Lock and load... Chris Noth is back in the L&O universe as Det. Mike Logan. But don't be fooled by those flecks of gray at the temples the dude hasn't mellowed an iota. "I'm a get-along kind of guy," he says, savoring the irony with a pugnacious smile. "I'm just glad to be here." Happily, Logan and Annabelle Sciorra's Det. Carolyn Barek will divide the caseload this season with spoiled, obnoxious Goren and underappreciated Eames (who has a lovely pair of... biceps). Poor Kathryn Erbe deserves a special Emmy just for putting up with Vincent D'Onofrio's serial scene-hogging. He's just asking to be torpedoed by SNL (although that might be asking too much of, say, Horatio Sanz). You know D'Onofrio's ego is out of control when Goren one-ups M.E. Rogers (Leslie Hendrix) during an autopsy. The redheaded Hendrix is the unsung heroine of all the L&O franchises, a fantastic supporting player who adds cool intelligence to every scene she's in. One thinks she would have uncovered the potassium overdose in the victim without Goren's meddling. To be fair to D'Onofrio, he is a master of the face-off. Goren's rematch with the disturbed Nicole Wallace, the sexy South African serial killer who murdered her own daughter, was utterly gripping. Logan described her as "beauty, brains and a complete psychopath my dream girl." That's why Logan is the best L&O cop who isn't the late, lamented Lennie Briscoe. However, I will concede that Goren's compassion for this loony woman was quite moving. Nicole knew she couldn't change her evil ways. She really belongs in an asylum, but she's much too crafty to be caught. At least her psychosis was put to semi-good use to save Gwen Chapel from her demented father, whose practical approach to living might have been the death of the poor girl. A follower of the Hypocritical Oath, Dr. Evan Chapel planned to kill his daughter to garner her trust fund from a legal settlement (long story tied to malpractice and birth defects). "I can always have more children," says the glaze-eyed Dr. Practical. "Where do you get $5 million?" Now that's what I call "planned parenthood."
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