Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What’s Next For Bobby Goren?

Robert “Bobby” Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) has had a rough two years:

1. His partner Alex Eames (Kathryn Erbe) is kidnapped by the murdering daughter of his mentor, Declan Gage (John Glover).

2. His mother Frances (Rita Moreno) was a head case, and died from cancer.

3. He found out his real father was a serial killer Mark Ford Brady (Roy Scheider).

4. His drug addicted, gambling, jerk of a brother Frank (Tony Goldwyn) lays a guilt trip on Bobby in order to enlist Bobby’s help for his son who is in prison. Bobby goes under cover, is tortured, and does help expose the corruption at the prison but ends our getting suspended for 6 months.

5. Bobby alienates his partner and his boss, Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian), and also finds someone left a dead rat in his desk.

6. Bobby’s brother is murdered, apparently by his old nemesis Nicole Wallace (Olivia D’Abo). Wallace is then apparently killed by Goren’s mentor Declan Gage, who set up all whole mess just to offer Bobby a puzzle and set him free.

Whew! That’s a lot of drama for just one man. It’s not that Vincent D’Onofrio isn’t up to the challenge. Far from it. D’Onofrio, who really gets into his roles (the best example is his 70 pound weight gain for Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket ), seems very well suited to play the angst-ridden Detective Goren. Of course, he was “thanked” for his efforts with an Emmy snub, which I wrote about here and am still trying to rationalize.

But as the season finale ended and Goren is told by his mentor Declan Gage that he is free, the question is, what does “free” mean next season for Goren? And is Declan going to come back and create more problems for Bobby? And is it possible that Nicole Wallace is not really dead, having perpetrated a hoax by arranging somehow for a heart transplant so she could leave her heart – literally – for Declan to give to Goren?

Personally, I miss the Bobby Goren of the past, who had a serious yet sometimes playful approach to the job. He danced (sometimes with a man as he did in “Pas De Deux”). He got up close and personal to invade a person’s space during interrogations. He played with anything he could to put a suspect or anyone else he was questioning off kilter. He trusted his partner and his boss. He seemed much more alive inside, yet still with a mysterious edge.

There are some fans out there that like the troubled Goren because it brings out a whole new dimension for the show and for D’Onofrio. There are some who, like me, wish for the more mentally and physically agile Goren who always had a surprise maneuver up his sleeve. I have hopes that next season, with new crew of producers and a new addition (Jeff Goldblum), that we see something more like the earlier seasons, while still leaving in some lingering leftovers from Goren’s troubled past. But I don’t want them to leave in so much that we see Bobby spiral further downward into a mental dark abyss. Instead, I would like him to be able to draw on his past to be an even better detective, whose instincts have been sharpened by his own life experiences. In a way, I hope that the psychopath Nicole Wallace and the mentally diminished Declan Gage really have been able to set Bobby free. Because after all he’s been through, he deserves it.

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1 comment:

Music Wench said...

I agree with everything you said. :-) I certainly hope we can see Goren 'back in the game.'

I especially agree with the Emmy snub. Those things are mostly popularity contests.