CI, Episode 2.03
Production number: E3203
First aired: 13 October 2002
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Nicole Wallace
Teleplay By
Eric Overmyer

Story By
Dick Wolf, Rene Balcer & Eric Overmyer

Directed By
Adam Bernstein

The murders of a university president and his assistant leads the detectives to a visiting professor who turns out to be an evil 'international' criminal.




Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




"In American literature, the descent into madness is usually preceded by obsession. A consuming obsession. Example, anyone? Alright, I'll get you started. Moby Dick. What characterises Ahab's obsession? Yeah, in the back."
"The dogged unrelenting pursuit of evil."
"Interesting. Evil. I always fancied it was man's unrelenting pursuit of his own potency. Alright everyone, I expect you to make a dent in Moby Dick by the end of the week."
"Sometimes a whale is just a whale."
"Nothing is ever just something. Not even detectives."
"Or professors. Or graduate students for that matter."
"That sounds a bit ominous."

- Nicole Wallace and Robert Goren

"I can't have you here. You're relieved of your duties, as of immediately."
"In that case, you're under arrest."
"For what?"
"You just got fired. You're in violation of your work visa."

- Christine Fellowes, Robert Goren, Nicole Wallace, and Alexandra Eames

"Very good, detective, did you memorize the Oxford tour guide on your way here?"
"No." (chuckles) "No, I spent a couple of weeks there once… chasing co-eds."
"It took you that long to catch one? I'm shocked."
"Well, that's very funny, professor."

- Nicole Wallace and Robert Goren

"I didn't tell them about the shoes. It's that big detective; he noticed them."
"That 'big detective' is smart."

- Mark Bayley and Nicole Wallace

"You know why the battles in academia are so vicious? It's because the stakes are so low."

- Christine Fellowes

"Everyone knows academics are all talk and no action."

- Nicole Wallace

"Professor Sanders wasn't in that night grading papers, was he?"
"True or false, Miss Goodman, and we don't give 'incompletes'."

- Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames

"When I met you, you wanted me to know who you truly were – how smart, how funny, how charming you were. You wanted me to know you, Nicole Wallace, the sparkling little girl who survived horrible abuse with her wits intact."

- Robert Goren

"I did meet Nicole before I left for England. She told me things."
"Where is she now?"
"I don't know. Carried away by dingoes? It happens a lot in Australia."

- Nicole Wallace and Robert Goren

"It wouldn't butter your parsnips."

- Nicole Wallace

"That's my social security number and my birthdate."
"Yes. Remarkable. The fountain of information that can spring from those little numbers. Home address. Next of kin. Mother's maiden name. Mother's address. Tell me, Robert, how often do you get up to the Carmel Ridge Center?"

- Robert Goren and Nicole Wallace

"No. You want to play, then it has to be tit for tat."

- Robert Goren

"My turn. How old were you when you first realized your mommy wasn't like all the other mommies?"
"Were you ashamed?"
"And frightened. My turn."

- Nicole Wallace and Robert Goren

(Talking about Nicole Wallace) "This woman's very, very good."

- Robert Goren

"What'd you think, she'd have scones and a glass of sherry for us?"

- Alexandra Eames

Background information and notes

Goren birthday, SSN

Robert Goren's birthday & SSN.

  • This is actress Olivia d'Abo's first appearance as Detective Robert Goren's nemesis, Nicole Wallace.
  • In this episode we learn that Goren was born on 20 August 1961, and his Social Security number is 845-67-3906. He also visits his mother once a week, and talks to her every day. In later episodes we learn that their relationship is somewhat troubled.
  • This episode shares some similarities with the Charles Sobhraj case. He is a French serial killer of Indian and Vietnamese origin, who preyed on Western tourists throughout Southeast Asia during the 1970s. (Source: Charles Sobhraj at Wikipedia) Nicole Wallace also preyed on tourists and was imprisoned in Thailand as an accomplice to her boyfriend. Like Sobhraj, Wallace enjoyed the special attention she received from her crimes.
  • Harvard University's undergraduate student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, suggested in October 2002 that the episode's premise was lifted from the nationally-publicized, real-life squabble between HU president Lawrence Summers and African-American Studies Professor Cornel West. In real life, West wears an afro haircut and goatee, teaches American Studies, and was criticized by HU president for releasing a rap music album. Like West, the fictional Professor Roland Sanders of the history wears an afro haircut and goatee, teaches American Studies, and is criticized by fictional Professor Winthrop for releasing a rap album. (source)
  • Sanders is the name of the largest lecture hall on Harvard's campus, while Winthrop is a traditional Boston family name with long ties to the Harvard campus. In the episode, Winthrop quotes a line of dialogue almost identical to a sentence attributed to Summers. According to the professor, the sentence reflects the charges of racism against criticism of the spoken word.
  • In this episode Nicole Wallace makes a reference to dingoes in Australia. After the Azaria Chamberlain disappearance in the 1980s the story of dingoes carrying away infants became an urban legend. Azaria's parents, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, reported that their daughter had been taken from their tent by a dingo. Lindy was tried and convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Michael was convicted as an accessory after the fact and given a suspended sentence. After all legal options had been exhausted, the chance discovery of a piece of Azaria's clothing in an area full of dingo lairs led to Lindy Chamberlain's release from prison, on "compassionate grounds." She was later exonerated of all charges. While the case is officially unsolved, the report of a dingo attack is generally accepted. Recent deadly dingo attacks in other areas of Australia have strengthened the case for the dingo theory. (Source: Azaria Chamberlain disappearance at Wikipedia)
  • Actor Philip Bosco (Professor Winthrop) is better known for his role as Judge Joseph P. Terhune in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • The name "Mark Bayley" may be a play on words. Among con artists, a "mark" is the target of a con, while in British (and possibly Australian) slang, a "Bailey" is a bathing suit, or swimming costume. In this case, Bayley was a mark, but he was also a swimming costume, in the sense that he covered for Nicole's actions, allowing her to "swim" away (which ties into the idea of Nicole being Goren's "white whale.")

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