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!