Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 17

Cold Comfort

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 30, 2003 on USA
out of 10
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100 votes

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Episode Summary

Cold Comfort
When a woman suing her brother over the disposition of their father's remains is found murdered, Goren and Eames discover a concealed parentage and a man willing to go to any extremes to ensure his legacy.

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  • This episode sends you running around (in a good way) with everything from cryogenics, surgical precision murder, fighting over remains, hidden diseases, infidelity and stolen body parts, or part in this case.moreless

    Detectives Eames and Goren investigate the murder of a woman who was fighting her brother in court for the right to put her father in cryogenics, so that when she woke up, they would be together. Kindda sweet, if you don't think it's weird. Anyways, they follow her murder to her brother, who was not the guilty party. He was just blackmailed into facilitating someone's access to his father's corpse. When digging deeper into that, Eames and Goren find that the only thing they would've stolen was the man's brain... So that's the winning question: why would anyone wanna steal someone's brain? This was a great episode in my opinion, the plot twists being entertaining, and despite the subject, not far-fetched, hehe.moreless
  • This is bizarre even by the series' standards! A mix of cryogenics, murder, and gene therapy, all wrapped up in a conspiracy.

    An old man dies and his son and daughter are fighting over his body. He wants him buried according to his wishes. She wants him cryogenically frozen so they can be together in years to come. So far, so bizarre.

    She has the legal paperwork, so it looks like she's winning. Unfortunately for her a quick trip to the bathroom results in a knife to the upper thigh and a very bloody death.

    Then things get complicated. Whodunnit and why? The answers are convoluted but clever and as usual Goran & Eames unravel the story piece by piece and are led to a powerful man whose son is ill and who it seems will stop at nothing for his family.

    It's not a series classic, but it does keep you guessing. The discussion of medications and different surgical instruments is a little turgid. And given that the sketches of the instruments are on the board behind Goran, Eames's surprise that these are not used to remove a penile implant is a little odd. They look like farming and harvesting implements for goodness' sake! Keeps you going, but just a tad far-fetched.moreless
  • A well placed knife thrust to the femoral artery quickly kills the daughter of a VIP, the murder seemingly resulting from a sibling dispute over how to dispose of the father's remains. Goren and Eames then uncover a bizarre plot to steal a human brain.moreless

    According to his son, the recently dead and long ill dad, a senator, wanted to be buried at Arlington. But the murdered daughter preferred "a vat of nitrogen"..for her father and herself.

    A cryogenic future might insure a family reunion somewhere down the line, but the son manages to simply have the dad's body cremated. The detectives wonder why, after all the legal squabbling over dry ice or six feet, the solution pops up as an urn. It can only mean someone's hiding something.

    Eames and Goren learn the senator had been suffering for three years from lymphoma, and that the daughter was tested for suitability as a marrow transplant, but the son never had been. They quickly get to a long held secret. The son was not the senator's..but a secret service agent's who had had an affair with the politician's wife. The son obviously did not want his father's body to prove zero paternity.

    But Goren hypothesizes that in addition to keeping a secret, someone wanted something from the late senator's body...his brain, in fact, and it had been extracted before the cremation.

    The ME claims there was no DNA evidence indicating the senator's brain was unusual.

    But the riddle is solved neatly, if not altogether credibly, by a super rich philanthropist's need for very special brain cells reaped via a state of the art medical facility. (Firefligh much prefers what Gates and Buffet decided to do with their money).

    The late senator had suffered from early onset Alzheimer's, but miraculously recovered..there was "a brain worth studying" in Deakins words.

    And the 'philanthropist' has a son suffering from the very same disease. The senator's daughter, wanting the cryogenic treatment, stood in the way of a very powerful man getting the opportunity to carve up that very unusual brain...a brain that had recovered from an incurable disease, and continue on with a high level of productivity.

    All that's left is for Bulldog Bobby to go on the trickery attack against his special ilk of disliked criminal..the very advantaged who feel themselves above conventional morality.

    No one has enough grey matter, or green, to withstand that. :)

    PS Happy 47th Birthday, Mr. D'Onofrio!moreless
  • A man tries to seek better treatment for his son by arranging the death of those who have the certain type of cells needed for his adult son to become better.moreless

    I thought this was an excellant episode and I thought Josef Sommer played an excellant villian. IT has to deal with what you would do for your family. What makes a family and how one can control his or her own family at their owm terms.

    ALso I believe it to be somewhat taken off what happened when Ted Williams was killed
Mark Zeisler

Mark Zeisler


Guest Star

Robert LuPone

Robert LuPone

Nelson Broome

Guest Star

Tom Atkins

Tom Atkins

Roy Monahan

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Alex Eames: This wasn't a robbery gone bad.
      Robert Goren: It was a murder gone good.

    • Robert Goren: It's not enough for you to be humanitarian of the year. You want to be humanitarian of the millennium. Shame on you.

    • Robert Goren: Spence, however much you may like humanity, it's people you can't stand.

    • Robert Goren: But you'd be worth bringing back.
      Spencer Durning: I don't plan on dying.

    • M.E. Elizabeth Rodgers: We didn't find anything that made his brain unique.
      Alex Eames: A politician's brain? Maybe they wanted to see how he could talk out of both sides of his mouth.

    • Alex Eames: She hung her purse on the [bathroom stall] hook.
      Robert Goren: Then leather coat would have been able to reach over and get it. She must've laid it on the floor.
      Alex Eames: No, she hung it up.
      Robert Goren: (pauses, looking a little puzzled) Right, a girl thing.

  • NOTES (1)


    • The episode also bears resemblance to the history of Senator Edmund Muskie. The Senator in the episode cried at a press conference while running for President in 1976, which lead to the end of his campaign. Muskie cried at a press conference in his run for the Presidency in 1972, which lead to the end of his campaign.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Ted Williams case.