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Tara Ariano

S15.E23: Thought Criminal

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An aggressive tactic for capturing sex offenders is used by the squad when they go undercover and target a successful photographer who may have taken his fantasies too far. However, no victim is found, making the case challenging.

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This episode was straight up boring and a bit ridiculous. I could understand the team desperately wanting to get those pedophiles off the street, but their behavior bordered on unethical. The undercover sting almost seemed like entrapment. The prosecution of the case wasn't much better.

Amaro's family problems were snooze worthy. Furthermore, his anger over the case and subsequent attack on the acquitted suspect didn't feel authentic. And for the love of all that is holy, can't we have a cop show without a cop, specifically a male, having a box of pain he wears on his sleeve and is also sporting a short fuse? Amaro is just Elliot 2.0, which isn't very interesting.

On a shallow note, Olivia looked lovely tonight, which was great to see. In past episodes she'd been looking a little rough.

Edited by Enero
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 Okay, so the show presented the case with a richer then usual blend of ridiculous/thought provoking (they don't charge the guy with viewing/possession of kiddie porn, the one charge they have evidence of/ what can we do to stop a criminal who hasn't acted) and we got to see a Barba summation, but.

 

As much as the show often goes off road riding through soap opera while ignoring the case, in this one they went too far the other way. Last year the ep with the music teacher showed his life torched, irrevocably ruined, through a false accusation. But this guy, who is a well known photographer with a gallery, apparently moves in a total vacuum. We see NO reaction to his trial, to what he's accused of, from his wife (who has literally one line) to anybody who has kids at the school. The school where this vicious, pathetic monster BUILT A TORTURE CHAMBER RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. How in God's name is he able to go out in public, have dinner in a restaurant where the entire room saw his trial and what he was accused of on CourtTV? His studio and home should have been egged/vandalized/burned to the ground, he should have lost his business, he should have to fucking leave the country, let alone New York. 

 

And to top it off, Amaro shows up to dole out a little two fisted justice and finds the guy outside the same school, pressed against the fence, taking pictures! And nobody seems concerned at all! This moron deserved that beatdown for stupidity alone, as does every adult on that playground who apparently went "Oh, hey, that photographer torture guy! Oh, he's got a camera, wave honey!"

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I have to agree Snookums, this show is really losing all credibility with me. His describing what he wanted to do with a little boy and actually having built a room to do it in should have been tabloid fodder for weeks. How every parent in New York doesn't have this douchebag in their cross-hairs is one of the most unrealistic things I've seen this season and that includes all of Lewis' amazing abilities as a supervillian. Pedophiles are the lowest of the low and this guy was someone that even other pedophiles thought was a sick freak. I'm wondering why I still watch this show. Fifteen years is a long time but I am having my doubts about tuning in next year even though I love Raul Esparza and there have been the occasional decent episode this season. I wish they would go back to how it was in the early seasons. It really was a great show back then.

Edited by Desperately Random
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I'm sad. I didn't like the ep and that like almost never happens. Sigh.

I mean the only highlight was Murphy undercover. Oh and Rollins' hairporn.

Malina was creepy but the case just never took off. I mean here's the funniest guy from the cubicles & they ruin that cause now I'm thinking all he did at the Office was to watch child porn. And then not even Barba could light the courtroom on fire, and Nia certainly not. So disappointed. And it felt as though they even tried to make Murphy a little less likeable in this ep and all I could think about was how he will exit next episode.

And speaking off the season finale... c'mon Amaro. You do look smashing in orange and I'll tune in to see Munch (of course!) but I already know I won't like the finale. Amaro says he cares about his daughter (and son) but then why the hell would you do something that stupid!? Now you'll never win a custody battle. The creep deserved a beating but c'mon. And I can't believe I'm saying this as a Finanda shipper (shipwrecker?) but why even go there with Rollaro if they don't put anything of it in a ep featuring his ex. That's just stupid writers. Now Amanda has a (even larger) slut stamp (we all know girls get judged harsher than the guys so let's not even pretend Amanda isn't the one getting the sore end of this deal *no pun intended*) and gets even more hated by the fandom which makes me so sad cause I like that little flawed character so darn much. Not just cause of the hairporn.

I think what the finale this season needed was something involving the entire squad. Like them all being trapped by a psycho and needed to work together to break free. Now we'll leave this season with no closure what so ever between Benson and Rollins, my fave duo Tutuola & Rollins is stuck somewhere mid-season, and Amaro pulls even further away. Not a good way to end the season. Ugh this is making me so depressed since I have no life outside TV.

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This episode was disappointing. I clearly wasn't into it because all I could do was stare at the cartoon foxes on the blouse Nia was wearing while she was making her closing argument.

 

Cartoon! Foxes!

 

What does the fox say? "Not guilty," apparently.

Edited by catalogrrr
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Are these episodes still based on true stories?  Or are the writers reaching even more into their imaginations for story lines?  There's no way that a case should have been brought to trial in this episode.  

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I'm guessing the hacks...um, writers...are in the "pull shit out of their asses" phase with this show, just hoping it flies. Surely there are real news items that can make up an episode even 15 years on?

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Wasn't there a case in the news where some guy had elaborate online fantasies/plans to cook a woman and eat her and they arrested him before he did anything and the case was similarly about whether it was a real crime or a thought crime? I don't remember what happened but this episode reminded me of it.

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de-lurking so..hello! this episode was first aired in the uk last week, thought it was kind of underwhelming... i still love SVU and can't bring myself to hate on it no matter how ridiculous/convoluted it sometimes gets compared to the much older seasons a.k.a alex era! although it wasn't exactly a gripping storyline and it made no sense that they didn't look for evidence that the creep had watched/participated in the online torture that the other man had described to the detectives, but rather went after him for his 'thoughts', i did love seeing badass benson back on form! for a minute anyway, getting all up in that guys face in the interrogation reminded me of when she spoke to Lewis in Her Negotiation, was just waiting for her to say 'what u did i ought to kick your teeth in!' and she brought the shallow and looked very lovely. spring awakening airs for first time in the uk tonight so hopefully that will be better!

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So, "Making Up a Story" and "Building a (never-used!) Torture Chamber" are crimes now?

 

When are the show's writers & set designers goin' to jail?

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Well definately a different story line. I guess to a certain extent it is very prevailant. Especially with the Internet. But to have built a chamber to torture young boys to death in?? That is taking it a little to far.

I was surprised that the guys fell for 14 year old "Lucky" from Thailand, who turns out to be Officer Lily Deng. Only "Flash" Gordon Monleiff wants to meet her. To me it was a little over zealous for Lt Nerdly Murphy to go in the holding cell with Gordon and piss himself because he's scared. But later when he wanted Nick to side with "Erastes" Simon Wilkes in interogation. Sure I would verbally side with a boy lover in my interrogation room when you have to know others are at least watching let alone listeining?? Amaro shoud have felt dirty. Maybe a whisper in the holding cell or on way to lock up but not in the interrogation room. Doesn't this guy(Simon) watch Detective shows?? No he thinks of torturing boys to death! The ease of bringing in Art/child lover "Howard Jefferies"(DeClan) and his dealer buddy Finn to see the torture room made me think he wasn't to worried. But maybe many others perves have seen it to? Finns comment, "NO grass on the infield!" was funny and sad. I was surprised they arrested him so quickly. And as stated above he wasn't even charged with posessing Child porn?

Liked seeing Dr. George Huang some and evaluate Simon. But he hardly interacted with the team.
The lawyer Minnona Efron made Barba look bad. Maybe she should join SVU.
Barba bringing in ex wife Paula Walker and son Bobbie I thought would have broke the case. But not quite. She left him and had a restraining order because of his urges. But it didn't matter to the jury.

Was a bit annoyed that Olivia didn't have as big of a part in this case. But the others did thier part. Actually it semed to be Nick, DeClan and Finn the most. But asking Olivia after she was pushing for info. if that William Lewis was in her mind I thought was good, And her I see a shrink reply was great. Dos that mean she thinks Murphy needs one too? To bad Lewis couldn't have met some of these other bad people. Maybe he would have done some in for us, lol

Elliott or even Brian would have pummeled the guy being outside the school playground taking pictures later that day?? Oh hey, there is that guy from the news, but he got off so our kids are in no danger??!!! Yes the fathers should have chased him off with shovels and pitch forks. The Mothers should have taken the kids away or called the cops even if they say they can't do anything. Officers there is a supected sex offender outside the school fence taking pictures of the kids??? Yes they'd be there. And not as quickly after the guy is being beat up. His photography business would be done! Amaro should have decked him!!! Sure Maria was screwing up a frustrated Amaro becuase she is taking Zara out west to live with her and her new job. But she had offered for Amaro to come and work it out. I knew he wouldn't leave NYC. But maybe when the series is done it could be a story line. Unless he and Rollins become tighter. But especially after Simon Wilkes punched him, Amaro laid into him. Then the PD comes after someone calls and he is arrested. After this I was thinking," What would Cragan do??"

Edited by webruce
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Wasn't there a case in the news where some guy had elaborate online fantasies/plans to cook a woman and eat her and they arrested him before he did anything and the case was similarly about whether it was a real crime or a thought crime? I don't remember what happened but this episode reminded me of it.

 

 

I came here to say I had just watched this episode for the first time and was horrified to find that I had already posted in this thread two years ago. Shows how memorable it was! (My other excuse: I was probably just half-watching it while cleaning the kitchen or something the first time.)

 

Anyway, it didn't make sense to me that they had no problem convicting the first guy even though there was no real 14 year old girl, but they couldn't convict the second guy of trying to procure a little boy after he had specifically agreed to do so. Was their mistake not bringing a picture of a specific imaginary little boy, the way they used the image of the young-looking cop as a 14 year old girl? 

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Necrobumping because was watching a few episodes last night while nursing self through migraine (still here this morning, worse than ever, but roused myself out of bed for caffeine and to post this here before I forget) ...

Couldn't help but laugh out loud (despite it being a particularly gruesome concept episode) when they screen-carded the "Stanshall Innes Gallery" where creepazoid's exhibit was ... not sure if I was only one to get the reference to Viv Stanshall and Neil Innes, original members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who played their possibly best-known ditty, "Death Cab For Cutie" (yup, that's where the name came from) at the end of "Magical Mystery Tour." Innes went on to play the John character and wrote most of the songs for The Rutles.

Nice call-out, writer. 

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