Empire (Law & Order)

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Law & Order episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode 20
Original air date May 5, 1999 (1999-05-05)
Episode chronology
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"Tabula Rasa"
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List of Law & Order episodes (season 9)

"Empire" is the 201st episode of NBC's legal drama Law & Order, and the 20th episode of the 9th season.


The episode opens with a businessman, Gilbert Sanderson (Daniel Henry Murray) seen staggering into an Italian restaurant wearing boxer shorts and no pants. He collapses, asks for a doctor, and is taken away by ambulance. We learn later he has come from his townhouse next door. Detectives Lennie Briscoe and Rey Curtis find lady's underwear in his living room, and after he dies in the hospital, the medical examiner (Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers) discovers through an autopsy that he had ingested 1,000 mg of Viagra before his death, enough to kill him given an existing heart condition. The initial police investigation focuses on Mr. Sanderson's wife (Kathleen McNenny) (whose motive may have been retaliation for suspected infidelities), a business associate Julian Spector (Daniel Hugh Kelly), and Katrina Ludlow (Julia Roberts), a professional party planner who eventually admits to having had sex with Sanderson right before his death.