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Everything to Know About Law & Order Season 22
Here are just some of the big things that happened this season.
Law & Order premiered its 22nd season fittingly on September 22, 2022, and it's been a white-knuckled ride. The episodes we've watched have run the gamut in terms of cases and problems, and at times, we've gone deep into some characters' motivations for choosing their careers.
Here are just some of the major events that occurred in Season 22:
We got introduced to a new detective
During the epic three-hour crossover premiere event, we caught our first glimpses of Detective Jalen Shaw, played by Mehcad Brooks. He and Detective Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) first meet when they are investigating the murder of a 15-year-old girl. It's Shaw’s first case on the homicide team, as he was in the narcotics department previously. He also revealed to Cosgrove that he has a law degree from NYU and practiced for three years but decided he wanted to be on the other side of investigations, so enrolled in the police academy.
“He’s a wolf that hunts for peace and when people get in the way of that, you see the wolf," Brooks told Entertainment Weekly about his character.
Detective Jalen Shaw questions his work
In Season 22, Episode 9 (“The System”), Detective Shaw becomes very angry at himself when it was revealed that a young boy of color who he helped prosecute and send to jail actually turned out to be innocent. This caused Shaw to re-evaluate his entire career and place as a detective.
“It’s every good cop’s worst nightmare that they may have done a bad job, or they may have gotten a wrongful confession or a false confession. It definitely affects his confidence in his instincts moving forward,” Brooks told TheWrap.
ADA Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) gets shaken up
In Season 22, Episode 17 (“Bias”), a friend of Price’s, a public defender named Rachel, is murdered, and Price finds the body. A normally level-headed Price gets too emotionally involved in the process of attempting to convict her killer, and his personal life is exposed when he testifies at the witness stand.
“He knew, even if he doesn't admit to it, he knew that it was a vulnerability that he had that level of involvement with her in the past. So, he just never brought it up. And what that shows, I think, what he probably might hate just as much as anything is that as a prosecutor, that was a mistake. He didn't do his job well enough. So, he opened up his flank right for attack. I think that really he does not like being weak in the courtroom.” Dancy told ET about Price’s thought process during those pivotal scenes.
Jack McCoy’s Daughter Appears
In the Season 22 Finale, NYPD District Attorney’s Jack Mcoy’s (Sam Waterston) daughter Rebecca surprises him when she reveals that she is defending the case of a man who shot and killed a Senator on his daughter’s wedding night. Rebecca is personally moved by the confessed-murdurer, who is a former schoolteacher suffering from severe PTSD after surviving one of the deadliest school shootings in America’s history. The teacher witnessed eleven of his students get killed before he was able to take down the gunman himself. The trauma affected him so severely that he decided to kill the Senator after he flipped his swing-vote into passing a pro-gun law. Ultimately, the schoolteacher is found guilty.
Rebecca is played by Elisabeth Waterston, who happens to be Sam Waterston’s real-life daughter. “She’s a beautiful actress, quick to react, full of intelligence and ready emotion,” Waterston told TVInsider about working with his daughter on set.
“There’s nothing simple about their relationship and there’s a lot [between them] that hasn’t been resolved. The situation now ain’t easy. The wounds at the beginning are open at the end,” he added about the complicated dynamic between Rebecca and Jack.
Jack McCoy’s Daughter appears
In the Season 22 finale, NYPD District Attorney Jack McCoy's (Sam Waterston) daughter, Rebecca (played by Waterston's real daughter, Elisabeth), surprises him when she reveals she's defending a man who shot and killed a senator on his daughter’s wedding night. Rebecca is personally moved by the confessed-murderer, who's a former schoolteacher suffering from severe PTSD after surviving one of the deadliest school shootings in American history. The teacher witnessed 11 of his students get killed before he was able to take down the gunman himself. The trauma affected him so severely that he decided to kill the senator after he flipped his swing-vote into passing a pro-gun law. Ultimately, the schoolteacher is found guilty.