"Identity Crisis"
CI, Episode 8.03
Production number:
First aired: 3 May 2009
  th of 195 produced in CI  
th of 195 released in CI
  th of 1229 released in all  
Goren and Tom
Written By
Pamela Weschler

Directed By
Michael Smith


Goren and Eames track a man who killed his brother while struggling with his traumatic past and the mysterious death of his mother. The man, Tommy Burris, is revealed to be a con artist who uses the names of dead people in order to make a lavish lifestyle for himself, but never steals anything when he abandons the life he makes. This is revealed to be something he started as a way of comfort stemming from his schizophrenic mother's delusions as a child. Tommy Burris was convicted of his mother's murder by throwing an electric heater into a full bathtub on his brother's word. Its revealed that the cops who interrogated him and his brother Anthony were harsh to them, using scare tactics and had both brothers afraid of things the cops couldn't do.

Ultimately Tommy is arrested and questioned by Goren who is able to put together the truth: Tommy was innocent of the death of his mother, she'd accidentally knocked the heater into the tub in a moment of rage and while in fear, Anthony had lied about it. Goren realized this because Tommy in his interview as a kid had said he was barefoot and the bathroom was flooded with water so if he really had killed his mother, he would've died too or been severely shocked. Goren then reveals to Tommy what he believes to be the real reason Anthony came back: not to ruin Tommy's life like he'd thought, but to seek forgiveness for his actions as a kid that had caused Tommy to have a hard life. The reason behind this sudden attempt was Anthony had lymphoma and only had six months left to live at the most. Tommy and Anthony had been close before their mother's death, and Anthony wanted atonement and forgiveness from his brother before he died. Tommy is horrified and saddened by this realization as he'd had no idea and he confesses to Goren, also telling him that he had forgiven Anthony for what he'd done.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Montauk; Tyler Chisholm; Richard Phelps; Wyoming; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Germany; New Pfalz, Connecticutt; Rhinebeck; Victor Lustig; Princeton University; Princetown Occidental Club; Nantuckett; Haugwitz; Spy Hop House; Arizona; Jeff Walters; George Gifford


Cal Howard: [Tommy] called himself an auto... tridact.
Robert Goren: Autodidact. Self-educated.
Cal Howard: Yeah, that was him.

Thomas Burris: You've got the wrong guy.
Robert Goren: Your fingerprints will prove you wrong.
Thomas Burris: That's all they'll prove.

Robert Goren: You found a solution in your mother's illness.
Thomas Burris: My mother was, uh... she was a schizophrenic. There's no solutions in that.

Anthony Burris: I was worried you wouldn't come.
Thomas Burris: ...19 years.
Anthony Burris: Try 20.

Background information and notes

Background information and notes

Previous episode:
"Rock Star"
"Identity Crisis"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Season 8
Next episode:
"In Treatment"
Seasons 12345678910
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