Law & Order

Tragedy on Rye

Season 13, Ep 4, Aired 10/30/02
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  • Episode Description
  • A struggling actress is murdered in an apparent robbery-homicide where a video tape, made by a couple touring the city and sold to a local news station, shows three suspects loading the stolen property into an SUV. They are charged with felony murder, a capital crime, and this causes unrest with Southerlyn surrounding the death penalty.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Elisabeth Rohm

    ADA Serena Southerlyn

  • Jerry Orbach

    Det. Lennie Briscoe

  • S. Epatha Merkerson

    Lt. Anita Van Buren

  • Sam Waterston

    Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

  • Jesse L. Martin

    Det. Ed Green

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • The capital punishment issue.

    By klecm5af, Mar 20, 2010

  • Tradgedy on Rye

    By bankscountybabe, Oct 15, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • (Having heard of Green's actions against Otum, Van Buren calls him and Briscoe into her office.)
      Anita Van Buren: You're on desk.
      (Green sighs)
      Lennie Briscoe: Hey, a week or so tops. It'll all be straightened out.
      Anita Van Buren: Excuse me. Both of you. (to Briscoe) You were the only witness. (to Green) Otum names the city, the department, and you individually in his suit. He claims you profiled him.
      Ed Green: Right. He's a drug dealer and a murderer!
      Anita Van Buren: And he's black!
      Ed Green: Have you looked at me recently?!
      Anita Van Buren: (lifts a finger) He also claims that you never identified yourselves as cops!
      Lennie Briscoe: Come on! I said police!
      Anita Van Buren: And the icing on the cake is the pounding he took with snapshots to prove it!
      (She shows her detectives the snapshots.)

    • (Andrew Maynard enters the interrogation room) Matt Carton: You can send in the cavalry, I still ain't killed anybody. Anita van Buren: This is your lawyer, Einstein.

    • (Discussing uncooperative witnesses from out of town) Anita van Buren: The next plane's in four hours? Cut 'em loose in three and a half.

    • Arthur Branch: Seems to me we have enough evidence for two cases. The only thing we don't have is a busload of nuns as eyewitnesses.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Her neighbor says this used to be the home for one of those plasma TVs. Ed Green: Those things go for about six grand. Lennie Briscoe: For six grand it oughta make coffee and do the dishes.

    Trivia (1)

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

    Allusions (5)

    • Judge Morris Torledsky: Lead on, MacDuff.
      This is a popular misquote from Shakespeare's play Macbeth, spoken by Macbeth right before he and MacDuff have a sword fight. Macbeth ends up getting decapitated. The actual line is "Lay on, MacDuff".

    • Lennie Briscoe: Larry, Moe and Curly makes three.
      The videotape of the trio of perpetrators inspires a quick "Three Stooges" reference.

    • Lennie Briscoe: (about a bass guitar brand) Is that good?
      Ed Green: Good enough for Elvis.
      Lennie Briscoe: Now you're in my neck of the woods.
      Ed Green: Elvis Costello.
      Lennie Briscoe: Who's on first?
      Several allusions in one! The reference to King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley is obvious. Elvis Costello's hit songs include "Alison" and "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love And Understanding." The surname Costello reminds Lennie of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello (no relation) and their timeless comedy routine known as "Who's On First." The routine is about a baseball team of players with nicknames like Who, What and I Don't Know; their nicknames cause a lot of confusion.

    • Judge Morris Torledsky: Who says consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds?
      In his work, "Self-Reliance" from Essays: First Series, Ralph Waldo Emerson states that, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines", which is often misquoted to omit the word "foolish".

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Carnegie Deli murders.

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