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ApathyMonger

Season 18: Jack McCoy, D.A.

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I watched a few episodes of S18 recently. It's interesting to see some of the changes made with René Balcer in charge, like getting rid of the opening "body-finding" scenes. They seem to do more of the Criminal Intent-style tricks to turn accomplices against each other too.

 

I don't miss Branch, but having McCoy still around (and much more involved in episodes than previous DAs) makes it harder for Cutter to carve out a place for himself as EADA, at least early on.

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Season 18: Episode List

 

1 Called Home 2008-01-02
2 Darkness 2008-01-02
3 Misbegotten 2008-01-09
4 Bottomless 2008-01-16
5 Driven 2008-01-23
6 Political Animal 2008-01-30
7 Quit Claim 2008-02-06
8 Illegal 2008-02-13
9 Executioner 2008-02-20
10 Tango 2008-02-27
11 Betrayal 2008-03-05
12 Submission 2008-03-12
13 Angelgrove 2008-03-19
14 Burn Card 2008-04-23
15 Bogeyman 2008-04-30
16 Strike 2008-05-07
17 Personae Non Grata 2008-05-14
18 Excalibur 2008-05-21

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I'm watching Bogeyman right now.  This is the one with "Systematics" and the paranoia about it having people placed throughout all government and industry.  They also get babies killed with "cleansing" routines.  I don't know that I love the plot overall, but I do like how Cutter wins (assuming I'm remembering correctly since I haven't seen this in some time).  

 

The Cutter/Rubirosa and Lupo/Bernard years are when I started watching religiously again.  For a while there I'd watch if I was around, but didn't care if I missed it.  But L&O really seemed to find it's footing again, and get good again, and then was cancelled (boo).  Granted, that spanned into later seasons.  

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The Cutter/Rubirosa and Lupo/Bernard years are when I started watching religiously again.  For a while there I'd watch if I was around, but didn't care if I missed it.  But L&O really seemed to find it's footing again, and get good again, and then was cancelled (boo).  Granted, that spanned into later seasons.

 

Same here. The Dennis Farina years barely existed for me, and I'd watch here and there (mostly when I remembered it was on and wasn't doing anything else) when Detective Beauty Queen came on board. But I started watching regularly again at the same point as you and really enjoyed the new characters and roles.

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Lupo/Bernard is actually my favorite detective pairing throughout the years. I thought Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson had great chemistry together, and I was surprised at how good AA was at a serious role.

And you know, for as much as I disliked McCoy as an ADA, I liked him as DA, because in an effort to keep voters happy, he didn't have as much righteous indignation.

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Lupo/Bernard got me back watching after Farina made me meh on the series. Not that I haven't watched every episode but man was I sad that they cancelled it when they did. It was like they had just gotten their groove back.

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Saw "Red Ball" the other night, the first episode of S16, which ends with Foghorn Leghorn telling Jack he'll never be a D.A. Jack, of course, replaces him a couple of seasons later. 

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I am watching "Challenged" now on TNT, and I just realized that Michael Rispoli - who I'm used to seeing in mob/tough-guy roles - is the actor playing the mentally disabled man who was sent away by his family. He does a good job in the role. 

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I just watched "Driven"  I thought it was really good.  I liked the ending.   Basically what starts as a simply altercation over a basketball turns deadly when a white woman drives her kids with baseball bats to a black neighborhood to get the ball back and a black boys father grabs a gun and begins shooting.  Both parents are brought up on charges and both parents blame the other.     

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I just saw Bogeyman, and it was fine, right up until what I thought was quite a bizarre ending.  I'm trying to imagine how the guy was going to allocute in court that he wasn't unduly influenced or pressured to take the deal, when it was entirely based on Cutter scaring him into submission by pretending to be an agent of the fake-Scientology cult. 

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Submission was also on this past weekend. I always liked that episode. Cutter is just a lot of fun in that one. And Connie got a fair amount of snark in as well. 

 

I also liked "Darkness," which features a nice guest star turn from Tom McCarthy; and "Bottomless," the famous SavingsMart episode. Ron Canada was great in that one as Van Buren's friend and former mentor. 

 

Season 18 really did have some gems.

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I loved the moment in "Darkness" when the victim's daughter called him out on not telling the truth just to save his own ass and using the fact that he'd be sent to jail as an excuse.  "If you won't tell the truth, I don't want to live with you anyway."  *applause*

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I loved the moment in "Darkness" when the victim's daughter called him out on not telling the truth just to save his own ass and using the fact that he'd be sent to jail as an excuse.  "If you won't tell the truth, I don't want to live with you anyway."  *applause*

 

 

That's a great moment in the episode, and the actress really sells it.

 

I watched Ed Green's farewell episode, "Burn Card," last weekend as well. I'd forgotten how good it was. From Lupo's travails with his dog, Otto to Green telling Van Buren about his gambling addiction, there were just some nice moments between the characters - especially for longtime fans.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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I'm an unabashed Ed Green fangirl. I think he was Lennie's best partner. Part of me wonders if my belief that Martin and Orbach had a natural bond as theatre men that it transcended their characters, and so I read more into their camaraderie than there is but... there it is.

 

 I really liked Green and Briscoe but I still must give a slight edge to Briscoe and Logan. I can't help it!

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Part of me wonders if my belief that Martin and Orbach had a natural bond as theatre men that it transcended their characters, and so I read more into their camaraderie than there is but... there it is.

 

I think they had a nice chemistry that worked very well.  It probably looks even better in hindsight given the meh-ness of Fontana and the general awfulness of Detective Beauty Queen. 

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I loved the moment in "Darkness" when the victim's daughter called him out on not telling the truth just to save his own ass and using the fact that he'd be sent to jail as an excuse.  "If you won't tell the truth, I don't want to live with you anyway."  *applause*

 

        Solid episode. 

 

        The scene with Jeremy Sisto and his RL ex-wife Marisa Ryan was quite odd.

 Part of me wonders if my belief that Martin and Orbach had a natural bond as theatre men that it transcended their characters, and so I read more into their camaraderie than there is but... there it is.

 

        I think so.  I recall reading that Jessie cried like a baby at his funeral.  

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I'm re-watching S18 right now and JS does some fantastic work as Lupo. I love they way he looks uncomfortable in his own skin for the longest time. It makes sense, he was out of the country doing undercover work and comes home to deal with his brothers death. He has all these moments where it looks like he's trying to remember how he should act. It slowly falls away, which would be natural, and is really great to watch. S18 is when the show started to come back for me.

Edited by FozzyBear
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How do you think he compares with Goren?

 

Obviously not @FozzyBear, but I don't see any real comparisons with Lupo/Goren save for the military angle and dead brother. And Goren, by the time CI premiered, had long been out of the service, whereas Lupo was trying to re-acclimate and find his way.

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I'm not Fozzy Bear!  I meant in a brooding, mysterious, tall way.  

 

Maybe I should have written "I'm obviously not Fozzybear", because that is what I meant.  :-P

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Uh, I never compared Lupo to Goren. I know some have and I sort of see why, but I think they are very different characters and that JS and VDO approached them in really different ways. I was speaking more to the way JS portrayed somebody slowly interesting back into his old life. I think with VDO and Goren it was more a case of somebody who never really fit in to begin with.

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My love for Sam Waterston knows no bounds, have loved him for a zillion years. Just watched Asterisk from season 13. He is brilliant, there is a scene near the end where Serena tells him off & storms out of the room. He gives her this very brief look, rather mocking, I've given that look to people who were higher up the food chain at work when I've been chewed out for something that I felt was unfair, it's that kind of "neyh, neyh, neyh, neyh" look. 

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It's been a while, but my tv watching situation has changed, no Directv anymore, trying to get by with antenna and Netflix. Just watched an episode where tabloids were making a big deal that Jack McCoy had not spoken to his daughter in several years. At the end, he was sent pictures that had been taken in Maine of his daughter. Does anyone know why they were estranged? Or is it never talked about again?

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It's been a while, but my tv watching situation has changed, no Directv anymore, trying to get by with antenna and Netflix. Just watched an episode where tabloids were making a big deal that Jack McCoy had not spoken to his daughter in several years. At the end, he was sent pictures that had been taken in Maine of his daughter. Does anyone know why they were estranged? Or is it never talked about again?

 

No, the show never addressed why they were estranged, but she did show up at the end of one episode. I can't recall which season or episode. Just that Jack looked up and there was this young girl at his door, he smiled this huge happy smile, said her name, and she responded with "Hi Dad." and the episode ended.

Wait, Jack McCoy had a daughter?! I only remembered him as the lady-loving, bachelor type!

 

 

Yes, he did. Clearly you weren't paying attention to the latter years! Bad Wendy! No more Criminal Intent for you for a week!

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Yes, he did. Clearly you weren't paying attention to the latter years! Bad Wendy! No more Criminal Intent for you for a week!

 

LOL! Well, if McCoy didn't want to remember her or reference her much, why should I remember, huh? Huh?  :-P

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2015 at 11:19 PM, friendperidot said:

It's been a while, but my tv watching situation has changed, no Directv anymore, trying to get by with antenna and Netflix. Just watched an episode where tabloids were making a big deal that Jack McCoy had not spoken to his daughter in several years. At the end, he was sent pictures that had been taken in Maine of his daughter. Does anyone know why they were estranged? Or is it never talked about again?

I always assumed Jack's work and the fall out of his marriage was the reason he was estranged from his daughter. If Lennie couldn't have a happy ending with his daughter at least Jack did. In the last seasons, it was implied he was in his daughter's life again from visiting her when he was in California and the mention of his grandchild.

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5 hours ago, roseslg said:

And him shopping at the Walmart knockoff to get a bike for his grandkid

IIRC the bike actually for his nephew's (niece's?) daughter.

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Sometimes I love Jack McCoy, and other times I hate him because his passion for the law seems misguided. 

I recently watched two episodes that made me want to throw something at my TV screen: "Family Friend," where a home invader stabs a man to death and nearly stabs the man's wife to death. The murderer was eventually acquitted because the prosecution couldn't conclusively tie him to the home invasion or the murder (I forget why). A family friend also happens to be a retired police officer, and he ends up killing the murderer (was it self-defense? a revenge hit?). 

Anyway, McCoy pursued the retired police officer with more passion and efficiency than he did the original home invader/murderer. McCoy also eventually found some Mafia-related dirt on the wife and the murdered home owner, and he essentially blackmailed the wife into testifying against the police officer friend. And she still went to prison! After almost being murdered.   I'm not saying the wife or the family friend were innocent of their crimes, but if McCoy had prosecuted the original case a little better, maybe things wouldn't have come to this. 

Another episode: "Kids" where a 14-year old boy is accidentally shot and killed by another teenager. The teenaged shooter had been aiming for a gun dealer who'd threatened to kill him, but he missed and shot the 14-year-old.  McCoy focused all of his efforts on prosecuting the teenaged shooter after mishandling the case against the gun dealer, who'd sold the teenager his gun in the first place. Oh, and the gun dealer previously shot and paralyzed another teenager for witnessing the gun dealer do something illegal (I'm fuzzy on the details).  

Eventually someone shot and killed the gun dealer (we are to assume that police officers killed him), so justice was served, I guess. But McCoy's passion for prosecuting the teenaged shooter-- who did commit murder (manslaughter at the very least)-- seemed oddly misplaced. 

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I was watching "Misbegotten" over the weekend, and while I know I've seen it before, I really was having one hell of time following it this time around. I sought a recap, and I'm still not sure I've gotten it entirely. So...the victim's brother-in-law was trying to kill the doctor/researcher who claimed to have found a "gay gene." Was he also trying to kill his sister-in-law? If he wasn't trying to kill her, wasn't he surely risking killing her by bombing a building where she worked as a security guard and delivered packages to the offices? *And* she was one of gay-gene-doctors subjects, so must have often had appointments in that office? So there were a couple of ways him sending that bomb (which was supposed to set off a much larger explosion than wound up happening) could have easily killed her?

At the end, the victim's father was going to alibi his daughter's killer (well, she wasn't dead but only had a minuscule chance of recovery) and let him go unpunished, when he hated the guy before any bombs were planted, so that his son-in-law would agree to abort his grandchild and only connection left to his comatose daughter, because the baby might have the gay gene if such a thing exists? So the bomber's father, brother, and brother's father-in-law were all truly so anti-gay that it's better to commit attempted murder, THAT TOOK OUT THEIR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW/WIFE/DAUGHTER, than to maybe have a potentially gay kid in the family? Were we supposed to believe the victim was of the same mindset and was likely to have had an abortion anyway, or why was she participating in this doctor's study and wanting to do comparisons between her fetus and her gay brother-in-law? And didn't anyone hear the part where no reputable scientists believed the gene existed, much less that it had been found?

Maybe it's just me, I found it all very confusing this time. And boy, was the victim's colleague a Grade-A jackass for the two seconds we saw him. Was he really laughing at a pregnant woman who was carrying boxes around while he sat there?

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The episode Darkness is on right now. Great episode, I think.

I love everything about that episode, but I particularly adore the little chase scene that happens in Act II, when Green, Lupo, et. al are trying to track down one of the kidnappers. The show didn't really do a lot of extended chase scenes, so it was cool to see.

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