Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 14, 2001 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
113 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After the body of Lois Romney is found in a hotel room, Goren and Eames link her to Dale Van Acker, a junkie and the son of wealthy scion Priscilla Van Acker. Van Acker strongly disapproved of her son's pregnant fiancée, which leads Goren and Eames to suspect she may have wanted to get rid of the girl on a permanent basis.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A mothers love? When a pregnant former junkie is strangled and found in a hotel room buried under a mattress, a carefully woven story of entitlement, greed, and intrigue uncovers a very broken family. Showing money is not a guarantee of class.moreless

    It becomes an obvious setup when the pregnant girlfriend Lois Romney of Dale Van Acker is murdered. It is a little far fetched that someone would murder someone for so little money (three way split of twenty thousand). The girl Becky was a stripper. Her biggest problem would be that she must be pretty bad at that profession if she wasn't at least making a decent living doing that and thought 6,000 plus was a big score.

    Forgetting that, it was interesting how they managed to follow the trail from Romney, to Dale, to Becky and her pals, to Jameson, and finally to Priscilla Van Acker, Dale's mother.

    This Priscilla was really a cold hearted woman. She was only interested in what she wanted and could care less for anyone else's feelings. It's a little scary that people of money and power tend to be that entitled some times. I always think of the line from the movie Dave where Frank Langella's former Senator's character says, "I can kill one person, I could kill five of them" (meaning a normal American citizen) or something of that sort and feel justified to get a way with it.

    The forgery letter was a little bit of a reach as well but overall I got a kick out of the storyline and the content in general so I give this a little higher mark. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • What starts out as a junkie sleaze murder ends up somewhere else completely.

    I like this episode. I particularly like Kathleen Chalfant as the society mother, willing to do anything for her son. She's been in several Law & Order series and has a particular presence about her.

    It's really quite a sad story - pregnant drug addict is killed. Her society drug addict boyfriend is a suspect, but some of the real suspects become all too clear. And just when you think you know where the story is leading, there's another twist, and then the chilling truth comes out.

    As usual Goran and Eames characters are played to perfection and Goran plays his little games to trip up the responsible people.moreless
  • Witchy mom has husband kill the pregnant junkie girlfriend of her screw-up junkie son. Pretty straightforward plot but guest stars hitting all the right notes.

    There were some nifty D\'Onofrio moments in this, the third ever episode.

    One was a brief park chase scene in which Mr. D doesn\\\'t run any more gracefully than he did in Full Metal Jacket. But he has this early Brando thing going on in a brown leather jacket and a lock of hair curled over the forehead. (as well as an interrogation room scene in black tee shirt, vaguely reminiscent of Stanley Kowalski sans the rips).

    Another scene gave a whole new take to \"arm-twisting\" as Det. G gets pretty physical with a perp.

    Plenty of Goren \"leans\" in this one, including one directed at the victim\'s corpse, stuffed into a a box spring. It\'s a wonder the boy didn\'t get vertigo. Lots of raised eyebrowing, solo or double. All in all, the performance came over as a little \"precious\".

    Another subtle but effective scene is the almost impreceptible but deeply sarcastic half-smile Goren wears listening to murderous yet ludicrous step-dad claim \"I\'ve been interrogated by experts, and I have the scars on my genitals to prove it\". Mr. D\'s semi smirk is priceless.

    There was also what may have been the first Goren reference to his own mother.

    The Eames character was still edgier than it seemed to ultimately evolve, and the best Tulip moment was the final scene in which Goren, hovering a few feet behind the evil mom, clicks open a pair of handcuffs and spins them...the whirring sound and the look spell \"bye-bye!\"

    A tightly written episode with plenty of sweet D\'Onofrio-Goren nuances.moreless
Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Priscilla Van Acker

Guest Star

Geoffrey Nauffts

Geoffrey Nauffts

Dale Van Acker

Guest Star

Will Lyman

Will Lyman

Roger Jameson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Robert Goren: You're under arrest for the murder of Lois Romney.
      Roger Jamison: You serious?
      Alex Eames: You don't see us wearing clown shoes, do you?

    • (Reviewing the Van Acker's financials.)
      Martell: Well, it wasn't all caviar and champagne. They put half a mil a year into their charity, the Equine Rights Foundation.
      Alex Eames: Let me guess; they find homes for retired polo ponies.

    • (Shop assistant Janice tries to keep Goren from looking through the receipts.)
      Mr. Sloan: Are you getting any closer to catching the murderer?
      Robert Goren: (speaking close to Janice's ear) Getting closer by the minute.

    • (To Dale Van Acker about the two men she's escorting.)
      Lois Romney: They're creepy… Like a coupla ex-cons in brand new suits. One of them's still got a tag from the designer warehouse still stuck on his sleeve. Um, I don't have a good feeling about this.

    • Dale Van Acker: I didn't do anything!
      Robert Goren: Sure you did. You're under arrest for littering.

    • (Goren finds something while examining the body)
      Robert Goren: Fish scale.
      Alex Eames (sarcastically) Great, she was attacked by a shark.
      Robert Goren: Sharks don't have scales. (Eames sighs)

    • (While doing surveillance on residents of the tunnels.)
      Robert Goren: You ever think what's it's like living down there?
      Alex Eames: With what one bedrooms are going for, I've considered it.

  • NOTES (0)


    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the Patricia Margello case. In 1998, Pati was romantically involved with Dean MacGuigan, a descendant of industrialist E.I. du Pont. MacGuigan's step-father, Christopher Moseley, was eventually convicted of ordering her murder.