Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 2 Episode 14

Probability

3
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 16, 2003 on USA
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
91 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Probability
AIRED:
While probing the seemingly random murders of several homeless men, Goren and Eames uncover a scam involving a crooked insurance agent. However, an unsual twist leads the detectives to an unlikely suspect.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Friday
No results found.
Saturday
4:00am
USA
5:00am
USA
11:00am
ION
1:00pm
ION
3:00pm
ION
4:00pm
ION
5:00pm
ION
6:00pm
ION
7:00pm
ION
8:00pm
ION
10:00pm
ION
11:00pm
ION
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Ignorance and bigotry, nothing better.

    1.0
    This was one of the worst episodes of this show, based on bigotry and ignorance. It misportrays Asperger's syndrome horribly and demonizes an entire group of innocent people.
  • When a homeless man who died an accidental death is found to have been murdered a whole string of related murders is found by Goren and Eames. Through some interesting discoveries they catch the surprising people involved and the master mind behind it.moreless

    9.5
    One of the very first episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent I ever saw. This was one of them that really drew me to this show.



    ***** Spoilers *****



    Mark Linn-Baker is brilliant as Wally Stevens the Insurance Investigator who ends up being the master mind of the murders and also a man with Aspergers Syndrome. This disease which is akin to Autism except it is a higher functioning version of a similar disease. There was a character portrayed in Boston Legal named Jerry who also had the disease. This is a fairly recent diagnosis and is just beginning to be understood. There are a number of twists and turns with this episode as the death we are shown is actually not related to the other deaths, but a scheme by one of Wally's partners to bring in additional money. All together Wally's plan was to kill fifteen homeless people for one million each using various insurers and different underwriters. The part that still throws me about this episode is the violent nature of the crimes. I'm not sure that someone with Aspergers is necessarily more capable of being violent than a normal person in such a way to cause this many deaths. Would need behavior override normal behavior enough to allow someone in this condition to murder this many people?



    It was an interesting episode none the less and I have enjoyed it for the performances as well as the story each time I have seen. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • When a homeless man who appears to have run into a little recent good luck is found dead, the detectives set about tracking his killer and uncover an insurance scheme…and 15 more victims, all fairly young and whose deaths were attributed as accidental.moreless

    8.1
    One of the attributes of this program that I really appreciate is the writer's new take on a rehashed storyline. There are only a finite number of (believable) plots, and some seem to get recycled more than others. The killing of the homeless for insurance monies is one I just feel I have seen, read, or heard before. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.



    The interesting twist here is the culprit, a most unexpected personality as conspirator to murder. This criminal is a nerdy insurance investigator whose emotional disorder has savaged his marriage and life. Altho his vicious partner actually commits the brutal murders, it is the geek whose savant-like mathematical reasoning powers enable the insurance scheme. Even Deakins computer programs are able to pick up a pattern, and the motive is initially unclear. But as Bobby Boy says, the fact there are no coincidences reflects the very hard work of someone to make the deaths appear random.



    Goren and Eames soon find that insurance companies thought they were insuring corporate execs, who were given physicals, then killed. The real genius was in the hiding of the fake policies, via various underwriters, with payoffs overseas. Enter the unfortunate nerd, who, in a funny scene, discusses 'chaos theory' with Goren and sheds mucho light on the perp's "skill set", which is of course, his own.



    The undoing of the savant comes about thru Bobby's recognition, after eliminating the final victim as an anomaly, of a pattern the man himself is unaware informs, even dictates, all his moves. The number five looms large in the man's subconscious - he is creating Bobby- detectable patterns without knowing it. Patterns in the blocks where the bodies are found, in the days of the week the murders were committed. The computers might not find the patterns, but the probability is Goren will.



    Mark Linn-Baker plays the nerd delightfully, with the emotional simplicity implicit to the single-minded and the nervous mannerisms of the near autistic (Asperger's Syndrome). His level of social ungrace is actually charming. He is one criminal you may not wish got away, but you do wish weren't guilty. Plus he fascinates Goren, and that awards him some sort of wierd panache. :)



    Bobby elocutes a few lines of French in this one, (badly) while questioning an accomplice. But his 'un deux trois' is cute enough.

    moreless
  • Law and Order Criminal Intent!

    7.5
    After the murder of a homeles man, Detectives Goren and Eames start their investigation by looking at other cases in which homeless people have been killed, where it looks like an accident. They find many others around the same age and same race who have all been in relatively good health. All of the murders were similar in the fact that all of the injuries were causes by blunt force trama. They find that they were all uses in a scheme to scam money out of an insurance agency, where they passed the homeless people off as executives in French companies. An interesting episode. It actually kept my attention. It usually takes a lot to get me to stay interested in the storylines of this show, but this was good. I enjoyed watching it.moreless
Mark Linn-Baker

Mark Linn-Baker

Wally Stevens

Guest Star

Matthew Arkin

Matthew Arkin

Ben Gergis

Guest Star

Ken Cheeseman

Ken Cheeseman

Leo Gergis

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Wally Stevens, the name of the insurance-fraud investigator character, is an inside joke: The name is taken from Wallace Stevens, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who also worked as vice president of The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company.

    • Alex Eames: Someone's killing the great bums of New York.
      This references the 1976 novel Someone is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe written by Nan and Ivan Lyons. In 1978 the novel was made into a film called Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring George Segal and Jacqueline Bisset. (Ted Kotcheff was a director and executive producer from 1999-2012 on CI's sibling Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.)

More
Less