Last night’s Criminal Intent (the next to last episode featuring Chris Noth I’m afraid) highlighted how society in it’s obsession with protecting itself against monsters, will wind up becoming a monster themselves. The episode started off showing a man who obviously was just released from jail was being harassed by his neighborhood who used every conceivable means to make it clear to him he was not welcome to live there. With flyers marked “Sex offender” we could understand why and it wasn’t a surprise when he wound up being the victim.
Of course, in every L&O story, there is a twist and this time the twist isn’t really that shocking. The victim labeled a rapist really had consensual sex with the girl and he was barely just over the age of 18. It’s a twist I really don’t care for…I think what bothers me is that now that we know he wasn’t the pervert they initially thought, it makes what he suffered wrong.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not stating that if he was the garden variety “sex offender” the neighborhood thought of him as that they didn’t have a right to alert the neighborhood. But I don’t support killing (and torturing) of anyone, especially a person who had already paid his debt to society.
I feel the episode could have been much stronger had his past been much more disturbing (plus he should be older). After he is released from prison, we could have seen a man who on the surface tried to change but just like the other neighbors, the viewer never knows if he really was succeeding at living his new life. We could have had Logan and Wheeler fall down on opposite sides of the issue with the Captain yelling at them to just do their damn jobs. It would have been a nice throwback to the first season of L&O where Logan was always the opposite of his very conservative partner (may he rest in peace) and since we know Noth is soon out the door, could have been a written gesture to remind us what made Logan so compelling in the beginning.
Now I have a question….I see their normal alternating of episodes between Logan and Goren is being skipped as no Bobby next week. Will this be the season finale?