Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Law & Order Filming at the Courthouse

Here are two photos of Law & Order's Alana De La Garza ("ADA Connie Rubirosa") and Linus Roache ("EADA Michael Cutter"), who were filming at the the Courthouse on 60 Centre Street on August 26th. These photos are from Flickr.

I’ve said here before that those Couthouse steps have been deadly in the Law & Order Universe (and even troublesome in real life), so I hope they are being extra careful!

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Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Law & Order SVU: Behind The Scenes

NBC has released a few “behind the scenes” photos from the Law & Order SVU set. It looks like they're getting the cast ready for a new group photo!
Michaela McManus, B.D. Wong, Tamara Tunie, Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Ice-T

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Criminal Intent “Frame”: Goren Free At Last?

Watching the season finale of Law & Order Criminal Intent “Frame” was like watching Bobby Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) have his 19th nervous breakdown. It was, at times, painful to see. But as far as trying to wrap up a few storyline that in my opinion were drags on the series, I think it did a good job.

Here’s what transpired. The show opens up with Detectives Goren and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) wrapping up a case. When Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian) tells them to “take a day” call it quits after the paperwork is done, Eames tells Goren to go. Frank Goren (Tony Goldwyn), Bobby’s brother, is at a Narcotics Anonymous group session, spilling out his feelings about his dead mother, since today was her birthday. A blonde woman sits nets to him, thanking him for his comments, and viewers could clearly recognize the voice as that of Nicole Wallace (Olivia D’Abo), although we don't see her face. Bobby Goren, meanwhile, is at his mother’s grave with flowers. He finds an old, but apparently newly framed picture of him and his brother Frank, as young children. He looks around, but sees no one else there.

Frank is at a diner with his girlfriend talking about their son, Donny. When he goes to pay the bill, he finds that a woman left a message for him, as we see the back of her blonde head as she is exiting.

Alone in his apartment, Bobby reminisces about his brother, and decides to try calling him, and there’s no answer. That’s because we see Frank is ignoring the call. Clearly Frank is off the wagon already, getting ready to light up when there is a knock at his apartment door. Again, we see a blonde woman through the peephole, and we catch a glimpse of her face. It IS Nicole Wallace.

The next day, as Bobby is walking to his brother’s apartment, he finds the police and EMS are there. Concerned, Goren flashes his Major Case badge and makes his way to the alley area where the police are located. He finds a body there, and when he lifts the cover, he is shocked to find it's that of his brother Frank. Rocked by the realization, Goren looks like he’s well on his way to his proverbial 19th nervous breakdown, as he appears overcome by grief.

When police on the scene question him, he’s told that Frank had $800 on him, and asks if Frank had any enemies. Goren says that Frank was a gambler and junkie for 30 years, which could mean it’s likely. But, hasn’t been in touch with him for a long while, but that he decided to stop by because it was his mother’s birthday the day before. He mentions Frank’s has a son Donny who took off a while ago and Bobby has no idea where he’s at.

Dejected, back at One PP in the elevator with Eames, Goren is perplexed because he said Frank never blamed himself for anything, that he always drive his anger OUT, not inward. And where did the money come from? Eames says she’ll talk to the captain to make sure that a real investigation is done, and while she’ll keep Goren at arms’ length, she’ll keep him posted.

Ross and Eames at Frank’s apartment, looking for clues. She finds Franks NA meeting schedule, and it looks like Frank had an appointment the day before. They also see he had a meeting with “Evenly” for coffee at the Port Authority. But as they find evidence of recent drug use in Frank’s apartment, Ross comes to the conclusion that Frank’s presence at the meeting “didn’t take.” Ross also finds one blonde hair, and thinks Frank may have also had a companion.

Eames brings Goren up to speed. Goren thinks that the meeting was with Evelyn Carson, Donny’s mother. They go to talk to her, and she said she came into the city because Frank called her, saying Donny needed money for a lawyer. She hasn’t seen Donny in a year. She also tells Goren that she wished Bobby would have taken more of an interest in Donny, as Frank said he reached out to Bobby for help but that Bobby couldn’t, or wouldn’t help. Goren looks a little perplexed, since we know that’s not true. She gave Frank the $800, and Goren says that Frank always knew what to say to get what he wanted. Evelyn also tell him there was a woman at the coffee shop who left her number for Frank, that the woman never even spoke to him, but that frank could still “pull” after all these years. She describes the woman as blonde, but that she didn’t get a good look at her. Goren has a look of realization on his face, and as Evelyn says she thinks Frank then went home after leaving the diner, Bobby said Frank left a picture at his mother’s grave. Evelyn assumes that means Frank got in touch with Bobby, but Bobby shook his head indicating no. Evelyn said Frank didn’t even know where is mother was buried.

Back at One PP, Goren is sifting through the evidence from his brother’s place. Eames tells Goren that the woman at the coffee shop remembers the blonde – she ordered tea and paid cash - and was working with a sketch artist. They didn’t find any other prints on the picture and frame except Bobby’s. Goren says the nice picture frame would be out of character for Frank, who often just tacked up photos. As the autopsy is back, they head to the morgue:

ME Rogers: We found sperm in his urethra and trace saliva. We're running the DNA on that – good luck - and on the blonde hair from his bed.
Eames: So he wasn't alone when he fell from the window.
Rogers: He didn't fall. [to Goren]Your brother was murdered. Besides crack cocaine, there was Succinylcholine in his system, a paralytic.
Goren: Which makes you stop breathing.
Rogers: There's an injection point in his side.
Goren: Frank never used needles, he was afraid of them. Succinycholine. The blonde in the coffee shop.
Eames: Nicole Wallace.
Goren: She came after my brother.

Meanwhile, Nicole Wallace is at a florist, buying flowers to be sent to Bobby, and she seals the card with a kiss, not her signature, and says Bobby will know who it’s from. It also had the sentiment: “Oh, this is the poison of deep grief.”

Back at the squad room, Caption Ross is with Goren and Eames and says to Goren, “Nicole Wallace. I’m told she’s your white whale?” Goren and Eames run though Nicole’s MO (seducing, then killing with poison) and her victims. They also tell Ross about Nicole’s previous relationship with Gwen Chapel, the only person Nicole every loved. Ross says with the detective’s personal involvement with Frank that neither of them can go near the case, but Eames says they can go after her form jumping bail three years ago. He agrees, but tells them to do it quick before the ME makes a match on the DNA in Frank’s room. Bobby leaves the room, but Ross asks Eames to stay. Eames, when she returns to Goren’s desk, tells Bobby that Ross wanted to make sure Goren wasn’t being paranoid. Goren is looking the flowers left at his desk, sees the card and knows it’s from Nicole. She reads the sentiment on the card, and Bobby worries about his nephew who may be the next target. Goren is then notified that a hospital called, and that Goren was named as next of kin for a patient there. He’s worried it’s Donny.

Arriving at the hospital, it’s not Donny who listed Bobby as next of kin, it was Declan Gage (John Glover), a serial killer profiler who Goren knew previously and whose daughter was serving time for murder own and for her involvement in the kidnapping of Eames. Gage had been lecturing, and after the lecture, had been knocked down and drugged with the same paralytic used on Frank, but this time, not all of the dose was delivered. They assume that Nicole did it, and she got caught in the act. The doctor also tells the detectives that Declan was already in a weakened state from parasites he picked up previously, by eating months old Christmas goose. While waiting in the hall, another batch of the same flowers sent to Bobby arrive for Declan. Goren looks at the card, which this one had a message to Declan for speedy recovery, this one with Nicole’s name imprinted.

They speak to the man at the florist shop, who says Nicole purchased 2 sympathy bouquets, while in tears, and then later emails an order for one for Declan. One of the two went to One PP, the other went to Phoenix, which is where Gwen Chapel was taken because of her cancer. The stop by to visit Gwen, who is in hospice Gwen said that Nicole thought Bobby would come by, and that she left a note for Bobby inside one of her get well cards. Inside the envelope was a picture of Donny, with the words “tit for tat, blood for blood” written on it. Outside the hospice, Goren comments that the picture is an older picture, which Booby takes to mean that Nicole doesn’t know Donny’s location. Eames gets a message that the DNA from the hair is, in fact, Nicole’s. Goren knows that she left only one strand of hair on purpose, and when Eames says that this is just a game to Nicole, Goren says “Its’ the world cup.” He looks at the envelope on the card, and notices that is postmarked marked Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and that Nicole's is sending them on a scavenger hunt. When Eames asked what is in Pittsfield, Goren says “A while whale. That’s where Melville wrote Moby Dick.”

They go to the bed and breakfast where I assume was he return address of the package, and the proprietor seems to be expecting them, having the honeymoon suite ready. She has their room ready, and takes them to it, where a package is awaiting on the bed. It’s addressed to Bobby, from Donny When the woman leaves, Goren wastes no time to open it up, and finds a human heart.

At the morgue, Goren feels that the heart is Donny’s. But Rogers tells him otherwise, that the heart belonged to Nicole Wallace. Goren is in disbelief, and he thinks Nicole is playing them. He gets angry with both Ross and Eames when they both seem to side against him He is sure Nicole is out there and she has Donny. Goren leaves, and Ross apologizes to Rogers and explains Goren is under stress. He asks Eames to leave, and questions Rogers what she knows. He tells he that he’s warning her because Goren is vulnerable and Goren had a target on his back. Rogers spills the beans that Goren brought in some DNA from serial killer Mark Ford Brady to test with his own. When Ross presses Rogers for the results, she points him back to Goren for that answer.

This sets up an altercation with Ross and Eames, when, while Ross is discussing the matter with Eames and his concerns about Goren:

Ross: Your partner actually believes Brady could be his father?
Eames: Well, he knows Brady's relationship with his mom continued after her marriage.
Ross: And he's lived with that for a year. Now he gets paternity results, suddenly this spree begins.
Eames: What are you saying?
Ross: The victims, his estranged brother; his former mentor...
Eames: You and I both know he had nothing to do with these murders.
Ross: Then rule him out.

Goren is back at the hospital, recounting what they know so far with Declan. Declan thinks Goren just can’t accept that his “greatest nemesis” was brought down by someone else. Goren thinks it’s someone who knows his history with her, and Declan say Goren is being set up, and that they are probably already investigating him. As they leave the hospital, Goren asks about Declan’s daughter Jo. He says Jo is well, and says they sped more time together now than ever before. He tells Goren that Bobby needs to go through his files to find out who is doing this to him, and look at who has something to benefit from it.

Back at One PP, Eames is telling Ross that nothing on Bobby’s LUDs indicate he’s made no phone calls to the places in question. Ross says that no-name cells and someone else’s email. But when a forensic accountant comes in, Eames says that Goren had no money and tons of medical bills. The accountant looks at life insurance, but finds a general policy for Frank Goren for $500,000, and the beneficiary is William Brady, the name Goren used when he went undercover to help Donny. Back in Ross’s office, Eames says this can all be explained, that someone went though a lot of trouble to set Bobby up. As Ross is telling Eames he has to take this upstairs and get a psych consult, Goren barges into the room . He’s upset that they checked his LUDs, his credit union accounts and his emails, and asks Eames “You think that I'm a suspect?" She says he is right now, but he cuts her off, question whether she believes he could be capable of those crimes. As Ross walks through the probability of it all, highlights Goren’s stress, his suspension and mentions his father, Goren explodes, swiping his fist, "My father?" Did your GIRLFRIEND tell you that?” He is angered that Ross didn’t have the guts to ask him himself. He tells them his father was a killer, so that means he is too? When Goren leaves, Eames expresses her anger with Ross, but he said he had to ask the question, and that Mark Ford Brady IS Goren’s father. Eames still disagrees with Ross, who asks her if she has a better suspect than Bobby. She said she DOES have a witness, though, and that’s Declan.

Eames and Ross bring Declan into One PP to question him about his attack and his contact with Goren. Ross tells him the heart was removed before Declan’s attack, and Declan says it wasn’t Bobby, but points the finger at Eames. She storms out, and Ross says Declan’s accusation was uncalled for. Declan seems to think this is revenge. While he’s talking, Ross and Eames both get a message, and they both run out. It appears Goren is in the morgue, going crazy, yelling and throwing things, clearly upset with Rogers for leaking the DNA test to Ross. “This is my life!” and that she promised it would be confidential. When Ross asks if she’s OK, she said she “dropped her tray” but she was fine, but clearly rattled. Eames suggests to Bobby the go for a walk.

Later, outside, Eames tells Goren he was trying to rule him out, and she thinks he’s being set up. She also said there was an insurance policy set up, payable to William Brady.

Eames: Someone's gaslighting you.
Goren: That's what Declan said.

Goren goes to see Jo Gage, Declan’s daughter, but find she’s in a coma, and that Declan was the last one to see her before she bit off her own tongue.

They bring Declan in to One PP for questioning. But Eames thinks Declan cant help them, and she leaves the room. At that point, Declan tries to get Bobby in an emotionally fragile state, bringing up his father, and Bobby’s mother’s preference for his brother Frank. He hammers Bobby about Frank and how nobody even came though for Bobby, and how they failed Bobby. When Bobby turns the tables on Declan, saying, “You're good. For a man with diminishing capacity... you can still hold your own,” Declan seems puzzled. Goren confronts him that Declan hasn’t seen Jo as he said, and that he’s not even keeping himself clean or eating right. Goren tells Declan his frontal lobe has been blown out with drugs abuse. The knowledge of what would happen to Declan seems to have driven Declan over to the crazy side.

Goren: You cut and pasted the pieces of my life together..
Declan: Good, Bobby, you may be on to something...
Goren: You did this, didn't you. You killed my brother.
Declan: No, no that was Nicole.
Goren: How did you find her?
Declan: (Laughs) My latest book. I wrote about women serial killers, like Jo, like her. I knew she'd find it, then find me. (Laughs) She tried to seduce me Bobby! I think you and I may be the only two men whoever said no to her. It’s the only way to encourage her.

Declan recounts how he engaged Nicole, and how he let Nicole think that killing Frank was her idea. Bobby is appalled that it seems Declan did all this for him, and calls him a son of a bitch. But Declan says he didn’t want Frank taking Bobby down with him. He also said Bobby was the “son he never had” and "I wanted you to engage again, so I gave you a puzzle... to solve... to play." Bobby seems sick with grief. Declan also admits the Nicole turned on him, but that he was waiting, and she had said, when he realized it was her time, “You tell Bobby he’s the only man I even loved. “ He also asks, “Who are you gonna miss more, Nicole or your brother?” He says he didn’t kill Donny and wouldn’t be cause that wouldn’t have helped him. When Bobby didn’t understand what he meant by help, Declan tells him Frank, Nicole, and Declan himself were dead weight, and punctuates it with , “You’re free now, Bobby. You’re free. “ And as a somewhat blank face on Bobby Goren looks back, the episode closed.

There is only one thing I didn’t like about the episode, and that was the flashback scenes. It had a “clip show” feel to it. I also think that when an episode has to show clips to either remind viewers or bring other viewers up to speed on the background, that the story itself may be too complicated. Now, I could follow it just fine, but my husband was a little unsure as to who Declan and Jo were.

Overall, this was an interesting episode that had a lot crammed into it. One thing that was a plus is that it closed the loop with Nicole Wallace, who I never really liked. (I just hope she didn't get a new heart from someone else.) It also hopefully gets rid of Declan for a while, who I didn’t care much for either. In fact, I guess I am somewhat of a Law & Order “purist” in the fact that I really don’t like overkill on personal information about the lives of the main characters. It seemed that Criminal Intent had gotten a little too deep into it this season with Goren. I think I was fine with Bobby and his brother, but the whole Nicole as nemesis thing never did anything for me. And in this current episode with Declan, I never care for these elaborate crimes scenarios that people create just to make life interesting for the detectives.

One other thing that had a bit of a soap opera-ish tone to it was Ross and Rogers, and even Goren’s comment to Ross about Rogers as Ross’ “girlfriend” almost funny to me. I certainly hope this closes the book a little on that one, too.

Kathryn Erbe, however, seems to really have grown into her role even more this year. If anything, the drama in Goren’s life has only given her a greater opportunity to show the depth in her character of Alex Eames, who for many years has just been a shadow to Goren. The last episodes have also been good for Eric Bogosian, so let’s hope they continue to give him some meatier dialog next season, too.

But most of all, I hope that Bobby truly has been freed by all this personal drama. The Bobby Goren we saw this season is not the Bobby Goren that I had grown to enjoy. Funny, I was watching an older episode from the second season just the other day, and I realized how much angst and sorrow and baggage that they loaded on Goren this year, at times detrimental to telling the story about the criminals and the crimes. Maybe with no Frank, Nicole, Declan, and his mother to throw a wrench into his life, he can get back to a life where maybe he meets someone who can make him happy. (And no, shipper fans, I don’t mean Eames.) A major disappointment is that in all their effort to possibly give a story line over the whole season for Vincent D’Onofrio to hopefully show his acting range, he was shut out of an Emmy nomination. Now that is a crime.

So while Bobby has been freed, in a way, I feel like I, as a fan of the show, have also been freed as well. I can only hope with the new season we can get back to the basics. So I bid a fond farewell to Frank Goren and Nicole Wallace, and am hopefully Declan Gage won’t torment Bobby from prison and/or a mental institution. And I hope to bid a warm welcome to the old Bobby Goren, who hopefully will remain angst and sorrow free next season.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Criminal Intent “Frame” Video “Spoiler” and Season 8 Promo

Here are two video links from the USA Network. The first is a bit of a spoiler for Sunday’s season finale, “Frame.” Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) inspect a special package and…well, just be aware the last few seconds may be a little stomach turning for some. Also, they have provided a video tease for the next season, where nothing special is shown except a quick clip of Jeff Goldblum. Links are below.

My recap and review of “ Frame “ can be found here.

New Season Teaser link

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Criminal Intent “Frame”: More Details

More details on the season finale of Law & Order Criminal Intent ”Frame” have been released by Eonline:


Sometimes when you get a plain brown envelope in the mail you say, "Ooh! My porn is here!" Other times you say, "Mystery package!"

I honestly don't know how to characterize the screener copy of Law & Order: Criminal Intent's season finale that landed on my desk this morning other than, well, it's not porn—it does, however, deliver a series of astonishing shocks not unlike the ones you would receive if you repeatedly drove your car into a power transformer. Read on for some hints:

Goren's (Vincent D'Onofrio) notorious archnemesis Nicole Wallace (Olivia D'Abo) is back. She is still the cunning and wily awesome psycho be-yotch she's always been. Goren is in her sights, but now so is everyone who is even remotely related to Goren, including his brother Frank (Tony Goldwyn). Only, given her murderous ways of the past, what happens with Nicole is not at all what you would imagine...

What I Can Tell You:

Goren is a suspect.
Eames is a suspect.
What's in the box that arrives about halfway through the episode is just awful.
The title, "Frame," should give you a hint.
Lionel Luther himself (John Glover, reprising his role as Dr. Declan Gage) stops by to help Goren with the case.
If you're a CI fan, you must watch USA on Sunday night at 9 p.m.—it ties together a ton of long-running storylines, it's totally bizarre, and it's completely captivating.

—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin

My own recap and review of “ Frame “ can be found here.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Law & Order SVU Season 10 Premier Promo

With all the recent news on Law & Order SVU’s new season, it looks like we’re in store for some rocky, soap opera-like drama for Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay). The star packed premier episode (with James Brolin, Luke Perry, Julie Bowen, Chris Elliot, and Sara Gilbert for starters) for season 10 will be airing on September 23 on NBC, and here’s a promo just to whet your appetite!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Frame” Episode Information

Here’s the episode information for the season finale of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Frame.” It stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. I’ll add the preview clips here if/when they become available, but you can access the preview on the USA web site here.

Nicole Wallace’s name was mentioned in the original episode information, (listed below), but now the TV Guide listing just refers to an “old nemesis.” My opinion is that it’s doubtful Nicole makes an actual appearance, unless, of course, she appears in the morgue. I’ve never been able to tolerate this character so I hope she doesn’t show up…alive, that is.

My recap and review of “ Frame “ can be found here.

“Frame” Air Date August 24, 2008
Season 7 ends as Goren finds a picture at his mother's grave, leading him to suspect his nemesis Nicole Wallace has returned. Also starring Tony Goldwyn as Frank Goren, and John Glover as Declan Gage.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Criminal Intent “Last Rites” Gets My Blessing

Finally, Mike Logan’s fire returns to the Law & Order franchise with Law & Order Criminal Intent episode, “Last Rites.” Too bad it was his last episode with the series.

This episode begins with a priest, Father Shea (Law & Order repeat offender Denis O’Hare) hearing someone’s deathbed confession that he murdered three people 16 years ago in the South Bronx. It leads the priest to Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth), where, due to his inability to spill the details of the confession, the priest unloads only a tiny part of the story, just enough to get Logan to ask questions. The priest was a friend of Lennie Briscoe, Logan’s partner when Logan was working at the 27th precinct. Wheeler finds that there’s only one murder that fits the information the priest gave, and it was of Peter Bottner, his wife, and their unborn child. The big problem is that someone is already in jail for these murders.

Logan decides to take on re-opening the case, which is good for Randy Nichols (Chris McKinney), who is in prison, already serving 16 years of his sentence, and who has been claiming his innocence all along. But it seems that the young prosecutor, ADA Terri Driver (Leslie Hope) who led the case against Nichols, who is now a the Queens DA, “made her bones” on this case, and she’s not willing to let the detectives imply that she made a mistake, especially now that she’s running for the position of Attorney General. But Logan had a run in with her previously (in the episode that aired last week, “Neighborhood Watch”), and she thinks Logan has a vendetta against her.

Detective Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson), on the other hand, is willing to help out Logan, despite the fact that Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian) seems to be in quite a snit about the political ramifications of taking on the case. While working the case, we are also given the impression that Wheeler is also getting ensnared in the politics of the case. It seems that someone had Wheeler tailed and photographed at a benefit by Credit Belgique that she attended with her fiancé, Colin (Jonathan Cake, Nicholson’s real-life husband), who is the general counsel for the firm. Later on in the episode, Wheeler seems to think that it’s backlash from Driver from her involvement with Logan on the murder case. I am not sure this is the case, though, since the benefit and photographs occurred before Logan had taken on the closed murder case. The photographs are given, anonymously, to Captain Ross, who shows Wheeler that someone seems to be making a connection that Colin, in his job with the Credit Belgique financial institutions, has mob connections.

The triple murder case itself seems rather simple and one that anyone working hard enough on it originally could have figured out. Driver seemed to have used questionable witnesses to make her case, using a prostitute who was locked up for soliciting at that time to say that she saw Nichols drag one of the murder victims from her car. She admits it was raining at the time of the murder, so she really didn’t see, but that the ADA exchanged helping her with her solicitation charge if she testified on the ADA’s case. The father of the murder victim also seems torn about the matter, saying that if they get Nichols to confess to the crime, he won’t appose parole. But when Logan and Wheeler try to get Nichols to confess, he says he doesn’t want to admit to a crime he didn’t do and doesn’t want to get out on a lie. He said he was breaking in to a car at the time.

Complicating matters, Father Shea was stabbed multiple times while he was in the prison chapel, and Logan implies that Driver had Father Shea stabbed to keep him quiet. Wheeler thinks Logan is being paranoid. Logan feels that she’s the only one that could have known that the priest had information.

In talking with members of the Bottner family, they speak to murder victim Natalie Bottner’s sister, Maryann, and find that her husband, Dylan Farlis, was good friends with Peter Bottner and worked with him at Bottner’s father’s company. They later uncover that Farlis was a man of many identities, one actually belonging to a woman named Dylan Farlis, who “lent” her identity to him years ago so she could cover up money she was making from selling “pot to Yalies”. Farlis also got the CFO job after Peter’s death, and it seems he was embezzling a lot of money from the firm. Farlis had also used another identity of a person named Jared Bellon, who died in a car crash in 1987.

They go back to Alan Bottner (James Murtaugh) to give him the latest news, who tells them that he had already repaid all the money embezzled by Farlis and didn’t press charges. He then fully realized that Farlis was a con man, and that his son Peter may have been on to it and was murdered to cover up that fact. But at the time of the murder he wasn’t aware of it, and assumed that the news his son wanted to tell his father was about Natalie’s pregnancy. After their murder, Dylan Farlis dropped off the face of the earth, so Allan Bottner could never confront him of the embezzlement. But, with a piece of fake memorabilia in Alan Bottner’s office given to him by Farlis from a new company Farlis had, they find Farlis' real name is Marty Swenders. Swenders was in prison for robbing a dealer at a New York trade show, and died of cancer and TB at Bellevue, the day Father Shea came to see Logan.

Going back to Maryann, Farlis’ wife, they discover that Farlis left his car in the street the night of the murders and the car – a red Audi - was broken into. She didn’t report it with all that happened with the murders. They check further and find that this validates Randy Nichols alibi. Logan and Wheeler go back to Driver to give her the news, but she’s not buying into it at all. Logan forcefully states his case, and makes the accusation that the ADA took the easy way out with the case, just to make a name for herself. She threatens to take away Logan’s shield if he proceeds, and he is incredulous that she thinks HIS job would be on the line, seeing is that she’s the one who had witness lie on the stand, and withheld evidence. She calmly comes back with, “You’re not too bright are you Logan? I gave you fair warning.”

But Logan is undeterred, and takes matters into his own hand and talks to the New York Ledger about the case and about his accusation that Driver covered things up, intent on protecting her bid for AG. Ross has a fit over it, and Wheeler is stunned when Logan admits what he did. When Logan says “War is hell” and tells Ross that he knows that Driver put a hit on a priest, and they all looked the other way, Ross asks “Are you trying to get yourself fired?” Logan says he wants her to come after him.

Driver, of course, tried to mitigate the problem by holding a press conference to announce he is having the Bottner murder case re-opened and Randy Nichols released. Ross notifies Logan that the commissioner is calling about the case, and Logan refuses to be intimidated. When Ross asks Logan where Wheeler is, he says she’s “driving James Bond to JFK.” As Wheeler is dropping off her fiancé, they seems to have been having a discussion about the case and that the Driver may be coming after Colin. She asks him if he knows Vito Guardino, the mob guy, and right at that time, they find themselves surrounded by the Feds, and Colin finds himself under arrest for money laundering, racketeering, and fraud in the first degree. Wheeler, sitting at the wheel of her car, looks devastated.

Logan, meanwhile, pays a visit to Father Shea, and questions him about the “deathbed confession” and Logan seems to think that the way Shea handled it was a cop-out, hiding behind his oath, Logan demands an apology, because he thinks Father Shea was just using vows and oaths as a cover.

Logan: If it wasn’t for your vows, and your oaths and your protocol, my partner’s life wouldn’t be in a shambles. I wouldn’t be hanging on to my job by a thread.

Father Shea: And I wouldn’t be HERE. I did everything I possibly could

Logan: That’s not good enough!

When the priest asks Mike if he has any family, he answers no, and when Shea asks himself if Logan’s ever asked himself why, Logan says no. Father Shea seems to think Logan is not connected to anything, which is why his life is in the state it’s in. His advice to Mike is to “get out.” He’s done his duty, served, and protected, and there is another world out there that Mike has just not been able to see. Mike thanks him “for that thought” and apologizes if he seemed disrespectful, he’s just not good at doing what people think he should e doing, even when a priest tells him what to do.

Father Shea: Take care of yourself, detective, and may God watch over you.

Logan: That ought to keep Him busy.

With that, we see Mike Logan leave, with no definitive closure on what he plans to do next, or what happens to him. Personally, I am OK with this, because I think this leave the door wide open for a later return for his character and for Chris Noth. They also let him go out doing what he always did best, buck the system, make waves, and solve crimes.

This episode probably had some of the best writing all season for the Logan/Wheeler pairing, and actually made them seem like real people. I smiled when Wheeler came in to One PP all dressed for the night out with Colin, and Logan says, “Wow, Wheeler, you clean up good,” which sounded like typical Logan. Also, they gave Eric Bogosian some lines that had some actual meat in them. For example, when he is annoyed with Logan pressing so hard on the case, Ross exclaims, “What’s the matter, you miss Staten Island?” They also gave Ross a more forceful encounter with Logan toward the end, when Ross appears to be at his wits end with Logan not seemingly caring about the trouble he’d gotten himself into. Finally, Bogosian has been given some scenes and some lines that allow him to show more range, unlike the wooden delivery we’d seen earlier this season.

I also like the fact that while Wheeler and Logan may think that Wheeler’s fiancé is in trouble because of DA Driver, that I’m not sure this is the case. After all, Wheeler was being tailed and photographed before Logan re-opened Driver’s murder case. Of course, it could be backlash from the previous episode, so anything is possible. I found myself really caring for Wheeler and what happens next with her story. That look on her face when Colin was being arrested seemed very real. And, while I don’t really care for recurring characters in the Law & Order universe – such as Goren’s tormentor, Nicole Wallace - I can see the character of DA Driver coming back in various ways to create problems for the Ross and his staff. It's hard to tell if she's just got a few character flaws, or if she's completely over on the "dark side."

The bottom line is that I think this was a nice exit for Logan and for Chris Noth. He was finally given a story that allowed him to emote more like the Logan that we saw in his initial years with the original Law & Order series. But, it also had the added benefit of giving us a Mike Logan who also had experience and his “exile” to Staten Island under his belt, which actually made him better at learning how to get his point across, even if it meant taking another career risk.

While I’m sorry to see Chris leave the show just when they seem to have made him more interesting, I have the best wishes for him and any of his future endeavors. And here’s one fan that will always keep the door to the Law & Order Universe open for Mike Logan and Chris Noth.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Law & Order SVU Season 10 News

With all the news lately for Law & Order Criminal Intent, I thought I’d update everyone on Law & Order SVU. Here is some information from two sources on the upcoming Season 10 for Law & Order SVU. Sounds exciting, although I hope this doesn't turn in to Law & Order The Soap Opera.

The first is from
'Law & Order: SVU's' E.P. Spills on Storylines, Guest Stars and Getting Naked
By Korbi Ghosh
August 15, 01:58 PM

Law & Order: SVU's Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) are mixing it up with some of the best in the business this season -- Ellen Burstyn, James Brolin, Julie Bowen -- and the two leads have a lot going on, too. I spoke with executive producer Neal Baer this week who, as he stated towards the end of our chat, gave me a lot of scoop! God bless him...

There's so much going on in your season premiere. Luke Perry, Julie Bowen and Sara Gilbert are guesting. We’re meeting Michaela McManus' character, the new ADA. What else can you say about this first hour?

It’s also the episode where we get into the stories of our [regular] characters. Where we left off, Fin (Ice-T) was trying to transfer, so we will find out [how that's played out]. Benson is having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder issues over her attempted rape from last season and Stabler has something bizarre happening with stolen credit cards. This will all play into stuff later on in the season.

How about Munch? Do you think we’ll see a little bit more of Richard Belzer this year?
A ton. Not just a little more. A lot.

What can you tell us about Michaela McManus' new character?
As you said, she's the new ADA. She's coming from Washington, D.C., where she worked for the federal government in the Justice department on victims’ rights, because she wants to be in the trenches. She comes to New York so she can actually work face to face with people instead of just in D.C., governmentally. Also, She’s going through a divorce.

Some of us are familiar with Michaela from One Tree Hill, where she was playing a character in her early to mid 20s. Seems a bit young to be an ADA. I assume she'll be playing older on SVU?
Right, she’s much more sophisticated in this show, you’ll see. Clothes, hair, she doesn’t look like the same person. She plays in her late 20s here.

As a die-hard Luke Perry fan, I'm obligated to badger you for information on his guest role.
Yes, he and Julie Bowen are playing these beleaguered foster parents who are really taking care of a child from hell, who claims that they are abusing him. It takes our detectives on a journey, complete with the usual twists and turns, and it ends in a very unexpected way.

And Sara Gilbert plays the kid's biological mom?
Yes, it's a very emotional role. She was a victim of a rape, which is why she gave up her child. She just couldn’t cope.

Of course I have to ask you about the casting of Ellen Burstyn. Is she going to be in just one episode or several?
Episode four, for sure. After that, I don’t know, we’ll see. She’s definitely in the fourth hour, which is going to air in October. And she plays Elliot’s mother, Bernadette Stabler.

And she has some mental issues?
She suffers from a psychiatric disorder, yes.

Long-time fans are wondering why we've heard about Stabler's father in the past -- that he was abusive -- but we've never heard a peep about his mother before.
There’s a reason for that. He doesn’t talk about her.

And we’re going to find out why in episode four?
We’re definitely going to find out why.

How did this storyline come about? Was Ellen's casting first or...?
The story came first, but she was our first choice to play the part. We wrote it with her in mind and we’re absolutely thrilled to have the person we thought of in this really important role. We’re always very lucky that we get phenomenal actors. You know, we have two Emmy nominations this year for guest stars Robin Williams and Cynthia Nixon. Leslie Caron and Marcia Gay Harden were nominated last year and Leslie won. But yes, when we decided to bring Stabler’s mother into the show, it was for a good reason. It has to do with his family, there’s a crisis of faith. CCH Pounder plays his lawyer, which is great. She’s been a lawyer on the show before, but because she’s such a tough shark, she’s now going to come and be Stabler’s lawyer.

His lawyer for…?
That’s the big thing.

That’s what you can't tell me.
It’s a big part of the show.

Okay, other guest cast: Josh Charles and Teri Polo are reuniting on the show?
That’s right. I loved both of them on Sports Night and I thought it would be cool to reunite them. They're in episode two with Tom Noonan from Manhunter and Marshall Allman--

LJ from Prison Break?
Yes. He plays Teri Polo’s son, a [suspected] pedophile.

Do you watch Prison Break, were you a fan of Marshall's?
Yes, yes. My son is 17, he’s a huge fan, so I had seen Prison Break and we had wanted Marshall on our show for a couple of years, but he’s been busy every time we had a part for him. But knock on wood, it always works out, because this is the best part and he’s really striking in it.

And how about James Brolin?
Jim Brolin and Chris Elliot star in episode where [Jim] plays an astronaut who was Stabler’s mentor and his boss when Stabler was in the Marines. So there’s a connection between the two of them and very much of a flirting connection between him and Benson as well.

Ooh, I like that.
They go out on a date.

Yeah, I was going to ask you about Benson's personal life, because we saw her with Bill Pullman last year, but it was very brief. Do you plan to incorporate more private stuff for her this season?
We’ll see her flirting with Jim Brolin, that’s for sure. And let’s see, in that episode, you’ll see her as a blonde. I haven’t told anybody that!

Is she experimenting?!

It’s a disguise.
That’s right. You’ll see.

How about her half-brother? Will we see Simon at all?
This year, not so far. I think she’s made peace with him.

Alright, well, I have to ask about something you’ve mentioned previously, that we’re going to see Elliot and Olivia in a somewhat compromising position this year...?
That’s true, in an episode called "Wild Life," with lots of animals. You will see them in a compromising position.

Can you expand on that at all?
You’ll see one of them without many clothes on.

Oh, just one of them?

Okay, and regarding Elliot, I've also heard that we'll be seeing more with his daughter this season, she's in some trouble, possibly sex, drugs. Does that tie in with the Ellen Burstyn episode?
It does indeed. Remember I told you something about credit cards?

Ahh, I see.
I’m giving you a lot!

And I appreciate it! One last thing: I know that Chris and Mariska’s contracts expire at the end of this season. Because the last round of contract negotiations were a bit rocky, have you begun talks already?
No, not yet. Too early in the season.

If, worst case scenario, they didn’t come back, have you thought about doing the show without them?
No, it's too early [to think about that]. We’ve got to get through some episodes first.

The second is from the SVU Production Blog

August 11. 2008
Guest Stars

So we just finished filming the premiere episode called "Trials". You won't be disappointed. Its 90210 meets Roseanne meets Ed meets Days of our Lives! You must be thinking: "What the heck is he talking about?" Well, I'm referring to the star-packed cast for the premiere: Luke Perry (Dylan from "90210"), Sara Gilbert (Darleen from "Roseanne"), Julie Bowen (from "Ed"), and NBC's own Days of our Lives' Mary Beth Evans makes a guest spot. The story is incredible also. So many twists and turns you'll be amazed by what you see! It's a great episode to kick off the season.

Lets see what kind of questions you all have for me:

Are there gonna be any famous guest stars on SVU?
Well I just finished telling you about the star-packed premiere. We also have James Brolin and Teri Polo, and we are only just starting to film Episode #3.

I noticed SVU has the same people, same faces, in their precinct scenes all the time, yet these nonspeaking people are never credited as to who they are? They can't be extras??
Well you are right and wrong. You are correct that it's the same people in the background. We do this to keep it as real as possible. Would a real police precinct have different cops working there everyday? Of course not. That's why we hire the same background actors. To answer your next question, they are in fact "extras." Just because you are a background actor (or "extra") doesn't mean you can't be a regular one.

Is Elliot gonna have his personal episode?
Keep your eyes/ears open for an episode called "Swing."

Any chance of some photos of filming we can see on the blog soon?
As you wish, check back in next week for some exclusive photos taken by me on the SVU set!

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Logan’s Run Nearing the Finish Line

Here’s an article from the New York Post that gives some good information about Chris Noth’s final episode as Mike Logan with Law & Order Criminal Intent. It has a few spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Logan’s Last Stand

Chris Noth ends his run on "Law & Order" tonight.
August 16, 2008
By Kyle Smith

SO long, Mike Logan.

Eighteen years after he sweated his first suspect, the growling detective played by Chris Noth is investigating his last case on tomorrow's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" as Jeff Goldblum prepares to step in.

The episode, titled "Last Rites," opens with a priest hearing the final confession of a man who says he committed two murders in The Bronx in 1992.

"Wild West days," says a coroner later in the episode. There were then about six murders a day in the city, and the air of nostalgia is as heavy as the smog over Beijing.

Today, Gotham's suffering a severe crime drought. If Dick Wolf wants to keep dancing with the zeitgeist his next series is going to have to be "Law & Order: Trans Fat Unit."

The priest was a friend of Lennie Briscoe's (played by the late Jerry Orbach), so he tracks down Briscoe's old partner.

Still bound by his vow to keep confessions anonymous, even though the murderer died after confessing, the priest can't furnish Logan with many details.

But together with Det. Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson), Logan is soon tearing holes in a case that has kept a man who swears he's innocent in jail for 16 years.

It turns out that the woman who put him there, an ambitious prosecutor, is running for attorney general. She won't be getting Logan's vote because of her habit of cutting corners to make headlines.

Moreover, the only witness who testified in the case is someone that she personally tracked down on the street.

It's a typical episode in the "L&O" universe - methodical, sober, stolid. Logan and Wheeler tiptoe down paths that could lead them to Mr. Big-like figures on Wall Street and the Mob.

They also have to deal with blowback within their own careers and personal lives as they figure out whether to believe the convicted man, who insists he's guilty of nothing more than trying to steal a car radio.

Unfortunately for him, it was the first night since about 1821 that nobody reported a car break-in.

So how dangerous are things going to get for Logan? Is yellow tape going to be draped around his body as a couple of detectives stand around with cold coffee cups and lukewarm one-liners?

Or is he going to face the more gruesome fate - exile to Staten Island - that he suffered the first time he left the "L&O" mothership, back in 1995?

That's where the suspense lies. Bringing in faith and politics and a sense that Logan has yet to find his real purpose, the show keeps you guessing all the way.

Noth was always one of the more interesting "L&O" actors to watch because of the way he seemed to feed on a barely controlled fury for everything.

"You sound angry," the priest tells Logan. The detective replies, "Who isn't?"

You'll be missed, Mr. Mad.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chris Noth’s Second Leaving

Photo: USA

USA Today has an interesting article about Chris Noth’s upcoming departure and final episode from Law & Order Criminal Intent. It looks like there is no "body bag" for Logan.

The old quote from Jerry Orbach is priceless.

I think Chris should consider one more go around with the franchise, after all, they say the third time’s the charm.

Chris Noth bids a second farewell to 'Law & Order'
By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
It's nothing new when an actor leaves one of the Law & Order shows. It is when he says goodbye a second time.

Chris Noth, whose Detective Mike Logan was an original character on Law & Order, will depart Sunday from his second L&O series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (USA, 9 ET/PT).

In a franchise famed nearly as much for its acting turnover as for its on-screen drama, Noth and Dann Florek (Capt. Donald Cragen on L&O and now on L&O: Special Victims Unit, both NBC) are the only actors to have been series regulars on two of the three police-lawyer dramas. In between his L&O terms, Noth returned as Logan in Exiled: A Law & Order Movie in 1998.

The comings-and-goings of Noth, who re-created his character from another series, Mr. Big, in this summer's Sex and the City: The Movie, have "always been sort of a mutual thing," says Dick Wolf, creator of the Law & Order shows. In Sunday's "Last Rites," Logan doesn't leave in a body bag, as some exiting characters have, but in what Wolf describes as "a soul-searching episode."

"He did the mother ship, he did the movie and he did Criminal Intent. God knows, he'll probably do whatever the future show is," Wolf says. "I can always see Chris coming back. How shall I put it? He's not the prodigal son, he's the wandering son."

Noth wasn't available for comment, but Wolf says he had expressed frustration as an actor on CI, as he had on L&O. "Unfortunately, I don't think I ever took that stuff that seriously. It's just part of his persona. … A lot of actors get frustrated, and I can understand why. One of Jerry Orbach's phrases was, 'Dick, can't somebody die in my arms so I can get an Emmy nomination?' "

On the original, where Noth served from 1990-95 (111 episodes), Logan teamed with three men: Detective Sgt. Max Greevey (George Dzundza), Detective Sgt. Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino) and Detective Lennie Briscoe (Orbach), his longest-running partner. (L&O's Orbach and Fred Thompson also starred on another Wolf series, the short-lived L&O: Trial by Jury.)

On 37 CI episodes starting in 2005, the Manhattan detective has worked with women: detectives Carolyn Barek (Annabella Sciorra), Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) and short-timer Nola Falacci (Alicia Witt). Jeff Goldblum will fill Noth's spot on CI, which began on NBC before moving to USA. He'll team with Nicholson's Wheeler.

The temperamental Logan exited L&O after punching a councilman, resulting in his being "exiled" to Staten Island. The character is combative in his CI swan song, too, going up against an overzealous prosecutor who had put the wrong man behind bars.

The departure of Noth is "in the great tradition of (franchise) leave-takings, not on the same drop-your-teeth level as some have been, but I think it's pretty satisfying," Wolf says.

Following that tradition, regulars left the other two L&O shows this year: Jesse L. Martin from L&O and Diane Neal from SVU. "That's part of life. That's part of showbiz," Wolf says. "I'd like somebody to come up with the first indispensable person, let alone actor."

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Law & Order World Sport Competition

With all the excitement over the Olympic games in Beijing, did anyone even realize that that Law & Order equivalent, the “Law & Order Mount Olympus Games, ” were going on?

I didn’t think so. Here’s a video of the high points of the competition. It stars some of your favorite "faces" from the Law & Order franchise: Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Sam Waterston, Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Chris Noth, Julianne Nicholson, and Alana De La Garza.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elliot Stabler Gets A Mom - With Baggage

It’s been reported by several sources that Law & Order SVU character Elliot Stabler’s (Chris Meloni) mother will appear on an upcoming episode, being played by Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn.

More details on what this means for the Stabler family is below, from TV Squad. Do everyone’s parents in the Law & Order Universe need to have “issues”? Think of Bobby Goren’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) mom, Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) mom, John Munch’s (Richard Belzer’s) dad, Mike Logan’s (Chris Noth) parents, Jack McCoy’s (Sam Waterston) dad…are there no normal parents out there?

Ellen Burstyn to guest on Law & Order SVU
by Allison Waldman

Recently, we told you about James Brolin appearing in a guest role on Law & Order: SVU, as a man from Elliot's past. Now, there'll be even more development for Christopher Meloni's character when Ellen Burstyn shows up on SVU to play Stabler's mother.

Oh, and she's not your button-downed, upright all together mom. She's bipolar, which is to say that she has a serious psychological disorder. reported that it learned that Ms. Burstyn's guest role will be very dramatic -- "explosive" -- and is slated for one episode. Thinking about what's been happening on SVU, the major storyline for Elliot has been revolving around his wife Kathy having another child.

The baby has brought the Stablers back together after a separation. Could Elliot's mother be coming to New York to see her new grandchild and something else go wrong? Hmm...

Oscar-winner Burstyn (Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore) has been busy on the big screen as well as TV. She's a four-time Emmy nominee, including one this year as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for HBO's Big Love. She was great as Barb's mother, but I think she's likely to lose the Emmy to Cynthia Nixon, ironically, for a role she had on SVU in 2007, as a severely disturbed woman with multiple personalities.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Last Rites” Episode Information and Previews

Here is the episode information for Law & Order Criminal Intent “Last Rites”. It stars Chris Noth, Julianne Nicholson, and Eric Bogosian. There are no videos available as yet to embed here, but the link to the USA promo for the episode is below. I’ll add the preview clips if/when they become available.

This is Chris Noth’s final episode with Criminal Intent. Lets hope they give him an exit which allows for an opportunity to reappear on any of the franchise shows if/when he gets tired of being a big movie star. We will be glad to take him back!

“Last Rites” Air Date August 17, 2008
Logan questions the system after reopening a 16-year-old homicide case at the request of a priest (guest star, and Law & Order repeat offender Denis O'Hare).

The link to USA promo is here.

My recap and review of “Last Rites “ can be found here.

UPDATE August 13, 2008
Here’s an article from The Nashville Daily News that gives more information about the episode. Note: The episode time they mention is CENTRAL TIME.

TVISION: An era ends on ‘Law and Order’

Logan during the series first five years, and many fans still consider the pairing of Noth and the late Jerry Orbach one of the best (if not the best) investigative teams the show ever featured.

Over the past couple of years Noth has been appearing every other week on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. His final episode starts at 8 p.m., Sunday on USA Network.

In a sense history will repeat itself thematically. Logan’s first departure was triggered by a hot-tempered reaction to what he deemed a miscarriage of justice, and this time he’ll once again pick a fight he can’t win.

When Logan discovers a man is doing hard time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to investigate. But that pits him against a District Attorney (Leslie Hope) determined that her high-profile conviction not be overturned. It’s an appropriate finale for Noth, whose character went from raging novice to seasoned veteran over the years.

A four-episode marathon of Logan’s toughest cases from this current season will be shown Saturday night on USA beginning at 6 p.m.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Criminal Intent “Neighborhood Watch” Piqued My Interest

In this episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, "Neighborhood Watch, " we saw a little bit of the old Mike Logan (Chris Noth), his dry humor, his sarcasm, his temper, and his plaid tie. It’s a shame that they took so long to bring some of his spark back, seeing that the next episode is his last with the series.

This episode opens with several people in a neighborhood posting photos of a sex offender that resides and works there. It seems everyone wants him out, and everyone seems quite verbal about it. Later, when a body turns up in the river, stabbed, missing his head, and with his fingerprints burned and almost melted off, Major Case detectives Logan and Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) are called out because it’s initially believed to be a mob hit. Logan is skeptical, but says:

Logan: My interest is piqued.
Wheeler: Piqued?
Logan: It’s my new word for the week.

After Logan asks ME Rogers (Leslie Hendrix) to works some forensics slight of hand (so to speak) to help identify the body, they learn it’s none other than Kyle Jones (Darrin James Malone), the sex offender target by the Neighborhood Watch. Kyle had been found guilty of second-degree rape of a 15 year old girl, Nancy Williams (Halley Wegryn Gross). But is he really a sex offender? In going back and researching the rape charge in order to flush out a murder, Logan isn’t so sure and thinks that there was consent involved.

They also discover that Jones’ car appears to have been tampered with, and that he was possibly being harassed by Sergeant Whelan (Scott Sowers) in the form of repeated parking tickets. Jones’ employer, a video rental store owner and cousin of Kyle’s mother, says he was getting ready to let Kyle go because it was hurting his business. They talk with Bob Goodman (Victor Verhaeghe), store owner and driving force behind Neighborhood Watch, and he says he was working with Sgt. Whelan to help drive out Jones. When Sgt. Whelan I questioned, he said he saw Jones leave the video store early, and then he left as well.

But when they find that the ADA classed Jones’ crime as rape, Wheeler and Logan split up to talk to Nancy Williams and her father. The father is still angry over the rape but says he wouldn’t murder anyone, and the daughter admits a secret relationship with Jones. But, her parents were angry when they were told by Nancy’s doctor that she was not a virgin, and they moved ahead with the rape charge. Nancy also implies that from the questioning by the ADA, that it sounded like rape, and she agreed it must be.

Complicating matters is an appearance at One PP of Clete Dixon (Skip Sudduth), an old colleague of Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian), who seems to think that Kyle Jones’ murder is part of a suspected serial killer he’d been trailing as part of some cold cases. When ME Rogers examines Dixon’s files, she finds no evidence of a serial killer, and Logan and Wheeler deliver the news to Dixon. While he seems to accept their conclusions, Dixon is later seen on a TV talk show spouting that he was told by Major Case that it IS a serial killer. Ross fumes over it, and later is also seen talking on camera to a reporter debunking Dixon’s report. This doesn’t help much, as Dixon appears again on the Faith Yancy’s (Geneva Carr) talk show, this time with ADA Driver (Leslie Hope), who worked Nancy Williams’ case. ADA Driver appears to be only inflaming the situation by her comments. Ross asks the detectives to talk to her, be diplomatic, but get her to “dial it down.”

When Logan and Wheeler tell ADA Driver this was not the work of a serial killer, she says she is relieved. But when asked to issue a statement to deplore vigilante justice, she thinks that’s what she’s been doing, and refuses to minimize Jones’ crime. Logan, however, shows his annoyance with Driver by bluntly telling her that Jones got involved with the wrong girl, served his time in prison, and when he gets out he’s labeled as a sex offender, hounded, harassed, and murdered. Driver says he’s so angry, she’ll take his comments with a grain of salt.

Logan admits to Wheeler that he is frustrated, and decides that while they are in the neighborhood, they will investigate outstanding petty warrants to see what they can flush out. The find that a group of kids were talking big about the murder, as if they knew who did it, and a bar owner says one of them came in trying to use someone else’s ID. It point them back to Jake Lally, who finds that his ID was taken while these kids were in his house for a party his sister Brenda (Dreama Walker) had while his parents were out of town. Brenda says it was “Jamie, Ricky, and Lew” but it was Jamie (Michael Drayer) that she saw coming out of Jake’s room. They question Jamie, who insists he refused to help them disable Jones’ car, but was just supposed to be a lookout. He says Ricky and Lew bragged that “the deed is done” and that they’d be heroes.

In questioning Ricky (David Call), his mother says he was home with him all night – and Ricky emphasizes: every night. But when they look at Ricky’s and Lew’s (Lucas Papaelias) records, and find Ricky has a 1998 minivan, they decide to find a reason to get the van on a traffic violation so they can search it. They do so, and find that the van has luminol present, Logan giving them the bad news that the luminol can even show that bleach was used. They find luminol on Ricky and Lew’s shoes as well, with what looks like traces of stains. They take the two in for questioning, and search the garage at Ricky’s mother’s home. They decide to check the garage drain for blood, and suspect a hacksaw is missing, but a locked freezer turns up nothing but a large pot roast.

At One PP, Lew buckles under questioning, and says that it was Ricky’s idea because he wanted to impress Brenda Lally. Brenda, now also at One PP, says that Ricky and Lew hinted that they had killed Kyle, and had been talking about killing someone since junior high school, and that Ricky would even show her the head.

Wheeler puts the pressure on Ricky, getting him to admit that they brought Kyle to his house, gave him some beer (Kyle cut his hand on the bottle) and they smoked dope and popped some pills. She also tells him they checked his computer and found he’d looked up driving directions to where the body was dumped. Logan enters, and tells Ricky that Lew said Ricky did it, and told him where the hacksaw was put, but not the head. Wheeler continues to taunt Ricky, by saying the Brenda didn’t believe him, that he was a loser, and "all talk". But after Logan hits him with one final insult, Ricky folds and says he’d already murdered before Kyle, that he’d done the other sex offenders in the reports. Logan and Wheeler appear stunned, but they question Ricky further to flush out that Ricky is only talking big, and that he only killed Kyle. Ricky admits it, and after his bluff that he did it in self defense fails, he seems disappointed that the one murder won’t make him famous. But Logan still has some doubts about parts of the crime when Logan asks Ricky if he knows where the fuse box is on a Civic, and Ricky shrugs as if he doesn’t know or care. Logan goes back and questions Sgt. Whelan, who, after some cop-to-cop banter, seems to admit he took out the fuse, but didn’t know that Kyle’s time was up.

Back at One PP, Logan asks Wheeler to join him for a drink, but she begs off and introduces Logan to her fiancé, Colin (Nicholson’s real-life spouse, Jonathan Cake). So Logan joins Ross in his office, watching ADA Driver seemingly taking credit for cracking the case, while they sip drinks. Logan commiserates over his first case, and Ross over the current crime. As Logan reflects that Ricky “didn’t even enjoy it,” the episode closes.

I really enjoyed this episode primarily because it appeared that we got to see more of the “old” Mike Logan persona than we saw all season. He seemed brighter and more energetic, yet he also seemed to be less resistant to showing his annoyance when needed. Mike Logan finally seems to have come back, but I’m sad that they finally have gotten it right with him right, before his final episode.

The case also had the right amount of red herrings that actually added to the drama. The most interesting was when Ross’s colleague Dixon decides to make a name for himself and go on a talk show with his version of the case, and later Kyle’s killer Ricky uses that information in his attempt for serial killer fame. For a minute, he almost had me going, especially with the look of surprise on Logan and Wheeler’s faces. But their surprise was probably more indicative of how stupid they thought that Ricky was when they tore apart his claim.

I also thought that we saw some glimpses into Mike with his reaction to the rape accusation. This seemed like the Mike we knew from his early seasons on Law & Order, where he expressed his concern that if what Kyle did was really a crime, or it was just a case of a kid meeting up with the wrong girl with the wrong parents.

It was also amusing when Wheeler introduces her fiancé, and it’s none other than her real life husband. It was a funny touch that may have been missed by the casual Criminal Intent viewer. I also liked that they seemed to give Bogosian some better dialog which allowed him to emote more. This is the second week in a row that I actually enjoyed Bogosian - a world record for me.

The case itself was interesting, showing very well how sometimes labeling someone as a sex offender can have on a neighborhood. Personally, I always think it’s good to know when someone who is a registered sex offender moves in to my area, but I don’t always agree that zealous persecution of them by a neighborhood is the right answer.

This episode left me wanting to see much more of the Mike Logan that worked this case, sadly, it won’t be happening.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

SVU’s Chris Meloni in "Gym Teacher The Movie"

In a break from my normal Law & Order content, I thought I show the trailer for Law & Order SVU’s Chris Meloni and his new Nickelodeon movie, “Gym Teacher The Movie.” In one part of the clip, Chris is sporting an Afro. It must be seen to be believed.

The show is set to air on September 12, on Nickelodeon.

Link to Nickelodeon web site trailer here. Much better quality, but you have to sit through a commercial.

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Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Law & Order: And Now For Something Completely Different

Viewers in the US are well accustomed to the themes and opening credits for the various shows in the Law & Order franchise. But, just to stir things up here, I’ve collected some of the themes and title credits for some of the Law & Order, Criminal Intent, and SVU shows as they appear in the United Kingdom. (I had already posted the SVU UK version back in April, here, but I also included it below just to have all of them in one place.)

No offense to Mike Post and his U.S. theme versions…but I really like the choices made for the UK themes, and the manner that the characters - such as Sam Waterston, Vincent D'Onofrio, Chris Noth, and the others - are presented in the opening credits.

Law & Order Criminal Intent Theme
Season Five, UK Edition

Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Chris Noth, Annabella Sciorra, Cortney Vance, Jamey Sheridan

Law & Order Criminal Intent Theme
Season Six, UK Edition

Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Chris Noth, Julianne Nicholson, Eric Bogosian

Law & Order
Season 13 UK Edition

Sam Waterston, Elisabeth Rohm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Fred Dalton Thompson, Jerry Orbach, Jesse Martin

Law & Order
Season 16 UK Edition

Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jesse Martin, Dennis Farina, Fred Dalton Thompson, Annie Parisse

Law & Order
Season 17 UK Edition
Sam Waterston, S. Epatha Merkerson, Fred Dalton Thompson, Jesse Martin, Milena Govich, Alana De La Garza

Law & Order SVU
UK Edition

Chris Meloni, Markisa Hargitay, Richard Belzer, Ice-T, Dann Florek, Diane Neal

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information,

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Law & Order SVU Filming in the Meat Packing District

Several bloggers and web sites caught Law & Order SVU stars Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, and guest star Luke Perry filming the season premier in the Meat Packing District in New York City. Here are some of the pictures. Check out the sleeveless shirts Meloni must wear under those hot suits.

Above photos from Tressed Out Celebs

Luke Perry and Chris Meloni (Splash News)

Splash News

Below, from Starpulse

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Neighborhood Watch” Episode Information and Previews

Here’s the episode information and previews of Law & Order Criminal Intent episode “Neighborhood Watch”, starring Chris Noth and Julianne Nicholson. This week, USA seems to have released the video clips quickly, much to my delight.

“Neighborhood Watch” Air Date August 10, 2008
The case of a mutilated body found in a creek produces a whole neighborhood of suspects when the investigation reveals the man was not welcome in the community.

USA Promo

USA Preview Clips

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.

Criminal Intent “Legacy”: Pranks Gone Wild

While Law & Order Criminal Intent “Legacy” opens with a long set up to the crime, it makes for a beginning to an interesting story about entitled kids, not so entitled kids, and the harm a hatred that gets passed from parent to child can do in the long run.
When the episode opens, we find that one student, Tessa Nobile (Sarah Steele), seems to be excited about going to the prom with someone she’s talking to on-line, "LUV40" AKA Joe. We also see a few boys making bets on whether Joe will get Tessa to strip for the web cam. But when Joe messages Tessa and tells her “prom’s off, freak” and accuses her of being a lesbian, Tessa is crushed and doesn’t go to the prom. This is to the dismay of fellow student Paul Phillips, who seems anxious to see Tessa at the prom. Paul is in for some trouble, as the girls on the lacrosse team – Tessa is a member – decide to exact revenge on him for spreading rumors of Tessa being a lesbian. The girls, with their heads covered by their hooded sweats, ambush Paul and beat him up. Paul decides to exact his own revenge by creating a photoshopped cartoon video using Tessa and Keana Richmond’s (Sonequa Martin) faces, showing them stripping and implying a lesbian act. He emails it to all the students in Tessa’s mother’s class, who happens to be one of the teachers at Manor Hill High. Tessa sees the video, runs out of the class in embarrassment, and her mother runs after her. But, her mother finds a door open to a restricted area, and, following the corridor; find the body of Paul Phillips hanging in the boiler room.

Detectives Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) are called to Manor Hill High School to investigate the hanging; apparently they are called in because the schoolmaster doesn’t think the local police like his son. While talking to Mrs. Nobile (Joanna Adler), Goren’s eagle eyes notice she has paint chips on her clothing, which she explains is from the boiler room when she tried to help Paul. Goren and Eames also question Paul’s parents, and his father Bill seems to have control and anger issues. Paul’s mother, however, takes Goren aside and tells him that her son was being treated for depression, but they were also on the lookout for schizophrenia, since that runs in Bill’s family. Goren seems to indicate understanding and empathy.

ME Rogers (Leslie Hendrix) finds that Paul was hung, but after he was killed by a blow to the head, and he was also heavily bruised from an apparent beating. In the meantime, the lacrosse girls are trying to delete files off their computer hard drives.

When Goren and Eames question one student, Jack (Anthony Carrigan). whom they were told was a friend of Paul’s, he is clearly uncomfortable being questioned under the watchful eye of his classmates, and so they decide to talk to him at his home. Jack’s father (Law & Order repeat offender John Shea) is present. When the detectives tell Jack that Paul was beaten, Jack decides to show them the video that Paul had made. This is enough for the detectives to open the lockers of Tess and Keana, who were the subject of the video.

It appears that the girls’ efforts to delete a file off their hard drive fails because the program only moved the file to another area of the hard drive. They are perplexed as to why the girls would delete the photoshopped file that Paul made, until they are shown the video of Paul being beaten. Even though the people have their heads covered with their hoods, they are wearing sports glasses and Eames identifies their posture as being typical for lacrosse players.

They bring in Keana for questioning, with her father (Peter Francis James) who is also a lawyer. Keana is mouthy to the detectives, and her father is being the typical lawyer. Keana denies knowing the subject of the beating video, and they show her father the photoshopped video. Her father implies that Keana is beyond this behavior because she grew up on Park Avenue. When Eames indicates that Keana just plays the ghetto act for school, Keana dismisses it, telling the detectives she knows more about the projects than they think.

Goren and Eames determine that Tessa is the weak link because her mother probably can’t afford a lawyer. They get a warrant for her laptop, and when they say they are going to look at emails and instant messages, Tessa admits that she didn't participate in the beating, but that it took place as revenge for Paul spreading rumors. She was supposed to go to the prom with Luv40 (Joe), but that Paul spread rumors she was a lesbian and Joe ditched her. She asked Paul why he hated her, but he said he didn’t, he loved her more than Joe. When she told Paul he was the last person she’d ever love, he ran off into the tunnels. She admits she told Keana about what Paul said before lacrosse practice. Keana told her not to worry, she’d put an end to it.

Now being questioned at One PP, Keana tells them that she was at lacrosse practice when Paul was killed. Eames said they did verify that, but the coach said she was one half hour late. But Keana said that she never had anything against Paul until he started dissing her and Tessa. But Goren thinks it’s because Paul dissed Keana, and her father says his daughter isn’t a murder OR a lesbian. Eames retorts, “Which of those scares you more, Mr. Richmond?” Keana said she only intended to jam his bike lock and make him walk home, and they’d strip him, stuff him in a car trunk and dump him in the south Bronx. But, Mrs. Nobile caught her, which gets the attention of Goren. Keana says Mrs. Nobile saw the video and said she’d talk to Paul.

We then see Jack coming in to talk with Mrs. Nobile, and she says he was a good friend to Paul. He says, though, he hopes Tessa wasn’t involved in this, because of she was, “she’s gonna pay.”

Back at One PP, Goren and Eames discuss the case with Capt. Ross (Eric Bogosian), who wonders how they missed checking closer on Anna Nobile. With her credentials, she didn’t appear to be questionable, but they also realize that she must have decided to teach at the high school in order for Tessa to get a full scholarship. Ross gives them the excuse to threaten the schoolmaster with all kinds of press coverage to allow them access to Anna’s office. They find Paul’s backpack there, and while they are leading her away, someone is seen filming her exit, clearly congratulating themselves.

Anna Nobile insists that she had nothing to do with the murder, and says she’s really upset with Joe, the boy who dumped her. But, she admits she’d never met Joe, and that Tessa only met him once. She only saw his web page and read his emails (with Tessa’s approval), which seemed to have “such poetry.” She said that Joe left pictures of Paul’s beating under her office door, also saying Tessa was a part of it, and that he’d post the video on line unless she resigned. Goren questioned if she told anyone at Manor Hill, but Anna scoffs, saying Tessa’s be kicked out of school.

Eames tells Ross that Anna’s story checks out when they see the pictures and a letter from Joe Cardinal. They are still trying to find Joe Cardinal at Bristol Academy, but they are not being cooperative. The computer techie finds Joe’s old web page before it was taken down. Only two friends of his go to Manor, one was Tessa and one was Paul.

Goren and Eames discover that there is no student at Bristol Academy at that school, but they find Joe’s picture on the cover of a course catalog. They are told those are models, not students, used for the pictures. Joe Cardinal does not exist.

While the detectives review the case with Capt. Ross, they don’t think Tessa created Joe, and wonder about the IM Tessa received asking her to strip. Was humiliating Tess a means to an end? Why did they want Anna Nobile out of the school? When Ross indicates that this whole thing seems to have started with a hoax, escalated to a beating, and ends with a murder, all just to take down a teacher, he finished with a wry, disgusted quip, “Lord of the Flies up there”

Back to questioning Tessa and Anna Nobile, they find that Tessa met Joe – or at least she thinks she must have, she’d had a lot of “punch” – at Eric Nessing's party. She was contacted the next day by Joe, who said he liked her dress and how she danced. She says she still emails him but he does not write back. Talking to Mrs. Nobile alone, Eames tells her that Joe is fictional, and when asked if Paul could have written the poetry, she said it’s not possible, Paul just didn’t have the skills. She also indicates that she is a tough grader and made the students do community service as a requisite to graduation.

While Goren, Eames, and Ross are back at One PP looking at photos of the party on-line, they find several students from Manor High, including Paul, but since they aren’t sure it’s him who's behind the murder, they decide to look at other students. When Ross thinks casting a wide net of the kids at school would upset the parents, they decide to “line catch” a suspect, by faking a promotion for Mrs. Nobile to see if that would flush out the person who seems to have something against her.

A notice is posted that Mrs. Nobile is promoted to the chair of the Ethics Department, and an arm is spotted ripping it off the bulletin board. Someone then slips a manila envelop under a Mrs. Nobile’s door, and Goren opens the door immediately to find a young boy there. When they read a threatening letter out loud and begin to question him the kid raises he hands and says, “Lawyer?” But, in front of the schoolmaster, the kid balks at making a call, and when Eames threatens him with “juvie” rather than Ivy League, he admits that someone from Scouts and Scholars asked him to drop off the envelope. He also says everyone knows “The Jack Pack” runs Scouts and Scholars, and Eames tells him to write down all the names. They hone in on three of the names, Eric Nessing, Jack Walker, and Brad Williams. While questioning Brad and Eric, none of them seem to have a problem with the prank against Tessa or getting back at Mrs. Nobile for the community service, but none admit to murder. But all fingers seem to point to Jack, since Brad said Eric is the “Picador” and Jack is the “Matador”, in bullfighting terms.

Goren and Eames make a trip back to Jack’s home, with Jack, his father, and lawyer present. When the detectives state all they really want is to go after Joe, Jack’s father tells him to answer the questions, but Jack refuses to be a rat. His dad tell him not to be an idiot and run his future protecting a “sociopath” and the lawyer says Jack has bright future. Jack still refuses, and his father gets angry, reminding Jack they donated money for a computer room in the school just to keep him enrolled, and to Cambridge for the last five years. The detectives prey on Jack’s insecurity about his father needing to help Jack stay in school.

When Jack’s father refers to Joe as a moron, Jack seems to be offended, saying his dad would like Joe, and mentions how often his father has bitched about the school and Mrs. Nobile, and Joe would stop it. Goren says it was a plan to make the “less desirable suffer” and Jack acknowledges that. He says Paul was a suicide waiting to happen, and called Tessa “a loser on scholarship” freeloading off tuition. He also made references to Keana’s race as his reason to target her. When Goren says that “Joe’ could have orchestrated things better Jack’s father’s friends, Jack says he should have been thanking Joe. Eames says “He should be thanking YOU. There is no Joe. Your son created him.” His father asks Jack to deny it, and Goren pounces that Jack’s dad won’t even give him credit for creating Joe. Jack’s dad agrees, saying Jack isn’t creative enough and doesn’t finish what he starts. Of course, Jack admits he did it all for his dad, and tells the lawyer his dad thinks he is a tool too. Jack also says he knew Keana had a crush on Tessa, and played her against Paul, and that it worked when the girls beat up Paul. When Paul came back with his own video, Jack said he told Paul not to do it. He said Paul came at him, and with one little shove, he went down. While Goren cuffs Jack, his father says he will bail him out, but Jack says his dad just doesn’t get it, he can't fix this one.

I liked this episode on many levels. Despite the fact that it was somewhat ripped from the headlines of the real life story of a girl who killed herself over a fictional Internet acquaintance, “Legacy” seemed to allow for a more complex set of twists and turns that didn’t make the outcome so obvious. There were a lot of students involved in the case, yet really only one had involvement in the actual crime of murder. And all the pranks and antics leading up to the murder left so many students with ruined lives or ruined chances at a better education, a lesson that hopefully would be picked up by anyone of high school age watching the episode. Sometimes people – even adults – don’t think about what goes out on the Internet and the long term effects it can have, and the problem may be even worse these days with teens who think that there isn’t anything they can do on the Internet that can harm them. (They’re wrong, of course.) So in a strange way I think this episode may have done better in getting a message across than most, because it wasn’t as heavy handed or preachy in its method of delivery.

The only real flaw is that it seemed to take the detectives forever to even suspect "Joe", even though he did turn out to be fictional.

Goren and Eames seem to be back to normal: Goren with his eye for observation and Eames for her cool, dry wit. Goren also seemed to bring out his empathetic look when Paul’s money talked about schizophrenia, but also had a genuine smile when the young kid near the end knows he just blew his chances with the Scouts and Scholars. I also really enjoyed Eric Bogosian in this episode; he seemed to be very comfortable and actually delivered some decent lines very well. This is the Captain Ross that I would like to see going forward.

It was a little obvious once John Shea appeared in the show, that since they didn’t give him much air time that he, and his son, would somehow figure into the murder later on. But this wasn’t too horrible, seeing that the detectives had plenty of suspects from which to choose.

It also is becoming more obvious that the Goren and Eames episodes seem to be more carefully thought out and developed as it relates to the two detectives. It may be a moot point at this time that the episodes with Logan and Wheeler just don’t seem to carry the same interest, seeing that Chris Noth will be off the show at the end of this season’s run. But it makes me very happy to see that they seem to have Goren in a more “happy” place with his job and his co-workers. He may not be happy inside, but at least he doesn’t seem to be in such mental agony as he had been in earlier this season.

So all in all, “Legacy” left me with a good feeling about Goren and Eames going forward, and hoping that the show continues the trend as this finish this season and start working on the new one.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Law & Order information, here.

Also, see my companion Law & Order site,These Are Their Stories.