Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Law & Order Criminal Intent “Broad Channel” Recap & Review
Law & Order Criminal Intent “Broad Channel” was a decent outing with the revamped cast. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio fits in very well, falling into the role of Captain as if she had always been there. (In fact, she looked a little like Kathryn Erbe in a dark wig.) Zoe Callas seems to be a woman who has all the right connections and seems unafraid to assert them. I think she will be a good fit for the show and I hope that they use her more in upcoming episodes.
I can’t say the same for Saffron Burrows, who seems too quiet and subdued for my tastes. Her delivery is still flat and lifeless, and I think they are going a little overboard in trying to make her appear brainy or cerebral. One of those on a team is enough. I think this is what I liked about both Eames and Wheeler – they were both down to earth people who we didn’t have to be reminded of their great powers of deduction or instincts.
One big negative was the opening music, which was titled “Middle of Nowhere” (credited as performed by Alan Doyle and written by Mike Pest and Alan Dolye). It was far too loud, it overpowered the dialog, and it simply did not fit. Ditto when it was music played again at the end. Law & Order Criminal Intent shouldn’t be opened as if it were a music video or a drama like “Cold Case where the music dominates the scene. I hope they never do this again.
While the story was somewhat predictable, the investigation played out well and it kept my interest. I am glad, however, that Nichols spelled it out at the end because I got a little confused as to whom they were really going after – Dooley or Atwater, or both. Jeff Goldblum has the ability to draw in and maintain viewers, and I would like to see the show continue despite the loss of the D'Onfrio/Erbe fans. There were times that the camera lingered a little too long on his facial expressions, but I suppose they are trying to show the gears turning in Nichols' brain. (We get it. We don't need to be reminded all the time.) I believe Zach needs a partner that is a little more street smart and snappier though, because two brainiacs can get boring after a while.
Here is the recap:
Jackie Dooley (Kevin Conway) rows his boat to the shore and a man hands him an envelope filled with money. Later he heads into a convenience store and sees Moira Boyle and her son Eddie, says hello to Moira (Marin Hinkle), and they hug and they say they missed each other. He buys their groceries, saying he is taking care of his own. While he does so, the store owner hands him a piece of paper. Eddie says he called his office and adds that if he needed him for anything he is good now, he is clean. A car pulls up and as the store owner watches, Dooley heads out of the store and a detective steps out of the car and he and Dooley talk. Later, this detective is putting on his bulletproof vest and says he is getting ready to take down the Russians. They raid at a fish processing place and as they make arrests, a reporter and videographer come in and ask the detective questions about the arrest. The detective is later found dead on the ground outside his car.
On the scene, Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows) arrive on the scene. ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) tells them that the Kevlar vest stopped 3 of the bullets but he took one shot to the head. The body is near the high tide line which will help them maintain the evidence. Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio) arrives on the scene, she is on the phone, and confirms that the body is of Detective Ryan Fields (James Biberi). Other detectives arrive and Stevens tries to question them but they ask for a moment as Fields is their friend, and Nichols recognizes them as being from the 116 in Queens. He tells them to be careful about stepping on his blood, and one of the detectives gets angry at Nichols and the other pulls him away. Nichols tells Stevens, “Welcome to Broad Channel.”
Back at Major Case, the detectives review the evidence with Callas. They think the shooter was in the car with him and wonders if he was set up. They also wonder what he was doing in Broad Channel. Stevens wonders if it was a jumpy informant, Callas recalls seeing his name on some IAB witness lists. The detectives say they will question the widow.
At the home of Ryan and Cassie Fields, while they speak to Cassie, they also see that Detective Atwater from Queens is already there. He tells them the 116 will handle this and asks if he is OK with that. Nichols says he is not. Atwater says they will talk later and leaves. As they question his wife, she says she already spoke with Ryan’s precinct and they know how things work there. Nichols sees a picture of a house in Jamaica and he wonders out loud about it. She tells him it is a time share and gets upset, thinking that Nichols is implying something. She says Ryan inherited income property when his father died and they do OK. When Nichols asks for details, she gets testy and tells them to leave. Stevens tells him “nicely done.”
Back at Major Case, Callas has the Chief of Ds (Mike Pniewski) in her office, along with Atwater, discussing the jurisdiction in the case. She is standing firm. Atwater explains the world of Broad Channel – an island community with one road in and one road out and people are different. He thinks the shooter is on the island and Major Case is like an alien and the people won’t talk to them. He grew up there and they have informants there. After Stevens and Nichols were there, the widow is no longer cooperating. Nichols and Stevens approach and she calls them to come into the office. Stevens explains they went through Fields tax records and he owns several properties but rents have dropped they think he was using the building to mask income and they should look at this. The Chief tells Major Case that they have to share information with the 116 in Queens. When the Chief and Atwater leave, Callas tells them she will pull his file with IAB but from here on, they have to coordinate with Atwater.
Elsewhere at Smitty’s, Moira is bringing Eddie some food but he is not hungry. She tells him to take a pill, and he complains that this is his life now. She tells him he has to be strong for his future and that Jackie will take care of him now for what he just did.
Captain Zoe Callas is at the office of Captain Galloway at Internal Affairs, and she tells him she needs a favor – Fields’ file. He says there were never any indictments and dead cops are hero cops. She say the identity of the killer may be in that file and tells him that if he wants to make it to city hall he shouldn’t make it rough for her to investigate a cop killing.
Back at Major Case, Callas has the file and tells the detectives that Fields was under investigation at the time of his murder. He also had another cell phone with a large number of calls to someone named Jackie Dooley. Nichols is familiar with Dooley, saying he is an old school Irish boss who pretty much runs Broad Channel, and he and Ross went after him a few times for extortion, loan sharking, fraud, and once for conspiracy to commit murder. They never made anything stick. Stevens suggests they should talk to him – in Broad Channel. Calls says they know she can’t say yes to that, technically. Nichols says “Understood.”
At Broad Channel elementary school, Dooley is at the school to make an announcement about scholarships to the summer athletic camp, and tells them they all have scholarships. Nichols approaches and Dooley asks how he has been. Outside, he talks with Nichols and Stevens and he says it was terrible what happened to Fields. Nichols reminds him about all the phone conversations he had with Fields and Dooley denies he has a connection to the killing. He says he has no obligation to speak with them but out of respect to the late Danny Ross he will tell them he was informing for Fields.
Later, at Rikers Island, they speak with the man that Fields arrested in the last raid, and he said he paid Fields but he got busted anyway. He says he was jacking them – the payment got raised and they refused. He says everybody was paying Fields, and when Stevens asks about Jackie Dooley, the man confirms “everybody.” As they leave Rikers, Nichols says that this is motive, but Stevens thinks that Dooley is old school and would not kill a cop. The wonder who else was jacking up and they decide to look at Fields’ case files.
At the 116, when they ask Atwater for all of Fields’ case files, Atwater says they already identified the shooter an hour ago. Eddie Boyle, an informant, coughed him up. He suggests they get some coffee and come along with them to Broad Channel. Nichols seems suspicious.
As they arrive at the Boyle household with the 116 who is making the arrest, Stevens asks Nichols what is the matter. He wonders what would Eddie Boyle be doing in Fields’ car at two in the morning with a gun? Atwater thinks Eddie will not be there as his mother likely has him stashed, and when she answers the door, she says they can’t come in. Another detective finds Nike shoes and blood spatter in the back. Afterwards, with all the detectives in the house, Moira is frantic and says she does not need to speak with them and frantically tries to reach Dooley. While she is on hold, Nichols realizes he recognizes her from Jackie’s office – she was his secretary. While she whispers on the phone to Jackie, Nichols asks Stevens and Atwater if it is significant that the mother of the shooter works for Jackie? He thinks Jackie wants Fields gone and the kid pulled the trigger, and Atwater sarcastically says well done, he just proved someone in Broad Channel has a connection to Jackie Dooley which means nothing. Stevens thinks Moira loves Jackie and will tell him where her son is and this could work for them. But Nichols is unsure. He thinks that Jackie will just lie to them. Stevens suggests Jackie wear a wire and while Nichols is somewhat skeptical they agree it is worth a shot.
With Dooley in the Major Case interrogation room with Nichols, Stevens and Atwater, they ask for his help, but he says he does not inform on his own. He says he won’t defile it for a man who defiles his uniform. Atwater steps in and tries to reach Dooley, and while talking to him, he offers Dooley a smoke. Nichols watches suspiciously, and Stevens rolls her eyes as they puff away. Atwater says Eddie is a Broad Channel boy and it serves no one if he gets killed out there. Dooley says he knows it would be a bad thing. But Atwater says he has to get Moira to talk, and indicates it will just cause more shootings otherwise. Dooley asks if he would have to wear a wire, and Nichols shoots Stevens a glance and she looks back. Nichols see Atwater taking notes with a fountain pen.
As Nichols and Stevens step into the observation room, Nichols gets ready to say that the whole interrogation was a pile of (you can fill in the blank for him) and Stevens cuts himn off and says it was effective. He says, “The game played in there? It has stink written all over it.” She comments that his righteous indignation was just to get them fired up; he is playing Dooley and she is playing him too. He says she is good, and she says maybe he was just too obvious. She hopes it works and they get something.
Later on the stakeout with Dooley wired up and Nichols and Stevens in the van, Nichols wonder where is Atwater? Stevens says he was with ESU to get them to cover the area with a police launch in case Eddie made a break for it n the water. Inside, Jackie speaks with Moira and she grabs his chest, covering the microphone. He continues to talk and asks her to help him help Eddie and he has to be taken in. He says once he is taken in he can use his leverage. She tells him Eddie is at Smitty’s, and everyone races to get there, Nichols saying no flashing lights or sirens. Meanwhile, Moira begins to kiss Dooley. Atwater docks the boat at Smitty’s and knocks on the door. Back at Moira’s, she tells Dooley that Eddie is precious to her and one day she hope he will be precious to him too. Suddenly, everyone – Moira, the detectives outside – hear shots fired. Nichols and Stevens race, with guns drawn, to Smitty's, where Eddie lay dead. Atwater says it was Eddie’s gun and he had no choice. Nichols tells everyone to get back, that this is now a crime scene and orders the area cordoned off. Moira runs to the body and sobs. Later, Nichols tells Stevens there is no question that Atwater is dirty, and this is all about him.
Back at Major Case, Nichols tries to make call the connections together, Moira,. Jackie, Eddie. One thread is Moira is trying to get Jackie to hire her son. Another is that Fields is being paid by Jackie to keep Queens' cops off his back, but Fields started jacking people. Atwater is dirty and tells Jackie he wants to step into Fields’ shoes and Jackie suggests that Atwater pick up Eddie. But Fields got Eddie instead and Fields ended up dead. They think the connection to Jackie in all this is Moira.
Moira is now in interrogation in Major Case, and they talk to her about her hiding Eddie, but she asks that this is really about. They want Jackie, and they tell her that Jackie wore a wire so they could find Eddie. They show her the transcript. She says it is lies and rips it up and she says to go on and put her on trial.
Later, back at their desks, Nichols points out that Eddie’s arrest report has an area where the ink is smeared, noting it was written with a fountain pen which Atwater uses, so he is the one who made the arrest. They see no charges were filed against Eddie. All they have now is Moira who does not want to help them. Stevens has a thought – she recalls Moira telling Jackie that her son was precious to her and one day she hoped he'd be precious to him too, and that she did not want to be a burden and what did she mean or what did she hold back? She thinks Jackie has a kid that he does not know about. They think they can use this to their advantage with Jackie to get Atwater. Nichols thinks that Jackie won’t care, he is a reptile. But Stevens says this is not just about him.
Jackie is led into the integration room where Nichols is waiting. Nichols begins to outline his theories that Atwater had Fields killed and Atwater had him do it. He adds that Fields was squeezing Jackie and Atwater wanted his spot, and that Moira has been pushing her son on Jackie. He wonders whether he bitched to Atwater or if Atwater came to Jackie. And Jackie is evasive. Atwater then tells Eddie that Jackie wanted Fields Killed, and wonders what Eddie said on the pay phone to Fields that night? He thinks that Eddie told Fields that Jackie agreed to the price hike and to meet him in Broad Channel where he was at with the money. Jackie says they are both gone now, but Nichols says it is not over until somebody pays. Jackie says he will confirm no part of it, and says Atwater will deny it too and that only leaves Eddie Boyle. Nichols ask him to tell him about Eddie, and he doesn’t have anything nice to say. Meanwhile, Stevens, Callas, and Moira are in the observation room hearing all this. Nichols says that Moira lost her lover and tried to reconnect with Jackie through her child. He goes on to tell him that Moira has been keeping a secret - that Eddie was his son. Jackie says he doesn’t give a damn if he was; he doesn’t give a damn for Eddie or for Moira. Moira becomes more upset upon hearing this. When Jackie thinks he is going to skate away, Nichols tells him he did it again – without doing it. He says he will walk Jackie out. Callas and Stevens also walk out with Moira and she sees Jackie and starts to get more upset. As Stevens and Calls walk her off. Nichols pushed Jackie against the wall and comments that he does not know what Moira knows, and Jackie should give him a deposition right now incriminating Atwater or he will keep in him a jail cell or a courtroom for the rest of his life because he doesn’t think Moira loves him anymore. Jackie says, “Well played, sir. Old Captain Ross would be proud of you today.”
Later, while Atwater is talking with a reporter about Eddie’s shooting, Nichols and Stevens arrive with the police. Nichols says there is something he wanted to say to him since he met him. He takes Atwater’s badge and begins to read him his rights. He also takes Atwater’s gun and Stevens cuffs him. As they look out on Broad Channel, Jackie is out there on his boat and he waves to them. Nichols nods and with a wry smile, walks off with Stevens . As we see Jackie row away, we fade to black.
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