Law & Order

Season 4 Episode 19

Sanctuary

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 13, 1994 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
47 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A black minister fans the flames of racial intolerance after a hit-and-run in Harlem claims the life of a 12-year-old and the Jewish driver isn't indicted.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A classic episode with controversy and electricity, just the way Law & Order should be.

    10
    This was the first episode of Law & Order I ever watched, back 11 years ago. I have been hooked since that night. This episode wasn't only about who was right and who was wrong, it was all about how people FEEL.

    Mimicking the L.A. Riots of 1992, this episode is full of racial tensions. The minister in this episode mimicks Jesse Jackson by inciting more violence through the media.

    Some of the lines said by Ben Stone in this episode are the reason I became addicted to this series. The already listed "take a good look in the mirror" line was as good a line as I've ever heard on TV. Another great exchange follows:

    Ben: Better to light a match than to curse the darkness.

    Adam: Could light the fuse that blows up the city.

    Ben: Isaac Roberts killed an innocent man, you're going to let him walk?

    Adam: I'm willint to straddle the fence so the city can heal. Can you understand that?

    Ben: Yeah, I understand that. And that cure is worse than the disease. And it's a solution, that I just can't be a part of.moreless
Chris Noth

Chris Noth

Det. Mike Logan

Jerry Orbach

Jerry Orbach

Det. Lennie Briscoe

Jill Hennessy

Jill Hennessy

A.D.A. Claire Kincaid

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty

Exec. A.D.A. Ben Stone

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

D.A. Adam Schiff

Tony Todd

Tony Todd

Reverend Ott

Guest Star

Michael Constantine

Michael Constantine

Joshua Berger

Guest Star

Beatrice Winde

Beatrice Winde

Corina Roberts

Guest Star

Lorraine Toussaint

Lorraine Toussaint

Shambala Green

Recurring Role

Susan Blommaert

Susan Blommaert

Judge Rebecca Steinman

Recurring Role

John Fiore

John Fiore

Tony Profaci

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Anita Van Buren: (to Reverend Ott) Look Reverend, nobody, and I mean Man of God or garbage man, comes into my office and accuses my detectives of giving preferential treatment according to religious persuasion. Now I think you'd better leave.

    • Ben Stone: (About Shambala Green) Queen of the specious motion.

    • Ben Stone: Nobody's willing to draw a line in the sand! Nobody's willing to say that the law is the law and if you break it you will be prosecuted, win, lose or draw.
      Adam Schiff: Except you.
      Ben Stone: It's better to light a match than to curse the darkness.
      Adam Schiff: Even if it lights a fuse that could blow up the city?
      Ben Stone: What do you want, peace without justice?
      Adam Schiff: I'm trying to straddle a fence so that this city can heal. Can you understand that?
      Ben Stone: (quietly) Yep. I understand. (after a long pause) I understand that the cure is worse than the disease. (goes to the door) And that it's a solution I just can't be part of.

    • Lennie Briscoe: You know you have the right to a lawyer.
      Daryl Johnson: Yeah, right. How many years they go to school to learn how to say, 'Keep your mouth shut, Daryl'?

    • (Watching videotape of John DeSantis being attacked.)
      Lennie Briscoe: We don't care about the looting and busting up peoples' cars. That's not our department. We're Homicide.
      Daryl Johnson: So?
      Lennie Briscoe: So, your friend there is homicidin' somebody!

    • Adam Schiff: There's a reason for the Reverend Otts of this world.
      Ben Stone: To promote anti-Semitism?
      Adam Schiff: To remind us that we still have a long way to go.

    • Ben Stone: Shambala... Just once, I'd like to hear someone in this country stand up and say 'I did it. I'm the one responsible for my actions, not my television set, and not the color of my skin.' And if it makes you feel good to call me a racist, fine. But if you want to know who's really responsible for racism in today's society, take a good look in the mirror.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Lennie Briscoe: You know what gets me? Jesse Jackson talking about 'Hymietown' ... Farrakhan yelling about how the Jews are keeping his people down.
      Rev. Jackson referred to Jews as 'Hymies' and New York City as 'Hymietown' while he was running for President in 1984. He later apologized. Louis Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam. He is widely considered to be anti-Semitic and extremist because he has referred to Jews as 'bloodsuckers'.

    • Reverend Ott gives the young man accused of murder sanctuary in the Church. The idea of sanctuary is that a house of worship, as a sacred place, can house those who are being persecuted without that person fearing that they will be taken away because to take someone forcefully out of a Church would be considered a sacrilege. One of the most famous examples of sanctuary in history is in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where Quasimodo offers Esmerelda sanctuary in the Church after she has been accused of stabbing Phoebus. A judge later refers to Hugo's novel when he tells Shambala Green that her "client is not a hunchback ringing a bell in a Paris cathedral."

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Crown Heights Riot. Yosef Lifsh, a Jew, veered into the sidewalk, striking and killing a seven-year-old Guyanese boy named Gavin Cato and seriously injuring his cousin Angela, also seven years of age. Eyewitnesses have given various reports of the car's speed, from 25 miles per hour to 65. Lifsh left for Israel before ever facing charges. The black residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days.

    • Ben Stone: Don't blame me for killing them; they were horrible parents. And don't blame me for mutilating my husband in his sleep; he abused me.

      These are tongue-in-cheek references to the Menendez brothers and Lorena Bobbitt. In both cases, the killers/mutilators blamed their actions on the people they killed/maimed, basically saying that the victim made them do it.

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