Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 12

Payback

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 14, 2004 on NBC
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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Payback
AIRED:
The investigation into the murder of a former bookie turned mob informant reveals a disturbing new wrinkle in organized crime involving legitimate businessmen moonlighting as contract hitmen in a battle for mob leadership, and ends with a Federal ploy to nullify the plea bargain in the case, leaving McCoy seething and two more people dead.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Fred and McCoy at loggerheads

    9.1
    One of the better examples of this show. The conflict between in the DAs office is one of the highlights. McCoy and Dalton need to argue more than previously to up the stakes and boost the conflict. This includes Serena. Its one aspect that is handled better in this episode but could still be increased a notch. Having the DAs at loggerheads over some aspect of law would take this show to a 9+.



    Here however, the MOB subject matter provides a lot of action and immersion as we discover an unlikely candidate for hitman of the year, done so in excellent fashion by Green and Briscoe. Furthermore, the plot dynamic between this particular mob crew setups up the whole series of incidents rather nicely. Dialogue is a little bland compared to alot of other shows I watch, but does the job well - keeping the viewer listening to the expanding storyline.



    The "mental deficient" ex-con mob boss brings an added pinch of hilarity to proceedings.



    This show had gone down quite a bit in my view, but episodes like this take it back up to regular watching.



    Dont miss this one!moreless
  • Jack vs Arthur!

    9.3
    Really you can tell why McCoy hates the feds

    Getting involved as they ended up getting two people killed as McCoy was forced to drop the murder charge against the mob, only to leave the DA's office, in particular Jack, out to dry. And that they were forced to drop the murder charge against the murderers. So that the feds can abuse their own case and in the end, it cost two people their lives. Usually I am a big Branch fan but not in this episode. Where I was rooting for Jack as the gloves came off between the two of them!moreless
  • Mob hits put Arthur Branch and Jack McCoy at one another's throats.

    9.2
    "We glorify these people, make movies about them, and they're really just cold-blooded murderers."



    That's what Arthur Branch says at the conclusion of this hard-hitting episode that involves one of the show's more humorously memorable interrogations, and a chilling conclusion. Two bodies turn up linked to the same real estate agent. Both of them were shot at point-blank range with a similar weapon, and each have a small brand on their neck. Mafia hit men are accustomed to marking their victims, so the underground knows who made the hit. With the assistance of a federal investigator deep undercover in the Righetti family, the prosecution starts building a reasonable case not only against the real estate hit man, but the head of the Righetti family as well. The former mob boss, who spent ten years behind bars, is nuttier than the proverbial fruitcake. Or so the department believes; privately, he's just as keen-witted and shrewd as he ever was.



    The case is personal on one level, because the first victim is the husband of a prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office, one of McCoy's oldest friends. This leads to a lot of friction in the department when they are forced to play hardball with the federal courts. McCoy can nail the shooter and get him to testify against Righetti, but doing that would impede a federal investigation meant to take down the entire mob family. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the episode is the emotional half, in which McCoy allows personal judgment to impede his judicial intentions, and engages in a shouting match with Arthur Branch after he is publicly humiliated in front of a US attorney. In the end, it doesn't feel like justice was reached -- and that's what the script intended. Our mixed feelings conclude rather like McCoy's, speculating on the horrible irony of the situation, and wondering what the best solution really would have been.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

T. Scott Cunningham

T. Scott Cunningham

Cary Stillman

Guest Star

Matthew Del Negro

Matthew Del Negro

Vinny

Guest Star

Joseph Ragno

Joseph Ragno

Federico Righetti

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Ben Shenkman

Ben Shenkman

Nick Margolis

Recurring Role

Dan Ziskie

Dan Ziskie

Joshua Kramer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (Federico Righetti is in the shower fully dressed, holding an umbrella over his head)
      Lennie Briscoe: He looks right as rain to me.

    • Lennie Briscoe: Anything else strike you?
      Uniform Officer Russell: Same M.O. as yours. Two to the head, 380, no witnesses and takes time to pick up his brass. There was one other thing; we kept it out of the papers.
      Ed Green: What was that?
      Uniform Officer Russell: Weird, on the victim's neck right here. (Points behind his right ear.)
      Lennie Briscoe: Let me guess -- a crescent moon branded right into his skin.

    • Alvin Roberts: Jerry was part of a crew who knocked over a showroom in the fur district. Beat up a security guard. We collared him with a Cadillac full of mink.
      Ed Green: You cut a deal?
      Alvin Roberts: He was gonna be a stand up guy, do the whole dime. Tough it out. Then he found himself in gen pop in Sing Sing.
      Ed Green: Changed his mind in a hurry.
      Alvin Roberts: Wouldn't you? No more showering with the fellas.
      Lennie Briscoe: So who'd he rat out?
      Alvin Roberts: Federico Righetti.
      Lennie Briscoe: (Whistles.) He's a crime boss for the Masucci family.

    • Lennie Briscoe: This one's a hit.
      Ed Green: Yeah, it's got all the ear marks.
      Elizabeth Rodgers: Speaking of marks, see the one behind his right ear?
      Lennie Briscoe: Crescent moon. Looks like a burn.
      Elizabeth Rodgers: It's a brand.
      Ed Green: Somebody branded him? Like with a hot piece of metal?
      Elizabeth Rodgers: Postmortem.
      Ed Green: He is a pro, that's how he signs his work. Like a calling card or something.
      Lennie Briscoe: Have gun, will travel.

    • Lennie Briscoe: You know, the guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy should have a talk with you.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

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