Like the characters of their favorite show, fans of Law & Order are seasoned detectives. Rather than investigating fictional crimes, however, diehard fans of the police procedural study the characters of the show with a fine tooth comb. And during one of these investigative sessions, one fan unearthed the length of Detective Tutuola’s career.
Though Ice-T has only acted on Law & Order for 22 years, his character, Fin Tutuola, began his fictional career an incredible 37 years ago. Here’s how fans came to that conclusion.
Learning the origins of Fin’s career requires going all the way back to the Season 8 finale, which aired 15 years ago in May of 2007. Now, this wasn’t a major plot point of the episode. It was simply a small detail added in during a trial on the show.
This didn’t stop Law & Order fans, however, who recalled the seemingly insignificant detail in a Reddit thread discussing Fin’s career. The eagle-eyed fan wrote, “In the Season 8 E22 finale “Screwed,” Fin is on the bench. He is asked how long he has been a cop for. He said 22 years.”
Not only is this fan intimately familiar with Law & Order storylines, they’re also aware of the inner workings of the NYC police department. “In NYC, you are eligible for retirement and pension after 20 years,” the fan continued. “If you’re hardcore and successful, you can put in 30 years and retire with a super pension.”
‘Law & Order’ Fans Discuss the Length of Fin’s Career With NYPD
Though Ice-T’s first lines on Law & Order are far behind him, he doesn’t foresee an end to Fin Tutuola anytime soon. That said, a nearly 40-year career is indeed unusual for a police officer. Retiring with around half as many years in the field is far more common.
Law & Order fans, of course, pointed out this fact. “Logically speaking, Why would Fin put in 37 years?” the original poster wrote. “That’s madness and unrealistic. They probably would force you into retirement at the 30 year mark.”
While other Law & Order fans agreed that Fin’s career is abnormally long, they also pointed out that TV series don’t always follow the rules of logic. “It’s a TV show,” one fan responded. “So they’re not expecting you to remember those details like you are!!!”
Another user added that while Fin’s career has unquestionably stretched decades, he might not yet be at retirement age. “Yes, Fin has put in a lot of years,” the fan wrote. “But they can certainly say that the character has not hit the mandatory retirement age, even if Ice T is that old. As for why he hasn’t willingly retired himself, chalk it up to him enjoying helping people on the job.”