Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 1 Episode 20


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 28, 2002 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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  • Goren and Eames investigate the slaying of an entire family, but the obvious solution to the crime spirals into a twisted web of sinister motives and secret confidences.

    This is by far my favorite episode of CI. As one of the last episodes of season one, it is really the first attempt of the writers to flesh out the character of Robert Goren. His interaction with Terry Randolph (the actress who plays her is brilliant) was fantastic...The scene where she pschoanalyzes him is the first time I can recall Goren thrown by a suspect. It\'s also great fun to see Goren\'s impression of a snotty, arrogant cop. Vincent D\'Onofrio is an extremely talented, diverse actor and it\'s good to see CI write parts for him that will let him shine. In addition, this episode was superbly written. The way the clues fall into place and the scenes correspond is just the reason I watch Law and Order.
  • When one of the auditors of the city is murdered along with his wife and two children there is a trail of evidence slandering the man and making it look like a murder/suicide. Goren finds numerous facts that points to murder by a former police officer.

    There were a number of interesting things about this case. When you first saw the murder scene it was difficult to understand why the auditor would have snapped as it was obvious that someone was framing him and he was bound and determined to do his job despite that fact. He certainly didn't seem the type to commit murder in a fit of passion or any other way. The story sort of just bolted from his wife confronting him about the dating site to a bunch of dead bodies. In a lot of ways I suppose he and his family were taken out because of his dedication.

    Sometimes the criminal mind does not function really well. Just because something worked well the first time with a drug dealer and his girlfriend does not mean it will work the second time around with a murder/suicide of a family. The facts did not support the actions.

    I enjoyed the way they took the facts piecemeal and put them all together. They were not going to get this women unless she incriminated herself. I found it interesting that she would have fallen for the ruse at the end, but she was obviously suspicious.

    Goren plays the bad cop really well. Besides both he and Eames have their act down pat. Eames didn't flinch at all when she was being nice to the perpetrator or when she and Goren were walking away and she made the derogatory comments about the perpetrator to him.

    I was surprised that the ADA was willing to go that extra mile for the detectives, but I must admit their case was compelling. These were brutal murders and when Goren has someones scent they are going down.

    One of the better recent episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The story, dialogue, and acting were all great. The editing was a little jumpy but they do that with this show sometimes for effect. Thanks for reading...
  • A family's murder turns into something even more sinister.

    A great episode with a very strange baddie. What starts out as a murder of a whole family with perhaps obvious leanings (was he having an affair etc.) turns into a very convoluted story of cover ups and murder for hire.

    The ultimate perpetrator is a very strange mix of good mother and complete psychopath. Her reasoning is logical but hideous and her reaction when she is finally caught is partly moving and partly creepy. The fact that someone can murder children in order to have their own children get the best is the result of a very warped mind.

    Yes it's a story and a good one at that. It's a truly good episode and played out very well. All the performances are flawless and thank goodness it ends with the perp being caught or it would really be annoying!
  • Dirty tricks campaign against city comptroller extends to his murder and that of his family..he has threatened to expose kickbacks, and for his efforts, his family was slaughtered. Altho it at first looks like a murder-suicide, Goren and Eames...

    ..quickly see through the attempt to mask the crime.

    Vacuum cleaner impressions leading out of the house and blood splatters on the comptroller's shirt convince Goren the murder was staged..and by someone who understands the dynamics of a crime scene. He and Eames are unafraid to draw the logical conclusion - cops.

    The murders stem from one of the most common of cover-ups, that of 'double dipping' by retired officers still on the city payroll.

    Imo, the best of season one (tho I have yet to see a half dozen episodes)..a compelling story, the usual first rate guestcast acting (S. Epatha Merkerson shows up), and some terrific scenes between V D'O and Viola Davis, who plays the ex-cop/current security officer tough enough to extort drug dealers,
    and savvy enough to call Goren "BABYFACE". Yeah!

    That quip alone is worth the price of admission, as was the villain's amusing assessment of Goren's supposed "frugality". But the real magic was a very 'on' D'Onofrio - bobbing and weaving, bending and looming thru the investigation, taunting and role playing...nothing 'frugal' in this outing.

    And pulling out the 'Abbie Hoffman' accent?

  • A man and his family are murdered in a fashion to make it appear a murder-suicide, but on further investigation, Goren and Eames become suspicious of a school-cop who's been up to some dubious dealings.

    This is hands-down one of my favorite episodes of this series. It is absolutely hilarious watching Goren acting about as obnoxious as humanly possible in a Boston accent, purposely infringing on the crooked cop's "territory". (It seems as if Eames can keep a straight face through just about anything that Goren can pull, which is a good thing, otherwise their frequent bouts of clever playacting wouldn't be half so effective.) The Boston accent returns when Goren and Eames search the cop's home, Goren once again rude and abrasive, until she delivers a very insightful tirade about his lack of frugality that seems to hit him with some force. I'm still trying to untangle my feelings regarding people who can get under Goren's psychological skin and rattle him a bit. In any case, I absolutely LOVE those sorts of scenes. Once again, one of my favorite episodes of the whole series (and the whole L&O franchise, actually).