Meg M., our resident TV show reviewer, is discussing episodes of Law & Order: Los Angeles right here at Luxury Reading!
Written by Meg M.
In this week’s Law & Order: Los Angeles, DDA Dekker finds himself at odds with DA Hardin when Hardin is determined to prosecute by any means necessary at the sacrifice of an innocent woman.
Detectives Jaruszalski and Morales are called to the scene when a bank is robbed. The perpetrator claimed he had the teller’s son, but a nearby photo lab reveals that the picture is a fake and the employee’s son is safe at school.
Using video from the area, the detectives determine that repeat offender Stanley Vaughn was behind the robbery. When they enter his home, they are shocked when a bomb explodes in his back yard, taking off the leg of one of their officers. The detectives track some of Stanley’s recent activity with a pawn shop, but rather than catching him, they find his girlfriend attempting to buy something for him. She leads them to him, and this time, Detective Jaruszalski encounters another explosive device, but Morales forces Vaughn to tell them how to defuse it.
Once the case is handed over to the DA’s office, Deputy DA Rubirosa is surprised to find that Dekker gave Vaughn a lighter sentence several years ago after his second offense. But DA Hardin is determined to get a third strike against Vaughn to put him away for good, even if it means Dekker and Rubirosa must grasp at straws to make a conviction stick.
In a stunning upset, Vaughn’s girlfriend is charged with helping Vaughn steal a bike from another jurisdiction. While the woman has a record, she has cleaned up her life and remained sober for several years, despite her poor taste in men. Dekker realizes that he must drop the charges against Vaughn regarding the bike, or an innocent woman will be charged for a crime she did not commit.
In the end, despite Hardin’s protestations, Dekker knows he must do the right thing. In a startling court scene, Dekker calls Hardin to the stand, allowing him to see the error in continuing to pursue the case when a young woman’s freedom is at stake. Dekker throws out the third strike, and settles for giving Vaughn 15 years in prison. His girlfriend meanwhile is released from her charges in the other district.
This episode was certainly compelling, especially the scene where Hardin is called to the stand. At first he appears resolute, but as Dekker continues to question him, he begins to see the error of his judgment. Other moments of the episode, however, felt a little contrived. The explosion in the first raid of Vaughn’s home felt out of place when compared to the bank robbery. The second bomb at the second house felt even more forced. But complaints aside, Law & Order Los Angeles continues to entertain. What are your thoughts?
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Catch Law & Order: Los Angeles on Mondays at 10 pm on NBC.
Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Marketing professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.