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How Law And Order Will Return To 'Ripped From The Headlines' Cases Soon In Season 21

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

Spoilers ahead for Episode 2 of the Law & Order Season 21 revival on NBC, and the promo for the upcoming Episode 3.

Law & Order returned to NBC more than ten years after Season 20 ended back in 2010, with only a couple of familiar faces as series regulars. The series premiere proved that the show can still stand on its own without needing crossovers with SVU and/or Organized Crime, while the second episode – called “Impossible Dream” – spent more time on newcomers Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) and Samantha Maroun (Odelya Halevi) than Bernard or McCoy. Based on some clues for the next episode, the show will go back to business as usual with a good old-fashioned “ripped from the headlines” case.

Back in its day, Law & Order was no stranger to pulling cases from real life and adapting for episodes, and Law & Order: SVU has done the same thing since the original went off the air. The official description for the next episode of L&O isn’t available just yet to confirm the details of the case, but the promo makes it clear that it will be a case that viewers may recognize from real life. Take a look:

The episode that airs on March 10 is called “Filtered Life,” and the footage so far reveals that a social media star will go missing and photos of the scene of the crime will be “all over the internet.” Seemingly complicating matters is the fact that she posted “every detail of her life” on social media. However the case unfolds, Anthony Anderson’s Bernard and Jeffrey Donovan’s Cosgrove will wind up in the forest on a search, and that never bodes will for missing persons on crime TV shows! 

Now, I’m not entirely sure how exactly this case is ripped from the headlines, and there is less than 15 seconds of footage to preview what’s on the way. Since that footage quite literally reads “RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES” in between the glimpses of what’s to come, the connections between the case and real life will presumably become more clear when the episode description is released and/or the episode airs next week. 

The promo does make me think that “Filtered Life” might balance the actual law and order halves of the show a little bit more equally than this week’s “Impossible Dream.” Bernard and Cosgrove were the boots on the ground to investigate the case, but most of the hour was spent on Price and Maroun prosecuting the killer who was a skilled enough liar to nearly get away with changing her story in the middle of the trial. Price and Maroun do both appear in the promo having a chat with Sam Waterston’s McCoy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least an equal amount of Nolan and Cosgrove next week.

Find out with the next new episode of Law & Order on Thursday, March 10 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The revival got off to a very strong start in the ratings, and even beat Law & Order: Organized Crime, so it’s probably safe to say that the three-show L&O block of the nine-show Dick Wolf TV universe is going to be a big hit in the 2022 TV season. If you need to catch up on Law & Order, you can find Season 21 so far and even more options with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Laura Hurley
Laura Hurley

Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.