This season has not been a good one for SVU. The stories have been uninteresting, with flat performances from just about everyone. But for the episode “Snitch,” it combined to create a bore of a show.
The episode begins with some people sent to clean up the East River finding a body intermingled with trash. While investigating, Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) come across a “body” nearby. What was ridiculous about this scene is you see Stabler checking the “body” for ID but not checking if the person was actually alive. How crazy – and uncaring – is that? For someone in special victims, he sure seemed insensitive here. Of course, the man is still alive and flees but is caught. All the detectives caught was a red herring, since this man had nothing to do with the case.
The investigation leads the detectives to a woman who performs female circumcisions, and then to the victim’s family. The husband is immediately suspect when he tries to flee, but we also later find that he is a witness in a murder trial AND a polygamist. He is being assisted in his case by an attorney Sarah Flint (Tracy Middendorf) who later turns out to be one of his wives. (Got it so far?) The detectives assume that the man – Chuckwei Bothame (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) – was not the murderer of his own wife but they believe it was “D King” (Method Man) who did it to prevent Chuckwei from testifying against him. Of course, seeing that the detectives have moved along in this case with little proof of anything, it’s no surprise when they later discover that Chuckwei’s wife/attorney was the real murderer.
During all this twisting and turning, we are assaulted with cheesy graphics (Chester’s tidal flow graph which looked amateur) and annoying comments by Chester (Adam Beach). Do the SVU writers think that people don’t understand the simple flow of water in the rivers – in some cases from nearby tidal flow – that not only do we have to see a graphic of water with arrows showing the flow that Chester had to verbally explain it too?
I have to admit that I thought Gloria Reuben did a good job as ADA Bureau Chief Danielson, but where was Casey (Diane Neal)? I don’t understand why she wasn’t used for anything in this show.
In this episode, as in many others for SVU, they forgot the main case at hand and seem to divert the story too much to the case where Chuckwei was to testify and the related problems. SVU would be much better if they could just focus on one case at a time and not overly complicate them. Funny thing is that if the detectives would have done a little better in solving the murder of Chuckwei's wife, the whole thing of witness intimidation and Chuckwei’s changing his testimony may have never been an issue.
So I don’t think I would be tattling if I said that this episode was poorly executed and would be no great loss if you missed it.
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