Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 10


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 05, 2003 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
75 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Goren and Eames run a con of their own on a phony motivational speaker who they suspect exploited a fragile disciple by convincing him to commit murder for profit.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • One scam artist is taken by another and in this case the first was also murdered along with his son. The other son becomes the main suspect until the detectives start to uncover a conspiracy of mind control.moreless

    Self help groups are what you put into them or personally take out. In reality they only really effect those that allow them too or are desperate enough to reach out for them. Rest assured there are some positive examples of groups that truly help people, but unfortunately many are fronts for basically taking peoples money away from them.

    The mistake in this case was trying to take someone who was related to someone with a dishonest past. By hook or by crook you have to know that something is going to come back to bite you no matter how you try to keep your trail clean.

    The girl accomplice got what was coming to her in the end. Of course I don't think she ever dreamed that was what was coming to her. Being involved in the actual swindles she had to know the kind of people she was dealing with. You sleep with cobras you will get bitten!

    The only person who they needed to grab at this point was the one who was actually doing the killings who we met a few times in the diner and in front of the girls apartment. Hopefully that would have been taken care off soon after this story played out.

    You have to wonder what the main self help guru was thinking. Swindling money from people is one thing. Murder is another whole level!

    Interesting but pretty clear cut case. I enjoyed Goren and Eames especially and the acting was pretty straight forward. The story was as well. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • A shady character (an internet bookmaker) is ripped off and then tortured for information for two weeks until finally being killed by his own son, the highly impressionable disciple of a 'self-improvement' guru. The killer also offs his half brother.moreless

    The detectives are led by clues to the brainwashed killer. It was simply bad luck that the bookmaker had put money into his son's account where it could be discovered, and of course, any thing smelling of green is earmarked for the greedy guru.

    An entertaining story of influence and twisted innocence, of the greed of one feeding off the need of another. The killer lives for nothing but to prove to his mentor he is now self-actualized, but sadly maxes his potential at thieving and killing for his power freak master.

    Goren, of course, quickly pegs the relationship as Manson style insidious influence, and the guru's message as "seductive" even to the less impressionable. BG doesn't get much of a bang out of nailing the programmed young killer, but the 'self-improvement' maistro - unscrupulous, self-serving, and puppetizing others for his own ends - makes the ideal Bobby target.

    So he and Eames go briefly 'undercover', into the slick, slogan-addled lair of the con man, who quickly makes them as cops. It doesn't take too long tho, for the detectives to ring this sucker's bell - ego inevitably brings all megalomaniacs down, especially when they themselves have actual dripping blood on their hands (the guru drove one of his better programmed robots to suicide). And of course, the trap comes via trickery.

    This epi includes the infamous "eyeball scene", which frankly I didn't see as all that odd. If that's the most expeditious way to test a corpse's dehydration, then go for it, Bobby. It doesn’t make you a necrophiliac to fondle a dry orb during a crime scene survey, and I suspect homicide detectives often have to touch much less attractive areas of the anatomy. More interesting was Goren pulling off the old size 13s before straddling the corpse. :)

    A pleasure to see Karen Black in the role of the bookmaker's ex-wife. She of the exotic cast in her eye, and '70s sex appeal.

    Good story, another plot that's been done before, but saved by a few twists and Goren personality traits. Plenty of spastic shoulders, Goren leans, and herky jerky about-faces in this one.moreless
  • A motivational group's leader convinces one of the group's less well-balanced individuals to kill his father and son to steal their millions.

    I enjoyed this episode a fair amount, but not particularly due to the plotline, which I found of average interestingness. What really saves this episode from boringness is a greater-than-usual dose of Goren weirdness and some awesome Goren and Eames antics. One of the examples of Goren weirdness that this episode provides sticks in my head as one of the top few examples of Goren Weirdness ("GW" in the future) that I've ever seen. At the murder scene at the beginning, as Goren is examining the two corpses that have been set up to look like a murder-suicide, he begins to notice signs of dehydration and nutrient-deprivation in the bodies. Apparently to check out this dehydration hypothesis, he starts poking one of the corpse's eyeballs. Eames stops her running account of the victims' lives and such to just sort of stare. Apparently that was a new GW to her too, b/c she hardly ever reacts to GW's anymore. That GW gave me the creeps, I can tell you. Ick. But interesting, after all. Another bit of this episode that makes it worth watching is Goren and Eames's semi-undercover experience (I was amused when the motivational guy saw through their cover, b/c most people don't) with the motivational organization's meeting. And their differing opinions afterward (see the "is it a cult?" quote above) were also quite amusing. All in all, not an episode with the most riveting plot, but it has enough GW's and other amusing/interesting facets to keep me interested through at least 3 viewings.moreless
John Benjamin Hickey

John Benjamin Hickey

Randall Fuller

Guest Star

Sean Dugan

Sean Dugan

Douglas Morgan

Guest Star

Graeme Malcolm

Graeme Malcolm

Mickey Connelly

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Ron Carver: It's gobbledy-gook.
      Robert Goren: It's high level gobbledy-gook.

    • Ron Carver: Must be frustrating. A mind that even you can't unlock.

    • (Pausing from giving background on the murder victim to watch Goren poking the corpse's eyeball.)
      Alex Eames: Having fun?
      Robert Goren: No, go on. I'm listening.

    • Ron Carver: Is it a cult? Mind control?
      Robert Goren: Yes.
      Alex Eames: No.
      Ron Carver: How reassuring.
      Robert Goren: They use the same psychological coercion as cults.
      Alex Eames: So did the guy who sold me my car. No one forced those people to stay last night.

  • NOTES (0)


    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Lisa McPherson case. McPherson died from starvation and dehydration after being kept for over three weeks in the Fort Harrison Hotel located on Church of Scientology property in Clearwater, Florida. Late in the episode, the character of Douglas Morgan tells Goren that he's "not clear." According to Dianetics, Clear is a condition in which a person is no longer influenced by any previous memories, traumas or negative emotions. Karen Black, who plays Douglas Morgan's mother Vera, is a long-time Scientologist.