CI, Episode 7.12
Production number: CI7012
First aired: 15 June 2008
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Wheeler Contract
Teleplay By
Peter Blauner

Story By
Peter Blauner & Warren Leight

Directed By
Jonathan Herron


Detectives Logan and Wheeler investigate the case of a television news anchor who is blackmailed by a popular tabloid gossip columnist. When the man goes to the NYPD and wears a wire for detectives, the car blows up and the columnist is killed, while the anchorman is severely injured. The detectives find themselves up to their eyeballs in suspects and motives, where no one theory and suspect can be ruled out as a possibility, because the columnist was extorting money from famous people, ostensibly to open a luxurious restaurant and trying to protect his younger sister. The list of suspects include a mobster whom the victim had some major gambling debts and a physician who has operated on many renowned athletes, as well as an unscrupulous filmmaker and his wife/assistant – a studio executive who is disturbed to hear about any drug involvement in relation to a huge star who recently died on set. As Logan and Wheeler begin to stitch together the pieces, they discover a sordid secret life of sex and deceit that could be a motivating factor in the crime.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Contract Man; Albuquerque, New Mexico; New Orleans, Louisiana; Francesco X. Cesare; BPF Productions; New York Ledger; Katrina Nights


: (Police officer informs Logan the victim was trying to blackmail a newscaster)
Mike Logan: Gay sex?
Officer: No, call girls. Think Spitzer, not McGreevey.
: (New York Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 after being implicated in a call-girl scandal. New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey resigned in 2004 after being implicated in a corruption scandal but claimed he was resigning due to his gay sex scandal.)

  • Frank Chess: Where's your warrant? Where's your probable cause?
  • Mike Logan: (points to a warrant in his hand) Here's your warrant, (points to a gun a cop found) and there's your probabal cause.

Background information and notes

  • Mary McCormick makes a cameo appearance as Mary Shannon, her character on the USA series In Plain Sight. During the summer in which "Contract" first aired, In Plain Sight aired directly after Criminal Intent.
  • Contains several references to the 1957 film The Sweet Smell of Success. Logan quotes the line "I love this dirty town!", and T.K. Richmond is obviously based on Burt Lancaster's character J.J. Hunsecker.
  • Spencer London is obviously based on Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died from an accidental overdose on sleeping pills.
  • In one scene the poster for "Carolina Heat" a fictional movie mentioned in Courtship can be seen on the background.

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Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Season 7
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