I have two things I would like to point out to previous reviewers. One concerns lack of 'bonus' material, and the other concerns Chris Noth's addition as the HUGELY popular Mike Logan from the mothership series after a decade of 'Exile' (pun intended) to Staten Island.
One previous review raves about the episode titled 'Great Barrier', which features the (nearly) fatal face to face confrontation between Goren and his nemesis Nicole Wallace, but fails to mention the fact that there were TWO different endings broadcast by NBC, depending on where you lived.
The 'bonus' material is the 'second' ending to 'Great Barrier', which is very thoughtfully located on the same disk as the entire episode for ease of comparing.
The first ending was broadcast for everywhere EAST of the Mississippi River (Nicole escapes and lives on).
The second ending was broadcast for everywhere WEST of the Mississippi River (Nicole is shot and killed by Goren).
The neat thing was that viewers got to vote as to which ending would become the official outcome of Nicole's character. (The first ending, Nicole escapes and lives on, was the winner).
(Ironically, in our area, right on the west side of the river, our local station was given the option of which to show, and they chose the East version, so I had never seen the second ending)!
My second item is the puzzling (to me) attacks on Chris Noth and his character Mike Logan. While I am a big fan of Goren and Eames, and agree that Goren's character is the face of the show, the fact is that Vincent had a major issue with his health due to the ultra-demanding workload of being in about 90% of the scenes, and he was either going to have to quit, or possibly be totally replaced if they didn't find a way to lower his workload.
Hence, Dick Wolf swallowed some of his pride and brought Chris Noth's character (Mike Logan) back on board to lighten the load.
All the longtime fans of the 'mothersip' know that Det. Logan was the most popular character by far for those first five seasons of L&O and were delighted to see him return!
The only problem was the producers just couldn't settle on who to partner him with.
My personal opinion was that his first partner was the best (Det. Barek), but his pairing with Det. Fallaci was hugely entertaining due to her getting into Capt. Ross' face, thereby forcing Logan to be the 'voice of reason' between them. The irony was not lost on Logan or the audience.
My least favorite partner for Logan was Det. Wheeler. I just never found her character that convincing. She was too young to be up at Major Case, and she was only there because Ross was her 'rabbi'. She ultimately stayed, I believe, because she was a personal favorite of Dick Wolf. Again, that is just my opinion. Previous opinions have varied, but any weakness of Logan/Noth can be attributed to the writing, as he can only perform to what is written.
And contrary to one previous reviewer, NO actor, including Jack Nicholson can overcome bad writing on an episode, PERIOD!
P.S. I edited this review as I had it wrong on who shot Nicole in the second ending. I originally thought I saw Eames shoot her, but it was definitely Goren, which would have made the most sense when you think about it.