episode sometime during the season. they just let this chick vanish into thin air.