Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 17

Hands Free

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 03, 2004 on NBC
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
43 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Hands Free
AIRED:
When McCoy fails to win a murder conviction against an eccentric cross dressing millionaire for the death of his neighbor, he redoubles the effort to convict the man for murdering his second wife years earlier by demonstrating that he murdered a witness to the crime.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Third time's the charm.

    9.6
    Three bodies for the price of one. That's the ultimate conclusion the episode draws, in an emotionally satisfying case in which the defendant thinks he's gotten away with murder on an acquittal for carving up his neighbor (and lover) only to be facing further charges on a case Adam Schiff was never able to prosecute. An eccentric, wealthy transvestite accustomed to manipulating the system becomes the target of a police investigation that digs up old dirt on the disappearance of the defendant's wife some ten years earlier. Never mind the body parts in the trash from his second victim. Never mind that he was last seen in the guise of a woman who was also present at the death of his alibi witness. All the audience really cares about is seeing him pay for his crimes, and the episode delivers.



    There are numerous subtle nuances that cause the episode to stand out. The enthusiasm for which the prosecution makes their case. The subtler ironies in the conviction. The court trial in which the defendant complains the police are out to get him, and McCoy quips, on the record, "With three dead bodies, can you blame them?" He looks as though he's having fun and the audience is enjoying it right along with him. Who wouldn't, seeing him take the wind out of the sails of the defendant's three highly-paid defense attorneys, or seeing him circumvent the judge's earlier ruling that other crimes are not to be admissible? It's one of McCoy's stronger cases, an instance in which he started out with nothing and somehow, miraculously, winds up with a guilty conviction. Good stuff.moreless
  • Outrageous yet superior

    9.1
    Loved this story. Full of wacky incidents which given the seriousness of the show provide some well fitting humour. I founc the plot to be conceptually fresh though its essentially a prove a crime took place without the body. Its the circumstances behind the event that prove to take this episode to the dizzy heights of 9+. The fresh compliation of these and the setting provided, together with the makeup of the perp really work well and though there is a lack of urgency in that no one else is in danger, the subjectmatter is enough to keep you rooted to the screenplay.

    Dialogue is also above average, witty, quick and relevant, from the first to the last act. From the first act and the gruesome discovery, through the middle act of unraveling the true and the final act where the culprit faces justice, its hard not to be entertained by the unfolding events.moreless
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

Henry Stram

Henry Stram

Eli Madison

Guest Star

Lee Sellars

Lee Sellars

Dr. John Faruzzi

Guest Star

Ronnie Farer

Ronnie Farer

Diane Wharsey

Guest Star

Dennis Boutsikaris

Dennis Boutsikaris

Al Archer

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Peter McRobbie

Peter McRobbie

Judge Walter Bradley

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Lennie Briscoe: Cause of death?
      Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: No head, no heart, no way to tell.

    • Arthur Branch: A homicide conviction without a body. That's the prosecutor's quadruple jump.
      Jack McCoy: I'm not gloating.
      Arthur Branch: Ah, go ahead. You're entitled. I guess justice isn't always for sale.
      Jack McCoy: Not today anyway.

    • Arthur Branch: He's got Al Archer, who'll blow a lot of expensive smoke up the jury's skirts.
      Jack McCoy: We can handle Archer and his legions of experts Arthur.
      Arthur Branch: He also churns more documents then the Land O' Lakes girl churns butter.

    • Studio Lady: You're in luck. Jen's been here all day. She's on a creative jag.
      Lennie Briscoe: I used to have those. Only I called them benders.

    • Lennie Briscoe: You carry Runner's Digest?
      Store Clerk: Magazines are in the back by the pet food. How'd you know?
      Ed Green: How'd he know what?
      Store Clerk: Roger bought a copy of Runner's Digest.
      Ed Green: Did you remember that 'cause Roger's got bum knees?
      Store Clerk: I remember that 'cause Roger never bought anything but skin magazines.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Roger have a last name?
      Store Clerk: Obnoxious. Like it's my fault the price of coffee went up.

    • Ed Green: Do you know where we can find him?
      Store Clerk: Sure. He lives in the nabe. Ay, in here all the time. He's like dandruff. You can't get rid of him.

    • Grocer: Tell ya what -- more than once I thought about crackin' that numbskull over the head with that friggin' cane of his. What a pain in the culo. Guy gets one bad apple, tells me I should give him a dozen free.
      Ed Green: Hey, do you know his name?
      Grocer: He's a customer, not a bowling buddy. Why, did something happen to him?
      Lennie Briscoe: What makes you say that?
      Grocer: Wishful thinking.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Here we have the contents of the garbage from 6th street where the first hand was found. That's from the 4th street dumpster, the 5th street garbage and this garbage came from St. Marks place and 2nd avenue.
      Ed Green: And?
      Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: The people from St. Marks place eat too much Thai take-out.

    • Policeman: We did however find a hand.
      Lennie Briscoe: Just one? They usually come in pairs.

    • Mother: How many times have I told you, put it where you can find it. What are pockets for?
      Kid: I'm not sure if I had it with me.
      Mom: Oh, you had it.
      Kid: Mom, it stinks in here.
      Mom: Of course, it stinks. It's garbage.

    • Lennie Briscoe: I don't think a guy with bad knees, who complains about the price of coffee, is gonna be looking at $300.00 running shoes.
      Ed Green: Not the shoes, the dude in the shoes.
      Lennie Briscoe: Now you're telling me he's got a crush on this guy? What about the girlie magazines?
      Ed Green: Maybe he swings both ways.
      Lennie Briscoe: Great. So now we're looking for a bisexual, 50-year-old pain in the ass who walks with a limp, carries a cane and whistles Dixie as he walks down the highway.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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