Friday, October 31, 2008

Law & Order SVU November Episode Information

All the episode information is finally in for Law & Order SVU for the month of November. There are also a few promotional pictures from “Wildlife”. Remember, there is no episode on November 4, which is Election Day.


Law & Order SVU “Babes” Air Date November 11, 2008
A TEENAGER BURNED TO DEATH PUTS DETECTIVES ELLIOT STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) AND JOHN MUNCH (RICHARD BELZER) ON THE CASE, ONLY TO REVEAL A COMMUNITY IN CHAOS WITH A GROUP OF TEENAGED GIRLS IN A “PREGNANCY PACT” AND A HIGH SCHOOL “SAINT”, MAX MATARAZZO (GUEST STAR JESSE MCCARTNEY).


When a boy is lit on fire, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and John Munch (Richard Belzer) investigate the malicious crime. In search of a lead, the Detectives end up at Blessed Heart High School, where their student escort, Max Matarazzo (guest star Jesse McCartney) introduces them to the ‘Blessed Heart Chastity Circle’ and senior Alec Bernardi (guest star Philip Ettinger). Alec admits to hurting the victim, but in turn opens a new door for the detectives when he unveils a group of pregnant teenage girls. A strange web of secrets and bad blood in this “close-knit” neighborhood offers a challenge for the detectives. Also starring: Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, Tamara Tunie, and B.D. Wong.

My recap and review of “Babes “ can be found here.





Law & Order SVU “Wildlife” Air Date November 18, 2008
DETECTIVE ELLIOT STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) JEOPARDIZES HIS MARRIAGE WHEN HE GOES UNDERCOVER TO INFILTRATE AN ANIMAL SMUGGLING RING WITH DETECTIVE OLIVIA BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) POSING AS A PROSTITUTE
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Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) arrives on the scene of a murder to find a young woman brutally killed, and carrying a rare bird species found dead in her purse. Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) comes back with some startling evidence – the saliva found in the cuts on the victim’s body shows she was mauled by a tiger. Oscar Assadorian (guest star Carlos Leon) leads the detectives to the victim’s twin sister, Anna Bleers (guest star Caitlin Fitzgerald) who in turn leads the detectives to Hip Hop artist, Gots Money (guest star Big Boi). Gots, who admits to working for an animal smuggling ring, agrees to go undercover with Detective Stabler to catch the smugglers, Andre Bushido (guest star Andrew Divoff) and Tybor (guest star Reg E. Cathey). But when Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) poses as a prostitute to help out her partner undercover, Detective Stabler finds himself wounded and his marriage in disarray. Also starring: Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, and B.D. Wong

My recap and review of “Wildlife “ can be found here.

LAW & ORDER SVU “Persona” Airdate November 25, 2008
Note: The episode originally scheduled for this date and time, “PTSD,” has been moved to December 2.

DETECTIVE OLIVIA BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) GOES INTO HIDING TO FIND JUSTICE FOR AN ABUSED HOUSEWIFE, WHICH IN TURN UNCOVERS AN UNSOLVED 34-YEAR-OLD MURDER CASE.


Mia Lorimer (guest star Clea Duvall) claims to have been raped in attempt to hide being abused by her husband, Brett Lorimer (guest star Nathaniel Marston). Their tenants, Joanh (guest star Mike Farrell) and Linnie Malcolm (guest star Brenda Blethyn), are aware of the abuse, but in fear of being evicted, do not report it. With the help of Linnie, Detective Benson gets Mia to confess to being beaten by Brent, and sends her to a battered women’s shelter. After Brett is arrested and makes bail, Mia returns to her husband and drops all charges to Detective Benson’s dismay. Devoted to Mia’s safety, Detective Benson hides in the secret stairway of the Lorimer, leading her to come across another case of spousal abuse and murder. Also starring: Richard Belzer (Detective John Much), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Michaela McManus (A.D.A Kim Greylek), Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner), and B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang).

Show Cast: Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Ice T, Tamara Tunie, Michaela McManus

Note Date Change
LAW & ORDER SVU “PTSD” Airdate December 2, 2008
A RAPE CASE INVOLVING A YOUNG FEMALE MARINE STIRS UP PAINFUL MEMORIES FROM DETECTIVE OLIVIA BENSON’S (MARISKA HARGITAY) PAST
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Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is put to the test when pregnant Corporal Jessica Crewes disappears from her post as a Marine, and is about to give birth to her rapist’s child. When Jessie is found dead in the trunk of her car, Navy Commander Grant Marcus (guest star Frank Whaley) attempts to take over proceedings, but Detective Benson and ADA Kim Greylek (Michaela McManus) must fight together and stand their ground to keep the case within the SVU squad. With flashbacks of sexual assault, Detective Benson soon realizes that her past may stir up painful emotions that threaten her ability to remain professional, and enlists the help of Detective Odafin Tutulola (Ice-T) to find Jessie’s killer. Also starring: Chris Meloni, Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, Tamara Tunie, and B.D. Wong


My recap and review of “PTSD “ can be found here.


Here’s the TV tease for the episode “Babes”





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

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Law & Order November Episode Information Update

Hang on, the new season is starting soon!

More detailed information has been released on three episodes of Law & Order, set to air in November, “Rumble” and “Challenged.” NOTE: Information for "Zero" was added on October 31, and information for "Lost Boys" was added November 8.


Don’t forget, pictures from “Rumble” and “Challenged” can be found on my blog, here.

Law & Order “Rumble” Airdate November 5, 2008
WHEN A WALL STREET STOCKBROKER TURNS UP DEAD, SOUND EVIDENCE IS HARD TO COME BY, AND DA JACK McCOY (SAM WATERSTON) IS FORCED TO MAKE ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL ARGUMENTS OF HIS LEGAL CAREER


Stockbroker Todd Hauser (guest star Graham Outerbridge) dies in an emergency room after experiencing stomach pains, which was thought to be the result of what he ate for lunch. Massive internal bruising is determined as the cause of death leading detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) to uncover the victim’s involvement in organized street fighting. The detectives struggle to find a helpful witness and usable evidence. When Hauser’s street fighting opponent is let off with a lesser sentence than the victim’s family hoped for, his brother and friends take matters into their own hands. With a new set of deaths and a new twist to the case DA McCoy (Waterston), with re-election on the line and nowhere left to turn, makes a bold move to settle this case. Epatha Merkerson, Linus Roache and Alana De La Garza also star.

My recap and review of “Rumble “ can be found here.




Law & Order “Challenged” Air Date November 12, 2008
A MAN IS FOUND MURDERED IN A PARK AND THE DETECTIVES CALL UPON A MENTALLY CHALLENGED PATIENT TO HELP SOLVE THE CASE


Rick Devon’s (guest star Bradford Cover) body is found murdered in a park, and his death is automatically assumed to be drug related. Upon investigation, detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) stumble upon a key in a nearby bathroom that could potentially have been left behind by the killer. Prints on the key lead the detectives to former felon, Diego Cardenas (guest star Carlos Leon), who has cleaned up his act and now works at a home for mentally challenged adults. After questioning Diego, the detectives discover a hidden relationship between the murder victim and another resident of the home, Pete Haynes (guest star Michael Rispoli). Rick and Pete’s relationship guides the detectives to uncover a painful family secret that could expose the killer. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston, Linus Roache and Alana De La Garza also star.



My recap and review of “Challenged “ can be found here.


Law and Order “Lost Boys” Air Date November 19, 2008
DETECTIVES CYRUS LUPO (JEREMY SISTO) AND KEVIN BERNARD (ANTHONY ANDERSON) INVESTIGATE A 17-YEAR-OLD BOY’S MURDER, UNCOVERING MUCH BIGGER SECRETS


A teenage boy Luke Friendly (Guest Star Tolan Aman), banished from a polygamist sect finds himself alone in New York City when his older brother, Caleb Friendly (Guest Star Colton Parsons) disappears and is then found brutally murdered. The case leads Lieutenant Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) and Detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) to the church’s controversial leader, Landon Wyatt (Guest Star Colm Meaney), who is in pursuit of his teenage runaway wife, Michelle Landon (Guest Star Jenna Malone). While Detectives investigate further, they discover a romantic relationship between Michelle Landon and the victim. Executive Assistant D.A. Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and Assistant D.A. Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) must fight to defend Michelle’s wishes to remain free from her husband and also bring to justice Caleb’s murderer. Also stars Sam Waterston.


My recap and review of “Lost Boys “ can be found here.


Law and Order “Zero” Airdate December 3, 2008
DETECTIVES CYRUS LUPO (JEREMY SISTO) AND KEVIN BERNARD (ANTHONY ANDERSON) INVESTIGATE THE MURDER OF AN ENVIRONMENTALIST’S WIFE. NED BEATTY AND SHERRY STRINGFIELD GUEST STAR.

Detective Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Detective Bernard (Anthony Anderson) are called to a crime scene where Nancy Hartwig (guest star Leah Curney) has been found murdered. They find out her husband insisted the family live environmentally friendly to avoid leaving a heavy carbon footprint. However, Nancy’s support of her husband is soon called into question when the detectives discover that she used her car to chauffeur her sister and had drinks at a bar one evening, which her husband wouldn’t allow. The victim’s missing car turns up with a dead passenger and drugs inside, sending the case in a completely different direction that leaves the detectives scrambling to piece everything together. During the trial, ADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) also begins to suspect an old friend, Judge Reynolds’ (guest star Ned Beatty) clerk Carly (guest star Sherry Stringfield), and even the judge himself of obstructing justice, creating even more turmoil in the case. Also starring: Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson and Alana De La Garza.
My recap and review of “Zero“ can be found here.


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

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

Jeff Goldblum Filming LOCI in Brooklyn Area

Yes, I know we are all bummed out about yesterday’s news telling us we have to wait until 2009 to see Jeff Goldblum in action on Law & Order Criminal Intent.

So it makes this picture of Goldblum (below) a very welcome treat. It was captured by the Brooklyn Paper while Jeff was working on an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” on 98th Street and Marine Avenue in the Bay Ridge area.


The Brooklyn Paper / Joe Marino


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

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent: Premier Delayed

Unofficial sources – and there are many of them – indicate that the USA Network is delaying the start of the new season of Law & Order Criminal Intent. It was supposed to begin on November 7. A new start date has not been announced.

UPDATE:
It now is official. Here’s the story from
TV Guide


The season premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been pushed back to early 2009, just days before it was scheduled to begin its eighth-season run on USA.

A spokesperson for the show tells TVGuide.com that Criminal Intent is in good shape, but that "based on the overall TV landscape and in this economy, it made sense to maximize the value" of the show by airing all 16 episodes in an uninterrupted run during the first quarter of 2009.

Season 8 is notable for its casting changes. Chris Noth (Sex and the City), who played Det. Mike Logan, a character he originated on Law & Order, left the show after three seasons. Replacing him will be the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor Jeff Goldblum. Details on Det. Zach Nichols, Goldblum's character, have been minimal, and he was not scheduled to appear in the Nov. 7 premiere episode. (Typically, the CI roster includes two pairs of detectives — played this season by Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson and series vets Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe — and they alternate episodes, so this is not unusual.) Preview scenes sent to TV critics showed that Goldblum's performance departed from the stammering intellectual roles for which he is generally known (The Fly, Independence Day, The Big Chill).

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the third series in the crime-procedural franchise produced by Dick Wolf. It originally aired on NBC for six seasons, but it moved to sister netlet USA in 2007, which was widely seen as a strategy to avoid cancellation.






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

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

Law & Order SVU “Retro” Lifeless

This episode of Law & Order SVU was probably one of the dullest I’ve seen I quite some time. Overly preachy and filled with forced drama, it is also hindered by too much screen time for the deadpan and lifeless Michaela McManus.

But first, the recap; my review will follow afterwards:

A cabbie (Babs Olusanmokun) drops off a baby at a fire station, saying that she is sick with a high fever and that the mother left her in the cab. At the hospital, we see Dr. Massey (Donna Murphy) talking to Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni), as it appears that the baby was not being treated properly for AIDS by its parents.

Later, Benson questions the cab driver, who says that the mother left the child in the cab and when he touched the baby he felt the high fever. Stabler, with TARU Tech Morales (Joel de la Fuente) look at the cab camera and does not see an image of any woman. When confronted, the cabbie then admits that he took the fare off the books for extra money.

ME Warner calls them in. No, the baby isn’t dead, but she was called in to help by Dr. Massey as they worked together on an AIDS team. She took a swab to get the baby’s DNA in order to find her mother, and it matched a woman being held in Rikers. They go to question her, and after denying she had a child, she then admits that she did have one but hid the information so as not to have the baby taken away from her. She left the baby with her downstairs neighbor.

When Benson and Stabler go to question the downstairs neighbor, after a woman answers the door, they are surprised to see the cabbie appear, who seems to be the woman’s husband. Later, at the SVU squad for questioning, they admit their green cards had expired so they couldn’t just take the baby in to the hospital. Besides, the cabbie says, the drugs they give for AIDS is poison. When asked why they feel that way, they say the president – of Gambia, that is – says that it is. Every Thursday, the president uses some kind of rub and drinks some concoction to cure AIDS. They said they found a doctor on the Internet, Gideon Hutton, who believes in cures like this and sought out his help.

At Hutton’s (Martin Mull) office, Hutton tells the detectives that he did provide an alternative treatment for the baby’s thrush – vitamins and yogurt - and also instructed the couple to return at a later date for more therapy. Olivia says “Like what, pudding?” He says no, antifungal medication, like any medical professional would have prescribed. Stabler calls him a quack.

Back at the squad, ADA Grayleck (Michaela McManus) states that Hutton is a walking malpractice suit, but that alternative medicine does have a place. Munch (Richard Belzer) informs them all that “Dr. Demento’s” web site says that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS, and that AIDS is a government conspiracy funded by big pharmaceuticals. He says Hutton appears to be an “AIDS Denier” who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS and that AIDS doesn’t exist. Grayleck says his denial nearly killed the baby, calling him Dr. Do Nothing. As they can’t get at the doctor’s confidential files, Grayleck decides to contact her “reporter friends” to use the media to smoke them out.

At a press conference, Grayleck openly says the doctor’s treatment of the baby was reckless, and mentions Hutton by name. Of course, we then see Hutton and his attorney Donne Emmett (Viola Davis)  in Cragen’s (Dann Florek) office, Hutton clearly upset that his name is being smeared on all the channels, and that they are scaring his patients. The attorney asks for a public apology within 24 hours or there will be a lawsuit. As they leave, Munch enters, dryly stating “I guess a hug’s out of the question.” Cragen asks what he got from the tip line, and he says a few hundred people say Hutton is a great doctor. But, one anonymous caller told him about one patient – Lisa Ross- who was being treated for HIV where the doctor wasn’t doing anything. But, when Benson and Stabler arrive at the Ross home, they are informed that she is dead.

When speaking to Lisa’s mother Susan (Paula Malcomson), they are told Lisa died from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, and that they did not know she was allergic. She says the doctor tried to save her when she was taken to the hospital to no avail. When Olivia tells her about the anonymous call that Lisa had HIV, the mother doesn’t say anything about it. But when asked for access to her daughter’s medical files, the mother indicates how depressed she is over Lisa’s death and wants to be left alone.

Speaking with Grayleck, they tell her that Lisa’s body never made it to the ME, and Hutton signed the death certificate. When Grayleck counters that every death of a child must be examined by the ME, Benson tells her how the law works - that if the death occurs in a hospital or doctor’s office as this one did, that is not the case. Grayleck tells them that they need help from the anonymous tipster. Benson and Stabler enlist TARU Morales’ help and they also view files on Susan Ross. She was a schoolteacher with a few million dollars in the bank. They listen to the recording of the tip call, and while it’s clear to me that a school bell rings in the background of the call, Olivia asks the tech guy to isolate the sound. Yes, it is a school bell. Stabler guesses that maybe the caller was a colleague, and guesses maybe it was the man who cosigned her car loan, Jack Lufton, a chemistry teacher. How convenient!

Questioning Lufton, he tells them he had been seeing Susan long ago, and was monogamous. When he tested positive for HIV, he confronted her, and she saw it as no big deal. Her husband had been killed while in Africa on safari when they were in an accident in their jeep and she contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. So far, the teacher is OK. But he reported her to the school and she got fired, and the administration paid her seven figures so they wouldn’t sue. Susan was taking no precautions around the students, and even breast-fed Lisa for a year. Dr. Hutton told her it was OK.

ME Warner tells Grayleck that kids get infected during pregnancy but also sometimes during breastfeeding. The illness can be prevented from being passed on if the mother undergoes treatment during pregnancy, and putting the child on meds after birth. But, they see Hutton as the problem, and Warner says he had a legal duty to make sure her kids were tested. Doctors have to offer patients treatments that are proven effective. Grayleck thinks this gives them more than enough probable cause to subpoena Hutton’s records. But Warner thinks there is only one conclusive way to find out what killed her – exhume the body, which they do.

Warner does the postmortem. Meanwhile, in custody with her attorney, Susan Ross objects, saying she had the right to breast feed her daughter, and Olivia counters that she didn’t have the right to infect her and withhold meds. But the mother says she did not make her sick. Dr. Hutton is also being questioned. He said Lisa had a hell of a cold. They question his treatment. Meanwhile, Warner notes significant congestion in her lungs, meaning she died of pneumocystis pneumonia, something she’s not seen other than in AIDS patients. She rules it a murder. They arrest the mother and Hutton for murder. Susan's son Tommy (Aidan Mitchell) is agitated over the events.

At trial, we see Warner on the stand being questioned by Grayleck. We see a little video with how the virus works. Warner stands up to the badgering of the defense attorney. Hutton also testifies about HIV being a retrovirus, and also gets in a dig about the little video by saying that “cartoons” have always been used to spread propaganda. He says the drug companies are using fear to motivate people to use their drugs, and that what kills these people is not the HIV but problems relating to gays and drug addicts from blood toxicity from repeated drug use, malnutrition, and anti-HIV meds. Under questioning from Grayleck, he admits he has never done any testing on the disease. Grayleck brings up questionable references that the doctor uses to base his care, but he says she is missing the point. He says millions of people are being misdiagnosed and mistreated. He refers Warner, saying she is biased, implying she has an agenda because she is black. The doctor goes on a rant and the jury and gallery look appalled.

On the courthouse steps, Warner and Hutton argue. She calls him and SOB and his beliefs “junk science.” She also calls him a murderer and a “false prophet.” He says that’s what they called Jesus Christ and he walks away. Grayleck approaches, saying that jurors love conspiracy theories and they may buy what “Dr. Strangelove” is selling. Warner tells Grayleck if they lose the case it gives Hutton credibility and more people will die.

Back in the courtroom, Susan Ross testified that when she was on anti-retrovirals they almost killed her, and Hutton took her off the meds and saved her. She did not want that for her daughter. On cross-examination, Grayleck states that while Susan thinks Lisa’s death was tragic, it was hardly an accident. She proceeds to point out people in the gallery who were alive because of treatment for HIV, and the defense objects. While Grayleck continues her rant, Susan collapses and has a seizure. How convenient!

In the hospital, Olivia visits Susan, telling her she has toxoplasmosis, a brain disease affecting AID patients. (Why isn’t the doctor telling this to Susan and with medical confidentiality, should Olivia even have been told this?) Susan wanted to believe that Hutton was right, and seems to think because he’s a doctor he must be right. But Olivia counters that he won’t be truthful because then he’s have to admit he was responsible for Lisa’s death and that he misled her. She asks for her help to stop him. She whisperers that Lisa is not the only one…children who died. As alarms from her monitors go off, she calls out Tommy’s name. Susan dies.

At the ADA’s office, Hutton and his attorney are told that Susan made a dying declaration about other kids dying, which the attorney says won’t be admissible as Susan was demented from her disease. But, it was enough for them to get information from the pharmacy in Hutton’s building, which pointed them to the deaths of three juvenile patients of his.  Grayleck offer him a guilty plea, with him surrendering his license and medical records, with 5 years. He resists at first, but then says he will speak the truth from his prison cell.

Later, while looking a patient files, Olivia finds information that shows that Susan had HIV before her son Tommy was born, so they get a court order to have him tested for HIV. In the hospital as they attempt to draw blood, Tommy resists and kicks Elliot in the ribs. Hutton’s attorney shows up and hands them a restraining order, saying she represents him and that Tommy is competent and has a right to refuse.

After Elliot gets his ribs bandaged (in a gratuitous but welcome shirtless scene with Elliott), Grayleck explains they have no legal standing to challenge the restraining order. When the doctor arrives and tells Elliot he has some broken ribs, Grayleck says “this is perfect” and they can put them to good use. Elliot later arrests Tommy for assaulting a cop. In court, Tommy sticks by his mother’s beliefs, but Grayleck says it’s the same stuff touted by the AIDS deniers. Grayleck uses Holocaust deniers as an example to show Tommy that his mother’s AIDS denial is just as wrong. She also explains that his mother would lie to him about HIV because it would shatter her fantasy world. She badgers him. But, it is to no avail when judge Bradley rules to uphold the restraining order.

Grayleck moves to have him remanded without bail for his assault on Elliot. But Elliot takes her aside, saying he only filed charges to get him tested, not to get a kid jailed. He says that they lost – it’s over – the case is done. Grayleck withdraws her motion and asks the assault charges be dropped, and the judge agrees. Grayleck chides Elliot, saying she hopes he knows what he’s doing. (Of course he does!) As Tommy leaves the courtroom, he and Elliot talk and he says he won’t get tested, and Elliot says he knows but asks for one favor.

At the hospital , Elliot asks Tommy to meet someone Dr. Massey introduced him to. It is a young boy, with complete hair loss. He doesn’t have AIDS, he has brain cancer, and his parents are Christian Scientists who don’t believe in medical treatment. He was ill and he prayed, and so did his parents, to get better. But when he went blind, a friend took him to the hospital. He was treated and his vision returned, but his parents are angry because he was “dissing God.” His grandmother said that God created doctors too, and why would he give them to us if he didn’t want us to use them? Of course, we later see Tommy in ME Warner’s office getting tested, with Elliott waiting. Warner says Tommy wants to talk to him. He tells Elliot the test came back positive, and he doesn’t want to die. “You got your whole life ahead of you” Elliot tells him, and the episode (thankfully) ends.


"Retro"  seemed to be another case where the story line, dialog, and acting was dumbed down. The most obvious was the corny dialog for McManus, who delivers her lines as if yelling them out makes the more dramatic. At first, I thought she suffers from an overdose of Botox in the face, but after seeing her raise her forehead a little, I think I have come to the conclusion that from her eyes on down, she is virtually expressionless. In fact, while she has very large eyes, they seem lifeless, almost mannequin-like. Her face appears frozen. But her dialog is mind-numbingly awful, and she delivers it just as badly as Elisabeth Rohm did on the original Law & Order. Usually I can warm up to new characters over time, but when we are given someone like McManus who is stiff and robotic, it is very hard to accept her. I hope they get rid of her soon because she is dragging down the show.

There are a few things that didn’t quite seem right to me. One was when Susan is hospitalized, Olivia delivers the diagnosis. With all the issues with medical confidentiality, what right does Olivia have to this private information? In fact, it seems like anyone with a badge can get all kinds of information at a hospital, especially when it furthers the story line.

I also laughed when Olivia asked the tech guy to isolate the sound of the bell on the tip call. It was crystal clear to me when I first heard it that it was a school bell, yet I guess our top-notch detectives aren't too bright. It’s just another case when this show seems to try to bring in technical information to the story, but they consistently do it badly. Second case in this point is the cheesy video during the trial showing how HIV/AIDS works. We are not that dumb that we needed it. But clearly it was put in there just so Dr. Hutton could have his line about the “cartoons.” Their continued attempt to bring in technical evidence or information always seems to fall flat because it’s just done poorly. I don't expect CSI-type effects, but I do expect something more believable or credible.   And, how convenient that they were able to quickly tie in the teacher who co-signed her car loan to the anonymous tip. Too easy. In fact, this whole case was too easy.

The story itself was devoid of drama. We all knew from the previews that Dr. Hutton was an AIDS denier. As the story unfolded, it was almost as if I head read the script in advance because it was so easy to figure out. I am not expecting all cases to be complex or have a twist, but a drama show needs DRAMA in order to grab the viewer. Because there were no surprises, and no conflicts that weren’t predictable, it was as if everyone was going through the motions. And what I thought strange was that they gave Tamara Tunie a big build up in this episode, but I didn’t see anything special for her except a little more screen time. Such a waste of her talent.

But Grayleck – what a train wreck. I haven’t quite figured out her lawyering style. She seemed to badger everyone on the stand, rather than use finesse to get the desired answered. And her stunt when she focused on people in the gallery was cheap. Yes, I know what she was trying to do but because it was so obvious it made her look desperate.

One good thing, we did get that short scene of a shirtless Stabler, but even that can’t save this dismal episode. Maybe if he would have done the whole episode shirtless I would reconsider my opinion of “Retro.” The only thing “Retro” made me want to do is get my hour back.


Clip from "Retro"


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

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Law & Order Season 19 Information Released by NBC

To go along with my post from earlier today (Law & Order November Premier Preliminary Information and Photos) , here is the latest news from NBC about the new season of Law & Order. It looks as if we will see "Governor Shalvoy" (Tom Everett Scott) return to maybe give Jack (Sam Waterston) some trouble?

WOLF FILMS/UNIVERSAL MEDIA STUDIOS' 'LAW & ORDER', CURRENTLY THE LONGEST RUNNING DRAMA SERIES ON TELEVISION RETURNS FOR 19TH SEASON ON NBC

Guest Appearances This Season Include Ned Beatty, Sherry Stringfield, Jena Malone, Katee Sackhoff, Tom Everett Scott and Vivica A. Fox

Wednesday, November 5, 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on NBC

Wolf Films/Universal Media Studios' "Law & Order," the 1997 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series, the record holder for the most consecutive Best Series nominations (eleven, tied with "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H") and the longest-running drama series currently on television, returns for its 19th season Wednesday, November 5, 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on NBC.

In the season premiere titled "Rumble," a stockbroker is beaten to death in broad daylight, causing a "rumble" of epic proportions between the deceased's family and the faction responsible for his death. Subsequent episodes include guest appearances from Ned Beatty, Sherry Stringfield, Jena Malone, Katee Sackhoff, Tom Everett Scott and Vivica A. Fox, among others.



My recap and review of “Rumble “ can be found here.


Upcoming episodes include:

November 12 - "Challenged" about a mentally challenged man, who, after his brother is killed, is reunited with the mother who gave him away.

November 19 - "Lost Boys" about a young woman who escaped from a polygamist cult. Guest stars Jena Malone.

December 3 - "Zero" about an environmentally obsessed murder victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the trial, ADA Cutter (Linus Roache) realizes an old friend working in the system is obstructing justice and he is determined to expose their misconduct. Guest stars Ned Beatty as a Judge whose best days are behind him and Sherry Stringfield as his overzealous clerk.
My recap and review of “Zero“ can be found here.




"Law & Order" is the longest-running police series and second longest-running drama series in the history of television. It has also turned into one of entertainment's preeminent brands, with its successful spin-offs "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," as well as ancillary media platforms including DVDs, interactive games and a hardcover book.

Filmed entirely on location in New York City, "Law & Order" looks at crime and justice from a unique two-tiered perspective. In the first half-hour, Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) investigate crimes and apprehend suspects under the supervision of their no-nonsense lieutenant, Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson). In the second half-hour, the focus shifts to the criminal courts, where D.A. Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) oversees his staff of prosecutors, including Chief A.D.A. Michael A. Cutter (Linus Roache) and A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza) as they navigate the complex and challenging legal system.

"Law & Order" is a Wolf Films Production in association with Universal Media Studios. Wolf is creator and executive producer. Ren Balcer, Fred Berner and Peter Jankowski are also executive producers.


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

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

Law & Order November Premier Preliminary Information and Photos

Things are a little sketchy right now, but I will pass along some information I have on the new season for NBC's Law & Order.

I only have names for three episodes: “Challenged”, “Rumble”, and “Lost Boys”.

“Rumble” is billed as episode 3 of season 19, but one Law & Order media site lists the airdate as November 5. No episode synopsis is available as yet, but there are pictures (below). It includes some great shots of Sam Waterston, Alana De La Garza, and Linus Roache.

“Challenged” is listed as episode 1 of season 19, but the airdate is listed as November 12. Again, no episode details, but photos are available, which include S. Epatha Merkerson, Jeremy Sisto, and Anthony Anderson.

No information or photos are available on “Lost Boys’, only that it is episode 4.

I know it’s not much, and NBC seems to be a little slow in getting out information about the episodes so I thought I’d give you as much as I could get. Remember, this is all subject to change and I’ll update information as quickly as I receive it.


ADDED NOTE: Updated episode information here.

My recap and review of “Rumble “ can be found here.


ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT NBC

"Rumble" Episode Pictures








"Challenged" Episode Pictures


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

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Law & Order SVU “Retro” Episode Information

It looks like the upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU will put ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) in the middle of a case. I have included a video below where Tamara talks about the episode and her character’s involvement.

Law & Order SVU “Retro” Air Date October 28, 2008

DOCTOR MELINDA WARNER’S (TAMARA TUNIE) EXPERTISE COMES INTO PLAY WHEN HOMEOPATHIC DOCTOR GIDEON HUTTON (GUEST STAR MARTIN MULL) GOES ON TRIAL FOR THE DEATH OF A YOUNG GIRL WITH AIDS.

Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) find themselves in unfamiliar territory when Doctor Raye Massey (Donna Murphy) calls them in to investigate the case of a baby infected with AIDS. The detectives enlist the help of Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie), a member of an AIDS surveillance team along with Dr. Massey. While Dr. Warner investigates the baby’s medical case, Detectives Stabler and Benson discover that the baby had been prescribed ineffective vitamins by Doctor Gideon Hutton (guest star Martin Mull), who runs a “voodoo” medical practice. After the detectives probe for more answers, similar cases of mistreated AIDS surface, such as the death of Susan Ross’ (guest star Paula Malcomson) daughter. Her 18-year-old son Tommy Ross (guest star Aidan Mitchell) also gets pulled into the case, forcing him to decide whether to take on his mother’s belief in homeopathic medicine or fight against it. With Dr. Warner’s medical research and testimony, the case calls the ethics of Dr. Hutton’s practices into question. Also starring: Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, Tamara Tunie, and B.D. Wong.


Tamara Tunie Talks about Retro


Episode Teaser Ad



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

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

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Law & Order Returns November 5, 2008!


Big news! Big surprise! NBC is moving up date for the season premier of Law & Order to Wednesday, November 5, 2008.

Here’s the official press release from NBC:



NBC ANNOUNCES PRIMETIME SCHEDULE CHANGES: 'LAW & ORDER' PREMIERES WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 5, FOLLOWING 'KNIGHT RIDER' AND 'LIFE' IN ALL NEW CRIME BLOCK LINEUP AND 'LIPSTICK JUNGLE' JOINS FRIDAY LINEUP ON OCTOBER 31
Published: October 24, 2008
'Momma's Boys' Premiere Moves to Tuesday, December 16 After 'The Biggest Loser' Finale

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- NBC adds more drama to its Wednesday night schedule when an all-new season of "Law & Order" premieres Wednesday, November 5, (10-11 p.m. ET), following "Knight Rider" (8-9 p.m. ET) and "Life" (9-10 p.m. ET) in its new day and time period. Likewise, the network also re-shapes Fridays with "Lipstick Jungle" stepping in behind "Crusoe," (9-10 p.m. ET) beginning Friday, October 31 (10-11 p.m. ET).

In addition, "Momma's Boys" – from executive producers Ryan Seacrest and Andrew Glassman -- will now debut Tuesday, December 16 (10-11 p.m. ET) after the season finale of "The Biggest Loser" (8-10 p.m. ET). The alternative series will then return in its regular day and time of Mondays beginning December 22 (9-10 p.m. ET) after "Heroes" ends its current volume on December 15. ("Momma's Boys'" previously announced debut date was Wednesday, November 12).

The announcements were made by Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"These moves will play to the shows' mutual strengths and will help us to reinforce our lineup," said Silverman and Graboff. "A Wednesday night with wall-to-wall satisfying mysteries and great dramas -- paced by the return of the original 'Law & Order' to its home on Wednesdays – will provide creative continuity that night. Fridays will feature escapist drama with 'Lipstick Jungle' joining 'Crusoe.' Additionally, this strategy for 'Momma's Boys' offers the show a more favorable launch platform."

"Law & Order," the longest-running crime series and the second-longest-running drama series in the history of television, enters its 19th season with returning characters Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and partner, Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson), who investigate crimes and apprehend suspects under the supervision of their precinct lieutenant, Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson). Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) and the Executive Assistant District Attorney Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) are back manuvering within a complicated justice system to prosecute the accused under the guidance of District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).

The show is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Rene Balcer, Fred Berner and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers.

Airing in the Wednesday 10-11 p.m. (ET) hour last season, "Law & Order" averaged a 3.3 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers overall, a 22 percent increase in 18-49 and a 20 percent jump in total viewers versus its results for the prior season, when it ran on Friday nights.

The Wall Street Journal called "Life" "…a steady burn – of talent, of smart writing, of chemical reactions." The New York Daily News called it "brilliant" and "sizzling" and the Dallas Morning News called it "a new-age 'Rockford Files.'"

The New York Daily News said "Lipstick' stands alone this year as heir to the 'Sex and the City' legacy - glamorous, successful women living, losing, loving and most of all bonding in the big city." In Touch Weekly said of "Lipstick Jungle": "The sexy, stylish show hits its stride in its second season."



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

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

Friday, October 24, 2008

Katee Sackhoff To Guest on Law & Order

In one of my other blogs, I reported in September that Dick Wolf hired Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) to star in the pilot of his new show “Lost and Found". Katee is one lucky lady as she will also appear in another Dick Wolf show – Law & Order.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Katee is currently in New York to film an episode of "Law & Order" where she will play a murder suspect. The Tribune also says that in the pilot of Wolf’s series “Lost and Found” that “Sackhoff will play Tessa, an unconventional cop who alienates so many of her superiors that she is assigned an undesirable task. She’s sent to the basement of the LAPD’s headquarters to go through old “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” files – unsolved murder cases involving anonymous victims.” I wonder why so many cops in these dramas must be "unconventional"?

The name and air date for Law & Order episode in which Katee will appear has not been released at this time.

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

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

Law & Order September Filming Photos

Here are two pictures that Law & Order fans will enjoy. They are from a Law & Order filming, on location in New York City, in September. The episode is not known. But, fans of Sam Waterston, Alana De La Garza, and Linus Roach should enjoy seeing them in action. I wonder, though, what is in Sam's brown paper bag...?










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

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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Faithfully” Season Premier Episode Information and Photos


Photos NBC Universal/USA Network

Preliminary episode information and some photos for the season premier of Law & Order Criminal Intent have been released. Here is the information:

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Faithfully” Air Date November 7, 2008 (USA Network) NOTE - Rescheduled to May 17, 2009

In the Season 8 opener, Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) investigate the murder of a celebrity doctor. Jeff Goldblum joins the cast as Det. Zack Nichols. Leland Orser, Janel Moloney and Katheryn Winnick guest star.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Faithfully" can be found here.



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

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

Law & Order SVU “Wildlife” Episode Information

As reported here on my blog on October 20, Big Boi and Carlos Leon were going to be appearing in an upcoming episode of Law & Order SVU. NBC has released the epsiode information; it’s called “Wildlife” and the epsiode information is below.


Law & Order SVU “Wildlife” Air Date November 18, 2008

DETECTIVE ELLIOT STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) JEOPARDIZES HIS MARRIAGE WHEN HE GOES UNDERCOVER TO INFILTRATE AN ANIMAL SMUGGLING RING WITH DETECTIVE OLIVIA BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) POSING AS A PROSTITUTE
.


Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) arrives on the scene of a murder to find a young woman brutally killed, and carrying a rare bird species found dead in her purse. Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) comes back with some startling evidence – the saliva found in the cuts on the victim’s body shows she was mauled by a tiger. Oscar Assadorian (guest star Carlos Leon) leads the detectives to the victim’s twin sister, Anna Bleers (guest star Caitlin Fitzgerald) who in turn leads the detectives to Hip Hop artist, Gots Money (guest star Big Boi). Gots, who admits to working for an animal smuggling ring, agrees to go undercover with Detective Stabler to catch the smugglers, Andre Bushido (guest star Andrew Divoff) and Tybor (guest star Reg E. Cathey). But when Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) poses as a prostitute to help out her partner undercover, Detective Stabler finds himself wounded and his marriage in disarray.

Also starring: Richard Belzer (Detective John Much), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Michaela McManus (A.D.A Kim Greylek), and B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang).


My recap and review of “Wildlife “ can be found here.






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

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Law & Order SVU “Lunacy” One Crazy Story (Recap & Review)



This much-touted appearance of James Brolin in this episode of Law & Order SVU, “Lunacy” was probably one of most obvious “guest star cast as the murderer” stories in a while. It was also the most shameless use of a promo teaser by hyping Olivia as a blonde and then only showing her that was for probably less than 30 seconds. And, just when we thought we were done with the Stabler family for a while, we get Dickie – er, I mean Dick – forced on us.

The episode opens when the body of woman is found floating face down in the river, her hands severed off and she appears to have been sexually assaulted. Lucky for Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni), some people were filming in the area, which just so happened to give them a lead to a cab spotted in the area. While checking out the cab, they find that someone is also using the same cab number, which has been spotted at another crime where a woman was assaulted.

Meanwhile, ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) is working to identify the body, and concludes that the hands may have been severed by a passing boat, and what looks like a sexual assault was done by some kind of weird water creature. But, luckily for her they find, through a retinal identification, that the murdered woman is none other than astronaut Marga Janssen, from Belgium.

This brings the SVU detectives to a space symposium, where they run into an old mentor of Stapler’s Dick Finley (James Brolin). He points them in the direction of Jenssen's girlfriend, who admits to arguing with Jenssen that night. She also notes that Jenssen’s necklace seems to be missing from her body; they had matching necklaces and they never took them off. They also check out reports of a payload specialist who argued with Janssen on one of the ISS missions. But, he’s a red herring. The detectives also find a similar crime to Jenssen's assualt where the same cab number may have been implicated, thinking there is a pattern to the crimes. The victim does not recall her attacker’s face though, just the voice. By the way, this whole thing is a red hering so let’s get it out of the way first. They nab the fake cabbie by a ruse with Olivia disguised as a blonde carrying lots of shopping bags, But, while he admits to the other similar crimes, he has a perfect alibi to avoid getting nailed for killing Jenssen – he was off assaulting someone else at the same time, and that person verifies his story.

They also find that someone is using Janssen’s credit cards, and in a flash, they go to the gas station to pick him up. It’s amazing how lucky they are that the gas station was so close and that the person was still arguing there with someone at the gas station about the credit card. Wouldn’t the normal reaction when someone is using a stolen card that gets flagged to leave the area as quickly as possible? No, of course not. And it just so happens that Elliot lets Finley come along with them (not sure why this would be considered OK). But when the guy tries to escape by hitting the fire suppression button, which stuns and disorients Olivia and Elliot, Finely managers to punch him and prevent his escape. How convenient. He is later identified as Vince Beckwith.

When Janssen’ necklace is located at a pawnshop, the pawnshop owner identifies Beckwith as the person who pawned it. Beckwith admits he pawned it, but he got it out of a dumpster, and saw the man who dropped Janssen’s purse in as well. Lucky for the detectives that Finley knows someone named Anton Thibodeau (Chris Elliott) who matches the description, and there just so happens to be evidence of stalkerish letters from him to Janssen that Finley produced for the squad. They easily pick up Thibodeau, who shows Stabler his astronaut memorabilia, including someone’s undies. Behind the one-way mirror while Stabler interrogates Thibodeau, Dr Huang (B.D. Wong) mentions that Thibodeau isn’t showing the rage that someone capable of the crime would be showing. Of course, Thibodeau suddenly gets enraged.

They put Thibodeau in a line up, but Beckwith says he doesn’t see the person who dropped Janssen’s purse into the dumpster. Thibodeau must be released. Meanwhile, Elliot brings in his son to introduce him to his namesake, Dick Finely. When Olivia spots him, we get this encounter:


Olivia: "Dickie?"
Dickie: "I go by Dick."
Olivia: "of course you do."

I found this amusing as I always cringed every time Elliot referred to Dickie. I suppose most viewers did too. Anyway, Finley gives Dick a small replica of the launch vehicle that is supposed to be taking him to the moon. But, trouble ensues when, as Thibodeau is walking through the squad room, he spots Beckwith, and grabs a gun yelling” You killed my friend” and shoots Beckwith point blank. While everyone runs for cover, Elliot protects Dickie – er, I mean Dick – and Olivia holds a gun on Thibodeau. Finley, however, takes matters into his own hands and knocks Finley to the ground, and the gun goes off and Thibodeau is dead. It seems both suspects are now conveniently dead. Finley then asks Olivia out on a date, to which she agrees.

But a light bulb goes off when Elliot is talking to Dickie – er, I mean Dick – and, looking at the model of the rocket, Dick mentions how someone would do anything to do to the moon. What we don’t see is Elliot taking that model rocket and getting Finley’s fingerprint off of it, which matches the fingerprint on Janssen’s necklace. He goes to Finley’s place to confront him, and breaks up a tryst with Finley and another woman (who I think we are supposed to think was Olivia at first). Finley think Eliot is there to block his date with Olivia, instead, Elliot confronts him about him murdering Janssen, telling him of the evidence. They argue and it comes to blows, but Elliot gets his man. He’s loading Finley into the squad car, when Olivia, dressed to the nines, arrives in a cab for her date…, which won’t be taking place.

This episode should win all kinds of awards, such as:

1. Highest number of red herrings in an episode
2. Most obvious use of a guest star as the perp
3. Most overhyped tease of a main star dressed in costume (Olivia’s 30 seconds as a blonde)
4. Highest number of excuses to get the main star to “dress up” (Olivia in her “bait” attire, and dressed for her date)

There were other things that were notable in this episode that I felt made the episode bearable. Of course, these things usually involve Munch and Fin. I found the amusement over Fin’s knowledge of the use of urine bottles amusing myself. I also found it funny when Munch was getting in his conspiracy theory mode with Finley, but later gets his autograph, just in case he was “wrong.” Of course, Fin has to comment that he thinks it just started snowing in hell.

Seriously though, I liked this episode in some sort of weird way. It’s almost in a CSI Miami kind of way. You know, the story, the scenarios, the evidence, the acting, all add up to something that is so bad that you can’t miss it. In a way, in its attempt to put more focus on its main stars – Hargitay and Meloni – the show seems to have sacrificed the drama. I miss the drama. I think the show can get it back if it quits trying so hard to shamelessly promote and overhype Meloni and Hargitay. Sure, I like them both, but I don’t like it when the show seems to focus on those two at the expense of everyone else. Is it too much to ask for more Munch? Or Munch (Richard Belzer) and Fin (Ice-T) together? I would even settle for a little more Cragen (Dann Florek), who always seems to have so much to offer in even the tiny scenes he’s in. This series could be doing much better in the ratings if they weren’t so intent on making it the Meloni/Hargitay hour. There was one high point: the absence of ADA Grayleck (Michaela McManus).

And please, enough of the Stabler family drama. Because any more will drive me to lunacy.





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

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

Monday, October 20, 2008

SVU, Law & Order Casting News, Episode Updates

I already reported here back on October 9th that Lynn Redgrave was going to be a guest star on an upcoming November episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent. Some additional guest stars have been named for upcoming episodes of Law & Order and Law & Order SVU.

Legendary tenor Placido Domingo won a bid for a walk-on role on "Law & Order, during a live auction at the Princess Grace Awards last Wednesday night (October 15). According to the New York Post, bidding for the role “became heated after producer Dick Wolf interrupted the auctioneer to change the prize from a cameo to a speaking role. Domingo coughed up $16,000 for his shot at small-screen stardom. "It's probably going to turn into a singing role," chuckled one attendee…” The episode and date has not been named.

As if Law & Order SVU didn’t have enough rappers with Ice-T in the cast, it will now feature an additional “outcast” – that is, rapper Big Boi, a member of “Outkast”. Several sources are reporting that Big Boi will appear as a rapper (no, really?) in a November episode. His name on the episode is reported to be “Gots Money”.

Also, Carlos Leon, the father of Madonna’s daughter Lourdes, has just wrapped up shooting a guest spot for SVU for an episode called “Wildlife” scheduled to air November 18. He will play Oscar Assadorian, a witness in a murder case that Benson and Stabler are working.

And, just to bring everyone up to speed, here’s the latest information for the next four episodes of Law & Order SVU:


Law & Order SVU “Lunacy” Air Date October 21, 2008

A FAMOUS ASTRONAUT IS FOUND DEAD, AND DETECTIVE ELLIOT STABLER’S (CHRISTOPHER MELONI) OLD MENTOR, DICK FINLEY (GUEST STAR JAMES BROLIN), HELPS INVESTIGATE THE CASE.
After famous astronaut Marga Janssen’s corpse is found afloat in the waters of Battery Park, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) initially believe the murder is linked to a string of serial rapes. Upon further investigation, this theory is proven false when their suspect’s alibi checks out. At a dead end, Detective Stabler turns to his old mentor and former colleague of Janssen’s, NASA astronaut Dick Finley to shed some light on the case. Finley’s advice exposes several more suspects, but possibly takes the detectives further from the truth. Also starring: Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, and B.D. Wong.


My recap and review of “ Lunacy “ can be found here.



Law & Order SVU “Retro” Air Date October 28, 2008

DOCTOR MELINDA WARNER’S (TAMARA TUNIE) EXPERTISE COMES INTO PLAY WHEN HOMEOPATHIC DOCTOR GIDEON HUTTON (GUEST STAR MARTIN MULL) GOES ON TRIAL FOR THE DEATH OF A YOUNG GIRL WITH AIDS.
Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) find themselves in unfamiliar territory when Doctor Raye Massey (Donna Murphy) calls them in to investigate the case of a baby infected with AIDS. The detectives enlist the help of Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie), a member of an AIDS surveillance team along with Dr. Massey. While Dr. Warner investigates the baby’s medical case, Detectives Stabler and Benson discover that the baby had been prescribed ineffective vitamins by Doctor Gideon Hutton (guest star Martin Mull), who runs a “voodoo” medical practice. After the detectives probe for more answers, similar cases of mistreated AIDS surface, such as the death of Susan Ross’ (guest star Paula Malcomson) daughter. Her 18-year-old son Tommy Ross (guest star Aidan Mitchell) also gets pulled into the case, forcing him to decide whether to take on his mother’s belief in homeopathic medicine or fight against it. With Dr. Warner’s medical research and testimony, the case calls the ethics of Dr. Hutton’s practices into question. Also starring: Richard Belzer (Detective John Much), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Michaela McManus (A.D.A Kim Greylek), Tamara Tunie (Dr. Melinda Warner), and B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang).



NO EPISODE NOVEMBER 4, 2008 – ELECTION DAY – PLEASE BE SURE TO VOTE!


Law & Order SVU “Babes” Air Date November 11, 2008

A TEENAGER BURNED TO DEATH PUTS DETECTIVES ELLIOT STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) AND JOHN MUNCH (RICHARD BELZER) ON THE CASE, ONLY TO REVEAL A COMMUNITY IN CHAOS WITH A GROUP OF TEENAGED GIRLS IN A “PREGNANCY PACT” AND A HIGH SCHOOL “SAINT”, MAX MATARAZZO (GUEST STAR JESSE MCCARTNEY).

When a boy is lit on fire, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and John Munch (Richard Belzer) investigate the malicious crime. In search of a lead, the Detectives end up at Blessed Heart High School, where their student escort, Max Matarazzo (guest star Jesse McCartney) introduces them to the ‘Blessed Heart Chastity Circle’ and senior Alec Bernardi (guest star Philip Ettinger). Alec admits to hurting the victim, but in turn opens a new door for the detectives when he unveils a group of pregnant teenage girls. A strange web of secrets and bad blood in this “close-knit” neighborhood offers a challenge for the detectives. Also starring: Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer, Dann Flore, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, Tamara Tunie, and B.D. Wong.


My recap and review of “Babes “ can be found here.



Added October 23:

Law & Order SVU “Wildlife” Air Date November 18, 2008

DETECTIVE ELLIOT STABLER (CHRIS MELONI) JEOPARDIZES HIS MARRIAGE WHEN HE GOES UNDERCOVER TO INFILTRATE AN ANIMAL SMUGGLING RING WITH DETECTIVE OLIVIA BENSON (MARISKA HARGITAY) POSING AS A PROSTITUTE.

Detective Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) arrives on the scene of a murder to find a young woman brutally killed, and carrying a rare bird species found dead in her purse. Dr. Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) comes back with some startling evidence – the saliva found in the cuts on the victim’s body shows she was mauled by a tiger. Oscar Assadorian (guest star Carlos Leon) leads the detectives to the victim’s twin sister, Anna Bleers (guest star Caitlin Fitzgerald) who in turn leads the detectives to Hip Hop artist, Gots Money (guest star Big Boi). Gots, who admits to working for an animal smuggling ring, agrees to go undercover with Detective Stabler to catch the smugglers, Andre Bushido (guest star Andrew Divoff) and Tybor (guest star Reg E. Cathey). But when Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) poses as a prostitute to help out her partner undercover, Detective Stabler finds himself wounded and his marriage in disarray.

Also starring: Richard Belzer (Detective John Much), Dann Florek (Captain Donald Cragen), Ice-T (Detective Odafin Tutuola), Michaela McManus (A.D.A Kim Greylek), and B.D. Wong (Dr. George Huang).





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

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Introducing Detective Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum); Criminal Intent Promo Clips

The USA Network has released a character profile for Jeff Goldblum’s character, Detective Zach Nichols, on Law & Order Criminal Intent. Here’s how USA describes him:

After September, 11th 2001, Detective Zach Nichols left the police force to discover the meaning of life. But a cerebral, quirky and efficient cop doesn't stay away for long. Now, Det. Nichols' Socratic approach to crime scene investigation has his new partner, Det. Wheeler, and his old partner, Captain Ross, just trying to keep up.

A child of two psychiatrists, Nichols naturally shunned the shrink profession. It didn't have the closure like solving a crime does, at least for him. Even though becoming a cop was a means of rebellion for Nichols, he has found his father as an expert psychiatric witness in many of the cases he's been involved in.

Whether it's taking in a matinee movie to clear his mind or thinking outside the box about a criminal's motive, Zack Nichols is the x-factor on any crime scene investigation.


USA Network also provided summary of Jeff Goldblum’s impressive career, which can be found here. By the way, Jeff’s 56th birthday will be coming up on October 22.

And, in case you haven't already seen them, here are a few promo video clips of the new season from USA Network (the links under the clip direct to higher quality videos on USA's web site):


Clip #1 ("Cuffs")



Clip #2


Don't forget, the season premier will be Friday, November 7th, at 9:00 PM ET. The episodes scheduled for November are as follows:

November 7: "Faithfully" (Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe)
November 14: "The Glory That Was" (Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Nicholson)
November 21: "Folie A Deux" (Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe)

And, as an added bonus, here is a cute promo with Kathryn Erbe:



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

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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chris Meloni on The Tonight Show; “Lunacy” Preview

If you missed Chris Meloni’s (Law & Order SVU) appearance on The Tonight Show, here it is, courtesy of NBC. It also includes a clip from next week’s episode, “Lunacy”. Update: I am sorry - the preview is no longer available!

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Lunacy" can be found at this link.


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

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

Law & Order SVU “Lunacy” Episode Information

Here is the episode information for the October 21st new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Lunacy”. It will feature guest star James Brolin, and, according to the NBC preview, it also will have guest star Chris Elliott. The NBC preview also included the line “Another astronaut in a diaper story.” That sounds like a similar twist to the Law & Order Criminal Intent episode “Rocket Man”, doesn’t it? I don’t think astronauts will ever live down that real-life diaper story.

Law & Order SVU “Lunacy” Air Date October 21, 2008

A FAMOUS ASTRONAUT IS FOUND DEAD, AND DETECTIVE ELLIOT STABLER’S (CHRISTOPHER MELONI) OLD MENTOR, DICK FINLEY (GUEST STAR JAMES BROLIN), HELPS INVESTIGATE THE CASE.
After famous astronaut Marga Janssen’s corpse is found afloat in the waters of Battery Park, Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) initially believe the murder is linked to a string of serial rapes. Upon further investigation, this theory is proven false when their suspect’s alibi checks out. At a dead end, Detective Stabler turns to his old mentor and former colleague of Janssen’s, NASA astronaut Dick Finley to shed some light on the case. Finley’s advice exposes several more suspects, but possibly takes the detectives further from the truth. Also starring: Richard Belzer, Dann Florek, Ice-T, Michaela McManus, and B.D. Wong.

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Lunacy" can be found at this link.

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent Season 8 Cast Photos


The cast photos from the upcoming season 8 of Law & Order Criminal Intent have been released. Here they are, courtesy of Spoiler TV. Enjoy these pictures of Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Julianne Nicholson, Jeff Goldblum, and Eric Bogosian.




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

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

Law & Order SVU “Swing” A Moody Story


I think that this episode had two distinctive mood swings of its own. Fast paced and interesting in the first half, slow and melodramatic in the second. It also offered a bit of a break from the usual SVU story lines, but not necessarily in a good way. They probably should have titled this episode “ The Meloni and Burstyn's Emmy Nomination Reel.”

First, the recap:

The episode begins with someone in the shower. She’s singing. But, a man comes into the bathroom with a baseball bat, clearly to defend himself against what now seems to be an intruder in the shower. The man opens the shower curtain, threatens with the bat, and the naked girl flees the shower and the bathroom by jumping through the bathroom window, taking the shower curtain with her. We can only briefly see her face.

Later, Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) is already at the scene, and Elliot (Chris Meloni) is arriving. (I assume he’s off suspension?) He wonders why they got the case, did Olivia’s “spidey senses” tell her because it was a naked girl that she must have been a rape victim? Olivia looks at him with a serious glare and says the girl who fled the scene was his daughter, Kathleen.

Elliot talks to the owners of the home, and while he himself seems to be searching to explanations for his daughter’s behavior, he suggests that maybe this was just a harmless college kid prank, The owners are not receptive to Elliot’s suggestions, and become hostile when, after asking for his name and badge number, the realize that the intruder was Elliot’s daughter.

Stabler and Benson later find Kathleen (Allison Siko), still clad in the shower curtain, in the park, on the swings. Kathleen is glad to see her father, and she wants to play. They take her home. Later, while Kathleen is in her room, Elliot enters, and while he talks, she removes a necklace and puts it in a drawer. She admits she took some pills, and doesn’t know what they were. She also said it’s the first time she’s tried anything other than vodka.

Elliot talks to her dorm roommate, Julia, who indicates that Kathleen has been acting odd. Kathleen wildly painted their room the week before and said she wanted to be inside the sun. She was also hanging with a wild crowd. Julia points Elliot in the direction of another girl, Mickey Braithwaite.

Mickey is hanging with a group of guys when Elliot approaches and tells them to get lost. He grabs her backpack, despite her objections, and finds what he thinks is cocaine. As he is arresting her, she quietly says she is really and undercover cop, Nicki Breslin, and he’d better make the arrest look good so as not to blow her cover.

Back at the SVU squad, Nicki tells him that Kathleen was not her target, she’s just a user who’s been using coke and downers. Stabler’s wife Kathy (Isabel Gillies) also arrives at the squad in a panic. It seems that Kathleen left the house, escaping out a window. Elliot seems to be blaming Kathy, but she tells him not to blame this one on her. As Elliot thinks where to look for her, Nicki suggests a place by an abandoned dry cleaners that is a drug hangout. Elliot finds Kathleen there, laying under another guy and clearly unconscious.

They take her to St. Mark’s Hospital, and the treat her for an overdose. The doctor tells Elliot that Kathleen was very agitated and had to be sedated, and that she is very sick. He believes she has been self medicating, but the signs of alcohol abuse, hypersexualization, her DWI and credit card theft indicate she is bipolar. Elliot declares, “My daughter’s not crazy” and the doctor reminds Elliot that he didn’t say she was crazy, he said she was sick. Eliot gets a little freaky and walks out, punching the hospital parking sign in his frustration. Cragen (Dann Florek) and Olivia approach him, telling Elliot that the victims now want to press charges, because Kathleen stole jewelry. He said the diamond necklace in question was a CZ and a gift from him for her birthday.

He goes to ADA Grayleck (Michaela McManus) for help, who tells him it’s now a charge of grand larceny 3 and “burg” 2. Since they claim Elliot used his badge to sweep this under the rug, her hands are tied. She tells him to get a good lawyer, but hypothetically, if Kathleen is mentally ill this could help things.

He gets a lawyer (CCH Pounder) who he knows will be tough on the prosecution. When Elliot wants to be present while she talks to Kathleen, she tells Elliot that he can’t be there, it would void the attorney-client privilege. Later, Olivia is approaching Elliot, with two detectives in tow. They are there to arrest Kathleen. Kathleen could avoid it if she admits he is mentally ill but she refuses to do so, and goes a little nutty. While she looks almost leeringly at one of the detectives, she gets arrested.

While Kathleen is in central booking, her lawyer tells Elliot and Kathy that the DA is amendable to a lesser charge but the victims are out for blood. Since Kathleen won’t admit she has a mental problem, the lawyer proposes a “story”, and Kathy is appalled the lawyer – and Elliot – would even consider a lie. The lawyer says since BPD runs in families, if they can show a family member has the same problem this could also help.

We then see Elliot at his mother’s home on Long Beach Island. Apparently he hasn’t seem her for three years. Bernadette Stabler (Ellen Burstyn) seems a little wired, and Elliot explains Kathleen’s problem and asks her to help by admitting her own mental issues. She refuses to admit she has a problem, and they argue. She accused him of being just like his father – “no spirit.”

They walk onto the beach, where she reminds Elliot he wanted to be an architect. He says he wanted to be a cop. She starts to build a sandcastle, he says he just wants her to admit she’s sick to help Kathleen. He recalls a situation where, during one of her manic periods, she shot at his father and Elliot. She’s now ignoring him, as if he isn’t even talking to her, clearly absorbed in her own mania. He leaves, dejected.

Later, Elliot returns to the home of the victims, and returns the necklace Kathleen stole. The man is a little confused, saying that this could be used as evidence against Kathleen, but Eliot says this is the only way to save her. In court, the necklace is indeed used as evidence against Kathleen and when she hears that her father turned it in, she flies into a rage and is taken away. Kathleen’s lawyer is stunned and so it Kathy, who proceed to slap Elliot and call him a bastard.

Back at the squad in the sleeping area, Olivia comes to talk. She doesn’t seem to understand why Elliot never mentioned the issues with his mother. He says, “I’m through the looking glass here, Liv.” He never thought he’d see his daughter locked up, but he's glad, it was his only option.

Olivia decides to go to Long Island and meet with Bernadette, who, upon meeting Olivia, says that she can see why she scares the pants off Kathy. Bernadette brought pictures of Elliot as a child, one of him dressed as a giant carrot (!) for a Thanksgiving Day pageant. (Yes, a giant carrot.) She tells Olivia that Elliot erased his whole childhood, but that she tried to be a good mother. He was embarrassed by her “flamboyance.” She admit she never saw a doctor about her illness, but had tried meds once when they were forced on her when her husband had her committed after she had a fight with him and the “gun went off.” She won’t go to court and announce she’s crazy. But Olivia asks her to help – for her granddaughter.

Bernadette goes to jail with Olivia to see Kathleen. They have a talk about their problems, and while Bernadette won’t openly admit her mental issues, they are implied. She tells Kathleen that “the higher you fly, the farther you fall.” Kathleen says “THEY put me in here” and Bernadette says “ YOU put yourself in here.” She recounts a story where, in one of her moods, she went for a drive in a blizzard in 1969 with the family and crashed into a lamppost, and Elliot broke his arm in the process, She said she was chasing the snowflakes. Clearly she is trying to tell Kathleen that she understands her problem and that she needs some help. She also tells Kathleen to take responsibility for her own actions. She also tells Kathleen that she paid a terrible price by living her life the way she had.

At the arraignment, Kathleen pleads guilty to a lesser misdemeanor and will be required to have inpatient psychiatric treatment and take meds, and must come back in 6 months for review. She agrees. Elliot seems surprised at the events, and Olivia tells him, “Maybe God remembered how cute you were as a carrot” and the episode ends as he watches Kathleen be taken away.

Now, my comments. During the first 20 minutes or so of this episode I thought it wasn’t all that bad. Sure, it wasn’t like the usual case, and yes I am tired of all the Stabler family drama, but I hoped that maybe Kathleen’s problem would lead to something bigger. But it dragged in the second half with far too much screen time given to Ellen Burstyn. It’s not that Elliot’s back story with his mother wasn’t interesting, it’s just that there was too much of it. For example, when he goes to her house, the scene should have either started and ended in the house, or started and ended on the beach. By having a scene in the house and the beach, they stretched out the story of his childhood and her issues too much. To add insult to injury, we seem to have to relive more of her story when Olivia meets Bernadette to get her help, and again when she talks to Kathleen in jail. The whole bit about “chasing snowflakes” seemed to almost romanticize her disorder, but I suppose that is how Bernadette saw it. As far as Burstyn’s performance, it was trite and wasn’t that memorable. Besides, no one can quite do “bipolar mom” like Sally Field when she was on ER.

The greater mystery is why, with Elliot knowing how his mother acted when he was growing up, that he didn’t see similar behavior in Kathleen and take steps to get her help? For someone whose job it is to be observant, he really botched this one. And why didn’t tell his wife or Kathleen’s lawyer BEFORE they went to court that he turned in the necklace is beyond me. While he felt that putting her away was the only way to get help, he could have at least told Kathy he’d done it so she wouldn’t have gone off on him in public. I guess Elliot doesn’t trust anyone and now there will probably be MORE turmoil with the Stabler marriage. Personally, I’m tired of all the Stabler family drama.

Was it also intentioned to highlight his mother’s illness by showing his picture dressed up in a giant carrot costume? I suppose that the choice of carrot for a customer must mean you’re nuts. Or, was it only to give Olivia that absolutely horrible, strange closing line, “Maybe God remembered how cute you were as a carrot”? I could have thought of a lot of better things to say, rather than what basically what translated to “I saw your mom and she showed me the humiliating picture of you in a carrot costume.” Of course, it was Olivia’s way of taking credit for getting Elliot the help he needed with Kathleen. Maybe her kind of help is not what he wanted.

While it seemed that Elliot was off suspension, it was almost as if it never even happened because no reference was made to it at all.

The only thing we can be thankful is for the short screen time given to Michaela McManus, whose blank stare is really bothersome to me. CCH Pounder did a great job as Kathleen’s attorney, however. I was a bit perplexed, though, when Elliot seemed to be so willing to go along with the clearly false story she suggested. Kathy did the right thing by reminding him of all the problems he’s had in the past with dishonesty with lawyers. It just surprises me how the main characters always suddenly seem to forget their life experiences the minute they are faced with a personal crisis.

The preview for next week actually made me groan when they showed Olivia looking like a blonde hooker. It also looks like they have moved the episode “Retro” that was originally scheduled to air that date, and will instead show “Lunacy” which is about astronauts. I think diapers were mentioned. Didn’t Criminal Intent already do an astronaut and diapers episodes?

I’m not quite sure what is happening to this show. I can only hope that the Stabler drama goes on the back burner – for a long time.

Two Minute Replay “Swing”


Scene from “Swing”




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

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