Heartwarming / Law & Order: Criminal Intent

  • For a procedural crime drama, Law and Order: Criminal Intent has its share of Heartwarming Moments. A lot of them center around Goren and Eames's relationship.
    • Eames's testimony in "In the Wee Small Hours" where she is forced to read a letter she wrote asking for a new partner. As she explains, the camera cuts between her devastated face and his hurt-yet-sympathetic face. She says he is an "acquired taste"; in the hallway afterwards, he cuts off her apology and agrees that he is an acquired taste and was lucky she withdrew the letter.
    • Bobby's brother Frank misunderstands the nature of his relationship with Eames, and tells their mother that Bobby has a girlfriend. She insists on meeting Eames, and it's both hilarious and sweet. Bobby's almost bashful when he tells her, laughing a little, that "My mother wants to meet you."
    • Goren rarely calls Eames by her first name, but when they conclude that her husband's supposed murderer was wrongfully convicted, he calls her "Alex" and everyone in the audience squees.
      • Earlier in the episode, we see Goren - who is out on bereavement leave following the death of his mother - ignoring his landline phone when he's being called about the current case. We then see him a few minutes later talking on his cell phone with Eames, thanking her for calling him and telling her he's on his way. He wasn't willing to take the regular call, but he will never ignore his partner when she needs him.
    • Eames is out for a few episodes because it's late in her pregnancy, and Goren is assigned a temporary replacement partner. He doesn't dislike the woman; she's just not Alex. At one point, frustrated at his inability to solve the current crime, he balls up a piece of paper and flings it at her empty desk chair - and suddenly, his own emotions make him realize why the killer has done what he's done. "He misses his partner," he says, and while he's talking about the perp, it's obvious that he's talking about himself too.
      • The same episode ends with him joyfully receiving the news that Eames has given birth to a healthy baby boy and is doing very well. His smile says it all.
    • The episode in which Alex is kidnapped is a combination of this and Tear Jerker. Alex is the one person who really loves and understands Goren, and he is destroyed by her disappearance. We only see him being himself again when he's back at her side.
    • In one episode, a cop who has killed his stepdaughter is holding both partners at gunpoint in a room in his house. Goren is doing his best to be calm, and he agrees that he will stay and remain the man's hostage - "but you've got to let my partner go." He successfully negotiates for Eames to be allowed to leave. (Granted, the cop says afterward that he let her go because he doesn't want to kill her, but that doesn't make Goren's efforts to protect her any less this trope.)
    • In season 9, Alex taking the Captain's job just long enough to ensure Goren is treated kindly in his exit interview before resigning as a police officer, unable to continue on the job without her beloved partner. Cue massive, massive shipping squee and one of the most satisfying exits for a pair of characters in television history (until they came back for season 10; thankfully, their ultimate exit was no less satisfying).
    • Goren telling the psychologist that yes, he loves Eames, is pure heartwarming. He says she's like his big sister; your mileage may vary on whether he's being honest, but it's very satisfying to hear him acknowledge that she has a special place in his heart.
    • The series finale, in which Eames picks up Goren from his psychologist appointment with a warm smile. Earlier in the episode there had been a heavy emphasis on the subject of love, and the ending shot (of them driving away together) assures the audience that whether it's platonic or romantic, there is definitely a lot of love in this partnership.
  • Alex serving as the surrogate mother for her nephew is this in its own right. Sure, it was included as a cover for Kathryn Erbe's real life pregnancy, but it's still incredibly sweet to think of her stepping up to make sure that her sister gets the child she desperately wants.
  • In a convoluted sort of way, the following: In "Gemini" (Season Two, Episode Two), the bad guy of the episode just melts down while in session with his paranoid schizophrenic brother. He just blows up and starts screaming about how said brother was a hindrance and a burden and useless. The brother looks at him, visibly saddened. As they cart the bad guy out, his brother turns to him and says:
    "It's okay, Spence. We're still brothers."
  • Logan finally getting saved from exile on Staten Island after ten years and being allowed to join the Major Case Squad. His former boss, Lt. Van Buren at the 27th, apparently tried for years to get him back.
  • In "The Prisoner," Goren and Eames begin investigating the case of a prison warden whose wife was held for ransom for over a decade and seemed to have developed Stockholm Syndrome. It then turned out the warden had actually paid one of his prisoners to kill his wife in exchange for his freedom, but the prisoner simply held her for three days and let her go, only she had nowhere else to go and had no desire to go back to her husband. She was trying to acquire a loan to start a greeting card company, and the warden feared that a credit check would reveal the money he had stolen and placed in an old account under her parents' names. Beyond that, the husband is an emotionally manipulative asshole whose philosophy on women is that there are two kinds, "showdogs and mutts." Goren and Eames trick him into revealing that he is still the condescending asshole he was ten years ago to get the wife to confess that he's been lying, and while they're dragging him away, Goren tells the wife that she's free to leave. She realizes after all those years she really is and quietly thanks the two.
  • Goren and Eames confronting the FBI at the scene of Captain Ross's murder in "Loyalty" is equal parts Tear Jerker, heartwarming, and awesome, showing that despite their differences with him over the years, they considered him not only to be their respected captain, but also their friend, the latter of which they even state outright.
  • In "Badge", a suspect in the murder of a family of four kills himself by forcibly taking a police officer's gun. The officer is clearly shaken up when asked by Deakins what happened. And while it looks like Deakins is about to chew out the officer for his perceived incompetence, all the Captain does is put a reassuring hand on the officer's shoulder and tells him to wait outside.
  • At the end of the episode "Grow", when it's learned that Nicole took the girl she kidnapped to her aunt's house, Goren all but tears up in relief and happiness—"She did the right thing"—that Nicole had enough of a shred of decency and self-awareness to keep the little girl safe rather than risk harming her.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Heartwarming/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent