Thursday, May 22, 2014

Law & Order SVU “Spring Awakening” Recap & Review

Congratulations Olivia, it's a boy!

Law & Order SVU “Spring Awakening” could have been the series finale, but lucky for fans – and the cast and crew - that the show was renewed for a 16th year. As a season finale, it worked to set the stage for more personal stories next season.   Season 15 was heavy on personal drama and, at times, the quality of special victims cases has suffered. In “Spring Awakening,” the SVU case felt like an afterthought and was too contrived regarding Benson's custody of  Baby Boy Doe.

Some fans may be happy that the episode ends with Benson having custody – for one year – of Baby Boy Doe/Noah. I have mixed feeling about it. Benson desperately wanted a child so I am happy for her that she has what she wants, at least for now. The custody issue could become a built-in arc for next year at this same time,  and it could end well,  or end with her losing custody, the latter not a happy ending for Benson. Either way, baby-centric stories don't do too much for me so I hope we won't have too much focus on the baby next season.  (Updated note: We never actually hear Benson agree to take the baby, so who knows, maybe she was simply trying to decide at the end of the episode.)

While emotionally I am happy for Benson, my rational mind thinks the manner in which Benson got custody wasn’t realistic. Would a judge grant custody to a person that hasn’t been officially vetted, especially if she is aware of the recent turmoil Benson has suffered? I know of people who jumped through more hoops to adopt a rescue dog from a shelter. While the judge has been aware that Benson is very interested in the welfare of the baby, this does not mean that Benson is the right person to take charge of this child. Raising this child may help Benson in her healing process, but clearly Benson needs to keep her job, so it’s likely someone else will be taking care of Noah while Benson is working, with erratic, long hours at times. I suppose in the case of this baby, whose foster parent assignments have been inconsistent, Benson taking charge could only be an we hope.

Had this been the series finale, I would have been underwhelmed, mostly because of the SVU case. The episode provided a well deserved happy ending for Benson, and it was great to see Richard Belzer return as Munch, the voice of wisdom, stability and reason. It was also nice to see Peter Hermann (Mariska’s husband) having a very visible role. (What fan doesn’t think that Benson and Langan should throw caution to the wind and get together?) It was disappointing not to see Raúl Esparza, who, despite appearing in the first billed credits, seems to be missing from episodes more than he is in them. It’s also a shame that we had to watch Donal Logue’s story arc end;  he’s a fantastic actor and his presence added so much to the show.  I wish him all the success in his new series.  But the case was predictable and I felt little suspense. I watch so many crime shows that I admit I may be getting desensitized to them.  There are only so many variations on special victims crimes and it could be a plus that the writers are throwing in some personal drama to bring new interest to the Special Victims Unit. All I ask for is drama that doesn’t feel recycled. With the amount of involvement IAB is having with SVU as of late, I suggest a spin off series “Law & Order IAB” and get them out of SVU’s face for a while. SVU has been going to the IAB well a little too much which may contribute to my feeling of repetition with some of the personal drama stories.

A more serious issue is that I question whether I like, or care about,  the SVU characters any more. The exception: Benson. Despite Benson’s recent problems with beating William Lewis, lying about it, and then going off on her own to apprehend him, I still consider Olivia Benson one of the most interesting and respected characters on television today. But that’s about it for this show. Amaro has anger and control issues, which feel stale. I have no real interest in watching Amaro work through his problems because, frankly, I am not sure I like him.  Too often, he acts like a controlling, know-it-all,  spoiled brat.   Rollins has a gambling problem, she has questionable judgment with sex partners, and in this episode, she lowers herself to blackmail.   It’s hard for me to find anything redeeming in her, and strangely, I can’t even put her in the category of a character that I love to hate.  She's a character out of a bad soap opera.   Fin is just…there. Barba  adds a spark - when he's there.  Some of the lead characters are too heavily laden with angst and after a while, I feel like they are a lead weight around my neck.  They never improve, they only get worse. They don't use their brains and don't learn from their mistakes.  I’m not asking that they all suddenly find happiness and everything is unicorns and rainbows, I simply don’t want all their flaws thrown in my face with every episode while the victims are relegated to window dressing.

I struggled with this review.  I've read it 5 times now and it sounds like it was written by a person who hated the episode and hates the series  That is not my intent. It's  because I DO care about the series that I am critical of where I believe it is going wrong, and praise it where it goes right.   Law & Order SVU is a show with strong bones, strong leadership, strong writing, and solid acting, but it sometimes needs some tough love.   I'm glad it has another year and hopefully we'll  have new surprises in season 16.

Here is the recap:

Mariska Hargitay – Sergeant Olivia Benson
Ice-T – Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Danny Pino - Detective Nick Amaro
Raúl Esparza - ADA Rafael Barba

Guest stars:
Richard Belzer – John Munch, Special Investigator
Donal Logue - Lt. Declan Murphy
Emma Greenwell - Ellie Porter
Peter Hermann - Counselor Trevor Langan
Raza Jaffrey – Prosecutor
Jessica Phillips – ADA Pippa Cox
Michael Potts - Sgt. Cole Draper
Jason Cerbone - Counselor Desappio
Gavin-Keith Umeh - Little Tino
Kate Blumberg – Mrs. Wilkes
Jayne Houdyshell – Judge Linden
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Raushanah Simmons – Prosecutor
Edwin Lee Gibson – Tino’s Attorney
Joshua Malina - Simon Wilkes
Karl Miller – Hans Erhard
Sonia Manzano – Judge Gloria Pepitone
Sara Contreras – Alminia Aguilar
Karen Christie-Ward – Sister IAD
Thedra Porter – Chantal
Diomargu Nunez – Officer Sanchez
Geeta Pereira – Hooker #1
Shana Solomon – Hooker #2
Rob Morgan – Homeless Guy

Simon Wilkes is at a schoolyard taking photos of kids at play and Amaro approaches and says Simon has 5 seconds to put the camera down. Simon explains it is a public sidewalk, then tells Amaro to smile and he points the camera at Amaro. Amaro grabs Simon’s arms to pull the camera away. Simon hits Amaro in the head with the camera and tells him to leave him alone. Amaro slams the camera to the ground and begins to beat Simon as Simon begs for someone to call the police. Amaro continues to beat him as the police arrive.

Afterwards, EMT workers take Simon away on a stretcher and his wife leaves with a police officer. Amaro, cuffed, is placed in the back seat of a squad car.

Meanwhile, in family court, we find that Baby Boy Doe has no foster parents again The judge comments this is his fourth home in four months and asks if they can do better. ADA Pippa Cox believes they can get it right but for now the judge returns the baby to ACS.

At another precinct, Amaro is being booked. He whines he is entitled to a call and the officer replies when he is done being processed.

Back at family court, Benson asks Cox if she can visit the baby. Cox replies it is fine with her and then points her to Chantal from social services who asks what is her interest.

Back at the precinct, Amaro’s injuries are being documented and he is fingerprinted. The officer then gives Amaro his phone and tells him he can make that call now.

Later, Rollins speaks with Amaro who now is in a cell, and when he asks if IAB is here, she says she is sure they are on en route. She tries to counsel him and he says he knows he should not talk to anyone until his lawyer gets here. Benson and Murphy race up and Benson tells Amaro she is so sorry, but Murphy asks him what the hell was he thinking? Amaro tells him don’t worry about it, and, raising his voice, he says he was off duty and it is none of his concern. Murphy counters that everything is his concern, commenting that Amaro went after Simon Wilkes and wonders again what he was thinking. Murphy then tells Amaro not to answer that. Benson notices Amaro’s injury and asks if he is okay. Amaro replies it is just a cut. Murphy asks if Simon is alive, and Rollins explains that she called the hospital; Simon is sedated now and has a concussion and broken ribs. Murphy comments that is felonious assault and, turning to Amaro, adds it could be attempted murder if they really want him out. Benson asks Amaro if Simon came after him and if that is how he got that cut, and Murphy stops her, saying that is enough, none of this is privileged, no more questions. He tells Amaro that he knows he does not value his advice but even if he thinks he did the right thing, stand down and keep his mouth shut. Benson nods in agreement and Amaro is silent.

Later, Amaro is being questioned by Sergeant Draper of IAB, with his lawyer present, who argues Amaro was defending himself. Draper says that is not what the witnesses and the unis said. Draper outlines the trouble Amaro is in and that he was arrested and will be charged. He turns off the camera and says the duty captain wants assault 2 and there will be an independent DA who may increase that and Amaro better hope his vic pulls through.

At arraignment court on Saturday, May 3, Amaro’s attorney pleads that Amaro is not guilty of the charge of assault in the first degree. The prosecutor recommends remand as this is not the first time Amaro has been in that courtroom and considering the brutality of the beating and that the victim may not recover. Judge Serani sets bail at $500K. Amaro’s lawyer asks if he has collateral on the house, and Amaro says he can’t ask his wife again. His lawyer asks if there is anyone else as Amaro is taken away. Mrs. Wilkes walks up to Benson, Rollins, and Fin who were watching the proceeding and says, “You people, you just can’t stop.”

Back at SVU in Murphy’s office, Murphy gets off the phone and tells the detectives that One PP won’t budge and the DA won’t budge as it is not Amaro’s first time. Benson questions the bail amount, saying Amaro is not a flight risk and not dangerous. Murphy explains that Amaro acted like Dirty Harry; he beat a man bloody. Rollins argues it was a man who threatened to string up little boys and silt their throats. Murphy reminds them Wilkes was found not guilty and is not even on the registry. Fin says they all know what Wilkes is, and Amaro got cut and was defending himself. Murphy asks Fin if he was there. Rollins suggests they go out and talk to witnesses that support that story, and Murphy orders they will do no such thing and not to even think about investigating on their own. He asks if that is clear and Rollins quietly replies “Yes sir.” Murphy states they will go about their business as usual and asks where are they on that tourist. Fin explains he caught that call; Hans Erhard was a German who was robbed, beaten, and sodomized in his hotel room last night. Murphy asks if he got his statement, and Fin explains he is recovering from surgery; the perp raped him with a gun. Murphy tells them to go to the hospital and see what he remembers.

At Bellevue Hospital on Saturday, May 3, Hans Erhard tells Fin and Rollins that he went on Craigslist looking for a real New York girlfriend experience. She came to his room and asked to order champagne from room service. She did not look like her picture, maybe 25, rough, and said her name was Lisette. She got right down to business and unzipped his pants and put her hands on him. He heard a knock on the door and thought that room service had arrived and he told them to come it, it was open. In came a man with a gun, Latin, scary, he hit Lisette with a gun and held it on him and demanded his wallet and passport. Hans was nervous opening the safe so the man hit him with his gun. He took everything then forced him down on the bed and used the gun to rape him. The girl was in the corner, crying, terrified. When Hans comments that room service never came, and Fin states this was a scam, she set him up.

Back at SVU, with the details on the board, Fin explains that Hans, who is 32 and a tourist from Cologne, Germany, answered an ad on Craigslist looking for company, and Rollins adds he ended up getting rolled and raped. The girl he met said her name was Lisette, and Rollins points out her surveillance photo and Craigslist ad. Murphy asks if they are assuming she was in on the job, and Fin explains she told him she was calling room service but the hotel shows only one outgoing call to a no name cell. Rollins says she never called for help and she must have taken the stairs because there is no footage of her leaving. Murphy asks about the doer, and as Rollins shows an image from the surveillance video, Fin explains the man was a pro, and hotel security doesn’t recognize him or the girl. Murphy wonders if they move around, and tells them to check all Time Square budget hotels. Benson asks that CSU didn’t get anything from the hotel room, and Fin mentions that for a mid town tourist hotel, they will be going through bodily fluids, hairs, and prints for weeks. Benson asks if there are any open cases with a similar MO, and Rollins states there were 4 in the last year, there were robberies and beatings but no rape and no arrests were made. In each case, the vic returned to his own country. Murphy asks if the ad is still up on Craigslist, and Rollins explains it was sent from an Internet café and TARU says there is no point in trying to track it. Murphy asks if there is any point in answering it, and Benson asks if he is thinking on answering it, saying “Talk about being proactive.” Fin comments they just rolled somebody last night and they might be laying low, but Murphy wonders if they are feeling lucky, especially if someone calls – he uses his Irish accent – saying they are “visiting from Ireland, feeling lonely.”

At the Duchess Hotel on Saturday, May 3, Murphy, in the hotel room, comments via the surveillance mics in the room to Rollins, who is in the lobby, asking if there is any sign of the woman as she is late. Rollins sees her and tells Murphy the girl is on her way up and no one is with her. In a room next door, Benson and Fin have surveillance cameras set up watching the room and area. Murphy tells them he doesn’t want them to bust in until the pimp shows his weapon. Benson comments that if he has a gun they should get him in the hallway. Murphy explains that he can take care of himself and he needs the pimp in the act. There is a knock on the door and Murphy, using his Irish accent, calls out that it is open. Lisette enters and leaves the door cracked open. Murphy waves her in. She looks skanky and staggers in, and when Murphy looks disappointed, she says it was an old picture. She comes on to him immediately but he asks if he can get her something to drink. She asks if she can order from room service and he says to be his guest. She makes a call and in the lobby, Rollins sees the pimp arrive and she calls up to the room. In the room, Murphy gets out his money and she puts the whole wad in her bra. She comes on very strong, going for his pants and he tells her to slow down as the pimp stands outside the room door. The pimp busts in and tells them both to get their hands up, pointing a gun at them. He asks Murphy for his cash and Murphy says it is in her brassiere. The pimp grabs Lisette by the hair and Murphy asks him not to hurt her. The pimp pushes her to the floor and she hits the wall hard. As Murphy tells him his wallet and passport are in the dresser,  Fin and Benson open the door from the adjoining room and knock the pimp to the floor, their guns drawn. The pimp claims this is entrapment. Lisette goes for the pimp’s gun which is on the floor and Benson loudly tells her if Lisette moves, she will shoot. Lisette says he took her money, but Benson has no sympathy, telling her to get up and pulling her up to stand. Murphy tells the detectives to cuff them both and get them out of his face.

Back at SVU, Murphy asks if anybody has heard form Amaro. Benson states she saw him this morning and he is a good as can be expected. Fin says Little Tino, the pimp, has a lawyer, Benson adding that Lisette, AKA Ellie, is in holding waiting for legal aid. Rollins questions that the pimp doesn’t even look out for his own, adding that is penny wise. Counselor Trevor Langan enters looking for Ellie Porter, apologizing for being late, saying he just caught the case. Benson comments she thought Ellie had a public defender, and then introduces Rollins to Langan, saying he is a high priced mouthpiece for lowlifes. He reminds her – “And you, once.” He adds how soon they forget, and it is nice to see her. She counters it is Sergeant now, and asks if he caught a pro bono. He says yes, he does a few of them a year and it keeps him an honest lawyer. Murphy wisecracks that is an oxymoron. Benson introduces Langan to Murphy and Langan comments about the changes. He asks Benson if she is doing okay with everything, and she says she is fine, giving a forced smile and thanking him. He walks off. Rollins comments to Benson that Langan is tall, and Benson comments, “like that’s a skill set.” Rollins asks if Benson and Langan have history, and Benson replies that she doesn’t date lawyers. Rollins asks, “since when?” Benson sits down at her desk and doesn’t answer.

At Manhattan Correctional in the visiting room on Sunday, May 4, Amaro’s lawyer tells him that Wilkes has no permanent damage but that Wilkes and his wife are adamant about seeing a prosecutor. The DA oversees police brutality for the whole office and after that Twitter screw up last month, she will lard this up with every charge she can. Amaro questions that she wants to side with a pedophile who was outside s schoolyard taking pictures of young boys. Amaro’s lawyer reminds him it was a day after he was acquitted of all charges and it was not illegal. Amaro comments Wilkes keeps his torture chamber too, and the lawyer says it is within his rights. And their best argument right now is self defense. He outlines a scenario but Amaro admits he did not ID himself as a cop. He lawyer says he used more force than necessary to protect himself but Amaro counters he tried that with IAB. The lawyer reminds Amaro that IAB is not the jury and Amaro says he is not going to trial. The lawyer says they can try for a plea bargain but they are what they are.

Back at SVU, Hans ID’s Lisette/Ellie in a line up. Benson comments to Langan that it was pretty definitive, but Langan counters she needs to look at Ellie as a victim. She was pimped out at 16. Benson reminds him Ellie tried to pull a gun on Murphy. Langan says she was coerced by her pimp. Benson reminds him Ellie set up a tourist to be raped and is a career criminal. Langan counters that up to now, it has only been misdemeanors; she needs rehab, not jail time. He walks off.

Meanwhile, Hans does not pick out Little Tino from the line up which makes Little Tino’s lawyer happy.

Afterwards, Murphy tells the squad that eyewitness ID is the most unreliable form of evidence and asks if they have anything else. Rollins says Little Tino has a record, and runs with a Queens based Dominican gang and has an extensive record. Fin says there was no DNA in the rape kit and the gun is being checked for Hans’ DNA. Rollins adds they still have him on the gun charge and maybe the attempted robbery on Murphy. Murphy says there was another witness in the room when Hans was being raped – Ellie. Benson reminds him she was his accomplice and she was the only one ID’d in the lineup, thinking the defense will have a field day. Murphy states her record says she started working for Little Tino when she was 16 and she can testify to underage sex trafficking. Benson thinks Ellie will not help them as Little Tino has her pawned. Fin reminds them that pimps almost always take care of legal so they can control their girls. Murphy wonders if that will come back to bite him. He tells Benson she knows Ellie’s lawyer, try to get him to see the upside of a it down.

Later, Benson meets with Langan and Ellie and despite her being encouraged to testify against Little Tino, she refuses. But when Benson brings up Ellie having to go through full withdrawal, describing how sick she will get, it doesn’t work. Ellie says lady detectives love saving girls like her but she likes her life just the way it is. Benson says they will be sending her over for booking and accomplice to rape. Langan asks for a minute with Ellie, and Benson tells him to take two, she isn’t sure it will do any good. She storms out of the room.

Later. Benson is at her desk and Murphy says the DA is going to charge Little Tino with attempted robbery, and Ellie too. Benson thinks it is something, at least they are off the streets. Murphy states it is not as proactive as he hoped. Benson thinks Ellie will not go against Little Tino, that she did everything she could. Murphy asks, “Did you?” When she asks what does that mean, he comments that Benson seems to have an antipathy toward…but he then tells her never mind. He asks how is Amaro, and Benson states he spent another night in jail. Murphy thinks Amaro might have to get used to that; this could be the end for him. Benson comments that she knows. As Murphy leaves, Pippa Cox approaches Benson and drops the bomb that Baby Bay Doe is Ellie’s son.

At a later day, Rollins meets with Amaro in the visiting area of the jail. Amaro admits he went after Wilkes but Rollins says she didn’t hear that, he’s not going away for beating up that sick bastard, She thinks Wilkes is looking to cash in from the city. If Amaro doesn’t fight this, Wilkes will ends up with a major payday. Amaro admits he does not have much fight left. She reminds him he has a lot of people pulling for him but he has to put out his hand. He says people like her, Fin and Benson, but Murphy is not in his corner. The cell door opens and John Munch – Special Investigator John Munch – enters and says he is [in his corner]. Rollins tells Amaro she didn’t think he would mind another visitor. Rollins exits to let them catch up. Munch wisecracks that he is gone half a year and Amaro has been arrested twice, commenting it is a cry for help. They hug

Back at SVU, Benson walks into the observation area and sees Langan in the interrogation room with Ellie. Murphy walks up and Benson asks that he called Langan, and Murphy says they can’t talk to her without her lawyer present as she has invoked. Benson argues that they are just telling her ACS has her son, not that she’s going to care. Murphy says she might, telling her to show Ellie the baby’s photo and see if that motivates her to testify against Tino. She takes the file and enters the room.

Meanwhile, Amaro talks with Munch and Amaro whines that this wouldn’t have happened had he not just driven away with Maria and Zara. Munch says there is something he meant to tell him from when Maria came into the squad room and made that scene in front of everybody. He knows Amaro does  not give up on things but he can’t save his marriage, it’s over. He says no one likes to hear this but if anyone knows when a marriage is over, it’s John Munch. Amaro states that marriage is his whole life, and Munch reminds him he will always have Zara and he would not want Zara to see him like this, in here. Amaro comments it is not like he has a choice, adding that both One PP and IAB want him gone. Munch tells him not to flatter himself, the reason he is in their radar is because they are worried about their image and this will pass. He adds they don’t understand what they do, even if they once did it themselves. He thinks the only thing the big boys care about is self preservation but Amaro is police – he is a detective. Amaro comments that he isn’t one now. Munch knows that Amaro went after Simon Wilkes because Simon is a bad guy and that Amaro lost his head for a minute but his impulse was right. He explains that Amaro fights for the victims, for the survivors, that’s who Amaro is. He tells Amaro they should get out of here, and when Amaro seems confused, Munch explains that between his salary and two pensions, he didn’t exactly throw his money around the last 30 years. He posted his bail. He tells Amaro, “Let’s go.” Amaro looks stunned.

Meanwhile, back at SVU, Ellie is surprised her son Noah is still alive. She last saw him before Christmas last year, and when Benson asks why she got rid of him, Ellie says she didn’t. She was told Noah had died but won’t say who told her. She does not know who is his father. Little Tino said she could keep the baby as long as she kept working. Tino’s mom ran a day care facility at her house and she was good with kids. Benson explains that she found Noah when she arrested a couple who had 3 underage kids using for child rape videos. Ellie knows the couple, saying they did business with Tino, they sold him a girl once who was about 10. Benson asks if she would be willing to testify to that and she is reluctant. Benson continues to press, saying that Ellie will do time and who knows when she will see Noah again?

At the home of Alminia Juarez in Sunnyside, Queens on Sunday May 4, the detectives prepare to go into the house and Murphy tells ESU to take the lead. They forcibly enter the home where there are many women and kids. Benson tells them to get the kids out of here. Fin asks Alminia where is her son, and she says he is in bed with Fin's momma. Benson tells them to search the house, as he is here. Meanwhile, Tino climbs out a window on the second floor and runs off. Rollins chases but when a police car blocks his exit, Rollins catches up with him, gun drawn, and orders him to put his hands up. She pushes him against the wall and Murphy cuffs him. Tino claims this is police harassment and he was just visiting his mom. Rollins asks who are the girls, and Tino says his mother runs a day care and it is legit. Rollins questions a day care, in the middle of the night?

Back at SVU with Tino in interrogation with Fin, Benson exits the other interrogation room where his mother is held and tells Murphy that Alminia said she had no idea about the weapons or the drugs, and that her ex-husband must have hid them there. Rollins informs them that 3 of the girls are under 18 and were all being held against their will, working for Tino. Murphy says they have them all on running an unregistered day care center and asks if there is any chance Tino’s girls will testify. Rollins explains they think Tino is looking out for them. Benson counters that Ellie doesn’t. Murphy instructs Benson to keep working her; she made a statement but they have to get her to testify before a grand jury. Benson states that Ellie wants to see her son. Murphy thinks this is good, suggesting she let them bond. As Murphy walks off, Rollins asks Benson if she is okay with all this, and Benson doesn’t know; she’s spent the last 4 months searching for Baby Doe’s mother and then ends up arresting her. Rollins comments now Benson has to turn her. Benson adds that her only leverage is a baby she can’t possibly take care of.

In the Rikers Island visiting room on Monday, May 5, Benson, along with Noah, meet with Ellie, with Langan present. Ellie is doing better and is on meds for withdrawal. She picks up Noah and says she missed him as she hugs him. Benson watches and smiles as Ellie thanks her.

Later, Benson and Rollins meet up with Amaro after his hearing and his lawyer told him they are digging in and want him to do time. Rollins says he had a bad run and his luck has got to change. She gets an alarm on her tablet and then says she is late for a meeting. She tells him to hang in there and she walks off. Benson comments to Amaro that Munch bailed him out, and Amaro says with two pensions and a cushy job, plus he still has the first nickel he ever made. They laugh. Amaro thanks Benson for having his back, and she says always.

At the photo studio of Simon Wilkes on Monday, May 5, Rollins calls over Mrs. Wilkes who tells Rollins she wants her to leave. Rollins says she wants her to hear what she has to say first. Rollins states loudly for workers to hear it is about her husband’s on line activities last night, and Mrs. Wilkes tells the workers to take a break. She asks Rollins what does she want, asking haven’t the police done enough, her husband is still recovering and that her partner is crazy. Rollins states her partner will be taking anger management classes while her husband is free and keeps having these perverted fantasies and keep taking photos and keep his torture chamber. She asks if that is what she really signed on for when she married him? Mrs. Wilkes states that marriage is complicated and there are compromises. Rollins says yeah, there are, and then shows her something on her tablet. Rollins says last night she went into her husband’s chat room and reads back some of the perverse messages he posted there and that she corresponded with him all last night and he wants her to send him photos of boys. The second she does, and the second he downloads them, his ass goes down for possession of kiddy torture porn that they both know he will download. Mrs. Wilkes is irate, getting in Rollins' face that Rollins is there to blackmail her. Rollins states whatever it takes, she is in denial and her husband needs help. Rollins also says he needs to do something else; he tells IAB he swung first and that Amaro had to fight back in self defense. If he doesn’t do that, she will make sure his ass is in jail by the end of today and he WILL die there. Rollins storms off as Mrs. Wilkes stares ahead, stunned.

In court where Tino and his mother are being arraigned, a prosecutor tells the judge that Tino should be remanded immediately and mentions his flight from police last night. Tino’s attorney says there is nothing illegal about a son visiting his mother and the girls in the house will testify to being family friends and his clients were unaware of the weapons which belonged to his mother’s ex. On the day care issue, his mother is single and trying to make ends meet and is a good caretaker, her only concern last night was for the safety of her charges. The prosecutor argues the day care was operating illegally in the middle of the night, and they have a witness prepared to testify against Tino that her three month old infant was kidnapped and sold while in the care of his mother. He will be bringing those charges soon. The judge allows for bail but says Tino must wear an ankle GPS until his case comes to trial and his mother can go on her own recognizance. Tino glances back at Benson.

At the St. Bernadine Halfway House for Women in Brooklyn on Monday, May 5, Benson tells Ellie she will be safe here. Fin tells her she has to testify at the grand jury tomorrow. When she says she is nervous, Benson says they will prep her and she will get through this. Ellie asks if then she will get Noah back, and Benson informs her that will take a little bit of time and Ellie has to focus on getting clean and working her program. Benson tells her to call her if she needs anything, and Ellie says she is going to do this and she does not want Noah to grow up in foster care like she did. She wants him to be safe, growing up knowing that he is loved. Benson nods and then says she will see her tomorrow.

Later, Sergeant Draper walks into a room where Amaro and his attorney are waiting and tells them that Wilkes came in with his wife, saying they do not want to press charges and admits he attacked Amaro. Amaro looks surprised as Draper asks if he knows why Wilkes would do a 180 like that. Amaro says no, and when his lawyer says Amaro has been locked up and made no contact, Draper reminds him that Amaro made bail yesterday and today Wilkes shows up. Amaro says he didn’t make contact, and Draper questions that Wilkes spontaneously decides to step up and do the right thing? Amaro’s lawyer says his conscience must have gotten the better of him and asks if this means the DA will drop the charges. Draper says they will have to talk to the DA about this but even if she decides not to prosecute, Amaro still faces administrative charges. He adds that this isn’t over. He leaves them to discuss it. When Draper leaves, Amaro asks his lawyer what is going on, and he says Amaro caught a break and the charges will either be dismissed outright or plead down to disorderly conduct. He will ask for an offer of adjournment in contemplation of dismissal and Amaro will do anger management – psychiatric verbal judo. Amaro asks if he will keep his shield, and his lawyer says as long as he doesn’t screw up again. One speeding ticket and he’s gone.

Back at SVU, Murphy tells the detectives he just got off the phone with One PP and Simon Wilkes admitted he threw the first punch at Amaro, instigating the fight. Benson claps her hands and Rollins asks if he is kidding. Fin asks if Amaro will be back, and Murphy says Amaro and his lawyer are with the DA right now and whether he comes back to SVU or not is up in the air. Benson follows Murphy into his office and asks about the “up in the air” statement, then says she knows he has hooks at One PP and he should tell them this is not who he is. Murphy asks, “It isn’t?” then reminds her Amaro came after him when Murphy was undercover and sucker punched him on the street. Murphy states he won’t shank him but he won’t help him, either. Every favor you use, you owe 6 more and he is not wasting one on this guy. Rollins knocks on the door and enters and Benson asks her to just give them a second, but Rollins ignores her and says she is sorry to interrupt but she just got off the phone with the halfway house; Ellie skipped out after dinner.

Benson and Rollins go to the halfway house where the nun tells her Ellie told the girls she was freaked out about testifying tomorrow and ask if they had anything to help her take the edge off to help her sleep. She found her gone when she did bed checks. Rollins asks if she knows of any place Ellie would go to score, and the nun asks “Are you kidding me?”

At the freight yard in Brooklyn on Monday May 5, a search is going on and Benson asks Fin how did they end up here He explains he told TARU to trace Tino’s GPS ankle bracelet and it shows he was there an hour ago. The just picked him up at his mother’s house and they claim he was there all night. Rollins alerts hem that they may have found something, and leads them to an area where a burned body was found. Benson looks exasperated.

The detectives speak with witnesses who explains there was a bunch of guys, that Ellie was high, and they are also reluctant to talk to the cops.

Back at SVU, Murphy is shocked at the photos of the body and the fact that Ellie was gang raped, tortured, and set on fire. Rollins says the prelim tox report shows alcohol, cocaine, and heroin in her system. Benson explains Ellie said yesterday she was scared to testify and Benson told her that she would be safe. Murphy says she was, she was in a secure facility and no one pulled her out, she left on her own. Benson thinks they didn’t do enough. Rollins nods but Murphy says she made her choice. Benson turns and looks at Tino in the interrogation room and tells Murphy she’d like to know who made the choice to green light her because god knows it wasn’t this clown, meaning Tino.

Benson walks into the interrogation room and questions Tino and he claims he did it because she turned and she got what was coming. But she isn’t buying it and neither is Fin, who wonders who is pulling his string.  Tino still claims he did it. Rollins, who is watching with Murphy, says Tino is lying; autopsy showed the presence of semen from at least 6 different men, Tino wasn’t there alone. Murphy asks if she has witnesses, and she stammers, saying reluctant ones but not Little Tino as they are scared of someone else. He suggest they lean on them to see if anyone will make and ID, adding if Tino wants to do time to protect his boss, he is inclined to let him. Benson says that whoever killed Ellie gets away with it, and Murphy says for now, maybe someone down the line will give him up to save their own sorry ass. As Murphy packs his bag, Benson says maybe not. When Ellie's boy grows up, what happens if he finds out that somebody got away with the murder of his mother? He tells her is she wants to pursue that case, it will be her prerogative, as CO. She asks, “Come again?” and he explains he got an undercover assignment. Benson asks now? - now that they are just getting used to him? He agrees, but says officially he is on leave and they can’t fill his post, so he recommended Benson as acting CO in his absence. He grabs his bag and walks to the door, and grabbing his umbrella, tells her to take back her office and tell everyone he said “Godspeed.” He walks out and passes Munch walking in. Munch tells Benson he knew that guy; asking who the hell is he? Benson says he is Mary Poppins. When Munch seems confused, Benson says “never mind” and hugs Munch. She asks how has he been, and he says never better. She heard he bailed out Amaro and he says that is why he is here; he wants to make sure he gets his money back. He tells her to keep an eye on him as he is a good kid and is at sea right now with his marriage, the job and two kids. Benson says she knows, and he says she needs to keep reminding him of that. She thinks it is better coming from him as Amaro looks up to Munch like a…she asks if he ever thought about having kids. Munch explains that he and one of his exes – he doesn’t remember which one – came close but it was not meant to be. She asks if he has any regrets, and Munch says, “Je ne regrette rien” [I regret nothing]. He tells Benson it is nice to see her and he has missed her, most of all. Benson smiles as Munch adds, “Sergeant.”

Back in family court, the judge comments about Baby Body Doe’s birth mother being located and is now dead, then asks if there is any other living relative who would be proper guardians for this child. Trevor Langan walks in and says no, and he explains he represented Ellie who did not know who the birth father was and has no living relatives. He knows she loved her son and he is there as Noah Porter’s representative and to be of service to him an any way he can. The judge sees Benson is there again. The judge officially declares Noah an orphan and says  he should continued to be cared for in an ACS facility. Benson shakes her head. The judge comments that Benson rescued the infant and that she is the only one that has taken a consistent interest on his behalf, asking if there is any chance she might like to become a foster mother to this baby? They all turn and look at her and Benson seems confused. The judge says she has a feeling about this, calling it a judge's hunch. She adds if Benson agrees, she will order Noah Porter into her care as custodial parent for one year, at which time she will be given the option to permanently adopt him. The judge asks her if she agrees, and Benson looks around but doesn’t answer.

Later, Benson picks up Noah at the home and says he looks so healthy and the social works says they do their job. Benson holds him and says’ “Hi Mister. Hi!” She smiles . She sits in a rocker and hold the baby close as we fade to black.

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TrueBeliever said...

I very much agree with this review. I think my favorite part was Munch's return. It was so refreshing to see him and to hear his take on things, although I think he has way more faith in Amaro's ability to be a good guy than I do. I, too, find myself disliking both Amaro and Rollins for the reasons you mentioned. Amaro is a jerk and Rollins is no longer the smart, discerning cop she was when she came into SVU. Neither of these characters has any redeeming qualities for me.

As a fan of Benson, I couldn't help but cheer when she got the glimmer of a happy ending (and there were definitely sparks between Benson and Langan. Gee, I wonder why?) but I also agree it was a little bit too easy for her to get custody of Noah. It seems to me like the writers are trying to fit too much into each episode and you're right, the case always suffers. I think there needs to be a bit more trade off with the episodes. If the writers want to highlight personal stories of the detectives, they need to space it out more and have more episodes with little personal development and much stronger/more compelling cases in between smaller personal tidbits.

I enjoyed the episode mostly because a character I admire finally found some happiness, one of the most beloved characters ever on the show returned, and Mariska's fans got to chuckle a bit at the obvious flirting between Benson and the "scum-bag mouthpiece" Langon, played by her real-life husband.

Can't wait to see what season 16 brings! Thanks for all of your thoughtful reviews!

CLA said...

First of all congratulations for your review. It was excellent and perfeito.Eu had said would never post it on this site because some people are irrational in their comments against Olivia Benson. I can only say I loved the episode. Olivia deserves a little happiness. I know you will say that Olivia can not afford to raise a baby. This is silly. I am a mother of three children and have always worked throughout the day. More important than the time it takes to hand the children is how we relate to them. Olivia is a great character, is tender, sweet and has a lot of responsibility. It has all the ingredients to be a great mother. Amaro can not stand the character with his tantrums. I deeply regret the departure of captain. And the 16 season come to bring us great moments.

Maurizio Rosas Dominguez said...

Phew! For a second there, I feared I'd be the only one who didn't like the finale.

I have mixed feelings about season 15 overall. I felt that in this season there was a lot more personal drama going on and not nearly enough focus on the victims or their cases. The baby Doe story got VERY tiresome VERY fast, and while I am happy that Benson got her wish, I'm also relieved that THAT story part is resolved so we can stop having it shoved in our faces every couple of episodes.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a little character development every now and then, but not to the point that it completely distracts from the core of the show. Even in the earlier seasons, hearing about Stabler and his family issues every other day got tiresome, and Olivia's drama with her brother was also distracting. It seems that the writers are now throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in their attempt to keep the show going for more seasons. And while they have had some FANTASTIC moments with this new show format, at times it's starting to feel like a soap opera.

Too bad about Murphy leaving; he took charge of the squad and kept everybody in line like nobody else had before. The squad is in URGENT need of someone that enforces the rules and reminds the detectives that they either need to get their personal drama under control or transfer somewhere else.
Rollins has gone completely off the charts (blackmailing a witness!?), and Amaro needs to cool the heck off and stop trying to be the macho man all the time. It didn't work for Stabler, and it's definitely not working for him. Munch really nailed it when he said "You're a detective. You're supposed to fight for the victims."

I think the whole squad lost track of that this season, and so did the writers. Munch should stick around to make sure that Season 16 does a lot more fighting for the victims.

Nancy R said...

I hope TPTB use Raul Esparza more next season. Another Barba-centric episode would be great. As you said he adds a much needed spark and he seems to take control of his scenes. Less personal angst with the other characters, please!

Lisa said...

I agree the Olivia gets the baby story was a fairy tale thats not how it works and Warren damn well knows it, he is just pandering to the OLIVIASEMPTYWOMB stans.
No healthy infant would be bouncing from home to home it would have been placed in a foster to adopt home while pparental rights were severed. This was a abandon baby with no parent, Not a child taken from a mother for abuse so reunification isnt the goal. there are waiting list a mile long for people waiting for a Infant the judge acted like Olivia is the only person wanting him...Please people go through intrusive home studies,crime reports,finacials checks it can take a yrs or so to get through clearence thats for foster care as well, you dont get the kid then the clearence and the wait for a healthy white infant is yrs couple wait up to 10 yrs and we are to believe Olivia gets to leap frogg not only over the process but the 100s waiting really?

Sloppy sloppy writing.
Next season is gonna be endless tweets about 'when will we see the baby" when will the baby be mentioned,when can we see the baby crib..ect ect.
Warren maybe thinks he made them happy but infact he has created a monster he just dosnt know it yet.

One thing to mention we never see Olivia saying yes she accepts just her visiting the baby, i saw no suitcase,no Heres your son DET Benson..Makes me wonder if next season did she decide No after all.

Im sorry if my opnion seems irrational but I think this storylien is nothing more then pandering I thought Warren was above that but it seems he is no better then Neal was.

Icy said...

Olivia will adopt Noah there's not doubt about it. She loves him and is not the type to give him back after fostering him for a year.

Amaro, I rolled my eyes, and really couldn't have cared less. This was bound to have happened, he's too head strong. Rollins planting the evidence for Simon was stupid.

The guy should have been convicted and been in jail, he's a bad guy. Amaro still had not right to assault him, this was due to Maria.. That triggered him into assaulting Simon, but anger management isn't going to help Amaro.

Aside from that, so glad to see Munch. Also to see Olivia back as CO and smiling.

I think now with Lewis gone, and her being a foster mom, she can handle being in charge better. This episode showed the Olivia we all know.

Chris Zimmer said...

Lisa, you bring up a good point. We never hear Benson tell the judge she agreed with the judge's proposal. But starting off the next season with Benson not having that baby after Benson seemed to follow this baby for so long would not make sense. Olivia clearly wants a family - she made a big deal out of it with Brian - so I don't see her passing up on this rare opportunity. But who knows what the writers will do?

Chris Zimmer said...

Lisa, you bring up a good point. We never hear Benson tell the judge she agreed with the judge's proposal. But starting off the next season with Benson not having that baby after Benson seemed to follow this baby for so long would not make sense. Olivia clearly wants a family - she made a big deal out of it with Brian - so I don't see her passing up on this rare opportunity. But who knows what the writers will do?

Darkstar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darkstar said...

This season was kinda a quicksand for Benson, Amaro and Rollins.
I'd love to see Amaro's mother be the baby's nanny and if there is more drama next season it should focused on Fin.

MrTanokki said...

I think the reason why Amaro and Rollins have sort of gone off the deep end, compared to the rest of the squad, is that they were created during Dick Wolf's "corrupt cops that get the job done" phase he's been in since the mothership was canceled.

Lisa said...

The child would not go to Foster care again why do people assume that, there are literally 100s if not 1000s of people on waiting list to adopt a infant Olivia is not his last chance for a Mommy.
Plus im not thrilled with the message it sends, having a baby is the only way Olivia can be happy really? Is her PTSD suddenly gonna be healed,her depression, her trigger anger all gonna stop now that she is a mommy. Is holding Noah gonna make her forget she was kidnapped and tourtured not once but twice by the same perp.

Dont get me wrong Im glad she is happy I just wish Warren had done it right not write it like some fairy tale were the only thing missing is rainbows and a unicorn.

You are right Chris I am sure we will see her a mommy I just hope it dosnt Take over the show, how many episodes will we have were Olivias baby is threaten or even kidnapped knowing the crack(it seems) some of these writers are using i wouldnt be surprised if there isnt a episode were Noah is kidnapped and the nanny killed or raped and Olivia gets a case of the guilts what is SVU without Olivia agnst.

I did like seeing Munchie again I wish we had a scene with Munch and Fin they were so good together.
So sorry to see Murphy go, I loved him and his sass and sexy it wrong to hope his new show tanks and he comes back to SVU

Laurie Fanat said...

SVU has officially crossed over to a campy soap opera/crime drama. It was inevitable because after 15 years of sex crimes they have to turn to personal drama to survive. That doesn’t mean that I like it or agree with it.

I’m fed up with Amaro. I don’t agree with Munch when he says Amaro fights for the victims. And for the survivors. Amaro beat up Simon because he was pissed off about his wife and the case gave him an excuse. Amaro is a self-righteous jerk. Rollins is even worse. She sleeps with her AA guy, she is all too willing to offer sexual favors to Murphy when he was working undercover and she didn’t know it, now she’s with Amaro. She has a gambling problem that got her in deep trouble and still hasn’t learned her lesson because she’s graduated to BLACKMAIL. We know Olivia is not perfect but in her case, I wouldn’t blame her for what she did for Lewis. She DID err when she went after him on her own. No wonder IAB is in SVU’s face all the time, they area train wreck. There isn’t any character on this show that engages me emotionally.

I can’t believe the judge would make it so easy for Benson to have the baby, even for a year, without proper checks first. SVU is fiction but that part of this episode was so far from reality it is laughable. Who is writing this stuff and are they writing it for teenagers?

I used to love this show so much. Now I watch out of habit and now I think it’s like seeing a car wreck, you can’t NOT look.

Love Donal. The writers made Murphy out as a person who had to go undercover every week, tho. That could be why you feel the story lines get repetitive. I can’t believe the writers used IAB to inject conflict so many times this season. Lack of creativity and originality.

Thanks Chris for the recps, the reviews, and the chance to voice my opinions.

Petra S said...

Fine Olivia got the baby now deal with that off screen cause if we get to see cuddling scenes every frickin episode I'll die. I do hope Noah can bring back the old Liv cause if the old Liv doesn't check back in to the squad room I'd rather see Liv check out completely (and no I don't mean die just go work somewhere else)

I hated seeing Murphy go but it was an awesome scene - the head nod from Munch (LOVE MUNCH) and Liv's Mary Poppins comment. I'm going to spend the summer in oblivion though and only face the fact Murphy is no longer with us until S16 starts.

Amaro in jail was rather enjoyable actually, not just cause he looks great in orange but it seem to humble him down some. I kinda wish someone would've roughed him up a bit tho. Sorry, not sorry.
As for Rollins she can't do much wrong in my book but if she's going to start pining for Amaro - again - I'll die.

ladybug81 said...

"To often, he acts like a controlling, know-it-all, spoiled brat." I said it after last week's episode, Amaro has officially turned into Stabler. I know some may not agree with me but I feel like that's what has happened. I liked Nick in the beginning but just like Stabler he's grown very annoying, although I don't find him nearly as annoying as Elliot was.
I know I'm in the minority but I like Amanda. I think the reason she went as far as she did because she's in love with Nick, I seriously doubt he feels the same way though.
When it comes to Olivia & baby Noah, I'm thrilled with it, even though it's unrealistic. Part of me did worry that since we didn't hear her specifically say she'd take him but I know we'll see him with her at the beginning of next season. I just hope they don't find a reason to take him away. It would be even worse to give Olivia a baby only to snatch him away. As much as I hate to think it I have a feeling next season will be the last. So I hope they allow Olivia to at least be happy for one year.
Overall I enjoyed the episode (especially the scenes between Benson & Langan). I'm already looking forward to September.

LlamaJ said...

I mostly enjoyed the episode. A couple thoughts:

-Liv & the realistic. What is she going to do, put him in all-day and all-night daycare?

-What a heart Munch has. It was good to see him again and to see him taking care of Amaro.

-Maybe going to jail is what Amaro needs to help him get a grip. I actually like him and want him to stick around.

-Rollins' move was low, yet effective. Hope it doesn't come back to haunt anyone.

-I hope Murphy comes back in the next season. He was good as CO.

-What the heck is wrong with Wilkes' wife? How can any human being be so clueless/idiotic/blind?

lois said...

Lisa, your comments about the baby deal were spot on. It was ridiculous. Her being a single mother with her work hours and no family support system would be next to impossible. I did it when I was much younger than her and had a 9-5 ish job and a mom that helped me allot! Maybe nick can provide child care since he's out of a job.
Going to miss Murphy. The way he just put her back in charge after the whole Lewis saga was unrealistic.

Jason said...

Well for me this was the series finale. I have had enough of it. At first I liked the detectives (except for Elliot) because they were ideal police officers and it showed us what police officers could and should be. But now Armaro and Rollins have become like the cops I read about in the news. The ones that viciously attack people and intimidate those who dare to stand up to them.

Amaro attacked Simon then beat him to a pulp when Simon defended himself. Then Rollins threatened to Simon's life through his wife to get him to drop the charges. I wish the she had her cell phone on and the whole thing got recorded just so the world can know what kind of horrible person Rollins is. Simon is a creep and I won't defend him except for saying he committed no crime. I have friends who like to dress up like pirates and sing about plundering the high seas. I guess Amaro would try to kill them too because he's "sure" they're going to do it one day.

Amaro belongs in jail. Rollins deserves to have her shield taken away. Their whole justification for going after Simon was that they were "sure" he was going to do something horrible. I feel the same way about those two detectives. But I'm not going to blackmail or attack anyone. I'm simply going to stop watching until they leave.

Jason said...

PS my frustration is all about the show and not about anyone here. I appreciated this blog this season because it let me learn about the episodes I skipped (and there were several I knew I did not want to watch). You're doing a great thing by posting these reviews and summaries for everyone and I wish you best for the next season. If I return to SVU, you'll be part of the reason why.

DewieTheBear said...

Isn't this the second or third child that Benson has taken custody of? I thought the Maria Bello and Mischa Barton episodes ended with Olivia being responsible for their kids.

After so many years of playing the SVU drinking game to the refrain of "wait till you have kids!" it would have been refreshing for the show to *not* fall into the trope of a woman with empty womb syndrome. Plenty of us never had the urge for children and it would be nice to see that reflected in prime time ("Parks & Rec" also went down that wormhole with Ann Perkins *and* Leslie Knope).

I admit I haven't really kept up with SVU over the last few seasons - I've tuned in now and then, but still read the reviews here. It's just astonishing how much personal drama has come to define every single character. Stabler's rageaholic streak was good for a laugh, but he was surrounded by a cast that diluted some of the ridiculousness of his never-ending anger issues. Now we have Amaro and Rollins, who are complete disasters professionally and personally, Benson with her William Lewis trauma, Ice-T being Ice-T and... not much else. I've said it before, but it was poor planning to not start cycling in newer long-term detectives to pick up the slack as the show aged (the Adam Beach experiment notwithstanding). I always hoped that Michelle Hurd (Jeffries) would be looped back in.

DewieTheBear said...

Oops, one more point. Wasn't Jeffries given the boot for merely thinking about picking up a guy who'd been a suspect in a case? In retrospect, that has to be the least questionable thing a detective in SVU has done, yet failed to keep their job (well, maybe tied with Cassidy's squeamishness and immaturity).

WestVirginiaRebel said...

Show hasn't been the same since Stabler left. he was a great partner and foil for Benson and the other characters. As of now, she's the only one who still has interesting stories.

They should do something with Rollins-have her cross the line so that she has to leave, and Amaro? He got what he deserved by landing in jail and should have stayed there for a while. Munch's return was like, "What the hell happened to this place while I was gone?"

Bottom line: at fifteen seasons, the series is definitely showing its age. At least the original Law and Order was able to go out on top.

Vim said...

Well, good to see, that I am not the only one who didn't like season 15 finale
1) The good thing in the episode was small comeback for Munch - his departure from the show was the worst thing to happen to SVU.
2) Murphy is gone - too bad, because he was the best thing o happen to SVU for at least 5 seasons -as for me he was even better than Barba.
3) I really hoped that poor-imitation-of-Stabler end up in jail. In the 13th season I rather liked that character, but more he turned to be Stabler more I wanted him gone from the show. Don't get me wrong - I really liked Stabler, but Amoro right now is just imitation of the Stabler
4) If I want to see dirty cop who will do anything to help his partners, I will watch Chicago PD. I really don't want such thing on SVU - in other word, i really would prefer either Rollins start abiding the law/ get punished for blackmailing the witness.
5) I really like when Murphy refuse to call a favor for Amoro - at least there will be some minor consequences - not big enought for nearly killing the man, but I also sure that Amoro will consider himself unjustly punished
6) As for baby Doe - While I like that Benson can get some happiness I would also prefer to not hear about him ever again

blwillard, austin, tx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
janethyland said...

Despite fact Criminal Minds was in repeat,SVU Finale ratings were low,flat with last week and the lowest Finale rating of the Leight years.
9pm : 1.4 demo (5.65mil)
9.30 : 1.7 demo (6.35 mil) This makes the episode average to be 1.6 demo (6.39mil)
Season 15 Finale rating lower in demo AND total viewers than last year.
Season 14 finale demo was 1.7 (6.6mil) ( against Criminal Minds)
Season 13 Finale demo was 2.0 (7.1mil) ( "" "" )

Season 13 : no ratings under 1.6. 10 ratings above 2.0. 3 ratings at 1.6
Season 14 : 4 ratings below 1.6. 3 ratings above 2.0. 7 ratings at 1.6 (ratings were homogeneous)
season 15 : 6 ratings below 1.6 6 ratings above 2.0. 7 ratings at 1.6 (ratings went up and down)

Despite the hype that produced unflated premiere rating, season 15 has been more or lass flat with season 14 that had no hype. Season 13 remains the best season of the Leight ye

janethyland said...

I forgot,
season 13 episode average was 1.9
season 14 episode average was 1.73
season 15 episode average is 1.75

Season 15 average was 1.81 at time of Beasts Obsession,dropped with subsequent three low rated episodes.

Cath T said...

I didn't hate the episode but I didn't love it either.

I actually feel sad to see the change in characterisation for Amaro.

His character has changed substantially from the person we first encountered in S13. That detective was competent, compassionate, level-headed and often the voice of reason. The Amaro we have now bears almost no resemblance to that person.

To me S13 Amaro was like a breath of fresh air so nicely portrayed by Danny Pino. Now he's been "Stablerised".

I sincerely hope once he's done his penance for his flip out he is "de-Stablerised" as quickly as possible.

I understand and am not necessarily against some angst because as human beings we all deal with stuff all the time. Cops no doubt more so than most. So it's not that he snapped and beat Wilkes up that bothers me as it is his sullen, woe is me attitude.

Perhaps there is a clue in Benson's remark "this is not who he is" because it is not who he started out as that's for sure.

Also, didn't like Murphy in this episode. He supported Benson and even lied to a grand jury to save her but left Amaro to hang basically. Sour grapes over Amaro's gut punch perhaps?

As for Benson and a baby. I have no strong feelings one way or another and will wait to see how it plays out.

I still enjoy SVU and will continue to watch and support it but will be much happier when the dramatic personal stories are toned down a bit. I don't want to see the personal stories gone just put on the back burner for a while.

Cath T said...

I did like the prison scene between Amaro & Munch. That was nicely done by Pino & Belzer.

Also Munch made the comment regarding Amaro "he's a good kid, who is all at sea right now". I'm hoping that's another clue pointing to the redemption of his character.

Chris Zimmer said...

DewieTheBear – My recollection is Benson got Calvin for a short while and also at one point I think she was given power of attorney for a baby where a life and death decision had to be made, but I think they left us hanging on what she decided. She tried to adopt but was rejected because of her job, that she was single, and no family to help her – a situation which continues to this day!

Jeffries actually admitted to a one night stand with the guy and then was put on desk duty… I think they were concerned about her putting herself in a potentially dangerous situation. She hated desk duty, and she quit shortly thereafter.

blwillard, austin, tx - I saw the original article written in 2013 that the HuffPo story referenced. The situation happened in 2000. It was an interesting story but also a very rare situation. I know some people with the show are a little testy about the comments on this issue, but my hang-up with SVU is that they frequently advance story lines using the exception, or the rarity, rather than the norm. Too much of this can make the story feel contrived. It’s a similar problem I have with the “ripped from the headlines” technique. Too much of any one thing can get tiresome.

I do realize that one show running so long – and with so many other crime shows out there – that writing things that are new and fresh can get difficult!

TrueBeliever said...

I understand why people might think Liv getting the baby the way she did is unrealistic, but this is fiction. And actually, the writers based this on a rare case that actually happened in 2000. If you want to see real, ordinary lives, you shouldn't watch television.

What I don't understand is why people are upset that the writers allowed her to want a baby in the first place. No, not all women want children and that's fine. Many of them do. In Olivia's case, it's not just about having a child. It's about having a family. She doesn't have any parents or extended family. Her brother is not a stable person in her life and she did not grow up with him. What I see in Benson's character is something profoundly human and very believable - I see a person, not just a woman, who is realizing that work is not everything in life and that she does not want to spend the rest of her life going home to an empty apartment with no one to care for and no one to care for her.

The writers allowed Liv to have some happiness after a season of hardship. I don't think they should be criticized for that. The show is going into it's sixteenth season. That is significant. If you think you can do better, why don't YOU try having a hit show for sixteen seasons? Take a look at all of the shows that were dropped this year after only ONE season. Keeping a show going that long takes nothing short of talent and diligence in both writing and acting. The cast and crew of SVU should be congratulated for their success.

Petra S said...

@blwillard, austin, tx - yeah & Warren tweeted a response about the complaints to the judge/BabyDoe/Benson and basically told people to google it. I do think they do research. Seeing how your country - US - is so huge I'm sure it can happen somewhere sometimes and, well I'll be darn, didn't it happen in SVU land too ;)

Have to mention that I cringed as I saw a pic on Twitter today with Warren & Julie on set with a baby crib. I hope they keep it to no more then one scene an episode so I can take a bathroom break whenever it's cuddle time *sigh*

Lisa said...

Oh no The baby will be shove down our throats because the Mommiebenson stans will demand it. Let not forget the "when will we see bensudy again "when will we hear a bensidy i love you"
"When wlll we see the bensidy apartment" Replace bensidy with baby and there you have it Might as well rename the show now to law and Order Livs a mom now

Ellie said...

I must confess that I never warmed too Amaro, not sure why, maybe it felt like he was just to replace Stabler, or because I spent season 13 convinced that he just moved from Cold case and was Scotty.

Rollins I do rather like, I feel shes the new Stabler, with the messed up family life and the issues, I often wish that Olivia would focus on her more and support and help her. I felt this season that the writers wanted to match her with one of the male characters but couldnt decided which so she had moments with them all.

I love Barba, why use him so little, you can just see Raul going back to Broadway or being cast in another show, you read Hannibal reviews and hes highly rated as an actor so why not go elsewhere and be used more as a main character.

Olivia felt a bit odd this season, dating a man who clearly wasn't suited to her, becoming fixated with a baby, it was like she needed a new challenge, I would have thought being in charge would have been enough.

Finn not sure he had a plot this season bar flirting with Rollins

I agree it does feel a bit odd, some great episodes this season and some poor ones, I liked the stand alones more than the team and their issues ones, and wouldnt have been too upset if we lost Rollins or Nick due to their behavior as needed to have some fall out bar Rollins being undercover with Murphy, that was just too lucky

So season 16, less episodes based on personal drama, less nick, more Barba please

Cassandra said...

Agree with this review 100%. This season has had its high points, but they've been skating further and further from what I loved about the Law and Order franchise. And I'd be okay with that by itself, but I just don't like anyone anymore. Amaro had almost won me over, but it was so hard to like him this season with his general bad behavior and jerkishness. I'm just flat out indifferent to almost everyone else. I still kept on because of my residual love for Olivia Benson but I'm not sure that's enough anymore.

Also, Chris, I've seen you getting some complaints on twitter for daring to criticize how implausible this plotline is, and I have to roll my eyes a bit. People have won the lottery twice in real life. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be absurd and cheap to use it as a fictional device. Maybe one of the detectives can be struck on the head by a meteor next season, since that's happened to people in real life before too. I'm happy for Benson that she got a kid, but that doesn't mean I can't roll my eyes at how it happened.

Chris Zimmer said...

Cassandra – Thanks for your comments. I feel the same way re: SVU moving too away from the original L&O franchise style. After watching that episode and realizing I felt almost nothing for the characters - either good or bad - as a LONG time fan, I thought I needed to speak out. After all, viewers of a show are the show's paying customers. Like anything else that I buy - in a TV show's case, with my time - if I'm not getting a good product for my time, I'm going to say something about it.

Twitter can sometimes be a very nasty place. Warren Leight's "pet peeve" tweet, which I found disappointing, seemed to start the vitriol. In my review, I basically said my heart bought into the Benson getting custody but not my head. The way Benson got the baby didn't seem realistic, and I outlined my issues. All someone had to say was “yes, a situation like this really happened, and here’s where.” But fans being told, as he did, to “#GoogleALittle” was childish and a little lazy. If he was that peeved about it, then make the effort to EDUCATE people about it. Instead, the nastiness began.

Almost all of the private emails I received were very supportive of my comments. I received a few emails from people who say I’m a hater, some questioned how I can be a fan when I sound like I hate the show, one made me sound like a judge-hating baby killer! Then THEY have the nerve to tell me “It’s just a TV show” as I I’m the one who’s riled up over it. It’s funny in a way. The comments here on my blog, even where there is disagreement, are usually very respectful, but on Twitter, some think that anonymity and 140 character “blasts” give them the right to be rude.

It’s funny you mention the meteor example. When I heard earlier today that there could possibly be a meteor shower tonight, I found myself wondering if the SVU people would try to work that into an SVU episode! Great minds think alike (wink)!

blwillard, austin, tx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DewieTheBear said...

@True Believer, the problem is that women being depicted getting the warm fuzzies over babies is the rule, not the exception, in prime time. Off the top of my head, the last positive, realistic portrayal of a successful leading, single female character with no baby yearnings was Chris Cagney. And "Cagney and Lacey" went off the air twenty-seven years ago.

The closest we've come since then was with Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope and both shows sold out on that front. Even "Seinfeld"'s reunion on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" revealed Elaine had become a single mother.

(Much as I love "Sex and the City," the show was so far removed from reality by the end, what with sending desperate, single women falling out of windows by the final season, it removed itself from consideration.)

"SVU" has been playing this "empty womb" trope with Benson for fifteen years and really, it's time to move on from it. Mommies and mommies-in-waiting are, if anything, overrepresented on television.

Cath T said...

I think it's possible the vetting could come later. Assuming Benson agreed to take temporary custody. It looks as though from the end of the episode she did.

Benson wouldn't be able to just take baby Noah and leave with him on the spot anyway.

Perhaps the judge had already considered Benson as a good possibility for a foster parent?

I don't know. I'm not really thinking about it too deeply. It is what it is.

I get involved in the twitter conversations and yeah sometimes fans get a bit too "passionate" in their opinions but I haven't encountered anyone who has been downright nasty not to me anyway.

As I've said before the greatest disappointment for me is that Amaro has gone from a character people actually liked to one who is practically hated going by the comments. It saddens me and I hope that situation can be turned around.

I am always civil both here and on twitter. I don't let people upset me though. I've been around too long for that.

TrueBeliever said...

@DewieTheBear: I get what you're saying. There are too many female characters on TV who want both a job and family instead of just focusing on their career. I don't see the problem. Is SVU perpetuating a stereotype about women that people find offensive? Why not get riled up about the types of cases they write about, then? Stereotypes are everywhere and I don't think the writers have ever claimed to be trying to eradicate those stereotypes. As far as I know, SVU has never claimed to be a platform for anything EXCEPT the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault, which is a cause they have supported well over the years.

I don't think Liv wanting a baby makes her any less of a strong female lead character so I don't have a problem with it. As a communication scholar, I understand that people see all media as perpetuating ideas in society, and that some people think that we should hold them accountable for furthering what they see as harmful stereotypes. But I think more responsibility needs to fall on consumers of media. Shows like SVU are created for entertainment purposes only. Those who consume media are responsible for accepting or rejecting any information (or stereotypes) therein that may or may not be harmful to society.

Cath T said...

Benson being single shouldn't factor into her being able to foster or adopt. I don't know about U.S. law but in Australia a prospective foster or adoptive parent can't be discriminated against due to marital status, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc.

The main stipulations are that the foster parent be over 25yrs of age and be able to commit full time to the task.

The full time commitment is the issue that Benson would have. Who looks after Noah when she's at work? This would have to mean the end of any outside ordinary hours of work for Benson but as the CO how can that be?

She would need to have a full time, live in nanny which seems to defeat the purpose entirely.

I think it will be very interesting to see how the writers will approach these issues.

Petra S said...

I'm really enjoying reading these comments. I'm getting educated so thanks.
As for Twitter it really is a big sandbox. I think I'm overly protective of Warren which is completely stupid and unnecessary but I'm human and I've seen so much hate being tossed at that man it's... I can't even find the word. I do wish he would restrain himself from lashing out at times but he's only human too.
I wish people all around the web would realize it's not an alternative world, it is the real world (not like SVU) and there's people behind those nicks and avatars and whatever. I'm an avid Tmblr reader but I have to restrain myself from like the SVUconfession-blog cause people are just nasty, evil, jerks & - I know I'm stupid - but I take it personal very often, Rollins get scolded every day almost and I hate it.
Okay enough about that I'll be tuning in to S16 cause I'm still invested in the show, even with or without Baby Doe but you can't keep me from blinking whenever he's on screen ;)

Unknown said...

For the record, I'm not the same Petra that just posted. I always thought I had an unusual name and it's weird to see someone right here with the same one.

SVU has changed and not for the better. In my opinion, the exec producers are going for a younger demographic. What’s happening is the show is becoming a bad soap opera and is driving away many viewers who made the show a rating success in the past. The show is being dumbed down. The writers rely too much on getting story ideas from news stories. In “Spring Awakening” they used a 14 year old, unusual case as the reason Benson gets a baby. Chris is right, things are too contrived and the show is becoming a bore and a chore to watch. This may be where I jump off the SVU train.

I also saw the nasty tweets to you Chris and I came here say thank you for saying what so many people are afraid to say about SVU. When I saw Warren’s tweet I felt it was pointed squarely at you. I reread your review and all I see is that you didn’t think it was realistic and you questioned some things. I thought they were fair questions. I used to follow Warren on Twitter and after I saw how thin skinned and insulting to people he can be, I stopped. I think he took the wrong approach to responding to your issues. I didn’t think the story was realistic either and I laughed when the judge asked Benson if she would take the baby. The show people expected a tear jerker but I was too busy bitching that it was too nice and tidy.

They missed the boat completely with the ending. Not because of the ending itself but a tweet afterwards with a photo of Warren Leight and Julie Martin with a crib. I would have left the question open whether she took the baby or not. With all the pining Benson has had for a baby over the series, she would be crazy not to but spoiling the ending with the crib picture took away any speculation and buzz the show could have received over the summer. Had this been the end of the series, I would have spent the money and reshot the final scene to put Benson at home with the baby, but as it turned out they got one more season, I would have let the suspense build.

I also agree with your assessment of the characters. I can’t buy in with any of the characters any more, except maybe Benson. Even Benson is becoming a laughable character. There is nothing to like about any of them and I don’t care what trials and tribulations they have to go through because there are just too many. That is my signal that it may be time to quit watching the show. Are they putting stupid pills in the coffee at SVU? Too much personal drama this year and we are being hit over the head with it repeatedly. I wish they would tone it down next season but I won’t keep my hopes up.

Thanks Chris for having a place for fans where we can talk these things out.

CLA said...

@ TrueBeliever

Congratulations for your comment. His arguments were perfect. I find it interesting that some people seem to not understand that SVU is fiction. Hopefully just want Olivia back in season 16 to be a detective who charmed millions of people worldwide. I'm sure the child will help her overcome her trauma. I am a mother and I know how important the presence of maternal love is.

Krypto said...

Det. Rollins had better get caught doing a blackmail, in the Season 16 opener, next season... Her behaviour on duty in the name of the NYPD in this episode was utterly unacceptable.

Cath T said...

SVU has certainly polarised opinion among fans.

There are those that like the changes and obviously those that don't.

Appealing to a younger demographic is vital for ratings success. That's just the way it is these days.

The cop genre is a tv staple and the same stories are pretty much repeated over and over. In SVU's case with 15 seasons under it's belt that is even more true.

I don't think it's realistic to expect cops to be perfect and never cross or at least, step on the line.

I think Rollins is bordering on corruption. In fact, she was prepared to behave corruptly in Gambler's Fallacy.

As for the "blackmail" incident however, in the finale I didn't read too much into that.

I honestly didn't see Rollins behaviour in that instance any worse than Murphy crossing the line and lying to a grand jury to get Benson off the hook.

It's interesting that to some when Murphy did what he did to protect Benson it was okay even "heroic" but when Rollins behaves questionably to protect Amaro it's corruption.

I think it boils down to the characters we like or don't like. If a character we like does something wrong but with good intentions we forgive them their trespasses.

If the character isn't particularly popular they are criticised rather harshly for pretty much the same behaviour.

As for Amaro I don't believe he is corrupt but he has certainly lost the plot. I live in hope redemption for my favourite character will be forthcoming early in Season 16.

Anyway we all have four months to chill and ponder the Season 16 possibilities.

janethyland said...

Welcome to the club Chris! You will find that if you dont like the artistic direction of SVU and voice your genuine opinion a posse of quite nasty sycophants gets sent against you to discredit that opinion.The tone of twitter in season 15 has been quite nasty at times, and dismissive of anyone who doesnt faun or flatter the showrunner.

Frankly Im surprised more of the original Law and Order fans havent voiced this more than they have, because the decline in standard of sriting this season is obvious as the show dissolves into fan fiction like stories out of Mills
and Boone.

The show is nothing like the brand it belonged to anymore. Its become a parody of itself with characters who have become almost comical as they leap from trauma to trauma.
Im definitely not watching it anymore.

janethyland said...

Also interesting is that there was only ONE comment here in immediate response to "Thought Criminal".
That doesnt say much for interest.

jaecollins27 said...

I personally don't mind getting into the personal stories of the characters. After 15 years there's only so many ways to come up with a different sex crime. And the series began getting personal with the characters from the first season.

One thing that I do resent from viewer comments is the implication that wanting a baby or a relationship somehow makes Benson less of a strong female character. Benson is a strong character, one of the few female leads in network television regardless of whether she's dedicated to her job or not. Stabler had five kids and a wife. He was a strong male character. Amaro is a mess without his wife and daughter. He's a strong male character. But if Benson wants a serious relationship with her boyfriend or wants to build a family people complain "But she's such a strong female character…"

Benson wanting a kid and a family is not a new development. She mentioned trying to adopt a kid in Season 9, she was devastated when they took Calvin from her, and she even told Elliot that she wanted to be a part of a family when she was stalking her brother.

While I do agree that giving her a kid at this juncture is a little ridiculous because she has no support system and works crazy hours, and I resent how television decides that the only way to give a female character depth is to make her want a baby or suffer a sexual assault, I don't think it takes away from her strength as a female. Just as there's nothing wrong with not wanting a family, there's nothing wrong with wanting one.

Benson likes saving people. She figured out in therapy that saving people is where he gets all of her strength.

Jason said...

Cath T, I can't speak for others but when I character I like does something illegal then my opinion of that character goes down. If it happens enough of if the crime is serious enough, then I stop liking that character. Forgiveness happens if the character regrets what they did and not because I like them.

I didn't see the episode where Murphy lied under oath. I skipped a few episodes this season. I wasn't very invested in him in the first place so his actions didn't affect me much.

I used to like Rollins. I thought she was a great character and what happened with her sister made me feel sorry for her. But her lying and gambling made me lose all respect for her.

These aren't just characters, they are characters of cops - people who are supposed to protect us and be worthy of our respect. I'm not seeing much out of SVU that's worthy of respect this season.

Chris Zimmer said...

janethyland RE: "Thought Criminal" - I also received very few direct emails on that episode and the ones I did were negative regarding the ending with Amaro. Maybe the episode didn't give fans enough to talk about or to care about. Either way, the ending of that episode was a turn off for some (even a handful of Pino fans).

DewieTheBear said...

"One thing that I do resent from viewer comments is the implication that wanting a baby or a relationship somehow makes Benson less of a strong female character. Benson is a strong character"

Again, there is *no* shortage of depictions of women wanting a baby in prime time; it's the rule, not the exception. The implication from that is that there's something less than admirable about a woman who *doesn't* have or desire those feelings. Those female characters are generally used as punching bags - again, see the sixth season episode of "Sex and the City" called "Splat!" where the last single woman at a party - a woman in her forties - was depicted as fat, bitter, coked up and selfish, and subsequently, fell out of a window because she selfishly insisted on cracking it open to smoke (which no one else was doing, natch).

Viewers are bombarded with a "motherhood is saintliness" narrative everywhere we turn; would it really kill anyone to acknowledge that a woman who doesn't want that lifestyle isn't a pathetic punchline to a joke by giving us *one* such leading character of our own?

Bobocookie said...

Wow, I am in the minority on this board, but I really liked this episode, and felt it would have been a great series finale (thankfully, just a season finale). I loved it when Langan breezed in, how Liv kind of sat up to take notice, then she took a verbal shot at him, to which he replied along the lines of, I may represent scum, but I also represented you at one point.

Rollins picked up on the palpable chemistry between the two, and I thought it was charming how Langan stumbled over his words when he asked Liv if she was doing okay (after all she endured at the hands of Lewis), he was obviously concerned about her, and their brief scene together had more chemistry than a season of Liv and Cassidy.

The fact that the social worker was there at the end tells me Liv and Noah will be monitored. The fact that the judge didn't simply award full custody, but rather well review it in a year, was also an indication, torme anyway, that scrutiny will occur.

As for concerns that Liv cannot devote sufficient time to a baby, I have two thoughts, a) there is clearly strong debate regarding Liv the working single Mom and balancing the needs of the baby. Doesn't such debate in and of itself make this a good storyline; and b) if Liv transitions from the streets to more of an office job with more reasonable hours, doesn't that make the prospect of motherhood more reasonable?

Re Amaro, it would not have upset me had he received some jail time and at least a lengthy suspension. THAT would've been a shock (but completely realistic given his recent behaviors).

And thank goodness I'm not alone in thinking Amanda's blackmail was completely inappropriate. Kelly Giddish has been awesome as Amanda, but great acting should never mean a character should get away with everything.

Sorry for the novel! I really loved this season. There are only so many cases you can portray, and after awhile the "ripped from the headlines" stories are mundane and predictable. So the focus this year on the lives of the characters (particularly Liv) was really refreshing for me.

If Liv is in charge next year I hope she demonstrates some modicum of control and responsibility over her charges. Amaro and Amanda both need to come correct, read up on their ethics, age be taken to the woodshed if they continue down the respective roads they are on.

Love this site so much, and love the diverse opinions!

Cath T said...

The end of Thought Criminal was a repeat of Scotty Valens in Cold Case beating up a playground perve minus the music.

Although the beating Valens inflicted was worse but he at least did it away from witnesses.

Danny Pino is good at portraying rage but I prefer his nice guy persona.

Vim said...

@Cath T
There is one big difference between Murphy and Rollins.

Murphy helped Benson when he didn't know for sure whether she is innocent but viewers know that she was.

Rollins helped Amaro when both her and viewers know that he is quilty (he admitted that to her, we saw that).

And to be clear: While I used to like Rollins before events in "Gridiron Soldier" and I liked Amaro in 13th season, I NEVER liked Benson.

jaecollins27 said...

To DewieTheBear

I'm not saying that there is something wrong with a woman not wanting a kid or wanting a kid. And I do acknowledge that when attempting to give a female character depth in a network show, writers tend to lean towards the sexual assault back story and the desire to want a baby story.
What I am saying is that the idea that a woman who wants a baby or a family shouldn't be met with criticism or attacks on her strength as a woman. It's just as unfair as painting the single woman past child bearing age as bitter or unfulfilled.
I think we tend to paint black and white pictures of women in television. Either you're a strong liberated woman who doesn't need a kid or a man, or you're a helpless tender lady who wants nothing more than a big strong man to cuddle up against and come to the rescue. Is there no in-between on television?
If you really want to talk about cliche story lines lets look to Cragen who literally sails off into the sunset with his newfound love. He admits having some regrets about dedicating his life to his job and not having a family…does that make him less of a strong male character? Actually his advice to Olivia before he left was to take care of herself and her personal life. The male characters in this program go through similar emotions as the female characters.

Cath T said...

@Vim - During Beast's Obsession Benson admits to Murphy she lied during her trial. Murphy even says that she "should have killed him when she had the chance". Yes, Lewis was a very bad guy but was Murphy condoning murder?

With Amaro though Murphy behaved differently. I understand Lewis had actually committed heinous crimes where Wilkes had not actually done so. Still there were inconsistencies in how he dealt with Benson's and Amaro's questionable behaviours. Benson he supported, Amaro he didn't.

In Post Mortem Blues, Murphy then protects Benson and her previous lie with a lie of his own.

Benson & Murphy both lied under oath while giving legal testimony.

This after Murphy has told the others not to lie under oath. It could be said that Murphy lied not just to protect Benson but did so to save any other member of the squad from having to do so.

Amaro also lied to protect Benson by saying she had made a spontaneous admission to him in the car. Murphy then came the heavy with him for doing so.

So for me at least I don't see the distinction in Rollins making the threat to Wilkes' wife in order to protect Nick as any worse than what other characters have been prepared to do in recent previous episodes.

I don't mean this to be a rant. I just feel that if questionable or illegal behaviour is going to be condemned in one or two characters then it should be so across the board.

I believe both Amaro & Rollins seem to attract more criticism for their actions. Admittedly particularly in this last season there have been valid reasons for that but the only character truly keeping his nose clean of late is Fin.

Anyway that's my take on things.

Lisa said...

To the people who say its just a TV show es it is just a tv show and they can bend reality of they want, However people whine about how the show is therapy and people watch it to feel better about their own Traumas and they jumo all over the Showrunner for having a Rapist on the show and get pissed of when they are told "its only a tv show". You cant have it both ways its either a tv show that should be as real as it can or its a disney show.

I like SVU I watch to see ICE T and I wath for the crimes. I dont watch to worship Mariska or OliviaI have never liked Olivia as a character I find her whinny and fake as for Mariska I dont see her as a reat beauty or a great talent sh does do ood work via her Charity. Just anot however she was hardly the first person to bring untested rape kits to the public eye, Lifetime had a series where the lead was raped and her Rape kit wasnt tested she lead the fight to get the untested kits tested It was a good storyline.

As for twitter People are downriht mean to Warren I have alays supported him, however his tweet to you Chris was wrong and it was 100% snarky I to tweeted him how unrealistic benson etting the baby was I was bombbarded by the Olivia stans. I hope next season we do not have to see much of this baby, how realistic is it that she hire a 24/7 nanny who will have to be live in Olivia isnt a 9-5 m-f employee even if she is in charge she dosnt et "modefied hrs" because she is the acting CO or a mommie. being a single mommie isnt a protected class
If Warren had dne this right i wouldnt have a isssue however Warren caved to the Empty Womb stans for which am sorely disappointed in him.

EchoInTheSilence said...

I also don't like the bending of reality here. I know it's only a TV show but the entire point of the franchise was to create a show that realistically portrays the criminal justice system. I knew at the end of the previous episode that there was no way to get Amaro off without completely violating that principle and my fears were sadly confirmed. The courtroom resolution of the Benson/Lewis thing just barely managed to be remotely plausible; they couldn't do it twice.

JW said...

Look, I'll let the whole baby debacle slide, if they just...
promise to give us a little more Barba in the next season :( It saddens me so much to see Murphy's going to go the way of the dodo. Barba is all I have left now!
As for this season, only one episode managed to interest me; the Woo dy Allen/Polanski one. What I really love about crime shows is solving the mystery along with the characters. And this episode actually had me doubting myself several times, all the way 'til the end "I think he's innocent. No wait, he's totally guilty! But then again, wifey's acting mighty suspicious too..." I hope there will be more of those episodes in the next season. But mostly I'm just hoping my bby Barba will show up now and then T^T

JustSomeOne said...

I have to agree with someone on here commenting on how Nick and Amanda get the most criticism and hate. What Amanda did was wrong in terms of the law but Wilkes would have eventually actually hurt kids, possibly even murder one while Nick rots in jail. What Nick did was wrong as well, letting his anger get the best of him.

Olivia also used brutal force with Lewis when he was already secured to the bed when she didn't need to. But no one is shaking their heads at that.

I'm not either. I agree with Murphy. She should have killed the bastard when she had the chance. I agree with Amanda's actions of blackmailing that stupid ass wife because Nick does not deserve to rot in jail for beating up a sick guy like that.

And what's wrong with Amanda's choices? She slept with her AA sponsor. A lot of people do. I think she really wanted a relationship with him but he was two timing her. She offered her body to Murphy to save her job because she didn't want to hurt anyone else. She didn't want to hurt anyone but was willing to sacrifice herself. She was hitting rock bottom. I'm happy Murphy saved her.

And the rollaro thing? I think it makes sense. I hope it goes deeper than just stress relievers (I'm sure it does) but it seems like Nick had the interest first. He might have made the first move. Either way, this relationship could work well if the writers want it too. She's working her program, he was happy until his dumb wife had to drop a bomb on him...

I just think people need to stop judging Amanda and Nick so harshly. I'm watching the older seasons of Law and Order SVU and Liv has made a lot of mistakes and stupid decisions but I still love her and wouldn't start hating her for trying to fight for justice or because of her personal life. Isn't there anyone out there who likes all the characters anymore? :/ I can't even follow someone on twitter because once Amanda or Nick pops up, it's bashing time for them.

The baby thing I agree with though. It was...weird and I don't see how it can work at all. The kid will be seeing the nanny more than Olivia.

Zachary Clein said...

Actually it did happen in real life, the way she got the baby. Here's the link, it's actually a really nice story.