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"Navy Blues"
Law & Order episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 3
Written by Kathy McCormick
Dick Wolf
Directed by Jace Alexander
Original airdate October 15, 1997 (1997-10-15)
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Denial" "Harvest"
List of Law & Order episodes (season 8)

"Navy Blues" is the 160th episode of NBC's legal drama Law & Order, and the third episode of the 8th season.


A US Navy sailor is found dead in a park. The detectives find that he was having an affair with his commanding officer, a female pilot. She claims that she wanted to break off the relationship because it was forbidden according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and that when she did, the victim became upset and tried to rape her at gunpoint. She then says that at that point she struggled with him, and at that point gunshots shattered the windshield of the car she was in and killed the victim.

Lawyers from the Judge Advocate General's Corps assert jurisdiction and refuse to give the New York district attorney's office direct access to the pilot for questioning. When they investigate the pilot's story, they find discrepancies and determine that the shots could not have come from the position in the car she claimed. Witnesses from the night of the murder also contradict the story, indicating that it may have been the victim that wanted to end the relationship. After more jurisdictional wrangling, the pilot is arrested and charged with the murder.

At trial, the pilot claims that even if he had wanted to break up the relationship, she was trained by the military to keep her emotions in check when under stressful situations. Despite the Navy's attempts to keep her record closed, the prosecutors find a signal officer that made a recording of the pilot during a training mission. In this recording, the pilot experiences a breakdown and loses her composure. McCoy plays this tape at trial, and combined with the other witnesses, secures a plea bargain for first degree manslaughter.



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