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 Goren...it 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.