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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Third Year, Season 2001-2002
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Join the force with 2006 Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress, Mariska Hargitay, and Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni, along with the rest of the elite squad of New York City detectives as they investigate sexual crimes ripped from today's headlines. Renowned producer Dick Wolf brings you all 23 riveting episodes in this 5-disc set, each packed with powerful storylines and provocative plot twists. Joining the incredible cast is a compelling roster of guests, including Eric Stoltz, John Ritter, Henry Winkler, Bobby Cannavale, and Martha Plimpton in the role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress. The recipient of 12 Emmy nominations and tremendous critical acclaim, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - The Third Year delivers the quality that viewers have come to expect from this intelligent, hard-hitting franchise.
One of the few spin-offs that actually equals the original in terms of quality, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has another stellar season in its third year. Detectives Olivia Benson (Emmy winner Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) continue to investigate sexually-based crimes with compassion and vigor. There are a slew of guest stars playing roles we're not accustomed to. Former Saved By the Bell child actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar makes a heartbreaking appearance as a newlywed who gets involved in the gay porn industry to support his baby and indifferent wife. John Ritter guest-stars as a doctor who may have been involved in his pregnant wife's death. And Diane Neal--who joins the cast in the show's fifth season as attorney Casey Novak--plays a cocky businesswoman whose friend is found dead after a wild girls' night out. With a supporting cast that includes detectives Tutuola (Ice-T) and Munch (Richard Belzer), as well as Captain Cragen (Dann Florek), and psychiatrist George Huang (B.D. Wong), SVU tackles cases so heinous that viewers are never certain whether the detectives will be able to make it to the next case. Good storytelling aside, the biggest draw to the show are the characters of Benson and Stabler, whose chemistry is based on fierce loyalty and trust. That they haven't slept with each other is a testament to the skilled writing on the series. The show is so good that a romance between the two doesn't have to be forced on the viewers to keep us interested. From the first episode (involving a therapist who may have encouraged her patient to commit a crime) to the last (where the detectives uncover a sex scandal in the Catholic church), the stories stick with the viewer long after the episodes have been watched. The third season ran from 2001 to 2002 on NBC, but time hasn't tempered the impact of this powerful series. --Jae-Ha Kim
- 23 episodes on five discs
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Top Customer Reviews
Season 3 had some of the best episodes. I especially like the episode "Stolen", in which Munch and Cragen continue an investigation originally started by the late Max Greevey from season 1 of the original Law & Order. Shows some nice continuity between the shows. But at the same time, this was a hard one for me to watch, involving the custody case and the boy being torn between his bio-father and the parents who raised him.
"Wrath" was another good episode, in which three seemingly unconnected murders point to a man who Benson once wrongfully busted, and now wants revenge!
One episode that surprised me though, was "Sacrifice", starring "Saved by the Bell" & "NYPD Blue" alumnus Mark-Paul Gossellar as a supposedly gay porn star who is discovered beaten half to death, and is very uncooperative with the detectives, to protect a secret which left me rather sad at the end. But it was good writing!
Another episode, "Ridicule" proved somewhat prophetic as Diane Neal, the future Casey Novak who took Alex Cabot's place in season 5, played one of three women accused of raping a male stripper. The defense lawyer in this episode was played by the great CCH Pounder.
The episode "Monogamy" features a guest appearance by the late John Ritter whose pregnant wife was viciously attacked in a parking garage, and the baby stolen. Can the detectives find the baby before it's too late?
But one of my personal favorites from this season was "Protection", guest-starring "Predator" femme fatale Elpidia Carillo as a single mother who's younger son was shot by her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend who is now gunning for her and her surviving son, while the Feds pressure her for testimony against him.
I'm not going to offer a review of all season 3 episodes, but these few samples should prove my point. Any L&O enthusiast who doesn't buy this set is missing a few screws from their heads. But I, like many, wish that Universal would take the hint and release the seasons of the various L&O's more quickly! I'm going to grab the first copy of this set I see! Are you?
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