The website featured in this episode was live and featured eight video blogs. It was still online as of January 2008, but the mirror site was not.
Goof: The "dead" young man blinks when the coroner fires up the saw.
(Wheeler is being prepped for her online response to the kidnappers.)
Mike Logan: Wheeler, your face now represents the entire NYPD. (whispering to the make-up artist) Do what you can.
Danny Ross: You think it's real?
Mike Logan: I don't know. Gimme a body with some blood on it at a crime scene, I'm a happy camper.
Mike Logan: When's the last time you saw him?
Lori: I don't know.
Mike Logan: Do we really have to go through this drill? The one where I search this place and find some drugs -- or I plant them -- and either way, you come downtown, you get back in the system, and that's all for a schmuck who left you?
Danny Ross: It's cyber-Rashomon. Reggie says Holden shot Todd, Holden says Reggie did it, and Willow doesn't even believe anyone's dead.
(Logan and Ross watch the vlog kidnapping.)
Mike Logan: What the hell was that?
Danny Ross: We may have just witnessed the first cyber-kidnapping.
Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers: We received an ear in the morning mail. With a note for you, Wheeler.
Megan Wheeler: That makes me feel great.
Mike Logan: You were expecting flowers?
This is the only episode in Season six (and only the fifth episode overall) revolving around a crime that would actually be covered by the real Major Case squad (kidnapping). The last episode to do so was "Prisoner" in season five.
The so-called "cyber-kidnapping" portrayed in "Weeping Willow" is believed to be the first such crime ever portrayed on television.
Criminal Intent producers referred to the "Weeping Willow episode" as "'pre-ripping' from the headlines", because although such a story has not happened yet, it very well could happen in the future with the popularity of such sites as Youtube. The script took a real-life event (the lonelygirl15 phenomenon) and added to it a fictional dramatic conflict (the kidnapping), as opposed to basing episodes off of real-life crime stories.
Warren Leight, the show's executive producer and head writer, said of the episode, "Forget about 15 minutes of fame: there are hundreds of people who get their 15 inches of bandwidth, people making names for themselves on YouTube and others. This blogging phenomenon has created a certain kind of 'cyberfame,' people who don't have to do anything more than put themselves on the Web and catch a cyberwave. We now have a spate of very strange celebrities."
The song playing in the opening scenes was "Fearless" by The Bravery off their self-titled album.
The character 'Holden' appears to be inspired by Holden from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in that he, like the Holden from the novel, strikes out on his own to accomplish his own goals.
Danny Ross: Since this vlog posted two hours ago, over 3000 calls have come into NYPD...
Ira Whipple: ...from as far away as Perth. In cyberspace, everyone hears you scream.
The last sentence is a reference to the tagline for Alien, "In space no one can hear you scream."
Danny Ross: It's cyber-Rashomon.
Rashomon was originally a 1950 film directed by Akira Kurosawa and the term is now used in English to refer to a situation where it is difficult to ascertain the exact sequence of events due to differing eye-witness testimony.
This episode appears to be ripped from the headlines of the lonelygirl15 hoax. Beginning in the spring of 2006, vlogs from a user known as lonelygirl15, who claimed to be a lonely, home-schooled teenager, began showing up on YouTube, a popular on-line website that hosts videos. The user was eventually revealed to be a 19-year-old actress named Jessica Rose who was trying to jump-start her acting career.