Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 16

Can I Get a Witness?

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 25, 2004 on NBC
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Can I Get a Witness?
AIRED:
McCoy faces an uphill battle in proving that witnesses to the murder of a drug mule were bribed, intimidated, and eventually murdered on the orders of the drug dealer accused of the crime.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The system failed.

    9.4
    The system failed.



    Audiences are left with the same emotional anguish as the prosecutors at the conclusion of this episode, which revolves around witness tampering and murder. It starts out innocently enough in the park. Then a black kid on a bicycle rides past and guns down a pedestrian. Two young people are near enough to get a clear look at his face, and have no trouble pointing him out in a line-up. Then the threatening phone calls start. Harassment, intimidation, murder threats, bribery. One witness backs out and the second is killed when he evades police protection to return to his home neighborhood. Everyone knows who is behind it, but the burden of proof is thin and it all relies on the testimony of an unstable teenager terrified for her life.



    The case is good because it's so frustrating, both for the audience and the heroes. The scene where Lennie and Ed show Serena the body of her witness laying in the street is surprisingly poignant; equally so is McCoy's bitter over-the-shoulder jab at the defense about whether or not his final witness will still be alive in twenty-four hours. For once we have a decent judge who doesn't pander to the defense with benefit of the doubt, but he's undermined by a jury whose motivations we never entirely figure out. Whether they were actually so blinded as to suspect the boys weren't involved, or were in turn frightened for their own lives if they managed a conviction is unclear, only that as a sobbing mother leaves the courtroom, it's the faces of the prosecutors we remember, facing the emotional anguish of a loss so severe that it undermines everything they stand for.moreless
  • Gang-related

    7.1
    A short intense opening sets the scene for a pretty interesting story. The theme details the heavy requirement of witnesses in court cases, and the potential for events and forces to affect their reliability or even appearance.



    This is well supported throughout the many scenes of Briscoe and Green and later when McCoys court case begins. Confusion is well sown throughout to keep viewers from understanding true events until the final scenes.



    Even the tale of jury tampering through intimidation takes an intriging twist when the defence attorny is also implicated. Though the story is more 2nd rate than 1st rate there is enough to keep you interesting in how the case turns out, and the characters particularly Slug and the primary eye witness are compelling enough to impart some emotional connection to the event.



    Not great, and Id only watch if you are a fan of the show, not just after 1hr to kill.moreless
Elisabeth Rohm

Elisabeth Rohm

ADA Serena Southerlyn

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

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson

DA Arthur Branch

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman

Foster Keyes

Guest Star

Collins Pennie

Collins Pennie

Jimmy Gordon

Guest Star

Dorian Missick

Dorian Missick

Ronald Duggin aka Slug

Guest Star

Gerry Becker

Gerry Becker

Gerard Wills

Recurring Role

David Little

David Little

Judge Michael Schneider

Recurring Role

Mark Zimmerman

Mark Zimmerman

Judge Nathan Murphy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Nitpick: Lennie asks the owner of Mike's Bikes if the suspect happened to use a credit card, even though there is clearly a sign that says No Credit on the wall.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Ed Green: Look what I found under the mattress, a .38 and a stack of twenties
      Lennie Briscoe: Cat got your tongue? That's okay 'cause you got the right to remain silent. Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law

    • Serena Southerlyn: The police found the gun under the mattress...
      Defense Attorney: In his grandmother's apartment not his.
      Serena Southerlyn: So what, granny did it?

    • Shayna Rosario: Look, I told you nobody threatened me.
      Serena Southerlyn: As soon as you give us a statement we can arrest Slug.
      Shayna Rosario: Jail won't stop him. You don't think I don't know what happened to Jimmy? As long as I keep my mouth shut I'll be safe.
      Jack McCoy: Not necessarily. Slug may reach out and try to silence you on the chance that you might testify.
      Shayna Rosario: Yeah, now he might, somebody sees you here. If my father knew you here right now ...
      Serena Southerlyn: We're going to protect you.
      Shayna Rosario: Like you protected Jimmy?

    • Lennie Briscoe: A couple of years ago Slug was picked up for armed robbery with a guy named Calvin Jacob Rivers, knocked over a bar.
      Ed Green: Allegedly.
      Anita Van Buren: Let me guess.
      Ed Green: Yep, two dozen witnesses developed amnesia.
      Anita Van Buren: This guy's a walking epidemic.
      Lennie Briscoe: He's a public menace.

    • Ed Green: It's Keyes' cousin. Homey plays the system like a Stradivarius. Visits Rikers under the table, has his crew intimidate witnesses.
      Lennie Briscoe: He's got the whole neighborhood under his thumb.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Wait a minute ... December 7 ... 3:06pm ... inmate Foster Keyes ... visitor.
      Ed Green: X? They signed with an X? So the security guard checked the driver's license and it had an X on it?
      Lennie Briscoe: It had a picture with Benjamin Franklin on it. It was all the ID he needed.

    • Jimmy Gordon: I heard they found the shooter hiding in some girl's closet.
      Anita Van Buren: Jannette Richards.
      Jimmy Gordon: Jannette?
      Anita Van Buren: You know her?
      Jimmy Gordon: That's Foster's girl. Big Boy was messing with her the other night. I told you all it wasn't about no drugs.

    • Ed Green: Well we might as well start canvassing the neighborhood.
      Lennie Briscoe: See if anybody saw a kid on a bike? That ought to narrow it down.

    • Ed Green: You know what his name on the street is? 'Slug', and it ain't 'cause he moves slow.

    • Lennie Briscoe: We've talked to more felons today than most prison wardens.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Lennie mentions that a surprising number of men named Bernard visit prison. In real life, Jerry Orbach's middle name was Bernard.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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