Law & Order (season 3)

The third season of Law & Order aired on NBC between September 23, 1992, and May 19, 1993. This season marked the introduction of Jerry Orbach as Lennie Briscoe, who replaced Paul Sorvino after "Prince of Darkness." (A year prior, Orbach had guest starred as a defense attorney in at least one episode season two episode two’s “Wages of Love”). At the end of the season, both Dann Florek and Richard Brooks departed the main cast.

Law & Order
Season 3
LawAndOrder S3.jpg
Season 3 U.S. DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1992 (1992-09-23) –
May 19, 1993 (1993-05-19)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of Law & Order episodes


Season 3 began with an unchanged cast. However, during the third and sixth episode, Carolyn McCormick was credited in the opening theme and starting with the ninth episode, she is credited for the rest of the season. This made her the first woman to be part of the cast in the series. A third of the way through, Lennie Briscoe (played by Jerry Orbach) replaced Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino) in the role of senior detective. This was the first mid-season replacement of a major character in Law & Order's history; the next would not occur until season 15. This was also the final season to feature Dann Florek as Capt. Don Cragen, and Richard Brooks as Paul Robinette. Both men would later return in guest roles, with Florek eventually joining the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
451"Skin Deep"Daniel SackheimRobert Nathan & Gordon RayfieldSeptember 23, 1992 (1992-09-23)6800914.90[citation needed]

After photographer Julian Decker is found murdered in his studio, Logan and Cerreta discover that Decker's real business was prostitution and acting as a pimp for models who aren't getting the work they needed. Their investigation leads to Angela Brandt, one of Decker's models who found more money working for Decker in other ways, but they also discover that Decker was romantically involved with Angela's teenage daughter. Stone realizes that something strange is going on when the case gets weaker against Angela, but all of a sudden she wants to cut a deal.

Guest Stars: Scotty Bloch, Murphy Guyer, Claire Daines, Maeve McGuire, John Rothman, Donald Corren, and Gina Torres.
462"Conspiracy"Ed SherinMichael S. Chernuchin & René BalcerSeptember 30, 1992 (1992-09-30)6800612.80[citation needed]

After Marcus Tate, the respected leader of a controversial African-American rights movement, is assassinated at a rally, Logan and Cerreta attempt to get information on the crime but are stonewalled by many of Tate's followers, who aren't interested in talking to white police officers. Photographs lead them to Mitchell Kolbin, a white man who had followed Tate religiously but who seemed to lose some of his wonderment when Tate began an affair with his wife.

473"Forgiveness"Bill D'EliaS : Robert Nathan;
S/T : Ed Zuckerman
October 7, 1992 (1992-10-07)6800517.20[citation needed]
After Beth Milgram is found beaten to death in an alleyway after her going away party, Logan and Cerreta initially turn their suspicion to the girl's father after her fiancé, Tommy Beltran, claims that he had hit her after Beth told him they were engaged, but it isn't long before their primary suspect becomes Beltran himself. Stone has the unpleasant task of facing the renowned Cyrus Weaver, who is determined to prove that Tommy Beltran is not guilty of murdering Beth Milgram because he was a poor young man from a Mexican family who could not restrain his rage when his upper-class girlfriend broke up with him. (Plot derived from Bonnie Garland murder case.)
484"The Corporate Veil"Don ScardinoMichael S. Chernuchin & Joe MorgensternOctober 14, 1992 (1992-10-14)6800714.80[citation needed]

A teenage boy dies because of a faulty pacemaker, and detectives soon discover that he is not the only person to die from pacemakers manufactured by the same company.

Guest Stars: Bruce Norris, Robert Milli, Elizabeth Hubbard, Michael Lombard and George Murdock.
495"Wedded Bliss"Vern GillumRobert Nathan & Edward PomerantzOctober 21, 1992 (1992-10-21)6800414.80[1]
Two washed-up, handcuffed corpses are identified as Mexican immigrants, and the investigation reveals that they may have been working as slave labor in a sweatshop.
506"Helpless"James FrawleyMichael S. Chernuchin & Christine RoumNovember 4, 1992 (1992-11-04)6801117.50[2]
Dr. Olivet accuses an esteemed gynecologist of rape. However, when she loses her case, the DA's office resorts to a new strategy to bring the doctor to justic.
517"Self-Defense"Ed SherinRené Balcer & Hall PowellNovember 11, 1992 (1992-11-11)6800814.90[3]
A Greek immigrant jewelry store owner kills two robbers and claims self defense. However, it is soon questioned whether his actions went beyond self defense and crossed into revenge and murder.
528"Prince of Darkness"Gilbert ShiltonRobert Nathan & William N. FordesNovember 18, 1992 (1992-11-18)6800314.60[4]
Cerreta poses as a weapons dealer to help Stone build a case against a Colombian hit man, but the deal takes an unexpected turn, resulting in bloodshed.
539"Point of View"Gilbert MosesWalon Green & René BalcerNovember 25, 1992 (1992-11-25)6801216.40[5]

Logan has trouble dealing with Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), who has been brought in while Cerreta recovers from surgery during their investigation of the murder of Tommy Duff, a small-time hood. Their investigation leads them to a woman who claims Duff raped her, and when her attorney, an old friend of Stone's from law school, calls Olivet to the stand to testify in Mary Kostrinski's defense, Schiff forces Stone to use Olivet's recent rape (from the episode Helpless) to discredit her testimony. Logan is upset to learn that Cerreta has accepted another position within the department and will not be returning.

Guest Stars: Elaine Stritch, Lisa Eichhorn, Gary Basaraba, and Caroline Aaron.

5410"Consultation"James HaymanMatt Kiene & Joseph ReinkemeyerDecember 9, 1992 (1992-12-09)6801413.40[6]

An engineer and a tribal chief become the chief suspects in the death of a Nigerian woman who died while smuggling heroin internally.

  • This episode was later remade as Law & Order: UK season 2 episode titled "Love and Loss".
5511"Extended Family"Charles CorrellT : Robert Nathan;
S/T : Wendell Rawls
January 6, 1993 (1993-01-06)6801516.10[7]
When Janet Silver kidnaps her daughter from the mall, Logan and Briscoe are sent in to investigate and learn that she committed the crime with the assistance of a children's help organization after going to them with fears that the little girl's father was sexually abusing her.
5612"Right to Counsel"James FrawleyMichael S. Chernuchin & Barry M. SchkolnickJanuary 13, 1993 (1993-01-13)6801915.10[8]
After Stone accepts a plea bargain from the much younger and poorer lover of a wealthy older woman found murdered in her apartment, he begins to have doubts that he has sent the right man to prison, especially as he learns more about the attorney who handled the woman's estate.
5713"Night and Fog"Ed SherinMichael S. Chernuchin & René BalcerFebruary 3, 1993 (1993-02-03)6801814.60[9]
The confession of an elderly man that he assisted his shoah survivor wife in committing suicide doesn't fully satisfy Stone when evidence surfaces that the man was once a Nazi collaborator. Nehemiah Persoff guests stars as David Steinmetz.
5814"Promises to Keep"Ed SherinS : William N. Fordes & Douglas Stark;
T : Robert Nathan & Joshua Stern
February 10, 1993 (1993-02-10)6802211.40[10]

The investigation into the murder of a young physician leads to the discovery of an unorthodox and illegal relationship between her fiancé and his psychiatrist.

  • This episode was later remade as Law & Order: UK season 4 episode titled "ID".
5915"Mother Love"Daniel SackheimS : Walon Green;
S/T : Robert Nathan
February 24, 1993 (1993-02-24)6802414.60[11]
The absence of a murder weapon complicates the investigation into the murder of a drug addict who stole from her family to support her habit.
6016"Jurisdiction"Bruce Seth GreenWalon Green & René BalcerMarch 3, 1993 (1993-03-03)68017TBA
Stone battles the Brooklyn D.A.'s office over prosecutorial jurisdiction in the case of a mentally handicapped man who confesses to the stabbing deaths of two women.
6117"Conduct Unbecoming"Arthur W. ForneyS : Walon Green & Peter S. Greenberg;
T : Michael S. Chernuchin & René Balcer
March 10, 1993 (1993-03-10)6802313.50[13]

Stone and the police battle the closed ranks of the Navy to investigate the death of a female Naval officer during a party in a Manhattan hotel.

6218"Animal Instinct"Ed SherinMichael S. Chernuchin & Sibyl GardnerMarch 17, 1993 (1993-03-17)6802112.70[14]
The initial investigation into the death of a research scientist leads to an animal-rights group until evidence surfaces that her husband's affair with a coworker may point to a possible motive for the murder. When the husband is acquitted, the investigation turns to the individual who provided evidence of the affair.
6319"Virus"Steven RobmanMichael S. Chernuchin & René BalcerApril 21, 1993 (1993-04-21)6801011.90[15]
While investigating several deaths at a diabetes clinic, Briscoe and Logan discover that teenage computer hackers may have tampered with the clinic's medical database.
6420"Securitate"James HaymanMatt Kiene & Joe ReinkemeyerMay 5, 1993 (1993-05-05)6802610.80[16]
When a Romanian immigrant kills, his lawyer announces he will plead his client "not guilty due to cultural insanity" claiming the man had been conditioned to violence in his homeland.
6521"Manhood"Ed SherinS : Walon Green;
S/T : Robert Nathan
May 12, 1993 (1993-05-12)6802513.70[17]

The statement of a drug dealer who survived a shoot-out that killed a cop leads Logan and Briscoe to suspect that the cop died because he was gay and his fellow officers were reluctant to back him up.

  • This episode was later remade as the Law & Order: UK season 2 episode titled "Samaritan".
6622"Benevolence"Ed SherinT : René Balcer;
S/T : Douglas Palau
May 19, 1993 (1993-05-19)6802815.40[18]

Logan and Briscoe begin their investigation into the death of a hearing-impaired young woman by questioning her two most recent boyfriends.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Gable, Donna (28 October 1992). "Baseball cleans up for CBS". USA TODAY.
  2. ^ Gable, Donna (11 November 1992). "Election news, football kick up ABS's ratings". USA TODAY.
  3. ^ Gable, Donna (18 November 1992). "'Jacksons,' solid gold for ABC". USA TODAY.
  4. ^ Gable, Donna (25 November 1992). "Jacksons help as-easy-as-ABC win". USA TODAY.
  5. ^ Gable, Donna (2 December 1992). "'Weapon 2' serves CBS well". USA TODAY.
  6. ^ Donion, Brian (16 December 1992). "No royal ratings for ABC's 'Charles and Diana'". USA TODAY.
  7. ^ Daniels, Charlene (13 January 1993). "Women help push CBS to victory". USA TODAY.
  8. ^ Donion, Brian (30 January 1993). "ABC gets a Thursday night boost". USA TODAY. pp. 3D.
  9. ^ Gable, Donna; Daniels, Charlene (10 February 1993). "CBS rides to top on wings of 'Skylark'". USA TODAY. pp. 3D.
  10. ^ Gable, Donna (17 February 1993). "King of Pop and 'Queen' rule the ratings". USA TODAY.
  11. ^ Gable, Donna; Daniels, Charlene (3 March 1993). "Grammy show a winner for CBS". USA TODAY.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2013-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Gable, Donna; Daniels, Charlene (17 March 1993). "ABC improves with bench strength". USA TODAY.
  14. ^ Gable, Donna (24 March 1993). "Waco standoff lifts CBS' '48 Hours'". USA TODAY.
  15. ^ Donion, Brian; Daniels, Charlene (28 April 1993). "'Walker' kicks in for CBS". USA TODAY.
  16. ^ Donion, Brian; Daniels, Charlene (12 May 1993). "Sturdy 'Home' helps lift ABC". USA TODAY.
  17. ^ Gable, Donna; Hainer, Cathy (19 May 1993). "'Cheers' nudges NBC to No. 1". USA TODAY.
  18. ^ Gable, Donna (26 May 1993). "'Cheers' brings happy times to NBC". USA TODAY.
  • Eric Bogosian, who guest starred as a defense attorney in the episodes "Conspiracy" and "Night and Fog", would later have a starring role in the Law & Order spin-off, Criminal Intent.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Season Two
List of Law & Order seasons
Succeeded by
Season Four