Tuesday, February 22, 2005


It looks like the return of Detective Mike Logan to the 'Law & Order' sector of the TV Universe was welcomed by more than just crossover fans. There was incredible spike in the ratings for last Sunday's episode of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'.

Just like another New Yorker who looks exactly like him, Logan is "Mr. Big".

Some might think this crossover would have the taint of "been there, done that" about it; 'L&O' characters are always jumping back and forth between shows. But Mike Logan had been off the flagship since 1995, and as probably the second most popular detective ever on the show, he's always going to draw an audience.

Technically, this isn't a crossover between 'Law & Order' and 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent', however. Mike Logan's life has evolved since he left that parent show; like all characters in Toobworld, just because we couldn't see him anymore, that doesn't mean his life just stopped.

Actually, this would be counted as a crossover between 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' and 'Exiled', the 'Law & Order' TV movie. That's where we got our last update on Logan's life and career after being banished from the 2-7 to the investigative wasteland of Staten Island.

And this crossover served as a forecast of what's to come, because Detective Logan is joining 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' next season to give Detective Goren a break. Each of them will be doing eleven episodes each.

We also got a glimpse near the end of the episode how their methods of investigation differ. When they were trapped in the detention center's lockdown by the bad apple correction officers, Mike Logan cowboyed up; he was hot-headed and defiant, promising to take out at least one of them before they could take him down.

And as for the others, "well, that's what the death penalty is for, gentlemen."

But Goren was subtle, incisive. He got into each of their heads, using psychology to play them against their ringleader so that one by one, they each laid down their batons and walked away from the confrontation.

I'm hoping their individual episodes continue with this demarcation between their styles of operating. When Jack Kelly was first brought into 'Maverick' to play Brett's brother Bart, the scripts still seemed to be interchangeable; either actor could have assayed the roles. Only later did Bart's episodes gain their own voice.

But Goren's method of detection isn't for the bull-headed Logan, so I hope they don't try to force Chris Noth to act as though he's a substitute Vincent D'Onofrio.

And I also hope they get him his own partner so that Kathryn Erbe as Detective Eames can catch a break as well.
(As for Jamey Sheridan and Courtney Vance? They're slacking off enough as it is. No break for them!)

Might I suggest Dana Eskelson, the actress who played Logan's partner on Staten Island? She was able to hold her own against Noth and since she's a relatively unknown, she doesn't bring much by way of preconceptions about her as a person to the role of Detective Frankie Silvera.

I think I speak for most in the audience in that what we know of her, we only know from her role in 'Exiled', but as such I found her refreshing.

But failing that, I think Molly Price as Detective Faith Yokas on 'Third Watch' would make an excellent addition to the 'Law & Order' team. It wouldn't be the first time they brought in a character from an outside show. (Helloooo, Munchkin!)

Not that I'm wishing ill on her home show of 'Third Watch'! In fact, if this past week is any indication, she'll probably have a place to continue as a detective for a long time to come.

I'm just saying, is all........ But it does bring me to the other Crossover of the Week.


No comments: