Law & Order

Season 16 Episode 17

America, Inc.

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 22, 2006 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
After Jeffrey Pope, a private military contractor, is found dead, suspicion eventually leads Green and Fontana to Robbie Howell, the younger brother of a man who died because of Pope's incompetence, and Kevin Boatman, Nick Howell's former co-worker who had witnessed the tragic events in Iraq. Danielle Melnick returns to defend Robbie and Kevin, and in the courtroom Kevin drops the bombshell that he knows where Pope and his men were keeping an Iraqi prisoner of war, a wanted terrorist. McCoy and Branch butt heads over whether or not to let Kevin Boatman get away with murder in order to get their hands on the prisoner.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Today
2:00pm
WGNAMER
3:00pm
WGNAMER
SUND
4:00pm
SUND
5:00pm
DWB
SUND
6:00pm
SUND
7:00pm
SUND
8:00pm
SUND
9:00pm
SUND
10:00pm
SUND
11:00pm
SUND
12:00am
SUND
Tuesday
1:00am
SUND
1:05am
TNT
2:00am
SUND
2:05am
TNT
4:05am
TNT
5:05am
TNT
2:00pm
WGNAMER
3:00pm
WGNAMER
4:00pm
WE
5:00pm
WE
6:00pm
WE
7:00pm
WE
8:00pm
WE
Wednesday
3:05am
TNT
4:00am
TNT
6:05am
TNT
7:00am
TNT
2:00pm
WGNAMER
3:00pm
WGNAMER
4:00pm
WE
5:00pm
WE
6:00pm
WE
7:00pm
WE
8:00pm
WE
10:00pm
WE
11:00pm
WE
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Avoids dangerous politics with great care, but leaves fans reeling with the shocking "end" to a longstanding friendship.

    10
    Iraq, the nitro glycerin of modern society, forms the foundation of this episode, in which a "private" militia man turns up murdered in a hotel room. The usual suspectsare ruled out, leaving a fellow faux soldier holding the bag. The victim was responsible for the capture and subsequent deaths of fellow members of his party in Iraq.



    With enough evidence to convict him, series' favorite Danielle Melenick intends to turn the courtroom into an argument on the war. While her opinions clearly influence the direction of her case, McCoy must contend with a shocking announcement from the witness stand, that it was not revenge that prompted the murder so much as an act of patriotism. The victim was one of a handful of self-serving militants seeking ransom from foreign governments for one of the most-wanted terrorists in the world.



    As the US government desperately attempts to validate his story, McCoy is put under pressure to give the murderer a deal in exchange for information that would lead to the terrorist's capture.



    I certainly was not anticipating the twist midway through, but what really sold the episode was the dynamics between Danielle and McCoy. We have seen them at one another's throats before, but never with this much contempt. A twenty-five year friendship went to the devil in the last two minutes of film, in which McCoy turned on her with such violence that it nearly left her in tears. Whether or not you agree with her politics, you must hand it to her for maintaining such utter calm in the midst of chaos. I have always found their relationship fascinating because on the surface it is completely friendly, but beneath the illusion lies something akin to respectful contempt.



    Wolf is wise in keeping much of current politics out of it. He takes an explosive situation and plays his hand with supreme care, so as not to alienate his conservative viewers. The war is touched on but not delved into, particularly in the case of his chief prosecutor. It allows the focus to remain on the characters rather than political arguments. He has rarely shied away from controversy in the past, and didn't in this episode, but the feeling it leaves the viewer with is mingled relief and shock that it had to end this way. Justice is sometimes circumvented in wartime, but it makes us ask what is truly acceptable when it comes to keeping our nation safe.moreless
  • Excellent

    9.9
    Wow. That's all I can say. While I hate L&O in its new time slot, this episode was excellent. The acting, especially on the part of Sam Waterston and Tovah Feldshuh (Danielle), was superb.



    By far, the best part of the show was at the end when McCoy and Borgia were trying to convince Robbie to take the deal and Danielle was trying to make him go to verdict. I've always found Danielle difficult to dislike, but not in this episode. The exchange between McCoy and Danielle at the end was superbly written and acted. I have never seen McCoy get so angry with anyone, and I could feel the tension as I watched it. I have a feeling we've seen the end of a long friendship between the two of them. Ms. Feldshuh did an amazing job of portraying an attorney blinded by her own opinion. Mr. Waterston did an excellent job of portraying a man in a difficult situation with a murderer using a wanted terrorist as a sort of blackmail.



    I also thought the show did a good job of staying politically balanced. Any time the war is used as a storyline, the writers are walking a thin tightrope. However, this time L&O managed to stay well-balanced in its political opinion of the war.



    While not the best episode I've seen, it still ranks high on my list of favorites.moreless
  • CanNOT download this episode from iTunes. It\'s still in my \'shopping cart\' but the episode can\'t be downloaded. Why has it been removed???

    10
    CanNOT download this episode from iTunes. It\'s still in my \'shopping cart\' but the episode can\'t be downloaded. Why has it been removed???

    Brief google search shows no information (yet). The episode is not even listed in the season 16 package anymore. Too controversial for TV???

    If I double click on \'America, Inc\' in my shopping cart, I can still get a 30 second \'preview\' of the episode, but when I try to \'buy\' it, iTunes says it\'s been removed.moreless
  • The sub plot of the kidnapped terrorist was interesting

    8.3
    Not my favorite subject for a legal show but ok. I didn't like the writers using the war as a way to voice their political opinions. I can't stand the defense attorney. She has been on before and every time she's on I mute her speeches. The judge allowing that tape to be shown was not correct.
  • If Jack quits, I will boycott L&O all together!

    8.2
    When Jack McCoy replaced Ben Stone in 1994 season of L&O

    I didn't like him at first as he came off arrogant and rude

    Butting heads with the police at times

    But now I am getting to like him as he has mellowed out a bit and has become something of a softy

    If he quits, I will stop watching the show

    Because he has grown on me a whole lot as he has gotten good with character development IMO!moreless
Annie Parisse

Annie Parisse

A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia

Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina

Det. Joe Fontana

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson

D.A. Arthur Branch

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec. A.D.A. Jack McCoy

Adam Scott

Adam Scott

Robbie Howell

Guest Star

Pablo Schreiber

Pablo Schreiber

Kevin Boatman

Guest Star

Luke Reilly

Luke Reilly

Mr. Howell

Guest Star

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz

Judge Janice Goldberg

Recurring Role

Tovah Feldshuh

Tovah Feldshuh

Danielle Melnick

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Nitpick: Joe Fontana says during an interrogation that he was in Vietnam. He wasn't. In the episode "Paradigm", he also told someone he had served in Vietnam, but he later admitted to Ed Green that this was not true.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Danielle Melnick: (to Robbie) This jury, in this political climate, is not going to convict you after what Pope did to your brother.
      Jack McCoy: That is the most irresponsible statement you have ever made! Who's going to do the 15 to life if she's wrong, Mr. Howell?

    • Robbie Howell: There's two things I know about Pope. Nick worked for him, and Nick's head came home in a box.

    • Miss Rosen: This isn't the Army. The company sent its employees on a suicide mission.

    • Jack McCoy: (to Danielle Melnick.) Enough grandstanding. It's time to stop using your clients to play provocateur.

    • Danielle Melnick: They've outsourced an ill-advised, mismanaged war, and now it's spilled over into New York City.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Joe Fontana accuses a suspect of "fragging" his boss. "Frag" is miltary slang for murdering a superior officer. The term originated in Vietnam. The word is a reference to fragmentation grenades.

    • On the videotape, one of the insurgents yells, "Allah akbar!" This means "Allah is great." Although this is sometimes referred to as a jihad prayer and is often treated as such in media and literature, it is actually a religious expression and it is usually not associated with violence or terrorism. Muslims say it during their daily prayers (called salat) and sometimes say it to each other as a greeting or a blessing or when they are discussing something good that has happened.

More
Less