April 8th, 2008

Law and Order

I like to watch Law and Order: Criminal Intent, but only the shows with Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe. I have a crush on Goren. His character fascinates me.

I want what he has. Not the tendency to bend sideways or the stubbly chin, but his deeper qualities.

He’s frighteningly observant. He finds the moment when the ostensibly Japanese woman reaches for the door ahead of her companion, the flaw in the cop’s vision, the cuts in the calf muscle of a dead girl. He notices what is important.

That, in turn, means that he has knowledge. He’s always reading something or has read something that makes sense of what is going on, whether it’s a textbook on organic chemistry or Hesse’s Siddhartha. He eats information, digests it, incorporates it into his being, and then deploys it.

And, finally, he knows what he thinks is right. In one of the episodes I watched last night, he was the only one who thought the death penalty was inappropriate for a particular murderer. His experience of the man made him understand that the murderer was just as appalled by what he had done as everyone else, that he suffered from guilt, that he felt remorse. He worked harder to elicit a confession and, importantly, an apology, from the man in order to make that sentence difficult to get. In another episode, he pursued the truth even when everyone else was comfortable just having someone to blame. He wasn’t swayed by Eames’s emotional upheaval. It upset him that she was upset, but he knew what he had to do.

Like I said, I want what he has.