Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 6 Episode 15

Brother's Keeper

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 20, 2007 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
122 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Goren and Eames investigate the murder of a well-known televangelist's wife after a rally, but Goren is preoccupied with dealing with his mother's medical condition and the reappearance of his long-lost brother.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • ANOTHER "Ted Haggerty gay sex & drugs" episode. Adequate Goren/Eames performance, with a very different & slower pacing from the "classic" episodes.

    Unfortunately, L&O (main series) just did a Gay-Loving-Preacher (Ted Haggerty gay sex & drugs) episode a week or so before this one. Don't the producers talk to each other?

    Lately, the Goren/Eames episodes include more side stories of Goren's family, which do not advance the character, plot or series development.

    It seems that the producers (if they're in control) are trying to push Criminal Intent away from the classic Holmes+Wastonian tenor, to a more mainstream (and linear, even plodding) "cop show".

    There is one fine scene where Kathryn Erbe excels, when she meets the mentally retarded young man. Wonderful performance!

    The pacing of this episode was unusual, more drifting than driven. The snazzy opening scenes, reminiscent of CSI:Las Vegas, indicate the producers' possible desire to try to "modernize" a series which was, to be frank, perfectly balanced already.

    The scenes with Goren's mother and brother come across as mere "fillers"; they don't advance the plot of this episode, and may only be included to set the stage for "Radical Surgery" that the producers/writers plan for Goren's character. Why would they take a money-maker like L&O:CI and bash it?

    Producers, HEAR THIS: "If it works, don't fix it" - In the USA, at least, when customers repeatedly buy a product or service, much of that repeat business is based on familiarity, so it is puzzling that Dick Wolf would allow the producers to mess about this way with L&O and L&O:CI... Sad, really.moreless
  • Wife of a preacher murdered and everyone from the preacher to a gigolo are suspects. Meanwhile, Det. Goren watches over his ailing mother and gets a surprise when he runs into his brother. SPOILER . . .moreless

    The whole plot of the prechear's wife being murdered was good and I liked the reasoning behind her death. There were a number of parallels between Bobby and Corliss taht I liked. They both were burdened with taking care of people they love, to the point of financial ruin and the death of their personal and social lives. The anger Corliss had was clearly what Bobby felt.

    Bobby and the preacher (Tom Arnold)also had some nice similarities. At one point the preacher says "I have demons". Goren asks, "Are they inside or outside?". The preacher replies "both". Goren seemed both surprised and understanding about this and I got the feeling that this was another of subtle ways that we know Goren has demons inside and outside as well. It's possibly foreshadowing some sort of breakdown he may have.

    What made this episode especially great I think, are the short clips of Bobby's personal life. As with the previous episodes of CI, the scenes are short and sweet. It's never enough to be considered a soap opera, but at the same time we do see the personal life and the troubles Goren faces.

    In this episode, we see more of Frances Goren (Rita Moreno) dealing with her illness, that she indeed is going downhill, fast. When Bobby discovers the financial cost of saving his mother's life is more money than he has, the look on his face could outdo any sad puppy. While investigating the case Goren has a run-in with his brother, whom he has been out of touch with for a long time. Bobby's shocked to learn about how his brother Frank has been living. We can assume Bobby's angry with his brother for not helping take care of their mom, but as soon as Bobby sees Frank here, he is nothing but sad. D'onofrio's acting shone through here as his subtle methods show us more emotion and depth with a simple look of the eyes. The interaction between Bobby and Frank (Tony Goldwyn)are very good and just seeing the way Bobby was looking at his brother, made me want to cry. Eames' reaction to learning of Frank's identity was perfect. Shock, disbelief, and pity all rolled up into one simple expression of raising her eyebrows, her mouth dropping open slightly, and her eyes widening. It was not overly done and just a great reaction.

    Eames had a few scenes on her own to which she pulled off nicely as always.

    Two scenes other than the ones already mentioned, which stood out, are as follows:

    Frances Goren's birthday at the hospital. We see the clock on the wall which indicates that it's almost 1:30pm. We know that Frank promised to meet Bobby at 12:00pm and we know that won't happen. In fact, I was pretty sure, from Bobby's reaction in the previous scene with his brother, that Frank wouldn't likely show up. The clock is shown a few times in the scene and I think that's for our benefit, to emphasize how Frances doesn't have much time left and this is likely her last birthday. A present sits on a table near Frances and Bobby wants her to open it. She refuses, wanting to wait until Frank shows up.

    Bobby looks utterly heartbroken that Frances seems to not care about the present he got her, nor the fact that he is there in the first place. All that seems to matter to her is that Frank isn't there. Then when Frances asks about Frank, Bobby pulls a classic 'Bobby' move and tells her everything she wants to hear, bending the truth. He doesn't want to upset her despite how hurt he is that she's taking him for granted. It was a short scene but D'Onofrio easily made me want to cry from how great his acting is.

    The final scene that stuck out in my mind was the very last scene at the ME's office. Bobby tried to keep a level head but he seemed so lost and out of a lost and frightened little boy. I wanted to jump through the tv and hug him.

    Overall, the murder-plot was good but the personal stuff was fantastic. Love D'Onofrio's acting ability and how a simple look on his face can convey so much. Erbe also got a little more to work with this episode and she didn't let us down one bit. Good as always. Tom Arnold was surprisingly good here as was Tony Goldwyn. Rita Moreno and D'Onofrio should both win some sort of Emmy.moreless
  • Jarring. Revealing. D'Onofrio is SUPERB.

    I continue to revel at every frame of Vincent D'Onofrio and his work. This man is the most underrated actor around! Episodes such as this and 'Endgame' only make me 'want him MORE!' if you know what I mean. He brings SO much (unexpected at time, even my me and I worship the ground this man walks on...) depth and personna to Bobby Goren...when he finds his coat, not his brother at the ME's...I swear he literally took my breath away along with his own in a sharp, short gasp of realization and graditude the man under the sheet wasn't his bro...I - along w/my big bad best detective - was choking back a tear as we faded to black and Dick Wolf's name. BRAVO! Keep well, Vincente...get your rest and do whatever it is that you insure many future years of us watching you and gratefully being the recipient of your brilliance.moreless
  • Goren has his hands full dealing with his mother and coming face to face with his estranged brother while working the murder case of a popular televangelist's wife.

    This episode rocked - did not like Tom Arnold's character though. I find Goren's mom pretty annoying - I know she's sick but she's very ungrateful. It broke my heart to see Goren's face when the doctor said that his mother's condition was not treatable. Eame's expression was priceless when she found out that Bobby's brother is homeless - I actually thought it was the brother in the morgue - the expression that Ross and Dr.Rodgers had on really had me worried.

    Truly looking forward to see the brother's storyline evolving as the season wraps ups.moreless
  • Great series and would hate to see the end of it!!!

    Law and order series are just phenomenal!! with the exception of trial by jury, did not really like it and was not aired long enough for viewers to get to know the characters.

    I prefer Goren and Eames over the two new detectives, but they are both growing on me.

    Even though we know Goren has a sick mother, I think this is the first time we actually have seen her and it was kind of sad, the same goes for the brother I felt bad for him and almost cried when Goren gave him his jacket.

    This episode brought a new twist, for once It had me guessing until the las minute who the guilty party was.

    Its a great show, I love to watch reruns on USA.moreless
Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold

Reverend Calvin Riggins

Guest Star

Reg Rogers

Reg Rogers

Dr. James Corliss

Guest Star

Michael Nouri

Michael Nouri

Elder Roberts

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions