Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 6 Episode 6

Masquerade

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 2006 on USA
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
93 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Goren and Eames head to Vietnam to pick up Simon Henry Fife, who has recently confessed to the 1992 murder of ten-year-old actress Amberleigh Harner. Both Goren and Eames have trouble believing what Fife has to say, and it isn't long before Goren manages to find holes in Fife's story. Eames and Goren have twenty-four hours to look into the murder and turn their attention to the original investigation, contacting the original officer on the scene. Their investigation leads them to believe that the suspect may be much closer to home than anyone thought.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • In the tradition of ripping stories from the headlines, this episode is a perfectly unoriginal copy of the Jon Benet Ramsey case, with the only twist being the projection of the as yet unknown outcome.moreless

    7.2
    The sixth season seems likely to be a roller coaster. The first episode was promising, the third delivered, but the sixth was strikingly unoriginal and thereby disappointing. Liza Minelli's portrayal of the mother of murdered Amberleigh Harner was the best thing about this episode. Beyond that, the script was contrived and muddled. In other episodes of the franchise, stories that are ripped from the headlines as this one was incorporate some obvious twist in the beginning, but this was like the JonBenet made-for-TV movie starring Goren and Eames. The writers even help out the audience, who it seems that they expect to be dense (and perhaps this is reasonable given the dumbing-down of what used to be the sharpest show on television) by giving the characters of the little girl and the disturbed admitted killer synonymous names! I continue to be appreciative of the new line they are taking with Detective Eames, but I am appalled at their misuse of Goren's character. The premise of his change in season six was supposed to be the toll his job takes on him, but this does not correspond to what is evidently different with him. What is different is that it is clear that those newly in control of my favorite show want to take away what MAKES it my favorite show: the weird, surprising, and unique intellect of the best detective on television, replacing him an average joe who's parts do no justice to the genius they hired to play him.moreless
  • Not good but not bad!

    6.6
    This is all too familiar with the recent Ramsey case

    Thurst into the spotlight and that Liza Minelli was really

    Doing her best to play a Patsy Ramsey wannabe as when

    Someone confesses to the murder of her starlet daughter about fourteen years ago, the case is again thurst into the national spotlight. Not the best show but still it is L&O!
  • Way too surreal.

    7.5
    Well acted, However, doing a ripped from the headlines episode of such a very perverse event (the murder of JonBenet Ramsey) is uncalled for no matter how much time passes. Liza Minnelli's portrayal of Patsy Ramsey was a little insensitive considering she died of cancer earlier this year. Some of the best episodes of Criminal Intent draw only slightly on famous headlines. The 'Maltese Cross' and 'Siren Call' episodes earlier this season, I think, are good examples. You knew where the plot points were coming from but it was never so blatant as seeing an actor playing a creepy "John Mark Karr" character.moreless
  • Just a little bit boring

    7.5
    While I am glad to see Eames getting more lines and more camera time, I think this episode was a little bit boring. The writing was great, as usual, the acting was far above average. Liza Minelli was fantastic, I was glad to see her in this episode. However, I feel like the storyline was a little bit TOO ripped from the headlines. It didn't have the characteristic twists, turns and revelations. You know what was going to happen and the detectives didn't have to be quite so clever. It's still a good episode but nothing special. It's almost as if they came up with this episode last minute because it doesn't show any of the creativity I have come to expect from this series. Still pretty decent though.moreless
  • Blown away by this episode

    10
    Of course the "ripped from the headlines" story from this episode is the Jonbenet Ramsey tragedy, but WOW it was done very well. Liza Minnelli is extraordinary as the mother of "Amberleigh" the child that was killed on Halloween night in 1992. Liza was so convincing as a grieving mother, I could not believe that she was acting. It was also funny when she was hitting on Goren and preparing the dinner she bought and made it look like she made it. Overall, this is one of my favorite episodes of Criminal Intent and definitely worth watching again and again.moreless
Bill Irwin

Bill Irwin

Nate Royce

Guest Star

Matt McGrath

Matt McGrath

Simon Henry Fife

Guest Star

Dashiell Eaves

Dashiell Eaves

Jamie Royce

Guest Star

Geneva Carr

Geneva Carr

Faith Yancy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Amberleigh's orange juice commercial was supposed to have been shot in 1992, but it was shown to have been shot in widescreen, with objects on either side of the screen. This was something that wouldn't have been done at a time when the vast majority of TVs had a 4:3 ratio.

    • Eames has at least two nieces.

    • Eames enrolled in the police academy in 1993, a year after Linda Bonnardi, the rookie investigating the Harner case. Eames said Bonnardi was 'used as an example in class, to prove that women were too emotional to be cops'.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Robert Goren: Beth Harner's behavior was very, very strange that morning, but it's another rookie cop's mistake to think that strange behavior equals guilt.

    • (The detectives plead for the full 24 hours of investigation time.)
      Alex Eames: You know the DA's office. This case collapses, they'll spin it so everybody thinks we botched it again.
      Danny Ross: And this case collapses how?
      Alex Eames: The ransom demand. The caller said, "We have your whore daughter." Fife thinks he made "gentle love" to Amberleigh. Different fantasy.

    • Beth Harner: You seem like a man who's dedicated to his work. Too much, maybe.
      Robert Goren: Like you were to Amberleigh.

    • (Talking about Halloween.)
      Robert Goren: It must be your favorite night of the year. These little girls dressed in costume.
      Simon Fife: Princesses… fairies… with sparkling wings, ribbons in their hair.

    • Alex Eames: (of Royce's book) I stopped reading when I got to Fife's line about how he made love to Amberleigh while co-mingling their blood.
      Robert Goren: There was no blood in the basement, except for Amberleigh's.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • The character of Faith Yancy is heavily based off of TV commentator Nancy Grace. She hosts her own show on cable channel Headline News, where she takes what she calls a "victims' rights stance". Faith Yancy's appearance in this episode is specifically reminiscent of Grace's treatment of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, when she repeatedly stated that suspect Richard Ricci was "guilty", despite there being little evidence to support this (he was arrested because he worked on the Smarts' home and had a criminal record). Once it was proved that Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee had committed the kidnapping, she refused to admit doing anything wrong in accusing Ricci, and equated criticism of her statements to criticizing the police themselves.

    • This episode appears to be is ripped from the headlines of the murder of JonBenét Ramsey and the 2006 confession by John Mark Karr. Karr, who admitted killing the little girl whom he claimed to love, was later found to have insufficient knowledge of the crime and was released. The killer remains at large.

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