|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The great Michael Gross(FACTS OF LIFE; TREMORS series)has a plum role as a forensic psychiatrist who set up a hit for this beautiful young woman he's obsessed over. Sara(Stephanie Seymour, quite stunning)is much younger than divorcée Dr. Charles Webb(Gross)and her sister, Julie(Jenna Stern) is in a heated custody battle with the ex-husband. Talk of sexual molestation leads to the murder of Julie's husband during, of all times, their son's bar mitzvah! It all stems from Webb's burgeoning desire to attain Sara who is playing hard to get and doesn't seem to warm to his obvious interest. Meanwhile, Goren and Eames pursue whether or not the victim was in fact molesting his child or if it was all a lie(Goren gets a chance to question the little girl and gets his answer as he always does), a frame-up in order to achieve full custody. Goren and Eames first must find the hit-man, then tie him to Webb. This episode has two amusing scenes where Goren sizes Webb up and opposes him in a psychological battle of wills, tap dancing on his ego in regards to his attempts at "sealing the deal" and failing to do so in regards to winning Sara's heart. There's this really surreal scene where Webb, all google-eyed and crazy, admits to Sara that he killed her former brother-in-law. Also funny is how annoyed Webb gets when Goren stares at him.
The eclectic and quirky Vincent D'Onofrio has a real interesting duel
of wits with Michael Gross playing a psychologist. Not only a
psychologist but one who is on call as a prosecution witness when
they're trying to dispute an insanity defense. In fact when we meet him
first, Gross is testifying at one of Courtney B. Vance's trials.
Ever since he left Family Ties playing the former hippie now parent Steven Keaton, Gross has played mostly bad guys and well. I've seen him in so many sleazeball parts that I wonder how he was ever cast in Family Ties in the first place. But being a psychologist who knows how both crazy people think and about police methods, this guy will not be easy to take down.
The reason for the murder of a man at the Bar Mitzvah of his son is to impress the victim's sister-in-law whom Gross has absolutely flipped over. Stephanie Seymour is certainly one beautiful woman. Why a murder to impress her and why the brother-in-law is for your viewing pleasure.
The end is usually a battle of wits between Major Case and the perpetrator. This one is one of the best.
I'm enjoying reruns of the first season of CRIMINAL INTENT, which has
both D'Onofrio and long-haired Erbe in fine form. But this segment
suffers from poor direction of the actors by good ole Steve Shill, the
maestro who "graduated" to directing last year's candidate for
trashiest movie honors, OBSESSED starring Beyoncé.
Here he's piloting an even more beautiful woman, my choice of greatest all-time from the Victoria's Secret catalog, Stephanie Seymour. Needless to say, he doesn't do her, or the viewer justice.
Not helping is a contrived, never convincing script, about a shrink (Michael Gross, who should be ashamed of this particular performance) who kills his would-be girl friend's brother-in-law to try and win her affections (!) He's crazy like a fox, so he follows his textbook of mentally-ill symptoms and convinces everyone of his erratic behavior before D'Onofrio & Erbe can track him down as the killer, all the better to plead insanity and get off with an ultra-mild punishment.
This nonsense is built around an even less digestible hook of suspected child abuse that sets the whole scheme in motion, involving Stephanie's niece being abused by her dad, the murder victim. That subplot is resolved in a tasteless manner, just to add sensationalism to an already idiotic plot line.
Shill handles this admittedly inferior material flatly, with Seymour sleepwalking through her role -a shame, since we have so few opportunities to see this beauty act -last time I can remember was in Ed Harris' POLLOCK. IMDb says these are her ONLY two acting roles, period, so Shill wasting her is unforgivable. He could have used a potted plant for the result shown here, and (revealing my particular bias), we don't even get to see her fabulous legs! Gross, as already mentioned, muffs his nutsy role -I didn't believe him for a minute in or out of character(s). D'Onofrio is allowed to ham it up shamelessly when interrogating Gross -again I fault the "director". Always reliable J.K. Simmons offered a few seconds of relief as a good-guy psychiatrist, but overall this episode lands with a deadly thud.
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