|Index||3 reviews in total|
Powerful story with a simply amazing performance by Carrie Preston as a mother emotionally broken by her ultra controlling husband. This isn't a pleasant episode given the subject matter of child murder and the demented act of the mother but Preston is so moving in that difficult role that we actually feel compassion for her. Sam Robards is also excellent as the husband who has worked hard to put his wife in a position where she can do nothing right and always fails as a mother no matter how hard she tries. It is heart wrenching as the detectives follow the clues to the ugly conclusion. Kathryn Erbe is especially good and in her we see a professional trying to hold it together through a uniquely horrible case.
As the story unfolds it really grabbed. I was thinking "this looks like it will be a good one". I was wrong. Really good performances by Carrie Preston and Sam Robards, were wasted. This was a classic example of the only serious problem with the stories they tell in this series. The regular cast is always excellent. But the bad guys always seem to have the worst lawyers in the history of the legal profession. In this story, there is another episode of interrogation where the person being questioned has a lawyer. But he just sits there, while the cops ask all kinds of improper questions and get the person to say all kinds of things against their own interests. While the attorney just sits and says absolutely nothing. This a common problem in this otherwise interesting show. Time again during interrogations. The producers plop a guy in suit nest to the defendant. But, they do next to nothing to actually help their defendant in the way a real lawyer would. If you only watch one or two of these episodes you might not notice it. But after a season or two, it starts to become very noticeable. It allows the writers to wrap the episode in one hour. This a good story with a bad ending. It still worth watching. But barely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
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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