Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Law & Order SVU “Harm” is Harmful to Watch

The episode “Harm” originally aired on October 23, 2007. I recall watching it and really disliking it, but despite my memory, I watched it again.

What a mistake.

This episode was probably one of the worst episodes of SVU ever. Even after watching it a second time, I still have not been able to find out who murdered the very first victim, the woman who was stabbed and left to bleed to death. If anyone can enlighten me on if that murder was resolved, I’d appreciate it. Either way, they seemed to drop what appeared to be a true “special victims” case, and move on to a second death of a man that appeared to be a victim of torture. In fact, I am not sure SVU should have even handled his case.

Along the way, we get preached at about torture and we get to sit in while torture victims recount how they experienced torture, etc. Yes, we know. Torture.Is.Bad. I don’t like people being tortured either, but I also understand that not all issues relating to torture are black and white. This was one episode of SVU that I could have done without the heavy handed, propaganda-like treatment of a subject. It really added nothing to the story except to insult the intelligence of the viewer.

The only gem was Munch (Richard Belzer) commenting that, much to his “Orwellian delight” he was able to get security camera footage. Later, Stabler (Chris Meloni) comments, while watching more surveillance footage from another source, “Security cameras across the globe. Munch will never leave the house again.”

So if you haven’t watched “Harm”, I say don’t harm yourself and skip it.

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Anonymous said...

hehe ALL of their episodes are that heavily propagandist, and intentionally so. they're just trying to make you think. while i agree that sometimes it does get annoying, there are also times when they come up with a situation that i haven't given a lot of thought to or don't care too much about. the thing is, what i don't know much about isn't necessarily the same thing that my neighbor doesn't know about, and hence sometimes there are topics that just aren't that interesting to me. (similarly, just b/c you may know something about terror doesn't mean someone else knows a whole lot about it)

daniel said...

i just watched this episode and thought it was excellent, really moving and that doctor deserved what she got!, but i sort of agree with you that SVU shouldnt prosecute this type of cases, since its not really a sex crime.

Anonymous said...

You're perhaps right, the episode "Harm" was a tad more sanctimonious than usual, but it is a particularly favourite of mine largely because it prominently features Tamara Tunie as Werner. I'm so glad they finally made her a regular cast member, after having her only as recurring for several years, but they should find a way to use her a lot more than they do.

sirmikelogan said...

I somehow just saw this one for the first time yesterday. I didn't think it was as bad as you did, but still didn't particularly like it. It was one of those that started out okay but just completely crapped out halfway through, like about half the season 12 order.

I think what the show tried to get across was that George Thomford (I think that was his name, the rogue marine guy) was the one who killed the woman, but he clearly skipped the country so they couldn't really do anything about it. Maybe offscreen somebody was trying to pull strings to get him back to the USA. The show definitely wasn't clear enough about that though.

And you're right, the relentless political BS got very old, very fast.

grandmasvideos said...

I can't believe you watched it TWICE & couldn't figure out who killed the first victim,the woman. If you'd have paid attention,you'd have caught that the same one that killed her also killed the cab driver that was tortured. SHE was helping him because he was a victim of torture & she was writing a story about it,that's why she was killed. Watch the darn episode again & this time PAY ATTENTION!

Tom Vann said...

I agree. Too heavy handed and one-sided as well. In 2014 it seems even more ridiculous.

sean m said...

Yeah, this show is usually politically biased, but Harm is one of the worst episodes they've ever put out. SVU had no business prosecuting this case and if this had actually occurred in real life, the case would have been dropped because it's a federal matter and any evidence or facts would have been declared "classified." The suspension of the doctors license was also overboard and unrealistic because the investigation would have also been shut down and labeled "classified." This episode is nothing but an anti-American pipe dream written by anti-American, anti-war progressives. I missed it the first time it aired. I wished I missed it in reruns.

Johnathan Kamuda said...

I don't know, I think there was enough of "in hard times do what you gotta do" rhetoric as well. It wasn't ALL "torture is bad".

The doctor's lawyer, his story about breaking a guys arm to save a little girl? The doctor asking repeatedly how else would the people like us to protect ourselves from an enemy we can't see?

I'm sure there was plenty of other lines talking about that kind of thing. I really came away feeling split on the issue, like most people should be since it's extremely grey.