A suspicious apartment fire leaves a severely disabled boy dead of smoke inhalation. Though an antique store owner in the same building had been "victim" to several other fires in the past, Detectives Briscoe and Green are drawn to suspects closer to home as they discover the tremendous burden the young boy posed to his parents and their failed marriage during his twelve years. As more is learned about the devoted mother (Megan Follows), even E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy begins to question whether his prosecution is truly in the service of justice. Meanwhile, Mayor Giuliani introduces Interim District Attorney Nora Lewin (Dianne Wiest) to McCoy and Carmichael.