Law & Order launched its sixth season with the addition of yet another new character, Detective Rey Curtis, played by Benjamin Bratt. As the replacement for Mike Logan (Chris Noth), previous partner of Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), Curtis exuded enough youthful idealism and self-consciousness to counterbalance Briscoe's hard-boiled, world-weary persona. Ever so carefully, and without disturbing the plot-driven ambience of the series, the producers continued to provide quickie glimpses of the private lives of the six principal characters. The various casual affairs indulged in by Executive Assistant DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) in the years before his association with DA Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) occasionally come back to haunt him, and never so dramatically as in the episode "Trophy," in which he is forced to prosecute a former lover whose false testimony in an earlier case had enabled him to advance professionally. Another episode, "Charm City," represents the first of three Law & Order crossovers with another NBC crime series, the Baltimore-based Homicide: Life in the Street. This required several Law & Order regulars to make guest appearances on Homicide, and vice versa, thereby opening old wounds between New Yorker Lennie Briscoe and his Baltimore counterpart, John Munsch (Richard Belzer). Inevitably, the 1995-1996 season of Law & Order ended with the departure of one of the regulars, in this instance Jill Hennessy as Assistant DA Claire Kincaid. Onscreen, Kincaid was seriously injured in an auto accident; in truth, Hennessy chose not to renew her contract with the series, leaving her free to pursue other roles. The question of whether Kincaid survived the accident would not be fully answered until well into season seven.
by Hal Erickson synopsis