Monday, May 16, 2011

Law & Order CI “Boots on the Ground” Recap & Review

Law & Order Criminal Intent “Boots on the Ground” is the third episode of season 10, and I’m still impressed with the overall quality. Having Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe back is a big part of it, but the storytelling and dialog has also greatly improved. The other welcome change is that the show is literally brighter and more colorful, the color saturation pumped up. Despite the liberal use of intense color and lighting, the show still retains an edgy feeling, possibly because the quirky Bobby Goren we all know and love is back doing what he does best. While Goren still has to work through his inner demons, the splashes of color give the feeling that there is hope for him.

I was relieved when they placed his session with the shrink at the end of the episode.  It seems to fit much better and, unlike last week’s episode, it didn’t ruin the momentum of the case. Although there were a lot of key players in this murder, the story did not seem overly complicated, something that Criminal Intent had been guilty of in the past.

Here is the recap:
Detectives Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe) are called to investigate when Ian Masefield - who works for Ascalon Security in the cyber warfare division – falls to his death on top of a taxi. They quickly determine he was pushed and that someone scaled onto the deck from below, and the killer was smaller than the victim. There was also a negligee at the scene.

Captain Hannah (Jay O. Sanders) thinks that Ian’s talents with cyber warfare was am asset. The detectives check with his employer Terrence Brooks (Michael Kelly) at Ascalon who doesn’t seem to know Ian. They then find Ian was using Elise Clark’s (Michele Pawk) home as his mailing address.  She said her son Matt is a friend and Ian uses Matt’s mailing address as Ian traveled. Goren also notices that Matt’ s mother home schooled him. She says she doesn’t know where Matt is.

At Matt Clark’s apartment they find Matt has a sophisticated hacking operation. They also find that Matt Clark IS Ian Masefield. When the detectives head back to Elise Clark’s home, she appears to be on the run.

The detectives wonder why Matt was working at Ascalon under another name and think Elise knew what Matt was up to. One of the apartments in Matt’s building was owned by Sun Tech Industries, and Matt also worked there recently.

The detectives speak with Naomi Halloran (Jeri Ryan) and tell her Matt fell to his death from the company’s corporate penthouse. Halloran’s husband was killed in Afghanistan. Eames tells her it is odd Matt was up in the Sun Tech penthouse when he worked for Ascalon, and that they found a slinky nightie up there. They accuse her of having Matt work for the competitor as a mole. She admits that is true.

The detectives check back with Terrence who recognizes the photo of Matt as Ian Masefield. He didn’t kill Matt, and he will be looking into whatever Matt stole.

Back at Sun Tech, they have the data that Matt stole and Halloran seems happy that the police will likely subpoena it.

The detectives check with the shop that sold the negligee and they find Matt had two bodyguards with him. He also had a black negligee delivered later. (Goren states he loves the place.)

At the apartment of Rebecca Landon (Tala Ashe), where the negligee was delivered, they find that Landon teaches Israeli self defense. She also has a similar tattoo to Matt’s.

They bring her to Major Case to discuss all the confidential documents in her apartment and the hacking gear, the same equipment as Matt. They accuse her of climbing the building and killing Matt. She denies it, saying they had the same goals, to destroy the contractors like Ascalon and Sun Tech – all the warmongers.

Later, they tell Hannah about Matt and Rebecca’s plan to steal data to make their secrets public. Matt had his own agenda and was trying to bring both companies down. They also think Elise Clark is a person of interest as she fled. They want to know what data was taken is this may be the motive, so Hannah tells them to throw a subpoena at Sun Tech.

At Sun Tech, they tell Naomi that Matt and Rebecca were providing data to Wikileaks. Naomi says Matt found Terrence’s poison pill – documents Terrence could use against his enemies.

Later, as Terrence moves to his car with a group of people, there is an explosion nearby which throws them all to the ground.

Afterwards, at Major Case, AFT shows Goren and Eames what was collected at the site of the explosion. Goren says the parts are “old school.”

The detectives speak again with Terrence to talk about Matt taking his “poison pill” data and saying this gave Terrence a motive. Goren adds that Naomi’s husband may have a grudge because of a suicide bomber that got into a building that Ascalon was supposed to be protecting. Terrence said her husband was lousy and Naomi had problems with him. But Naomi later tells them the opposite, saying Terrence is a liar. She also says they have never had a document leak and also said she hired bodyguards to watch Matt. She thinks Matt sent them home that night.

While walking down the street, Naomi is confronted by Terrence. They accuse each other and Naomi tells him maybe someone else is looking at him for payback.

At Major Case, their tech guy has been unable to find a poison pill, but they find the tattoo are a the hallmark of the Peoples Liberation Brigade. Hannah said those are the people that tried to blow up the bull statue on Wall Street years ago. Goren asks to see the mug shots of the fugitives from that group, and Matt’s mom’s photo is one of them.

Later, they have Elise Clark in custody and confront her about running and the new bomb and that it was the same style as the one used to blow up the bull in 1976. She thinks Terrence killed Matt. Goren sees she also has a tattoo and accuses her of teaching Matt how to be a revolutionary. She also thinks Naomi would not have killed Matt as Matt and Naomi were lovers.

The detectives confront Rebecca with this information and also that they searched her apartment and found shoes that match the shoeprints on the rooftop. She calmly denies killing Matt. Goren presses her on what happened, but she blankly says her friend is dead.

Afterwards, Goren tells Hannah they are digging themselves a hole and that Rebecca’s answers have been coached. Even if Rebecca did it, Hannah thinks someone ordered her to do it. The tech guy Stan also says he has not been able to find anything incriminating. Goren thinks the document analysis was designed to waste their time.

Goren goes back to Elise who is in the detention cell, and confronts her that she did not flinch when they told her that Matt had died and that she has kept it together. He asks her what she did after they left, did she cry then? She asks him if he believe in anything beyond his badge. He says he believes that victims need an advocate. He asks her if what she has done over the years was worth it. He reminds her all she has done and her son is still gone and was her revolution worth his life? He says if she wants justice for Matt, he needs her help. She asks how.

Later, in Hannah’s office at Major Case, Terrence enters with his attorneys. Goren begins to question him and Terrence says he knows Goren’s techniques. Goren accuses him of killing Matt and having help.

Eames enters with Naomi and her attorney and she is surprised to see Terrence there. Goren tells both of them that they found hard drives with data stolen by Matt, and Matt belonged to a group of computer thieves – and that Naomi gave them the data. Goren also thinks Terrence gave the data to Naomi. Goren also said that Matt gave the files to Wikileaks who sent it everywhere. He adds that Naomi gave them the documents and said they were Terrence’s poison pill. Goren takes the cart full of files and pushes it out the office door. He said that was just thousands of pages of useless documents designed to waste their time and to expose nothing. He accused both of them of teaming up. He also adds that Naomi was in love with Matt, and then adds that Terrence told Naomi that Matt was cheating on her and that must have made her crazy. As Terrence moves to leave,  Hannah shows a video of Elise, saying that Rebecca has a husband who is like Matt - he infiltrates. She adds that Matt loved Naomi. Goren brings up the negligee and that someone else - not Matt – ordered the second negligee to be sent to Rebecca. Eames said Terrence was setting her up. Naomi lunges at Terrence and she admits that Terrence told her Matt was sleeping around and she lost it. All she did was call off the bodyguards. Goren tells her Matt’s love for her cost him his life and that she should mull that over for her next 25 years in prison for murder conspiracy.

As they take Naomi away in cuffs, Goren turns to Terrence. Goren reminds Terrence his slogan is boots on the ground, and shows the boots matched to shoeprints at the murder scenes and they were Rebecca’s and that he sent her. Eames starts up a video showing Rebecca under questioning. Rebecca admits that Terrence called her and said her 12 year old cousin had died in a hit and run and the next time he called she did what he asked. She admits that she met Matt on the roof and she was there and he tried to fight back. She said it was him or his family. Goren tells Terrence that Matt was in the business to put Terrence out of business so he needed to die. He adds that Terrence had an innocent 12 year old killed to force Rebecca to kill Matt, and that Rebecca will testify against him. Goren gives a half hearted salute and then cuffs Terrence.

As they take Naomi and Terrence off, Hannah comments about both of them and Elise and Rebecca - and Eames adds that everybody goes to jail.

Later, Goren is in therapy with Dr. Paula Gyson (Julia Ormond) and he tells her he thought about what she said. He admits his world is treacherous. He says he had a friend Louis who works on cars who told him the biggest mistake people make is they have an old car that stalls out all the time so they flush the transmission and clear out the gunk. They kill it. Al the gunk that was there was plugging up all the holes and the car never runs again. Gyson thinks Goren is afraid the analysis that he will stop functioning. Goren comments she thinks this will not happen because he can trust her. She replies she would not presume to tell him who to trust. She is interested that he compared himself to an old car, and cars can’t feel and they don’t stop and reflect, they are made to work. He comments that his mother did her best to take care of him but she was schizophrenic. Goren has a memory of Nicole Wallace talking about his mother not being like other mothers. He comes back to the present and tells Gyson he spoke to someone about this before, in interrogation. He says he betrayed and pimped out his family to get a confession. She says he did what he had to – he always has – and he did not betray his mother. She asks, “but what have you done for her son?” As Goren reflects on this comment, we fade to black.

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Esaul said...

Well, I guess it's safe to say we couldn't say this episode was that predictable, with all parties being guilty of something. I think my favorite part of the episode (other than the acting/writing), would be the camera work. I was impressed when Goren and Eames were on the street upon the initial discovery of the body, and they were looking up at the roof, camera goes up, and then we're on the next scene with them on there. Just wow. xD

UDENGUI said...

Me encanta, como quisiera ver ya LOCI, no se cuando lo vana pasar para Latinomerica. Esa sesión con la psiquiatra debe debe ser horma porque allíVincent debe mostrar todo lo que siwente Bobbi. Amo a este actor.

sirmikelogan said...

The first two episodes were decent, had their dry spots, but this one IMO was awesome. Probably the best CI since 'Major Case'.

I recognize that guy who played Terrence Brooks from somewhere. Just can't put my finger on it. The name 'Michael Kelly' doesn't really ring a bell either.

Roseha said...

I thought this was excellent, their best episode in a very long time. I liked the complex plot that all fit together in the end, and somehow was very moved watching Goren in the taped interviews that took Terrence down. The confrontation scene with the Mother was great.
Not in love with the therapy session being stuck on at the end myself. I did like the little flashback they inserted though. I wish CI could do more of that kind of thing, but they generally don't have the time I guess!

havers said...

Thanks for filling my understanding gaps.

Esaul said...

CI is continuing to do well too. It's the only original scripted drama to place in the top 25 (placing in 20) with 3,834 viewers. I think there is a chance we can get yet another season...

Esaul said...

I also tweeted a question to some person who works at USA about if he believes there is a chance for CI to get renewed with the numbers it's been pulling. He stated that right now CI is designed to be the last season, and he could not speculate any further than that. I personally believe it'd be in their best interest to do that though, 'cause a lot of people came back.

rickdennis said...

You may have recognized Michael Kelly (Terrence Brooks)from his role as a regular in "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour." Although he plays a "good guy" in that series he seems best suited for the kind of role that he played in the CI episode "Boots on the Ground". He has the kind of facial features and body language that lend themselves naturally to a character that is darker, morally ambiguous and (as in this case) guilty of something (we're just not exactly sure what.)
As for squeezing another season out of Law and Order:CT it is my understanding D'Onofrio only agreed to come back to the role if this was indeed the final season of the CI series. That would also explain the weekly appearance of the shrink (Julia Ormond). The object here is to pry open the Goren character and find out what makes such a complex character tick. This again is something the producers of the show would probably only do in the series' final season.