Law & Order

Season 20 Episode 5

Dignity

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 23, 2009 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

6.9
out of 10
Average
72 votes
  • Left Wing Agenda to the extreme

    4.0
    Of all the polarizing agendas that's dividing our country nothing is more extreme than late term abortion. I agree that no woman would be willing to terminate a baby in its late term if not for the health of her or the baby. But to use this issue for entertainment has no place especially given NBC's slant for its liberal agenda. They will always call pro lifers as extremists. When you are this one sided this caused Law And Order to lose its audience.
  • American Televison chickens abortion

    9.0
    I've never seen a not-chicken discussion of an abortion on american televison. There is none actually. Either it's chicken pro-life propaganda like "Law and Order" shown in this episode or it's "one step forward, two steps back" like in many (not so many) tv shows. Mostly people decide to keep pregnancy (coz screen writers somehow feared of moral anger of viewers?) and sometimes pregnancy ends in miscarriage (like on cable tv show Big Love - even cable tv is scared of abortion!!!). Blood, violence, rape, serial killers, kinky sex, perversions - everything is embraced by cable and non-cable television of US but not abortion. I don't understand it at all. What are they so chicken about?
  • What's happened to my favorite, intelligent show? I will try to keep an open mind, but I am profoundly concerned, not only about the shift in the show, but what it says about the changes in society that would cause it...

    1.0
    I was horrified by this episode, and spent the hour waiting for the many, many thoughtful, potentially convincing arguments that should have been made, and the intelligent, thought provoking dialog that could have - should have - followed.

    For example, when Cutter makes his plea to Jack about the lack of protection for fetus', the context/discussion/argument was a about birth control, NOT about serious birth defects and the many complicated, potentially devastating issues that they entail. OF COURSE late-stage abortions are unacceptable as birth-control, OF COURSE someone could get moralistic about that, but this is not what this show was supposed to be about. Where's the intelligent, interesting rebuttal the brings Cutter (and the audience, and the Jury) back to the issue at hand? I have not had TV this fall, and today watched my first 2 episodes of the season. The first was the one with the 10 kids and the reality TV show. For the last almost 20 years, Law and Order has pinned me to my chair, but I was restless and bored by the episode. With this one as my second try, I am very concerned that the show as a whole has been "dumbed down" and skewed to the right.

    The fact that I have never, ever been even tempted to write a TV show review before, yet tonight I was COMPELLED to find a place to do so, really says something about my frustration with this episod and with the shows (potential) direction... I will try to keep an open mind, but I am profoundly concerned, not only about the shift in the show, but what it says about the changes in society that would cause it...
  • Shallow sentiment trying to pass for thought. Worst episode of the series

    1.0
    Shallow sentiment trying to pass for thought. Worst episode of the series. I am very disappointed in Law & Order, which used to feature incisive arguments for all sides of an issue. I hope this is not a harbinger of things to come. If it is, this may be the last season for a show which was once compelling and intelligent. Why has it decided to dumb down? Is it moving to Fox?

    The true issues surrounding abortion were hardly mentioned. How does one balance the interests and well-being of the mother and the rest of her family against the interests and well-being of an unborn child?
  • THIS is why there is a season 20.

    10
    Episodes like 'Dignity' are what Law & Order is about... last week's episode was unique and quirky and a show that's been on so long it's entitled to breaking character... but.. this episode was true Law & Order. The touchy emotional issues that underpinned the case united the police and court scenes, filling every scene with energy- the exchange between Bernard and Lupo was powerful, as was the tiff between Cutter and Connie. And what is best of all is that the drama made sense! Cutter's anger and disappointment in what he felt was Connie's betrayal verses Connie being true to her character and standing up for what she believes in- which was completely understandable given the devastating testimony. I hate when shows arbitrarily have characters playing 'devil's advocate' to each other. L&O lets the characters come out of their shells when the situation demands it and it results in powerful television... seriously, who wasn't anxious wondering what Jack would do to Connie? I was more interested in that than the verdict!
  • Anti-choice propoganda -the writers do not trust women to make their own choices.

    1.0
    Wow, this was awful, there was no reasoned debate back n' forth. Everyone on the show was mouthing anti-choice and anti-women comments (except Jack).

    Not to mention some outright lies. The majority of people are PRO_CHOICE, not ANTI-Choice like Cutter stated.

    The show tried to claim it was better to let a fetus be born and live in pain & die within a day because somehow that gave it dignity. Their example seemed like nothing but a very selfish parent wanting to have the child no matter the pain and undignity of being born w/out a brain/organs/whatever and then slowly dying that same day.

    That finishing an abortion just because labor had starting during the procedure - somehow made it justifiable to kill a doctor performing a legal medical procedure.

    This show tried to push public opinion in a very unsubtle propoganda. I'm used to the show taking controversial stands - but usually there's some debate. I did not feel this was even handed at all.

    This episode is an insult to George Tiller whose life this was "ripped from the headlines".
  • Worst episode over.

    1.0
    It was pure pro-life propaganda. There was no serious debate. Rather than intelligently offering valid points to both sides, it was so embarrassingly one-sided. It was an attempt to brainwash pro-choice Americans with extreme-case scenarios. Contrary to what the writers will have you believe, the majority of Americans are pro-choice.

    It disappoints me that the quality of writing and the storylines of this once great show has completely deteriorated. I am really not sure who is responsible for the new tone of the show, Dick Wolf and the writing team or NBC. As far as I am concerned, NBC has been making some seriously awful decisions which prove how out of touch they are with Americans. First with forcing Leno down our throats 5 nights a week, and then with the cancelation of "Southland".

    If the goal is to win over the coveted 18-44 demographic, this episode has surely failed by alienating them with this non-progressive stance.

    I would give this episode zero stars if I could.
  • I've never seen such insulting bias. I expected better from Law & Order.

    1.5
    I am not a regular fan of Law & Order (I'm a loyal SVU fan but I occasionally watch other L&W series). I tuned into this episode because I thought it would be some much-needed commentary on a hot button issue. I was horribly disappointed by what I saw. The first half of the episode was the only somewhat decent part which gave some basic balance to the issue. The rest of it skewed facts and information, (did they even explain what anecephaly was?) forgetting the issue of the Dr's murder until the last minute for the verdict. What, did an anti-choice group pay off the show's writers?

    The "most Americans are pro life" statement is based on random telephone surveys of apprximately 1000 people in the US. And its a fact the anti choice side becomes more active during democratic presidencies. Pardon me if I don't buy it.

    This epsiode was an insult not only the the murdured Dr. Geroge Tiller, but Dr. Barnett Slepian, Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Britton, clinic escort James Barrett, receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, and security guard Robert Sanderson, all murdered by anti-choice terrorism. It is also an insult to the numerous doctors and reproductive health workers injured by anti-choice terrorism over the years.

    The writers of this show owe an apology.
  • Another strong, political episode.

    7.5
    Last season we saw some good Law and Order, but it was mostly generic procedural cases. This year the show is hammering every single major political issue such as terrorism, torture and abortion one week at a time and the result is a rejuvenated series that should hopefully make it to 21 seasons.

    Law and Order is the show that appeals to anybody and everybody and I have no doubt in my mind that some people were surely offended by this episode, but I felt that they clearly showcased both points of view in terms of abortion and that nobody should have been hurt by the show.
  • An unexpected and realistic look at the abortion issue from a pro-life perspective.

    9.0
    Oh, boo hoo. Some liberals had to watch a viewpoint different from their own on national television. Welcome to the rest of the country's world. Was this episode biased...or are you just intolerant? It's about time a major network put something out there other than their usual liberal drivel-it's gotten so utterly dull and predictable. However, I would prefer they just leave politics alone and do their job - entertain. While this episode was excellent, NBC remains a very liberally biased network. And, yes, when a certain viewpoint is repeatedly, routinely pusehd by a network, that IS bias. Either this episode was a one-off or NBC is realizing the reason their ratings are in the tank is because of their content. I'm not holding my breathe to see more like it. I don't believe the hope and change has reached far enough into the hearts and minds of NBC execs/writer/actors.
  • Balanced, nuanced look at late-term abortion issues

    9.0
    Pro-choice and pro-life positions are presented in a fair and even manner which will upset some. The ethical struggles of the detectives ("What would have happened if I hadn't been born?" Response: "I would have had another partner") and the D.A.s (conflicted and wondering about how far to let personal views enter their work decisions) make this a thought-provoking episode. The characters are believable and the violence is right from the headlines. The episode powerfully and emotiionally displays the heart-wrenching decisions associated with late-term abortions and offers no easy solutions. I found myself torn after watching it and sympathetic to both the woman who carried her child to term and the one who decided to abort it.
  • This episode was a pleasant surprise for this pro-life watcher, who enjoys Law and Order but who has been annoyed by caricatures of pro-lifers in past episodes. Thank you!

    9.0
    This episode of Law and Order was a surprising change from the usual political correctness seen on most prime time t.v. Here, we saw pro-lifers (and pro-choicers, too) as real people, rather than being presented with caricatures. We also were treated to the drama of someone struggling with the issues and moving towards a change of mind! The writer was surprisingly alert to the change in public opinion that is happening currently in the U. S., and courageous enough to talk about it. For once, the excellent acting and engaging pace of the show was matched by careful social analysis.
  • John Boy (Richard Thomas)

    7.0
    Nice to see "John Boy" from the Waltons again. I'm sure the Waltons were anti abortion. How many in that family? Seriously though the show did show divisions with the DA office and lwayers but so revealing that even the jury after hearing so much traumatic testimony( almost all of it irrelevant to the case)upheld the law. Interesting if the case was heard in a more conservative state. It is amazing that the Roe v Wade decision is 34 years ago and there are many changes and advances in medical science with reagrd to the early diagnosis of a baby's health.
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