Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Law & Order CI “Salome In Manhattan” Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

“Salome in Manhattan” was another strong episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent for Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson. Both seemed to settled in very well as work partners, with Wheeler possibly getting more accepting of Nichols’ idiosyncrasies. Likewise, Nichols seems more appreciative of Wheeler’s logical approach to the case.

The guest stars also were well chosen, with the usually forgettable Eric Balfour actually being very believable as the hotheaded chef. Shawn Hatosy also was a perfect match for the insecure, murdering business partner.

In Goldblum’s first episode, I found they attention they gave to his talent on the piano to seem forced, but in this episode it seemed much more natural and even enhanced the complexity of his character’s thought processes. Everyone needs to sometimes clear their head and find a distraction in order to problem solve, and hopefully there are many more methods that Zach Nichols has to help him think.

Here is the recap:
At a trendy nightclub, a young, rich woman, Lisa Wellsley (Alexandra Daddario) dances. Elsewhere, we see a chef, Max Goodwin (Eric Balfour), working on a cooking show. After the taping is done, his business partner Larry Clay (Shawn Hatosy) tries to tell him good things are coming. Later, Max and Larry speak with Peter and his wife, Larry making a pitch and being pushy. Afterwards, Larry tells Max it wouldn’t hurt to talk to her stepfather, but Max says it won’t happen. Larry is frustrated, saying he is working his ass off, but Max reminds him that he was turned down too. Max gets in a cab and leaves. Lisa is still at the club, with a young man, Jason (Liam Aiken), telling her that these people are not her friends. Lisa goes back onto the dance floor while Jason watches. Max arrives and meets up with Lisa, who is dancing with Reginald “RXO” Oldman (Treach) who tells Max not to say he never gave him anything. Max later proposes to Lisa, but she doesn’t give him an instant “yes.” Angry, Max sweeps his hand at the glasses on the table, cutting his hand in the process, and storms off. Larry, in his office, sees something slip under the door. It is an envelope from RXO Capital Corp., addressed to Max. Back at the club, Max is standing and watching Lisa dance. Larry arrives, and, seeing the white cloth wrapped around Max’s hand, asks what happened to him. Max shushes him, and then tells Larry to go home. As Max leaves, he watches Lisa dance, with Jason, Reginald, and Larry watching as well.

Later, at Lisa’s apartment, Jason is playing a video game, seemingly lost in it, and Lisa is lying on the floor behind him, dead.

The next day, at Lisa’s apartment, ME Rodgers tells Detective Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) that there was no sexual assault, and petechial hemorrhaging means the probable cause of death was strangulation. Detective Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) arrives, apologizing, saying it was a late night at the Met, adding that there is nothing like a five hour German opera to make you really appreciate a murder scene. He comments that the place is nice, and Wheeler says it should be, Lisa Wellsley, 21 years old. Nichols says that’s why there is a news crew downstairs. Wheeler says the neighbors heard something and called the super, and imagine his surprise when he comes in and sees this mess. Nichols asks, “What’s to become of romance?” Wheeler walks over to a rack of clothes off to the side, and she says the clothes are all RXO wear and they don’t even look worn. Nichols questions if she means Reginald X. Oldman, from Attica to mogul, the American dream? Wheeler nods and smiles, adding, “From Wagner to hip hop, I’m impressed.” Nichols responds, “From Glamour magazine to, ah, Wagner, so am I. You know, I have these same chairs.” Wheeler quips, “ Ah, well, there’s our motive. No taste.” Nichols comes back with “They happen to be very tasteful, but only if you’re a middle aged civil servant with nobody to impress.” Nichols says a lot of the stuff looks like it came out of a catalog, and that maybe the super rich aren’t as different as they thought. Wheeler pulls out something from Wellsley’s handbag, and says they just have better drugs, showing it to Nichols. He rattles off several names of drugs, saying that his mom has been known to use them. Wheeler says she guesses it is true, “Youth, beauty, mega-money doesn’t buy happiness.” She notes there is no pill bottle and assume no doctor was involved. Nichols notices the video game, which is exclusively geared toward adolescent males. Wheeler finds the engagement ring in Lisa’s purse, and Nichols wonders why Lisa left it in the box. Wheeler suspects this could be a motive.

At the home of Lisa’s mother (Haviland Morris) and stepfather Peter (Tyrone Mitchell Henderson), Nichols and Wheeler find that her parents spoke to her at about 9 before they left for a benefit, and left them a voice mail at 11 asking how it went. Maxwell Goodwin sat at their table. Nichols recognizes him as a chef, and Peter says he was a chef, after two years and one bankruptcy, Max and his “clown partner” were looking for backing to open a new restaurant. When Wheeler asks why Lisa would care about that, Peter says it’s another place to party. When Nichols asks for the name of her fiancé, her mother says she was not engaged. When Wheeler asks about friends, Peter says to “check Page Six.”

At Major Case, Captain Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian), Nichols, and Wheeler are looking at news footage covering Lisa’s death. Ross asks what they know about her that hasn’t been on Access Hollywood. When Wheeler says she spend a year at the University of California Santa Barbara, Ross quips that she probably flunked “suntan.” Nichols says she didn’t have a chance, and Wheeler responds sarcastically that she didn’t have a chance, growing up with a supermodel mom and royal step dad. Nichols reminds her that her father was not royal, only governor over a tiny island in the Caribbean. Ross’ phone rings, and he finds that the engagement ring was purchased by Maxwell Goodwin, to which Wheeler responds, “Small world.”

At the TV studio for Max Goodwin’s show, Max says said he gave her an engagement ring. When Wheeler comments that she didn't wear it, he asks if that is supposed to mean something, and gets indignant, but then apologizes. Wheeler asks what happened to his hand, he reminds her that he is a chef and works with sharp knives. Nichol takes over, and says he went to Endymion the week it opened, he ordered the scallops in pomegranate, and says it was so good. Max thanks him, and Nichols presses on and asks about him opening a new place. Max says no, he doesn’t know, maybe Lisa wanted it more than he did, and maybe she wanted more than a local cable cooking show for him.

Larry Clay enters and comments that this isn’t the best time to meet with the fan club, and Max tells him they are the police and they think he killed Lisa. The man introduces himself as Larry Clay, Max’s business partner and he was with him last night. While Max pounds on some meat, Larry says maybe if he didn’t drag him there to the charity function, but the investors want to meet him – he’s the star. Nichols interjects sarcastically, “Really. Sure. And you? What are…what are you?” Larry says he turns on the spot light and sells tickets. Wheeler asks about after the benefit, and Max starts to answer, but Larry cuts him off and says they went across the street to have a couple drinks and strategize. Max pauses for a minute and then adds they called it an early night. Wheeler asks if they know who Lisa was partying with last night, and while Larry quietly scoffs, Max says no, she usually made several stops in a night. Nichols says they are sorry about miss Wellsley and he moves to leave.

Outside, Wheeler says she feels sorry for the chicken, but Nichols tells her it was a duck. He says anger is the first stage of grief. Wheeler says he is a condescending jerk and you don’t need to have to be raised by shrinks to see that he has a problem with rejection. Nichols, looking a little hurt by the comment, gets into the car.

Back in the studio, Larry says Max should not have talked to anyone without an attorney. Max says he didn’t killer her, and asks why Larry lied to them. Larry points out his hand, asking what conclusion they would draw from that.

At the morgue, ME Rodgers tells them that Lisa has alcohol and anxiety drugs in her system. She adds the killer seemed very angry as evidenced by the extensive injury, and she pulled epithelials from under her fingernails. Wheeler notes from a newspaper article that Reginald Oldman – felon turned clothing designer and mogul - owns “The Crib”, the club Lisa was at the night she was killed.

Back at Major Case, the Nichols and Ross discuss Reginald Oldman’s record. Ross says he is a bad guy but one with business interests, and while they debate his involvement, Wheeler enters and says the DNA under Lisa’s fingernails matches Oldman’s.

They head to the club and question one of the bartender, Jackie (Nikki M. James). She says it is a shame what happened to Lisa. Nichols and Wheeler try to get her to talk, but she tells them to talk to “RXO.” When Nichols asks if they were close, Jackie walks off.

At Oldman’s clothing facility, he tells Nichols and Wheeler that he liked Lisa and he paid her to wear his clothes to help his brand. He adds that his brand is his life, and admits he was sleeping with her. He asks why would he hurt Lisa, and says his DNA was there because they danced.

Back at the club, Oldman yells at Jackie for talking to the police, and she says she told them nothing. He asks her, “What are cops?” and she says, “ The enemy.” When he asks what is anyone who helps the enemy, she says they are a traitor.

Back at Major Case, Ross, Nichols, and Wheeler talk about RXO. Wheeler says that Jackie wanted to talk to them. Ross says she is probably not in RXO’s purview this time of the morning.
Nichols and Wheeler catch up with Jackie, who says Lisa was good to her. Nichols asks her why she is so scared of RXO, and she says his gangster isn’t an act. She tells them to look into some kid, Jason, saying he was weird, that he was possessive. He sat at the bar and stared at anyone who came near Lisa.

At Lisa’s apartment, Jason cuts through the police tape on her door, enters, and begins to tear apart her blue party dress draped over a chair in her apartment.

Later, Nichols and Wheeler arrive at Lisa’s apartment after a neighbor called that the police seal had been broken. While comparing crime scene photos, Wheeler noticed the blue dress is missing. Nichols finds a piece of it under the chair cushion, which appeared to have been ripped from the dress. They assume someone had a tantrum, maybe someone possessive, someone who liked video games, thinking of Jason.

They later locate Jason at a video game arcade, with Nichols grabbing him as he tried to flee.

Later, in interrogation, Wheeler talks about his record, with 6 years in custody before he turned 18 – he pummeled his fifth grade teacher. He says he didn’t hurt Lisa, she tad trouble sleeping and he told her not to mix pills. But Wheeler reminds him she didn’t die from the drugs. Wheeler continues to press, and then Nichols tells him when his mom died, he got out a photograph of her and ripped it up and tore it up. He brings out the piece of Lisa's dress, and Jason leaps from his chair. Nichols tells him he knows he is mad but there is nothing to be ashamed off. He tries to continue to try to help Jason come to grips with what happened, and that the anger will become sorrow. He hands Jason the piece of the dress, and Jason opens up. He says he and Lisa talked all the time; they talked about their problems, about their mothers. She was a good listener. He talked to her the night she was murdered at The Crib, but he left the club first, RXO kicked him out because he was getting in the way with Lisa. Max was already gone, he and Lisa got in a fight and his accountant Larry stayed to try to patch things up. Lisa let him crash on her couch, and when he got there she was laying on the floor. Nichols excuses himself.

Nichols and Wheeler enter the room on the other side of the interrogation room mirror, and Nichols says he believes Jason. Ross asks what that says about Lisa. Nichols says she found a twin soul, or maybe she felt the need to be taken care of and projected that need on a needy Jason and adopted him like a pet. Ross says to Nichols, “Your mom’s not dead.” Nichols says, “I had my fingers crossed.” Wheeler brings up the fact that Max lied about going to the club and didn’t tell them about the fight, and Ross tells them to see if his partner managed to patch things up between them.

Nichols and Wheeler are at Larry’s place, he is getting dressed for a formal dinner. He tells them that he doesn’t think Max is guilty and says he would do everything to protect him - they are good friends. He says Max is a genius. Nichols picks up a photo and notes that Larry and Max went to Emerson Academy, Nichols saying he went there as well. Larry says they started their business when they were seniors. Wheeler says she’d like to hear that fight song, and when Larry laughs, Nichols says, “Go potatoes, go tomatoes” but then tells Larry his pleats are facing down. When Larry looks baffled, Nichols tells him his pleats are supposed to be facing up on his cummerbund. Larry says he will be glad when he can stop going to these things, and Nichols helps him to fix it. He adds that all Max talked about was giving her the ring and living happily ever after. Wheeler asks if this was after the celebrity benefit, and reminds him that they told them that they went for a drink. Larry he knew Max didn’t kill her, and says he is sorry but he is already late for the benefit. Nichols says, “Okey-dokey, hands to shake, money to raise, huh?” Larry tells them that’s the way it works.

Back at the studio, Max and RXO are talking about Larry. RXO puts the pressure on Max, upset that Max never told Larry he is out, saying his a poison pill. When Max says he will take care of Larry out of his end, RXO tells him Lisa wanted him out. He says it is his money and his brand, and it is his rules, Larry gets nothing. Max says “Fine.”

At Major Case, the detectives review what they know with Ross. Wheeler talks about Max’s lies, the rejected proposal, and the cut on his hand. Nichols says maybe Lisa didn’t reject Max and RXO has a jealous side and Jason said he was getting in the way. Ross tells them to talk to him. Nichols says he is going to…and Wheeler finishes his sentence, saying, “wander aimlessly?” adding that it keeps him from getting lost.

While Nichols finds a piano and plays a tune, Wheeler talks with RXO. He tells them he sent a guy over with corporate documents and he upped Lisa’s ownership interests. Playing the piano, Nichols seems to have an epiphany. Back at Major Case, he looks at news articles about Endymion and magazine covers on Max. He also sees an article about Endymion closing its doors.
Back at the studio, while a show is taping, Max seems uninterested, and then gets upset and throws a plate with food against the wall, and storms off. Larry goes after him.

Nichols continues to look at photos, and focuses on Larry.

Max runs into the street and Max tries to tell Larry about being cut out, but Larry stops him. Larry continues to ramble and Max get annoyed and tells him to shut up. Larry says he will not let their dream die with her. Max pushes Larry to the ground, and Larry says to hit him, it’s not like it won’t be the first time.

Nichols is still looking at more articles about business problems causing the failure of Endymion. He looks at the picture of Larry.

Later, at the TV studio, Wheeler and Nichols arrive, and Nichols says to Larry and Max that he doesn’t know how he will get through a dinner party when they shut down. Larry comments that they are chasing their tails. Nichols says no, he is talking about the TV show when he opens the new restaurant. Wheeler asks what did he think he was talking about? Larry sighs, and Wheeler says she bet he thought they were there to arrest Max. Max asks if they found out anything about Lisa. Nichols says that he knows that the people in Lisa’s life thought they knew her, but they only knew what they needed or wanted, saying to her mom, she was youth lost; to RXO she was a brand; to Jason, she was mommy. Wheeler says to Max, she was his muse. Nichols says to Larry, he was a hurdle. Wheeler says Lisa was taking his meal ticket away., his last best shot. Larry says that is crazy and Max would never have cut him out. Nichols brings out the Emerson connection, telling Larry he wasn’t “of” Emerson, he probably went on scholarship, and that a real Emerson person knows how to wear the cummerbund from the age of 10. Max says Nichols is off base, but Nichols tells him that people like Larry can look but they can’t play. When Larry indicates he was trying to protect Max, Wheeler says Larry was trying to frame him. Larry says he kills himself for the business, but Nichols reminds him he is expendable, “lint in the breeze”. Nichols says he has that hunger in him, and that Max is the artist and Larry is a suit, Max is the star and Larry is the spotlight, hoping some will shine back on him. Larry says he knows what he is. But Nichols continues to harp on him, trying to highlight Larry’s inferiority. Larry, of course, completely caves, and gets angry about Lisa and admits he went to her loft, and that she just laughed at her. He yells that Max was good enough but not him, while Max looks on, stunned. Lisa says everyone knew that it was over. He says if he is out, so is Max. When Nichols asks him if revenge was sweet, he loses control and, lunging for Max, says that it was. The police restrain Larry, and also Max, who is furious that Larry killed Lisa. As they take Larry off, he yells at Max for cutting him out. Wheeler gets a grip and says, “God I’m glad I went to public school!”

Outside the studio, Nichols says, “Friends, sometimes you just need to let them go.” Wheeler responds that they were never friends, they just served each other’s needs. Nichols says, “Friends.” As they get in their car, we fade to black.

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GeminiScience said...

Hi -

Any idea what the 2 dance songs are being played in the club scenes when Lisa is dancing? The first has the lyrics, "27,000 feet into the air I climb..."


Eric said...

Second song in club where she is dancing after he cuts his hand is High in the Sky by Carl

Unknown said...

I cant find the 1st song....help

Jana Jones said...

Thanks forbthe 2nd song info....I cant find the 1st song infi anywhere!!!!

Jana Jones said...

Would uou know the 1st somg info?