Saturday, November 14, 2009

Law & Order “For The Defense” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC
Law & Order “For The Defense” was another highly satisfying episode for the mothership, proving that there are writers out there who can bring personal matters into the cases without having those situations smother the episode. In fact, the writers seem to have a very good feel for all the main characters, and as a result, we get dialog that sounds real, and that makes the characters very believable.

This case brings back the smarmy, slimy, and slippery Marcus Woll, to whom we were introduced in last week’s episode, Boy Gone Astray. Jonathan Cake did a fantastic job at playing the former ADA now defense attorney, who seemed just a little to sure of himself in more ways that one. We find that he and Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) had a brief fling, a fact that takes Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) by surprise. A scene which had me laughing was when Cutter, in speaking with Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) about this affair, says, “We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?” We all know that Jack wrote the book on that matter, and I think Cutter knew that too, he just plain forgot. Of course, Jack has no shame in quickly reminding Cutter that Cutter means everyone but him. During Linus Roache’s first year as Michael Cutter, I wasn’t quite sure if I liked Cutter very much, but I think they have tweaked the character a little bit and I find that now I like him a lot. Roache and Alana De La Garza make a great team and I find myself getting more interested in their characters with each episode.

It was good to see Cutter turn the tables on Woll at the very end. I wondered if he had let Connie in on his ruse, or if he was just making her squirm by his questioning on purpose, maybe to make her think about what a stupid thing it was that she did by getting involved with Woll. Somehow, while Cutter says he has a rule about not having sexual relationships with a colleague, I bet he would break that rule for Connie, given half a chance.

The “dirty ADA” story has been done before in the Law & Order universe, but it wasn’t too bothersome that they resused the threat of reopening all those cases. Jack’s sanctimonious comment about not being afraid of some paperwork was promptly deflated when he was stunned at seeing only a portion of what paperwork was to come. I found it to be another great scene that humanizes the characters.

Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) have also become a cohesive pair, and I was glad to see the writers work in some action for both of them while they were hiding a witness. It never ceases to amaze me, however, at how dumb some people can be. Really now, if you were in protective custody, would you open a door without looking who was behind that door? Personally, I wouldn’t even go NEAR a door or a window. By watching Law & Order, one would think that all New Yorkers are idiots when it comes to personal safety like that. I suppose that they wouldn’t have been able to work in that dramatic shooting scene if they didn’t have an idiot for a witness.

I was also highly amused at Anita’s (S. Epatha Merkerson) serious case of the munchies. I am glad to see that her off-book treatment is working for her. Epatha did a wonderful job is showing how she was enjoying eating and that look on her face when she was practically praying they would bring her back a pie. I loved it. It also made me very hungry.

All in all, another excellent episode from Law & Order, a show that despite being on for 20 years, is showing no sign of old age.

Here is the recap:

A prosecutor, Max Cavanaugh, is in the courtroom making his opening statement. The defense lawyer reserves his opening statement. When the Cavanaugh is asked to call his first witness, he says that his witness is not there.

Elsewhere, there is a woman’s body lying on the sidewalk outside a hotel. The doorman tells Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) that she was a guest for a week but her did not see her until today. She came out and he asked if she needs a cab and all of a sudden, a blue Audi parked nearby started up, drove over, and started shooting. The woman went down and the car took off around the corner. He saw that the plates were from New York and missed the last few plate numbers. Bernard walks over to Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto), who is looking over the body, and says the woman took one to the face and one to the body. A crime scene guy notes that it got a pigeon too, as one lay dead nearby on the sidewalk. Lupo says there are two shell casings from a .45 and there might be some more around. Bernard gets the woman’s ID; her name is Maggie Hayes, with an address in the Bronx. As Lupo wonders out loud why she would stay there, Max Cavanaugh runs up, frantic, and identifies himself as being from the Manhattan DA’s office. Lupo comments that he is a little early as they don’t think they are ready to arrest anybody yet. Cavanaugh tells them she was supposed to testify for him today in a murder case. Bernard comments that she stayed there to hide from somebody, and Cavanaugh says that her ex-boyfriend is one of the defendants and made some crazy threats. She lived and worked in the Bronx so they figured that putting her in Manhattan was good enough. He adds that it doesn’t do his case any good. Lupo asks if there was any way her ex knew she was staying there, and Cavanaugh says he told her not to tell anyone. Bernard quips that maybe a little birdie told him, as we look down on the dead pigeon.

At the 2-7, the detectives have Maggie’s ex, William Avery, in custody, but he denies doing anything, saying he was in court at the time.

The detectives enter Lt. Anita Van Buren’s office, and she has a serious case of the munchies, saying it’s the first time she’s had an appetite in 6 weeks. She said that the partial license plate and there are 100 possible matches and not one is an Audi, so she wonders if the doorman got the make wrong or the number. As Van Buren continues to eat, Lupo said Maggie’s boyfriend used to meet her after work in a bar in Greenpoint but the DA said she worked in the Bronx, he thinks Maggie lied to the DA. Her payroll record was in the Bronx but she actually worked at Amstrad Shipping in Brooklyn. Van Buren says there are docks in Greenpoint, and then adds there is a bakery down there that makes an amazing key lime pie, folding her hands as if praying they will bring one back for her. Bernard says they are on it (the pie, that is).

At Amstrad Shipping, they question Paige Regan (Betty Gilpin), who ran the office with Maggie, and Bart Rainey (Casey Siemaszko). Rainey thinks it was her boyfriend Avery as he knew she was testifying and she was afraid of him. He didn’t know where Maggie was staying and Paige says she didn’t know either. When Bernard asks what kind of business Rainey has, he says he exports cars to Latin America. While Bernard talks, Lupo goes to check out the cars and snaps a photo. Rainey says a shipment just went out. Lupo asks if one of the vehicles, a 95 Eddie Bauer Bronco, is for sale, saying he used to have one in college. Rainey tells him 9 grand and Lupo says he will check his piggy bank. As the detectives leave, Bernard asks if he got the numbers. Lupo says yes, and asks if he thinks he fooled him. Bernard says nope.

Back at the 2-7, Bernard tell Van Buren they ran the plate and it is supposed to be n a Miata. Van Buren comments it could be mismatched plates, just like the blue Audi the shooter was driving. Lupo says maybe the doorman wasn’t wrong after all. Bernard says the Feds have Rainey on their radar as an associate of the Pontano family – loan sharking, extortion, Van Buren adding now exporting stolen cars to Latin America. But Bernard shows her that they ran the Bronco’s VIN, and find it was turned in on the cash for clunkers program. Bernard says the point of the program was to get the gas-guzzlers off the street and Rainey found a way to put them on someone else’s. Van Buren adds that the ozone still gets messed up down there it is still going to bite us in the ass up here. Lupo thinks Rainey was worried that Maggie was going to spill the beans as he knew she was talking to cops and the DA. But Rainey said he didn’t know where she was staying, and they chuckle that he wouldn’t like about that. Van Buren reaches down and grabs the box with the pie in it, and tells them to check the hotel surveillance video, and says thanks (for the pie).

The detectives watch the surveillance video and see Paige knock on her door, and when Maggie steps out, they lock lips. Page had told them she didn’t know where Maggie was, and Bernard says, “liar liar pants on fire.”

Back at Amstrad, they stop Paige as she is leaving and they tell her about what they saw on the video, showing her a picture. She says she has a boyfriend and she was seeing Maggie on the down low. Maggie was lonely. When they ask her if she told Rainey and if he ever drove a blue Audi, and when they tell her that is what Maggie’s killer was driving, she gets rattled and says she can’t talk to them and she has to go.

Back at the 2-7, they tell Van Buren that they think Paige knows Rainey did it. They also tell her the car is already on a cargo ship to Columbia.. There is an NYPD detective in Bogotá doing intel and they will have him intercept the car.

Later, the detectives tell EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) that they found the Audi in South America and it is in the personal custody of an NYPD detective. He searched it and found a .45 shell casing and it matches the casings found at the crime scene. ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) says all they have to do is put Bart Rainey in the car at the time of the murder. The detectives think they have someone who can, and Cutter comments that would be the victim’s lesbian lover who is too scared to testify. Lupo says they were thinking of making her too scared not to, and shows Cutter Paige’s signature on the ship’s manifest. As Cutter begins to outline what they can get her for, we cut to Bernard in the 2-7 interrogation room, who finishes the list. Paige says Rainey will kill her, and Lupo reminds her - like Maggie. She begins to cave, and says he told her to find out where she was, he needed to see her about a problem with the books and she believed him. She wanted to see her anyway. She told Rainey where she was. They next day when Maggie was killed she told herself it was her old boyfriend, but when they told her about the blue car, she said that Rainey drove it that afternoon.

There is a knock on the door and Van Buren enters, telling Paige there is a lawyer out there who says he represents Miss Regan and she said she would see if there was anyone in her by that name. Paige says she didn’t send for a lawyer. Lupo gets up and tells her to wait there.

Van Buren asks Lupo and Bernard if they remember Mr. Woll (Jonathan Cake) and Lupo says he represented the Mexican drug cartel. They play dumb about Paige. He says that Paige did not come to work and her employer, Mr. Rainey was concerned and called her apartment and her roommate said the police had taken her. When he asks if she is here, Lupo says Rainey got bad information. Woll smiles and says, “Well then, sorry to bother you” with a suspicious grin on his face. When he walks out, Lupo thinks Woll is going right back to Rainey to report. Bernard says they could have asked him for a ride.

When the detectives arrive at Rainey’s, Woll is already there, and said he could have given them a ride. They arrest Rainey for Maggie’s murder, and Rainey said whatever Paige said, she is lying. As Bernard reads him his rights and says he has a right to an attorney, Woll says they have that covered.

At a Supreme Court motion hearing, the judge (Jenna Stern) hears Woll’s motion, saying there was a flagrant abuse of prosecutorial power. She says again, not like when he was a DA. He gives her a motion to suppress the blue Audi, who says that the Columbians are tainted. But Cutter reminds him that Woll may be generalizing from the Latin Americans that he hangs out with, but there is no evidence of corruption in this case, Rubirosa adding that an NYPD detectives was involved in every step of the way. The judge denies Woll’s motion.

Outside the court room. Marcus says win some, lose some, he will just have to beat them the old fashioned way. Cutter says - nice to see you again too. Woll says, “Frankly Mike, you I can take or leave, but Connie, when are you going to leave these bureaucrats and come work for my firm?” When Rubirosa says she really couldn’t say, he says, “Ooooo, heart breaker.” Woll says to Rubirosa, while Cutter looks on curiously, that he knows they are not obligated, but can he take a look at their witness Miss Regan and just ask a few questions. Cutter interrupts, saying no offense but the last time Woll beat them the old fashioned way, it was because their main witness was terrified out of testifying by the murder of one of his friends. Cutter says he can peek at Miss Regan all he wants when she takes the stand. Cutter and Rubirosa step into the elevator. Woll looks at Rubirosa, she looks back at him looking a little uncomfortably.

At Manhattan Towers Hotel, Paige is in protective custody with Lupo and Bernard. She asks what happens to her after the trial. Lupo tells her that the DA will look at the situation and if Rainey was convicted and there is still a threat to her…she finishes that they will move her to some little town in North Dakota, and she does not know how to grow wheat. Lupo heads to make a bathroom break, and Paige asks Bernard if Lupo has a girlfriend. Bernard says he thought SHE had a girlfriend. When a knock comes to the door and Paige goes to answer it, Bernard stops her and gets it. He looks through the peephole and sees it is Rubirosa and he opens the door. She needs to go over a few things with Paige about her testimony. Another knock comes to the door, saying it is room service, and Paige, standing right by it, moves to open it (idiot!). Rubirosa tells her to wait, but Paige says it is just room service. Lupo sees a man with a gun at the opening door, and as the man begins to shoot, Rubirosa pulls Paige away and Lupo steps in to cover Paige. Bernard runs out into the hall and chases the gunman. There are other people in the hall and the man continues to shoot. But Bernard is able to shoot the guy as he gets in the elevator.

The detectives try to remove Paige from the hotel to go to another one, but she’s fed up. Lupo says he will take her wherever she wants. Lupo tells Bernard it looks like he is going for a drive, and Bernard says the shooter team is waiting for him upstairs. Lupo asks if her is OK, and Bernard says yeah.

Meanwhile, in the office elevator, Rubirosa is telling Cutter that Lupo drove Paige to her sister’s house in Watertown and that she said she will not come back for the trial. She said they can try to convince her or arrest her as a material witness. Cutter, looking concerned, asks Rubirosa if she is sure she is alright. She says she is fine, it all happened so fast. He asks if she needs some time off, but she wants to keep working. As they enter the office, she tells Cutter the shooter was a freelancer from out of town and they are still looking for connections. Cutter wonders how he knew Paige was in that hotel, and Rubirosa said only Cutter, Lupo, Bernard, and she knew. Cutter says all they need is another witness but Rubirosa tells him people aren’t lining up to testify. Cutter wonders if someone told Rainey that Maggie was ratting him out, someone who knew that Rainey would kill her, and Rubirosa says it could be someone like William Avery. Cutter comments it is in Avery’s interest for her to be killed.

At the office of Les Gomez, Avery’s attorney, thinks that Will Avery is too dumb to pull it off. He was convicted after the DA found a video that Avery put on YouTube waving the murder weapon. He adds that Maddie’s testimony would not have helped the DA anyway, Gomez knew she worked for Rainey and was going to slam her on cross with the fact that she worked for a mobster which would expose Rainey in open court. He did not mention it to Rainey. Rubirosa looks at the motion that Gomez was planning to file on the case and wonders how he had the time to do it, but he says he had an outside consultant who did it pro bono, and they find it is Marcus Woll.

Later, with DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) at a formal affair, they tell him about Marcus Woll’s knowing about Maggie and Rainey. Cutter says in every case Woll touches someone drops dead. Woll got involved in the Avery case to find out what Maggie knew about Rainey, and when he found out she would be trouble, he reported back to Rainey and Maggie got killed. McCoy asks about the attempt to kill Paige, and Rubirosa tells him Rainey needed Woll to find out where Paige was located. When McCoy asks how he would know that, Rubirosa said when she worked with Woll when he was an ADA, they used a few hotels to hide witnesses, and she used one of those hotels to hide Paige. McCoy says Woll told Rainey where to look, and adds that Woll is a serial killer – and he used to work for them. He tells them to apply for a warrant to bug his conversations with Rainey.

At the chambers of Judge Gus Ishikawa, Cutter and Rubirosa make their case for the warrant but are turned down. When they exit the judge’s chambers, Woll is there and asks how it went. He worked in the DA’s office long enough that if someone goes to a judge ex parte he will hear about it. Cutter tells him that it was a false alarm and it wasn’t about him. But Woll goes on to talk about all the cases he worked as and ADA he got 102 convictions and he put a lot of people in jail, asking Rubirosa if she remembers. She says they only worked together briefly. Cutter stops walking and turns and faces Woll, looking up to him. Woll goes on to say that if word got around somehow that he was the kind of lawyer that crossed the line or was dirty, how long do they think it would be before 102 attorneys came up with 102 motions to overturn every one of his convictions? Cutter glares at him, and Woll asks if he really has that kind of spare time on his hands, and he smirks and walks off.

Back at the DA’s office, McCoy comments about Woll’s balls, with him blackmailing them. Cutter asks if they really want to deal with all the appeals, and McCoy said they are not going to let a killer go free because they are afraid of a little paperwork. McCoy enters the meeting room and sees Rubirosa at the table with tons of paperwork. He says, “On second thought…” and when Cutter says it is a sampling, McCoy says it is a nightmare. He asks if Woll was dirty when he worked for them, and Rubirosa one defense witness who did not show up for trial, and McCoy says they tend not to be perfect witnesses. Rubirosa said there was a case she worked with Woll in her first month when he convicted Alvin Jackson for murder. McCoy refers to him as Alvin “mad dog” Jackson, a drug lord. Cutter says the case made Woll’s reputation. There was an eyewitness for the defense, a pharmacist named Henry Lovett, who swore someone else committed the murder. Lovett never showed for trial, and Rubirosa sees that he was found dead, 2 years after the trial, already decomposed and found in a construction site. Cutter says since he was found two years after the trial, no one made the connection. McCoy says it may not be too late, and tells Rubirosa to call the police.

The detectives are visiting Jackson (Ty Jones) in prison, who says that one of Eddie Rice’s boys did it. The pharmacist would have cleared him, and Woll said he didn’t want to hear that. Jackson says of course Lovett is dead. When Bernard says that Rice got him killed to protect himself, and have Jackson sent away, Jackson said now he is detecting. It is too little too late now that Eddie is dead too.

At the home of Shelley Lovett (Irene Glezos), she tells the detectives that the last time she saw her husband, it was the Friday before he was supposed to testify. He saw some suspicious characters in front of their building so he decided to spend the weekend with cousins in Queens. He took a walk Sunday night and never came back. She didn’t tell anyone where he was, except someone from the DA’s office who called to arrange protection, and she has the name.

Outside near the court house, the detectives speak with Cutter while Rubirosa is off getting coffee. They tell Cutter that Woll wasn’t the one who called the wife about the protection. When Cutter asks who, they look uncomfortable, and as Rubirosa walks up with the coffee, they tell him it was Rubirosa. He looks stunned as Rubirosa hands Cutter his coffee, and he looks a little distressed.

In McCoy’s office, she tells him about the matter, and that she was helping 5 lawyers at the time and it was her first month and she didn’t recall at first. Woll asked her to find the witness so he could talk to him before he testified, and she adds that it wasn’t for protection but Woll told her to say that to improve their chances of getting the information. She says she got that man killed, but McCoy tells her Marcus Woll did that. Cutter thinks Rainey will roll on Woll.

At Rikers, they talk with Rainey, saying that if he tells them about his attorney aiding and abetting the murders of Maggie and Paige they will talk a deal. But he isn’t having any of it and refused to tell them anything and he leaves. As they leave the room, Rubirosa says Woll kills or tries to kill three witness, the pattern is consistent but there is no evidence because he murders the evidence. Cutter asks what if the pattern IS the evidence. She says legally it isn’t and he agrees but says if they get multiple murders in front of a jury they won’t split legal hairs and they will convict. Rubirosa says this is why a decent judge won’t allow it. Cutter says a decent judge says 50-50.

They take it to the judge and the both seem late in arriving to respond to Woll’s motion to dismissing the charges against Rainey. They tell the judge they have no evidence, and as she is getting ready to dismiss, Lupo and Bernard walk in and arrest Woll for the murders of Maggie Hayes and Lovett, and the attempted murder of Paige. As they cuff him, he asks the judge if she was about to rule, and says his trouble should not be taken out on his client. She says that is fair enough and dismisses the charges against Rainey, and tells Cutter and Rubirosa they can bring the charges again if they get enough evidence. Woll thanks her and says he will have a motion on his own behalf later today. ]

In the judge’s chambers, they confer with her on the case with Woll, his attorney (Kate Burton) present. They speak of the pattern which is his signature, but Woll calls it bootstrapping. The judge says that the arraignment judge agreed as his bail came quick and easy. She tells Cutter it is a stretch with the indictments coupled together. Rubirosa jumps in and says they will amend it to a single charge of conspiracy to murder Henry Lovett, saying there is a co-conspirator who is alive and willing to cooperate with the prosecution. Wa=oll looks stunned and asks who, and she says “me” as they all look at her with blank faces. The judge clarifies what Rubirosa is saying and then says the hearing is adjourned pending a superceding indictment and tells Woll his bail is continued, and tells Rubirosa to get a lawyer.

In the hallway, Cutter tells Rubirosa she does not want to do this, but she said that sonofabitch was about to skate. He says they will find another way, she says they have a way, and walks off. Woll approaches Cutter, and says, “You too, mate?” When Cutter doesn’t understand, Woll adds that she is hot as hell, and just do it – he did. He gives Cutter a creepy smirk and walks off, leaving Cutter with a determined face.

In McCoy’s office, Cutter says that Woll claims he and Rubirosa had a sexual relationship and did everything but show him the dirty pictures. When McCoy asked if he asked her, Cutter says that would be crossing the line. He doesn’t have sex with people that he works with and he doesn’t ask them about their sex lives. He says, “We’re supposed to be smarter than that here, aren’t we? I mean, who’d put themselves in a situation like that?” McCoy looks at him with a half smirk, and says, ”You mean besides me?” Cutter says it is worse for a woman, it demeans them and a calls into question everything they have accomplished. McCoy says she deserves extra credit for stepping forward, and says he assumes Cutter still finds her competent. He does, but they are colleagues, not lovers and that is the way it is supposed to be.

Back I Supreme Court, Jackson is on the stand talking about the case involving Eddie Rice. He says that Woll came after him and got his headline. He found Woll a witness who saw it wasn’t Jackson, and that witness was gong to testify until he got killed. Under cross, the defense attorney only asks him about him being convicted for murder, clearly trying to discredit him.

Later in Cutter’s office, he and Rubirosa talk about the case, asking about how to address her relationship with Wol When she says she wants to jump into a time machine and make it never happen, Cutter looks at her and says he never would have thought, her and Wol. She says that’s life, things happen. He says it was dumb and she is not dumb. She says thank you with some sarcasm. She asks if maybe someone else should be handling the trial, and he laughs and says he is afraid she is stuck with him. She says then they should probably get back to work. He asks how to deal with her relationship with Woll, and she says tell the truth, keep if brief, and move the focus back to the crime, that’s what he tells her to do when they have a damaged witness. He says yes.

Outside her apartment building, Wol is waiting for Rubirosa and asks if he can give her a lift, they are going to the same place. She says no. He says they are co-conspirators, it seems natural to spend time together. She comments that it’s the day she is going to testify against her, is he planning on having her shot like the others? He says she does not have to do through it, it isn't going to do her any good. She tells him that he has no idea how much good this is going to do her. He smiles, commenting that it is tragic, the whole thing is breaking someone’s heart, saying it is “poor Mike Cutter. ” When she turns back in surprise, Wol adds that Cutter never realized she was available.

At Supreme Court, Rubirosa is on the stand and talks about her involvement with Lovett and Wol’s asking her to call him and get the information where Lovett was hiding. She spent the weekend working on the case, and Wol never interviewed Lovett, even after she found him for Woll. She did not think it was odd at the time and when Lovett didn’t show up, it was moot. Cutter comments that Lovett did not show up because he was dead. She did not know that then. Woll  also asked her to work on a draft of his closing statement for Monday, but that was when Lovett was supposed to testify. Cutter implies that Woll seemed to know that Lovett was not going to be there.

Under cross, Wol’s attorney reminds Rubirosa she has not been charged as yet, and implies she wants to get Woll.  Rubirosa says not any more so than any other murderer. The attorney asks her how many other accused murders she has slept with, and as Cutter objects, she withdraws the question. She then implies that Rubirosa had sex with Woll that weekend she was supposed to be working with Woll. She admits she did have sex with Woll other times, once or twice. Rubirosa says the affair ended when she came to her senses. She says there was nothing to get even for, she had practically forgotten about it, it wasn’t that memorable. Woll smiles but looks annoyed. Cutter looks at Rubirosa with an approving smile.

Woll is now testifying. He says that he tried to contact Lovett himself over that weekend and he did not arrange his murder. He never thought Rubirosa would go this far, and thinks she actually believes her version of what happened, and that is what is really scary. Under cross, Cutter – with someone else as second chair – finds no phone calls to Lovett on Woll's  phone records. Woll implies he made a call on another phone. Cutter did find calls to Eddie Rice, saying that maybe it was done at the suggestion of the defendant. When Cutter comments that Woll thinks Rubirosa is delusional, Woll says he is not a psychiatrist. Cutter then seems to imply that Rubirosa was the one who called Eddie Rice to tell him where to find Lovett, in order to help Woll and that maybe she was in love with him. Rubirosa looks a little uncomfortable that Cutter seems to be implicating her. He adds that maybe they were in on it together and she was an equal partner and she should be charged right along with him. Woll says nobody should be charged because nobody was murdered. Cutter says somebody murdered Henry Lovett, and nobody knew where he was except Woll and Rubirosa. Woll blurts out to have it Cutter’s way, she did it, and he doesn’t murder witnesses. This is exactly what Cutter wants to hear, because now he can bring in all those other cases to discredit Woll, much to Woll’s dismay. Woll has to admit he has heard of those other people who were witnesses who were murdered or attacked. As Cutter continues to press on details, Woll complains to the judge, and Cutter says he will make it simple, why is it that witnesses opposing his interests have a consistent habit of getting killed? When Woll complains, “Your honor!” Cutter withdraws the question. Cutter stares back at a rattled Marcus Woll, and Rubirosa looks on, satisfied. When Cutter wants to begin talking about Maggie Hayes, Woll looks beaten.

In the DA’s office interview room, Woll is there with his attorney, who comments that Cutter got his pattern in. Cutter indicates the jury noticed it too. She suggests they drop the case and they will give him something real, and Woll says he has never shot anyone or carried a gun. Woll says he will give them everything they need on Rainey. His attorney suggests that Woll will get a walk and Cutter will get a stone cold killer. Cutter replies that he would rather make the deal with the stone cold killer, and is sure Rainey will find the recording he just made very interesting. Woll has that “I am royally screwed” look on his face.

Later in McCoy’s office, Cutter says they cut a deal with Rainey for 12-14 years and he will give them Woll. McCoy is happy they will both be in Attica, adding that it is charming. He says the appeals for Woll’s cases are already coming in and they will have another 100 by the weekend, saying ”You two will have to work together day and night, that won’t be a problem, will it?” he walks away for Cutter and Rubirosa to ponder that, and as Cutter looks a little blank Rubirosa gives him a small smile as we fade to black.

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John K. said...

I believe Jack's comment was somewhat like, "The pair of balls this guy has, blackmailing us." (Picked from my faulty memory, and I misplaced my lovely notecard with such observations. So, feel free to correct me, as I need the line transcribed, anyway.)

I wish the series was always this honest about the boss/subordinate relationship, as Trophy should have had this with McCoy and Schiff. Better late than never. Surprising they'd revived Jack's past history with his assistants, since I thought it was a dead issue by now. No worries.

Either way, good recap, as always. Thank heaven for edit buttons.

Anonymous said...

Cutter's suggestion that maybe Rubirosa killed Lovett because she was so in love with Woll reminds me of the plot of another episode, where A.D.A. Hawthorne frames a guy because she was in love with Jack McCoy or something.

John K. said...

Yeah, that's "Trophy," which has a lot of parallels with the episode.

Moreover, I recall that one of "Defense" writers, Ed Zuckerman, also co-wrote "Trophy," which explains much. Looked it up on to confirm.

Anonymous said...

Great episode. The DA's office put away the dirty lawyer over a "cold blooded" killer, I loved it.

Lisa R. said...

Just when I thought Law & Order couldn't get any better, they give us this episode. Excellent performances, especially by Linus Roache. He knocks my socks off! I really can't wait to see what they do with this UST between Mike and Connie...And what a slimy dirtbag that Marcus Woll was! I was yelling at the TV, you slimeball!!

Definitely my favorite episode of the season.

Quilton said...

Heh. I had a feeling that the “internal drama” Linus mentioned would involve Connie. I thought it was a fine way to address Connie/Cutter without taking away from the story, and it will be interesting to see if anything further develops, although I think subtlety would work best. It’s interesting to me that Cutter seems to be more into Connie than vice versa, when Alana has said herself that she ships them.

Great acting all around, but the MVPs were definitely Alana and Linus. Jonathan Cake was so smarmy and wonderful as Woll. This was the best episode of the season for me—Van Buren and her pie, the cops giggling at the man being “serviced”, the whole hotel scene, lovably awkward moments between Mike and Connie, and Jack being all wise and awesome.

Jen said...

Yeah, wow. Count me in as one of those who LOVED this episode. It had me enthralled from start to finish. Who would have thought that Law & Order, the show that typically eschews personal stories, would do them better than anyone else, but...there it is!

Wall did torture them both quite handily, didn't he? And it was torture. Poor Cutter; I think it's clear what his "internal romantic drama" is. He's caught between what he desperately wants and his own self-imposed logical proprieties (which I maintain are, at least in part, mental excuses he's given himself) His argument was a tad paternalistic in nature, given that it seemed to espouse the idea that women need to be protected from demeaning themselves even when they make the choice freely and intelligently, but I easily forgave it because he was clearly in absolute anguish at the time. Loved how Jack subtly debated him on it, too. BTW, I agree, he'd break that rule in a heartbeat.

Otherwise, loved Anita's munchies, and the detectives chortling over the guy in the hotel and his "room service." haha!

deisegirl said...

Great episode! This series is just getting better. My mind boggles every time I hear some rumour about it getting cancelled!!!!

Anonymous said...

Best episode so far. The best sence is when Mike And Connie were in the office and they were talking about the case. They look so human it was weird but i love it also the little half smile that Connie gave to Mike at the end was great as it meant so many things. Does that mean that Connie has a thing for Mike??????

Above all else great episode and i hope this show does not get cancelled

Anonymous said...

There was so much to love about this episode. Starting with the dynamic duo of Lupo/Bernard. These two have become a cohesive and fun couple. It's always such a pleasure to watch the repartee between them. It's great to see the Van Buren storyline paying off. The simple joy that Epatha brought to that scene of her devouring her lunch was fantabulous. The "munchies" will do that to you. At least that's what I've heard.....

Now to the other side of the show. Cutter/Rubirosa storyline is subtle and the acting of these two is phenomenal. That scene with Cutter and McCoy was priceless. McCoy saw right through Cutter. Mike tries so hard to be in control and above all that but you could see him barely hanging on. Was he trying to convince McCoy about his not having feelings for Connie or is he trying to convince himself? And Connie's testimony in court? And those looks between her and Cutter? Loving this a whole bunch. Linus Roache is my new tv boyfriend. I'm allowed as long as I give one of my other boyfriends up. Hee hee.

Thanks again for the recap. As always spot on!!


Factory.JUnkie said...

absolutely loved this episode!

Anonymous said...

This was the best Episaode ever!!! Cuz, Cutter was OBVIOUSLY jelous that Rubirosa slept with some jerk like Wall!! and also Cutter is completly in love with Connie, he was wishing that Connie sleep with Him!! Is obvius!! And also in the episode "Zero" Connie is jelous of Cuuter's "friend"! aWSOME!

fusionforever said...

I am hooked on to this series. I especially enjoy watching Connie, Mike Cutter and McCoy work. I admire L & O's ability to keep personal affairs like relationships / flings away from episodes and keeping things strictly official. But my heart pines to see Connie and Mike together! Wonderful chemistry between two very beautiful people!