Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 3


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 13, 2002 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
134 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

As Goren and Eames sift through the likely suspects in the murder of a university president and his assistant, they discover that the culprit is a wily adversary who has more than these crimes to hide.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Anti-Thesis is a cleverly plotted story/episode. It has many twists, turns, and shocking discoveries. There are many suspects and many fingers to point at. But one thing that deceives us is the beautiful and charming Elizabeth Hitchens, who is really Nicomoreless

    Anti-Thesis was an amazing episode in my opinion. It kept me guessing and left me in awe. It\'s one of my favorites, though I love all the episodes, but this one was quite the shocker. An innocent looking woman, who has a deep secret to conceal from the world around her. She\'s smart, cunning, and clever. First, it seems she loves Mark, but later you see that she doesn\'t want anything to do with him. Just use him as her little puppet. You then see that she gives an affectionate kiss to Christine, and now you know that there is something going on and that she has to be part of it. The interrogation scene is quite intense. Goren tries to prove that she is not Elizabeth Hitchens, but the evil Nicole Wallace. He says, \"If you really are Elizabeth Hitchens, just tell me the educational foundation in Melbourne! Look I don\'t have it in my papers.\" But she\'s so clever and so smart that she turns the tables and starts asking him the questions, personal questions. Like, \"Tell me Robert. How often do you get up to the Carmel Ridge Center?\" And, \"How old were you when you first realized it?\" But he\'s smart enough to know when to stop. This is one of best episodes. The ending let\'s us know that she\'ll be back with more evil tricks and twists.moreless
  • .. a favorite quote-

    this is the episode I imagine I hear 'Bobby' state who he is.. "the dogged unrelenting pursuit of evil." and then the fascinating-like-a-snake Nicole's retort, "man's unrelenting pursuit of his own potency", so revealing- goodness vs power/evil, right there. in the air- between them. (Moby Dick as mini-Rorscharch test..) before they even know what they're individually capable of. this quote is also why I feel 'Bobby Goren' is more akin to Sir Galahad (!) than to Sherlock Holmes: Holmes has a breadth of knowledge that astounds.. but he is detached; not moved by outrage, compassion, love of his fellow human being. Watson is Holmes' humane bridge to the world.. but Goren is more than a quirky, far-reaching, probing mind. he proves himself incorruptible- and (doggedly, unrelentingly) driven to pursue evil. (I am not a t.v. watcher but am renting this series, disc by disc, hungrily, from Netflix and enjoying the hell out of it!)moreless
  • What starts out to be a murder of a University President turns into a brilliant cat and mouse game between Goren and a women from Australia posing as a Literature Professor from Oxford, England. The twist is who is she the professor or the crook or both.moreless

    Brilliant episode which follows the regular path many episodes take but in this case changes mid-stream into a game of psychological wits between a female killer and Goren.

    In a momentous ending sequence the women trades notes one on one with Goren in the interrogation room. Right when Goren feels he has got her she gets release on a rit of habeas corpus and disappears at the completion of the episode.

    Finally someone truly worthy of Goren's intellect to cross swords with. This women possibly was responsible for the multiple murders of seven men in Thailand, taking the identity of another person in Australia, and then finally the murder of the perpetrator of the murder of the University President and then the killer himself.

    The question now is whether we will ever see Goren cross paths with this women again in the future. She was obviously intrigued with Goren as much as he was with her. The scenes between the two were sparkling almost. She is obviously a disturbed person but at the same time she has a photographic memory. Nicole Wallace played by Olivia d'Abo is terrific and hopefully we'll see her again in the future. I really enjoyed this episode and it was great fun. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • It buttered my parsnips

    The introduction of the beautiful Nicole Wallace/Elizabeth Hitchens in the form of Olivia D'Abo. Surely she's too young and innocent to be behind the brutal murders of university personnel?

    It's a well-written character, though she is a tad far fetched in her abilities to seduce just about anyone or anything. The story itself doesn't seem to matter that much, and I was slightly confused actually as to why all this murder was necessary. It's all about getting Nicole and Bobby at loggerheads, and the two actors do play nicely off each other, though Ms D'Abo's talents are not extensive by any means. I think we've fallen again for the 'speaks with an English accent therefore can play an evil b*tch' syndrome.

    As an Englishman, I have to say I have never ever heard anyone use the 'wouldn't butter your parsnips' phrase, but it's a goodie and I wouldn't be surprised if it passed into the language eventually!moreless
  • The murders of a university president and his assistant lead the detectives to a visitng professor who turns out to be an evil 'international' criminal.

    A labyrinthian plot, but since the setting was the Ivory Tower, it was fitting. Some stereotypical, but germ-of-truth charcterization in the near breakdown doctoral candidate, gradually losing it as the dissertation drags on - five extensions/ten years, LOL! Hell on earth is spelled A-B-D.

    And of course, the ex-radical, charismatic prof. threatening lawsuit if he's not promoted.

    De rigeur for any look into academia.

    The visiting professor Elizabteth Hitchens was somewhat more intriguing, if merely because she's not a frump. Pretty enough to initally bring out the little boy in Bobby, (D'Onofrio's patented smile-scowl-blush-sulk-pout-smile flirtation syndrome) until she turns out to be, err, Nicole Wallace.

    "The big detective is smart" says Nicole, and sure enough, he busts her accent, relationship with the unfortunate 'idiot' PH D candidate, shot at a permanent position and tenure, sexual relationship with new female chair, real identity and past crimes, and of course, current misdeeds, including the peanut oil based offing of the misguided dissertationist - well, at least he avoided his defense.

    I'd call that "smart".

    Bobby's pretty cute as a backrow American lit student, tho, giving his takes on Melville, overflowing his desk and legs straddling the aisle. He can attend Firefligh's classes anytime. I see extra credit assignment ops aplenty.

    But frankly, after reading and hearing so much about the chemistry between Goren and Wallace, and expecting the blonde bisexual criminal to literally smoulder off the small screen, this one was rather disappointing. The plot and acting were fine - but the overall effect didn't live up to its billing as the launching of a great and worthy nemesis. And totally ridiculous that Goren would have answered even ONE question of Nicole's after she deviously researched his background, much less bartered away psychic wounds in some quid pro quo game of darts.

    Best quote: "Academics are so vicious...because the stakes are so low". :)

Linda Emond

Linda Emond

Christine Fellowes

Guest Star

Peter Gerety

Peter Gerety

George Dawkins

Guest Star

Daniel London

Daniel London

Mark Bayley

Guest Star

Olivia d'Abo

Olivia d'Abo

Nicole Wallace

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Nitpick: As is usual with CPR done on TV, when Goren tries to save Bayley, he forgets to give the breaths.

    • Nitpick: The Australian documents contain dates in the US format (m/d/y) instead of the Australian format (d/m/y). Official Australian documents would have the commonly used date format for Australia.

    • Nitpick: The name of the composer, Penderecki, is mis-pronounced (though this may be deliberate). All of the characters pronounced it "pen-duh-RECK-ee" instead of the correct "pen-deh-RETS-kee".

    • Nitpick: It is not true that an alien lawfully admitted to the USA, and who falls out of status, would automatically lose her rights to an attorney, against self-incrimination, etc.

    • Goof: Goren speaks to the police in Australia and says Elizabeth Hitchens was "President" of a company but the correct term is more likely "Managing Director". Australian companies do not have presidents.

    • Goofs: The whole fax is very sloppy. The cover sheet reads "FACIMILE" instead of "Facsimile". The numbers of buildings on the roads are far too high for roads in the UK and Australia. Oxford telephone numbers have six digits and such a form would always show the five digit STD code. All Australian telephone numbers are eight digits and would also have a two digit STD code. The form shows all numbers in all cities as being just seven digits and no STD code. There aren't any official forms in Australia which would require a date to be entered in the MMDDYY format. Australian forms would be the international standard of DDMMYY and not the US MMDDYY version. Zip code is also mentioned on the form. Australia (and the UK) have postcodes. Most Australians and UK residents would also enter their postcodes on such forms. There are no postcodes entered here on the forms.

    • Goren visits his mother once a week and telephones her every day.

    • Robert Goren was born August 20, 1961. His Social Security number is 845-67-3906.

    • Nitpick: If Nicole Wallace is Australian, she should know better than to pronounce Melbourne as "Mel-born". Goren correctly pronounces it as "Mel-bun".

    • Nitpick: Since Australian police forces are state-based, not city-based, the fax Goren received should have read "Victoria Police", not "Melbourne Police". Although Australian media often refer to the police by the station name, rather than the state/territory, the fax should have named the correct department.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Robert Goren: Now you see the problem. You can't expose our trick without exposing your own culpability.
      Alex Eames: And you know what that's called, your being an expert on the modern American novel, and all…
      Nicole Wallace: Yes, well, I never much cared for Heller.

    • Nicole Wallace: In American literature, the descent into madness is usually preceded by obsession. A consuming obsession. Example, anyone? Alright, I'll get you started. Moby Dick. What characterises Ahab's obsession? Yeah, in the back.
      Robert Goren: The dogged unrelenting pursuit of evil.
      Nicole Wallace: Interesting. Evil. I always fancied it was man's unrelenting pursuit of his own potency. Alright everyone, I expect you to make a dent in Moby Dick by the end of the week.
      Robert Goren: Sometimes a whale is just a whale.
      Nicole Wallace: Nothing is ever just something. Not even detectives.
      Robert Goren: Or professors. Or graduate students for that matter.
      Nicole Wallace: That sounds a bit ominous.

    • Christine Fellowes: I can't have you here. You're relieved of your duties, as of immediately.
      Robert Goren: In that case, you're under arrest.
      Nicole Wallace: For what?
      Alex Eames: You just got fired. You're in violation of your work visa.

    • Nicole Wallace: Very good, detective, did you memorize the Oxford tour guide on your way here?
      Robert Goren: No. (chuckles) No, I spent a couple of weeks there once… chasing co-eds.
      Nicole Wallace: It took you that long to catch one? I'm shocked.
      Robert Goren: Well, that's very funny, professor.

    • Mark Bayley: I didn't tell them about the shoes. It's that big detective; he noticed them.
      Nicole Wallace: That 'big detective' is smart.

    • Christine Fellowes: You know why the battles in academia are so vicious? It's because the stakes are so low.

    • Alex Eames: (to Goren about Wallace) What'd you think, she'd have scones and a glass of sherry for us?

    • Robert Goren: Professor Sanders wasn't in that night grading papers, was he?
      (Miss Goodman pauses.)
      Alex Eames: True or false, Miss Goodman, and we don't give "incompletes".

    • Robert Goren: When I met you, you wanted me to know who you truly were – how smart, how funny, how charming you were. You wanted me to know you, Nicole Wallace, the sparkling little girl who survived horrible abuse with her wits intact.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode marks the debut of Nicole Wallace, who appears in multiple episodes over the rest of the series. Just as Det. Goren was written to be a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, Nicole was written to be his equivalent of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty.

    • Special billing was given to Phillip Bosco (and) in this episode.


    • In this episode, Professor Sanders and President Winthrop are the analogues to real-life Harvard Professor West and President Summers (respectively). Sanders is the name of the largest lecture hall on Harvard's campus, while Winthrop is a traditional Boston family name with long ties to the Harvard campus. In the episode, Winthrop quotes a line of dialogue almost identical to a sentence attributed to Summers. According to the professor, the sentence reflects the charges of racism against criticism of the spoken word.

    • Nicole Wallace: Yes, Well, I never much cared for Heller.

      Eames & Wallace are referring to the the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. The expression refers to a situation where one is a victim regardless of the choice one makes, because of a set of inherently illogical conditions.

    • The situation where a university president disapproves of a black professor's release of a rap album echoes the public dispute between then-Harvard University President Lawrence Summers and then-Harvard Professor of Afro-American Studies Cornel West, down to such details as West's afro.

    • The criminal case against Nicole Wallace as an accomplice to her boyfriend, for which she was imprisoned in Thailand, appears ripped from the headlines of the case against Charles Sobraj, who was accused of similar crimes using female accomplices against tourists in southeast Asia. These crimes were documented in a book titled Serpentine written by Thomas Thompson.

    • Nicole Wallace: Carried away by dingoes. It happens a lot in Australia.

      In the early 1980s, Lindy Chamberlain received a life sentence in an Australian court for the murder of her infant daughter Azaria. She was released after serving three years in prison when an inquiry into her conviction supported her claim that a dingo killed Azaria after carrying her out of the family's tent as they camped in the Uluru desert.