DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
THEY’RE shutting up shop early for the day, an old bloke at his accounting office and his assistant, who says he’s going home to watch a Bruce Lee marathon.
Next in Law and Order we see three dudes going, ‘‘ we get in, we get out, easy score’’. Words that are a red flag alerting us to the opposite: not an easy score.
Cut to the aftermath, cops standing round saying, the old guy: ‘‘ We could use a few more like him on patrol in Kandahar.’’ That’s the worst of the dialogue though.
The cops are going to be too busy trying to figure out what went on here to wheel out too much of this kind of inane talk.
The weapon of choice of this 68-year-old accountant? A Remington pump-action rifle.
First time he’s used the gun, he tells the police later. Beginner’s luck clearly— he’s killed two of the robbers, almost killed the third.
Forty years in business, never had any trouble.
Six minutes in and it looks like it’s all over. Stan Harkavy (Elliott Gould, big guest star) becomes a local hero for saving his colleague’s life and for blowing away the low-rent scum who tried to . . . do what exactly? There was $30 in the place, it was hardly a hold-up. For an hour-long procedural — 35 minutes by the time it gets going — this is quite a complex story.
But they haven’t complicated it by overwriting it, or adding anything gratuitous, it’s developed in a straightforward and logical way.
District Attorney Jack McCoy ( Sam Waterston) is accused by a journalist of using his office to pursue a ‘‘ quixotic liberal wetdream’’. It’s a nice turn of phrase and one you maybe wouldn’t hear on another show of this type.
I could see this performing in the same timeslot on the ABC. It’s solid and reliable and low-key. Nobody over-acts. And the outcome isn’t cut and dried either. Law& Order Channel 10, 10pm
Star DA: Sam Waterston