Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Season Four
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The legacy of television’s most successful brand continues with Law & Order: Criminal Intent — The Fourth Year. Analyze crimes from the unique perspective of the lawbreakers themselves as they strategize and execute the plans that end up on the New York Police Department’s Major Case Squad roster. This collectible five-disc set includes all 23 gripping episodes from the powerful fourth season, and features a distinguished cast, including Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance. Joining them are powerful guest stars such as Chris Noth, Tatum O’Neal, Rosanna Arquette, Neil Patrick Harris and Peter Bogdanovich. The iconic Dick Wolf brings you entertainment at its finest with the innovative and intelligent Law and Order: Criminal Intent — The Fourth Year.
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One previous review raves about the episode titled 'Great Barrier', which features the (nearly) fatal face to face confrontation between Goren and his nemesis Nicole Wallace, but fails to mention the fact that there were TWO different endings broadcast by NBC, depending on where you lived.
The 'bonus' material is the 'second' ending to 'Great Barrier', which is very thoughtfully located on the same disk as the entire episode for ease of comparing.
The first ending was broadcast for everywhere EAST of the Mississippi River (Nicole escapes and lives on).
The second ending was broadcast for everywhere WEST of the Mississippi River (Nicole is shot and killed by Goren).
The neat thing was that viewers got to vote as to which ending would become the official outcome of Nicole's character. (The first ending, Nicole escapes and lives on, was the winner).
(Ironically, in our area, right on the west side of the river, our local station was given the option of which to show, and they chose the East version, so I had never seen the second ending)!
My second item is the puzzling (to me) attacks on Chris Noth and his character Mike Logan. While I am a big fan of Goren and Eames, and agree that Goren's character is the face of the show, the fact is that Vincent had a major issue with his health due to the ultra-demanding workload of being in about 90% of the scenes, and he was either going to have to quit, or possibly be totally replaced if they didn't find a way to lower his workload.
Hence, Dick Wolf swallowed some of his pride and brought Chris Noth's character (Mike Logan) back on board to lighten the load.
All the longtime fans of the 'mothersip' know that Det. Logan was the most popular character by far for those first five seasons of L&O and were delighted to see him return!
The only problem was the producers just couldn't settle on who to partner him with.
My personal opinion was that his first partner was the best (Det. Barek), but his pairing with Det. Fallaci was hugely entertaining due to her getting into Capt. Ross' face, thereby forcing Logan to be the 'voice of reason' between them. The irony was not lost on Logan or the audience.
My least favorite partner for Logan was Det. Wheeler. I just never found her character that convincing. She was too young to be up at Major Case, and she was only there because Ross was her 'rabbi'. She ultimately stayed, I believe, because she was a personal favorite of Dick Wolf. Again, that is just my opinion. Previous opinions have varied, but any weakness of Logan/Noth can be attributed to the writing, as he can only perform to what is written.
And contrary to one previous reviewer, NO actor, including Jack Nicholson can overcome bad writing on an episode, PERIOD!
P.S. I edited this review as I had it wrong on who shot Nicole in the second ending. I originally thought I saw Eames shoot her, but it was definitely Goren, which would have made the most sense when you think about it.
"Great Barrier." That alone is worth getting Season 4 of this excellent show. Nicole's return, and watching Goren trick the culprit into identifying himself (or herself) is marvelous to watch. I HATE the episode "Semi-Detached," but other than that, I enjoyed Season 4 immensely. My favourite episode is "Great Barrier." Kathryn Erbe, Courtney B. Vance & Jamey Sheridan also return, but it's all about the Goren. It's a treat watching him go like Sir Arthur's Sherlock Holmes and nab the least person you'd suspect as the culprit. Nicole Wallace WILL be back...
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