This is (to date) the only episode of this series that does not open with the traditional scene of someone we never see again finding a dead body - and does not portray a trial as such.
Instead, we open on a stakeout which ends with an ex-colleague of Lenny Briscoe’s shooting a suspect, in a manner Rey Curtis is not entirely happy about from the start. As he begins to tentatively look into the incident and the detective in question, gradually an ongoing corruption is disclosed and Briscoe’s career teeters on the line.
McCoy is hell-bent on pursuing the corrupt cop and is less than pleased when the officer wriggles out of the hole he’s put himself in - but McCoy manages to squeeze him back in.
The traditional court scenes are replaced by scenes at the Hellman Commission on Police Corruption, an effective substitute which makes this episode an interesting twist on the format to which we are accustomed.
The contrast between Briscoe and Curtis’ methods of operation are used well here with the main plot, Curtis being more eager than Briscoe to believe a cop can go bad and try to bring the fact to someone’s attention - but still, like Lenny, not wanting to believe it and not wanting to throw light on it until he’s reasonably sure.
This is, overall, an interesting change of format that works.