Saturday, October 15, 2022

REVIEW: 'Law & Order: Organized Crime' - Reyes Goes Undercover to Convince Kenny to Cooperate in 'Spirit in the Sky'

NBC's Law & Order: Organized Crime - Episode 3.04 "Spirit in the Sky"

With a suspect in custody for Henry Cole's murder, Reyes goes undercover at Rikers to gather more information from him. Pearl and Teddy make a difficult decision to ensure construction on the casino stays on schedule.

"Spirit in the Sky" was written by Jorge Zamacona and directed by Simón Brand

Bell is reluctant to approve of any of her detectives going undercover to make a case. She remains haunted by Gina's death. And yet, Reyes has joined the unit with the specific ability of being able to blend in anywhere. He uses those skills to greatly benefit any investigation. He was inspired to join the unit and wants to be of service. Him going undercover in prison may be the only way to convince Kenny to cooperate. Bell and Stabler know that he's responsible for Henry Cole's death. However, they need to know who ordered the hit. That answer remains elusive. They have to get it out of him before someone kills him. He's a marked man in this environment. Everyone is coming after him because of what he knows. He endangered so many lives. And now, a good deal is being offered to him because he's only the first layer of this criminal conspiracy. The truth actually delves into corrupt business practices and shady deals in the name of future development and prosperity. The Silas family will do anything to keep their casino construction on schedule. A man is injured on the job. The work site should be shut down until an investigation proves that it is safe to continue. Pearl has the immediate instincts to preserve this life that was almost taken right in front of her. She also wants to hold the man who brought him onto the job accountable. This episode paints a rather negative light on construction unions. It presents a story where Teddy and Pearl were backed into a corner by these intimidating forces. If they wanted this project done, then they had to make a deal with the union to provide the work. The leader happens to be a corrupt individual. In order to meant the aggressive timetable, he brought in undocumented workers. They don't have any experience with this work. That endangers the lives of so many. The fall sustained is survivable. That's not always the case. And yet, all of this must be done in the name of progress. Pearl wants to do things the right way. She doesn't actually have any authority. Instead, that lingers in the boardrooms as Teddy and his father discuss crossing lines to deliver on this project. Moreover, it suggests that the most powerful family in New York isn't the true danger that has motivated all of this into happening. Kenny only knows so much. Reyes gets useful information out of him. In doing so, he puts his own life on the line. He gets stabbed. It's beneficial in earning trust. Reyes also has to follow Stabler's instructions for how to handle the situation. These young detectives are good at their jobs. However, they need to be molded by the leaders in charge to actually make a difference when investigating these cases where so much is ultimately at stake. That weighs heavily on Stabler and Bell even though it frequently places them in similar circumstances all the time.

Teddy is willing to name a scapegoat in the name of appeasing the detectives looking into the shady practices of this construction site. Dominic Russo and Vincent Bishop are already conducting themselves in a criminal way. It's not shocking to place the blame entirely on them. They embody a mafia mentality that disrupts the genuine ambitions the Silas family is trying to bring to the city. And yet, they too are just trying to appease their partners in this project. Moreover, the information Kenny ultimately gives up isn't incredibly shocking. It doesn't reveal anything new because the audience already sees Dominic and Vincent scheming to handle this situation before it gets out of control. They can't do that. That leads to Stabler pursuing Dominic in a high-speed chase towards the airport before he could flee. He ultimately dies rather than being taken into custody. Vincent makes the same choice. He knows time is running out for him. He simply doesn't know if the police or the other mob enforcers are at the door. Stabler is the one ultimately pleading for him to cooperate. He doesn't have to die to preserve the family he loves so much. That's the choice he makes though. These people are scared of what will be done to them and the people they care about. In prison, Kenny just wants to be closer to his sister. That's his big wish. The federal government is willing to provide that for him. They appreciate how he's haunted by the people harmed by his criminal actions. He remembers their faces and the impact he's had on their lives. Elsewhere, people are cruelly doing whatever they want in order to get ahead. Teddy has the leverage over Pearl to keep her in line no matter what. She is powerless. She takes control of the situation much more effectively than he ever could. And yet, he receives praise from his father by the time all of this is over. Henry Cole's apartment building is coming down. An offer was accepted so that the casino could expand on its construction. Meanwhile, the task force has only a few clues as to all the nefarious deals financing this project. They have to take a close examination at everything. Jet is very reliable in that way. Sometimes it's all about scanning someone's social media feed for clues. Other times it requires a deep dive into the financials of shady corporations. Human lives are at the center of it all though. That always must remain clear to Stabler. This unit has the responsibility to keep themselves safe even while facing this heightened danger. Reyes plays up his pain. He is still injured. He is willing to make that sacrifice even though it leaves Stabler and Bell worried. Their concerns are valid but they also trust his instincts. The progress offered is very appealing even though it leaves Stabler reaching out to Pearl in the hopes that her idealism clashes enough with her family to turn against them. That's very possible even though that too is a story the show has featured several times already.