In the popular television series, “Law and Order”, the late Judge Michael Caputo (John Stewart) is the Chief judge of the Southern District of New York. The show’s protagonist, John Hartley (Scotia Whitlock), is an energetic, ambitious young trial lawyer who dreams of someday becoming Chief Justice. His idealistic dream comes to fruition when his partner, date, Melodie Cohort (Sandra Oh), discovers the body of a young girl in the garbage can, his partner’s purse stolen by a hooded assailant. John and Melodie quickly learn that they have a number of reasons to find out what happened to the girl, and they work together to solve the crime.
The detectives who are a part of the New York City Police Department’s Special Victims Unit specialize in investigating crimes of a sexual nature involving adults. The emphasis of this unit is on solving sexual assault cases, although it often takes in cases of child molestation and child exploitation as well. The SVU Detectives typically function independently within the department, conducting routine surveillance of the suspect’s homes, banks, places of business, and the area in which they live. The show features a cast of seasoned actors, including Dann Florek, Mariska Hargitay, and, later on, Ice-T.
One of the SVU’s first cases is a sex case that the team investigates. One of the suspects is a pizza delivery driver for a large pizzeria. One of the female employees at the pizzeria is seen relieving herself in one of the cars that the pizzeria uses on a regular basis. Detectives James Stupak and Frank Furter investigate the case, hoping to find evidence of a child abuse ring that they believe is being run by one of the suspects. They learn, much to their chagrin, that the woman in question has a son of 6 months named Michael.
When Michael returns home from school, his mother insists on taking him to daycare instead of the local daycare, but Michael refuses. A judge later orders that Michael be taken to the boys’ home to spend the day with them, but when the daycare arrives, Michael runs away. The SVU team tracks him down, and he is taken into their custody. Things do not go well, however, as he ends up putting a fire out by setting it ablaze, as well as severely injuring one of the girls that work there.
One of the SVU’s newest recruits, Kate Walsh, becomes involved in an investigation of molestation in Rikers Prison. She soon finds herself working alongside Detective Chief Inspector Joe Lyle when the team discovers that the prison has been systematically cleaning the cells for sex offenders, and Kate is assigned to monitor the cleanliness of their toilets. Things become heated between her and Lyle, and she ends up nearly getting killed by one of the inmates. Fortunately, though, Kate is saved by some local teenagers who come to help.
In an episode, Kate asks John Dickenson to give her a ride while she goes to look for another man called Frank. Dickenson reluctantly agrees, but when Kate gets into a fight with one of the inmates, John ditches her. Dickenson soon finds himself working with Kate, and the two become fast friends. Eventually, they convince the captain of this prison to give them a tour, so that they can visit the prisoners in the next episode.
One of the highlights of the show is when Dickenson asks Kate to babysit one of the boys, Frank. Frank is a friend of Peter Dinkins, who is The Emperor of Hodor and frequents the bar The Chateau. After Peter leaves one night, Kate allows him to babysit, but when Frank gets caught trying to rob a store, Kate ends up locking him out of her cell.
This is just one example of how Law and Order can take the fun elements of television and make them very serious. It’s a show that has an excellent balance of comedy, romance, action, and mystery, making it a fun watch for anyone who likes this type of genre. I look forward to watching new episodes because each one seems to be more fun than the last.