Law & Order (1990–2010)
Season
3
Episode
20

Securitate (5 May 1993)

TV Episode   |  TV-14   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


Securitate (1993) Poster

A teenage Romanian immigrant kills his father, a cruel former Romanian secret police officer, after his father kills his own brother. The boy's defense attorney offers a "cultural insanity" defense.


7.3/10
161

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Cast & Crew

Top Episode Cast



Director:

James Hayman

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Matt Kiene, Joe Reinkemeyer

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


5 August 2020 | TheLittleSongbird
8
| Cultural insanity
It is always great when any episode for anything explores different cultures. There are quite a lot of times on television where it is done very well or brilliantly, even a previous episode of Season 3 of 'Law and Order' did it very well with "Consultation". Have though seen exploration of different cultures done badly in visual media, for example most episodes of 'Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders' leaves a bad taste in the mouth in this regard and it is infuriating when something that should be handled tastefully is instead done insensitively.

"Securitate" fortunately does this very well. It could easily have fallen into stereotyping, and in a less than subtle and prejudicial way, but to me (and have no problem if there is anybody that disagrees but it is just my perception) "Securitate" avoided that. It is not quite great and like "Virus" it had room to be better than it was with better pacing this time around, but on the whole it is a very good and well executed episode with a lot to recommend.

Am going to start with "Securitate's" many good things. It looks good, slickly shot, cohesively edited and with nice use of locations. The music is haunting and has presence while staying understated. The direction has intimacy without being static. As to be expected, "Securitate" is very strongly acted. Michael Moriarty gives the best performance, conveying moral conflict with both nuance and gravitas. Alan King is wonderfully sharp and Stone definitely meets his match in the courtroom. Jerry Orbach's casting proved to be one of the show's best at this point and even 10 years after the show ended Briscoe's still one of the franchise's most popular characters for good reason.

Like "Consultation", there is some exploration of cultures and again like that episode it didn't to me feel biased or prejudicial. Maybe not the most insightful, but it doesn't resort too much to stereotyping and as far as could be told not in a way that was insensitive. The subject is not an easy one, when did 'Law and Order' though ever do easy subjects, but it's hansled in a hard-hitting yet tactful way. The case is involving when it gets going and the script is thoughtful and tight with splashes of humour. Especially with one of my favourite lines of Season 3 in Briscoe's customary wisecrack regarding piranhas and daily c-notes.

However, "Securitate" could have gotten going a little quicker.

While the ending is very intriguing, it's also slightly rushed and abrupt.

To conclude, very good. 8/10

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