Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 5 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 25, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
137 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When city health inspector Larry Chapel is found dead in an elevator, a quick look into Chapel's home life introduces them to Chapel's recently widowed brother, Evan, and little girl Gwen. Goren isn't very surprised to learn that Nicole Wallace is Evan's fiancée as well as the future mother to his little girl. The Major Case detectives soon realize they're off the mark on who they believe is the suspect and Goren's only hope is to get Nicole to help him trap the killer. Logan joins the Major Case squad, but isn't pleased with being relegated to the background while the other detectives solve the cases. Deakins tries to find a partner for him.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • When I Grow Up...(Spoliers)

    Ok, so this is the first episode of Law & Order: CI I've ever really watch, I've seen an episode here or there, but I bought this season on amazon, and I thought this was good.

    Since I had never really watched the show before, it took me a couple minutes and some serious research to understand Nicole and Bobby's relationship, but It was intresting.

    I didn't trust her or the dad from the beginning, but I couldn't tell who was the murderer, and it turned out they both were. I hated him, and then I wanted to reach into my screen, and straggle him when he said he could just have another one.moreless
  • Another great cat-and-mouse game between Goren and his nemesis, Nicole Wallace.

    Olivia d'Abo is superb as the psychotic Nicole Wallace. The back story is enough to keep you guessing as to her real history. Is she really a killer? Or is she merely the victim of circumstance. D'Abo and Vincent d'Onofrio do an excellent job as a latter-day Holmes and Moriarty.
  • I was not sure what expect with this episode. You know bring back Nicole Wallace. That could be dicey but I think it was done well. I was more of a subplot and that was the right call in this episode.moreless

    In the opening was see Gwen talking to her mothers grave stone and seeing what a brave little girl she was and knowing Nicole was on her way was eerie. But Evan, her Dad was real piece of work. Then poor Gwen looses her uncle to scourge of drugs and once again little Gwen is being very adult about the whole thing. Goren and Eames go to visit the family that is growing smaller by the minute. They find out both Larry and Evan had been both working for the two bag a day corporation and Larry a doctor, that must have been one heck of a twelve step program. Evan is all too quick to let the detectives know that poor Larry was using some new super genetic heroin that affects the heart. Ummmm. Last I checked all heroin effects the heart but I last checked was a long time ago so who knows. Anyway, Goren lets him know that potassium under the tongue was most likely the cause of death. I guess the train didn’t stop on those tracks any more. It soon looks like Larry might have been looking for a little fun in Mexico. Eames and Goren were very impressed with how Gwen is handling the whole thing when they notice the book she is reading is from the library and it does not look like the good Doctor is visiting the county library very much. So, off to the library it is and when one of the employees at the library say’s that the person that works with her and uses the other desk talks about “Her mummy” and Goren and Eames see a Tai good luck charm on the desk and 2 + 2 = Bobby and Nicole. Goren smells blood in the water and starts to get as much information on the situation as he can. Nicole’s girl friend is dead Just as we assumed from her last appearance on CI and a very twisted plot emerges of how Gwen’s mother had used a medication when she was pregnant and won a big medical settlement that now rested on Gwen’s head. Goren was sure that Nicole smelled blood in the water but it does not take long to figure out that Evan her dad just might be trying to out fox the fox. Nicole would have none of that. After Nicole and Bobby have a couple of heart to heart conversations about Nicole’s dead daughter and how badly she wants a family or at least another daughter. Goren tries to convince her that the only way to save the girl from her Dad, who is going to give her cancer, is to admit she is a murdered and give up Evan. No way, Nicole gives up Evan as Larry’s killer and takes Gwen. Goren was upset and throws a double hand punch into his black SUV in the parking lot. Cut to three days and 200 leads later when a phone call comes in to the police station saying that Nicole has dropped Gwen off at her aunt’s house. Goren say’s “She did the right” and beep his phones goes off, it’s Nicole with a message “You were right Bobby, I couldn’t take chance. This is one more thing you have taken from me”. I thought it would cut to Goren’s mother’s nursing home or something but that was it. End credits. A good episode in my not so humble opinion.moreless
  • Detective Goren must face his arch-nemesis, serial killer Nicole Wallace, as she once more surfaces to seemingly hold a family captive with her insidious design. Things prove not to be so easy to interpret.moreless

    This episode was by far better and more revealing than all the Nicole Wallace episodes before. Perhaps because it is the fourth appearance of Goren's anti-thesis, it is easier to see the meaning behind their interaction. There were moments when I really thought Bobby would just say "get out of here, Nicole. Run." Nicole Wallace IS Goren if he had "gone the other way." That is the parallel between them and the evidence of it was never so perfect as in this episode. In the end she said that Goren had taken away her ability to do wrong... and I wonder very much what will happen if she resurfaces.moreless
  • Any Criminal Intent show with Nicole Wallace is guaranteed to be exciting, and this show is no exception. There IS an interesting twist in character development, however, that makes the show just that much better.moreless

    This episode involves the return of Nicole Wallace with a fiance who has a pre-teen daughter. As Nicole's storyline has developed over the years, it has been established that she killed her own toddler while alone on the beach (although Nicole has always held to her story that her daughter was swept out to sea.) When Bobby confronted Nicole about this particular murder, he pointed out that Nicole was jealous of her daughter being "daddy's little girl" as well as her being mixed up as a result of the molestation she suffered at her father's hands right about the same age.

    The father in this storyline, though, does not care at all about his child (he cares only about the money she can bring him if she dies of cancer due to the DES her mother took when she was pregnant.) Nicole only knew that the father did not love his child when the show begins; it later becomes clear to her that he is trying to kill her. Nicole apparently fell in love with the child (one she need not worry about taking away the father's interest in herself) and so she does what she can to save the child from both her uncle and father.

    Goren does not believe that that is possible when he first realizes the monetary gain that comes from the child's death; and even when he realizes the truth, he and Nicole have an intense conversation about the limits of her ability to love which preclude her from being a mother to the child.

    At first she discounts his words when she takes off with the girl; 72 hours later, she is convinced enough to take the girl to stay with her aunt. The intensity in their interactions remain throughout the show up to the very end when Nicole leaves Bobby a message stating that this is just one more thing that he has taken away from her.

    I can't wait for their next confrontation!!moreless
Boris McGiver

Boris McGiver

Larry Chapel

Guest Star

Molly Gottlieb

Molly Gottlieb

Gwen Chapel

Guest Star

Jim Moody

Jim Moody


Guest Star

Olivia d'Abo

Olivia d'Abo

Nicole Wallace

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • (Logan views a video of Miyazaki in the jewelry store.)
      Mike Logan: Who're we looking at here?
      Robert Goren: Wallace… coached her how to… steal diamonds… and… then cut her throat.
      Goren refers to the alternate ending of "Great Barrier," where Wallace cut Miyazaki's throat, and was then shot by Goren. In the broadcast ending, in which Wallace lives, Miyazaki's throat was not cut; her trachea was crushed.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Alex Eames: A needle full of potassium. I don't remember that in the mugger's handbook.

    • Robert Goren: (about a missing man) Sugar cravings? Late night trips to the projects? He might be supporting a drug habit.
      Alex Eames: That's one way to cope with a city job.

    • Nicole Wallace: Don't you know that the secret of luck is never to trust it?

    • Robert Goren: She did it. She, she did the right thing.
      (Goren's phone rings)
      Alex Eames: You have a message.
      (Goren flips open the phone)
      Nicole Wallace: You were right Bobby. I couldn't take the chance. This is one more thing you've taken from me.

    • Robert Goren: Here you are, with a child killer as a boyfriend, because th- this is the kind of people you attract, because you will never have a normal life. A normal life is not for you, Nicole.

    • (Looking at a photo of Nicole Wallace.)
      Mike Logan: Wow. Beauty, brains, and a complete psycho. My dream girl.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The fifth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has a different format than the previous four seasons. Episodes for the fifth season alternate between Detectives Goren and Eames and Detectives Logan and Barek. Although Logan does appear in this episode, which is a Goren and Eames episode.

    • Special billing was given to Kevin J. O'Connor (with) and Chris Noth (and) in this episode.

    • The references to Nicole Wallace being alive create a continuity problem for viewers in Australia. Although North American viewers voted for an ending to "Great Barrier" that had Nicole escaping, Australian viewers saw an ending where Nicole Wallace died, and would not be alive to reference in this episode.


    • The episode title refers to the personal growth of certain key characters as well as the status of the cancerous cells within the young girl in the episode.