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Approach The Bench: Law & Order General Discussion Thread

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Paul was one of my favorite ADAs - along with Claire and Connie. I enjoyed his character immensely. That said, the few times Paul returned, he was very definitely on the defense side of the aisle.

That wasn't Paul! It was PodPaul!!!!!!

That's my story and I'm sticking with it!!!

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Yes GH!  With the movie that never happened!

 

 

And no disrespect meant to Mr. Noth or Mr. Waterston, but both men seem a...bit long in the tooth now, shall we say, and depending on how long it would take to secure this.

Stop!!!!  Young men bore me to tears.  They've still got it.  (I know you didn't mean otherwise Wendy, just had to to say it.)

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Kathryn Erbe hasn't done much since CI ended, other than making a few guest appearances on SVU.  She'd surely be available, and I would imagine willing to sign on if Merkerson isn't interested.  She's only 49 and was promoted to Lt. on SVU, so it would make plenty of sense to have her return to NYPD in that role.  Eames and Logan worked together at MCS, so that's something they could play with.  Give Logan a young, short-tempered junior detective who reminds him of his earlier days, and you're set for the "Law" side.  Of course, if Eames and Logan are both on the show, it's closer to being a CI reunion than a Mothership one.

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Erbe has been doing Broadway. Not sure if she still is, but I saw pics of her with one of the LaPaglia brothers around the 'net for some show they were doing. So I'm not sure she'd be available, but maybe!

 

Be nice to see Eames. But then again, maybe she's had enough of the franchise, too. Hard to say. Kind of sad since there otherwise aren't many other women to choose from. Unless Annabella Sciorra's Carolyn Barek (CI) returns or Julianne Nicholson's Megan Wheeler. (See? I was nice and didn't mention Milena Govich. LOL!)

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It would be a step  up from playing Pres. Nixon's boo, which she was doing.

 

Maybe, maybe not. Broadway seems to hold some prestige. If she returns, awesome! But a lot of actors love the theater.

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I assume this should go here...? Forgive me if it's been posted, I didn't see it.

 

http://deadline.com/2015/02/law-and-order-limited-series-return-nbc-1201367497/

 

Words cannot express how completely, and entirely, I will be ALL OVER THIS should it happen, as a one-time thing, an annual mini-series/limited event, whatever. Point me in the direction of more Jack McCoy (and Van Buren, and, and, and...), I'm there.

 

By the way, I find the idea of them approaching Chris Noth interesting. If it's limited, he could easily find the time to do it, but even if he's just recurring on The Good Wife, would he be able to be a lead on another network at the same time?

 

Actually, I don't care, just make it happen people. ;)

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I just read--in the last couple of days--S. Epatha Merkerson is apparently now attached to star in the upcoming Chicago Med spinoff that's in the same Dick Wolf universe started by Chicago Fire & Chicago PD, in which SVU also apparently exists since the Chicago shows have done crossovers with SVU.

Also... Isn't it something (& perhaps somewhat surprising) that JK Simmons--aka L&O's NYPD Psychiatrist (after Dr. Olivet) Dr. Emil Skoda--will very likely win the Oscar for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role this coming Sunday night? (The Los Angeles Times' GoldDerby.com entertainment industry awards website pretty much says his win is a foregone conclusion, shoo-in, etc.)

If you'd have told me that prior to the current awards season (when he's also won the fairly major awards the Golden Globe & Screen Actors Guild Award, the BAFTA [Oscar equivalent] from Great Britain, & who knows what else) I'd have probably laughed.

Not because he isn't talented enough, but because I wasn't necessarily expecting him to be lucky enough to get a major awards-caliber role like his role in Whiplash (from which I've only seen a short clip on TV, not the whole film). I just figured he'd be like most character actors & continue to do really good, but likely unrecognized, work for the rest of his career. I really never expected to see his name on the final nominees list (& him to be the front runner) for a freakin' Academy Award. An Emmy maybe, but not necessarily an Oscar.

So color me pleasantly surprised & rooting hard for him. Skoda is/was a favorite supporting character of mine on L&O. I think I liked him better than Olivet, in fact.

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I just read--in the last couple of days--S. Epatha Merkerson is apparently now attached to star in the upcoming Chicago Med spinoff that's in the same Dick Wolf universe started by Chicago Fire & Chicago PD, in which SVU also apparently exists since the Chicago shows have done crossovers with SVU.

Also... Isn't it something (& perhaps somewhat surprising) that JK Simmons--aka L&O's NYPD Psychiatrist (after Dr. Olivet) Dr. Emil Skoda--will very likely win the Oscar for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role this coming Sunday night? (The Los Angeles Times' GoldDerby.com entertainment industry awards website pretty much says his win is a foregone conclusion, shoo-in, etc.)

If you'd have told me that prior to the current awards season (when he's also won the fairly major awards the Golden Globe & Screen Actors Guild Award, the BAFTA [Oscar equivalent] from Great Britain, & who knows what else) I'd have probably laughed.

Not because he isn't talented enough, but because I wasn't necessarily expecting him to be lucky enough to get a major awards-caliber role like his role in Whiplash (from which I've only seen a short clip on TV, not the whole film). I just figured he'd be like most character actors & continue to do really good, but likely unrecognized, work for the rest of his career. I really never expected to see his name on the final nominees list (& him to be the front runner) for a freakin' Academy Award. An Emmy maybe, but not necessarily an Oscar.

So color me pleasantly surprised & rooting hard for him. Skoda is/was a favorite supporting character of mine on L&O. I think I liked him better than Olivet, in fact.

Simmons is totally chilling in Whiplash. I'm not sure why he was put in the Supporting Actor category - his character completely dominated the movie. His is one performance I won't forget for a long time.

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Simmons is totally chilling in Whiplash. I'm not sure why he was put in the Supporting Actor category - his character completely dominated the movie. His is one performance I won't forget for a long time.

Perhaps he/his people (whoever, if anyone, helped him decide how to submit himself) felt he'd have a better chance at actually winning if he went with Supporting Actor as opposed to Lead Actor; especially in the Oscars. More famous/better known actors in bigger movies in the Lead Actor category, & all that.

Or maybe they went Supporting based on his "name recognition" (or lack of it). Every award I know he's won for the role (which are the major US ones, so far, in "awards season" plus the BAFTA in Great Britain) has been in the Supporting Actor category. So at least they're being consistent.

Also some of the awards, but I'm not sure this includes the Oscars, determine which category is appropriate by how much screen time the potential nominee actually has in the project. Since you said he dominates the movie, & I have yet to see it, I'd think he had enough screen time for Lead Actor consideration.

So I'm going with he submitted for Supporting Actor since it would probably give him the best chance of winning, & because of the "name recognition" factor thing (you have to admit, sometimes you do look at the Supporting Actor/Actress nominees, compared to the Lead nominees, & go "Who?" with certain names--I'm wondering how many L&O fans actually know that's "our" Dr. Skoda up for this prestigious acting award on Sunday night?)

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I'm rooting for J.K. Simmons. I like that he's an actor and nothing is too "low" for him (with the Farmer's commercials and voicing the yellow peanut M&M as proof). Movies, TV, commercials. He doesn't seem like a snob, and I respect that!

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"Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors." Constantin Stanislavski

 

If that sounds ambiguous or vaguely insulting, I take it to mean that no matter how small a part, a really good actor can make a whole lot out of it. J.K. Simmons and Gene Hackman are examples.

Edited by CoderLady

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I'm rooting for J.K. Simmons. I like that he's an actor and nothing is too "low" for him (with the Farmer's commercials and voicing the yellow peanut M&M as proof). Movies, TV, commercials. He doesn't seem like a snob, and I respect that!

I like that too; acting is acting, & no role is beneath him. I mean, really, a job should be a job, when it comes to your profession. I don't get those actors/actresses who are all "I won't do... (commercials, TV shows/TV movies, etc.)" about things... Until they're perhaps forced to, 'cause they need the money to support themselves/their family (or even their ex[es]) & it's the only gig on the horizon.

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I just read--in the last couple of days--S. Epatha Merkerson is apparently now attached to star in the upcoming Chicago Med spinoff that's in the same Dick Wolf universe started by Chicago Fire & Chicago PD, in which SVU also apparently exists since the Chicago shows have done crossovers with SVU.

 

However actor continuity does not exist in the Law & Order Universe with about 40 TV seasons worth of content most of the New York acting community have played multiple roles being hoods, lawyers or witnesses before being hired as an ADA or detective. Connie Rubirosa and Sergeant Munch being among the few to regularly play the same role in multiple show's of the extended universe which extends to Homicide Life On The Street and Dr. Emil Skoda being in New York Undercover

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I've gotta say, the character of Jamie's ex-husband, Neil Gordon, drives me absolutely batshit. I almost wanna *not* watch when I realize it's an ep that includes that character.

Mostly because, until they made him a defense attorney in the LA/NY 3-parter about the Heidi Ellison murder case, he (to me, anyway) served no real function than being written in occasionally to threaten Jamie's custody of their kid because he didn't like that she apparently spent more time at work than with the kid--mostly because she HAD to (although if he had custody, I'd bet he'd do the same)--which he also did during the Ellison case eps (although I'm pretty sure that, during the Ellison case, it was an attempt to get her off the case &, hopefully, give an advantage to the defense/disadvantage to the prosecution because she was forced off); then he decided to threaten her custody again, & perhaps Jamie's new relationship, when Jamie was engaged to be remarried, claiming the Stepfather-to-be would end up spending more time with the kid.

Although I'd bet, if they were still working together, &/or still married, he wouldn't give a shit how much time she spent at work. I think the custody threats were probably supposed to be all about controlling (continuing to control?) Jamie, as far as Neil was concerned.

Interesting fact: I have a kind of weird reaction when the eps about the Heidi Ellison murder case are aired, for other reasons than Jamie's assholic ex, whom I detest with great passion, is featured in the trial part rather prominently.

See, before she got married, our next door neighbor's daughter (who I've known since she was a seriously little kid, as our families have been neighbors for, like, 40 years as of next year) was named... You guessed it... Heidi Ellison!

Edited by BW Manilowe
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I really have to say, Law and Order is my favorite television show of all time.

 

As much as I love Star Trek, ST:DS9, and Doctor Who, Law and Order is the one show I would choose to be stuck with on a desert island for the rest of my life.

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I really have to say, Law and Order is my favorite television show of all time.

 

As much as I love Star Trek, ST:DS9, and Doctor Who, Law and Order is the one show I would choose to be stuck with on a desert island for the rest of my life.

 

You'd certainly have enough episodes to watch!

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You'd certainly have enough episodes to watch!

 

The best thing about this show is no matter how many bad things there might be about a season or an episode, I haven't yet seen an episode that didn't have SOME redeeming value, even the ones that made me see red.

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I'm watching the Season 14 ep "Identity" right now and some things still bug me.  Lonnie Jackson would rather limit his defense than admit he fell victim to an internet scam.  Yes, he has his over-protective/vulture of a son to deal with but I still think it's stupid.  Unfortunately, lots of people of all ages fall victim to those scams so it really is no more scar on him because of his age but he sure makes it out to be.

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I just saw that episode today too, and I understand where he's coming from. In his day, since things were all done face to face, essentially, you had a chance to look a man in the eyes and evaluate him. If you fell for a con, it was because you did something foolish, you were a bad judge of character, et cetera. But I loved that it took him three days to sort out what the Manhattan DA's office computer specialists couldn't figure out in weeks--how to track the guy. And they even had the advantage of knowing who they were tracking. But "there's something to be said for nearly 80 years of charm" and he used people's preconceptions to get information the old fashioned way.

If not for the killing a (fairly useless) guy, I would be entirely charmed and have a great deal of respect for Lonnie Jackson. He was the kind of man who worked hard, lived wisely, and did deserve to die in the bed he earned.

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Lennie's last episode, C.O.D. was on TNT this morning. His exit is really the only reason to watch, particularly for this gem of dialogue between him and Van Buren:

 

Det. Lennie Briscoe: So what's it been for you and me... 11 years?
Lt. Anita Van Buren: Something like that.
Det. Lennie Briscoe: It's the longest I was ever with any woman.
Lt. Anita Van Buren: Now that's pitiful.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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Lennie's last episode, C.O.D. was on TNT this morning. His exit is really the only reason to watch, particularly for this gem of dialogue between him and Van Buren:

 

Det. Lennie Briscoe: So what's it been for you and me... 11 years?

Lt. Anita Van Buren: Something like that.

Det. Lennie Briscoe: It's the longest I was ever with any woman.

Lt. Anita Van Buren: Now that's pitiful.

 

And the show was never quite the same after that. Not to say it was at all bad. It wasn't, and it got a second wind later on with Anthony Anderson and Jeremy Sisto to be sure but...it was never quite the same without Lennie, to me. (And it is so sad to realize that Mr. Orbach was gone not too long after he left the series [for the ill-fated Law & Order: Trial By Jury.])

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This series was one of my first true TV loves! 

 

Favorite characters: Lennie, Jack (despite/because of how maddening he can be!, Claire, Adam Schiff, pretty much all the ADAs (Except maybe Jamie Ross, who I never quite connected with!)

 

Least favorite characters: Olivet (she just bugs me---I can't explain why!), Nora Lewin, presumably a few people from the show's last seasons, which I more or less stopped watching :)

 

Five favorite seasons: After looking at episode lists, I actually think they might be 4, 5, 6, 11 and 13. A random list, I realize :) 

 

Favorite types of cases in general: the ones dealing with juvenile offenders, the ones grappling with issues of mental illness, episodes that poignantly show how the justice system doesn't always work.  

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...I forgot to mention Abbie Carmichael as a favorite character. I did note my affection for the ADAs in general, but I adore Abbie enough for her to warrant a special mention :) 

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In 1 of the episodes--I think the 1 having to do with the murder of the Jewish teacher (or another similarly themed episode about a "hate crime"/discriminatory-type killing)--Lennie's questioned on the stand, by the defense attorney.

The defense attorney's not exactly "friendly" to those who, basically, aren't WASPs & has started this weird line of questioning/theory of the crime, that all the Jews involved in the case--among which he's, initially, including Lennie--have conspired against his client(s) to "rig" the case so they lose.

And he asks Lennie about whether or not he's Jewish (which is presumed due to his name, Leonard ["Lennie"] Briscoe). Lennie says (paraphrasing) "My Father was, my Mother isn't, I was raised Catholic". Which would be true, as far as I know, if Lennie were Jewish on his Father's side & another religion on his Mother's side--he would be raised in his Mother's religion, if he followed any religion growing up, because Judaism is "matrilineal" (sp?). He wouldn't be Jewish unless his Mother was; he would follow her religion growing up.

Then, last night, 1 of WE's "binge-a-thon" eps was the 1 where Lennie's daughter, Kathy, was buried after being murdered for testifying against a drug dealer/drug runner she had apparently been a customer of/dealer for at 1 time.

We see the end of her service in a scene (where, I think, Lennie's debating hiring a hit man to "deal with" Kathy's killer). It appears a Rabbi's finishing Jewish prayers as Lennie goes to meet with the guy who offered to help him set up the hit if he wanted it.

I'm probably answering my own question here but, since we know Lennie's supposed to be Catholic, I guess we're to assume Kathy's Mother was Jewish or else Kathy converted to Judaism/otherwise chose to follow the faith at some later point in her life? I don't think the writers/showrunners would've forgotten they'd said Lennie was Catholic, necessarily, or that you're not normally Jewish from your Father's side of the family.

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So I'm watching some late-night L&O on TNT, and I continue to love the snark from the arraignment judges on there. Totally got the jaded snarky New Yorker vibes down cold.  :-)

 

And it occurred to me, too, seeing Serena in these episodes, but...she was the only blonde ADA, wasn't she? Just an observation!  :-)

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So I'm watching some late-night L&O on TNT, and I continue to love the snark from the arraignment judges on there. Totally got the jaded snarky New Yorker vibes down cold.  :-)

 

They are the best! Their snark gives me life.

 

Speaking of judges, can I praise Judge Rebecca Steinman (played by Susan Blommaert)? I wish I had that woman's deadpan delivery and frosty glare.

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They are the best! Their snark gives me life.

 

Speaking of judges, can I praise Judge Rebecca Steinman (played by Susan Blommaert)? I wish I had that woman's deadpan delivery and frosty glare.

 

Steinman was one of my favorite judges! Hey, we actually have a thread about judges we loved/loathed, etc., along with defense attorneys of same.  I also really loved Judge Schrieber, played by John Ramsey, who only ever played a different judge on this same show ONCE.

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I'm just watching The Jinx, about Robert Durst. Am I right in think there was an episode with a case very similar? The guy killed and dismembered someone and got off but they got him for killing his wife in the end?

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I'm just watching The Jinx, about Robert Durst. Am I right in think there was an episode with a case very similar? The guy killed and dismembered someone and got off but they got him for killing his wife in the end?

They did a 3-part story in the Briscoe/Curtis era, which took place in LA & NY, where an Executive (I think) at a movie studio was murdered & dismembered by her (I think) ex-husband--he may have been her husband still; I forget. He was, like, a movie director & maybe a producer. The murder victim was named Heidi Ellison, if that rings any bells for you.

Once they figured out the husband/ex-husband did it (they originally accused her personal trainer, with whom she may or may not have been having an affair), they had all sorts of trouble getting him extradited back to NY, where the murder took place. When they finally got him back to NY, & on trial, McCoy & Jamie managed to pull out a win & get the death penalty for the guy. All this, despite the fact Jamie's controlling ex-husband was on the defense team & (as usual) threatened her with a custody suit over their young daughter, in an apparent effort to screw with the prosecution's case, hopefully by having Jamie resign from the case & her job.

That's the only storyline I can think of that involves a guy killing & dismembering his (ex) wife & not getting charged with it right away, but at least getting charged (& convicted) eventually.

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Is that the one where Rey is tempted to have an affair?  Where the phrase "They talk hippie but act mafia" is used?  That fits Hollywood to a tee.

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Although there are some similarities to Durst in that arc, the S14 E17 episode "Hands Free" is actually the one based on the Durst case. The season seven Hollywood trilogy - and "D-Girl," "Turnaround," and "Showtime" - aired four years before the murder of Morris Black. From the Law and Order Wikia description of "Hands Free:"

"Briscoe and Green go searching for a woman who killed and dismembered her boyfriend, and instead find a man who murdered his wife."

It's always been a great episode but of course is even more fascinating to re-watch now.

Thanks Chattygal, that was the one I mean.

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Is that the one where Rey is tempted to have an affair? Where the phrase "They talk hippie but act mafia" is used? That fits Hollywood to a tee.

The Hollywood/NY Trilogy? Yeah, as I remember there's some interest between Rey & the studio executive (played by Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls & Parenthood... I think) who's, like, their liaison with the victim's studio. He doesn't act on it though (but, he manages to have 1-night stands 2 other times while he's on the show, once in the prisoner execution ep where a bunch of the leads end up blowing off steam at a bar afterward, instead of going back to work & Claire dies at the end--he appears to have sex with a hooker who seems to be working there; then sometime before that, as I remember, Rey tells Lennie his wife Debra kicked him out of their family home 'cause she found out he'd had a 1-night stand with a female perp [or something like that]... But she eventually takes him back, since they're still married when Debra dies of MS complications).

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I think you've expanded the one character he slept with (a college student played by Jennifer Garner) after the execution (where only Jack and Lenny went to a bar, then Claire went to pick up Jack, leading to her death by drunk driver.  He felt very guilty about it and it was talked about for several episodes after, then he went against Lenny's advise and told Debra, and then she kicked him out.  Just the one one-night stand.  The original episode is Aftershock.

Edited by Ailianna
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Jennifer Garner's character wasn't a hooker; I believe she was a grad student.

 

Rey never had sex with a hooker, and only cheated the one time in Aftershock because watching someone get executed was oh so traumatic, it led him to cheat on his wife, instead of, you know, going to be with her instead.

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Oh I thought BW's post said a hooker too. Or female perp.

 

 

BW Manilowe got that part of the episode wrong. Garner was neither a prostitute or a perp, and Rey didn't cheat more than the once.

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I think you've expanded the one character he slept with (a college student played by Jennifer Garner) after the execution (where only Jack and Lenny went to a bar, then Claire went to pick up Jack, leading to her death by drunk driver. He felt very guilty about it and it was talked about for several episodes after, then he went against Lenny's advise and told Debra, and then she kicked him out. Just the one one-night stand. The original episode is Aftershock.

Thanks for that. I probably did. For some reason I keep thinking Debra didn't kick Rey out for the thing after the execution. I guess Rey's explanation to Lennie somehow doesn't sound, to me, like he's talking about the girl he was with the day of the execution(?).

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Thanks for that. I probably did. For some reason I keep thinking Debra didn't kick Rey out for the thing after the execution. I guess Rey's explanation to Lennie somehow doesn't sound, to me, like he's talking about the girl he was with the day of the execution(?).

 

 

No worries. Well, Rey confessed to her, what with him being a good huzband and Catholic and all.

 

Hmm..it's been awhile since I saw that episode, but I'm pretty sure he told Lennie Debra kicked him out ..when Lennie expressed his "I'm sorry" and then asked why, Rey told him he told her he'd cheated on her. I rememer Lennie saying why'd he do a dumb thing like that for? And then when the 3-parter happened, Lennie even urged Rey to cheat again. One of the times I got mad at Lennie.

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That doesn't sound like Lennie.  What was the scene? Context, backdrop.

 

When the character in CA asked Rey out, and you know she meant more than business, and she KNEW he was married, but Rey turned her down; Lennie asked him WHY? You need to watch the episode.

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Wasn't Rey separated from his wife at the time?

 

 

Yes, but they were in counseling--with their parish priest, so Rey still considered himself very much married, regardless of the fact that Debra had kicked him out.

 

 

In Lennie's defense, he seemed soured on the entire institution of marriage what with two ex-wives.

 

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?

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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.

Edited by katie9918
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