Law & Order

Season 1 Episode 5

Happily Ever After

3
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 23, 1990 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When a millionaire is gunned down in a parking garage and his wife ends up in the hospital, Greevey and Logan initially suspect a crackhead who had been doing drugs in the stairwell, but after realizing that the crime doesn't fit the pattern of a robbery, Greevey and Logan have a hunch that a different motive may be involved. The widow's story seems a little too rehearsed, leading detectives to uncover a bizarre romantic relationship between the widow and the couple's former business manager.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Without a doubt, this is still one of my favorite episodes of this series. Nothing is as you expect, even when it seems all too easy.

    10
    Two people return from a party. Both are shot. One dies. The other does not. A suspect is uncovered, caught, and booked.



    End of story? Not a chance.



    For starters, it's too easy. Even I wasn't convinced when the "victim" (I'll explain the quotes in a bit) consistently got the story of events the same every time. As Greevey mentions, "There are cops I know involved in shooting cases that can't remember their badge numbers afterward. Her husband gets shot, she gets shot, victim of a horrible crime, and she remembers every second." Now, there's photographic memory, and then there's reahersal.



    Second, the supposed "assailant" does have his story straight--and consistent--every time he's asked to tell it. Sure, he was there, but he didn't shoot anyone--and never has.

    Plus, there's that pesky lightbulb with the victimized couple's business manager's prints all over it....



    All in all, this led up to a not-often used but still intreguing formula for the series---the case that becomes more interesting after it appears to be solved. After all, if the supposed "assailant" didn't kill one person and shoot another, who did? And why?



    As the story unfolds, lie after lie is uncovered and the seemingly traumatized wife and helpful business manager suddenly aren't so traumatized and helpful anymore....because they went from background players to prime suspects.



    What really stood out is the prosecution's tenacity in getting one of the two suspects to 'fess up to what the circumstancial evidence already told them---that the manager shot them at the wife's behest to collect millions in life insurance. Especially of note is when manslaughter one was auctioned off, and the least likely of the two finally bought it.



    The one to watch in this episode is the wife. She goes from sympathetic shooting victim to adulterous hussy to cold and collected murderer easier that we can read this review. The expression on her face when the jury delivers its verdict is one for the books.



    The moral? Money and love are incompatible. As Robinette points out, this case, short of a mob killing, "is the most dispassionate murder I ever heard of." Stone puts it more simply: "True love. (The suspects)'d sell each other for a nickel."







    moreless
Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

Dann Florek

Dann Florek

Capt. Don Cragen

George Dzundza

George Dzundza

Det. Sgt. Max Greevey

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Exec. A.D.A. Ben Stone

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks

A.D.A. Paul Robinette

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

D.A. Adam Schiff

Roxanne Hart

Roxanne Hart

Janet Ralston

Guest Star

Bob Gunton

Bob Gunton

Gil Himes

Guest Star

Kelly Neal

Kelly Neal

Willie Tivnan

Guest Star

Philip Bosco

Philip Bosco

Gordon Schell

Recurring Role

Doris Belack

Doris Belack

Judge Margaret Barry

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Max Greevey: I hate horseback riding. Scares the hell out of me.
      Mike Logan: Scary for the horse, too.

    • (Referring to the murder weapon.)
      Max Greevey: ... and guess who it was registered to?
      Ben Stone: Himes, Gilbert?
      Mike Logan: Nope. And not to Ralston, Janet, either.
      Ben Stone: (surprised) Ralston, Alan? (leans his head in his hands) Great. He was killed with his own gun.

    • Max Greevey: That's amazing. I know cops who been in shooting cases that can't remember their badge numbers afterwards. (Referring to the suspect.) Her husband gets shot, she gets shot, victim of a horrible crime, she remembers every second.

    • Ben Stone: True love. They'd sell each other out for a nickel.

    • Ben Stone: I thought you didn't believe in evil.
      Adam Schiff: That's before I met Janet Ralston.
      Ben Stone: Either she's evil, or she's two years old. She wants what she wants when she wants it.

    • Janet Ralston: You don't scare me, Mr. Stone.
      Ben Stone: Oh, yes, I do, Mrs. Ralston. I scare you a great deal. And I should.

    • Gordon Schell: It's a crime of passion, Stone. Pure and simple.
      Ben Stone: A crime of passion is never pure, and it's certainly not simple.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Chuck Stuart case. In 1989, Chuck Stuart and his pregnant wife Carol were both shot. Carol Stuart died after her son, Christopher Stewart, was delivered two months early by caesarean section. The infant suffered seizures due to oxygen deprivation and died 17 days later after his father authorized discontinuing life support. The police suspected Willie Bennett (which led to inflamed racial hatried in Boston), but the case fell apart when Charles committed suicide less than three months after the murder on January 4, 1990 by jumping from the Tobin Bridge. His younger, Matthew, brother was able to clear Bennett by making a confession of his own that identified Charles Stuart as the killer.

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