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Law And Order Episodes - Favorite law and order episodes


July 30, 2010 is a day which will live in infamy in the hearts and minds of Law and Order fans, for on that date franchise creator Dick Wolf announced the popular police-procedural-cum-legal-drama would not be returning for a record-breaking 21st season.


That’s our attempt to transliterate the famous sound that accompanies each episode’s scene changes. Boink-boink will continue to be heard on Law and Order reruns on TNT, USA and other cable networks, as well as on the show’s spinoffs, like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which are still going strong. Ironically, Wolf made his announcement about the original show’s demise at a Television Critics Association panel introducing the latest model off the L&O assembly line, “Law and Order: Los Angeles.”

The constant reshuffling of cast members over so many seasons gave the show something of a geologic time scale: there was the Ben Stone Age at the beginning of the show, superseded by the Jack McCoy Epoch, itself subdivided into a series of eras that always ended with the extinction of a beautiful female Assistant District Attorney, the Claire Kincaid Period, the Jamie Ross Period and so on.

All in all, 456 law and order episodes were ripped from the headlines over 20 years to end up on our TV screens. Here are our favorite law and order episodes:

Season 6: Jeopardy. First aired November 1, 1995. District Attorney Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) gave Law and Order’s first ten years a distinct sense of gravitas. When Hill retired in 2000, the show began to flirt with superficiality. This is the rare episode when Adam Schiff rolls up his sleeves and enters the interrogation room to go one-on-one with the suspect, a maverick judge and former friend of Schiff’s.

Notable quote: Suspect to Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston), “But I’m innocent. I didn’t kill anybody.” Jack McCoy to suspect, “You’ve already learned the Riker’s Island theme song. Good for you.”

Season 6: Aftershock. First aired May 22, 1996. Law and Order came close to being cancelled early in its run when NBC fingered it as too testosterone-driven. Dick Wolf’s response? He replaced Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks), the male ADA, with the very female Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy.) In Aftershock, Claire is killed by a drunken driver after rescuing a drunken Lennie Brisco (Jerry Orbach) from a bar. Blaming himself for Claire’s death, Brisco rejoins AA, never to drink alcohol again.

Memorable quote: Lennie Briscoe to Claire Kincaid, “How come California has the most lawyers, and New Jersey has the most toxic dumps?” Claire Kincaid to Lennie Brisco, “Because New Jersey got first pick.”

Season 14: Bodies. First aired September 24, 2003. Taxi driver Mark Bruner (Ritchie Coster) is one of L&O’s more frightening murderers, so unsettling his own attorney decides to drop him. Bruner may be responsible for the deaths of fifteen victims, and McCoy is willing to take the death penalty off the table if Bruner will only reveal where the bodies are buried. Bruner laughs in his face. Enter Legal Aid lawyer Tim Schwimmer (Alexander Chaplin), a bumbling lightweight who takes attorney-client privilege very seriously, so seriously that he refuses to tell McCoy what he knows about the location of the bodies. McCoy successfully prosecutes Schwimmer as an accomplice to murder.

Memorable quote: District Attorney Arthur Branch (Fred Thompson), “What’s dumber than stupid?”

Season 18: Burn Card. First aired April 23, 2008. When Detective Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin) first took over from the charismatic Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt), the fan reaction was muted. After all, Martin had made his reputation as a song and dance man in the Broadway production of Rent, and, well… There just aren’t many opportunities for singing and dancing on Law and Order. But by the time Burn Card – his last episode — aired nine years later, Ed Green had earned a slid place in fannish hearts.

In Burn Card Green says goodbye to the series. First though he shoots a murder victim to whom he once owed a great deal of money in the form of a gambling debt. The D.A.’s office pursues charges. Green is ultimately exonerated, but he decides to look for a new line of work.

Memorable quote: Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto), “All I know is that my dog likes to piss on them” – in reference to cell phones.

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