Law & Order (season 8)

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Law & Order (season 8)
Law and Order season 8 cover.jpg
Season 8 U.S. DVD Cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 24
Original channel NBC
Original run September 24, 1997 (1997-09-24) – May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07)[1]
Region 4 August 4, 2011 (2011-08-04)[2]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 7
Next →
Season 9
List of Law & Order episodes

The eighth season of the legal drama Law & Order aired on NBC from September 24, 1997, to May 20, 1998, and consisted of twenty-four episodes.


The cast of season 8 remained unchanged from season 7.

Actor Character Main cast Recurring cast
Jerry Orbach Lennie Briscoe entire season N/A
Benjamin Bratt Rey Curtis entire season N/A
S. Epatha Merkerson Anita Van Buren entire season N/A
Sam Waterston E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy entire season N/A
Carey Lowell A.D.A. Jamie Ross entire season N/A
Steven Hill D.A. Adam Schiff entire season N/A


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
158 1 "Thrill" Martha Mitchell René Balcer September 24, 1997 (1997-09-24) K2508

The cops break the seemingly random murder of a fried chicken deliverer with a little "undercover" work in the park, but McCoy and Ross face a harder battle to get a conviction when the two defendants resolutely point the finger at each other, and the one item identifying the actual killer is the recording of a confession-made to a priest. Meanwhile, Curtis learns that his wife has multiple sclerosis.

159 2 "Denial" Christopher Misiano Teleplay by: David Shore
Story by: David Shore & René Balcer
October 8, 1997 (1997-10-08) K2504

Bloody sheets and an apparently stolen credit card lead Briscoe and Curtis to a pair of college-age lovers who present McCoy and Ross with a united front of denial that one of them killed their newborn son and disposed of the body.

160 3 "Navy Blues" Jace Alexander Teleplay by: Kathy McCormick
Story by: Dick Wolf & Kathy McCormick
October 15, 1997 (1997-10-15) K2510

McCoy finds himself battling the Navy and the office of the Judge Advocate General as he tries to prosecute a female pilot accused of murdering her married lover after he tried to break off with her.

161 4 "Harvest" Matthew Penn Teleplay by: I.C. Rapoport
Story by: I.C. Rapoport & René Balcer
October 29, 1997 (1997-10-29) K2506

A discrepancy concerning the time of death of a drive-by shooting victim leads McCoy and Ross to initiate prosecutions against both the shooter and the doctor who harvested her organs as transplant donations.

162 5 "Nullification" Constantine Makris David Black November 5, 1997 (1997-11-05) K2507

After the cops trace an eagle tattoo on a man shot and killed while holding up an armored truck to a group of militia members, McCoy finds himself facing one of their number as the pro se counsel for his friends, arguing for the concept of "jury nullification", the right of a jury to protect a defendant from an unjust law by acquittal despite the evidence.

163 6 "Baby, It's You"[9] Ed Sherin Jorge Zamacona November 12, 1997 (1997-11-12) K2511

It's old home week for Briscoe when an apparent murder of a teenage model in New York City develops ties to Baltimore, and Detectives Munch and Falsone pay a visit to the Big Apple to observe the case. Meanwhile, McCoy finds himself battling the attorney of the victim's parents for access to his clients and the Baltimore DA for jurisdiction.

164 7 "Blood" Jace Alexander Teleplay by: Craig Tepper
Story by: René Balcer & Craig Tepper
November 19, 1997 (1997-11-19) K2502

The paternity of a black baby given up for adoption by a white mother who later fell from an apartment balcony might provide a clue to her murderer, but it also unearths some long-buried family secrets that it seems more than one person would kill to keep hidden.

165 8 "Shadow" Matthew Penn Richard Sweren November 26, 1997 (1997-11-26) K2505

The murder of a bail bondsman looks fairly routine until the chance words of the chief suspect uncover possible case-fixing between a shady lawyer and an unknown contact within the judicial system.

  • Guest stars: Bruce MacVittie, Jacinto Taras Riddick, Don Billett, Dominic Chianese, Marciy Harriell, Alexandra Neil, Kate Mara and David Marshall Grant.
166 9 "Burned" Constantine Makris Siobhan B. O'Connor December 10, 1997 (1997-12-10) K2501

A message overheard on an answering machine leads Briscoe and Curtis to a confessed murderer and the home of wealthy Carl Anderton, an old friend of Adam Schiff, whose stubborn non-cooperation with the district attorney threatens to create a serious miscarriage of justice.

167 10 "Ritual" Brian Mertes Kathy McCormick & Richard Sweren December 17, 1997 (1997-12-17) K2516

Curtis and Briscoe investigate the death of Josef Moussad, an Arab man found behind a dumpster, the victim of an apparent mugging. The detectives soon realize that Moussad had brought a doctor into the country to perform a clitoridectomy on his young niece, and suspicion turns to the family. Ross is horrified that young Alison's grandmother and uncle were both in full support of the operation, which makes it hard for her to prosecute the case objectively.

  • Based on heightened concern over female genital cutting.[10]
  • Guest stars: Cotter Smith, Steve Landesberg, Ava Haddad, Aharon Ipale, Maryann Urbano, Ramsey Faragallah, Emmy Rossum, and Connie Nelson.
  • This episode was the basis for the Law & Order: UK episode "Customs."
168 11 "Under the Influence" Adam Davidson René Balcer January 7, 1998 (1998-01-07) K2517

After Briscoe and Curtis finally determine who was driving the car that killed three people, the legal prosecution stands in danger of becoming a kangaroo court when McCoy's feelings over Kincaid mesh with the political agenda of an ambitious judge anxious to make an example of the defendant.

  • Guest stars: Cliff Gorman, David Garrison, Kathryn Meisle, Gene Canfield, Melanie Rey, Claywood Sepliner and Daniel McDonald.
169 12 "Expert" Lewis H. Gould David Shore & I.C. Rapoport January 21, 1998 (1998-01-21) K2518

The shooting of two people in a restaurant restroom takes some abrupt turns as they try to discover who exactly the intended victim was, and the prosecutors have to deal with a defendant claiming to have been in a dissociative state while committing the crime — the same defense used years before by the defendant's father.

  • Guest stars: Stephe Pearlman, Vera Farmiga, Joanna Merlin, Ben Hammer, Matthew Sussman, Judy Kuhn and J.K. Simmons.
170 13 "Castoff" Gloria Muzio David Black & Harold Schechter January 28, 1998 (1998-01-28) K2512

The street murder of a woman who worked with underprivileged kids takes a turn towards the bizarre when the detectives uncover she had a predilection for kinky sex, and that one of her current partners appears to be a serial killer, who offers an overexposure to television violence as his defense during his trial.

171 14 "Grief" Christopher Misiano Suzanne Oshry February 4, 1998 (1998-02-04) K2514

The cops, as they try to pin down the specifics of an assault on a man reluctant to talk about it, uncover the alleged rape of two women in custodial care. But as the prosecutors attempt to prepare their case, a reluctant witness changes their view of the cases.

172 15 "Faccia a Faccia" Martha Mitchell René Balcer & Eddie Feldmann February 25, 1998 (1998-02-25) K2519

Taking on an apparent Mafia murder, Detectives Briscoe and Curtis are stymied by a dead witness and a seemingly incoherent mob boss.

173 16 "Divorce" Constantine Makris Barry M. Schkolnick March 4, 1998 (1998-03-04) K2520

The stabbing death of a psychologist draws Detectives Briscoe and Curtis into a heated divorce case and pits McCoy and Ross against a manipulative attorney.

174 17 "Carrier" J. Ranelli David Black April 1, 1998 (1998-04-01) K2525

The death of a college student leads to a case involving an HIV-positive male who's seeking to infect as many young women as possible. McCoy, testing right-to-privacy ethics, wants to charge him with murder.

175 18 "Stalker" Richard Dobbs Kathy McCormick April 15, 1998 (1998-04-15) K2523

When a woman is found unconscious at the bottom of her apartment stairs, Briscoe and Curtis must figure out what happened — before it's too late. In order to make his case, McCoy pits the two detectives against each other in the courtroom. Guest stars: Robert Joy, Susan Floyd, Joe Lisi, Stephen Gevedon, Harry Goz, Roger Serbagi, Daniel Oreskes and Marilyn Rockafellow.

  • This episode was the basis for the Law & Order: UK episode "Anonymous."
176 19 "Disappeared" David Platt Richard Sweren & William N. Fordes April 22, 1998 (1998-04-22) K2528

A defendant refuses to allow his lawyer to raise the issue of insanity. This complicates matters for the brother who turned him in with hopes of securing medical treatment for him.

  • Guest stars: Ken Welsh, Tovah Feldshuh, Michael Medeiros, Steve Mellor, Donna Hanover, Maggie Burke and J.K. Simmons
177 20 "Burden" Constantine Makris David Shore & I.C. Rapoport April 24, 1998 (1998-04-24) K2526

After a 12-year-old quadriplegic dies at home in his bed, paramedics claim that he was suffocated and the suspects include the boy's parents and sister.

  • Guest stars: Gerry Bamman, John Hickok, Heather Matarazzo, John Procaccino, William Severs, J.K. Simmons and Maryann Plunkett.
178 21 "Bad Girl" Jace Alexander René Balcer & Richard Sweren April 28, 1998 (1998-04-28) K2524

Schiff's re-election may hinge on the stabbing death of a police officer; Briscoe's daughter is arrested for dealing drugs.

  • Based on the Karla Faye Tucker case.[13]
  • Guest star: Cliff Gorman, Isabel Gillies, Geofrey Naufts, Neal Jones, Jennifer Bill, Ana Gasteyer, Lynn Cohen, Ilana Levine, Tom Wiggin and Robert Vaughn.
179 22 "Damaged" Constantine Makris Janis Diamond May 6, 1998 (1998-05-06) K2522

The case of a teacher's shooting uncovers a vendetta involving the rape of a mentally challenged coed by three students, whose attorney claims they weren't aware of her condition. Briscoe is devastated to learn of his daughter Cathy's death.

  • Guest stars: Robert Clohessy, Lauren Ambrose, Claire Beckman, Jennifer Bill, John Christopher Jones, Jon Abrahams, Gerry Rosenthal, Adam LaVorgna, Kate Skinner, Alison Folland, J.K. Simmons as Dr. Emil Skoda and Ron McLarty.
180 23 "Tabloid" Brian Mertes Teleplay by: David Black
Story by: David Black & Alec Baldwin
May 13, 1998 (1998-05-13) K2515

Tabloid journalism comes under scrutiny during the investigations into the deaths of a gossip columnist and a celebrity target he pursued.

  • This episode was written by actor Alec Baldwin.[14]
  • Guest stars: Timothy Carhart, Joe Mantello, Robin Groves, Gerrit Graham and John Slattery.
181 24 "Monster" Ed Sherin René Balcer & Richard Sweren May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20) K2527

During the search for a pedophile who raped a 10-year-old, a snitch offers Briscoe a chance to avenge his daughter's death. Meanwhile, Van Buren learns that her job is in jeopardy; McCoy is ordered to appear before a disciplinary committee because of his conduct in a DUI case; and the increasingly political Schiff worries that the rape case may adversely impact his reelection bid.


  1. ^ " Law & Order: Season Eight: Sam Waterston, Jerry Orbach: Movies & TV". 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Dwyer, Kevin (2006). Review: True Stories of Law & Order: The Real Crimes Behind the Best Episodes of the Hit TV Show. Penguin. pp. viii, 179–184. 
  4. ^ Wyatt, Edward (2005-01-08). "Even for an Expert, Blurred TV Images Became a False Reality". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Courrier, Kevin (1998). Law & order: the unofficial companion. Renaissance Books. pp. 285–286. 
  6. ^ Courrier, p.287
  7. ^ Courrier, p.288
  8. ^ Courrier, p.288-290
  9. ^ "Baby, It's You" and "Sideshow" are two-part episodes that conclude on Homicide: Life on the Street.
  10. ^ James, Stanlie Myrise (2002). Genital cutting and transnational sisterhood: disputing U.S. polemics. University Press of Illinois. p. 73. 
  11. ^ Lo, Malinda (June 13, 2005). "Law and Order Treats Gay Men Fairly". 
  12. ^ Courrier, p.296
  13. ^ Price, Melynda Janea (2006). At the Cross: Race and Religion in the Politics of the Death Penalty Among African Americans. p. 222. 
  14. ^ "Alec Baldwin biography". IMDB. 


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Season Seven
List of Law & Order seasons
Succeeded by
Season Nine