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Law & Order

Posted on

Law & Order

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

In the season finale of Law & Order (NBC, May 25, 10-11 p.m.), we get to see Michael Moriarty take his leave from the series, and not a moment too soon: As one of the last remaining original characters, Moriarty’s Manhattan assistant DA Ben Stone had slowly but steadily become a pious Gloomy Gus. The real draws of L&O this season have been the snappy, cynical interplay between the detectives portrayed by Chris Noth and Jerry Orbach, and the icy cool of Stone’s new partner, Claire Kincaid (Jill Hennessy). (Also contributing fine work is the show’s precinct lieutenant, played by S. Epatha Merkerson, who, in my heart, will always be Reba the Mail Lady on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.)

This edition finds Stone pressuring a witness to give testimony that may endanger her life. Allison Janney gives a notably subtle performance as this witness, and we leave L&O for the summer anxious to greet Moriarty’s replacement next fall, Sam Waterston. Sam, do us a favor — crack a smile once in a while. B+