Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 1 - Law & Order - full transcript

Rick Mason is the host of a trashy tabloid TV show, the kind that likes to create confrontations among guests, all in the hopes of getting ever better ratings. For his latest program, the guests are a young boy and his mother and the psychiatrist who molested him three years before but has now been released from prison. The show has barely started when the boy's estranged father bursts onto the stage and shoots the psychiatrist, killing him. Detectives Briscoe and Logan seem to have an pretty straightforward case but soon begin to suspect that Mason may have set up the confrontation and was well aware that such a confrontation could be violent. ADA Stone is keen to prosecute Mason but it will be difficult to overcome Mason's popularity and to convince a jury of his guilt.

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(male narrator) In the
criminal justice system...

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups:

the police who
investigate crime...

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

Okay. We're getting close. Okay?

[tape rewinding]

(cameraman) Okay,
folks. 30 seconds to air.

(woman) Yeah. That's good.

Okay, Allan.

Okay, camera coming through.



Here we go. Let's do this.

How does it look,
Bonnie? Looks great, Rick.

Control your hair, control
your life. (Perkins) Rick?

Barry, can you
hear me out there?

Yeah, lock up the
street. I'm coming out.

(Barry) You got it, Rick.
Chucky, frame me up. Signal?

(Perkins) Signal
good to the towers.

All right, standby.

Joey, be a guy.

Plug me in and keep me hot.

(Joey) Clean and mean, Rick.

(man) Today, live from
the streets of New York...

Okay, it's bingo
time. Coming in 10.

(Perkins) Three camera's ready.



Show me hard. Light me up.

(Perkins) Okay,
we're going to roll...

coming up to air
in five, four, three...

(man) Rick Mason's
Final Confession.

I'm Rick Mason.

Today as always, live on
location on Final Confession...

the first exclusive interview
with Dr. Joseph Vinton...

child molester...

and one of his
victims, Scott Fisher.

Let's go meet them.

[crowd applauding]

[vehicles honking]

[people chattering]

Four years ago, Dr. Joseph
Vinton, a therapist...

recognized for his treatment
of disturbed children...

took Scott Fisher...

then 11 years old,
to this restaurant.

[people applauding]

Now, Dr. Vinton
sat here with Scott...

he bought him ice cream...

and he convinced Scott not to say anything
about the abuse that he'd committed...

moments earlier at his
Greenwich Village office.

But eventually, Scott
did tell his mother...

and Dr. Vinton went to prison.

Dr. Vinton.

It must be strange for you
coming back to this place.

I'm not concerned about
myself. I'm here to help others.

I've committed unspeakable crimes,
and while I've served my time in jail...

I know it's not enough.

Eighteen months for the
abuse of seven children.

Sounds like a cruise.

Is that justice?

I don't know what justice is.

I know what I did was
awful. I hurt people.

I can't ever live it down.

Not in 18 months,
or in 18 years.

Now, you wrote a book in
prison about your experiences.

Who would you think would want to
read it? Certainly not my audience!

[people booing]

I didn't face what I'd
done until I was in prison.

The book is part of my recovery.
Part of the reason I'm free today...

to say...

I'm sorry.

To say he's sorry
to two of his victims...

Scott Fisher, and
his mother Sarah.

Now, Scott...

this man took you into his
care and he abused you.

(Mason) He's willing
to acknowledge that.

But if I were you...

I think I would still
be a little angry.

I am, but...

I'm hoping to...

make a start...

at getting it together.

[gunshots]

[people screaming]

[gunshot]

[people clamoring]

This is terrible! Take us to
commercial. Commercial!

I was on air, I didn't
see the father come in.

You knew who he was? I
wanted him on the show.

The wife says he's
there, she's not.

Who dreams he's going to
show up and shoot Vinton?

Vinton gonna make it?

Died in surgery. Oh, no.

(technician) Mr. Mason?

[sighs]

Top of the show. If
this doesn't do it...

four million witnesses.

Did the father know the psychiatrist
was going to be here today?

[siren wailing] No way.

We're on location every week.

We never announce
where we're going to be.

That's what I do.

My guests are in a
hotel two days before air.

Even the crew doesn't know who's
gonna be on till just the last minute.

[woman chattering
on police radio]

I could have been shot myself.

Look, if there's nothing else...

can I take care of my staff?

Let me give you my card. You
remember anything else give me a call.

Why did he do it? Because
he's crazy, that's why.

You thought your husband
was capable of violence?

It's my fault. He blames me
for what happened to Scotty.

He blames me for everything.

I don't talk to my husband. I
haven't seen him in three years.

So, you didn't expect
him here today?

Well, he attacked
Vinton at his trial.

He got thrown out of the Army.

Why do you think I divorced him?

Is my dad going to be okay?

(Briscoe) The
wound's not serious.

Officer O'Brien is going
to take you home, all right?

Where is that security
director Talbott?

I sent him back to the
precinct. We'll get his statement.

What? He's an
ex-cop. He did his job.

You want to book him
for shooting the father?

If you don't mind,
I've got a question.

How'd the father know
to come here today?

Come on, Mike, break it up,
move along. Nothing to see here.

Secret location, lots of security.
How did Fisher get here?

He shot the guy
who molested his kid.

I don't care if an
avenging angel sent him.

I might've done the
same thing if it was my kid.

Oh, I guess, case closed.

That's what Van Buren will say.

How did the father get there?

Who cares?

In Narcotics, we didn't care
when scum dealers got shot...

we did want to find
out who shot them.

We have the killer in an
operating room at Bellevue.

Just tell me how
Fisher got there.

We drop it and he
does his 25 years.

What did the wife say?
He was in the Army...

in the Rangers in Vietnam?

Those guys can track
a leopard in the rain...

so, maybe he stalked the shrink.

(Logan) A shrink child molester.

I wonder what's
next on his show...

family dog gets a sex change?

Or girl gives
birth to a baby pig.

My mother likes those shows,
along with the rest of America.

What do you want to do?

Hey, we already have
four open homicides.

Now, wait a minute. If he stalked him,
he could have hit him in an alleyway...

he could have hit
him driving a car.

He picks today when four
million people are watching...

in a place he's not even
supposed to know about?

I'm just saying
let's give it a day.

If nothing happens,
the case closes itself.

Talbott, Mason's
head of security...

the one who shot the father,
we've got him upstairs. So?

Bring him down.

I don't know how he got
there. At least I zipped him.

God knows who he
would have shot next.

You'd think someone would
have noticed him at the restaurant.

They were rounding up
audience off the street.

I wish I'd seen him
sooner, but, hey...

it was a crowd.

You'd already met the father?

Saw his picture in a file.

Hey, hold on...

Twenty years in the 31, I know the drill.
Now, am I here to give a statement or what?

Easy, Barry.
Nobody's blaming you.

But the wife said her
husband was a wacko.

You weren't worried?

I never talked to
the guy myself...

Yeah, I knew he
was a nut, but a gun?

You're sure Mrs. Fisher didn't
know where the show was?

Unless she reads minds.

She don't find out
until we drive her there.

Do me a favor, use the desk.
Finish typing up this statement.

Nice guy. Oh, sure.

Retired cop.

What?

He knows Fisher was in the
Army, has a history of violence.

What? He's surprised the
guy shows up with a gun?

Well, I thought you said
we had four open homicides.

The bodies are frozen.
They're not going to thaw out.

Okay, let's call the D.A.

Maybe we get in to see Pop Fisher.
He sure as hell knows how he got there.

Yeah, he's in post-op, sedated. They
won't put him in his room till the morning.

[woman chattering on PA]

I followed the son
of a bitch. I shot him.

(Briscoe) Where did
you follow Vinton from?

(Logan) You're going to prison.

If you help us, maybe
the D.A. will help you.

Sid. The D.A. says if you
cooperate... You're a lawyer, right?

Listen up, no jury puts
me in jail for what I did.

Sid, you listen. It's a
question of for how long.

Like Vinton.

Country club, 18 months.
He deserved to die.

All right, look, we can do this the easy
way, or we can do this the hard way.

I didn't talk to Mason,
Talbott, any of his people.

But you know the name
of the head of his security.

Hell, yeah, I know his name.
He put a hole in my shoulder.

Sid, this isn't
getting anywhere.

I shot an animal. Call the vet.

If I'd known this would happen,
obviously we wouldn't have gone on TV.

Well, after what
you'd been through...

some people would wonder
why you went on TV at all.

I thought we could help others. I
thought it would be good for Scotty.

We'd have an
ending, a resolution.

Scotty, ahem, let me ask you...

did you want your father there?

He's not in touch with Sid.
The court arranges everything.

But, it must have been painful
seeing Vinton again, huh?

Well, after three
years, it was okay.

You knew your dad was angry?

Dad's angry about
what happened to me.

He has a right to be.

(Sarah) Scotty.

So, Dr. Vinton is dead.

Scotty, I want to talk
to the detectives alone.

You see how upset he is?
We're victims of this, too.

My husband's temper destroyed my
son and my marriage. I didn't tell him.

I didn't know where
we were going.

He can't remember
how he found Vinton.

Must be trauma from the wound.

Had to be his wife.
She got to him.

Mrs. Fisher's lying? Come
on, she hates her husband.

She doesn't have to
like him to wind him up.

Yeah, but she
wouldn't want him there.

She'd be afraid he'd shoot her.

"The killing of Dr. Vinton comes
at the start of the television period...

"known as sweeps. Ratings of Rick Mason's
Final Confession are expected to rise...

30% in the top 25 markets."

Oh, Mason did
it for the ratings.

He's a saint, and his show caters to
the highest instincts of human nature.

Look at him, he's scum.

So, change the channel.

Are you listening to yourself?
First Pop, then Mom, now Mason.

It's an Oliver Stone movie.

All right, nobody planned it.

It still doesn't answer my question.
How did Fisher know where to go?

That security chief, Talbott?

He had the mother and
son in a hotel for two days.

Fifth floor. Adjoining suites.

Mrs. Fisher and the
boy. Very private.

So, if we called we
couldn't get through.

Discretion is our middle name.

No, Mr. Mason's guests and
Mr. Talbott weren't even on the computer.

Here we go.

The Fishers, no phone
calls. Talbott, local only.

All to the same
number. Mason's office.

Was Mr. Mason
here Tuesday night?

He came in about 5:00.

I took him up myself
in the service elevator.

Mr. M. hates the lobby.
Samsonite tourists.

He left about 7:00.

Are there any pay phones
upstairs? On the residential floors?

If they use pay phones,
we lose our surcharge.

Anywhere other than the lobby?

Yeah, there's one on the
mezzanine, third floor. Very private.

Okay, thanks. Hey.

9:53 p.m.

A phone call from the mezzanine.

To 526 East 91st Street.

Sid Fisher's place.

I guess the bellboy
made the call.

Mason left at 7:00.

Talbott was still there.

Somebody has good instincts.

Which one of you said Mr. Talbott
should learn to lie better?

Both of us.

He said 20 years on the force?

Sixteen. Never made
sergeant, tried three times.

I.A. investigation said
payoffs from dealers.

They never made
the case. He resigned.

Even a hero needs
a pension, Barry.

This is what you
wanted to talk about?

How much is your pension?

(Buren) You don't have one.

You didn't do 20 years.
Your career was over in 16.

We're having a problem
with your statement.

You see, Barry, you said
you never talked to Sid Fisher.

You said Mrs. Fisher and her son
were under your full-time surveillance.

Trouble is, somebody called
Mr. Fisher the night before the broadcast.

From a pay phone at the hotel.

Now either you called,
or you know who did.

One last shot at the
Sergeant's Exam. Check the box.

Is accessory to murder
an A or a B felony?

I lost my pencil.

The call was made, Barry.

You were a cop, work your
own testimony, see where it leads.

[sighs]

I got four kids.

I needed the job.

I didn't call Fisher. I didn't tell
Mrs. Fisher where the show was.

The night before...

Rick's on the phone at the hotel.
He's on the phone with his lawyer.

I'm worried.

We know Fisher is wired, he
slugged the shrink at the trial.

I heard he pistol-whipped
some kid in the Army.

I hear Rick say to the lawyer:

"We talked about this.
What do you want me to do?

"Cancel the show?

If it happens, just tell me
what kind of trouble I'm in."

I figured I'd better
clean my gun.

Take a breath, Detective.
This is completely absurd.

What am I hearing? That
you're investigating my client?

On the word of a crooked ex-cop?

Who was crooked when you
hired him. And when I fired him.

Did he tell you that?
Day after the show.

Barry Talbott was hired to
protect my client's guests.

I told Barry, heads-up...

Fisher could track his wife. Why do
you think I wanted Fisher on the show?

We get him there, we could've
made sure he didn't have a gun.

The day it happened, you
were surprised he owned a gun.

The idea that my
client is responsible...

Your client? Check your shorts.

Mr. Talbott tells us that Mr. Mason
called you before the shooting.

Says you knew about
the mystery guest.

One, no such conversation.

Two, this imaginary
conversation took place?

Privileged. Three, if
Talbott overheard it...

privilege extends to him as an employee
of my client. Close your notebook.

The interview is over.

She denied talking to him?

Oh, but you should have
seen the look on her face.

This is one scared lady.

The D.A. says it's not enough.
Dirty ex-cop? Not a great witness.

Look, we know Mason set this up.

He wanted the guy shot, he
somehow got the father there.

Mason, all these guys, they'll
do anything for higher ratings.

So, that's what's going down.

Somebody gets killed, these
guys break out the champagne.

We can't prove that. We don't know
who called the father from the hotel.

Fisher's wife. Mason
called her. Or he told the kid.

That makes no sense. Sarah
Fisher protecting Mason?

If she knew he set it
up, why won't she tell us?

Who knows why this
lady does anything?

Why'd she bring her kid
on TV in the first place?

"Hello, America, here's my
molested son, watch him suffer."

We have shrinks on the
payroll. Give them a call.

You're asking me to explain the
behavior of a woman I've never met.

(Logan) Look, we need
an idea, someplace to start.

I usually try and avoid
making diagnoses over lunch.

Okay, this is speculation. What
did Mason do for Sarah Fisher?

He gave her an obituary.

She wanted Vinton dead? I don't
think so. He molested her son.

And in a way she was molested,
too. She goes on TV, she gets support.

She even gets applause.
She doesn't want Vinton dead...

she wants to do Oprah
and Donahue with him.

That's her way of
getting through it.

Then she wouldn't have
helped her husband kill Vinton.

No, but her son might.

That makes more sense.
Mason tells the kid...

the kid phones his father.

She's not protecting Mason.
She's protecting her son.

You're making it
worse by being here.

Your husband
didn't do this alone.

Mason picked you
and Scott for a reason.

I watched his shows. I
guess I should have realized...

I really can't
tell you anything.

You knew what your
husband was planning...

and you called him. That makes you a
coconspirator and you could be indicted.

Mom, don't... Scotty!
I don't know anything.

Mason went to the hotel and
he told you to call your husband.

(Briscoe) Did he tell you it
would make a better show?

Did he offer you money? Did he tell you
your husband was going to shoot Vinton?

Unless, of course,
he talked to you, Scott.

Scotty, I don't think you
should be here right now.

Mom, you don't have to...

It doesn't matter who
Mr. Mason talked to...

it's too late now.

[sighs]

Neither of us should
have been alone with him.

We shouldn't be alone with you.

[telephones ringing]

Olivet's right. She's
not giving up her son.

Mason's gonna get away with this. Do
you think the D.A.'s gonna touch this?

Nah, guys like
Mason don't go to jail.

They go to country
clubs and they get awards.

Yeah, what did Sarah Fisher say?

She watched his shows,
so she should have known.

So? So, do you
watch his show? I don't.

Maybe we should. Maybe the guy's
got some bad habits we don't know about.

Yeah, that'll get us an arrest.

It might get us something
that will convince

the D.A. that this
guy set up a murder.

I never watch the competition.

Hey, this isn't a
press conference.

Mason's a major
player in this industry.

Mr. Hudson, we're interested
in opinions, not resumes.

And this is a
murder investigation.

Well, which opinion would you
like? Mason's Nielsens were down?

Read it in Variety. Which comes
first? His conviction or his Emmy?

Well, what are you, new? Nobody
in the business was surprised.

You see that woman in Florida?

Husband shoots her at
their daughter's grave.

Same day network news.

I'd sell my poodle
for that kind of hype.

And shooting a child
molester is even better.

Cable operators are asking...

the State of Nevada to
televise executions pay-per-view.

Snuff for you?

Smell blood yet? Television
101, no jeopardy, no viewers.

No viewers, no sponsors.
No sponsors... No money.

Oh, no, marquee. The
marquee, his name over the title.

Without a show, Mason's
nothing but letterhead.

I know a girl, Debby
Corrio. Sweet kid.

She used to work for him.
She'll take you backstage.

Why does everyone
think I was fired? I quit.

Better job? Better life.

I couldn't take another minute.

What's on 4:30?
Final Confession.

5:00, last rites.

Nobody ever got shot on
his show. It was coming.

You know the Pulisi trial?

He had one of the jurors on. Four
days later, the man disappeared.

Hey, a mob-trial juror goes
on TV? He's asking for it.

You should have seen Mason
trying to convince him he'd be safe.

Eight months ago we
were doing this spot.

I found a diva, 19, has
an act in The Village.

I say, "Rick Mason wants
you to sing on his show."

So, she's in heaven.

No, he's at Bergdorf's
picking out a little black dress.

He's wearing a dress. So?

You want to see why I quit?

I'll get you the tape.

I don't care if he's a
bully. It's not admissible.

We're not talking admissibility.

It's motive. They're trying to give
you a reason to make the case.

Watch this.

[audience applauding]
Sophie, Georgette and Mary.

Boys who sing like girls.

Tonight, live on
Final Confession.

Stay with us. Don't go
away, we'll be right back.

(technician) We
go to commercial.

Mary? Is this what
you really want to do?

I just wanted to
sing, Mr. Mason.

But it's not you, Mary. Don't
you want to be yourself tonight?

I don't know...

They love you. Show
them who you really are.

They want you to be happy.
They told me. They're both here?

Yeah, atta girl. All right,
head's up. We're coming back.

(man) In five, four, three...

[audience applauding]

Tonight, live on
Final Confession.

Mary is really Tommy Turner...

and tonight...

she tells the two people
that love her the most.

Howard? Elaine? Would
you come out, please?

Do you recognize
this young lady?

Dad...

Tommy?

[Howard pants]

Oh, my God.

Oh, no...

The father walked out of
the show and had a coronary.

The kid felt so guilty, a
week later he killed himself.

Mason destroys people.

It doesn't prove anything.
Claire, it proves who he is.

We can't make this work,
all we got left is rubber hoses.

You can hit him harder.

You can't be serious.

You don't think we
should go after him?

What he does may be
sleazy, but it's not criminal.

If he arranged a murder, it is.

You can't believe that Mason
knew Fisher was coming with a gun.

Miss Kincaid, he wanted
to get the man there.

Expected a fistfight,
got a homicide.

If intent to cause injury
causes death, it's man one.

At the least, it's facilitation.

How do we prove facilitation?

You're not suggesting we offer the
father a deal for his son's testimony?

Why not? He gets man one anyway.

And no jury convicts
on murder two.

Half the country wants to
name him Father of the Year.

You know what Mason'll do.

Call himself a journalist and wrap
himself in the First Amendment.

Well, let him wrap himself in the
American flag. He's not Tom Brokaw.

By the way, Adam, the father
fired his lawyer. He's going pro se.

Jerk.

So, I figure we offer him a
deal, he doesn't want to take it...

we say we're adding
his son to the charge.

It's not the father
we're after, it's Mason.

We're not going to
indict the kid to get him.

No, but the father
doesn't know that.

Let's hope.

My son had
nothing to do with it.

[sighs]

Well, we think that your
wife will testify otherwise.

Not against my son.

Mr. Fisher...

if your son did help
you get to Dr. Vinton...

he's an accessory.

He will go to Spofford.

I shot a man on principle.

You torment my
son in front of me...

You have no principles.
And you speak for the State.

We'll see you in court.

We'll provide you with
help for your defense.

If you leave my son alone, I'll
tell you what you want to know.

The offer is manslaughter in
the first degree, you do 8-to-25...

if you tell the truth and if your
testimony is useful. That is the deal.

The deal is my son never
appears in court, for any reason.

Agreed?

I can promise that
he won't be indicted.

I cannot promise you that
he won't appear as witness.

You don't need him as a witness.

Mason called a couple
of weeks before the show.

Said Sarah was
dragging Scotty on.

Humiliate him.

Vinton sells a million books, laughs
till he cries. What am I going to do?

He told me it was at Waverly. I
went and shot the son of a bitch.

(Stone) That's a lie, sir.

I told you the deal depends
on you telling the truth.

I cannot let you commit perjury.

I am not dragging Scotty through
anything else, do you hear me?

My boy had to
testify against Vinton.

He never appears in court
again the rest of his life.

I didn't get any calls, I
didn't talk to anybody.

We can't use him. He'll lie.

He probably did talk to Mason.

Well, that's not the whole
truth and we both know it.

He laid it all on Mason to keep it
away from his son, and Mason's smart.

He used the son to incite the father, makes
facilitation that much harder to prove.

Plus, he could figure
that the Fishers would

never want the kid
back in the limelight.

But without him,
there's no case.

This family...

They haven't been in the same
room together in three years.

Mrs. Fisher, we believe that you and
your son conspired with your husband.

Scott talked to your
husband before the shooting.

We're certain you knew it and if we have
to, we'll charge you both as accessories.

So, Scott, help your dad.

Tell the truth and he
gets out of prison sooner.

Scotty. I'm done
controlling myself.

Dad said it's okay
to feel that way.

Mr. Mason told me
where it was going to be.

I called my dad.

This way, please.

[people chattering]

[typewriters clacking]

What is this? What
are you doing here?

[door closing]

I thought we were
closing a deal.

Your son just cut
a new deal for you.

You had to put it on him.

Is this today's solution?
Blame it on our son?

Don't dump this on me. I put him in
therapy, you put him in a murder trial.

Sid, there's no justice. At
least we can have recovery.

Keep your recovery.
I got revenge.

This is finished.
Dad, don't do that.

Scotty's telling the
truth, he called Sid.

He told me after it happened.

You wanted corroboration.

You said you'd threaten the
father, you threatened the son.

Alice Hutton finds out,
she'll have a hayride on cross.

Was there any other choice?
Now we look like carnival hucksters.

"Want a deal? Take a number. You
too can get a piece of the movie rights."

Nobody said this
was an easy case.

Conspiracy without collusion?
But you've got to make a point.

Which is? You treat
people like animal acts...

one of them
dies, you go to jail.

Well, I just hope we
don't look ridiculous.

Oh, I'd wear clown make-up if I
thought it'd get me a conviction.

[people chattering]

"Docket number 62397,
The People v. Richard Mason.

Charges are manslaughter, first degree,
criminal facilitation, first degree."

So, Miss Hutton?

Your Honor, in view of the
absurdity of these charges...

my client would like
to make a statement.

In my defense, Your Honor, I
point to my career in journalism...

the respect of my colleagues.

Sir, I have no idea who you are.

Miss Hutton, I'm not going to dismiss
charges before they get to grand jury.

Prompt your client to enter
a plea or enter it for him.

Not guilty on both counts.

Ms. Kincaid?

We don't think bail will affect
Mr. Mason's appearance at trial.

The People ask for $100,000. We
find that acceptable, Your Honor.

Such reasonable people.
Who says no happy families?

And Mr. Mason, stay in character if
you want, but please, stay in town.

Next.

Who are you? I
speak for the people.

I gave the Fishers their real day
in court. You're a public servant.

Your system gave a
molester 18 months.

You serve the public
better than I do?

I didn't arrange
to have him killed.

Neither did my client.
He had no motive.

Your client saw an opportunity,
Alice. I'm an opportunist?

Thirty-eight people were
shot in courtrooms last year.

The show you're staging
is no different than mine.

Mr. Mason, please
focus. This is not a show.

You have a camera, I
have Attica. Take a rest.

I didn't get my nap today either.
Geraldo had Nazis on the show...

he started a brawl, nobody indicted
him. Nobody got shot on his show.

Now, I'm willing to discuss
a plea at the lowest charge.

Go ahead, pick that scab.

I'll see you in court.
Don't be late, it's live.

By the way, that phone conversation
the security guard overheard...

Mr. Talbott?

I was on the phone with my
client. You'll never get it admitted.

(Hutton) The call is privileged.

Mr. Talbott worked for
my client. In essence...

he was my client. Oh,
really? On what grounds?

He was a necessary agent to
my client conducting his business.

The necessary agent theory?
Fine for the law journals, Alice.

We don't make law
here, we uphold it.

My client didn't
expect to be overheard.

McCormick on Evidence, he
thought the call was private...

he didn't waive privilege.

It was a public telephone.

Attorney-client privilege is one of
those great zones of privacy, however...

Your Honor, I...
Sit down, Alice.

I don't see how it applies
here. And the jury has a choice.

They don't have to believe
a word Mr. Talbott says.

The testimony on the call
is admitted. Let's go to trial.

Alice, that phone call,
Talbott isn't lying, is he?

That conversation was
privileged. This isn't about privilege.

Prove my actions were improper,
bring me up for disbarment.

If I could prove it, it would
be accessory to manslaughter.

Who appointed you
Saint Francis of Assisi?

It must be thrilling to occupy
such high moral ground.

You're an officer of the court.

It sounds like you were discussing
the possibility of murder with your client.

Really? You want to
try proving any of that?

You're desperate.

Talk shows have been on 20
hours a week for the past 10 years.

First time somebody gets
shot, you call it manslaughter?

It's what a jury calls it that counts.
This prosecution's a hummer.

I don't know how you look
at yourself in the mirror.

I'm a Catholic, I can
feel guilty about anything.

But I'll bet my conscience is
easier to live with than yours.

[vehicles honking]

Now, what will the
defendant tell you?

That he covers the news.

But in this case, he didn't
cover the news, he made it.

Now, let's be clear
about the motive.

(Stone) Nothing draws
people to their television sets...

nothing is more
magnetic than violence.

And each year, the stakes go up.

You had a fistfight on
your show last year...

now who's going to watch
if that happens again?

The higher the stakes,
the higher the ratings.

The higher the ratings, the more
money goes into Mr. Mason's pockets.

And these stakes
are human lives.

Not just the life
of Dr. Vinton...

but the lives of the
entire Fisher family.

Now, Mr. Mason brought them
together as you would gasoline and fire.

And he waited for the explosion.

The People will prove
that the explosion came...

because the defendant
deliberately lit the match.

Mr. Stone has a strange
notion of human behavior.

The defendant, he believes, is
responsible for what other people do.

He says, let's be
clear about motive.

I suggest, let's be
clear about the facts.

Here's what you'll learn from the
witnesses. The defendant didn't fire a gun.

He didn't put a gun in anyone's
hand, he didn't coerce...

anyone to appear on his program.

And I remind you
of one other fact.

Long before the defendant
ever met the Fisher family...

Scott Fisher's father
attacked Joseph Vinton.

Did Richard Mason provoke
Mr. Fisher to fire a gun?

Or was he provoked
in a courtroom...

long before Richard
Mason ever heard of him?

That phone call scared
the hell out of me.

What specifically worried you?

Mr. Mason always said
Fisher might show up.

When he asked his lawyer
what kind of trouble he'll be in...

I figure he knows for sure.

Did you do anything about
your concerns? Well, I told him:

"Let me hire an extra
man." He said, "Forget it.

Fisher comes, I'll let the guy
talk. "I said," The guy's nuts...

anything can happen." And
what did Mr. Mason say to that?

He said, "We're doing a show.
Things are supposed to happen."

Thank you. Your witness.

So, Mr. Talbott, you
thought there'd be trouble?

Did you call the police?

I followed Mr. Mason's orders.
Did you follow orders as a cop?

Why did you leave the
Police Department? Objection.

Is it true you
resigned because...

Miss Hutton.
Counsel will approach.

When he objects,
you wait for my ruling.

Now, Mr. Talbott
wasn't convicted of a

crime, get near that
again, you'll regret it.

Objection sustained.

Mr. Talbott, this call
you say you overheard.

Did you mention it in your
statement to the police?

No, I didn't.

Well, you lied then,
or you're lying now.

Is it true you no longer
work for Richard Mason...

that you were fired the day after
the shooting of Joseph Vinton?

Yeah, I was fired. Well,
you lied to the police.

I wonder, are you angry enough
at Richard Mason to lie now?

I didn't want my son on TV.
What did you tell Mr. Mason?

I said, "You put Scotty on, I'm
gonna be there. It'll be trouble."

Mason says, "It's news to America.
You don't like the news, make your own."

And what did that mean to you?
Objection. Asks for conclusion.

No, I'll allow it. Mr. Fisher?

It meant lump it.

He wanted me to come and attack
Vinton. Thank you. Your witness.

So, you testified your son
told you where to go that day.

Can you tell the court why wasn't Scott
charged as an accessory in this crime?

I don't know.

Is that so? You said you
made a deal with Mr. Stone.

You'd implicate Mr. Mason in
exchange for a reduced sentence.

Was your son a
part of that deal?

They threatened to indict
Scotty. "They," Mr. Fisher?

Mr. Stone, the
District Attorney.

He said he'd indict my son.

Compelling incentive. If my son
were threatened, I'd say anything.

No further questions.

Mason did it! He
made Scotty call me.

He's a parasite!
He's filth! Mr. Fisher!

The jury will ignore the witness's
remark. Strike it from the record.

Redirect, Your Honor? If the
witness can control himself.

Mr. Fisher, did you ever
offer to lie in your testimony?

I wanted to say Mason
told me where to go.

I wanted to say Scotty
had nothing to do with it.

And how did I respond?

You said that was perjury. You
said you couldn't let me do that.

Thank you. No further questions.

It was at the hotel.
I was in my room.

And what did Mr. Mason tell you?

He said where the
show was gonna be...

might be painful.

And what did you say to
that? I told him I was scared...

about seeing Dr. Vinton.

I didn't want to
know where it was.

He said he had to tell me.
The Waverly, where Dr. Vinton...

took me after the sessions.

Did Mr. Mason explain to you
why he had to tell you where it was?

He said my dad
ought to be there.

He couldn't tell Dad where the
show was going to be, but I could.

He took me to a pay phone
downstairs and I called my dad.

Thanks, Scott. Your witness.

I know this is difficult for you, Scott.
All we want you to do is tell the truth.

Now, you met with Dr. Vinton
for how long? About three years.

And did your mother ever ask you
about your sessions with the doctor?

Objection. Relevance?
Goes to credibility.

I'll allow it, but make
the connection quickly.

Go on, Scott. Sure,
my mom asked me.

And in three years you never
told her what Dr. Vinton did to you?

No, she wanted me to go. You
wanted to please your mother...

so you didn't tell the truth.

You want to make it
sound like I'm lying.

I'm not. Mr. Mason
told me to call my dad.

I didn't know what
he was gonna do.

Scott, didn't Mr. Stone
prepare you for today?

Didn't he tell you
exactly what to say?

He told me just like
you, to tell the truth.

No further questions.

She couldn't break him, Adam.

Ben, who said all cases are
made by prepping the witnesses?

You did, I think. About
400 times. Oh, yeah.

Ben, Mr. Mason just
held a press conference.

He fully expects
to be acquitted.

He's suing for false arrest
and malicious prosecution.

$5 million in damages.

Well, the last guy
that tried that with me...

is still doing three-to-nine.

I wouldn't eat that
canary just yet.

It's a long trip from your
witnesses to motive and conviction.

I'm pretty sure
Mr. Mason will get us there.

Well, but he might be a
better performer than you.

Certainly had as much practice.

Well, then I can
learn something.

Why did you visit Scott
at the hotel that night?

I spend time with all my subjects.
Especially a vulnerable 15-year-old.

What did you tell Scott? I
reminded him how hard it would be.

Frankly, I wanted to assure myself
that he wouldn't be damaged...

and if I wasn't convinced, I
would have canceled the show.

Did you tell him where the show
would be and ask him to call his father?

Absolutely not. I
spoke to Mr. Fisher.

Anyone could see the
man was dangerous.

Did you instruct Barry Talbott to
curtail his vigilance in any way?

The opposite.

I was concerned that Mr. Fisher
might find out the location of the show.

I told Mr. Talbott to
stop him at all costs.

Mr. Mason, do you consider yourself
to have high professional standards?

Yes, I do.

There are some things I
will not do in pursuit of a story.

I've never used a hidden camera. I
don't surprise subjects in parking lots.

And I don't pay
convicted felons.

I might add that some of my colleagues
at the networks are not so particular.

Thank you. Your witness.

So, you have high
professional standards, sir, yet...

you put the Fisher family on your show,
you knew that Mr. Fisher was dangerous.

Is that a high standard?

I took every precaution.
Didn't you provoke Mr. Fisher?

Didn't you refuse to
hire additional security?

Didn't you manipulate Scott
Fisher? None of that is true.

What about guests on your previous
shows? Didn't you arrange to have...

Objection. May we approach?

Mr. Mason's past programs are
irrelevant. It goes to motive, Your Honor.

And they're inadmissible.
Put it in your pocket, Ben.

I didn't let her do it to your
witness, you don't do it to hers.

Objection sustained.

Mr. Stone?

Are you telling this court, sir,
that you feel no responsibility...

for the death of Dr. Vinton?

It was a tragedy, but I would never
knowingly put anyone's life in danger.

Judge, you can't allow this.
You want to go in the back door?

Your client opened the door.

Hello there, send the
arguments toward my door.

Mr. Stone tried to sneak in
character testimony before.

He wanted to tarnish
my client but you said no.

Mr. Mason's past programs
haven't suddenly become relevant.

But they have,
Alice. Mason lied.

He said he never put
anyone in danger. He did.

He said "knowingly." He would
never knowingly put anyone in danger.

Ben, you have rebuttal on this?

(Stone) I do, Your Honor.

A witness who was
there and she'll testify.

It's grossly prejudicial.

People v. Zackowitz, Benjamin Cardozo
on the New York Court of Appeals.

What about Wigmore?

Character is never an issue unless
the defendant chooses to make it one...

which is what your client did. It's too
bad, he should have kept his mouth shut.

I'm going to allow this...

but you better hope your witness
knows what she's talking about.

We wanted the juror
from the Pulisi trial...

to talk about organized crime.

We picked juror
number six, James Davis.

And why did you want that
particular juror on your show?

He was the one who
pushed the jury to convict.

He said he would talk
about it, but he was afraid.

Mr. Mason assured him that we'd
alter his voice, silhouette his face.

(Stone) And did
Mr. Mason do that?

Sure, he did.

Then he invited Nick
Pulisi's son on the show.

Mr. Davis didn't know
until halfway through.

He disappeared
from a parking lot.

They never found him.

Were you involved in
the show that featured...

prostitutes in Times Square?

I helped find those girls.

The day of the show one of them, her
name was Cheryl, she was a little tired.

Mr. Mason was upset.

The first time we talked to her,
she was all lit up, she was funny.

Lit up, you mean that
she was on drugs?

She was on cocaine.

(Stone) And what did Mr. Mason
do to help her be funny?

He gave her $300, told
her to take a little walk.

Did she come back?

Yeah.

She was her old self.

She was buzzed.

We were just off the air
when she keeled over.

Later, we found out she
bought some bad stuff.

She barely made
it to the hospital.

Miss Corrio, one last question.

How did Mr. Mason
react to that news?

He said, "What a waste...

too bad she didn't
OD on the show."

He said, "What we really needed
was for somebody to die on the air."

On the first count of the indictment
manslaughter in the first degree...

how does the jury find?

We find the
defendant not guilty.

(Steinman) On the second
count of the indictment,

the charge of
criminal facilitation...

in the first degree,
how does the jury find?

We find the defendant guilty.

Move to continue
bail until sentencing.

Motion granted.

[people chattering]

(Mason) I'm disappointed,
but not only for myself.

It's a sad day for
the First Amendment.

He'll do 18 months,
better than nothing.

Eighteen months is
what Vinton got, right?

Mason could write his
own book in that time.

Oh, he's off the air. Oh,
I don't know about that.

Five hundred cable channels coming?
He could start the Prison Channel.

[snickers]

[woman chattering]