Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Law & Order “Love Eternal“ Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

This was another interesting – and even slightly amusing – case for both the detectives and the DA’s office when presented with what looks like a murder with a kinky twist, with a the wife of the victim being quite the oddball drama queen. Mix in some unhappy husbands and a scheme to hide assets from their wives before they divorce, and Law & Order ”Love Eternal” turns into a comedy of sorts, but one that was certainly enjoyable. The case takes plain old detective work and investigating from the DA’s office to bring it to a head, and after sorting through all the many suspects, they finally get their man when the killer slips up on the stand. I wonder when the detectives will learn to make sure when they are setting up a sting in a restaurant, they should have someone inside just to watch and be close to the action, just in case something goes wrong – in this case, a steak knife making a handy impromptu weapon.

It would be wonderful if, before this season ends, that Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) can find peace and happiness. It looks like she and Frank (Ernie Hudson) are well on their way there. Anita is certainly one fictional character that truly deserves a happy ending.

It is very hard not watching these final episodes not to be sad that as of right now, it looks like the 20 year run for Law & Order will soon be over. Hopefully someone will come through and save this beloved show – especially since, in my opinion, Law & Order had had the best storylines and acting performances of all the shows in the Law & Order brand this year.

Here is the recap:

A reality show picks a “fashion victim” for their show and for a makeover, Marielle DiNapoli (Anna Gunn); they find the door to the home open and her husband David’s body in a dog cage, dead. Later, Detectives Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) and Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) are the scene, DiNapoli appears to have been stabbed through the bars of the cage and is hooked to the cage with pink handcuffs. They speak with the TV crew outside who saw nothing except Marielle’s awful clothes. When Marielle arrives and is told they are there because of her husband, she races into the house. She is shocked to see him dead and notice his comic book collection is gone.

At the 2-7, Marielle is waiting in another room while the detectives discuss the situation with Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson). Marielle said she was away at a college reunion in Connecticut and they verified it. Her husband was killed around 1:00 AM. Marielle’s name was sent in to the reality show crew by a friend of hers, Amy Felner. They will check comic book dealers and auction houses for his comics.

They speak to a person who runs a comic book store and he says the ones that were stolen are not unique, but notices one person called and wanted to know the value of some of the comics on the list.

Later, the detectives are at the home of Marty Ashcroft (Michael Bunin) who knew David socially and said those comics were partly his and he invested with David. David thought the obscure books would be worth more. He called the dealer to see what they were worth, he paid a bundle but were supposed to go up and did not and he lost his shirt. He says he was at home with this wife at the time of the murder.

Back at the 2-7 while Bernard talks about a valuable comics, Lupo moans he had a lot of comics but his mother threw them away. Lupo said Ashcroft was being sued and that he misrepresented the value of closed end mutual funds. The guy suing Ashcroft is Joshua Felner. Amy Felner is the person who put Marielle’s name in for the reality show.

At the apartment of Joshua and Amy Felner, Amy says it was her idea to put Marielle up for the show and Josh knew nothing about it. She thought she may be single again soon and she’d want to look her best, her husband said David was planning a divorce.

The detectives speak again with Marielle, and she is talking about David's funeral service. She says he is going to be cremated like her first husband, and shows them a ring made by Memory Gem with the gemstone made from Larry’s cremains. She is going to make David into a pendant.(Eewww!) They question her on possible marital troubles but she says they were soul mates. Afterwards, they wonder what Marielle was up to the days before the murder.

Back at the 2-7 they review video tapes of Marielle from the reality show crew, and Van Buren is horrified at the bad fashion. They see Marielle getting into a cab. The detectives trace back where the cab dropped her off near an Army/Navy store where they find she bought a set of pink handcuffs. She also bought a huge sword.

Back at the 2-7, They question Marielle about her purchases and she said she was embarrassed to tell them about it and did not kill him. She said someone broke into the house and saw him in the cage, and then admits she is embarrassed by that too and asks if there is someone else she can talk to.

From outside the room, the detectives watch Van Buren question Marielle, and Van Buren then tells them it was about sex games and that “he needed to be punished” and the sword is used to be held against sensitive body parts. Marielle said it was for fun and has done it before and has a witness, Van Buren handing Bernard the phone and saying “Westhampton Police Department.”

Later, at the Westhampton Police Department, the detectives find that Marielle’s story may be true, she and her husband were both thought to be nuts, the police had been called out there but it was a sex thing.

Back at the 2-7, the detectives tell Van Buren about all the DiNapoli sex games over the years and she was playing with the guy when she was still married to he first husband. Husband #1 was killed in an accidental fall from a brownstone. Van Buren wants them to get a court order to exhume his body, and when Lupo tells her there may be a slight problem with that, she tells them to do what they can.

At home, Van Buren is telling Frank (Ernie Hudson) about the case and they laugh about it.

Meanwhile, in the morgue, the detectives hand ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) the ring made from Larry’s cremains, and she said, “Awww, if you’re proposing to me Lupo, the answer is no.” They explain that is made from his cremains, and she says the deceased was a man made of many facets. (Pause to groan at joke.) It is carbon and they will have to go back to the place where it was made to get any leftover cremains and there is a new technique that may find something. She indicates there are likely leftovers in case the wife wants matching earrings.

At the NYPD Forensic Lab, the technician puts it thought the test and finds thallium in the remains. It is a heavy metal that should not be in human remains, and they suspect he was poisoned.

The detectives again question Marielle in interrogation about this new news, and she says her second husband used to overreact to her games. They confront her with her relationship with David while she was still married and she says they are not going to let up on this. She says David also had reason to murder Larry. As part of his business he had access to thallium and that David did it alone and he told her about it afterwards. She did not go to the police because they were soul mates. She asks if she is under arrest and they indicate no, so she leaves to go back to the funeral.

At ADA Connie Rubirosa’s (Alana De La Garza) desk, EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) discusses the case so far with the detectives. Lupo thinks Marielle killed both of them, and Bernard suggests they just charge her with the killing of husband #2. Lupo reminds them that Amy Felner say her husband Joshua said David was going to divorce Marielle.

Cutter and Rubirosa at the apartment of Joshua (Reg Rogers) and Amy Felner, and Joshua says he didn’t say they were getting a divorce. But Amy said he did. She tries to refresh his memory and it comes out that David bought a share of one of Joshua’s projects but never mentioned a divorce. After they leave, Cutter and Rubirosa think it is odd David would buy into one of Felner’s projects and that Felner was investing with Ashcroft and Ashcroft was investing with DiNapoli – a perfect circle. Rubirosa reminds him that Felner was suing Ashcroft and that Ashcroft told the cops he lost a fortune with DiNapoli – and Cutter says, “round and round it goes.”

Back in his office, Cutter outlines the “daisy chain” to McCoy (Sam Waterston) and how they were all losing money but how they were all friendly. McCoy guesses that they are all married, and Cutter says that David’s divorce was supposed to be kept quiet. Rubirosa says it is asset stripping, you don’t file for divorce until after you’ve hidden the money. McCoy says they should remind Felner and Ashcroft that they have committed a felony.

Cutter and Rubirosa have Felner and Ashcroft in the conference room, they both press them about their investments and their losses, saying the losses were just for show for their wives. Cutter says they made as many bogus investments as they could before the divorce and the money would appear afterwards. Ashcroft says they haven’t lied about it in a divorce proceeding. Cutter asks if they are sure the wives don’t know, and Felner says Marielle knew and she called him and was crazed about it.

Afterwards, Rubirosa comments that these two would rather let a murderer go free before they let their wives have a fair share of their assets, and Cutter responds that it makes him appreciate being single. Cutter thinks they should charge Marielle and shake her up and maybe they will get a plea.

In arraignment court, Marielle pleads “not possible” and says she can’t murder he own heart and soul. The judge tells her to stick around and she’ll see.

In the prison conference area, Marielle says this is a mistake. She says she never knew about the divorce and says the investment scheme was not bogus, they wanted to get their money back so they could buy a house they always wanted in Westhampton – the house she had with Larry. The bank took it and it came back on the market a few months ago and they were going to buy it. Her lawyer (Katy Selverstone) asks if there is a plea offer because of emotional disturbance but Marielle gets upset, saying they were happy and everything was perfect. Her lawyer says she guesses that is a no – that everything was perfect. Cutter mutters – except for the dead guy in the dog cage.

In McCoy’s office, Rubirosa tells McCoy that Marielle won’t take a plea and says Marielle says she has no motive. She thinks they should check it out and McCoy tells her that maybe they will find another dead husband in the bushes.
At Real Estate Property in Westhampton, they speak to the realtor about the DiNapolis' wanting to buy the place. They were about to make an offer and added his business manager, Joshua Felner, even called to check up on it. Cutter and Rubirosa know Felner was not his business manager and wonder if he was checking on DiNapoli to find up what he was up to and that maybe DiNapoli wanted out of the arrangement, giving Felner and Ashcroft motive. When Rubirosa said this was all done to screw their wives, Cutter wonders if the wives want to return the favor.

With Amy Felner and Suzanne Ashcroft in the conference room, Suzanne gets a little pissy with Rubirosa. Cutter wants the two women to compare notes. When Cutter presses Suzanne, Amy tells her she believes it and she threw Josh out yesterday and she has a divorce lawyer AND a forensic accountant, and she has no idea where Joshua was that night. Suzanne says maybe Joshua murdered David, and Amy tells her that Josh has been telling her how Ashcroft has run around on Suzanne for years and even wanted to get into Marielle’s pants. Suzanne storms out in disgust and Amy thanks them “so much” for having them. When Amy leave, Rubirosa says the wives don’t know anything different and their only hope is to squeeze something out of one of the husbands. Cutter thinks that they just found out who might be able to help them.

Back in the prison conference room, Cutter tells Marielle’s attorney that they have a case against Marielle but if she is willing to help them with Marty Ashcroft – they just want her to talk to him, and she is willing.

Later, Marielle is in a restaurant, dressed provocatively, with Ashcroft, and Lupo and Bernard are listening to the conversation outside in their car. She says they dropped the charges and said she was seen in Connecticut when David was killed. She strokes his leg at his offer to help her, and she says she feels alone. She also said she needs money, and asks for some of the comic books but knows they were stolen. Ashcroft says not all of them, David gave her a few to evaluate. She puts her hand on a knife and asks if he has some of David’s comic books, and he smiles, and then Lupo and Bernard hear Marielle calling him a son of a bitch and Ashcroft saying “Ow!” Lupo and Bernard race out’ Marielle has already cut Ashcroft’s leg and continues to call him a SOB and a bastard as she raises the knife at him. Bernard disables her and Ashcroft says she did not kill David.

With Ashcroft in interrogation, they tell him they got a search warrant and found all of the comic books, with blood on them as well. He denies killing David. His lawyer tells him to tell the detective what he knows, and Ashcroft says that they were trying to hide money from their wives and David changed his mind and wanted his money back. Josh told him, but didn’t have the money. David said if he didn’t get the money he would blow the whistle on all of them, and Josh told Ashcroft he would take care of it. He got the comic books the night after the murder, from Josh. Later, Lupo confers with Cutter who says if it checks out they will charge Felner for murder, and Rubirosa says the case against Marielle will be dismissed. When Bernard asks if that will make her one of their witnesses, Rubirosa and Cutter nod and Bernard says, “Good Luck.”

In Supreme Court with Josh Felner on trial, Marielle is on the stand and identifies one of David’s comic books. She last saw it the afternoon before he was murdered and it was missing after his body was discovered. But the defense attorney (Joanna P. Adler) says that Ashcroft told her a different story and Marielle says she believes Josh gave it to him. She also implies that she is saying this because Cutter gave her a way out, and they argue about whether her husband wanted a divorce, and the attorney brings up the dog cage, and calls Marielle a freak. Marielle gets enraged and takes the judges gavel and makes a swing at the defense attorney and has to be restrained. The defense attorney says she was lucky there weren’t any swords handy. Cutter looks like he has a mess now.

With Josh on the stand, he testifies that David wanted the comics out of the house so they would be safe, and he did not kill him and tries to blame David’s wife. Cutter cross examines him, and Josh admits to an asset hiding scheme. He admit he is now getting divorced and that he does not think it is fair, and comments about all the money his wife spends. He complains the whole system is designed to reward women, but then says what's done is done and he is moving on. He says DiNapoli was sick of his wife and it was too much - the cage, the sword - and said David told him about those things so he would understand why he wanted out and would never go back. Cutter asked if he mentioned the handcuffs, and Josh says yeah, pink handcuffs. Cutter shoots a look at Rubirosa, who looks at her file while Josh says he mentioned them a few days before his wife killed him. Rubirosa shakes her head and Cutter tells Josh that is funny because they didn’t have the pink handcuffs then, that a store receipt shows that Marielle bought them the day of the murder. Josh said he must have read they were pink in the newspaper, and Cutter tells him they never released that information. Josh says David’s psycho wife knew they were there, and Cutter counters that so did his killer, accusing Josh.

Later, the jury reads the verdict of guilty. As they lead Josh off, Marielle approaches Cutter and Rubirosa and says she knows what people think of her, and she knows what they may think of her. She said she never lied to them, and she loved her husband. Rubirosa said he believes her, and Marielle thanks her and grasps her hand. She thanks them for everything.

Back in McCoy’s office, McCoy tells Cutter he gathers that things weren’t looking so good when their star witness tried to murder the defense attorney, and Cutter said they recovered when he let the jury see how much Felner hated his wife and he fell into the old pink handcuff trap. McCoy comments, “Just like Mr. DiNapoli used to, I imagine.“ Rubirosa enters and said the widow sent her a thank you gift for helping to convict her husband’s killer – diamond studs. (Eewww again!) Rubirosa comments it is her husband. McCoy and Cutter are speechless and look at each other. McCoy sighs in disgust and walks out, with Cutter following him as we fade to black.

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Ol Cranky said...

I gotta ask, how tall is the actress who played the widow? She looks like a frigen giant next to Roache & De La Garza (who are both 5' 10")

Chris Zimmer said...

The internet movie database said Anna Gunn is 5'10". Maybe she is wearing very high heels?

Anonymous said...

Everyone looks like a giant next to those two, although I did notice how big and strong (in an attractive way) she looked.

Dalton said...

Once again, a wonderful recap and review. I myself did enjoy the Law & Order double header.

And yes, it is heartbreaking knowing that these episodes could be marking the end of an era if "Law" doesn't get picked up again.

Lisa R. said...

Thanks for the awesome recap!! I thought Rodgers hit it out of the park with her quips--"a man of many facets" had me laughing out loud. And yes, it's with sadness that I'm watching the show now, but I'm so glad that if this is it, that they're going out on top with these quality episodes!

Anyone else notice the gaze that Cutter gave Rubirosa after he was thankful he was single?? wink wink! And I really can't wait for the finale (hopefully it's just a season finale).

Anonymous said...

Hi I stopped by just to tell you that the huffington post is reporting that there may be still a chance to rescue law and order! Apparently Wolf is in talks with TNT to bring the show to cable.. So maybe next week episode is not the series finale after all..

Unknown said...

Excellent recap of events as usual. There was a whole lot of Eewww factor in this episode with the Memory Gems. I never knew you could do this, but the thought makes me cringe. Other than the Eewww factor though, it was a fun episode. Though the pink handcuffs thing made me wonder. So what if Marielle bought some pink handcuffs the day of the murder. She could have had pink handcuffs from before. They are different but not a unique item unless the store Marielle went to was the only store in all the world to sell them. It would have been different if Felner had said that DiNapoli had shown him the cuffs and Cutter had Felner ID them. Minor contention though.

Lisa R.: Not only the look that Cutter gave Rubirosa after he was thankful he was single but also the look she gave back to him. Wink, wink! Indeed! :)

A few FYIs, this time:

"She says he is going to be cremated like her first husband, and shows them a ring made my Memory Gem with the gemstone made from Larry’s cremains." I think you meant, "... made by Memory Gem ..." though I was also wondering if it was Memory Gems (but I would have to rewatch to know for sure). I also paused when I saw "cremains" but I guess that's what they are called.

"They question her on possible marital troubles bus she says they were soul mates." I think you meant, "... on possible marital troubles but ..."

"Back at the 2- they review video tapes of Marielle from the reality show crew, and Van Buren is horrified at the bad fashion." I think you meant, "Back at the 2-7, ..."

"The detectives trace back where the cab dropped her off near and Army/Navy store where they find she bought a set of pink handcuffs." I think you meant, "The detectives trace back to where the cab dropped her off near an Army/Navy store ..."

"At Real Estate Property in Westhampton, they speak to the realtor about the DiNapoli’s wanting to buy the place.." I think you meant, "At the real estate property in Westhampton, they speak to the realtor about the DiNapolis wanting to buy the place."

"Cutter and Rubirosa know Felder was not his business manager and wonder if he was checking on DiNapoli to find up what he was up to and that maybe DiNapoli wanted out of the arrangement, giving Felner and Ashcroft motive." I think you meant, "Cutter and Rubirosa know Felner ..."

"In Supreme Court with Josh Felner on trial, Marielle is on the stand and identifies one of David’s comic books and he had no reason to." I'm not exactly sure what you meant here. You will have to reread and rewrite the sentence. Sorry.

"She last saw it the afternoon before it was murdered and it was missing after his body was discovered." I think you meant, "She last saw it the afternoon before he was murdered ..."

"She also implies that she is saying this because Cutter gave her away out, and they argue about whether her husband wanted a divorce, and the attorney brings up the dog cage, and calls Marielle a freak." I think you meant, "...because Cutter gave her a way out, ..."

"He admit she is now getting divorced and that he does not think it is fair, and comments about all the money his wife spends." I think you meant, "He admits he is now getting divorced ..."

'McCoy comments, “Just like Mr. DiNapoli used to, I imagine. “ ' I think you meant, '...I imagine."'

I feel bad pointing out all these typos, but it will read better and more accurately when they are fixed. I think it's amazing that you are able to put these out pretty much the morning after they air and to have to do four this week for this site alone, since it is May sweeps takes a whole lot of dedication that I wholly appreciate. :)

Chris Zimmer said...

Thanks scarlet I think I fixed them all now - at least I hope so. I hate doing two recaps in one day, by the end of the second one I think my eyes have gone bonkers!

Anonymous said...

All Things --

Looks like the show is going to get a reprieve on TNT, based on everything I'm reading and aware of. I think there's even a chance NBC will do something. Do not fret, the show is not dead.

Anonymous said...

Who played Amy Felner? She looks familiar.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! My DISH went out the last half hour of this episode and I've searched the internet trying to see if I could watch it online. NBC is not as generous with full episodes (especially since they're canceling L&O anyway) as other networks and I was taken on a wild goose chase a couple of times on other sites before I found your recap-site on Google. Good for you! That's a lot of work and scarlet sure did nitpick about a few typos, etc. Bravo to you for your dedication!

Jonathan Andrew Sheen said...

Whenever I watch this episode, I always imagine a moment when Lt, Van Buren sits at her desk and quietly misses Lennie Briscoe, just knowing how much fun he'd have had cracking wise about this case.

Unknown said...

I just wanted to say that I am so glad you put the time and work into this site. It is always my go to if I have any questions while watching reruns.
Also, kudos for keeping your cool when replying to Scarlet. I found her comment to be pretentious and arrogant. Why would anyone pick apart another's work like that? Seems to me like she needs to find faults with others so she can feel better about herself.