Last week, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, and Eric Bogosian were ushered out of Law & Order: Criminal Intent with all the finesse of a bouncer at a cheap nightclub. In a lumpy hour that forced D'Onofrio's Goren and Erbe's Eames to act as supporting players to Jeff Goldblum's Zach Nichols and Saffron Burrows' Serena Stevens, Goren and Eames had a brief farewell scene together (Bogosian was in a body-bag by then), and the new era of L&O: CI began.
Last night, we saw the first full-fledged Nichols-Stevens edition of CI, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio taking the position of their new captain, Zoe Callas. It was an ungainly hour. Guest stars Kevin Conway and Marin Hinkle starred as residents of an Irish enclave of Queens involved in a murder that was so easily solved, extra air-time had to be given over to long close-ups of Goldblum looking soulfully into space, and all of it was framed by a perfectly awful song sung by someone with a gravelly voice meant to convey a grit that wasn't present in the script.
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