Law & Order


Season 4, Ep 1, Aired 9/15/93
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  • Episode Description
  • Logan and Briscoe investigate after a convicted child molester, Dr. Joseph Vinton, is murdered on Rick Mason's controversial talk show. The shooter is easily identified -- he's Sid Fisher, the father of the dead man's victim from three years earlier. During the course of the investigation, however, the detectives find evidence that leads them to believe that Mason may have set up Vinton's murder so as to assure high ratings during sweeps period. Stone's case is made more difficult because Sid Fisher isn't willing to say anything that could put his son, Scotty, on the stand.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Craig McNeer

  • Robert Nathan

  • James Frawley

  • Robert Klein

    Rick Mason

  • Melissa Leo (I)

    Alice Sutton

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Best episode of the entire series!

    By Wallyhorse, May 21, 2009

  • Television blaming television? It is possible.

    By rb1962, Jul 25, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Adam Schiff: Who said all cases are won by prepping the witness? Ben Stone: You did. About 400 times. Adam Schiff: Oh.

    • Adam Schiff: I just hope we don't look ridiculous. Ben Stone: I'd wear clown makeup if I thought it would help us get a conviction.

    • (Briscoe agrees to investigate what seemed like a simple case) Mike Logan: I thought you said we had four open homicides? Lennie Briscoe: Those bodies are frozen. They're not going to thaw.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Who knows why she did anything? Who knows why she put her kid on TV -- 'Hello America, here's my molested son, watch him suffer'.

    • Mike Logan: Secret location, lots of security. How did Fisher get here? Lennie Briscoe: He shot the guy who molested his kid. I don't care if an avenging angel sent him. I might've done the same thing if it was my kid.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (4)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Špína (Dirt)

    • This episode marks S. Epatha Merkerson and Jill Hennessey's first contract appearances as Anita Van Buren and Claire Kincaid, respectively.

    • The opening credit sequence has been shortened somewhat, with less time between the shots of the cast members. As well, the opening theme tune now has slightly different guitar riffs.

    • S. Epatha Merkeson wears her hair in dreadlocks. Although she has played police officers in other shows with her own hair, notably Captain Margaret Claghorn in the futuristic crime series Mann & Machine, she felt it would be unrealistic for an ambitious New York police lieutenant to adopt such a hair so she wears a wig as Lt. Van Buren.

    Trivia (1)

    • This is one of only a handful of episodes in which the district attorney (Adam Schiff) shares a scene with a cop (Anita Van Buren).

    Allusions (3)

    • Episode title: "Sweeps"
      The term "Sweeps" is used by television networks and Neilson ratings to describe the months of November, February, May and (of lesser importance) July, in which the networks air highly anticipated episodes or events in order to boost television ratings.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Are you listening to yourself? First Pop, then Mom, now Mason. It's an Oliver Stone movie.
      This is a reference to the 1991 movie JFK, directed by Oliver Stone. The movie is based on the theory that the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy was the result of a massive conspiracy and that the official explanation of Lee Harvey Oswald as a lone gunman is false.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of a 1988 episode of Geraldo. During a show on Nazi skinheads, a brawl broke out between two of the guests, resulting in host Geraldo Rivera's nose being broken. This episode also seems like tragic foreshadowing for future events related to talk shows, including the deaths of Scott Amedure (Jenny Jones), Charlene Burkey (Forgive or Forget, hosted by Robin Givens) and Nancy Campbell-Panitz (Jerry Springer) shortly after they all appeared on the shows.

  • Add a Comment
    In reply to :
    • deangelothomas988 Apr 08, 2014

      Okay here we are in 2014 and I'm watching law and order season 4 episode 1... i am very confused. In season 3 last episode there were no indication that careen and robbinett would be replaced... i'm so confused... can anyone shed some light on this for me?

    • jinxstarr Jul 27, 2014

      I am with you there, very confused - at first! I didn't see anything in "Benevolence" #3.22 that indicated Cragen & Robinette were not returning as regulars and I'm surprised that no one had made any notes/ comments about it. I've seen the other episodes where Van Buren appeared but they didn't appear to have her about to become the boss lady. So just why did Cragen leave? ah ha... I found this on Wiki &&third; season, making his last appearance in the season finale episode "Benevolence". Although his departure is not immediately explained,[15] it is established in the fifth season episode "Bad Faith" that he has transferred to head of the Anti-Corruption Task Force.&&& and a little tid-bit about Robinette &&Lt.; Anita Van Buren asking to see Robinette. Stone responds with "Uh, you'll have to take a cab uptown. Park Avenue. Woodward, Martin, and Schwartz."&&& Still, I think it strange that #3.22 didn't have a much fuller explanation of their departures.