Law & Order

Season 17 Episode 11

Remains of the Day

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 05, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After Michael Jones dies in his mother's hospital room with no immediate explanation, his mother Ashley accuses her former husband's adult children, Miles and Hillary Foster, who are fighting her for control of their father's substantial fortune. The autopsy rules out the Fosters, and points Green and Cassady in the direction of illegally harvested donor bones, which Jones had received in a transplant eighteen months prior. McCoy and Rubirosa struggle to prosecute the case after it becomes clear the only way they will get the evidence they need is to test another young man who received bone grafts from the same woman who had given Michael Jones his legs.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • By-the-numbers, uninspired, poor direction, rushed and tired

    Episodes lately in Law & Order (including Criminal Intent) are becoming more and more "by the numbers", without inspiration or quality directing. You know the actors are capable, you've seen them before doing just fine. Only the writers and directors can be blamed.

    The whole franchise is suffering from too much change in personnel (leading actors, writers, directors, editors), and is suffering as a result. Mr Wolf SHOULD PAY ATTENTION, or he'll lose more than "Trial by Jury".

    After Michael Jones dies in his mother's hospital room with no immediate explanation, his mother Ashley accuses her former husband's adult children, Miles and Hillary Foster, who are fighting her for control of their father's substantial fortune.moreless
  • Better than expected.

    When I heard the episode was going to be based on Anna Nicole's late son, I was cringing... but was pleasantly surprised when they went off in a less-predictable direction. Especially after we got away from Detective Cassady and her "Wha?" "Huh?" "How is that possible?" during the early investigation. The crimes were sick (graverobbing) and yet you could understand where "dr. vaughn" was coming from as he seemed to truly believe in helping the less fortunate. While you hate to see McCoy lose, who can't appreciate the realism of the DA's office not winning.. every... single case. All in all, it was entertaining and absorbing case and I'm sure I'll enjoy watching it on TNT in a couple of years.moreless
  • Got a score of 4 in my books

    i'm sick of watching episodes showing such evidence against a defendant and still not be able to get them locked up. he stole organs didn't do research of the people of where he got them, lied in court changed records gave two people cancer coz of opperations he didn't tell the boys of the Consequence, put people lives in danger. there was a strong case against him with all these evidence even a nurse testified against him and he still got away. What A Load Of Crap, i mean if there wasn't much evidence against the doctor then fair enough but this guy got away with murder. its still Manslaughter. if they thought that letting him get away with it all would make for good tv it didn't just made me hate it. they only thing i like about it was the way the case was coming together and the gathering of the evidence. this just like and episode of SVU "Srewed" got it wrong.moreless
  • Does the end justify the means?

    I\'m sure a lot of people would argue with me, but it seems that the best L&O episodes over the last seventeen years have been the ones in which some kind of moral quandary is present. This was just such an episode, since it played off logics and the emotions of the audience.

    Loosely based off the Anna Nicole Smith case, it doesn\'t take long for \"Remains of the Day\" to move into other, more familiar but just as striking territory. Cassidy and Green learn that what killed the young man was not poison, but cancer ... given to him through a bone transplant off a body from the local morgue. The perp in this case is a do-good charity-functioning doctor in midtown who provides inexpensive surgeries to those in need, little realizing that he has been giving people diseases without the authorization to harvest the bone tissue.

    McCoy has something of an uphill fight, because inevitably it becomes a case of good intentions vs. a tragic outcome. I was not surprised at the ending, since it was fairly clear that in cases like this, good intentions can sway the belief of the jury enough to let someone off the hook. Even I was conflicted, because as much good as he attempted to do, it was also apparent that he had ruined lives, and unintentionally killed people. In the end, that\'s what the jury forgot -- the young man who wanted to be a basketball star, who may never play again, or even live into his twenties.

    Does the end justify the means? No, but it\'s not human nature to always feel that way.moreless
  • Anna Nicole Smith story chracter

    Again as they always do another ripped from the headlines

    Type episode as a young teen dies, his mother blames

    The adult children of her now former husband who want their father's fortune but they are cleared of any wrongdoing. As evidence poiints to the doctors who gave Michael a heart transpalnat a year and a half ago. Great show as I thought that it would be trashy but it was really a good show.moreless
Mariel Hemingway

Mariel Hemingway

Ashley Jones

Guest Star

Amina Robinson

Amina Robinson

Nurse Valerie Miller

Guest Star

Trish McCall

Trish McCall

Tanya Carter

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Michael Boatman

Michael Boatman

Dave Seaver

Recurring Role

Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz

Judge Janice Goldberg

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: This young man died of ovarian cancer.

    • Dr. Adam Vaughn: In a perfect world, maybe I'm guilty, but I practice medicine in the real world.
      Jack McCoy: Where you are also bound by laws.

    • Dave Seaver: This is a malpractice case.
      Jack McCoy: This is a public health crisis!

    • Arthur Branch: Even the noblest crusaders aren't beyond a little hypocrisy, and it usually involves money.

    • Ed Green: That body was cremated, which means you could take anything you wanted and no one would know the parents didn't give consent.

    • Dr. George Amiri: If you can't pay, you get the blue-light special. In this case, double amputation.
      Nina Cassady: You gotta be kidding me!
      Dr. George Amiri: Hey, blame the bean counters. We don't take any pleasure cutting off someone's legs.

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: The bones should have been screened and sterilized. No way this came from a legitimate tissue bank.
      Ed Green: Are we talking about black market body parts?

    • Dr. Adam Vaughn: Michael Jones expected me to save his legs, and I did!
      Jack McCoy: You saved his legs, you lost the patient!

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: You're looking at first-class surgery with third-rate donor material.

    • Connie Rubirosa: Do you really think we're gonna get a subpoena for medical records?
      Jack McCoy: Half the judges on the roster have had hip replacements. Given the issue, I don't think we'll have a problem.

    • Ed Green: (about Ashley Jones' history) How does her son figure in all this?
      Frank Simon: He didn't. She shipped him off when he was a kid to live with relatives upstate.
      Ed Green: Any idea why he came back?
      Frank Simon: Let's just say the tire doesn't roll far from the mobile home.
      Nina Cassady: Money.
      Frank Simon: She's been working men since the age of consent. Her own son shows up, starts working her. Call it karma.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Alongside the Anna Nicole Smith elements, this story also features elements ripped from the headlines of the Michael Mastromarino/Biomedical Tissue Services body part theft scandal. The crimes involved payoffs to funeral homes and forgery of family consent/organ donor documents to obtain various types of cadaver materials, distribution of body parts without screening them for diseases or infections, grave robbing, even replacing stolen bone tissue with PVC pipe. At least three recipients of stolen tissues have suffered complications that could be attributed to Mastromarino's wrongdoing. Mastromarino and three BTS employees were convicted of wrongdoing, with Mastromarino ultimately sentenced to between 18 to 54 years in 2008.

    • The arraignment judge refers to Dr. Vaughn as "Dr. Frankenstein." Victor Frankenstein was the famous mad scientist in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (subtitled The Modern Prometheus).

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the death of Daniel Smith. Daniel, son of former Playboy model, actress and TrimSpa spokeswoman Anna Nicole Smith, favorite fodder for the tabloids since the early 1990s, was found dead in his mother's hotel room only hours after she had given birth to her second child (later named Dannielynn Hope). The ultimate cause of death was ruled to be a lethal combination of the drugs methadone, Zoloft and Lexapro. Sister show Law & Order: Criminal Intent would revisit Anna Nicole and Daniel five months later in the episode "Bombshell".