What do you do with a plot that is as old as the hills (the rich parent trying desperately to save her child from marrying a sneaky gold-digger, and then mom gets murdered?) Well, you handle the same old, same old, like this:
1. You give domineering mom a modern death, and in this case' it's 'death by botox in a bathtub."
2. You fill the epi with wisecracks, real funny ones, from the medical examiner to Eames to Carver. And of course, Bobby ( I especially loved "You spell Junkers with a J, just be happy it wasn't Messerschmitt.")
3. You let the actors play it up so much it borders on camp( Erbe is almost as antic as D'Onofrio, who spends most of one interrogation scene aiming botox injection needles like darts into a piece of styrofoam). In fact, the final scene has Bobby and Alex allowing the hot tempered daughter who has committed the actual murder to trap her Machaiveliian dad, on film, as the detectives watch on camera from an adjacent room. Only hot-tempered daughter steps put of camera range and kills dad before Goren and Eames can break in.
This episode was totally unlike any CI I have seen to date. The most straightforward of plots, but with the old, tried an' true one-minute-you- think-he-did-it, and the-next-minute-you-think she-did sensibiity (and you get a strong hunch when dad starts talking power of attorney and trust finds).
A fun ride all the way, felt like a 30's comedy in spots. :)
When a wealthy hotel heiress is murdered the suspicion starts to fall on her daughter and her daughters fiancee. It seems pretty cut and dried until the investigation turns to something even more heinous.
I guess this is what you may call a dysfunctional family. The mother loved her daughter and looked out for her, but she understood that she was mentally unstable and was forced to do things for her daughters good. The father was a manipulator. How long do you suppose they were married before his wife, her mother knew he was gay Everything they had told their daughter for years was a lie. A very strange situation.
As the evidence unfolds we go from thinking that the fiancee really loved the daughter to realizing more and more what a snake he was. The introduction through the father playing both sides. The manipulation with the mother with the photograph and knowing that the daughter had a viscous temper.
The ending was a bit of surprise and it was weird seeing Goren lose his cool when everyone around him seemed to take it all in stride. Boy Goren really doesn't like losing anymore than any of the perpatrators he brings to justice each week.
Excellent acting by the cast, especially D'Onofrio as Goren, and Amy Ryan as the daughter Julie Turner. A well written and produced episode. Thanks for reading...
This is, without a doubt, one of the best episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. The viewer is kept on the edge of his seat, trying to identify the guilty party. The victim's daughter, though unstable, is actually quite believable in her repeated denials of killing her mother. What makes this one of the best, however, is the ending, where Goren shows his seldom-seen emotional side, proving that he too is human. The frustration and passion that he demonstrates provides the audience with an opportunity to like him as a person, rather than relating to him solely as a wealth of obscure information.
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