Mulling over this episode (and I think we all know how painful mulling can be (g)), I wondered how Goren might explain his actions to the mother of the murdered girl or the family of the brain damaged girl. It's a situation he might have placed Carver in--I'm not sure who would get the unenviable job of explaining why the man who murdered/maimed their child isn't getting the death penalty. As I've written before (perhaps now to everyone's annoyance), I think Goren is right in his assessment that this isn't a death penalty case. I also think he's quite aware of the victims--think of how he holds the hand of the girl in the hospital. But it would be interesting, if wrenching, to see how he'd explain himself to the survivors.
I was very interested in the responses from both you and techguy and I took a couple of days to think about what you had both written and to gel my thoughts so that I might try to respond even half as thoughtfully. I suspected you wouldn’t agree, Observer and that the rebuttal would center around his traumatic childhood.
There were two points I was trying to make in my initial post. The first is whether Goren is like the perps he seems to be relating to lately and the second is how Goren views women.
"All families are unhappy in their own way" and this includes my own. Fictional though that sentence is, I really don’t think I’ve ever read a truer description of the family and human nature.
I don’t discount any of his past history or psychology but I don’t think his views on women, as they bear on Goren’s character today, are as progressive and, yes, as healthy as they ought to be. I also think he knows this is a failing.
I think CI shows us past history, while extremely relevant to individual growth, is irrelevant in determining whether a person lives to their true potential. They make that choice. Spencer's history gives him ample reason to hate and want to kill women. John's history is left blank. His motivation is twisted love - the opposite of Spencer’s but it still results in heinous criminality.
Goren is successful in most of his life but he's failed to achieve any long-lasting intimate relationships with women. (I am assuming he is heterosexual so forgive my mainstream tendencies but there’s no evidence to the contrary while we've seen him picking up a waitress in POI and that odd stuff with Nelda) He’s, what? Mid-forties? If he's not in a fully blown mid-life crisis, he's looking back on what his life so far and assessing.
On a positive note, some of the angst he’s displayed in the past two episodes is evidence he's acknowledging this deficiency and without acknowledgement there can be no progression. For every man that took the path of John and Spencer, there was another guy who embraced, rather than shunned, companionship and love despite the risks inherent in re-opening a bruised and battered heart. Techguy is someone I would aspire for Goren to become with respect to this.
Goren is single but he doesn't see to want to be. What Goren has in common with John that really disturbed me is he has chosen to close himself off to others rather than risk the complexities of being in love. His career and caring for his mother were the easiest choices, not the hardest, for him to make.
‘Objectifying’ women often describes the them sexually but, according to Merriam-Webster, it more accurately means to depersonalize. Goren's done this throughout his career and this is the main (saddest) thing he shares with John. As a profiler it's his job to understand, scientifically what drives of his subject emotionally. He necessarily disassociates himself from them in order to capture them. He probably wants this distance with every unsavory attribute of theirs he uncovers. Their flaws can let you down so are you gonna’ risk it?
Goren said to John: "for all we complain, it’s women who are the vulnerable ones." Most violent crimes are against women. His job plus his experience with his mother could only perpetuate his view that we're victims. He’s never seen women who were strong, law-abiding matriarchs like I have.
In his personal relationships with women, he has failed and I think it's this realization that will bode the outcome of his next battle with Elizabeth/Nicole.
PS. I addressed this post to Observer and Techguy, but, please, everyone, feel free to give me your thoughts. Season four has depressed rather than invigorated me, as it usually does and I'm just trying to assess why since I know it's not the quality of the show.
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2004 16:55:11 GMT -5 by Sirenna
For every man that took the path of John and Spencer, there was another guy who embraced, rather than shunned, companionship and love despite the risks inherent in re-opening a bruised and battered heart. Techguy is someone I would aspire for Goren to become with respect to this.
Thank you for the compliment, Sirenna. As I posted earlier, I have more than a cursory interest in what happens to Det. Goren. That's the main reason I have concerns about whether to continue the Nicole angle in CI is a good thing. Maybe I'm being a bit selfish, but I really do wish him a satisfactory resolution to his personal journey of growth and discovery.
on Today at 5:54pm, Sirenna wrote: He’s never seen women who weren’t, who were, instead, strong capable, law-abiding matriarchs like I have seen.
Why doesn't Det. Goren just look across his desk at his partner Eames if he wants to see a strong, capable, and--as a result of serving as a surrogate mother for her sister--matriarch? Doesn't her back story indicate she is a widow of an NYPD officer? Her past emotional traumas haven't been insurmountable. She's even gone out on dates (someone named Terry was mentioned at least once). For all his observational and investigative gifts, Det. Goren needs to get past seeing only the forest, because the view of the trees has escaped him.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Sirenna--You make some valid points, but could I gently disagree with you?
We do not have evidence that Goren is always or completely at fault in his relationships with women. Perhaps some of them have broken with him, out of fear of his mother's illness, over his job, or difficulties with Goren's personality.
In his professional relationships--Eames certainly, and the women coroner, Goren treats them as equals, something not necessarily common in their world.
I don't disagree that some of Goren's choices have led to him being alone, or that he doesn't regret that loneliness. But I do think some of his situation is not his doing.
I shortened my post for the benefit of those reading it ;D
thanks for your responses! Love can be harsh, I get that but it's rough for all of us. I get the impression Eames might be more successful in relationships than Goren. I guess I was asking why is he deficient in this particular area when he's so successful in others.
I see these past two episodes as showing Goren losing his professionalism somewhat the further into the investigations he gets and I don't like either the character or the writing when it heads in this direction.
Last Edit: Oct 17, 2004 18:21:20 GMT -5 by Sirenna
My quarrel is still with Carver (I'll concede that Goren's outburst was unprofessional and he could have presented his case in a less confrontational manner). But I watched the rerun of THE POSTHUMOUS COLLECTION last night on USA, and Carver is perfectly willing to offer Spencer a life sentence in return for his cooperation. Spencer has killed women with a fairly clear intent. Of course, it's necessary to find the bodies, but why is Spencer more deserving of life than Tagman? Isn't there a need to talk to Tagman to see if there others he might have killed? I still think Goren was more in the right than Carver in this.
I define misogyny the way it is defined in both the Websters Dictionary, and numerous psychological texts. The word misogyny is derived from the Greek word misogynia. Misein: to hate, and Gyne: women.
A misogynist is a woman hater, not a person who objectifies them. Plenty of people objectify women, including many women themselves! That doesn't mean they hate them, which means that they are not, by definition, misogynists. I want to be clear about this because it really bothers me to see this term tossed around as a general term for people who don't treat women in a way that they would term equally or respectfully. It's possible to be disrespectful of a person without actually hating them.
Spencer in The Posthumous Collection is a good example of a misogynist. John Tagman is not. He want to love a woman, and his desperate need took the form of horrible acts. He felt terrible that he hurt them, but he needed someone to love so badly, and couldn't fathom any other way to get one, that he took the only measures he could think of to satisfy his need.
Though what he did was terrible, a true misogynist would not have lobotomized the girls, or probably even thought about it. Tagmans super soft porn is another thing you would NEVER find in the home of a misogynist. That was a vital clue to who Tagman was.
A true misogynist would have tied his victims up and repeatedly raped them- probably only when they were conscious and could experience all of the horror of the acts. He would beat them and degrade them. He would never hug them for hours, bath them, dress them, and pose them to keep them from being degraded. He wouldn't leave them where their they would be found for burial. There is just no way Tagman can be truly labeled as a misogynist, or even of having misogynistic tendencies unless you want to redefine the term.
yes, trisha, i see what you mean. in feminist philosophy the term misogyny is often used almost interchangeably with the concept of objectifying women and that may not be as precise a definition as necessary to dissect the psychology of this criminal.
i did, however, see a great deal of rage beneath Tagman's sad-sack surface -- especially in the scene with Claire, after she writes him off when he says his favorite type of music is country western. when Claire gets up to go get her protein bar, Tagman gets a look of anger on his face. it's then that he decides to spike her drink. his anger toward women seems to be due to the fact that they are hypercritical of him, and the actions he takes are directly related to that anger in that he renders them unable to criticize. whether or not he's aware of his anger at the women he encounters is another matter. it's much easier for him to admit to himself that he loves women but can't find one than to accept the rage he feels. i thought that was what he was getting at when he tells Goren that he doesn't think it's possible for someone to understand himself.
Post by janetcatbird on Oct 19, 2004 18:35:57 GMT -5
It was weird, in that scene. You knew Tagman was the guy and yet you couldn't help feeling sorry for him, in an "Aw, bless his heart" sort of way--well, I couldn't, admittedly I'm a pushover. But in that interaction he didn't give off creepy, danger-will-robinson vibes. He just seemed like a goofy, socially clumsy but not awful type guy. Personally I got rather hacked at the rudeness of the girl. I've always had this insane combination of mother hen/mama bear when people pick on others, and that definitely brought ti to the forefront.
Now I don't excuse Tagman's actions and he definitely needed to get off the street, but before he spiked the drink I just had the urge to reach out and hug him. Course I felt the same way about the boys in "Happy Family", and I know I'm the resident sap on this board. (Further confirmation of my pushoverness, I always root for the Phantom of the Opera, Dom Claude Frollo and/or Quasimodo, Beast before transformation, Charles Bovary, etc.)
BUt then, soon as Claire was in the hospital I had that same urge to hold and protect her. I just don't like it when people are in weak, vulnerable positions. Someone pointed out Goren taking her hand, from the look on Eames' face I expected her to do something similar--but then, Eames has always been more reserved than Goren, and since she didn't know Claire that probably held her back. With friends I'll rub their arm and hair, hand them Kleenex, find some raw cookie dough, whatever. With strangers I'm much more reserved and aloof--always a sympathetic listener but I don't get touchy-feely unless it's a major crisis or we've really gotten to know each other. Maybe it's projection, but I picture Eames the same way.
Hi again. I was so impressed with this episode, one of the best acted, written and directed since Season 2. I was particularly interested in how depressed Goren seemed while working with his colleagues, but how he became more animated about his work while he was pretending to be the perp's friend.
I'm thinking of amassing a list of Goren Table Slams. It would be fun to analyze what drives him to slam tables and who tends to be on the receiving end.
Rose Fan of the chaos only Nicole Wallace can bring
A truly amazing discussion. This episode succeeded in stirring controversy on many levels. I love that. Delightfully ambiguous and messy. Lot’s of grey area in this episode to explore.
As was mentioned earlier in this thread (and I obviously agree) Goren’s ultimate goal is justice. But if the perp is particularly narcissistic, this tends to ire him more.
Narcissism is the closest mental disorder to evil. Its all about looking good, manipulating people and things to get what you want, and everyone else be dammed.
(Some examples: Attwood in One, the doctor in The Good Doctor, the mother in Smothered, Henry in Jones, Trudy in Poison, the shrink in Crazy the older brother in Gemini, the old man in Cherry Red, Connie in Sound Bodies, The doctor in DAW, Nicole)
I think these types of people remind Goren of his narcissistic dad.
Even though Tagman certainly puts his needs above others, he is not a classic narcissist. Why? Because of Tagman’s emotional immaturity. The motivations behind the violence Tagman perpetrated were extremely primitive. I think Goren recognized he was dealing with someone who was, not innocent, but emotionally a child.
And children ‘want what they want when they want it’. We expect this from children but when adults do it, its evil. Tagman didn’t exactly fit into this category despite the horror of his crimes. Thus, Goren's unpopular reaction to Tagman.
I also agree that according to the letter of the law, since Tagman did not intend to kill his victims, the death penalty should not have been sought regardless of the heinousness of his acts. Goren was seeing that justice was done.
I can't seem to let go of this episode, or it won't let go of me.
It's been noted that Tagman appears to have been based in part on Jeffrey Dahmer. One point of the Dahmer case was that neighbors actually called the police. The police arrived and found a teenager in Dahmer's apartment. Dahmer convinced the officers that he and the teenager were homosexual partners, and they left. The unfortunate kid became another of Dahmer's victims, and I believe he went on to kill a few more people before he was caught. The police were later accused of not taking the case seriously because it apparently involved two gay men. This angle, of course, was not part of WANT. I wondered if the writers made the victims young women in order to connect with the viewers? And why the police failure wasn't part of the story?
. I wondered if the writers made the victims young women in order to connect with the viewers? And why the police failure wasn't part of the story?
I really think that most of episodes for LOCI could be a 1-1/2 to 2 hour show. Maybe the stories wouldn't seem so convoluted. Too much info is squeezed into 45 minutes.
Remember the Sunday Mystery Movie, with McMillian & Wife, McCloud and I think a Doc Ramsey and ohhhh lets us not forget our loveable Det. Columbo.
Maybe someday Dick Wolfe could go that route....and give us a good 2 hour movie of our favorite L&O shows. The stars wouldn’t be as frazzled . I think we might feel more fulfilled in watching them. All of our questions could be easily answered.
“It’s like you got yesterday, today and tomorrow, all in the same room. There’s no telling, what can happen”.... Billy, "I’m Not There"
Today's NEW YORK TIMES (nytimes.com--you have to register but it's free) has a story on a young dancer recently killed in New York City. Her story reminds me of Tagman's first victim--a gifted young dancer who was working at strip clubs to pay for dance classes and other expenses. She was originally from Columbus, Ohio.
Post by psychochik on Jan 17, 2006 15:21:47 GMT -5
This episode will be on tomorrow night, hopefully it will spark everyones memories of this episode and bring about more great chatter about it. I havent seen this episode in a while and am looking forward to seeing it !!
"Theres no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated" NOFX
"The presidents laughin cuz he voted for Nader" NOFX