Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 5 Episode 21

On Fire

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 14, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
105 votes
  • Arson is afoot with death resulting. Goren and Eames track a serial firebug, and are led to one of the more bizarre motives in the CI 'whydunnit' annals. Notable guest stars are Theresa Russell as an aging vamp and Michael Rispoli's reprised Frank Adair.

    Goren's pattern seeking brain notices a similarity between the geographical sequence of fires and the route a former glorified altar boy (and current benefactor)would take during church ceremonies. When Bobby draws a "Z", you know the case is angled to solution.

    Implausible as Goren's eureka was, the epi was well-done, even if the storyline was a bit too Payton Place-ish for Criminal Intent.

    Three perps here - a scheming, middle-aged sex pot (Russell) who twenty years earlier impregnated her 14 year old step-son, and passed his progeny off as her hubby's; the formerly seduced and now successful 'big half-brother' whose marriage provides plenty of envy-ops for step-mom; and the pitiful offspring who with a wacko partner lit the pyrotechnics after learning of the deception.

    Wacko firebug gets offed by step-mom and her former seductee, so all three are roped in by the detectives as killers. Russell pulls off an amazing final scene in which she physically shrinks in Wicked Witch of the West fashion under the shame of her now revealed secret. I'd recommend this epi just for that fascinating command of actor's 'space.

    The epi was also notable for the storyline that signals the end of Jamey Sheridan's role as Captain Deakins. His nemesis is ex-detective Frank Adair (now redder and curlier haired - prison life must feature some hair stylists) who reaches out his long cop-sticky tentacles to lay the big set-up on the Cap'n. Goren and Eames are able to trace the plot, but can do naught about the big blue wall that is about to fall on their friend and captain.