Law & Order (1990–2010)
7.9/10
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4 user

Absentia 

A man scheduled to testify in a murder trial disappears. The DA's office discovers that he's actually a radical who disappeared 20 years earlier after being charged with killing his girlfriend.

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Eric Ellis Overmyer (as Eric Overmyer)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Jesse L. Martin ... Detective Ed Green
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Elisabeth Röhm ... A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn
Fred Dalton Thompson ... D.A. Arthur Branch
Mandy Patinkin ... Levi 'The Griffin' March / Glenn Fordyce
David Chandler David Chandler ... Marvin Silverman
Peter Appel ... Krakow
Jordan Charney ... Judge Donald Karan
Andrew McCarthy ... Attorney Finnerty
Christina Rouner ... Anne-Marie Gautreaux
Jean Brassard ... Detective Rene Laberc
John Tormey ... Det. Will Ashman
Shannon Burkett Shannon Burkett ... Carla Baker
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Storyline

A man scheduled to testify in a murder trial disappears. The DA's office discovers that he's actually a radical who disappeared 20 years earlier after being charged with killing his girlfriend.

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Plot Keywords:

title directed by female | See All (1) »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 2003 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When ADA Southerlyn tells McCoy and Branch that she pulled Levi March's LUD's (local usage data) from Chicago, McCoy sarcastically replies "please don't tell me he got a call from Langley." Langley, Virginia is the location of the headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), McCoy was referring to March's earlier claim that he was contacted by a former CIA black-ops assassin that he claimed had murdered his ex-girlfriend. See more »

Goofs

District Attorney Branch describes a griffin as a mythical beast that was "half dragon, half lion." Which is incorrect, a griffin was a mythical creature with the body, rear legs and tail of a lion; the head and wings of a bald eagle, and the front feet were eagle talons. See more »

Connections

References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Framed to silence
25 May 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The plot of this Law And Order episode radically shifts. At first we're dealing with a robbery of a jewelry store where the owner is killed and a customer wounded. Jerry Orbach and Jesse Martin arrest a Ukranian immigrant Gene Farber. But when the witness Mandy Patinkin bails on Sam Waterston and Elisabeth Rohm at trial, the result is acquittal.

Patinkin had good reason to split before the publicity of a trial. He's a wanted murderer himself and he was a rather notorious and iconoclastic public figure at the time of the disappearance of his wife some 20 years earlier. Orbach and Martin go on the trail and they catch him in Canada with a new wife played here by Christine Rouner.

What I couldn't buy is the gimmick of trial in absentia. Patinkin jumped bail and was tried in absentia. It's not illegal, but it's done rarely and is foolish. That trial is declared null and void and the New York District Attorney has to retry him again with whatever witnesses and evidence is still available.

The gimmick was bad, but the performance of Mandy Patinkin as a colossally arrogant egomaniac is something to see. He's innocent because back in the day he was exposing all kinds of nefarious goings on by the powers that be. He was framed for the murder of his wife to silence his heroic voice. Charlie Sheen would love this guy.

In the end a bit of his own hubris trips him up. Rather beautifully done I'd say, you have to see it.


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