Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 20


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 04, 2003 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
78 votes

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Episode Summary

Goren and Eames investigate the murder of a math student who had worked in a poker club as a card-counter. They uncover a group of computer nerds, then discover a computer gambling system with tougher suspects. The detectives learn even their own workstations are hit by the ringleader of the group.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • College math students use their abilities to card count at casino blackjack games and one ends up dead. Goren and Eames uncover a sophisticated gambling ring based on 'predictive analysis' and a gambling ringleader who will stop at nothing to make a buck.moreless

    The dead girl, a research project software developer, was dumped in a city park, each finger snapped, and with untouched money on her person. Her math buddy partner had escaped from the casino after being made but not the unfortunate girl.

    Goren and Eames find the girl's home computer programmed to erase the hard drive 33 times - an attempt to wipe out all info..and realize this was done after her murder. They learn who her partner was and through him the nature of the predictive software they were working on.

    Goren goes to a friend of his father's (who had some gambling issues)to decipher some equations and surmises the program is geared to horse racing. Returning to their office, BG at once notices someone has touched his desk, an imposter claiming he was a cop, in fact. "He entered the lion's den. BOLD!", says Bobby. Eames replies "he's mad" and Goren responds, "Worse. He doesn't know fear."

    Hence, he qualifies as a criminal worthy of Bobby's fullest attention..intelligent and brazen.

    Based on the past two weeks racing win results, the detectives are led to the engineer who designed the program, and leads the ring. He is an excitement junkie who has 'a reduced startle response', which Bobby discovers at the perp's high rise construction site. Folks like this dude, according to Goren, become firefighters or race car drivers...or psychopaths. They thrive on danger and crave novelty in abundance.

    The perp tries to fool the detectives by sending them a race fixer who lies about knowing the dead woman and her program, but he only complicates his situation by involving the mob. The detectives then learn one of the college students involved in the scheme has been working 'inside' a sports betting processing company,and has been changing losing bets to winning ones as the races proceeded.

    Inevitably, tho the evidence is impressive for betting fraud, it's not anywhere enough for murder, and the confession needs to be wrangled, tricked or maddened out of the suspect. This time the detectives choose one of their most successful tactics - using a significant other in or just outside the interrogation room to break down the suspect, or incriminate him. In this case, the wife, the suspect's 'prayer warrior'. The perps's addiction to danger and manipulative behavior are diagnosed by BG as 'a psychopathic personality", and the suspect watching his wife admit what she's married to breaks him.

    Purty interesting storyline, 'cleverly plotted' because not too labyrinthine, allowing the excitement junkie twist to add some innovation and sexiness to the computer nerd motif. Not every engineer is 'just' a geek. :)

    Note: Bobby's so cute when he's smug.moreless
  • Law and Order Criminal Intent!

    When Penny Chai, a math major from Hudson University is found murdered, Detectives Goren and Eames are in charge of the investigation. While searching her apartment, they find that a deletion program was being run on her computer. They find that there was a program on her computer that was designed to run numbers so that you could get the best odds when betting on horses. After finding those that she involved with gambling with, they find her killer.

    This was a good episode. I was curious to see who the perp was at the end of the episode. I was trying to figure out who was behind Penny's murder, but everytime I guessed, I was wrong.moreless

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