Law & Order

Season 16 Episode 18

Thinking Makes It So

1
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 29, 2006 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
56 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Fontana and Green investigate when a bank manager is involved in the robbing of his own bank and learn that his daughter is being held hostage and that he had to go along with the robbery or risk losing his daughter. One man is killed in the robbery, but the two detectives track down his accomplice and, while alone with Mitchell Lowell, Fontana uses extreme force to get the answers he needs, prompting Lowell's lawyer to claim that all the information Fontana obtained is fruit of the poison tree. McCoy works to fight the claim of police brutality while also trying to find a way to get around Fontana's actions.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Didn't like this episode

    1.0
    Because most of the characters obviousley didn't thought that torture was a big deal. Not sure if I want to look at this show again because of that.
  • When is torture justified?

    9.8
    When is torture justified?



    That's what is debated numerous times in this hard-hitting episode. In an era when our sense of justice is so demanding, when our moral values are so challenged, the issue of police and authority brutality has become an issue. How much do you torture insurgents to get them to talk? Dick Wolf and his writing team have taken a controversial topic that no one has all the answers to, and made an impacting hour of television out of it. A man kidnaps a child in order to use her life to blackmail her father into assisting him in robbing a bank. When Fontana finds the perpetrator, he uses excessive force (dunking the man's head in a toilet) in order to extract the girl's whereabouts, which then leaves the defense spinning their moral and ethical wheels over the issue of whether or not this evidence should be allowed in the courtroom. For once the judge is on the prosecution's side, and the attorney from the defense, Randy Dworkin, secretly agrees with McCoy -- that this scum should rot in prison the rest of his life.



    Dworkin is one of those attorneys I wish we could see more of, but his rare appearances ("Chosen," "Bounty") make him all the more likable when he does pop his balding head into the courtroom. He's known for making outrageous defenses and literally driving McCoy out of his mind with frustration and incredulous disbelief. I really love the actors' chemistry, the kind that makes you realize that they detest one another in and out of the courtroom, and having them meet on middle ground with a mutual agreement in this episode makes it all the more dynamic. But the issue they're debating is one that every family in the country has discussed over the dinner table at some point -- where do the moral, the ethical, the good guys, draw the line? Do we dunk heads in toilets? Do we use electrocution to enlist cooperation from terrorist suspects? Even if it's universally agreed that the bad guys deserve to suffer, and sometimes must in the interest of humanity, where does it end?



    It was a very courageous episode, that leaves viewers a lot to chew on.moreless
  • Can we throw out the Constitution?

    9.9
    Can we throw out the Constitution?

    That is the crux of this episode. When is it ok to ignore the right of the defendant? Is it ok to dunk someone's head in a toilet and hold a gun against their forehead when another person's life is in danger?

    The human side of me wants to say, "Yeah! Shoot 'em in the butt for all I care! As long as that girl's home safe, it's all good. Anything goes." The legal side of me says that there is a Constitution that is supposed to protect "innocent" people from being forced to confess before they have been found guilty in a court of law.

    On the one hand, I agree with what McCoy said. The Constitution should be a sword for innocent victims. If a person's life is saved by a forced confession, then so be it. On the other hand, I agree with Alex. We have a Constitution that is the "supreme law of the land," above any other law. We are supposed to follow it. If we throw out parts of it, the whole thing fails, and the democratic republic we live in will implode.

    So, was Fontana right in using heavy-handed methods to extract a confession? I don't know. But that is what's truly great about this episode. It leaves the viewer thinking to himself/herself, "What would I do if I was in that situation?" And it leaves the viewer forced to work it out for himself/herself.moreless
  • This season is completely making up for the past few.

    8.0
    Once again, Law and Order manages to take a case that is familiar and make it intense. In this episode, McCoy, Fontana, Assistant DA Borgia, and eccentric attorney Dworkin fight amongst themselves, all of them seeking justice- both for the innocent and the guilty.

    One thing I really admire about Law and Order is that it never delves into the character's social lives, instead it creates just as much excitement by focusing on them tackling cases that affect them as professionals and ultimately as people. I mean, afterall, we all have problems and it's comforting to know that when I tune in to L & O that I am going to see Jack McCoy battling for justice (and struggling to follow the rules and be a better man than the people he prosecutes) and not watching Sam Waterston iron his socks or argue with his character's exwife.moreless
  • Fontana rocks!

    9.6
    I think that Fontana rocks indeed

    Sure that he may have gotten out of line

    But loved it when he dunked the guy's head in the comode now wouldn't you?

    And McCoy argued to him about the constitution

    For once the judge agrees with the prosecution

    Glad that happened and also glad that the defense attorney agreed with McCoy

    Not a big fan of lawyers at all

    But at least McCoy is showing a more human side of him

    That is what I love about him being a prosecutor

    He is indeed humanmoreless
Annie Parisse

Annie Parisse

ADA Alexandra Borgia

Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina

Det. Joe Fontana

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson

DA Arthur Branch

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

S. Epatha Merkerson

S. Epatha Merkerson

Lt. Anita Van Buren

Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston

Exec. ADA Jack McCoy

Peter Jacobson

Peter Jacobson

Randolph Dworkin

Guest Star

Michael Countryman

Michael Countryman

Howard Grant

Guest Star

Stephen Schnetzer

Stephen Schnetzer

Mitchell Lowell

Guest Star

Peter McRobbie

Peter McRobbie

Judge Walter Bradley

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Catherine Wolf

Catherine Wolf

Judge Mildred Kurtzman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Cultural error. The French manager at the restaurant refers to Cyrus as "un garçon--a waiter." However, French people consider waiters to be professional employees, and addressing one as anything other than "monsieur" would be considered offensive.

    • The cartoon Julie is watching when Fontana finds her is "I Wanna Be A Sailor", a 1937 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Tex Avery. In the cartoon, a young parrot (voiced by Billy Bletcher) wants to go to sea over his mother's objections. When he runs away, he finds that a sailor's life is more than he was ready for.

    • Goof: According to the title card, the suspect's possible hideouts were in Sag Harbor and Westport, and that Westport was in New York. While there is a town with that name in New York state, it is 279 miles north of New York City. They probably meant to say Westport, Connecticut (which is only 52 miles from the city).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Jack McCoy: (during closing arguments) In Randolph Dworkin's vacuum world, a rapist should be viewed the same as a man who made love to his wife, after all, they both performed the same act.

    • Jack McCoy: So you're telling me to go ahead and use the evidence most judges would have tossed.
      Arthur Branch: I'm telling you to make a deal with the S.O.B.

    • Jack McCoy: I think the Constitution should be used less as a shield for the guilty and more as a sword for their innocent victims.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Title: "Thinking Makes It So"
      This is from Shakespeare's play Hamlet Act 2, Scene II, in which Prince Hamlet says, "Why, then, 'tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

    • (Speaking to the arraignment judge.)
      Randolph Dworkin: Someday you may be sitting in a Senate hearing room across from Messrs. Kennedy, Biden, and Leahy.
      He was referring to Senators Edward (Ted) Kennedy, Joseph Biden and Patrick Leahy, who at the time of broadcast were all members of the 109th Congress Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • Joe Fontana: Bonnie's got no I.D. How we doing on Clyde?

      Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were a notorious pair of robbers/murderers in the 1930s.

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