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Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Episode 2.23 : A Person of Interest

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

May 18, 2003

Distributor

NBC, USA Network

Genre

Drama, Crime

Show Period

2001 - 2011

Production Company

NBC Universal, Studios USA TV, Universal Network

Cast and Crew


Director

Frank Prinzi

Screenwriter

Warren Leight, Rene Balcer

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Keith Jochim
  • Lou Martini Jr
  • Sean Meehan
  • Keong Sim

Synopsis


Detective Goren comes under intense pressure when he battles his old nemesis Nicole Wallace.

This time Nicole Wallace has resurfaced, as Elizabeth Haynes (nee Hitchens), having gained citizenship by marrying Gavin Haynes, a wealthy businessman. In an attempt to destroy Goren's professional reputation, she tricks the detective into hounding the wrong murder suspect.

Goren and Eames investigate the murder of nurse found slain in her home. They learn the victim had been a Air Force nurse until three months before her death. Within the Air Force, she was assigned to the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program. Shortly before she is murdered (on screen), she opened the door to a jogging partner (who is not shown). It is suggested that the partner may have been a lover. During the investigation, it is strongly suggested that the victim was a lesbian.

Goren and Eames are called to solve her murder because of her connection to anthrax, and their previous case which left them seeking the remaining anthrax bacterium. After determining that the nurse had obtained and sold boosters for the anthrax vaccine from a military contact, the detectives began tracing who might need the boosters. By tracking down a job application she submitted to the Haznostics corporation, they meet the Dr. Daniel Croydon, who is a Haznostics' Lab Director and formerly worked in the Army Bio-weapons Lab.

The detectives investigate Croydon and discover a very arrogant man who has never finished anything he started - including the PhD he included on his résumé. Croydon's wages are being garnished because he has fallen behind in his child support payments. Further, six years ago when his wife developed breast cancer, he did not take care of her. Originally he refuses to answer any of the police's questions, saying he knows they are attempting to frame him. It should be noted that the Major Case Squad unanimously agree that Croydon is the obvious suspect at this point. They think that under increased pressure, the suspect may reveal who has the missing anthrax.

At a press conference called by Croydon, Goren plays on his pathological arrogance to get him into an interview room. Once there, he attacks Croydon verbally, while Eames displays disapproval of Goren's tactics. The next day, Croydon is discovered hanged after apparently having committed suicide. During the ensuing press coverage, Goren's reputation is tarnished. Later, the detectives discover a clue that clears Croydon and proves that the evidence they thought they had was manufactured.

As Goren prepares to have dinner at a restaurant, Wallace appears at his table. She revels in his fallen status. It becomes clear Wallace's intent was to damage the credibility of his insights and theories, not just his career. She discovered the failings of Goren's father as a husband and a parent. Croydon, who "ran out on his poor, sick wife" and was a "deadbeat dad", was thus the perfect suspect to manipulate Goren's resentment. When Goren leaves the restaurant he finds Wallace with Gavin, her new husband. By making her "an honest woman", the man also made her a U.S. citizen.

The detectives discover that Wallace obtained citizenship unusually soon after her fairly quiet marriage. After they tell her they think Gavin bribed a judge to obtain her citizenship, she confronts the judge. Wallace informs him of the investigation and says she will pay any amount to keep him from implicating her husband in bribery. She is then arrested for attempted bribery. A.D.A. Carver reasons that if they can prove she obtained her citizenship under a false identity, Elizabeth Hitchens, then she will be declared a foreign national without standing. As a foreign national, they could compel a blood test to look for either the anthrax vaccine boosters sold or the missing anthrax bacterium.

During a tit-for-tat information exchange with Goren, Wallace says she used his parent's divorce decree to learn about his father. Goren tells her that she had just given up her one chance for happiness with Gavin because she came back after him. Goren adds that he had forced her to face the childhood abuse she never admitted to herself, as well as the fact that she had now become her own abuser. Wallace gave up Gavin "to shoot the messenger" - "That's the price of denial." As the interrogation seems to be going nowhere, Goren claims to find a leak in the evidence bag containing the anthrax. She refuses to believe him, so he runs an anthrax test in front of her. When the anthrax test displayed positive, Wallace remains unconcerned. She indicates that she had been immunized. Eames enters and tells her that while there was no record of Elizabeth Hitchens ever being immunized for Anthrax, Nicole Wallace was. Nicole's true identity thus proved, the detectives are able to arrest her.

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