One of the better episodes this season, it managed to be about sexual abuse and a topical issue but in a way that fit well together and wasnt super over the top about the message. Well, until the scummy green card guy started ranting about immigrants stealing their jobs and medicare and stuff, because I guess the show thought we didnt quite yet get what a piece of crap this guy was. Other than a few weird scenes and plot threads like that, I found this to be a very engaging episode.
Lets start with the good. The case of the week was interesting, wasnt another story about affluent white people in a he said/she said story, the acting from the guest cast was great, and I found all of the stories to be really well done, if pressed for time. I liked the diversity of the victims involved and the differences in their individual cases, and it took a few turns, but was mostly a straight forward case without anything too melodramatic happening. I did end up wanting to know what happened to the women who got pregnant and the Irish couple, but at least we got to see a happy ending with the one couple who had a daughter. The guy playing the bad guy was remarkably scummy, and the courtroom scenes were quite well done as well, especially as compared to a lot of courtroom scenes this season, which hardly seem to exist sometimes.
This was probably the best Rollins episode all season, even though I continue to roll my eyes at them so often casting her as the "hot chick" in undercover jobs despite her very limited abilities as an undercover cop. She was actually competent and responsible and likable, and not being all crappy to her co-workers for no reason or flying off the handle or just generally being unprofessional. I also liked the new transit cop, he was really likable and interesting and I especially liked his scene with the husband where they were speaking Hebrew to each other. He has a lot of personality, and I hope that he shows up again, either reoccurring or as a new addition. This squad still seems terribly understaffed!
Carisi also had a lot of good scenes, and he is finally starting to feel like an actual ADA, getting the feel for his courtroom persona, and learning how to really think like a lawyer and not a cop.
I still like Garland a lot.
This isnt specific to this episode, but I cant stand how Olivia talks to victims, leaning down towards them and whispering platitudes and telling them how they should be feeling. It just feels so condescending and inauthentic, like she is talking to a little kid and not a grown person who has gone through something awful. Olivia really wasnt too bad this week, probably because she was more on the back burner, but I just cant stand that victim voice. I dont think that someone who has been horribly treated wants to feel like they arent being taken seriously.
What the hell was that opening? Why are we watching Benson get her mail? Why are we watching some random guy tell her to smile? Just to throw in some other random "dont forget, patriarchy bad!" moment? Why bother when the rest of the episodes makes that point but a million times more effectively? Why do we have this random bit where a bunch of people scream at the cops for arresting the skirt creep and it goes viral? That literally never came up again! I thought there might be a payoff, where we find some evidence on that video that the skirt guy ditched, or the guy playing the race card with the video would effect the trail, but nope, it was just random! It was just to...remind us that if we see someone seemingly getting the crap kicked out of them by the cops, we should just let the cops go about their kicking? After we just did an episode about corruption in Vice?!? The opener was weird, and hardly even tied into the episode, beyond the skirt guy getting caught, which we could have easily done without Benson's morning walk and the "New Yorkers hate cops" aside.
No to Carisi and Rollins drama. No no no!