|Index||3 reviews in total|
A charming girl of Irish ancestry (Holley Fain) had an affair with a
lunch truck businessman. She faked a sister illness as an excuse to
meet him: she was stunned when she found him dead in the trunk at the
airport. Detectives, due to the prints left at the crime scene, have no
difficulties in finding her, but they know she has nothing to do with
the murder even if she lied at first about cheating on his husband. Her
in-laws are upstanding people: the man is a senator, while the mother
in law is a trust fund woman, daughter of a Latin colonel who failed a
coup d'etat a long time ago. Besides, there is a competitor in truck
food business selling Felafel who is willing to get the victim out of
business. Only at the end detectives figure out who pulls the strings.
It's sad to see that in certain family only money count. Everything has a price, there is no place for feelings; the deadwood must be torn apart.
This Criminal Intent story concerns the murder of businessman Michael
Dempsey. The investigation of the case takes Jeff Goldblum and Saffron
Burrows in the direction of a powerful and charismatic State Senator
played by Jose Zuniga. This is a man of whom big things are expected as
he moves on the city and/or statewide stage.
Zuniga's image is carefully controlled and manufactured and a close examination shows he's an empty suit. The real power behind the throne is his wife Laura Harring who is cool to the point of being an icicle. But not since Sian Phillips was playing Livia on I Claudius have we ever seen such a scheming manipulator.
And this family which projects the wholesome image has the morals of the Caesars as well.
I agree with the previous reviewer, the series regulars take a back seat to the players doing the roles of this really evil family.
I'm not a fan of the new, improved CRIMINAL INTENT toplining Goldblum &
Burrows, but this edition was an excellent one. In fact, the stars were
nearly invisible, as the guest cast took over and ran with an
It's all about political corruption, a topic New Yorkers are all too familiar with. The plot line of an unfaithful daughter-in-law who is the key adviser in the local Latino senator's campaign, getting mixed up in the murder of her boyfriend is pretty silly, especially the trendy "food trucks/catering magnate" subplot. But the way it unravels is not only inventive but leads to a very strong climax.
It turns out that the senator's grandson is actually his son (!) and that the matriarch of the family is way beyond Lady Macbeth in her perfidy. She did not merely acquiesce in having her daughter-in-law have sex with her husband to provide an offspring, but actually maneuvered it, and her ruthlessness in using her brother as hit-man to clean up any & all loose ends, in furtherance of her continued family dynasty, is awesome.
Laura Harring, the ultra-sexy actress whose career has gone from the crappy lambada vehicle THE FORBIDDEN DANCE to screen immortality in David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DR., gets the acting assignment of a lifetime in this Dick Wolf opus. Her subtle but dominant performance, eschewing all of the clichés of villains and villainesses past, is breathtaking. The other guest stars are more than adequate, notably Jose Zuniga as her senator husband and Holley Fain as the Irish daughter-in-law. And the whole thing works with Goldblum and Burrows almost invisible, reduced to strictly functional police procedural roles.
Burrows, now a U.S. citizen, makes several goofs during the episode, one of them major. During an exposition scene she pronounces "hotel clerk" as "hotel CLARK", in the British manner, and no director, editor or dialogue coach caught the flub before it got into the televised print. If she keeps that up, Julianne Nicholson will be warming up in the bullpen for a return to the mound.
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