“Law and Order” Criminal Intent (the ninth year)

       The life of a long running show in some instances has a tendency for storylines to border on the ridiculous in their latter days. We’ve seen unacceptable brish brash endings with characters married under obvious scrambling for loose ends to be tied up in a neat little bow, or writers gone mad with balderdash effect, conceiving wild fabrications so far out of context that longtime viewers need to rinse and spit with paint thinner just to get the dissatisfied taste out of their mouths. To be handed a blue plate special of last-minute flim flam ostentatious ideas is beyond criminal intent.

       The good news is this does not hold true with “Law and Order”. The courts contention and the attorneys intent here is and always has been one of believability and struggles within the inner realm, most times unseen by the layman, deep in the heart of the penal code and its ramifications, rendering both good and bad decisions at the mercy of a judge and jury. True to form, the writers have kept up the pace in a perpetual scenario of both justice and bewilderment, many times through gnashing teeth. Launching season after season with guest stars played by the best of them (many times ones we haven’t seen for a long time), they remain a powerful and enticing program continuously peppered with talent.

       The forever open portal of unseen, sometimes secret discussions, dealings, and determinations befalling the innocent as well as the guilty hangs on the precipice that there are moments when justice is not always served…sometimes it just goes cold. And with that reality on the screen we see true-hearted and emotional moments that keep it real.

       The addition of Jeff Goldblum to the team is indicative in the sense that characters we’ve come to know in other roles and attitudes can be quite diverse. From the soft-spoken wise cracker tipping the scales (of justice?) beyond the balancing point of the spectrum, reciprocating humor with a ubiquitous reality of a world expected to fall within the confines of expected rule and conduct of the land, he is a worthy adversary and addition to an already well evolving program in the never-ending battle of crime and its consequence.

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