Monday, June 8, 2009

Law & Order CI “Folie A Deux” Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

Despite the fact that it was somewhat predictable, “Folie A Deux” was a very solid Law & Order Criminal Intent episode. Despite having a big name guest star – Lynn Redgrave, who played her role as the wealthy woman desperate to see her grandchild before she dies - she did not overpower the episode and the entire supporting cast were also very convincing in their roles. I have admit, though, that the premise of the case was made somewhat obvious when, in the first scene, Callista moves to check her baby in the stroller and it seemed clear to me that there was no baby in there. With the crime being complicated by a greedy, impatient male secretary and his equally greedy boyfriend, it kept the case interesting and gave Goren the perfect chance to show how even the tiniest detail that he gleans from what may seem to be an insignificant comment can help crack a case.

When I first saw Celia and her son, I found myself wondering if it would turn out that child would be Andre’s. The episode never went in that direction, but I think that we were being led to think this was the case, seeing that Andre and Celia had a previous relationship.

The Major Case detectives show they are always prepared, and going in to question Carston with backup proved to be of great help when Carston’s attempts at fleeing were blocked.

It’s great to see the show continues to focus on the criminal and the crime, and not the personal drama of the detectives. Don’t get me wrong, I am interested in Goren and Eames, but I think after last season, it’s nice that the show went back to the basics.

Here is the recap:

Andre Haslum (Luke Kirby) and his wife Callista (Piper Perabo) walk down the city street with a baby stroller, and they talk about the man’s aunt wanting to see the baby. The woman doesn’t see why that is a problem, but it’s the last thing he wants to do. She tells him to call her and she will understand, and he tells Callista sometimes he would like to live on her planet. Callista bends over to check on the baby, which can’t be seen beneath the blanket. Andre goes off to see his aunt alone.

As Callista exits the hotel elevator and returns to her room, a hotel maid enters the elevator, and a man loitering nearby enters with her.

Andre gets to his aunt Emily’s home, and her secretary George (Steve Whitting) says she is not well. She is angry that Emma is not with him, but he said she had a cold and it was best to let her sleep. She says the hotel is not that far, she’ll get her coat. He says he doesn’t want her to catch what the baby has, and she tersely tells him it’s been 6 months and she wants to see her tomorrow – no excuses.

Callista is back in her hotel, putting on makeup, and she takes a pill. A man knocks on the door, and when she answers, he apologizes for having the wrong room. He knocks on another door and when there is no answer, uses the key card in order to get in. He then breaks into the room safe, stealing the contents.

Andre returns to the room, and Callista is still getting ready. Andre looks over to the crib and she tells him the baby is fine. She does not want to be late and keep Celia waiting. He tells her Emily has heart problems and it is serious. But Andre doesn’t really want to go, but Callista persists and he agrees to go.

In Celia’s apartment, as her son runs off, she tells the baby sitter she won’t be too late.

At dinner, Callista talks about Emma, and when Callista tells Celia (Ali Marsh) how great she looks, Celia attributes it to her divorce. Callista tells Andre to tell Celia how great she looks and Andre seems a little uncomfortable and does not answer. He hears a static noise coming from the baby monitor sitting on the table, and he says he doesn’t trust it and is going to check on the baby. When Celia asks if something is wrong, Callista says he is probably going out for a smoke.

When Andre returns from his smoke, he hears a hotel guest complaining about his room being robbed and was told by the desk manager that several rooms on that floor were robbed – the same floor and Andre’s. He gets a look of concern and head to the room. Later, Callista’s phone rings, and it’s Andre. She gets a look of concerns, says “Emma?” and races to the room. Emma is gone.

Detective Eames (Kathryn Erbe) is at the hotel where police are working the robberies and the abduction. She asks about security videos. She tells Detective Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) that TARU has opened a kidnapping desk, level one mobilization. She tells Goren 6 rooms were hit, lots of cash and jewelry. Goren is picking up evidence from the floor, and he finds a piece of glass. Eames says she will talk to the parents, and Goren tells them they are in their room next door. Goren focuses his attention on the shard of glass.

Eames speaks to the parents, who are of course upset. Celia is also there. Eames asks them to try and remember all that they can. Andre says they were are dinner, and when Eames asks if they got any calls before that, Callista said just from Celia. Andre says he is sure they locked up. Eames asks for a picture of Emma, and when Callista gives her a picture of Emma as a baby, Eames asks for something more recent. André gives her a snapshot of a red haired child sitting with them by a swing set, which he said was from last week, taken from their back yard. Callista says she put the sign on the door and checked the thermostat before they left, and when Goren question the thermostat, Andre says they wanted to make sure she was warm. Goren asks if Emma was ill, and Andre says she may have been coming down with a cold. Eames tells them if this is a kidnapping it’s best for them to stay there until they know more. As Celia comforts Callista, Goren and Eames leave the room. Eames comments, with some degust, “Leave their kid alone so they can have a quiet dinner – people just don’t think. “

Goren and Eames speak with the hotel manager, who tells them the maid, Lucy Valdez, has been there three years with no problems. Eames tells him her master key was used on all the rooms that were hit, but he says that is her job. Goren asks what time the key card was used, and said on room 5199 for the Haslum’s door, she opened it at 7:22 and the next time at 8:36 with the Haslum’s key. Goren notices that Lucy clocked out at 7:01, and Eames asks for her home address.

Later at Major Case Squad, Goren exits the interrogation room, telling Lucy to just wait there. He tells Capt. Ross (Eric Bogosian) that the maid’s key card was used twice that night, and she claims she only used it once. Ross asks about a boyfriend, and Goren says he is alibied until 11 PM. A forensics guy tells Goren he was right about the glass fragments; they found them in all six rooms that were hit and they could have been tracked in by the burglar’s shoes. He tells Goren that forensics is running gas chromatography as Goren had requested.

Goren says they have the maid’s key card and they tested it and it doesn’t fit in any other door, and Ross concludes that someone swapped cards. Goren says it was last used by Marvin Cutler from New Jersey when he checked into the hotel two weeks ago – the information is on the key card itself, including the credit card information. Goren adds “don’t leave your keycard in the room when you check out.” Walking over to Eames’ desk, Goren says that unfortunately Mr. Cutler reported his wallet stolen two hours before someone used his credit card to check in to the Barton Hotel. Eames is looking at the security camera video from the hotel elevator, and says Lucy was not lying about the guy in the hat; Goren saying that she claims the guy talked her up in the elevator. Eames tells them to watch the guys other hand, as he bent over to pick up something he dropped, his hand reaching into her pocket where Lucy said she kept her key. Eames tells them to follow his left hand, and you can see he swapped cards. They never saw his face, though, and none of the hotel employees can identify him off the tape. The man stays in the elevator, and Ross comments that it’s the old “I left my phone in my room” line. The man has a duffel bag, and Eames says it is big enough to hold an 18-month-old child.

Back at the hotel, Callista is anguishing over the kidnapping and Andre tries to console her. He says she is all right, and he would feel it if something was wrong. She says that’s right, they will find her. Andre says he is telling the cops they will be staying at Celia’s. He hands her a stuffed animal of Emma’s to hold, to reassure her.

Back at Major Case, Goren and Eames watch the video taken from the elevator. Goren notices the logo on the hat, and Eames says it is the Miami Flame. Ross enters and says that the victimolgy is pretty nondescript, but he has an aunt, Emily Huntford, who is “old money”, up near $75 million. She lives at 948 Fifth and adds, “That’s our nest.”

Later, while Emily Huntford’s (Lynn Redgrave) residence is covered with police, her secretary George arrives. Goren tells them they have a reason to believe it was a kidnapping for ransom, and Emily concludes it’s because they know who she is. Eames questions if she told anyone her nephew was coming in to town and who would have know where he was staying. George says he made Andre’s reservation using Emily’s credit card. He tells Emily she should be in bed, and he tells her to stop it. She tells him to just go home, his boyfriend is in from London, and adds she should not have called him. George says that Stewart can take care of himself, and he will go and make coffee. As George leaves, Emily looks over to a photograph of a young child on a table and says that Emma is the only child in their family. She adds that she is named after her.

Back in the lab, a lab tech tells them the glass fragment they found is very ordinary, but they found traces of chemicals for the manufacture of Styrofoam on them. She brings up a list of area companies who manufacture Styrofoam, and there are several. Goren chooses the one closest to where Marvin Cutler lived – to whom the credit card used to reserve the hotel room belonged - which was in New Jersey.

At the factory, the detectives ask the foreman about the Miami Flame hat, and he calls out to Marky, saying there are some Miami fans there for him. Marky begins to run, and the detectives chase, with Goren alerting the police outside that the suspect is on the move. After Marky gets in a van and tries to flee, after being cut off by police cars, he is stopped and arrested.

Back in Major Case, they have Mark Carston in interrogation. He tells them he has no kid. But they press him about his previous robbery accusations, and he isn’t buying it. Eames tells him kidnapping is a class A violent felony that can bring a life sentence. He continues to deny any kidnapping, he has kids of his own. Goren says he believes him, but right now they need more proof. Eames presses that they know he was in the hotel room, and they are here because they can prove he was there. Carston says he does not mess with kids. Goren says this is still not good enough. Carson says OK.

Elsewhere, Goren and Eames are at Carston’s stash of stolen goods. They believe that kidnapping was not something Carston would do, but maybe he had a partner. Eames wonders if they burglary was a decoy for the kidnapping.

At Celia’s, Callista is alone watching TV and is appearing despondent over what she is watching, saying that children don’t die, it’s not right. Andre leaves the kitchen where Celia and her son are at, and he comes in and gives Callista her pills, telling her she has to take her medication. She takes a pill. He says she doesn’t trust him, but she says she does, she swears. He says she should know by now that they only way they can get through this is together.

Meanwhile, at Emily Huntford’s home, with phone taps in place, the phone rings, and she is told to keep them on the line as long as possible. The caller says they have her little girl and they are willing to hurt her, and demands 2 million dollars. Emily tries to stall for time, saying it will take time to get the money. He says get it by tomorrow or she’s dead. We see the caller hang up, and he throws the phone into the river. He goes over to his car, where George is waiting. George seems to be having second thoughts, saying that this was a mistake and he doesn’t want to do this anymore. But his partner gets angry and says George will do this.

Back at Emily’s home, Eames tells her that they have to get proof Emma is alive. Andre asks what kind of proof. Eames says talking to her would be good. Emily says she will be at the bank as soon as it opens. George tells Emily she should be in bed and leads her upstairs. Goren is talking with Callista, saying maybe they will have better luck when they get the next call. Callista says Emily will pay, she loves Emma as if she was her own. Goren asks if the name Mark Carston means anything to them, and Andre cuts him off, saying that his wife is not well, and tells Callista that is the thief from the hotel. He asks Goren how Carston could have placed the call if he were still in jail. Goren said when they spoke to the caller, he said “we have Emma” so they think Carston has a partner. Andre says neither of them has heard of him before tonight.

As Goren and Eames leave, they comment about how Andre was quick in trying to keep Callista from speaking to them. Eames wonder if they know Carston, and Goren thinks the robbery and kidnapping are too much of a coincidence. Eames speculates they kidnapped their own kid to milk the aunt. Goren wonders if they are working with Carston and used this robbery as an opportunity. Eames says the money trail should lead back to them.

Back at Major Case, Goren is looking at a book of Andre’s poetry and comments that he doesn’t think Andre will be making any money on it. Eames is looking at their financials, and they have very little money. They rent in Connecticut. Only Andre worked, he taught at Hillis College. But Goren is staring at the photograph of Emma in the yard with the swing set, and seems distracted. Eames tells him the college is in Yonkers.

At Hillis College, they speak to the woman in charge (Sharon Washington), who says they are a very small college not even in the top 500. She says Andre never let them forget that. He only taught two classes a week lots of freshman women and there were rumors. He was already married to Callista back then and described her as “a piece of work” who used to sit in her car in front of the English department and sit there all day with the baby. It really go out of hand in his last semester last summer – he would come out after class and she would cause a scene. If she couldn’t find him she would search all the motels in the area. She says he called himself a poet and crazy women are part of the job description. When Goren questions that he “called himself a poet”, the woman tells him Andre plagiarized someone’s work, but he quit first before they caught him on it. He just stopped showing up for work. As she walks off, Goren’s phone rings, and he says, “Astor Place? We’re on our way.”

At Astor Place, Goren and Eames are in a surveillance van as the ransom was to be dropped off at 9:30 AM in a trashcan there. The caller says there’d better not be any police or he will hurt the girl and nobody will have a very happy Christmas. They add a GPS device to the money. Eames makes the drop, while other police wait nearby in plain clothes. After one false alarm, a taxicab pulls up, a man gets out and grabs the bag out of the trashcan. Eames follows, but he runs into a nearby subway where the GPS will not work. They lose him.

Elsewhere, the man – who we now know is George’s boyfriend Stewart – is giddy over the money. He says they are probably in the Bronx, following their shopping bag. He asks George what they have learned today, and then adds, “Never underestimate me” as he strokes George’s face with a pack of money. But their apartment door is broken open and the police rush in with guns, along with Goren and Eames. Eames asks where is the baby. George swears they don’t have her, and says to Stewart he knew this would go wrong. Goren says to Stewart that he said “happy” Christmas on the phone, which is the British way of saying Merry Christmas. The police find no baby in the apartment.

Later, in the interrogation room at Major Case, George tells them that they didn’t hurt anyone, he just wanted what was his. He ran Emily’s life for years and that her son was going to get everything. He says all Andre does is send photos of the little girl but George cares about Emily. All he wanted was for her to care about him. Goren leaves the room and Emily is there on the other side of the glass, saying he didn’t do anything to Emma and she asks to talk to him. She enters, and George apologizes. She says he was all she had left. She was going to take care of him but he betrayed her. He says he witnessed her signing her will leaving it all to Andre, but she tells George that he didn’t know she set up a trust for him. She says he was a fool, all he would have had to do was wait for another few months. She says she will get him a lawyer but that is all she can do for him now.

Later, Ross is fuming because it has been 48 hours and they now have nothing to go on. Goren hones in on the key card access, saying that no one else was in that room but Carston and Andre. Ross wonders what is missing, saying there is no way to get that kid out. Goren wonders that they never brought the kid into the hotel, and Ross asks, “So where the hell is she?”

Goren and Eames are at Celia’s home. Goren looking at a book called “Selected Poems of Andre Haslum. Celia asks if Emma is dead, saying it is been two days. She says Callista is fragile and had been hospitalized once before and Andre had to leave his job. Goren comments that the book was signed by the poet, and would probably be worth something some day. Celia says he has not published since they moved up to the middle of nowhere. Goren asks if she saw them up there and she says no. Andre enters, saying hopefully Celia will sleep now and doesn’t think she can go through this all again. Goren comments that Emily never had children, making it sound like he was out for Emily’s money. Andre says he read the Iliad in the original Attic Greek and if Goren wants to trip him up he will have to be more subtle than that. Goren corrects that it was in Homeric Greek, which upsets Andre. He says he takes Emily’s money, she is happy to give it to him, it’s patronage, it is respected and it is as old as the arts.

Outside, Eames fumes, “Patronage? I’d say staging a kidnapping is more like extortion.” Goren wonders if Emily invited them here to see Emma before she died. He wonders if they staged the dinner with Celia for an alibi for the kidnapping and the burglary was a coincidence. Eames says they never got Emma out of the hotel because they never brought her.

At the Haslum’s home in Kent, Connecticut, Goren is looking at the pictures of Emma as a baby, and the one by the swing set. There are toys all over the home, and Eames notes they have more toys that FAO Schwartz but they did not baby-proof the house, noticing the outlets were not covered. Goren sees that the back yard does not have a swing set, and looks over the fence and finds that the neighbor has a set. They head to the neighbor’s house, who tells them that he and his wife are divorcing and rather than move their child back and forth between them, they take turns staying there. They press about if he has ever seen Emma or know what she looks like and he says he must have seen her, but is sure his daughter Annie has. They ask to meet Annie, and when she enters, it is obvious that she is the girl in the picture with the Haslum’s by the swing set that the Haslum's are passing off as Emma.

Back at Major Case, Goren is reading a book with a chapter on shared psychotic disorder, also known as Folie A Deux. He seems Emily looking on. He talks to her and tells her that he is sorry, but they have talked to every pediatrician around Kent, Connecticut, and none of them has ever treated her. They found prescriptions in André’s house written by a doctor in Yonkers but they have never been refilled. She tells him to stop. Eames tells her something happened to Emma, and it wasn’t at the Barton Hotel. Emily appears devastated, and, choking back tears, asks them if they have any idea what it’s like to have everything taken away. As she gets up, she begins to collapse but Goren catches her. She adds that her husband had a stroke at this desk 10 years ago and she’ll be gone in a matter of months, and what good did all his money do for her? She leaves.

Later, in Ross' office, he asks, stunned. “There’s no kid?” Eames tells him the photos were of the neighbor’s little girl and no one has seen Emma for 6 months. Ross concludes they staged the kidnapping to cover up what really happened to Emma. Goren says yes, mainly for the benefit of Emily and that Emma was Andre’s only chance of inheriting Emily’s money. Goren guesses Callista had no choice but to go along, she’s emotionally fragile and Andre fed on that. Eames adds they found baby supplies there that had never been opened or used, toys that were never played with. Callista may have gone along out of guilt or remorse and she needs the illusion, it is a variation on Folie a Deux. Ross asks how they will prove that, and Goren says they will destroy the illusion.

Back at Celia’s home, Goren and Eames arrive. Goren picks up the book of poetry, while Eames tells them they found Emma, much to Andre’s shock. Eames says she is sorry, and Callista is stunned. Goren says, “sleep no pain shall wake.” Andre is appalled, saying their child is dead and he is quoting his work. Goren says that it is in his book, but the poem is not his. He says it is Christina Rossetti’s. Callista is angered at Goren’s comment, saying they do not know how they have suffered, their child is gone. Goren says, “I know she is. Last summer. When things went wrong, isn’t that right Mrs. Haslum?” Andre looks trapped and Callista looks stunned. Eames comments that every time there is a question, Callista looks to Andre, and Andre always has an answer. Goren goes on to say that the poems and the love they shared – did that end after they had Emma? She says her daughter meant everything to her, and Goren says they gave her so much, was there anything left for Andre? He yells to stop this, but Goren uses that to show that Andre does not like the attention taken away from him. He asks if being ignored is what drives him to other women? He tells Callista the poems he wrote were not for her, and asks if that is how that all went wrong last summer? He asks Callista to tell him about Emma’s last day – did she go looking in the wrong motel? He reads another poem from the book, which is the inscription on the book he gave to Celia. He asks Celia if she was with him that day, and Celia says she is so sorry. Goren tries to help her recall the events, saying it was a terribly hot day in Yonkers. Callista admits that she burned her feet on the pavement as she left shoes at home, she was so anxious to find Andre. She knocked on all the motel doors and left Emma in the car with the air conditioning on. Goren asks her if she checked it like she checked the thermostat in the hotel room, and she says she would have never left her in the car without the air conditioning. She didn’t think the engine would die. Andre tells her to shut up but she goes on. When she got to the car Emma's skin was hot and she did not move and she took her home, and put her in her room and pulled down the shades so she would be cool. When Andre came home he told her she did the right thing and said everything would be OK if they didn’t tell anyone. He said Emma was alive and all he had to do was believe him. She looks at Andre with realization, and says, “but Emma is dead” and adds that she killed her. She breaks down in tears. Eames cuffs her while Goren cuffs Andre.

Later, Goren is at the morgue, where ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) tells them the sheriff found the remains about 10 yards into the woods on the property of an Emily Huntford. She hands Goren a poem that was found with the remains. Goren reads it, “ It’s not death that holds thee, it’s love” and adds that it is stolen from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and that Andre couldn’t even be original for his own daughter. Goren looks at the tiny body bag as we fade to black.

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Jachelle said...

Thanks for the great recap as usual All Things L&O. I'm also glad that the show is going back to basics this season. I enjoyed the personal story lines of the past few years and I'm sure the actors enjoyed doing more than just the usual police procedural, but I missed the way the show was in the earlier seasons.

It was good seeing Lynn Redgrave. too bad she didn't have more scenes. I think they have great actors, guest actors and writers on this show which is my favorite of the three. The line about nobody having a Happy Christmas was disconcerting. Christmas is a long way away. The show was probably supposed to air closer to Christmas last year but then they changed the schedule. I thought why didn't they change the line to say Happy Fourth of July or something, but that was how Goren figured out that George and his British lover were involved, so I guess they couldn't. Anyway, I did like the episode and I'll probably like it more the second time I see it. LOCI is the only show I can watch over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your recaps and reviews. I just read on "Futon critic" site where In Plain Sight and L&O:CI would have their season finales on August 9, 2009 at the episode number 15 mark. Do you know why only 15 episodes are airing instead of the USA 16 episode order?

Melvin Gaines said...

Terrific recap. This was one of the saddest conclusions I've ever seen (not as predictable to me, though). Well done episode, nonetheless. Thanks for what you do.

Tyson said...

Not being overtly familiar with USA law, I'm slightly puzzled as to what crime they actually committed? They didn't take part in the fake kidnap, so was it for the neglect of their child that led to her death?

All Things Law and Order said...

Tyson, actually they did take part in the fake kidnapping. The husband and wife both knew that the wife had already killed the baby some time before by leaving the baby in a hot car. So that's one crime - the baby was dead at her hands. The second crime - they covered it up, the husband using the hotel robbery as an excuse to say the baby was kidnapped. That is likely fraud of some sort. So while Goren and Eames worked the "kidnapping" they stumbled on the fact that the baby was already long dead, so they started the show investigating a kidnapping and it later turned in to exposing a death.

The other two guys just capitalized on the kidnapping report - not realizing there was no baby - to extort money, which is a crime all of their own.

John Lee said...

Did anyone else notice the continuity errors in this episode? There's one scene in the squadroom where Goren magically loses the beard, only to have it reappear later. He is also beardless in the last scene.

Anonymous said...

Goren/vincent was back to his old self he was wonderful and i really enjoyed this episode Family and i always enjoy the recap and comments thanks. Excellent work as usual Vincent, and all the cast were excellent acting! Vincent is the man!

Perry Barber said...

Does anyone know the name of the little red-haired child who portrayed the next-door neighbor's daughter Annie?