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Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Baggage
Episode 2.11 - Jan. 11, 2003

Lee Tergesen plays Keith Ramsey, an airline baggage supervisor who finds himself being questioned after his colleague, Jenny Sullivan, is found beaten to death in the trunk of her car.

Detectives Robert Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe) are the lead investigators in this edition of the "Law & Order" franchise. (Both actors have ties to Lee in other works -- most notably D'Onofrio in "Bark." Erbe was in "Oz," as death row inmate Shirley Bellinger, but her story line did not intersect with Lee's.)

Ramsey is friendly and cooperative with the detectives as they search Jenny's locker and question her co-workers. They discover a history of harassment, but Ramsey, her immediate supervisor, claims he had no problem with her asserting her ideas and did not condone the behavior of her co-workers.

Upon investigating files of complaints, however, the detectives realize that even though Ramsey claimed to have reported the abuse, he didnít. The only complaints he filed were about Jennyís ideas.

This brings about the first twinge of doubt concerning Ramsey's nice-guy persona.

The detectives find Ramsey in a high-class bar, sipping a martini and eyeing high-maintenance women. It's all very un-baggage-supervisor-like. They quiz him about the harassment reports, but he explains it away. 

The case becomes more complicated when the detectives realize Ramsey is involved in a mail theft and identity fraud scheme -- providing motive for the murder.

Despite all the trouble that's brewing around him, Ramsey continues his pursuit of high-end women. The detectives interrupt his one final flirtation in a classy bar and bring him in for questioning.

The detectives have searched his apartment and discovered his stash of trinkets that he's taken from all the women who have rejected him. Goren scatters the collection of gold lighters, silver card cases and the like all over the table, and Ramsey calmly tries to explain it away.

Under Gorenís characteristically intense interrogation, Ramsey finally shakes his calm facade. He explodes in anger and admits he killed Jenny because he couldnít stand the fact that even though she loved him, he thought she was too dumpy and low-class for him, and he had to get rid of her because she was getting in the way of his scheme. 

Lee's No. 1 booster, Anne, provided this commentary:

This is by far my favorite guest-starring performance of Lee's. There were moments when I hated Keith Ramsey and moments when I felt sorry for him, but I was always fascinated by him. Lee's performance was so subtle, so flawless that I was sitting with my mouth hanging open by the time the show ended.

He played the part of the innocent-but-supportive co-worker brilliantly. Even as his guilt was shown and the cops had him cornered in the interrogation room, he continued the guileless act so well. The play of emotions over his face as he slowly realized he was caught was just masterful. The blow up at the end was perfect because it was so unexpected of the character.

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Related Links

IMDb

Season 2 DVD set

NBC's official page
for L&O: CI

USA Network's page
for L&O: CI

Universal's page
for L&O: CI

Law & Order Guide
"Baggage" info