8-)Well, if I could pull us away from the return of the Evil One (G)...
I'm intrigued by this episode, and looking forward to it. It's been some time since there's been some serious Goren/Carver or Goren/Deakins conflict--perhaps we'll even see some Goren/Eames conflict?
And the casting of Neil Patrick Harris as the suspect strikes me as another brilliant move on the part of the show's casting director. I've been impressed by the high quality of acting on all of the L&Os, and LOCI in particular has attracted some fine performers.
The jury's still out on this one, but I think I liked it. Goren is definitely making his colleagues wonder about him. Even Eames wasn't sure this time. I still wonder if Nelda's comment in Semi-Detached about a risk of schizophrenia wasn't a foreshadowing of what they're doing this season. 2 out of 3 episodes so far this season have Goren in questionable territory. And next week, E/N is back!
I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a great job. Good actor. You could see why Goren would feel sorry for him. Although, in past seasons, Goren has been able to feel empathy for perps without getting too emotional about it (exceptions - The Faithful & Suite Sorrow). And Eames is still branching out, going into the back of the candy store (aren't there health regulations banning that?) and identifying the possible suspect. And to the age old question of rank, it seemed to me that they were trying to imply that Eames was of higher rank, when the police officer told Eames that she and her "partner" needed to get out now; he didn't address both of them - maybe he didn't even know Goren's name.
This should be an interesting, if uncomfortable season. But we tend to complain if we get comfortable with the character.
Okay, now on a shallower subject. I didn't like the way he looked in this episode. To much hair. Maybe too much gray. I thought it made him look much older. I liked Erbe's hair, though.
First, my profuse apologies for jumping the gun on this discussion. As I wrote, I was greatly looking forward to this episode, and I found it enthralling. I'm going to need some time for digesting this episode, but I did think the acting in this one was just terrific. And there was a great deal of ambiguity in the writing.
Post by domenicaflor on Oct 10, 2004 22:44:50 GMT -5
I need about 3 more viewings to sort out how I feel about this episode. Some quick points:
Excellent job by Neil Patrick Harris. Far cry from Doogie Howser, MD, n'est pas?
I'm not partial to Goren's hairstyle, but I will take that opinion onto the other thread where it's being discussed.
Holey sheet, Batman! What exactly IS going on with Goren? I understand if the studio or perhaps D'Onofrio wants to make him more "fruitier-cakier" this season, since I viewed him as more subdued/detached from the victims and suspects last season, but I don't really understand the progression of Goren's getting attached to the suspects now. In particular, why is he getting attached to a man who ate a woman's calf muscle and performed a "homemade lobotomy" on another victim? Lines are definitely being crossed now.
Sure, I understand how Goren might have felt an empathy for a shy, nerdy, man who in his heart, wanted to love and be loved. Goren also felt certain empathy for Wally Stevens, who murdered many people in order to preserve order in his life and to try to regain the love of a family he lost. Goren gave Wally the textbook diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome and suggested that his counsel review it. So what is the big difference here? Why did that final interrogation scene of "WANT" feel so incongruent to me, if it is indeed very similar to Goren's giving Wally an "out"?
It seems to me that somehow, Goren is putting himself in the perp's shoes too deeply, and somehow in the middle of the "game", he realizes it and gets a look of self-recognition that comes over his face. In tonight's episode that came right around the middle of the conversation at the apartment when the guy is telling him that the girls never stick around, and Goren mentions something to the effect of "you want them to stay, to not abandon you". (paraphrase) I need to see it again to get it exactly.
Perhaps the most chilling statement, which ties to the episode title, was Eames' final comment that (paraphrase) "everyone got what they wanted" out of Tagman's sentencing and death.
If Goren is acting like this, then all hell will break loose when Elizabeth/Nicole comes back.
If I had to describe this episode with a single word it would be...creepy. And I'm not sure whether I like it or not due to the creepiness factor. I have to go back to view the tape, but my first impression is I thought I was seeing CI crossed with Jeffrey Dahmer. I almost expected to see Hannibal Lecter jump out from the shadows and deliver his "I'm having an old friend for dinner" line.
Yes, there are definite suggestions here that Det. Goren is troubled, continuing his pattern of emotional and psychological disequilibrium we saw in "Semi-Detached." This time, his empathy with the perp, bordering on extreme personal investment, is most evident when he tries to get John Tagman to open up and the discussion leads into the subject of loneliness. When Tagman says he never got used to it, the look on Det. Goren's face and how he repeats the words speaks volumes about where he is at in his personal life. And it bothers him deeply. A lot.
Back in the day, I remember Det. Goren taking great satisfaction, almost bordering on glee, when his trickery to gain a suspect's trust nailed the perp. This time, I saw no such triumph. Det. Goren's turn as the "older brother" taking his shy younger sibling under his wing to counsel him about women reminds me of his parting view of Wally Stevens in "Probability." Det. Goren might have won the battle with Tagman, but it does not seem to bring him the professional or personal satisfaction such tactics would have in the past.
I also found Det. Goren's reaction at the end to the news that Tagman had been beaten to death in prison by another inmate another indication that all is not well in his universe. He looks almost detached, a look I remember seeing in shell-shocked soldiers after an especially horrific battle. The scars are beginning to show for Det. Goren; after years of maintaining control, there are cracks in his armor. And just in time for his confrontation with Nicole in next week's episode "Great Barrier."
Some problems I have with this episode: 1) the health and safety issues with Eames meandering to the rear of the candy store. All the workers are wearing hair covering and protective coats, and Eames just waltzes in the back and asks Tagman to put a sample of the truffle filling on her finger? Please. How would you like to be the customer to get the truffle Tagman fills next after dispensing the concoction on Eames' finger? 2) why was Tagman in the general prison population? I would think he belongs in a mental hospital, or at the very least, apart from other inmates due to the notoriety of his crimes. I know Jeffrey Dahmer met a similar fate, and perhaps CI was referencing his death. But I get the impression Tagman's demise was set up precisely to show what would happen to Det. Goren in its aftermath.
More to come later. I'll give others a chance to weigh in before I comment further.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2004 22:59:26 GMT -5 by Techguy
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
If this is the way the season's going, I ain't buying. Ok, it's one thing to have Goren lose his way with a suspect and get in deeper than he intended. But if this is the pattern, YUK!!!
Goren was positively screaming at Carver about how a jury would react emotionally to the evidence he'd collected. What about all the other suspects, in other seasons, that Goren'd collected ambiguous evidence about? He didn't care how emotionally charged it would make the jury, all he cared about was getting justice for the victim. Now he's all about the criminals.
It's one thing for Goren to be empathic with people. It's quite another to have him falling for the sob stories of every single bad guy. ICK. I don't mind Goren identifying on an intellectual level, with the bad guys. But not in order to make life easier for them. Especially in this case, where the bad guy who supposedly just wanted a girlfriend was kidnapping and lobotomizing them! I mean, hello, learn how to negotiate a relationship, Doogie Howser. Learn that a girlfriend doesn't mean a brain dead sex slave. The fact that Goren found that sympathetic is repulsive. If this is where they're going with this season, no thanks.
Not only that, but the fantastic character that was created as Goren has been entirely corrupted.
I thought it was well done, though not, buy its nature, an easy episode to watch.
Goren's opposition to the death penalty for this suspect made sense to me, within Goren's established character. His behavior afterwards, when he entered the observation room, was perfect for an ex-Army guy -- and Deakins' reaction was also especially well done.
More (much more, no doubt) later.
Last Edit: Oct 11, 2004 2:03:32 GMT -5 by Observer2
How do you figure it squares with G's opinion on the death penalty? Goren has threatened countless other suspects with mental illnesses with death penalty prosecution and has never once blinked. What, aside from his "sympathy" toward this particular perp -- who happens to be a flesh-eating, mysoginist -- is different?
i think Goren was connecting with Tagman's intense lonliness...and i think we are being set up with these first 2 episodes (G's emotionally connecting to the perps) for Nicole/Elizabeth's return...as domenicaflor said earlier "for all hell to break loose' as for the hair...i 'm lovin the longer more grey thing!
I know that everyone is upset about Goren's attachment to the guy, and I really didn't like it either, but I don't think that most of you are separating this episode enough from S-D to see that Goren has always been empathetic with people with profoundly emotive motives. We saw this first in The Faithful, and again in Maledictus, Suite Sorrow, See Me, and Probability. It's people who kill for ego that he can't stand. Even when he confronts Julian in The Gift, we see his empathy. Carver says that they'll see about getting Sylvia into an institution near his prison, and Goren argues, "We will." This is not the statement, or the affect, of a detached man.
What happened with Nelda is a far cry from what we saw happen with John. With Nelda there was a romantic infatuation, however short lived it may have been. His desire for someone in his life to take care of him was visible, but he still did his job to put her away. He did the same with John. Putting his backstory together, I think it's pretty safe to say that Goren was an awkward youth. I believe he did pay attention to the other boys to see what worked with girls, and what didn't. Combined with his intuitive nature, he got good at knowing the right thing to say. John didn't have that advantage, and no matter how long he watched, he never could figure out how to talk to a woman and get a positive response.
Locifan, I strongly disagree with your assessment of Tagman as a misogynist. Misogynists *hate* women. John loved them, and desperately wanted to be loved by one. He just didn't know how to form a relationship with one, and every time he got close, he said or did the wrong thing and they left. He wanted someone who he could hug and love, not a sex slave. If that was his intent, he would have had sex with at least the one who lived, if not both of them. He didn't. It wasn't about sex, it was about profound loneliness, and maybe most of you are lucky enough never to have experienced it, but it seems clear that Goren has a firm grasp of what that can do to a persons psyche, and he was empathetic enough for me to believe that he has personal experience in the matter, perhaps currently.
It's not that Goren believed what John did was okay. He just didn't believe that John should be put to death for it. Whether or not Goren is for or against capital punishment is anyone's guess. It may seem like he's for it when he makes those threats, but lets not forget that the threat of capital punishment is the strongest threat one can give, and it gets a lot of confessions both on the show, and in real life. Just because he uses the threat of such a sentence, that doesn't mean he like for it to happen in any given case. He may very well be protecting that person from it by getting them to plea themselves out of it, sort of like he did with Tagman.
Trish--Your point about Goren not believing Tagman should get the death penalty is a good one. Goren never says that what Tagman did isn't evil or depraved--Goren is arguing that Tagman is unable to control himself, unable to stop performing evil acts. And "intent" is an important aspect of determining the death penalty.
I think it's Carver who's off base in this episode. From a practical standpoint, if this case goes to a jury Carver might not get his death penalty--he might not even get a conviction. Tagman's lawyer could easily plead insanity--if he's halfway decent, he might even convince a jury that Tagman was confused by a trick. I think Goren might have saved Carver's reputation by getting Tagman to confess.
And, after several cases where Carver questions Goren's methods (cases where the criminal's intent was far clearer), it's ok for Goren to use a "trick" in this case? I'd be interested in knowing if Carver wanted the death penalty say, for the doctor in DAW.
The whole argument about Tagman getting the death penalty was, of course, eventually inconsequential. I suspect that both Carver and Goren knew Tagman wouldn't survive a jungle like Sing Sing. Tagman may even have known it. (And, in reality, I believe that New York State hasn't executed anyone for many years.)
I hope I don't sound like I'm excusing Tagman's actions in any way--I'm not. They were horrible, and the image of the brain-damaged woman will haunt me for a long time. But I think Goren was right in this case, and I don't think it was simple a case of his identifying too closely with Tagman.
I also hope I don't sound too confrontational or anything like that.
If I heard right, Goren wanted the guy put away for life without the possibility of parole. That doesn't sound like he forgave him his crimes.
Far as the death penalty: In New York State, the first requirement of the Murder One death penalty statute is that the defendant have the intent to kill another person. At least legally, Goren's opinion was correct, this was not a death penalty case. If you believe that justice includes the notion that people be charged and receive the punishment prescribed by law for the crimes they actually commit, then Goren was in fact pushing for justice here.
And it seemed that Goren had plenty of empathy for the victims, especialy the one in the hospital whose hand he held.