Thursday, May 27, 2010

Law & Order Honored by Alliance for Justice: Waterston, Roache, Berner Appear (Video)

The Alliance for Justice paid tribute to the creative team of "Law & Order" for its commitment to human rights and justice. The event was held on May 26, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Sam Waterston and Linus Roache, along with Executive producer Fred Berner, appeared at this event and are featured in the video below.

Photos from the event can be found here:
These Are Their Stories: Waterston, Roache, Balcer Appear at Alliance for Justice Luncheon

Also, a nice article on the event here:
Cast and Creators of 'Law & Order' Win Justice Award

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

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Law & Order CI “Disciple” Episode Information

Here is the episode information plus the promo tease for the June 1 episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Disciple” which features guest star Lorraine Bracco:

Law & Order CI “Disciple” Air Date June 1, 2010 (10 PM ET/9C Tuesday USA Network)

A body discovered at a construction site bears all the hallmarks of a serial killer who was executed over six months ago. Detective Stevens (Saffron Burrows) is faced with two grim possibilities: either they're dealing with a copycat, or she helped put an innocent man to death. Also stars Jeff Goldblum and Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio.

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

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

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

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Traffic” Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

Law & Order CI “Traffic” was another interesting episode which featured a crime that seemed to have many players, but turned out to be a simple case of a power hungry woman who couldn’t handle criticism. It also seemed to highlight a difference between Detectives Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Stevens (Saffron Burrows) and how they approach a case - Nichols drawing on psychology but Stevens relying on her instincts. In this case, Nichols seems to have the winning method by pitting one suspect against the other, and then using their words as a trap to catch the real killer.

The guest stars all did a fine job, and actually drew some attention away from the fact that Nichols and Stevens seems to be a rather lifeless pair of detectives. Sure, they are both smart, but it seems each week they are toned down more and more to the point that the guest stars seem to steal the show. I was worried at first that when Jeff Goldblum came to the show that his mannerisms would overpower that of his characters, and now I think they have gone too far the other way and have made Nichols a little too bland. It is also possible that Saffron Burrows’ character is not being written with enough personality where the two characters can play off each other in a way that is not sleep-inducing. I do fear that Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio) is becoming a little too one-dimensional in her role - as the authoritative road block. For the most part, I do like the way they are telling the stories this season - and their casying choices for the guest stars - which has helped keep my interest.

Here is the recap:

Connor James (John Bolger) and Mia (Conor Leslie) are in bed after some “romance” and he says he has some rotten work ahead of him at the office but he will see her later at the party. She tells him she can’t come because she would spend the whole night starting at him and "she" would see and then she would know.

Connor gets to the office and is very critical of Frank Bollinger’s cover for the magazine and says Frank can do better. Frank (Ian Kahn) gets enraged and throws papers that on Connor’s desk all over the office and storms out.

Mia gets home and tells Patricia (Tracy Pollan) who is getting ready for the party, that she is not going. Mia puts her phone on in a bowl on a table in the entry in front of Patricia and says she doesn’t feel good. Patricia asks if she wants her to call Dr. Harris, and she picks up the phone. Elsewhere, a man is with a woman who is pretending to be a young girl and says she deserves to be spanked. Later, her pimp says the doctor likes him and she thinks he will be a regular. And again in another place, a woman brings another group of girls to Dmitri, who seems to have someone preparing a lot of passports.

At the party, Patricia is there and is surrounded by a lot of guys and is getting compliments about one of her articles and speculating it may turn into a serial. Connor tries to apologize to Frank and Connor, after looking over at Patricia, tells him he will pass on his party plans for tomorrow night. As Frank walks off, Patricia approaches Connor and says he considered her serialized piece, and says it won’t happen. She says that is not funny. He says it is not a joke – one and done - but she thinks an article on the Russian mob will be hot and doesn’t want to be shut down because the people in the checkout line didn’t buy his 9,000 words on the art of Myanmar. He says when she is running things, publish whatever the hell she wants and until then, suck it up. Then to much applause, Connor thanks them all for coming and raises a glass to toast that after 50 years, while others have folded, Inset is still here. Patricia’s phone rings and she gets a message.

Later, at Connor’s place, Frank stumbles around, appearing drunk, and calls out to Connor saying he is sorry. He walks into a room and is shocked to see Connor on the floor, dead.

Later, Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows) are on the scene, and speak with Frank who said he had a lot to drink and blacked out. Frank doesn’t think anyone else was in the house. Nichols also notices blood on Frank's shirt and Frank admits he hugged Connor but he was dead. ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) says Connor was dead 5-1/2 hours with 2 blows to the head, first by a blunt heavy object on the left temple and then to the back of the head, the latter either from a fall to the floor or the killer smashed his head against the floor. Nichols sees lacerations on Connor’s hands; Rodgers suspects it is from something he held. Stevens wants an object that seems out of place – a trophy - checked foe prints. It is a publishing award and there appears to be blood at the base.

Back at home, Mia walks in and asks her mother - Patricia – if she has seen her phone and she sees her embracing her father Forrest (Bill Sage) and she asks what he is doing there. She wants to know what is going on, and they tell her Connor was murdered. She is clearly upset.

Back at Major Case, Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) is reading Connor’s last editorial – “Everything Must Die”. The detectives tell Callas what they know so far, and they suspect Frank is gay and maybe it was a lover’s spat. Callas says the king is dead, who is moving on the throne?

At Inset Magazine, Patricia tells the detectives that the stockholders asked her to take over as editor and she could not refuse. She says they will hear that she wanted the position and she did, but not like this. She said Connor was cautious and she leads with her chin but each month they got the “book” – the magazine – to the printers. She said Connor was Frank’s mentor, but said Connor was straight and fond of Frank but Frank worshipped him, and Frank was sensitive about his work and admits she was too. She said Connor trashed Frank’s cover design for the next issue and Frank lost it, and threw all of his work in his face. She then tells them she has a lot on her plate to get rid of the detectives.

Back at Major Case, they find Frank has an assault record, arrested at a bar. His prints match those on the murder weapon. Later, with Frank in interrogation with his lawyer, they tell him his prints were on the murder weapon. He says he may have picked it up. Nichols asks him if a quarrel escalated into something physical, and Frank says he has no future without Connor. Connor put up with him and he loved him. He says Patricia Caruso hates him and his work and will replace him with some wannabe. He’s gone – a ghost – and that “bitch goddess prevails.”

Elsewhere, a man tells Dmitri that Frank was arrested and they don’t want him to talk.

Later, Nichols and Stevens are in Connor’s office reading Patricia’s article on the Russian mob and see something where Connor wrote a complementary note to Mia on another piece and wonder who she is. Patricia walks in and sees them reading her piece and says Connor reduced her series to a one and done and may have been afraid of the Russians. She said her ex-husband was Forrest Caruso, who Nichols recognizes as a great defense attorney. He would not defend the Russians. She said she got home that night around one and both her daughter and her ex-husband were home. Mia is a part time fact checker there and also goes to NYU. Nichols says his father, a psychiatrist, wanted him there talking notes while people were on the couch and here he is now, a cop.

Back at Major Case, he looks at Mia’s essay and says Connor’s praise was well deserved, but Stevens wonders if Mia is attractive and comments Nichols thought that of Patricia. He asks if he was that obvious. Stevens wonders if maybe Connor was attracted to her and they decide to go to the memorial service. When they get there, Patricia and Forrest seem cozy and see Mia is attractive. Forrest walks over to them and tells them this is hardly the time but Nichols reminds him it is a murder. They ask about the article on the Russian mob. He says they spent the night at Patricia’s and he has corroborated Patti’s alibi and that is all they need. After he leaves, they agree Forrest is slick.

At Rikers Island, Frank is in the shower area getting undressed and a guy comes up to him and says he knows who he is and has seen his face in magazines. He follows Frank into the shower. Later, Nichols gets a phone call and says that Frank was stabbed to death in Rikers but lived long enough to ID his killer. Later, Stevens and Nichols are at Rikers talking to the guy that followed him into the shower – Ivankov - and they also found the shank in his bunk. He said someone who hates gays killed Frank. Nichols says Ivankov is a hired gun and he says he is a pest exterminator. Ivankov says they have no evidence and he has been extradited and they can’t stop it.

Back at Major Case, Callas confirms it is true, Ivankov is being extradited. They try to discuss the connection between Patricia’s essay and the Russian mob and think that Frank’s and Connor’s murder are connected. Callas wonders if they are sure Connor was straight and Stevens suggests they talk with another woman who was close to him. Later, they speak with Connor’s maid who said he was always with the girls. Nichols sees a chest on a coffee table that was not there when Connor was murdered and she said he put it in the basement to make room for the party. They look inside and see tons of photos of women, all young, who look like prostitutes, plus a few DVDs that appear to be home sex videos. Back at Major Case they review one of the DVDs and Connor accuses one woman of being too old for what he paid for. He then calls Frank and says he needs another girl. It seems Frank was his connection to the younger girls and maybe Connor was afraid his name would should up on Patricia's Russian mob piece so he cut it. They see a DVD with Mia’s name on it.

The detectives go to Patricia’s home and say they want to talk about Mia. He tries to blow them off, and they tell her Connor was sexually involved with Mia and with Russian prostitutes and while they are speaking, Forrest walks in. Forrest wonders if this is why Connor butchered her piece, and Stevens says Connor recorded his exploits on DVDs and had quite a collection. Patricia gets upset and seems unaware of his involvement. They want to talk to Mia, but Forrest tells them since Mia is not under arrest it is a family thing and they should leave them alone.

Back at Major Case, Callas tells Nichols if they want Forrest in there they do it on a material witness warrant. Nichols says an arrest is the only way they can isolate Forrest from Patricia and Mia while they question them. Stevens says Mia’s phone is in her father’s name, which means her records are his records. They find a text message sent from Connor’s phone sent to Mia during the party, but Callas says it does not prove he knew about the affair. There is also a call at 2:13 AM where Mia called her father which was the same time Connor was murdered, which is the time Patricia said they were all home together – and if that is the case why would he call her. They wonder if Forrest helped Mia in a cover-up and framed Frank. They get a call from ME Rodgers.

In the morgue, Rodgers tells them that the mark on Connor’s hand formed a radiating pattern and is from something square and sharp, showing them a photo of the wound. She thinks she had the object in his hand for 20-30 minutes after he died and sometimes a victim’s hand has to be pried open. Stevens wonders why kill him and wait 25 minutes to remove whatever it was?

Back at Major Case, Nichols is using the photo he got from Rodgers to draw what he thinks the object would look like, they seem to know now what it is, and they decide to issue warrants for Forrest, Patricia, and Mia.

With Mia and Patricia in questioning, they tell them Forrest is in custody and says he may have helped Connor cover up Mia’s murder of Connor. She denies killing him, and she said she was not there. They tell her that her cell phone records and GPS track her to Connor’s. Mia gets upset and says she wants her father, that Connor was murdered because of the crap Patricia wrote. They tell Mia they are holding her pending arraignment and they arrest her. Patricia protests and Mia denies everything. As they take Mia away, Callas warns Nichols that he know how she feels about this, it verges on breaking rules and whether it works or doesn’t work he’d better make it fast.

Patricia, still in the interrogation room, complains. She then worries about her “poor baby” and says she tried to warn Mia away from Connor, she knew he had a crush on him. When she heard about his death and Mia was not home that night she worried it was Mia. She said whatever Mia did she is not to blame. Callas comes in and says they brought Forrest Caruso, and Patricia says he will not accept it and is not ready. Outside the room, they know they have to cue Patricia’s testimony to just the right spot so Forrest does not get a whiff of what they are doing – working them against each other. Stevens doesn’t like how this is going but when Nichols says he can go it alone she says she says even he thinks this could go wrong. Callas calls it a career ender, and Callas wants them to talk. They go into her office and Callas says they don’t have an admission, Patricia only made an accusation and it could get an innocent girl convicted. If Patricia lawyers up she could be in the grand jury indicting her daughter and they could end up as transit cops. Nichols says he wants to go it alone but the only way is forward, and Stevens says he has a terrible way of being right.

With Forrest in interrogation, they go over their evidence with him and bring up the recording of where Patricia said she was not aware of an affair, and saw a crush developing and when she heard Connor was dead and Mia was not home…and Forrest tells them to stop it. He says Mia is innocent and then gets very upset and yells again for them to stop. Forrest said they don’t know who made that call, and says his daughter did not do it. He tells them Patti was frantic, she hit Connor with something during a struggle and she panicked and called him for help. He said it was her reaction to Patti finding out about Connor and Mia. When they mention there was more than one blow, he said that was from him. When he got there, Patti’s earring was in his hand and he would not let go and he slammed his head against the floor and finished him off. He said he killed him.

Later, Stevens enters the cell where Mia is being held, and tells her she is being released and that her father said he killed Connor – along with her mother. It was out of rage for finding out about Mia and Connor. Afterwards, Nichols tells Stevens they are not letting Mia go until they are finished. Stevens disagrees, seeming sympathetic to Mia, but Nichols says she stays there until the arrest process is done and that is what they do. Nichols says they have to understand Patricia’s intent, and they argue a bit, with Stevens saying he should have been a shrink like his father wanted. He tells her he doesn’t care about complaining husbands and cheating wives and treating people with nervous acne, but he is driven to understand why come people are so different that they disrupt our sense of all behavior and logic. She says he will do whatever it takes. He doesn’t buy Patricia killed to protect her child, that is not who she is = they don’t know who she is.

Later, in interrogation with Patricia, Nichols tells her that her husband told them everything, and she says he is desperate to save Mia. He shows her the photo of Connor’s hand wound and how it matches the earring she wore to the party that night. Stevens says since that night, Patricia has been wearing clip-ons, and she removed them – one ear looks like an earring was pulled out. They tell her they think she had Mia’s cell phone and intercepted a message from Connor to Mia. She said it was filth, that he bragged about Mia's first orgasm in detail. They have the text, and it was really about Mia’s excellent writing, adding that nothing is owed to a mother who suppressed and denied her talent. She sticks with calling it filth. Nicholls says Mia’s writing is superior to hers but she said he is a cop and can’t judge what she creates and doesn’t care what he thinks. He said she did care what Connor thought. She says she writes tough and it sells and that is why she is running the place. Connor said to Mia what he said to get laid and she learned a decade ago exactly how he works. He said Forrest killed him, and does admit to striking Connor and when Forrest got there they both saw Connor move and Forrest slammed his head into the floor and he never moved again. Nichols said it was muscle contraction as part of rigor mortis and it was really her blow that killed him – and she killed him for reasons far less noble that she would like them to think. Stevens says she went from framing her daughter to accusing her ex-husband who still loves her. Nichols says Patricia is finally starting to arrive at reality and it is time she heard her rights.

As the police lead her off in cuffs, Stevens tells Nichols he is a stickler for behavioral theory, and reads back a passage from what Nichols thinks is a psych text book, and which he said described narcissist personality disorder, and also Patricia. Stevens says or it is also the sign of a zodiac, and holds up the book which is an astrology book, saying Patricia is a Scorpio. Nicholls looks a little surprised and then says his father would kill him for saying this but “equally valid.” As they smile at each other we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

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

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Law & Order “Rubber Room” Recap & Review

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Law & Order wrapped up its record tying 20th season and, at least for now, the episode “Rubber Room” - a place some fans have already gone after hearing the series had been canceled - looks to be their last. With the finale being such an excellent episode, it makes the series’ end even sadder. We can only hope that someone with more sense than NBC will pick up this show and continue on.

“Rubber Room” not only provided and interesting case that for a change was not a murder, it provided a wonderful close for a beloved character, Lt. Anita Van Buren, played by the wonderful S. Epatha Merkerson. I am so thrilled that not only does it appear that she has been given a clean bill of health, but she is now engaged to Frank, who stood by her during the worst times of her illness. Anita deserves to be happy, and since this is also Epatha’s last appearance with the series, we should also wish her much happiness as well. (Thank you Epatha for entertaining us all these years!)

It was about time that we saw Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) completely blow his top, but even more wonderful was at the end when he praises the whole team and they all enjoy the moment - and Anita’s announcement - at the fundraising party. It was a very nice end for the season, and if this does prove to be the end of the series, it will also serves as a nice close to 20 years of wonderful cases, wonderful characters, a great cast, and good producing, writing, directing, etc.

All episode photos from NBC

Here is the recap:

Parents, upset at their daughter posting a topless photo of herself on the internet, find a blogger, “Fighter Boy”, who is posted a video of their daughter and other young girls. When they take the information to Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), she sees something that disturbs her and she takes it to Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto). Van Buren tells Lupo to log on to a website for “Fighter Boy” that depicts lots of weapons and bombs. They watch a video which shows a bomb being detonated, and then sees a trunk of a car with propane tanks in it. Lupo comments it could take out a whole city block, but Van Buren comments not just any block, and asks him to check out the license plate of the car – it’s from New York State. Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) suspects it is a New York City block. At home, while “Fighter Boy” - real name John Nolte -is in bed ignoring his wake up alarm, the detectives break in and Bernard and Lupo yell for those inside not to move. They yell to confirm the guy laying in bed is Fighter Boy and he says yeah. They ask where the weapons are and he doesn’t know what they are talking about. They take him down to the 2-7. At the 2-7 in interrogation, he says the only weapons he has are video game weapons. They show him a photo of the propane tanks in the car trunk that was on the video on his blog, but he says he just found that video and thought he’d put it on his blog. Bernard tells him the sex cops want to talk to him about his videos of underage girls. Lupo tells him no more pretend, he’s going to do some real time now.

Lt. Van Buren tells the detectives that the photos and bomb video were downloaded from another source on the net that they can’t trace. The detectives say the apartment was searched and they found nothing so they think “Fighter Boy” is a watcher not a doer. There are too many of the make and model of the car in the video to track it down. Lupo says it is like fishing for a needle in the ocean – an old Chinese saying. Van Buren says “Just do it. Old American saying.” She wants to stop something from happening.

Later, at the Imaging Center, a doctor talks about Van Buren's last MRI. He asks her to lie on the scan table and tells her the doctor will compare the pictures they take today with the ones taken three months ago to see if there has been any change. He tells her how the scan will work and then gives her the call button in case she has a problem. She looks apprehensive. He begins the scan.

Later, the bomb video is being analyzed and the technician helps the detective locate where the bomb video was taken, on Staten Island. Later, with NYPD people on the scene of the video, a fragment of threaded pipe is located. The police captain tells them they found a pipe bomb a few weeks ago in a gas station rest room a few miles from there, and it was rusted and was a dud so they thought it was a prank.

Back at the 2-7, the detectives tell Van Buren what they discovered, and that they found prints on that pipe bomb, plus also eczema cream. They are tracking every silver Civic from Staten Island. Van Buren gets a phone call, and tells the detectives to go back to the gas station and check out the “prank.” Her phone call is about applying for a line of credit because of her medical bills and Lupo overhears.

At the Richmond Gas & Snak, a guy who works there tells them they don’t need a key from the restroom but remembers kids on BMX bicycles and that they hang out at the park. Later, the detectives, in casual clothes, play hoops at that park and Lupo floats the idea of a fundraiser for Van Buren and Bernard thinks Van Buren will not go for it because she is a very private person. The kid come up on their bikes and when the detectives try to ask them a question they try to take off but Lupo grabs one of them and they see what looks like eczema on his hand.

Later, at the 2-7 with the kid and his father, they tell him they tied his son to the bomb by the eczema cream. The kid says he found the bomb in the field, he saw the video online of the explosion and they recognized the place and they went there and found a piece of the pipe but later ditched it at the gas station. He wanted a piece of history, saying it is going to be epic. He shows them the web site where he saw the video, called “Moot’s Countdown.” It is the same video on Fighter Boy’s blog. The text of the video talks about taking down a whole school.

Later, in Van Buren's office with the Chief there, Bernard comments that Moots has been running his blog through a server in Romania and there is no way to identify him or trace him. The Chief asks if this is a credible threat as the blog doesn’t mention the school or borough or even a specific time frame. Another guy from Counter Terror there says that he has a high point 9mm carbine with 20 ten round mags, a glock 21 with 5 boxes of hollow points, 15 pipe bombs, and a body harness to carry it all, plus 3 propane tanks wired to go. He says this is as credible as any threat he has seen in 8 years of counter terror. The Chief says that is what he will tell the PC, and tells Van Buren he will have the Chief of School Safety to her directly. As they leave, she thanks them. She tells the detectives that this boy has had this blog for three months and is talking about blowing up a school, and asks how many people read it. Bernard tells her it had 2,300 hits, and she wonders why no one thought to report him. Lupo thinks nobody likes a snitch, even on the net. She tells them to bring in some help and see if they can profile the boy from his writings and start working on an email and maybe they can smoke him out.

Later, Dr. Emil Skoda (J.K. Simmons) is watching Lupo put a message on the message board to Moot, faking setting up a coinciding event in LA that will be “epic.” He makes a reference to Columbine, saying the kids think those guys were heroes instead of what they were – a grandiose psychopath and a suicidal depressive. Skoda thinks Moot is more of a depressive, but that Moot has given out no personal details they can work with. Bernard comes in and says the lab got a serial number off the high point carbine and the gun was stolen from a gun store heist in Massachusetts and thinks Moot bought the gun from him. The thief was caught and is sitting in Otisville awaiting trial.

The detectives speak with Duane Phillips and tell him they can’t offer him anything, and when they try to convince him to help them stop the terror attack, he tells them they’d better go talk to the Feds.

The Fed guy Schlicter tells EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache), ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza), Lupo, and Bernard that Duane Phillips is a potential witness against a gunrunning network that extends all the way up into Canada. He’s not wasting Federal leverage on a nothing state investigation. This infuriates Cutter, who disagrees, saying they are talking about a credible threat against a high school full of children and teachers. But Schlicter is skeptical since it comes from a blog, and he tells Cutter to get real. Rubirosa angrily reminds him of the very real video of a real pipe bomb explosion. He sarcastically asks if she’s checked the internet lately, it’s filled with videos of dumb kids blowing up crap with pipe bombs. He walks away and the door shuts in their faces. Later, they find Schlicter’s boss won’t see them either. Bernard realizes ATF gave them the dumps off Phillip’s cell phone and he made a few calls upstate to Ghent NY which coincides with a line used to access Moot’s blog.

Back at the 2-7, Van Buren gets a call from Dr. Knight and she needs her to come back in, telling her there were problems with her MRI and the data was corrupted and they need to re-do it. She agrees but is clearly rattled over it.
At the home of Morgan Jones in Ghent, her mother tells her to tell the detectives what she knows. She met Duane at a skating rink and she found Moot’s blog by accident and she wrote him and he wrote her back. She says Moot told her he was looking for a rifle and Duane said he could get a rifle like that and she took $100 out of her savings and bought it for Moot. Her friend Lee though Moot may be a freak so he gave him a rifle and he took it to Moot. They ask to speak with her friend Lee – and we then see the detectives standing at Lee’s grave. He drove through a red light and an 18 wheeler struck and killed him.

Back at the 2-7, Bernard tells Van Buren there was nothing in the emails from Moot to the girl. Lupo says Moot’s blog says he found that the police are reading his blog and now that someone is paying attention he will have to be more careful and the plan goes on, the end has been written. Later, they find that Morgan emailed Moot about their visit. Van Buren, Bernard, Lupo, Cutter, and Rubirosa discuss this with Skoda, who thinks the kid is very smart and that teachers seem to be his favorite subject. There is one teacher he wrote about – a science teacher who was a religious zealot who burned crosses on the arms of his students.

At the department of education, Lupo, Bernard and Rubirosa speak with Mr. Fontova who says the teacher involved was the subject of a proceeding but it got resolved prior to arbitration and he refuses to discuss it. Rubirosa comments about the bomb threat but he says union lawyers are more serious than a bomb threat.

Later, speaking with a union guy, he tells them the file was sealed. Rubirosa assured him the unnamed teacher is not the target of their investigation but he may have important information. He tells her he has a collective bargaining agreement to enforce, and comments to the detectives that as members of a union he is sure they can appreciate that. An assistant (Lindsey Vonn) is watching and gives a look to the detectives, and Lupo asks if she wanted to talk to them and asks if she knows how they can find the teacher. She tells them the teachers have a web site where they bitch about their job and she gives him the information on how he can log in. She suggests if they leave a message there maybe someone there can help them find that teacher.

Meanwhile, Van Buren is back in the MRI room and very testy. Frank tries to calm her but she doesn’t like being shoved into the machine “like a pot roast.” When the tech guy tells her he is ready and reminds her not to move, he almost rips him one but Frank tells her to bite her tongue.

Reading a “high school horrorshow’ web site, Lupo talks with Rubirosa and she tells him she was a kindergarten teacher for a year. Bernard tells Lupes not to go there. Lupo gets an answer to his message, which says the teacher he was talking about sounded like Ron Koslowski, a science teacher in Suffolk County.

They speak with Kozlowski, who says he didn’t brand anybody. He shows them a Tesla coil and did a demonstration with it that left an electrical mark on the kids. He admits being religious, and they ask if he can identify the student that wrote on his blog but it doesn’t ring a bell. He says more than one student who filed a complaint and the department of ed would not tell him. He says he is sorry they had to drive out there and Bernard says he is sorry he ended up out here. He says after 4 months suspension he quit New York and took a job here – half the salary and trice the commute but at least he is teaching.

In Cutter’s office, Rubirosa, with the detectives in tow, tells Cutter that the department of education won’t release the names of the students. The detectives add that not even in the student in Kozlowski’s class, and Moot could be a kid in another class who just happened to hear about Kozlowski, and they really need the names of all the kids in that school. Rubirosa says the department of education is standing on principle protecting the privacy of minors. Cutter thinks they are not taking this seriously. He tells Rubirosa to book the grand jury, they need to move for an indictment and start issuing subpoenas.

In the Grand Jury, Bernard testifies about what they know. Cutter concludes and asks them grand jury to authorize the subpoenas on the department of education on all records for John Locke high school and wants to seize all computers on the premises. When they find out they want to search the records of 2,872 students, they balk. Cutter reads back a blog post from Moot, but a juror comments those are just words on a computer. They are clearly not buying what Cutter is selling.

Later, in her office, Van Buren gets the call that Cutter was shut down by the grand jury. When she goes in to the squad room she sees something on a computer and asks the guy what he was looking at and asks her to open it back up. It is about a fundraiser for her. Van Buren then tells the detectives that the DA crapped out with the grand jury so stopping the kid will come down to police work. She plunks down a flier on a table which is for a fundraiser in her honor, and tells them they are not going to have any time for a fundraiser, so cancel it. Lupo comments that was supposed to be a surprise, and she looks at both of them and says if they respect her, respect her privacy, and she walks out of the room. Bernard says, “Told you.” Lupo responds, “Screw that, I’m not gonna cancel it.” Bernard notices a new posting on the blog, where the blogger says people are closing in, and the only power he has left is when he chooses to end this, adding he can’t wait any more and by the end of next week they will all know his name. Bernard comments that it is on and the doomsday clock just moved up three minutes.

Later, Cutter gets on Skoda's case because Skoda had said that Moot was slow, deliberate and not impulsive, and Skoda reminds him he also said the kid was suicidal and could go off any minute. Van Buren says they can settle this later; she wants to know how to catch him. Bernard thinks if they cross reference the teachers Moot has a beef with to a class schedule they can point him, and Lupo says they went on the teachers’ web site if they can identify him. They got replies with names. Most of the teachers responding were from Queens in a temporary reassignment center.

They go to the temporary reassignment center, which is called the “Rubber Room” where teachers who are accused of incompetence of misconduct are assigned pending a hearing. They are not teaching. They report there daily and do nothing but keep themselves busy, and some teachers have been waiting for two years for their hearing. If they don’t show up they don’t get paid their full salary. They later speak with a teacher who said he swatted a kid's hair but they said it was assault. They get the names of the kids in his class. Another teacher says he called a kid a little bastard because the kid punched her and tried to take her eye out with scissors. She gives them his name and those of his friends.

Later, Lupo finds none of the students cross reference with the list. Bernard wonders if Moot is a teacher who heard all those stories from other teachers. Bernard thinks Moot wanted them to hear all the stories of teachers who got screwed by the system. Rubirosa thinks all the teachers Moot mentions he could have met in rubber rooms except one, Maura Scott, who was never reassigned there and has been at the same school for the past 5 years and they think Moot works with her.

They call Van Buren at home and she tells them to put a radio car outside Scott’s building and wait for her to come home. She tells Frank they have a good lead and will go in to work for a while. Frank comments that getting a loan would be a lot easier if she could show two incomes, but she says she only has one. She asks what he is saying and he says they will talk about it when she gets back. She doesn’t want him feeling sorry for her, and he brings up the fundraiser, telling her to be glad people want to help her. But she doesn’t want a pity party, and says they may need to do this for her and she is not the only one who feels helpless against the disease.

Maura Scott arrives to meet with Cutter and Rubirosa and the detectives and she has a lawyer, Mr. Kralick (Paul Schultz), who says the union rep contacted him to come. She denies calling a student stupid and said she did not say that. They ask her if any teacher at her school that would have known her situation spent any time in a rubber room. When they mention the car, she seems to know who it is but the union rep stops her from talking, saying they need a subpoena, and they leave. Lupo gets pissed, but DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) who has heard all this, races after her and says they need her to talk to them. Kralick says that he knows McCoy knows what a subpoena is. McCoy snaps, asking “Just how far up your ass is your head?” He argues with Kralick who argues back of all the problems teachers have, and McCoy acknowledges those issues, but says. “but if your obstruction allows a massacre to happen I will crucify you Mr. Kralick. I will charge you with negligent homicide and after I convict you, I will resign my job and represent the families of the victims in a wrongful death suit against you and the union. By the time I’m done, you will be finished, so my advice to you is GET OUTTA MY WAY!” McCoy asks Scott to talk, and she does later explain the man – Rick - was good teacher but having problems with classroom management. One student asked to go to the bathroom but being in the hallway alone was not allowed and recess was coming up in 10 minutes so Rick told the kid to wait, but the kid went up to the front of the class and peed in the trashcan. Rick tried to stop him and the kid accused him of molesting him and the department started proceeding he spend months in the rubber room, but the complaint was later dismissed. Rick was told he would never get tenure. His girlfriend left him, his name was Rick Benson and lives with his parent’s in Brooklyn.

They go to his parent’s house and Rick is not there. They see his computer with the web site up and empty boxes of ammo and black powder. The parents say he is a substitute teacher for a school in Queens but does not know the name. They find the name of the school and race to it, the school being evacuated. Security saw Rick going into the school with a backpack. The detectives raced to the cafeteria and they find one bomb. As everyone clears out the detectives hear gunfire. They approach the area with guns drawn and a window of a classroom is shot out. Kids race to escape, and Lupo and Bernard, along with a math teacher, enter the room as see a wounded kid. The math teacher tries to calm other kids. Meanwhile, they hear Rick on the phone talking with a woman and he is angry with her. When Lupo calls out, Rick shoots at him. Rick says he has nothing and he is a dead man. Lupo says he talked with Moira and knows he got screwed. As Rick tries to reload his gun, he is distracted and Bernard comes up behind him and restrains him, with the math teacher helping. They get the pipe bomb out of his hand.

Later, at Reade Street Bar at the party for Van Buren, Lupo tells McCoy, Cutter and Rubirosa what happened and that they were lucky. McCoy says luck was only a part of it, and said they all did good. Van Buren arrives with Frank and they all applaud her. The Chief provides a few checks for the collection jar. She introduces Frank Gibson as her boyfriend, and then says as of this afternoon, Frank is her fiancĂ©. They are all thrilled for her. Van Buren’s phone rings with a message, and she steps away to make a call. It is her doctor, and we hear her sigh. She says she understands, and they says goodnight. She begins to cry and then composes herself, saying thank you thank you thank you. She whispers into Frank's ear and he is happy and they embrace and as we pull back into the crowd, we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

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

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

Law & Order CI “Traffic” Episode Information

Here is the episode information and promo video for the May episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Traffic”:

Law & Order CI “Traffic” Air Date May 25, 2010 (10 PM ET/9C Tuesday USA Network)

The death of a magazine publisher leads to a wide array of suspects, including his friends, employees, lovers past and present, and possibly the Russian mob. Who would go furthest to keep their secrets hidden? Starring Jeff Goldblum and Saffron Burrows

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

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

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

WSJ: "Law & Order School of Drama"

Today’s Wall Street Journal’s “Weekend Journal” section has a nice cover feature on Law & Order and its impact on the actors of New York City. Here are 2 excerpts from: 'Law & Order' School of Drama:

To play a judge was only one point of entry into perhaps the greatest ongoing casting call of all time. For a record-tying 20 years, the original "Law & Order" shot 456 episodes in all. Its finale on Monday employed 42 actors in speaking roles and 125 extras. Every episode adhered to the same actor-intensive formula: fast location changes, talky scenes separated by the ominous chung chung sound, and crowded New York street life, courtrooms and the like.

The show provided about 4,000 jobs each year, including one-day acting roles, according to the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Over the years the show employed 20,639 individual actors, with 5,934 of them in speaking roles and the rest background actors, according to Mike Hodge, the New York division president of the Screen Actors Guild. Of all the movies, plays and other TV shows in history, it's hard to think of a single entertainment entity which has hosted more troupers, emoters and hambones……

Ms. Hendrix, who played a medical examiner, says over the years the set seemed to run itself. "It was a formula you could fit yourself into without much effort," she says. "Eight or nine days that episode is shot and finished and boom, here we are, on to the next one." She recalls her favorite line as: "If you'll excuse me, I've got to go pull a javelin out of some guy's chest."

The job can be double-edged. In her recurring role as forensic psychologist Elizabeth Olivet, a passive listener who drew out other people's stories, actress Carolyn McCormick says she received mail from prisoners and others who felt she understood their story. But she lost out on funny and sexy roles elsewhere. "That role has stigmatized me as someone who is smart and boring," says Ms. McCormick. "Someone once said to me, 'I'd love to see you in a play because I'd love to see you change your expression.' "

The article also features a small trivia quiz and the on-line version included a video (below).

You can read the full article at this link (or pick up your copt at newsstands):
'Law & Order' School of Drama

They also include a review of the final episode of Law & Order, “Rubber Room”:
You Have to Watch It Anyway

My recap and review of Law & Order "Rubber Room" can be found here.

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

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rene Balcer to Head Law & Order LA

Good news - reports that Rene Balcer will serve as showrunner for the new Law & Order: LA. You can read the full story here: ” 'L&O' Veteran Rene Balcer To Run 'LOLA' “

Rene was showrunner for both Law & Order and Law & Order CI during some of their best seasons, so we should expect Law & Order LA to put on a good show!

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

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Shattered” Recap & Review

All Photos NBC

Law & Order SVU “Shattered” provided an exciting wrap up to the season as the detectives work a kidnapping case that quickly turns into a felony murder case when a kidnapper for hire gets killed while fleeing with the kidnapped boy. This sends the boy’s mother, played by French actress Isabelle Huppert, off the deep edge, and it’s not a long trip for her to get there as she was already wacky to begin with. Huppert did an excellent job playing the crazed mother.

A hostage situation occurs and I wonder if it was caused by a careless police officer, or careless writers. I always thought that police had security mechanisms on their holsters so someone couldn’t just pull out their weapon, but it seems like it is standard practice in the SVU universe for the police to have their guns unsecured. If there is anyone out there in law enforcement who can shed some light on whether a locking mechanism on the holster is a standard requirement or simple the choice of the officer, I would appreciate it. Regardless, this officer’s inability to maintain control over his weapon causes a hostage situation and results in ME Warner getting shot. It is important to note that season finales seems to be dangerous for supporting players on SVU – at least this year, they handled the scene much better than last season, when Tech O’Halloran got killed and Benson and Stabler just stood over his body and made a flip comment as if nothing happened.

The last half of the episode seemed too drawn out, and got too corny when Jo Marlowe, played by the stiff Sharon Stone, confessed to having cancer and a bilateral radical mastectomy. The scenery chewing goes to full throttle when she holds the body of the kidnapped boy to help disarm his mother. It was just a little too much for me.

Consistently excellent in the episode were Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, who, as usual, are completely believable in their roles and they saved the episode. Almost all of the top billed stars make an appearance in this finale...all but Richard Belzer. Sometimes I get the feeling that John Munch is being eased out. I did have an issue with how Stabler handled the news that they knew Sophie was not the kidnapper. Why would he even risk telling Sophie she was set up - a red flag that Paul was behind it and meaning he was also responsible for Nicholas’s death - while Sophie was still armed? If anything, I would have thought that it would have been better for him to lie or mislead her about who was behind it (such as saying they had the real person behind it already in custody), at least until they got the gun out of her hands.

Here is the recap:

After almost getting run over by a cab, Nicholas Olsen is pulled into a “Gary’s GoofORama” van and witnesses call 911. When SVU Detectives Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni), Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Fin arrive on the scene, they get conflicting stories from witnesses. They don’t know the identity of the boy.

At the precinct, the detectives, along with Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) and ADA Jo Marlowe (Sharon Stone), look at footage taken from video camera in the area. They can see the van clearly but not the kidnapper. They can see the van is from Gary’s GoofORama. Later, they arrive at the store and they arrest a clown - Gary - who says he has been there all day. His van is there and he says he hasn’t run it in six months. Fin calls Stabler - he found the real van, but the boy is not inside. When they get to the scene, the van has been torched. They find a boy’s backpack with a schoolbook from Whitethorne Academy.

In Principal Carol Huston’s office, she identifies the boy as Nicholas Olsen, a 3rd grader. He lives with his father, Paul. Huston thinks Nicholas’s mother, Sophie Gerard, who is French and unbalanced, kidnapped him. Paul has sole custody and got a restraining order against her. She has been a repeated problem for the school. They later see Sophie on a surveillance video talking to Nicholas outside the bus. Later, at the precinct, they have a police officer who can lip read translate what Sophie is saying. She tells him to remember whatever happens, don’t be scared. Paul Olsen (D.W. Moffett) comes in, irate. They ask for his help, and he says Sophie is not his wife and did not believe in marriage, she is an anthropologist and is obsessed with matriarchal cultures. She left them to go off for her work. She wanted to take Nicholas to China with her and he said no and she went crazy. The minute she got on that plane to China he changed the locks on the doors and filed for sole custody.

Later, at Sophie’s (Isabelle Huppert) apartment, Benson and Stabler ask to talk to her inside and she lets them in. They tell her it is about her son and denies seeing him earlier in the day, but they show her photos of her from the video. She says Paul has filled Nicholas' head with lies about her, and Stabler notices suitcases. He tells her she is coming with them and as he grabs her to lead her out, she asks them to tell her what happened to her son.
When they get her to the precinct, Paul is there and when Sophie says she is Nicholas’ mother, he yells out she is not, and outlines how she has been ignoring her motherly duties and said she abandoned her child. She says she came back, and when the arguing escalates, Cragen has them both separated and removed. Cragen tells Fin to toss Sophie’s place.

Stabler questions Sophie and she denies taking him, and she says Nicholas is afraid of Paul and must travel for her work and that Nicholas understood. Meanwhile, Benson is talking to Paul who says kids need routine and Sophie despises the conventional and she thinks Nicholas would be better with yak herders than at Whitethorne Academy. She never abused Nicholas but became violent with Paul and nearly cut off his foot with an axe. Yet she tells Stabler the axe is ceremonial and not a weapon. Paul says she is a pathological liar. As Marlowe watches Paul, Fin tells her Sophia’s place was a gold mine of evidence.

Marlowe enters to speak to Sophie and confronts her with a French passport for Nicholas, and she booked a ticket for her and him to Beijing, one way. She just wanted her boy back and he would love it there. Stabler continues to press her and she says she does not know where he is, saying they search her house and they know he is not there, and she denies having an accomplice. Marlowe asked why she borrowed $50,000 from her parents two weeks ago and the day the money was transferred she tried calling a prepaid cell phone, and a week later she withdrew $25,000 to pay whoever she hired to take Nicholas. When Stabler presses her on who she hired, she says he said it wouldn’t happen so soon, a man told her he could get Nicholas back and she would be there so he would not be afraid. He said never to tell his name and address. They continue to press her, warning her Nicholas is in danger, and she admits it is Jason Culross.

Later, Benson says Sophie has a right to be afraid, Culross was a Green Beret who specializes in covert ops. He signed on with Blackwater in ’05 and worked in Afghanistan for 4 years handling kidnap and ransom cases. His file address is a PO Box in Brooklyn, but he owns a warehouse in Red Hawk. Cragen wants ESU to handle it as Culross is a mercenary, but Stabler reminds him that he was trained by marines as well.

At the warehouse, Stabler and Benson enter and see evidence that Culross has been working to get Nicholas. They see someone in the office, but it turns out to be a set up, and Stabler turns to see Benson laying unconscious on the floor. Culross (Esau Pritchett) yells out, saying they picked the wrong place to rob, and he has a gun on them. Stabler announces he is NYPD and to drop his gun. He apologize and says he did not know he was a cop, and Stabler punches him, knocking him out. Later, with Culross restrained, they question him and he says Sophie hired him to recover her son, explaining that he locates and retrieves children taken by non-custodial parents. Once he found out Paul was Nicholas’ biological father he told Sophie he could not help her but she is obsessed with her son, and the $25,000 is non-refundable and claims what he does is not illegal. He is doing what law enforcement can’t and was in Brazil last night. While Stabler gets a call, Culross tells Benson that Sophie asked for him to refer her to someone else and he said he does not know any criminals. Stabler says that Sophie found someone on her own; her credit card was just used to rent a motel room on Long Island and a man checked in with a little boy.

They race to the Goodnight Motel in Jericho with police backup. They evacuated all rooms around the one in question including a maid who was servicing the rooms. They storm in but no one is there, and Benson sees a door to an adjoining room. She enters to find a woman bound and gagged. The woman said she was attacked by the man in the next room who took her clothes and her car keys and put the kid in her cart. They realize the maid they thought was servicing the rooms was their kidnapper.

Later, they see him leave on surveillance video, dressed as the maid and with the maid's cart. They already issued a BOLO for the maid’s car, and on the video they see the kid, scared, being put into the car. They hear on the radio that they have the car in sight and are in pursuit. We hear a crash and the officer radios that the chase has ended and he needs harbor, aviation, and an ambulance right away. When they get to the scene, a car is being pulled out of the sound. The driver is dead. They open the back door to the car but say nothing.

Back at SVU, in one room, Benson goes to tell Paul the news that Nicholas is dead, and Stabler, in another room, tells Sophie, who collapses in shock. Paul is throwing furniture and Sophie wails at Stabler. Cragen and Marlowe watch in silence.

Afterwards, Cragen asks Fin if there is anything on the kidnapper, and Fin says his name is Keith Bradman, 35, from Toledo and he has a record. Stabler will pull the phone records to connect him to Sophie. Cragen tells Benson it is time to get a confession, but she balks, saying Sophie has been through a lot. Marlowe reminds her Nicholas was killed in the course of a kidnapping and that is felony murder and Sophie is just as culpable. Benson and Marlowe go in to talk to Sophie and she seems in denial as if Nicholas is still alive. Later, Dr. Huang (B.D. Wong) says Sophie has become psychotic and has broken from reality. She may be like this for days or months. He thinks the unreality of it – sitting talking only to cops – has facilitated her retreat into fantasy. He tells them to make it real for her. Benson enters the room and tells Sophie they are leaving to see Nicholas.

Benson, Marlowe and Sophie get to the morgue where ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) is standing near a covered body on the table. She pulls the sheet back to show Nicholas's face and Sophie says it is a dream. She picks up the medal he is wearing on his neck and said it was supposed to keep him safe and asks if she can take it, and Warner nods yes. She puts it around her own neck and kisses him. Marlowe asks her to tell her what happened and she says she has nothing to say and does not know Keith Bradman. But Paul walks in and is upset to see Sophie there, and the officer with him said Paul asked to come here. As a fight ensues and they try to keep Sophie and Paul apart, she grabs the officer’s gun and holds it to Marlowe’s head. Benson has her gun on Sophie and orders her to put her gun down, but Sophie tells her to put hers down. She does, and kicks the gun over to Sophie and orders all of them out, and when Paul asks what is wrong with her and has she gone completely insane, Sophie fires the gun and Paul ducks. ME Warner collapses to the floor, shot. Sophie refuses to call for an ambulance.

Back at SVU, they are still working on the kidnapper’s phone records and Cragen tells Stabler that shots were just fired in the morgue and Sophie has barricaded herself inside. Stabler races there. Meanwhile, Benson tries to help Warner and Marlowe tries to talk Sophie down. Marlowe also moves to assist Benson with Warner. Outside, the cop apologized to Stabler that she got his gun, and says ESU is out on another call. Stabler says they are not waiting. He yells in to Sophie and then asks the cops to get him the blueprints to the building. She threatens to shoot all of them, and Warner struggles to breath, she says she needs a chest tube. Sophie thinks it is a trick but Warner tells Marlowe what to get to help her. Benson says she doesn’t know if she can do this and Warner says then she should get ready to watch her die. She walks Benson through the process and Warner screams in pain as Benson makes the incision and then inserts the tube. Warner can now breathe.

Marlowe asks Sophie what she wants and she wants her son back. As Sophie and Paul argue, she shoots the gun and Paul says she is out of her mind. When she tells him not to talk to her like that in front of her son, Marlowe placates her and tells Paul that Sophie is right and he should apologize to Nicholas. He goes along with it, and the Marlowe says Warner is losing a lot of blood and she would not want her son to see this and be upset. Sophie tells Benson to take Warner out. Benson calls for medical assistance and Benson wonders if there is another way in there. The cop says Stabler already found it, and we see Stabler is heading into the ductwork.

The phone rings in the morgue, and Marlowe tells Sophie to answer it but she refuses. Marlowe answers it and says that Sophie doesn’t want Benson to keep calling as Nicholas is sleeping. Paul tries to talk to her but she hits him with her gun. When Marlowe says that Sophie is scaring Nicholas, Sophie tells her not to play games with her, he is not sleeping or scared, he is dead. Marlowe asks Sophie to tell her about Nicholas. Sophie goes on about him, and Marlowe distracts her with allowing her to talk out more while Stabler continues through the ductwork. She continues to point the gun at Paul and says without Nicholas her life is over. When Marlowe tries to be sympathetic, Sophie says she knows nothing, but Marlowe admits that last year she got diagnosed with cancer, a very aggressive kind and she had to have a bilateral radical mastectomy. Stabler hears this while still in the duct. She had reconstructive surgery but it wasn’t good enough for her lover and he would not look at her or touch her and she died inside. She couldn’t go to work and spent 6 months on the couch sleeping in her clothes and she lost herself. She tells Sophie she understands and it is not easy she has to change. She came back to work and in the last month she found herself and Sophie can find herself and she has to for Nicholas. But Stabler’s phone vibrates and they all turn to hear the sound. Sophie shoots at the duct and Stabler ducks for cover. Marlowe tells her she does not want to do this. Stabler sees the text message on his phone from Cragen which says, “It was Paul. He hired Bradman. Got credit card in Sophie’s name.”

Stabler drops into another area of the morgue and opens the door and walks inn, gun drawn, and yells for Sophie to listen to him, he is on her side. He says he knows she is innocent and that the hiring of Bradman was just a set up to make her look guilty. He tells her it is over and she puts down the gun. Instead she points the gun at Paul and says it was him, as he says no, Stabler is lying. She accuses Paul of murdering her son, and he says she was going to take him away to China. He cries and says he did not mean for this to happen. She puts the gun to his head and tells him to tell God in person. But Marlowe, who is now holding Nicholas’ body, tells Sophie no, her son needs her. She drops the gun and Stabler retrieves it and gets Paul out of the room. Marlowe hands Nicholas to Sophie and she cradles his body and sing a lullaby to him. As Benson and Stabler look on, we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

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

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

Law & Order CI “Love On Ice” Recap & Review

All photos from USA

“Love On Ice” was actually a very interesting story where a current murder actually reveals another murder from years past. The guest stars all stole the show in this episode, with each one of them contributing to the drama of their long history of hiding that they contributed to the death of a classmate years ago. Usually I can spot the killer in the first 10 minutes of an episode, and in this case I got it right again, but as the case unfolded, I began to doubt if I had really picked the right person. This was a sign of a great story, where it really kept me guessing until close to the end. My only question is why, once they suspected the murder weapon was a baseball bat, that they didn’t get a search warrant for all the bats in Bailey’s display case at home? Maybe they needed more evidence against the wife to do that, especially since Bailey was a baseball player and he may have had a lot of baseball fans with lots of bats.

I enjoyed the way the case unfolded and how they told the story of the past incident from the guys’ teen years. But, I wish that Nichols and Stevens were not so subdued in their approach. One of them needs a spark of something besides their simple powers of deduction. For example, in previous seasons with Chris Noth and Annabelle Sciorra, Sciorra was so low key that she did nothing to add to the show and it always put me to sleep, and I fear Saffron Burrows is having the same effect on me. While I didn’t care much for Alicia Witt when she was paired with Chris Noth, at least her character Nola Falacci had something you could sink your teeth into, even if she grated on me a bit. In retrospect, I think I would rather have had someone like a Detective Falacci than what we have now. Saffron Burrows is a fine actress, it’s more that the character of Serena Stevens does not seem to interest me nor does she make for a compelling work partner for Zach Nichols. Still, this was a very good episode and I think that the writers did a great job crafting an interesting murder mystery,

Here is the recap
We see a bunch of young guys out running in the woods at night, one of them shirtless and being dared to drink what looks like vodka. Then, what is likely years later, we see one guy, Chris (Josh Stamberg) performing heart surgery, and afterwards, the doctor gets a text message. Another guy, Greg (Karl Bury) is selling cars, and he gets a text message which says “Time is up.” Another guy, John Silvestri (William Mapother) is a dean at school and he gets a phone call from the doctor asking if he got the email, and Silvestri says it has to end. Another guy, Bailey O’Doyle (Joshua Burrow), tells his wife to get off his back and he leaves the house. Meanwhile, three of the guys are at a bar waiting and are pissed that someone hasn’t shown up and they decide not to wait. Greg runs out and they tell him to calm down, and the guy they were waiting for – O’Doyle, races up in his car and says now they can talk. Greg begins to beat him up. One of the guys says O’Doyle is too drunk to drive and he will drive him home. He drops him off at home and then tells O’Doyle they all have lives and not to screw with them and O’Doyle gets out of the car. Rather than go inside the house, he goes out walking and stands at the top of a hill overlooking the river. He cries and says to himself that he is sorry, and then hears a noise. Someone comes up and hits him and he falls over the edge.

Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows) arrive on the scene where ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) is examining a body found on the shoreline. The ID indicates he lived nearby. Rodgers says there are contusions on his face, but they did not come from the fall onto the rocks; she thinks he was killed on the area above and then tossed down there. There are bruises on his knuckles so he may have landed a few punches and Rodgers will try to get DNA. Stevens comments, “Poor Killer” and then adds the victim’s nickname was Killer O’Doyle, that he made the majors and hit 48 home runs and continues to go into detail about his baseball record. Nichols looks a little surprised at her comments. He then suggests they go see the widow O’Doyle.

Nichols and Stevens are at the O’Doyle house and asks his wife Lani (Tina Benko) if he said where he was going and he just said out. She did not report him missing as he has disappeared before and he just wasn’t home. He had no enemies and when asked about any affairs, she said who knows, they hadn’t been real close for a couple years. He owned money to “everyone.” Nichols looks at a display of baseball bats and she said he was very proud of those bats and they are probably the last thing of any value in the house. When asked where she was, she said she was at home and did an hour on the treadmill while she watched MTV, Project Runway, she used to be a model. She said she spoke to her mother on the phone. She admits she is bitter because Bailey left them in terrible financial straits but he had no insurance and no money. What she gets from his death is more grief. Stevens asks where his car might be. She has no clue

At the office of Dean John Silvestri, his wife Anne (Erin Dilly) enters and tells him O’Doyle is dead. He seems shocked. She tells him he was found beaten, Silvestri says, “Poor guy” and then they go off to meet with her father.

Capt. Zoe Callas (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) confirms with Nichols that the search went out on his car (it had) and that Stevens checked the wife’s alibi. Stevens says the LUDS confirmed the calls and her mother verified the conversations. Callas thinks it may have been family. They doubt the wife did it, but Callas asks if maybe she just got sick of him. As she walks off, Nichols wonders what goes on at her house. Later, as Stevens and Nichols watches a news story about O’Doyle. Nichols comments that everybody seems to be making a nice recovery from grief. Stevens said O’Doyle had a friend, Ron Robbins, who had stayed in the minors and is an assistant coach of a minor league team in Staten Island. They head to Staten Island and talk to Ron (Curtiss Cook), who says O’Doyle had no enemies and they loved him and the women were all over him but once he hooked up with Lani it was pretty solid. Things went south for him and he started hitting Ron up for money and he seemed desperate.

Back in Silvestri’s office, Greg asks if he thinks DiNardi killed him. They agreed it was a bad thing and it had to stop. Greg say he did not kill him and accuses Silvestri, but Silvestri says if the police come to them they have to have the same story. They’ve done it before.

At the morgue, MR Rodgers says he had alcohol and snacks in his stomach and they wonder if he was in a bar fight. But he has an injury on his head that looks like it was from a baseball bat.
In Callas’ office, she comments this killing seems personal. The detectives indicate there is no indication of romance but he did seem into poker and had debt from his “Bailey O’Doyle’ Steakhouse”. They wonder if the mob is involved, Stevens is checking for investors.

Later, Stevens and Nichols look over the investors but don’t think there is a mob connection but all three investors went to the same school together, the Salesian Brothers Academy. One is now a dean of students at St. Victors, Chris DiNardi is head of cardiovascular surgery at Webster General, and Greg Foster is called the “Staten Island Car King.” Nichols gets a phone call – they found O’Doyle’s car.

At Duffy’s Bar, the police are checking over his car. They look at the bar charge slips and says there were a few guys over at a separate table. Back outside looking at the car, they wonder if he showed up at a meeting with the guys and never made it in because he was drunk. His car has a license plate cover from the Foster Auto Sales “Car King.”

They speak with Greg Foster who says he was shocked, and he talks to them about Bailey. They staked him in his restaurant but then it seemed like they were going to lose their shirts. They loved him but he sucked as a businessman. Nichols asks how he hurt his hand and he said it was from a PT Cruiser with a faulty head latch.

Later, at Silvestri’s office, he said they were to discuss a business venture with O’Doyle and he kept them waiting for 45 minutes and showed up drunk. The venture was to sell online autographs. Nichols sees photos of many boys on the wall and Silvestri says they are past winners of the Salesian Brothers academy Thomas Reynolds prize, which was established by his wife’s father.

At the hospital, DiNardi gets a call, asking what is going on. Then he meets with Silvestri who tells him what is happening and tells DiNardi he can’t speak with a lawyer as a lawyer will encourage his client to cut a deal and give up the others. They say they didn’t kill him but they have to stick together. He wants DiNardi to make sure he knows they story is Bailey wanted them to invest in online autographs. Silvestri says they are smarter than they are.

Later, the detectives talks with DiNardi and he gives the party line, but adds they were pissed about what Bailey sold the restaurant stuff for but they were just pissed at him and went home. He says he left before Bailey did and for all he knows Bailey went back for a drink. Stevens asks if he has been married, and when he says no, she says those are the kinds of details a man gets straight before he goes home and lies to his wife.

At the gravesite service for Bailey, the detectives watch from afar. The three guys are all together, but Silvestri’s wife Anne is more upset that anyone else. Ron stops and talks to them, saying that his wife Lani almost forgot to bury him with one of his prized bats. They watch Anne continue to be upset and Nichols says she may want to share, so he will buttonhole the dean while Stevens talks with her. Anne tells her she was very close to Bailey and said it was like a funeral she attended 22 years ago and it got to her. As she is telling Stevens about a club the guys had as boys, “The Hard Guys”, John Silvestri comes up and breaks up the discussion and tells them to go solve the murder. The detectives wonder whose funeral she was referring to.

Back at Major Case, they check out the high school yearbooks and see the name Tom Reynolds and associate it with the Thomas Reynolds Prize and realize that is Silvestri’s wife’s brother, and it looks as if Tom and John were inseparable buddies. Tom Reynolds drowned in a lake with his body containing over the legal limit of alcohol. The witness statements are all from the current gang of friends. They wonder what made the bond fall apart.

Later, they tell Callas they think the guys were involved in that drowning and are also bonding together to lie now. Nichols wants to bring them in and see who cracks.

At the car dealership, Silvestri comes to see Greg about the detectives pressuring his wife and said they told Anne they suspect Greg. Greg asks Silvestri for money for legal help, and Silvestri is reluctant says they know Greg did it, just like he did Tom. But Greg says they all pushed him in, and when Silvestri implies the rest of them will say he did it, Greg says he is not going down for this and storms off. Later, Greg asks for his secretary to hold his calls, and he looks out over the showroom and cries. Suddenly a gunshot is heard and blood spatters on his office window.

Later, the detectives tell Callas about Greg’s death. Nichols still wants the other guys to come in for questioning and she agrees.

Nichols and Stevens questions DiNardi and he says Greg is dead and they should consider the case closed. He says they were not responsible for Tom’s death. Callas brings Silvestri into the room and he is shocked DiNardi is there but says they will get it over with. They continue to question them about Tom Reynolds death and their group “The Hard Guys”, with Nichols commenting on the double entendre. Nichols comments about the feelings they may have had for Tom. They continue to work on Silvestri and imply that Silvestri married Tom’s sister because she was the female form of Tom. We see that Callas is watching from the observation room with Anne. They tells Silvestri and DiNardi that they studied the old case and they know it was not like the way they told it. DiNardi says that maybe it is time, and begins to spill it and then Silvestri says they all did it = stripped and swam the river. But DiNardi says that was in October, not in February when they made Tom do it. DiNardi says they killed Tom and that Silvestri told him Tom raped him when he was passed out drunk. They got drunk and chased Tom and made him swim for it. Silvestri is mortified and hangs his head. Nichols asked if it was rape or consensual, and when Silvestri said under the law they committed no offense, Nichols tells him to get real, that the truth threatened him. DiNardi says he did not kill Bailey, that Foster beat him up and then drove him home and told him not to screw with them and the last time he saw him he was there alone. Silvestri says he is done, there is nothing they can prove, and he leaves the room. He steps outside to see his wife, who glares at him and then walks off. He follows after her and says he wanted to spare her, and she says she always knew he never desired her or did he want to spare her form knowing what he did to Tom?

Callas reminds the detectives that Bailey’s case is still unsolved and wonder who is blackmailing whom, and they decide to go to Staten Island to retrace Bailey’s last movements.

Later on the ferry, Nichols tells Stevens that he is wondering about Bailey’s wife and also wonders about the huge landfill on Staten Island. At her home, the wonder if Bailey got home and stood outside and saw his wife and they wonder if he was standing there in a pool of light why she said she didn’t see him. She is now on the treadmill and spots the detectives. They speak with her again and ask about her being on the treadmill and that she would have seen him out the window. Nichols asks to look around and she lets them. He notices a bat missing and recalls he was buried with it. They tell her they know about Tom Reynolds drowning and know about Bailey blackmailing the other guys. They press him about Bailey being a failure and that she followed him and killed him with a bat, and she buried him with the murder weapon. His favorite bat #48 is still on the rack. They tell her they will exhume the bat. She then admits he was guilty about Tom and Bailey didn’t have the balls to threaten the guys to go public, and she knew he failed again so she just lost it.

Later, as the police take her away, Nichols wonders without the ghost of Tom Reynolds would the guys have made it? Stevens says picture a girl watching a baseball star that may have been her hero and then he just became a guy on a couch with a beer while she folded his dirty laundry. Nichols asks if the moral is not to marry a sports hero and Stevens counters “or a woman who will kill to get off Staten Island.” As they get in the car we fade to black.

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