Law & Order: Season 20 (2009 - 2010)

SEASON:

Season 20
Law & Order

Critics Consensus

Law & Order adjourns with little fanfare in a final season that declines to tweak the series' formula, but viewers can take comfort in the procedural bowing out with a sterling cast and its efficiency intact.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 25, 2009

In the 20th-season opener, a war veteran's body is found in a university parking garage, and the subsequent murder investigation leads Lupo and Bernard to a law professor (David Alan Basche) who once worked for the Department of Justice. Greg Tanner: Creighton James.

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Air date: Oct 2, 2009

The slaying of a crime-scene investigator turns the victim's unfaithful fiancé into a suspect, but an attack on a young journalist (Camille Chen) complicates the investigation.

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Air date: Oct 9, 2009

A musician's corpse turns up behind a trash can, along with a bag of money, kicking off an investigation that leads detectives to Don Sorenson (John Bolger) and what may be a kidnapping gone awry.

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Air date: Oct 16, 2009

The death of a mother of 10 adopted, disabled kids kicks off an investigation that exposes an affair and a bid for reality-show stardom, which caused tension in the household. Larry Johnson: Jim Gaffigan.

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Air date: Oct 23, 2009

A doctor who performed late-term abortions is found slain at a church, and the man's wife accuses a pro-life protester of the murder. Meanwhile, Lt. Van Buren receives troubling news, and Connie deals with a moral crisis.

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Air date: Oct 30, 2009

A slain fashion-company owner puts detectives in the path of a photographer (Jeremy Beiler) who points them toward a Web site marred by threatening posts. Sid Maxwell: Rene Ifrah.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2009

Detectives Lupo and Bernard find suitcases full of cash and drugs while investigating the murder of a rich young woman, and security-camera footage leads them to a drug cartel.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2009

A fatal drunken-driving accident may be more than what it seems when a suspicious nasal spray is found at the scene. In the course of the investigation, Detectives Lupo and Bernard turn their attention toward the victim's boss (Rich Sommer).

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Air date: Nov 13, 2009

The slaying of a witness in a murder trial kicks off an investigation that exposes a conspiracy rife with affairs, black-market dealings and drug cartels, and creates a predicament for ADA Connie Rubirosa and the remaining witnesses.

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Air date: Nov 20, 2009

An elderly man is forced to defend his shop from an armed robbery. The resulting investigation has Lupo and Bernard probing ulterior motives for the crime.

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Law & Order: Season 20 Photos

Tv Season Info

The twentieth and final series of blockbuster procedural drama "Law & Order" concluded its saga of the men and women working as NYPD homicide detectives and responsible for investigating crimes, and the employees of the DA office responsible for prosecuting them. Returning characters included DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston), Lt. Anita Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson), ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza), Detective Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson), Detective Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto), and EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache), with an added character in Chief M.E. Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix). Stories this series include a family of four slain in their home - with apparent ties to two mentally unbalanced individuals; the demise of a fashion company owner who turns out to have ties to a nefarious website; a pharmaceutical worker who turns up dead while planning to blow the whistle on her parent company; the homicide of a young model linked to a complex web of relationships in the political community; and much more.

Critic Reviews for Law & Order Season 20

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (8)

Simultaneously tense and beautifully subtle.

Dec 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Law & Order is hypnotic precisely because it is both suspenseful and utterly predictable, fascinatingly lurid but comfortingly familiar. Any season will do.

Dec 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Sheer watchability, the formula that somehow works every single time, is a kind of greatness, too.

Dec 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Went out boasting one of the best acting ensembles on television. Ms. Merkerson, Jeremy Sisto and Linus Roache were all excellent, and received able support from Alana De La Garza, a much-improved Anthony Anderson and the redoubtable Sam Waterston.

Dec 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Law & Order: SVU has certainly been showing some wear and tear lately but it's no accident that it's successfully remained on the air for so long.

Sep 28, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's cheeky, it's voyeuristic, and it's grim. Which is a satisfying way for Law & Order to be.

Feb 28, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Once you have jumped a shark, there is no going back.

May 21, 2010 | Full Review…

To be honest, after checking back in for tonight's possible series finale, it doesn't look like I've been missing much.

Mar 24, 2010 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Beyond the people, it was, as producer Dick Wolf always said, the structure of the show that was the real hook - that, and the gray grit of the New York City backdrop.

May 25, 2010 | Full Review…

Law & Order didn't go out with a huge bang. It just did what it's always done: deliver a tightly plotted, well-acted hour of good guys and bad guys - which for this long-time fan is good enough.

Dec 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Law & Order was done, cooked, kaput. There was no life left in this once great franchise... It has been living on borrowed time.

Nov 2, 2018 | Full Review…

After it focused so much light on the way things are, while helping us to imagine how they might be, it is sad to see the Law & Order end.

May 28, 2010 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Law & Order: Season 20

  • May 15, 2015
    I have watched this L&O episode several times because I found all actors riveting in their portrayals of the characters. Mr. Mendillo and the "wife" performances were so believable that I truly disliked them by the end of the episode. Exceptional acting by all on that episode! Will probably watch again.

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