Law & Order (1990–2010)
7.8/10
166
4 user

Performance 

The discovery of a fake pornographic "snuff tape" leads detectives to a high school gang and an alleged points-for-sex contest.

Director:

Martha Mitchell

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Ed Zuckerman (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
Richard Venture Richard Venture ... Douglas Greer
Monica Keena ... Corey Russell
Peter Facinelli ... Shane Sutter
John MacKay John MacKay ... Michael Sutter
Maryann Urbano Maryann Urbano ... Mrs. Russell
Polly Adams ... Monica Sutter
Shane McDermott ... Kyle Winters
John P. Connolly John P. Connolly ... Nick
Ray Girardin Ray Girardin ... Detective Malone
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Storyline

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate the possibility that a porno film rented by a group of friends for a stag party is a real snuff film. They manage to identify the girl as 16 year-old Corey Russell and are more than a bit surprised to find her alive. Corey says she was raped by two men while she was out drinking but has no idea who they were. In fact Corey lied and knew the boy, Shane Sutter, who goes to the same school. The other boy involved was Kyle Winters but Corey insists they forced themselves on her. The investigation reveals that the boys were in a contest to see how many girls they could have sex with. For ADA McCoy, the challenge will be to convince a jury that Shane was out to score more points and was ready to commit rape to do so and whether his approach will withstand an appeal. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Noth (Mike Logan) & Devin Ratray (Mitchell Pauley) also worked together on episode 4.3, The Good Wife: Two Girls, One Code (2012), of The Good Wife (2009) as Peter Florrick & Kevin Costas respectively. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Jack McCoy: Rule number one, never drink at work. Rule number two, never discuss work while drinking.
A.D.A. Claire Kincaid: They've overturned the verdicts and remanded for a new trial. Evidence of the Mack Rangers is excluded.
Jack McCoy: Rule number three, if rule number two is broken...
[Jack pushes his drink towards Claire]
Jack McCoy: ...never drink alone.
See more »

Connections

References Mario Bros. (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Finger-Wagging Tale About Some Bad, Bad Kids
2 June 2018 | by Better_TVSee all my reviews

I love L&O, but this one unfortunately reminded me of one of those mid-'90s "do you know where your children are?" type presentations. There's even an unintentionally hilarious line from a ridiculously nonchalant teen girl about how "We'd all go to Shane's place after school, watch Beavis and Butthead," before she would have sex with a group of teen boys (the "Mack Rangers") while they filmed the act. "They're not gonna get all goofy on you, like they're your boyfriend or anything," she says. It's a parody of how kids really talk, and that Beavis and Butthead line is so contrived I could practically see the writers wagging their fingers at '90s "youth culture."

And yet... just look at today's headlines. Rape, and especially rape within male fraternity culture, is alive and well. The sickening things the Mack Rangers do to the female victim in this episode are undeniably plausible (they are, in fact, based on the real life "Spur Posse" teen rape gang in California that made headlines in the '90s).

This one gets pretty graphic: we're forced to watch the disgusting tape the perpetrators made of themselves abusing the victim not once, but twice. Monica Keena gives a horrifyingly realistic performance; she does not just scream, she squeals and whimpers in a way that made my blood curdle. One wonders what Michael Moriarty, who claimed to have resigned from this show after the previous season over fears Attorney General Janet Reno was looking to censor it, would have felt about "Performance." (Seems he had nothing to worry about.)

There's some cool legal wrangling, including about 10 minutes of runtime even after the verdict is delivered; it takes our characters to appeals court, where Jack has to defend his prosecutorial tactics. But overall, I found it disappointingly unsubtle in its critique of '90s kids. It's all summed up by DA Adam Schiff's final line, in response to a comment from Jack about the wrongheaded youths maybe learning their lesson:

"Teenage boys?" he rhetorically asks. "Good luck."


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