Law & Order

Season 17 Episode 20


Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 04, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
53 votes
  • While tracking down a pedophile, who has kidnapped a boy, detectives come across another one of the dangerous pedophile's victims, who is subsequently charged with murder.

    Many things about this episode are great, such as the acting, especially the guest stars. The reason I gave this episode a 'Mediocre' rating is because of the substandard writing, which demonstrates a lack of proper research into the serious subject matter of domestic violence, child abductions and Stockholm syndrome.

    Yes, Law and Order is fictional entertainment, but the series has demonstrated its ability to tackle serious subject matter in a way that is both entertaining, but also enlightening and based in facts.

    Many of the 'Ripped From the Headline' episodes have actually been quite good, even when facts of a real crime are changed for the television story or format. The problem here is that the episode downplays and distorts the real damage done to victims of abuse and does little more then to blame the victim, who was beaten by his step-father as well as kidnapped and sexually abused and manipulated by a pedophile. Jack McCoy wonders why the young defendant never left his captor (a question that the episode never bothers to answer). These and other questions actually have been studied quite a bit over the years. Maybe if the writers had done some actually research on the issue, they might have written a better episode.

    Somehow the fact that the young defendant was also being beaten by his blue collar, chronically unemployed father helped the jury to convict, a rather tasteless bit of class bias that is not only totally illogical but down right offensive.

    The audience should certainly not look at this episode as an accurate depiction of subject matter or even the true crime story that initiated this episode in the first place.

    Last, but not least, in real life this type of defendant would have likely not charged due or would have been institutionalized or would have gotten charged with a lesser sentence. I am not a lawyer, but I do not believe that what the defendant ends up being charged and convicted with in this episode is fair or just.
  • Perfectly written, well plotted and full of stunning twists. A must-see.

    Another 10/10 hit to my Law and Order collection. I admire the way the young boy was acted. Liam Aiken did a great job, first when the detectives found him in the house, second when Jack confronted him in his office and had him arrested and third in the courtroom after the verdict. And the boy - his stepfather relation was a value added to the story, I could have suspected there was something wrong once the parents greeted him in the station house, no affection, as if he hadn't been even happy to see the boy come home.
    And yes, the lesson of the day: No one won this case.
  • Poorly written, distastful to victims, based 99% on fiction yet stated "ripped from the headlines".

    I was upset by the bits and pieces they took from the Devlin case and threw them in with things that are way off base. Now for those who have followed the case closely, we can distance ourselves and know its not the truth. But for the average person who was not watching this case, they may think this is fact. This episode shows us the very reason people like BOR make the comments they do. Nobody can understand what would prevent someone like Shawn from leaving his kidnapper. This show was distasteful and inaccurate to any current case. The "ripped from the headlines" is also deceiving. People need to take this episode with a grain of salt. This episode did nothing to show people the truth about why child victims don't run. What it did was blame the victim and make the child out to be a criminal. This common mentality in America is part of the reason people don’t pay attention to kidnapping cases. If you think this show was even close to being about the Michael Devlin case, you are mistaken. Go do some research, this is far far from being related.
  • What a wonderful episode.

    I love it when Law and order produces great episodes like this. It really makes you proud that you are a fan of this all time great show. So when a young boy is found murdered Green and Cassady believe that the murderer is suspected serial pedophile/murderer. And it is true to say that not all of these cases taken from the news headlines are all bad. Infact this is one of the better episodes. The plot was very intresting and ultimately very entertaining. I hope the final two episodes of the season are as good as this one was. Really you should watch Law and Order.
  • Liam Aiken is a freakingly talented kid.

    I enjoyed this episode. Sometimes with these "ripped from th headline" episodes, it's like the writers just wanted to see how dramatic and exciting they can make a real headline. This time, I like what they did. We've all wondered why a child who was kidnapped has chosen to stay with his captor for years, even though he had ample opportunity to escape. And the media's kindness in actually allowing the family some privacy has only fueled our curiousity. This episode allowed us one possible answer, one possible "why." Liam Aiken did a great job with the mian guest starring role as both the victim and the criminal. Long way from Lemony Snicket here.