Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 19

Nowhere Man

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 31, 2004 on NBC
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Nowhere Man
AIRED:
The District Attorney's Office is set on its ear when the investigation into the death of an A.D.A. uncovers a scandal that could imperil hundreds of cases.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Intriguing idea, well played out

    9.5
    Loved this story. Full of intrigue with a true mystery at its heart. Scenes move as fast as the L&O has allowed and the over tone is filled with urgency as the secret of the ADA is torn apart piece by piece. What takes this episode to the next level are the implications of what Briscoe and Green discover in the opening gambit of the show. The baton is not merely passed on, but built upon in splendid fashion during the second half of the show by McCoy and Serena. With the possible effects that the investigation implies and the the added complication of McCoy being a personal friend of the victim, trepidation and anxiety flood the scenes of this story and make for some riveting viewing. The finale is worthwhile yet short, due to the great screenplay throughout. I mean how much bigger than indicting a mob boss can you get?!



    A great episode. A series classic here, if not in the same bracket for another show!moreless
  • A brilliant legal mind fools everyone, including McCoy.

    9.2
    Who was he?



    That remains the unanswered question at the conclusion of "Nowhere Man," an episode that focuses less on the police aspect of investigations and more on the legal profession. It's a nice departure from the norm and gives audiences the chance to connect more with the prosecutor's office and the subtler nuances that go into practicing law. It's good to be reminded that McCoy doesn't always work with the same people, that he has used other attorneys to second chair in the past. The murder of an assistant district attorney and close colleague of McCoy's sets the city on edge. With the mayor pressing for a conviction, the police discover there was more to the man than first appeared. His secretive lifestyle seems to conceal the fact that he wasn't who he said he was; that in fact he never attended law school, but breezed through on sheer instinct and intelligence.



    With all his former appeals and cases in the limbo, one nearly empty file opens up a den of injustice that leads the officials to a mob cover-up. It's not the mob case that really strikes the audience, but the perplexing question of who the victim really was. The man without a past, without family or friends, who spent most of his time at the office, and made an impression on everyone who worked with him. There are some stand out moments, such as the first time they learn the truth, and again midway through trial when McCoy makes the connection that will help land them a body to go with their conviction. It's not a standout among the series' history, but is certainly fascinating.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

Drucie McDaniel

Drucie McDaniel

Patricia Clark

Guest Star

Steve Beauchamp

Steve Beauchamp

Paul Kadish

Guest Star

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson

ESU Cop #1

Guest Star

Robert Hirschfeld

Robert Hirschfeld

Andrew Schrader

Recurring Role

Merri Ann Milwe

Merri Ann Milwe

Court Clerk

Recurring Role

Doug Stender

Doug Stender

Judge Joseph Flint

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Jack McCoy: Your clients did not bribe Tenofsky, they blackmailed him - with your help. They threatened to expose him, threatened to take away his identity, take away the life he had built for himself.
      William Wachtler: You want me to testify against these guys?
      Jack McCoy: Libretti, Biscotti and Tortomassi.
      William Wachtler: Only to go to witness protection.
      Jack McCoy: You'll testify and go to jail and if I'm in a good mood, I'll consider arranging segregation from the general population.

    • Ed Green: Frederico Libretti, you're under arrest for the murder of Robert Parenti.
      Frederico Libretti: Never heard of him.
      Ed Green: You should've, you killed him ten years ago.

    • Jack McCoy (after learning Tenofsky was an imposter): Who did I eulogize last night?

    • Jack McCoy: Tenofsky had Tortomassi dead to rights on Bobby Parentis's murder.
      Ed Green: Mm-hmm with Biscuits and Books as ammo, finger on the trigger and then nothing.
      Jack McCoy: Instead, Tenofsky turns down a promotion, transfers out of a high end trial division to appeals and buries himself in work.
      Lennie Briscoe: But only after "Mr. Never Throw Anything Away" cleaned out his case file.

    • ESU Cop: Biscuit is muscle and Books does a little of this a little of that. Old guy in the middle there is Tortomassi, their boss.
      Lennie Briscoe: I guess he never found out that ten years ago, those two were ready to testify against him.
      ESU Cop: I guess he didn't cause they're still here.

    • ESU Cop: Biscuit and Books -- sounds like something those two would do. Always more ambitious than smart.

    • Arthur Branch: In that case I would be delighted to ponder the psychological enigma that was Jacob Deiter. But I've gotta double-time it up to the appellate division.
      Serena Southerlyn: Midonas?
      Arthur Branch: Chief Judge Leonidas Midonas. I'd sooner 'fess up to cheatin' on my taxes as to hand him a shaggy-dog story like this.

    • Dan's Ex-Girlfriend: Just when it was about to get serious, for me anyway, he never calls again. But even when we were dating it was almost like Dan was MIA.
      Lennie Briscoe: The nowhere man.

    • Ed Green: Hey, when did you say Tenofsky attended Brooklyn Law?
      Lennie Briscoe: Ah, the diploma in his office said 1980.
      Ed Green: So that would have meant he would have been in Brooklyn from '77 on.
      Lennie Briscoe: Yeah, Brooklyn Law School is three years if you go days and three years if you go nights. I thought about it a while back.
      Ed Green: You'd have made a hell of a shyster.
      Lennie Briscoe: Bite your tongue.

    • Ed Green: I got phone records from 1990 -- in reverse chronological order.
      Lennie Briscoe: Only thing I have left from the '90s are a couple of wide ties.

    • Lennie Briscoe: The more we learn about Tenofsky, the less we know.

    • Ed Green: We should check his e-mail.
      Lennie Briscoe: What do you want to bet it's all spam?
      Ed Green: (Chuckles.) I'm impressed you know what that is.
      Lennie Briscoe: I used to think it was lunch meat.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Tenofsky had less of a personal life than my first wife.

    • Anita Van Buren: What did the M.E. have to say?
      Ed Green: The M.E. on the scene was a hair off sixteen puncture wounds.
      Lennie Briscoe: And a .38 caliber bullet.
      Anita Van Buren: They shot him too?
      Lennie Briscoe: First. Close up to the heart. Tenofsky was dead before he hit the ground.

    • Lennie Briscoe: I hear McCoy's on the war path.
      Anita Van Buren: Let's say the drums are beating loud and clear.

    • Cop: Detectives, dead guy's sportin' tin. He's not a civilian.
      Lennie Briscoe: A cop?
      Ed Green: Assistant District Attorney Daniel Tenofsky, New York County.
      Lennie Briscoe: I'll call the Lieutenant.
      Ed Green: He's with the Appeals Bureau.
      Lennie Briscoe: Looks like he lost his last argument.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Woman: (on her cell phone) I'm in the park, near that memorial thing for Lennon. No, not the Communist, the Beatle!
      Singer/songwriter and former Beatles guitarist John Lennon was shot to death in New York on December 8, 1980. The memorial to him in Central Park bears the word "Imagine", a reference to his legendary song. (The Communist with a similar-sounding last name is Vladimir Lenin).

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the murder of Baltimore Federal Prosecutor Jonathan P. Luna.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Yeah, Brooklyn Law School is three years if you go days and three years if you go nights. I thought about it a while back.
      Ed Green: You'd have made a hell of a shyster.
      Lennie Briscoe: Bite your tongue.
      An interesting bit of dialogue, given that Jerry Orbach (Briscoe) played a defense attorney in an early episode of Law & Order before he took the role of Briscoe.

    • The episode title refers to a 1965 song of the same title by The Beatles.

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