Law and Order

Vaya Con Dios

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"Vaya Con Dios"
L&O, Episode 10.24
Production number: E1108
First aired: 24 May 2000
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1021 released in all  
McCoy Schiff Carmichael Vaya Con Dios
Written By
René Balcer & Richard Sweren

Directed By
Chris Misiano

Plot Edit

Plot The DA's office prosecutes a Chilean colonel for the murder of a New Yorker working with the Communists during the Pinochet military coup. But has the office overstepped its jurisdiction?

Cast Edit

Main cast Edit

Guest cast Edit

References Edit

Jason Whitman; Sam Whitman; Chile; Augusto Pinochet; Landis Hill Hospital; National Intelligence Directory; Edwin Albrecht

Quotes Edit

Lennie Briscoe: From what I've heard, this Pantoya's almost a war criminal.
Belinda Rojas: Old history. Chile's a democracy now. Colonel Pantoya's a senator.

Lennie Briscoe (after Ed Green dials a Chilean phone number): Let me guess. Voice mail hell in Spanish.

Lennie Briscoe (about Captain Albrecht): If he had anything to do with killing this man's kid, he better run. 27 years ago or not.

Police Officer (looking at the dead man on the stairs): Figure him for a vagrant, looking for a warm place to sleep.
Lennie Briscoe: Well, he found it.

Mr. Reyes: They hung me upside down and burned me with cigarettes. They put electrodes on my tongue and my eyelids. They would not let me sleep. They tried to drown me three times. They put a gun to my head and pretended to shoot me. They did this to me for two months.
Jack McCoy: You're positive these men were under the command of Colonel Pantoya?
Mr. Reyes: He came to the police station many times. (to Pantoya) The man you laughed at, who was hanging like a pig, it was me! Through my blood and my tears, I saw you, Colonel!

Colonel Pantoya: I have immunity. Blanket immunity.
Lennie Briscoe: The same blanket you put over Jason Whitman's corpse?

Paul Wheeler: It's not an American problem.
Jack McCoy: A dead American's not your problem?

Background information and notes Edit

  • Continuity: In Jack McCoy's office (Thursday, March 11) Det. Green tells Jack about the confession, and begins shaking Jack's hand. In the next shot, Jack should be seen finishing the handshake, but, he is not.
  • Unlike what was depicted in the episode, the Supreme Court does not report its decision on the day that a case is heard. Cases heard on Monday are voted on Wednesday, while cases heard on Tuesday and Wednesday are voted on Friday. However, Schiff does implicitly how unusual the decision's speed is with the remark, "Quick turn-around for this court."
  • This episode was intentionally written to not show the final verdict but to let the viewer form their own opinion and appreciate Adam Schiff fighting to the end. However based on Schiff's not being present in his role at District Attorney at the beginning of season 11, it is safe to assume that the verdict was not in the state's favor. (Leon Chiles remarked that if the people of New York saw him lose this case, they would likely not reelect him. Schiff's being overseas working on Holocaust reparations suggests he resigned rather than face reelection and a probable loss.)
  • During the trial, the defense attorney mentions Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a famous Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and associate of Fidel Castro. In the years after his execution, his name and face have been associated with socialist revolutionary movements.
  • Abbie Carmichael: We're tilting at windmills.
    • A Don Quixote reference that is commonly used to describe a futile fight.
  • Police Officer: He was lurking, the tenant's exact words.
    Ed Green: Lurking, you ever see anybody actually lurk?
    Lennie Briscoe: Bela Lugosi, that guy could really lurk.
    • Actor Bela Lugosi is probably best known for playing Dracula and other classic horror movie characters.
  • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of Charles Horman, an American journalist, who was one of the victims of the Chilean coup of 1973 led by General Augusto Pinochet, along with the British government's 1998 arrest, on an international warrant issued by a Spanish judge, of Pinochet himself. Horman's case was made famous by Costa-Gavras' 1982 film Missing.
  • The episode title is a Spanish phrase meaning Go with God. It's also what Adam Schiff says to Jack McCoy when giving him permission to go ahead with the case against Colonel Pantoya.

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