17 September 2020 | TheLittleSongbird
Bringer of dawn
"Eosphoros" (interesting title) was one of my first 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' episodes when starting to get into the show in my late teens. Back then it struck me as interesting enough but not exceptional or attention-grabbing all the way through. Watching more 'Criminal Intent' episodes subsequently not long after, "Eosphoros" didn't strike me as memorable as a lot of the episodes watched after and to be honest was soon near-forgotten about apart from the beginning.
Re-watching it recently, while there is a good deal to like about "Eosphoros" it still struck me as unexceptional and the second half was a good deal better than the first. So above average if it is stuck with but considering how one knows what the show is capable of this disappointed, and as far as the early season episodes go it's one of the lesser ones easily. Compared to other episodes of Season 4 and of 'Criminal Intent' in general, this episode felt on the bland and not particularly memorable side in a season that had a lot of tense, intricate and emotional episodes. Good idea, unevenly executed.
The episode is slick-looking and visually doesn't try to do anything too fancy or indulgent while also not being too safe. The music is not too dramatic and to me doesn't over-emphasise. Enough of the script intrigues and entertains, Goren's perceptions and such are as apt and amusing as one expects. The second half is better than the first, thanks to the chemistry between the responsible (an interesting and creepy dynamic), a few surprising twists that make what seemed obvious at first not so much and of course Goren (a lot of fun at the end). Didn't see the final solution coming.
Goren is still the fascinating lead character that plays a big part in the show's appeal. Love his and Eames' chemistry and Eames has some nice snappy banter that contrasts well with Goren. Can see nothing bad about Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.
Having said all of that, the first half to me was on the mundane and ordinary side, not much tension and with not enough to make it stand out. Too much of it felt predictable and the pace lacks tautness. Frank Whaley overdoes it as Mitch, almost unintentionally comical in his final scene, where his moods and reactions being borderline erratic.
While enough of the script intrigued and entertained, some of it is too conventional early on and other parts, like at the end, were on the overcooked side. Goren's final line is quite terrible, one of his worst ever final lines and not worthy of him, and a line that will make atheists in particular grimace.
Concluding, not a bad episode but uneven. 6/10