Law & Order: Criminal Intent (season 5)

The fifth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent premiered on NBC on September 25, 2005, and ended on May 14, 2006.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Season 5
LawAndOrderCI S5.jpg
Season 5 U.S. DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 25, 2005 (2005-09-25) –
May 14, 2006 (2006-05-14)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
Next →
Season 6
List of Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes

This season featured the series's first two-part episode and "Cruise to Nowhere" was referenced later for an eighth season episode titled "All In".

This season of Law & Order: CI remained in its time slot of NBC Sunday's at 9PM/8c, its final season in this slot on NBC; its move to Tuesdays in the sixth season caused a ratings decline. During the 2005–2006 network TV season episodes were up against episodes of Desperate Housewives on ABC and episodes of Family Guy and American Dad! on Fox. The show "roller coasted" in the ratings with the competition, but NBC executives were impressed with the 11 million viewers per week it was able to retain.[1]

Cast and crew changesEdit

Veteran stars Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Jamey Sheridan, and Courtney B. Vance returned for the fifth season of Law & Order: CI. This season, long-time Law & Order franchise actor, Chris Noth reprises his role of Detective Mike Logan partnered with Annabella Sciorra as Detective Carolyn Barek, alternating episodes with D'Onofrio and Erbe (all four work together in the two-part episode "In The Wee Small Hours"). This stemmed from star Vincent D'Onofrio fainting twice from exhaustion, once on set and again at his home, during the fourth season.[2]

In February 2005 it was announced Noth would be joining the cast, reprising his Law & Order character after a ten-year absence. "The hardest job in show business is being a single lead on an hour drama series", creator and executive producer Dick Wolf explained. "Vincent has done an unbelievable job for the last four seasons, but after 3 years, the grueling pace finally took its toll. This is an ideal solution so that Vincent can continue to do the incredible work that has become the hallmark of the role. I've worked with Chris over the past 17 years, and bringing him on to reprise one of the most popular characters in the history of the brand, is a win-win situation."

Chris Noth (pictured) portrayed Detective Mike Logan from Law & Order's inception in 1990 until the fifth season, then portrayed him in a Law & Order television movie in 1998, and an episode in the previous season.

Executive producer and show runner at the time René Balcer added, "Having written for Chris during the five years he was on Law & Order, this is a unique opportunity for me to revisit an old friend and take Detective Mike Logan into uncharted territory. We like trying new things at Criminal Intent, whether it's asking our fans to decide a character's fate or using rotating leads. As Vincent said, cool counts, and we think this idea's pretty cool. Adding Chris and a new partner to the mix allows us to create a fresh dynamic while remaining true to what's made 'Criminal Intent' a success."

Star Vincent D'Onofrio noted about the changes, "I love this show, and I hope to stay with it as long as it is on the air", D'Onofrio added. "After recently working with Chris on an episode, I am excited about what he will bring to the show creatively, and my reduced workload will be very welcome." Noth started, "It's great to be back working with Dick and Rene and to be in the Law & Order family again, I felt very much at home when I did the guest shot and realized how terrific the cast and crew are, it was an offer that I couldn't refuse."[3] During an interview with TV Guide, Courtney B. Vance noted how grueling the episodes were for stars D'Onofrio and Erbe, because they were in just about every scene, with Noth and Sciorra joining the cast Vance says D'Onofrio and Erbe got a break, "Chris has a wonderful energy. He likes to have fun and joke around. He and Annabella love each other, too. The seamlessness of the transition [between the two sets of leads] speaks right to the genius of Dick Wolf."[4]

In May 2005, it was announced movie actress Annabella Sciorra would be joining the cast of L&O: CI as Detective Barek, partnered with Chris Noth's Detective Mike Logan. Dick Wolf commented, "Annabella is an extremely talented and versatile actress, who has that rare combination of beauty, sex appeal, power and humor. I also anticipate she will have terrific chemistry with Chris."[5]

At the end of the season, Sciorra and Courtney B. Vance decided not to renew their contracts another season, in the sixth season, Sciorra was replaced by Julianne Nicholson who portrayed Detective Megan Wheeler; after this season, if an episode needed an assistant district attorney character, it would be portrayed by a guest star; in season 6 for two episodes each, Theresa Randle and Bridget Regan portrayed ADA's Patricia Kent and Claudia Shankly respectively.[6]

Jamey Sheridan announced he would be departing the cast of the show at the end of the season. Mostly because Sheridan's wife and children lived in Los Angeles at the time, he had to commute weekly to New York City to film episodes. Sheridan's character leaves the NYPD rather than face bogus charges set up by former Chief of Detectives Frank Adair (Michael Rispoli), whom Deakins refused to protect against charges of murdering a woman and her husband.[1][7] In the sixth season, Sheridan was replaced by Eric Bogosian who played Captain Daniel Ross.

Co-creator and show runner René Balcer and executive producer Fred Berner departed the series at the end of the season; Balcer returned to the original Law & Order series with Burner for its eighteenth season, the episodes in the seventeenth season faltering. In the sixth season, Balcer was replaced by long-time Criminal Intent staffer, Warren Leight, Berner replaced by Norberto Barba.


Main castEdit

note: for the first of only two times in the series (next in season 9), all the detectives work together in consecutive weeks, episodes 6 and 7 ("In The Wee Small Hours"), due to a particularly challenging case involving a judge.

Recurring castEdit

Guest starsEdit

Notable guest stars in the fifth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent consist of: Chris Noth and Olivia d'Abo in the season premiere episode, "Grow". Noth returned to portray his role of Detective Mike Logan, who joins the Major Case Squad; leads Chris Noth and Vincent D'Onofrio alternating episodes. Olivia d'Abo returned in her recurring role of Goren's nemesis, Nicole Wallace; she helps the detectives close out the murder of a health inspector, who was the brother of Wallace's lover (Kevin J. O'Connor) at the time. Rebecca Wisocky guest starred in the episode "Diamond Dogs" as Dede McCann, a drug addict who manipulates her son Johnny (Peter Scanavino) into doing her bidding. Elizabeth Marvel portrayed the kidnapped wife of a prison warden in the episode "Prisoner". David Keith portrayed a dirty cop named Mark Virgini, who was in league with mafiosi. Susan Misner portrayed Sister Olivia, a woman in a convent who knows something about a murdered nun.

Fred Dalton Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson portrayed District Attorney Arthur Branch between 2002 and 2007; starring on the original Law & Order and both L&O and Law & Order: Trial by Jury in 2005. While he made many guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, he only appeared in Criminal Intent once, in the episode "In the Wee Small Hours". In that episode, Colm Meaney guest-starred as Harold Garrett, a corrupt trial judge whose entire family (Lucinda Jenney as his wife Elise, Matt O'Leary as his son Ethan) is on the hook for the murder of two young girls. Billy Lush returned to portray Conroy "Connie" Smith, the antagonist of the episode "Sound Bodies", in the first part of the two-part episode. This was the first episode that Geneva Carr began to portray television news reporter Faith Yancy, a recurring role she played until the ninth season. Fred Dalton Thompson portrayed District Attorney Arthur Branch in the second part of "In The Wee Small Hours", Branch the district attorney in the Law & Order franchise at the time. Samantha Mathis guest starred in the episode "Saving Face" as Dr. Christine Ansel, a doctor involved with the murder of a medical student. In "Scared Crazy", Jennifer Van Dyck played a secretive therapist named Katrina Pynchon who manipulates her patient, Robbie Boatman (DJ Qualls), when a programmer at a hi-tech company is murdered.

In "Dollhouse", Heather Burns and Elizabeth Berkley portrayed two sisters who are involved in the murder of a car salesman. Malcolm McDowell guest-starred in the episode "Proud Flesh", in which he portrayed a powerful media magnate whose son is found murdered under bizarre circumstances. In the episode "Wasichu", David Alan Basche played the husband of a murdered secret service agent. Sherri Saum portrayed Lydia Wyatt in "The Healer", as a woman who performs voodoo rituals as part of an elaborate con. Lou Taylor Pucci guest-starred in the episode "Cruise to Nowhere", playing Joey Frost, a kid who get wrapped up in the world of gambling and the murder of a cruise patron.

Whoopi Goldberg guest starred in the episode "To the Bone" as Chesley Watkins, a woman whose former foster children rob and murder several rich people. Carolyn McCormick guest stars as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, who helps Logan deal with his guilt after shooting an undercover cop, who incoincidently is one of Watkins's former foster children. Robert C. Kirk portrays Chief of Detective's Yarrow until the end of the season; he comes in after Logan shoots undercover Officer Tarkmen and Captain Deakins (Jamey Sheridan) is accused of trying to promote Tarkmen to clear Logan. In the episode "On Fire", Michael Rispoli guest stars as Frank Adair, which is a Sing Sing to serve life imprisonment after murdering two people. After Goren and Eames discover Deakins was set up by friends of Adair, Deakins confronts Adair about it. Adair denies any involvement.


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
901"Grow"[8]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Marlane Gomard Meyer
September 25, 2005 (2005-09-25)0500110.72[9]
As returning Detective Mike Logan joins the Major Case team, Detective Goren finds himself confronted again with Nicole Wallace (Olivia d'Abo) – his murderous nemesis; when he and Detective Eames check out the drug-related slaying of a city health inspector. The key link is the victim's brother Evan Chapel, (Kevin J. O'Connor), a recently widowed medical examiner who is romantically involved with the re-surfaced Wallace, and the investigators fear that the man's young daughter might be Wallace's next victim.
912"Diamond Dogs"[10]Norberto BarbaS : Warren Leight & René Balcer;
S/T : Charlie Rubin
October 2, 2005 (2005-10-02)0500212.35[11]
Logan and his new partner, Barek, investigate a series of robberies in mom-and-pop jewelry stores that are escalating in the level of violence. After a home investigation leads them to a young junkie, Barek and Logan are soon led to a mother-and-son crime team, and the mother is pulling all the strings. Logan is uncomfortable when Barek uses his past to get through to their suspect.
923"Prisoner"[12]Rick WallaceS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gina Gionfriddo
October 9, 2005 (2005-10-09)0500312.89[13]
A prison warden William Hendry (Corbin Bernsen) claims he was brutalized and forced to pay a $50,000 ransom for his long-kidnapped wife, but Detectives Goren and Eames are puzzled when they discover that the missing woman has been happily cohabiting with an escaped prisoner for 10 years. Amid a backwash of lingering secrets and lies, the investigators re-visit the warden's past and recall a famous axiom – follow the money.
934"Unchained"[14]Alex ZakrzewskiS : René Balcer;
S/T : Stephanie Sengupta
October 16, 2005 (2005-10-16)0500411.53[15]

After the son of a police officer is mistakenly murdered, investigating Detectives Logan and Barek step into the middle of a brutal mob war that also has ensnared dirty cops who sold out to help the rival crime families. But when Captain Deakins informs Logan that he wants both the tainted officers and a mob underboss, Logan takes aim at one decorated ex-officer, Detective Mark Virgini (David Keith) and finds himself the public target of the man's lawyer who claims the detective has a little "history" of his own.

Inspired by Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa crimes.
945"Acts of Contrition"[16]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Warren Leight
October 23, 2005 (2005-10-23)0500510.45[17]

When an esteemed nun who helped child prostitutes get off the street is slain in her inner-city church, Detectives Goren and Eames focus on a determined young man Eddie Roberts who is seeking justice for his older brother who was incapacitated after a racial hate crime. But the detectives know the case could hinge on a guilt-stricken young nun Sister Olivia (Susan Misner) at the church who knows more than she's telling.

Cuban Link guest stars.
"In the Wee Small Hours"[18]Jean de SegonzacS : René Balcer;
S/T : Stephanie Sengupta
November 6, 2005 (2005-11-06)05006
A visiting Iowa teen disappears during her New York City school trip, prompting a massive media frenzy that engulfs Detectives Goren, Eames, Logan, and Barek when their prime suspect Ethan Garrett (Matt O'Leary), is a powerful judge's son. The case widens when it appears the accused's philandering father Harold Garrett (Colm Meaney), is a co-conspirator who acted to protect his son – and might be a murder suspect himself – but he is not afraid to punch back hard against the investigators.
The case continues as the evidence mounts against the judge, who strikes back in very personal ways against Detectives Goren, Logan, and Barek. Meanwhile, ADA Ron Carver has to try to deal with convicting the judge's son whose defense deals with dirtying the good name of Detective Goren, by pulling an old letter that Eames gave to her superior officer back in 2001, requesting a new partner due to Detective Goren's unique methods. But as this occurs, some new evidence comes to light which may pull the judge's whole family down with him.
978"Saving Face"[20]Rick WallaceS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gerry Conway
November 27, 2005 (2005-11-27)0500810.95[21]
When a female medical student is found mutilated after returning from Guatemala, Detectives Logan and Barek think that the victim was an unlucky drug "mule" who smuggled narcotics; but evidence leads to a tony Park Avenue cosmetic surgeon, Christine Ansel, (Samantha Mathis) who might be running a fraudulent charity in Central America. While the doctor is celebrated for her donated work in facial reconstruction among the region's poor natives, both she and her nurse's aide, Antonio Morales (Vincent Laresca), are hiding dark secrets that require many masks.
989"Scared Crazy"[22]Marisol TorresS : René Balcer;
S/T : Diana Son
December 4, 2005 (2005-12-04)0500911.85[23]
The slaying of a young computer company employee has Detectives Goren and Eames poking around the stealth security employed by rival tech firms where they lock onto an unstable code-writer Robbie Boatman (DJ Qualls), whom they believe is being manipulated by his secretive therapist as Katrina Pynchon (Jennifer Van Dyck). Goren believes the key to the case lies with the suspect's paranoid behavior which could have been exploited after recent weeks of "treatment" under the doctor's bizarre care.
9910"Dollhouse"[24]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gina Gionfriddo
January 8, 2006 (2006-01-08)0501010.80
The gunshot murder of a businessman perplexes Detectives Logan and Barek until they suspect that Danielle Quinn (Elizabeth Berkley), a self-involved mother – has made a cottage industry of blackmailing other cheating family men with phony paternity claims. But the detectives discover that Danielle's seemingly meek and maternal sister Claire Quinn (Heather Burns) could be playing a far more sinister role in the scam.
10011"Slither"[25]Bill L. NortonS : René Balcer;
S/T : Marlane Gomard Meyer
January 15, 2006 (2006-01-15)0501110.82[26]
Detectives Goren and Eames encounter a gang of high-class low-lifes led by Bernard Fremont (Michael York), a slimy European with a taste for aging blondes and fine wine, who befriends, kills and robs tourists. Goren, however, is shocked to discover that the master murderer shares a connection to a deadly nemesis. The detectives try to outmaneuver the effete but effective Bernard; and his posse of adoring women who kill for him, until Goren's language skills help him zero in on a crime spree that spans the globe.
10112"Watch"[27]Alex ChappleS : René Balcer;
S/T : Charlie Rubin
January 22, 2006 (2006-01-22)0501210.52[28]
Detectives Logan and Barek question a loner airport worker about a series of bizarre murders involving prostitutes whose bodies are found after being pushed out of airplane wheel wells. Ethan Embry and Brad Renfro guest star.
10213"Proud Flesh"[29]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Warren Leight
March 12, 2006 (2006-03-12)0501312.27[30]
When the son of a powerful radio magnate Jonas Slaughter (Malcolm McDowell) is found murdered under bizarre circumstances, Detectives Goren and Eames believe the crime is connected to a power struggle over the family trust as they focus on the patron's Chinese-born wife, Anna Slaughter (Cindy Cheung). However, the detectives also keep circling around a pair of Anna's friends; a kinky professor who is her ex-husband and a mysterious businessman, both of whom had their own reasons to kill.
10314"Wasichu"[31]Christopher SwartoutS : René Balcer;
S/T : Diana Son
March 19, 2006 (2006-03-19)0501411.38[32]
The brutal beating murder of a female Secret Service agent in her home has Detectives Logan and Barek sniffing around the many clients of her husband Jay Kendall (David Alan Basche), a well-connected lobbyist who is working both for and against an unpopular tribal Indian gaming casino on Long Island. But the detectives want to know why the victim's husband hid his laptop and shredded files soon after discovering her body; and his curious dealings with a slippery congressman widen the police investigation to include more hidden crimes.
10415"Wrongful Life"[33]Darnell MartinS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gerry Conway
March 26, 2006 (2006-03-26)050159.22[34]
A crucial file in an ugly $20-million lawsuit may be the catalyst behind the murder of a daring young man (Vincent Piazza) who was killed while trying to steal evidence for a "wrongful life" court case; all of which has Detectives Goren and Eames sorting through a dysfunctional family looking for likely suspects who might want the documents. While the son is a prime suspect, the key clues could lie with his bitter mother Victoria Carson (Talia Balsam) who is suing a doctor for not revealing years earlier that her unborn daughter had a debilitating orthopedic problem; a fact which could have prompted her to abort the baby.
10516"Dramma Giocoso"[35]John David ColesS : René Balcer;
S/T : Stephanie Sengupta
April 9, 2006 (2006-04-09)0501610.00[36]
There's high drama in the opera house when a young violinist is pushed to her death and Detectives Logan and Barek check out the arrogant conductor Philip Reinhardt (Julian Sands). Turns out Reinhardt also has been conducting an affair with his soprano, Gillian Booth (Alice Krige); who happens to be the victim's mother. While the detectives theorize that Reinhardt actually was romancing both women, they receive jarring medical news that sheds harsh new light on the evidence.
10617"Vacancy"[37]Jean de SegonzacS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gina Gionfriddo
April 16, 2006 (2006-04-16)0501711.91[38]
When one of two bridesmaids is found murdered in their hotel bed, Detectives Goren and Eames initially suspect two men that the women met in a bar. But when the survivor, Alice's (Emily Bergl) story keeps changing, evidence suggests an actor; Tim Rainey, (Desmond Harrington) posing as a taxi driver might have played a role. The detectives peel back the layers of the suspect's life and discover disturbing evidence, family history; and his penchant for researching twisted subjects for future acting assignments.
10718"The Healer"[39]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Marlane Gomard Meyer
April 23, 2006 (2006-04-23)0501811.13[40]
Two sisters found wrapped in plastic "cocoons" and asphyxiated have Detectives Logan and Barek questioning one victim's boyfriend who works for Lydia Wyatt (Sherri Saum), a local nurse suspected of extorting money from patients with voodoo. Logan initially questions Lydia and soon runs afoul of her "powers." As the detectives gather bank transfer documents, they learn from experience how people can live in fear and false hope from Lydia's potent spells.
10819"Cruise to Nowhere"[41]Marisol TorresS : René Balcer;
S/T : Warren Leight
April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30)050199.69[42]
When the body of a former school chancellor is fished out of the Hudson River, Detectives Goren and Eames find out that he was a high roller on a casino boat off the New York coast. They soon zero in on Joey Frost (Lou Taylor Pucci), a talented but arrogant young gambler who was owed $500,000 by the victim. But the police also cannot ignore the dead man's resentful brother-in-law Phil Lambier, (John Pankow) when they discover that he not only raised Joey, but taught him poker and intentionally placed him on the ship on the fateful night.
10920"To the Bone"[43]Jean de SegonzacS : Warren Leight & René Balcer;
S/T : Charlie Rubin
May 7, 2006 (2006-05-07)0502210.35[44]
A rampage of brutal machete slayings that target affluent art owners has Detectives Logan and Barek looking for some young suspects who were all raised by Chesley Watkins (Whoopi Goldberg), a strong-willed foster mother. But the case really blows up when Logan unknowingly shoots an undercover cop dead; and while Captain Deakins sticks his neck out for his detective, a shaken Logan must go eye-to-evil-eye with the manipulative Chesley.
11021"On Fire"[45]Frank PrinziS : René Balcer;
S/T : Diana Son
May 14, 2006 (2006-05-14)0502111.92[46]
When a church worker is found dead after the latest in a series of arson-fueled fires, Detectives Goren and Eames trace evidence back to the dysfunctional family of one sanctuary's youth leader, Justin Reid, (Josh Hamilton). Just as pressing is the personal matter weighing on Captain Deakins, whose intervention on behalf of one detective prompts a vengeful cop, Frank Adair (Michael Rispoli); already in prison to launch a vendetta to oust him.
11122"The Good"[47]Christopher SwartoutS : René Balcer;
S/T : Gerry Conway
May 14, 2006 (2006-05-14)0502011.92[46]

In the season finale, after a suburban couple is found bludgeoned to death, Detectives Logan and Barek suspect that their drug-troubled son Kevin Colemar (Keith Nobbs) killed his parents for their cash stash. But when a local investigator (Kevin Dunn) pressures the kid into a confession, the city cops discover a conflict of interest. While another suspect with close business ties to the victims emerges, Captain Deakins encourages Logan and Barek to pursue the non-jurisdictional case; and ponders his own future with the NYPD, choosing early retirement instead of trying to fight an interdepartmental battle.


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  10. ^ "Episode Guide: Diamond Dogs". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  12. ^ "Episode Guide: Prisoner". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  13. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. October 11, 2005. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  14. ^ "Episode Guide: Unchained". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  16. ^ "Episode Guide: Acts of Contrition". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  18. ^ "Episode Guide: In the Wee Small Hours". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  20. ^ "Episode Guide: Saving Face". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  23. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. December 6, 2005. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
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  25. ^ "Episode Guide: Slither". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  27. ^ "Episode Guide: Watch". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  28. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. January 24, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  29. ^ "Episode Guide: Proud Flesh". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  31. ^ "Episode Guide: Wasichu". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  32. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 21, 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  33. ^ "Episode Guide: Wrongful Life". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
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  47. ^ "Episode Guide: The Good". NBC. Retrieved 24 February 2009.

Preceded by
Season Four
List of Law & Order: Criminal Intent episodes Succeeded by
Season Six