Farewell Detective Green

With tonight’s episode of LAW & ORDER marking the start of the post—Detective Green era, theTHEATREaddict wanted to share his thoughts on last week’s Farewell to Detective Green.

As the LAW & ORDER Franchise Addict I thought it was necessary to acknowledge the exit of Detective Green played by Jesse L. Martin from Law & Order this week. Creator Dick Wolf is often criticized for not allowing his audience into the personal lives of his main characters. So it is always jarring when we find out they are lesbians or in Detective Green’s case a gambling addict.

The whole episode seemed so bizarre. It was so completely different from the regular formula and knowing Detective Green so well on duty it was hard to adapt to Detective Green off-duty. We learned he had a gambling problem that was coming back to haunt him on a recent murder investigation. Green ends up shooting some head of a gambling ring and internal affairs, headed by Teddy J, I mean Anthony Anderson, comes down on him for what appears to be a revenge murder on a bookie Green had a prior altercation with. I did appreciate that the reoccurrence of his gambling problems, stemmed from issues with the death of his partner Lenny Briscoe. I am so happy he was mentioned and remembered but most of the episode was about indicting Green and putting him on trial for murder. It was a pipe dream to believe Green could have gone rogue and the obligatory turn in your gun and badge scene seemed too cliché. But have no fears by the end of the episode we learn that Green was only protecting someone else and was not guilty as charged. The episode had a bit of a Criminal Intent resolution.

However the last moments had a great exchange between Green and Lieutenant Van Buren where he threw in the towel. S. Epatha Merkerson is so brilliant and wonderful in these scenes. The shot followed Green leaving the station with his box of belongings in hand after an exchange with Lupo about him being a good cop. Sisto is going to do just fine with Anderson. The last frame was a final close up on Van Buren with a slight wave good bye prior to the obligatory “Dick Wolf”. I can’t say it wasn’t moving, because it was the classic Law & Order anti-sentimentality, sentimentality.

As sad as it was to see Detective Green exit, the good news is the door is wide open for the character to return. I think Jesse L. Martin will be back one day. The other good news is that we didn’t find out he was a cross dressing lesbian in his final moments, just a guy with a previous gambling addiction. We’ll miss you Detective Green, come back soon!

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  • theTodd

    I too was glad to find out he wasn’t a lesbian like that ADA a few seasons back. (WTF)

    I actually just realized last night that they had changed up the entire main cast of the show, both cops and both ADAs. I think this cast might be really entertaining, and Anderson could bring some welcome comedy.

    Cupcakes to a suicide indeed.

  • http://www.tvismypacifier.com Jenny

    Yeah, I am looking forward to seeing how AA does in the role. :)

    Oh, and is it just me or is the header pic out of date? ;)

  • http://www.thetvaddict.com theTVaddict


    It’s not just you. The header pic is so out of date, I just seem to be having writers block this week!

  • E.M.

    I’ve been addicted to the entire Law & Order franchise since the beginning, and the only reason I was still even tuning into L & O (the original) anymore was for Detective Green. They don’t keep good characters long enough anymore, and it’s just a flurry of HBO series castoffs and actors who will never be a Jack McCoy or a Lenny Briscoe. I can’t even imagine Anderson fitting in, and I’m not inclined to hang out and watch the train wreck, so I’m done, (even though I understand why Martin would want to take off to do a huge role elsewhere). When they hired Dennis Farina on the series it all but killed it for me,(that guy is so annoying), but this will definitely put the maggot on the carrion.

  • Shocked & Amazed

    I can hardly believe the twist with this latest character. Detective “Super Clean” Green has a gambling problem? Puh-leeze! Why can’t the characters have a believable exit when they leave the show? Couldn’t he have just accepted a job in another state? But, I guess you and Todd are right, at least he wasn’t a cross-dressing lesbian.

  • Allison

    I missed this episode. Is it going to be replayed soon? Or can I order it on demand?

  • Chris

    There have been many excellent actors filling the detective roles on L&O but Jess Martin and his portayal of Detective Green was definitely one of the best IMHO.

    I kind of lost track and interest in the series (after watching it religiously from the Michael Moriarty days until recently) after Detective Green departed.

    Never cared much for Dennis Farina or his character- don’t care for any of the detective newbies since Green left the show at all. Don’t even watch anymore.

    QUESTION: Who shot Detective Green and why? That was never clear to me. Must have missed something.