Law & Order

Season 8 Episode 21

Bad Girl

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 29, 1998 on NBC
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Bad Girl
AIRED:
Schiff's re-election may hinge on the stabbing death of a police officer; Briscoe's daughter is arrested for dealing drugs.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Adam's bid for re-election hinges on the conviction and execution of a confessed cop killer; Lennie's daughter is arrested for selling stolen drugs.

    8.8
    This is the first episode of a multiplot four-episode arc ("Bad Girl", "Damaged", "Tabloid", and "Monster"). The major plots crossing all four are Lennie's daughter's drug issues, Anita's lawsuit, and Adam's bid for re-election. Jack also faces the disciplinary committee later.



    Any Law & Order viewer worth his or her salt knows Adam gets re-elected, because he sticks around two more years after this season. I know that, and I've seen this episode a hundred times, but somehow, the threat of Adam losing the election to that cheeseball Gary Feldman is still there and it still bothers me.



    Earlier in the series, in "Burned", Jack sent Carl Anderton's grandson away. Carl Anderton enjoys holding a grudge, apparently, to a point that he lures Adam into chatting, using scotch, and proceeds to berate him. Adam asks Carl how he can support someone like Gary Feldman, and Carl says, "He's not you, Adam, that's good enough for me." I absolutely love this scene because both Steven Hill and Robert Vaughn are brilliant actors with great delivery. I must admit that I laugh when Carl says, "I'll never forgive you!" I'm laughing now as I think of the line. I don't know why it's so funny, but it is.



    Anyway, Feldman made a promise to prosecute cop killers to the fullest, largely because Adam's office is prosecuting a cop killer, and if Jack loses the case, well, Feldman has a great fulcrum to lift Adam off the DA's seat. Jack wins the case and the girl goes to the death chamber, but not without a few roadblocks. What's great is that the roadblocks probably worry Adam, but he is not as interested in sending the girl to die, and saving his position, as he is in making sure no one is playing games with the prosecution. In essence, he'd like to win and save his seat, but not if it completely ignoring the penal code. This is why I love Adam.



    Before the first commercial break in the episode, Lennie's daughter is arrested for selling stolen drugs. "Strained" is a mild way of describing the relationship between Cathy and Lennie. In a way, I feel bad for him, but I dig where she's coming from. He wants to fix it, but she'd rather he just leave her alone because she knows it's too late, and it is. Lennie ends up not being able to do anything for her. She has to testify about it in court, and if you saw "Damaged", you know it's pretty painful to watch because the defense rips into her and brings Lennie into it, who is in the courtroom listening to the whole thing. I feel bad for Lennie because I think he realized he couldn't do anything to begin with, but damned if a father shouldn't shoot the moon for his kid anyway. Who knows? The two lone scenes between Cathy and Lennie make me a bit weepy. (Jennifer Bill does bear a resemblance to Jerry Orbach, by the way; it's kind of weird.)



    Wait, let me try it again. "I'll never forgive you!" Nope, still funny.



    I considered a few other classifications for this episode, but "Revealing" seemed to fit best. It shows Adam's desire for truth, justice, and the American way over possessing a seat of power, and it shows that yes, our other curmudgeon, Lennie, has a heart under that gritty, sarcastic, wisecracking exterior. I think it's also a good display of Carl Anderton, who is a real dirtbag, especially in the scotch-drinking scene.moreless
Steven Hill

Steven Hill

DA Adam Schiff

Jerry Orbach

Jerry Orbach

Det. Lennie Briscoe

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

Benjamin Bratt

Benjamin Bratt

Det. Reynaldo "Rey" Curtis

Carey Lowell

Carey Lowell

ADA Jamie Ross

Cliff Gorman

Cliff Gorman

Judge Gary Feldman

Guest Star

Geoffrey Nauffts

Geoffrey Nauffts

Mr. Peterson

Guest Star

Jennifer Bill

Jennifer Bill

Cathy Briscoe

Guest Star

Lynn Cohen

Lynn Cohen

Judge Elizabeth Mizener

Recurring Role

Mark Lotito

Mark Lotito

Detective Mallory

Recurring Role

Julian Gamble

Julian Gamble

Appellate Judge P. Slattery

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Adam Schiff: Gary Feldman is a fool. He is not worthy of your support.
      Carl Anderton: He's not you Adam, that is good enough for me.
      Adam Schiff: All because of your grandson.

      Adam alludes to the conviction of Anderton's grandson for arson that sent him to a psychiatric hospital as seen in "Burned," season eight, episode nine.

    • Isabel Gillies later had a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU as the wife of Elliot Stabler. Gillies was 28 at the time of this episode, although her character Monica Johnson is said to be 19.

    • When McCoy confronts Monica Johnson on the witness stand with the knife, viewers can see it clearly, meaning that Johnson would have been looking at the side of the bag obstructed by the white square and would have been unable to see the knife.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Carl Anderton: Remember what LBJ said when they were hammering him about Vietnam? "Felt like a hitch-hiker on a highway in a Texas hailstorm, can't run, can't hide, can't make it stop." I'm putting you on that highway, Adam.

    • Adam Schiff: Whatever gave you the idea the district attorney's office was your family law firm?
      Carl Anderton: Whatever gave you the idea that it wasn't?

    • Lennie Briscoe: It's politics, Cat. If I didn't wear the badge, they'd probably cut you some slack.
      Cathy Briscoe: Being your kid just doesn't have an upside, does it?
      Lennie Briscoe: Did you tell your mom? Don't worry about it, she'll probably blame me.

    • (Discussing the ADA in Cathy's case.)
      Jack McCoy: He's a dog with a bone.
      Lennie Briscoe: Yeah, the bone happens to be my kid.

    • DJ Freaky: Come back tonight. I spin a rave here. Monica usually gets greased in.
      Lennie Briscoe: (to Rey Curtis.) I take it you got all that.

    • Anita Van Buren: (to Monica Johnson.) You want to take me on, little girl? Well, let me tell you something -- you better be packing more than a dirty mouth.

    • Rey Curtis: Kid jumps Flynn, she badges him, he starts to stab her, she shoots him.
      Lennie Briscoe: Maybe he'll kick, and save everybody the trouble.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Adam Schiff: Feldman's people sent out feelers, he wants to debate me on television. A lot of good it did Nixon.
      This is an allusion to the Great Debates series of televised encounters between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the presidential candidates of 1960, that changed both politics and TV. Most experts cite the appearance of Nixon, who was recovering from an illness, costing him the win of an extremely close election.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Karla Faye Tucker case. Tucker, along with a partner, killed 27-year-old Jerry Lynn Dean with a pick-ax. After killing him, they decided to kill Dean's friend Thornton to eliminate her as a witness. Tucker was sentenced to death through lethal injection and was executed on February 3 1998, becoming the first woman to be executed in the state of Texas since the Civil War.

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