Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 7

Floater

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Nov 12, 2003 on NBC
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Floater
AIRED:
The husband of a woman whose partially decomposed body is found floating in the Hudson River becomes the prime suspect in her murder until the prosecutors uncover a connection between her prospective attorney and a judge who has heard a suspiciously high number of his cases.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Not the most brilliant episode

    7.5
    This particular episode doesn't really stand out at all except for one thing, the awkward position DA Arthur Branch(Fred Thompson) is put in because it's his office prosecuting not only one of his former students, but a judge who was one of his former students.
  • It's always the kids that pay for it.

    8.8
    Divorce attorneys are the most universally hated lawyers. It's a thankless, ruthless job only slightly more well-received than the judge who presides over divorce cases.



    When evidence is turned up in the case of a woman found floating in the Hudson that implicates bribery in divorce court, Arthur Branch's office has the unhappy job of prosecuting one of his former students. Evidence first implicates the spouse but the police soon learn it wasn't the adulterous husband. The unhappy victim was about to contest the prenuptial agreement that would prevent her from gaining custody of their daughter. Her lawyer is accustomed to hiking his fees, and in return, getting favoritism from a particular judge in the circuit. But the dead woman doesn't fit his usual brand of clientele.



    This isn't one of the most unexpected cases in the series but does carry a particular poignancy in its final scene, when a somber-faced McCoy walks into the judge's office to announce the district attorney's intent to prosecute her. Her absolute hatred for a husband that stuck it to her in court and left her with a mountain of debts has made her bitter enough to sway in favor of the wife in most of her court trials, whether or not the children are better off with mom. It's this sense of horror that the audience takes home with them, the realization that, much like an actual divorce, it is the kids that pay the ultimate price.moreless
  • Detectives are called in to Harlem Riverside Park because a floating & badly decomposed corpse has been found .Upon further investigation, it turns out that the corpse is that of a married woman who disappeared on her way back from a neighborhood delimoreless

    9.4
    Although they say these stories are not "ripped from the headlines", this episode was clearly a play on the woman who went missing on the upside and was found where??... In the River! (They blamed it on the Mafia).Anyway,this was a good twist to "hypothetically" what could have happened. Although, it probably did....
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

Frank Bonsangue

Frank Bonsangue

Clerk

Guest Star

Kirsten Sans

Kirsten Sans

CSU Technician

Guest Star

Keith Byron Kirk

Keith Byron Kirk

Forensic Technician

Guest Star

Diane Tyler

Diane Tyler

Tamara Fein

Recurring Role

David Lipman

David Lipman

Judge Morris Torledsky

Recurring Role

Jason Kolotouros

Jason Kolotouros

Derek Greer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • According to the episode, in 2003, A judge in NYC (like Judge Alexander) earns a salary of $95,000 a year, and an Executive Assistant District Attorney (like Jack McCoy) earns less.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Detectives arrive to a dead body found in the river)
      Ed Green: Oooh, how long has she been in the water?
      Medical Examiner: A while.
      Lennie Briscoe: Can you narrow it down a little?
      Medical Examiner: I would if I could but...
      Lennie Briscoe: Anything obvious? A bullet hole? Stab wounds?
      Medical Examiner: Did I mention the eels?
      Ed Green: Oh, we get it, thanks. We'll be lucky if we get an I.D.
      Lennie Briscoe: If we were lucky, we wouldn't have caught this case.

    • Arthur Branch: (quoting) Even the wicked get worse than they deserve.

    • Arthur Branch: See what can you flush out of the alfalfa. (Serena gives him a strange look) What? You've never been quail-hunting with a bird dog?

    • Technician: Condition of the corpse?
      Ed Green: You ever seen a floater?
      Technician: I know it was gross, that's a given.

    • Lt. Anita Van Buren: Try the office, isn't that where most men screw around?
      Det. Ed Green: Why are you looking at us?
      Det. Lennie Briscoe: Hey Ed, as far as women are concerned all men are guilty until proven innocent.
      Det. Ed Green: That sounds like gender profiling.
      Lt. Anita Van Buren: No, fact of life. Men are dogs, so why don't you all go sniffing around his office and see who's in heat?

    • Lena Marchetti: I caught Gene fooling around with his personal assistant. He wanted to go to couples counseling. I said screw the shrink I'm not interested in working it out. I went straight to a lawyer.
      Lennie Briscoe: And how did that work out?
      Lena Marchetti: It was bloody, bastard fought me tooth and nail for the kids.
      Lennie Briscoe: I take it you won.
      Lena Marchetti: Boy did that chap his ass. Typical alpha male, can't stand to lose.
      Ed Green: How many kids?
      Lena Marchetti: Two boys, a freshman at Princeton and a ninth grader at Riverdale and they still hate his guts. He blames me. I tell him look in the mirror pal.
      Ed Green: Your ex remarried pretty quick.
      Lena Marchetti: Well he didn't have to go to a match maker. Who do you think he was fooling around with?
      Lennie Briscoe: Arrianna?
      Lena Marchetti: A leopard doesn't change its spots, I don't care what they say.

  • NOTES (2)

    • In 2004, New York lawyer Ravi Batra sued Dick Wolf and NBC TV for libel because the fictional Indian American lawyer Ravi Patel was too similar to him. He also alleged the episode caused emotional and professional damage to him. Dick Wolf and the NBC-TV team tried to get the cased dismissed back in 2008, but failed. As of 2009, the case was awaiting trial.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Justice Victor I. Barron case. Barron was a Brooklyn judge who took bribes to steer cases a certain way, though the episode also bears significant similarities to the case of New York Supreme Court Justice Gerald "Gerry" Garson, brought up on similar charges, and the episode has been specifically cited in ongoing defamation litigation involving the show's executive producer and NBC from an attorney, Ravi Batra, involved with Justice Garson. In the suit, Batra alleges that the character Ravi Patel is directly based on him.

    • Serena Southerlyn: Against Alexander he's Seattle Slew. Against any other judge he's just another nag.

      Seattle Slew is, to date, the only undefeated Triple Crown winner.

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