Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 9 Episode 10


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 01, 2010 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
45 votes
  • Better than some, but NOT the best.

    Maybe I missed it, but I am not quite sure what would make Law & Order Criminal Intent "Disciple" a major case. It seems like you average everyday homicide. Sure, it later tied into a serial killer, but no one would have known that at the time the case was assigned to the MCS. And how "nice" of them to assign Serena Stevens to a case that she would later have a personal connection. In the real world – yes, there is a real world outside the Law & Order franchise universe – it would make more sense for homicide to start with the case and if they later make the connection to something bigger, then bring in the big guns to finish the job. After all these years, I still don't get what consitutes calling in the major case squad. I also seemed to have missed why Diego was shot – was it just because he was there with a hooker, who the killer really wanted to kill?

    I also thought with the promos that the episode was going to feature Lorraine Bracco that we would get more than an appearance in just a short scene that could easily be missed if one blnked. Criminal Intent us getting a little too dark for my tastes. It's not that murder isn't a dark subject to begin with, but I just get sickened by some of the methods these wackos use to kill, or, in this case, its "Fargo-like" way of disposing of the body. If a show gets too high an "ick" factor for me, I'm no longer am interested in the case. I think I tuned out on this episode the minute I saw what looked like mystery meat chicken parts – which turned out to be body parts – being introduced. While the show is staying true to the intent of the criminal, I am finding that the crimes are becoming weirder, and at the same time less interesting.

    The original writing of Mr. Rene Balcer with the original acting of Mr. Vincent D'Onofrio rank the tops in this for this show!
  • Saffron Burrows(Det. Serena Stevens) demonstrated with certainty that she is not just Jeff Goldbum's(Det. Zach Nichols) flunky. If the trend continues, it could be the momentum that CI needs to survive in the post-Goren/Eames era.

    The opening scenes revolved around the execution of Elvis Howell, a convicted serial killer and rapist of prostitutes in Illinois. As a fledgling detective in Chicago, Stevens was instrumental in his capture. Suspiciously out of pattern, Howell's victim was a teenage girl with no history of prostitution. Stevens' emotional attachment to the victim's family, as she witnessed the lethal injection of Howell, was particularly compelling. In a final act of torture, Howell claims innocence and the existence of another killer still at large. Stevens and Nichols begin to investigate the murder of prostitutes in NYC. In an ironic twist, the cases reveal an uncanny resemblence to the Illinois killings. Much to Nichols' surprise, Stevens is determined to prove the validity of the execution and ensure closure for the murdered girl's family. The plot then becomes disturbingly bizarre as the clues lead to Dale Grisco, a young male who is leading a double life as family man and serial killer/rapist. Further investigation uncovers his link to Howell. As a teenager, he was recruited as an impressionable disciple to assist Howell in ridding the world of "whores and whore-mongers." Adding gore to the brutality of the murders, Grisco dismembers and processes the bodies as common garden mulch.

    After obtaining a confession, Nichols probes Grisco's delusional psyche to confirm that he had not actually killed the teenage girl. As Grisco relates the details of his involvement, Stevens aggressively confronts him and he admits that he was not the girl's murderer. Det. Stevens is finally reassured that Howell was justifiably executed.

    "Disciple" is the first episode since the departure of D'Onofrio and Erbe that stands on its on merits. Burrows and Goldblum seem to finally gel as a viable partnership. With continued engaging plots and high caliber acting, the series may finally be entering a new and distinctive era of the L&O franchise.