Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Law & Order CI “Lady’s Man" Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Lady’s Man” was another strong episode for the Goren and Eames team. Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) was on the top of his game again, using some of my favorite Goren techniques, such as getting in the suspects' space, and just playing head games with them. When he sat down in the interrogation room and put his arm around a suspect, it was a typical Goren move to get the suspect off kilter. When he questioned the news anchor, he annoyed her by sitting in her chair, right up to the second they went live. Same for his jovial, almost drunk-ish behavior in the bar with Mulrooney. But I have to admit, I laughed when Mulrooney got one over Goren by getting him out of his apartment and then slamming the door in Goren’s face.

This episode was also a great feature for Kathryn Erbe, allowing viewers a snapshot into a past relationship and case. Erbe seems to always play Eames with such quiet control, and even though she maintained this control throughout the episode, she did a great job in conveying her disgust with Mulrooney. Was it a mistake that, at the end of the show, that when Eames read Mulrooney his rights, she skipped over his right to remain silent?

The story itself was also intriguing, and while it seemed obvious that Mulrooney was behind all of it, and also had somewhat of a “Psycho/Norman Bates” type dual persona, it was still interesting watch it unfold. The real story here seemed to be Goren’s concern for his partner, and all the extra work that he did to get to the bottom of the case and to protect Eames.

All in all, a fine episode all around. By the way, happy birthday to Vincent D’Onofrio, who turned the big 5-0 today.

Here is the recap:

Boz Burnham (Jack Gwaltney) is getting dressed, smiling as he hears the weather report. His wife is making breakfast for him, and he kisses her. She says she wants him to have a great day. Max gets a phone call; apparently someone is in the hospital. He calls Boz, telling him he doesn’t think he can make it. Craig, lying in bed, hears his phone ring, and when he answers it, the caller is not there. But Boz is leaving a message, telling him Max has a problem with his kid and it will just be the two of them, and he hope he can make it.

Boz pulls his car up to the beach, and he is alone. He calls his absent friends wimps and says “to hell with them.” He goes onto the beach, strips naked, says “happy birthday to me” and runs full tilt into the cold ocean. While he is swimming, a dune buggy-type vehicle pulls onto the beach, and a woman gets out. When he gets out, he sees a redheaded woman standing there in a coat, and he tells her she is standing between him and his clothes. She shoots him in the head, and he drops down, dead.

Elsewhere, Detective Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe) arrives home with her dry cleaning. She notices something is missing. Later, she is at the dry cleaner talking about her missing red silk blouse, and the dry cleaner wonders if Eames misplaced it. Eames is insistent she did not misplace it. Eames’ phone rings, and she tells the caller she will be right there.

Later, on the East River by the Queensboro Bridge, Detectives Bobby Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Eames are walking to a crime scene where the body of Boz Burnham has been found. Eames knows him, and says she worked the case of his first wife’s murder 10 years ago. Goren notices the shot was from an intermediate range, and he also notices a jellyfish sting. Eames comments that there are no jellyfish in the East River. ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) comments that they never found his wife, and Eames shakes her head no. Rodgers tells them somebody did some hasty surgery, and Goren pulls back the cover, showing that his genitals have been removed. This elicits a groan from Eames, and Rodgers quips that she loves saving the best for last. Goren says they made him into a charismatic, like in ancient Rome, where young boys have all their genitals removed.

A man walks up to the body and says “Son of a bitch it is him.” He introduces himself as ADA Kevin Mulrooney (Raul Esparza) and apologizes, saying two lanes were closed on the Verrazano. He recognizes Eames. She asks if he is back in the DA’s office, and he says six months. Goren says this isn’t the crime scene, and when ADA Mulrooney asks if he is ignoring that he was killed there and then dumped in the river, Goren tells him about the jellyfish sting, Eames confirming that jellyfish aren’t found in fresh water. The ADA seems to try to find another explanation, and says he has problems with Goren’s explanations. Goren also asked about Burnham’s missing wife, saying that Boz was bigger than her and would have required a bigger person to move the body. Mulrooney says that she’s dead, he prosecuted the case, and Eames digs that he lost. Mulrooney snaps back, blaming the police for not finding the body. When Eames and Goren both shoot Mulrooney a look, he says they should get on the same page, Boz had enemies and maybe this is random. But Eames shows him the body with the genitals removed, and says this was personal.

At Martha’s - Boz’s wife - home, Max is there, saying that he worked with Boz and Martha asked him to be there. He tells them Boz had a deal for his own show to re-examine cases where people were unjustly accused by “people like you” – meaning Goren and Eames. Martha last saw Boz at 5 in the morning and Max tells them that every morning on his birthday they go for a swim at Atlantic Beach. He says he could not make it because he got a call that said his son was in the hospital and that turned out to be a prank. Martha tells them that Craig O’Keefe was also invited to the swim.

At the O’Keefe home, Goren and Eames talk with Craig and his wife, the latter saying Boz was up to no good. Craig tells her he also worked for Boz, and he was not with him for the swim, he had to spend the night in New Jersey. He was getting the offices ready for Boz’s new production company. When Eames asked if that took all night, he says he grabbed a few hours sleep in a motel and went straight to Atlantic Beach but Boz and Max were not there. He went to the Mohawk Avenue entrance, the same one they use every year.

Eames and Goren head to the beach, and find remnants of Boz’s clothes and a bloody towel, likely used to muffle the gunshot. Goren notices the tracks and Eames suspects a dune buggy. Goren walks over and sees what looks like blood on a broken bottle. Eames wonders where are his genitals, and Goren thinks either the killer took it or seagulls got to it.

Back at Major Case, Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian), Goren, and Eames are watching a recording of a new story from Boz. When Boz finished his story, he said he would have more for them next week, Goren says, “Nnnyaa, I don’t think so.” Ross asked about his current wife, and Goren says the doorman says she never left the building. He tells him Craig says he pulled an all nighter in New Jersey, and Eames says they think he may be lying for his wife’s benefit and they will bring him in. Ross asks Goren if he can give him a minute with Eames. When Goren leaves, Ross tells Eames to bring Goren and Nichols into the case, he’s not making it official but he wants her to withdraw. Eames objects, but Ross reminds her that on the original case a complaint was filed against her for confronting Burnham in the courtroom hallway. Eames says he was joking about his murdered wife in front of her parents. Ross says it is all about perception, and she asks him if it’s because she is not grieving for Boz. She asks Ross if he is grieving for him, and he say no, of course not. She says their personal feelings about victims do not matter, and he says she made her point. She asks if this is coming from the DA’s office, and Ross tells her he will tell them she is the best they have.

We see someone – a hand with nail polish - in what looks like Eames’ home, going through her drawers and taking something, them picking up her wedding picture.

Back at the morgue, Rodgers tells the detectives that it looks like the genitals were sawed, and that the shot seemed to be at eye level with the shooter. They wonder why, if the killing was planned so well and then it seems the genitals were removed on a spur of the moment. They decide to look at Boz’s past.

At the news studio, they speak with the news anchor, who seems in a rush as they are ready to go on air. Every time Boz was on her rating went through the roof. As Goren walks onto the set, he asks if he was close to any women here, and she says he was a flirt but he was devoted to Martha. When Eames says it could be she didn’t trust him, the news anchor says they obviously have a prejudice that she does not share. Boz told her life gave him a second chance. When it’s 10 seconds to live, Goren is sitting in her chair, and asks her if she was with him when he told her that, and the news anchor refuses to dignify that with a response. Goren stands up and says, “You just did.” He walks off the set with Eames just as they go live. Eames, smiling, says now it makes sense how he got the job.

Back at Major Case, Mulrooney walks in with her, and Eames takes him into another room, telling him he was a friend when she needed a friend, but things changed. Goren walks in, and asks if he should come back. But Eames tells him no. it’s fine, and asks what he has. Goren has the map of the currents and says it is likely Boz was dumped off City Island. Mulrooney calls it “the vacation capital of the world” and asks that they keep him up to date as he leaves.. Goren asks Eames if there is a problem, and she says she and Joe rented a place up there. Goren asks how Mulrooney would know that, and she says Boz’s case was the first she worked after Joe died and it was a time in a person’s life when they need to talk about things. He asks, “You slept with him?” Eames is taken aback, but doesn’t respond, as Ross comes in and tells them they brought in Craig O’Keefe. Eames walks out without answering Goren’s question.

In interrogation, Goren gets in O’Keefe’s space, sitting down next to him and putting his arm around him. They tell him they knew he had to lie for his wife and ask who was the other woman. He admits that he never got lucky. He met a redhead at the bar and she invited him to party. All he knows is that he woke up in room 216 at the Clinton Hotel and doesn’t remember anything after the bar.

Goren and Eames head to the room, which is still in disarray because the room had not been re-rented. While they look through the room, they wonder if the same redhead is the one who called Max about his son. Goren sees a red silk blouse under the bed, and asks if a redhead would wear a red blouse, saying it is a rhetorical question. But Eames is staring at the blouse, saying she has one the same shirt, the same size and label. Goren finds a swizzle stick from a bar which Eames is also familiar.

At the bar, the bartender tells Eames he wondered what happened to her. Goren asks him about the red head, and the bartender says he was not there that night. Eames gets a call and walks off, and Goren asks the bartender about Eames’ friend, trying to get information. He tells him that she and Mulrooney would come in there and talk for hours, white wine and bourbon rocks. When Goren says she likes wine, the bartender says that Eames was the one drinking the bourbon. The bartender Mulrooney still comes in, but he is always alone. Goren thanks him, and Eames tells him they got a hit on the ATV rental in Rockaway, it was rented by a Gabrielle Roth, a redhead. She paid with a debit card. Goren asks Eames if she is OK and she says she is fine, and asks if he found out everything he needed to know about me. He says, “Everything. Bourbon, huh?”

Back at Major Case, when Eames looks at Gabrielle Roth’s files, she discovers the address Roth gave - 111-19 67th Road, Forest Hills, NY - was of Eames’ place. Eames looks concerned.

We then see someone dressing in women’s clothing and putting on makeup. The woman looks out her blinds.

At Major Case, Goren is watching a recording of Mulrooney questioning someone for the first case with Boz. Boz asked the woman about a letter that Eames found in a desk. Eames walks into the room, and asks Goren, “What is this?” He tells her that there are things to still connect to the Burnham case, and he says Boz mentioned a letter Eames never told him about. Eames seems uncomfortable, saying that maybe Ross should reassign the case. Goren says he is asking questions – “That is what we do, right? We ask questions.” Eames says the letter is something Jenny Burnham left in her office saying if something every happened to her, Boz is responsible and Eames was the one who found it. But the defense handwriting experts made them question whether it was Jenny’s writing and the inference was that Eames planted the letter. Goren and Eames have his discussion:

Goren: And you still feel guilty?
Eames : You know, why are you taking this tone with me? You don’t know what I feel. I did not plant that letter.
Goren: When Mulrooney left the DA’s office, when he, when he lost the case, he was fired?
Eames: No, not exactly, um, but his career as a prosecutor was finished.
Goren: So he had a reason to obsess?
Eames: Well that’s crazy. Mulrooney might be irritating, but a killer?
Goren: We should at least find out if he likes redheads.

Later, with Mulrooney, Goren and Eames tells Mulrooney whoever killed Boz knew about his birthday routine. He thinks Boz bragged about that to anyone who would listen.. Goren asks about how tough it may be for him being back in the DA’s office with “kids.” Goren looks in his closet and sees how organized Mulrooney’s clothes are arranged. Goren asks about Lilly Dylan West, a paralegal during the Burnham case, and says she is the heir apparent to Jack McCoy and asks if she will get it? Mulrooney says she has paid her dues, and when Goren comments about the fact that if Mulrooney hadn’t left...and is interrupted when Mulrooney’s phone rings. He asks Goren and Eames to leave so he can take the call.

Back at Major Case, they look at Mulrooney’s file. In 7 years he was not listed as legal counsel on any court documents. There is a gap in his life. Goren wonders if bothered him to see Burnham’s career rise. Eames recalled that when Mulrooney showed up at the crime scene, he said he was late because of traffic on the Verrazano, which would be from Staten Island, where his dad lives. They decide to see his dad about those missing years.

At the home of Mulrooney’s father, he says he remembers Kevin talking about him, thinking he made her up. He tells them Kevin was a good shot, and then he went on a ban guns kick. He also said his wife – Kevin’s mother – used to visit the Irish coast once a year. He asks what Kevin did, and Eames says nothing, he just put him down as a reference for a routine check for the DA’s office. He adds Kevin stopped coming by after his mother was gone.

Later. at a bar, Goren catches up with Mulrooney. He buys him a white wine. Goren points out an attractive redhead to Mulrooney, but comments that she may be a little intimidating. Mulrooney says it is the Versace, that underneath that there is a scared girl with fake breasts, skinny bottom, and nothing. Goren tells Mulrooney he has been victimized and when Mulrooney wonders what is going on with him, Goren says Eames is a little overzealous with the case and adds she came out smelling like a rose and he got stuck in a cubicle. Goren laughs and says Mulrooney might as well be in traffic court. Mulrooney seems to laugh with him, and then says he could have won, saying that Eames blew the cross-examination. One of the witnesses messed up the date but she corrected herself, and all Eames had to do was overlook the witness’s previous mistakes. Mulrooney says he has to go, and he takes off, leaving with a blonde.

Goren returns to Major Case, and tells Eames that Mulrooney does not blame Boz, he blames Eames for losing the trial. Eames says he is a hell of a detective, looking a little annoyed with him. But he says it’s only part of it and wonders what she hasn’t told him. She gets more annoyed and asks him what hasn’t she told him. He says he asked if she slept with him and she didn’t answer him. She says he didn’t, but she would have. Before anything could happen, they got hit with a pile of motions and the trial started and whatever they felt had soured. Goren says he is concerned for Eames as Mulrooney is unstable.

In the evidence lockup, Goren is going through boxes of evidence from Boz’s trial. He looks at the difference in stationary. Later, he arrives at Mulrooney’s apartment, and Mulrooney is annoyed. Mulrooney asked if he found the redhead, and Goren says there was one in the hotel with Craig O’Keefe. Goren opens Mulrooney’s closet and sees it highly organized, and comments on the inconsistency with that organization and Mulrooney’s outward sloppiness in his apartment saying is like two different people. Mulrooney says it is just him. Goren says they need to put their two heads together. Mulrooney makes a move for the door, and Goren goes through it, asking if they are leaving. Mulrooney says yes, he can stop by after work, and then says he remember he had to send a fax. He walks back in the apartment and slams the door in Goren’s face.

Back at Major Case, Goren tells Eames that Mulrooney will meet him in the evidence lockup in two hours. Eames wants to go, knowing it won’t be pleasant.

In the evidence lockup, Mulrooney asks if he is supposed to see a case in all this, but Goren says it is unformed. Eames says if she hadn’t found that letter Mulrooney would be on the yellow brick road to bureau chief. Mulrooney wonders if she should be there but Goren says Eames should see how Mulrooney forged Jenny Burnham’s letter and planted it. Goren brings out a search warrant prepared by Mulrooney which specified the slant top desk that the letter was found in. Mulrooney says it is ridiculous, and said the search is specific because he runs a tight case. But Goren highlights the letter paper, which could only come from Ireland. Goren says Mulrooney’s mother brought it back from Ireland. Mulrooney tries to get him back to the woman involved in Boz’s murder, and Goren says they have a woman. Goren also brings out the shot between Boz’s eyes, and Boz’s total emasculation, one crime planned out, the other not. Goren asks if he has ever heard of Carl Jung, who believed that rage is the female side of our nature. “Anima” – an aggregate of all our females in our lives. He asks Mulrooney if he remembers the girl at the bar, the one who he said was skinny and had fake breasts, but wearing Versace made her more confident. Goren tells Eames he thinks Mulrooney knows how that feels. He then tells Mulrooney he thinks he know how that feels, and Mulrooney says Goren is desperate. Goren goes on to say he thinks Mulrooney wants Eames to feel the same failure that has been haunting him for years and that is why he left clues - the blouse, the swizzle stick, and dumped the body at City Island to bring it back to Eames. Eames, listening to all this, finally comments that Mulrooney wanted her to know it was him and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do to prove it. Goren says that was until the search team called and told them that they found a red wig. Goren wonders what else they will find. Mulrooney says without probable cause, the search is invalid. Goren shows receipts where Mulrooney bought the clothes for “Gabrielle” , size 12 or size 14, a “big girl.” Mulrooney leaps off the chair upset, and says he is out of here. Goren continues to harp on him, asking if he is afraid and if she is afraid – what would the two of them be afraid of? He asks if the undergarments are pressing against his skin and they don’t make him feel protected. He says he thinks she screwed up, too much rouge, scent. Eames says “There’s nothing worse than having your makeup not right. I bet you can’t wait to look in a mirror.” Mulrooney says they will find things, that this bitch can gloat, but he has seen her broken, a crushed flower, sobbing for poor dead Joe, and why me. Goren says – “but not as strong as you.” Mulrooney says not strong like Gabby, and he strikes a feminine pose. He says she is someone they will never find. He says he is ready to see a lawyer. Goren moves to cuff him, but pushes him against the table instead, handing the cuffs to Eames, who is looking on in disgust. She cuffs him and reads him his rights as Goren looks on, and we fade to black.

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Sara said...

Another good Law & Order CI episode. I had to question however Eame's comment about jellyfish in the East River. New York City's East River is not a river in the traditional sense; it's a tidal strait with its source being the Atlantic Ocean. The East River is salt water and finding jelly fish in it is fairly common place. The writers either failed to research this fact and/or figured most of the audience was ignorant to this fact.

momandiluvbobby said...

The past two episodes have been sooooo great! It has been one of my fav shows for so long. It was great to see bobby look after eames instead of the other way around. Great to focus more on eames instead of bobby too! I don't remember seeing bobby laugh so much. The last two episodes have given me hope that this show will keep going. Thank you Vincent and Kathryn!

Anonymous said...

Since season 6 most of the Goren and Eames episodes have been like chapters in those serial novels Dickens used to write – "Goren, Kicking and Screaming, Grows Up," maybe the book could be called. From the golden boy of the squad he's become, too often, its problem child.

His failures (to rescue Eames from "Sebastian," despite all the frantic racing around, the cop who commits suicide after Goren thought he had talked him out of it, the hurt he causes Eames by not informing her when he is working undercover") have been obviously painful.

In addition to the specific failures (which do not, of course, interfere with solving the case: he's a professional and does his job even when unhappy) there are continuing problems posed by his personality - his insubordination and instability. He knows that Eames realizes he's a drag on her career ("Smile"), and he so fears being abandoned by her ("Silencer") he may make it impossible for her ever to find someone to replace her Joe. So they go on, learning to imitate the easy relationship they had in their first years together ("Vanishing Act") but realizing they aren't kids playing games any longer.

And then in "Lady's Man" Goren begins to come out of his stupor and starts, maybe to his own surprise, acting like a jealous, possessive male, throwing Eames off her own emotional balance in the process. She becomes withdrawn and defensive as her partner demands insistently to learn the details of her relationship ten years ago with Mulrooney. What difference could her answer make, however she answered his question of whether she'd slept with him, to Goren's being "concerned" for her because the man may be unstable? Emotionally it was important to Goren to know, but as far as solving the case, all he needed were those credit card receipts. At the end, when making the arrest, instead of simply turning Mulrooney around to allow Eames to cuff him, Goren for maybe the first time uses disdainful and totally unnecessary force to hurt a suspect and then ostentatiously, almost ceremoniously, hands his cuffs to Eames for her to use on him. (She forgot to bring her own?) She's so rattled by his behavior she even fouls up the Miranda warning. The final picture is of Goren, standing alone, a slight frown on his face, as the scene goes dark. Is he puzzled enough by his unprecedented behavior to decide to finally apply his intelligence to his own life, and not just to solving one puzzle after another?

It's time for a change, time to decide what he's going to do with the rest of his life, to take advantage of the freedom Gage bought him, and to move beyond the comfortable familiarity of the MCS.