Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Season 4, Episode 7

Magnificat (7 Nov. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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A car bomb kills three children, and suspicion focuses on their father.



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Title: Magnificat (07 Nov 2004)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Doreen Whitlock
Pamela Burrell ...
Leanne Colson
Kenneth Kimmins ...
Bob Reedy
Paul Whitlock
Dan Milner
Judge Colby
Dana Vance ...
Dr. Amanda Ritter
Sebastian Vignone ...
Adam Whitlock
Jack Metzger ...
Billy Whitlock
Samil Al-Bana


A car carrying a mother and her four young sons explodes, killing the three youngest boys in the back seat and landing the mother and oldest son in the hospital. It is found to have been the result of a planted pipe bomb, which initially leads Detectives Goren and Eames to think it was the work of suspected terrorists who were targeting the family because the father worked as an engineer who invented a new type of landmine currently being used in the Middle East. However, when those people prove to be clean, focus moves to the father of the boys. He shows little, if any, emotion over their deaths, and they find he was putting undue pressure on his wife, going so far as to make her cease taking needed anti-depressants, and even making her sleep in the boys' bedroom. It is then found out a piece of hardware equipment was purchased by someone in her family, then rigged so it would blow carbon monoxide out, but eventually returned. The focus is now on the mother. Goren and Eames realize ... Written by

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Release Date:

7 November 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The little boy's picture of the dinosaur changes from neat with good handwriting in one scene to messy with sloppy handwriting in the next. See more »


Detective Robert Goren: See that? That's affect.
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User Reviews

This Will Bring Out Your Emotions!
17 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was very intense and emotional, but a very unpleasant story. I'm sure most people would agree with that, since it involves a mother deliberately blowing up her car with her and her four kids in it! Three of the children die; the mother and one son survive.

Who would do this, and why? Of course, that's the first questions Detectives Goren and Eames ask, and they come up with losing answers on the first two guesses. Along the way to the heart-rendering conclusion, we get the Law & Order usual Liberal agendas, such as shots at profiling those poor Muslims, blaming the father-not the mother for the killings and making Catholics into wackos. In this particular case, the mom and dad and grandma are all whacked out. The dad did state something about "all that religious crap," so a non-believer also looked bad. Hey, nobody looked good in this case, even the cops.

Carrie Preston as "Dorren Whitlock" and Sam Robards as her husband, "Paul," both give overwrought but riveting performances guaranteed to get your blood pressure up! Preston reminded me a lot, facially, of Samantha Morton. The closeups of her face in this episode was haunting. She gave quite a performance. Robards is the son of Jason Robards (and Laren Bacall), so he certainly has good acting "genes." Here, he plays a guy who want to punch right in the nose! Even "Eames," states at one point: "You know, this guy is really starting to get at my craw." After this performance, he went on to play in eight episodes of "The West Wing."

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