Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 1

Dead

3
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 29, 2002 on USA
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
97 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Dead
AIRED:
The murder of a mortician, and the discovery of corpses at a crematorium, leads the detectives to a family man who claims to own a consulting business but is suspected of being a contract killer with a penchant for perfection. Goren attempts to prove the man's guilt by setting up a scheme that puts his "fear of making a mistake" in jeopardy.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Today
1:00am
WE
2:00am
USA
3:00am
USA
4:00am
WGNA
WE
Thursday
1:00am
WE
2:00am
WE
3:00am
WE
4:00am
WGNA
WE
10:00am
WE
11:00am
WE
12:00pm
WE
1:00pm
WE
2:00pm
WE
3:00pm
WE
4:00pm
WE
5:00pm
WE
Friday
2:00am
USA
3:00am
USA
4:00am
USA
WGNA
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • When a mortician is murdered in his embalming room the detectives search for a motive and a perpetrator that makes sense. At first it seems to be fanatical in nature, but then it points toward a cold blooded calculated professional killer.moreless

    9.5
    What a great cast in this premiere episode for the second season. First you had Jim Gaffigan as Russel Matthews the inept man who was trying to run his fathers crematorium. They there was Jay O. Sanders as Harry Rowan a man who is so calculating and precise that he can't stop sharpening his shears while speaking with the detectives. It was this odd behavior at first which really brought him to the detectives attention.



    One of the things I like about Law & Order: Criminal Intent is that in most cases if you don't know immediately you are pretty sure who the perpetrator of the crime really is. In this case we see Harry kill the mortician, but we had no real idea why except there was some kind of problem with his relative.



    Goren and Eames cut the man who was quoting the bible and Russel out as the killer, as he was not the man who was responsible for the very precise records that was covering the information for the crematorium. Speaking of the crematorium could you imagine? I mean really. Just leaving all those bodies out there that way. Over 100! Once it became apparent that Harry was the man who was responsible, Goren starts the chase to catch him in his own lies. Using the wife as a unknown partner he catches Harry in a mistake that Harry never even made. Another entertaining and interesting episode starring D'Onofrio and Erbe. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • The apparent religious killing of an embalmer leads to the discovery of illegal cost-cutting by an airhead second-generation crematorium owner who dreams of a better career and has a "motivational speaker" buddy with a secret, double life as a hit manmoreless

    8.0
    Although I am still working my way through season 1 episodes, this the best one I have seen. Rather than the depressed, distracted Goren of the late seasons, here he was engaged and enthusiastic as he revelled in the challenge of catching a cold, meticulous killer. And the episode created a perfect adversary for him.



    The ox-like, square-jawed Jay O. Sanders was excellent as the smooth, laser-focused "consultant," who could banter with his wife and make faces to his child over ice cream one minute, talk corporate decisionmaking with his mortuary buddy the next, and dump the body of a months-dead, plastic-wrapped, frozen competitor hit-man he had killed the next. (Sanders is quite a talent. With full beard and mustache, he was terrific playing a completely different character -- Kathleen Turner's wise-cracking, philandering sportswriter romantic interest -- in the fun movie V.I. Warshawsky.)



    The imagination and attention to detail was outstanding. From the touches used to create the appearance of a religious killing, to the slogan on the mortuary's calendar ("Problems are just solutions in work clothes"), to the hit-man's idea of planting on his targets DNA from rotting bodies dumped in the field behind the crematorium to confuse the evidence should the police ever get close, this episode felt devilishly plotted and authentic.



    I had only a few complaints. The various story segments -- fraud at a crematorium, a free-lance mafia hit-man -- felt odd-fitting and the transitions somewhat rushed (especially the specifics of the hit-man's handiwork). The very weirdness and details of the episode made it so idiosyncratic that it lacked the cleverness of more universally adaptable plot ideas. And, while well-acted and colorfully shown, the ruse used to catch the killer was not original or distinctive enough (Columbo used it 30 years earlier), sapping some of the drama of the ending.moreless
  • Whenever writing an episode that has the topic of religion it's always a risky subject that is hard to protray without being biest. -Spoilers-

    9.0
    Dectective Goren is once again amazing, and is his partner as well. Goren's clever way of solving cases is always entertaining to watch. In this episode they once again manage to solve an interesting case revolving god and his wish for people not to be cremated or embalmed. It deals with larsiny, murder and health code violations of the worst sense.



    Goren and Eames investigate a religious man and his family for what they believe to be murder. It seems the religious man is against embalming of any sort because it is against the word of god, so he winds up killing in the name of justice of dead human souls.



    I love how Goren is so nosey about things and Eames just casually plays along with it. Great partnership. Greatly written. The mixture of crimes and creative investigation, this episode is a great plot mixer.moreless
  • Plot after plot after plot. A very good mix of macabre, mysterious and just plain mortuary.

    10
    A mortician is killed and his body posed to look like a Biblial plague victim. A crematorium is discovered to be passing off brick dust as ashes, whilst out back, the cast of Dawn of the Dead are discovered dumped in the woods.



    What starts out as a mysterious why are these morticians doing this - why are the bodies not being burned? Turns into something even more bizarre, when the dead bodies' DNA turns up on recent murders, pointing to them as the murderers.



    Very cleverly plotted, with a great character at the centre of the story, whose attention to detail finally proves his undoing, along with Goran's usual trickery and psych games.



    And don't forget to check the bottom of that freezer before you take out the Rocky Road!moreless
  • The murder of an undertaker leads the detectives to uncover a lot filled with rotting corpses (a "putrid soup", in Goren's words) and a career contract killer who has been leading a very successful double life.moreless

    8.2
    The storyline for this episode seemed to be a double "ripped from the headlines" shot. The plot revolved around not just a take off of the infamous Georgia crematorium that found it more cost effective to dump bodies backwoods, but combined that macabre idea with a tv rendition of the celebrated "Iceman", Jersey mob hitman Richard Kuklinski. Kuklinski was a contract killer who often did exactly what the murderer in "Dead" did - stored his victim's bodies in a freezer for up to months to obscure time of death. The Iceman's family had no idea dad was a career contract killer. He was reportedly the perfect father and a loving husband.



    The chief ingenuity of this epi was the integration of the two headlines, plus the added 'attraction' of the dumped corpses being used as DNA harvests by the Mob so gangsters could plant misleading evidence on their own hits.



    It also featured a Goren specialty - bringing down a perfectionist, and tricking him into revealing himself. This was done by telling the suspect's wife that her hubby's latest victim had lost a tooth cap during his murder. Jay O Sanders, a fairly frequent and always appreciated L&O guest, just had to tear up his real estate looking for that darn cap. And of course, Goren had 'lied' again. There was no missing tooth.



    This was the first epi in season 2 and I didn't feel it packed as powerful a punch as you'd expect in a season opener. But the story was well done, D V'O energetic and all over his scenes, and Eames and Deakins with some pretty good lines.moreless
Jim Gaffigan

Jim Gaffigan

Russel Matthews

Guest Star

Tina Benko

Tina Benko

Susan Rowan

Guest Star

Patrick Garner

Patrick Garner

Doug Hagman

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Robert Goren: Pacemakers have to be removed before cremation, otherwise the lithium batteries explode... Gives off a toxic fume and could damage the cremation chamber.
      James Deakins: Yeah, I heard silicone implants had to be removed. My buddy Martinelli in the 3-7 married a stripper.

    • (Goren pokes at the dead body.)
      Alex Eames: (turning her head away) You must've been so much fun in biology class.
      (He rolls the fluid between his fingers and sniffs it.)
      Goren: Actually my biology teacher, Mr. Dixon, didn't think I was much fun at all.
      (Eames nods and fails to look surprised.)

    • (After contriving to get potential evidence onto his hands.)
      Robert Goren: I need to get my hands to a lab.

    • (Regarding a fraudulent cremator and a dead woman with a pacemaker.)
      Alex Eames: You think he would have remembered if she'd exploded in his oven.

    • Robert Goren: I need to use my most important investigative tool: my library card.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Robert Goren: The hit man who came in from the cold.
      This is a play on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, a 1963 John Le Carre novel about espionage in Cold War Germany. It was made into a 1965 movie starring Richard Burton.

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Tri-State Crematory scandal. In February 2002, it was discovered by the EPA that Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Georgia, had apparently been tossing bodies into the woods out back instead of burning them.

More
Less