Airdate: Sunday, May 1, 2011 9/8c USA Network
“Rispetto” is the Italian word for respect and this final season premiere deserves it! Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Det. Robert Goren and despite his absence last season, he doesn’t miss a beat! The mannerisms, the quirks, even his voice commands the screen as he questions suspects in the murder of a young call-girl.
Without giving away too much detail, the case involves a highly successful, albeit “trainwreck” fashion designer, Nyle Brite (guest star Jay Mohr). While watching the premiere, I wasn’t sure about the storyline at first. Nyle’s character is reminiscent of the ridiculous tabloid scenario: an overpaid celebrity type who drinks and uses drugs then goes on a tirade after a scandalous secret is revealed. But, I know the Law & Order franchise wouldn’t disappoint and they don’t. D’Onofrio is truly talented and gives a mesmerizing performance. His interaction and connection with co-star Kathryn Erbe (who plays his partner Detective Alexandra Eames) is solid, which is one aspect that makes Law & Order: Criminal Intent such a great show. They are sounding boards for each other as they work through a case; their respect for one another always shines through.
The suspect list is growing and just when you think you know who did it, something else pops up to throw you off the scent. The excellent writing and acting is what keeps you guessing until the very end. One of my favorite scenes is when Goren pretends to be an effeminate buyer from Armani to draw out an evasive suspect. His hand gestures and wrist movements, even down to his facial expressions, are as fantastic as they are humorous. He even surprises Eames.
Is this really the final season for Law & Order: Criminal Intent? With several recent interviews, including a conference call last week with both executive producer Dick Wolf and leading man Vincent D’Onofrio, I wouldn’t bet all my chips on it. I mean, I didn’t think D’Onofrio was coming back after season nine but here he is in the “final” season. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part…
With only eight episodes lined up for this season and the show premiering on a new night, if the remaining episodes are as intense and dramatic as “Rispetto,” I think fans will be pleased.
Tune into the premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 9/8c only on USA Network.
For more on the show, go to http://www.usanetwork.com/series/criminalintent/
Photos ©NBC Universal/© USA Network
© 2011, Judy Manning. All rights reserved.
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