Law & Order

Season 20 Episode 1

Memo From The Dark Side

4
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 25, 2009 on NBC
AIRED:
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
65 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The body of a young war veteran is found in a parking garage and the murder is connected to a law professor who used to work for the Department of Justice.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Crossed The Line

    1.0
    For years we seen Law & Order and its spinoffs lean left with its bias but this episode really crossed the line. They wrote this episode and aired it when Obama is in office knowing very well he will endorse it.
  • Brave, great writing, great story, great acting!

    10
    I'm not sure how anyone could call this episode mediocre. I have seen season premieres of five other shows so far this week, and none have been as brave and timely as this. As a matter of fact, this show was head and shoulders above anything else being put out on any network or cable.



    I call this episode brave, because we live in a time where it is inappropriate to question our leadership when "national security" is "at stake". But I think this show brought to the fore two very important facts. One: torture is an ineffective means of defending our country. By torturing our prisoners, we are not only stooping to their level as terrorists, we are giving them ammunition against us. What better recruitment tool do those who oppose us have than our abhorrent behavior. Second: the fact that the powers that be state that national security is "at stake" should not be accepted blindly. They have used this as an excuse to invade, murder and otherwise deprive others of their basic human rights - basically, the government should not be allowed to hide behind national security whenever it suits them. They should be held to a higher standard - it's why we elected them.



    This show has never been afraid to take chances, and this episode was no different.



    That being said, not only was the storyline incredible, the acting was amazing. Linus Roache is a fine actor, and his portrayal of a very conflicted Michael Cutter really allowed him to shine. It not only established him as his own person (not the mini-Jack I think there is a danger of making him out to be), but it also set the tone for future conflict between him and Jack. It has often been said that there is no one to reign Jack in now that Schiff and Branch are gone. Well, I think that will end up being Michael's role. Moreover, the stage for an oedipal-like conflict between Michael and Jack - Jack being the father figure from whom Michael seeks approval while at the same time seeking to surpass him professionally and personally - has been set. I cannot wait to see how this plays out over the season.



    And need I say anything about Sam Waterston. He is sheer greatness - an Atticus Finch for a new generation - cursed with the role of doing the job that others are too afraid or too indifferent to do. How Waterston manages to channel his inner Atticus without fail never ceases to amaze me!



    This was an episode about the Order part of the series, and that's okay. Oftentimes, the show spends far more time on the investigative side, and it's nice to see the prosecutorial side dominate an episode every now and then. The show has been reinvented and revitalized! It is, without a doubt, the best show on television right now. Tonight's episode just reminds us why this show has seen 19 seasons! Hopefully we'll see a lot more!moreless
  • Left leaning Politics? On NBC? Really?

    1.0
    Seriously this episode was nothing more then a left wing nut jobs dream about what should be done with the Bush admin. How sad is this, as if we don't see enough politics on the news now we have to watch on our favorite shows. Something tells me Liberal democrats are trying to subliminally get their message across. This show as lost at least one semi-loyal viewer. Here's hoping for the downfall of this show this season. Whats next a young couple face jail time for an undercover video of a innocent left leaning organisation? Or will they go after a radio show host who has a opinion show on a certain news network?



    Have a nice day.moreless
  • One of Law and Order's finest hours. When a simple murder turns into a war on terror trial, Jack McCoy will keep on fighting.

    10
    This is one of the finest episodes Law and Order has yet to create, and one of the bravest. In an unexpected twist, Jack McCoy goes after members of the Bush administration for their war crimes. Beautifully written and acted this one landed the original Law and Order back on the map. In recent years, I had begun to find Law and Order SVU quite a bit better. But the original Law and Order has made a comeback. And what a comeback it is. Full of surprises, none bigger than Lieutenant Van Buren's announcement that she has cancer. After an incredible 20 year run, the show has still got it all.moreless
  • A 24-esque debate in New York City

    5.0
    Regardless of my political leanings--which are irrelevant to this review, and so I don't feel compelled to share them--this was not my favorite episode of the series. I like episodes not for how intense or pot-stirring they are but for how interesting and sympathetic the characters and the story turn out to be. This episode felt as though it was written to stir controversy more than it was to tell an interesting story . . . or at least that was its end result, as judged by the plethora of reviews on TV.com that score either a 1 or a 10. Polarizing much?



    That said, I don't think the episode is as left-leaning as many assume at first watch. Yes, Jack McCoy is way out in politically left field, but Cutter and Rubirosa represent the conscience of many Americans who aren't sure where they stand on the use of torturous interrogation tactics by Americans. The diversity of perspectives among the characters in the show is what has kept me watching for the last 20 years. Law and Order shows time and again that the law and ethics are not as clear cut as we would like them to be.moreless
S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita van Buren

Jeremy Sisto

Jeremy Sisto

Det. Cyrus Lupo

Anthony Anderson

Anthony Anderson

Det. Kevin Bernard

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

D.A. Jack McCoy

Alana De La Garza

Alana De La Garza

A.D.A. Connie Rubirosa

Linus Roache

Linus Roache

Exec. A.D.A. Michael Cutter

Creighton James

Creighton James

Greg Tanner

Guest Star

David Alan Basche

David Alan Basche

Kevin Franklin

Guest Star

Deborah Offner

Deborah Offner

Judge Rachel Cates

Guest Star

Ned Eisenberg

Ned Eisenberg

James Granick

Recurring Role

Tijuana Ricks

Tijuana Ricks

Sergeant Royce

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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