Law & Order Criminal Intent - The Second Year
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From the most successful franchise on television comes Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Second Year. Experience life on the wrong side of the law as perpetrators plan and execute the crimes that lead them into the fascinating, frustrating and sometimes frightening justice system. This highly collectible 5-disc set contains all 23 powerful episodes and features the original cast - including Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance. Law & Order: Criminal Intent - The Second Year is mastermind Dick Wolf's most innovative creation yet.
- 23 episodes on five discs
- Deleted scenes
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Top Customer Reviews
Kathryn Erbe is great as Detective Alexandra Eames, Goren's partner, who is the no-nonsense fact gathering detective, seemingly content to stay out of the limelight. D'Onofrio plays Robert Goren the "Renaissance Man Detective/Psychologist" in a way that is not only believable but intriguing. I can't think of another actor who could pull off such a role and not have it come across as somewhat silly, such as when Adam West as Batman used to solve those riddles from the Riddler by making huge nonsensical leaps in logic.
Vincent D'Onofrio, however, is quite appealing in the role as the multi-faceted and slightly geeky detective with vague shades of the more obvious sociopathy he confronts in his suspects. Rather than stealing the show by being overly macho like your typical TV cop, D'Onofrio does so by daring to be weird. He allows his geekiness to lull people into a false sense of security and then he pulls off his sneaky magic. He'll pretend to be unfamiliar with what is and is not valid testimony in order to mention inadmissable evidence while on the stand in court, or he'll spill something or knock something over to catch a suspect off guard. He delights in toying with arrogant suspects like a cat with a mouse, but he is careful to be sensitive to old ladies and children. Just as he starts to show the faintest signs of macho behavior, he'll jump up and declare "I must get to a library before it's too late!" In fitting with his character, D'Onofrio will take up long blocks of time just thinking, but somehow this does not slow down the pace of the show. That is because of how he manages to turn thinking into a kind of performing in itself. In the midst of the show's action he will pause mid-sentence. He looks around and wrinkles up his face. We wonder what it is he could possibly be pondering - what is it that he has just noticed that the rest of us have missed? The audience already knows who committed the crime. The fun of it all is watching D'Onofrio figure it all out then use his cunning to prove what he knows.
As for individual episodes, "Anti-Thesis" was probably the best episode of the season. The one-on-one between Goren and arch-criminal Nicole Wallace is outstanding as she is one of the rare villains to successfully turn the tables on Goren. Nicole shows up again in another excellent episode "A Person of Interest", which happens to be the season finale. In it, Detective Goren is accused of instigating the supposed suicide of a murder suspect, but the plot unravels, as many fine CI plots do, to reveal a completely different, more sinister suspect - Nicole. If anything, this episode made me respect Nicole even more, for her calculating and so-far infallible shrewdness, providing the perfect foil for Goren. The look on Goren's face when he first thought that Croyden's death was his fault was very poignant. This is really the only episode in which Goren's confidence in his perceptions is truly shaken, and it's heartbreaking to watch. If Goren is Sherlock Holmes, Nicole is truly his Moriarty.
Another great episode that was bizarre even by this series' standards was "Cold Comfort". An old senator dies and his son and daughter are fighting over his body. The son wants him buried according to the father's wishes. The daughter wants him cryogenically frozen so they can be together in years to come. So far, so bizarre. She has the legal paperwork, so it looks like she's winning. Unfortunately for her a quick trip to the bathroom results in a knife to the upper thigh and a very bloody death. Then things get complicated. Who did it and why? The answers are convoluted but clever and as usual Goran and Eames unravel the story piece by piece and are led to a powerful man who it seems will stop at nothing for his family. It turns out that the late senator had suffered from early onset Alzheimer's, but miraculously recovered, and the previously mentioned powerful man has a son suffering from the very same disease. The daughter's plans for freezing the senator would have denied the powerful man the ability to carve up the dead senator's brain and have it studied in hopes of finding a cure for his son. It's not a series classic, but it does keep you guessing.
In summary, this is probably the best season of Law & Order CI, and I highly recommend it.
We see Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe at their prime in this second season, attacking the storylines with vigour and enthusiasm. This is the season that cemented Detectives Bobby Goren and Alex Eames as one of the best TV cop partnerships ever.
The episodes are all excellent. Particular favourites are 'Best Defense';
'The Pilgrim'; 'Con-Text'; 'See Me' and 'Probability'.
'Best Defense' has the detectives investigating attempts on the life of one of ADA Ron Carver's colleagues, and as they dig, they discover the man's wife may be looking to upgrade from her 'below-average' prosecutor husband. But as always, nothing is as it seems, and the case takes the detectives into dangerous territory and has them once again butting heads with Carver.
'The Pilgrim' has Goren and Eames on the search for a pair of potential suicide bombers, and in a race against time to prevent a massive tragedy.
'Con-Text' pits Goren against a young man who has had his mind warped by a self-help guru. And the big question is, did he murder his father and brother on his own, or was he manipulated into it?
'See Me' deals with schizophrenics, a subject that is close to home for Goren. Once again, as in the season 1 episode 'The Faithful', we are given a look at Goren's skill in dealing with the mentally ill.
'Probability' pits Goren against a wily killer, and puts his skills for picking out obscure patterns to the test like never before.
And on top of all the other wonderful episodes in Season 2, this is also the season that introduces Goren's hard-to-kill nemesis, the vicious Nicole Wallace. We first see her in 'Anti-Thesis' (the episode that gives us Goren's much-discussed middle initial 'O', and his date of birth), and again at the end of the season in 'A Person of Interest', where we see Goren being the one who is manipulated for once.
Season 2 is by far the best season yet of Criminal Intent, although season 6 is proving to be well worth the wait.
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