Law & Order (1990–2010)
7.4/10
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4 user

Scoundrels 

An attorney may have been killed for trying to further bilk people who have lost their life savings in an S&L scandal.

Director:

Marc Laub

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Ed Zuckerman | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Michael Zaslow ... Willard Tappan
Jonathan Hogan Jonathan Hogan ... John Curren
Edie Falco ... Sally Bell
Lisa Emery ... Alice Huntley
Larry Pine ... Edward St. John
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ... Jane Rosebrock
David Little David Little ... Fred Dillon
Georgine Hall Georgine Hall ... Mrs. Greenfield
Yusef Bulos ... Frank Rosebrock
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the death of lawyer Arthur Kapinski, who is found shot in the head while he was seated at his office desk. They find that Kapinski had a number of irate clients who felt he wasn't adequately representing them. Several of them were trying to retrieve money from a failed Savings and Loan run by Willard Tappan and several clients had paid Kopinski up front to pay for his research. Kopinski was running a scam and the police focus on John Curran who apparently snapped after learning his mother had paid him the last of her savings. The case goes full circle and ADA McCoy is convinced that Tappan was somehow behind it. It's not quite straightforward however and ADA McCoy has to get Curran to testify against Tappan. Written by garykmcd

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1994 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Noth (Mike Logan) & Merwin Goldsmith (Judge Ian Feist) also worked together on two episodes of The Good Wife (2009), as Peter Florrick & Simon Fischbein respectively. See more »

Quotes

Willard Tappan: You know, they're talking about privatizing the park. A subway token to enter or $30 a year. Trump thinks he can run it at a profit.
Jack McCoy: That's fascinating. We're here to...
Willard Tappan: You're here because you have a problem. I'm talking to you because I have a problem.
Jack McCoy: We'll prove that you hid that money, Mr. Tappan. That'll prolong your study of institutional dining.
Willard Tappan: Yes, that's my problem. Meanwhile, Mr. Curren, your murderer, will go free.
Jack McCoy: If you hadn't stolen his money, that murder would never have taken ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Great Performances and a Wily Jack McCoy
10 May 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

The plot in this one involves a slimy "savings and loan" king who caused a whole bunch of folks to lose their life savings. The plot could have plodded along with him as the sole Big Bad, but it's a bit more complicated than that: the victim is a lawyer named Kopinsky, who had a supposed lead on a secret stash of money the fraudster, Tappan, hid before serving his time. He may have been bilking Tappan's poor victims a second time with a fanciful tale about getting them a piece of that hidden cash... or maybe there's more to the story than there appears.

Great performances here, from Dan Grimaldi as an angry inventor of (hilariously) pig-shaped magnets; Jonathan Hogan as a bespectacled everyman whose finances were ruined by Tappan; Lisa Emery as the head of a company who allegedly stole Grimaldi's ideas, and knows far more than she lets on; and Michael Zaslow as the charming, villainous Tappan, who steals every scene he's in.

While EADA Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) would occasionally use unorthodox methods to see justice done in seasons 1-4 of Law & Order, the almost gleeful, improvisational style of prosecutorial jurisprudence employed by Sam Waterston - one that messed with the rules and sometimes even straddled ethical boundaries - would become much more of a hallmark of the Jack McCoy character. In a twist that's a bit similar to the previous episode, "Virtue," (in that the person being prosecuted isn't necessarily the person who directly killed the victim) McCoy relies on, as he would say many episodes later in season 14's "Evil Breeds," the jury being able to know a guilty man when they see one.

Everyone knows - and the judge, played by Ben Hammer in his sixth L&O appearance, even outright says this before deliberations - that a jury is duty-bound to stick to the facts of the case, disregarding any other previous shenanigans a defendant was tried on in the past. But in TV land, where we know exactly who the good guys and bad guys are, we just just want to see some poetic justice: good guys rewarded, bad guys punished, doesn't matter how. L&O often banks on the audience being charmed by that, so that you root for McCoy even if he's doing something that could get him disbarred.

Hey, it worked on me!


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