Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mariska, Meloni, De La Garza Named Smart, Sexy Crime-fighters has named Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni of Law & Order SVU, and Alana De La Garza of Law & Order as some of television’s "15 Smartest, Sexiest” crime-fighting women and men of 2009. Their comments on each:

Of Mariska: “We're not entirely sure if your average New York City police detective can afford the stylish designer suits that Hargitay's flinty character regularly rocks on NBC's long-running procedural, but she looks so darn scorching in 'em that we're more than willing to suspend our disbelief.”

Of Chris: “Anyone know if jaywalking or littering could qualify as ''especially heinous''? 'Cause we'd sure like to get locked in an interrogation room for a couple hours with Meloni's hard-charging Manhattan police detective.”

Of De La Garza: “Sure, her whip-smart A.D.A. Rubirosa puts perps away with the frequency of Ryan Seacrest updating his Twitter page, but think of it this way: If you had to choose one woman to gaze upon before getting sent to the clink, wouldn't De La Garza rank near the top of the list?”

Sorry Vincent D’Onofrio and Sam Waterston fans, your boys aren’t on the list. A crime in of itself, I know.

15 Smartest, Sexiest Crime-fighters of '09: the Women

15 Smartest, Sexiest Crime-fighters of '09: the Men

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

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Law & Order CI “Alpha Dog“ Episode Information

Goren and Eames are working a new case this Sunday on Law & Order Criminal Intent –“Alpha Dog.” Here is the episode information and USA Network promo video.

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Alpha Dog” Air Date August 2, 2009
A hunky posterboy with a million-dollar torso has what others crave: sex appeal. When he shows up dead after a night of sex and drugs with an elusive woman, detectives Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) uncover the sexual paranoia behind the murder.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Alpha Dog" can be found here.

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Alpha Dog” Promo Clip

Clip from Episode

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

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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Law & Order CI “Major Case“ Recap & Review

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Major Case” was a fantastic episode, maybe the best of the season so far. It seems to cement Jeff Goldblum as Zack Nichols, but it also made it clear that he partners very well with both Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe).

What I find very enjoyable is that the writing for both women – Wheeler and Eames – seem have just the right amount of down to earth dry wit and it plays very well off the somewhat spacey Nichols. My favorite line may be when Eames tells Nichols that Wheeler told her Nichols needed “adult supervision.” Of course, Nichols gets in his own humor by delivery the retort about “horse patrol” when Ross asks Nichols to guess which division Henry refers to as having “cowboy mentality.”

It was also amusing that Nichols, who was so aware of Wheeler being late due to possible morning sickness, makes her smell the contents of the dumpster, causing her to throw up, yet later, he is so engrossed in arguing with Ross that both men ignore Wheeler’s later has broken. Eames has the perfect one word response when she scolds them for not being observant.

And it seems the show makes an attempt to address the burning question as to what makes a major case. What I think I heard in Ross’s vague explanation was that major cases are for the affluent, the influential, or the high profile. Of course, this doesn’t always seem to be the case, so while Captain Ross seems to want to stick with the definition, it’s clear that he rarely follows his own rules, since may of the cases don’t always match how Ross defined them. It was fitting that Nichols made the comment that “Well, I could say that this is not just another murder, but that would imply that there is such a thing as “just another murder” which is a terrible thing to say since “just” and “murder” should never be used in the same sentence.” I am sometimes critical of Eric Bogosian's relatively flat delivery of his lines, but I have to admit that this season, and especially in this episode, he did a fine job and his presence actually seemed to enhance the episode for the better.

The case itself was excellent, and despite the fact that we saw the murder happen, the cat-and-mouse between Nichols and Henry Muller made it worth watching. Dylan Baker, a Law & Order “repeat offender, ” did not disappoint in his role of the forensic scientist who uses his skill to solve crime and apparently to fix them and even cover them up. Baker was very creepy in the scene where he seemingly tries to threaten Nichols with being poisoned.

This was a great episode that kept my interest the entire time, and I am really enjoying these episodes with Jeff Goldblum – I think it has truly energized this show.

Here is the recap:

Grace walks down the street under the watchful eye of her neighbor. She arrives at a club, and sells dope in the ladies room. She tells one of the women she is going away, and when she finds the woman is $200 short in paying for the dope, she takes the woman’s wallet and says she’ll return it the following morning at 10 when the woman pays her the $200. Later, when her drug-dealing boyfriend gets angry that she says she is leaving to go to the farm, and then finds out she’s $200 short, they argue, he hits her, and she runs off. Her watchful neighbor, Henry Muller (Dylan Baker) seeing her running, yells for her to get into this apartment. She does, but Henry sees that her dealer boyfriend is waiting for her outside. When Henry sees that she is bleeding, she goes into the bathroom to clean up, and then tells Henry that she’d like to take a shower. She shuts the bathroom door, but not all the way, and Henry watches as she undresses and steps into the shower.

When she gets out of the shower, she’s wearing just a t-shirt and shorts. Henry tells her that her boyfriend is gone. Grace notices that Henry has packing boxes all around, and asks if it is his mom’s stuff, and says she is sorry her mom died. As she looks into some of his boxes, Henry asks if she is in trouble, and Grace says no, he’s just mad because she is leaving to go to Vermont, her cousin has a farm there. She just wants to get her life right. She reaches into a box and pulls out a bracelet, and asks what Henry thinks. He seems flustered. Grace says she will miss her mom, and said it was fun coming over to visit and talking with him. She thanks him, and kisses him on the cheek. He moves to kiss her back on the lips, and she pulls away, and asks what he is doing. He says she kissed him, and Grace says she has to go. But Henry continues to press her, and when he gets too pushy, she asks him if he is some kind of pervert. She tries to get away, and runs to a window to scream, but a passerby, listening to music with earphones, can’t hear her. Henry pushes Grace onto the floor, and as she calls him a damn pervert, he continues to force himself on her. He beats her repeatedly, killing her.

The next day, Grace’s body is lying in a dumpster, with Detective Zech Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) on the scene. They found a wallet in her pocket, and it is the ID of someone from a “fancy prep school” with a 5th Avenue home address. Nichols says, “So here I am, Major Case.” The CSU person on scene says that the victim is dead, just like anyone else.

Detective Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) apologizing for arriving late, but Nichols says it is understandable. Wheeler tells him being pregnant is not an excuse. And Nichols tells her dryly, “Of course not.” He tells her to look at the body, and to smell, and see if she smells what he does. She picks out the odors of egg foo young, wet nylon, dog crap, and bleach. Wheeler seems to be looking a little nauseated. She says the killer bleached the body, and Nichols confirms this is what he thought as well. Wheeler excuses herself to Nichols and then goes off to the side to throw up. Nichols says to the other CSU person on the scene, “It’s understandable.”

At the home of Sessy Madison, Wheeler and Nichols speak with her about the body, and she says it is awful. When they press her that her wallet was found on the body, she tries to get them to go away. Nichols pushes his way in, and when her mother asks who is there, she gets even more rattled. She tells her mother someone stole her wallet at the library, but her mother gets suspicious and presses the issues, saying she thought she was done with dope. Sessy admits the girl’s name was Grace and she dealt.

At the ME’s office, Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) tells them that the cause of death was blunt force trauma, and there were also large cuts on her body. Nichols thinks someone wanted to cut the body up to dispose of it, the killer was angry enough to beat her to death, but not to cut her up. Rodgers said the killer gave her a bath inside and out with bleach, and washed her clothes, and adds because the body was in a dumpster they will have issues with cross contamination.

At Major Case, Wheeler tells Captain Danny Ross ( Eric Bogosian) that the prints came back as Grace Purefoy, and she lives two blocks from where her body was found. She dealt drugs to private schools uptown. Ross sees she has a juvie record for possession. Ross tells them the case kicks to the 9th precinct, but Nichols balks, stating that Sessy Madison is a major case but Grace Purefoy is not. Ross tells him that is correct, and asks if Nichols differs. Nichols says, “ Well, I could say that this is not just another murder, but that would imply that there is such a thing as “just another murder” which is a terrible thing to say since “just” and “murder” should never be used in the same sentence.” Meanwhile, Wheeler is standing by quietly, and looks down to the floor. Ross responds that using that logic would mean every case is a major case. When Nichols says, “Yes” Ross says this is why Nichols is not in charge. Ross add, “We are not the low level drug dealer from the East Village case squad, we’re called Major Case for good reason. “ Nichols continues argue his point, asking what if the victim doesn’t give them a reason, the killer does because his used of bleach and putting the body in the dumpster is not run of the mill ad it could be pretty major. Wheeler continues to stand silently but looks uncomfortable. Ross states that the killer may watch too much CSI. He gives Nichols 48 hours, and then says Grace kicks back to the 9th. Detective Eames (Kathryn Erbe) walks in, and announces that Goren called from Tennessee, and adds he needs the captain to call that sheriff. Eames looks down, and sees a puddle of water at Wheeler’s feet – her water broke. She asks Wheeler,” What hospital” and Wheeler tells her St. Vincent’s. Eames asks if she has a bag packed, and Wheeler says it is in the locker room. As the two women walk off, Eames turns back and scolds Nichols and Ross, saying, “Detectives!”

Meanwhile, Henry Muller is at home, scrubbing his floor and using what seems to be luminol to see if he left any blood or traces there. He finds a fiber and pulls it out, continuing to scrub.

Later, Nichols asks Eames how Wheeler is doing, and she says she is in labor and her sister is with her, and in between screams she told Eames that Nichols fought to keep the case. Nichols asked what else she told her, and Eames says, “That you require adult supervision.”

They enter the home of Grace Purefoy’s mother, who is upset her daughter is dead, and clearly she has been drinking a lot. While Nichols checks Grace’s room, her mother tells Eames that Grace had a friend that she called Paj. Nichols finds a picture of Grace on the farm with her cousin, and her mother tells them that Grace went there last year. Nichols also found a bus ticker to Montpelier. They hear a knock at the door, and Grace’s mother’s friend Nate arrives with more booze. When Nichols makes a comment about her being more sober later, she says her baby girl was killed, what is she supposed to do?

As the detectives leave the apartment, Nichols comments that she was drunk now because her daughter was dead, and was drunk before because her daughter wasn’t. Eames asks if he is sure he doesn’t want to kick this to the 9th, and Nichols brings out the picture at the farm, saying he found it on her pillow, like it was her dream to get away from all this. When Eames comments that Nichols got away for a few years and wonders if he fells Grace is a kindred spirit, he says he tries to avoid transferential relationships with dead people, it’s always so one sided. But he adds that Grace’s mother, Sessy Madison, the bleach, Vermont – it is all so unconnected.

He takes Eames to see who is says is “go-to criminalist for unsolved cases” involving minors, kids who fell through the cracks, but he is sure he will have time for this. Eames comments that he wrote a book and is not a TV talking head. Nichols says he deserves it, it’s the best lab guy her ever met. When they enter, we see that the man they are going to see is none other than Henry Muller.

In Henry’s office, Nichols is going through Henry’s book, talking about the amazing work he did on some of the cases Henry listed in the book. He shows him the information on the case, and while Eames tells him what they had found with the body so far, Henry opens the file and sees Grace’s picture. Henry complains about his tight budget, and we see he is wearing on black shoe and one white. He tells the detectives he will see what he can do.

Back at Major Case, Ross gripes that the last time he spoke with Henry that Henry told him he was too busy for him. Nichols says he begged in the right way. Eames says they may have to upgrade Grace’s mother from totally useless to functionally clueless – they fond Paj in the alias registry. He is a drug dealer with priors out on bail for an assault case, and his name is Justin Lennox who sells uptown as “Park Avenue Justin” (PAJ). Ross says it looks like they may make their 48 hours.

Later, the detectives speak with Justin, who says he doesn’t know the person in the picture, Grace. Eames suggests they continue the discussion at their place, but Justin says he is out on bail, and this is harassment. Nichols tells him to take another look, grabbing his hair forcing Justin’s face into the picture. He still denies knowing her, and Nichols says if he did this they are going to get him. Justin refuses to talk.

Back at Major Case, Ross is in his office on the phone, clearly having a hard time with a caller. Henry walks in, and brings information in to Ross on another case. Ross says he is honored by the special delivery, but Henry tells him not to tell Nichols, he will expect the same. Henry tells Ross he is surprised he is letting Nichols run the case, and asks if they have anything going on it. Ross tells him that they are on one guy. Ross steps out of his office, and Henry stays there, seeing the find on Justin Lennox on Ross’s desk. He leaves Ross’s office and they chat, with Nichols looking on.

Henry goes to the evidence file area, and asks to examine a file. The attendant let him in to the area to search for the file, and he heads to another file, that of Justin Lennox. With gloves on, he opens the box and takes out a cut of a bloody shirt and puts it in a vial. He puts the shirt in a new evidence bag and closes the seal, taking the old bag with him.

Later, Nichols enters Henry’s office, excited that Henry found something. Henry tells him that he got a viable tissue sample from under one of Grace’s fingernails, and matched it to Justin Lennox. Nichols tells Henry he is a god and leaves with the file.

Back at Major Case, Justin is in interrogation with his lawyer present. He admits he had an argument with Grace saying he was trying to get Grace to stop dealing, and said Grace attacked her. But Nichols says Grace was leaving to go to Vermont, and wonders if that was what the fight was about. Justin’s lawyer says he wants to talk to Justin alone.

Outside interrogation, Nichols says Justin is a moron and he is calling the DA. But Ross tells him not to bother, Justin has an alibi. Justin was with a drug dealer who someone in narcotics was tailing. Ross tells them that starting tomorrow, everyone goes back to where they belong, Grace goes to the 9th, and Nichols will catch the next major case.

At the morgue, Rodgers is telling Nichols that she went over the body again from head to toe and there was no DNA. She doesn’t not know how Henry got his results or any result. She doesn’t want to get into an interdepartmental play with Henry, their group plays ball with his. But Nichols says Henry may be playing with an invisible ball – no evidence on the body. Rodgers implies that Henry may be finding evidence that is not there to catch a bad guy who was just lucky enough not to leave any evidence. Rodgers adds the guy is writing books and is on TV, and Nichols sees that as incentive to keep his “batting average” up.

Back to Major Case, Nichols tells Eames he thinks Henry might be fudging evidence. He sees the obituary for his mother who dies last month, refereeing to him as a notable forensic scientist/ He notices Henry’s mother was a lifelong resident of 7th street and lived on the same block as Grace. Nichols wonders why Henry never mentioned that.

When Eames and Ross take this to Ross, he tells Nichols he has officially lost his mind. Nichols states his case, saying that Henry frames Justin, and telling Ross Henry saw Justin’s file on Ross’ desk when he was in there the other day. Ross asks them, besides Henry and the shooter on the grassy knoll, are there any other suspects? Eames says they should look at Grace’s mother’s boyfriend Nate, and Ross tells them to check it out. He also adds that it is a girl, and Nichols says, “Oh, we should…” and Ross finishes, “You sent roses.”

At Grace’s mother’s apartment, they question Nate, and he denies anything went on and Grace’s mother backs him up. Nichols looks through the apartment while Eames talks to both of them. Nichols bags up some of Grace’s clothes and asks if he can take a few of her things.

Outside, Eames tells Nichols that it’s nice to see him keeping an open mind by taking Grace’s clothes to see if there are any traces of Nate on them. He seems surprised at her comment, and says that he guesses he can do that too. Eames gives him a questioning look.

Nichols heads back to Henry’s lab and tells him that Justin had an airtight alibi. Henry gets distracted when he sees a young girl standing over in the hallway on the phone. Nichols senses Henry is distracted, and Henry haltingly adds that they have to hope the case gets solved.

Back at Major Case, Ross and Nichols are watching Henry on television, saying there is a “cowboy mentality” in some police divisions and that he has asked the commissioner to get them to stand back, that they can’t jump every time they call. Ross asks Nichols if he has any guess as to what division Henry is talking about, and Nichols asks, “Horse patrol?” Ross is livid that Nichols has alienated Henry and worries that they will have problems getting forensics support. But Nichols says that Henry is striking back, he’s cornered, and he’s guilty. Ross says Nichols is endangering the division and his career. Nichols says when Ross was his partner he trusted him on things like this, but Ross says when he was his partner, Ross almost got suspended once a month. Ross says he is calling Henry Muller and getting right with him, and he tells Nichols he is off the case.

Later, Nichols is back in Henry’s office and Henry tells him Capt. Ross called him last night and said Nichols was handing off the case. While Henry brews tea, Nichols tells him that he is going to continue to work the case, nights and weekends if he has to. Henry says it sounds a bit obsessive, and Nichols asks if that is what some people also say about Henry. Henry says yes. He moves to hands Nichols a cup of tea, but then remembers he likes sugar in his own tea. He turns to add sugar, with both cups, and Nichols sees the various sugar cubes and other items that Henry has. Henry tells Nichols about a case a while back where an immigrant bride was poisoned by her chemist husband, all while handing Nichols a cup of tea. He says it can be so darn easy to kill someone if you really know what you are doing. Nichols takes the cup, and moves to take a sip, but stops, saying that if you brew green tea too long it turns bitter. Henry takes a sip of his own tea, and says Nichols may be right, and takes the cup out of Nichols hands.

Back at Major Case, Nichols is listening to one of Henry’s books on audio. Eames enters and Nichols says he went to see Henry that morning and is pretty sure Henry tried to kill him. He thinks Henry might try again. Eames tells him she took some of Grace’s clothes to an FBI lab and called in a favor. They found male DNA. Nichols is surprised she did this since they are off the case, but Eames reminds him Ross took Nichols off the case, not her. They found male DNA on the clothes and she still wonders about Nate, who has an outstanding warrant in Ohio, which will get them his DNA. Nichols seems happy about this and says they should go arrest him. They do so, in full view of Henry’s apartment, where he watches this all do down.

Later, Henry sees ME Rodgers standing in line in the forensics area. She tells him Nichols is driving her crazy about the Purefoy girl. She tells him Nichols called in a favor to Columbia Medical school who ran a CT and MRI scan on Grace’s body and they did a virtual autopsy and found a small area of internal bleeding maybe form when she was being cleaned up, and whoever was in there left a hair. She comments that she gathers Henry is backed up, but he takes the evidence and says he will give it his personal attention.

Back at Major Case, they have Nate in interrogation with Eames, with Nichols and Ross looking on. Henry enters the observation room, and Ross tells him they are questioning Grace’s mother’s boyfriend but he is not giving anything up. Henry asks why he didn’t come up earlier, and Nichols says they got distracted by bad theories. Ross says they found his DNA on Grace’s clothing. When Henry says they already looked at those, Nichols tells him these are clothes that they took from her apartment. Henry tells them Rodgers found a hair on the girl’s body and they needed a reference sample from Henry. Henry takes the sample from Nate.

Back at the lab, Henry has the hair sample from the unknown person and from Henry, and looks them over.

Back at interrogation, Eames is back in with Nate, with Nichols watching. Henry walks in and tells Nichols that Nate’s hair was a match, no doubt. Nichols knocks on the mirror, turns on the intercom and tells Eames it’s done. She stops the interrogation and lets Nate go. Nichols tells Henry they are done with Nate, not with Henry. Henry seems confused, and Nichols tells him the hairs don’t match, because the hair Rodgers gave him came from Nichols himself and he didn’t kill her. Henry is upset, and Nichols tells Henry that Ross lied to Henry too, Nichols does not have a prior molestation conviction. Nichols says that Henry knew Grace, and Henry says he is nuts and moves to the door. Nichols blocks his way and tells him that Henry’s mother lived across the street from Grace. Henry seems trapped, and Nichols tells him that with Grace’s mother being an alcoholic, Grace probably spent a lot of time outside playing. Nichols says Grace was a young girl, so innocent and so pretty. Henry tells Nichols he lives in a world of stories, fabricating narratives. Nichols presses on, saying that Henry has always liked young girls and spends all his time on cases for young girls. Henry says he works on evidence, and Nichols that Grace had a fight with Justin and he saw Grace run away in the direction of Henry’s mother’s apartment. He adds that Henry said they found Justin’s DNA on her body but there was no usable DNA on her body because it had been bleached, which he knows how to do. He adds he got Justin’s DNA from an evidence file which Henry entered on the pretext of looking at a stabbing in Soho even though the detective working that case never asked him to look at the evidence. Henry said he wanted to nail things down. As Nichols goes through all the names on the cases Henry worked – all young girls – Nichols asks, don’t boys get killed, and where are the boys? Henry asks, “Who are you?” Nichols says Henry could not trust himself to be around live young girls like Grace; she was not a lab sample or an autopsy photo, she was real and beautiful and alive and in hi apartment, he could see her, touch her, smell her. Nichols continues to press and says what Henry wants to do with these girls isn’t allowed, and he found a way to be with them, but this time he was with Grace all alone. Henry gets angry, and says “She kissed me.” Nichols asked if he kissed her back, and Henry says he didn’t understand. Nichols asks if she called him a pervert, and Henry says he is not a pervert, he catches murderers. Nichols shows him the picture of her body and Henry says he does not know how that happened. He says he never wanted to hurt her. He begins to cry . Nichols tells Henry he is under arrest,

Later, Ross is waiting at the elevator and Nichols approaches. Nichols tells Ross, “Thank you” and Ross smiles. Eames walks out of the elevator, and says that it is official, “Margo Jane Wheeler.” Nichols and Ross step in, and Nichols asks if the mother knows they closed the case. As the elevator doors close, Eames said, “She wondered what took you so long” as we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Law & Order CI “Major Case“ Episode Information

The next new episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Major Case,” marks the major pairing of Nichols and Eames, as it seems that Wheeler goes into major labor. Sounds like major fun! Here’s the major episode information and the major promo clip.

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Major Case” Air Date July 26, 2009
A drug dealer is killed the night before she plans to leave town to live on her cousin's farm. Eames (Kathryn Erbe) pairs up with Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) to investigate after Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) goes into labor.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Major Case" can be found here.

Promo Clip for Law & Order CI “Major Case”

Clip from the episode

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

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

L&O SVU News: Benson/Stabler vs. The World

TV Guide has reported some news about the new season of Law & Order SVU – here’s their scoop:

What's in store for Olivia Benson during the new season of SVU? — Crystal
MICKEY: Executive producer Neal Baer tells me the unofficial theme of Season 11 is "Benson and Stabler against the world." First all up in their grill is Wentworth Miller, who guest-stars as a cop with whom Benson will both clash... and make sexy eye contact! Next, Emmy winner Christine Lahti's ADA Sonya Paxton will be kickin' a-- and takin' names, which won't sit well for Stabler initially, and Benson ultimately.

I hope that they can fit in some of those special victims cases amid the personal melodrama!

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

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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Law & Order CI “All In” Recap & Review

Photos from USA Network

The episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent “All In” was a relatively simple story that seemed to get a little overcomplicated toward the end. Maybe I missed something, but I am not quite sure why this would be considered a major case. Sure, it was established later on that the detectives had a connection to one of the suspects, but they had no idea this was the situation when the got the case.

There were quite a few things in this episode that just didn’t seem quite right to me.
The final connection that Goren makes to Josh in this case – Josh’s number 1864 and Goren finding its cube root, 124, which matched Kip’s address - seemed like a major stretch to me. Another odd thing was when Goren took the picture of Angela off the wall in Lou’s bar and he indicated they could enhance the photo to get the plates, they seemed rather clear to me. I also wondered how well Josh’s confession would hold up, seeing that Goren had a gun to him. It made me think back to a Law & Order episode years ago when Mike Logan got into trouble by using a gun to extract a confession. Sure, Goren’s gun wasn’t loaded, but Josh did not know that. I was a little surprised that Goren would use a tactic that could possibly get the confession thrown out.

I was amused when Josh commented about Goren’s movements and referred to them as the “same old tells.” It was interesting that despite the fact that Josh wanted Goren to think he had Goren pegged, that Goren ultimately caught him off guard and managed to trick Josh into thinking the gun was really loaded.

I am not quite sure where this show is getting their ADAs from, but this is the second one they have had this season that who has left me somewhat cold. It wasn’t just the bad acting; it was the stereotypical “I’m an ADA who just wants to win my case” persona. I have to admit I think Goren wanted to smack her when she told him to “learn to live with it.”

But there was one other thing a little off with this episode, and I think it was bad editing or bad transitions from scene to scene. It just didn’t seem very smooth to me. It almost gave the episode a “thrown together” feel. While this was a decent episode, I don’t think it is one of their best this season.

Here is the recap:

A poker game is in progress. Josh Snow (Aaron Stanford) tries to bluff his way into winning a hand, but loses $30,000 to another guy. When Josh gives the bad news to Lou Cardinal (Boris McGiver), who is at his sports bar with Angela (Aleksa Palladino), he tries to explain he’s just had a bad run of luck, and Angela tries to defend him. But Lou tells Josh to make up for his losses, now at $80,000 by working for him as a debt collector, and says Angela will bring him around to collect and make sure everything Josh collects ends up with him.

Meanwhile, Kip McGonagle (Robert Leeshock) is refereeing a basketball game, and is on the phone, saying the game ran late. A player stops him in the hall and yells at Kip for his bad calls. Someone intervenes with the player to break it up, but says he should have let him clean his clock because they were lousy calls.

Back at Lou’s place, he isn’t happy that Josh didn’t collect the full amount from one person. Josh has been beat up and this was all he could get. Angela tells him that when Lou collects he doesn’t go light, and Lou gives josh a gun and a box of blank bullets, saying the gun comes home every night.

Josh goes to Frankie Martin (Harry O’Reilly) to collect, and when he balks, Josh shoots at him with the blanks. The next thing we know, Josh is running back to the car, a white Escalade, with Angela waiting, with all the money. Angela says the gun shoots nothing but blanks. They head to collect from Kip McGonagle, who is walking in the street. Josh threatens him with the gun, and shoots at Kip. Kip falls to the ground, bleeding. Angela races up with the car and tells Josh to get in.

Later, a car arrives at a hospital entrance, horn beeping. A man pulls Kip out of the car and leaves him at the entrance and speeds off.

Watching a video of the hospital security footage, Detectives Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe) watch as the man in a Crown Victoria drops off Kip and speeds off. The video is enhanced to show the license number DQF 8053. They are old the victim is Kip McGonagle, 42, a teacher, and he died within an hour of his arrival. Eames gets a message saying that the owner of the Crown Vic has a default warrant for marijuana possession.

Later, at Major Case , they have the owner of the Crown Vic in interrogation. He tells them he didn’t know Kip or shoot him, and only left because he did not want to get picked up on the warrant and he didn’t want them to find out at work. He tells Goren and Eames where he picked up Kip – Chinatown at Market Street.

Meanwhile, Josh is pissed that Kip is dead and Josh is trying to explain to Lou that he does not know how this happened. Angela says it was a weird accident, and Lou tells her to wait in the back. He chews out Josh, and asks for his gun back. But Josh won’t return it.

Goren and Eames head to this location, now a crime scene. Goren and Eames walk through what they think happened/ The blood trail goes into the street, and Goren wonders why Kip didn’t head into a different direction where there was more people in order to get help. Eames wonders if Kip thought there would be more help in the building across the street, so they get a canvas of the buildings. Meanwhile, Josh and Angela watch the detectives from afar in the Escalade, and Kip tells her the caught a break, he knows the detectives as they put away the guy that killed his father.

Eames has found where Kip leased space in the building, and he described himself on the lease form as a single man, and she can guess what that place was for. But, when they enter they find that Kip seemed to have been running a gambling operation. Goren finds some flash paper which burns quickly, saying this would help them get rid of the evidence quick if raided. Goren suspects Kip moved up from betting to running his own operation, and Eames said he would have become someone’s competition.

The detectives speak to Kip’s wife, who seemed clueless to what Kip had been doing, thinking he just worked other jobs – tutoring kids and a ref for basketball games - to get all the nice things they had. But, she admits that sometimes he came home very late when he refereed basketball games, and he would unwind at a sports bar. Goren asks to see all his financial records, and she says keeping records wasn’t one of this strong suits.

Back at Major Case, Goren and Eames watch a video of the last game that Kip refereed, and they notice many questionable calls, calling repeated calls on the home team and none on the visitors. Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian) suspects Kip had an agenda. Later, Goren is pouring over some of Kip’s records and he compared Kip’s points spread to the Vegas spread, and finds that Kip beat the Vegas spread 85% of the time. Eames says Kip was shaving points and that’s how he supported his lifestyle. Goren says his bookie must have gotten wise and wouldn’t take his bets. Eames says they found him making bad calls the day of his death, and Goren thinks he found another way of betting. Eames says she can’t imagine his old booking liking that.

Elsewhere, Josh still has the gun, and Angela is saying it is all over the news, that Kip was a do-gooder and they will stop at nothing to get the killer. Kip is looking at the blank, saying there is no way it could have killed somebody, unless Lou rigged it. He thinks they are getting framed, and when Angela is surprised he said “we” he reminds her she was driving the car. She tells them they have to get out in front of this, and Josh says. “without Lou finding out, you mean.” She says that is exactly what she means and she takes his hand and moves it to her body.

Back at Major Case, Ross asks the detectives if anyone sees people come and go from Kip’s “pad.” Goren says nobody sees anything. When Kip won on the games he fixed, he bet on others and didn’t do as well. He maxed out his cards and made weekly ATM withdrawals from a cash machine near a sports bar he frequented, and he also made numerous phone calls to the same bar but the stopped a few months back. The bar is owned by Lou Cardinal. Ross says he is not just any bookie, and owing Lou would have risks.

At Lou’s bar, Angela is playing pool and Lou is on the phone with this wife, saying he found the car that she wants. As Goren and Eames walk in, Lou tells Angela – calling her “Sweets” – to take the car over to show his wife. Eames tells Lou they have questions about one his regulars, Kip. Lou says that was terrible what happened to him. Goren notices the rifles on the wall, and asks if they are real Hawkins rifles, and Lou says they are authentic, any one of them could have belonged to Daniel Boone. Eames asked when she last saw Kip, and he says he hasn’t been around in a while but he bartender would know, and he tells Eames his name and says he will get him number. Eames comments that Lou seems to have all the answers, and asks what kind of action he was taking from Kip. When Lou fakes being offended at the question, Eames comments about his bookmaking charges but Lou reminds her there have been no convictions, and all his assault charges were dismissed. Goren sees a picture on the wall of Josh Snow, and Lou says he comes in there, surprised that Goren follows tournament poker. Goren says he likes the suspense, the bluffing. Lou says that is the best part of any game.

Outside, Eames comments that Lou is smooth, and Goren says juries usually see bookmaking as a victimless crime. Eames comments that it was not victimless for Josh Snow’s father, who was murdered over a gambling debt, and now Josh is in the same world. Goren says Josh placed high in poker tournaments but then fell off the map. Eames comments that he is still close to some game, they never lose the itch.

Later, Goren in playing poker with a group of men. He notices one guy – the same man that had beaten Josh a while back and whose name I do not know – at the table and sweating a lot. When someone comments to this man that the game is boring him, he says a little, and Goren mentions there is no Josh Snow there. The guys says - who is Josh Snow?

In the men’s room, the guy is spraying deodorant under his armpits. Goren walks in, saying that they guy is clever, commenting he must be using some cocktail of speed or over the counter meds to keep him drenched in sweat to make him look more nervous, making it easier to bluff. When the guy turns his back to Goren, Goren taps his shield on the sink and holds it up, much to the guy’s dismay. When he thinks Goren is going to arrest him, he admits to Goren that he beat Josh, maybe took advantage, the thing with Josh’s wife gave Josh a bad run. Josh’s wife died of cancer and it killed his game and now Josh is running collections for Lou. When Goren dumps the guys pills into the sink, the guy asks him if he knows Frankie Martin, and Goren asks him to remind him, while he is forgetting about arresting him. He says he is a degenerate who bets college games and lost a lot of money to Lou a few months back, and said Josh looked real big with a 38 in his hand.

Goren and Eames head to Frankie Martin, who recognizes Josh’s picture. He admits that Josh collected money from him, and that he was persuasive. He said he was afraid Lou would find out he gave Kip some action, and he thought if that what this is about he could be dead. He says Josh shot at him, but missed. He tells them Josh jumped in to an Escalade, but he did not see the driver.

Meanwhile, Kip is driving the Escalade, with Angela kissing him as he drives. She puts on a cap but he takes it, saying it is for “her son.” When Angela asks how long it has been since his wife died, he doesn’t want to talk about it. When she tries to push him on it, he snaps and says to drop it. As they approach his place, they see police waiting there and Josh drives off, telling Angela to take the car, whatever is happening there she should not be a part of it.

He gets to his apartment where the police are searching. He sees Goren and Eames, and says they parted on good terms and wonders what happened. Eames tells him they are looking for the 38 he used to kill Kip. He says he doesn’t know who that is. Goren says he was collecting for Lou, and Josh says Lou backed him in a couple games, end of story. Eames tells him he was ID’d by someone who he shot at, and when he sees their reaction, he comments that is the tell that indicates he can relax. Goren notices that Josh has been handicapping the horses, saying when they investigated his father’s death, there would be no games of chance. Kip implies he is just trying to keep his math skills sharp. The search nets a box of blanks for a 38, and Eames says they are getting warm. He say she used them for the 4th of July. Goren says he is sorry about his wife, and Josh asks what his is hoping to find, and he flashes a 10 of hearts, which he switches quickly to a Jack of spades. Josh says he didn’t kill that guy, but Goren says, “Don’t play me, Josh.”

Later, Josh meets with Angela by the river, who tells her they have nothing. He says that he might need her as a witness, that he would say he didn’t mean to kill the guy and they were blanks and she saw him load them. She says she aimed at him, and he says maybe they would get him on reckless endangerment, and if they play it right, she could get immunity and maybe he would only get a deuce. Angela says if they connect it to Lou, she worries that he would kill them, but Josh said not if Lou was jammed up. He asks her if she is hoping Lou would leave his wife, and she says no. Josh says it is a game and he is holding a solid hand, and he is going to talk to the DA.

Back at Major Case, ADA Emma Niles (Brenda Wither) is telling Ross and the detectives that she has impaneled a grand jury and Josh will be a witness. Goren and Eames express their concern, since there is no murder weapon, and that if she is going after Lou, he will hide behind lawyers once she indicts. The ADA thinks once they indict Josh he will give them Lou. When Goren asks if she spoke with Josh, he tells her that any conversations she had with him were off the record, and she leaves. Goren wonders why, if Kip owed Lou money, why would Lou want him killed? Eames wonders if it wasn’t about the debt.

Later, Eames has the medical history for Josh’s wife, she died of multiple brain tumors, and it only was a year between diagnosis and death. Eames says with a loss of a spouse you a numb and in a daze, you question your judgment, and you’re angry. Goren says in poker, nothing will kill your game like anger.

Elsewhere, Goren has caught up with Josh, who is watching a kid’s soccer game in the rain. His wife’s son Tommy is there. Goren makes talk about his wife’s death. Josh asks Goren is his feelings were hurt that he went to the DA, but Josh tells him not to take it wrong, he told his lawyer Goren would be harder to play. Goren says if it is the truth, what’s to play? Josh says something is always in play, the game is endless. Goren says since Josh is not going to be their main target, could he fill in some blanks? Goren mentions that Frank Martin said an Escalade waited while collected from him, and asks who was waiting for him in it? Josh asks if he is kidding him. Josh says Goren is faking sincere by tilting his head to the left and breaking off eye contact to put him at ease – same old tells. But Goren sits down, and tells Josh he has some tells, too. It’s the way he looks at Tommy. Josh says tells of the heart can’t be hidden, but the places Goren wants him to go – he’s smarter than that.

Back at Major Case, the ADA says her office has signed off on charges against Josh, and Ross says he will be arrested. Goren guesses he will be indicted for third degree manslaughter, maybe reckless endangerment, but not murder. When Eames asks if she is recommending a suspended sentence, the ADA says the important think is he will be indicted. Eames says it will prevent Lou from guessing Josh gave them a murder case against him. Goren says then Josh will be safe until Lou is gone. The ADA says that was a consideration. Goren tells her he thinks she is being played, and when she asks by who, “not Josh Snow” and says they have probably cause to search Lou’s house and bar and she wants Major Case to execute it. She hands Ross the warrant, who turns it over to Goren.

At Lou’s bar, Goren is holding Lou’s rifles and Eames tells him they are legal and Lou has a license. Goren says he fired a Kentucky squirrel rifle once and it is quite an art having to load it. Goren pulls up a picture and shows Eames a picture of Angela, who they remember from when they were there the last time. In the picture, she is standing away from Lou and near another man not to arouse Lou’s wife’s suspicions. There is a white Escalade in the picture, and Goren thinks they can enhance the pictures to get the plates. Eames wonders if they just found the drive Josh would not give up. Goren wonders if there is a love triangle, and wonders if she is the wild card. Eames wonders if she is an accessory to murder, how can she do Josh any good? Goren says it depends on how he plays her.

Elsewhere, Angela is waiting in a restaurant, and the ADA arrives. Angela’s attorney is late, and the ADA seems reluctant to proceed. Angela says she wants full immunity, and says when she gets that deal, she will have a murder conviction on Lou Cardinal. She gives the ADA the gun that was used to kill Kip, and tells her it is registered to Lou. The ADA takes the gun.

Later, the detectives have Lou in interrogation and show him the gun. Lou says it is legal. Lou swears he gave them blanks to scare people and told Josh to stand back when he uses it because it leaves powder burns. When Eames states that Kip was competing with him, Lou says there is always someone trying to compete but they are never around long. He also says he sent them to Kip’s home, not where he had his crib where he was “banging” Angela. When Eames indicates that maybe this gave Lou a more personal reason, Lou says not Angela. He got Angela the Escalade because she is a “dynamite lay” but he has a wife and three kids who mean everything to him. Kip was just one of many, if he started killing over Angela there would be a large body count.

Later. the ADA and the detectives talk with Angela. The ask her about her work with Lou. She says Lou may have wanted Kip dead because of her, But Goren says Lou says she wasn’t worth killing for. She swears she never thought Kip would end up dead.

After the questioning, Ross tells the ADA that they think the immunity was a mistake, they thing Angela is lying and the story conveniently hangs everything on Lou. But the ADA isn’t budging, saying Angela witnessed the crime and will testify that the gun, ammo. and the order to shoot came from Lou. Goren comments this would put Josh in a place to cut a deal, and the ADA says, “Quid pro quo is an accepted part of criminal law. Learn to live with it, detective.”

Later, Goren is looking over some of the items from the search of Josh’s apartment. He sees Josh’s betting numbers, saying it’s odd for a guy who does not believe in luck. Goren says real gamblers pick numbers for providence to help them in their effort, and Josh had the number 1864 all over the margins of his papers, all dated two week before Kip’s death. He thinks Josh would have wanted something mathematically challenging, so Goren picks out the cube root of 1864, which comes to 124, which is Kip’s apartment number, where Angela was seeing Kip. Goren thinks this was not jealousy, he was just building a hand against Lou, that he found out he was cheating. When the cops would investigate the crime, they would think Lou has the motive.

Later, when they tell Ross, he says it is not without a certain brilliance, and asks if this relates to Josh’s past. Goren says his father used him as a poker prodigy and then the man who killed his father took him in for the same purpose, Josh having mixed emotions when they sent his mentor to prison. Ross asks if Lou backed him and took over the mentor role, that doesn’t explain why Josh is sandbagging him. Goren wonders if Josh is trying to break away from controlling father figures and reclaim his life and his game. Ross reminds them there is a piece missing, how did a gun with blanks kill Kip? Goren doesn’t know, but thinks Josh would play that card. Ross adds, “Maybe that card won’t hold up. I think it’s time to force his hand.”

The detectives are at Josh’s, and Angela is also there. Josh thinks Lou must have fixed it up by breaking the lead off a live round and poke it down into the barrel of the 38, like the guns in his bar. If he leaded a blank over it, it would make it deadly. Josh says it will be something he will regret the rest of his life, and Goren asks if he means killing Kip or getting played. When Josh seems surprised at Goren saying he got played, Goren says his game had gone bad and he needed to turn himself around. Josh says he is wrong, but Goren says if Lou goes down, the rest of the empire would go to Angela, and since Angela was cheating on Lou set everything in motion. When Angela seems confused over this, Josh says they are fishing. Eames presses her, and says if Josh got her to lie in her proffer, her immunity is gone. Meanwhile, Goren has the gun in his hand, and he stands up and walks to Josh. He loads the gun as Josh watches, and says that Josh could palm a live round. Goren then asks them, “Did I just load this?” Josh said yes as did Angela. Josh tells him to be careful with it, but Goren asks again if it is loaded or empty. Josh says he knows what he saw. Goren kicks over a table, and asks, “Oh yeah? You wanna bet? You wanna bet that I don’t have the rage to take a life like you did?” Josh denies he has no rage, but Goren continues to press, the gun still in his hand. Goren says Josh’s rage let his wife die, because he missed signs of her illness. As Goren has the gun right at Josh, he tells Josh he missed her tells. But Josh tells about all the problems his wife had as she got ill, and says Lou pressured him to be at the tables and that all wives complained. Josh says he wanted to be with his wife and Lou took that away from him. Goren pushes Josh against the wall, waving the gun, and says Lou played him like Goren is playing him now. But Josh says that he played Lou, he is jail right now because he put him there for her. Goren asks Josh if he killed Kip, and he says “you’re damn right I did,” adding it was part of the game and that nobody plays him. Goren puts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger, and nothing happens. He tells Josh he was wrong, it’s an old magician’s trick, you put beeswax on the thumb and use it to pull the bullet back out of the gun. He tells him to call his lawyer and tell him to meet him downtown, and we fade to black.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sneak Peek Christine Lahti on L&O SVU

Courtesy of SVU producer Neal Baer, you can find a sneak peek of
Christine Lahti’s first appearance on Law & Order SVU at this link. Catch it while you can!

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

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

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Law & Order SVU Emmy Nominees: Mariska + Guest Stars

Hey, I'm coming to get my Emmy!

The nominations for the 2009 Emmy Awards are in, and Law & Order SVU is the only show in the franchise that garnered any nominations. Here is the list – and the competition.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios
Mariska Hargitay, as Detective Olivia Benson

The competition:
Brothers & Sisters • ABC • ABC Studios
Sally Field, as Nora Walker

Damages • FX Networks • FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Glenn Close, as Patty Hewes

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Elisabeth Moss, as Peggy Olson

Saving Grace • TNT • Fox Television
Holly Hunter, as Grace Hanadarko

The Closer • TNT • The Shephard/Robin Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television
Kyra Sedgwick, as Brenda Leigh Johnson

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • Swing • NBC • Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios
Ellen Burstyn, as Bernadette Stabler

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • Persona • NBC • Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios
Brenda Blethyn, as Linnie Malcolm/Caroline Cantwell

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • Ballerina • NBC • Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios
Carol Burnett, as Bridget "Birdie" Sulloway

The competition:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency • The Boy With The African Heart • HBO • Mirage Enterprises and Cinechicks in association with The Weinstein Company, BBC and HBO Entertainment
CCH Pounder, as Mrs. Curtin

Grey's Anatomy • No Good At Saying Sorry (One More Chance) • ABC • ABC Studios
Sharon Lawrence, as Robbie Stevens

Congratulations to all! My personal opinion – it may sound like blasphemy to SVU fans - is that Krya Sedgwick and Elizabeth Moss had far stronger performances and Mariska will likely not win. I think it is hard for anyone in the L&O franchise to be nominated or win because the often impersonal nature of their characters doesn’t allow for much depth. A pity really, because many of them are so talented. (Don’t get me started on the snubs of Sam Waterston, who had some stellar years as Jack McCoy, so much that his character was long ago considered an icon.)

If I had my pick of the guest actresses, I’d say that Brenda Blethyn’s performance was the best I had seen of any guest star in the franchise, but Carol Burnett was great as well.

The 2009 Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, September 20th at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.

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

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More L&O SVU On Location Photos: Wentworth, Meloni, Mariska, Lahti

Because fans just can’t seem to get enough, here are some more pictures of Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, and Wentworth Miller as they filmed the season premiere episode of Law & Order SVU in lower Manhattan on July 14. Also included are a few shots of Christine Lahti, who is the newest addition to the ranks of SVU ADA.

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

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Law & Order SVU Season Premiere: NBC Video Clip with Wentworth Miller

In case you missed the information that I posted on July 9th including a link to a sneak peek of the Law & Order SVU season premiere with Wentworth Miller, NBC has now made the clip available on their web site and I have it included below.

There is an awful lot of excitement about the appearance of Wentworth Miller in this episode and fans can’t seem to get enough. It sounds like we are in for an interesting start to the season!

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

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

Monday, July 13, 2009

Law & Order Criminal Intent “All In” Episode Information

The next new episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “ All In,” will air on July 19th on the USA Network. It stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. Here is the episode information and a preview clip:

Law & Order Criminal Intent “All In” Air Date July 19, 2009

Poker genius Josh Snow loses $80,000 in a card game and bookie Lou Cardinale forces him into collections to work off the losses. When Josh goes to collect from Kip McGonagle, he fires the gun expecting a blank, but a real bullet kills Kip dead in the street. Detectives Goren and Eames enter an elaborate game where they must join in the play, or be played.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "All In" can be found here.

Preview clip – “All In”

Promo Clip

Added July 15: Same Clips of "All In" from YouTube

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

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

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Passion” Recap & Review

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Passion” was another fine episode for both Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson. In fact, some of the lines they are giving to Nicholson are good enough to be lines for Lennie Briscoe – my favorite of hers from this episode being “And we had coffee with Jacob Garrety, the Quarterly’s poet in chief and the victim’s lover, no record, but that’s only because pompous isn’t against the law.” Her eye roll when questioning Mr. Weatherly was comical. Of course, Jeff Goldblum also is perfect as the seemingly innocent, yet concerned detective, who uses his piano skills – and his poetry skills – in order to worm his way into the confidence of one of the suspects. Where Wheeler seems to be very direct in her approach, Nichols seems more subtle when it is needed, and their skills play well off each other as they work the case. I was also amused when Nichols pushed his way onto the stage, nudging his way to have full control over the microphone, one instance where he threw subtlety to the wind.

I have to admit, though, that the identity of the killer was obvious to me. Still, for some reason this did not detract from the episode. Jacob’s murder was a bit of a surprise, so that kept up my interest. I am finding that watching Nichols and Wheeler work the case is interesting enough that it almost doesn’t matter to me that it seemed clear at the onset who was the murderer.

All in all, Jeff Goldblum is a great addition to Law & Order Criminal Intent, and I hope that Julianne returns to the show next season, as these two make a great pair. It will be interesting to see how Jeff plays off Kathryn Erbe, when she covered those few episodes this season for Julianne.

By the way, I have no decent pics at this time from this episode, but if I can get some at a later time I will add them here.

Here is the recap:

In the office of the Village Quarterly, Lauren Collins (Christina Brucato) is working in the office while editor and poet Jacob Garrety (Will Chase) is on the phone, calling someone’s poetry garbage. When he hangs up the phone, Will continues with the put downs of other amateur poets, saying he is not a vanity press – yet. He also tells Lauren her latest epic sucks. Lauren looks hurt, and tells him he has to stop it, he knows why Don is coming. Jacob says if it were good news Don would tell him by phone.

When Don McCallum (Steven Kunken) arrives, Lauren asks how bad is it? Don wants to cut funding to the publication until the endowment bounces back. She tells him to ease Jacob into it.

Later, after Don has left, Lauren says they should get going, but Jacob asks what is the point? She says to work it out, Don said the foundation will reconsider and they have enough money to publish this issue. Don says he hates readings but she says he loves them, they sell subscriptions and he gets to surround himself with pie-eyes sycophants. Don says maybe she shouldn’t come; she could see Don and have a drink with him, adding she should tease him. When she questions this, he asks what women do when they want something from a man they don’t want to sleep, saying it is an ancient art. Lauren is stunned, and Jacob says to forget he said it, he can’t think straight when he’s desperate, adding they should go and get his ass kissed. But Lauren asks if he think it will really make a difference, and Jacob seems to motion that it would.

Later, while he waits to do his reading, Jacob tells Sandra Dunbar (Sarah Rafferty) that Lauren told him what to start with, and she says he used to worry about Harold Bloom, not Lauren. He says she understands his work and keeps him from publicly embarrassing himself. Sandra says they know that is a full time job. He says that is part of his charm, and she gets flirty, telling him that’s not the only part. He admits he hadn’t been looking forward to the reading. She introduces him to the waiting group. As he begins to read, we see – elsewhere - Lauren is now lying dead in the street.

Detectives Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) and Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) arrive on the scene where Lauren’s body lay. Another detective on the scene tells them that a wallet was found laying in the gutter, no cash, the ID said it was Lauren Collins, 22 years old, and she lived on Avenue C. Someone on the third floor heard a scream at 11:30 and by the time she got to the window the girl is down and the “perp” is nowhere to be seen. ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) indicates there was blunt force trauma to the cranium, and CSU found a brick nearby that looks like it has blood on it. Wheeler says there were no purse and no cash in the wallet, but Nichols says he doesn’t think it was a mugging. Rodgers says all the clothes are intact but the will check for sexual assault. She also notes a stain on her dress. There is also bruising on her shoulder as if someone grabbed her. Nichols speculates that they fought, someone got mad, and picked up a brick. But Wheeler doesn’t think she looks like much of a fighter, and Nichols says this is why she lost. He also notes that her keys were out, and she had information on a poetry reading by Jacob Garrety that night from 9 to 11. When Rodgers asks if people still go to poetry readings, Nichols tells her there was an open bar afterwards, to which Rodgers answers dryly, “There you go.” Suddenly, we hear a man yelling, “NO!” and Jacob Garrety storms through the police tape. The try to restrain him, and yells he wants to see if it is her and asks who is in charge. Nichols and Wheeler approach, and Wheeler asks him to calm down. He says he doesn’t need calm; he just needs to see if it is Lauren. Nichols tells him he should let him buy him a cup of coffee. Jacob realizes what this means and gets upset.

At a small diner, Jacob comments to Nichols and Wheeler that “This city…turns us into savages.” Wheeler asks if Lauren was having any problems, and Jacobs says no. Nichols asks how long she had been working for him, and he responds that he worked WITH him and she loved him. He angrily says he should have been with her, and begins to complain about the readings and the students, calling them dilettantes. Wheeler asks if Lauren left the reading early, and Jacob says Lauren never made it to the reading; she had to finish some proofing. Nichols asks why he was heading down to the office in the middle of the night, and Jacobs replies that he was supposed to meet her. Nichols reminds him that she left, that she was outside on the street outside the office when she was attacked. When Jacob says that maybe she got tired of waiting, Wheeler tells him that her keys were out as if she were coming back in, so if she had been out, she wonders if he knows where she had been. Jacob, upset, asks how would he know, and adds, “She was a phantom of the light when first she gleamed upon my sight, a lovely apparition sent to be a moment’s ornament. “ When he gets no response and blanks stares from the detectives, he clarifies, “Wordsworth.”

At the Major Case Squad, Captain Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian) says he is getting more press calls on the Village Quarterly and he thought poetry was dead. Nichols says no, that’s theater, saying the Quarterly is one of the most distinguished journals in the city. Ross comments that must mean that a few thousand people buy it and a couple hundred read it. Nichols said some like to put it on their coffee table to make them feel smart. Wheeler tells him the prints on the murder weapon were smudged, and within 10 feet CSU found 56 other random prints, footprints, soil samples and various bodily fluids of humans and animals. Nichols tells Ross that Rodgers found something like semen on the dress and she is running it through the database. Wheeler says, “And we had coffee with Jacob Garrety, the Quarterly’s poet in chief and the victim’s lover, no record, but that’s only because pompous isn’t against the law.” She adds that Garrety ruled out Wordsworth, and adds that the love of his live is murdered and he is reciting poetry, saying ‘It was all I could do to keep from smacking him. “ Ross tells them to find out if the victim had any enemies.

Elsewhere, Garrety is talking with Don McCallum about Lauren’s murder. He worms his way into getting Don to continue support for the Village Quarterly in order for him to keep his silence about the fact that Lauren was headed to see Don, so Don’s foundation, and his wife, would not know.

Later, the Wheeler and Nichols are searching the office of the Village Quarterly, much to Jacob’s annoyance. Nichols notices a poetry award Jacob has, but Jacob tells him not to be impressed, poets are just one notch below Hollywood in giving self-congratulatory trinkets. Nichols said it would help if they knew about the victim. Jacob says that she edited a magazine, she read submissions and sent rejection letters, and Lauren screened out the ones that were obviously crap. Nichols pulls out on rejection letter that was returned with a note written boldly on it “You should be ashamed of yourself” from a man named Weatherly, who Jacob calls a lunatic who was driving them crazy. Jacob says if he thought he would hurt Lauren he would have killed him. Nichols says, “Hyperbole, right?” Jacob nods yes.

At Weatherly’s (Damian Young) office, he accused Jacob of stealing his work, and shows the detectives the poem that was his and the one that was copied. Weatherly straightens some books on his desk that Nichols had moved. When they don’t notice a similarly in the poems, Weatherly tells them it’s the meter. He verbalizes the meter of the poem, as Weatherly continues saying da-da-dada in the poem’s meter. Wheeler, rolling her eyes, asks him where he was last night. He says he was in his office writing, and when she moves to look at what he was writing, he says comments that “he” sent them

Outside Weatherly’s office, Nichols comments on Weatherly’s paranoia, and Wheeler quips that “The shrinks at Ossining can clear that right up.” Nichols thinks he is more paranoid about Jacob than Lauren. Nichols says that Jacob is not half bad, as he reads back a poem he wrote, which Nichols says is about a lover leaving for money. They speculate that he was talking about Lauren, but that Jacob never said she was leaving him. They decide to check out the foundation that was supporting the magazine.

At Don McCallum's office, Don tells the detectives he is a happily married man, and that Jacob and Lauren were the perfect couple. He says he is on top of Jacob’s list of things he abhors, because he can afford to buy dinner. Jacob thinks people who accumulate wealth are morally bankrupt. Don’s grandfather, who started the foundation, had a soft spot for poets. He says if Lauren was having an affair she would have to hide it, Jacob was a very jealous type. Don took Lauren for a cup of coffee one afternoon to discuss circulation campaign and when Lauren got back to the office, Jacob smashed a chair on her desk.

At Sandra Dunbar’s home, she tells Jacob to listen to her – when a woman is murdered the primary suspect is always her lover. He said she didn’t kill her, but she tells him he has to be prepared. But when he moans that Lauren and the Quarterly is gone, she says she will talk to her husband. She says he believes in what he is doing, and moves next to him, stroking his back. He says everything is so hopeless, and she moves in closer, kissing him.

In interrogation at Major Case, Jacob admits to the detectives that he has a temper. When Wheeler says most human beings don’t lose their temper and smash furniture, he tells he most human beings go through life like cattle. Nichols says, “We’re a pretty sorry bunch, aren’t we?” He asks him to tell about his emotion when he smashed the chair, and being up the fact they think it was because she had coffee with Don McCallum, and that Jacob also got angry when she didn’t show up for the reading. Jacob says she was closing an issue. When Wheeler asks what the other people who were there would tell them about Lauren and her no-show, he says they would say he had no greater lover than for Lauren, his life ended with hers, and that civil service workers are lazy and stupid and stick to the first arrow they pull from their quiver. When Wheeler says he is not scoring any points here, he says he does not need to, he didn’t do anything. Wheeler asks what time the reading ended, and he says 10:30, 10:45, and then he had to stay and sip wine with his adoring fans. Wheeler refers to them, in Jacob's earlier words, as students, dilettantes, and miniscule minds, and Jacob answers yeah. Nichols reads back a line and says it sounds familiar, that it was the way Henry V opens up, and implies he stole from Shakespeare. Jacob insists he does not steal, he says that was a literary allusion, and if Nichols wants to talk poetry he will send him a Child’s Garden Verse and they can take it from there. Nichols, looking peeved, says, “Maybe later.” He continues that the ME found semen on her dress. When Jacobs says they are adults, Nichols asks if he is saying it is his, and Jacob asks if he is saying it is someone else’s. Nichols smiles.

Afterwards, Ross asks Nichols and Wheeler how Jacob is looking. Wheeler brings out the temper and he smashes things and denies his jealousy, but she was a pretty girl and lot younger than him. Nichols agrees he has a temper and is a fool, but he questions his artistic integrity and he gets indignant, he questions Lauren’s infidelity, and he dismisses it, thinking his ego is so big he can’t imagine she cheated on him. As Wheeler makes a counter argument, Ross tells them to finish the debate and then check out Jacob’s alibi.

At Sandra’s home, she tells them she rented the bar and paid for some drinks. She said it ended before 11, maybe 10:45, but she and Jacob sat around for a while talking about poetry. John Dunbar is also there, and when Nichols asks if he enjoyed the reading, he says he was working late, meaning the Knicks were on. When they asked if Jacob mentioned anything about Lauren, Sandra said Jacob said she was useful. Nichols counters that Jacob told them that she was the love he life. Sandra says Jacob can be a little dramatic. Jacob loved poetry, and women loved Jacob and threw themselves at him. Nichols asks if she can name any women who threw themselves at Jacob. She mentions Emma, who works at a bookstore.

They speak to Emma Cohen (Amy Rutberg), who seems to speak highly of Jacob, saying he just has something. They also know that she was displaced by Lauren as his assistant – and girlfriend. She said she heard about Lauren and it was so awful. When she realizes what they are implying, she says she left both positions voluntarily, and adds that he was always cultivating rich guys as donors, and sometimes they needed a little extra incentive to help out, implying that she was asked to sleep with them. When Nichols asks of one of the rich guys was Don McCallum, she says just don’t let his wife know, he was always afraid she would find out.

Back at the Dunbar residence, John Dunbar walks in, angry, asking Sandra that he just got off the phone with the bank and is there something she is not telling him? She asks what is the big deal, they can afford it. But he questions the $50,000 to the Village Quarterly, and she says it is life or death for them. But John says he is not them, it’s him, and he is not an idiot. She scoffs, and says how can she tell. He says if she wants to support him then fine, he’ll give her half as a token and she can panhandle on the E train. She tells him he is a moron. But he shouts he lives in the real world where he works for his money, and she is not giving another penny to that leftover beatnik faker and his mumbo-jumbo magazine, and he storms off. She turns and throws a vase at him, which misses and hits the wall. She says she wants a divorce.

At the home of Don McCallum, Nichols and Wheeler are at the door, and McCallum says to his wife, holding a little baby, that he should talk to them in private. Outside, they tell him what Emma Cohen had told them, and when Wheeler wonders out loud if his wife knows, he says Lauren came to see them but they didn’t have sex, they started something they didn’t finish. She didn’t want to do it, Jacob wanted her to. He didn’t think that Jacob advertised to her that he “whored out” his previous girlfriends. He says if he doesn’t believe him to go ask Jacob.

The detectives head to the Village Quarterly, finding the door open as they arrive. They find Jacob at his desk, head down, bloodied, and dead. Nichols says, “We can ask him, but I don’t think he’s gonna answer.”

Later, with CSU people on scene, the detectives are told that the guy on the floor below saw Jacob at 6 PM. The same neighbor came up to borrow the newspaper at 7 and found the body. That ruled out Don as he was with them. ME Rodgers counted 7-8 stab wounds, and Nichols notices that the blood spatter pattern may indicate fury. Rodgers said they found bloody scissors under the desk, and adds the victim should have known to keep his eyes open – because he had been through it before. She points out and old knife wound on his arm from maybe 10-15 years ago. Nichols asks what are the odds of one poet getting stabbed twice by two different people. Wheeler plays back a message on the answering machine for John Dunbar, yelling that he can’t hide forever, calling him a damn bastard and telling him to answer the phone, and then hanging up.

They head to the Dunbar residence, where Sandra tells them John is not there. She seems upset. She begins to cry, saying she is not good at this. She says she and John are splitting up. She says she never complained about his interests but she donates a few dollars to a poetry journal… Nichols says they have more bad news for her, and Wheeler tells her Jacob has been murdered. She asks why anyone would want to kill Jacob. Nichols says he made some of his girlfriends sleep with donor for money, but Sandra says that is not possible, he didn’t care about money, he only cared about art. She said John cold never understand that.

Later, in the Major Case interrogation room, the detectives play back John Dunbar’s message on Jacob’s answering machine to John. They ask if he ever found him, and he asks if they think he killed him. Wheeler comments that he sounded angry, but John says he is the happiest guy in the world. She says the divorce was Sandra’s idea. When Nichols asked why the angry calls to Jacob, John says that he conned Sandra of $100 grand of his hard earned money. He adds when he met Sandra, she was working three jobs to pay tuition at Queens College, and thank god for prenups, she’s taking out of this marriage what he brought in, a nice rack and 100 bucks. He said he never spoke with Jacob, and at the time Jacob was killed he was having dinner with his girlfriend, he has nothing to hide.

Later, Wheeler says if her kid says she wants to be a poet, she will tell her to join the Mafia, they are nice people. They tell Ross John’s alibi holds. Nichols is looking up something on the computer, saying Jacob was stabbed about 10 or15 years ago, and he finds a police report that was filed from 1996 showing an assault by knife for Jacob, no charges filed, the victim a student from Queens College – where Sandra Dunbar went. Nichols brings up the page for the 1996 Queens Poetics Guild, with Jacob’s name on the list, and also Sandra O’Bannon. There is an old photo of them together. Nichols says the poem he thought was about Lauren was about Sandra.

Back at Sandra’s home, she is reading Jacob’s poem. She puts it into the fireplace and allows it to burn.

Later, the detectives show the old picture or Jacob and Sandra to another women who was part of the poetry group. She says they were all in awe of them, and they were in crazy love and lived and breathed poetry. They would have these fights and then lock themselves up in the bedroom for says. They would argue about mundane things. Sandra caught Jacob with another woman from Romania and stabbed him right in the bar.

Later, at Sandra’s home, Nichols arrives alone. He indicates he was concerned because she was so upset when they were last there, and she calls him a cop who cares. He plays the piano for her, and she says, “Wow” when he finishes. He says he wrote that when his wife left, and adds they had been together since they were kids. She didn’t want him to be a cop. Sandra says John didn’t want her to be a human being, she met him senior year at Queens College. She liked Jacob but she married John. She moves to sit down on the piano bench next to Nichols, and goes on to say she saw a poem a few months ago written by Jacob, and she decided to get back in touch. Nichols says that he was going to be a musician he thought, he’s a middle-aged cop who can bang out a tune or two at a party. Sandra said Jacob would have starved before he gave up his poetry for a paycheck. Nichols continues to play.

The next day, back at Major Case, Wheeler asks Nichols how was last night. He says that we have a lot in common, smiling. He adds they both think that Jacob Garrety was a prince, it turns out she got back in touch with him after she saw the poem in the December issue, and it brought it all back. He asks Wheeler if she would like to go to a poetry reading, and brings out a blank legal pad.

At a memorial gathering for Jacob, Sandra is there, kissing Nichols on both cheeks, saying if she knew he was coming she would have arranged for him to play. He says the player is doing all right, he’s pretty good. Don McCallum tells them they are ready to begin, they are there to pay tribute to the life and work of Jacob Garrety. He says he knows many of them want to speak and read, and Nichols raises his hand immediately. He says he is not there officially but would like to read something, and Don asks if it is a poem. Nichols says yes, and moves to the stage, nudging Don away from the microphone. He tells the crowd that they had been investigating his death and searched Jacob’s office and he found a poem in his desk, it was a poem, unfinished, and he felt it was fitting he shared it with all of them. He begins to read it back, using some of the phases from the poem that Jacob wrote about Sandra. Sandra walks out, and Nichols follows her on to the street. He says he needs help to understand the poem, it seems to be about a long lost love who has come back to life, but they know that Lauren was the girlfriend. Sandra says it was not about her, and when Nichols says no, Jacob said Lauren was the love of his life, Sandra yells that it wasn’t about her. She said he didn’t love her. Nichols says Sandra may be right, it was about a long lost love, and the poem says “the years that flew retraced their steps” and asks if this is about her. She nods yes, and he goes on to say that she new Jacob in college but married John Dunbar, and then she came back. She admits she did. When he tells her she is the kind of woman Jacob would love because she understood his art, she begins to sob, and says, ‘Oh god, why didn’t he say something?” She continues to get upset, and says when she went to see him…she pauses, and Nichols comments it was the night he was killed, what did he say to her? She said he told her to go back to her husband before it is too late, that he didn’t want her he only wanted his money. Nichols says that is a horrible thing to say. He adds she got angry of course and got the scissors, and she cuts him off, saying he didn’t mean it and it was the pressure from losing the magazine. Nichols says he wrote this for her, even after he knew what she did to Lauren. She said it was an accident, she tried to reason with her and told her she would pay for her to go to graduate school in Europe if she would just go away and get away from him but she wouldn’t. She said they loved each other and she was old news, nothing, a joke. Sandra said she knew he didn’t love Lauren, he loved her, and she was right. She continues to sob.

Later, as the police take her away, Nichols says to Wheeler, “Nothing like a good love poem to let the emotions flowing.” Wheeler asks, “So you’re not gonna tell her you wrote it?” Nichols responds, “That would be cruel.”

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Law & Order SVU Pictures, Video Clip from Season Premier

Even more pictures, including Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, from work on the set and a video clip from the Law & Order SVU season premier are here. The pictures are below – and the video clip including guest star Wentworth Miller can be found at this link. (UPDATE JULY 14 - NBC also made the clip available, and it is below. Catch it while you can.) A transcript follows. Wentworth Miller’s character’s name was previously reported to be Nate Kendal, so I’ll use that name in the transcript.

Capt. Cragen (to Benson and Stabler): We’re out of options. Either work with him, or I’ll find somebody who will. (He walks over and opens his office door. Nate Kendal enters.)
Kendal: Average height, weight, and build. Round up the usual suspects.
Stabler, looking annoyed: If you knew how to talk to victims you’d get more facts.
Kendal: Here’s one: victims make lousy witnesses. Hope you catch your man (he moves to walk out the door).
Cragen: You’re not done yet, detective. You have to stay with Ms. West.
Kendal: I am not a babysitter.
Cragen: You talk like you have a choice.
Kendal: Sounds like you already boned me with my captain.
Cragen: You’re mine until I don’t need you anymore.

Well, that leaves things a little open, doesn’t it? Of course, it could be just a tease. We know how the SVU promo people like to tease and then it turns out to be nothing.

Enjoy the photos!

NBC Clip from Premier

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

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