Law & Order (season 8)

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Law & Order (season 8)
LawAndOrder S8.jpg
Season 8 U.S. DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes24
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 24, 1997 (1997-09-24) –
May 20, 1998 (1998-05-20)
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 24 episodes.


The cast of season 8 remained unchanged from season 7.

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
1581"Thrill"Martha MitchellRené BalcerSeptember 24, 1997 (1997-09-24)K250817.58[2]

The cops break the seemingly random murder of a fried chicken deliverer, which was discovered to be a thrill killing, 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.

1592"Denial"Christopher MisianoTeleplay by: David Shore
Story by: David Shore & René Balcer
October 8, 1997 (1997-10-08)K250414.30[4]

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.

1603"Navy Blues"Jace AlexanderTeleplay by: Kathy McCormick
Story by: Dick Wolf & Kathy McCormick
October 15, 1997 (1997-10-15)K251011.80[6]

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.

1614"Harvest"Matthew PennTeleplay by: I.C. Rapoport
Story by: I.C. Rapoport & René Balcer
October 29, 1997 (1997-10-29)K250614.20[8]

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.

1625"Nullification"Constantine MakrisDavid BlackNovember 5, 1997 (1997-11-05)K250713.00[10]

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.

  • Inspired by Militia actions such as the sieges of Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas, the Oklahoma City bombing and the trial of the Chicago Seven. Writer David Black said while researching for the episode that he found some aspects of the movement to be bigoted, but found that some of it reminded him of "original revolutionists of America. They do sound like Tom Paine and Thomas Jefferson... I don't think they should use terrorist tactics, but philosophically I have some sympathy."[9]
1636"Baby, It's You"Ed SherinJorge ZamaconaNovember 12, 1997 (1997-11-12)K251116.00[12]

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 while also battling the Baltimore DA for jurisdiction.

This is part one of a two-part episode that concludes on Homicide: Life on the Street.

Special appearances by Richard Belzer as John Munch; Yaphet Kotto as Al Giardello; Jon Seda as Paul Falsone

1647"Blood"Jace AlexanderTeleplay by: Craig Tepper
Story by: René Balcer & Craig Tepper
November 19, 1997 (1997-11-19)K250215.10[13]
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.
1658"Shadow"Matthew PennRichard SwerenNovember 26, 1997 (1997-11-26)K250514.80[14]
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.
1669"Burned"Constantine MakrisSiobhan ByrneDecember 10, 1997 (1997-12-10)K250114.20[15]
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.
16710"Ritual"Brian MertesKathy McCormick & Richard SwerenDecember 17, 1997 (1997-12-17)K251613.90[17]

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.

16811"Under the Influence"Adam DavidsonRené BalcerJanuary 7, 1998 (1998-01-07)K251717.00[18]
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 Gary Feldman, an ambitious judge anxious to make an example of the defendant to boost his election chances against Adam Schiff.
16912"Expert"Lewis H. GouldDavid Shore & I.C. RapoportJanuary 21, 1998 (1998-01-21)K251813.60[19]
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.
17013"Castoff"Gloria MuzioDavid Black & Harold SchechterJanuary 28, 1998 (1998-01-28)K251215.60[21]

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.

17114"Grief"Christopher MisianoSuzanne OshryFebruary 4, 1998 (1998-02-04)K251414.60[22]
As the cops try to pin down the specifics of an assault on a man reluctant to discuss it, they 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.
17215"Faccia a Faccia"Martha MitchellRené Balcer & Eddie FeldmannFebruary 25, 1998 (1998-02-25)K251913.80[23]
Taking on an apparent Mafia murder, Detectives Briscoe and Curtis are stymied by a dead witness and a seemingly incoherent mob boss.
17316"Divorce"Constantine MakrisBarry M. SchkolnickMarch 4, 1998 (1998-03-04)K252014.70[24]
The stabbing death of a psychologist draws Detectives Briscoe and Curtis into a heated divorce case and pits Prosecutors McCoy and Ross against a manipulative attorney.
17417"Carrier"J. RanelliDavid BlackApril 1, 1998 (1998-04-01)K252512.70[25]
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.
17518"Stalker"Richard DobbsKathy McCormickApril 15, 1998 (1998-04-15)K252316.40[26]
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.
17619"Disappeared"David PlattRichard Sweren & William N. FordesApril 22, 1998 (1998-04-22)K252814.20[27]
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.
17720"Burden"Constantine MakrisDavid Shore & I.C. RapoportApril 24, 1998 (1998-04-24)K252611.30[27]
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.
17821"Bad Girl"Jace AlexanderRené Balcer & Richard SwerenApril 29, 1998 (1998-04-29)K252414.30[29]

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

17922"Damaged"Constantine MakrisJanis DiamondMay 6, 1998 (1998-05-06)K252214.30[30]
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 at the hands of a killer that an unknown Prosecutor failed to convict.
18023"Tabloid"Brian MertesTeleplay by: David Black
Story by: David Black & Alec Baldwin
May 13, 1998 (1998-05-13)K251513.30[31]
Tabloid journalism comes under scrutiny during the investigations into the deaths of a gossip columnist and a celebrity target he pursued.
18124"Monster"Ed SherinRené Balcer & Richard SwerenMay 20, 1998 (1998-05-20)K252714.80[32]
A 10-year-old girl is raped and rendered comatose by a pedophile. A snitch offers Briscoe a chance to avenge his daughter's death. The NYPD brass is looking to force Lieutenant Van Buren out of her job, while Ross resigns from hers to devote more time to her family life and her ongoing divorce. McCoy, meanwhile, must contend with Judge Feldman as an adversary both at trial and outside the courtroom due to an ethics complaint the judge filed against him. While all of this goes on, Schiff begins to consider the possibility that Feldman might defeat him in the election.


  • This is the final season to feature Carey Lowell as Jamie Ross. She makes a guest appearance as a defense attorney in the following two seasons, as well as playing a judge on Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
  • This is the first season to feature no cast changes from the previous season.
  • The episode "Under the Influence" revisits the car accident involving Claire Kincaid from Season 6.
  • The episode "Bad Girl" stars Isabel Gillies, who would later join the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit cast as Kathy, wife of Elliot Stabler.
  • Beginning with the episode "Denial" J. K. Simmons would appear in a recurring role as Dr. Emil Skoda until 2004. He would then reprise the role in 2010, the final season.


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  3. ^ Wyatt, Edward (2005-01-08). "Even for an Expert, Blurred TV Images Became a False Reality". New York Times.
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  5. ^ Courrier, Kevin (1998). Law & order: the unofficial companion. Renaissance Books. pp. 285–286.
  6. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  7. ^ Courrier, p.287
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  9. ^ Courrier, p.288
  10. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  11. ^ Courrier, p.288-290
  12. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  16. ^ James, Stanlie Myrise (2002). Genital cutting and transnational sisterhood: disputing U.S. polemics. University Press of Illinois. p. 73.
  17. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  20. ^ Lo, Malinda (June 13, 2005). "Law and Order Treats Gay Men Fairly".
  21. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ a b "Ratings" (PDF).
  28. ^ Price, Melynda Janea (2006). At the Cross: Race and Religion in the Politics of the Death Penalty Among African Americans. p. 222.
  29. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
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  31. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).
  32. ^ "Ratings" (PDF).

External links[edit]

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