|Det. Ed Green|
|Law & Order character|
|Last appearance||"Burn Card"|
|Portrayed by||Jesse L. Martin|
|Time on show||1999–2008|
|Seasons||10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18|
|Credited appearances||198 episodes (L&O)
2 episodes (SVU)
1 episode (CI)
1 episode (TBJ)
202 episodes (total)
|Preceded by||Rey Curtis (junior partner)
Joe Fontana (senior partner)
|Succeeded by||Nick Falco (junior partner; temporary)
Nina Cassady (junior partner)
Cyrus Lupo (senior partner)
Edward "Ed" Green is a fictional character on the NBC crime drama Law & Order, created by René Balcer and portrayed by Jesse L. Martin. He appeared in 202 episodes (198 episodes of Law & Order, two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, one episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and one episode of Law & Order: Trial by Jury).
Ed Green is introduced as senior detective Lennie Briscoe's (Jerry Orbach) new junior partner, succeeding Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt). Green's willingness to bend legal rules to arrest a suspect does little to endear him to his superiors, and he initially thinks Briscoe is too old to investigate crimes effectively. Green and Briscoe have several heated disagreements about the latter's capabilities. Later, however, Green grows to trust and respect his partner, as well as tone down his unorthodox investigative methods. He and Briscoe often joke about their age difference, as well as Green's Rolex watches and Briscoe's two failed marriages. His badge number is 3472.
After they work together on the show for five years, Briscoe retires, and Green is more affected by his retirement than he expected. It takes him a while to warm up to his next partner, Joe Fontana (Dennis Farina), whose style is very different from Briscoe's: it is much more abrasive and belligerent. However, Green eventually deflates some of the tension between Fontana and their lieutenant, Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson).
Near the end of Season 15, Green is shot in the line of duty and hospitalized for several weeks. During his absence, he is replaced by Nick Falco (Michael Imperioli). The absence of Green's character from the show was occasioned in the real world by actor Martin's sabbatical to reprise his former Broadway depiction of Tom Collins in the motion picture version of Rent.
Detective Green is promoted to senior detective after Fontana retires. He is partnered with Nina Cassady (Milena Govich), over the objections of Van Buren, who thinks Cassady is too inexperienced to be a homicide detective. Although he grows to tolerate her, Green seems to have a similar opinion.
After Cassady's departure (no reason is given on the show), Green is next partnered with Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto). Green's reaction to Lupo is somewhat reserved at first, especially since the first case they work together is the suicide of Lupo's brother. Green is opposed to Lupo's working the case at all, but Van Buren overrules him. However, after a short period of time, Green seems to become more comfortable with Lupo as he does with his other partners. Around mid-season, Green even takes to affectionately dubbing Lupo as "Loops".
Mid-way through Season 18, Green is involved in a shooting that leads to his being indicted and tried, though all charges are subsequently dropped. Even though Van Buren assures him that he is welcome back on the force, Green, unhappy with having "broken every rule in the book", decides to leave the squad. Lupo is given Green's position of senior partner, and Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) of the Internal Affairs Bureau, who investigated Green, becomes Lupo's new partner.
Green represents the L&O franchise's return to the wild, "Dirty Harry" type of character once popularized by Mike Logan (Chris Noth). Among the few personal touches made to the character are his affinity for punk rock and gambling; he makes trips to Atlantic City often enough that Briscoe teases him about it. Subsequent episodes reveal that Green had stopped gambling but then fell back into it briefly after Briscoe's death.
Green has occasionally mentioned that his family traveled around the world due to his father's work as an oil engineer, and that he had lived in the Middle East at some point. He has also mentioned that he grew up in a religious family and revealed that his father has Alzheimer's disease. He has at least some family living in New York; in the episode "Deadlock", Van Buren recommends that Green's family be protected from an escaped convict, and he responds, "Way ahead of you. They're already upstate."
He has revealed that he at one time had experience with "screwing around with someone who's married." He sometimes receives calls from girlfriends or mentions "his girl"; he took a girl named Keisha Lockwood to the prom. He wears expensive Rolex watches.
Green is often a source of varied information in investigations. He speaks Spanish, some Russian — "Enough to pick up a date," — and a little French, and is up to date on popular culture; he appears to have a strong classical education. Frequently, he uses informal slang, addressing men as "bro" and referring to other men as "dudes". He often uses bad grammar when talking to suspects or people he does not respect.
He is a vegetarian, for which Briscoe often mocks him. In "Slaughter", Green asks if Briscoe picked him up a sandwich, to which Briscoe replies "They didn't have any tofu." He then offers Green half of his sandwich (which contains some kind of deli meat), and Green makes a disgusted face.
Although Green generally stands by other police officers, he occasionally makes enemies of detectives and officers who are suspected of being corrupt. He refuses to feel remorse for investigating them even if they are innocent, believing that following a lead is never reprehensible. He is more tolerant and willing to give his new partner, Nina Cassady, a fair chance to prove herself after she is promoted upon being hailed a local hero. He knows she is inexperienced but never seems to lose his temper with her, and he remains honest with her.
He had an uncle named Joe, who bought him beer when he was sixteen.
Racial issues have been connected to Green's character in some episodes. For example, when he and Briscoe investigate the shooting of a cop, they trace it to Stevie Thomas, a black boy whose brother Eric's murder was dismissed and effectively covered up by the police because he was black. Green interrogates Stevie solo at one point, speaking to him both as a cop and as a black man. He is called to testify in court, and at the end of the episode is seen reminding Van Buren that, while Eric Thomas' death creates guilt for those responsible, Eric is still dead.
Another instance of racial issues connected to Green is the episode "Prejudice", wherein a racist kills a black man over a taxi. When Briscoe and Green search the suspect's apartment, Green attempts to arrest him. However, the suspect throws him off and says he will comply only for Briscoe ("Not for you; for him!").
Like most other detective characters who join the series after 1993, Green carries a Glock 19 pistol as his service weapon.
Green was the first junior partner to be promoted to senior partner in the Law & Order universe. His last junior partner, Lupo, became the second and last detective to also be promoted.
Van Buren reprimands Green for getting personal while interviewing a suspect in the case of an abortion of a fetus thought to have Down's syndrome. After Van Buren leaves, Green reveals to Lupo that he was once engaged to a girl who became pregnant; they ordered an amniotic test and "couldn't decide what to do". They eventually terminated the pregnancy.
Appearances on other TV shows
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Season One
- Episode 3: "Or Just Look Like One"
- Episode 15: "Entitled"
- Season One
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Season One
- Episode 7: "Poison"
- Season One
- Law & Order: Trial by Jury
- Episode 8: "Skeleton"
- Andy Barker, P.I.
- Episode 5: "The Big No Sleep"
- "Gunshow". Law & Order. Season 10. Episode 1. 1999-09-22.
- "Marathon". Law & Order. Season 10. Episode 6. 1999-11-17.
- Law & Order episode "A Losing Season".
- "Paradigm". Law & Order. Season 15. Episode 1. 2004-09-22.
- "Tombstone". Law & Order. Season 15. Episode 20. 2005-04-13.
- "Called Home". Law & Order. Season 18. Episode 1. 2008-01-02.
- "Burn Card". Law & Order. Season 18. Episode 14. 2008-04-23.
- "Talking Points". Law & Order. Season 17. Episode 13. 2007-02-02.
- "Deadlock". Law & Order. Season 17. Episode 9. 2006-11-17.
- "Fallout". Law & Order. Season 17. Episode 19. 2007-04-27.
- "Hitman". Law & Order. Season 13. Episode 6. 2002-11-13.
- "Slaughter". Law & Order. Season 12. Episode 19. 2002-04-10.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Entitled, Part I", originally aired February 18, 2000.
- Law & Order episode "Deadlock", originally aired November 17, 2006.
- Law & Order episode "Embedded", originally aired November 19, 2003.
- Law & Order episode "Avatar", originally aired September 29, 2006.
- Law & Order episode "Betrayal", originally aired March 5, 2008.
- "Suicide Box". Law & Order. Season 13. Episode 16. 2003-03-26.
- "Prejudice". Law & Order. Season 12. Episode 10. 2001-12-12.
- "Misbegotten". Law & Order. Season 18. Episode 3. 2008-01-09.