Monday’s episode of Law and Order, “Rubber Room,” was the series last, even though it wasn’t meant to be. It was planned to be S. Epatha Merkerson’s last episode though and, therefore, it did celebrates the show’s unsung hero, Lt. Anita Van Buren.
As the episode opened, concerned parents alert Lt. Van Buren that a man is videotaping nude girls (including their daughter) and posting clips on his website. By the end of the episode, Dets. Lupo and Bernard and ADAs Cutter and Rubirosa figure out that the anonymous blogger is a disgruntled teacher.
Because this was the planned end to Lt. Van Buren’s storyline, we learned more about her personal life than is typical for the series.
In one scene, Lupo overhears her on the phone applying for credit so she can pay her medical bills and tries to organize a fundraiser for her. But, true to form, when she finds out she insists they cancel the event, against her boyfriend’s advice.
Frank does eventually win her over and in the final moments of the series, they attend her fundraiser, she announces they are engaged and her doctor calls to tell her she is cancer-free.
This may have been a nice wrap up to Merkerson’s storyline but is was it an overall satisfying end to a series that ran for 20 years? There is still talk that NBC will air a two-hour movie event to wrap up the series before the next installment of L & O, Law & Order: Los Angeles, debuts in the fall.
What did you think of Merkerson’s send-off? Were hoping for more closure from the series?
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