Law & Order

Season 14 Episode 4

Shrunk

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 22, 2003 on NBC
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Shrunk
AIRED:
The police and prosecutors investigate the connection between an award-winning songwriter and the young woman found murdered in his home to discover who would profit by her death at his hands.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "It's not over yet." We just don't get to see the rest of it!

    9.5
    It's not over yet.



    That's the sense the viewer gets when McCoy calmly pushes the elevator button, and sends the man responsible for another individual's psychotic break downstairs. The primary crime in "Shrunk" is one of an aspiring actress found murdered in the kitchen of a mentally unstable musician. Though the normal suspects and inquiries, the police affirm the musician is indeed responsible and send him to trial. His ambitious lawyer connives to have his confession excluded from evidence due to client privilege, under the insistence that he asked for Dr. Barrett, his psychiatrist, prior to the police interview. Interestingly enough, although McCoy loses that battle, the rest of the system works in his favor. Not one but two counselors are willing to dismiss patient-doctor privilege, and their testimonies are surprisingly poignant on the stand.



    Audiences are waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it does so in the midst of a cross-examination, when Barrett lets slip something about the victim, leading McCoy to suspect they knew one another. In a complicated and devilish twist, we learn the psychologist manipulated his patient into killing her, knowing that her aggressively dominant nature would trigger dormant feelings of hatred for the man's psychotic mother. Barrett did everything but place the knife in his hand, but his patient's faith in him as a doctor and friend is so strong that he would rather go to prison than incriminate him. Interestingly enough, the usual frustrations of such a conviction don't seem to trouble the prosecutor's office because, after all, it's far from over. A month, six months, a year, one day he will talk, and Dr. Barrett can live in anxiety-driven anticipation for the moment the police come knocking at his door.



    One of the shortest but most interesting scenes in the film comes from lunch between the prosecutors and court psychiatrist, Dr. Skota, in which a discussion on whether or not current society impedes the natural graces of men is held. It's an ironic twist to see Serena defend the modern man, to the slight amusement of her companions. Whether or not society has indeed influenced men to believe they need "help," or "modernization," the truth remains that it brings up some interesting points, and remains the primary lingering thought after the closing credits.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

Robert Foxworth

Robert Foxworth

Dr. Frederick Barrett

Guest Star

Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Lisa Cutler

Guest Star

Molly Regan

Molly Regan

Margot Dalton

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

J.K. Simmons

J.K. Simmons

Dr. Emil Skoda

Recurring Role

John E. Cariani

John E. Cariani

Julian Beck

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • John Myers: Frederick told me to sing whenever I was scared.
      Lennie Briscoe: Did he tell you to whistle when you stabbed naked girls?

    • John Myers: I have six Tonys, two Pulitzers, and a mom who killed my dad. Some resume, huh?

    • Dr. Frederick Barrett: I demand to see him!
      Anita van Buren: Until you have more stars on your collar than I do, doctor, you are not in a position to demand a damn thing!

    • Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Eight stab wounds to the abdomen makes me think the guy was making a statement.
      Ed Green: What? "Hi, I'm pissed off"?

    • (Skoda and Serena talking in McCoy's office about Myers.)
      Dr. Emil Skoda: Society is telling men they're in desperate need of remedy.
      A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn: I'm sorry? Are you saying this is one small stab for man and one giant slice for mankind? That's absurd.

    • (McCoy and Cutter talking about the case.)
      Jack McCoy: He was the only one in the house.
      Lisa Cutler: Not quite.
      Jack McCoy: Come on Lisa, you can't go with the break in theory. Myers' assistant already said that she staged it.
      Lisa Cutler: What is it you D.A.'s say? Just because Mark Fuhrman planted the glove doesn't make O.J. innocent.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Serena Southerlyn: Let me tell you a story about two wealthy brothers out in L.A. One of them told his psychiatrist he was thinking about killing his parents.

      Serena is referring to the case of Lyle and Erik Menendez. The Menendez brothers killed their parents to gain the family inheritance. Their first trial ended in a hung jury, but they were convicted after the second and sentenced to life without parole.

    • Lennie Briscoe: (hearing several people arguing) Could be Sybil in there by herself.
      Briscoe refers to the 1976 movie Sybil, in which the title character, played by Sally Field, developed multiple personalities after being abused as a child.

    • Serena Southerlyn: Are you saying this is "one small stab for man and one giant slice for mankind?"
      A rather gruesome alteration of the line, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," spoken by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong when he stepped onto the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.

    • Lisanne Solo: She didn't seem like Jennifer Jason Leigh in that movie, so I let her move in.
      Carrie's roommate is most likely referring to the movie Single White Female, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh moves in with Bridget Fonda; Leigh's character seems nice at first but she ends up being psychotic and dangerous.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Lana Clarkson case; the actress was allegedly murdered by legendary music producer Phil Spector in February 2003.

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