Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Law & Order CI "The Mobster Will See You Now" Recap & Review

All photos from USA Network

“The Mobster Will See You Now” was interesting story and again they made some nice casting choices for the supporting players. Adding to the interest was the appearance of an ADA, and while this was a stereotypical ADA who is there only as an obstacle, it makes me think of how much more compelling the show was in the early seasons when it had a regular ADA with Courtney Vance as ADA Carver. I did have one question early on in this episode – is this still the Major Case division or is this now just considered a homicide division? I ask because Nichols himself referred to “homicide” being called in, and it was again what seemed like a routine death. I would really like the series to get back to major cases because I think that the higher stakes cases make for more intriguing episodes.

The dialog was improved this week, the only drawback is that it seems each week I am increasingly distracted by Saffron Burrows and what seems to be self-consciousness on her part about speaking her lines with an “American” accent. It is almost as if I can see her mind working on how each line has to come out of her mouth. Unlike other Brits such as Linus Roache or Hugh Laurie who seem to speak “American” without any effort, Saffron does not seem comfortable with it. I still think that Goldblum would be much better served with a different partner next season – and yes, I hope the show has another season.

Here is the recap:

At a cookout, a group of what seems like mobsters – Henry (Adam Rothenberg), Blev (Vincent Curatola), Cubby (Peter Appel), Dom (Lenny Venito) , and Annie (Cathy Moriarty) - talk about their next “business” opportunity. Elsewhere, Joel (Daniel London) finds out he may be facing criminal charges for medical “upcoding” violations and Les Tarney (Paul Urcioli) blackmails Stan for $3 million to not go through with the charges. Afterwards, when Joel tells his business partner Shelly (Kelly AuCoin), Shelly wants to tell Henry but Joel says to say nothing about it. Later, Henry rushes into the emergency room with Dom. But back in his apartment, Les is laying dead on the floor, a woman calling leaving him a frantic message asking where he is.

Later, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) is on the scene with Detectives Zach Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) and Serena Stevens (Saffron Burrows). the victim's ID says he is Les Tarney, US Department of Health and Human Resources, Associate Inspector General. He choked to death about three hours ago, around 8 PM. Homicide was called in as the woman who found him lost it and said someone murdered her fiancé. Stevens notices his plate is turned the wrong way.

The detectives speak with the Julia Hiken (Erin Fritch) who was “engaged to be engaged” to Tarney. Les was supposed to pick her up and he never showed. She came to his place and used they key under his mat to get in. She is an RN and could see he was dead and thinks someone killed him. When Nichols says his death appears accidental, she disagrees, saying that someone did this and he was working on something big but did not know what it was. Forensics finds a pill on the floor which is not anything like what is in Tarney’s medicine cabinet.

Back with Joel and Shelly, they discuss that Tarney is dead and Shelly seems happy but Joel thinks Shelly talked. Shelly says he didn’t talk and says Henry is nothing like his father Magglio DePiano and this was an accident.

In the morgue, Rodgers shows Nichols the huge piece of meat lodged in Tarney’s throat but his stomach was empty. She also found heavy traces Inderal in his system which can cause difficulty in swallowing. The pill that was found in his apartment was digoxin, which is for congestive heart failure. But his heart was good, and Rodgers says she is getting ready to rule out accidental. Stevens also comments again that his plate was turned the wrong way.

Back at the hospital, the same gang that was at the cookout now stand over an unconscious Dom in his hospital bed and discuss his condition. Henry says he is so sorry.

Back at Major Case, ADA Roydell Getty (Nick Sandow) who is Bureau Chief of Trial Division, enters and Captain Zoe Callas (Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio) introduces him to the detectives. He got a call from Health and Human Services to follow through on the case because of many death threats to their workers since the health care reform bill passed. The only thing suspicious in the apartment was the Inderal and Callas wonders if Tarney got it from his nurse girlfriend Julia.

Later, with Julia in interrogation, she is upset at their questions. She said he wanted the beta blocker as they work like tranquilizers as he had to be totally calm for a meeting about that big deal. She said she told him just two pills and he took three and she admits she stole the pills.

At Les’ office, they find that he had a meeting at 5:30 with Dr. Joel Silverstern at Tribeca Community Hospital. She says Les made everyone around him miserable and he enjoyed it. The detectives then speak with Joel who says they were just going over merger guidelines with HHR. They notice a horse racing photo on the wall and Joel admits his partner Shelly Spring plays the ponies. Stevens gets a call saying that forensics has something.

They get back to Major Case and find that based on the position of Tarney’s plate he either had to be on the other side of the table to make the cut into the steak or someone else did the cutting. Nichols thinks someone killed Tarney and then put the steak in his mouth. Rodgers says a guillotine choke would not leave a mark which cuts the blood supply to the brain. Since he had Inderal in her system, Getty wants to open a grand jury on the nurse, Julia. Nichols thinks it’s Joel and Shelly but Getty still thinks both the Inderal and Julia are the key and Callas tells the detectives to pick her up.

With Julia back in interrogation, she said she warned him about the Inderal and says Tarney has zero people skills but he was kind. As they lead her off, she objects and says she did not do this.

Meanwhile, Joel is back in his office and when he drops his pen, he gets under his desk and sees a listening device. He later tells Shelly he thinks Henry DePiano did it and knew that Tarney was blackmailing him. He tells Shelly to check his own office.

Back at Major Case, the detectives tell Callas that Julia was spotted by the doorman leaving her place at 8:45 when Tarney was killed. Callas tells them that Julia has been arraigned and charged – and she managed to post bail, took a cab home and she jumped from a 10th story window.

Later, Nichols seems regretful. Stevens finds that Silverspring, Joel and Shelly’s company, is in partnership with Law Chair Investment Group, with principal investors Dominic Fibrigazzi, Anthony Blevvins, Theodore Vibiam, and Annalisa Gentileo, and Henry DePiano. Nichols recognizes Henry’s name from his thug father, Mag, who is in Rikers.

The detectives go to Rikers to speak with Mag (Joseph Siravo ) about Henry who says they haven’t spoken since his mother died. He says Henry sweet talked his friends into investing in a hospital, admits he was in contact with the others in the partnership and tells them that Dom collapsed and Henry knew Dom had heart problems.

In Henry’s office, they ask him about Dom and Henry says questions about what Dom is taking for his condition should be asked to his MD. Nichols notices a gold plated stethoscope in a special case which was a gift from his partners. Later, in the elevator, the detectives continue to question Henry and ask about Tarney and mention his meeting with Silverstern and Henry says Joel never mentioned it. He says when Tarney died, he was at home grilling with Dom and is going to see him now. The detectives tag along and question Dom. They tell him a digoxin capsule was found at Tarney’s and when Dom tells them to ask Tarney about it, they tell him he is dead. Dom also said when he fell ill he could not get the child proof cap off his digoxin bottle. They ask him about Henry’s alibi and says that Henry saved his life by getting him in his car and taking him to the hospital. Nichols implies that Dom was at Tarney’s to kill him. Dom says he is retired. After the detectives leave, Dom tells Henry he screwed up and they are on to him. Henry apologizes for getting him involved.

Later, at Henry’s, Joel and Shelly confront him about the listening devices. Henry denies it and says his investors think this is a clean investment because they gave him his word. Joel tells Henry that Shelly is buying him out and he is moving on, and Henry says no he is not. Joel makes a threat to Henry and storms off. Later in the evening Joel is mugged and brutally beaten, Joel using his car panic button to get them to run off.

In the hospital being treated, Joel speaks with the detectives and ADA Getty and says Shelly had been claiming his track losses on his personal income filing and when it came time to get a loan for the hospital they had to go to DePiano’s group for the loan. He tells them Henry bugged their offices and this was beat down because he wanted out. He wants protection.

Back at Major Case, they tell Callas the latest with Joel and that the beat down was a message. Nichols thinks Dom was involved in Tarney’s death and Stevens notes that Dom had his heart attack the same time Tarney choked to death. Getty says juries don’t convict on coincidence. Dom’s prints do not match what was on the capsule and says there is no probably cause to Dom. Getty also thinks Joel may be lying his ass off and seems to think Nichols is bigoted to Italians. When Nichols asks if the people in HHR are sleeping better because an innocent woman jumped to her death, Getty goes after Nichols and has to be pulled away. Getty says it has to be done right.

Later, Nichols thinks about Henry and his father and tells Stevens the whole thing seems familiar. He later finds a case about a person who was a witness against Magglio who was found dead from accidental choking. They think Dom cleaned up Henry’s mess by killing Tarney. Stevens says they still need Dom’s prints. They head over to see Henry and tell him Dom is going to prison for killing Tarney and said they found his finger prints on the bugs and think Henry had Dom murder Tarney and stage it to look like an accident. Nichols mentions the doctors and their upcoding scheme and Henry denies any knowledge. Stevens tells them the duty nurse routinely changes some of the medial equipment when it becomes too soiled and they got Dom’s prints from that. Nichols said they can’t prove Henry ordered the hit and Dom won’t give him up. Nichols beings up Henry’s issue with Henry not wanting to be like his father, and Henry says he is legitimate businessman but Stevens says Dom did all the dirty work. When Henry shrugs it off, Nichols gets on his case about Henry’s indifference and that Henry seems to be trying to get approval from his dead mother. When they imply he is just like his father, he says he hates him, but Nichols says what Magglio did ate up Henry’s mother inside. Nichols says if Magglio knew what Henry did this past week he would be the apple of his eye. After thinking it over, Henry says he will tell him what happened with Tarney if Dom doesn’t do time and he wants their word. Stevens whispers to Nichols they don’t have the authority, but Nichols agrees to it anyway.

Back in Major Case in interrogation, they talk with Henry and ask how he found out about the blackmail and he said from Shelly. Henry wanted to scare Tarney and he took Dom to the meeting for show and he asked Tarney to knock down the price but Tarney laughed. Henry snapped and killed him and Dom tried to stop him. But Dom got ill and Henry told him to get in the car while he finished off Tarney and cleaned up and make him look like Tarney choked, something he learned from his father.

Afterwards, Stevens is suspicious that Henry knew the chokehold from Dartmouth and thinks Henry lied about the whole thing. Nichols says somebody has to answer for the murder of a blackmailer and asks if it should be a mobster with a bad heart and a capacity for good, or a kid who never knew the meaning of the word good. Getty walks in and asks how they got to Henry, and Nichols says they mislead him into thinking they had Dom’s prints, and Getty says that is within the guidelines. Nichols also says he promised Henry that Dom wouldn’t do time and Getty asks Nichols who died and made him district attorney? Stevens tells him Julia Hiken. As Henry is being led off, Getty tells him Dom has been released from the hospital and he will personally make sure he is brought up on charges. Henry is led off and Stevens steps away from Nichols, leaving him to stand there in his own thoughts as we fade to black.

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Katie said...

Better than last weeks!

But I think that little shove between Nichols and the Bureau Chief was a bit much for that little scene. I feeble attempt to attract viewers. Nichols and the Bureau Chief should have just had a falling out instead.

Saffron Burrows - she needs to give it up, or at least I think so.

I don't mind Jeff Goldblum on CI, but if we do have a next season; I doesn't need to be like this one.

And if the Morton post is right; USA Network/Wolf aren't going to even ATTEMPT to try to change the way CI is going, the show just needs to end after "Three-In-One"/"Palimsest"

Next Tuesday's episode - all I have to say to that is WTF?

I give 'Mobster' 6.2/10, that little shove and Burrows trying to acting 'American' didn't cut it for me. And the case itself is really cut out of an original Law & Order (and L&O: Los Angeles) episode.

Shelly said...

Katie is right, some of the scenes in TMWSYN (the episode initials) shouldn't have been there and others needed to be written out, like the 'Goren shove to Nichols' (it did seem to be too much). I would have rather the bureau chief/ada call Nichols the 'F' word than shoved him (IMO).

All Things I know you have your opinion but to me this episode wasn't worth the time. Me just being honest and telling my side.

Also Saffron Burrows and her acting, (as Katie put it) she might as well 'give it up'! And do we really need to have another season of the show if it's going to continue to have these on/off written episodes; in which majority of them aren't Major Case cases (as you mention All Things).

I guess Law & Order: Los Angeles will be the only one with good quality in the Law & Order series' left. Frankly SVU is more than likely going to see cancellation between 2011-2013 and CI might not make it past 2011 (people are saying Law & Order: CI is being canceled on July 6th - I hope so!)

It's stuff like this that make me want to go kick TNT, NBC, and Dick Wolf's 'butts'!

janethyland said...

The lack of interest on sites is reflected in the lack of ratings for this weeks episodes.
2.7million watching and 0.8 in key demo.Thats a long way from the numbers LOCI used to pull.

As LOCI numbers decline,Plain Sight makes a resurgence with 4.1 million watching last week.

janethyland said...

Wolf needs to look at his formula and change that instead of thinking its always the actors who need to be changed. The formula is old and tired......otherwise LOLA will go the same way as the others...

Anonymous said...

I thought we were supposed to care more about the son than we really do, which kills the pathos they were trying for. And they kept with the incorrect name of HHS which was laughably inane.

Shelly said...

Just watched the episode last night, and I thought it was Ok. Not great, but not awful either...

The way Stevens kept focusing on how the plate was turned reminded me of a Mothership episode when Lennie (I think it was during the Briscoe-Green era) kept going back to a manicure the victim had been given. As with the plate in this episode, it turned out to be an important clue.

Ben said...

Hey Janetheyland, what are you talking about??

"The lack of interest on sites is reflected in the lack of ratings for this weeks episodes.
2.7million watching and 0.8 in key demo."

Then why does this say differently...

June 28, 2010

At 10 p.m., "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) ranked #1 among the major networks in adults 18-49 versus CBS's second hour of the Daytime Emmys and ABC's original series "The Gates." "Law & Order: CI" was also #1 among men 18-49, women 18-49 and adults, men and women 25-54.

Versus its 1.0 among adults 18-49 in the 10 p.m. hour on the prior Sunday, this week's "Law & Order: CI" was up 20 percent. In total viewers, "Law & Order: CI" was up week-to-week by 46 percent or more than 1.6 million persons (5.2 million vs. 3.5 million).

In the 10:30 lead-in to local news, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" was #1 in the key news demo of adults 25-54 with a 38 percent advantage over both ABC and CBS (1.8 vs. 1.3 for both ABC and CBS). "Law & Order: CI" was also #1 among the major networks at 10:30 in adults and women 18-34; adults, men and women 18-49; men and women 25-54; and total viewers.

If it's doing so bad, why is it #1?

Ben said...

And if you argue that was for yesterday and not these episodes or something then...

"# USA has the top four original scripted series of the (year-to-date) among BASIC CABLE for P18-49, P25-54 and total viewers: #1 BURN NOTICE, #2 ROYAL PAINS, #3 WHITE COLLAR, #4 PSYCH. IN PLAIN SIGHT is also in the top ten among total viewers (#6) and P25-54 (#9). LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT is also in the top ten for total viewers and P25-54 (#10 for both)."

Actually if look on tvbythenumbers, the only thing that beats CI in ratings on a normal basis is Deadliest Catch. CI does really well in its timeslot. It may not have huge numbers, but it's certainly doing well.

And this bit of info from June 8th, "More households (2.50 million) were tuned to LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT Tuesday night than to anything else on cable. CI was the top scripted telecast in the night’s prime among P25-54 (1.31 million), P18-49 (1.11 million), and total viewers (3.08 million)."

So where are you getting the idea that it's doing SO bad?