Law & Order

Season 20 Episode 2

Just A Girl In The World

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 02, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
46 votes
  • Very Creative

    What an episode. The suspect was a master manipulator with no shortage of ways to work the system. Unlike the season opener which highlighted the DA's office... this episode was all about the Law and gave us some rare insights into the personal lives of our detectives- Lupo looking for love in all the wrong places, Bernard losing his cool, and the Lieutenant struggling to maintain her professional life while coping with some painful personal issues- S. Epetha Merkerson should get another emmy nom.

    Unlike other shows which become 'soap operatic'- L&O is using dignity and discretion in its exploration of the touchy issues of cancer and infidelity. Good villain, good character development- memorable episode.
  • Law & Order's writing team is stepping up their game, and boy does it pay off.

    With the departure of Jesse L. Martin's Detective Ed Green in Season 18, I had great concerns for L&O, one of my favorite police procedurals on television. While I was cheered by Waterston's Jack McCoy into the DA's seat, my fears largely came to fruition when Season 19 was plagued by mostly boring, rehashed cases and, while allowing Waterston and Linus Roache to shine, squandered the talents of the extraordinary Jeremy Sisto, and glossed over Anthony Andersen, making the both of them look like nothing more than a couple of regurgitated detectives.

    This all came to a head when the venerable series was nearly canceled by NBC, and managed to make it into a 20th Season by the skin of its teeth. And I'm sure glad they did.

    Last night's episode, the second of Season 20, entitled, "Just A Girl In The World," is one of the best standalone Law & Order episodes that I've ever seen. For years, L&O has left the personal lives and struggles of its characters well enough alone, save for isolated episodes where said characters' lives become inextricably linked with the crime that is central to that particular installment. In a surprising turn, we were gifted with a wrenching scene from S. Epatha Merkerson as the cancer-stricken Lt. Anita Van Buren. It pains me to think how much we've been missing out over the years, as in the past she was continually glossed over as the usually one-dimensional police counterpoint to whoever was playing the DA at the time.

    In addition, we were given a great performance by Sisto, and I was joyed to finally delve more deeply into his character, and learn things about his experiences overseas, see his sensitivity, and start to understand what's going on inside his head just a bit more. It's the first time I was able to see him as more than just another L&O detective. The same goes for Anthony Andersen, who shined in a brief but superb scene with Sisto, where he voiced his concerns over Sisto's character Lupo's inappropriate relationship with then-witness Emma. For the first time, I understood that Andersen's Detective Bernard could be the kind of guy with his eye on the top brass, some day down the line.

    While the episode did spend an unusually long amount of time on the investigation versus the trial, I couldn't say that I minded. This was because the investigation was interesting, dark, and full of tension, which is something I can't say for most episodes of late. And nonetheless, even the abbreviated trial was sensational enough, with Roache's ADA Cutter managing to pull yet another of his classic turnabouts by the end, with spectacular results.

    I won't spoil the specifics of the episode, but all-in-all it was one of the best I've ever seen, and I've seen a hell of a lot of L&O, from the Noth and Moriarty days, through Bratt, Orbach, Martin, to the present. If you like Law & Order, you've got to catch this one.
  • Girl goes crazy.

    This may be Law and Order's last year, so the writers are going to throw everything out there. Last year we had Michael Cutter going all left-wing nutjob on the government and this week we have Cyrus Lupo actually compromising his position in the law force to get information. This was SO NOT Law and Order as these are supposed to be honorable people, but at least it led to some intense court room scenarios.

    The show is okay, and it has actually been a little bit better than it was last year, but it is still not like the old days.