Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 6 Episode 18

Silencer

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 03, 2007 on USA
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
98 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Goren and Eames investigate when a doctor who had testified in a case involving the deaf and controversial cochlear implants is murdered, and find themselves teaming up with a detective who interprets for the deaf as they try to get answers in a case where no one seems willing to communicate with them.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Deaf and hearing cast; several deaf characters are suspected of the murder of a doctor who performs cochlear implants. Deaf suspects are not often seen in story lines. Kudos to the casting directors and creative writers among others.moreless

    10
    High praise to the writers, casting people, director, tech crew ... and of course the actors! This episode (Silencer) is one more example of why we hold Dick Wolf in such high regard. LOCI, with the extraordinarily talented Kathryn Erbe and Vincent D'Onofrio. is a consistently superb production. Of special note: Alexandria Wailes (Malia) - exotic, beguiling, passionate, intelligent. We couldn't take our eyes off of her. We'd love to see her again. Darren Frazier (Larry) seethed and charmed. Garrett Zuercher (Tommy) exuded a confused innocence and sadness. Bill O'Brien (Det. Lyons) - can't wait to see him again. Hillary Baack (Deedee) was adorable and charming. Deanne Bray (Dean Price) is always gorgeous to watch.



    "Silencer" was an excellent, complex story line, and we viewers expect nothing less from LOCI. We were mesmerized as the plot shifted from one suspect and location to another. Fast paced, dramatic, fun - especially when Malia became upset and banged on the interrogation room table. We also particularly liked the ethical dilemma that interpreting presented, and the multi-dimensional view of deaf and hearing impaired characters. Please, more shows like this!moreless
  • A true classic--stellar dialogue, superbly acted and edited (mild spoilers)

    10
    This was an amazing piece of work--some of the best technical acting I've ever seen in a series, including some very complex scenes involving overlapping signed and spoken dialogue. Scenes where sign is being translated to English are uniformly uncontrived and naturally paced. Other scenes where translation is absent may make non-signing viewers (me, for example) wish they knew ASL.



    I can't speak to the cultural specifics but they come across as authentic. The story delves into a number of ethical, forensic, and philosophical issues--for example, when is it appropriate to eavesdrop on a signed conversation during an investigation? How might a shooting committed by a deaf person be observably different from one committed by a hearing person? Is profound hearing impairment a defect? The episode delivers a number of insights into familial and cultural relationships between deaf and hearing people, and occasionally drops the audio to help the viewer understand the subject's perspective. Indeed, as the story develops, the concept of silence is incorporated in numerous ways, not least of which is the pleasing omission of the customary snide exchange of witticisms in the final scene. I imagine that for a deaf person it barely scratches the surface of these complex issues, but it's a lot deeper than any treatment I've ever seen on television.



    Ultimately I come back to the dialogue though. It's truly amazing, the cast pulls it off without a hitch, and it's all edited together seamlessly. The entire cast and crew can give themselves a pat on the back for this one.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The concept of silence is used in a number of ways in this episode. The audio is dropped at times to simulate hearing loss for the viewer. A potato is used to silence a gunshot. A victim is silenced in various ways: injury to his hand (needed for signing), injury to his throat, and death. A building is boarded up to keep outside noise from penetrating. The final scene has no witty exchange; instead the characters remain silent and contemplative. Members of the deaf community are unwilling to comment in the investigation. A sign interpreter declines Goren's request to translate a signed conversation at a distance because he perceives it as private.

    • The body is found on St. Patrick's Day, which Eames notes when she comments that the windows have been boarded because of the St. Patrick's Day parade. (The series rarely mentions a specific date.)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Discussing Malia and Larry Forseca.)
      Robert Goren: She puts him on a pedestal.
      Alex Eames: They all do. Nobody who was at that cast party will speak to us. And Larry, over in holding, has his hands tied behind his back, so to speak.

    • Alex Eames: (to a suspect) Stealing prescription pads. Jared, you're a Wall Street guy. Can't you afford a Dr. Feelgood when you need to feel… good?

    • Larry Forseca: (in sign language, through an interpreter) Get me a deaf cop.
      Alex Eames: A deaf cop?
      Larry Forseca: Get me a jury of my peers. Get me a deaf judge. Then I'll participate in your system. Until then, there's no justice for me.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Robert Goren: ...Fat cats going deaf from too much oxycodone.
      This is a reference to right-wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who was known for saying that drug addiction was not a disease and that drug users should be sent to jail instead of rehab. In 2003, he entered rehab himself after admitting that he was addicted to painkillers including Oxycontin and hydrocodone. He was fined and sentenced to probation for obtaining the pills illegally. Limbaugh did suffer a hearing loss in 2001, but his doctors claimed it was unrelated to his drug use.

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