Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct. 11 "Cold Case" a knock-off of Law & Order SVU

The 11 Oct. 09 episode of "Cold Case" featured a plot line wherein a judge [ Judge Harold “Harry” Alvarez played by Miguel Perez ] was channeling juvenile offenders to a facility [Havenhurst] in which his sister-in-law had a financial interest. [There was even a play on the word "jurisprudence," which is also the title of the episode.]

Trouble is, Law & Order SVU had already worked this story line. Law&Order Wikia described this earlier episode:

Hilda Marsden was a judge in the Manhattan Family Court. In her career, she had a reputation for handing down harsh sentences to minor juvenile offenders as a pretense to have them sent away to serve hard time at a facility for sex offenders in Wellsburg, Ohio. The political pundits loved her, viewing her as a corrective to out-of-control kids, but her sentencing brought up serious questions about her judgment, especially after she decided to sentence Kim Garnet to Wellsburg in 2009, for supposed distribution of child pornography for sending nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend.

Following her rendering of this decision, Detective Olivia Benson and Garnet's attorney, Miranda Pond, decided to look at Marsden's records, but were stonewalled by the senior clerk at the Family Court records department, who was receiving kickbacks from Marsden. Benson and Pond were locked up on trumped-up charges, but were released thanks to the efforts of Counselor Samantha Copeland, who had discovered that Marsden's penchant for sending juvenile offenders to Wellsburg was due to her receiving kickbacks from the owners of that facility for every body they received. The Special Victims Unit thus staged a sting, wherein Detective Elliot Stabler met with Marsden in the guise of Mr. Sirota, the supposed parent of a girl whose boyfriend, Pauly Catalano, had totaled a car, and asked the judge to make sure the boy went down hard, then gave the judge a "donation" for her re-election campaign. When the trial came, Marsden sentenced Catalano (actually teen actor and friend to Kim Ethan Morse) to Wellsburg, and the SVU closed in on her. She was promptly disbarred and all of her decisions have been overturned, subject to review. Kim was set free by another judge who overturned her conviction and erased it from her records. (SVU: "Crush")

Marsden was played by Swoozie Kurtz.

Returning to "Cold Case," Deputy Commissioner Patrick Doherty was trying to cover for Judge Alvarez, and did exact some revenge by transferring one of the Cold Case team.


Shows seem to have suffered because they have been displaced to new time periods, like “Law & Order SVU,” which was the leading drama when it played at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, but now is finishing last after moving to 9 on Wednesdays.


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