Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 4 Episode 9

Inert Dwarf

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 21, 2004 on USA
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
71 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Inert Dwarf
AIRED:
A world-renowned physicist resorts to murder to avoid being humiliated by his failure to prove a controversial theory of quantum physics for which he has spent his career espousing.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Goren and Eames discover that the death of a physicist's colleague is not as it initially appears.

    9.0
    (warning, spoilers below)



    This episode finds Goren and Eames investigating the death of a colleague of a prominent physicist. It first appears that the frail physicist is being taken advantage of by his second young wife and she is to blame. However, that would be too simple for CI - Goren and Eames figure out that the culprit it is the physicist himself who is afraid of failure, striving for acceptance and is not as weak as he appears. I thought that this episode was extremely intelligent which I believe speaks for the quality of the show and adds to CI's reputation for producing thought provoking television. I found the episode's portrayal of the scientist so obsessed with his reputation to go so far as to kill and frame someone else rather than be seen as a failure to be particularly haunting. It highlights the competitiveness of our society and our ability to blind ourselves from the truth even when faced with insurmountable evidence because we so desperately want to be right. As someone who is going into a scientific field, this episode really hit home for me.



    And to top it off, this episode featured Aasif Mandvi, who I believe is the second "Daily Show" correspondent to appear on the show (Stephen Colbert, who was once on TDS and is now of course the host of "The Colbert Report", was prominent in another excellent episode entitled "The Saint").moreless
  • The colleague of a renowned physicist is gruesomely killed and the detectives' investigation leads them to the fascinating world of the disabled genius (neurological disease), who isn't quite what he seems.moreless

    8.1
    The physicist (a bald caricature of Stephen Hawking, have we NO sacred cows?) is confined to a wheelchair and is also in need of an oxygen feed. He appears as benign as he is brilliant, and a victim of spousal abuse. In fact, both the abuse and the murder point Goren and Eames to the scientist's second wife, a trophy, and a seeming schemer.



    The plot twists, however, with the detectives realization that the king of quantum physics is losing his touch - his latest theory of everything says literally nothing, and had he actually presented his newest thesis, his reputation would have been destroyed. Therefore it was imperative for the genius to kill off the sycophantic colleague before the paper could be presented at an international conference. The death would also serve as a legitimate reason for the physicist to beg off the gathering.



    Since genius is in his resume, the scientist, frail and apparently immobile, has managed to concoct a series of incidents that make his much younger wife appear guilty of both abuse (the scientist has been throwing himself down stairs and such) and the murder. But the detectives eventually see through the ruse, and realize the killer is not just diabolical but much more mobile than his pretense has indicated.



    Goren, of course, initially enjoys mingling with 'one of the greatest minds of the last half century' but it doesn’t stop him from lowering the boom when the time comes.



    Pretty entertaining. Austin Pendleton did a very effective job as the 'infirm' physicist.

    moreless
Marla Sucharetza

Marla Sucharetza

Joanna Manotti

Guest Star

Ann Dowd

Ann Dowd

Laurie Manotti

Guest Star

Aasif Mandvi

Aasif Mandvi

Sateesh Choudery

Guest Star

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