Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 1


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 24, 2003 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • A serial killer plays cat and mouse with the defense, in a riveting and often unsettling episode.

    At the conclusion of \"Bodies,\" Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn remarks, \"We put the system on trial and lost.\" It\'s an interesting if not melancholy conclusion to a powerful and emotional episode featuring one of the series\' most disturbing murder cases.

    It is exceptionally rare that the defendant plays such an open game of cat and mouse with the prosecution. Mark Bruner is the exception. Facing a certain death sentence if his case goes to trial, Bruner pits his defense attorneys against the prosecution for his own amusement. His first attorney quits because she \"is scared to death of being in the same room with him.\" The second becomes a pawn in his game of power with Jack McCoy, who is determined to have justice for fifteen missing girls he knows Bruner killed. They just cannot find the bodies... without the assistance of Bruner\'s legal aid attorney... and he's not talking.

    Numerous aspects of this case make it exceptional. The scene where a shaken attorney pleads for McCoy not to oppose her motion to be dismissed as council is among the most memorable the season had to offer. \"I know you have to oppose it, Jack,\" she says, hesitantly, with turmoil in her eyes; \"but do you really have to win?\" And no, he doesn\'t. McCoy may be hard-nosed when it comes to convictions. He may go out on a limb to see justice in many cases, but above all he has understanding of the female psyche. It\'s nice to see him rise to the defense of opposing council for a change, but all that is rapidly swept aside as he ruthlessly goes after Tim Schwimmer, new council for the defense, in the hope that prosecution will loosen his tongue.

    From right off, the audience feels torn between the emotions of the persecuted and manipulated Schwimmer, and the desperation felt by the families of missing girls, who just want to know if their daughter is among those the killer raped and murdered. It makes for a very poignant and disheartening episode, because we realize that sometimes the system fails. Schwimmer might have told the prosecution what they wanted to hear and walked away from it. In McCoy\'s words, \"There isn\'t a disciplinary committee in the world that would disbar [him] for it.\" But that\'s not the point. Honor was the point. It is just sad to see it applied to such an unworthy client.
  • Bodies

    A young girl is murdered and raped. They realize they are dealing with a serial killer. Woman seen Mr. Bruner and was possitive it was him in a line up. Bruner's dna is found (semen) on both dead victims. Bruner admits to killing about 17 other girls. He acts like he is a crazy person. Says lawyer saw bodies. Lawyer covered up a crime and tampered with evidence. Lawyer seen the bodies and kept it hidden. Lawyer was sentenced quilty on ALL accounts. He says he kept it from everyone because he would have been violating his duties as a lawyer.
  • reality in a drama

    I thought this episode was a good one for several reasons. One is that being a defense attorney is an extremely hard job. To know your client is guilty but to have to defend him no matter what is I would think a very difficult thing to do. Knowing what the defense attorney knew, seeing the bodies and all put him in a very compromising position. Had I been th4e attorney I would have taken myself off the case. I know its common but i do not understand why a criminal who is already doing life or has the death penality would not give the information where his other victums are burried.