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"Law and Order" original series on DVD (1990 - 2010) discussion thread (1 Viewer)

Jack P

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Part 2 of my S06 review:

"Custody": Paul Robinette returns (without his signature flat-top) as a defense attorney here. He defends a young women who kidnapped her young baby from it's adoptive parents. Superb episode, and you really saw a side of Robinette that hadn't been seen when he was a regular on the show. Definitely one of the best episodes in the series -very powerful.

This was an episode I despised. Not only was I put off by what had happened to the character of Robineette, I was also deeply offended by the underlying point which suggests white people have no business adopting non-white children. Insomuch as I have a niece who was adopted from China, I took that subject VERY personally.
 

The Drifter

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All of the S11 episodes were excellent. Here are some of the many high-lights:

"Endurance": A disabled child is killed in a apartment fire. At first glance, this appears to be an accident. But, as Briscoe & Green investigate - they realize that the fire was deliberately set. Extremely sad episode.

"Turnstile Justice": A woman is found dead in a subway station, from a blow to the head. The investigation leads to a violent, disturbed man. And, not only is the violent man held responsible for the crime...but ultimately the system that let him loose on the public is also put on trial.

"Dissonance": A young and up & coming violinist at the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra is found murdered in her apartment.
The investigation leads Briscoe & Green to the conductor Carl Reger, with whom the young woman was having an affair. As the investigation/trial continues, however - Regar's wife unexpectedly admits to killing the young woman due to jealousy. But is she telling the truth, or is she lying - and just wants to take the fall for her husband?! At the end of the episode, it's still unclear who committed the crime - though it's obvious it was one of them. Definitely one of the best episodes in the entire series.

"Teenage Wasteland": A restaurant owner is found murdered in an especially heinous way after he goes out for a late-night delivery. Once the teenage perpetrator(s) are found, the Lawyers have to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty. This is an especially disturbing episode.

"Swept Away": An "actor" in a local reality show is found murdered, and the investigation hinges on whether or not the producers of the show inadvertently caused this to happen - in order for the show to get higher ratings. The fictitious series in this case was obviously based on the iconic reality show The Real World.

Also interesting that Abbie Carmichael (Angie Harmon) leaves at the end of S11. Not surprising, however - given that her position of ADA in this series seems to be a 'revolving door' and that this particular position/cast member changes every several years. I suspect this to be a true-to-life reflection as well (maybe).

As always, I'm really looking forward to the next season. S12 (2001-2002) will be the first full season that was released after 9/11 - though I know some of the episodes were filmed before the attacks. Given that the show is set & filmed in NYC - I suspect that the attacks & the aftermath may play a part in at least some of these episodes...especially the ones mid-way & towards the end of the season.
 
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Matt Hough

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And the new season of Law & Order begins on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Really looking forward to getting reacquainted with the show with a cast made up of new actors and some returning ones.
 

John*Wells

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And the new season of Law & Order begins on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Really looking forward to getting reacquainted with the show with a cast made up of new actors and some returning ones.

and Jack is back as the DA 12 years later. I thought he didnt like politicians
 

The Drifter

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Recently watched L&O Original Series S12 (2001-2002 season). Excellent season, as always. Some of the many highlights:

-"Possession": A woman is found murdered outside of her rent-controlled apartment; as it turned out, she had been a long-time tenant. The investigation turns up many elements that may tie to the crime, including: A long-ago brief romance between the landlord and the deceased woman; the fact that the building's owner had been trying to sell the building for years, and the deceased woman had been blocking the sale because she wanted to continue living there; the revelation that the landlord and the building's owner are brother & sister, but were estranged & hadn't spoken to each other for years, etc.

This episode also features one of my favorite sarcastic comments/one-liners by Briscoe: Early in the investigation, Van Buren asks the detectives how things are going. And, Briscoe matter-of-factly replies: "The Super's straight out of the Addams family, and the lady who owns the place has a very pronounced pole up her @$$." - LOL

-"The Fire this Time": A building under construction is set ablaze, resulting in the death of a woman. The investigation leads to a pro-environmental group who is opposed to new construction in the area. Interesting episode, and the criminals here are not typically the ones that the LE/Lawyers normally investigate/prosecute.

-"Girl most Likely": A HS student is found dead in the basement laundry room of her apartment building. The investigation uncovers numerous people at her school who were upset with her due to her getting a controversial "message board" shut down. However, the true perpetrator is not someone LE had really considered as a suspect early on. Very surprising & sad.

-"3 Dawg Night": Someone is killed in a nightclub, and as the detectives investigate - they realize that the crime very possibly involved a big-name musician & the musician's bodyguard, who were leaving the club & were apparently accosted by the victim. Not surprisingly, a lot of roadblocks are put up by the wealthy musician's legal team to prevent both the LE & the lawyers from finding out what really happened.

Finally, the truth comes out - and it's shocking, because it's the last thing everyone (including this viewer) was expecting. This is also one of those rare cases on the show where I didn't feel sorry for the "victim", and actually felt he had it coming to him.

This is definitely my favorite S12 episode, and I'm sure this will also end up being one of my top ten favorite episodes of the series.
 

The Drifter

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S12 (2001-2002) was the first season that was released after 9/11. I clearly remember that horrible day and how everything changed for the country/world that Fall. Given that the show is set & filmed in NYC (the epicenter of the attacks), 9/11 is referenced in both subtle & obvious ways in this season:

-Very evident LE/Military presence/guards outside of the courthouse and in other outdoor public places.

-References being made to the attacks by Briscoe/Green & McCoy/Serena Southerlyn (the new ADA starting in S12).

-The small enamel American Flag pin was worn by both the detectives & the lawyers (on their lapels) in some episodes - starting roughly in mid-season.

However, the most obvious reference was in the S12 finale, "Patriot". This involved the body of a man being found in an apartment that had been partially blown up in an explosion.
The autopsy revealed that the victim had been tortured & killed prior to the building being destroyed. This led to to the perpetrator, who decided to take the law into his own hands after investigating the victim - and deciding that he was a threat.

The episode culminated with a guilty verdict for the killer. I completely agreed with the verdict here. However, I also found it interesting that there was a strong implication that the victim was in the U.S. for possibly nefarious purposes, given: He worked in a minimum wage job, yet had a huge amount of $ in the bank; his lying about having a wife & family back in his home country; he was learning how to drive large trucks even though that wasn't part of his job; etc.

In any case, this episode really high-lighted the fears/concerns many people had after 9/11.
 

Matt Hough

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Serena was my least favorite ADA (though she hangs around longer than the three actresses who preceded her). Compared to the others, I found her acting just a bit on the brittle side.
 

Nick*Z

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For me the first 4 years are golden thanks to Ben stone. Sam Waterson is a great actor but Jack McCoy bugged me to no end. I bought the box set just to have the later years since the whole show isn't on streaming which doesn't make sense to me. Peacock said they were going to have the original series and several spinoff in tact. All of the original 10 to 11 seasons aren't even on there at all.
SPOILERS

For me, the winning team was Noth, Orbach, Hennessey, Merkerson, Hill and Moriarty. I love the first 9 years of the original Law and Order, but felt that revolving cast changes began to hurt the franchise right after they killed off Claire Kincaid.

For me, the series peaked in Season 3 with some episodes that remain cutting edge and thoroughly shocking to this day, including The Corporate Veil (the one with the faulty pace makers being sold to desperate patients), Wedded Bliss (the one about the couple exploiting migrant labor, burying uncooperative participants in their grandmother's backyard), Night and Fog (in which an ex-Nazi collaborator murders his wife) and, best of all, The Prince of Darkness (a truly shocking episode that ends with Shakespearean overtones - every witness associated with the crime, brutally murdered before their testimony can expose the truth).

I'll never forget the final moments of this episode, with Stone, assistant DA, Paul Robinette discussing with Adam Schiff how best to proceed in the trial when Schiff receives the phone call informing him all his key witnesses have met with terrible ends. Stone inquires about the 'little girl' who survived the assassination of her mother and father in a posh restaurant at the outset of the episode. Schiff suggests the girl was picked up and brought to safety by her uncle, to which Robinette quietly replies, "She doesn't have an uncle." The look of absolute silent terror on all 3 men's faces, realizing even the girl has been murdered, has stayed with me ever since.
 

TallPaulInKy

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For me, what made the series was Jerry Orbach. He was a real New Yorker and sounded that way.
 

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