Law & Order

Season 2 Episode 1

Confession

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 17, 1991 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
55 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Logan crosses the line in order to obtain a confession from the man suspected of murdering Max Greevey, and is also faced with breaking in a new partner. Stone finds that his prosecution is placed in jeopardy because of Logan's actions.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Why didn't the detective ever say that the suspect RAN from him when the detective called his name?

    8.5
    This is not really a review--I just can't find a place to pose this question: WHY did not the detective say that when he called the murderer's name--he RAN! The detective is grilled about coercing the then-suspect, and never says he ran away.
  • They just re-ran this episode on TNT but the opening credits were all wrong. Shows Jerry Orbach, Eptha and Jill Hennesy in the opening critics even though they don't join the show until later. And doesn't show Paul Sorvino or Dan Florek. And Carolyn McCormoreless

    9.5
    They just re-ran this episode on TNT but the opening credits were all wrong. Shows Jerry Orbach, Eptha and Jill Hennesy in the opening critics even though they don't join the show until later. And doesn't show Paul Sorvino or Dan Florek. And Carolyn McCormick gets billing in the open sequence and then again while the show is running. Very weird

  • Takes a sharp turn right at the beginning and grabs you the whole way through.

    9.2
    You may think at the beginning that this episode is going to be about the case Mike and Max have been working on that Mike mentions once or twice. You think to yourself, "Hm, weird, they never start out with the cops right away. Hey, why aren't they showing Max much?" Then it comes along. Mike is on the phone with Max's wife, Marie. She is watching Max at his car out the front window of their home. A man approaches Max, and shoots him to death. Marie begins to scream. Mike is yelling, "MARIE! MARIE!" into the phone.



    Black.



    Opening credits.



    This episode had the most powerful openings in the series's history at that point, and, fourteen years later, I'd still be hard-pressed to find a better one. And the best part is, the show wasn't done tugging messing with your emotions. No, you think the climax was Max getting murdered? Try watching his funeral scene without getting a little sad. Mike and Don are two of the pallbearers. They are in uniform, and they salute Max's flag-draped casket.



    Now the show is about finding Max's killer. Mike is hell-bent on this, and is completely against being taken off the case. He ends up being sent to see a shrink (Carolyn McCormick in her first appearance as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet) and gives her a hard time about her Stages of Grief. Eventually, he realizes that she is right and he's lashing out at her because of Max's wrongful death. Also making a first appearance is Paul Sorvino as Det. Sgt. Phil Cerreta, the second person who has to put up with Mike and his temper through the whole case.



    The two finest parts of the episode besides what I mentioned already:

    (1) Mike cornering the killer in the alley, drawing his gun, and saying, "Get on your knees."

    (2) The conviction of the killer, and the judge's awesome speech.



    This episode first aired close to fifteen years ago, and it remains one of the finest episodes in the show's history.moreless
  • Great Season Premier

    8.5
    This episode we get introduced to Sergeant Phil Cerreta. Phil makes a great addition and partner to Mike Logan. I look forward to watching "Law and Order" and getting used to Sergeant Ceretta, for at least a year and 1/2. This of course is when Senior Detective Lennie Briscoe takes over from Phil. Phil Ceretta gets transferred to the 110th after being shot. Phil and Mike have a rocky start, however, after working together for awhile, Mike learns to respect Phil. "Confession" is a great episode to start off he second year of a great series. I very much look forward to the upcomming episodes.moreless
Paul Sorvino

Paul Sorvino

Sgt. Phil Cerreta

Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Don Cragen

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Exec. ADA Ben Stone

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

ADA Paul Robinette

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

DA Adam Schiff

Vyto Ruginis

Vyto Ruginis

Dan Magadan, Jr.

Guest Star

Daniel Von Bargen

Daniel Von Bargen

Lambrusco

Guest Star

Val Avery

Val Avery

Dan Magadan, Sr.

Guest Star

Tanya Berezin

Tanya Berezin

Judge Rosalyn Lenz

Recurring Role

Carolyn McCormick

Carolyn McCormick

Dr. Elizabeth Olivet

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Nitpick: In Dr. Elizabeth Olivet's original appearance, she appears in her capacity as the police psychiatrist, but later episodes indicate that she is a court-appointed psychiatrist. There is no explanation for the sudden job change.

    • This is the only time that Max Greevey's wife, Marie, is ever seen.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Mike Logan: Max is dead. I accept it. But I'll never accept it, you know?

    • Don Cragen: Coercion is a judgment call, Stone. My guy never laid a glove on the son of a bitch.
      Ben Stone: That doesn't matter. If he coerced the first confession, it is still 'fruit of the poisonous tree'.
      Mike Logan: What 'fruit'? What's it, some stupid technicality?
      Ben Stone: (To Cragen) Perhaps you can explain the concept to your men, so they don't let another cop killer walk. (Walking out the door.) You know, I doubt if Max Greevey would've considered it a 'technicality.'

    • Judge Leon: Bottom line, counselor: in addition to whatever else the prosecution can prove, your client is guilty of bad timing.

    • Mike Logan: No, I don't feel responsible. I feel incredibly...angry. (Sarcastically.) That one of your 'seven stages'? (Olivet nods.) Great.

    • Daniel Magadan: You know how to read a rap sheet, don't you? Five arrests, three convictions.
      Paul Robinette: So you're a loser, so...?

    • Don Cragen: '...maybe threaten his old lady.' Too bad he didn't take that route, Marie would have kicked his ass.

    • Mike Logan: Captain tells me we're partnering.
      Phil Cerreta: Yeah ... I'm sorry about Max.
      Mike Logan: Yeah ... listen, uhh...
      Phil Cerreta: Phil.
      Mike Logan: ... I know you're the new whip and everything, but I don't think...
      Phil Cerreta: Listen, Mike, you know every player in this copper business. I need you, I'll point.
      Mike Logan: Okay.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Olivet: Hey, Detective. Ever hear of the seven stages of grief?
      Mike Logan: No.
      Dr. Elizabeth Olivet: The first one's 'denial'.
      Mike Logan: I'm fine.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • The episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Oreste Fulminante case. Arrested on a miscellaneous charge, Oreste Fulminante confessed to the 1982 murder of his step-daughter to his cellmate, who was an FBI agent, after the cellmate promised to protect him if he talked. Fulminante argued that the confession was invalid because it was coerced and he would have said anything to protect his own life. The confession was allowed in the first trial, but considered inadmissible in the appeal.

    • Ben Stone: ...some guy in Milwaukee with body parts in his freezer...

      A reference to Jeffrey Dahmer, a notorious serial killer who dismembered and cannibalized his victims. Dahmer's murders were discovered in 1991; he received 15 consecutive life sentences, and was beaten to death in prison in 1994 by another inmate.

    • Judge Leon: Given the recent Fulminante decision I'm going to have to allow the gun into evidence. Last year's 'automatic mistrial' is this year's 'harmless error'.

      Arizona v. Fulminante (1991) is referenced several times throughout this episode. The case involved Oreste Fulminante, who while in prison confessed to murdering his 11-year old stepdaughter to a fellow inmate, actually an FBI informant pretending to be an organized crime figure, in return for protection from other inmates. The case applied the 'harmless error' test, where a conviction is invalid only if the coerced confession determined the outcome. If other evidence provided proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the conviction would stand despite the introduction of a coerced confession.

    • Elizabeth Olivet: Ever hear of the seven stages of grief?

      In her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross proposed that there are five stages of grief that people go through to overcome death or loss: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. It is unclear why the script refers to seven. This could be either for legal reasons, or it could be a reflection of the plethora of modifications, expansions, and variants of Kubler-Ross' initial model since its publication (e.g., six stages with Shock preceding Denial).

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