Monday, June 27, 2011

'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' series finale: That's it?

EW POPwatch, 6.27.11
by Kate Ward

Last night was the series finale of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, otherwise known as The Social Network Mad Libs. Just look at the set-up: A set of wealthy twins from [Princeton] file a lawsuit against an intelligent [woman] who created a [dating] website, claiming she stole their idea. Meanwhile, 1990s teen heartthrob [James Van Der Beek] plays a partner in the [dating] website with a fondness for partying and drugs. A million dollars isn’t cool, but do you know what’s really not cool? Letting Law & Order: CI go out with such a lazy episode.

Back in February, after USA set the premiere date for the final season of the procedural, I pleaded for the series and its writers to let Vincent D’Onofrio’s Det. Goren die. As I wrote, I felt the most fitting end for the perpetually tortured detective was to allow him to go out with a bang, allowing him to finally be at peace. But watching the final season — during which Goren got police-ordered psychiatric help from Julia Ormond — I was willing to let that idea go. I would have been okay with an episode in which Goren found inner-peace without having to pass onto another world. In which he let go of his inner turmoil involving his incredibly flawed past and family life. In which he bested a CI recurring villain with nothing more than a chess board and philosophy book. But, instead, we got an episode which didn’t even play like a season finale, let alone a series finale.

I get what the writers were doing. Showing Goren ride off with Eames (Kathryn Erbe) after his last(?) psychiatric appointment — during which he was deemed capable of holding down his job without letting it drive him to the brink of insanity — set up Goren as a happy detective, going about business as usual. It’s a fitting end to a series finale that was also business as usual. The episode was normal. And, for once, the detective that led the case was normal. But I couldn’t help but want more. Why not give us an episode that revolved around Goren and his family life, past, and what he wanted for his future? One that tapped into his previous problems at his workplace? One that bolstered his relationship with longtime partner Eames? As EW’s Ken Tucker wrote before Sunday’s episode, “When it premiered ten years ago, Criminal Intent broke with the formula in a significant way: It was essentially a vehicle for one actor, rather than the ensemble piece that all the others were forced by Wolf to be. That’s because the outsize personality of Vincent D’Onofrio over-shadowed any actor with the temerity to squeeze into the TV screen with him.” Considering Goren’s outsize personality, it seemed a shame to watch the series end with an ellipses, rather than an exclamation point.

Anyone else find themselves disappointed?

Thanks Linda!


DonnaJo said...

Yes, I was hoping for more from the shrink sessions. There wasn't anything "revealed" in these sessions that the fans didn't already know about Goren. I was on the edge of my seat during the finale, waiting for a shocking revelation, but nothing came.

Oh well, at least Bobby still has his job. And Alex.

judith said...

I've read all three of these reviews and found then interesting points of view.

[Browse Amazon]


List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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