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S16.E10: Forgiving Rollins

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Atlanta's Deputy Chief Charles Patton (Hamlin) and his newest detective, Reese Taymor (guest star Dreama Walker) visit New York for a law enforcement conference. When Reese is found unconscious in her hotel bathroom, she cries rape at the scene but changes her story when Sgt. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) arrives. When Rollins uncovers a personal connection to the suspect, ADA Barba (Raúl Esparza) seeks her help in the courtroom and she’s forced to confront the demons of her past to stop a dangerous predator. Also starring Ice-T (Det. Tutuola) and Danny Pino (Det. Nick Amaro). Also guest starring Peter Gallagher (Deputy Chief William Dodds), Delaney Williams (Counselor John Buchanan), Jenna Stern (Judge Elana Barth) and Myk Watford (Captain Sam Reynolds).

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This episode was meh. I'm glad there was no angry Amaro. The episode next week looks interesting. But, I'm biased because Carisi is going to be in that one and I think he's hot.

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Considering all the hype leading up to the episode, I was expecting more but despite discovering that something truly terrible and traumatic happened to one of the show’s main characters, the episode was oddly anti-climatic and lacking in drama. Maybe because they did the big “he raped me” reveal in the promos which have been running for a few weeks now so that sort of took the wind out of the sails. 

 

And now Rollins isn't in the next couple of episode, right? So I'm guessing there'll be no followup, which is annoying.

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I'm not okay with this episode. I know I'm too invested in this show or more so the character of Amanda cause I relate way too much with her, it's not healthy at all, I took the day off work to be able to see this episode in the morning (I'm across the 'pond') so yeah that's how unhealthy my bond to her is.  

I get she blames herself & yes she put herself in the situation but she was raped. Raped. By Patton. And from what Taymor said Amanda is being called a slut back home in Atlanta, she's been slutshamed for years, and her frickin captain (who I wanted desperately to show a better side of himself in this episode but no) comes around to threaten her!? Not okay!  

But like all that back in Atlanta wasn't enough - what support did she get from her squad in NY??? They let her walk off on her own after that & now we won't see her for two episodes. It's so not okay! The bar scene with Fin was cute & all, he did have her back & he did sit next to her in court (unlike Benson *grrr). Nick just mostly squirmed, okay a stinky eye at Patton at the ruling. The office scene with Benson was okay I guess, Liv did get that Amanda needs to stop blaming herself, but then Amanda runs out of the shrink's office and nothing is resolved. Nothing is properly dealt with. Amanda's "It's over" - NO! No it's not. Cause in three episodes we will probably be pretending nothing has ever happened in Atlanta, cause SVU doesn't do continuity very well.

She's just so damn alone! Like even tho I'm a Finanda shipper I have to pull for Rollaro now cause if she doesn't have Nick then she doesn't have anyone. But Frannie tho. Frannie is great.

Argh I'm so miserable I don't know what to do with myself. And now I have the entire day off work as well & I don't feel like rewatching the episode either. I actually feel like breaking up with SVU right now but I'm such a looser I know I'll drag my ass back to it (but not for the next two eps tho, screw 'em)

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I agree that the episode seemed anticlimactic, since we saw the "he raped me" in the promos. From my limited understanding of/experience with rape survivors, for a person to be able to name what happened, to actually say the word, is HUGE. So yeah, since the episode dealt with Rollins denying what happened, then blaming herself, and then finally coming out and saying, "he raped me," for them to have given that away in the promos was, I think, a mistake. Yes, we all saw it coming, but since that was the big moment for her, they should've kept it under wraps.

Criticisms aside, I thought Kelli Giddish did an amazing job. That scene at the beginning where Taymor was telling Benson what happened and Amanda was out in the hall taking the fake call from Fin was amazingly powerful. I loved the juxtaposition of Taymor's description and the expressions on Amanda's face. And I loved her scenes with Barba. Barba is made of win.

I am concerned about Rollins, though. I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that she walked out of the therapy session without even being seen, although I know firsthand what a Big Deal it is to actually Seek Therapy when one has never done so before. But she's a pretty self-destructive character to begin with, and I truly hope she doesn't continue to spiral downward. Every time I think she's hit rock bottom, the writers give her a shovel and she cheerfully continues to dig. But at least her absence from the next two episodes is explained, which is more than we can say for the missing characters most of the time. (Although I really didn't mind Carisi being absent from this one; I kinda like him, but I think Amanda needed to be surrounded here by the ones who knew her best).

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Ugh, I was worried the last scene of this one would be Amanda and a handful of pills. That scene with her ex captain where he was angry she didn't break off a little piece and hand it over to "her good friend" made me ill. Thank God she kneed him. I would have had Frannie follow up with a combination chomp & pee.

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I was also afraid that the 30 seconds were going to cut to Rollins doing something unsavory. I'm glad Fin stood his ground in the bar. You can only hear Rollins say "I'm fine" so many times before you have to take the kid gloves off.

 

Is it just me, or is Buchanan (the big guy) the most scummy defense attorney ever on SVU? Top three at least.

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I was also afraid that the 30 seconds were going to cut to Rollins doing something unsavory. I'm glad Fin stood his ground in the bar. You can only hear Rollins say "I'm fine" so many times before you have to take the kid gloves off.

Is it just me, or is Buchanan (the big guy) the most scummy defense attorney ever on SVU? Top three at least.

I hate that lawyer. It is weird seeing that actor playing someone so scummy when he played the opposite on the wire. You know how good an actor is when you actually despise their character. Edited by Suzy123
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Margaret Mitchell Memorial Barbecue Honeysuckle Washboard

We hold onto that thing because we like to make actors look dumb. 

Ugh APD. I'm from here and I wish we were better than this but frankly in real life not so much. :/

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I'm always amazed at people who scoff at therapy.  Really? IMO, it's such a wonderful luxury.  IMO, it's so nice to be able to explain your troubles, talk about issues, get insight and some tools, to help you feel better.  I guess when you really need help, you resist that way.  Maybe I don't fully understand mental anguish.  I'm just surprised educated people are so anti-therapy.

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I'm just surprised educated people are so anti-therapy.

I guess some people just like to squash their problems down deep in a vault so that they never have to deal with how awful stuff is. Not that I would know anything about that... 

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Morbid, I feel your pain. I created an account so I could post about this episode. I, too, was super excited about what this episode could potentially offer. All I can say is I hope this is preparing us for a huge comeback on Rollin's part.  We are in desperate need of a strong female character right about now. That last scene was shady. At first I thought there was chance she might shoot him when he was walking out of the courthouse. Would I have preferred this course? eh. It would have at least have been more interesting. If she was in a stronger place or had some people to back her, she could have taken Justice down to Hotlanta herself - but it's sure not looking that way. What will come of this time off? Not sure I want to know.

 

A lot of the Attorneys have made me squirm but this Williams is that absolute worst. Throw the remote worst. 

I'm ready for a turn around here. 

Edited by Todaysparkles
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That last scene was shady. At first I thought there was chance she might shoot him when he was walking out of the courthouse. Would I have preferred this course? eh. It would have at least have been more interesting.

 

I'm glad they didn't go there.  Besides the fact that I think they wrote out Chester Lake from the show in a similar fashion (i.e. he murdered someone), I don't see Rollins as being in a place where she'd kill someone.

 

 

A lot of the Attorneys have made me squirm but this Williams is that absolute worst. T

 

I think the actor does a great job at playing a scumbag.  Having said that, I think they've probably overused the character, and his tactics are getting tiresome.   

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We hold onto that thing because we like to make actors look dumb. 

Ugh APD. I'm from here and I wish we were better than this but frankly in real life not so much. :/

 

Wow. I give the APD a million times more credit than what is shown on TV. In fact, if I worked for the APD, I'd be offended. Besides, the portrayal doesn't fit. They way they portrayed this crew comes off more from some mid-sized city in south Georgia - not the Atlanta Police Department. First of all, Chief Turner is black, and nothing like the lecherous, vicious Deputy Chief Patton. I'm not saying the APD is full of saints and choirboys and girls, but there are some really capable, caring professionals. They've been there for my family when they were needed, and when I was living there - no matter which quadrant of the city or whichever zone I lived in - they helped me out as well. The APD shown on SVU is - in my opinion - NOTHING like the actual hardworking men and women of the real Atlanta Police Department. And yes, this includes Atlanta's Special Victims Unit. Unfortunately I had to have dealings with that department when I was 12 or so. I ended up withdrawing my complaint because I could not cope with the idea of talking about what happened in open court, but the detective that I made the complaint to was a stand-up guy and believed me and all.

 

ETA: And the accents... oh, the thick southern accents in this episode. They belong anywhere outside of Atlanta or the very near suburbs - except some of the elderly Atlantans who come from rural towns originally. People have got to understand, there's Atlanta... and then there's the rest of Georgia.

Edited by fivestone
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This show is pretty much running on fumes at the moment. Based on Rollins and the Atlanta chief's awkward interactions last episode, you could see this sexual misconduct storyline coming a mile away. Since I can't stand Rollins at all (both b/c she's a horrible actress and the character's extremely annoying), I just turned this off 10 minutes into the ep. I think it's time to shut down this show.

 

I'll volunteer to sacrifice my first newborn if they agree to bring back L&O original flavor. Meanwhile, I'm just gonna binge watch the L&O Trial by Jury DVDs I have.

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@Tony, L&O: Trial By Jury was actually pretty good, I thought. Even if I still thought of Bebe Neuwirth as Lillith playing a DA. Not her fault, but she is so well known for that role.

I think folks just had franchise fatigue by then and that's why it failed. The LA version of L&O, on the other hand, is best forgotten.

On the topic of SVU, however, I do wonder how long it has left. The cast rotation (to likely save money) tells me the budget is at or close to its limit as it is.

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@TonyOn the topic of SVU, however, I do wonder how long it has left. The cast rotation (to likely save money) tells me the budget is at or close to its limit as it is.

 

How is it doing in the ratings?  Will that determine it's longevity?  I'm over in the UK, and don't pretend to understand the decision-making process on US telly!

 

Regarding this episode, it was another example of the cast being too good for the material in my view.  Raúl Esparza and Kelli Giddish were both excellent, I thought.

 

I don't know what it is about Raúl Esparza - he's not conventionally particularly good looking - but I find him very charismatic and compelling in the role of Barba (I've never seen him in anything else, by the way).   I absolutely LOVED the way he closed the 'discussion' with the Rapist Cop and Hulking Lawyer in Spanish after he'd been dismissed as a 'little Spanish Dandy' earlier in the conversation.

 

Giddish gave a very subtle and understated performance, and it was all the more moving and effective for it.  I cheered when she kneed her former colleague in the balls.  Good Lord, though, what else can they possibly throw at this character?  

 

It makes me uncomfortable that this show in recent years has sought to make it's strong women characters into victims.  There's a whiff of misogyny about it.  She's already a gambling addict with a mentally ill sister, has a history of debt problems, is borderline alcoholic, and is now a surviver of rape.  What's next?  Crystal Meth?  Prostitution?   Or are they going to have some deranged perp kidnap her dog?

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I did like how they made it so the SVU Deputy Chief was actually a competent investigator who saw through the Patton's bullshit almost instantly. I was worried that on top of being a political weasel they were going to make him a crappy cop and the SVU crew were going to have to maneuver around him as well.

 

Also any New Yorkers on this board know what that bar was where Fin found Rollins? That place looked awesome. There was a huge tap list behind Rollins with the word Cask written big in chalk. And then at the bar there was a huge row of beer taps.

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I did like how they made it so the SVU Deputy Chief was actually a competent investigator who saw through the Patton's bullshit almost instantly. I was worried that on top of being a political weasel they were going to make him a crappy cop and the SVU crew were going to have to maneuver around him as well.

 

Agreed! Based on how he's been previously, I thought, "Oh lord... unless a video tape showing concrete proof of the actual rape comes up, this guy isn't want to go along with SVU." But he pleasantly surprised me. So now I think his previous behaviour has been more a thing of not wanting the SVU investigations to stir up a bunch of frenzy or give the police department any more of a black stain than it already has within the L&O universe (not to mention, make him look more competent).

Edited by fivestone
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I didn't want to watch this episode because of it being Rollins centered but I am glad I did. The episode wasn't that compelling/great but I liked it.  I thought Raúl Esparza and Kelli Giddish were really good.  Still not a fan of Rollins but I got another chapter of her life and that fold made me feel for her.  Her whole landslide into drinking and gambling probably was a result of her time there.  Barba can saved any scene ANY time he is on screen.  Raúl Esparza is that good from his timing to his facial features.  I'm tired of Benson (my wish is that she would be taken down by someone and forced to retire ending the show--wishful thinking).

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I absolutely LOVED the way he closed the 'discussion' with the Rapist Cop and Hulking Lawyer in Spanish after he'd been dismissed as a 'little Spanish Dandy' earlier in the conversation.

Does anyone know what he said? I wasn't paying full attention.

 

She's already a gambling addict with a mentally ill sister, has a history of debt problems, is borderline alcoholic, and is now a surviver of rape. 

Depending on the timing of these things, I think a good argument could perhaps be made that a lot of her problems resulted from the rape. She not only had to pretend like it hadn't happened, she was still getting slut-shamed for what did happen.

 

I guess I missed something along the way because I don't understand why Rollins and Amaro act like they barely know each other. We do know they were "dating" at one point, right? When did they break up?

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This performance made me embarrassed for Harry Hamlin, which... is saying something, as that man appeared in the original Clash of the Titans and, I firmly believe, married Lisa Rinna because she is basically his twin. The accent was laughable, along with his attempts at the good ol' boy shuffle.

Finn for the win, as always. Also: my love for Barba grows deeper by the week.

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I'm convinced this show could be Must See TV for me again if it was just Finn, Carisi, Barba, and Rollins. Although Amaro isn't bad when he's not front and center acting like a fool, maybe it's just Olivia I can't stand anymore?

 

She's become such a one note character, it's the same reaction to EVERY case regardless of the victim, facts, circumstance, etc. I understand they are supposed to stand for the victim but they ARE detectives.... So, you know, maybe detect before you draw conclusions every once in awhile??
While this wasn't really an issue in this particular case I just can't stand how her character has not evolved at all in all these years. I wish NBC/L&O would put Olivia out of her (my) misery and let her ride off into the sunset.
 

Back to the this particular episode-
I enjoyed Amanda more than I have in her previous central episodes... Great performance by Kelli Giddish.
As most Veronica Mars fans I'm a sucker for Harry Hamlin as the pervy bad guy... He does sleazy like no other.
I also really enjoyed Amanda's conversation with his wife, the veiled threat covered by her fake southern polite niceness was awesome.

 

 

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Does anyone know what he said? I wasn't paying full attention.

 

Copy/paste from Danny Pino's twitter account: “@AllyisCuriouser: what was Barba's response? played the scene back 3 times but we can't get it to translate...”//C U in court

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How is it doing in the ratings?  Will that determine it's longevity?  I'm over in the UK, and don't pretend to understand the decision-making process on US telly!

 

Well, @pointybird, the show for being 16 seasons in is doing...I guess "respectably well" covers it. The 18-49 demo (which is the be-all, end-all over here in terms of ad revenue; total viewers mean squat over here) was 1.7 with a little over 7 million viewers. But keep in mind that Law & Order: SVU is on the trainwreck network formerly known as NBC, which is a loooooooong way from its glory years with Friends, Frasier, and ER, to name a few hits. So the numbers are relative here.

 

But since SVU barely got renewed last season (and likely due to the cost of such an old show to make since the ratings were still okay-ish even then), and with the cast rotating in and out, as I said, well...I do wonder if the clock is ticking.

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Have all the women on this show been raped or brutally attacked? When is Fin or Amaro going to get raped or something.

Not all the women were raped or brutally attacked. There was that nun who was a reoccurring character. she was never raped or attacked only murdered. 

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I'm not sure what left me unimpressed about this episode. Maybe it was the fact the promo gave away so much of the story, but I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. It almost needed to be a two-parter because I wanted to see more resolution with Rollins. I loved the scene when Barba was prepping her testimony and she admitted the rape. However, I needed a lot more forward progress with her character to feel satisfied. I am tired of Rollins being dumped on and suffer every problem in the book (mentally ill sister, gambling, drinking, enough!), and would like to see some light at the end of the tunnel for her character.

Things I liked:

1. I did like Dodds in this episode- he wasn't the villain in the episode, so he came off much more reasonably. It's too bad that Peter Gallagher wasn't more available ( he's doing a musical with Kristin Chenowith soon) because he would have been a great squad commander.  

2. Not as much Liv and Amaro as usual.

3. Barba- Whether he is "jogging" to track down Amanda, throwing shade in Spanish, or inducing anxiety attacks with his cross examination, he is never nothing less than amazing.

 

Things that confuse me:

1. The title of the episode- No one seemed to forgive Rollins, least of all herself.

2. The point of Patton's wife (again, if this was a two-parter, this might have been fleshed out more)

3. Is Barba the only one who knows the full extent of what happened? That wasn't clear at the end of the episode.

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Things that confuse me:

1. The title of the episode- No one seemed to forgive Rollins, least of all herself.

2. The point of Patton's wife (again, if this was a two-parter, this might have been fleshed out more)

3. Is Barba the only one who knows the full extent of what happened? That wasn't clear at the end of the episode.

I dunno about the title but I guess at least some of the Olivia-fanatics forgave her cause she apologized for that 'I don't have to pay ppl to listen to my problems' line. A line I personally loved cause it was very in character for Amanda to be prickly at such a vulnerable time & I kinda don't mind when Liv gets a little shit thrown her way (sorry not sorry)

As for Patton's wife I felt she was mostly there so Patton could throw long looks at her in the courtroom (as mentioned on the show) & also to introduce Amanda's mother that I've heard rumors we will be seeing later this season.

For #3 I of course don't know but I think that at least Olivia knows, probably the whole squad imo, cause she mentioned 5 years ago ("Can you go back to that detective you were five years ago") which Patton mentioned also & I reckon it was in whatever Barba had written up for the judge. Urgh I still cringe thinking about that Amanda had to work for over a year under that sleazebag after she'd been raped by him.

 

Since I heart Amanda I'm also in need to see some light in her life. She just seems to live such a lonely & gruesome life I find it hard she can even function at times & it just makes me sad.

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Late to the party.

I'm not okay with this episode. I know I'm too invested in this show or more so the character of Amanda cause I relate way too much with her, it's not healthy at all, I took the day off work to be able to see this episode in the morning (I'm across the 'pond') so yeah that's how unhealthy my bond to her is....And now I have the entire day off work as well & I don't feel like rewatching the episode either. I actually feel like breaking up with SVU right now but I'm such a looser I know I'll drag my ass back to it (but not for the next two eps tho, screw 'em)

Sounds like not rewatching was a wise choice. I almost didn't watch because I loathe the character's unwise choices, but I saw it had 8-point something ratings at IMDb (FWIW). The episode title turned out to be meta for me, because it made me almost forgive the character.

I'm always amazed at people who scoff at therapy. Really? IMO, it's such a wonderful luxury. IMO, it's so nice to be able to explain your troubles, talk about issues, get insight and some tools, to help you feel better....

Yeah, if you get a good therapist. But a lot of them are crappy, and they're all expensive. I had one good one, but he had narcolepsy. He would fall asleep if I talked more than literally 60 seconds, so I decided to save my money and work with what I'd learned from the sessions.

...I don't know what it is about Raúl Esparza - he's not conventionally particularly good looking - but I find him very charismatic and compelling in the role of Barba (I've never seen him in anything else, by the way). I absolutely LOVED the way he closed the 'discussion' with the Rapist Cop and Hulking Lawyer in Spanish after he'd been dismissed as a 'little Spanish Dandy' earlier in the conversation....

...3. Barba- Whether he is "jogging" to track down Amanda, throwing shade in Spanish, or inducing anxiety attacks with his cross examination, he is never nothing less than amazing....

I'm riding on the Barba love train too--especially when he caught up to her jogging and said, "Don't make me hurt myself."

...It makes me uncomfortable that this show in recent years has sought to make it's strong women characters into victims. There's a whiff of misogyny about it. She's already a gambling addict with a mentally ill sister, has a history of debt problems, is borderline alcoholic, and is now a surviver of rape. What's next? Crystal Meth? Prostitution? Or are they going to have some deranged perp kidnap her dog?

ITA. It smells of gratuitous violence to me. I was sure her ex-boss who obnoxiously confronted her in the dark on the street was going to shoot her dog. Edited by shapeshifter

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It makes me uncomfortable that this show in recent years has sought to make it's strong women characters into victims. There's a whiff of misogyny about it. She's already a gambling addict with a mentally ill sister, has a history of debt problems, is borderline alcoholic, and is now a surviver of rape. What's next? Crystal Meth? Prostitution? Or are they going to have some deranged perp kidnap her dog?

 

If it makes you feel better, when Elliot was on the show, they threw all sorts of ridiculous problems at him and his family.  I think he even went blind for an episode.  This is just how this particular show rolls.   

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Not all the women were raped or brutally attacked. There was that nun who was a reoccurring character. she was never raped or attacked only murdered. 

And Warner was "only" shot!

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Not all the women were raped or brutally attacked. There was that nun who was a reoccurring character. she was never raped or attacked only murdered. 

And a few seasons earlier that nun was kidnapped but the kidnapper/rapist was arrested before he could rape her.

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Btw, Barba said: "Nos vemos en los tribunales, mi amigo." We'll see each other in court, my friend.

And he was totally playing up his Cuban accent too, which made it even better.

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FWIW I found this episode eyeroll-worthy. I never liked the character of Rollins and I find the actress takes me out of the role. I just watch her and see someone acting, not an actual character into whose world I can immerse myself like, say, Barba or Finn (Ice-T is very convincing! Kudos to him). I feel like this episode had all the ham handed cliches, and it kinda ticked me off that it was SO OBVIOUS that none of the Atlanta squad had any redeeming qualities whatsoever. I like more nuanced portrayals/characters. 

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