Tuesday, September 21, 2010

D'Onofrio Back To CRIMINAL INTENT

Back in early August we first got word that uncertainty about the show's future had led Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Jeff Goldblum to depart after only two seasons on the job (and less than a year after taking over the reins from series vet Vincent D'Onofrio).  This in turn threw into question whether the veteran procedural would be back at all.  As I said back then:
...the show's one and only lifeline is wrapped around whether the producers are successful in luring back D'Onofrio (whose Goren character was fired in the season's second ep).  If no, then I doubt they'd bother bringing in a new lead just to have him turn the lights out after eight-to-ten episodes.
Well, after a month-and-change of radio silence, the intent for Criminal Intent has been revealed.  According to Deadline, D'Onofrio is officially back onboard full-time as Det. Goren for a final batch of ten episodes that will close out the series' decade-long run -- that "victory lap" I talked about before.  Negotiations are also underway for Kathrn Erbe to return as Goren's longtime partner, and I'd assume that should fall into place fairly soon. 

The only downside to this is the loss of Goldblum, who, as I mentioned before, did a great job retaining the show's identity while also making it his own.  I'm curious to see how they explain away his Det. Nichols' absence (as well as that of partner Serena Stevens, played by series newbie Saffron Burrows), or if they won't even bother and just pick things up as if Goren and Eames never left.  Maybe Eames finds Goren in the shower and tells him all about this crazy dream she just had... 

Either way, the impending finale for CI marks the first time the creatives behind the Law & Order franchise will have been able to craft a final episode knowing that it actually is, in fact, the final episode.  The short-lived Trial By Jury was pulled after a half-season run in 2005 under the assumption the show would return, and of course we all know how things went down with the Mothership last May.  Hopefully this one gets a fitting send-off.

Also of note, now that CI is going away, that leaves Special Victims as the last remaining torchbearer for the New York wing of the L&O franchise (and all indications seem to point towards that one winding down soon as well).  With the highly-anticipated premiere of the new Law & Order: Los Angeles next Wednesday (set your DVR!), I'd count on any further entries in the franchise going forward to leave NY behind and instead inhabit the new West Coast universe of cops and lawyers.

2 comments:

Mehjabeen said...

wooooooohoooo! I literally was shouting this while just reading the title to your blog...

Zaki said...

Yeah, I'm sad the show's ending, but glad that Goren and (hopefully) Eames will be there to see it off.