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S16.E09: Pattern Seventeen

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A serial rapist strikes, attacking young, petite girls during the early morning. Rollins finds a pattern between these assaults and some rape cases she worked on back in Atlanta, but the rape kits for those were never tested. Meanwhile, a judge threatens to remove Noah from Benson's home.
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I hope this episode is not Rollins- centric.

 

Agreed.  I also hope it's not going to be all Benson-angst over the possibility of losing Noah.  I don't really care all that much about their personal lives.

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Agreed.  I also hope it's not going to be all Benson-angst over the possibility of losing Noah.  I don't really care all that much about their personal lives.

 

I still say, depending on how much life SVU has left in it, that Noah will be the reason Liv quits or something. The setup seems to be there, just in case.

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I do hope this is Rollins centric or at least give us some hints to what has transpired with Patton. Since he's back for ep11 I'm pretty sure I'll get my wish too :)

But Noah has just been a pointless plot imo, Liv was supposed to be 'granted' a baby so she could find some peace in this world but instead he just keeps bringing angst. Stupid stupid stupid.

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Too much Olivia and way too much Dodds. I don't get his character. The squad has a case, but he comes in 5 minutes later and bitches about them not having any leads?

I love that there was no Amaro. Rollins is more likable without Amaro.

I'm seriously crushing on Carisi. I wish he was in every episode.

Please no more Noah storyline. I can't standit. It's so boring and I lose interest everytime it pops up.

Also, who was Olivia texting? I wasn't paying attention.

Edited by Suzy123
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Was that Harry Hamlin? Wow, he hasn't aged well. I miss Raul Esparza! I hope he is busy taping for "Hannibal."

Was that him? I thought it was, but then I second guessed myself. He looks really thin.

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The person who asked about Benson texting, it was the Family Court judge.

 

Hi Peter, it was odd seeing Trevor not being a jerk.

 

Next week's promo confirmed the creepy vibes I got from the phone scene with Rollins and Patton. 

Notably what he said at the end of the convo, really Warren Leight?

 

SMDH...


Yes, that was Harry Hamlin.

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The person who asked about Benson texting, it was the Family Court judge.

 

Hi Peter, it was odd seeing Trevor not being a jerk.

 

Next week's promo confirmed the creepy vibes I got from the phone scene with Rollins and Patton. 

Notably what he said at the end of the convo, really Warren Leight?

 

SMDH...

Yes, that was Harry Hamlin.

 

 

Thanks for the info! 

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I know that it is like flogging a dead horse, but I am glad that at least this show addressed the many thousand of untested rape kits across the country. It seems that no one else cares.

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Next week's promo confirmed the creepy vibes I got from the phone scene with Rollins and Patton. 

Notably what he said at the end of the convo, really Warren Leight?

 

SMDH...

 

Patton is definitely a creep but he's such a cartoon villain.... playing games with the files, openingly taunting and threatening Amanda, leering at that random woman's ass in Atlanta. He was just flat out ridiculous all episode long. 

 

I like Nick well enough but I didn't mind him not being in this episode because it spared us any painful Rollaro interaction. Unfortunately, I'm sure he'll play a big part in the next episode that follows up on the Rollins/Patton thing... and I'm sure he'll swoop in to save her and punch out Patton. 

 

More baby vs. work drama for Olivia. As much as I appreciate the writers trying to show how hard it is for working mothers, especially single working mothers, to juggle home and work, I just wish they would stop with the Noah drama already. Why can't things ever just go smoothly for Olivia? There always has to be some catch or obstacle standing in the way of her happiness. I feel like we're heading towards a big dramatic cliff hanger where she's going to be forced to make a decision to give him up for his own good or some bullshit. Just give her the baby to adopt and then only mention him sparingly from here on out. 

 

Carisi looked good this episode. 

 

What was with everyone knocking on Olivia's door and trying to talk to her while she was on the phone in her office? That would have driven me crazy. Learn some manners and wait till your boss addresses you if you see she's busy. Or everyone questioning her because she took literally 5 seconds to answer a text while they were talking? Someone in her position would be constantly juggling texts, calls and emails and it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that she might have to glance at her phone from time to time. I get that her attention is split between her kid and her work, but her talking on the phone in her office or responding to a text shouldn't exactly set off any alarm bells for anyone. 

 

I don't know how to feel about the big reveal in the promo. I didn't think they'd take things as far as Rollins having been raped in Atlanta. I was expecting something along the lines of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, groping, or even attempted rape... not that any of those things are any less significant or less traumatic than rape, but I just didn't think the show would go there fully with one of their female leads. They always seemed reluctant with Olivia and instead brought her right to the brink of it several times, but never actually followed through (even though it made almost no sense that she wasn't raped by Lewis in all the time she spent with him)...so I was actually shocked by the promo. And while I was intrigued by the idea of finding out more about Amanda's past, and I think this might explain some of the destructive behavior we've seen her display in NY, I'm a little wary that the show is doing yet another big episode focused on making the only other woman on the show a victim. I'm just always a little suspicious of a show's motives when they do something like this to their female characters...and considering all the hype SVU got out of the Save Benson saga, I'm almost afraid of where they'll take this.

Edited by Everleigh
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You know, with all the hype and sensationalism with Rollins' past and Olivia's past victimizations and the recent mustache-twirling villains, SVU seems like it would now be right at home on what's left of NBC Daytime, after Days of Our Lives. I miss when the cases were about the victims and not the cops with their constant personal crises.

 

Warren Leight still hasn't learned the "less is more" rule, I guess.

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Patton is definitely a creep but he's such a cartoon villain.... playing games with the files, openingly taunting and threatening Amanda, leering at that random woman's ass in Atlanta. He was just flat out ridiculous all episode long.

I like Nick well enough but I didn't mind him not being in this episode because it spared us any painful Rollaro interaction. Unfortunately, I'm sure he'll play a big part in the next episode that follows up on the Rollins/Patton thing... and I'm sure he'll swoop in to save her and punch out Patton.

More baby vs. work drama for Olivia. As much as I appreciate the writers trying to show how hard it is for working mothers, especially single working mothers, to juggle home and work, I just wish they would stop with the Noah drama already. Why can't things ever just go smoothly for Olivia? There always has to be some catch or obstacle standing in the way of her happiness. I feel like we're heading towards a big dramatic cliff hanger where she's going to be forced to make a decision to give him up for his own good or some bullshit. Just give her the baby to adopt and then only mention him sparingly from here on out.

Carisi looked good this episode.

What was with everyone knocking on Olivia's door and trying to talk to her while she was on the phone in her office? That would have driven me crazy. Learn some manners and wait till your boss addresses you if you see she's busy. Or everyone questioning her because she took literally 5 seconds to answer a text while they were talking? Someone in her position would be constantly juggling texts, calls and emails and it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that she might have to glance at her phone from time to time. I get that her attention is split between her kid and her work, but her talking on the phone in her office or responding to a text shouldn't exactly set off any alarm bells for anyone.

I don't know how to feel about the big reveal in the promo. I didn't think they'd take things as far as Rollins having been raped in Atlanta. I was expecting something along the lines of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, groping, or even attempted rape... not that any of those things are any less significant or less traumatic than rape, but I just didn't think the show would go there fully with one of their female leads. They always seemed reluctant with Olivia and instead brought her right to the brink of it several times, but never actually followed through (even though it made almost no sense that she wasn't raped by Lewis in all the time she spent with him)...so I was actually shocked by the promo. And while I was intrigued by the idea of finding out more about Amanda's past, and I think this might explain some of the destructive behavior we've seen her display in NY, I'm a little wary that the show is doing yet another big episode focused on making the only other woman on the show a victim. I'm just always a little suspicious of a show's motives when they do something like this to their female characters...and considering all the hype SVU got out of the Save Benson saga, I'm almost afraid of where they'll take this.

Lol@ the knocking on the door. I mean she's on the phone or talking with someone and everyone just barges in and interrupts her.

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Wasn't the judge in the case the one who asked Olivia to take Noah in the first damn place? Why is everybody acting so shocked that a career police officer who's in charge of a squad handling violent, high profile, time sensitive cases isn't fucking home baking cookies every afternoon? This kid was apparently passed around from wolf den to alligator nest to snake pit his entire life and the worst they can pin on his new and devoted foster mother is that she needs to use a babysitter and can't teleport to the hospital? All of you dicks can hold hands and walk into the sea.

Thank you! I came here to write the exact same thing, but you wrote what I wanted to say in a much more, um, colorful way! The case worker in charge of Noah talked about Olivia like she was a junkie. "I try not to look backwards in managing my case files," she said in regard to comparing Olivia as a parent to the 4 probably abusive homes prior. Got to love Trevor/Peter's reply: " Let me do that for you..."

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I really like the attention that SVU (and Mariska Hargitay IRL) insists on bringing to untested rape kits. I can't imagine how the thousands of rape survivors feel knowing that very little has been done to find their assailant. 

 

I forget how much I miss Fin until he features prominently in an episode. 

 

Add me to the list of people who didn't understand why the foster worker was so convinced that Olivia was a poor parent. "She claimed to have not been able to call me back immediately!" Christ, lady, she's a Sergeant in a major city, it's not like she just can't be arsed picking up her phone because she's getting blizted on Franzia by the pool. 

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I really like the attention that SVU (and Mariska Hargitay IRL) insists on bringing to untested rape kits. I can't imagine how the thousands of rape survivors feel knowing that very little has been done to find their assailant.

This problem is dumbfounding. Why do they even bother to do rape kits if they know they'll likely never be tested? Could one of the victims in a case like this episode's sue those other jurisdictions for negligence or deliberate indifference or something? Arguably the NYC rapes wouldn't have occurred if the PDs in the two other cities had fully done their jobs.

 

And did I miss something along the way or have Rollins and Amaro broken up? I was rooting for those two crazy kids.

Edited by Joimiaroxeu
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It has been too long already, that a Sergeant be in command of a significant unit. I think it is beyond ridiculous that a Sergeant needs to do presentation at CompStat and to discuss policies and relationships with other police departments. They do need a white-shirt for this (Lieutenant or Captain or above). Blue-shirts are for operations, not management.

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I don't understand how viewers continually fall for the character-swapping antics that goes on like on these shows; Dominick Carisi and Christopher Melon are a perfect example.

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I don't understand how viewers continually fall for the character-swapping antics that goes on like on these shows; Dominick Carisi and Christopher Melon are a perfect example.

I actually really like Carisi and don't mind that they put him on. Sometimes I hate the new characters that they had before, like Adam Beach's character and that one female ADA they had a few years ago.

 

I think this show is going stale and new characters at this stage don't really bother me as much as it used to. 

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It has been too long already, that a Sergeant be in command of a significant unit. I think it is beyond ridiculous that a Sergeant needs to do presentation at CompStat and to discuss policies and relationships with other police departments. They do need a white-shirt for this (Lieutenant or Captain or above). Blue-shirts are for operations, not management.

I was sick of those old assholes grilling Olivia as if she were the criminal. I wanted her to tell them that if they thought they could do better then they could quit playing with themselves and go do it!

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The show either needs to stop fronting and just promote Olivia to Lieutenant so she'd have the rank necessary to lead the unit - or hire an actor to be that leader. It was always TV, but the franchise used to err on the side of realism, more or less. This is anything but.

 

But with the way the show now seems to rotate cast to save money, perhaps there isn't enough to pay another actor. In which case, have a bunch of pro temps unit leaders with different actors on recurring rather than contract (that method seems to work fine on Bones with its rotating interns), but get Olivia out of the power seat!

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I know this is a random question in the episode, but the little girl's dog that saved her from being kidnapped was okay, right?  Right?!

Yes...the dog was okay, but had to got to the CSU to get his teeth and nails checked for DNA.  The dog was a lucky break for them and I always like a good dog hero story. :)

 

I'm glad that the show brought attention to the untested rape kits.  There's too much "CSI" effect in real life trials, so that's a good thing for the show.

 

The Benson/Noah stuff, however, is a tad unrealistic. Why can CPS ride her ass so hard for sending a nanny and Amaro's mom to the hospital to sit round the clock when she couldn't be there, but never have caught the 3 to 4 prior families that abused the boy? Not sitting next to an unconscious kid 24/7, but having someone  trusted there to look out for him on her behalf, is hardly abuse.  

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I agree with those saying that they need a new leader for the squad. Not for the lack of realism, although it would be nice in a show that seems to be more grounded these days, but because it just works better story wise to have that senior figure to deliver exposition, for those in the field to rebel against and react to, to shorthand that a case is particularly important or sensitive by showing up at a crime scene etc. Right now you have the same character trying to fill some of those roles as well as being the lead protagonist and it just doesn't quite work. It's obvious that there are budgetary issues at play, but certainly some of the money being spent on the new chief and other recurring characters could go to a new Lt. who doesn't appear in every episode. Actually at this point they've probably wrecked Rollins enough that they could write her out and use the money they save to bring in a new female detective (their must be a younger cheaper actress out there who wouldn't mind the exposure) and a captain.

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Sorry for the tacky headline, everyone, but Leight & Co. kind of left me no choice.

 

Under the circumstances, Sarah, you're forgiven.  And you did make a good point:

 

I think the show thinks that Benson is more sympathetic if she's beset on all sides by people who Just Don't Get It, but her increasing insufferability over the last three seasons means many viewers will side with whoever's bagging on her, and even if I still enjoyed her, the golden "beleaguered hero making her way in a cruel world" light she's consistently bathed in is tiresome.

 

I don't find Olivia terribly insufferable, myself--though she has her moments.  But even as a casual watcher I'm getting kind of annoyed with the whole dogpile-on-the-heroine thing this show does with her--particularly now, and not terribly gracefully to boot (which really does make it substantially worse), with the whole working-mother thing.  I get what the show's trying to do with it, and I can even appreciate the idea of it, but everybody that zips in and out that's tied to it tends to be a royal bitch (primary example: the supremely, almost cartoonishly bitchy case worker who first popped up a few episodes back and was pleasantly skewered by Noah's attorney in this episode).  Let Liv be happy for more than one episode as a mother, for chrissakes, and that will make the moments where she's torn between mother and leader/cop work better.  (If this is indeed the setup for Liv either leaving the force or possibly being bumped up or transferred out of SVU, it might warrant more understanding...but I'm not sure they're not going to swerve us on that.)

 

As for the whole Rollins/Patton thing...it didn't help that Patton was rather cartoonish either, but throw in the promo for next week's episode and I have to wonder if this is the show trying to, for lack of a better phrase, run Amanda through the wringer as opposed to Olivia.  Fin being an angel on her shoulder does help, but still.

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Did anyone else think it was significant at the time that the little girl walking her dog thought to shove her earbuds in between the seats to "prove she was there?" Benson and Rollins definitely shot each other a look with that. And Fin and Carisi questioning the father: "you let her walk the dog alone?" I thought the twist was going to be that it was him.

 

Chief Eyebrows annoys the shit out of me. He's constantly bitching at people about not catching perps fast enough but how are they supposed to go about that if he keeps on interrupting to chew them out?

 

I liked Fin's "that's why I never took the sergeant exam." It was a nice nod to the fact that's he's been around for awhile, is a damn qualified cop and could've also risen in the ranks if he wanted to. I've said this before, but Fin's been the only consistently stable and sane one in the unit the pas through seasons and he doesn't get enough credit.

I know that it is like flogging a dead horse, but I am glad that at least this show addressed the many thousand of untested rape kits across the country. It seems that no one else cares.

Benson's speech at the end seemed more like MH's personal soapbox but you know what? I don't care. Rape kit backlogs is a very real issue, it's incredibly shameful and it needs attention.

That promo reveal was so ridiculous that I'm calling fakeout.

That occurred to me too. I couldn't believe they'd give away the whole episode in the promo. I do think that TPTB are going to keep plugging Rollins in the "victim" role though. For years, it was Liv that was stalked, harassed, groped, beaten, almost raped, constantly. Now she's got a kid so TPTB can victimize her through her baby, with gang members threatening him and bitchy social workers who don't understand single parents have to work in order for the kid to, you know, eat. So now Rollins is going to be the one getting abuse from the perps.

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Only SVU could take Harry Hamlin - an actor who's spent the better part of the last decade proving he's more than just a pretty face and putting in some seriously good acting turns on Veronica Mars and Mad Men - and make him into a creepy, terribly southern accented misogynistic police chief. And somehow also make him look terrible, considering he looks like a damn silver fox on Mad Men. You can't do that to a former Sexiest Man Alive SVU; that's just unforgivable.

I used to just want a Finn and Munch buddy cop show. Now I just want a Finn and Carisi show, where they sit around, crack wise, and get some police work done. Those two are the most enjoyable thing about the show now. I'm glad they finally made Carisi less of a joke, and showing that he's actually good at his job - getting the full confession at the end of the ep was good for the character.

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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Being a single parent is hard. It is a juggling act. A million plates and balls to keep spinning all at once. Yada yada yada. I'm over Olivia and Noah. Cute baby. Soul crushing storyline. I don't watch SVU for Olivia in family court every week about on her own case. Jeez!

 

We get it SVU. It's an expensive as hell ass show to make at this point. Either cancel it, or reshuffle. The only constant at this point is Olivia. Use Mariska sparingly, or give it a go w/out her.

 

 

 

Sorry for the tacky headline, everyone, but Leight & Co. kind of left me no choice.

No apologies necessary. This was a ridiculous ep, even for SVU. Keep saying it...this used to be a sad, but good hearted show, dealing w/the reality of "special crimes, special victims". Now it's just an afterschool special. No more PSA's masquerading as tv drama.

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I though the ep was decent, the case & somewhat old school detective work (leg work I think Liv called it) was good. I'm a big Finanda fan so of course it was fun to see Fin looking out for his partner and that he went with her to Atlanta. I like Carisi but I still found it hillarious when Rollins whispered 'thank you' to Liv for sending her with Fin and not him. I do wish they could use the whole squad in every ep though. Leaving one out like this just feels odd and adds to inconsistency.  

 

I don't mind Dodds - I'm with whoever wrote that it's easy to like anyone that scolds at Liv as she's no longer a fun character to watch. Exception would be the social worker though. That was just ridicoulus. Liv is taking good care of Noah so just back off. Mostly cause I don't want any baby drama. It's so boring but I'm still hoping the baby can bring the character Liv around - but off-screen! To see Liv fail (imo) as a boss is just sad, she really didn't learn anything from Cragen it seems.

 

Even though captain Sam was a bit sticky in ep Strange Beauty I've always pictured him as having Amanda's back but in this ep I found him to be a prick. And let's not talk about Patton. I knew Hamlin would play that role brilliantly.

 

And then the promo... Geesh. I dunno what to think, I got so many questions. If it turns out to be not Patton it would kinda spoil the breadcrumbs they've spread out over the years. The 'not worth pursuing' in Educated Guess, not worth pursuing a rape?, only reason for that would be if he was higher rank or if she was intoxicated and/or didn't think she put up a fight. And that's how I think Amanda might be thinking, I absolutetly think any abuse is worth pursuing.

How Murphy's 'blind spot for men in power' plays in to this, if it does, I dunno but in Strange Beauty it sounded as Sam was at least a little caught up on what had transpired with Patton but Amanda might have downplayed it or something. I dunno. As I wrote, too many questions, not enough answers. And we won't have them until Jan 7th. Jan 7th?! That's miles away :(

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I suspect the overarching issue is that Amanda's believability is compromised (note: I don't think this, but I could see her/other survivors thinking this way) because of her addiction issues, history of relationships with dudes she works with, etc. I'm not entirely convinced it's not the *cause* of said substance-abuse/gambling/daddy-attachment challenges, but I'm not AT ALL convinced either that this show in its current incarnation can untangle these questions with any sort of subtlety.

And if Amaro is in the episode and doing his now-customary Madonna-whore snarking, I don't even know. She should fight his trifling ass for real this time. Hate.

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tumblr_lpry975YQM1qkhn90o1_r1_500.gif

Literally all I can think of when Carisi's face is onscreen.

Lol! I think Peter Scanavino's hot. He does have a unique face though.

Speaking of Peter Scanavino's face, what was the purpose of having Carisi interrupt over putting in OT? I didn't understand that at all.

There is a theme of everyone and their mother interrupting Olivia this season. Maybe it is to show that she is busy? It annoys me though.

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I miss when the cases were about the victims and not the cops with their constant personal crises.

Me too. That was always the strength of the L&O franchise. I don't mind that SVU occasionally drops by the personal lives of the characters, but only if it's endemic to the CoTW. This is getting incredibly tedious. It's not why any of us are watching.

 

I know this is a random question in the episode, but the little girl's dog that saved her from being kidnapped was okay, right?  Right?!

I was very disappointed that we never got to see the hero dog.

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It's not why any of us are watching.

 

Believe it or not, some of us actually ARE watching because of the personal stories. I like SVU 2.0, never watched SVU or L&O before Danny Pino came onboard (yes, I'm not ashamed to admit my favorite character is Nick Amaro, which is why I rarely hang out in this forum), and I have zero interest in watching the old eps. But I have to admit, some weeks the soap-opera-ish-ness gets a little too close to the tipping point even for me. Still, I enjoy the show, and will keep watching.

Edited by kirinan
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Believe it or not, some of us actually ARE watching because of the personal stories.

 

Point taken. But that said, a show called Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by its very title should focus...I don't know...on those crimes. When it's 90% personal and 10% case, there's a problem. And this particular branch of the franchise has really let itself go in terms of its reality. Maybe it's because the Mothership and CI (and, I guess, L&O: Los Angeles, though that was barely on) are gone and it is more its own island now, but I wish some of that reality was kept in play here.

 

Admittedly, during the Warren Leight-led seasons (S6/S7) of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, that, too, veered towards more personal, but it was lucky in that Leight was out as EP after that, and others knew when to pull back. So, this is nothing new for the man, but he seems to have lost all perspective on SVU.

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But that said, a show called Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by its very title should focus...I don't know...on those crimes.

 

Point taken there, too. And I admit, I do also enjoy the procedural stuff. It appears, though, that Leight has a definite history of having a bent toward personal stories, so I'm guessing the old-SVU fans are screwed until he decides to leave or the show gets cancelled. Which I'm sure will happen before too much longer, because they must be having budget problems, since they apparently can't pay all their actors whenever they have a guest star, LOL. 

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Point taken. But that said, a show called Law & Order: Special Victims Unit by its very title should focus...I don't know...on those crimes. When it's 90% personal and 10% case, there's a problem.

 

I would just note that SVU has been much more personally oriented than L&O or even CI, since the very beginning of the show.  I mean, with SVU, a huge part of the show is Liv's personal background, and how it affects her work.  And I can't even count how many episodes showed or otherwise involved the Stabler spawn.  I'm not saying these were always the best story choices, but the substantial personal focus has always been there.  

 

 

That was just ridicoulus. Liv is taking good care of Noah so just back off. Mostly cause I don't want any baby drama. It's so boring but I'm still hoping the baby can bring the character Liv around - but off-screen! To see Liv fail (imo) as a boss is just sad, she really didn't learn anything from Cragen it seems.

 

It made me wonder if they are prepping the way for Olivia to leave the show (i.e. they make her choose between the baby and her job, and she chooses the baby.) 

Edited by txhorns79
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Don't really agree with what everyone's been saying.  I thought it was a solid episode since it at least stayed on sex crimes.  But I could've gone without the Noah drama, even if that baby is cute.

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I suspect the overarching issue is that Amanda's believability is compromised (note: I don't think this, but I could see her/other survivors thinking this way) because of her addiction issues, history of relationships with dudes she works with, etc. I'm not entirely convinced it's not the *cause* of said substance-abuse/gambling/daddy-attachment challenges, but I'm not AT ALL convinced either that this show in its current incarnation can untangle these questions with any sort of subtlety.

I won't argue with you except on the 'history of relationships with dudes she works with' bit. Amaro is the only one she's hooked up with far as we know. Her captain made a move on her after she'd transferred and she might have acknowledged some chemistry between them but they never went there as far as we know. And since he was acting like such a prick in the last episode I got a sense that he's feeling scorn.

I'm also nervous on how they'll handle the upcoming episode, being a major Rollins fan I of course hope they'll do a good job but they've failed her many times (perhaps only because they were leading up to this though?)

 

And add me to the people who watch for the personal stories as well, I want focus on the case at hand but the personal bit adds to the plot for me. And they've certainly done their bit of personal stories in the past and it's probably why I'm not that interested in Benson these days. They've milked her dry and with Lewis & Noah, and the fact I think she's a horrible boss, I'm just ready to give up on her completely. But I love learning more about Fin, Amaro & Rollins. I'm hoping Barba will get a bit more backstory as well but I know Warren wants to hold off on Carisi for a while, apparently fans reacted poorly when they did backstory on Amaro & Rollins too early (say what?? we've had to wait four years to learn the truth about Rollins!) so he wants to wait with the introduction of Carisi outside of the squad room. I'm not one of those fans though, I'd take a bit of backstory in every friggin episode if it would be given.

 

Jan 7th it is and it's way too strenuous to have to wait that long!

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Given how much Leight loves to tweet about upcoming episodes, can he please give us a warning when Barba will not be appearing in one so I can just skip the damn thing?  Not just because I love the character (and Raul) but also because that's pretty much a guarantee that the "Order" part of the show will not be happening.  Which usually translates to more personal stories etc... NO BARBA HAS A DOMINO EFFECT, DAMMIT!! 

 

That said, I'm kinda actually interested in wtf happened with Rollins.  I do like the character and Imma need to know why she's such a damn mess.  I guess we already know from the preview though, so whatevs... although that preview showed a courtroom scene, so THERE WILL BE BARBA.  

 

This case was not terrible though and Mariska's agenda or not, the rape kit backlog is a real issue and its about time the show actually addressed it in more than a passing mention given that this is, you know, a show about sex crimes and all.  That said, the "SOLVE THIS CASE RIGHT NOW WHILE WE'RE BADGERING YOU TO SOLVE THE CASE" shit is getting old and tired.  Benson IS a shitty boss, but she's not a shitty cop and it seemed no one fucked anything up here (aside from the other states that did not test the old kits) so if this is going to be a never ending theme, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz for reals.  Come ON, show.  And just goddamn let her keep Noah and they can live happily ever after offscreen.  ENOUGH.   Nice to see Trevor whatshisnuts though, and bonus that he was not an asshole this time.

 

I so wish Belzer or Donal Logue were willing/available/affordable... Benson leading the squad is embarrassing.  

 

No Barba -1

No Amaro +1 

Harry Hamlin as a haggard gross asshole stereotype -1

Carisi as a competent cop and no longer a stereotype +1

Noah drama -1

Lots of screen time for Fin +1

Preview that apparently gives away next episode's entire plot -1

Decent case +1

 

So I guess I rate this episode a 0.  That's pretty good for this season.  

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I so wish Belzer or Donal Logue were willing/available/affordable... Benson leading the squad is embarrassing.

 

So I guess I rate this episode a 0.  That's pretty good for this season.  

 

Donal Logue would be awsome! I think Munch works best where he was, in the spot Benson SHOULD be filling now. I'm kinda surprised we didn't see a Munch guest spot for sweeps. Would be nice especially since a DAs investigator being involved means that it would almost certainly be a Barba episode.

 

As far as the rating I'd say that neutral is about average for this season. There's a lot of improvement in writing over the previous few seasons, but until they fix the remaining issues I thing the best we can expect is meh. They've come up with decent cases surely they can find a way to bring in a new leader and give Mariska something she likes playing that doesn't bore the rest of us? This is soooo close to being a good series again.

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