LAW & ORDER: Rick Eid on Recruiting Eriq La Salle to Direct the Season 21 Finale, and His Season 22 Hopes - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: Rick Eid on Recruiting Eriq La Salle to Direct the Season 21 Finale, and His Season 22 Hopes

May 18, 2022 by  

Law and Order season 21 finale

LAW & ORDER — Season:21 — Pictured: (l-r) Jeffrey Donovan as Detective Frank Cosgrove, Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Kate Dixon, Anthony Anderson as Detective Kevin Bernard, Sam Waterston as D.A. Jack McCoy, Odelya Halevi as ADA Samantha Maroun, Hugh Dancy as ADA Nolan Price — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

As LAW & ORDER wraps up its first revival season, showrunner Rick Eid tapped a familiar face to direct the finale, “Black and Blue”: Eriq La Salle.

“It was great,” Eid gushes of reuniting with his former CHICAGO P.D. producing director. (Eid ran CPD from 2017-2021.) “It’s always good to work with Eriq. We’re friends, we worked together for a long time. We work well together.”


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In the hour, an off-duty cop is killed. The high-profile case is personal for Detective Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan), who was close to the slain officer, and also brings LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT’s Captain Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Chief McGrath (Terry Serpico) to the mothership. (La Salle previously directed Hargitay on both SVU and LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME; the duo also acted together in ER.)

“This episode was something I had been telling him [about],” Eid says. “I had an idea for this episode for two or three months. I said, ‘You should direct this one. This is the one you should direct.'”

With a season of the revival under his belt, Eid acknowledges with a laugh, the “biggest lesson, looking back, [is] you’ve got a really sophisticated and passionate fan base, and you’ve got to make [the episodes] good. I don’t know if that’s a lesson I’ve learned, or that’s just what I feel, but you really want to create the best episodes possible, because the show has such a fantastic legacy and it’s so important to so many people. [We] feel this obligation to make every episode as special as it can be or as authentic as it can be. And we try hard to do that. Whether we succeed all the time, I’m not sure. But that is our goal.”

Looking ahead (the series has been renewed for season 22, its second in the revival run), Eid shares that he hopes to dig into the show’s characters a bit more.

“We will probably…learn more about them on a personal level and a professional level—what makes them tick?” he notes. “Who are they? And dig deeper into all of that, whether it’s part of a part of a main storyline or it’s just an aside. We’ll hopefully begin to learn more about these people and explore the different dynamics among the team in more depth.”

Though the LAW & ORDER series notoriously focuses primarily on the case at hand, Eid has a good idea of where the characters—both returning and new—came from…but is open to future stories tweaking what he has in mind. “At the beginning, I imagined the backstory of all the new characters,” he says. “I even found out what was said about Detective Bernard while he was on the show [during its original run] and then added my own version of [where he went after] that, in what he’s been doing in the in the intervening years.”

“You create all these backstories about all these characters, and then you write the episodes,” he continues. “And sometimes you go, ‘Nah, I feel like it’d be more interesting if this was really who he is or what he did.’ You learn as you go. As you write, you get to know the characters better. But you need to have some—or at least I do—sense of who they are in my head, and then that evolves as I’m writing.”

LAW & ORDER, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC


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