How Law And Order Guaranteed The Gruesome Suitcase Twist Was Actually Accurate

Law and Order Bernard and Cosgrove
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Law & Order Season 21, called “Wicked Game.”

The Law & Order franchise has been delivering crimes of all kinds for decades now, but the latest episode of the original series’ revival served up a gruesome twist that won’t be forgotten any time soon. It started with a murder victim who turned out to be killed by a rich man who liked to use his power and wealth to overdose the young men he was attracted to. The case itself was brutal, but it got off to a pretty gruesome start with the reveal that his body was discovered, naked and crammed into a suitcase. And as it turns out, the Law & Order crew went the extra mile to guarantee that twist was accurate. 

“Wicked Game” didn’t actually show the body in the suitcase, so viewers were spared the kind of visual that doesn’t usually air in the 8 p.m. hour on network television. But the episode did show the corpse and did show the suitcase, and it was up to viewers’ imagination as to whether a body disposal could actually work with an adult man and a piece of luggage. Production company Wolf Entertainment revealed how they made sure that it was possible on Twitter, posting: 

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Kudos to the member of the Law & Order prop team who got into the suitcase to guarantee that disposing of a body that way was possible, because I certainly wouldn’t have wanted that job! It’s true that it wasn’t the size of a carry-on, but it wasn't exactly roomy. So, in the name of accuracy, somebody climbed into the trunk chosen for “Wicked Game.” 

I’m particularly impressed at the props team going the extra mile, considering that there was no actual shot of the body in the case, and most fans probably aren’t familiar enough with suitcase sizes to call shenanigans about a body fitting inside one. It wasn’t ripped from the headlines, but there was some truth to it!

The suitcase twist was a relatively small part of the episode, and the case went in some truly unexpected directions when the drugs in the victim's system led them to a much larger series of crimes. Still, it was part of the promos for “Wicked Game” that aired on NBC in the lead up to the episode, so plenty of viewers undoubtedly knew that it was coming. There was just no way to know what exactly went into making that scene happen. 

All things considered, this was an intense episode for pretty much all of the characters. Bernard and Cosgrove were the boots on the ground investigating the case as it got uglier and uglier, while Price and Maroun had to decide how far to push a witness in pursuit of getting a conviction. “Wicked Game” was particularly big for Camryn Manheim’s Kate Dixon, however, as the character (who is not the first played by Manheim in the L&O franchise) realized that the current case could tie back to an unsolved murder from earlier in her career. 

All hands were on deck in “Wicked Game” – including the person from the props department who got into a suitcase for the sake of accuracy. See what Law & Order has planned next with new episodes on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, ahead of Law & Order: SVU at 9 p.m. and Law & Order: Organized Crime (which is putting Stabler in a “precarious position” with Preston Webb) at 10 p.m.. To revisit the earlier episodes of the revival, you can find Season 21 streaming with a Hulu subscription. For more viewing options, be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.