Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 7 Episode 9


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 06, 2007 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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  • Where Have You Gone, Bobby Goren?

    The character of Bobby Goren was always off-beat, extremely perceptive and efficient. I believe that people who watched the show looked at him as the counterpart to the Columbo (Peter Falk) character of this generation.

    A turning point in the character of Bobby Goren actually started, in my opinion, when he found out his biological father (Roy Scheider) was a serial killer. This episode changed his character even more to the extreme. Bobby Goren is now portrayed as someone who needs heavy "loose He's no longer the perceptive detective he once in my opinion, a BIG mistake on the part of the writers.
  • i need help with this????

    Season 7 Episode 9 Untethered: this episode had it good, bad and ugly, but at the end, im wondering, hummm, shouldnt there be another episode, a part 2 to this as if they just left this one guess that's why i never followed this series too much, especially when they started having so many different detectives although Annabella Sciorra, i would follow for miles and years, lol

    but still want to know about a part 2 or a follow up episode where they continue this one...
  • I miss the old Goren. This new guy is less Sherlock Holmes and more Full Metal Jacket's Gomer Pyle! Stick to the formula, please!

    We start with a guy dying of dehydration in a prison mental ward. OK, good, ripped from the headlines start. Then we find out that Goren's nephew, who he never met, saw the death and put two and two together. OK, now we're straying from the formula. To add to the absurdity, Goren goes undercover as an inmate to find out how bad it is? What next; he'll spend his suspension in Australia chasing Nicole Wallace? Then, after he's sprung, he goes psycho on his brother and we're left with him searching fruitlessly through Times Square?
    The formula for a successful L&O ep is as follows. Start with a ripped-from-the-headlines story. Add two detectives and their boss, who chase down all possible leads. For Criminal Intent, cross-cut to the criminals to add the cat-and-mouse element. Then, have the DA handle whatever legal maneuvers to resolve the story. For CI, Goren as Sherlock Holmes--brilliant, detached, relentless--worked. Goren as unstable and flouting orders from up top doesn't.
  • Hey! Another episode on the road to ruin. Dick Wolf DOESN'T CARE ANYMORE. -- SKIP THIS EPISODE!

    This was terrible. A great detective sacrificed for some stupid writer's idea of "Gee: Different is always better - I can make a name for myself".

    Hollywood Writers Guild: Die soon please.

    In this episode, we see yet another attempt by the writers to IGNORE the detective genre that made Criminal Intent famous, and proceeds into never-never land with a soppy, misdirected, and sad case of writer stupidity.

    Of course, D'Onofrio provides a terrific performance, as usual, and Goren's slide into self-loathing and insanity is very believable.

    WHO CARES? We want the precise, witty and wonderful Goren and Eames back, solving the BEST mysteries on television, not some crappishnes evactuated from the bowels of a hack writer.

    If you love the real Goren and Eames, SKIP THIS EPISODE !!!!
  • Goren is incomparably SUPERB in my opinion. He and Eames are my favorite team and Untethered was yet another demonstration of D'Onofrio's genius. I sat in rapt attention (as always) to his performance. BRAVO D'Onofrio!! Excellent actor and then some.-Edie


    I first took note of Vincent D'Onofrio when he was cast in Homicide:Life On The Streets. I've been following him ever since.

    The 7th and final season (sob) was a perfect vehicle for him to showcase his stellar talent and Untethered was an opportunity to enjoy still another facet of the genius that is Mr. D'Onofrio. Intense, and superb are two adjectives that come to mind. I just hate that nobody complemented this character except for Eames. That Chief of D's was a waste of writing power---and detracted from what could have been a better ending. Unfortunate.

  • Goren learns that his down-and-out brother has a son, who has ended up across the state line in a prison mental ward in which another inmate recently died. The terrified boy tells Goren the death was from "torture." Secretly, Goren goes undercover.

    I am afraid that "UNTETHERED" is a prime example of what has gone wrong with an exceptional TV series.

    I grew up with 1970s crime shows. So many years went by without any good ones that I stopped watching current TV shows until CSI brought me back a few years ago. I came late to Law & Order: Criminal Intent, running across it only in middle-season re-runs on a local station (no cable). I found the Goren character to be one of the most original, interesting, impressive, and well-acted TV crime-solvers I had seen in years. And I liked the sharp, spunky, natural, grounded Eames. The show was a nice, professional mix of police procedural and mystery. The cast was uniformly good, the tone serious, the presentation authentic and well-paced, and the writing intelligent.

    But as the episodes cycled through to the late seasons, the Goren character suffered. His sharp observations dwindled, his lines became flat, ordinary, and inarticulate, he seemed to lose focus and have less and less to do, he began to look sloppy, and he succumbed to exaggerated, cliche personality problems that interfered with his work. It did not help that the show's writing sometimes became heavy-handed in its treatment of social issues, overly reliant on trumped-up confrontations, and excessively negative and bleak, seemingly just for the sake of it.

    A story that can bring together the detective's professional and personal lives can be powerful -- "ENDGAME" was a clever, intense example. But the effort to do so should not so overwhelm the series that it crowds out regular story lines (which appear to be increasingly few and mediocre) and does lasting damage to the character.

    "UNTETHERED" was a hasty, obscure, cobbled-together narration of events and manifestations that never came together or made a clear point. It tried to give the impression of deep meaning but never delivered. There was too little effort at focused, insightful storytelling. The normal trappings of gritty tone, settings, and performances, and a nice job drawing the nephew's character and his interaction with Goren, only made all the more glaring the overall lack of vision and failure to develop, connect, and resolve the story lines -- bad relationship with brother (left with a clumsy fistfight), existence of nephew (left with Goren wandering Times Square), prison abuse (left -- after a confusing, unpleasant depiction of Goren in jail and an anticlimactic end to his stay when Ross and Eames simply bail him out of trouble -- with yet another cliche scene in which knuckleheaded police brass chew out the do-gooding detective).

    Because the show had too little interesting to say about any of the plot lines, the story came off as little more than a contrivance to inject the disparate subplots, jam Goren into a trying situation, and push his behavior toward ever more dysfunctional extremes -- with damage to the credibility of the other regulars, too.

    The writers not only seem intent on destroying a fine crime-show character by wallowing in increasingly maudlin psychological forays for no good reason (the feeling after many seasons that they may have "done it all" in terms of crime stories -- the recent "Smile" episode about fatal product substitutions did seem recycled -- is simply no excuse for disabling, unpleasant meanderings into Goren's psyche that have no valid point). The writers also fail to recognize that even if they persist in obsessing on character frailties, rather than effective story-telling, more must be done to convey what is going on inside Goren's head than simply having him look sloppy, mumble, shamble around, and occasionally strike out like a wounded animal.

    I agree with the other reviews that were disappointed with this episode, and I hope the show rights itself very soon. NBC dropping the series from its regular schedule after six seasons is already a wake-up call. That a series of such high quality over so many years is still in production is a great blessing. Please do not blow it.
  • Awesome!

    What an amazing episode, Goren's Drug addict brother shows back up and drops the "I have a son" bomb on him. Then drops the "oh yeah and my son is in a mental ward now and needs your help" bomb on him.

    Honestly, when Captain Ross told him to go on medical leave I thought he was in on it. Det. Goren was awesome pretending to be a whack job. The thing with the peas and throwing the brick through the window was so cool! The scence when he was on truth syruim was so cool. You didn't know who's side the shrink was on.

    Haven't seen Vincent D'Onofrio act that crazy since Full Metal Jacket. Give the man an Emmy and get it over with
  • Great episode we get solidifying of the groups relationships, we get to learn more about Bobby's family, and his sanity is really put into question. The beginning with an apparent clean and sober little brother was good.

    Great episode we get solidifying of the groups relationships, we get to learn more about Bobby's family, and his sanity is really put into question. The beginning with an apparent clean and sober little brother was good. Nice setup to the heartbreak at the end of Bobby being done with him. Also sad to see that insanity runs in the family. Outstanding Bobby's plan to go undercover at the mental facility and great ending with Bobby being called on the carpet for being crazy by the chief of d's. The best part of this one was watching the captain, Eames, and Goren come together and help each other and not care what anyone else thinks.
  • Goren goes undercover, with unauthorized permission.

    Ok, so I've really been looking forward to watching this episode. I saw the previews for it and although, I typically don't watch the show, the previews looked outstanding; so much that I had to record and watch!

    First of all, amazing acting (as always) by Vincent D'Onofrio. It looked like a harder part to play, maybe not by him, but he pulled it off amazingly! It was very convincing in many regards. Most of the episode revovled around him with scenes, of course, from his partner, Alex. This episode kept me on the 'edge of my seat' the entire time but there is one thing that disappointed me. The ending. After all he went through, for the end to show him standing on the side walk. Eh, wasn't the ending I had in mind; nor the end part of him actually coming out of jail. I would have liked more of that explained! So, it was all tens until the end =/

  • This is an incredible episode that I watched in full more than likely with out blinking. The performances done by each and every character on the show were superior to anything I have seen on television in a very long time.

    This was by far has been the best episode of this show in a very long time. This episode solidifies why this is my favorite show currently on television. This is Vincent D'Onofrio's best performance ever which he will probably top in tonight's performance. He is the best actor on television today hands down! The way that he acts while in jail could only have been done by D'Onofrio. The clip that they replay as a teaser for the show while Goren is laying handcuffed to the operating table and while using his hand as a gun, which he fires into the air, simply is one of the best performances on television ever. But hey what do I know? I could be wrong which has happened before.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio gives an Emmy-award worthy performance.

    Vincent D'Onofrio gives an Emmy-award worthy performance. VD'O's Robert Goren is the most interesting character in a procedural today. The layers of organic character development rival those in some of the best serial dramas, a testament to D'Onofrio's incredible ability.

    Law & Order: CI has definitely evolved over the last season and a half. While I'm sure some people who want nothing more than an autonomous hour of headlines inspired crime drama might not like the evolution, I think the series is reaching new heights epitomized by this episode. The headline stories are still coming, but the writers are also giving the characters more depth.
  • question

    I loved this episdoe it was great.. Goran played the best role and i was wondering if anyone know if they are going to continue with goran being in the prison or not.. I was hoping that they will start the first episode off with him back in the prison. If anyone know any information of insite to what is to come for law and order criminal intent for the next 12 episode on season 7. The way that they leave you hanging is that they are going to have a part two to this episode i hope that this is true.... If u know anything email me at
  • Only got to see Untethered I--missed the conclusion!!!

    I absolutely loved this episode and was waiting anxiously to see the continuation the next week which I thought they said was on the following Thursday. We were pins and needles to see what happened, but when Thursday night rolled around again, we never could find it. I looked & looked on the guide and could not figure out when it was coming back on. Was this a season finale or something & the other one won't be on until next year? If it did come on, I guess we missed it. If so, what was the 2nd half called and can I pull up the episode and watch it from here?
  • In this episode Goren goes undercover with out the permisson of the Captain in Mental ward in a prison. Where his nephew is being held.

    I enjoyed this episode because we got to see how far Goren can be pushed. He in so many scence looked like he was going to loose it. But then he held his own, and when he disowned his brother I say that coming, I just hope Goren can find a way to be sane and happy without his family or his brother. His brother has always been in trouble just when you think he is doing well he is back on the drugs. Then he only goes to his brother for help with his son that Goren does not know about until this episode. I hope Goren can stay mentally heathly without his family or brother. Good luck Goren.
  • Whoever's idea it was to change the Law & Order series should be fired. First on SVU, we had a twenty minute scene involving Elliot's wife in a car accident. Now, Goren's drug addict brother and nephew he never knew he had. Give me a break!

    Oh, how do I not like this episode? Let me count the ways! Let me start by reminding you what kind of show CI USED to be. The show was all about Goren solving crimes in his eccentric, yet ultra-logical way. Dick Wolf once described Goren as being like Sherlock Holmes. And, like another classic crime solver, Columbo, Goren often tricked the criminal into revealing himself by making the criminal think he knew less than he did.

    Since the departure of Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance from the cast, there has been a noticble shift in story telling to attempt to force personal details about the characters' lives into the story. Last season's arc featuring Goren's mother was bad, but at least it was in the context of other cases Goren was working on at the time. This was horrible.

    We have an entire episode bascially about Goren's brother and nephew, whom he never knew he had all these nineteen years (talk about reverse Chuck Cunningham syndrome!). There has been a crime commited, but it is not the NYPD's jurisdiction to solve. Hell, even after Goren goes undercover against Ross' orders, he still doesn't solve it and almost becomes a victim himself!

    Even with the nephew, we don't get full resolution. He escapes prison and Goren goes looking for him, only to have the scene end abrubtly in Times Square. It's obvious they're setting us up for another multi story family arc. What was the whole point to that?

    Whoever's idea it was to change the Law & Order series should be fired. First on SVU, we had a twenty minute scene involving Elliott's wife in a car accident. Now, Goren's drug addict brother and nephew he never knew he had. Give me a break!
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