Friday, December 7, 2007

Bobby Goren – Off the Deep End

Last night’s episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent (“Untethered”) took Detective Bobby Goren over the to dark side. The question now is, will he ever really return?

I hope for the sake of the show, yes. We used to only see snippets of the inner workings of the clearly complex mind and personality of Bobby Goren. The show now seems to be giving almost too much of a look into what may - or may not be – his unstable mind. Let’s hope the series moves away from too many personal storylines and gets back to covering crime.

Mind you, Vincent D’Onofrio was excellent as Goren, going undercover to expose a suspicious death in a mental ward of a correctional facility, reported to him from a newly found nephew. His scenes in the room called “Heaven”, strapped to a metal table in a hot room for hours on end with no water made me feel a little claustrophobic and queasy. It was the one time where Goren had virtually no control of what his mind would do. D’Onofrio always seems to excel (ok, maybe overact) in the unusual roles, and in this case his performance seemed very real. I found myself wondering how much of what we were seeing was Goren, and how much was D’Onofrio himself?

Kathryn Erbe, as always, was perfect last night, as the even-tempered Detective Eames, who always seems to be a victim of Goren’s whims. Eames may the one person who has the only chance of keeping Goren grounded.

The most horrific scene of the show, however, was seeing Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian) dressed in a tux, stepping into an elevator to greet a waiting ME Rogers, dressed for a night at Lincoln Center. Maybe it’s just me, but I found the thought of those two out for a night on the town together the most sickening part of the show. What an awful couple. Although come to think of it, she deals with dead people all day, and Bogosian acts like he’s dead, so it could be a match made in heaven.

Another cause for my continued alarm is Vincent D’Onofrio’s massive weight gain this season. It appears to be visible affecting his gait. So while Goren seems to be falling into mental disrepair, I find I am more concerned with D’Onofrio’s physical health.

The good thing is that CI’s move to USA has not diminished the quality of the shows, in fact, the feel of the show seems a little more edgy, and in a good way. I’m looking forward to NBC rebroadcasting these episodes, starting in January, so those like me that don’t get USA in HD can enjoy them even more.

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