About the Show
(warning!!! spoilers follow)
This television series first aired on NBC in 2001, running for 10 seasons hrough 2011. Law & Order : Criminal Intent is a spin-off of the successful and popular Law & Order series, which ran for 20 years.
The premise of this spin-off is that we also get to see the actions of the suspects apart from the detectives and attorneys investigating the crime. As viewers, we are given a glimpse of the suspects in their own lives, and in the midst of their crimes.
The lead detective Robert "Bobby" Goren, portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio is highly intelligent and often uses many resources and study in his investigations and interrogations. He uses deduction techniques patterned after Sherlock Holmes, and has earned a spotty reputation but still has admirers and loyal friends in the department.
Goren's partner Alexandra Eames, portrayed by Kathryn Erbe, is level headed, passionate, intelligent, and often Goren's protector and advocate. Her father was also an officer and she is often at odds with him over her life choices. She also was a surrogate for her sister, and carried a child in the season. This was written into the show due to Erbe's real life pregnancy. She is an amazing example of a strong female in the force, and has earned many advancements and awards during her career.
Also worth noting, is a suspect who was never truly caught, Nicole Wallace (aka Elizabeth Hitchens), portrayed by Oliva D'abo. She was a recurring adversary for Detective Goren, commonly referred to as his white whale, someone he would never catch. She first appeared as a guest professor at a university following the murder of a fellow professor. She is manipulative and uses her beauty and charm to get what she wants and to influence the men in her life. In a later episode she popped up again, as a soon to be married woman who was at first using the situation, but then grew to love her step daughter, who she protected against a planned murder by the child's own father. After this, she disappeared, and the next time she showed up, she was back to her old tricks, plotting against Goren.
During the later seasons, the episodes were shared between Goren and Eames and other detective pairs. Most notably were Chris Noth's character Mike Logan, from the original Law and Order, who also had a spotty record and reputation. Logan had several partners in this series: carolyn Bareck (portrayed by Annabella Sciorra), Morgan Wheeler (portrayed by Julianne Nicholson), Nola Falacci (portrayed by Alicia Witt).
Jeff Goldblum joined the cast for these alternating episodes as Detective Zach Nichols, also highly intelligent, often spurned for not becoming a doctor as his father wished, he uses many resources and knowledge to unravel suspects' stories. He had a couple partners, including Wheeler and Serena Stevens, portrayed by Saffron Burrows.
And the captains... The first captain James Deakins, portrayed by Jamey Sheridan, was a tough captain who stood up for his detectives, but also kept them in line when they went over the line. He retired from the force following a scandal resulting from a setup.
The next captain was Danny Ross, portrayed by Eric Bogosian, a friend of Detective Nichols and intimately involved with the medical examiner Elizabeth Rodgers, portrayed by Leslie Hendrix, also from the original Law & Order and makes appearances on SVU as well. Captain Ross was murdered while involved in an undercover operation kept secret from his detectives.
Following Ross' death, Zoe Callus, portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, took the helm. Following her run, Joseph Hannah, portrayed by Jay O. Sanders, who had also portrayed a criminal in the early seasons, was the last captain before the series ended.
This show is my favorite of the Law & Order franchise, and I love watching the reruns whenever possible. I admire the show's writing, character development, and the suspense and drama that builds toward the capture of the guilty.