OK, it's time I swallowed some crow and say this was a fab Goren-Eames episode. In fact, I think that subconsciously the producers and writers may have been sending up Vincent D'Onofrio's Method-acting style a weensy bit (or perhaps Vincent has more of a sense of humor than I've given him credit for). The perp was, after all, a method actor who had his would-be betrothed bumped off as a publicity stunt/audition. Mike Pike put in quite a performance, even getting his hapless sidekick Ed to shoot him in the shoulder during the scene. Later, as TV cameras rolled, Mike did a beautifully rehearsed waterworks in front of the sidewalk memorial ("Nothing like crocodile tears from a crocodile," mused Eames). The most ingenious part of their caper was how the boys attached a tracker to the car of Mike's obnoxious ex, Kelly, to make it look as though she were stalking Mike, and thus killed his girlfriend, Dana, out of revenge. At first I thought Ed's admiration for James Dean, coupled with his puppy-dog loyalty to Mike, indicated a sexual obsession, but that was a red herring Ed was just a real sap. Forget he was suckered into killing Dana by the conniving Mike. It was the underhanded way in which the louse ruined his pal's audition for the Matt Damon movie that floored me. After Mike used an emetic to fake food poisoning, Ed naturally stayed up all night with his pal in the ER to make sure he was OK. By the time Ed auditioned the next day, he was tired, brain-dead and in no condition to perform, as the rushes painfully showed. (Although not being a big fan of Mr. Damon's work, I'd have suspected Mike was doing Ed a favor.) Having been a sap many a time in my life, I could feel for the Edster. However, I can say honestly with my hand on my heart, or indeed Ed's heart, that no one ever goaded me into killing anyone. I agree with Mike's Us Against the World (UAW) conceit in principle, provided the World is in the wrong. But that's not the case when your side is committing... oh, I dunno... murder.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)