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Approach The Bench: Law & Order General Discussion Thread

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I think its official now TNT has dropped the Stone years. This is the second time they have finished the run with the school massacre episode, Lieutenant Van Buren goes into remission and reset with McCoy and the quack cancer treatment story

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I think its official now TNT has dropped the Stone years. This is the second time they have finished the run with the school massacre episode, Lieutenant Van Buren goes into remission and reset with McCoy and the quack cancer treatment story

Aw, that's a shame. I'm not thrilled with TNT's abbreviated openings, either.

I wonder why they just dropped the Stone years. Lots of great episodes in seasons 1-4.

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I am watching "True North." Bellamy Young is good as the perp in this one.

 

Lots of great episodes in seasons 1-4.

 

 

Indeed! I'm glad I at least get to see those seasons on Sundance.

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Here's something to keep you up at night. The season ten episode Killerz, with Hallee Hirsch as the 10-year old child killer?

She and that poor other kid she roped into the whole thing had a completely different target, who didn't want to go play because Jenny (Hirsch's character) "hits." And we saw the kid with the narrow escape with his family while Lennie and Ed were trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

I wonder if those parents ever realized what a narrow escape their kid had.

And I loved Olivet trying to shade Skoda the whole time and Skoda shutting her down with a simple "I think all those years of private practice have made you soft, Liz."

Mary Mara's character, and Olivet, made me absolutely furious in this episode, despite completely understanding where they were coming from.

 

And this is one of the reasons I would take Skoda over Olivet any day of the week.   She was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soft.   She seemed to be trying to find the good in a lot of the perps she saw.  Skoda would just say this person was a straight up sociopath.  

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And this is one of the reasons I would take Skoda over Olivet any day of the week. She was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soft. She seemed to be trying to find the good in a lot of the perps she saw. Skoda would just say this person was a straight up sociopath.

Skoda also seemed to know when to throw his hands up and shrug as well. He made the best determination he could with the best information he had available to him and was always cautioning with quotes like, "yeah, why wouldn't it (fit the pattern of incest)?" or "this comes with all the usual caveats," or (something I don't think we ever saw Olivet say) "of course, I could be wrong."

I liked how it seemed that he and Jack were friends, especially when there was no reaction to Skoda's reappearance after six years in Season 20.

Man, there was a lot to like about Season 20 (even the reappearance of His Holiness, IMO).

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He made the best determination he could with the best information he had available to him and was always cautioning with quotes like, "yeah, why wouldn't it (fit the pattern of incest)?" or "this comes with all the usual caveats," or (something I don't think we ever saw Olivet say) "of course, I could be wrong."

 

I can think of at least one occasion when she qualifies an assessment of a perp she had done for Jack & Co. It was the episode Savior, which had a father accused of killing his wife and son and injuring his daughter. When she makes the initial assessment (saying his a family annihilator), she is also careful to note "I'm on shaky ground with this." Later, after the accused testifies, she tells them her initial assessment could have been wrong (turns out it was). Jack begins to lay into her, and she rightly reminds him that she said she was on shaky ground.

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I cannot stand that Judge (I think his name was Goldman?) who originated, I think, in the ep where McCoy was prosecuting the drunk driver who killed the father & son. Jack started out wanting to throw the book at the drunk driver, possibly because Claire had died as a result of a drunk driver, which pleased the Judge to no end because he was trying to make a name for himself, then Jack backed off of that mid-trial & the Judge threatened to, or actually did, put him up before the disciplinary committee because of it.

And the same Judge had a problem with how Jack was prosecuting the rape case involving the little girl who also had roach spray sprayed in her mouth to try to kill her, or at least keep her silent.

Then he eventually turned his attention to Adam Schiff, when he became the "puppet" of Robert Vaughn's rich & powerful character who had bipolar disorder (along with his grandson who'd committed some crime or another) & he didn't want it made public, but the grandson was eventually sentenced to a stay in a psychiatric hospital instead of prison. So, of course, the family psychiatric history came out & Robert Vaughn's character decided to do everything in his power to get Schiff tossed out as the DA & his handpicked candidate, the jackass, power hungry Judge--who kept threatening Jack with Disciplinary Committee sanctions like Jamie's ex, Neil Gordon, kept threatening her with custody suits about their young daughter whenever she did something he didn't like--elected to the DA's office instead.

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Man, there was a lot to like about Season 20 (even the reappearance of His Holiness, IMO).

Did Rey Curtis come back?

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And the same Judge had a problem with how Jack was prosecuting the rape case involving the little girl who also had roach spray sprayed in her mouth to try to kill her, or at least keep her silent.

 

To be fair, wasn't that the case where Jack started out prosecuting the wrong guy, and it turned out to be the maintenance man in the building where the little girl who had done the crime, only Lennie and Rey kinda-sorta pressured someone else into confessing?

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To be fair, wasn't that the case where Jack started out prosecuting the wrong guy, and it turned out to be the maintenance man in the building where the little girl who had done the crime, only Lennie and Rey kinda-sorta pressured someone else into confessing?

Yeah, it was. So I suppose I could see the Judge's issues with that. But what seemed to piss him off more was Jack having the victim put on the witness list, with the story that she'd regained consciousness, when she was still in a (likely permanent) persistent vegetative state. And I suppose I could see him having issues with that, too. But, in general, that smarmy, power-hungry Judge is 1 of my 2 most disliked recurring characters (the other being Jamie's highly unreasonable ex, Neil Gordon). On the other hand, my *favorite* recurring character is Oscar-winner JK Simmons' Dr. Skoda.

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BW Manilowe, That judge's name is Feldman, and he already wanted to take over Schiff's job, which is why he pulled Jack Aside in the drunk driving case, (which was a no, no Ex-parte communication), and told him that this issue was a particularly personal one for him, which was just bullshit.  He shows up again twice. The last time, as running against Schiff, with what'shisname, guy from a previous episode, where his son was a fire-starter, and he was bi-polar himself.  He starred in The Man from U.N.C.L.E..

 

Of course Feldman lost and Schiff won. Don't think we ever saw him again.

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Apologies for the Goldman (at least I got the "man" part right). I should probably post in this thread as soon as the ep I wanna discuss is over. I'll get more details right, I think/hope. Sigh... I still hate that character though!

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just saw a weird scene, Jack was in line at a food truck, Abby walked up to talk, he paid, and walked away talking without any food. Guess he wasn't hungry after all.

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I love the show. Still do. But I think I am in that minority that says leave it alone and go forward. Reboots never live up to the original shows and sometimes can taint them.

 

But since Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and reboots are in, I can see this happening.

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I love the show. Still do. But I think I am in that minority that says leave it alone and go forward. Reboots never live up to the original shows and sometimes can taint them.

 

But since Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and reboots are in, I can see this happening.

The last couple of time I saw a SVU episode it seems to be taking some of the classic beats with a bigger emphasis on the ADA and trial.

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That doesn't wash with me. If only because Lennie knew that, aside from that Garner bit, Rey wasn't a cheater--was known not to be a philanderer, like Lennie himself was. So to have Lennie urge Rey to "go for it!" left a bad taste in my mouth, considering he supposedly cared about Debra as well.

 

And I can't believe I'm sort of defending Rey here. What's wrong with me?

It'll be okay.  Deep breaths.  I will say, though, that I thought Lennie felt Debra had kept Rey out of the house for too long and didn't have much hope of a reconciliation.  It wasn't so much "cheat" but rather "move on with your life."  But it has been a long time since I watched.  I don't feel like Lennie wanted Rey ruining any chance with his marriage.

 

I think its official now TNT has dropped the Stone years. This is the second time they have finished the run with the school massacre episode, Lieutenant Van Buren goes into remission and reset with McCoy and the quack cancer treatment story

Hasn't TNT not shown them for a long time?  WGN, Sundance and WE get the earlier seasons.

 

Did Rey Curtis come back?

He did.  He had moved his family out west.  His wife died and he brought her body back to bury her.  I think  Van Buren went to the funeral and that was how we saw him.

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What Irlandesa said, about Rey coming back. Except I'm not sure if Van Buren actually went to Debra's funeral or they met up afterwards. I know they had a tough case that ep, & she told him on the phone, when he called, she might not be able to make the funeral but she'd try/she did wanna see him. And they also reminisced about Lennie (whose character died offscreen, after Jerry Orbach--who'd moved to a short-lived spinoff--died in real life from cancer, I think prostate cancer).

Anyway... I now know why I thought Rey cheated on Debra more than once. When he tells Lennie Debra took the girls & wants him out of the house, he says something like "it's 'cause Debra found out he cheated with the/a girl in the bar" (& Lennie's supposed to remember what Rey's talking about--when some of them witnessed a prison execution & those who did ended up in a bar after, blowing off steam, instead of going back to work & Claire was later killed by a drunk driver in the course of giving recovering alcoholic Lennie, who went off the wagon that night, a ride home). Only, for some reason, I heard the line "a/the girl from the bar" as if it was said as "a/the girl from the park". Benjamin Bratt/Rey's diction was a bit hurried &/or muddled in that scene, & I misheard what he said.

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My memory's fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure Van Buren went to Debra's funeral, where we also saw Rey's children all grown up; then later they talked about the case.

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Van Buren and Rey were walking and talking in a cemetery, so she either made the funeral or just caught the tail end.

I also don't remember any of Rey & Debra's girls being physically in the scene. Rey & Van Buren talked about them, & how did they like living in California (it appears, to me at least, Rey was supposed to have eventually taken the job Lauren Graham's character offered him with the movie studio she worked for in the Hollywood/NYC Murder Trilogy eps), at the cemetery but I don't remember actually seeing the girls in that scene/the ep.

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It'll be okay. Deep breaths. I will say, though, that I thought Lennie felt Debra had kept Rey out of the house for too long and didn't have much hope of a reconciliation. It wasn't so much "cheat" but rather "move on with your life." But it has been a long time since I watched. I don't feel like Lennie wanted Rey ruining any chance with his marriage.

That was my interpretation. Lenny was encouraging Rey to accept the fact that he was a single guy at that point and start moving forward instead of hanging onto the false hope that he and Deborah would work it out. And not because Lenny didn't like Deb or didn't want them to get back together, but because it just wasn't going to happen. Now that turned out not to be true, but it was a pretty reasonable take on the situation at that point.

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I am watching Lennie's first episode, "Point of View." Even though it's a hard watch, there is much to savor. Like Capt. Cragen reminding a complaining Logan that he (Logan) was never great with change (i.e., new partners).  And the grudging way Mike tells Lennie it's ok for him to get comfortable at Phil's old desk. Good intro episode for one of my favorite characters.

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I can't remember now in what thread we had this discussion many months back, about the glaring recycling with the names.

 

We discussed this in the L&O: CI forum. You're welcome.  :-P  But, yeah, the writers like a handful and that. is. it.

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I suppose the show would've had to be around longer for this to happen, but I think I'd have liked to have seen them do a follow up/sequel story to the episode Killerz (where the psychologically-disturbed little girl killed the little boy, stuffed the battery in his mouth, & yanked his pants down to make it seem an adult predator killed him), in the same way they did the follow up story on the (ex) comedy club owner/restaurant owner who killed 2 of his wives/had them killed instead of divorcing them when he wanted to move on to the next relationship.

In the case of the little girl killer, I've always kinda wondered which psychologist's/lawyer's prediction for the little girl's future would've turned out to be accurate--Skoda's & McCoy's, who were advocating immediate, likely permanent, commitment to a Psych Hospital, which they felt she needed to be kept from killing again; or Olivet's & the defense attorney's, who were advocating for outpatient/drug therapy, which they felt would be sufficient enough to keep her from killing again.

In the original story, the Judge sided with the Defense & Olivet, & ordered the (ineffectual, in my opinion) Mom--who seemed only concerned with her "best friend"/her daughter, the little girl killer, not being taken away from her--to finally get her kid professional treatment & keep a standing, monthly, appointment with the Judge regarding the kid's progress, & the Judge returned the kid to her Mom's custody. And that's where it ended, except for the kid giving another boy, who was outside the courtroom when everyone left, a creepy (I thought) look.

I wanna know if the little girl would've kept killing, as Skoda & McCoy expected, or if the outpatient treatment advocated by Olivet & the Defense would've truly kept her from killing again.

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I suppose the show would've had to be around longer for this to happen, but I think I'd have liked to have seen them do a follow up/sequel story to the episode Killerz (where the psychologically-disturbed little girl killed the little boy, stuffed the battery in his mouth, & yanked his pants down to make it seem an adult predator killed him), in the same way they did the follow up story on the (ex) comedy club owner/restaurant owner who killed 2 of his wives/had them killed instead of divorcing them when he wanted to move on to the next relationship.

 

And "Indifference" from S1 was followed up in S15 (with inconsistencies) in "Fixed". I liked that the Mothership reexamined some cases. Made it seem more true to life.

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Given the nature of the show, I'm sure the little girl would have continued to kill as she got older.  And I agree, BW, that was a creepy look she gave the little boy at the end.

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Given the nature of the show, I'm sure the little girl would have continued to kill as she got older.  And I agree, BW, that was a creepy look she gave the little boy at the end.

 

Not just the nature of the show, but I totally saw her look toward that boy at the end as "my next victim." I'm positive that she continued to kill.

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I'd like too, especially since I was so annoyed  with Olivet.  I wanted the judge to say "Best friend?  That's your problem."

Definitely. The stupid bitch...

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I'm watching Brother's Keeper on Sundance, and I think the nurse in that episode, who, against all odds, is able to confidently tell apart identical twins, has to be one of the top three witnesses ever, lol. Other nominees -- the guy who risks federal charges for himself on a gambling ring (I think?) to testify against and put away a murderer, and the older black man who gives the speech about the voices in his life he remembers...including the voice of the man who shot him. Random, but that scene with the twins always amuses me. :)

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"Teenage Wasteland" was on twice this past week, and the mother of the felon never fails to make me angry.  Not just because of her blatant denial of the fact that her son was a sociopath -- "good boys" do not blind kids, kill people, and torture innocent cats! -- but also because she talked about how "protective" her son was of her.  YOU are supposed to be the parent of your child, not the other way around.  So I had little to no pity for her at the end when she cried and wailed when her son was given the death penalty.

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Lewin's angst in that episode was irritating.  "He's too young to die."  Well, it wasn't exactly that poor deliveryman's time to go either, wasn't it?!!!!

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"Teenage Wasteland" was on twice this past week, and the mother of the felon never fails to make me angry. Not just because of her blatant denial of the fact that her son was a sociopath -- "good boys" do not blind kids, kill people, and torture innocent cats! -- but also because she talked about how "protective" her son was of her. YOU are supposed to be the parent of your child, not the other way around. So I had little to no pity for her at the end when she cried and wailed when her son was given the death penalty.

Yeah. The killer's mother in Teenage Wasteland made me about as crazy as the mother of the disturbed little girl killer in Killerz. Your kids are sociopathic killers, ladies. Maybe you should learn to deal with that & "own" it.

On 1 hand, I could sort of see Nora's reticence to "order" the death penalty for a teenager. It is a tough call when dealing with someone so young--but, he also was 18, if I remember correctly, which made him a legal adult & I think Abbie also pointed that out to Nora. But on the other hand, I agree with Jack & Abbie. What he did was so heinous--especially in combination with his Juvenile record of assaulting & partially blinding another kid, & killing a cat (like the little girl in Killerz also did)--he really did deserve death, regardless of Nora's reservations.

I just wish we'd heard what sentences his cohorts got. Like in Killerz, with the other little girl involved in that killing, I don't think they ever bothered to say what happened with the others involved/allegedly involved/originally thought to be involved with the crime.

Edited by BW Manilowe
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I'm watching Brother's Keeper on Sundance, and I think the nurse in that episode, who, against all odds, is able to confidently tell apart identical twins, has to be one of the top three witnesses ever

 

I loved how, upon seeing the line-up containing the twins, her first reaction was to kind of roll her eyes and ask, "Is this how you people amuse yourselves?" Then, of course, she aced it!

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Ugh, Nora in that episode is just infuriating with her hemming and hawing over that "poor young boy." Yeah, that angel with a dirty face who killed a father to get free Chinese food. *eye roll* 

 

To be fair to Nora, I don't believe she thought the kid was an angel, but unlike Arthur and even Adam, she did tend to chew over things quite a bit more than she possibly should have. I actually thought it was realistic that she'd wring her hands no matter how much the little punk deserved to die, since in real life its pretty controversial to even get a death penalty verdict for a teenager, much less see one carried out until they're an adult.

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Dianne Wiest is a great actress. Loved her in the movie version of Parenthood and I Am Sam, but I always thought her DA Nora Lewin was way too far in the opposite direction of Schiff, meaning far too soft to Adam's droll cynicism.

 

So it didn't shock me when Lewin/Wiest didn't stick around long.

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Well, Nora used to be an ethics professor, so I guess that's why she had to "think" more about certain issues that Adam did... I also didn't find her to be overly menacing when she tried to do that a few times with some judges.   

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Well, Nora used to be an ethics professor

 

This was my problem with Nora. I kept forgetting she was the DA because she looked and sounded like college professor. When McCoy or someone would go talk to her the scenes sounded like going to their old professor for advise.

Edited by andromeda331
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Back on the subject of inept parents, "School Daze" was just on. I will always love how cold Abbie was to the school shooter's parents. Maybe she was rude, but it was 100 percent justified given how the parents tried to cover up the fact that he was the shooter after it happened. Not to mention it wasn't just a case of a bullied kid pushed to his breaking point: the dad later revealed a past incident where he BROKE HIS SISTER'S ARM. Meaning bullied or not, he was a sociopath in training.

So even though the parents reluctantly testified against him in the end, I still couldn't muster that much pity for them.

Also caught the rerun of "Who Let the Dogs Out". So much hate for the owners of the attack dog and how they whined about how they didn't deserve to go to jail. You let your dog butcher a woman and her poor little dog, fled the scene instead of calling 911, and to top it off, tried to blame the victim for her own attack at the trial! You not only deserve to go to jail, you deserve to get maimed by your own dog!!!

Edited by Spartan Girl

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Also caught the rerun of "Who Let the Dogs Out". So much hate for the owners of the attack dog and how they whined about how they didn't deserve to go to jail. You let your dog butcher a woman and her poor little dog, fled the scene instead of calling 911, and to top it off, tried to blame the victim for her own attack at the trial! You not only deserve to go to jail, you deserve to get maimed by your own dog!!!

 

That episode was a "ripped from the headlines" San Francisco case. It very closely followed the details of the real case, though I don't think it captured the sheer arrogance of the defendants as much as it could have. They did go to jail.

 

As for maiming, I remember that even while the pair of them were denying that their dogs were dangerous, the male defendant had his hand in a cast because one of his non-dangerous dogs had bitten off one of his fingers and he'd had to have it reattached.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Diane_Whipple

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So, WE is showing a Stone-era episode and a pre-L&O: CI/Captain Danny Ross Eric Bogosian is on as the defense lawyer. He certainly had the mop of curls then!

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From People.com: Watch this video mashup in honor of Law & Order's 25th anniversary.

It's Dann Florek, Carolyn McCormick, S. Epatha Merkerson, & Jill Hennessey (who has *not* aged that well, compared to the others--I didn't really recognize her at first) attempting to recite the voice over from the main title credit that airs before the episode "setup" scene & the actors' credits with the main title theme playing over them.

http://www.people.com/people/mobile/video/0,,20942283,00.html?xid=socialflow_twitter_peoplemag

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I'm usually not one who gives a damn about an actor changing appearance - be it wrinkles or weight gain - as we will all be there eventually. And I sincerely hate to be catty or mean here, but HOLY SHIT about Jill Hennessy. My first thought was it was a mistake. The second was...why the hell don't these actresses stay away from butchering themselves?! (Assuming that is the cause, but in any case, there are definitely differences.)

 

I recall reading JH has a real-life twin, and I believe it was an identical twin sister. If so, I'm curious if she still looked like JH used to (albeit older). But how tragic. JH looked fine on Crossing Jordan too, so I have no idea what happened!

 

The other three look wonderful, though. Carolyn McCormick and S. Epatha Merkerson are on the other end of the spectrum, older women who seem to have allowed themselves to age naturally, and they look all the better for it. Dann Florek looks great, too. Speaking of which, I do like - for this - it was remembered that Florek/Cragen actually got his start on the Mothership. If only Cragen and Van Buren could have shared duties somehow! (Nothing against SVU; I just preferred early Cragen on the original L&O.)

 

With that all said, cute video.

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