Law & Order

Season 1 Episode 6

Everybody's Favorite Bagman

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 30, 1990 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
67 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After local councilman and former bagman Charles Halsey is mugged and his throat slashed, Logan and Greevey investigate the case and the two young black male suspects. Their suspicion turns to organized crime when they link him to Masucci soldier Tony Scalisi. As Stone and Robinette continue their investigation, they realize the case is linked to a corruption scandal including a dirty councilman. Wentworth won't allow Stone to offer Scalisi immunity to avoid the appearance of impropriety, but in order to get what they want, their only option might be to make a deal with the mobster. Unable to utilize the police because of suspected corruption within the department, Stone goes to Assistant U.S. Attorney John McCormack for help.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Everybody's Favorite Pilot

    This is the original pilot which I recorded back in the '90s while A&E was airing reruns. In this one a pair of cops witness a vic who'd been mugged and two youths running from the scene. One cop comes out to give chase while the other stays with the vic. Later,Greevey and Logan are at the scene. The vic's wallet was stolen,but the license on his car turns out to be Councilman Charles Halsey from Queens,who used to be a bagman years ago. The detectives caught up the thugs thanks to a wallet along with Halsey's watch. They claim that someone else had assaulted him before they got there. The investigation leads to mob associate Tony Scallisi,who works for the Massuci family. After Tony's arrangment,ADA Stone and his partner Robinette investigate what business Halsey had with Tony including corruption at the Parking Violations Bureau. Deputy Police Commissioner Jefferson, who Robinette used to look up to is involed in it,too. Then, Tony along with his lawyer is planning to work on a plea when Robinette announced Halsey died from his wounds. Stone wanted the names and who ordered the hit. Tony agrees to wear a wire despite his concerns. So,that evening at a cafe, City Officials including Jefferson tells Tony they're were all conspiritors of the hit on Halsey. Stone and Robinette got the evidence they need,but the agents aren't wearing wires in there. But just as the ADA's race to the cafe, Greco,an mechanic for the mob comes in and kills Tony before he's being gunned down by agents. Jefferson tells everyone to keep quiet,but he sees Robinette here. BUSTED! The officials are put on trial and later found guilty for their actions.

    Like I said this is the pilot I recorded from A&E. I noticed TNT digitally upgraded it one time. The story was alright,but I've seen some silly moments when in one scene, Logan used a garbage lid to knock down the thug instead of using his gun thinking it's a smart choice.And Greevey threating to kill the dog if Tony attacks him. The difference was the intro when it had still photos from the pilot in blue color only. There was a still when cops arrest a prostitute.That picture must've been taken in the 70's. Nicemoreless
  • Great Pilot for a great series.

    "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" is a wonderful pilot. When I first started getting involved in the series, I assumed that "Prescription for Death" was the pilot as this is the way it was aired on television. I loved the story and the cast. I wish that D.A. Alfred Wentworth would have stayed with the series. I am not saying that I dislike Adam Schiff in any way, however, I would have liked to have had the chance to get to know Alfred Wentworth a little more as he seemed to fit the role very well. Max Greevey is also a character I like very much. Max and Mike Logan have a good working relationship. I highly recommend this episode. If you buy this series, I recommend watching this episode (no. 6) before "Prescription for Death" (no.1) as this was the original pilot that was made 2 years earlier.moreless
  • When a murdered public official is revealed to be a bagman, Greevey and Logan must investigate carefully.

    The pilot episode of Law & Order has always been one of my more favorite episodes. I believe this was shot in 1988, and the quality of the shot really reflects this. The picture is very spotty and grainy, which gives the episode a very gritty feel. This is a quintessential episode regarding the early season style of L&O, especially in the music department.

    While the episode didn't have Steven Hill as Adam Schiff, we are still introduced to some wonderful characters. Chris Noth is very youthful as Mike Logan and is given some helplessly corny lines, i.e, "This really frosts my cookies!" His acting, while not horrendous, definitely isn't as tuned as it is in the later seasons. George Dzundza plays Max Greevey, who's character reminds me a lot of Harvey Bullock from the Batman series. Dann Florek is always solid as the stressed out captain Don Cragen. The "Order" side is even better. As I side earlier, Steven Hill isn't in this episode, despite being included in the credits. Despite his absence, Richard Brooks and Michael Moriarty fill up for it, as they portray Paul Robinette and Ben Stone respectively. You can tell that they weren't sure what they wanted to do with Stone's character early on, as he comes off more like Jack McCoy in this episode. Even still, it was entertaining to see a different side of his character. Paul is comes off as conflicted throughout the whole episode as he doesn't know whether to trust his boss or his childhood hero, who is under investigation.

    There were two great guest stars in this episode as well. William H. Macy plays an Assistant U.S. Attorney who helps Stone bring down the bad guys. Paul Guilfoyle, who usually plays a cop type character, is actually casted as an Italian mobster. All in all, the pilot episode, which took more than two years to finally air, represents the greatness of the early seasons of Law and Order.moreless
Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Donald Cragen

George Dzundza

George Dzundza

Sgt. Max Greevey

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Exec. ADA Ben Stone

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

ADA Paul Robinette

Paul Guilfoyle

Paul Guilfoyle

Anthony Scalisi

Guest Star

Trey Wilson

Trey Wilson

Eddie Cosmatos

Guest Star

Roy Thinnes

Roy Thinnes

District Attorney Alfred Wentworth

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • In this pilot filmed two years before the first season, Paul Robinette is sporting a natural hair style instead of his trademark high top fade he wore throughout his three-year tenure as ADA.

    • Max Greevey is obviously about 10 pounds lighter than in any other episode because this pilot was filmed two years before the first season.

    • Captain Cragen has a poster of The Lone Ranger on the window of his office door.

    • Robinette has been with Stone for eight months, the longest of any assistant in quite some time. He credited William Jefferson, his former little league coach, with being the reason he went to law school and had a hard time believing Stone's assertation that Jefferson was dirty.

    • Stone has a copy of the 1968 Presidential campaign poster for Bobby Kennedy in his office.

    • Logan is involved with a fellow police officer named Maggie. This is the only episode of the series that she is seen in, although she is mentioned in another episode.

    • This episode is the first mention of the Masucci crime family, mobsters that appear from time to time through all incarnations of the series.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Germany: Ehrenwerte Killer (Honorable Killers)
      Czech Republic: Nejoblíbenější výběrčí (The Most Favorite Collector)

    • William H. Macy was credited as W.H. Macy in this episode.

    • Special billing was given to Roy Thinnes (Special Guest Star) in this episode. He was the only member of the original cast not to return once the series was picked up.

    • Although "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" is the pilot episode of the series, it was shown out of order. The pilot was initially picked up by FOX, which ordered thirteen episodes before passing because they didn't feel it was the type of show they were looking for. CBS was next, but they also turned down the option because there were no break-out stars attached to the role. In syndication and on the first season DVD, this episode appears in the order in which it was originally aired in the season. This episode was originally filmed for CBS in 1988, and if you have a taped copy from when A & E aired this episode in the past, you will notice a different style of credits and graphics used on the episode from when TNT got it.

    • Although listed in the opening credits, Steven Hill does not appear as D.A. Adam Schiff in this episode because Schiff joined after the pilot was filmed. Hill was not actually a member of the original cast. In the original opening credits for this episode, Steven Hill was not mentioned at all since he did not join the cast until after the series was picked up by NBC in August 1989 (in one of the last moves of then-NBC Entertainment Head Brandon Tartikoff). If you have a tape from when this episode aired on A & E, you will notice this.


    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the 1986 New York Parking Violations Bureau Corruption scandal. It was alleged that Queens borough president Donald Manes had used political appointments and favors as the source of large kickback schemes involving personal bureaucratic fiefdoms such as the NYC Parking Violations Bureau. Zoning franchises and cable TV franchises were being investigated, and some of Manes' appointees and associates were indicted or forced to resign. Manes committed suicide when his crimes came to light and Stanley Friedman, Michael Lazar and Lester Shafran received convictions for racketeering.