Law & Order concluded its season last night with a thinly-veiled interpretation of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal. The much-anticipated finale was probably a letdown to any viewer familiar with lurid details of the former governor's trysts (black socks!) or the many racy pictures of his call girl Ashley Dupre. There was way too much investigating and lawyering and way too little fornicating and covering up. Is sweeps already over? Anyway, there were still some worthwhile scenes, including the requisite sardonic one-liner that detective Lenny used to do (directed at a hooker, naturally) and a demonstration of how to destroy a governor-screwing, coke-snorting hooker on cross examination (servicey!). There was also an outraged Spitzer look-alike, a conniving governor's wife (not our Silda!) and the immortal line, "I have a friend in the blogosphere."

But the whole thing runs off the rails at the end, and the non-Spitzer Spitzer gets away with it, and no one gets to publish or gawk at pictures downloaded from MySpace. Instead the governor is permitted to keep his sex life private and his wife is left with both her dignity and independent political ambition intact. WTF? This is a detective show. I was implicitly promised the cheap thrill of watching imaginary justice visited upon make-believe criminals committing victimless crimes. Boo!

Here's a brief look at this alternate Spitzer reality. The guy who plays the governor has Spitzer's look down, although he's a bit young and has too much hair. Would-be Dupre is "Chanelle" in the courtroom scene — she doesn't look much like Jersey girl Dupre, and she's Brazilian or something so the governor just has her deported in the end.

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TV Squad has a review of the whole episode.