Law & Order

Season 15 Episode 14

Fluency

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 19, 2005 on NBC
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Fluency
AIRED:
Fontana and Green are baffled by a series of flu-related deaths until they discover that the victims were given fake vaccine. McCoy goes after the con man who distributed the vaccine for murder.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of my favorite cases.

    8.0
    The episode begins with Green & Fontana investigating the death of a young boy. At first, it all appears normal- the child was in poor health and officially died from influenza. But the Medical Examiner reveals that while the boy received a flu vaccine, his system contained no antibodies. There's only one answer to that- the vaccine used was counterfeit.



    Ed & Joe travel from doctor to hospital to pharmacy to find the fake vaccine, while fighting against a gradually rising body count due to overuse of the shots. After finding a counterfeit operation in a warehouse (and engaging in a brief shootout with the alleged perpetrator), the source of the fake vaccine is finally found.



    The trial phase of this episode introduces Jack McCoy's newest sidekick, ADA Alexandria Borgia. Actress Annie Parisse does a good job in this episode and overall is a fine addition to the cast. I'm quite fond of this episode- the story is compelling, the events aren't as blatant as some of the other "Ripped From The Headlines" cases, and the overall result is satisfactory.moreless
  • Season 15's highlight.

    10
    One of the best episodes. A strong story of the police chasing after a dealer of fake vaccinations offers several surprises. Everything is, however, believable.



    The police work leads to the use of deceit in which Dt. Fontana is pretending to be a buyer, this, however, turns into a shootout, a rare moment in Law and Order series. The prosecutor's work ends up in jeopardy when the judge excludes the vital evidence obtained on a wrong search warrant. A new Jack's second chair, A.D.A. Borgia is trying to undo her error and finds the defendant was not the owner of the store and thus could not have an expectation of privacy which didn't enable him to assert his 4th amendment right. The evidence is again in and Jack ensures the defendant is not only convicted but also gets the sentences running consecutively. A rare moment to see a sentence hearing.moreless
Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina

Det. Joe Fontana

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

Annie Parisse

Annie Parisse

ADA Alexandra Borgia

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson

DA Arthur Branch

Xander Berkeley

Xander Berkeley

Mr. Pollack

Guest Star

Scott Decker

Scott Decker

Mike Bass

Guest Star

Rob Sedgwick

Rob Sedgwick

Elliot Peters

Guest Star

Jordan Charney

Jordan Charney

Judge Donald Karan

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

M.E. Rodgers

Recurring Role

Karen Shallo

Karen Shallo

Judge Anna Shiro

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Fontana stats that Sklar killed sixteen people, but only moments later Borgia states that he had killed nineteen people.

    • Goof: The detectives narrow down their list of suspects for five men who purchased the list of drug representatives. The paperwork shows that all five men reside in New York City, but later Green says that as soon as they finish dealing with the suspects in New York they will deal with 'the two in Jersey', even though none of the addresses were in New Jersey.

    • Goof: When the detectives find the fake vaccines in the storage facility, the fake vaccines are clearly *not* refrigerated. Even fake vaccinations would need to be kept refrigerated, in order for them to appear real and usable.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Mr. Pollack: (whilst Peters is arraigned) 19 manslaughter counts? Your honor, my client is accused of selling sterile saline solution, a harmless substance.
      Alex Borgia: Hardly harmless if it's passed off as flu vaccine. Mr. Peters recklessly caused the death of these people by providing a useless vaccine to a marketplace driven by panic and hysteria.
      Mr. Pollack: The definition of recklessness is the conscious disregard of a substantial risk.
      Alex Borgia: The phony vaccines were sold to at-risk groups. The elderly, young children, people with chronic medical conditions. The victims didn't get the vaccinations they needed because they wrongly believed they were protected by Mr. Peters' worthless version. If I could charge him with 19 counts of murder, too, I would.
      Mr. Pollack: Your Honor, my client allegedly sold sterile saline solution to one party who sold it to another, who sold it to a third, who gave it to someone else who may or may not have gotten the flu. And if they did, may or may not have died from it.
      Alex Borgia: Gave it? It was injected into their bodies in lieu of the real vaccine, one that these individuals desperately needed. This "harmless" saline solution would be used by physicians who mistakenly thought they were protecting their patients from a life-threatening illness.
      Mr. Pollack: Your Honor?
      Judge Shiro: Save your breath, Mr. Pollack. I, too, regret that your client can't be charged with murder. No bail. Defendant is remanded.

    • Ed Green: You're under arrest!
      Elliot Peters: What for?
      Ed Green: For killing a whole bunch of people! I'd read you a list, but it's too damn long, you bastard!

    • (Mr. Sklar is refusing to talk on his lawyer's advice)
      Joe Fontana: You should always listen to your lawyer. He's the one facing sixteen counts of homicide. No, wait a minute, that's you!

    • Mike Bass: I've been buying counterfeit goods from this guy for years. Handbags, CDs, watches, you name it.
      Alex Borgia: Handbags aren't out killing people.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Jack McCoy questions Elliot Peters and in what he later describes as a "spur of the moment" line of questioning, he recounts the plot of the 1949 Orson Welles movie The Third Man. Harry Lime (Orson Welles' character) is a black marketeer who sells diluted penicillin in postwar Austria, which results in many deaths and medical complications. Lime is indifferent to the suffering he has caused; McCoy accuses Peters of having similar feelings.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the shortage of flu vaccine in the United States during the winter 2004-2005 flu season.

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