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Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 3 Episode 5


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 26, 2003 on USA
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Goren is assigned an interim partner after Eames goes on maternity leave. They focus their investigation of a murder on a star reporter whose past contains a history of plagiarism.

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  • A young reporter comes home from an assignment to find his roommate dead. She has been stabbed, and it looks like a burglary gone fatal. The trail leads the detective to a world of falsehood, betrayal, and hypocrisy.moreless

    Note: This epi introduced Samantha Buck as Eames' pregnancy leave replacement, Detective Bishop. Yawn.

    Bobby thinks the killer was someone known to the victim, whom he learns had developed drug, alcohol, and compulsive spending issues. She had also had a tragic affair with a married man.

    The editor of the paper (Judd Hirsch, sounding as cranky as an editor should) appears to be a mentor - caring and protective, and even perhaps trying to help establish an alibi for his star reporter. But in truth he's aware there's a cheater on the staff, and wants the prodigal out of the 'family' before someone else finds out. He is also the dead women's ex-lover.

    The detectives learn of the relationship and inquire about it to the reporter's father. Bobby baits the editor with the 'rumour', and in a wonderful scene sits down at the editor's restaurant table, puts his arms around two fellow diners and just, well, aggressively baits. His new partner didn't enjoy the show. But BG calmly states "Eames would have".

    Then a real piece of incredibility is discovered - the reporter doesn't submit travel expense vouchers. When a reporter writes articles from a myriad of far flung locations, and never files for expenses, folks, you've got a plagiarism problem. From Louisiana to Maine, not even gas money.

    Turns out the dead woman, who worked the photo desk, had helped the plagiarist, by supplying him with pictures for his fictional articles. But she was bowing out of the scheme, which she engaged in to begin with to get back at her ex-lover. Bobby surmises the editor had learned of the fraud but did not want it to become public.

    BG shows the evidence to the reporter's proud father, and he dismisses it. A book reviewer, he had worked for the editor and understood his perspective, which was a "stay in your place' mentality, sugar coated with liberalism. Goren is in bull in china shop mode, and Bishop thanks him for showing her how 'to turn a friendly witness into a hostile one".

    Presented with over 40 articles plagiarized or filled with false facts, (I’d like to have Bobby doing duty as a research paper checker - he's some false source/stolen copy sniffer) the editor defends himself, his reporter, and his paper, and sets himself up as some sort of white man's burdener. As the reporter's father maintained, the editor's espoused progressive views are steeped in patronizing attitudes. He's a racist, says Bobby, but he is not a killer.

    There aren't too many suspects left, and the finger of fate turns to dear old dad. He too has become aware his son has made a mockery of the journalistic enterprise, and finds it a remarkably bitter pill to swallow, having had so many fewer opportunities than his son.

    Now to see his offspring act dishonorably is just too much, to contemplate his own potential shaming untenable, and he, surprised by her presence in his son's apartment, kills his son's accomplice when his plan was to shoot his own son.

    The reporter is shaken his father thinks more of the 'truth' than his own son's life, and I rather liked his final retort "so what?" if he had plagiarized. And the pride taken in 'fooling' so many for so long was amusing.

    He sounded a lot like a found-out freshman bravado-ing before his downfall, but perhaps the writers were pointing to something else here, something a little deeper. Those with a stake in the system are those who play by its rules. Those who feel the system reflects false values are more apt to take pride in thumbing their noses at it. With an editor whose phony concern barely masked his racism and a father whose sole interest lay in chip-off-the-old-blocking, it's easy to see why the concept of 'truth' was purty ambiguous to the plagiarist, just as it was in the old soviet newpaper, "Pravda".

Glynn Turman

Glynn Turman

Roy Hines

Guest Star

Elzbieta Czyzewska

Elzbieta Czyzewska

Mrs. Jalenak

Guest Star

Judd Hirsch

Judd Hirsch

Ben Elkins

Guest Star

Samantha Buck

Samantha Buck

Det. G. Lynn Bishop

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions