Law & Order

Season 10 Episode 24

Vaya Con Dios

2
Aired Monday 10:00 PM May 24, 2000 on NBC
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
37 votes
4

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Episode Summary

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Vaya Con Dios
AIRED:
The death of an elderly man trying to find who was responsible for the torture killing of his son in 1973 Chile leads to a high-level foreign colonel who is now in a Manhattan hospital.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • What applied to American collusion with Chile in 1973 clearly has ramifications for George W. Bush's admitted use of torture, incarceration of known innocent persons, and unauthorized war in Iraq. When he leaves office, he can amd should be put on trial.moreless

    9.6
    So profound are the questions that were raised in this 2000 episode that in 2008 they clearly apply to George W. Bush, who admits that he ordered torture of certain persons abroad, kept prisoners at Guantanamo in the knowledge that they were innocent, and made a decision to go to war in Iraq without proper Congressional or UN authorization that has resulted in the deaths of more than 4000 American soldiers and thousands more Iraqi civilians. "Vaya Con Dios" may apply to Chile, but a replay in 2008 raises consciousness of the fact that when Bush leaves office, he is no longer immune from criminal liability and can be subject to indictment, arrest, prosecution, and conviction for the capital crime of murder, according to Vincent Bugliosi's "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" (2008). My "George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes" (2008) provides other basis for prosecution in American as well as foreign courts, particularly torture and other violations of the Geneva, Hague, and other international conventions on the law of warfare.moreless
  • Schiff's dry humor, foreign policy implications, torture through pre-9/11 eyes, and arguments in front of the Supreme Court

    9.3
    A college student is killed during the overthrow of Pinochet in Chile in '73. The boy's father is accidentally killed while investigating his son's death.



    As in many Law & Order episodes, the original crime is almost an after thought. The perpetrator is quickly dealt with in a plea bargain, the meat of the story comes from why the crime happened - the Colonel who supposedly ordered the student killed. But should the Manhattan DA prosecute a crime committed in a foreign country, even if the conspiracy reached all the way to NYC?



    This episode combines the investigation and legal aspects that this series is known for, but this episode shines in the legal arena. The riveting court room scenes are there as expected, but there is the unexpected as well.



    In a series that isn't known for character development, we get an interesting peak into McCoy's past - he says the dead college student could have been him. There is also more screen time for DA Schiff's character than usual - we see how he deals with the federal government and the trial judge with dry humor.



    The series often frames the conflict in the form of the court room battle and disagreements among the regular cast. In this episode, the conflict is also with the federal government, which sees the case as setting dangerous foreign policy precedent.



    To top off the episode, the case is argued before the Supreme Court, and the episode ends before we find out the court's decision - something else to think about after watching this thought provoking episode.moreless
  • Vaya Con Dios

    9.5
    Person found dead on stairway. Got things from salvation army. Man believed that the govt. killed his son. Son was tortured and shot. Naval Intellegence and Chillians tortured and murdered his son. Cernal knew about the whole murder and torture. Beath him to death with a few other people. he was very big hearted man. NID interrogated him. Man says that he saw Jason and he had been beaten by the CID also tortured another man. Found the cernal quilty of all charges. Just because he had kidney failure doens't mean he gets away with this whole murder because he's still in America.moreless
  • They prosecute a Chilean senator for the killing a New York man who worked with the Communists during Pinochet's military coup.

    9.5
    This is just a very well written and well acted episode by probably the best cast/characters (Briscoe, Green, Van Buren, McCoy, Carmichael, Schiff) of the entire run of the show in my opinion. The Supreme Court part and the ending are my favorite parts. It was a great episode for Schiff as his last, (even if it didn't tie up his story). The story is "ripped from the headlines" of the Charles Horman case for the 10th season finale. Joe Morton as Leon Chiles and Rebecca Schull as Mrs. Whitman are two standout guest performances. I do wish I knew what the decision was!moreless
Steven Hill

Steven Hill

DA Adam Schiff

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

Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon

ADA Abbie Carmichael

Jesse L. Martin

Jesse L. Martin

Det. Ed Green

Joe Morton

Joe Morton

Leon Chiles

Guest Star

Tomas Milian

Tomas Milian

Emilio Pantoya

Guest Star

George Morfogen

George Morfogen

Mr. Reyes

Guest Star

Larry Clarke

Larry Clarke

Morris LaMotte

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Unlike what was depicted in the episode, the Supreme Court does not report its decision on the day that a case is heard. Cases heard on Monday are voted on Wednesday, while cases heard on Tuesday and Wednesday are voted on Friday.

    • This episode was intentionally written to not show the final verdict but to let the viewer form their own opinion and appreciate Adam Schiff fighting to the end.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Lennie Briscoe: From what I've heard, this Pantoya's almost a war criminal.
      Belinda Rojas: Old history. Chile's a democracy now. Colonel Pantoya's a senator.

    • (Ed Green dials a Chilean phone number)
      Lennie Briscoe: Let me guess. Voice mail hell in Spanish.

    • Lennie Briscoe: (about Captain Albrecht) If he had anything to do with killing this man's kid, he better run. 27 years ago or not.

    • (Looking at the dead man on the stairs.)
      Police Officer: Figure him for a vagrant, looking for a warm place to sleep.
      Lennie Briscoe: Well, he found it.

    • Mr. Reyes: They hung me upside down and burned me with cigarettes. They put electrodes on my tongue and my eyelids. They would not let me sleep. They tried to drown me three times. They put a gun to my head and pretended to shoot me. They did this to me for two months.
      Jack McCoy: You're positive these men were under the command of Colonel Pantoya?
      Mr. Reyes: He came to the police station many times. (to Pantoya) The man you laughed at, who was hanging like a pig, it was me! Through my blood and my tears, I saw you, Colonel!

    • Colonel Pantoya: I have immunity. Blanket immunity.
      Lennie Briscoe: The same blanket you put over Jason Whitman's corpse?

    • Paul Wheeler: It's not an American problem.
      Jack McCoy: A dead American's not your problem?

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • During the trial, the defense attorney mentions Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a famous Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and associate of Fidel Castro. In the years after his execution, his name and face have been associated with socialist revolutionary movements.

    • Abbie Carmichael: We're tilting at windmills.

      A Don Quixote reference that is commonly used to describe a futile fight.

    • Police Officer: He was lurking, the tenant's exact words.
      Ed Green: Lurking, you ever see anybody actually lurk?
      Lennie Briscoe: Bela Lugosi, that guy could really lurk.
      Actor Bela Lugosi is probably best known for playing Dracula and other classic horror movie characters.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of Charles Horman, an American journalist, who was one of the victims of the Chilean coup of 1973 led by General Augusto Pinochet. Horman's case was made famous by Costa-Gavras' 1982 film Missing.

    • The episode title is a Spanish phrase meaning 'Go with God'. It's also what Adam Schiff says to Jack McCoy when giving him permission to go ahead with the case against Colonel Pantoya.

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