Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Season 7 Episode 17

Vanishing Act

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 20, 2008 on USA
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
66 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A well-known magician disappears during a live-burial stunt, only to appear miles away and dead in the middle of his mentor's gag. Goren and Eames' investigation takes them deep into the secretive world of magic as they unravel the magician's final act to find a murderer.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nothing is as it seems when magicians are willing to kill to protect their secrets.

    9.8
    This episode brings those of us who remember the hey-day of the "Goren Show" back to the good 'ol days of seasons 1-4. As the case opens, we are met with an illusionist of the David Blain/Copperfield variety, performing a stunt of being buried alive for almost a month. Things quickly go south as we relocate to a seedy show house in Atlantic City, where the great Christopher Lloyd is playing a broken-down, boozing magician, using old-school props and sleight-of-hand to entertain his six viewers. When the top-billed young illusionist is found skewered in Lloyd's magic sword box, Goren and Eames are called in to see where the trick went wrong. I truly enjoyed seeing Goren acting much like his old self, giddily excited to plunder in the magician's tools that brought him back to his childhood with his uncle at a magic shop. It was the "Goren Show" all over again, and even Eames seemed to be rather bemused and maybe even relieved to see Goren actually enjoying what he does so well again. The case weaves in and out of the magic world, from the brainy tech who masterminded the burial trick – web cam and hidden safe room, to his girlfriend, who worked for Lloyd's character as an assistance and who was also a nurse taking care of the emaciated illusionist. Finally the master magician Dean, who knows all and isn't afraid to let you know it, reveals that jealousy over fame may have been the true motive for murder.



    The character development between Goren and Eames, again, steals the majority of my attention – especially when Magician Dean gives her a psychic "reading" that hits frighteningly close to the still smarting wound of her betrayal with Goren in "Purgatory". Eames is brilliant with her facial expressions, although the body language of Goren sitting guiltily behind her tells the real story. While Dean tries to deflect their radar by zinging them with insights into their relationship, Goren manages to conduct his own psychological reading. Dean tries to cut Goren down to size by hinting that maybe Goren's "lost a step or two over the years", cutting into any self doubt Goren may be having about his abilities these days – but Eames picks up the cue and bails her partner out, by stating that he solved this case rather easily. If they are still trying to find their balance, it looks like Goren/Eames are on the right track.



    This episode was extremely fun, well written and a joy to watch Goren showing off his inner- Bobby. The guest stars were a treat, and the plot was the most fun for the viewer to figure out in a while. Again, they hit the right formulae by bringing out the character development, and I truly hope they continue this trend with the development of Goren and Eames' relationship.moreless
  • Well written episode filled with magic tricks, and disappearing people.

    9.8
    This episode takes a dive into the world of magic tricks and those who perform them (magicians). This episode had a special guest, Christopher Lloyd as one of the magicians. The episode starts out showing Lloyd performing a certain box type magic trick, where his assistant gets in the box, and he stabs samurai swords through it, only when he opens it, it reveals a top paid well known magician to be in his assistants spot, and the swords have stabbed him. The entire episode goes on a hunt to figure out how this occured, because the magician that was killed, was supposibly doing a magic trick of his own, where he is buried underground and lives in a coffin for 31 days, living off of iv fluids. I found this episode to be funny and interesting. I thought it was funny because Goren had fun playing with all of the magic trick equipment and everything. Was also very funny when he broke down the little trick house and exposed Lloyd hiding there, after escaping from the holding cell. It was good to see Eames laugh & smile while Goren was playing with all of the magic tricks, it seemed like shes slowly gaining his trust back in him again, and forgetting about the "betrayal". Although, when the magician at the end brung up the past by saying "a man's betrayed you recently hasn't he?", it seemed like it brought up bad memories for Eames. A very good episode, a continuation for character development, and as well as a funny episode.moreless
James Frain

James Frain

Dean Holiday

Guest Star

Will Janowitz

Will Janowitz

Jacob Green

Guest Star

Kristen Connolly

Kristen Connolly

Teresa/Miranda

Guest Star

Traci Godfrey

Traci Godfrey

Det. Agnes Farley

Recurring Role

Leslie Hendrix

Leslie Hendrix

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This episode is interesting as Goren gets an opportunity to impress Eames with his own repertoire of magic and illusion, purposefully giving away some of the secrets of the trick, which real magicians agree never to do. Although he honors the code in front of anyone other than Eames.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Robert Goren: Well, what about yours? You know, your betrayal of your art. Tha-- we saw your show, and, you know... you're phoning it in. 10 years ago you woulda had the audacity, but now, no chance.
      Dean Holiday: What about you, detective? Lost a step or two over the years, or do you still think you can pull off the big solve when you need to?

    • (Holiday has just given a strikingly accurate read of Eames.)
      Dean Holiday: How's my aim, pretty close?
      Robert Goren: Well, good-chance guesses, they usually are. Anyway, that's the trick of a cold read. Psychics, charlatans use it all the time. You know, the con their clients.
      Alex Eames: Or an audience.
      Dean Holiday: Well, so do criminal profilers. Biggest frauds of all.

    • Jacob Green: You're arresting me?
      Alex Eames: Yep, that's what happens when you lie to the police.

    • Dean Holiday: Believe me, detective, you ask any true magician, there is always a trick.

    • Danny Ross: Magicians are like doctors and priests, now? Jacob Green thinks he can claim some kind of magician's privilege?

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of illusionists Criss Angel and David Blaine. Miles Stone's appearance and demeanor (eyeliner, black leather clothing, etc.) mimics that of Angel's, while the stunt he attempted (being buried underground for 30 days) is very similar to Blaine's act (after years of doing street-magic, he completed a stunt in 1999 of being entombed in an underground plastic box underneath a 3-ton water-filled tank for seven days).

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