Law & Order/Red Ball

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Red Ball
Season 16, Episode 1
Airdate September 21, 2005
Production Number 16001
Written by David Wilcox
Directed by Matthew Penn
← 15x24
16x02 →
Flaw (2)
Law & OrderSeason Sixteen
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Red Ball is the first episode of the sixteenth season of Law & Order, and the three hundred fiftieth episode overall.

Starring (Law): Dennis Farina (Detective Joe Fontana), Jesse L. Martin (Detective Ed Green), S. Epatha Merkerson (Lt. Anita Van Buren)

Starring (Order): Sam Waterston (E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy), Annie Parisse (A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia), Fred Dalton Thompson (D.A. Arthur Branch)

Guest Stars: James Le Gros (Dwight Jacobs), Wendy Hoopes (Denise Clark), Brooke Smith (Margot Bell)

with Lindsay Crouse (Judge Deidre Hellstrom)

and Adam Arkin (Charles Graham)

with Selenis Leyva (Detective Rivera), Patrick Michael Buckley (Jimmy Clark), Harry Prichett (Bernard Heinz), Sidné Anderson (Supervisor), Dale Soules (Agatha Jacobs), Robert Colston (Luther), Henry Afro-Bradley (Freddy), Scarlett G. Sperduto (Jennifer Clark), Angel Desai (Assistant M.E. Waxman), Chris Clavelli (Saunders), Harry Bouvy (CSU Tech), Brud Fogarty (Phelan), Joseph Vincent Gay (Uniform Cop #2), Tim Barker (Savitsky), Adam Saunders (Uni), Lou Torres (Owner), Kenny Simmons (Lift Operator), Ray Crisara (ESU Leader)


Plot Overview

After a car jacking in broad daylight Detectives Fontana and Green search for the five-year old girl who was in the car. Their investigation leads them to an ex-con who still has the girl's bloody dress, but refuses to talk unless he is set free. A.D.A. McCoy considers offering a plea dispite no evidence that the girl is still alive, but Branch is determined that they will not be blackmailed.


Arc Advancement





The Show

  • Time: The time on the signature black screen between scenes now flips a minute everytime it is shown.

Behind the Scenes

  • Ratings: This episode received a 9.0 in the Nielsen ratings the first time it aired.
  • Real-Life Connection: This episode marks the return of Det. Ed Green after being shot in the previous season. Jesse L. Martin missed four episodes so he could film the movie version of the Broadway hit "Rent".

Allusions and References

  • Red Ball: A red ball is a high profile case that has the attention of the brass or the public.

Memorable Moments


  • Fontana: Don't lie to yourself Detective Green, these things never end well.
  • Fontana: We're Authorized.
  • Jacobs: I'm gettin' three meals a day in here, a warm place to sleep, and I can score dope or get anything else that I need. Got all of the creature comforts, ya know what I'm sayin'. I can't say the same for that little girl.