Law & Order (season 13)

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Law & Order (season 13)
Law & Order - The Thirteenth Year.jpg
Season 13 U.S. DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 24
Original network NBC
Original release October 2, 2002 (2002-10-02) – May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 12
Next →
Season 14
List of Law & Order episodes

The following is a list of Law & Order episodes from the series' thirteenth season (2002–2003):[1]


Arthur Branch (played by Fred Dalton Thompson) replaced season 12's Nora Lewin (Dianne Wiest) in the role of District Attorney. The resulting ensemble cast was the most stable in the history of the Law & Order series up to that time, being unchanged for 2 seasons over 48 episodes. The longest period of cast stability overall encompassed the last four episodes of Season 18 and the entirety of Seasons 19 and 20, a total of 49 episodes.




No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
278 1 "American Jihad" Constantine Makris Aaron Zelman & Marc Guggenheim October 2, 2002 (2002-10-02) E3304 19.10[2]

An American Muslim becomes the prime suspect in a double murder after an academic challenges his religious beliefs.

279 2 "Shangri-La" Constantine Makris Michael S. Chernuchin October 9, 2002 (2002-10-09) E3301 20.20[2]
The murder of a female high school English teacher uncovers a love triangle that includes a female student and a male teacher, both of whom become suspects. The prosecutors have to deal with the student's multiple identities and refusal to live past adolescence.
280 3 "True Crime" Martha Mitchell Wendy Battles & Noah Baylin October 16, 2002 (2002-10-16) E3305 19.30[2]
Investigating the death of a rock band singer who had large amounts of cocaine and heroin in her system, the detectives question a former boyfriend who was a disgruntled band mate of her late husband. The prosecutors are hampered by the actions of a retired detective-turned-writer, who worked a case with Briscoe several years back and whose unconventional research tactics make him a suspect as well.
281 4 "Tragedy on Rye" David Platt William N. Fordes October 30, 2002 (2002-10-30) E3303 20.20[2]

A struggling actress is murdered in an apparent robbery-homicide where a videotape, made by a couple touring the city and sold to a local news station, shows three suspects loading the stolen property into an SUV. They are charged with felony murder, a capital crime, and this causes unrest with Southerlyn surrounding the death penalty.

  • Inspired by the May 2001 New York City shooting above the popular tourist attraction the Carnegie Deli[3]
282 5 "The Ring" Richard Dobbs Michael S. Chernuchin November 6, 2002 (2002-11-06) E3309 18.40[2]
The discovery of a body in Hell's Kitchen that had been wearing a $40,000 diamond ring leads Briscoe and Green back to the September 11th attacks, as the victim had been reported to have died on the 89th floor of the World Trade Center. The ensuing investigation leads to a fiancee and a lover and the determination that the events of 9/11 may have been convenient timing to hide the fact that she was murdered the night before.
283 6 "Hitman" Richard Dobbs Eric Overmyer November 13, 2002 (2002-11-13) E3302 19.00[2]
The execution-style shooting of a city contractor leads Briscoe and Green to suspect a professional hitman. They first focus upon possible enemies of the victim, but end up suspecting the victim's wife and her boyfriend of hiring the killer. However, as they investigate every possibility, the evidence leads McCoy and Southerlyn to a conspirator that no one had suspected.
284 7 "Open Season" Matthew Penn Richard Sweren November 20, 2002 (2002-11-20) E3306 18.00[2]
A defense attorney who had just acquitted a cop-killer is gunned down outside a Manhattan restaurant. The detectives start with police officers in the precinct of the injured officer, then to his brother, before they are led to a white supremacist who is part of a national network. McCoy is faced with the unlikely prospect that the defendant's attorney, his friend of 20 years and a friend of the slain lawyer, played a part in the murder of a Florida district attorney following the defendant's arrest. McCoy is able to make a deal that preserves the integrity of his adversary, but not without a cost.
285 8 "Asterisk" Steve Shill Terri Kopp November 27, 2002 (2002-11-27) E3308 15.80[2]
A star baseball player becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his limousine driver when it is discovered that the driver regularly supplied steroids to the sports icon. The subsequent investigation reveals blackmail as the underlying motive for the murder.
286 9 "The Wheel" Richard Dobbs Jill Goldsmith December 11, 2002 (2002-12-11) E3307 19.60[2]
The smoldering corpse of an Asian girl found outside the Chinese consul general's apartment leads the detectives to believe she had immolated herself to make a political statement. When forensics shows that she had been murdered beforehand, they find themselves in the middle of a religious conflict, with the consul general their prime suspect and his attorney an old friend of DA Branch.
287 10 "Mother's Day" Jace Alexander Janis Diamond January 8, 2003 (2003-01-08) E3311 19.60[2]
The hit-and-run death of a popular high-school student leaves the detectives suspecting the girl's father was the real target. When evidence reveals that the death was possibly a random killing, they are able to track down their suspect to his apartment. However, things get complicated when their killer is murdered, and the person who committed the crime happens to be the victim's mother.
288 11 "Chosen" Ed Sherin Michael S. Chernuchin January 15, 2003 (2003-01-15) E3310 19.00[2]
The murder of a bookie with a high-class clientele leads the detectives to arrest his partner. Charged with first-degree murder, his attorney puts forth an unusual defense strategy that turns the trial into a political statement.
289 12 "Under God" Gloria Muzio Marc Guggenheim & Noah Baylin February 5, 2003 (2003-02-05) E3313 18.30[2]
A drug dealer is killed and suspicion falls on a dead teenager's father. Briscoe, still mourning his daughter, is unusually sympathetic. But before the police can prove it, his priest (Denis O'Hare) confesses — claiming that God told him to do it.
290 13 "Absentia" Martha Mitchell & Darnell Martin Eric Overmyer February 12, 2003 (2003-02-12) E3314 18.40[2]
When the witness in a jewelry store robbery-homicide fails to appear in court, McCoy suspects foul play until he discovers that the man (Mandy Patinkin) is a fugitive in a 20-year-old murder case.
291 14 "Star Crossed" David Platt Richard Sweren February 19, 2003 (2003-02-19) E3315 19.80[2]
The bludgeoning of a luxury sports car dealer leads the detectives to a mentally challenged man and his girlfriend, who is extremely attractive and whose expensive tastes lead her to be equally manipulative.
292 15 "Bitch" Constantine Makris Michael S. Chernuchin & Roz Weinman February 26, 2003 (2003-02-26) E3320 TBA
The death of a stockbroker leads the detectives to his girlfriend, whose mother is a cosmetics mogul who has a longstanding friendship with DA Arthur Branch and will stop at nothing to protect her corporate image by using hormone replacement therapy withdrawal as the basis for her defense.
293 16 "Suicide Box" Matthew Penn Aaron Zelman March 26, 2003 (2003-03-26) E3312 TBA
A media-savvy attorney defends a black teenager accused of shooting an off-duty police officer.
294 17 "Genius" Jace Alexander William N. Fordes April 2, 2003 (2003-04-02) E3318 15.50[2]
Investigating the murder of a cab driver, the detectives come to suspect a famous author and his protege, a former child prodigy.
295 18 "Maritime" Gloria Muzio Wendy Battles April 17, 2003 (2003-04-17) E3319 15.50[2]

A missing football player becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a woman whose body is discovered floating in the East River, but when his yacht is found with all the guests missing the detectives suspect that he was a victim himself of his problematic brother.

296 19 "Seer" James Quinn Jill Goldsmith April 23, 2003 (2003-04-23) E3316 18.10[2]
The prime suspect in the murder of a woman outside a sex club claims to have merely witnessed the crime via a psychic vision.
297 20 "Kid Pro Quo" David Platt Eric Overmyer & Roz Weinman April 30, 2003 (2003-04-30) E3325 18.10[2]
The murder of an admissions director of a private school leads the detectives to investigate a pair of angry parents whose children were denied admission, but then they set their sights on the headmaster when they discover that the victim was about to go public with the denied admissions.
298 21 "House Calls" Jace Alexander Janis Diamond May 7, 2003 (2003-05-07) E3323 17.50[2]
The suspicious death of a Russian model leads the detectives to suspect medical malpractice.
299 22 "Sheltered" Richard Dobbs Terri Kopp May 14, 2003 (2003-05-14) E3324 18.30[2]
It's a race against time as the detectives go on the hunt for a sniper whose victims are shot in broad daylight.
300 23 "Couples" David Platt Lorenzo Carcaterra May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21) E3317 16.00[4]
One of the few episodes that deviates from the usual formula. Briscoe and Green catch four murders and a kidnapping on the same day, and get handed confessions in each case. The DA's office only features minimally.
301 24 "Smoke" Constantine Makris Teleplay by: Michael S. Chernuchin
Story by: Dick Wolf
May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21) E3322 19.00[4]
Briscoe and Green are assigned to a case involving an eccentric comedian who may have killed his young son by dangling him off a ledge.

Notes and references[edit]

  • Fred Dalton Thompson joins the cast as Arthur Branch in this season.
  • The episode "Couples" marks the show's 300th episode.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Season Twelve
List of Law & Order seasons
Succeeded by
Season Fourteen