Law and Order: Criminal Intent season six premiere -- an early look
Back in March we reported that Law & Order: Criminal Intent was rumored to be on the cancellation block due to its rotating cast and drooping ratings. Apparently, that wasn't true. In fact, executives over at NBC were impressed with the 11 million viewers per week it was able to retain up against such Sunday night powerhouses as The Sopranos and Desperate Housewives. So, when the new fall schedule came out in May CI was right there, ready for a sixth season.
This is good. Despite it being the youngest of the Law & Order trio still on the air (the original is entering its 17th season while SVU will be starting its eighth season this upcoming Tuesday) I personally feel it's one of the best. Yes, even better than SVU, which has gotten a bit stale as of late. This was confirmed while watching a preview copy of the CI season premiere. I'll tell you all about it after the jump. (By the way, slight SPOILERS ahead).
First, a bit on what has changed on Criminal Intent. The show has been pushed out of its former Sunday night slot (due to Sunday Night Football) and now resides on Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm, right in front of its older sibling SVU. Gone is Jamey Sheridan as Captain James Deakins, Annabella Sciorra as Detective Carolyn Barek (who was Detective Mike Logan's partner) and Courtney B. Vance as ADA Ron Carver. Sciorra is replaced by Julianne Nicholson as Detective Megan Wheeler, and Vance is replaced by Theresa Randle as ADA Patricia Kent. Neither of these actors appeared on the preview DVD.
Sheridan has been replaced by Captain Danny Ross, played by Eric Bogosian. As you would probably assume, Captain Ross isn't immediately enamored to the tactics of his major forces detectives, particularly Robert Goren (Vincent D'onofrio). In fact, he asks Groen's partner, Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) to watch over him, just to make sure that he doesn't get too creative with his investigation. However, Eames has been paired with Goren long enough to know and greatly appreciate the tactics he uses to catch the right person.
Where the former Captain spent most of his time in the office and let his detectives run the show, Ross is more of a hands-on type of boss. This is evident in the season premiere, as he takes a more active role in the investigation of a serial killer who seems to have returned after several years of hiding. As the investigation proceeds, however, he allows Goren more and more freedom to work the case. Especially since his partner is kidnapped and tortured by the killer.
If you've watched any episodes of the Law & Order franchise you'll probably guess who the serial killer is after the first 20 minutes. Then, after another 10 minutes, you'll really know who the killer is. However, it's the way that Goren comes to the conclusion of who it is that's the entertaining part of Criminal Intent. And the way he gets the killer to confess is just so suave; like two old friends having a conversation about the weather.
The season premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent is this Tuesday. Next week the second detective team of Mike Logan and new partner Megan Wheeler step up to the plate. Hopefully, we'll have another episode this season where the two teams get together on an investigation.