Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 6

Malignant

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 2002 on USA
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

9.0
out of 10
Average
87 votes
  • Two truck drivers are executed and their cargo of four boxes of pharmaceuticals hijacked from their vehicle. In the course of the murder investigation, the detectives uncover a pharmacist's four-year-long dilution of chemotherapy drugs.

    9.2
    Because one of the stolen drugs can induce coma in diabetics, Goren and Eames are able to trace the origin of all the stolen goods. They discover a pharmacist has been watering down the cancer medication, and that the reason for this unspeakable callousness was his being able to fund a recreation center for his church.

    This episode included a handful of very well acted and written scenes. Some were amusing, like Goren's wrestling ring throwdown to the young people who bought the black market 'somatropin'..the drug potentially fatal to diabetics, but meant as some sort of muscle building steroid. Tearing off his suit jacket (down, Tulip, down girl!) and jumping into the ring, demanding to know 'hey what's that move where you spin him over your head like a flying helicopter, then plant him head down on the mat' (paraphrase), Goren is a freaking riot.

    But other key scenes were much more poignant, including two with a widower whose wife died two years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and given an optimistic prognosis. Goren is so affected by the widower's grief that Eames has to break in to get the information.

    In another scene with the widower, the detectives obtain his tearful confession (already confirmed by the post mortem)that his wife actually died from an overdose of the drugs, ie an assisted suicide. To heap on the heartache, the poor man learns that the reason it took two torturous days for his wife to die after the injection was that the drugs were diluted - had they not been she would have gone in an hour. The man realizes "I killed her for nothing".

    In a bit of a sub-plot, Goren and Eames try to dissuade Carver from prosecuting the widower, which he must do if they are forced to use the evidence against him to nail the pharmacist. Obviously, they need his confession.

    Another critical scene was the detectives conversation with the church elder who willing admits he uses 'shame' ("an underrated emotion", he claims) as part of his guilt trip/glad-handing/reward bestowing fund raising repertoire. There is no way to comprehend the enormity of the pharmacist's crime without adressing motive, and in this case, it was his and his wife's hunger for respect and admiration in their community, a hunger fully exploited by the elder. Goren is intent on unearthing the moral culpability of the elder, altho he has done nothing illegal. And wow can V D'O register the ultimate disdain just by slightly wrinkling that "button" nose.

    And finally, the detectives use one of their infamous 'lies' (that the pharmacist assisted the suicide)to force the final dilution confession, and do so on the church steps so the disgraced criminal receives what is perhaps his worst punishment - the disgust, aversion, and even horror of his congregation.

    Really top notch story and a few riveting human condition scenes. Not to mention V D'O had the dollboy factor roaring on overdrive. When the do is JUST that length, and the longish tousled lock is curled JUST so over the forehead, and you swear even on tv you can JUST distinguish the individual silver threads of hair from the dark...tisk tisk, a major distraction even to this fine episode.

    Best Goren line: Come on. Climb in with me. :)
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