Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 6 Episode 8

The War at Home

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 14, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

Write A Review
out of 10
142 votes
  • The worst L&O:CI episode ever!

    This is the worst episode ever. Sloppily written, full of plot holes, disjointed direction, poor and unconvincing dialog, sloppy editting -- all-in-all, a mess. Even D'Onofrio has his head down in this one, and not in his character's playful-wistful way, either. You can tell he's not impressed with his dialog here. Erbe is relegated to a real back-seat, even though she's supposed to be leading, as D'Onofrio has been written "away with his mom". The writers allow Erbe to be steam-rolled by the supporting characters, who are an unconvincing lot. The victim's father is a real caricature - you've seen this character and heard his dialog on many fourth-rate detective shows at least a hundred times before. This episode is a real load of dog droppings. I really hate it when Hollywood hacks screw up a really good show, either out of greed or just laziness. The producers here clearly didn't care enough about the show to do their jobs. --> AVOID this episode if you LOVE this show!
  • This is a very intriguing episode as it delves into the personal life of our beloved Detective Goren. Thanks for finally showing us Bobby's pain.

    He has made mention many times about his mother and her condition (and Nicole Wallace spent many dauntless hours agonizing him about her condition) to finally see them together and what she actually puts him through is incredible. For an investigator who actually puts himself into the mind of the criminal -- I am sure Bobby has tried to assess him mother the same way (it is his nature to do so with anyone). This was a long awaited episode with Mrs. Goren. Thanks for finally showing us Bobby's pain.
  • Female soldier goes missing on Thanksgiving and the Major Case Squad gets torn away from their families to investigate.

    From what I've heard this ep was either love it or hate it. I absolutely loved it. The crime itself wasn't bad.

    D'onofrio was amazing in this and got to show a lot more levels to his character. I love when they get into the personal stuff with him and I'm glad that they showed just enough to reveal how hard a time he was having, dealing with his mother's illness. He's overworked, stressed, and now he's forced away from his mom on what might be her last thanksgiving. But, Goren of course tries to do his job despite everything he's going through and all we see is Ross and the others act like he's slacking off.

    There were some great metaphors in the ep about good soldiers needing good leaders, and it was clear that Goren felt his leader (Ross) wasn't cutting it. He misses Deakins and he doesn't even have to come right out and say it.

    I liked Goren's outbursts because they were appropriate to what was going on in his life. We saw why he wasn't acting out and felt for him.

    I started to warm up to Ross because of this ep. It was the scene at the beginning, with him toasting his family. The part where he thanks his family for coming then says in a dry, unenthused manner "Todd." That little comment was amusing.

    Throughout the whole episode I kept wanting to slap everyone around Goren and tell them to smarten up for not understanding his situation. And of course I wanted to hug really tugged on the heart strings.

    I liked the scene at the elevator because we both see Goren acting out and trying to send a clear message that he was obviously drowning; but at the same time he didn't want to come right out and scream at Eames. it was like he was more disappointed in her than angry and i can see why. he expected her of all people to have a little more sympathy for him. Hence him telling her to "back off". He didn't see the point in her efforts if he felt like they weren't getting anywhere. Meanwhile, she's asking about his mom and brother, trying to sympathetic but it's like they couldn't just get on the same page. It's a catch 22.

    Overall, great acting by D'onofrio, Erbe, and Bogosian. Crime plot - average. Goren's plot - excellent.
  • A great episode that had me hooked

    In this episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, the following happens. We open with a girl going missing after spending the night with a friend. And so, on Thanksgiving, the team are called in to help find her. The reason? Her father is the first deputy commissioner of the NYPD. Amanda also just returned from a tour in Iraq and is due to get married the following weekend. The team then find her car in a parking lot. There they find a purse in the nearby woods, and so a search is launched. Soon her shoes are also found in the woods, and so her friend is brought to the scene for questioning. There she confesses that she, Amanda and another Army friend all went into the city for the night. She lost Amanda at about 2.00am and hasn't seen her since. Soon Amanda's underwear is found in the woods and so is her dress. All of her clothing from that night have been recovered, so where is Amanda? Or worse still where is her body? Soon the team believe that Amanda herself may have scattered the clothes and has now gone AWOL. When the family hear this, the father gets angry and says that she would never do that. We soon learn that Amanda was born in Ireland and so she has an Irish passport. Soon the father calls off the search. Both of her passports are found in her bedroom. Soon her fiancée fly's in and the team question him. From him we learn that Amanda slept with another solider when she was in Iraq. Soon from where her cell phone was used, the team work out where she was on the night she was last seen. So the team now believe that they know where Amanda (or at least her body) may be and so they head there. There they find her body in an oil drum. She has been shot, in execution style. When a tox test is run on Amanda, we learn that she was drugged. Soon the team have 2 suspects, the Army friend who went with the girls to the club and another Army person, who Amanda slept with in Iraq. But since neither of them will confess, the team are stuck. But Bobby goes back in with Eames, and they manage to break him. We learn that she was killed so that she won't tell her father about murders which took place whilst they were in Iraq. As the details of her murder are told, from the killer own mouth, the father starts to break down in tears.
  • It's Thanksgiving, but things are far from alright as everyone is called in for a missing person case.

    The Commissioner's daughter is missing on Thanksgiving, and everyone is doing their best to try and find her, but Goren has to try and deal with personal problems with his mother in the hospital. Torn by both sides, Goren seemingly loses it, which was just great to watch! The main reason I watch Criminal Intent is Bobby Goren, hehe, so getting to see a bit more of his strangeness and the things that tear at him, as we've sometimes have been shown a glimpse of, is just great. Btb, seeing Fran Drescher in a serious role kindda threw me off, especially when she started crying, but I think I just seen her so many times in comedy roles that I'm fixated. It had no impact on what I thought of the episode though. This ep put together a clever plot with just enough of character to make it one of my favorites of the season so far.
  • Law and Order Criminal Intent!

    When the daughter of a police commissioner goes missing, Captain Ross and Detectives Goren and Eames are called onto the case during their Thanksgiving celebrations. Detective Goren has a hard time keeping his mind on the case at hand, because of dealing with his mother, who is in the hospital. When the victim is found murdered execution style, the Detectives begin to wonder if the war she was fighting in somehow managed to follow her home.

    Criminal Intent is my least favorite of all the Law and Order brands. But I actually was interested in the story line of this episode and was anxious to see how the case ended. It kept me wanting to watch the entire hour. I find it hard to connect or idenify with the Detectives on Criminal Intent, but I was able to connect with the victims and feel for them.
  • I'm startled that this episode received several bad reviews. I'd say it was one of the best things to air on any network this season. They're doing great things with D'Onofrio's character.

    This episode stands out in my mind as one of the best in the series. Of course, to me, this series is all about Goren, and this episode added real depth to his character. D'Onofrio's acting in this episode was superb -- he conveyed real anguish. It was all very much in keeping with an arc that has been taking shape over the last several Goren/Eames episodes, since Goren was threatened at gunpoint by the suburban cop.

    I am very eager to see what happens next with Goren. Perhaps he has hit rock bottom, but I doubt it.

    I notice that one reviewer panned the episode because it portrayed the military in an unflattering light. I suppose that's right, but it doesn't bother me much -- and I say that as one of the relatively small number of U.S. residents who still backs the Bush administration and its efforts in Iraq. In the end, "Criminal Intent" is entertainment, and for the sake of being entertained, I'm willing to set aside politics (except in egregious cases, e.g., every episode ever made of "The West Wing").
  • Goren and Eames were recalled by Ross, to find out what happened to the deputy commissioner's daughter, who disapeared. It is is Thanksgiving's holiday, and Goren have another things on his mind. The investigation will be difficult for everyone.

    Yesssss!! When I read the other reviews, I thought \"At last\", but when I saw the episode, I feel I\'ve been waiting for these past two years for an episode of that kind!!! I\'m very fund of VDO, but I began to feel that the serie was not worthy anymore, too cold! But when I saw, the first episode of this season, I had a great interest for the new story line. And finally, it happened. At last, we can see their private life, part of it, anyway. And It was amazing : the schizophrenic scene at the hospital, when Goren has to answer the phone and his mother at the same time, was, I think, the cleariest image of Goren\'s stade of mind. I don\'t want to go too far, but I think they found the perfect balance between the investigation and the character\'s personnal life. I can understand that the longest fans could be shoked by the new story line, but, personnally, It was exactly what I\'ve been waiting for, for a long time now. And it was worth waiting!
  • Screenplay by John Kerry & John Murtha...

    Or so you'd think by watching this mess. The nonsensical premise (Army company massacres Iraqi Army company) could come from "Jenjis Khan" Kerry or "Cold-blooded murderers" Murtha.

    Why does Hollywood think that people want to see the military dumped on constantly? This episode, besides showing Goren's ongoing meltdown, hits pretty much all the bases of 1969 era rhetoric: Soldiers are crazy, military women are whores or butch, the Army goes around executing people for no reason, desertion is commonplace, and on and on and on. I think I can say with little fear of contradiction, NCIS is the only current show that doesn't dump on the military.

    Leaving that aside, Goren's rising level of crazy is getting aggravating. Honestly, if this keeps up, I'm going to stick to the Chris Noth weeks. Score only because I can't get 0 to work.
  • Are you kidding me?!

    What are the writers doing to Bobby? He never acts like this. I realized his weak spot is his mentally unstable mother but this episode went too far. The basic story was good. Fran Drescher was great and looked stunning. The plot of the girl about to blow the whistle on her squad was interesting. Bobby blowing up at a Commissioner who just lost his daughter was completely out of character.
  • The best episode of the whole series!

    In all it's six years on the air, L&O: Criminal Intent has delt with some major issues and had some really good episodes but none were better than this. They portrayed human pain so incredibly well in this episode. There was the father and the mothers grief over their daughter missing and then finding out she was murdered by one of her fellow soldiers because they were afraid she would come out with this secret. Then Detective Goren's pain when he wants to be with his mother, who has cancer, on Thanksgiving but his boss wants him to solve the case before he sees his mother. All of the pain leads to a climax when Goren walks out of the Precinct screaming his displeasure and he no longer cares if he has this job.
  • This episode is charged with human pain. The parents of the missing girl, the people she served with in Iraq, her own confusion and misery, and Goren. Our tragic hero. Alone, with so many worlds on his shoulders.

    ( I posted this on the forum site, and decided I could not present a more accurate review of the episode)

    There's so much here. So much that is human.

    It is the fulcrum of the paradox with the new season. As is clear from my review of "Masquerade," I believe I cannot easily find a balance between the episodes that delve so deeply into character development, such as this one, and those that seem merely to be...fillers. It sometimes seems that the new direction CI has taken is utterly manic...intense and wrenching one week, and curiously devoid the next. There are some connecting threads, for those of us that stare intently. I read a few of the comments in the original thread before I saw the show, and from the reaction I felt, I expected a desperate drama, something "over the top," but I felt little beyond calm sympathy.

    In this episode more than any other, the difference between the CI of old, and the new formula is apparent. I see something even more...personal...than SVU, which I enjoy but am having admitted difficulties adjusting to with the one-eighty degree about face the series has done since season five. Yes, it's always been there...this thing with Goren, this decay...but only subtly, and at the mercy of our perception. This episode did not increase or alter my opinion of Robert Goren. I relate to this character because it is not hard for me to do so. In a sense, all of us here do that. Long ago I considered this brilliant detective, with his tragic past and his lonely demeanor, and his compassion for his mother, and I put myself in that place and today, saw that for the first time on the screen. From that first look he gives her, in the beginning sequence, when the call comes through for him from Ross. It is so utterly personal, not a look that he has ever given another person on that show. Long-suffering, but fond, and patient. While we know what boils beneath the surface is a man stretched so thin that he is reorganizing all his personal priorities. (And need I say how fantastic an actor D'Onofrio is?)

    I found the beginning segment to be perhaps one of the most poignant of the episode. When Ross calls Eames, he calls from the Thanksgiving dinner table, surrounded by family. Eames answers the phone while surrounded by children, sitting in the sunlight. Goren answers the phone at the edge of a hospital bed, and despite his true desire not to leave, his mother says "yea, I know. Bye bye." As though she senses a false conception of priorities. I think this is the truth of his inner conflict. Others mentioned Goren seeming a "fringe" aspect of this episode, and I saw that too. I believe it to be intentional, and accurately portrayed. The only person he could possibly even be remotely close to, Eames, he pushed away throughout the entire episode. My heart was so touched with his internalization evident in what is one of the most emotionally complex episodes we've seen. Eames offers to cover for him when his mother's doctor calls. He doesn't even look at her. He just walks away. Eames asks "Your brother?" when Bobby gets a text. He barely even looks at her, and doesn't respond. She asks in the station, "How is she?" and then Ross says "I'll get you out of here ASAP." He just looks at them, as though they are alien and apart. And says nothing. He throws the stuff off his desk because they dragged him there, away from the person that incorporates all his compassion and guilt ( a potent thing ), and then, when he accesses that empathetic, sharp creature that has solved so many crimes, Ross tells him he's "out of line," and...cuckolds the abilities that he's called there to exhibit. I would be furious and frustrated too. He must have felt like a commodity. A tool. When he needs more than anything to feel human. Everyone needs what he can do for them, but who wants just the man? I cannot imagine any situation that could inspire more of a desire to withdraw. He came back upstairs because he's logical, but it's breaking down at this point. Eames made me mad. He's always solved cases through empathy, and telling people what they need to hear, in order to get them to confess. He mentions his idea on getting this suspect to do so, and she says "You do that," in a spiteful tone, and walks away. Granted, if she cares about him, which I think she does, he probably hurt her feelings a good deal in the episode. But she should know him better by now. And...the end. The theme of the episode was multifold. In the last scenes, what struck me was the soldier/killer's emphasis on brotherhood and family. To him, it was more important to hold faith with his family (fellow soldiers) than let them go down because of something that others "couldn't understand." This was nothing that would be lost with Goren. The opposite, probably. He walked out after this. Something touched him.

    It's his family. His mother. The only thing on the inside, by default.

    My reaction to this episode was to wish I could reach out there, into imaginary, network space, and touch his face with my hands and tell him "I understand, and I'm sorry."
  • Ross and Eames Thanksgivings celebrations with their families are interrupted by a high profile case, but it is Goren who is really wrenched away from his family, all the family he has, his paranoid schizophrenic mother who is now afflicted with cancer.

    Yet another stellar installment in this season's revamped law & Order C,I as the new show runner focuses more on character development. Rita Moreno turned in a performance as Bobby Goren's mom that is likely once again to have her in contention as an Emmy nominee. Her paranoid, demanding Frances Goren was an incredible foil for D'onofrio's overstressed dutiful and loving son.

    The case that brings Goren, Eames and Ross away from their Holiday plans is somwhat minimize in favor of showing the stress Goren is under and even still there are other fine performances in the storyline.

    And while not wanting to give the whole story away the ending left me staring at the screen wondering what happens next
  • I've noticed that several people on the forums have already been saying that they need some time to process this episode. Confidentially, I probably do too.


    I've noticed that several people on the forums have already been saying that they need some time to process this episode. Confidentially, I probably do too. First a brief summary: Super-triple-Head-Police-Commissioner's daughter goes missing after a night on the town with a girl friend and (it turns out after at least twenty real-time minutes worth of mostly Eames bouncing from suspect to suspect) several ex-/current soldiers in her division. At the same time, Goren is having an extremely bad day in the form of his mother repeatedly calling in and begging him to stay with her-- she's possibly/probably terminally ill but doesn't trust the doctors and even threatens to run away if he doesn't come. The episode ends with Goren walking, horribly blank-voiced, out of the office saying, "Fire me. I don't me if you want to..." Despite the general slack-jawed "ACK!" moment at the end (or maybe because of it), this episode is fantastic. This is clearly driven by the characters--the murder plotline definitely takes backseat in this one--they even drop the CI-brand random-interlude-with-the-murderer/witness/whatever moments in favor of ones with Goren and his mom. All of the stitchings which hold the three featured characters (Alex, Bobby & Ross) together, both with each other and with themselves, are given a huge rip this episode, thus opening up some serious acting moments from each of them, but particularly Goren and Eames. Vinnie is excellent as always, but Kate really gets my certificate of approval here-- Alexandra Eames is clearly no longer content to just stand back and let Bobby "do his thing" and from her handling of all the suspects to her confronting Bobby by the elevators, Kate plays her with such a great blend of concerned frustration that it's extremely easy to identify more with Alex than ever before. The expression on her face after Bobby has told her to "back off" and the elevator doors close-- woosh. *That's* why I watch CI.

    If there's one complaint I could give about this episode it's that I wish the "detective plotline" had had a bit more of a tie-in with the "personal" one-- CI has a pretty good rap when it comes to using the main storyline to mirror something or reveal something about a character, and (let's face it) the episodes where they do are generally our favorites. With so much of the episode two totally separate events running alongside each other without much of an echo of one in the other was a little obnoxious; I spent way too much of the murder plotline ignoring it completely.

    This is an episode with a lot of "I hate the world" from Bobby and "I hate my job" from Ross and "I hate it when my partner's a butthead" from Alex and the magic is that it ends with none of it resolved. Plus side: Rita Moreno (Bobby's mother) is signed on for two more episodes, so it will be resolved some time. Minus side: the next two episodes are Logan and Wheeler. So it won't be resolved any day soon. The next three weeks are gonna be fun.
  • Thanksgiving is cut short for the unit when guest star's Fran Drescher and Michael Biehn daughter, home on leave from Iraq, goes missing.

    Even though the episode isn't even over, I've already learned so much more about the characters in this half an episode than I have in 5 whole seasons.
    First, we learn more about the new captian's family life. He has two sons with an ex-wife.
    Eames had a husband who died 8 years ago. I don't remember ever hearing about a man in her life. You can also assume one of the kids in the beginning is the one she surragated for her sister.
    And we finally we get to see Goren's mother, played so convincingly by Rita Moreno I didn't know it was her until I saw the credits. For someone who sis usually all about the work, Bobby was torn between his committments. At the end, I was speechless.
    The eachange between Eames and Goren in the elevator is heartbreaking. Obviously Goren has problems, and Eames is trying to be supportive, but he just blocks her out.
No results found.
No results found.
No results found.