Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 4 Episode 1

Semi-Detached

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 26, 2004 on USA
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
84 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Semi-Detached
AIRED:
The investigation into the deaths of a shock jock and the housekeeper who supplied the pain killers to which he was once addicted leads Goren and Eames to a detox clinic staff member whose mental illness hits Goren close to home.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of my favourite episodes/antagonists

    9.5
    Ive probably overscored this, but I loved the screenplay between Goren and the antaganist. However, dont just dismiss this episode. Its cleverly plotted with an attactive yet sympathetic antaganist who surprisingly gets her claws into Goren. The story and crime are fairly timid which isnt a bad thing for this franchise. The usual initial clues expand the setting very well, leading to the DJs maid and her husband of as possible suspects. But they end up just being a red herring, merely inadvertently becoming involved because of the manipulative yet believeable powers of antaganist. From this point on, a surprising development see Goren really becoming invloved with here unable to help himself. The real watchability of this episode stems from the encounters between these characters as Goren attempts to obtain evidence of her involvement in the murder(s) while the antaganist (Nelda) does all she can to lure him in and stay one step ahead of him.



    As ever the build up of scenes to its inevitable finale where Goren exposes the crime and MO keeps the suspense going, as Goren seems to be falling under her spell, and but for a smal slip up, the ending could have been different - but can anyone ever doubt Goren's ability to pull through.



    Cant recommend this enough as being a very tender, yet alluring episode that highlights the characters emotions in a new light.





    I never felt they explained the 2nd murder - that of the maid to well in the end, even it didnt seem to out of place.moreless
  • A radio dj gets murdered, and what happens? Goren falls for the murderer.

    8.5
    I personally love this episode, despite the weirdness that is Nelda. Her character was 'sweet' yet very disturbed....sewing your murder victims hair into your exhusbands' key chain? I'm sorry but lady needs a better hobby.



    This was classic CI and I loved every second of it.

    Goren intends to play or trick Nelda, as he often does, to find out more information that could help them close the case. Unfortunately, he begins to care for her. We can see in parts that he doesn't want to believe she really was a murderer, yet at the same time he's sure it is her.



    When he and Eames talk to her at the end, Goren goes in first, and for a second, I thought he was alone. Eames took a little longer than normal to enter the room. I think this was deliberate, to show his real purpose for being there...and i think that was to try to get Nelda to confess to HIM and to to the police. The difference being, that this case was personal whether Goren wanted it to be or not. He had feelings for her and hoped that would be enough for Nelda to confess.



    When Nelda was getting arrested, and she said "I know you care about me...I saw it" I was moved when Goren responded "I didn't mean for you to see it." He looks so miserable that it made me want to hug him.



    Great crime, great story, great angst...amazing episode.moreless
  • A Howard Sternish radio host is murdered, found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning. Shortly after, the dead man's maid turns up in the same condition and Eames surmises from bruises on the body that the killer is probably a woman.moreless

    9.0
    Well, this one packed a season opener punch!



    The confused schockjock exited early, of course, but was a character that focused your attention from the get-go. He had been suicidal and sought medical help, yet his meds weren't kicking in because someone switched them out. Then the dead maid is found - Goren and Eames must find the connection.



    In an interesting plot twist, the detectives attention turns to a woman who worked at the male victim's treatment center. "Nelda" proves to be the key to the case...and she is a pretty unique perp by tv series standards. Surfacely

    intelligent and compassionate, but Goren instantly sees she is both manipulative and mentally disordered. She passes herself off as married tho she's been divorced six years, she has no identity outside her relationship to her ex, and commits murder for a reason so insanely forlorn, she excites great pity.



    The extent of her mental disorder soon becomes clear - this lady is pure, but sadly, wacko. However, it's a type of illness that brings out Goren's sensitivity, and that element made this epi one of the best of them all. 'She's very empathetic', says the detective, and you know if she weren't 1) a killer and 2)psychotic, he might very well be interested. Sans the mental illness, her capacity for love would be divine. "Your obsession is profound", Goren tells her. Unfortunately, murder is more prosaic.



    As Eames tells Deakins, "He's playing her", but there were plenty of other ways to play her. Her mental illness intrigues him, but the more acceptable manifestations of it, such as the quality and quantity of the empathy, he obviously finds poignant. And the look she gives him into the complex world of mental illness he seems to accept as a gift.



    I love when VD'O lets Bobby go lowkey and very hush-toned, but intensely introspective at the same time. That is when the character is most intriguing, and most attractive. From the very start of this one, there was that soft-light charisma at work. The nervous mannerisms are there, but not so frenetic....instead, they come over as feverish. Yes, "feverish"...a low grade flush ready to rise to revealing emotion, or fall back to the straightjacket of self-restraint..you just don't know...but the fever hums along...



    All the engaging mannersism are there - the slightly downcast eyes, the length of the gazes, the hand movement, particularly toward the mouth, and crossed hands...very hypnotizing, but not distracting as in Goren's more antic moments. The extra beard growth in the opening scenes implies sleeplessness, soul-searching - you know right away he's setting you up for something special.



    And we got it.



    Note: Some Goren character background info revealed re his mother in this one.







    moreless
Francie Swift

Francie Swift

Nelda Carlson

Guest Star

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal

Kelly Garnett

Guest Star

J.C. MacKenzie

J.C. MacKenzie

Lenny

Guest Star

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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