Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” was an episode that clearly aired out of sequence, being completed before the “reboot”. As a result,Detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) was not dead and TJ’s (Corey Stoll) mustache had grown back. Terrence Howard was also sporting a different look – but his acting was still wooden. I actually found the first half of the show much more interesting that the last, and felt the legal side of the case was plodding and dull. My opinion is that it was the legal half of the show that was in more need of fixing.   With the addition of Alana De La Garza to the cast, I had some hope that she would draw in viewers. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to give the series another season.

I don’t quite understand why this episode could not have been aired before Rex Winters was killed. My opinion is that they would have been better off by not going off the air for so long during the reboot; this cost the series momentum.

This episode was titled "Plummer Park" and the only connection to the case was that a bunch of Russians - including the kidnappers -  played chess there.  It is such a waste to name an episode after such an inconsequential connection to a much bigger case. If there is any chance whatsoever that Law & Order LA gets a second chance with another network, they should reconsider the practice of  naming episodes after locations in the Los Angeles area and come up with episode titles that build excitement.

Here is the recap:
When a neighbor, Mrs. Lang, calls police to tell them that a car was left running outside Nick Libergal’s home,  they knock on the door, and two beeps of a nearby car horn also sounds. A man, speaking Russian, waits inside with a gun and when he opens the door, the police see the gun and shoot him, and also another man who comes forward with a gun. The police find a gruesome scene – Nick Libergal (Michael Enright) is dead in the bathtub.

Detectives Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich) and “TJ” Jarusalski (Corey Stoll) are called to the scene. Coroner Nishizawa (Tamlyn Tomita) tells them Nick’s body was being dissolved in the bathtub using quicklime. He was also beaten but likely died from a heart attack. Nick is a goldsmith. They find a bag with items in it that appear more for a kidnapping than a killing. They think Nick died of the heart attack during the kidnapping and the kidnappers did not want to drive around with the body.

They can’t find any info on the dead suspects and they check out the car and find nothing. Nick was a Russian immigrant who came over in 1988 and does not appear to be a man with money. They think someone had been watching to house to wait until Nick was alone.

They speak with Mrs. Lang who noticed a honking car there that night and she also saw it there 2 days ago. It was a town car. Near the location of that car, the detectives find cigarette butts and spicy peppermint gum wrappers.

At RHD, Amy Libergal (Amy Benedict) is there speaking with the detectives and Lt. Arleen Gonzales (Rachel Ticotin). She does not know the men who were shot in her home. Nick used to send money to his family in Russia. He has a younger brother in the oil business who is rich.

Afterwards, Gonzales says Homeland Security had a hit on their suspects, who came in via LAX two weeks ago from Moscow.

They check with Homeland Security who says that the men were met in the terminal but never checked into the hotel where they were to be staying. They list a local contact as the Eagles and Bears Friendship Club.

They head to the club and find that the location looks like a storage facility. They find a cable bill but no TV and head over to the billing address. TJ finds spicy peppermint gum wrappers on the ground so they approach the home with guns drawn. They enter the home and Rex finds a room that appears to be where the kidnappers were going to keep Nick. TJ finds a hole dug outside and assumes once the money was paid they were going to kill Nick.

They check with a local store to check out a purchase the kidnappers made. They paid with cash, and the woman at the store recalls a Russian man making a purchase twice and she helped him get the items he needed. It was almost the same list both times, but one list had sanitary napkins and a hairbrush. The detectives think the kidnappers have a woman somewhere in the canyons.

Back at RHD, the detectives discuss this with Gonzales who tells them to put someone on to watch the store. The house had been rented through Craig’s List so Gonzales tells them to check other listings. They find one of the suspects’ cars got a ticket 10 days ago in West Hollywood. There was a chessboard at the house so Rex thinks they should check out Plummer Park.

The detectives question some chess players at Plummer Park and one person recognizes them as no good chess players that looked too much at married women, one of them was Anna Ackroyd who has not been there for a few days.

At Anna Ackroyd’s home, the detectives see her husband Dennis (Raphael Sbarge) at home and he looks nervous. TJ later fakes being a delivery man and gets Anna’s husband to sign for a package. He then tells him to stay calm and that they know his wife is missing an are here to help. His daughter Mila (Skyler Day) and uncle Andrei is there and Mila thinks they are going to kill her mother.

Later, the detectives and Gonzales are in a nearby surveillance van with taps on all the home’s lines. Anna Ackroyd is a Russian native and has been in the country for 18 years. Anna is a librarian and her husband is a teacher. They think the uncle has money. They see the uncle and daughter out for a walk and when TJ thinks Mila would talk to them if they got her alone, Gonzales says she should be at school so pick her up for truancy.

The detectives have Mila at RHD and she doesn’t want to make any mistakes, she just wants her mom back. Separately, an officer speaks with Dennis Ackroyd who says Mila was with her uncle Andrei and they just snatched her away. The officer enters the interrogation room and whispers that Mila’s father is there and that a supervisor said they have to let her go. Gonzales tells Mila she can save her mom, and Mila tells them that she came home from school and the house was messed up and her mom gone. The kidnappers skyped them on their computer. The guys were in masks and her mother had tape over her mouth. They men were talking in Russian and her dad can speak it, and they told him they wanted money. Her father had spyware on the computer and the call was recorded and she thinks the video is still on the computer. TJ gives her an email address and asks her to try to find the video and send it to them. They release Mila to her father.

Later, they get the video from Mila and they look at it. A translator tells them what is being said. The kidnappers ask for $10 million and tell them Anna’s family has money to pay. They gave them one week to get the money or they will start cutting her. Gonzales tells them to send the video to the lab. TJ notices one of the men has stitching on his label that looks like something he saw in the junk mail at the Eagles and Bears Club – a flyer for a tailor – Lenny’s of Brentwood.

They head to Lenny’s and they show him a photo of the suit and he knows who he made the suit for. The man’s name was Oblomov but only has a phone number. Rex tells them their technicians will come there and then the shop owner should call Oblomov and tell him his suits are ready and must talk to him as long as they tell him to.

Later, the detectives arrive at the location where the caller's cell phone GPS signal have been coming from. The police barge in and find Anna (Alla Korot) hiding another room. They also see another grave dug outside.

The detectives and ADA Lauren Stanton (Megan Boone) later speak with Anna who doesn’t recall much as she has not been sleeping. She is clearly traumatized. Her husband and daughter arrive.

Later, Rex tries to question one of the kidnappers, Mr. Kolbichek. He wants a lawyer. TJ speaks with the other kidnapper who also won’t talk. Stanton, and DDA Joe Dekker are watching and Dekker wants to put the kidnapping gang out of business.

At the DA’s office, Dekker tries to question the Ackroyds before the hearing. Dennis tells them that Anna’s family in Russia live like kings but they don’t share the money. He admits that they came up with a plan with a friend to get money from that family and no one was supposed to get hurt. Their lawyer admits it was a show for Ackroyd’s uncle. They wonder if the Ackroyds are being pressured and TJ and Rex tell him there was another attempt at a kidnapping. Their lawyer says the Ackroyds will not be testifying in any kidnapping case.

Later, Dekker, Stanton, TJ and Rex speak with the uncle. He tells Dekker maybe they know the wrong facts. He does not want to file a police complaint, it is just only family business. He tells the detectives they are good police and he leaves. But TJ think this was no act and thinks the family is afraid. TJ reminds them Anna was not restrained when they got to the house. The airport video was not clear enough to tie the two men to the kidnapping. Dekker doesn’t like the idea that they think they can come here and commit crimes with impunity.

Afterwards, Rex recalls that Mila said the house was in shambles meaning Anna did not go willingly and wonder if SID can find evidence of the grab.

Later, the detectives present Stanton with evidence that SID found of forced entry and glass shards in the living room. Latent got a print from the uncle’s bedroom which matches a print from the FBI, described as an unknown person of interest found at a suspect residence in Washington 10 years ago.

At the FBI, the detectives speak with an agent (Harry J. Lennix) who tells them it is a national security matter, and that it was found in a home of a suspected spy and they believe the print was from his handler. The detectives tell him the print belongs to Andrei Kalugin (Eugene Alper) and he is booked to fly out soon. The FBI agrees to help.

The detectives explain the spy angle to Stanton which may explain why Dennis and Anna want this all to go away. They wonder if this really is their uncle and if the Ackroyds are really who they say they are.

At the Canadian Consulate General, they find Dennis is Canadian and that he never left Canada – he died in 1989. The identity was stolen. There is no record of a marriage to Anna and that she never resided in Canada.

The detectives explain this new information to Dekker and Stanton, and that the FBI thinks they are spies. Dekker thinks that now that they know the secret they can get them to cooperate, and tells them to call the FBI and get the Ackroyds in.

Later, Dennis and Anna are arrested and Mila is shocked to find that she has to go with family services.

With Mila at RHD, she finds out about her parents. She asks to stay with her best friend Natalie. Meanwhile, the FBI and Dekker and Stanton have Anna and Dennis in for questioning and explain the other kidnapping. Anna agrees to testify against the kidnappers.

The FBI agent explains that the Ackroyds were sent to the US to befriend academics and policy makers and gather information on policy and trade but now the information is freely available on the net. They are low level operatives. The FBI got word that they are interested in a trade for the Ackroyds but they have one weekm but the trial is two months away. The FBI guy suggests Dekker wrap up his case quickly.

Dekker and Stanton later makes an offer to the kidnappers and tell them that their target was a spy. Dekker offers then 25 to life and wants names of accomplices, or they will be deported to Russia and the will not look kindly on them. One of them thinks Dekker has no case and the Russians will trade spies and there will be no more witnesses. He says no deal.

In court, Dekker tells the judge about the time constraints against the case for the kidnappers. The judge allows the questioning to go on immediately.

Anna testifies about the kidnapping and identifies the kidnappers. The defense attorney only asks if she ever met the men before the kidnapping and she says no. The defense then calls Mila to testify to impeach what Anna just said.

Mila testifies that 2 weeks before the kidnapping, she saw those two men in the kitchen talking to Russian to those two men. A week afterwards, her parents argued with a man named Libergal and her dad said those guys screwed up their big plan and her mother was afraid, and soon after her mother was kidnapped.

Later, in Dekker’s office, he explains how she just implicated her parents in murder. But she says they are liars and deserve to be in jail there. She says it is not fair she has to go back there with them. Dekker says she created so much confusion that two murderers might go free. He tells her she will be on the stand again tomorrow and she has to tell the truth. Afterwards, Stanton tells Dekker to give Mila a break, she is only 15, but Dekker says Mila knows exactly what she wants she just doesn’t know how to get it, and maybe they can help her.

Later, Dekker and Stanton are at the FBI and they explain what Mila said at trial and what this means for them and that the kidnappers could go free. They asks them to sign a declaration of independence for Mila so she can stay there after Anna and Dennis leave. He adds Mila feels betrayed and may already be lost to them. Anna and Dennis anguish over this, and they decide to sign the paperwork.

Back in court, Mila admits what she said previously was not true. She says her parents would never hurt anyone on purpose and apologized for lying. Dekker asks for Anna’s and Dennis testimony to be preserved for trial and the judge concurs.

At the Burbank Airport, Dekker and Stanton are there to watch the trade off of Dennis and Anna with the Russians, and Mila is also there. They say their goodbyes. Stanton gets a call saying the kidnappers are ready to deal. Dekker says they should go make that deal, and as they walk off we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vincent D'Onofrio & Kathryn Erbe Wrap Law & Order CI Season 10 (video)

Here’s a video of Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe thanking everyone after wrapping season 10. They both seemed to have enjoyed this final season...wish it wasn't the last!

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” Promo

Here is the NBC promo for Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” which will air on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 10PM ET on NBC. No, you haven’t entered an alternate universe or the Twilight Zone, this episode is one that was completed before the “reboot”. It features Skeet Ulrich, Corey Stoll and his ‘stache, some facial hair for Terrence Howard, and Megan Boone.

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

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Law & Order LA “Angels Knoll” Recap & Review

All photos by NBCUniversa

Law & Order LA “Angels Knoll” was an excellent episode that blended a brutal murder, a casino heist, and a Bernie Madoff-type swindler into a very intense story. While members of the regular cast were all impressive in this episode, the guest stars brought the story to life. Victor Garber and Titus Welliver were perfectly matched as swindler and swindler’s attorney, and it was gratifying to see both  characters being outmaneuvered by DDA Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard) at the end. Jessica Collins (who will always be CSI’s “Miniature Killer” to me) was exceptional as the clueless daddy’s girl who is in complete denial about her crook of a father. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe was also perfectly creepy in her role as a paid for hire mistress who has no problem with slicing off a man’s family jewels.

It was a nice twist to the usual murder investigation to throw in a casino heist, although it was predictable that the detectives would find the armored truck empty. Alfred Molina and Corey Stoll make an excellent pair of detectives and I think the loss of this pairing is what makes me sad most about this show being canceled. These two are fun to watch and I enjoy the little tidbits we learn about them in every episode. Is there no network out there that can save this show?

Here is the recap:
Casino worker George Patrick (Nick Kiriazis) has an argument with his cousin Billy about hitting on his bride to be, and then George storms off. At a later time, Billy walks past George’s room and sees the door ajar and enters to find George dead in a blood filled bathtub.

Coroner Nishizawa (Tamlyn Tomita) is on the scene with Detectives Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina) and TJ Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll). George appeared to have been cut with a broken glass, his watch and wallet are gone. He’s also missing his “family jewels.”

The detectives speak with Billy about his argument over his bride, Abby. George told Abby that Billy was engaged before and she was upset because Billy never told her. Billy was in his own room and says he ordered room service and called his dad on the room phone. His brother and best man were with him. They confirm the alibi.

TJ thinks that George apparently called an escort service but Morales doesn’t think this is the case. They think the killers made the calls after the fact to cover their tracks.

They speak with George’s uncle who said George had money problems. George was hoping to bring Liz Bennett to the wedding but she did not show. There was a call on George’s cell to her around midnight.

The detectives speak with Liz (Jessica Collins), a teacher,  who didn’t want to go to the wedding with him. He was just too intense. She wasn’t crazy about his job and had problems with Chinese pawn brokers in the casino.

At the Wrangles Casino, the speak with the manager about the pawn brokers. The speak with one of them who said George was borrowing from her. He owed her $100K.

At George’s home, they go through his finances and found he put a down payment on a boat in Costa Rica. They wonder if George was planning a heist. They find a check to a medical supply company and the signature is George’s but all the rest of the writing is someone else’s.

Back at RHD, TJ is having trouble getting the medical supply company on the phone. Morales spoke with the boat builder who said George said he would be down there in two weeks to pay in full. They see a photo of the boat and it is called “Teacher’s Pet” and they think this means Liz was going to be a part of George’s world.

At Liz Bennett’s home, they find she appears to have cleared out. Someone took apart her internet routers, and theyfound a clip for a Beretta. They think she was George’s accomplice.

Back at the casino, Security Arms armored service heads into the casino with Liz in the front seat of the truck. The drivers get off schedule because of a printer problem and they have to get a hand written receipt. When they get outside, they see their armored truck is long gone.

Morales gets a message that an armored truck has just been stolen with $1.5 million dollars and Liz was the driver.

At the casino, they find that the printers, which were connected to a router, had been offline so the casino had to hand write a receipt. TJ thinks she hacked their printer systems. Morales finds Liz was on the job for three months, she drove to work and her car is still in the lot. The security company activated the truck's tracking device. TJ thinks George gave Liz the codes for the router and Morales said once George outlived his usefully they sliced him up. They hear that the GPS puts the truck two miles from there.

The detectives, along with a force of police, find the truck in a garage and it is already empty. They hope they can see something on a nearby security camera.

Back at RHD, they find George rented the garage a month ago. On the security footage, they see a woman zip by on a wheelchair and wonder if that was purchased at the medical supply company. The woman gets on a bus.

They check with the bus company to see where she got off, and track the suspect to a car in the park and ride that is registered to Dan Rathman (Patrick Heusinger). He said he sold the car 3 months ago to his sister – and his sister is Liz Bennett. They tell him what is going on and he refuses to say any more, and moves to make a phone call.

Back at RHD, TJ tells Morales that 12 minutes after they left, Dan called Liz’s cell and was on long enough to leave a message. Five minutes later he got a call from a no name cell. That same cell called Liz’s school two hours earlier and also Kennedy & Associates, a law firm in San Francisco. Morales says Charles Kennedy is a big time criminal lawyer. There was also a call to a Joseph Silman in Folsom.

At State Prison in Folsom, they find Silman is captain of A Block. Joe has been there for 10 years and is a clean record and his wife has MS. They also hear that another call to Silman was made  20 minutes ago and Morales asks when Silman gets off work.

At a restaurant where the detectives are watching Silman,  Morales moans about his marriage, saying it was cursed. They found a rattlesnake under a car in the church parking lot. There were a lot of cops at the wedding and many of them pulled out their guns to shoot it. He thinks it was an omen. They see Liz arrive in a blond wig and she passes an envelope to Silman. They follow Liz out of the restaurant and arrest her. Silman sees this and when he moves to walk away, TJ is waiting there and arrests him. TJ opens the envelope and it has a wad of cash in it. Silman asks for a lawyer. After they have the two of them taken away, they open the trunk to her car and it is empty. They do find a hotel room key, Silman’s phone number, and a CDC inmate number. She apparently was going to break someone out.

Back at the prison, the warden looks at his records and find the inmate in question is Walter Calvin (Victor Garber), a man who swindled $30 billion, and his oldest son committed suicide but also has another son Dan and a daughter – Elizabeth. Liz was going to bust him out of jail.

They speak with Calvin about it and he doesn’t believe it. His attorney Charles Kennedy (Titus Welliver) says their logic is wrong. He adds that Calvin cares for his daughter but he won’t let him talk his way into a maximum security prison for her. Calvin said whatever she did had nothing to do with him. TJ notices the cuts on his head and Calvin says he slipped in the shower.

Later, DDA Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard) and DDA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) speak with Liz who denies killing George. They ask about the robbery and mention the injuries on her father, and think she was buying him protection. Her lawyer (Melinda Page Hamilton) says Liz was told unless she paid Stilman they could not guarantee her father’s safety. She also said he has no money and he didn’t do anything.

Afterwards, Rubirosa thinks this threat against her father’s life could get her an acquittal. Dekker says for the truck heist, not the murder, and Rubirosa says they are a long way from proving that. Rubirosa says Liz is deluded about her father. Dekker thinks Liz makes a powerful witness for herself. He says they need to find the holes in her story.

Rubirosa speaks with Dan and she said Liz was always daddy’s girl. He says his father is toxic. People assumed his brother Alex was in on Calvin’s scam and he killed himself. His mother would not allow Liz to visit in prison and only allowed her to communicate through lawyers. They say a video of her father 3 months ago who looked like he had been injured and said he needed money for protection. Liz wanted Dan’s help but he just didn’t care.

Back at the county jail, Rubirosa and Dekker talk to Silman about the injuries Calvin had three months ago. Dekker said they checked that all the other injuries occurred all happened before his lawyer was to arrive and all reports were written by Silman. They think these injuries were deliberate and part of a shakedown for protection money. Silman says Calvin was shaking down his daughter as all his money was overseas and he needed he daughter to get fresh cash. The money was because even in prison, Calvin liked the good life.

At the apartment of Jenn Mackie (Jody Lyn O’Keefe) Dekker and Rubirosa press her about the nice things she got from Calvin, so she could share conjugal visits with him. She got $5,000 in an envelope in the back of the limo when she was ready to go home. She last saw him months ago and Calvin said cash was coming in and the little princess was getting it.

Afterwards, Rubirosa and Dekker talk about what they just learned and that Liz probably had no idea she was being swindled too. They think Calvin was the brains behind the heist.

In court, Calvin is being charged with conspiracy to commit murder and grand theft, and Calvin pleads not guilty. Afterwards, Kennedy says that piling on another 25 years won’t make a difference to Calvin, but Dekker counters that is make a difference where he spends it and that Pelican Bay supermax could house people that Calvin swindled. Dekker wants them to get the justice they deserve.

Back in the office, Dekker and Rubirosa try to enlighten the clueless Liz who is in denial. They make her an offer but she refuses to sell out her father. After Liz leaves, her attorney says they need to talk about her retainer. Calvin’s lawyer said he would take care of it. She got it a few days ago and it had been wired through a series of banks but something in the wiring instructions caught her attention. She did not want any tax trouble so she traced it back to the originating bank. The money is from an offshore account, the Commercial Bank Of Madagascar. She wonders if the money is what Calvin swindled and if they could aid in the recovery of that money, would it help Liz? Dekker says they will look into it. Dekker wonders if they can use this information to turn Calvin.

Later, they speak with Calvin about it who says he is broke. They discuss the money in the bank in Madagascar and Kennedy says they will never get that money unless they give Calvin consideration. Calvin says it will take time to unravel where the money ended up, it was a complex deal and many banks were in on it and they were greedy. Kennedy wants minimum security for Calvin and Dekker wants information on George Patrick’s killing. But Calvin won’t lie to help them convict Liz.

Back at the office, Dekker speaks on the phone to DA Jerry Hardin, and afterwards he tells Rubirosa that Hardin has the Feds salivating at recovering the money. Rubirosa says her old boss Jack McCoy would have gone ahead on principle and tell the Feds to screw themselves. Dekker say so would Jerry Hardin 15 years ago and he might again one day. Looking through stacks of files, Rubirosa notices that a bank account in Bermuda used to buy his wife a condo years ago is the same number as the bank in Madagascar.

At Mel Gardens, Rubirosa speaks with Mrs. Rathman – her maiden name, she took that name after she divorced Calvin and had her sons take that name also, Liz taking her grandmother’s name of Bennett. Rubirosa brings up the bank account numbers, and Rathman laughs about the Madagascar bank. Calvin once borrowed money against an non-existent coin collection at the bank. She says that bank will have them chasing their tail for years. She recalls a large garden they once had and said their life was built on lies.

Back at the prison, Rubirosa and Dekker confront Calvin and Kennedy on the bogus bank and says Kennedy participated in the deception. Calvin offers information on George’s murder case. Liz told him George was making problems for her by spending money that they did not yet have on a house and boat in Costa Rica. He was blackmailing her into marrying him. She told him she cut him with a broken champagne glass. Dekker says they need corroboration, and Kennedy says there is a recording between Calvin and Liz where she says she wants to make Patrick go away. They must agree to minimum security for Calvin in order to get the recording. Dekker says if the recording is everything they say, they are agreed.

Back in Dekker’s office, they listen to the recording of Liz and Calvin. Liz is afraid George will mess this up and says she just wanted George to go away. Calvin told her not to talk this way. Liz says ever since George found out she was his daughter, he calls her the little princess. They recall that Jenn Mackie used that same name to describe Liz.

They bring Jenn in to RHD for questioning. TJ and Morales confront her on a previous attack she made against a man 10 years ago that was similar to the one on George. Her cell phone also shows she was in the immediate area that night. She said she was in town visiting her sister. They accuse Calvin of putting her up to this but she says he is just a nice old man who is going to die in prison. Meanwhile, Dekker and Rubirosa think that Calvin masterminded the murder and think Liz got George into the tub and Jenn killed him. They need someone to break to prove it.

Dekker and Rubirosa play the recording back to Liz and tell her Calvin and his lawyer only kept the part of the recording that implicated her in the murder. She denies killing George. They play back the video of Jenn talking to the detectives about Liz's brothers and that her father said Liz was the “little monkey” because Liz would do whatever he wanted. She tells a story about when Liz was little her father had her on his lap and he sped up and went so fast that Liz peed her pants and he thought it was funny.  She adds that Calvin said if he could do it again he would not have kids. Liz demands they turn off the video. Dekker presses her on her humiliation that day, and Liz is still in denial. Dekker presses that Calvin sold her out for a larger cell and a softer mattress. Even her lawyer encourages her to talk. Liz talks about how her father took care of her when she fell in Yosemite and she will never turn against him. After Liz leaves,  Rubirosa thinks now the only person they have a case against is Liz but they don’t think she did the actual killing and all they can prove against Calvin is grand theft. Dekker says something you have to live with, and when Rubirosa moans about Calvin getting into a minimum security prison, Dekker adds some things you don’t.

In court, the Judge Dryer (Francesca P. Roberts) reads the new agreement for Calvin and Kennedy mentions they have an agreement with Dekker to serve the remainder of his term in a minimum security facility. But the judge does not see that in the paperwork. Dekker comments that the agreement is void and he spoke to the department of corrections who will be transporting Calvin to the maximum security prison in Pelican Bay. Calvin and Kennedy are shocked, saying they had an agreement. Dekker says they declined to prosecute Liz, but the attorney said that does not matter. They gave Dekker the evidence. Dekker said the evidence is misleading and given in bad faith and the deal is off. The judge tells them to take away Calvin and bring in the next case. Calvin is livid and yells out. He begs Liz to save him and tell them she killed that idiot. She is shocked. When she stands silent he yells at her and asks her what the hell is she good for. Liz remains stunned.

She approaches the defense table for allocution to grand theft, and Dekker is ready to proceed. Liz sits there sobbing as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © allthingslawandorder.blogspot.com unless otherwise noted

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

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Law & Order SVU Fans: Don’t Bury The Show Before It’s Dead

Yesterday’s news that Chris Meloni won’t be returning to Law & Order SVU for a 13th season caused a massive disturbance in the force of SVU fandom. One would think it was a sign of the apocalypse.

Fans of the original recipe Law & Order learned long ago that cast changes can and will happen, and fans coped. In some cases for Law & Order, cast changes brought iconic characters like Jack McCoy and Lennie Briscoe  to life.  Keeping Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay paired as Detectives Stabler and Benson for such a long time has both helped AND hurt SVU. The upside was that both actors have a solid following and brought in a lot of viewers. The downside is that losing one of these actors can further erode viewership. But one can’t ignore the fact that SVU has experienced a significant drop in viewers over the years. This could mean that viewers are tiring of the show in some shape or form - the actors, the writing, the formula, etc.

Change is long overdue for Law & Order SVU. While I fully understand fans of Chris Meloni who now declare they will never watch another episode again, this change is a chance to bring new energy to the show. It has to be done right, and this is one of those times where casting is EVERYTHING. I can’t stress enough that the new cast member will have big shoes to fill, so hiring an actor that is a well respected big name with a established following is a must. It has to be someone that will draw in new viewers. It has to be someone that both fans and the media will say “Wow,  I can’t believe they got ____”   and mean it in a good way.  There can't be any also-rans for this role, period.  

It bothers me when people who profess to be fans of the show are willing to bury the show before the show is dead. Law & Order SVU may be an ailing patient right now, but it is possible that with a carefully executed “transplant” the show may have more life,  get new fans, and be stronger than ever. While I certainly respect the feelings of Chris Meloni fans, I also have respect for the fans of SVU and all the Law & Order brand shows who are willing to give this change a chance. So before anyone buries this patient, let’s first see if it can’t be cured and given a new lease on life. I’m not willing to declare it dead yet.  

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

Law & Order LA”Plummer Park” Advance Photos

Here are some advance photos of Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” which will air on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 10PM ET on NBC. The photos feature Skeet Ulrich and Corey Stoll. (Rex Winters and TJ’s ‘stache "resurrect"!)

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

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

Law & Order LA “Carthay Circle” Advance Photos

Here are a few advance photos from Law & Order LA “Carthay Circle” which will air on Monday June 6, 2011 (10PM ET/9C NBC). The photos feature Alfred Molina and guest star Charles Dutton.

My recap and review of Law & Order LA "Carthay Circle" can be found at this link.

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

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TVLine Reports Chris Meloni Leaving SVU

TVLine.com is reporting that Chris Meloni will not be returning to Law & Order SVU for season 13. Read their story here:

TVLine.com Exclusive: Chris Meloni Exits Law & Order: SVU

Let the speculation and suggestions on replacements begin! By the way, this new news puts a whole new light on that old interview Chris Meloni gave to an Australian news outlet in early 2010 when he said he was done after season 12 (and he later clarified the statement). In case you don’t recall it, here’s the link: Chris Meloni Announces Intention to Leave Law & Order SVU? Maybe Not

Update May 27, 2011 from TVLine:
Mariska Hargitay On Chris Meloni's LAW & ORDER: SVU Exit: "I Love Him Deeply and Will Miss Him Terribly

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

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

Law & Order LA “El Sereno” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order LA, “El Sereno.”

Law & Order LA “El Sereno ” Air Date Monday June 20, 2011 (10PM ET/9C Monday NBC)


When a horrific mass murder occurs at a primarily Hispanic office, the detectives immediately begin investigating the remaining employees, as well as their clients. After arresting a potential suspect, the case comes to a sudden halt when a claim of racial profiling is made against the unlikeliest of sources. DDA’s Dekker (Terrence Howard) and Stanton (Megan Boone) are forced to navigate through tricky waters in hopes of proving their case. Rachel Ticotin also stars.

My recap and review of Law & Order LA "El Sereno" can be found at this link.

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

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

Law & Order LA "Carthay Circle" Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order LA, “Carthay Circle.”

Law & Order LA “Carthay Circle ” Air Date Monday June 6, 2011 (10PM ET/9C Monday NBC)


When Kim Ho Lee (guest star Elizabeth Anweis) is found dead by a neighbor, the detectives suspect her live-in boyfriend of murder until they stumble upon his dead body. As Winters and Jazuszalski begin digging into Joyner’s past, they learn that he was hired to collect voter signatures in order to put a controversial proposition back on the ballot. However, when surprising details are uncovered, DDA’s Morales (Alfred Molina) and Price (Regina Hall) find their case in jeopardy and justice hanging in the balance. Rachel Ticotin also stars.

My recap and review of Law & Order LA "Carthay Circle" can be found at this link.

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

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

Law & Order LA “Angels Knoll” Behind The Scenes Video

From Wolf Films, here’s a behind the scenes look at Law & Order LA “Angels Knoll" with Executive Producer Chris Misiano. The episode will air on Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 10PM ET/9C on NBC.

My recap and review of Law & Order LA "Angels Knoll" can be found at this link.

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

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

Law & Order LA “Big Rock Mesa” Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Law & Order LA “Big Rock Mesa” was an interesting look into what happens when desperate people living in a fire zone put their homes ahead of someone’s life. In this case, the murder of two homeless people and a law student are explained away by someone claiming they were protecting their property. Sadly, the threat to their property was greater from living in a neighborhood that is a tinderbox than it was from any homeless people. While I agree that a homeowner has the right to protect their homes and property from intruders, these clueless homeowners can’t seem to comprehend that the threat of fire is a more deadly intruder.

While this wasn’t an action packed episode, it still provided an interesting investigation and look into California law. Dekker and Rubirosa were disappointed that they lost the battle, but in my opinion, they had a weak case to start. Maybe Dekker bit off more than he could chew when he decided to break the deal with Denton and go after him for murder. As that killing happened in Denton’s garage, I can understand the jury seeing that as self defense, and that may have tainted the jury’s opinion on all the rest.

Here is the recap:
A wildfire near Big Rock Mesa is burning. Residents clamor to enter the fire zone to save their homes but are turned away. After the fire is out, news crews and fire fighters are on the scene, and 3 charred bodies are found – one of them has been shot in the head.

Detectives Ricardo Morales (Alfred Molina) and “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) are on the scene. There was a previous fire in the area and brake fluid – used as an accelerant - was found at both fires, implying both fires were started by the same person. They think the three dead people walked in on the arsonist.

Coroner Nishizawa (Tamlyn Tomita) says the fire was not the cause of death. One was killed by a blow to the head, another from a stab to the head, the third from a gunshot. The bodies can’t be identified because they can’t get prints or match dental records, but one of them has teeth that looks like there has been some orthodontic work and the body has a titanium knee replacement with a serial number.

The detectives try to get a profile on the arsonist. They find that for the first fire, a match and tin foil device was used with brake fluid as a starter. The second fire was just with matches. The first fire was set near Mulholland.

The detectives head to the Rock Slide Inn on Mulholland and get a lead. They check out one of the guys, Duane, who was there with his brother in law Blake. TJ sees burn ointment in the guy’s truck. Duane said Blake burned himself on the engine block.

The detectives speak with Blake Humphry and find that Blake aced the firefighter exam but decided against the job as the money wasn’t right.

They speak with one of the fire chiefs and found Blake had all the red flags for pyromania. They bring Duane in to RHD for questioning who insists he had nothing to do with the fire and said he only drove Blake up there. He thinks Blake did both fires as he was bragging about how much smarter he was than the fire department.

Later, with Blake in interrogation, they confront him about the fires. They play up to his fire starting skills. Blake looks confused when they ask him about the second fire and when they complement him on the skillful fire, he says he started it too. Morales presses on details,  and Blake adds he used foil and matches. The detectives speak with the arson guy who said there was no foil at the second fire – Blake didn’t set it and they wonder if it is a copycat.

Later, the detectives speak with David Holloway's parents – David is the one who had the knee replacement. They last spoke with him Sunday and the detectives learn that David worked with the homeless. The detectives speak with a woman at the shelter about David and also find that Freddie Roga has not been seen there for a few days and he matches the description of one of the bodies. Freddie wanted to rescue his girlfriend Jenny who stayed at the camp – and it seems Jenny is the third body.

The detectives drive to Big Rock Mesa, and Morales notices landscaping gravel and also colored glass, like what Freddie had in his boots. They speak with some of the residents. Morales speaks with Patrick Denton (Lee Tergesen) and TJ speaks with Joe. Denton picks out Jenny from the photos and Joe has also noticed the homeless in the area. Neither seem to have a good opinion of the homeless.

Morales and TJ speak with one of the homeless, Ray, who says they get chased off the mountains all the time. It was too scary up there but  saw people having a pool party while the fire burned nearby. Afterwards, TJ comments all the pools he saw up there were drained, and Morales wonders if they used pool water to fight the fire.

Back at RHD, Morales has confirmation that fire fighters cut the water to the homes on Monday at noon. TJ says the houses in Big Rock Mesa are equipped with smart meters and the DWP can monitor electricity use day to day. Power spiked on one of the days that they were supposed to be evacuated. They think someone was using the pump to take water from the pool to spray on to the roof. They wonder if the homeowners had a run in with the homeless. TJ knows someone who runs a news chopper and calls to see if he can get footage of the guys on their roofs.

At the KNBC Helipad, they speak with Britney who said the area was a no fly zone and they got no footage. Morales says the homeowners don’t know that.

Later, Britney meets with Joe and Patrick ask says they have great footage of them on their roofs but need them to sign a release before they show it. The guys want to buy the footage and don’t want the attention because they weren’t supposed to be there. After the two men leave, Britney gives a recording of the conversation to the detectives, who will use it to get a search warrant.

As they serve the warrants to the Dentons and find that an area of the garage has been cleaned with bleach in the last week. They also see a saw blade that matches a wound on of the dead homeless. They arrest Denton.

Later, DDA Joe Dekker (Terrence Howard) moans to DDA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) that Denton got bail. The evidence is slim and Dekker thinks someone helped Denton carry the bodies and set the fire. They decide to start with Joe.

Dekker and Rubirosa question Joe who said they had nothing to do with killing the homeless people. Dekker turns up the heat on him, and all he will admit to is pumping out their pools.

Rubirosa speaks with Mrs. Burt (Denise Crosby) who said Joe and Patrick helped her hose down her roof and then they left. She said Patrick’s home appeared broken into. She also has three deep scratches on her arm which she says are from her cat and she said the cat ran off in the fire.

Back with the Coroner, Rubirosa finds that the homeless woman had one of her fingers splinted, and if she would have scratched someone it would have left 3 marks. Freddie had a cut on his skull and Rubirosa wonders if it was from a blade tool used to clear brush.

At Joe’s, the detectives search for such a tool. TJ sees a brush axe in a photo and asks where is it, and Joe said he got rid of it months ago.

Back in the office, Rubirosa goes over what they found with Dekker. Dekker says there are 3 suspects and no weapons, blood, or forensics. He says they need to offer Denton a deal because he could have viewed Holloway as an intruder and shot him in self defense. Rubirosa reminds him he was in the garage – and Dekker reminds her that in California, the home includes the garage. They argue about Dekker’s approach – and Dekker says not to come inside his house without an invitation.

Later, Denton and his attorney are in Dekker’s office, along with Rubirosa. They discuss the offer, and Dekker won’t contest self defense but Denton will have to serve 2 years for arson. If he refuses he will be charged with aggravated arson and serve 9 years in prison. Denton tells them that they heard looters were setting fires and he heard a noise in the garage and saw the three homeless in his garage. He told them to get out and one of them moved toward him and he shot one of them and the others took off. Joe and Diana saw them and one of them turned on Joe and Joe hit him with an axe. The woman was going off on Diana and Diane hit her with a brick. He explains how they panicked and knew no one would believe it was self defense so they started a fire like the other fire in the area.

Later, the detective arrest Joe and Diana. TJ comments that you kill someone in your garage you get a walk but kill them a few feet away and they throw the book at you. Morales comments about the legal shades of gray.

Joe and Diana, along with their lawyer Mr. Miklin (Bradley Whitford) speak with Dekker and they make a counter offer but Dekker refuses. Miklin thinks Joe and Diana will be viewed as underdogs at trial. After they leave, Rubirosa sees that the Big Rock Mesa homeowners are being sued because a group claims that protecting homes in a fire zone is a burden on taxpayers. One of the lawyers has an email address at Pepperdine, also where David Holloway attended.

At Pepperdine Law School, Dekker and Rubirosa find that David was worried that the homeowners were targeting the homeless. David wanted to push back at them, saying people should not build in high risk areas. David kept his name off the suit to protect his friends. Afterwards, Dekker says it is odd that Denton never mentioned this lawsuit.

Dekker and Rubirosa speak with Anna Denton who was aware of the lawsuit. She did hear others in garage that day and that one said they were going to run him out of the canyon. She balks at answering but Dekker presses. Patrick walks in and asks what is going on, and Dekker said that now their deal is off.

In court, the defense argues marital privilege for Anna Denton but Dekker wins the argument as Anna made the statements to a third party. She testifies that she heard someone tell her husband they would run him out of the canyon, and her husband knew it was the man who was suing them. She heard others yelling and then she heard a shot. She saw someone lying on the ground and Patrick told her to get back in the house and lock the door. The defense attorney asks her about the homeless camping in the canyon, and she said it frightens her. She saw a drunk and dirty man in her yard once asking her for beer money. They were terrified during the fire and her husband was protecting her.

Later, Patrick is on the stand explaining what happened and what Holloway said and that Holloway went for the gun and the others ran off. He says they were stupid to cover up the deaths and said they were afraid they would lose everything. It was his father’s home since 1962 and was passed along to him. They can’t afford to live anywhere else.

Under cross, Dekker wonders if he knows why they were in his garage and that Denton just did not care. Dekker brings up other encounters Denton has had with the homeless. Dekker wonders why Denton did just didn’t just leave the garage, and shows them Denton was blocking the way of the others to exit. He adds the gun shot was from someone who was standing in the doorway, and accused Denton of wanting the confrontation. Dekker accuses him of forcing the confrontation and doubts that Denton was not concerned for his wife’s safety.

At closing, the Miklin thinks there is reasonable doubt and asks the jury what they would have done in the same situation. But Dekker counters that Miklin is just trying to scare them by quoting them the numbers of the homeless, and Dekker tries to make them seem like real human beings. He says homelessness can happen to anyone and asks the jury to put themselves in the shoes of the homeless and to also recall their own encounters with the homeless and that they never killed a homeless person in anger. He says this is not self defense.

The jury later finds all of them not guilty of murder, but are deadlocked on the arson count. The judge releases the jury.

Afterwards, Rubirosa comments to Dekker that retrying them on arson may seem like sour grapes. They hear a juror talking to the news about their verdict and the juror says they are entitled to feel safe in their own homes. Dekker comments he asked 12 people to put their conscience before their anger, and as he sees Holloway’s parents crying, Dekker goes on to say he failed them. Rubirosa adds “We failed.” As they both walk off, we fade to black.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Vincent D’Onofrio Discusses “Rispetto” (Video)

From Wolf Films, here is a video of Vincent D’Onofrio talking about the season premiere episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, "Rispetto" .

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

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” Episode Information

Here are the details for a new episode of Law & Order LA, “Plummer Park.”

Law & Order LA “Plummer Park” Air Date May 30, 2011 (10PM ET/9C Monday NBC)


When cops are called to the home of Nick (guest star Michael Enright) and Amy Libergal (guest star Amy Benedict), they are surprised to discover two Russian men armed with guns and Nick dead in his bathtub. While Winters and Jaruszalski work to trace the men back to a ringleader, the case takes an unsuspecting turn when a second crime comes into play. Meanwhile, DDA’s Dekker (Terrence Howard) and Stanton (Megan Boone) must move quickly in order to get their key witnesses to testify before they are extradited back to Russia. Rachel Ticotin also stars.

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

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