Monday, June 27, 2011

Law & Order Criminal Intent "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap" Recap & Review

All photos from NBCUniversal

Well, it’s over. Law & Order Criminal Intent closed out the series with a mediocre case in "To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap", still,  the ending to the series was satisfying. The case was a “ripped from the headlines” story based on a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg;  in this episode’s fictional case, twin brothers end up dead as as result of a disagreement over who had the idea for the web site "Kizmate."   There was a tease of a possible interesting twist when we saw an attorney – who appeared to be Danielle Melnick (Tovah Feldshuh) but who was never named – consulted with one of the soon to be dead twins. But, that turned out to be a big red herring as her appearance was only in that brief scene that would be have been missed if one blinked.   I was very distracted simply waiting for her to show up again.

The case itself was overshadowed by the fact that I – along with millions of other viewers I’m certain – were simply waiting to find out how the series would wrap up. Fans get a happy ending for Bobby Goren – he’s cleared for duty and just needs to continue his therapy to help him work through his anger and trust issues. When Goren leaves the office, it seems like a weight is off his shoulders. Finding his work partner Eames waiting there with a smile on her face also seemed to make the future seem bright for Goren. I know I felt happy.

My thanks to both Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe for their hard work on Law & Order Criminal Intent and for keeping viewers entertained all these years. The writers made this final season a wonderful send off. Personally, I still have hopes that someday, Goren and Eames will come back to life, maybe even in a short mini-series or TV movie special, or possibly by resurrecting their characters on another incarnation of Law & Order. Both Vincent  and Kathryn made Goren and Eames come to life and seem like real people, and characters like that are hard to come by these days. Goren and Eames are just as iconic to the Law & Order brand as Jack McCoy, and it would be nice to see them out and about again in the Law & Order universe someday.

Here is the recap:

At a nightclub, Rex Tamlyn (James Van Der Beek) tries to calm Danielle Magee (Natalie Gold) about the Gaffneys taking their company “Kizmate” from her. Parker Gaffney (Thad Luckinbill) along with Samir (Manish Dayal) approach Rex and Danielle and make threats about the lawsuit. Rex has them thrown out. Later, Parker talks with an attorney (Danielle Melnick? – Tovah Feldshuh) who tells him she needs evidence to put this over the top and to bring him a smoking gun.

Elsewhere, Danielle and PJ Edwards (Pawel Szajda) talk about the lawsuit and PJ says the Gaffneys can’t fight destiny. But Parker’s twin brother Thomas (Trent Luckinbill) talks to his father (Richard Bekins) about his concerns about the lawsuit and his father says his approach is not the Gaffney way. He adds that he needs to man up and fight or die. Parker comes in and adds that his father is right.

Later, a janitor finds Parker and Thomas dead on the floor in the offices of “Kizmate.” Detectives Bobby Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe) are called to the scene – Eames commenting it’s their first for a case with dead twins. Kizmate is a dating network. The security cameras had been shut down at 7:42 PM. Parker has been stabbed and Goren notices Thomas has heavy perspiration stains and has been dragged away from a pinball machine and thinks one of the dead guys hit his head on the pin ball machine first. They think that as Parker was dragging Thomas’ body, someone killed him.

As the bodies are taken away, Goren and Eames speak with Danielle who claims she doesn’t really know the men or know why they were there. She says Kismet is a romantic networking site and she developed an application that at first she did not know what it was good for. She met PJ when she dropped her wallet and he found it – PJ is the man in the company logo wearing the blue knit cap. He took off and she used her program to track him down and they have been together ever since. She turned her program into a web site.

They detectives speak with Parker and Thomas’ father who said the idea for the web site was Thomas’s and he and Parker met with Danielle to develop it. They boys had different personalities. He insists that Danielle may have come up with the mechanics of the process but it was his son's idea. He was with Thomas that night and he got a phone call after 10 and said he had to leave for a business emergency. He points them to the boys’ business partner, Samir Doss.

At the offices of Samir Doss, the detectives question him about the emergency and he has no idea what the emergency was or why the Gaffneys were at the office. He explains that 2 years ago they had approached Danielle to write code for their site. Six month later she launched the web site and they later asked for their fare share and she would not pay. She knew she was being sued and tells the detectives about the meeting at the nightclub.

The detectives confront Danielle on this matter and she says her lawyer told her not to talk to anyone about the lawsuit. She said she was at home, and PJ walks in - wearing his blue knit cap - and confirms it. Goren notices he is the guy in the ad. PJ is on the board of directors and he seems surprised they are considering they did it. Eames comments that the two alibiing each other does not impress them. Eames mentions the argument at the nightclub and Danielle said PJ was not there, she was there with Rex, a partner in the company and principal strategist.

The detectives head to the club to speak with Rex and Goren sits down next to him and squeezes into Rex’s space. Rex is just into the cash. It was his idea to have Danielle and PJ as the poster kids. Eames outlines what happened with the murder, and Rex say Parker had a major chip on his shoulder and Thomas had nothing to prove, he made millions of his own ideas and think Parker was the one behind the lawsuit. Rex says he was at the club that night and that the lawsuit was nothing and they had no proof. He asks Eames to dance and she passes. After he walks off, they think maybe Parker was in the office looking for proof. Goren also notices everyone dancing and their underarms and sweat and has an idea and that they need to call Rodgers.

Meanwhile, back at Kizmate, Danielle and PJ argue about why he lied to them. He threatens to call the cops and tell them she went along with it. He doesn’t go through with it, and says he is just trying to keep them together.

At the morgue, ME Rodgers (Leslie Hendrix) says that Goren is right, Thomas’s deodorant was on Parker’s hands – it seemed Parker was the one who dragged Thomas, and they think then Parker killed his brother.

Back at Major Case, the detectives explain their theory to Captain Hannah (Jay O. Sanders). They think Parker broke into Kizmate and Thomas got a call from him about it and tried to stop it. They think they got into a fight an Thomas hit his head and Parker was trying to drag Thomas out of the office and then get help. They think Parker was looking for proof for the lawsuit against Danielle.

Back at Samir’s office, he shows them an impression left on a legal paper that Danielle left behind at their meeting which has the algorithm for the site. Goren says they needed to prove the algorithm was the basis for Kizmate and Samir thinks that Parker was probably trying to hack into the Kizmate computer that night. Eames asks for a copy of the doodle. As Samir does this, Eames tells Goren she got a message which told them someone accessed the office with a key card belonging to Hildy Whitmore.

At Major Case, they speak with Hildy (Kellyn Lindsay) who says she didn’t give her card to anyone. She is Danielle’s assistant. Goren questions on when she signed off her computer that nigh and also that the security cameras were turned off 6 minutes after she signed out of her computer. She gets indignant about it and when Goren continues to press, she tells them she is leaving. When she exits the room, Goren comments, “Pants on fire?” and Eames responds, “Totally.”

Elsewhere, Danielle speaks with Rex and he says if she knows what is good for all of them she will keep her mouth shut.

Back at Major Case, their computer tech (who looks like a Goren and Eames lovechild, in my opinion!) shows them how he found the algorithm in the Kizmate source code – the proof they needed. They wonder if Hildy had second thoughts about helping the Gaffneys.

Back at the Kizmate office, the detectives speak with Danielle and tell her about the source code found in her site. She denies stealing the idea from the Gaffneys. As she tries to back away, Goren grabs her arm. But Samir approaches and says Danielle is telling the truth, Danielle was with him the night of the murder and they were together all night.

In Major Case interrogation, Goren questions Samir and he says he was with her not having sex but working out a settlement. He offered her a deal, and the Gaffneys did not know about it, he wanted Danielle on board first. Eames questions Danielle and swears she was with Samir. Eames thinks they both have a motive to win big. Samir says they deal would have meant paying out $37 million but says sometimes you win by surrendering. Goren thinks that by Samir alibiing her, he is alibiing himself and he has the most to gain with the twins out of the way and that is motive. When Samir asks Goren if he is insane, Goren replies , “The jury’s still out on that one.” Samir says he is calling his attorney.

Afterwards, Goren enters the observation room where Cpt. Hanna is watching and listening to Eames question Danielle. Danielle said Parker was ruthless, and hesitates before she said Thomas was too. She says she would do anything to return to her life with PJ.

Back at the office, PJ is incensed that Danielle was trying to make a deal. Rex is with him and he tells them to both chill out. He says they can’t forget why they are there – Kizmate – and that people believe in it so they’d better keep living it.

Back at Major Case, Eames tells Hannah that Samir’s alibi check out but that does not mean Danielle was there with him. It’s worth it to him to lie for her. Hannah thinks Danielle had no financial motive. He wonders who did have the motive, and they look to Rex.

At the Kizmate office, the detectives speak with Rex and confront him and his alibi. Goren makes a comment about Rex being a coke head. They think he went after Hildy that night and they turned off the security camera and later were interrupted by Parker. He says that did not happen and shows them that the security cameras take one last shot (from a cupid hanging on the wall) before being turned off to see who actually shut the cameras off. Only he and Danielle know about it and maybe Danielle told Hildy. When he shows them the image, it appears the camera was covered by a blue knit cap.

Later, with PJ in the Major Case interview room with Goren,  Goren tells him to take off the cap. Goren takes the cap and hangs it on the cupid that had the hidden camera and then confronts him about PJ’s cap hanging on the camera at the time of the murder. When PJ says they can’t prove it is his cap. Goren points outside the room to Hildy, who is sitting down with Eames, and says she can prove it. He accuses PJ of having an affair with Hildy.  Meanwhile, Hildy sees PJ in the room and gets rattled. She asks if she is in a lot of trouble and Eames says yes. Goren continues to press PJ and but PJ won’t budge. Goren says he will get it out of her.

When Goren leaves the room, he tells Hildy he got everything. She caves and says she and PJ have been in a relationship for the past two months and PJ knew how to turn off the security camera but that night they left about 8:30. She knew Parker was going to be there, Parker blackmailed her with her relationship with PJ and Parker threatened to tell Danielle. She could not risk her shares with the company.

The detectives go back to Samir and confront him on having the settlement talks with Danielle the same night that Parker was breaking in to the office. Goren threatens an obstruction charge and he says he had an inkling of what Parker was up to but he advised him against it. He knew Parker was blackmailing Hildy and that she was sleeping with PJ. He thinks Thomas told Parker. Goren tells Samir he wants to send a text for him on his cell phone.

Later, in Central Park, the detectives are there when Danielle arrives, she thinks she is meeting Samir. They tell her they know about the affair and that this is why PJ turned off the security cameras. She said she did not know about it. The detectives don’t buy it. Goren calls what she sells on her web site fluff, and Eames calls it “apps for saps”, Goren adding “caps.” As she storms off, they tell accuse her of telling Thomas about the affair, and then he told Parker who used the information to blackmail Hildy to get access to the office. They accuse her of being in love with Thomas, but she denies it. The detectives say she called him that night after her meeting with Samir using her no name cell phone and that is when Thomas told her Parker is on her way to break in and he was going to stop him. She got there too late and saw Parker standing over Thomas’s body. She says things got so complicated and she questions that he does not believe that true love is possible. Goren says he wants to believe and asks her to make him believe. He asks if that is how she felt about Thomas. She says they were so different but she loved him and he was her true love. Goren says she needs to help him show she would do anything for love, even kill the man who took his life and she was willing to give it all up for Thomas. She admits that she felt she lost everything and Parker blamed her for turning Thomas against him and he came at her. She grabbed scissors from the desk and stabbed him. As Eames cuffs her, Danielle says it was self defense and Eames says they will let a jury sort that out. She says she is sorry. As the officers take her off. Eames comments that they all want to believe in true love.

In the office of Dr. Paula Gyson (Julia Ormond), Goren says she lied to him last week when she said that the sessions are to get to him to know about his own mind but he thinks this is not what it is about as the NYPD is paying her. She says she is trying to help and evaluate him. She thinks right now the job is vital to him and it gives him structure and a sense of purpose. She thinks Goren thinks it is the only thing that defines him and that without the puzzle he does not matter. She adds it is a lie that he has chosen to believe. She asks him to consider that if everyone lies, by definition that has to include him. If that is true, then there is no way he can trust his own judgment, not when he puts the job before the man and there is more to him than that. He asks if she is going to take his job  away, and she says she is going to tell them he is more than capable of holding down his job and that he has anger and trust issues that would benefit from further treatment. He replies he has been to anger management and it has made him angrier. She says he needs to learn how to curb his anger to keep his job and his will be hard but he is smart. When she recommends other therapists, he says he does not want to start with somebody new. She says he will be fine.  She gives him a business card and he takes it and gets up. She asks if he thought about the riddle and the doors, and he continues that one guard heaven and the other hell and if you have one question to ask what would it be. She says what would the other guard say if his is the door - to heaven.    Goren hands her the business card back and then says, “Same time next week?” She replies “OK.” He leaves the room looking happy.

As he exits the building. Eames is outside, waiting next to the car. He calls her by her name Alex (not “Eames”) and she asks how did it go. He tells her that it was good. She also replies “good.” She adds that a call came in, a DOA at a bank on West 44thStreet and the Feds are on the way but she thought they might want to…and he finishes the sentence along with her, saying “…get there first.” They both smile and there is a pregnant pause. She gets in the car in the driver’s seat and he gets in the passenger seat. They look at each other, and he says, “Let’s go!” They both smile and seem happy,  and as their car drives down the street, we fade to black.

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Roseha said...

I enjoyed the episode. As you mention, the wondering about how it would end was a bit of a distraction but I thought it was a good case with some interesting characters. Rene Balcer is said to have re-written some of the scenes, and I think he must have had a hand in the writing of the last crime scene where Bobby tells Danielle the web person that she needs to give them the truth to get back to the way things were, and then asks her to make him believe in love. As if both the person and the detective Goren were speaking. Very good scene.
While I would like the idea of Goren and Eames reappearing again - the show at its best was just amazing - I am happy they gave the fans a send-off not unlike the Mothership, where you can sense them going on with their lives. Thank you, Vincent and Kathryn and everyone at LOCI.

Music Wench said...

Loved that last scene. The case file was so-so. I kind of expected more because it's been said Balcer did a re-write. Oh well, it was okay.

I'm just glad they didn't go over the top and have a horribly awful end to this series like Loyalty would have been. It was typical Goren and Eames. Understated with not much dialog, just VDO and KE showing us how marvelously they can say so many things with just their body language and expressions.

They're both healthier, happier and still working together and that's the way I like it. I know some were disappointed but honestly, this couldn't have been any better. Warren Leight delivered in that final scene as I believe he said he wrote it.

Nice to see everything all wrapped up. Someone else said on a VDO site I visit that it was Goren and Eames coming full circle. I like that thought, too.

Well done Chris Brancato and all the writers. Good to have Balcer and Leight back in the fold for the finale as well.

I will miss Goren and Eames so much I may need therapy. lol

Thanks to Vincent and Kathryn for giving us two of the best detectives EVER. You will be missed but I look forward to your future projects outside this series.

maculae said...

See you later Goren and Eames. It's not the end. Dick Wolf brings his people back one way or another.

Buffy said...

Now, being the shipper I am I have to wonder about the whole "Kizmet" thing. Is it kismet that Goren and Eames met? I kind of like that idea. And, yes, as I mentioned elsewhere, the shows ending could have been taken in a shippy or non-shippy way, same thing with it being fate that Goren and Eames became partners.

I read in an interview before the show came back that Dick Wolf had been toying with the idea of creating a new show, a non-Law and Order style one, centered around Det. Goren. So, maybe, just maybe we will see him again soon. Hopefully the bring Eames along for the ride. :D

Anonymous said...

No one but no one does a better recap than you. I've tried but I couldn't even come close to the details you give; kudos. I didn't think this episode was strong and especially for a finale yet I was satisfied how it ended. I think we will see Goren and Eames back in some element in the future.

All Things Law and Order said...

Nantz - thanks for the kind words. The recaps take a lot of time and I admit that sometimes I get tired of doing them. Sadly, with no Criminal Intent and Law & Order LA, I guess I won't be doing as many next season...I really hope there is some excuse for them to bring Goren and Eames back.

deisegal said...

Yes super recaps indeed, and I am not surprised they they take so long! I enjoyed the episode even thought the storyline was a bit blaaa...I was just giddy waiting to see how it would end because I had faith that they would Do the Right Thing after the abomination of their first exit from the series. Will really miss them naturally but if it has to end then at least send them out with some dignity.

Walter Mulder said...

Thomas was played by Trent Luckinbill, Thad's real life identical twin brother.

All Things Law and Order said...

Thanks for the info Walter, I made the correction!

Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to imagine how long the recaps take you. They are astounding and done within hours after the episode has aired. You must stay up into the 'Wee Small Hours' to get them done.

MJM said...

A run of the mill nothing special episode. A tacked on ending that seemed out of character. An obvious wink and a nod to those who wanted to see them as a couple.I was never in that camp.

W Michael Novotny said...

If you saw some recent episodes of Law & Order SVU, Detective Eames has made guest appearances.

In one episode, Eames has a brief scene with Olivia Benson -- who also lost her partner. Eames says that having a cop partner is almost like a marriage. And Benson quickly and rather sternly chimes in, saying "Except it's not."

There was always some very deeply buried tension between Elliot and Olivia, but Benson respected the partnership and Elliot's wife and family.

It was only in the last episodes of Criminal Intent that you got a sense that there was something beyond the partnership going on, at least on Eames side of the street.