And for a while I mainlined those episodes like a crack addict. I ordered my days around the airings. I had every episode title memorized. I can talk to you ad nauseum about the 25 or so pieces of art they rotated through all the early episodes. I found a happy little home on a sensible message board that wasn't all about squeeing over how HOT Vincent D'Onofrio is. We had actual sensible discussions, and the mods formed some connections with the show's staffers. The writers would do interviews with us once in a while. It was all good.
When season six rolled around, the show runner/head writer/co-developer Rene Balcer left the show, turning the reins over to longtime staff writer/playwright Warren Leight.
With Warren (in concert with Vincent) we got a lot more storylines over the next two years of a personal nature. The characters were frankly put through hell/kidnapped/imprisoned/etc. Hell, he brought in Marsha Norman to write/story edit a couple of bang up episodes! The trouble with putting your characters through every conceivable trauma is... there's no where left to take them. So...
Season nine begins in one week. Stay tuned to watch what's left of the fandom completely melt down.
It was announced some months ago, that the original cast -- Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe were leaving the show as was Eric Bogosian who came on board at the start of season six after the departure of Jamey Sheridan's Captain Deakins. Vincent has said he wanted to leave the show. I am not so sure Kathryn did but she's been a trooper, and Eric has said he's glad to have more time to pursue other projects. All we know for sure about the characters' futures is that the premiere two-parter "Loyalty" features "a death, a resignation, and a promotion."
But in the meantime, Twitter is full of postings like:
@USA_LawOrderCI NO GOREN and EAMES NO CRIMINAL INTENT! u destroyed the show! how dare u? Nichols SUCKS!!!
I am sad because the show I loved is changing, but it's been coming on for a couple years now.
The most vocal of the cranky fandom has sent marshmallow fluff to the set and to USA in protest of the changes made to the show. It's an interesting thing to observe for anyone looking at fandom's perceived entitlement.
here is the new face of Criminal Intent:
Goren and Eames... I will miss you. I will miss one of the most complex and subtle TV partnerships I've ever seen. That was my chief delight with the series. Two professional partners of different sexes w/o an ounce of sexual banter. Well maybe just a whiff of it now and then when they went undercover. [Oh, that deleted scene from "Shandeh" ... so much fun!] Although more often then not, when undercover they turned into bickering spouses! Eames, she was the strong stoic one. The one who was a better shot. Capable, even from the first episode of taking down a perp with a swift knee to the groin. And her male partner loved her for it. He loved to stand back and watch her take down perps twice her size. Goren was the quirky thinker, the sensitive, the brooder, the child struggling to care for an ailing hospitalized parent.
In eight seasons, we never saw them share a meal together. He only ever called her by her first name ONCE. She has been calling him Bobby almost from the beginning.
They often didn't agree, but they worked through their differences and came to each others aid when needed. The were PARTNERS. I'm not even sure that they were even that close off the job. I'd like to think they went for drinks sometimes. There's a couple of canon mentions of that. But nothing terribly concrete. This is handy for fanfic, but somewhat frustrating when trying to stay true to canon.
So as the show prepares to bid farewell (one way or another) to Detective Alex Eames and Detective Robert Goren ... so do I. Vincent has said in interviews that his character gets a good end, and I hope so. I am very attached to these two fictional people, and I want canon to treat them as well as possible. I want to think of them off pursuing other things, off tackling other challenges. I'd prefer it if they were doing that together (in a non-shippy sense) but I think the last two seasons have been bringing us to this divergence point.
And this fan will miss them.