“Law & Order” — 6th Season

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
December 2, 2008

The beauty of the Law & Order franchise is its ability to capitalize on its revolving cast of characters. The sixth season of Law & Order introduces viewers to a new detective and kills off another series favorite.

There’s also a seamless crossover episode with Homicide: Life on the Street and a compelling season finale that gives insight into how the main characters deal with tragedy.

The 23 episodes featured in the five-disc set originally aired during the 1995-1996 television season. Aside from a few style issues–and the lack of cell phones–the episodes hold up well today.

After the departure of Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) at the end of last season, Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach) gets a new partner. Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt) is a by-the-book do-gooder. A devoted husband and father, Rey sees things in black and white, while Lennie views things in shades of grey. It isn’t until he helps send a man to the electric chair that Rey struggles with his own sense of morality.

Though Lennie teases Rey for his youth and model-perfect good looks, the two work well together as they tackle cases involving an au pair charged with killing a baby, a racist serial killer targeting African Americans, and a rapist who may be released due to a technicality.

Sam Waterson and Jill Hennessy return as attorneys Jack McCoy and Claire Kincaid. Under the watchful eye of their cantankerous boss Adam Schiff (Steven Hill), the pair are expected to keep criminals at bay, even when the evidence seems to be working against them.

Hill is perfect in his role, ordering deals, demanding justice, and laying out non-PC justice. He delivers priceless lines to Jack, such as, “You have the victim and a confession. Munoz has crawled halfway out of the hole we dug for him 30 years ago. You hit him with the shovel before he crawls all the way out.”

Guest stars include Patti LuPone as a charming defense attorney, Kim Raver as a working mom whose baby is murdered, Amanda Peet as a Patty Hearst-type kidnap victim, and Jennifer Garner as a flirtatious graduate student who tempts a married man.

Don’t miss the last five minutes of the season finale. Without saying a word, Orbach conveys all the emotions of a guilt-ridden man.

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