Sunday, June 26, 2011

See Ya Around, Detectives

My day sucked a big fat ostrich egg today.  Well, that's more polite than saying it sucked something else.

More pain, more tears, slept too long, frustration from the kids, made my mother mad, what else could go wrong?  Oh, I decided to be a stubborn bitch and not take any medication today because I felt too "drugged" yesterday and I slept too long.  Brilliant idea, by the way.  My trigger points are killing me today and I spilled near-boiling water on my shirt making a fucking pasta salad I didn't even want to eat because my mom asked me to do it.

I was ready to go to bed at six...

but I couldn't...because my favorite detectives were fading to black tonight.  Supposedly.

I'm kind of waiting with baited breath that USA will renew their contracts for eight more episodes next season.  Eight episodes seemed to be the magic number.  Now, I'm not by any means praising EVERY episode this season.  What has been different is the groove.  Goren and Eames felt like, well, Goren and Eames.  Like partners.  Like partners who had worked together for ten years and knew each other well, and not only knew each other but WANTED to work together, because there was magic when they did. And the quirky, sharp, and intense moments we had come to look forward to had returned.  Bobby was less damaged (finally...thank God...anyone else who had suffered all he had would have swallowed his gun by now).  Alex was more interactive with him, more like she had made peace with herself and with him.

In this case, it's clear the magic is also what goes on behind the scenes--writers, cameras, producers, directors.  Was that Gloria Allred tonight?  And Cynthia Nixon last week in a fabulous role.  Obviously James van der Beek--yes, Dawson--was there tonight, playing the devious Rex.  You know, the guy you wished had done it but unfortunately was too self-involved to care enough to kill anybody.

A lot of fans have talked about the "cliched" moments between Goren and his psychologist, Dr. Gyson, played (in my opinion) brilliantly by Julia Ormond.  I've thought Julia was a fantastic actress ever since I saw her in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" almost twenty-five years ago.  And she's been the perfect intellectual and emotional match to get into Goren's head (wtg, writers!).  She spoke truths about Goren that we all knew but he failed to acknowledge, because of the obvious--fear.  It's his achilles heel, matched with his anger, and what draws fans like me to want to turn a fictional character into a real live man to rescue.

It's been amazing to me how much they've been able to show multiple sides of these characters that we didn't know in just eight episodes.  One of my favorites this season was when Bobby and Alex stopped by her dad's place.  We saw a different side of Alex--one that was frustrated with her father's shortcomings.  For eight years we heard about her dad, her father, her old man.  The cop that fell short on the job and everybody knew it, but his daughter seemed to love him anyway and often shared anecdotes about him.

And Bobby?  We're still left with wondering where Donnie went, how he's related to little cousin Molly,  but understand that his psychologist is going to challenge him to find the man inside the cop...which sums up Goren nicely.  Maybe if he was more comfortable with the man he was rather than only the cop he is, his glimpses of personality wouldn't be so aggressive or violent.  (I worked on a degree in social work and have a bachelor's in psychology.  I'm programmed to analyze.  So sue me.)

At any rate, I remember sitting here a year and a half ago, watching some form of hideousness that somebody tried to play off as a goodbye to two iconic characters.  Granted, not everybody likes, or can even tolerate, Goren.  But those of us who do tend to love him, or even love both of them.  Goren without Eames would be like peanut butter without jelly.  And vice versa.

Despite my misgivings that this is REALLY the end of the show, I have to admit that I felt sad watching two characters that I have loved so much fade to black.  I'm thrilled that this ending allowed the partners to not only stay together but to continue to fight crime.  Heck, there was even hope that Bobby might find himself, and STILL be able to fight crime.

I had to remind myself that the end is never the end.  I've long held that I'm not really a huge D'Onofrio fan (actually I really appreciate Kathryn Erbe's skills to play the not-so-bigger than life partner and do so without disappearing into the background).  But the magic of Bobby and Alex--for the most part--has been not only amazing, but damn fun to watch.  Her snarkiness and his physicality, and their protectiveness of their relationship as partners was nothing short of moving.  And this last episode, despite the fact it seemed to bounce as much as Eames alluded to Rex's naked butt, gave a wonderful opportunity to give us exactly what we love about our detectives.

Favorite line-  It has to be when Eames is explaining what "Kismate" is and Goren asks her if she has a subscription.  The "no" she replies with is nothing short of the snarkiness we'd expect.  Fabulous.

Goren squeezing into the seat next to Rex and using his entire body to squish Rex as much as possible was classically true to character.  Perfect, almost as much as his mock improvisation of a caveman "foraging" to PJ, the boy in the blue knit cap.

The scene with Dr. Gyson, where he accuses her of lying to him but without his usual anger, was a wonderful summary of where he has been and where he is going.  And the fact that he insisted she see's true, our Bobby can trust more people than Eames.

But the finale wouldn't be the finale without the final scene.  Eames waiting for Goren outside of his therapy session was a classic twist on Season six's second episode, directly after Eames' kidnapping.  What's good for the goose, I suppose, right?  And the look of sheer pleasure on her face at seeing him, and his shy return of the same look...wonderful.

"Let's go!"  And they did.  The only fault I could find was the damn're driving to a DOA.  Shouldn't you put on a seatbelt, folks?

One thing that struck me so fantastically this season is how energized both D'Onofrio and Erbe seemed to be, as though they were thrilled to be back.  Personally, I don't think that either of them expected such an uproar from their fan base.  Knowing that despite the politics that went on at their departure, they were wanted back by Dick Wolf, by their old crew, and by their fans must have made for a brilliant homecoming of sorts.

Detective Eames will always be there, in my mind, to balance out Detective Goren's more daring nature, and he will be there to urge her to stretch out of the box.  For several years I have welcomed them into my home, and i will continue to do so with reruns and DVDs.  Thanks guys, for giving me such pleasure for so long.  Thanks a lot.

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