Farewell, Detective Goren

The new Law and Order: Criminal Intent season begins with a 2 parter that has Detective Robert Goren leaving the show. I knew this was coming, but I'm going to miss the character played so expertly by the brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio.

Why I Like Goren

What's not to like about a man who is smart, well-read, moral, and good at his job? Goren could match wits with anyone and come out on top. I loved the puzzle aspect of CI, and the way Bobby always managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Of course, it's the writing that makes or breaks any entertainment vehicle, but actors bring to life the larger than life characters created by excellent writers.

Why I Like D'Onofrio

What's not to like about an actor who is talented, smart, and good at his job? I assume he's smart, and I like to believe he is well-read also. I base those assumptions on his interest in the life of Robert Howard of Cross Plains, Texas, and his subsequent producing of the movie The Whole Wide World about Howard, the author of the pulp fiction stories about Conan the Barbarian.

I love that movie, and not just because Howard is from the same part of Texas as my husband. In case you don't know about Howard or the movie based on his life, here's the gist of it.

Love Hurts

In the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price, played by Renee Zellweger before she filmed Jerry Maguire, meets Robert Howard who is young, handsome, and rather eccentric. In today's world, he'd probably be diagnosed as bipolar. When they meet, Howard is already a pulp fiction success, and Novalyne is an aspiring writer. Their friendship becomes an odd, rather rocky, courtship that ends with Howard's tragic suicide. The movie is based largely on Novalyne's memoir. She received a writing credit along with Michael Scott Myers.

D'Onofrio was brilliant in the film. If you've never heard of this movie, I suspect it's because it was low budget with little publicity and probably limited release before it ended up in the video store. It's a gem, and D'Onofrio is memorable as Robert Howard, a man who wanted desperately to have a larger than life love but whose true passion was writing the stories of his imagination.

Cast: Exit Right

Along with D'Onofrio, Kathryne Erbe, his dynamite-in-a-small-package partner Eames, is leaving along with Eric Bogosian, their captain who had taken over from Jamie Sheridan left because of his Bell's Palsy. That leaves newcomer Jeff Goldblum at the helm who will break in Brit Saffron Burrows as partner to replace Julianne Nicholson.

Musical chairs in TV land means trial and error testing to see who clicks with viewers.

Takeaway Truth

Farewell, Bobby Goren aka Vincent D'Onofrio and Eames aka Kathryn Erbe. You'll be missed.


  1. Not to mention extremely hot and very desirable! I love VDO!

  2. What a lovely blog entry! Thanks for the good read.

    Once Goren and Eames are gone from Criminal Intent, so I am. VDO was brilliant and took Goren for an unforgettable ride. I loved every minute and am heartbroken it's over.

  3. Thank you for this lovely entry.

    I'll be going out the door with them. VDO & KE are the heart and soul of this show, and they are needed on it.

    And your comment about Eames-dyanmite-in-a-small-package made me chuckle. VERY TRUE!

  4. Lovely post! And I have to add that Bobby Goren is the energy that makes the Criminal Intent world go round. Alex Eames is its axis - and Bobby's. Without her, he'd lose his gravitational center.

    And without these two fine actors, Criminal Intent is going to lose *its* gravitational center. I'll be watching the two-part finale, and then I will enjoy them forever on DVD and in syndication.

  5. Along with D'Onofrio, Kathryne Erbe, his dynamite-in-a-small-package partner Eames...perfect description.

    That was a wonderful good bye post.

    In my eyes it's good that Kathryn and Vincent leave the show together but how they were treated is just a shame. They had deserve a full season to say good bye.

    After their leaving I'm done with Criminal Intent.

  6. I'm so pleased to see fans weigh in on this subject. I'm anxious to see where D'Onofrio and Erbe land.

    Thanks for your lovely comments. We'll all watch together.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

  7. Vincent D'Omofrio is a brilliant and charismatic actor who makes whatever role he undertakes his very own, but his creation of Set. Robert "Bobby" Goren was ecveptional!

    Without VDO and the talented Kathryn Erbe as his loyal and snarky partner Law and Order:Criminal Intent is soon to be defunct especially with the boring Jeff Goldblum as his replacemt.

    I shall greatly miss my weekly Bobby fix, but I have no doubt that the talented Mr. D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe will be succesful in their new artistic endeavours!

    PS> Vincent is sensuality incarnate!!!!!

  8. At first I thought Jeff Goldblum was an addition to the show, not the replacement for Det. Goren. It's not the same. There's no comparison. I will continue to enjoy re-runs, but that's it now. In one episode Det. Goren admits to Det. Eames "I am an acquired taste" and I announced to the TV, with a giggle, "and so yummy!" The show will be missed - it doesn't exist anymore. I'm looking forward to seeing where Goren and Eames pop up next.