Law and Order
"Great Barrier"
CI, Episode 4.04
Production number: E5402
First aired: 17 October 2004
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1271 released in all  
Nicole Wallace Great Barrier.jpg
Teleplay By
Diana Son

Story By
Diana Son & René Balcer

Directed By
Frank Prinzi

Detectives Goren and Eames track a young Asian jewel thief who murdered her accomplice. They discover that the clever larcenies are the brainchild of her lover, Nicole Wallace, Goren's murderous and long-standing nemesis.


The murder of a man involved in a jewelry store theft leads to a difficult investigation as Goren and Eames attempt to discover the man's true identity and who his partner was. Upon discovering that the physical appearance of the partner was altered, they backtrack through the stores the two shopped in, and in the process discover that the partner is connected to a familiar name...


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Rohan Bartlett
  • Stradbroke Island
  • Goldberg Lynch


Robert Goren: That's Nicole's maternal instinct rearing its little head.
Alexandra Eames: You can't deny those feelings even if you can't have kids of your own.
Nicole Wallace: Yes, thank you. Not all of us can be blessed like you with eggs ripe and ready for hire.

Nicole Wallace: Tell me, did your sister let you keep the sonograms so you'd have something to cuddle up with at night?
Alexandra Eames: I see my nephew three times a week. Being pregnant was a great experience, Nicole. Consider yourself robbed.

Nicole Wallace: I missed you at the reading of the verdict. Then again, it wasn't one of your best moments.

Nicole Wallace: I didn't come here to engage you. I want... I want a truce, Bobby.
Robert Goren: A truce?
Nicole Wallace: Notwithstanding your unrelenting pursuit of evil.
Robert Goren: Evil, Nicole, is also unrelenting in its pursuits.

Alexandra Eames: She asked for a truce.
James Deakins: Well, at least she hasn't lost her sense of humor.

Nicole Wallace: Who helped you concoct this theory, your mother?
Robert Goren: In her wildest delusions, she never spawned anything like you, Nicole.

Alexandra Eames: Speaking of cradles, looks like you robbed one.
Robert Goren: You're uh, looking for her, huh? You worried that you didn't inoculate her thoroughly enough against our tricks?
Nicole Wallace: She has a natural immunity to pathological liars.

Robert Goren: Well, uh, I've never seen you so agitated.
Nicole Wallace: It must be all the pleasant memories this place brings back.

Alexandra Eames: You know the economy's tanking when investment bankers start knocking off jewelry stores.

Nicole Wallace: (reading a poster in the squad room) "The greatest detectives in the world" – you have to wonder about people who need so much positive reinforcement.
{{{4}}}: {{{3}}}

Robert Goren: She kills her young. She kills her lovers. And you? You, Ella? You're both.
{{{4}}}: {{{3}}}

Robert Goren: So is that what this girl's for? To offer you a chance to exercise your maternal yearnings?
Nicole Wallace: And why not? Adopting Asian children is all the rage, Bobby. They're practically fashion accessories.

Elizabeth Rodgers: Your Miss Wallace must have had her claws dug in pretty good. Her trachea's crushed; when she hit the water, she didn't have a chance.
Alexandra Eames: And the blood in the room?
Elizabeth Rodgers: It all matched for what we have on file for Wallace. We estimate it was a little under a quart. There's no way Wallace could survive in the river after losing that much blood.
Alexandra Eames: I guess we'll be seeing her in someone's tuna net one of these days.

Robert Goren: How long do you think it would have taken for Nicole to collect a quart of her own blood?
Alexandra Eames: If the blood was a set-up, why wouldn't Ella say something about it when she saw it all over the room?
Robert Goren: Maybe she was in on it. Maybe we never turned her.

Alexandra Eames: And she had to learn the hard way.
Robert Goren: It's just a thought.

(About the plan to kill Nicole's ex-husband)
Nicole Wallace: Now, starting tomorrow, we'll have something new to take care of. (caressing Ella's thighs) Think your legs are strong enough?
Ella Miyazaki: Yes, Mommy. They are.

Background information and notes

Dr. Rodgers informs Detectives Eames and Goren about the results of her examination on Nicole Wallace's body.

  • This episode is the first episode in the Law & Order franchise to have two different endings, the second being the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit twenty-third season episode "Did You Believe In Miracles?". With this episode, the viewers voted on the internet which one would be the "official" ending. Each coast saw a different ending, with both available for viewing online. The ending that was not chosen was aired on the West Coast and depicted Nicole Wallace being shot and killed by Robert Goren. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit also did a viewer voting ending with the sixth season episode "Doubt", allowing viewers to vote on whether a sexual encounter was rape or consensual on the internet.
  • The episode title is a reference to Queensland, Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef. Nicole's daughter was said to have been swept into the water off the coast of Stradbroke Island in this episode. Although it is not part of the Great Barrier Reef itself, Stradbroke Island is indeed located off the coast of Queensland, making this episode's title tie in with the plot.
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