"Subterranean Homeboy Blues"
L&O, Episode 1.02
Production number: 66205
First aired: 20 September 1990
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Stone Subterranean Homeboy Blues
Written By
Robert Palm

Directed By
E.W. Swackhamer

A white woman shoots two black men in a crowded subway car, and claims that it was done in self-defense. With much internal disagreement, the District Attorney's office goes forward with a prosecution, even though many of them are members of the group.


A white woman shoots two black men in a crowded subway. The shooting at first appears to be self-defense. Logan and Greevey argue about di Biasi's guilt, especially after learning that the dead man has a substantial record, and the living one cannot control himself in court. Laura di Biasi tries to make her case to Robinette, but he distances himself from the issue. Stone has trouble with the case, both in dealing with di Biasi's public defender, Shambala Green.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



"I miss the good ol' days - when you didn't need a lengthy trial just to give a white person the non-guilty verdict. We would have just covered it up and moved on."

- Benjamin Stone

"Do you have any other personal views on this subject you'd like to air before we walk into court and Ms. Shambala Green hands us our asses on a platter?"

- Benjamin Stone

"We're not talking about 'Squeaky' Fromme here."

- Mike Logan

Background information and notes

  • This episode appears to be based on the Bernhard Goetz case. In 1984, Goetz, who also became known as the "Subway Vigilante", shot four young black men in a Manhattan subway, who, according to him, had threatened him and tried to rob him. Goetz, like Laura Di Biasi, was eventually found not guilty in criminal court, but unlike Di Biasi, a racially charged 1996 civil suit was filed by Darrell Cabey, who was left paralyzed and brain damaged by the event, and it awarded Cabey $43 million in damages. (Source: Bernhard Goetz at Wikipedia)
  • This is the first appearance of legal aid attorney Shambala Green, played by Lorraine Toussaint.
  • The title of this episode is a play on words from a well-known Bob Dylan song, Subterranean Homesick Blues.
  • This episode features Ice T's first appearance on Law & Order. His song "Comin' Through" is playing on a boombox in a subway car during the opening scene.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

St. Jude's Hospital
Emergency Ward
Tuesday, February 20

Little Red Wagon
Pre School
Wednesday, February 21

Captain Cragen's Office
Monday, February 26

Office of
District Attorney
Adam Schiff
Thursday, March 15

5 6 7 8

Murray Hill Hospital
Friday, March 16

New York Herald Archives
Tuesday, March 20

Laura Di Biasi's
Thursday, March 22

Chambers of
Judge Manuel Leon
Wednesday, April 11

Previous episode:
"Prescription for Death"
"Subterranean Homeboy Blues"
Law & Order
Season 1
Next episode:
"The Reaper's Helper"
Seasons 1234567891011121314151617181920
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.