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Law & Order

Season 19 Episode 9

By Perjury

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 14, 2009 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
53 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A plaintiff in a class-action suit against an airline is murdered.

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  • When the there isn't a law, make one up!

    ADA Cutter comes up against a lawyer, who's working on a class action against an airline. Cutter has an opponent who is wise to his abuses of process, and who can get improperly obtained evidence tossed out. Cutter tries to do the lawyer for "murder by perjury", which isn't on the statute book. So he has to resort to a campaign of innuendo, with Establishment help, to ruin his victim's career.moreless
  • Airline crash is the theme of the week.

    I have to admit that Lupo and Bernard are the best team of detectives this show has seen in some time. Their is enough conflict for them to play off each other for some time. Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson are, in my opinion, two very underrated actors. Sisto's previous work was on Six Feet Under as a psychopath, Anderson was on the Shield.

    I also like the dynamic between Cutter,McCoy and Rubirosa. Sometimes ethical, sometime moral, but always wanting to get their man. Notice i've said sometimes because many times they are none.

    This episode centered around a lawyer who would do anything to keep his costly (and perhaps mucho cash settlement) case alive. In a wonderful courtroom sequence he's found to be a guilty fellow. As always great work by the ADA.

    The wonderful Mercedes Ruehl guest starred supremely as a judge. I hope (though am not hopeful) that she is added to the rotating bunch of judges.

    Ironic that the same week a plane crash lands safely in the Hudson, this episode comes up.moreless
  • Fun episode- lots of room for the characters to act out.

    I've been limiting my Law and Order reviews to those which catch my eye- Chattel was powerful but it seemed like they were using the exploited children angle to boost the impact to much- this episode on the other hand was thrilling because the villain was a really strong character. The defendants who can get under Cutter's skin deserve some recognition and Jack's comment about him being Cutter's evil twin was very poignant. I'm continuing to enjoy all the colaboration between the police and DA's office this season, and Lupo's interest in Law. All in all, it was a well constructed episode- I like it when they have to work harder than usual to nail the perp.moreless
  • The investigation of a contractor's murder leads to a class action suit against an airline as a possible motive.

    Up until the last few minutes I was on the fence about this episode. The police investigation in the first half was good, and as soon as Lupo and Bernard got a look at a record that led to a key piece of evidence, I had a strong feeling that, like the L&O's of days way gone by (like seasons 1-4) this was going to be grounds for dismissal, and even more so than your average episode of Criminal Intent, one had a portrait of the suspect's motivations. I also liked that Lupo's reaction to a rebuke from Cutter was to confront him. But there were a few things that were tempering my enthusiasm for the show, foremost of which was Mercedes Ruehl's distracting southern drawal as the judge (her usual voice strikes me as a New York accent if ever there was on) and yet another case dismissed because of the "carelessness" of the DA's office.

    Then came the last 10 minutes. I didn't see any previews for this episode, but I was genuinely surprised. "You don't have standing to do that." "No, but Mrs. Cruz does." Snap! And then there was the climax, which carried forward the thread of both the killer's motivation and the tension between Lupo and Cutter. In my opinion, it ranks up there with the last scene of Paul Sorvino's final episode as the lead detective (where the daughter of the murdered couple is spirited away by the drug cartel that killed them) and last season's episode with the cult as a great Law & Order twist and elevated the episode quite a bit for me.moreless
  • Michael gets emotional when a lawyer continually bests him and may end up getting away with murder.

    19 seasons and Law and Order still goes outside the box proving that it's not just another legal drama, it is THE legal drama.

    Instead of the predictable ending with the verdict being read we had the guilty party pull a gun on Michael Cutter. This was as unexpected as it was exciting and was such a creative way to end a very well-written episode.

    This cast may not rival the "Golden Years" of Law and Order but this is definitely one of the best groups of actors on television. You have lawyers with personality without being outrageous like Boston Legal and you have entertaining and witty detectives who also stay in reality.

    The show also branched out in a new way by having a very heated exchange between Cyrus Lupo and Michael Cutter over an error in the courtroom. Just really compelling television.moreless
S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita van Buren

Jeremy Sisto

Jeremy Sisto

Det. Cyrus Lupo

Anthony Anderson

Anthony Anderson

Det. Kevin Bernard

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

DA Jack McCoy

Alana De La Garza

Alana De La Garza

ADA Connie Rubirosa

Linus Roache

Linus Roache

Exec. ADA Michael Cutter

Adam Mastrelli

Adam Mastrelli

Charlie Sawyer

Guest Star

Mercedes Ruehl

Mercedes Ruehl

Judge Clara Lloyd

Guest Star

Dallas Roberts

Dallas Roberts

Martin Winston

Guest Star

Harriett D. Foy

Harriett D. Foy

Judge Arlene Jones

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Martin Winston: I'm sure you're used to steamrolling over defense lawyers; that's not gonna happen this time.
      Michael Cutter: No doubt we have a lot to learn from a tough litigator like you.
      Martin Winston: You're gonna learn something about commitment. I eat only what I kill. Earnest civil servants like you get paid no matter what, win or lose.

    • Jack McCoy: The men's room, would have made for some pretty ignoble crime scene photos. Another reason to be grateful to Lupo and Bernard.
      Michael Cutter: Here's to earnest civil servants.
      (They clink glasses)

    • Michael Cutter: This -- this lawyer, Winston, it's the adversarial system gone haywire. Even if you have to kill, win at all costs.
      Jack McCoy: Sounds like somebody's evil twin.

    • Jack McCoy: Are you getting enough sleep, Mike? Reaming out police officers. Screeching at opposing counsel. A contempt citation.
      Michael Cutter: You want a diplomat, look elsewhere. You want to get results --
      Jack McCoy: We aren't getting results, are we?

    • Connie Rubirosa: The murdered judge case -- it was tried in federal court. One of the PanWorld plaintiffs, one of Winston's clients, was convicted of the crime. Winston was the main witness against him. He testified against his own client. Two murders come out of the PanWorld case, and Winston has a starring role in both of them. Coincidence?

    • Michael Cutter: Next time you're on the stand, don't try to play lawyer. You're not that good.
      (Long, awkward silence.)
      Cyrus Lupo: What? What'd you say to me?
      Michael Cutter: You heard me.
      Cyrus Lupo: Yeah, maybe a real lawyer wouldn't have let me flap in the wind while I was being cross-examined. Maybe a real lawyer would have shut Winston down!

    • Peter Belanger: Do you have a warrant? Not that that matters. I mean, your kind, you don't care about warrants, do you? You will not silence me, you know.
      Kevin Bernard: Mr. Belanger, we're not the men in black.

    • (Charles Sawyer is found shot to death; Bernard finds an envelope at the crime scene.)
      Kevin Bernard: Charlie's divorce papers. Unsigned.
      Cyrus Lupo: Well, the divorce is final now.

  • NOTES (2)


    • This episode appears to be partially ripped from the headlines of the ValuJet Flight 592 crash.

    • Cyrus Lupo: If you're ever in town, look us up. We'll take you out for a steak at Sparks. Show you where they gunned down Big Paul Castellano.

      Constantino "Big Paul" Castellano was a powerful member of the Gambino crime family. He was arrested for racketeering in 1985; on December 16, while he was out on bail, Castellano and his bodyguard, Tommy Bilotti, were shot to death outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan. John Gotti was later found guilty of ordering the murders of Castellano and Bilotti.