3 user 1 critic


A 7-year-old girl lapses into a coma and the detectives investigate the members of her family to determine who's responsible for the abuse.


Jud Taylor


Dick Wolf (created by), Jeff Eckerle


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Meloni ... Detective Elliot Stabler
Mariska Hargitay ... Olivia Benson
Richard Belzer ... John Munch
Stephanie March ... Alexandra Cabot
Ice-T ... Odafin Tutuola
Dann Florek ... Donald Cragen
Jennifer Dundas ... Jamie McKenna (as Jennifer Dundas Lowe)
Yancey Arias ... Denny Corea
Joanna Merlin ... Judge Lena Petrovsky
Paul Michael Valley Paul Michael Valley ... Randall McKenna
Jean De Baer Jean De Baer ... Lois Huntington (as Jean DeBaer)
Skye McCole Bartusiak ... Jennifer
Kevin Gray Kevin Gray ... Henry Abidin
Adam Zolotin ... Justin McKenna
Michelle Hurst ... ACS Social Worker


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A 7-year-old girl lapses into a coma and the detectives investigate the members of her family to determine who's responsible for the abuse.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The story Munch reads to the comatose little girl at the end of the episode is "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Doctor Seuss. See more »


Jamie McKenna: [to Munch] This is my file. I thought it was sealed.
John Munch: I have a friend in Children's Services. She remembered you.
Jamie McKenna: How?
John Munch: She remembered how nervous her superiors were about investigating an ambassador for sexually abusing his 11-year-old daughter. It must have been a very painful time for you.
Jamie McKenna: Yes, it was.
John Munch: How did your mother take it?
Jamie McKenna: She was jealous because Daddy couldn't stand to touch her, so she sent me away to boarding school. I begged her not to, but what Mother wants, Mother gets.
John Munch: She ...
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

User Reviews

Softened up Munch
20 February 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

For much of his run on 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit' was the source of a lot of very amusing dry humour, with a lot of his lines bringing a smile to the face and his hunches are always entertaining. A strong example as far as previous episodes go being the Season 2 opener "Wrong is Right". His screen time was not always massive but when he appeared he was a scene stealer. When he played a major role in an episode, the writers often did a great job with him.

Which they certainly do do here in "Legacy". For me it is one of Season 2's best and most emotionally powerful episodes and definitely one of Munch's best and most interestng episodes. Boasting too one of Richard Belzer's best performances, always liked Belzer as the character but he is outstanding here. Especially in the touchingly written and acted scene with Olivia. It was great to see a different and softer side to Munch and it was heart-breaking seeing him as vulnerable as he is here when telling the story of the little girl, he did show a softer side in Season 1's "Remorse" (this was not the first time) but not like this.

"Legacy's" case itself doesn't stand out quite as much, but that is in no way a criticism. With it still being a hard watch and a very emotional one, it gets to the viewer every bit as much as it gets to Munch. Will admit to having always been in tears watching the episode, with it being so easy to connect to the story and being sad seeing how it affects Munch, but this is coming from a notoriously sensitive person being autistic and disabled. There is not a dull moment with lots of turns in the plot (some genuinely shocking and was kept guessing all the way up to the end), a lot of surprises with no real predictability and no shortage of suspects.

Maybe there could have been a few less twists (my only real complaint of "Legacy"), which would have given the storytelling more clarity. Full attention is needed and will admit on first viewing, less so thankfully on re-watches, a few parts got lost on me. As said, less so now but just mentioned that as a possible warning. For me, Olivia being the one Munch opening up to did make sense with her being the show's most sympathetic character.

The slick grit and the sharper and tighter visual look is still maintained, and equally had no problems with the generally understated music and thoughtful and poignant script. All the acting is on the money, but this is Belzer's episode.

Overall, excellent episode and one of Munch's best and most interesting. 9/10

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Release Date:

10 November 2000 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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