Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 4 Episode 2

The Posthumous Collection

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 03, 2004 on USA
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Posthumous Collection
The investigation into the death of a famous photographer leads to the discovery of multiple homicides committed by the collaborator on his latest project, who was attempting to exorcise demons from his past through an artistic expression the photographer soon found intolerable.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Renowned photographer is handcuffed to his steering wheel, wood block propped over gas pedal, and emergency break defuncted. Eames deems it a pretty 'flashy murder' and Goren surmises that might just be the point.moreless

    "Art demands no explanation!" claims the world famous photographer who has lost his cutting edge...what he does to put the avant garde back into his resume, and what is done to him, is the focus of this story.

    A very interesting epi, tho I admit to being partial to any storyline featuring artists, even when they're formulaic plots and stereotyped characters, as they usually are.

    The dead photographer here was the child of Holocaust victims, but felt anger towards all victims "for allowing it to happen to them". His photographs evidently were a way for him to work out this particular angst, tho, or perhaps as a result, his work graviated toward the banal semi-clothed model cover shoot.

    Into this jaded life stepped a neophyte who promised a new perspective, and unfortunately, a deadly one. Photos of 'dead' women, posed with light haloing from them, turn out to be unstaged. Goren senses the difference in the photos from the photographer's prior increasingly trivialized work - the models's 'vulnerability' then realizes on closer inspection, the models are all dead. "Perfect models", sighs Eames.

    An expert maintains it is not the artist's work, and Bobby (looking tired with dark circles under his eyes in early season 4 shortly before V DO's exhaustion kicked in)

    notices something 'familiar' in the sick poses - a connection with pulp "literature" appealing to 'sexual sadists'..women in a state of submission. The detectives then start to track the movements of the four victims prior to their murders, and suspense builds as we see another potential victim being possibly lured to her death. (She isn't).

    The detectives get close enough to the killer to have an undercover Eames portraited by him at a sidewalk studio, and Renaissance Man Goren wanders over to, naturally, assess the shard of light in the painter's model's eyes as the smoking bullet. Gotta love it. Bobby needs to be sniffing out forgeries at the Hermitage, I guess, not making sicko street artists.

    The detectives learn the famous photographer was initially intrigued by the wacko's style (probably the victim paradigm drew him in, 're-sensitizing himself', in BG's words) ), then demurred when he learned death was the ultimate subject.

    As for the sick puppy, he was awarded the requisite evil family members to explain his this case, sadistic mom and sisters...that neat little packaging CI too often succumbs to, imo, and in this case, particularly repellent as it forces both the women as victims AND the 'they've got it coming to them' conclusion.

    Pretty interesting tho, with the usual sterling casting and added evidence of Goren's breadth of interest. "You're a cop! What do you know about art? sneers the perp.

    It's Bobby Goren, you moron!moreless
  • Photographer found murdered, leads detectives to discover four of his muses\' who all happen to be dead.

    The way Goren and Eames uncovered the killer's plot was good. I liked their little scene together where Eames pretends to be new to the city and Goren hits on her. Classic. The actor who played the killer did a good job because he was creepy. And as for his character's was...disturbed. I loved Goren's reaction just after she talks of strapping her brother to the bed and beats the @#$% out of him and laughs. Goren's staring at her, his mouth hanging open. It's rare to see him shocked like that.

    This episode only made me love Goren more. The way he puts the chair under the vent and tells the killer "up". It was funny.

    Eames got in some good lines, such as "a smell YOU can't identify?" The idea of wanting to kill women to make them art was really was pretty much everything about the killer's family. But since it was creepy, that only shows that this show, its actors, and the writers are awesome.moreless
Glenn Fitzgerald

Glenn Fitzgerald

Spencer Farnell

Guest Star

Caroline Lagerfelt

Caroline Lagerfelt

Hannah Heltman

Guest Star

Rob Campbell

Rob Campbell

Daniel Heltman

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (Examining tin foil at the crime scene, Goren smells the substance in it.)
      Robert Goren: It's residue. I don't know what it is.
      Alex Eames: (grinning) A smell you can't identify?

    • Alex Eames: As murders go, it's pretty flashy.
      Robert Goren: Could be the point.

  • NOTES (0)


    • The personality and photographic style of the character Gerhardt Heltman revealed in this episode strongly resemble the life and works of German photographer Helmut Newton (31 October 1920 to 23 January 2004). Newton was one of the most celebrated fashion and nude photographers of the 20th century and was never associated with any of the unsavory activities attributed to Heltman in this story.