Procedural Update: Law and Order Review – “Called Home / Darkness” (18×1-2)

LAW AND ORDER -  Linus Roche as A.D.A. Michael Cutter and Sam Waterston as Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy in “Calling Home”

LAW AND ORDER is back, people. In this period of TV Drought, it is so refreshing to have a TV show that delivers fresh content that keeps us up for an hour, or in this case two. Here’s my review of the first two episodes of the new season.

“Called Home” – Season 18 Episode 1

In this episode, the story centers around the theme of assisted suicide mixed with revenge. The beginning was a little too Law and Order CI because we actually saw a person die. The story wasn’t particularly strong or controversial but it did the trick. The investigation itself was not very interesting but the court drama was very crisp and to the point, in a very classic Law and Order fashion. The outcome was quite of a surprise.

The episode also introduces a lot of changes to the Law & Order franchise.
Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) is the new DA which is an odd fit for him. It’s hard to see him become the voice of reason now but I guess we just need to get used to it. We are introduced to a new A.D.A Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) who comes in as McCoy’s replacement. He’s pretty cool. He brings a clean, intense performance. He even has a blackberry on which he relies on quite a bit. A 21st Century McCoy! We are also introduced to a new detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) who has a personal stake in this particular story line. He’s good at this role. He definitely brings a certain edge to the part but I don’t know how much of it he can dial down. After all, this is not Six Feet Under.

Overall, a good episode with some very strong characters. Like I said, a great start for the Season!

LAW AND ORDER -  Jeremy Sisto as Det. Cyrus Lupo and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Ed Green in “Calling Home”

“Darkness” – Season 18 Episode 2

The story centers around a kidnapping that occurs during a blackout in New York. The investigation gives Jeremy Sisto a very nice opportunity to show his chops as a detective. The man can definitely sprint with the best of them and he certainly seems to carry the cop aura pretty well when he interrogates his first suspect.
It is also a delight to see Linus Roache turn on the prosecution heat on an unwilling witness. He has a very cool speech pattern that makes whatever he says sound deep; the man can make ordering coffee sound like poetry, I swear.
Anyways, the story takes an interesting turn and takes on an Enron-like theme which makes it very compelling. I love how they make you think that the story goes one way and then it goes in a whole new direction.

Again, strong episode which bods well for the rest of the Law and Order Season.