Law and Order
Law and Order
"The Faithful"
CI, Episode 1.04
Production number: E2104
First aired: 17 October 2001
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Carver The Faithful.jpg
Written By
Stephanie Sengupta

Directed By
Constantine Makris

A murder takes place in a church, leading the detectives to unravel a complicated web that spans back a couple of decades.


SPOILERS! Before he became a priest, Father Michael McShale accidentally fathered a son with one Melanie Grasso years ago. The son's name was Kevin Donovan. Kevin grew up in foster homes until he was of age because neither Melanie or McShale wanted to come to terms with their unplanned son. McShale promised to take care of him, to the point of skimming church funds so Donovan wouldn't be homeless, as he was a drug addict.

One day, Kevin is caught stealing from the church box by the church sexton, Morris Abernathy, but he blames it on a homeless man nearby. Abernathy tells both of them to leave. After getting arrested then bailed out for buying drugs, Kevin returns to the church to kill Abernathy in retaliation for confronting him about stealing from the church box. Later, Kevin Donovan is found dead.

When the trail leads to McShale, McShale first lies to the police that Kevin is his lover and he feared for his life because Kevin would beat him during his drug rages. It comes to light however that Father McShale feared for what Kevin might do to Melanie Grasso if Kevin found out about her as he found Melanie Grasso's address in Kevin's wallet. Wanting to protect Grasso, he killed Kevin and gave him his last rites. Goren convinced McShale to take the plea of 25 years to life to ensure a trial needn't be necessary so Melanie's family wouldn't find out about Kevin Donovan. However, Carver is displeased to find out that Goren spoke to McShale without his lawyer and promises dismissal if Goren ever goes behind his back again.




Main cast[]

Guest cast[]


Rikers Island; Saint Justin's Church.


"Kevin Donovan was given the last rites?" (pause, then realization) "By the priest who killed him."

- ADA Ron Carver

"I don't like when you talk to me like that Morris."
"I don't care what you like or don't like. You're a good for nothing junkie."
"I'm just one of God's children."
"You're a sickness."

- Kevin Donovan and Morris Abernathy

(Picks up book on Goren's desk.)

"Liturgy of the Catholic Church. You thinking of converting? 'Cause I think Father Capanna would love to baptize you."
"Too late. You're speaking to a lapsed altar boy."
"Ah, I should've known. The disregard for authority, the fascination with bad behavior."

- Alexandra Eames and Robert Goren

"You're way too hot to be a cop."
"You're way too smart to think I'm gonna fall for that."

- Kevin Donovan and Alexandra Eames

"Detective... If you try and run one by me like that again, I'll have your badge."

- Ron Carver

(Deakins and Eames watch Goren shouting and cheering bravo to a homeless man in the Interrogation room.)

"Great. The Goren Show's back in town. "

- James Deakins

"You know us. We're the NYPD. We lie all the time. And we're good at it."

- Alexandra Eames

"After 18 years in foster care, Kevin turns up an uncle."
"Touching, isn't it? "

- Alexandra Eames and Robert Goren

"What about you? Any dazzling insights you'd like to share?"

- James Deakins and Robert Goren

"This is pure harassment."
"You have no idea how many times a day we hear that."

- Attorney and Alexandra Eames

(to Goren) "Listen to you. What did you think you were doing here? A catch-and-release program?"

- Alexandra Eames

Background information and notes[]

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3

Saint Justin's Church
209 Avenue B
Tuesday, February 6

Home of Morris Abernathy
411 East 145th Street
Thursday, February 8

Office of the Treasurer
Saint Justin's Church
Friday, February 9

4 5 6

Office of the Rector
Saint Justin's Church
Tuesday, February 13

Saint Justin's Church
Friday, February 23

Rikers Island
Correctional Facility
Tuesday, February 27

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