Monday, April 18, 2011

Law & Order LA “East Pasadena” Recap & Review


All photos from NBCUniversal

Law & Order LA served up another engrossing episode with “East Pasadena” and while doing so, gave viewers a look into the mind of Detective Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina). Morales and TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) uncover a web of corruption with the city officials of fictional East Pasadena, and during the course of the investigation, Morales is forced to shoot an armed man holding a gun on the city council members. Before doing so, Morales hears incriminating statements from the mayor and one of the council members tying them to a murder. When one of those same council members is killed by another police officer also linked to the corruption, Morales finds himself in a mess where his integrity is questioned.

“East Pasadena” gave both Molina and Stoll a chance to bring some dimension to both their characters, and have a little fun with them as well. Both looked pretty convincing to me in their (undercover) painter’s garb, and they looked equally convincing as tough detectives who are forced to race into the unknown with their guns drawn, not certain what or who they will find when they open any door. Molina is superb in his role and I find myself actually caring about Ricardo Morales.

While Molina and Stoll got the bulk of the attention in this episode, the rest of the cast – Rachel Ticotin, Alana De La Garza, and Terrence Howard - were all critical to enhancing the story. Everyone seemed confident in their roles and, as a result, I felt like I was watching real people navigating a touchy case and not simply actors reading lines. I am becoming more comfortable with Terrence Howard as DDA Joe Dekker, either because the dialog has improved, or his delivery has improved, or both.

This story had foundations in two real-life stories – the salary scandal for the Bell, California city officials, and the gunman at Panama City School Board meeting who was upset at his wife being fired. While I’ve never been a huge fan of flagrant ripped from the headlines stories, I liked how the writers took these real life scenarios and blended them into an intriguing case of corruption and murder.

The camera work was also impressive; it helped convey action, suspense, and even the expanse of the city Los Angeles. My favorite scene was on the rooftop, just as a suspect in the murder was preparing to jump. I liked it for the great view of the city and for Morales’ frank comments that the fall wouldn’t kill the man. It was a brutally honest statement, but it got the suspect off the ledge.


Here is the recap:

A police chase is underway, and the car being pursued pulls into a parking garage. When the police reach the car, they find a passenger dead in the car – and the driver gone.

Detectives Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina) and TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) arrive on the scene and are told the driver that fled the scene was a white male, dark hair, age 20-30. The car is registered to Amanda Russell – the passenger. Morales sees she is wearing a dog tag and she is a Marine. TJ comments that Rex Winters used to say that the streets of heaven are guarded by the Marines. Morales says she will be in good company.

Morales and TJ enter Amanda’s house, guns drawn. TJ sees a pool of blood on the bed and there appears to have been a fight in the room. They see a photo of Amanda with a man matching the description of the driver of the car.

Later, Amanda’s parents are at RHD and they say the boyfriend’s name is Dave Harlan and he was living with her. Amanda thought he was s suspicious person. She worked in East Pasadena as a part time bookkeeper for the city and she did not like the job. She had a long commute and the pay was low. Amanda thought Dave was following her at night. Her father becomes distraught as they felt that now that Amanda was home from Afghanistan she would be safe.

Afterwards, Lt. Arleen Gonzales (Rachel Ticotin) discussed the case with the detectives. He tells her that Amanda died between 10 PM and 2 AM and had been asphyxiated by manual strangulation. They have a picture of Dave standing next to some art work and decide to track down that artist to help find Dave.
At Arturo’s Art Studio, they speak with him about Dave and he hasn’t seen him since Amanda got back from Afghanistan. Morales sees welding tools and Arturo says Dave left them there a while ago. Morales spots an area where Dave could be hiding and points it out to TJ, and TJ cuffs Arturo to a post.
The detectives climb the stairs up to the roof and Dave (Chris Coy) is standing on the edge, looking as if he is going to jump. Morales tell him not to do it, and when Dave expresses remorse for what he’d done, Morales tells him they aren’t high enough here, the fall won’t kill him, he’ll just break his legs or his back and spend his life in a wheelchair peeing into a bag. Sobbing, Dave steps off the ledge and they cuff him while he says he loved her so much.

Later, at RHD in interrogation, Dave tells them about his argument with Amanda. She accused him of following her but it wasn’t him. He didn’t want another fight so he left and went to Arturo’s and he was doing shots of tequila. Arturo drove him home and things got fuzzy. The next thing he remembers is waking up on the couch. He went into the bedroom and Amanda was on the bed and her head was bloody and she wasn’t moving. He says “I killed her,” adding that he must have done it when he came home drunk. He thought he could take her to the hospital.

Separately, Arturo tells them he said he told Dave to turn himself in. Dave said he may have hit Amanda but Dave did not remember. He had to held Dave into his house as it was pitch black as no light was on. The bulb was unscrewed so he screwed it back in. Amanda’s bedroom door was closed.

Afterwards, the detectives confer with Gonzales, and Morales says the unscrewed porch light is consistent with a break in. Pick marks had been found on her door lock. Gonzales reminds them that Amanda thought someone was following her.

The detectives speak with Dave again, who said he thought Amanda was just being paranoid. All her Marine friends are good people. She told him the place where she works had a weird way of doing things and she could not wait to get out of the contract. She asked Dave if welders and plumbers needed a special license to work in East Pasadena and he told her you just need a license from the state. She told Dave he would have to pay the city a fine if he worked there without a license.
Later, at the city offices, Don Wheeler (Larry Clarke) speaks highly of Amanda. The detectives ask to see her desk and learn about her job. TJ mentions the license and Wheeler says maybe she was just confused about something. The detectives get suspicions when they find her things have all be boxed up and there are no work files at her desk, and they smell bleach. Wheeler says the custodian must have cleaned it. Morales asks if Wheeler can find out if there was anything more at her desk than what was in the box. When Wheeler walks away, TJ notices her computer is gone.

The detectives speak with a plumber who says he used to work in the area but doesn’t go into East Pasadena any more. He says he can’t talk about it and doesn’t want any trouble now. He said he already tangled with their cops and signed a legal paper – it was a civil compromise.

The detectives check with DDA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) who says that there is no such court as the one listed on the man's paperwork. They think this is a cover-up for a shakedown. Rubirosa says they have to confirm it is a scam, and TJ says they are thinking of a sting.
At a later time, a police car pulls up and parks on a street while TJ and Morales step out of a truck marked for Barrington Quality Paint, dressed as painters. The officer approaches and asks for their contracting license, and when TJ points it out on the truck, the officer says he wants the license to work in East Pasadena. TJ says they didn’t know they needed one. The officer rattles off the code and then asks for ID. Morales asks if they can just get in their car and leave, but the officer says the wrecker is on the way and they are impounding their vehicle until they pay the fine. TJ suggests that they take care of it now, and flashes some money. The officer tells him to put the money away and he has to pay the citation at city hall within 30 days.

At city hall, there is another man there with the same problem but doesn’t have the money. TJ and Morales speak to the clerk at the desk, Mrs. Foreman (Amanda Carlin), and TJ objects to the amount of the fine, especially when she tells them it’s also $500 more per truck. Morales tells Mrs. Foreman that’s a nice racket and questions the legality. She tells them she’ll mail the information to them and they also have to sign a civil compromise before they can release their vehicle. When she walks off, TJ is pissed that they are shaking down so many people and says this is serious money, Morales says it is serious as murder.

At the home of Susan and Mike Foreman, TJ and Morales approach with additional police officers, and they arrest Susan as she is leaving. She calls to her husband who races out of the house. Morales tells him his wife will be at the Robbery Homicide Division of the LAPD.

In interrogation, Susan seems shocked at the claims of extortion. She said she just does what her boss, Don Wheeler, tells her to do. She said she only spoke to Amanda once when Don’s regular girl was out and Amanda was processing code enforcement fines. Amanda asked questions and got testy so Susan told Don about it. He said he would have a talk with her.

They speak with the officer who caught them during the sting, and he makes no money on this and says he has stats to keep up with. He talks about singles and doubles, and explains what he got them on – which included impounding the truck – a triple. If he doesn’t keep up his stats he gets laid off. He said his boss Lt. Petrocelli, makes the rules.

Afterwards, Morales tells Rubirosa that these two are just the bagmen, that Wheeler and Petrocelli are running the operation, TJ adding they are using the East Pasadena treasury to launder the take. Rubirosa says she will call Dekker to start issuing subpoenas. Gonzales says they are probably already shredding papers and wiping the hard drives and she would taken them down now. Morales says, “Lets warrant up.”

Morales and TJ arrive at the East Pasadena Civic Center and they say they have an arrest warrant for Controller Wheeler. But the officer working the front desk says there is a city council meeting going on and he can’t let them in until they are done. But, several people race out of the room, saying there is a man in there with a gun. The mayor and councilmen are in there. The main door is locked and they try to enter through other doors. As Morales and TJ races for the doors the officer calls for backup.

Morales is at the fire exit and TJ is at the side door. Morales tells him to hold as he is going in. Morales hears a man yelling and then sees Mike Foreman, Susan’s husband, with a gun pointed at the council members. He thinks they got his wife involved in a murder. Morales whispers to TJ on the phone to distract Foreman and Morales will take him. Don Wheeler tries to tell Mike that Amanda’s boyfriend was drunk and he was the one that killed her. The mayor, Jack Velman (Don Stark), also supports that view. Morales tells TJ to enter and Mike points to shoot at TJ but Morales shoots him instead from behind. Other officers enter with Morales and one shoots Mike as well. Morales seems surprised. As TJ knocks Foreman’s gun aside, a voice comments to Lt. Petrocelli that there is another man down. It’s Don Wheeler. Petrocelli comments to Morales and TJ “I guess you won’t be needing that arrest warrant any more. “ Morales and TJ look at each other, stunned.

Later, Morales recounts what had occurred to another detective. Morales said that Wheeler was not in his line of fire, adding he had a clear line of sight to the suspect. When the detective walks off, Gonzales asks Morales if he is doing OK. He is. The detective returns and asks for Morales' weapon and Morales hands it to him. Morales asks for his take on the round from the gunman, and the detective says it could be a round from the shooter or a ricochet and they will let him know. Gonzales mutters that it could be convenient collateral damage. TJ asks Morales if everything is squared away, and Morales pauses before saying yeah. He adds that before Foreman was shot, he had a lot to say about city council and the mayor.

At the office of Mayor Jack Velman, he tells TJ and Rubirosa that he is a lucky man, that Foreman just went crazy. He tells them Foreman was upset about his wife and was not coherent, Velman said he said nothing to him, and denies Foreman said anything about him being a thug. He said Foreman was fired from his job with the city for cause and he was angry and he stayed angry.

But later, when DDAs Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard) and Rubirosa speak with Mike’s wife Susan, she says the mayor is lying, Mike quit. She said Mike was not crazy, he was decent and worked 22 years for the parks department and quite because he did not like how everything had changed. It started after Velman became mayor – the told Mike he had to hire the mayor’s friends. The worst was the money they stole from the children. The state told the city that they had to fix the playgrounds, and Mike found out that the construction company gave half the money to Velman and they used cheap materials in the new playgrounds. Dekker comments it’s a kickback. Susan said Mike went to the city council and they told him he had to keep his mouth shut or they would fire him and take away his pension, and do the same to her. Mike quit as he said it was hard to prove because the money was paid to the city treasury. She tells them to ask Ava Ruiz, she’s the city treasurer.

Later, Rubirosa speaks with Ava Ruiz (Roxana Brusso) and she said she was held up once in her real job, but was not half as scared as she was the other day. Mike Foreman looked as if he was going to kill someone. She mentions that her real job was working at a big box store down the street where she is senior cashier. The city treasurer is a part time job. Rubirosa asks about the construction job and their payment of $500K and Ava says that was for a constriction permit. Rubirosa is shocked at the amount and said it looks like a kickback. Ava says she is sorry and has to run some errands before her break ends, and she begins to walk off. Rubirosa chases after her, asking her if she knows where the money went. Ava says it went to the city treasury to help run the city, and then says it was nice talking to her and she races away. But Rubirosa says they will talk again, and then comments on Ava’s nice car. Ava says it was her gift to herself. Rubirosa questions Ava getting the car on a cashier’s salary. Ava tells her it was on her city treasurer’s salary, she makes $240K a year and tells them the other council member and the mayor make the same or a lot more than that, and council voted on it and it is all legal.
Later, Rubirosa tells Dekker, Morales, TJ, and Gonzales that she tried to get copies of the council meeting minutes and was told they would mail them to her. She can’t understand why Ava would lie about those numbers and that council voted on it, but Dekker says it is not a city government, it’s a crime syndicate. Gonzales says they are using their own cops as enforcers. She also tells them the OIS team report says Mike Foreman was killed by three shots fired by Morales. Don Wheeler was killed by a round from Detective Petrocelli. Petrocelli says Wheeler got in his line of fire. Morales says he is either a liar or the worst shot west of the Mississippi. Dekker says Petrocelli shot Wheeler intentionally. Morales adds it was to shut Wheeler up as Wheeler was involved in Amanda’s murder. Before the shooting, both the mayor and Wheeler said Amanda was found strangled in her bed and that information was not in the papers – the killer and accomplices would have known that. Dekker comments Petrocelli was the killer, and Morales tells him the night of the murder he was off duty but at 1:55 AM he made a call from his cell phone. The location was driving away from Amanda’s and the call was placed to the East Pasadena City Hall. Dekker says they need the exact extension that call went to. As they walk off, Dekker tells Morales that if it wasn’t for Morales and TJ, a lot more people would have lost their lives and that everyone is proud of him, even Hardin.

At the equipment room at East Pasadena City Hall, Rubirosa is there with TJ trying to track down the extension called. The call at 1:55 AM went to extension 33 which is the city council room. One of the workers who is there say he remembers there was no meeting but remembers that Wheeler, Velman, the deputy mayor, and a councilman were there. TJ whispers to Rubirosa that they were probably waiting for Petrocelli to call to tell them their Amanda Russell problem was solved. Rubirosa says their problems are just beginning.

Afterwards, Morales and TJ lead the men out in cuffs and someone hits Mayor Velman with a tomato.

Later, in Dekker’s office, Morales recounts what happened with Mike Foreman in the council meeting and that Wheeler mentioned she was killed by her boyfriend and Velman mentioned Amanda being strangled in her bed. Dekker says the other council members are refusing to cooperate. TJ was in the hallway so Morales is the only viable witness. Dekker says they will go after Morales’ statement and Morales himself. Dekker asks if they have anything to worry about, and Morales says he saw the police department shrink which is standard protocol but he did mention that she shot a suspect in the line of duty 20 years ago when he was still a patrolman. Dekker thinks they will paint him as a cowboy, old school LAPD. Morales thinks he can handle whatever they throw at him. Connie gets a notice and she tells them it’s on.

At the Superior Court motion hearing, Mr. Byron (John Pankow), the defense attorney argues that the statements made by Wheeler and Velman are hearsay and should be precluded, while Dekker counters that they should be considered exited utterances and are exceptions to the hearsay rule. He adds the jury should be the ones to decide, and the judge agrees. Byron counters that Morales psychiatric evaluation after the shooting should be disclosed. Dekker says that is privileged, adding that the point of the evaluation is to help the officers cope with the stress of a line of duty shooting, and they should be allowed to speak freely. The judge will not allow Byron to get it. But Byron says Morales can consent, saying that he and Dekker should have nothing to hide, making those comments to reporters in the gallery. The judge isn’t pleased with his behavior and then tells him that lacking Morales’ consent, the report is out. After the judge adjourns, Byron tells Dekker that is one motion he will wish that he lost. Morales, looking somber, glances at Dekker and Rubirosa and then leave the courtroom. Dekker turns to Rubirosa and says he is not asking him, it will set a bad precedent for every cop in the city.

Later, Amanda’s parents show the cover of the Los Angeles Post to Gonzales with Morales’ face and the headline “LAPD Latest Cover Up.” They are upset that others are saying that people think something is being hidden. Gonzales tries to reassure them that the DA is trying to do all he can to get justice for their daughter and this is just noise that they have to shut out.
Later, Gonzales and Morales are in Dekker’s office with the Chief of Police (Andy Umberger) about all the heat he are getting over the issue. He says the people may not be satisfied with simply hearing that Morales was deemed fit for duty. He asks Morales if there is anything in the report that is detrimental to the case and he says no. When the Chief asks him to just give them the report, Morales asks if anybody can guarantee that once he signs the consent form that his report won’t be all over the internet? When he gets no assurance, he says he is not signing it. The Chief says this will leave a big question mark over his name. Morales says nothing and leaves. The Chief comments that Morales is stubborn, and asks whoever talked him into taking him back. Gonzales says, “That would be me.”

Morales goes back to his desk and TJ is there at his desk. He asks Morales if everything is OK. Morales tell him the Chief wants him to waive confidentiality. When TJ asks him if he told the shrink he was a late bed wetter, Morales says it is not about him. He tells TJ to take a walk with him.

They enter a conference room and Morales tells TJ that the conversation with the shrink covered a lot of bases and the issues with himself he can handle. But, one of the bases was TJ – they explored why he balked coming into the doors of the council room. It went through Morales’ head that TJ just lost a partner to violence. TJ comments that Morales doesn’t think he has his back. Morales says TJ has become like an uncle to Rex’s kids, maybe more than that. Casey leaned on him to help her through this and he has been there for them and he commends him for it. But it occurred to Morales that they were on TJ’s mind that day and maybe he didn’t want to put them through that again. Morales says he is not signing anything unless TJ is okay with it. Morales walks out of the room and TJ looks down at the paperwork that Morales left on the table. He picks it up and looks at it.

Later, TJ approaches Morales with the paperwork and says he didn’t see anything in there that wasn’t true and he tells Morales to sign the damn waiver.

Afterward, Dekker tells him this isn’t going to help matters, never mind the material about his partner but questioning what he said about his line of duty shooting twenty years ago and that will be a problem. Morales seems confident and tells Dekker to fix it in his summation. Dekker wishes Morales would have checked with him before signing the consent, but Morales said he talked to who he had to.
In Superior Court, Morales testifies to what happened and what he heard at the shooting and what TJ did to create a diversion. He says that Wheeler and Velman mentioned facts about the manner of Amanda’s death that would have only been known to the killer. He gives them the information on the cell phone call from Petrocelli and concluded that Petrocelli murdered Amanda and was calling to give his accomplices a full report.


Under cross examination, Morales relates that Foreman and Wheeler are dead, but other councilmen were there, and Byron says none of those people corroborated his testimony and gets Morales to also state that TJ was not in room. Morales says he has no reason to lie, but Byron brings up the fact that Morales did not mention what he’d heard that day to the psychiatrist. Morales said he was there to discuss his state of mind, not a murder case. Byron brings up the shooting 20 years ago, where Morales shot a 17 year old crack dealer who had the drop on his partner. Morales saved his partner’s life and Byron says this helped Morales get a promotion to detective. Morales says he has mixed feeling about that and Byron said Morales told the psychiatrist he felt shame that his success was built on the shoulders of a dead man. Morales counters that he would not be human if he didn’t feel guilt about killing a man. Bryon brings up that even though killing Mike Foreman saved many lives, he think Morales feels guilt about killing him, and Morales says yes. Byron mentions that Morales told the psychiatrist that Foreman was just a poor sap who cracked because he couldn’t protect his family from the corruption around him, and had they not arrested his wife, Morales had doubted that Foreman would have ended up in city hall waving a gun. Byron also says Morales feels guilt over pushing Foreman over the edge, saying that the psychiatrist said that was a lot of baggage to carry. Byron also says the psychiatrist warned him that his guilt might manifest itself in inappropriate behavior like drinking, sudden rages, and sleeplessness. Byron adds that Morales could create false and self serving memories to make himself feel better about what happened. Morales gets uncomfortable, saying he knows where he is going with this. Byron continues to hammer on the idea that Morales is trying to ease himself over the shooting and give Mike Foreman's death some meaning, and suggests Morales created a memory which has Wheeler and Velman making incriminating statements. Morales says no – but Byron continues to press him, causing Dekker to object that the question has been asked and answered.


Before the judge rules on the objection, Morales says he’s like to change his answer, and the judge overrules the objection. Morales says in his report, the psychiatrist said he was fit to return to duty. One of his reasons was that he did not resort to the behaviors that Byron mention but beyond that, as a police officer and a former prosecutor, committing perjury would violate every single oath he has ever taken and it would make him feel worse than he could ever imagine. Morales states passionately that the idea that he would make himself feel better about a justifiable shooting by lying is absurd. He adds that the short answer to his question is yes, it’s possible he created a false memory, but no, he did not.

At the summation, Byron hits on his theory that Morales' statements are a fabrication from his guilt ridden mind and says that is reasonable doubt. But Dekker counters with Amanda’s military service and the fact that she was surrounded in her new job by corrupt civil servants, and that when she unraveled the corruption, those people sent Petrocelli to kill her. Now those people want to destroy Morales by turning his own brutal honesty against him. Dekker adds that we ask our police officers to protect us and sacrifice for us and kill in our name, and the grim truth is that every killing, no matter how justified, takes a toll on that officer. What Morales spoke of when he confided to a police psychiatrist as guilt and shame was the emotional manifestations of a good conscience – and that is what the defendants want them to hold against Morales. In their corrupt world, conscience is a sign of weakness and they turn it off to rob fellow citizens and kill good, young soldiers.
Later, the jury find Petrocelli guilty of murder, and Petrocelli and the others guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Amanda's parents are happy, and Dekker and Rubirosa seem satisfied.

Morales returns to RHD and tells Gonzales that Petrocelli got the death penalty and, and 25 to life for the rest of the gang. Morales sits back down at his desk with TJ giving him a hard look. TJ asks about the consent form and what would have happened had he had not agreed to sign it. Morales said he never considered that option. TJ smirks and Morales gets back to work as we fade to black.


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9 comments:

GreatFurry1 said...

I agree - a very good episode......but it registered a 1.1 in the Nielsens.....the Fat Lady is warming up unless NBC does something soon

cbsplaysdirty said...

5th place. Ouch.

You can't unscramble these rotten eggs. Switching Molina to cop was the kiss of death. He does not look like a cop -- at all. And now he is pushing Corey to the sidelines in every scene. Ulrich was subtle so both could shine on screen at the same time. Molina's overpowering presence was best served in the courtroom as the attorney where an ego can shine.

xfool said...

Ulrich was awful. He had no emotion, no expression, no life, nothing. They were right to get rid of him, he was a poor fit.

Molina is wonderful as a detective. Lennie Briscoe often could not run after perps because he was too old, they show seemed to highlight that fact. Greevey was also a large man width-wise and he made an excellent Sergeant. Look at Munch too! Not all detectives are fit and pretty. LOLA is more like real life that you think. I think Corey will have his turn to shine, I thought he did really well in East Pasadena.

The ratings are partly due to it being on Monday night AND following two horrible lead in shows. I think that NBC wll stick with it.

candycane said...

Loved this episode! I thought it was brilliantly written. I have a feeling there are great things in store for LOLA. My favorite part was seeing TJ and Morales barb back and forth when they were undercover. Keep it up LOLA!

Sevorah said...

I agree. Ratings was because of the lead ins. And ratings do not determine the quality of a show. And I honestly do wish they took that into consideration when it comes down to renewing and cancelling shows. LOLA, during the first half, would've been cancelled if it wasn't for the retooling. Now that they did that, LOLA stands a STRONG chance of being renewed, stronger than before, despite the ratings. This has a L&O feel to it, with a new cast and scenery. My cousin, who doesn't really watch the show, enjoyed watching the last half of it with me. The cast did great in this one.

Esaul said...

Not that it matters, but that was my post above. I forgot to sign out of my other email ^_^'

valhalla said...

XFools, I love Molina as a cop and now I see him as Lennie Briscoe Jr. I used to think Eames was Lennie Jr (she still is), but after seeing Molina go crazy on the episode where the other cop was killed and he went nuts at the end, I said yup, he is Lennie. Plus he does Lennie-isms (quotes like Lennie). I think this show will do well now, I liked it before but it is much better now. I also like having a cop who knows how the DA office work. Plus, I kept saying that the head DA -LA is no Jack McCoy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with xfool on Skeets' acting but I have to disagree with his comment on Molina. I always thought Skeet Ulrich was a terrible actor but Alfred Molina as a cop is even worse. Ulrich underacted while Molina overacts. I personally find the show pretty boring and I don't think it's going to last much longer with the way things are going. This episode was only so so but I am coming to expect that now.

nygma619 said...

To go along with xfool's comment does anybody think the show would benefit on Thursdays?
It should also be noted that when the show was still on Wednesday, it had the best lead in it could probably ask for, it's own cousin (SVU). So it's no small wonder that the ratings were better then compared to what is on Mondays.

I hope NBC doesn't hit the panic button, because I feel this show is starting to hit it's stride, as this was another episode I enjoyed.

I agree with All Things that Terrance Howard is improving. There's a certain "conviction" in his voice & performance that wasn't there before the show was retooled. This was most obvious in the closing arguements when he was talking about Ricardo Morales's conscious and how it affect's a cops job.

And I certainly don't think Molina is stealing all the thunder, I chuckled at TJ's line when he asked what a home run would be in that situation.