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Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 7 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2007 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
155 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The death of an officer pulls Goren from his compassionate leave as the case is given top priority, but his relentless investigation brings out information related to Eames' husband's death, and the fallout threatens to become catastrophic as the case is reopened, potentially freeing the man she blames for her loss.moreless

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  • A cop and another witness to the years-ago murder of Eames' cop husband Joe Dutton are gunned down within days of each other, pointing the finger at, but then casting doubt on the guilt of, the man in jail for the crime, and reopening old woundsmoreless

    As far as it went, this was a well-written, moving episode with believable characters, situations, and experiences, nice pacing, solid legwork, a climactic ending, and strong acting. Kathryn Erbe was especially good, with her powerful, understated performance as a grieving, vengeful, but always professional Eames. She had some good lines ("This isn't one of your puzzles, Bobby"; "My partner does not adjust well to change."). Eames' and another woman's descriptions of their experiences as police widows appeared to have real heart and truth to them. Vincent D'Onofrio was nicely muted, understanding but forceful. The police closing ranks and resenting looking at anyone other than the obvious gang punk suspect was cliche but plausible.

    But the episode was not as effective and entertaining as it could have been for a show dealing with something as potentially meaningful and powerful as the death of a regular character's cop spouse and discovery of the buried truth of what really happened in that long-ago murder. It had the sad feel of missed opportunity.

    The writing did very little, if anything, to develop the character of Eames' dead husband and the relationship she had had with him (her last line, "He was a good cop," is said to the killer and meant to be stoic but nothing else in the episode compensates for it, certainly not the brief, hushed, inarticulate emotion she shows when opening the old evidence box, with Joe's shirt in it). There was nothing intricate or interesting about her husband's death, at an undercover drug buy that went wrong. And the episode again went to unnecessary, damaging extremes undermining Goren's character by portraying him as a pariah among other officers and a "whack job" to his superiors, without a foundation, explanation, or justification for why he would have landed so firmly and unfairly in such a negative place. Once again, leading the charge in the unnecessarily, implausibly, and distractingly hostile posturing of the whole world against Goren is the cliche, cardboard portrait of the "Chief of Ds" as a loudmouth, knuckleheaded jerk. This series is smarter than that.moreless
  • It was a good episode, but not the same.

    Is it possible that when CI switched networks it lost something? this episode seemed to be struggling to achieve something that had always been easily reached in previous episodes. It was not cheesy, but at times it all seemed a little forced. Eames' husband had been killed a long time before this, and this episode brings that case back into focus. It looks like they may have the wrong guy, and that he is still free and killing other people. The episode was still enjoyable, despite it's choppy storyline, it was just missing that usual flare that it has to it. It is possible that it was just the one case that made it seem this way, and that it will never be that choppy again. Overall it was a good episode, and well worth the watch--we learn so much about Eames'--it just wasn't the same.moreless
  • Eames' husband was killed on duty 9 years ago. His partner is murdered, as is the other witness who testified at the trial of the man accused of killing Eames' husband. The jailed man is innocent. The witnesses lied, and Eames and Goren must find out why.moreless

    Eames is caught in a nightmare she thought was behind her. The alleged killer of her policeman husband, in jail for 9 years, is innocent. The witnesses against him, her husband's partner and a drug dealer lied at the trial. They pay for their perjury with their own murders at the hands of the son of the innocent jailed man. Goren is not at his best at first and Eames confronts him with the statement that this is not just one of his puzzles. It is her life. Eames and Goren discover the drug dealer lied to protect a youth who had a future in medical school and is now a doctor. Eames has the satisfaction of arresting her husband's murderer after his confession. Good thing he confessed. There were all kinds of problems involved in letting Eames stay on this case, and a good lawyer is just waiting in the wings to destroy her (if this were real life). Fortunately it is fiction and justice triumphs.moreless
  • Examines the personal lives of Goren & Eames!

    It is the sixth season of CI, the first-run episode of USA Network as I am glad that it wasn't cancelled at all. As I love Goren. We get to see a personal side of him, from that hardened Sherlock Holmes thing. And despite what has happened to his mom and the life and death that she led that really disturbed him. He was back to his usual self, as the team is forced to work with another personal thing...the death of Eames cop-husband, who was working in narcotics. We find that the person who was found guilty originally in his death. Was really innocent. Very interesting storyline. As solving Eames' husband's murder became a goal for her both personally and professionally.moreless
  • Not bad for a season opener had a decent case and Goran and Eames did their usual best. Goran who came off of leave after the events of last season. Still a little disturbed from what I saw about his mothers life and death. He camemoreless

    Not bad for a season opener had a decent case and Goran and Eames did their usual best. Goran who came off of leave after the events of last season. Still a little disturbed from what I saw about his mothers life and death. He came back to work the case of a murdered cop that was Eames husbands partner. The case unravels as it becomes apparent that the partner of the murdered cop can't see well enough to make an id. Also the person who was convicted of murdering Eames husband is found to be innocent. The back and forth of finding this truth was typical CI fare and seeing how hated Bobby is was an eye opener and I suspect it's not just because of this case. Nothing season arching happened but I think this is the start of many more good episodes.moreless
Holt McCallany

Holt McCallany

Det. Patrick Copa

Guest Star

Felix Solis

Felix Solis

Ray Delgado

Guest Star

Rafael Sardina

Rafael Sardina

Dr. Manny Beltran

Guest Star

Mike Pniewski

Mike Pniewski

Chief of Detectives

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Eames was married in 1995. Her husband, Joseph Dutton, was killed in the line of duty in 1999 -- he was a police officer who worked in narcotics.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Outside the Quinn's house after the funeral.)
      Tommy Quinn: So, did you hear about that detective that let my dad's killer get away?
      Robert Goren: Yeah, we'll get his killer.
      Tommy Quinn: Chief of Ds? He told my mom that that detective was a whack job.

    • Suspect: I save people. I–I've saved hundreds of lives!
      Alex Eames: It doesn't make up for the one you took away.

    • Theresa Quinn: I'm sorry.
      Alex Eames: Oh, it's okay, Theresa.
      Theresa Quinn: No it's not. When Joe died… I remember telling you how sorry I was. If there was anything I could do. When inside I was thinking, "Thank God it wasn't Kevin."

    • Alex Eames: My partner ... he doesn't adapt well to change.

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic – "Dluh" (Debt)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia – July 3, 2008 on Network 10
      Czech Republic – April 23, 2010 on TV Nova

    • A number of key crew received promotions with season seven. Tim DeLuca moved from co-producer to producer, Charlie Rubin from co-producer to supervising producer, Diana Son from supervising producer to co-executive producer, and Julie Martin from consulting producer to co-executive producer.

    • Beginning with this episode, the theme music in the opening credits is the mix used by Law and Order: Trial By Jury.

    • Season seven marked Law & Order: Criminal Intent's move to USA basic cable network, a sister network of NBC under the NBC Universal umbrella. Dick Wolf negotiated the transfer to keep the mothership (Law & Order) at the broadcast network, hopefully to achieve his stated goal of exceeding Gunsmoke's 20 seasons, although CI's declining ratings certainly played a part in the decision. Episodes were initially run by USA, and then repurposed to NBC, usually to fill a gap in its schedule caused by a failed program or during a hiatus.