|Law & Order character|
|First appearance||"Publish and Perish"|
|Portrayed by||Michael Imperioli|
Detective Nick Falco is a fictional character on the NBC crime drama Law & Order, portrayed by Michael Imperioli. Falco appears as the junior partner of Det. Joe Fontana at the end of season 15 after Fontana's partner, Ed Green (Jesse L. Martin), was shot in the line of duty. He first appeared as Joe Fontana's partner in the last four episodes of the show's 15th season while Martin took time off to film the movie Rent. Falco would later be the focus of the season 16 episode "Hindsight" when he is accused of murdering a woman.
Characterization and production
Imperioli was brought in to play Falco after Ed Green was shot. While Falco can appear[according to whom?] to be a "loose cannon" type, he has been known to take extra precautions when interrogating suspects or executing warrants that sometimes annoy other detectives. A part-time law student, Falco tends to know more about the "fine print" of the law that could sink otherwise good-faith arrests.
On playing Falco, Imperioli said, "I think what I find interesting is that the character of Nick Falco probably comes from a similar background as my character on The Sopranos; economically and geographically and kind of culturally. The differences: they're both Italian-American; they're both New Yorkers; they come from middle class backgrounds....The character I'm playing on Law & Order, has a real passion for making the world safe and making the city safe for people. He wants to make sure that the bad guys go to jail and that justice wins out and I think he grew up with that reverence and lives with it."
Falco has two children, a boy (born 1999) and a girl (born 2002). He appeared again near the end of the 16th season, when a woman he brought home was found dead in his apartment's bathroom. Falco, in an effort to clear his name, tries to investigate the murder on his own, which taints the investigation Fontana and Green are conducting. Falco's name is later cleared; detectives learn that the murdered woman was part of a criminal gang which routinely committed robbery. The leader of the gang, the wife of an incarcerated criminal, had asked the woman to go home with Falco and put Rohypnol in his drink to knock him out. The woman was later murdered (by the girlfriend of another gang member) and left in Falco's apartment in an attempt to incriminate him. Her son was in on the sting to get her only to prove to the police and Falco that she did not do it.
Brian Holcomb of Slant Magazine did not regard the character in a positive light, noting that "Milena Govich's Nina Cassady...can be placed on the same trash heap as Michael Imperioli's temp job as Detective Nick Falco."
- Kohanik, Eric (December 8, 2007). "Sopranos role way behind Imperioli". The StarPhoenix. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "Publish and Perish". Law & Order. Season 15. Episode 21. April 20, 2005. NBC.
- "In God We Trust". Law & Order. Season 15. Episode 23. May 11, 2005. NBC.
- "Locomotion". Law & Order. Season 15. Episode 24. May 18, 2005. NBC.
- Shattuck, Kathryn. "What's On Tonight", The New York Times, 10 May 2006.
- "Hindsight". Law & Order. Season 16. Episode 21. May 10, 2006. NBC.
- Holcomb, Brian. "Review of Law & Order: Season Eighteen", Slant Magazine, 25 February 2008.