Law & Order Episodes

1990, TV Show

Law & Order Episode: "Immortal"

Season 20, Episode 21
Episode Synopsis: A stabbing victim dies after being left at a hospital, and the investigation exposes an exploited family.
Original Air Date: May 17, 2010

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Season 20, Episode 21
Paid | iTunes
Length: 43:08
Aired: 5/17/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Law & Order Episode Recap: "Rubber Room" Season 20, Episode 21

Recapping the last episode of Law & Order is bittersweet, particularly since Monday's episode, "Rubber Room," was never intended to be the series' swan song. It was, however, to be S. Epatha Merkerson's last episode on the series, and as such, it celebrates the show's unsung hero, Lt. Anita van Buren.

The episode's crime story is a textbook case of TV-procedural misdirection. It starts when concerned parents alert Lt. Van Buren that a man is videotaping nude girls (including their daughter) and posting clips on his website and ends when Dets. Lupo and Bernard and ADAs Cutter and Rubirosa figure out that the anonymous blogger who says he's going to carry out a Columbine-style school shooting somewhere in New York City is actually a disgruntled teacher.

But this is really an episode about Van Buren. Departing from Law & Order's typical formula, we learn quite a bit about her personal life.

Lupo overhears her on the phone applying for a line of credit so she can pay her medical bills and tries to organize a fundraiser for her. She catches wind of it, though, and quashes it, asking Lupo and Bernard to respect her privacy.

In the meantime, she has an MRI to track the progress of her cancer, but we don't see the results.

Her boyfriend Frank tells her she should let her coworkers throw her a party, and hints with a smirk that it would be easier to get that line of credit with two incomes in the house.

Anita apparently listens to Frank because the final scene of the episode is that fundraising party, and she announces to her colleagues that Frank is now her fiancé. Better yet: While at the party, her doctor calls and gives her an all-clear.

It's a tidy resolution for the character, for sure, but who would deny Anita -- and in turn, Merkerson -- a happy ending after 391 episodes of steely grace?

As for this being Law & Order's series finale, well, let's all wait and see. There is still talk that NBC will try to properly wrap up the series with a two-hour movie event and/or co-finance another season jointly with TNT, though the latter arrangement seems unlikely now that NBC has green-lit Law & Order: Los Angeles for the fall.

What did you think of Merkerson's send-off -- and the ostensible Law & Order series finale? Was "Rubber Room" a representative episode to end the series or are you hoping for more closure?

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Recapping the last episode of Law & Order is bittersweet, particularly since Monday's episode, "Rubber Room," was never intended to be the series' swan song. It was, however, to be S. Epatha Merkerson's last episode on the series, and as such, it celebrates the show's unsung hero, Lt. Anita van Buren.

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Premiered: September 13, 1990, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (440 ratings)
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Premise: Durable cops-and-lawyers procedural with gripping headline-inspired storylines and two distinct halves: the investigation of the crime, followed by the prosecution of the case in court.

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