Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Bedtime” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

Law & Order “Bedtime” is not an episode that will put you to sleep, although it does seem like the guest stars came from executive producer Neal Baer’s dreams or fantasies. The episode featured stars from decades past: Ann-Margret, Morgan Fairchild, Susan Anton, and Jaclyn Smith. Ann-Margret was downright creepy in her role (I mean that in a complementary way). Her gaping mouth (when asked if she’d give a DNA swab) almost sent me screaming from the room. She was almost too convincingly nutty in her scenes with the SVU detectives. The episode was also a study in what can happen when too many cosmetic procedures ruin a nice face (but I don't have Ann-Margret in this group since she has never looked the same after her fall from a stage in 1971). OK, Morgan Fairchild looked fabulous.

Maybe I am watching too many crime shows, but I knew exactly how this was going to end the minute that Susan Delzio opened her door and wouldn’t let the detectives into her home. In fact, at one point, I found myself yelling out to Benson and Stabler “Hey! Check to see if Delzio had been a blonde!” and “Hey! Have you noticed that Delzio is a common thread in the Cutler murder!” etc. etc. It was a shame that they let the “Bedtime Butcher” story get resolved too early as it was very interesting, and afterwards the show spiraled into an almost humorous, "campy" tone after the Butcher was nabbed. I also believe that airing SVU at 10 PM now means they can show scenes like the Benson “boob grab, ” which may have offended delicate eyes at 9 PM. (I am wondering if they got a stand-in breast for that scene.) It was nice to see Mariska acting in an undercover scene where her undercover disguise was not an evening gown or slinky dress (she did a nice job in that scene, by the way).

Since I watched this episode immediately after watching the season opener of Law & Order Criminal Intent, it was almost impossible for me to take “Bedtime” seriously. But "campy" can still be enjoyable!

Here is the recap:
Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) are called to the scene of the murder of Jane Whitmore, who was found dead in her bed. ME Warner (Tamara Tunie) puts the time of death between 9-11 PM. Whitmore was raped, and also is marked with an “X” cut into her cheek. She appears to be a journalist, and her computer seems to be missing.

The detectives speak with her boss who has nothing but good things to say about Jane, and she loved to go undercover for dangerous assignments. Jane pitched her a story about Morris Austibau, a hedge fund manager who bilked millions from investors. She had not talked to Jane in a while, but Jane emailed her saying she was going to meet up with Austibau.

At Eternal Peace Mortuary, Morris is working a pet cremation service, and he says he turned his life around through pet therapy. He called Jane a bitch, saying she lied and took advantage of him, she threw himself at him and when she found he was on the up and up, she dumped him. She just called him one more time and asked him for the address of Harmony Home where he was assigned after prison , which he says is a “pit.” The detectives wonder if she was trying to check them out.

At Harmony House, the detectives talk with the manager who says Jane was a resident for 10 days and says she was a nut job, getting into people’s faces. She would bring in her groceries but he never saw her eat.

Benson and Stabler check out her cupboard and while doing so another woman comes in an yells at them. Stabler shows her his badge and she says it is a fake. She says the food hers and Jane’s. Her name is Francine. They tell her Jane is dead, and Francine says people did not trust Jane as she did not fit in there. She mentions a problem with a grabby jerk who works there and what you need to do with him to get what you want or need, and the last time she saw Jane she was off to see him.

Back at the SVU precinct, Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek ) is looking over the file of Ned Bogden (William Atherton) who is the senior benefits administrator for public assistance. There are no complaints in his file and has many commendations. Cragen worries if they take a swing at Bogden and miss it will be their asses on a plate. Benson says, “So we won’t miss.”

At the Welfare Benefits Bureau, Benson is there undercover talking with Bogden as a person with troubles who has nowhere to go. He says she is lucky she found him. He has her fill out some forms and gets up from his chair and goes to his door, closing the blinds. He moves right behind her and moves in close to her. When she worries about everything going through OK, he tells her to do everything he says and he will guarantee it. He touches her shoulders and rubs her, moving down her arm. When she asks about filling in her employer he tells her to jot down her last job, and as she says the words “Special….Victims…” his hand moves to grab her breast and she finished the sentence, “Unit.. Did I not mention that?” as she pulls his arm off her, pulls it behind him and cuffs him. He says, “You’re a cop” and Benson replies, “And you…are a creep!”

With Bogden in interrogation with Stabler and Benson , Cragen and Dr. Huang (B.D. Wong) watch from the observation room. He tries to explain that women are coming on to him. Benson mentions his hand on her breast and he says she moved the wrong way. They show her photos of Jane’s body and he seems appalled. They tell him they think that Jane was going to expose him to the world, and he says that is fiction. Meanwhile, Cragen asks Huang if the M.O. sounds familiar, and Huang says he’s not the first to disfigure a victim. But Cragen seems to remember something, saying Bogden is the first in 30 years to carve an X into a woman’s cheek, and he goes off to check out something. While Cragen is checking, Benson and Stabler continue question Bogden, but Cragen says to himself, “I know who you are, you son of a bitch.”

Later, Cragen has Benson Stabler and Huang together and tells them about the "Bedtime Butcher” who was responsible for 5 murders in the mid-1970s with the same MO. Cragen’s buddy Albert Cayman worked day and night on the case and never nailed him. While Cayman is now dead, he left a ton of evidence and files.

Benson and Stabler go through the old files which show that the Bedtime Butcher killed first in 1973 and his last was in 1976, and Cragen says Bogden got hired at his current job in 1976, 3 months after the last woman was murdered. They wonder if he got his thrill from women at his job. There was no DNA from the old files but they will get whatever they have to Warner. Huang thinks that Bogden would confess if tricked into it; he thinks each one of his victims were not picked randomly and they had set him off. If they find the connection to each victim, Bogden may crack.

Later, Benson and Stabler go over the old victims of the Bedtime Butcher with Bogden: Gloria Kelly, who he worked for tending bar in 1973 and she fired him; Elizabeth Giles, where he was a substitute teacher for her daughter in 1974; Anne Witherspoon, murdered in 1975, who won a post doc that Bogden applied for; Emily Cutler, murdered in 1976, who lived in a luxury building nearby; Catherine Price, also in 1976 where they both ran in a road running club together. Bogden gets irate and says their whole case falls apart if one link snaps, and he says he does not know Emily Cutler as in April 1976 he was in Cheyenne Wyoming at a men’s retreat and he can prove it. But ME Warner enters, asking if he can prove he didn’t leave dandruff all over Jane’s body. Stabler lunges for Bogden’s jacket and grabs it, and when Bogden objects, Stabler tells him he is in his custody and he can do whatever he wants. Warner takes a sample from the jacket and leaves the room. Benson says, “You’re cooked. See you in Sing-Sing.” As she walks out, Bogden yells that he had sex with her but he didn’t kill her and didn’t kill any of them.

In the lab, Warner shows that the Bogden’s DNA matches what was found on Jane’s body. She also found flakes on the other victim’s clothing. When Stabler says "case closed," Warner says “Almost” and asks if they checked his alibi for Emily Cutler yet. She thinks he WAS in Cheyenne, as there was no dandruff from Bogden on Emily’s clothes. She adds there is no way he could have killed her, as Emily was a redhead and she found one blonde hair on her nightgown that is degraded but she can tell that it is female, meaning Emily was killed by a woman.

Later, in the squad room, Benson gets a call saying the Bogden is being arraigned as the Bedtime Butcher and is going down hard – with the exception of the murder of Emily Cutler. Benson says she never would have pegged a woman for the killing, and Stabler quips, “Try missing an anniversary.” Cragen comes in with information on women in Emily’s life, all connected by her husband Cal Cutler who owned Cal’s Corral, the “Mattress Maestro”. As they watch his corny commercials, they go over the files which speak to problems with the Cutler marriage. When they decide to speak with Cutler, Cragen tells them to take a shovel, Cal died in a drunken driving accident soon after his wife’s murder. But Benson sees the name Susan Delzio in the file, the patrol cop who responded to every one of the calls to the Cutler household.

At Susan Delzio’s (Jaclyn Smith) apartment, she steps out into the hall as she has painters working inside converting a bedroom into a studio. They asked her about Cutler, who she said was a jerk that had strange girlfriends, some who threatened Emily. He told the officers to just get the girls out and not to file charges. She doesn’t have her memo books anymore with their names but said each time she showed up it was a new girl, each girl was blonde and always built – except for the last call. It came in from the TV studio, one of the blondes came in and slapped Mrs. Cutler. Besides Emily, there was another woman at the shoot – older, bossy, knew who everyone was – it was Cal Cutler’s agent, Maude Monahan.

At Maude’s, she says Cal as her client and she says she liked Emily but this was business, the customers wanted to see blondes and she could supply them. She doesn’t recall who attacked Emily. She picked out three of the nuttiest blondes, Jenny Coswold, Claire Lockton, and Rita Wills.

At SVU, Delzio says Jenny put the flowerpot through the Cutler’s front window. We then see the detectives speak with Jenny (Susan Anton) who is at a kid’s birthday party, who says she was young and stupid. Cal promised he would leave his wife and then he dumped her. Delzio goes on to Claire, who said Cal begged her not to arrest her; she dropped a firebomb down the Cutler mail slot. We then see the detectives speak with Claire (Morgan Fairchild) was works at a law firm. She says she hated Emily and Cal said Emily made her write a letter dumping her so she put something down his mail slot that she knew he wouldn’t forget. Delzio then speaks about Rita Wills, who barged into the studio and slapped Mrs. Cutler. The detectives then speak with Rita Wills, who says the bitch was keeping them apart, so she went over there, and had a few “pops” beforehand. She said he loved sweet talk. As the scenes jump between all these ladies, some have regrets, some, like Rita, says those commercials were her big break. They all agree to a DNA swab.

Back at the SVU precinct, Delzio says that Jenny spit at her, Claire was in tears, and Rita slapped her after she slapped Mrs. Cutler. Huang says they were all physically volatile and emotionally immature – a scary combination, and obsessive love lead to rejection can lead to explosive consequences. But Cragen says none of these woman has committed a crime since. Stabler says he’s vote is for Rita as she is “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” and Benson wonders about Jenny, who is obsessed, and Huang agrees. Delzio thinks it is Rita. Warner comes in and says that she analyzed a swatch from the mattress and came up with a different blood type, and the DNA is a perfect match to….(she doesn’t finish).

The next we see, Stabler and Benson are at Rita’s door, and she is clearly had a few too many to drink. She steps outside, and they accuse her of killing Emily Cutler. When she turns and says the conversation is over, Stabler moves to arrest her and Rita breaks the martini glass she is holding and shoves it toward Stabler as she screams. She suddenly gets calm an apologizes as they take her away.

In SVU interrogation with a cup of coffee, Rita continues to apologize. She says when she has a few drinks she can get crazy. She denies killing Emily, and then she reaches for her flask and pours some liquor into her coffee. She says Cal loved her and he was trying to figure out a way to stash some money and marry her. They tell her a woman killed Emily and DNA says it was her as her DNA was at the crime scene. She says she can explain the blood on the bed. Cal was desperate to find a way to let her go, and said he needed her help and if she did it they could be together. They started drinking and gave in… and she made love to him in their bed. Cal wanted Emily to come in on them, but then her “friend” came early – her period – and she bled all over the sheets and soaked into the mattress and Emily never came home. Rita says Cal wanted to throw the sheets away but she saved the sheet because she loved them, and tells them to check her apartment.

Benson and Stabler get to Rita’s apartment, and they find what looks like a shrine to Cal with everything she kept on Cal. Stabler sees a picture with Die Bitch Die written by Emily, and Benson finds a diary making comments about Emily going away. Stabler finds the bloody sheets. Benson finds a note where she says she killed for Cal and she should burn for him, it was just before Cal was burned in the car crash.

Benson and Stabler tell Cragen what they found, and Cragen wants them to get a full confession. They bring in the diary and question Rita and Stabler reads part of it back to her. She says it is not what they think. She denies killing Emily, she says she killed her baby, she found out she was pregnant two weeks after Emily was killed and could not wait to tell Cal. But he was not thrilled at the news and told her to get rid of IT. She didn’t want to have an abortion but she got an infection in her uterus and found she could never have another child. The Cal said it was God’s plan and then he said it was over. She wanted him to suffer like she suffered, and she admits that she killed Cal. She said she wanted to meet him one last time and he met her in a crummy bar and got him drunk, they were both smashed and then she tried to get him to change his mind about them and he got in his car and left, she never saw him again. She said she killed him because he got so drunk she should have taken his keys. She says she loved him so much.

Later, ME Warner tells Benson and Stabler that Rita is telling the truth, Warner shows her findings agree with the original 1976 autopsy that “the deceased” was killed while in the car crash and then burned in the ensuing fire. When Stabler says they disturbed Cal for nothing, Warner says they didn’t disturb Cal at all, because this body is not Cal. This man was no taller than 5’8” and Cal was 6’2”. The man in the coffin was James Rogers, a prison transient. It seems Cutler faked his own death. Warner suggests they talk to the person who was the last one to release Rogers on that day.

Back at SVU, Delzio is walking with Benson, commenting they seem intent to get her back on the force. Benson says they have a few more questions on the Emily Cutler case- like why she killed her and why she faked Cal’s death. But Delzio asks if this is a joke and says Benson is making a serious mistake. The next we see of Delzio she is in interrogation, rattling off her accomplishments. But Benson says she was a rookie 35 years ago, and reminds her that she said when she met Cal she had stars in her eyes. She denies being involved with him, and Benson shows her a younger picture of Delzio when she had blonde hair. But Benson continues to press her, saying she tried to make everyone think Emily was killed by the Bedtime Butcher, and then made Cal believe he was going down for the murder and convinced him he was a suspect and the only way out was to fake his own death. Benson tells her that James Rogers was killed in the car crash. She asks Benson where is Cal, calling her a dumb bitch. Stabler comes into the room, saying that Cal is in her apartment, the one she would not let them into because painters were inside. Stabler lets Cal into the room and Delzio runs toward him. He looks badly burned, Stabler saying that the car didn’t burn up as planned and Cal went down there to drench it in gasoline. Benson says life together became a life sentence. Benson asks why Cal would stay, when Delzio murdered his wife. Delzio says Cal really was going to leave Emily, Delzio went to get his things and she wasn’t supposed to be there and she flew into a rage and it just happened, and she breaks down into Cal’s arms, adding that he forgave her and she loves him since the day she met him and they just wanted to get together forever. Benson says forever just ended, and begins to pull them apart as Delzio says “no…no.” Benson reads Delzio her rights and takes her away, and Stabler stands in the interrogation room with Cal as they watch, as we fade to black.

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Law & Order Criminal Intent “Loyalty” Recap & Review (Part 1) RIP Danny Ross

All Photos from USA Network

The season 9 premiere of Law & Order Criminal Intent opened with part 1 of “Loyalty”, a very intense episode which signaled a big change for the show. News was out long before the episode aired that one of the three main characters – Goren, Eames, Ross – would not be alive when the episode ended. In an act that will have mixed feelings for fans – Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian) exits the episode in a body bag. While this event is troublesome as no one likes to see a main character die on the show, this means that Goren and Eames will live on after Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe exit the show after Part 2 of “Loyalty”. This also means their characters may live to see another day somewhere in the Law & Order Universe (one can hope!).

This was a somewhat complicated episode but it was required in order to set up Danny Ross’ undercover work for the FBI which led to his murder. Goren is worried that their continued snooping around after Ross told them to back off may have contributed to his killing, and maybe Goren and Eames should have known better that when Ross didn’t give them the usual “nod and a wink” that they should have tread very carefully. All the actors were at the top of their game in this episode, with the segment at the scene of Ross’ murder showing D’Onofrio and Erbe pulling out all the emotional stops to relay their shock and grief. It was hard not to get choked up. The differences in acting style was evident – maybe even a little jarring – when Jeff Goldblum made his appearance as Zach Nichols. It still made sense to pull him into this case as Zach worked for Ross and also had a history with him, but it is clear that Nichols is wired differently than Goren and Eames. Goren and Eames are also likely at different places in their heads with Major Case, working there as long as they have, so maybe they are showing more wear and tear. I think this is by design, as we will see their exits in next week’s episode. While I was not a huge fan of Bogosian when he first came to Law & Order Criminal Intent, I think that they eventually gave his character more purpose and I became very comfortable with him in this role. One thing is for sure; his exit will surely be remembered by fans.

Here is the recap:
In the Indian Ocean, a pleasure yacht sees another ship approach and yells that they are pirates. They arm themselves and shoot at what seem like defenseless occupants, eventually blowing up the ship. They take a piece of cloth floating in the water from the ship and wave it like a flag and applaud their success. Later, at a party, a group watches the video of the shooting and the host tells them to enjoy. Afterward, the host tells another mystery man that he’s taken some of the people from that ship and he can make a profit off them. The mystery man says he found someone clean – a New York City police captain who is struggling to recover from a nasty divorce. Meanwhile, in New York City a couple talks about the people killed on the ship. The man killed was a sheik, and the woman tells him the man’s death means the fun is over for him – Hassan – and it is time for him to seek guidance.

Elsewhere, mystery man (David Pittu) is talking with Captain Danny Ross at a restaurant about creating a law enforcement area for northern Somalia for an area called “Puntland” whose current government borders on anarchy. When Ross expresses concern about pirates, mystery man says Ross can turn that around with the latest technology.

The man from the yacht is in New York City, going out with a woman, getting into the back seat of a car. Later, we see the car pull up to the water’s edge, and the back door opens, and we see them both dead. Someone takes the cloth that was taken from the blown up “pirate” ship and ties it around the neck of the dead woman.

The next day, Detectives Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Eames (Kathryn Erbe), along with ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) inspect the body of a woman washed up on the bank of the East River. She appears to have expensive tastes in attire, jewelry, and in her appearance. Eames notices she is wearing one article of clothing, cheap sari cloth, that is cheap and is a “glitch” in her fashion statement, and Goren wonders if it is even hers. While at that scene, Goren gets a call telling him that another body has been located off Governor’s Island; it is a man with a single shot to the head, who also is wearing a very expensive watch. Goren thinks the killer wants them to know it is not about money.

In Captain Danny Ross’ office, he comments that John and Jane Doe were both shot execution style and dumped in the East River. They are trying to identify the bodies, and Goren adds he checked on the watch, which is a Sky Moon Tourbillon and you can only buy those in person from Patek Phillippe in Geneva. Ross hopes the limited client list will help, Goren saying the watch costs over a million dollars. Ross says whatever this man did, he did it far better than he has done. Eames gets a call and tells them that Rodgers is ready. They head to the morgue and ME Rodgers says both victims were shot with a .22 hollow point, and Ross hopes that they can get info of the bullet. She also says they were killed around 11 PM and after a very lavish meal and he drank more wine. She opens the bottle of his stomach contents and holds it to Ross, who reluctantly sniffs it. He says it is too yeasty and he will go with champagne. The caviar dish they ate is likely served in a limited number of restaurants, but Goren asks about the breast implants, and Rodgers says she knows, they have serial numbers.

The detectives are at the office of Dr. Malcome Laventhal, and they find the implants belong to Marya Onegin, 29 years old. She had a fiance who was an older man, who seemed rich, and he identifies the other body as that man; he said he heard they were heading to Africa for big game.

Elsewhere, another man asks Hassan (Ato Essandoh) what he knows about his grandfather, and Hassan comments that he was known as the Mad Mullah. The man gives him poems so he will know of his heritage. The man utters a phrase in another language and tells Hassan not to worry, he will help him. Hassan later runs to a car where a blond woman – Jill (Jicky Schnee) – waits – and she asks about the memorial services. He tells her he can’t invite her and she understands.

Elsewhere, Eames is trying to catch Captain Ross but holds up when she sees him talking with a woman at her car.

Back at the Major Case Squad, Eames tells Goren they have an ID for the male victim – Taras Broidy. The files are redacted as there is a pending federal indictment for possible illegal weapons trading. The FBI copied Ross on the indictment so he knew about it before they did, and Goren wonders why he didn’t tell them. Eames thinks Ross has other things on his mind and tells Goren about seeing Ross with a woman, and they both seem happy about it.

Elsewhere, Ross is meeting with the mystery man in an out of the way location for privacy, referencing exploring employment opportunities. He says he is on board, pending a certain detail – money. The man offers 2 million for a 2 year contract, and Ross wants travel and expenses, the man throws in use of the corporate jet. They talk about payment and the man mentions Cook Islands Trust, saying they know all the tricks. Ross agrees to the deal. Later, we see Ross talking to his mystery woman, looking out on the river, telling her he thinks he sold his soul. But someone is watching– and taking pictures.

The detectives inspect Broidy’s apartment, and Goren notices photos of war criminals on his wall. They find lots of photos of travels, plus all his meds. His daughter Jolie arrives, asking about her father, she tells them she was in Scotland visiting her mom. She has animosity towards her father’s girlfriend as she thinks he was “working” him. The name of her father’s security company was Damocles Security and he always had bodyguards, she tells them to check with his partner.

At Damocles Security, they speak with his partner Van Dekker (John Sharian) and he says he will be happy to provide an alibi. He also tells the detectives there are no “silent partners” in the company.

Back at the Major Case Squad, Goren and Eames update Ross, and he asks them if they noticed the FBI file for Broidy was redacted, and tells them they were redacted for a reason, and they want a moratorium on this and he is honoring the FBI’s request. The detectives question why, and he says he is not contesting jurisdiction and there will be no more warrants and no interviews. When Eames asks if they have a name of who is in charge, Ross shuts them down completely and tells them to organize their files and put them on his desk and he will see that they get it, and he walks out of his office. Eames asks Goren if he was waiting for what she was waiting for, and Goren comments about not getting the wink and the nod that tells them to proceed with the case.

Back at their desks, Eames shows Goren some emails she found on Broidy’s computer, and it is an email from Roy Lofton to Broidy which says “2mil for 2yrs. Ross approved.” Eames says they will ask him about it. Eames says the FBI looked at Lofton as a weapons transport person and he has air space at Patterson airport.

At the airport, Goren begins to take photos of an airplane and says he wanted to see a special airplane, pretending to be an airplane geek. He tries to take a picture of Lofton and asks if he is a cop and asks what department he is in. Goren asks why that would matter, and Lofton says he will go over his head. Goren asks who he will go to, and Lofton makes a call saying they have an unauthorized person in the hangar

Elsewhere, Jill is hanging pictures on a wall and Hassan approaches her, and they kiss. But Kadra walks in and interrupts them. When Jill walks out, Kadra tells Hassan that Jill can no longer be a part of things. His phone rings, and Jill enters and asks Kadra for a hand. Hassan tells the caller they will have to take action.

Back at Major Case, Ross is looking at Lofton’s file and puts it in a drawer when Goren walks in, telling him it looks like they made a decent start. He also tells Goren he can read the look, it’s hard being pulled off a case. Goren says he understands, but says there are a lot of questions. Ross says he is sure there are, but he can’t give him any assurances. They stare at each other and Ross asks if there is anything else and Goren says no, nothing.

Ross, walking outside, gets into the back seat of a car, and a man tell him that is for him. Ross opens an envelope and sees a photo of him with the woman, and he turns and the man shoots him point blank, killing him. (Viewers - pause to weep!)

Later, Eames get a shocking phone call.

ME Rodgers is on the scene as Goren and Eames arrive, and Rodgers is beside herself. She says it was a small caliber weapon. When Goren moves to get to the crime scene, she yells to him they won’t let him in there as they have their own people, and they attempt to restrain Goren as he tries to move in closer. Meanwhile, Ross’ mystery woman is there, she identifies herself as Agent Stahl and says Ross was killed working a federal assignment and they know the law. Eames says she saw Stahl with Ross, and she admits Ross was undercover and she was his contact. Goren is angry, saying they lost him on the FBI’s RICO case. Eames says this is not about politics, he was their friend. Stahl tells him that Ross was contacted by Lofton for a job offer to set up a police force in northern Somalia, and they told him to go along with it and the FBI told him to go along with it as a cover. When Stahl says nobody regrets it more than we do, Goren gets upset and say, “ Aww c’mon with the regrets! You can’t keep us from there! We do what our boss tells us, you’re not our boss, our boss is over there! You’re not stopping us!” The detectives pass the agents and move to the scene where Ross is being placed in the body bag. Eames fights back tears and an equally anguished Goren consoles her. As they walk off, Goren says he thinks their investigation got Ross killed, admitting he ambushed Lofton who took him for a cop. Eames says they don’t have time to torture themselves, they have to beat the FBI to his files.

Back at Major Case, they look through the files, and as they do so, Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) comes in and cautions them about them trying to take the hard drive from the computer., saying it is theft. He says he just spent the last hour trying to console Danny’s sister and Ross was his former partner. Goren asks if he has as screwdriver, and Nichols gives him a flash drive to download the information.

Elsewhere in a parking garage Lofton speaks with “Russell” who expresses concerns over the death of a NY City police captain, but Lofton says he has deniability. Russell says this is an outrage, and Lofton says his side was not involved. Russell tells him without the captain they can’t legally ship the weapons. Lofton says they have a plan B, it was not a matter of choice, and Russell says that Lofton said the same thing about Broidy and the woman and it is all coming from the other side. Russell tell him to move things along and don’t contact him.

Back at Major Case, Nichols enters the office where Goren is working and brings them article about a sheik who was lost at sea between Djibouti and Somalia. Goren finds photos that seem to be taken from the same area from Broidy’s yacht. Eames notices the cloth the sheik’s wife was wearing in the photo looks like the cloth that Broidy’s girlfriend was wearing when her body was found. They see s stranger enter and he comes to the office where they are working. It is Lt. Stanley Maas (David Zayas) and the Chief of D’s sent him there to maintain order, he says he knows they searched and asked what they find. They tell him very little and he tells them until he gets a memo saying the case is not theirs that it still belongs to Major Case and to pull warrants and do whatever it takes.

At an industrial warehouse, Hassan is there with Lofton and Van Dekker looking at weapons. They go outside to test the weapon and Hassan fires a missile that hones in on a small fire and it hits it and explodes.

Later, Goren serves Van Dekker with a warrant and he and Nichols begin a search of his office. Nichols tells Van Dekker that there is a law on the books since George Washington that allows them to prosecute pirates wherever they are apprehended. An officer finds a hidden gun in the outer office when Eames show it to them, Nichols arrests Van Dekker. Meanwhile, the man that shot Ross looks on from another area in the office.

Back at Major Case, Nichols, Eames and Goren look over the case files, Maas enters and tells them he gave the gun to FBI labs to be tested, saying their lab is the last place they will look.

Elsewhere, FBI Agent Stahl is talking with another agent who says headquarters says they can have the federal attorney and six marshals there within the hour. Stahl asks if all the paperwork will be done, with the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed, as she wants loaded dice for these pricks.

At Major Case, Nichols has Van Dekker in interrogation about the contradictions in his behavior, and Van Dekker blows some of it off as professional risk. Meanwhile, the man from Van Dekker's office who killed Ross has caught Lofton unaware and shoots him. As Nichols continues to question Van Dekker, Van Dekker gets flip and asks for lunch.

Hassan, elsewhere, has received a call and tells Kadra that they will have transport but she says it is too easy and she hope the Americans won’t interfere. He wonders if the Americans arranged this plane as part of their plan. She says in Somalia he can dismantle the GPS, and Hassan says – or not. She says she was once worried her brother was not ruthless enough to rule.

Back at Major Case while Nichols is in interrogation, Goren and Eames are watching and Maas comes in, saying he got the ballistics – and something else. They walk out of the observation room and Goren and Eames walk into interrogation as Maas heads off the FBI entourage that has entered Major Case.

Van Dekker is going on in interrogation and Goren shows him a photo that shows Lofton is dead. The FBI serves Maas with papers and says he has to look it over, and they tell him to read fast. He closes the office door on them. Back in interrogation while Van Dekker eats lunch, they show him the car that was on the scene where Lofton was shot belongs to Damocles Security, and the gun found in his office matched the gun that shot Captain Ross. Van Dekker says it was planted, and Nichols wonders if he could be right. With detectives planting concerns that Van Dekker may be next on the hit list, he tells them that killing the captain was stupid and was not part of it. He wants a deal and he wants the DA there in order to discuss it first. But the FBI enters and Maas says they have to stop as the FBI has the paperwork and Van Dekker must go into their custody. As they exit interrogation, Goren complains about this and is worried Van Dekker will jump bail and leave the country, or get killed. Stahl says they have bigger priorities and Goren is upset, saying that their captain is dead and that is a big priority. He makes a move for Van Dekker but Maas stops him. Eames tells him when he clears federal arraignment they can arrest him on a different charge, Nichols adding if Van Dekker is still alive. When Nichols asks who is running the show, Goren says they are a long way from knowing that, and he walks off as we fade to black.

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

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, March 30, 2010

CNN Covers Law & Order CI Cast Shake Up

Here is a link to an article written by Lisa Respers France for CNN on the upcoming cast changes for Law & Order Criminal Intent. You may recognize a familiar blog name in there! It’s a very balanced article on the changes with the show and I am sure you will all enjoy it. (The link is below.)

'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' shakes up cast

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 “Brazil” Recap & Review

All Photos from NBC

Law & Order “Brazil” was one of those stories that featured a bunch of ripped from the headlines stories, but was able to weave an interesting story all of its own from them. In this episode, it was an attempted murder that gets the attention of the detectives, and what seems like the motives have to do with global warming deniers and blackmail turned out to be about an ugly child custody battle. During this custody battle, we learn that EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) has daddy issues, Cutter being the product of a broken home and an absent dad. (I think it is a prerequisite for any Law & Order character to have a major issue with one or both of their parents.) Cutter‘s anger towards his dad left Cutter with some major issues that carry over in this case, primariy because the defense attorney used his divorced parents and his absent father against him. It’s likely that these issues are more complex that what was revealed in this episode, and I suspect they will come out again at a time when Cutter least expects.

Law & Order has been very interesting this season because they have been covering some interesting legal issues. I admit that I have always been a little more interested in the legal aspects of the show, which is likely why I like Law & Order the best of the franchise, since SVU and Criminal Intent don’t deal as much with the prosecutors. In this episode, we get to see Cutter out of his comfort zone, ending up in family court as part of his case against Shoemaker for his attempted murder of Silva. Michael Cutter is getting to be a very interesting character and each week we seem to be getting another view of what makes him tick. Hopefully they will also give more attention to Connie Rubirosa, who is another character that deserves a deeper look into her personal life. Law & Order hands out personal tidbits on a limited basis, which is a lot more fun than being beat over the head with them. That said, it may be time to give Michael Cutter’s psyche a rest.

All in all, this was an interesting story that I thought would have a predicable outcome, but it provided a nice twist. I did wonder why, since Dr. Silva had collapsed and was not dead, that detectives were called to the scene? Since the person already on the scene had assumed Silva got the bloody nose from his collapsing from a stroke, what made her think detectives needed to be called when she had no inkling of foul play? Maybe I missed something here, but it sure seemed the detectives were called prematurely. (OK, I found out that I DID miss something, the Brazilian consulate wanted detectives called in.) I also wondered how Shoemaker was lucky enough to get his hands on an ID from someone who just happened to be a no show at the symposium. How would he have gotten to Silva had he not had that way in?

Here is the recap:
Dr. Oscar Silva (Elliot Villar) , global warming denier, is on the phone with his wife, and she demands he returns home. Later, he is speaking at a global warming symposium, and, after Dr. Everett Brown seems to speak partly in support of cap and trade, Silva collapses at the podium. Detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) arrive at the scene and see a video that shows that Silva had a nosebleed right before he collapsed. ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) finds that Silva had a stimulant in his system.

Later, when the detectives question a man from the hotel, he said Silva was worried that someone would hack into his computer while he was at the hotel. Lupo and Bernard check out the hotel room, and find email documents on Silva’s computer that indicate one of the scientists at the symposium was fudging global warming data. They question Dr Everett Brown, who didn’t know Silva had the documents, and he gets upset, making comments about global warming deniers. He says he never Silva him at breakfast

Back at the 2-7 with Lt Van Buren (S. Epatha Merkerson) they watch the video of Brown supporting Silva on cap & trade and on buying carbon credits. Van Buren wonders if the stock market noticed that as well, and Lupo finds the stock market dropped. She wonder if Silva liked to play the carbon market tells them to talk to his wife.

The detectives speak to Mrs. Dana Silva (Tammy Blanchard) and ask if she knew her husband bought stock options in a carbon emissions trading company last week. They wonder if Silva pressured Brown to support him as he made a lot of money on those short call options when up after Brown’s comments. She says Oscar is no crook and is a decent and honest man.

Back at 2-7, they question Brown who admits that Silva blackmailed him with the emails unless he came out in support of cap and trade. He adds that he overheard Silva making a call, speaking in Portuguese, and his tone was vicious. He says he did not poison him.

The detectives tell Van Buren they verified Brown left the breakfast before Silva arrived. They also find that the vicious call Brown overheard Silva made was to his wife. When the detectives get to the hospital, they find Silva’s wife is going to medi-vac him to Sao Paulo. But they stop her and when she is reluctant to answer their questions they take her down to the 2-7 for questioning. While being questioned with her attorney present, she makes the usual denials. Watching from the observation room, Van Buren and ADA Connie Rubirosa (Alana De La Garza) wonder if someone at the Brazilian consulate may have been assisting her in the effort to poison her husband. Rubirosa will get her phone records and wants Mrs. Silva’s passport held.

The detectives tell Van Buren that one man asked for a refund for the conference as they did not attend a single event. Van Buren wonders if they were just creating an alibi. Lupo and Bernard later question the man who is a geeky weather guy who tells them he was in Montana and that the symposium claimed they had a photo of him at the event but it wasn’t even him. It was Phillip Shoemaker (Tony Hale), wearing the other man’s name tag.

The detectives question Shoemaker, who admits he used the ID but did not meet Silva. When he goes on about the beauty of some of the area of Brazil and that he spends few weeks a year there, they ask him if he knows Dana Silva and the claims he does not but seems uncomfortable.

Back at the 2-7, the detectives, with Van Buren, find many phone calls to the Silva home from the main number at Shoemaker’s college and many trips by Shoemaker to Brazil. They wonder if they were having an affair. But when they find files marked “Shoemaker vs. Shoemaker”, Van Buren sees something and immediately places a call to Rubirosa.

At Silva’s hospital bed, EADA Michael Cutter (Linus Roache) is arresting Dana Silva for an outstanding contempt citation as she was once married to Shoemaker and fled the country with their daughter in violation of a shared custody order in so she could marry Silva in Brazil. The judge issued an arrest warrant and granted full custody to Shoemaker. She says that the divorce was ugly and Silva was angry and it cost a lot to for legal fees and that is why Silva needed the money. The argument on the phone with her husband was that she wanted him to come home before Shoemaker found out he was there and have him detained. Lupo wonders that if something happened to her husband in Brazil she would have no ties there and she would come home to the US. But they don’t have enough evidence arrest Shoemaker. They ask if she knows anything that could have made Silva vulnerable, and Dana says that Shoemaker knew that Silva had fainting spells from his high blood pressure.

The detectives are searching Shoemaker’s home, and find a receipt from a PO Box in Hogansburg, New York on the Canadian border and he says it is for maple syrup. Lupo tells Bernard in his intel days, he knew Hogansburg as a staging ground for smuggling. Later, at the home of Vernon Clayton, Vernon admits it is his PO Box and at first denies sending anything harmful, but under pressure he admits he shipped the methyl-p.

When the detectives bring Shoemaker into the 2-7, he and Dana begin a shouting match and Shoemaker has to be restrained and Van Buren closes her office door, keeping Dana inside.

At arraignment, Shoemaker pleads not guilty and his lawyer requests ROR. His attorney Miss Marks outlines the problem with Dana and the child custody issue. The judge sets bail at $500K. Kate Oriss approachs Rubirosa and introduces herself as Dana’s custody lawyer and they are moving to have her custodial rights reinstated.

Back at the DA’s office, Rubirosa tells Cutter and DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) that Dana is moving to have her custody rights reinstated because of what Shoemaker has done. Cutter also finds that Shoemaker has just subpoenaed him in the custody case. McCoy tells them they’d better get the subpoena quashed as it could give Shoemaker a free preview of the case.

In family court, Cutter fights the subpoena. The judge says in this court, her only worry is the best interest of the child. She denies Cutter’s motion and he has to take the stand. Cutter testifies to what he knew about the case, but then is asked if he is the product of a broken home, saying it goes to bias and says his upbringing tainted his bias of Shoemaker. He says his parents divorced when he was 10, it was initiated by his father as he left his mother. His parents were granted shared custody, but his father’s job as a turnaround specialist sent him all over the country and he did not see him much. The attorney brings a declaration from Dana’s former attorney that says Cutter strong armed Dana as he needed an affidavit to search Shoemaker’s apartment. Cutter calls that a slanderous accusation. He said it was his job to get probable cause to search Shoemaker’s home, and when the attorney pressure him that his animosity towards his own father affected his prosecutorial judgment, the judge has her back off and tells Cutter he can step down. Cutter angrily shoves the chair back and storms away from the stand. The judge says it is clear that neither party deserves custody, and she grants temporary custody of Nicole to Dana’ parents, Sharon and Nelson Lehman, pending permanent resolution of the custody order and of the charges against Shoemaker. She orders Dana to make arrangements for Nicole’s immediate return. After this is over, Shoemaker’s attorney serves Cutter and Rubirosa with a motion to throw out their search on t he grounds of Cutter’s bias.

Back in McCoy’s office, Cutter complains about the whole matter, and says if the search is out they can’t make the drug link to Shoemaker. Rubirosa comes in with lab results saying the amount of methyl-p wasn’t enough to give him a stroke. Apparently Silva had a pre-existing aneurism and the methyl-p just blew it out McCoy tells Cutter if he can establish Shoemaker knew about the aneurysm, that would be probably cause for a search of his apartment, Rubirosa adding it would be inevitable discovery and the evidence would stay in. McCoy adds to Cutter, “And your bias stays out.”

At Riker’s Island, Dana tells Cutter and Rubirosa doesn’t remember telling Shoemaker about the aneurism. Her attorney says if they want her help with their case, they should help with her release, saying a voice in her favor may tip the scales. She tells them last summer Shoemaker sued for custody in Brazilian court and he argued that Dana and Oscar were unfit parents and he had to give the attorney his medical records and if there is something in it for her client she can get her co-counsel to dig it up.

Cutter approach the family court judge while he is at a restaurant and tells her what is going on, but she says children are resilient. Cutter tells her that some wounds don’t heal, and leaves her to think about that comment.

Back in family court, the judge says she has decided, for humanitarian reasons, to conditionally release Dana to the custody of her parents, with an ankle monitor. The defense attorney is upset, but the judge is unmoved. Nicole comes in the courtroom and calls for her mommy, but seems to recoil at the sight of Shoemaker, which crushes him. When Dana’s lawyer hands Cutter the file, Rubirosa asks if he feels good about this. Cutter answers, “I haven’t felt good since this case landed on my desk.”

In Cutter’s office, they go over the new evidence with Shoemaker and his attorney. But Shoemaker is angered by this and storms out of the office. Cutter’s phone rings, and then he rushes to turn on the TV where he sees a news story saying Nicole is missing from her grandparents’ house, and also missing is an inflatable boat that was at the house. Dana is shown there with her parents. There is worried that the raft was taken out to sea.

Later, with Cutter and Rubirosa at Dana’s parents’ home, they are both upset, and nelson tells her that Dana was doing yoga when he found Nicole’s doll on the docks and the boat missing. The news blares that the raft has been found, but Nicole is not in there, the boat is empty. A police officer comes in with Nicole, saying he found her asleep in the storage shed behind the boathouse. Dana’s parents take the child away from Dana, telling her to go finish her yoga. As everyone in the room stares at her, Dana is upset, saying she didn’t do anything wrong.

Back at Rubirosa's office, she tells Cutter the Lehmans are moving for sole custody of Nicole and Dana declared an unfit parent and have kicked Dana out of the house. They also claim Oscar Silva is an unfit guardian because of his health, and they attached the Brazilian medical records about Oscar’s aneurism. Cutter notices that the medical records were faxed from New Jersey, Rubirosa tracking it back to a fax number at Shoemaker’s college and suspect Shoemaker is sharing information with them.

Later, McCoy assumes neither party wants to have to visit Nicole in Brazil. But Rubirosa sees that the records were faxed to the Lehmans three months ago. They wonder if they have been working together on poisoning Silva. Cutter also wonders about the whole story with Nicole and the boat.

Cutter and Rubirosa are back at the Lehman home speaking with Sharon Lehman. She seems to get worried when Cutter mentions the chance Nicole will go back to Brazil. Cutter then tells her they can get a subpoena to do a drug test on Nicole to make her sleep, and Rubirosa adds that child services will question her. Sharon admits they didn’t want to lose her again and gave her lemonade with allergy meds in it, and Nelson took her out to the shed to sleep and then set the boat out. They love her so much, and Shoemaker knew nothing about this ruse.

Down at the 2-7, the Lupo and Bernard, along with Cutter and Rubirosa, have Nelson Lehman in interrogation. It seems Nelson bought the methyl-p, but he denies it, until they pressure him with charging his wife he admits that he poisoned Silva, and said Shoemaker had nothing to do with it. He says he shipped the methyl-p to Shoemaker so he would not involve his wife. He refuses to implicate anyone else.

Back in Cutter’s office, Cutter complains to McCoy that Lehman is taking the fall. McCoy tells him to take the plea and maybe later Lehman will want to deal.

At the allocution hearing, Nelson Lehman says what he did and why. Cutter decides to ask about the shipping of the poison, and he calls Shoemaker to the stand to corroborate the statement. Shoemaker gets on the stand and seems to corroborate Nelson’s story . Cutter tries to cut holes in his story, but Shoemaker says that after three years, he has no attachment to his daughter and she is dead to him and he is moved on. Cutter asks him what his daughter will think when she reads the transcripts when she gets older, that he just publicly disowned his daughter, and Shoemaker begins to waffle, admitting he loves his daughter. Cutter says, “I can tell you from experience Mr. Shoemaker that kids don’t forget, and they don’t forgive.” Shoemaker says that Cutter tricked him and he would do anything for Nicole, even poison Oscar Silva. He then goes on to say, pointing at the Silvas, how they stole her from him. He breaks down crying.

Back in McCoy’s office, McCoy tells Cutter, “Two guilty pleas. You look like someone ran over your dog." Cutter says he won, but Nicole lost. Rubirosa says this is why she never went into family law, because of the heartbreak. McCoy tells her “Heartbreak is everywhere in this job…as you both know. Take consolation in getting the right result. It’s a good day’s work.” Cutter say, “Yeah, but not a good day.”

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

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, March 29, 2010

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Loyalty’ Preview Clips

Here are two short sneaks peeks of the season 9 premiere of Law & Order Criminal Intent, “Loyalty” starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, and Eric Bogosian. The episode airs on Tiesday, March 30 at 10 PM ET on USA. Be sure to watch!

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Loyalty, Part 1" can be found here.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Loyalty Part 2" can be found here.

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.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jeff Goldblum Talks Season 9 of Law & Order Criminal Intent

Earlier this week, I was very fortunate to be able to participate in a media conference call with Jeff Goldblum, star of Law & Order Criminal Intent (USA Network). I am very grateful that Jeff took an hour out of his busy schedule to talk about the show and to offer a few tidbits about himself. Jeff also gave listeners some details about the upcoming season premier two-part episode, but sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy and can’t pass along what I know about the exciting episodes. Let’s just say that the episodes are not to be missed! Based on some of the information Jeff relayed in this interview, I think that we could be in for a thrilling season of Law & Order Criminal Intent. (Part 1 airs on Tuesday, March 30. 2010 at 10PM ET on USA.)

The transcript of the call is extremely long and, as I think Jeff made some excellent points along the way, let me summarize some of the statements that I think would be most important to fans. (Please note that there were several people in on this conference call so Jeff was responding to multiple questioners.) Jeff also spoke highly of Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, and Eric Bogosian. But I think Jeff’s answer to one question about the concerns that fans have about the departure of these three fine actors was very insightful and he had an interesting outlook to how fans should approach the change:

"Well, let’s see. I mean, I totally under—First I’ll say to them, I totally understand you’re upset. Those were as fantastic a bunch of characters as I’d ever seen. And fantastic actors as we’ve ever had individually or together. And I’ll be watching for all of them wherever they go. I know Eric Bogosian is in a play right now here in New York and haven’t had time to see it, but I look forward to seeing it. And likewise, Vince and Katie.

As for what we’re doing, I’m doing my best and I’m enjoying it no end. And I think the writers, who are terrific, have written different characters but fascinating characters, at least to me.

I know in Saffron Burrows’s case, she’s such a special actress. I would encourage anybody—I would recommend and as part of this grief counseling of the loss of the old show and the old characters, I would recommend that they consider appreciating Saffron Burrows and Serena Stevens, her character. Saffron is such a uniquely beautiful actor inside and out. And wildly intelligent. Wildly intelligent. And so that they know, has passions, if they look her up a little bit, politically and having to do with the world that are very interesting and compelling to me. So fun to be around for me.

And she brings all of this to the show. She’s passionate and she’s been a movie star that I’ve been very interested in for a long time. We did a movie together called Fay Grim in Berlin some years ago with Parker Posey that Hal Hartley directed. And I’ve loved her in The Guitar and The Bank Job and Troy. So I would encourage people to really get into her and appreciate her. She’s sexy as can be and does this part they’ve written for her. A very interesting part, this detective from Chicago who has an interesting back story that we can only guess at a little bit and a daughter that we can guess at a little bit. We have to imagine about. But a very whole and multifaceted life.

And then, let me encourage them to get into Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. And seeing her every week. I adore her. We’d done a play together some years ago. But for anybody who’s seen her from the beginning in Scarface or The Color of Money or an eye on the stage here in New York through the years. She is spectacular, as talented deeply, richly talented and an actor as there is. Given to a rainbow of color choices in her paint box. And they’ve written for her just the beginnings already of a character that is very—that is not only unique, but multidimensional and colorful and complicated.

So I would, as a fan, I would tune in to see those two. That’s for sure."

He also added about Saffron Burrows and her character, Serena Stevens:

Well, I now know. We’ve done several cases together. And we work beautifully together, very dynamically. I think she’s great. You’re right. She is brilliant and has her own skill set and we just work very creatively together. And it’s, as much as anything, even given the dark and horrific and nightmarish circumstances that we’re always faced with, dead bodies and gruesome places and gruesome events, we seem to both get a thrill out of the fun and the adventure of the hunt, hunting down the bad guy.

And then, of course, I sort of—we get enrolled together and she gets enrolled in my by and by, in my other peck agenda, which is not so beside the point, which is, of course, finding out what the whole story was and why, criminal intent of course, that’s why it’s named that. Why, psychologically speaking, the person has done it? Not only who did it, but why they did it? And like I said, and I say it’s not beside the point because when we finally take it to court, that’s very much the point. Part of it you got to tell a jury hey, here’s the—we’re not going to get a conviction unless they can buy and believe the whole story and the motive and why this person might have done it.

But it’s beside that, a personal thrill for me. And a personal kind of side and overall contextualizing investigation to deepen my understanding of the deeply criminal types and thereby all of us and me. I’m on a kind of psycho spiritual investigation that fascinates me and that’s infinitely mysterious. And she and I become partners in that. And it’s absolutely thrilling.

Jeff also spoke about his ability to enjoy a laugh at his own expense, taking the rumors of his death on Twitter and turning it into a humorous appearance on the Colbert Report, but also indicated that the incident was “bizarre and engendered a rainbow of feelings in me, of course. It was upsetting. People called who hadn’t heard right away or had—and would be—and called up sad. Nobody, thankfully, ran their car off the road or had a heart attack or anything, but there was some trauma. And for that, I would dissuade people from doing this. And I’m sorry that it happened and all of that. But it was not of little interest to me to get in touch with, in some cases, people I hadn’t been in touch with for a while. And said oh, my gosh, is it true. …I’m glad you’re alive and it made me think of you and all that kind of stuff. And it was trippy, trippy.”

I also got to ask Jeff a few questions about his musical interests, because having a musical background myself and being close to Jeff’s age, I wanted to know what kinds of musical influences he had growing up. I also wanted to know if we’d see any new and interesting “Goldblumisms” showing up in Zach Nichols in season 9:

“Let’s see. Gee, I don’t know if I have any other show business tricks up my sleeve or any other talents. I’m just trying to play, be as smart as I can, and bring what I know is passion in the writing and in the character and in the real lives that we’re trying to depict.

We have a great guy named Mike Struck, who’s on the set all the time, who’s a real and a masterful detective and police person. And I realize all the time that to really do that job would be very difficult. You have to have a very particular skill set for it, talent for it, and appetite for it. And I’m just trying to pretend in a way that is at least believable. Boy, that would be a tough job, I tell you.

… I remember the school, the earliest stuff I can remember is when—I mean, the Beatles were introduced when I was a kid. So I was very thrilled about the Beatles, including the first couple of—I Want to Hold Your Hand and Love you, yeah, yeah, yeah. All that. When those came out on 45s, the world had changed in some way and I was very thrilled about it. And then a little later, when the White Album and Sergeant Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour came out, it meant a lot to me. It was a big deal….Early on, too, Motown stuff was big in those days. Stop in the Name of Love. And all the Motown stuff around then was big with me. Then, my parents, we had a hi-fi and…they had—they were jazz lovers and they had a couple of—they had some Erroll Garner records, a jazz pianist who’s active, who’s also from Pittsburgh as I am. That made an impression on me. And I remember hearing Thelonious Monk. And then, my older brother was a big jazz fan and got the Modern Jazz Quartet… was into that. And some Brazilian music. I remember Stan Getz, this album he had from Stan Getz from the Astrud Gilberto records. That made a big impression on me. All of those"
When another caller asked about the atmosphere on the set makes it feel like a new show, Jeff responded:

“Well, let’s see. I mean, I know I did eight of them last year and you’re right, it was different. It was all different cast members that year. But the stories and the quality of the writing and the high quality of the production and the crew is still the same. So it feels familiar but—and I miss the cast members who are gone. I adored them.

But it does feel like a new show in a lot of ways. And I’m crazy about Saffron Burrows and the character. They wrote it for her and the way she’s doing it. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is spectacular and I love her and her character, too. So yes, it feels kind of new to me."

When one caller expressed concerns that some fans may feel the show may be losing its edge, becoming lighter, with some calling it the “Jeff Goldblum Hour,” Jeff commented:
"First of all, I don’t—it’s news to me because I kind of don’t stay very in touch with all the—I’ve been consumed with making the show… I don’t know. I mean, everybody has their own opinion. I’m doing the best that I can and I know the writers are trying—there are some very heavy and gruesome episodes that we’ve done. But it’s true. I think part of their idea about my character is that I have a—I love. I’m very passionate for the work, for solving these crimes and for particularly investigating the intent, like the title says of having to do with why these criminal people, these people so far off the rails would have done what they’ve done and what that means for knowing about the human being generally and for myself.

I think I’m on a very passionate and mysterious and infinitely interesting, at least in my own character kind of mission. But that along with it, I have a great time, too. Whatever I’ve been through before. And we’ve made up a lot of stuff that hasn’t come to the surface, that doesn’t come to the surface conspicuously or literally. I’m at a place where I find myself very present, feeling very present and alive and enjoying myself no end. I think I enjoy myself. Even in these gruesome circumstances and I guess, even especially when there’s been shocking loss and all the physical world has been thrown into chaos. It feels like an opportunity to Zack Nichols to find what’s important in life and find the deeper meanings in life in a very enjoyable way. And I like solving the puzzle, too."

He also gives some insight to Zach Nichols and how he deals with the crimes he investigates:

"There were crimes—I mean, the first couple of episodes that depict this killing of my friend that I’m personally involved with. That’s a horrible thing. I think I’m very bothered and personally—it’s not just a matter of—I’m always bothered in the sense that I’m passionate and outraged and full of a fierce kind of sense of justice and wanting to solve this thing. But more so, I’m a very kind of a susceptible, vulnerable human kind of guy that they’ve written. And when my friend, and old partner, gets killed. Yes, I think it bothers me in a whole different and deeper way."

Jeff’s suggestion to look at this new season as almost like a grieving process is an interesting approach. Some fans are experiencing this change as they would any major loss a person may experience in real life. Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe have been THE SHOW to fans for years, and it will be a change some fans may not be able to get past. As I have mentioned a few times on this blog, I am keeping an open mind with the cast changes. I became a fan of Jeff in this show as last season progressed, and I think he will do a fine job in helping fans make the transition. In addition, his exuberance for the role made me feel more comfortable about the show as it moves forward with the revamped cast. Based on the feedback and emails I get on a daily basis about the changes in the show, I know there are some fans that will not be returning to the show once the change is made. While I have enjoyed all the actors in all of the shows in the Law & Order "universe”, I also have learned not to get too attached to any one person and to learn to embrace change. So I plan on continuing to watch the series, and also doing brief recaps and reviews after each one. I hope that fans of Law & Order Criminal Intent - and of Jeff Goldblum - will come along for the ride!

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 SVU “Bedtime” Previews, Behind the Scenes

Here are some preview clips, interview clips with Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, and behind the scenes video of the March 31, 2010 episode of Law & Order SVU “Bedtime”. The episode features guest stars Morgan Fairchild, Susan Anton, Jaclyn Smith, and Ann-Margret. I also added three still photos from the episode which are posted above the video clips.

NOTE: Most of these videos will only be available for a limited time (NBC rules, not mine) and will be deleted shortly after the episode first airs, so catch it while you can!

My recap and review of Law & Order SVU "Bedtime" can be found here.

Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

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, March 25, 2010

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Loyalty” Episode Information, Plus More Cast Photos

TV Guide has released the basic episode information for the 2 part season 9 premiere of Law & Order Criminal Intent, which is listed below. I also included two more official cast photos (Saffron Burrows and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and new photos of Jeff Goldblum and Saffron from an upcoming episode.

Please do not forget to tune in when Law & Order Criminal Intent returns on March 30 on USA Network!

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Loyalty Part 1” Air Date March 30, 2010 10PM ET/9C USA Network

In Part 1 of the two-part Season 9 premiere, Goren and Eames investigate the murder of a wealthy businessman and his girlfriend, who were embarking on pirate-hunting exhibitions off the coast of Africa. Elsewhere, Ross receives a lucrative offer.
My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Loyalty, Part 1" can be found here.

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Loyalty Part 2” Air Date April 6, 2010 10 PM ET/9C USA Network

Conclusion. Goren and Eames clash with the Feds over a murder investigation involving a complex political power play while also dealing with a loss. Saffron Burrows joins the cast as Det. Serena Stevens, Nichols' new partner, while Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe exit as series regulars.

My recap and review of Law & Order Criminal Intent "Loyalty Part 2" can be found here.

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, March 24, 2010

Law & Order SVU “Disabled” Recap & Review

All photos from NBC

Finally, an episode of Law & Order SVU which actually (gasp!) deals with a real special victim. It was an excellent episode, with fantastic performances by guest stars Lisa Arrindell Anderson as the disabled Cara Raleigh, and Jill Scott as her super-nasty sister Janice. Jill’s performance certainly made viewers disgusted and abhorred with how Janice Raleigh treated her sister, who was incapable of fighting back against Janice's physical and verbal abuse. This situation is made worse when a man takes advantage of Cara’s paralysis and inability to defend herself and rapes her while she is home unattended.

This was also one of those episodes where the detectives were diligent in doing their jobs and we got little of their own personal drama, and this, in my opinion, usually makes for a great show. We did hear Fin’s story about his own bad experience with putting a family member in a nursing home, and it was done in a way that didn’t overpower the main story. I have to admit that I laughed when Stabler comments to Fin that Fin seems “more hostile than usual” which is amusing coming from the frequently unhinged Stabler.

A nice bonus in the episode was guest star Teddy Sears (who was officially credited as “Executive ADA Garret Blaine") who I enjoyed while he starred in the TNT series “Raising The Bar” where he played a defense attorney. I would be very happy if he were to join the SVU cast. I don’t understand why Cragen was so testy with him, maybe we are supposed to think that Cragen thinks Blaine is lazy, or maybe Cragen just has a low opinion of ADAs altogether.

The episode also served as a reminder that those that are disabled are people too, and many times because of their disabilities, they may be easy targets for all kinds of people with harmful motives. I can relate to this issue as I have a nephew who suffers from severe disabilities (he is also completely non-verbal) and lives in a home for people with special needs. One must always be vigilant in making sure that people like him who are unable to speak for themselves have someone watching out for them and advocating for them. Our family is very lucky that my nephew is in a place with loving and protective people, but not everyone can be so fortunate to have access to such care. It was a wonderful thing to have Olivia advocate for Cara as she did, and it was also wonderful that Fin showed care and concern for Damien. They both showed that they know what it means to be in the “special victims” unit.

Here is the recap:
When wheelchair-bound Cara Raleigh (Lisa Arrindell Anderson) isn’t at her usual bus stop, the bus drivers, Tony Griegs (Ralph Byers) and Jake Gleason find her laying on the floor of her apartment. Later, at the hospital, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) are told that Cara has suspicious bruising to her body, and there was evidence of rape. But as Cara has multiple sclerosis, is a quadriplegic and cannot speak, she can’t say she was raped – and since she can’t speak, she can’t consent to the sex, which means it was rape.

Later, while Damien Woods (Quinton Aaron) tends to his Aunt Cara, the detectives question him. He was not with his aunt last night, he was at the Hudson library. Cara can correspond by blinking, one for yes and two for no. They question Cara who blinks that she was raped and does not know her attacker. She doesn’t indicate she was being beaten.

At her apartment, Fin (Ice-T) determines the attacker had a key as there was no evidence of forced entry, and wonders if the dried blood on a shirt found in the apartment belongs to Damien. When Fin arrives back at the SVU squad, Captain Don Cragen (Dann Florek) updates him on Cara’s condition. Janice Raleigh (Jill Scott), the victim’s sister, is also there, and Fin gives her the news about Cara, and she seems shocked. Fin chides her for not being at home, and she said she left a message for Damien to watch her sister. She assumed he got the message. Cara had three mail nurses who Janice got fired from “Home Healing” for missing checks.

At Home Healing, the manager says the missing check claims could not be proven so the claims were dropped, and the male nurses had be reassigned but have since moved on. None of those three had any other complaints but it is common for nurses to have complaints lodged against them for various reasons. The boss had the key to the Raleigh place returned when Janice scaled back to a one day shift. Stabler asks for the nurses files in case one of hem copied the key.

Back at SVU, they review the files. One is for Drew Cummings, who has a record and an alibi. Alan Foster has no record and does private work, Mark Hubbard has a record of charges but nothing stuck. Cragen suggests they pick him up and shake him hard.

When Stabler and Fin get to Hubbard’s, they smell pot and Hubbard is partying with a young girl. They bring him into SVU for questioning and confront him with a camera he was using to record at home. He says he has not seen Cara in months, and admits he tapes his clients so they can’t make claims against him. He tells them he has the recordings in his email account.

The detectives watch Hubbards's footage of Janice verbally harassing Cara and hitting her with a sock with a bar of soap in it as Cara moans in pain.

Later ADA Blaine (Teddy Sears) enters Cragen’s office and tells Cragen he is still looking for a replacement for Cabot but Cragen is stuck with him for now. Cragen tells him Janice Raleigh "invoked", and her “shark”, Patrice Larue (Jeri Ryan), “swam in about 10 minutes ago. Cragen shows him the recording of Janice beating Cara, Dr. Huang (B.D. Wong) saying the soap in a sock is a common weapon of domestic violence. Huang feels Janice resents her sister but is not sure about the sexual assault. He adds that Cara’s talent as a world class opera singer was nurtured from a very young age and Janice would be used to her sister having the spotlight and thinks something else provoked her.

Later, in interrogation as Patrice Larue and Blaine argue a deal, Fin and Huang question Janice. She says she only hit Cara once or twice, and when Larue tries to silence her, she still wants to speak. She denies raping her sister and says he was not home when it happened. Fin asks for the details on her alibi and she gives it to him. Janice says she loves her sister and everyone knows how special she is. When Huang asks if Cara is more special than her, she gets an irritated tone and says she herself can’t sing, but now Cara can’t talk. Huang chides her for enjoying Cara’s pain, and she says it is nice to see her experience the real world for once, and where are all those people that adored her? Huang wonders if Cara pities Janice, but Janice says she has her son. When Huang comments that Damien cares deeply for Cara, she says she raised him right and she is his mother. Huang says maybe Damien love Cara more than her, and this agitates Janice, who argues back. When Huang says that her fear is that Damien would choose Cara over her, she makes a move to attack Huang and Fin restrains her. As Fin hauls her out of the room, Patrice just stands there looking like she has a mess on her hands.

Fin later says that Janice’s alibi for the rape checks out. Stabler tells Fin he seems more hostile than usual, and Fin reminds Stabler he saw the tape too. Stabler tells Fin the stains on the kids shirt is dog blood, 5 different samples. Benson says that Damien also lied about being at the Hudson library, he isn’t even registered there. Stabler and Benson head to Cara’s home to talk to Damien.

At Cara’s house, he says he can’t tell them where he was. Cara blinks that Damien did not rape her. When they tell Damien they have his mother on tape beating her aunt, and he is shocked. As he consoles her, he holds her hand to his cheek and her finger moves slightly. Benson comments about the dog blood on his shirt. He denies actually fighting dogs, he says he cleans up the dead dogs after the fight for money to cover gambling debts. When Stabler threatens with putting him under surveillance, Damien tells him to talk to Tony Griegs, the bus driver, who got him the job.

Elsewhere, Benson and Stabler talk with Griegs, who admits Damien was at the dogfight. Damien asked him for help in finding job months ago. He said he needed it to cover for his mom who has been skimming his sister’s bank account and he is trying to pay it back. Stabler says he is going to have Blaine add larceny to the charge, and he gives Benson the car keys, telling her to have Fin meet her and “give that kid the facts of life about his mother.”

Back at Cara’s, Benson and Fin talk with Damien about Janice’s stealing from Cara. He wants to know what happens now, and Benson says his mom will go to prison and unless he tells them the truth, a rapist will go free. They question him whether someone has a copy of the key to the apartment, and he says it stays in his bag which is with him at all times unless he locks it in Mr. Griegs car while he is at the fights.

Benson goes in to see Cara, and asks her if Griegs is the man who raped her and threatened Damien if she talked, and she blinks yes for both questions. But Janice barges in, upset, and she said she made bail and has the power of attorney to put Cara into a nursing home. Benson and Fin have no recourse but to allow Janice to move ahead with her plan, and Damien is upset. He gets on her about her treatment of Cara, and Janice says either he is with her or against her.

Back at SVU, Cragen tells Benson that ADA Blaine overturned Janice’s power of attorney and got Cara a guardian ad litem, which will likely recommend Cara stay in the nursing home. Cragen asks if they are sure Cara ID’d Griegs as her rapist, and Benson confirms Cara looked her right in the eye and blinked once. He has no priors, but has money problems. He was canned for “feeling up” females that he worked with but the women refused to press charges. They wonder why he is now going after the handicapped, and Cragen tells them to talk to his boss.

At Parabus, Griegs' boss says there have been no complaints about his current work, and when the detectives tell him he was fired from the MTA, Griegs boss moans that Griegs lied on his application. He said that Griegs is also not retiring, he is being let go because of the Disabilities Act, and he hired Jake Gleason instead because he lost an arm in Iraq.

Back at SVU, the detectives tell ADA Blaine that they think Griegs was enraged because he lost his job to a disabled man and took it out on a disabled woman. Blaine says it is not enough but Cragen gets on him because he thinks Blaine just doesn’t want to try to sell it to a jury and that it is too much hard work. Blaine said get them forensics or get them a witness who can actually talk, be sworn in and cross examined. Fin can’t believe it, saying Blaine is blaming the victim and she is disabled. Benson asks if they can get her talking will he take it to the grand jury? She says the victim stroked Damien’s face with her finger and that means she can type. Blaine says it is worth a shot.

At the group nursing home, Benson tries to get Cara to type, but she doesn’t cooperate. Benson asks the doctor about Cara’s current behavior, and the doctor explains that her change of location did it, plus the problems that come with the disease, saying she is not sure Cara could handle a trial.

Meanwhile, Fin checks with forensics, and tries to get the technician to take another look at the evidence. He gets a phone call, and says he is on his way. He later arrives at a location where Jake Gleason has stopped the bus, saying that Damien has barricaded himself inside. Damien has some passengers inside, and he has Griegs in a chokehold, Griegs looking beat up. Damien says he is getting Cara justice. Fin tries to talk some sense into Damien. Damien finally opens the bus door and throws Griegs out and Fin takes him away.

Back at SVU, Fin tells Benson and Stabler that he had to call in a lot of favors to get Damien out of the tombs. When Stabler asks why Fin is sticking his neck out for Damien, Fin says he had to put his grandfather into a nursing home and the man practically raised him and it was the worst decision he ever made. The nursing home abused him and Fin never recognized the signs. When his grandfather died, he lost it and got into a lot of trouble, but an academy instructor set him straight and kept bailing him out. He felt it was time to return the favor. But Griegs plans to press charges, and Benson comments not if they send him upstate. Cragen reminds them they have to convict Griegs first. He adds that forensics found a latent print inside Cara’s diaper, and to pick Griegs up and put him in the box.

In interrogation, Griegs tell them they are all wrong. He says he and Cara has a relationship. He said the previous accusations are misunderstandings and lies. He felt sorry for her, that’s why she slept with her. He says this has been going on for months. He says not to let Cara’s family fool her, they’re not that devoted. He says only the detectives have accused him of rape, not Cara. When they ask if a nurse can corroborate this, he says he does not see how, there is only a day nurse and he never saw her. The detectives hear a knock on the window, and when they enter the observation room, ADA Blaine says that Griegs actually sounds plausible. Griegs knows a lot of details about the victim and family, and you mix lies with enough truth and you can sell anything. Cragen reminds him it is his job to convince them Griegs is a lying bastard. He cites a case from Connecticut where a judge overturned a rape case where the victim could not speak and was confined to a wheelchair because she did not move her arms to fight back. Stabler says they tell women not to fight back, and Blaine says in the judge’s opinion, she consented so he will need more than a fingerprint. If the jury thinks Griegs had “pity” sex with Cara, he walks. Huang comments that a lot of people are uncomfortable around the disabled and Griegs knows that. Cragen indicates relying on a handicap prejudice is a big risk to take into court, but Huang says it is a calculated one. He says the handicapped are commonly devalued and people assume that an abnormal appearance is sexually repulsive. Benson comments that Griegs is the only one who is talking and there is no one there to contradict him. When Stabler asks how they can stop him, Huang says Griegs can’t contain his rage so confront him with more victims and he will fold as he can’t claim he has had relationships with all of them. Cragen suggests they pull Griegs’ passenger list and check with any female regulars who suddenly stopping using the bus service.

At a day care center, they speak with Miss Meyers about her daughter Beth who also cannot speak who had stopped using the service. Benson shows her a group of photos and Beth gets very upset at the sight of Grieg’s picture. Benson tells Miss Meyers she believes Beth was raped. She is shocked, saying Griegs was a nice man who offered to stay with Beth when she had to run errands. Beth motions that he put something in her mouth and then points to her pants.

Back at SVU, Benson is watching recording of Cara practice her opera signing, telling Stabler she is looking for a way in. She found more victims who can’t speak. She wonders if she is expecting too little from Cara. She heads back to the home where Cara is staying, and tells Cara she has been treating her like an invalid and handling her with kid gloves but won’t make that mistake again. She says they found two other victims and they can’t testify but she can. She is the only witness with evidence of her attack and has to speak for them. She shows Cara her own picture and asks what happened to this woman and that she has given up. Her sister’s abuse is nothing compared with what she is doing to herself. She asks Cara if she thinks she is a bitch, and Cara blinks yes. Benson says she is not the first. Cara looks again at her picture, and a tear flows down her cheek. Benson asks if she is willing to testify to put her rapist in jail, and she blinks yes. Benson says they will work on getting her out of there.

In a conference room, ADA Blaine is talking with Janice Raleigh and Patrice Larue, and Benson walks into the room, wheeling in Cara who is accompanied by Damien. Janice is annoyed, thinking Cara is there to put her in jail. She thinks Cara is trying to buy her off, and Patrice tells her for once to shut up. Blaine says he will drop the charges against Janice in exchange for a plea to assault three, 5 years probation, mandatory anger management, and they will be filing a restraining order. She asks what that means for her, and Patrice says this means she will have to stay away from her sister and won’t do any time. Patrice tells Blaine to send her the paperwork and then leaves. Janice looks at Cara and tells her not to expect her to be grateful as it was Cara’s fault she was arrested. She tells Cara she had it all and Janice had to take care of her like her damn maid, wiping her ass and bathing her. But Benson stepped in, saying that she wanted to do this because she needed to control Cara so she would suffer for her parents’ choices, and that stops now. Janice says, “You think you know me bitch?” and Benson says she knows her sister forgives her, and trust that one day she will want that. Janice asks who will take care of her if she doesn’t? Damien says he will, but Janice says she will not allow it. Blaine says it is not up to Janice, the power of attorney has been transferred to Damien. Janice gives Cara a cold look and tells her she can’t take her son, and if she does this, she will make sure she regrets it. With tears in her eyes, Cara is wheeled away by Damien, and Janice says if she cares for Damien at all, not to make him give up his life for her like she had to. Damien and Cara exit the conference room, with Benson giving Janice a hard stare as she also walks out, leaving Janice there.

In Supreme Court, Cara is on the stand, and, when Blaine asks if Griegs raped her, she blinks once for yes. But the defense attorney objects, asking how they are supposed to know a blink means yes, and calling her blink a “muscle tick.” Blaine rephrases the question, and asks if she can point to the man who raped her. As she struggles to move, her face is anguished, and she is able to move her index finger and point it to Griegs. Blaine says, “Cara Raleigh just gave your client the finger.” The judge accepts the ID. Benson smiles, and we close in on Cara’s strained face as we fade to black.

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.