Mike Logan (Law & Order)

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Det. Mike Logan
Law & Order character
Mike Logan - Law Order - Prescription for Death.jpg
First appearance Season 1 (L&O): "Prescription for Death"
Season 4 (CI): "Stress Position"
Last appearance Season 5 (L&O): "Pride"
Season 7 (CI): "Last Rites"
Portrayed by Chris Noth
Time on show 1990–1995 (Law & Order)
1998 (Exiled - movie)
2005–2008 (Criminal Intent)
Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (L&O)
4, 5, 6, 7 (CI)
Credited appearances 111 episodes (L&O)
1 episode (HLOTS)
36 episodes (CI)
148 episodes (total)
Succeeded by Rey Curtis (Law & Order)
Zack Nichols (Criminal Intent)
Information
Nickname(s) Mike
Mikey (by Phil Cerreta, Don Cragen, and occasionally Lennie Briscoe)
Occupation Police Officer
Title NYPD Detective
Family Dave (cousin)[1]
Partner L&O
Max Greevey
Phil Cerreta
Lennie Briscoe
Exiled
Tony Boyer
Frankie Silvera
L&O: CI

Carolyn Barek
Megan Wheeler
Nola Falacci

Michael "Mike" Logan is a fictional character in the police procedural and legal drama television series Law & Order franchise, played by Chris Noth. He appears in 148 episodes of the franchise (111 episodes of Law & Order, 1 episode of Homicide: Life on the Street, and 36 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent). He also appeared in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.

History in the franchise[edit]

Logan initially appeared on Law & Order from the show's pilot episode. He appeared in every episode beginning with the first season in 1990 until Noth's dismissal from the series in 1995. After appearing in the franchise telemovie Exiled, the character then guest-starred in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent Season 4 episode "Stress Position". Logan subsequently became a regular on Criminal Intent, starting with the first episode of season five, "Grow," which originally aired on September 25, 2005. Logan then left the series in the 21st episode of season seven, "Last Rites," which originally aired on August 17, 2008.

Character development[edit]

Law & Order[edit]

Mike Logan was born in 1958[2] in New York City into a working-class Irish-Catholic family and spent 10 years attending Our Lady of Mercy.[3] He is originally portrayed as a womanizing misanthrope with a short temper. Later episodes, however, reveal a darker, more complex side to the character; it is gradually revealed that he had been abused as a child, both physically (by his unstable, alcoholic mother[4]) and sexually (by his parish priest, whom he later confronts and brings to justice).[2] These early traumas lead to his rather cynical view of the church; he quips in one episode that "My mother beat me with one hand while she held a Rosary with the other. The next time I enter a church, it'll be in a pine box carried by six of my friends." When he was a young man, his pregnant girlfriend had an abortion against his wishes.[5]

In several episodes, his anger explodes; when his first partner, Max Greevey (George Dzundza), is murdered by a suspect, Logan comes close to killing the perpetrator, relenting only at the last minute. The incident nearly costs Logan his job.[6]

Logan's second partner, Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino), is also shot in the line of duty,[7] but he survives and takes on a desk job.[8] In the following episodes, his partner is Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), with whom he forms a close friendship.

Logan has professed an intense dislike for upper-class professions, especially lawyers, accounting for his antagonistic relationship with EADA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston). He has diverse political views; he is adamantly pro-choice,[9] supports gay rights, favors drug legalization,[10] and compares the Patriot Act to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.[11] While he has at various points held slight prejudices against people of Arabic and Japanese descent, by 2007 shows unbridled disdain towards any form of racism.

Appearances post-Law & Order & pre-Criminal Intent[edit]

When Noth was fired from the show in 1995 over a salary dispute, the Logan character was written out; in the Law & Order universe, Logan is transferred from Manhattan Homicide to the Staten Island Domestic Disputes squad in 1995[12] for publicly punching a homophobic politician who had been tried for the murder of a gay man (based on the Dan White case). (Briscoe refers to this as "being sentenced to 3 to 5 on Staten Island," as Staten Island is regarded as a backwater by Manhattan cops.) He is replaced by Det. Rey Curtis (Benjamin Bratt).

The Logan character was revived in 1998 and given his own TV movie, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie. By the time of the movie, Logan has become a homicide detective again, but in Staten Island. He tries to get back to Manhattan by solving the murder of a prostitute, in the process discovering that his old friend, Detective Tony Profaci (John Fiore), is involved in the crime.

Criminal Intent[edit]

Mike Logan as he appears in the final scene of the episode "Last Rites". This episode aired nearly 18 years after Noth's first portrayal of the character, and this would be the final appearance of the character.

In 2005, the character was added to Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He was reintroduced in the fourth season episode "Stress Position," where he helps the Major Case Squad's investigation of a case of prisoner abuse involving corrupt corrections officers who torture Arab prisoners.[11] Detectives Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) question Logan's girlfriend, prison nurse Gina Lowe, about prison drug testing and her interactions with a murdered corrections officer. Later, the detectives deduce that Unit Counselor Kurt Plumm is planning to have Lowe killed; Goren and Logan attempt to escort her to safety but the prison goes into lock-down, trapping all three inside. Plumm and his partners corner Logan, Goren, and Lowe in a corridor, and Plumm implies that they intend to kill them. Goren convinces the other guards to defy Plumm, however, and one of the officers opens the gates to free the detectives and Lowe. Logan picks up one of the guards' discarded billy club and approaches Plumm menacingly, but he resists the urge to assault the man. "That guy," Logan later says to Goren, "he would have been worth another 10 years in Staten Island." Also in the episode, Captain James Deakins (Jamey Sheridan) reveals that Logan's former superior officer, Lieutenant Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), had tried three times to get him transferred back to her command after his reassignment, all to no avail.

Deakins returns Logan to Manhattan as a detective under his command in the fifth season, when he is partnered with Det. Carolyn Barek (Annabella Sciorra).[13] In the 2006 episode "To the Bone", he accidentally shoots an undercover police officer while investigating a homicide instigated by the officer's foster mother. He is cleared of official misconduct, but is troubled by having killed someone; he reaches out to police psychiatrist Elizabeth Olivet (Carolyn McCormick), who had helped him come to terms with Greevey's death, for counseling.[14]

In the fifth-season episode "The Healer," it is revealed that Logan has a severe allergy to poison ivy, which manifests itself as a rash, fever, and stomach pains.

In the sixth season, the Major Case Squad is handed over to a new captain, Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian), and Logan is assigned a new partner, Det. Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson).[15]

At the end of the sixth season, while Wheeler goes on temporary assignment (due to Nicholson's first pregnancy), Logan begins dating his neighbor Holly Lauren (Kelli Williams), but she is murdered before the relationship can develop.[16] During the investigation, Logan discovers that Lauren had a whole other life: Her name used to be Kathleen Shaw and she was running from an abusive ex-boyfriend, who becomes a person of interest in her death. When District Attorney Arthur Branch (Fred Dalton Thompson) drops charges against Lauren's ex, Julian, due to lack of evidence of a homicide, Logan is deeply upset by her death.

At the start of the seventh season, he has a new partner, Detective Nola Fallaci (Alicia Witt), who is assigned to him from Brooklyn North homicide, while Wheeler is teaching American police procedures to officers in Europe.[16][17]

In the episode "Last Rites", Logan goes head to head with Terri Driver, a corrupt ADA who had enhanced her own reputation by railroading defendants she had cause to believe were innocent. Driver, who is running for attorney general, threatens to go after Logan's job and builds a case against Wheeler's fiancé, who is arrested by the FBI for fraud and racketeering. Logan solves a 16-year-old homicide that Driver has been trying to bury, but the inflexibility and corruption of the justice system he sees in this case leaves him angry and disenchanted. A priest who first put Logan on the case advises him that, after over 25 years as a cop, it is time to do other things with his life. Logan nods his head and walks out of the room, but his decision is not revealed until the following season, when Ross mentions to Wheeler that her partner quit on her, referring to Logan. He is replaced by Zack Nichols (Jeff Goldblum).

Weapons[edit]

Mike Logan carries a Smith & Wesson Model 36 .38 Special caliber revolver in the original Law & Order series. In Law & Order: Criminal Intent, he still carried the Model 36 in his early appearances, but he later switched to a Glock 19 9mm semiautomatic pistol before moving to a Colt Detective Special another .38 caliber revolver.

Crossover appearance on Homicide: Life on the Street[edit]

In the pre-credit sequence of the 1995 Homicide: Life on the Street episode "Law & Disorder" (Season 3, Episode 15), Mike Logan hands off a prisoner (John Waters) to Baltimore Detective Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher), while they engage in friendly banter about which city, New York or Baltimore, is better. Noth was uncredited for his appearance but received a special thanks.

Fictional work history[edit]

Squad Borough Division Partner Direct Superior
27th Manhattan Homicide Sgt. Max Greevey
Capt. Donald Cragen
Sgt. Phil Cerreta
Det. Lennie Briscoe  
Lt. Anita Van Buren
128th Staten Island Domestic Dispute Det. Tony Boyer Lt. Kevin Stolper
Homicide Det. Frankie Silvera
1PP Manhattan Major Case Squad Det. Carolyn Barek Capt. James Deakins
Det. Megan Wheeler Capt. Danny Ross
Det. Nola Falacci

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Renewal"
  2. ^ a b "Bad Faith"
  3. ^ Law & Order episode "Apocrypha"
  4. ^ Law & Order episode "Indifference"
  5. ^ Law & Order episode "Breeder"
  6. ^ Law & Order episode "Confession"
  7. ^ Law & Order episode "Prince of Darkness"
  8. ^ Law & Order episode "Point of View"
  9. ^ Law & Order episode "Life Choice"
  10. ^ Law & Order episode "Mother Love"
  11. ^ a b Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Stress Position"
  12. ^ Law & Order episode "Pride"
  13. ^ Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Grow"
  14. ^ Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "To the Bone"
  15. ^ Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Tru Love"
  16. ^ a b Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Renewal"
  17. ^ Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Seeds"