Law & Order

Season 13 Episode 23

Couples

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 21, 2003 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Couples
AIRED:
Briscoe and Green catch four murders and a kidnapping on the same day, and get handed confessions in each case.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Similar -- or identical -- to Season 4's "Mayhem", but still a treat to watch.

    8.3
    Season 13, according to most people, was not the series's golden year. This particular episode, although it was done once before with only 1/3 the same cast, shines through as the best of the season.



    It is identical in concept to "Mayhem" from Season 4. There are multiple cases, and there is one main case that pretty much stays through the entire episode. The focus is on the cops, while the lawyers' roles are minimized.



    What makes "Couples" so great to me is that it is very funny. Right before following Ed through the carwash, Lennie makes a face because he is about to get wet, but runs after Ed, who is chasing a suspect. I also enjoy when they have a heavily-intoxicated suspect in their car (Lennie is driving) who tells the cops to pull over. Ed asks why, and the suspect says he is going to throw up. Lennie says that's good enough a reason for him, and steps on the gas.



    Back to the "Mayhem" connection, only a few things are irritatingly similar between the two.



    (1) MAYHEM: A woman cuts off her husband's penis because he was cheating on her. He dies. She confesses in court against her lawyer's urging to shut up. COUPLES: A woman runs over her husband with her car because he was cheating on her. He dies. She confesses in court against her lawyer's urging to shut up.

    (2) MAYHEM: As Mike and Lennie enter the woman's apartment (the same woman who cut off her husband's penis), the woman hits Mike with a frying pan -- I believe -- and Lennie tells her she just assaulted a police officer. COUPLES: Ed runs to get a woman's attention, and she turns around and socks him in the stomach. Lennie is ready with another comment about assaulting police officers.



    So does this episode really lack anywhere? It's a harrowing episode and it makes you feel tired just from watching it, but I think it is well-written and just different enough from "Mayhem" to not be boring.moreless
  • Law & ORder: Black Comedy

    8.4
    The closet L&O has ever come to a comedy episode, albeit with dark humor. The way each investigation flows into the other is truly intriguging as we realize we're watching four episodes crammed into one, and all with great twists to them.



    The episode even seems to poke fun at Lenny's sometimes criticized one-liners when he makes a joke over the run-over man and the man's lover screams "you think this is funny?" The scene that had me laughing out loud was when the driver is brought for arraignment...



    Serenea: "The defendant killed her husband."

    Lawyer: "She ran him over four times."

    Judge: "I admire her restraint."



    Defendant: "I did it and I knew exactly what I was doing."

    Judge: "I'm not supposed to give out personal opinons, but I have to tell you, you make me proud to be an American."



    The plot with the missing wife has a nice twist to it and I did enjoy seeing McCoy and Serena with a classic Catch-22 with the man accused of murdering his brother's wife: Since she had actually been the woman the man was convited of murdering, he can't be tried for the same crime twice. If they do try him, they have to admit he didn't kill her before, leaving him free to sue the city for wrongful imprisonment. It's a nice idea that I'm almost sorry they couldn't do more with.



    Overall, a fun episode and just when you think it's over, it ties back to the death at the very beginning and the fastest confession in L&O history. And we leave off with a classic:



    Ed; "We've got a jumper."

    Lenny: "I may join him."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

Carlos Leon

Carlos Leon

Rafael Briseno

Guest Star

Judith Blazer

Judith Blazer

Clara Porazzo

Guest Star

Otto Sanchez

Otto Sanchez

Reynaldo Celaya

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz

Judge Janice Goldberg

Recurring Role

Andrea Navedo

Andrea Navedo

Ana Cordova

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Clerk: Docket #534781. People vs. Clara Porazzo. Charge is murder in the second degree.
      Judge Goldberg: Surprise me, Miss Porazzo.
      Clara Porazzo: I don't know what you mean.
      Judge Goldberg: I need a plea. Did you do it?
      Clara Porazzo: Yes!
      Gwen Berman: I don't think my client understands, your honor.
      Clara Porazzo: I understand perfectly. I killed the SOB.
      Gwen Berman: She's obviously mentally disturbed.
      Serena Southerlyn: The defendant killed her husband, your Honor.
      Gwen Berman: She ran him over four times with her car.
      Judge Goldberg: I admire her restraint.
      Gwen Berman: I object!
      Judge Goldberg: Cool your jets, counselor. Shall we take this from the top?
      Clara Porazzo: No need to, your honor. Dom is dead, and I did it. I knew exactly what I was doing.
      Judge Goldberg: I'm not supposed to express personal feelings in the courtroom, but I gotta tell you, Miss Porazzo, you make me proud to be an American.
      Clara Porazzo: Thank you.
      Judge Goldberg: Cheating on you, was he?
      Clara Porazzo: Yeah! But I could live with that. I could live with his perversions. But I won't go under the knife for anyone! (points at her breasts) These were good enough for him when we got married!

    • Clerk: Docket #534687. People vs. Reynaldo Celaya. Murder in the first degree.
      Judge Goldberg: And the plea?
      Reynaldo Celaya: Not guilty, your Honor.
      Judge Goldberg: There's a first. Miss Southerlyn?
      Serena Southerlyn: The defendant shot and killed his brother's wife within days of being released from prison. Bail shouldn't even be a consideration.
      Judge Goldberg: I don't suppose you agree with that.
      Matthew Clemens: Bail schmail. What's a couple of days in Rikers after 10 years in Attica? Not gonna waste your time, your Honor.
      Judge Goldberg: You know what, counselor? This is a first.

    • (Ed Green gets a call with another case after he and Lennie solved four murders and one kidnapping)
      Ed Green: Damn, we got a jumper.
      Lennie Briscoe: I may join him.

    • (Detectives let the suspect use a bathroom at a gas station)
      Lennie Briscoe: Hey, if you haven't noticed, our friend here bats for another team.
      Gas station attendant: Men's room busted.

    • Rafael Briseno: Stop the car, you gotta stop the car down.
      Ed Green: Give me a good reason.
      Rafael Briseno: I'm gonna throw up.
      Lennie Briscoe: Good reason.

    • Lennie Briscoe: There's a switch - she dies, and then she gets married.

    • Ed Green: The way she's dressed I'd say she was out here for a run.
      Lennie Briscoe: If she was, she didn't run fast enough!

    • Lennie Briscoe: Love -- a devastating disease instantly cured by marriage.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Tox screen shows she had one drink, tops. No signs of sex.
      Lennie Briscoe: Sounds like my last date.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Married and a Mets fan. He's a glutton for punishment.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Lennie Briscoe: Love -- a devastating disease instantly cured by marriage.

      This is a reference to Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary which refers to love as a temporary insanity that is curable either by marriage or a removal of the influence causing the distraction.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Scott Peterson case. Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Connor, in 2005. This episode also appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Clara Harris "murder by Mercedes" case.

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