The best part about Law & Order is that once you know the formula you can accurately predict the way that every episode will play out. It gives me a strange feeling of satisfaction to know 10 minutes into the show that – for example – the part-time Chef’s demure, yet covertly conniving five year old granddaughter who likely has a borderline personality disorder was actually the one who kidnapped and tortured Mr. Smith. Hel-LO Ice-T*, didn’t you see her staring at the crime scene photos for too long, or notice the way she looked away when you asked her where she was last night?!
*Law & Order: SVU is my favorite Law & Order show, so that’s the one I’m using for examples. Deal with it.
Luckily for you I’m feeling especially gracious today, and have decided to hit you with some priceless Law & Order knowledge to which only the most devout junkies are privy. You’re welcome. So here it goes, and I suggest you write this stuff down:
1. The perp (the main person we want ‘brought to justice’) is very rarely the first suspect – rather, it’s probably the supportive husband, or the philanthropic non-profit owner, or the helpful store clerk.
2. During any given SVU episode, Stabler will probably punch, throw into a wall, or otherwise explode on the perp. Otherwise, Benson will use her sexual prowess to elicit a confession from a perp who is either exceedingly shy or extremely cocky – either way he’s a serial rapist and probably a murderer. If it’s an especially good episode – both punching and prowess will happen.
3. If a person being interviewed says he/she doesn’t know anything – he/she is definitely involved. If he/she is not the perp, he/she is a conspirator with, or a close friend, relative or confidant of the perp. Otherwise he/she is a rape victim and is afraid of the perp. The detectives will later convince him/her to turn on the perp by:
a: Appealing to his moral side: There’s a one-legged Russian circus acrobat out there right now – injured, alone and scared. She needs your help! I know you’re better than this.
b: Threatening him with jail time: So you drove the gettaway car, huh? Well, unless you cooperate you’re looking at eight and a quarter million years in prison – and don’t even expect to receive food or clothing in Rikers!
c: Punching him or winning him over with sexual prowess (see point number 2).
4. If the case seems resolved but there are greater than 10 minutes left in the episode – hold on to your sombreros, because there is a twist in the works (queue suspense music)! The same person in point number 3 may turn out to be the perp himself, or an important piece of evidence might be thrown out by the judge. Be prepared for this.
5. If someone has been kidnapped – they are probably being kept in an abandoned warehouse or somewhere in a house that’s already been ‘thoroughly’ searched. In the latter situation – places where victims are hidden include under a bed, in the basement, or behind a concealed door. Apparently cops who perform searches are deaf and blind.
6. Occasionally a detective will become too emotionally involved in a case and at some point will either be kicked off, or nearly kicked off of it. The detective will then take it upon himself (or herself) to catch the perp, and will inevitably be shot in the shoulder just as backup arrives. The injured detective will spend the rest of the episode in the hospital or will wear a white sling and refuse to go home and get some rest.
7. The final, most important piece of Law & Order beta is this – B.D. Wong (who plays Dr. George Huang) is never wrong! If Wong is in an episode, you must hang on to his every word because he is a genius and an expert at everything. Never question him, ever. Also, I recommend you live by the mantra – W.W.W.D. (What Would Wong Do?). Because with Wong, you can’t go wrong.
So you want to be a D.A. do ya? Here’s a little LSAT practice question for you…
The Facts: I love raptors. I also love a good pun, but less than I love Law & Order. Furthermore, I love coloring less than I love raptors, but more than I love a good pun, and certainly more than I love Boca Burgers, which incidentally I love more than I love perverted Mad Libs, but less than I love Somali Pirate raids. Oh yeah, and I love Law & Order more than I love coloring.
LSAT Question: How much do I love Law & Order?
Answer: My undying love for Law & Order is exceeded only by my supreme love of Raptors.
Good luck – and don’t forget – even Jack McCoy started somewhere!