|"In God We Trust"|
|←||L&O, Episode 15.23||→|
|Production number: E5326|
First aired: 11 May 2005
| Written By|
An arson fire occurs in an apartment, and a firefighter is forced to jump out and he dies. Detectives Joe Fontana and Nick Falco arrive. Since the fire was so powerful the firefighter had to jump out and died, it means the arsonist is responsible for the death, making it murder.
At the 27th Precinct, Joe and Nick's boss Lt. Anita Van Buren and a CSU tech tells them there was an accelerant used. Van Buren tells his men that they need to go talk with the residents since the top floor was obviously the target.
They speak with one man who says he saw someone banging and yelling at another tenant's door. That tenant is a woman who refuses to tell them anything. Joe and Nick subsequently talk to the woman's daughter, who reveals her father hates her mother.
Joe and Nick go into the father's apartment, where they find a bus driver's jacket with gas all over it. They find and arrest him at a girlfriend's house. He soon admits that he set the place on fire to kill his wife, but never intended to kill his daughter or the fireman. His motivation for the arson was that his wife wouldn't let him see his daughter.
Joe and Nick charge him with felony murder, but then the M.E. tells them the fireman didn't die from the jump: he died from a gunshot wound to the leg.
- Dennis Farina as Detective Joe Fontana
- Michael Imperioli as Detective Nick Falco
- S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
- Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy
- Annie Parisse as A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia
- Fred Dalton Thompson as D.A. Arthur Branch
- Mimi Lieber as Defense Attorney Wendy Weiss
- Michael Louis Wells as Legal Aid Attorney Kevin Clemens
- Leslie Hendrix as M.E. Elizabeth Rodgers
- Michael Mulhern as Judge Harrison Taylor
- Selenis Leyva as Detective Mariluz Rivera
- Leslie Crocker Snyder as Judge Rebecca Logan
- Tom Bruno as FDNY Chief Daniels
- Jim True-Frost as Bruce Elwin
- Dena Tyler as Nancy Harvard
- Debra Monk as Judge G. Proctor
- Robert Turano as Detective Novoselic
- Carolyn Baeumler as Emily Wilder
- Ephraim Benton as Leshann Munde
- Aisha de Haas as Agnes Bowers
- Tami Dixon as Jenna Tarantino
- Paulina Gerzon as Hannah Wilder
- Katy Grenfell as Eileen Griswold
- Gabe Hernandez as Al Gonzalez
- Gerry McIntyre as Pastor Ronald Meacham
- Jim Moody as Reggie Lennard
- Robert Spillane as John Gruner
- Ronald Wyche as Claude Worthy
- Lawrence Ballard as Captain McVeigh
- Mark Casella as Lieutenant Hardie
- Michael J. Shea as Clerk
- Bruce Grossberg as Super
- Joseph Vincent Gay as Uniform
- Michael Shen as Clerk
- Turi Haim as Customer (uncredited)
- Ilene Schwartz as Pedestrian (uncredited)
- Robert Bizik as Attorney (uncredited)
- Alex Borgia: I'm curious, what would have been your offer?
- Jack McCoy: Man 1. Praise the Lord!
- Alex Borgia: Forgiveness is a Christian ideal.
- Jack McCoy: And if you don't believe in Christ, well, then you'll just have to serve your time?
- Alex Borgia: Judge Scalia wrote that our laws derive their authority from God. William O. Douglas wrote that we are a religious people whose institutions pre-suppose the existence of a Supreme Being.
- Jack McCoy: How does that translate to a free pass for murder?
- Jack McCoy: I don't care if he comes to court with a hair shirt and a scourge, murder is murder.
- Alexandra Borgia: There are more people in this country who believe in angels than in evolution.
- Joe Fontana: (To a firefighter.) I take my hat off to you guys. Personally, I'd rather dodge bullets than run through a burning building.
Background information and notes
- The defendant's landlord recalls when he "drank the Kool-Aid" and accepted religion shortly after committing murder. He refers to the 1978 mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, when 913 cult members drank a fruit punch laced with cyanide and force-fed the cyanide to babies and children at the request of their leader, Rev. Jim Jones.
- Alexandra Borgia refers to the government intervening in the "Terri Schiavo situation." Terri Schiavo was the woman who was in a persistent vegetative state and there was a court battle between her husband (who wanted her feeding tube removed) and her family (who wanted her to be kept alive). Law and Order would later reference this case in the episode Age of Innocence.
- Detective Fontana finds a DVD of Pretty Woman (starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere) in a suspect's apartment. Apparently, he's not a fan of this movie because he makes a comment about "chick flicks.
- Goof: Michael Louis Wells is credited as "Matthew Clemens" in all previous episodes save one, but in this episode his first name is given as "Kevin" by ADA Alexandra Borgia.
Episode scene cards
Broadway & 108th Street
Westside Family Center
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| "In God We Trust"|
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