List of Law & Order: Criminal Intent characters

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Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a spin-off of the crime drama Law & Order, follows the detectives who work in the "Major Case Squad" of the New York City Police Department, a unit that focuses on high-profile cases (in most cases murder, just like the regular Law & Order in this sense), such as those involving VIPs, local government officials and employees, the financial industry, and the art world; though sometimes the cases are similar to the cases from the original Law & Order show as well. From its fifth season until the beginning of the ninth season, which aired in September 2005 until April 2010, the series had generally shown four major detectives working the unit, in alternating episodes under the leadership of both Captain James Deakins and Captain Danny Ross. The unit also previously had a prosecutor assigned from the DA's office, that frequently interacted with the squad. The ninth and tenth seasons of the series showed two major detectives working the unit in all episodes under the leadership of Captain Zoe Callas and later Joseph Hannah.[1]

One of the original characters on Law & Order, Detective Mike Logan (played by Chris Noth), appears in one episode of Season 4. At the beginning of Season 5, he is transferred from Staten Island to the Major Case Squad, where he worked until the end of Season 7.

Main characters[edit]

Name Portrayed by Occupation Season Episodes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Robert Goren Vincent D'Onofrio Junior Detective Main Main[note 1] Main 141
Alexandra Eames Kathryn Erbe Senior Detective Main Main[note 1] Main 144
James Deakins Jamey Sheridan Captain Main 111
Ron Carver Courtney B. Vance Assistant District Attorney Main 111
Mike Logan Chris Noth Senior Detective Guest Main 36
Carolyn Barek Annabella Sciorra Junior Detective Main 12
Megan Wheeler Julianne Nicholson Junior Detective Main 24
Danny Ross Eric Bogosian Captain Main Main[note 2] 61
Nola Falacci Alicia Witt Junior Detective Main 5
Zack Nichols Jeff Goldblum Senior Detective Main 24
Serena Stevens Saffron Burrows Junior Detective Main 15
Zoe Callas Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Captain Main 14
Joseph Hannah Jay O. Sanders Captain Also Starring 8
Paula Gyson Julia Ormond Police Psychiatrist Also Starring 7
Notes
  1. ^ a b Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe appeared in only the first two episodes of season 9.
  2. ^ Eric Bogosian appeared in only the first episode of season 9.


Detectives[edit]

Robert Goren[edit]

Main article: Robert Goren

Robert Goren is a quirky, extraordinarily intelligent investigator and criminal profiler, known for his instinct and insight. Often, Goren's intuition, rather than solid evidence, turns out to be the case-breaker. Each episode, Goren typically employs his knowledge of an unusually wide range of topics, from theoretical physics, chemistry, and literature to history, psychology, and multiple foreign languages. Goren once served in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, stationed in Germany and South Korea, and worked in the NYPD's Narcotics Division before transferring to Major Case (in the first season episode "The Insider", it is revealed that he worked on three undercover operations resulting in 27 arrests and convictions).

The Robert Goren character is very reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes; he notices tiny-yet-important details ignored by others, and possesses broad, almost encyclopedic knowledge. Frequently, Goren obtains crucial information and confessions by psychologically manipulating and provoking suspects and their associates. Mental illness seems to run in Goren's family: his mother suffered from schizophrenia and his biological father was a serial killer. Recently, it has become clear that Goren's history, coupled with his unorthodox style, has become a source of trouble for him within the NYPD, spawning rumors and accusations that he is mentally unstable. In particular, this view is held by the Chief of Detectives, who suspends him for six months without pay after he embarks on an unauthorized undercover infiltration of a prison's mental ward. In the season 7 finale, he lost his brother Frank (Tony Goldwyn) to his archnemesis Nicole Wallace. In the course of the investigation, he realized that his mentor, Dr. Declan Gage, had orchestrated the deaths of his brother and Wallace. During season eight, he begins to recover after the events of season 7. In "Loyalty", Goren and Eames are pulled off a pair of homicides by Ross, who informs them that the FBI has taken an interest in the case. Ross is later murdered as well, their prime suspect is taken into custody by the FBI, provoking Goren into a physical altercation that leads to his suspension. He continues to investigate on his own and eventually learns of a plan by the FBI to allow GPS-tagged weapons to be distributed to terrorist camps in Somalia, so that the camps could be easily targeted and wiped out. He is then fired by Eames, who had recently been offered a promotion to captain of the Major Case Squad; she subsequently quits instead.

Alexandra Eames[edit]

Main article: Alexandra Eames

Alexandra Eames is the quiet, practical partner who generally seems to mesh well with Goren despite the noticeable personality differences between the two. She worked in the NYPD's Vice Division for four years before transferring to Major Case. Her character is much like the screen portrayals of Holmes's partner Doctor Watson: a lesser equal, overshadowed by the charismatic presence of a prodigious partner. While still an assertive and no-nonsense cop and the senior partner of the pairing, much of Eames's dialogue consists of sarcastic, pun-heavy observations delivered at dramatically opportune moments (much like Law & Order's Det. Lennie Briscoe character).

  • There are occasional hints of a strong affection, and even jealousy, between the two partners, but their relationship has never become romantic. Their working relationship is more formal than that of the lead detectives in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, who typically address each other by their given names and have strong emotional interplay. Goren and Eames typically address each other by surname, but when either Eames or Goren is particularly stressed, she calls him "Bobby". She is a legacy officer: her father and late husband were both cops. In the third season, Eames embarked on a surrogate pregnancy for her sister and brother-in-law and, before her maternity leave, was assigned to desk duty at the police station; her work in the field with Goren was covered by G. Lynn Bishop. Recently, Goren and Eames' working relationship has become more strained, as she has become fed up with what she sees as Goren's habit of taking her for granted, expecting her to run interference for his off-beat tactics and style with both co-workers and superiors without acknowledging her contributions. These feelings boil over in the episode "Purgatory", after Goren embarks on a secret undercover mission for his superiors, and fails to inform her. Eames takes Wheeler's place starting in the episode "Major Case". In the episode "Loyalty," she and Goren are pulled off a pair of homicides by Ross, who has been working undercover for the FBI on a case involving one of the victims. When Ross is subsequently murdered, Goren soon gets into a physical altercation with the prime suspect, leading to his suspension and Eames' decision to covertly help him with his own investigation. She is offered a promotion to captain of the Major Case Squad on the condition that she fire Goren, but after doing so, she puts her badge and gun on Ross' desk and resigns.

G. Lynn Bishop[edit]

Main article: G. Lynn Bishop

Bishop is introduced in the episode "Pravda" as the temporary partner of Det. Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio), assigned to the Major Case Squad of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), due to Det. Alexandra Eames volunteering to serve as a surrogate mother for her sister's baby. Her character was only a temporary replacement and was not seen after Eames returned from maternity leave.

Mike Logan[edit]

Main article: Mike Logan

Logan is a troubled detective who formerly worked in the detectives squad of Manhattan's 27th precinct (from 1990 to 1995, on Law & Order). He was banished to the NYPD's career graveyard (Staten Island) after publicly punching a homophobic politician who had murdered a gay man whom Logan had grudgingly come to respect; however, Logan redeemed himself by solving a dirty-cop murder-conspiracy case (the NBC TV movie Exiled: A Law & Order Movie). He was transferred from Staten Island to the NYPD's Domestic Disputes department. Logan first appeared on Criminal Intent in the fourth-season episode "Stress Position", through his romantic involvement with a nurse employed at a prison being investigated by Goren and Eames. At the beginning of season five, he was officially transferred to the Major Case Squad at the behest of Capt. Deakins, in the episode "Grow". In addition, Logan was involved in the "officer-involved shooting" used to fuel the career-ending conspiracy against Capt. Deakins. After solving a 16 year homicide case in the episode "Last Rites", dissatisfaction with the corruption and overall inflexibility of the justice system drove him to leave the force.

Carolyn Barek[edit]

Main article: Carolyn Barek

Carolyn Barek is Mike Logan's first partner in the Major Case Squad. Barek spent two post-9/11 years with the FBI. Why she left the Major Case Squad is not stated.

Megan Wheeler[edit]

Main article: Megan Wheeler

Megan A. Wheeler is Mike Logan's second partner in the Major Case Squad. Wheeler transfers in with her captain-mentor, Daniel Ross. She is by-the-book, and is reluctant to bend procedural rules, unlike Det. Logan. She left at the end of the 2006–07 season to go to Europe for follow-up work with the Joint Task Force, where she had worked with Capt. Ross. She returns to the role in the episode "Contract"; the absence was written in to cover Julianne Nicholson's maternity leave. During Season 8, Det. Wheeler announced she was pregnant by her ex-fiancé. It was later reported that the character would be absent from the final episodes of the season in conjunction with Nicholson's real life pregnancy, and Det. Eames would partner with Nichols for the remaining episodes.

Nola Falacci[edit]

Main article: Nola Falacci

Nola Falacci served as Logan's partner for a short time while Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson) was in Europe teaching American police procedure to European police officers.

Zack Nichols[edit]

Main article: Zack Nichols

Zack Nichols joined as a replacement for Logan. He came to Major Case in the episode "Rock Star", after being away from the NYPD for seven years. He was once partnered with Captain Ross when they both worked in Anti-Crime. He is estranged from his family personally, however, in the ninth season finale "Three In One", Zack asks for his father's advice (F. Murray Abraham) for help on a case; they reconcile their differences by the end of the episode.

Serena Stevens[edit]

Detective Serena Stevens
Law & Order character
Serena Stevens - CI.png
First appearance "Loyalty (Part 2)"
Last appearance "Three-In-One"
Portrayed by Saffron Burrows
Time on show 2010
Succeeded by Alexandra Eames
Information
Partner Zack Nichols

Serena Stevens is the replacement for Det. Megan Wheeler (Julianne Nicholson), who left as partner of Zack Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) at the end of season eight ("Major Case") and for Det. Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe), who had to leave the series with the 2-part-premiere of the ninth season ("Loyalty") after eight years.

Before transferring to New York, she was with the Chicago Police Department. During her childhood, Stevens briefly lived in Islamabad with her father, a Marine stationed at the American embassy, and learned to read Urdu and Arabic.

She is a fan of the Chicago White Sox.[2] She hints at being somewhat of a baseball fan when she recognized a dead person as a former baseball player and starts telling Nichols stats regarding his short-lived major league career.[3] She has an eight-year-old daughter named Kira.[4][5][6]

Captains[edit]

James Deakins[edit]

Main article: James Deakins

Captain Deakins is Goren and Eames' first immediate supervisor; he periodically checks their progress during investigations. At the end of Season 5 (2005–2006), Deakins retires rather than battle a conspiracy to frame him. The vendetta stemmed from an episode in which Deakins — torn between loyalty and integrity — reluctantly allows Goren and Eames to imprison his friend Frank Adair (a former Chief of Detectives), by refusing to cover up his misdeeds. Adair uses his connections to plant false evidence of Deakins' corruption; Deakins refuses to tarnish the department by fighting the charges.

Danny Ross[edit]

Main article: Danny Ross

Ross is Deakins's successor as the Major Case Squad commander. He is given the command as a reward for a successful three-year stint as head of a Joint Task Force on International Money Laundering; he took Detective Megan Wheeler with him to the Major Case Squad. Little is known about his home life, though he does mention in the 6th season episode Tru Love that he has two teenage sons, and in 6th season episode Albatross he is shown at a Burr-Hamilton duel re-enactment with his boys.

In the first half of the 9th season premiere, Ross is involved in an undercover investigation that leads to his death.

Zoe Callas[edit]

Captain Zoe Callas
Law & Order character
Zoe Callas - CI.png
First appearance "Broad Channel"
Last appearance "Three-In-One"
Portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Time on show 2010
Succeeded by Joseph Hannah

Callas is the successor for Capt. Daniel Ross (Eric Bogosian), who was killed in the line of duty at the beginning of the ninth season. Callas transferred from the Internal Affairs Bureau to be the captain of the Major Case Squad.S9E03 S9E07 However, she stays around as captain for only one season before being replaced by Joseph Hannah in Season 10. Her sudden departure from the Major Case Squad is never explained.

Callas mentions she is from a Greek-American family and has a daughter. Callas is divorced. Her eldest daughter is at Columbia University as a premed student.S9E11 She also has mentioned she has a brother who works in the construction field.S9E12

Joseph Hannah[edit]

Joseph Hannah is the replacement for Captain Zoe Callas. Hannah is a friend of Detective Robert Goren since their police academy days. Hannah possesses an easy authority, but also a humorous side, and he shares a buddy-buddy rapport with some of his detectives.[1][7][8] Hannah has a similar rapport with Detectives Goren and Eames that Captain Deakins (Jamey Sheridan) had with them, Hannah even confronts Goren about his mandatory shrink sessions with Dr. Gyson and tells him that the NYPD brass thinks Goren is crazy. In "The Consoler" he tells Goren he understands him and how he does things, and vice-versa, but after Goren argues with Hannah about a case in front of Eames, Hannah asks her to leave the room. He then tells Goren he has his back but demands respect from Goren, saying "respect me to my face."

Jay O. Sanders, the actor that portrays Captain Joseph Hannah, appeared previously on Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the episode "Dead" (Season 2, Episode 1).

Assistant District Attorneys[edit]

Ron Carver[edit]

Main article: Ron Carver

Ron Carver is an Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Major Case Squad. Carver serves as the MCS ADA until the end of Season 5, where no reason was given for his departure. Like Anita Van Buren from Law & Order, Carver graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Other Recurring ADAs[edit]

Name Portrayed by Year # Eps
ADA Patricia Kent Theresa Randle 2006 2
ADA Claudia Shankly Bridget Regan 2006-2007 2
ADA Terri Driver Leslie Hope 2008 2

Recurring characters[edit]

Doctor Elizabeth Rodgers[edit]

Main article: Elizabeth Rodgers

Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers is a recurring character in the fictional universe of the crime drama franchise Law & Order. She is an Assistant Chief Medical Examiner regularly seen on Law & Order, as well as Criminal Intent.

Minor characters[edit]

Nicole Wallace[edit]

"Nicole Wallace" redirects here. For the writer and political commentator, see Nicolle Wallace.

Nicole Wallace is Bobby Goren's archnemesis. A criminal mastermind, she is one of the few people Goren encounters throughout the series who can get the better of him, particularly by confronting him about his unhappy childhood. Goren theorizes that she was molested by her father as a child and that the trauma bred in her a pathological drive to use and destroy anyone who gets close to her; this is frequently implied to be true. Goren also believes that she murdered her own daughter in her native Australia because she saw the girl as a sexual rival (in the episode "Grow", she insists that her daughter's death was an accident).

She murders nine people during her five appearances on the show, and it is explained in "Anti-Thesis" that, years before, she helped her then-lover — a criminal svengali named Bernard Fremont (Michael York) — rob and murder several men in Thailand. In the episode "Slither," Fremont is indicted on a murder charge and found dead soon afterward, a hypodermic syringe jabbed into his chest. Goren holds Wallace responsible, knowing her aptitude with various poisons and believing her to be in New York at the time.

She is introduced in the episode "Anti-Thesis" as a con artist and thief living in the U.S. under the alias "Elizabeth Hitchens" and working at Hudson University as a Literature professor. It is revealed, in, this episode that she murdered the real Hitchens and assumed her identity. When Goren questions her about a murder that she manipulated a graduate student into committing, the two form an instant rivalry, which becomes obsessive after she flees the country. In her next appearance, "A Person of Interest", Goren tricks her into admitting responsibility for another murder, but she is found not guilty thanks to a team of lawyers hired by her wealthy husband, Gavin Haynes, who later divorces her. In "Great Barrier", she re-emerges as the brains behind a diamond theft scam perpetrated by her lover, Ella Miyazaki. Wallace later murders Ella when she discovers that she is wearing a wire, and falls to her apparent death in the process. She was slated to die in this episode, but fan respose caused the producers to edit re-runs to make her having faked her death. Sure enough, she turns up alive in the episode "Grow".

While she is characterized as "a psychopath" and "a monster" by other characters, certain episodes suggest that Wallace is not entirely without humanity. In "Grow", for example, she puts herself at risk to save Gwen Chapel, the young daughter of her boyfriend Evan Chapel, after she discovers that he is trying to kill Gwen in order to collect on a multimillion dollar trust fund. She gives Goren incriminating evidence against Evan and kidnaps Gwen to take her to the girl's aunt in Arizona. She leaves a voicemail for Bobby, admitting she couldn't trust herself with the child.

She makes her final appearance in the Season 7 finale, "Frame", in which she kills Goren's brother Frank (Tony Goldwyn) with an injection of succinylcholine after having sex with him. In turn, she is murdered by Goren's former mentor, Dr. Declan Gage (John Glover), who sends her heart in a package to Goren. According to Gage, her final words were, "Tell Bobby he was the only man I've ever loved."

The eighth episode of the 2013 series Jo involves a murder suspect named Madeline Haynes (played by Oliva d'Abo). Interpol records show that her fingerprints match those of Nicole Wallace, and Wallace's backstory is mentioned, including her supposed final words. However, Haynes' DNA does not match that on record in New York for Nicole Wallace.

Declan Gage[edit]

Declan Gage, Goren's former mentor, appeared in two episodes. In "Blind Spot", his daughter Jo murders two people and kidnaps Eames to make her father notice her. In "Frame", it is revealed he is showing signs of diminishing capacity and concocts a plan to dispose of people whom Gage sees as destructive in Goren's life, "to set him free". Gage had even written a book about female murderers just to lure Nicole Wallace back to town. When she takes the bait, he lets her kill Goren's brother. He then kills Wallace and sends her heart to Goren. He, however, refused her advances, telling Goren, "We are probably the only two men ever to have said 'No' to her."

Using Wallace's M.O., he stages an attempt on his own life, although the autopsy on the heart reveals she was already dead at the time. He even gaslights Goren to make him re-engage with life by defending himself against the suspicion he murdered his brother for life insurance to be paid to a Swiss bank account in the name of one of Goren's undercover aliases. He described his relationship with his daughter ("Blind Spot") as "never better"; she is in a coma resulting from blood loss when she bit off her own tongue.

Conroy "Connie" Smith[edit]

He first appears in "Sound Bodies" as a charismatic, but deeply disturbed, young man who manipulates three girls into committing murder. In "In the Wee Small Hours", he takes up an offer from Goren and Eames to spy on a prisoner in exchange of postal privileges at Riker's Island, where he was transferred for a few weeks.

Wally Stevens[edit]

Wally Stevens first appeared in "Probability" as an eccentric employee at an insurance company. It is through evidence of repetition and patterns that Goren and Eames conclude that Wally is on the autism spectrum (Asperger's Syndrome) as well as orchestrating several murders of homeless people for insurance money. Eames remarks that Goren and Wally have many things in common, and wryly suggests that the two of them should be penpals. He reappears in "Endgame" as an unwitting conduit between Goren, with whom he has been corresponding, and Mark Ford Brady, who is in the same penitentiary.

Detective Daniels[edit]

Detective Daniels is a detective who worked in conjunction with the Major Case Squad and the narcotics unit when drugs and gangs were possibly involved in the murder cases at hand. Daniels is introduced in the sixth season episode, "Players" where a judge's son is found shot to death, shortly after a notorious rap artist is sentenced in court. He later returns in the season seven premiere where a police officer is shot - initially believed to be committed by a high-level drug dealer. Daniels briefly appears in the episode "Senseless" where three kids with no criminal related backgrounds were murdered on a playground by a murderous Mexican drug dealer who felt his victim looked down on him. Daniels helps Detectives Logan and Falacci bust an MS13 dealer believed to be involved in the killings.

Daniels last episode was "Purgatory" where Goren gets involved with an ex-cop involved in a high-profile murder of two tourists, Goren later is fully placed undercover by the Chief of Detectives in order to get his badge back after losing it prematurely going undercover in a prison in New York State. Daniels is partnered with Detective Eames; working on the tourists's murder; when a connection is finally made he and Eames wind up busting in on Goren who is undercover. It was never mentioned what happened to Daniels after this episode.

Faith Yancy[edit]

Faith Yancy is a TV journalist who sometimes reports on the Major Case Squad's high-profile cases. The character is an apparent parody of Nancy Grace, considering she helms a sensationalist news show in the vein of the real-life Grace's HLN program; in addition, her name itself can be seen as a parody of Nancy Grace's - "Faith" instead of "Grace," and "Yancy" instead of "Nancy." She also speaks with a slight Southern twang similar to Grace's.

Stanley Maas[edit]

Maas joined as a temporary replacement for Captain Danny Ross, who was murdered working a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Maas is the first Lieutenant to be the commanding officer of the Major Case Squad. He lets Goren, Eames, and Nichols work on the case at hand along with the murder of Ross. After Goren gets heated and shoves Jan Van Dekker in court, Maas suspends him from duty. He later puts Eames up for recommendation to Chief of Detectives Moran that she be the next Captain of the squad, on condition that she fire Goren. She does, but quits immediately thereafter. Both Maas and Eames are replaced by Zoe Callas.

Doctor Paula Gyson[edit]

A police psychologist charged with conducting mandatory sessions with Detective Goren as a condition of his return to the NYPD.[1]

Robert Goren's family[edit]

Crossover characters within the Law & Order franchise[edit]

Name Portrayed by Year
District Attorney Nora Lewin Dianne Wiest 2001
Detective Lennie Briscoe Jerry Orbach 2001
Detective Ed Green Jesse L. Martin 2001
Lieutenant Anita Van Buren S. Epatha Merkerson 2002
Dr. Emil Skoda J.K. Simmons 2002
District Attorney Arthur Branch Fred Dalton Thompson 2005
Dr. Elizabeth Olivet Carolyn McCormick 2006

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "USA Taps Julia Ormond to Guest Star in Tenth and Final Season of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"". April 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Mobster Will See You Now". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 13. June 22, 2010. USA Network.
  3. ^ "Love on Ice". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 8. May 18, 2010. USA Network.
  4. ^ "Delicate". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 4. April 20, 2010. USA Network.
  5. ^ "Traffic". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 9. May 25, 2010. USA Network.
  6. ^ "Lost Children of the Blood". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 11. June 8, 2010. USA Network.
  7. ^ a b "Law & Order: Criminal Intent' Gets New Captain, 'Pan Am' Gets First Stewardess". DeadlineTV. February 10, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "USA NETWORK LAUNCHES NEW SEASONS OF "LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT" AND "IN PLAIN SIGHT" PREMIERING SUNDAY, MAY 1". TV by the Numbers. February 3, 2011. 

Episode sources[edit]

^E516 "Dramma Giocoso". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 5. Episode 16. 2006-04-09.
^E709 "Untethered". Law & Men: Criminal Intent. Season 7. Episode 9. 2007-12-06.
^E722 "Frame". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 7. Episode 22. 2008-08-24.
^E901 "Loyalty". Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Season 9. Episode 1. 2010-03-30.
^S9E03
^S9E07
^S9E11
^S9E12

External links[edit]