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July 22, 2014

Goldblum episodes of Law and Order are improving

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 13th 2009 11:04AM
Jeff Goldblum Law and Order Criminal IntentA few weeks ago, I wrote about Jeff Goldblum's disappointing start on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. My basic point was that he hadn't really found his character yet - that he hadn't gelled with the series - and he wasn't getting any help from poorly written episodes like the atrocious "rock star" opener.

After watching this week's episode, I have to say, everything was much improved, all around. Granted, the poetry was just as bad as the rock music from Goldblum's debut episode; they managed to force Goldblum playing piano into the plot yet again, and the ending confessional was overly dramatic.

But the bad poetry wasn't quite as distracting as the music in the first episode, the piano playing was at least tangentially related to the plot (although still a stretch), and fans of the series in all its forms must have learned to forgive the dramatic confessions years ago as part of the show's style.

With Goldblum, less is more. He's a strong presence on the screen, and he doesn't have to do much to make it seem like he's going over the top. This week, he seemed a bit more restrained, and it worked. He had a couple of flourishes, in an interview with a young poet, challenging his originality, and, of course, at the end, reading the poem that goads the killer into revealing themselves (apologies to grammar, trying not to identify the gender of the killer for those who DVRed the episode).

There is a cold and calculated method emerging with Goldblum's Detective Zack Nichols. It hasn't entirely distinguished itself from Vincent D'Onofrio's Detective Robert Goren, but it is starting to diverge. Both have a tendency to toy with their suspects, but where Goren seems to be madly trying to solve a puzzle, Nichols is more detached, curious and perhaps a bit more academic. He's not as personally involved in the cases as Goren. As this continues to develop, it could offer a great contrast between the two versions of the show, and make the inevitable team-up episode that much more interesting.

This week's episode wasn't perfect, but it was promising, finally a bright spot for Goldblum's version of the show. Looking forward to more.

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Jo Anne

Forgive me, I do not get technical I just enjoy. I love watching how Goldblum's mid works to conclusion. As I stated before I was prepared NOT to like him and now I would feel bereft if he left.

July 13 2009 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TomInCarrboro

Years ago, I invented a pronoun that replaces a third-person, singular noun for a human when the gender is unspecific or unwanted. It has no case endings, and is half of the word "person." It saves space over "he/she," etc., and is not wrong like your "themselves" is.

Please try "per."

Examples follow.

"Each student will hand in per paper at the
end of the period."
"Per must type the paper."
"I will give it back to per in next week's class."
"...reading the poem that goads the killer into
revealing perself."

I'm fluent in the word, and everyone understands exactly what I'm saying or writing without my explaing it. I don't know if anyone else uses it, but I beg you to join me.

I did indeed love it when Nichols goaded per into confessing, although I had long before suspected per.

July 13 2009 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TomInCarrboro's comment
Kell

Ha! That's hilarious!

"Per hesitated, perturbed at the personal nature of the perversion. Pulling perself together, per pursed per lips and purchased two of them. One per person. One for per and one for per. Then per changed per mind and purloined one more. For per cat. Per liked to hear per purr."

July 14 2009 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Have you considered the possibility that playing the piano is a means by which Nichols relaxes, allowing ideas to form based on his observations? Both Goren and Nichols, as characters, explore the oft-noted relationship between genius and mental illness or aberration--Goren suffers from his family's genetic instability, and Nichols was raised in a bizarre environment which left him a little odd.

July 13 2009 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

I also enjoyed the second episode much more than the first. I really like Jeff Goldbloom and hope that the improvement in scripts continue. Hang in there, Jeff!

July 13 2009 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment
lyndeljo

I'm really fond of Jeff G. and just got to this trying to find out where to find his appearance on "his" new show. He's done some intriguing stuff over the years and don't remember seeing any of them I didn't like. So.. I'm still looking for a listing for him Any help is appreciated.

July 14 2009 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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