Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 7 Episode 20

Neighborhood Watch

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 10, 2008 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Wheeler and Logan investigate the murder of a man found decapitated, mutilated and stabbed in Maspeth Creek, a neighborhood that did not welcome him.

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  • Excellent episode that has the L&O formula down pat.

    This episode dives head first into controversy from the opening fade, as we discover right off the bat that we're dealing with a sex criminal. The tension gets higher as his decapitated body is pulled out of a popular mafia corpse dumping ground and the fun begins. This episode is better than average because it really uses all of the best tools that Law and Order has at its disposal. It takes a controversial subject and splinters them into three controversial subjects. We have the sex offender living next door, the supposed statutory rape he committed, and vigilante justice all rolled into one. Of course there is an intense investigation and many different forks in the road, full of characters that have their own motivations and only cause you to keep questioning until the very end. The ending, as mentioned in other reviews, is a bit of a let down, but what a ride to get there. This is one of those episodes that will feel like the fastest 43 minutes of your life.moreless
  • A predicitable outcome and ending to a case that could have been done better.

    While the case started out interesting, I would have liked to see more build up on the cops who dogged the sex offender who'd been released. There were some turns in the case that took more precidence than they should, and I would have liked to see the cops go after the retired cop who aired his need for 15 minutes of fame on the talk-show. Logan and Wheeler were un-remarkable in this, but as always, they work well together. Honestly, I found the ending very predictable with the two brain-children they brought into interrogation. There was no big reveal, no intriguing twist - just malignant uslessness from the killer who did it just "show off to a girl."

    I liked the bit of character backstory and meeting Wheeler's fiance, I just think its sad that that was the only part of the episode that actually caught my attention. Logan seems a bit lonely sharing a drink with Ross, aand maybe that helps to set up his frame of mind for his final episode.moreless
  • Should have been a bang, more of a whisper

    Episode began with a promising mystery premise but stumbled over every opportunity to soar. Spoiler: it would have been more interesting if the cop who had pushed the serial killer theory was correct. The fact that the autopsies didn't match could have lead to an even more shocking discovery at the end. Perhaps the retired cop masterminded it, in an attempt to discredit major case- taught the wacked-out kids how to cover their tracks. I admit that I enjoy Mike Logan and all the down to earth detective aura he brings to the show. Preferable to CSI, where at times, there are too many plot twists to count... but in this case, an unexpected solution would have been welcome. Or if not, atleast up the drama. I know that 'Homicide-Life on the Street' could have made that same plotline emotionally resonant.moreless
  • Good story, could have had better ending...

    Very riveting story about paroled sex offender. This episode should serve as a warning to some of these so-called "Neighborhood Watch" groups as to what and what not to do when dealing with these people as evidenced by those in this episode going too far (it can come back on you). The guy thinking several other deaths were the result of a serial killer and then going to the press when Major Case proved otherwise through the Medical Examiner is a good example of not thinking before you act. I felt sorry for the mother who had to endure all that unnecessary crap. The ending was a bit hoaky and a let down (I won't give it away) and could have been different. Looking forward to Chris Noth's final episode next week.moreless
Skipp Sudduth

Skipp Sudduth

Clete Dixon

Guest Star

David Call

David Call

Ricky Moss

Guest Star

Scott Sowers

Scott Sowers

Sgt. Whelan

Guest Star

Geneva Carr

Geneva Carr

Faith Yancy

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Mike Logan: My interest is piqued.
      Megan Wheeler: Piqued?
      Mike Logan: It's my new word for the week.

    • Danny Ross: This job. It's either tragic or stupid, mostly stupid.

    • Megan Wheeler: Sex offender in the neighborhood. The ultimate, "Not in my backyard."

    • (Regarding the victim, whose finger tips have been blow-torched.)
      Megan Wheeler: You think you can get a hit?
      Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Yeah, maybe a partial.
      Mike Logan: Hey, Rodgers. Can you do that thing where you peel off the skin and pull it over your own fingers?
      Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: I could do that.
      Mike Logan: (to Wheeler) I always say that Rodgers is the best.
      Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: Don't push it.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Danny Ross: The banality of evil.

      Ross is likely referring to a concept introduced in Hannah Arendt's book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, in which the author posits that the evil some men do is not from fanaticism, but because they've accepted the premises of the state and have immersed themselves in the bureaucracy for which they work. In essence, they are merely carrying out their assigned duties.

    • Ricky: We like the reality shows.
      Wheeler: Like what? America's Most Wanted?
      Logan: (looking over the messy room) More like Extreme Makeover.

      Wheeler is referring to 20th Century Fox's America's Most Wanted hosted by John Walsh. The TV series, which premiered in 1988, profiles and assists law enforcement in apprehending wanted fugitives.

      Logan refers to ABC's Extreme Makeover (2002-2007) where volunteers received an extreme makeover including plastic surgery. He's actually referring to its spin-off, ABC's Emmy Award-winning Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that premiered in 2003. This series sends a family on vacation while redoing their entire family home (exterior, interior and landscaping).

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