Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 9 Episode 17

Authority

4
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 29, 2008 on NBC

Trivia

FILTER BY TYPE

  • Trivia

    • Stabler has been a detective for sixteen years.

    • In the original Dr. Stanley Milgram experiments, participants had to oppose the authority figure in the room 4 times in order to stop and end the experiment, otherwise you were told to continue. Det. Elliot Stabler opposes the authoritarian order to push the shock button 4 times near the end of the episode.

    • Goof: When Stabler enters the record studio to save Benson, the door is the type that needs to be pulled open, but he pushes it open.

  • Quotes

    • Elliot Stabler: You strip-searched a teenage girl, and kept her naked in your office for 30 minutes.
      Dwight Lomax: No, Detective Milgram said she could keep her apron on.
      Elliot Stabler: You're an idiot.

    • (Unhappy that he's been assigned clean-up duty.)
      Joel: Gee, thanks. Highlight of my day. "Joel, we got a barfer in the bathroom." (spots the mess on the floor) "Welcome to Happiburger, would you like E. coli with your order? Or how 'bout a super-size of salmonella?"

    • Elliot Stabler: I don't abuse my authority.
      Merritt Rook: Oh, every cop abuses his authority!

    • Merritt Rook (in an anguished tone): I put my faith in a little god in a white coat and he killed my wife and son. PUSH THE BUTTON!
      Elliot Stabler (softly with tears in his eyes): No.
      (Rook pushes the button and a female voice screams)
      Merritt Rook (screaming): PUSH ... THE ... BUTTON!!!
      Elliot Stabler (looks at the button): I can't do it.
      Merritt Rook: No? Why?
      Elliot Stabler: Too many people have suffered already.
      Merritt Rook: Then you, Elliot Stabler, are a human being. Congratulations, you are not a sheep like I was. You're a man. Thank you.

    • Olivia Benson: (about Merritt Rook) You think he's innocent?
      John Munch: No, he made those calls, but it was never about sex.
      Casey Novak: Well, what was it about, then?
      John Munch: The danger of obedience. If you don't question authority, you lose your humanity.

    • Merritt Rook (yelling): You have no idea what I suffered!

    • Merritt Rook: I'm really looking forward to working with you, Casey.
      Casey Novak: Yeah, should be fun.
      Merritt Rook: Will you excuse me? I have to go post my bail.

    • John Munch: "Just following orders." That's the preferred defense of every war criminal from Eichmann to Milosevic.

  • Notes

    • Robin Williams won the 2009 People's Choice Award for Favorite Scene Stealing Guest Star, and was nominated for the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work in this episode.

    • Although referred as Juror #4 throughout the trial scenes, Tzahi Moskovitz was billed as Juror #6 in NBC's retyped version of the end credits.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia – June 12, 2008 on Network 10
      Czech Republic – October 5, 2010 on TV Nova

    • Special billing was given to Robin Williams (Special Guest Star), Scott Adsit (and) and Mo Rocca (with Special Guest Appearance by) in this episode.

  • Allusions

    • The stunt that occurred within Grand Central Station was "ripped from the headlines". In January of 2008 the group, Improv Everywhere, known for organizing "missions" such as the No Pants Subway Ride (where hundreds of people ride subways in their underwear) and the Food Court musical (where over a dozen people broke out in spur-of-the-moment singing in a Los Angeles mall's Food Court) gathered at least 207 of its members in New York's Grand Central Station and had them freeze in place at exactly 2:30 PM. Improv Everywhere whose mission statement is "about having fun" was founded by a group of stage actors in New York City and has a policy to refuse organizing "missions" for political causes.

    • The opening scenes appear to be ripped from the headlines of events that occurred at several McDonald's restaurants across the United States, beginning in the late 90s. The method was the same: a man claiming to be a detective called the restaurant and told the manager that an employee might be a thief. The caller then instructed the manager to force the employee to undress and participate in other humiliating acts. The managers all complied, despite never having met the man, who, as it turned out, was not a police officer.

    • Parts of of the Merritt Rook character are very similar to Jigsaw in the Saw movie franchise. In one scene, Benson was bound in a chair, exposed to electric shock, and subjected to heckling – also part of Saw.

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