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The Third Horseman 

Goren and Eames investigate the murder by sniper attack of an abortion doctor - a subject close to Eames' heart.


Constantine Makris


Dick Wolf (created by), Rene Balcer (developed by) (as René Balcer) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Robert Goren
Kathryn Erbe ... Alexandra Eames
Jamey Sheridan ... James Deakins
Courtney B. Vance ... Ron Carver
Robert Stanton ... Dennis Griscom
Marsha Dietlein ... Laura Carlson (as Marsha Dietlein Bennett)
Leo Burmester ... Lorne Cutler
Earl Hindman ... Sheriff
Linda Halaska Linda Halaska ... Susan Ward
Nesbitt Blaisdell ... Mr. McLeish
Michael Countryman ... Dr. Leo Cavella
Phyllis Somerville ... Mrs. McLeish
Richard Topol ... Cutler's Attorney
Tracy Sallows ... Marie Cavella
Christine Jones Christine Jones ... Mrs. Griscom


Goren and Eames investigate the murder by sniper attack of an abortion doctor - a subject close to Eames' heart.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Phyllis Somerville (Mrs. McLeish) also played the role of Louise Politano in episode 3.16, Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The Saint (2004). See more »


Captain James Deakins: This guy has a death-wish, and he's going to take somebody down with him.
Detective Alexandra Eames: We can always hope he gets the order mixed up and shoots himself first.
See more »

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User Reviews

"Life is full of uncertainty. People need to have options"
21 September 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

All the previous episodes of 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' are in my opinion very good to brilliant, such a promising standard for so early on which one doesn't always get with shows, which is a mix of being great from the get go, solid but a little unsettled at first but gets better and doesn't ever take off. There are numerous examples of all three, 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' fits more in the first category though also got better as it progressed.

While "The Third Horseman" is an interesting episode and it is not a bad one at all (far from it), by 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' standards at this point it is a little disappointing and for me it was the weakest of the season in comparison to the previous ten episodes. The previous episodes generally had cases that grabbed me a little more, had more tension (especially "Jones", one of the season's best) and were more balanced.

"The Third Horseman" had a subject matter that is a difficult one to handle, with abortion being so controversial (personally don't know what my stance on it is as there are people for it, people against it and people who can see it from both sides). It is interestingly done enough and raises some interesting points worth pondering upon, but more subtlety wouldn't have gone amiss and there could have been a more balanced view perhaps of it, rather than making it obvious from the get go what side it's on. Am not sure what the episode's general critical reception is, but with such a controversial subject matter and viewers being on both extremes it wouldn't be surprising if it's a divisive one.

Regarding the case itself, it intrigues, it is always great to see how the characters work and their methods on solving a case and it isn't too obvious (apart from the identity of the killer, with suspects being too few, the motive though was less guessable), but it could have been tauter and had more tension. The character interaction and chemistry stuck in my mind more.

In that regard, most noteworthy are the increasing friction between Eames, with the case and subject hitting home with her, and Carver and agreed Goren's appeal to the anti-violence protester. The writing is not perfect but it does provoke though and there are perceptive moments, especially Goren's response when asked about what his feelings are and what he says is very true (it is him at his most honest and perceptive up to this point of the show).

Vincent D'Onofrio shows why he was a perfect choice for Goren and Robert Stanton is a strong presence as Griscom. For me though this is Kathryn Erbe's episode, she has some of her meatiest material yet and brings both edge and pathos to it.

Not a perfect episode or a great one, but interesting and worth a view. 7/10

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