Law & Order

Season 18 Episode 5

Driven

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 23, 2008 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
64 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Lupo and Green investigate after a white teenager (David Kendall) and a young black girl (Tanya Anderson) are shot and killed in a local neighborhood. The investigation stalls when no one is willing to talk, but the detectives later learn that the victim had earlier had a fight with someone in the neighborhood that led to a surprising altercation later that evening.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Using real-life themes from current events, but blending them with an unrealistic legal situation, an episode on racial tensions, which could have been done much better.

    3.5
    With this episode, Law & Order might have reached a new low. Their more-recent seasons have been suffering from a lack of realism - a problem that seems to be getting worse and worse, as the years go on.



    The "snitching" issue was good to include - shortly before watching this episode, I just so happened to come across this encyclopedia article about the troubling campaign, which was alluded to, in this episode. However, charging the mother with manslaughter (when she was sitting in the car, and never told her son to use deadly force against the other, and considering the size differences between the boys, and the convenience of the father's story) was a stretch, as was joining her trial with that of the father... But that's something this show has gotten known for, and it does indeed make things interesting. It would have been better for the writers to have made the mother a worse character, and to have given us a stronger case against her - The way it was (especially with her candidness on the stand, and her statement about how everyone, regardless of race, wanted the same thing - to live in a safe neighborhood), she seemed to be nothing more than a concerned parent, with a class-bias, but no more racist than the average middle- or upper-class citizen. The somewhat shark-jumping moment of this episode (and perhaps, but I hope not, this series?) came at the end however, when the jury was allowed to make a statement - and then the detectives marveled at how the jury had reached the right conclusion. It was a cute touch, but could have been accomplished another way.



    I'm glad they're trying new things (they have to, with so many years worth of storylines), but I hope they find a better way to do it.moreless
  • A very good episode with a wonderful commentary on racism. Mystery abounds when a black child and a white teenager are found dead both shot. As the case unfolds the cut and dry case of white kids being killed by black thugs wasmoreless

    8.8
    A very good episode with a wonderful commentary on racism. Mystery abounds when a black child and a white teenager are found dead both shot. As the case unfolds the cut and dry case of white kids being killed by black thugs was beautifully undone. Showing us a white soccer mom who would send children to do her dirty work was surprising. The fact that she would take the law into her own hands demanding respect from her poorer neighbors was even more shocking. On the other side of the equation we have a black father who shot blindly into the street to defend his son killing a young girl. Both sides were shown as being bad persons and showing horrible judgment especially for raising young children. The episode even had a perfect ending with both parties being found guilty.moreless
  • The best episode of the entire series.

    10
    I love Law & Order and have seen every episode until about 2 seasons ago. It sort of started falling off. But I missed McCoy so I thought I would give the show another chance. And I walk into this episode. A young African American girl and a young white boy have been killed by the same bullet. The ensuing investigation reveals that the parent of the young boy who was being chased by the dead boy and his friends shot the boy and the young girl was a tragic victim. And the mother of the white boy's friends had driven them to beat up the African American boy with bats. They're put on trial together and in a twist that I didn't see coming the jury finds both parents not guilty of killing the boy and guilty of killing the girl. And the jury recommends that they both receive the same sentence.

    Seriously, one of the best shows I've ever seen. Well written, a sense of justice, and very, very compelling!

    Great job Law & Ordermoreless
  • The investigation into a double murder, after being helped by McCoy pulling strings, leads to a man who claims that he fired at people swing baseball bats at his son. It is revealed that the "people" (kids) had been driven to the fight by their mother.moreless

    7.7
    It was a pretty good episode.



    Somewhat complex in plotting, this episode is a sort of throwback to Law and Order's earlier episodes. Much, much better than the last season.



    My suspension of disbelief was kinda strained in this episodes legal half. I usually give Law and Order lee-way on legal implausibilities (sp?) because, let's face it, real-life law is boring. However, this episode strained it more than usual for two reasons.



    (Some spoilers at this point)



    1- McCoy had the mom who drove her kids to the fight and the dad who shot at them be co-defendants. Not only did they (rightfully) hate each other, they had defenses to the crime which depended on the other looking like garbage. They were helping to overrule the other's objections. It did not have an air of realism to it in the least.



    2- I always twinge when the defendant goes on the stand and gets ripped to shreds by the DA, because real lawyers rarely have their clients do that, and in this episode I had to watch it happen twice.



    Other than those two parts, the rest of the episode was a good episode.moreless
  • Fine example these parents...

    9.5
    Ironically it's the prosecutor at the end of this episode that says the most childlike charachters were the man who shoots the gun and the mother who encourages the boys to bring bats and intimidate.



    There are plenty of cases like this...all stemming from one event. The boy steals the basketball and tells the interlopers not to return. They do and all hell breaks loose. Unfortunatly it's two children (one completely innocent) that are killed. This episode had many twists and turns and underlying motives. To an extent it was racial issues. Another was the misunderstanding of different cultures. And this led to overeaction of both the white mother who drove the boys with baseball bats to the initial retaliation, and the black father who pulled the trigger. I wasn't moved by the detectives so much in this episode but a bit by the district attorneys and especially by the judge. A nice touch though was the statement provided by the jury foreman at the end of the show.



    This was a typical episode in that it was an ensemble piece, not driven by stars but by a fine cast of character actors.moreless
Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

Jeremy Sisto

Jeremy Sisto

Det. Cyrus Lupo

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Linus Roache

Linus Roache

Exec. A.D.A Michael Cutter

Alana De La Garza

Alana De La Garza

A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

D.A. Jack McCoy

Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Gretchen Steel

Guest Star

Kevin Carroll

Kevin Carroll

Ray Manning

Guest Star

Tristan Wilds

Tristan Wilds

Will Manning

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Ned Eisenberg

Ned Eisenberg

James Granick

Recurring Role

Joe Forbrich

Joe Forbrich

Det. Cormack

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This episode marks two rare situations-
      1) the district attorney (Jack McCoy) appears in court and
      2) the district attorney (Jack McCoy) shares a scene with a cop (Anita Van Buren).

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Michael Cutter: (during his summation.) This was a playground dispute between teenage boys over a $30 ball. We expect teenage boys to be impulsive and irresponsible. But teenage boys didn't turn this dispute into a tragedy. Their parents did.

    • Anita van Buren: That case goes to the jury tomorrow. I'm worried about the outcome.
      Jack McCoy: You, me and the whole city.

    • Jack McCoy: Two irresponsible parents contributed to this tragedy.
      Connie Rubirosa: (about Gretchen) If Ray Manning gets convicted and she doesn't, I don't want to be in this city.

    • Anita van Buren: If 'don't snitch' is how you define your community, maybe it's not worth saving.

    • Ed Green: (about canvassing the neighborhood) Everybody gives me that 'don't ask me' look before they even know what I'm looking for.

    • (At the scene of the shootings.)
      Anita van Buren: This used to be a free-fire zone. Rumor had it, it was cleaned up.
      Ed Green: I got news for 'em.

    • (Upon hearing the jury verdict.)
      Jack McCoy: Justice.
      Anita van Buren: Who woulda thought it?

    • Michael Cutter: You may think that this white woman and black man have nothing in common, but they share blood. The blood on their hands.

    • Michael Cutter: My summation's ready. I can win this.
      Jack McCoy: Famous last words. Even said them myself a few times.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • This episode also appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Eva Daley case in Long Beach, California.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the "Jena 6" racial tension incidents in Jena, Louisiana between 2006 and 2007. It started over a noose being hung from a tree, like the incident in the photo Van Buren shows McCoy.

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