Law and Order
"Rubber Room"
L&O, Episode 20.23  
Production number: 20023
First aired: 24 May 2010
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Rubber Room.jpg
Written By
René Balcer

Directed By
René Balcer


The series ends as Lupo and Bernard try to locate a blogger threatened to blow up a school, but the teachers' union hampers the probe. Van Buren's personal issues become a public affair.


Main cast[]

Recurring cast[]

Guest cast[]



Lupo: It's like fishing for a needle in the ocean. Old Chinese saying.
Van Buren: Just do it. Old American saying.
Kids like this see Harris and Klebold as tragic heroes instead of what they were--a grandiose psychopath (Harris) and a suicidal depressive (Klebold).

–Skoda about the Columbine Killers

You get no argument from me there. But if your obstruction allows a massacre to happen, I will crucify you, Mr. Kralik. I will charge you with negligent homicide, and after I convict you I will resign my job and represent the families of the victims in a wrongful death suit against you and the union. By the time I'm done, you'll be finished. So, my advice to you is get out of my way!

–Jack McCoy to Kralik

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

–Van Buren to God after receiving good news, last line of the series

Background information and notes[]

  • Originally intended to be a mere season finale (and the final appearance of Lt. Anita Van Buren), this episode was made into the series finale after NBC announced on May 15th that they were cancelling the series.
  • Before NBC announced its plans to cancel L&O, the series was close to achieving the title of longest-running prime-time drama, which is currently held by the 1960s western series Gunsmoke.
  • In April 2010, the real-life NYC Department of Education and the local teacher's union agreed to abolish the "Rubber Rooms", which had long been a source of embarrassment for both parties. The last remaining Temporary Reassignment Centers closed on June 28th.

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3

Imaging Center
76 East 15th Street
Thursday, May 13

Richmond Gas & Snak
Staten Island
Thursday, May 13

Home of
Morgan Jones
Ghent, New York
Friday, May 14


Reade Street Bar
135 Reade Street
Friday, May 20

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"Love Eternal"
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