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Law And Order - Season 7

Jamie Ross (played by Carey Lowell) replaced season 6's Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) in the role of Assistant District Attorney. The resulting ensemble cast was the most stable in the history of the Law & Order series up to this point, remaining unchanged for two seasons and 47 episodes.

Law and Order - Season 7


Season 7 of Law & Order introduced Carey Lowell as new ADA Jamie Ross (Lowell had previously been best known for her role in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill). The previous ADA Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) had been killed off in the season finale of season six. While Hennessy had decided to leave the show, she had been told that Claire Kincaid would only be paralyzed in the accident, leaving open the possibility of returning for guest spots like Richard Brooks. The aftershocks of the season six finale (appropriately titled "Aftershock") would be felt in season seven as well as subsequent seasons, with Jack McCoy being more gunshy about asking for the death penalty, with Lennie Briscoe going back to AA and staying on the wagon for good, and with Curtis' wife developing multiple sclerosis, which the devout Curtis believed was God punishing him for his infidelity.

The sixth episode of the tenth season of Law & Order: SVU, in which the murder of a homeless man led police to a pregnancy pact made between high school girls, mirrored a similar pact made in 2008 between 17 Gloucester High School students.

During the third episode of Law and Order's fourteenth season, a carjacking murder investigation leads to the discovery of a SARS outbreak in the city. The stolen car housed a medical container with the virus.

The season premier of Law and Order: SVU's thirteenth season very closely followed the Dominique Strauss Kahn saga that gripped the world last year. In the episode, a maid claimed a Prime Minister candidate raped her in a hotel room.

After three decades and counting, fans can enjoy over 400 episodes and 22 seasons of their favorite procedural. It's a massive chunk of television to sift through, but some parts of the series are more worthwhile than others. From unbearable characters to stale plots, the worst seasons of "Law & Order" are full of frustrating departures from the series' tried-and-true formula. However, the best seasons offer viewers a glimpse at just how great procedural television can be, even years after their premiere.

After waiting over a decade for new episodes, "Law & Order" fans had high expectations for season 21. Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson reprised their roles from the mothership series, and the list of new characters looked promising. Unfortunately, most of the reboot's first outing is disappointing. "Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Donovan looks downright uncomfortable as Frank Cosgrove, a detective who's perpetually moments away from a temper tantrum. While Anderson's Detective Kevin Bernard once had some depth, his primary purpose in season 21 is talking Cosgrove off one subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtle) racist ledge after another.

Season 22 is stronger than its predecessor, but the "Law & Order" reboot still lags behind the original run. The dialogue remains cringeworthy, and almost everyone is on a soap box. ADA Samantha Maroun (Odelya Halevi) falls flat this season because nearly every issue becomes a hill for her to die on, making her seem preachy instead of principled. Compared to the strong female ADAs of previous seasons, Maroun continues to be a disappointment. However, audiences do begin to learn more of her story as the season unfolds, including her struggles to cope with her sister's murder.

When it comes to procedurals, casting is everything. Sure, the cases are intriguing, but the real forward momentum of a show like "Law & Order" comes from the relationships between central characters. Season 2 follows detectives Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino) as they hunt down criminals and try to build a professional bond. After the death of his first partner, Max Greevey (George Dzundza), it makes sense that Logan has misgivings about Cerreta. Nevertheless, Logan's initial resentment of his new partner makes it difficult for viewers to settle into the season.

Although "Law & Order" follows a predictable formula on-screen, season 16 was messy behind the scenes, as several cast members abandoned ship. Annie Parisse asked to leave the show, and Dennis Farina followed her out the door, ending his tenure after only two seasons. Unsurprisingly, their characters' departures completely overshadow the rest of the season finale. Parisse's character, ADA Alexandra Borgia, dies in brutal fashion right after the opening credits roll, while Fontana retires peacefully.

When Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) passed the baton to District Attorney Nora Lewin (Dianne Wiest), fans finally saw a female character assume the head prosecutor position. However, despite Wiest's many talents, DA Lewin is an immediate letdown. Rudy Giuliani makes a cameo to introduce her as the interim district attorney, but the fanfare quickly fades as the season premiere, "Endurance," unfolds. During their first case together, McCoy goes against his new boss' wishes with barely a second thought, and Lewin is woefully ineffective at stopping his behavior. Although McCoy is known for breaking the rules, Lewin's lack of authority is disappointing.

The first few seasons of "Law & Order" were plagued by cast shakeups, but season 3 is when things start coming together. Hot-tempered Mike Logan finally meets his match with the mid-season debut of Detective Lennie Briscoe. While Logan is young and self-assured, Briscoe brings worldly experience to the table, finally giving Logan the balance he needs. In addition, Briscoe's dry sense of humor is an instant hit, and soon becomes his defining characteristic. Although the two don't get along at first, the detectives eventually build the first truly successful pairing of the series.

There's no denying that Benjamin Bratt excels at playing men in uniform. Those who love Detective Rey Curtis will especially enjoy season 7, which includes some of his best moments. Although Mike Logan defined the hot-headed young "Law & Order" detective, Curtis does it with much more finesse. He steps out of line sometimes, but he has a clearly defined moral compass. From his crew cut to his ever-present cell phone, Curtis provides a thoroughly modern counterpart to Detective Briscoe's relaxed, old-school style.

While the detectives are a highlight in season 7, however, the prosecutors are too predictable. McCoy and ADA Jamie Ross (Carrie Lowell) have one too many squabbles, making it unintentionally satisfying to watch McCoy struggle to keep his job in the season finale. The two gel in later seasons, but their professional growing pains make it difficult to appreciate their partnership in season 7. However, "Mad Dog" is an incredibly powerful late-season episode that every "Law & Order" fan needs to see at least once. McCoy goes on one of his best crusades for justice, and Sam Waterston earned himself a 1997 Emmy nomination for his performance.

Many shows get off to a rocky start, but "Law & Order" had a respectably memorable beginning. It wasn't pretty and it hasn't aged well, but season 1 set a high bar in terms of character chemistry and action-packed arrests. It features Detective Logan at his most questionable, paired up with the often equally dubious Detective Greevey. While Greevey is comparatively more strait-laced, this pair of police officers will get their man by any means necessary. Their creative take-downs include some true gems, such as Logan stopping a suspect in his tracks with a trash can lid to the face.

Season 19 featured a wide array of directors at the helm, including Mario Van Peebles, who lent his talents to the episode "Sweetie." This installment is a high point of the season, with a case that keeps audiences guessing and a refreshing appearance by Vivica A. Fox. The criminals this season are also of a higher caliber than in many others, and the plots are universally well-written. Some cases feel a little stale, such as the kidnapping and extortion storyline in "Bailout," but the season offers enough variety that it's okay to overlook a few weaker episodes.

However, while it's good, this season could have been great. Unfortunately, some lackluster performances are hard to overlook. This cast remains stable from the previous season, but familiarity breeds contempt as Detective Kevin Bernard settles into his new role. It's hard to forget him as the obnoxious, often self-righteous IAB detective from season 18, especially after his investigation of Detective Green. Where he should approach his new position on the team with a bit of humility, Detective Bernard acts like he always knows best. Furthermore, while Detective Lupo is still a great addition to the lineup, he feels much flatter than he did in his debut season.

It's hard to imagine "Law & Order" without DA Jack McCoy, but this irreplaceable character didn't appear on the series until season 5. This season gives fans a fun look at McCoy's early days as a stubborn, womanizing EADA with an unrelenting desire to win cases. Love him or hate him, McCoy is the winningest prosecutor in the show's history. Even on his first day, McCoy displays his cavalier attitude. He makes the strongest first impression of almost any new character on the series, captivating both viewers and his new colleague, Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy). The ongoing sexual tension between these two creates an entertaining backdrop to life in the prosecutor's office.

The season 14 premiere, "Bodies," has everything audiences want from "Law & Order": a compelling case, Jack McCoy on a rampage, and Detective Briscoe's signature one-liners. Serial killer Mark Bruner (Ritchie Coster) is one of the vilest, most memorable criminals to appear on the series. He turns his crimes into a game by refusing to reveal where he has hidden his victims' bodies. This episode sets the tone for an action-packed season featuring mob bosses, a heavy metal band, and two women who kill each other's husbands. Every episode is well-paced, and no two cases are alike. 041b061a72


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