Thursday, May 24, 2018

Law & Order SVU “Remember Me / Remember Me Too” Recap & Review (Season 19 Finale)

Law & Order SVU closed the books on its teen years last night with the 2-hour season 19 finale, “Remember Me / Remember Me Too.” Let me be blunt: I didn’t care for it. This was a 1-hour story stretched into 2 hours.  I found myself getting very angry in this episode; angry at Benson and at the victim. People may ask how I can be a fan of the show and yet dislike an episode so much. It is because I AM a fan and have put so much energy into covering Law & Order SVU over the years that allows me to dish out some tough love every now and then. It's tough love time.

I’m going to spend more time on my review and less on the recap. To briefly summarize the episode: Lourdes Vega, who was a victim of human trafficking and rape, exacts revenge on her attacker, Miguel Lopez, and holds him hostage at gunpoint. She doesn’t know that the apartment she is in has a camera which live streams the incident to Miguel’s phone. When Miguel loses his phone at the club, someone finds it and brings it to SVU. They eventually pinpoint the area where the apartment is located. Lourdes also strikes Miguel’s business partner when he arrives at the apartment; he later dies of the injuries.  While locating the actual apartment, the officer Benson is with is held hostage and then the same fate befalls Benson. After a tense scene on the terrace where Lourdes is close to killing Miguel or even Benson, Benson finally is able to convince Lourdes to surrender. Stone must charge Lourdes with murder.  Benson and Stone butt heads and she is a hostile witness during the trial. The case draws out the Mexican cartel and at one point, one member makes a threat to Stone about Stone’s sister, Pamela. Despite the fact that Pamela is well guarded, she is taken hostage by a member of the cartel. Miguel eventually tells them the location of a warehouse where the trafficked girls had been held in the past. During the attempt to recover Pamela at this location, a shoot out ensues and Pamela is killed by Diego Diaz in the heavy gunfire. Lourdes is later told that when she testifies, she should get asylum and witness protection. Stone is devastated and later sobs in Benson’s arms.

I have many issues with the season 19 finale.

I’m not a big fan of too many scenes where the lead characters are shown simply staring at a screen. I know the squad was looking at the live feed, but staring at a monitor, or worse yet, showing the actors staring back at me, is not acting and it is certainly not drama. On that same line, I tend to mentally tune out when they spend too much time on characters who are not the leads (in this case, the victim and her hostage). I don’t need constant repetition of the description of a physical and sexual assault in order to get the idea of what happened. It’s bad enough that so much time was spent on this during the live feed scenes, but we had to hear about it over and over again as the story progresses. The first hour of the 2-hour finale felt like 75% filler.

Who was the victim in these episodes? Not Lourdes Vega. This may be a controversial opinion but I’ve got reason to feel this way. Had she been physically and sexually assaulted? Yes. This doesn’t give her the right to take someone hostage, physically assault them, threaten them with death, injure another person who dies soon after, and hold two more people hostage at gunpoint. Do victims of sexual assault deserve justice? Yes. Can victims take justice into their own hands? No. Lourdes tried to satisfy her own need for closure by hostage taking, physical assault, killing someone, which ultimately led to the death of a true innocent, Pamela Stone. After all this, Lourdes will find herself free, but still alone and likely traumatized. She gained nothing and people were harmed in the process.

My biggest annoyance: Olivia Benson. I find I am growing tired of her singular focus. I understand that her job makes her a champion for justice for victims of sexual assault. But victims of sexual assault do not get a free pass to dish out justice on their own. Benson seems to think it does. She forgets she must uphold the law for everyone, not turn a blind eye when a victim commits a crime to get their revenge. Benson’s own personal experience with assault has blinded her and, in my opinion, she is becoming less effective in her job. Benson was all over Alex Cabot’s case in “Sunk Cost Fallacy” but Benson cannot see that she herself has become a vigilante of sorts. Benson may not break the law to get justice, but she does seem to forget that she has to get hard evidence to be able to get someone prosecuted.

I was glad to see Stone push back at Benson several times, yet it was clear that Benson doesn’t get it. This was evident in a few scenes:

1. She has no evidence that Miguel is a human trafficker for a Mexican cartel. Yet she is upset at STONE because she’s not done her job properly, which allows Miguel to go free and Lourdes to go on trial (she refused Stone’s deal). Benson wants the charges dropped against Lourdes, but Stone won’t drop the murder charge. Benson thinks if Lourdes agrees to testify in a trafficking case she will get asylum and go into witness protection as she was threatened by an inmate in Rikers. Stone agrees to protective custody but he must drop the charges against Miguel. When they argue if Miguel is who he says he is, Stone reminds Benson he needs EVIDENCE. It is pathetic that Stone must remind Benson so many times that he needs proof in order to have a case. She should know better by now.

2. At a bar, Benson belabors the point with Stone and she says she won’t make a very good witness. She grudgingly admits that Lourdes pointed a gun at her and prevented her  from leaving the apartment. She worries what will happen when the attorney Rojas asks what happened between Lourdes and Miguel, and Stone says legally it is irrelevant. Benson asks, “What about morally?” and Stone asks what does that even mean. Benson replies “Maybe it means that whoever’s less guilty wins.” Stone says she is right to have ambivalent feelings about this case, she gets upset. She argues, “No, no, you’re wrong, there is nothing ambivalent about this.” She insists Miguel is the guy and Stone asks if she was there and has any evidence that he is the trafficker. She shakes her head and says “I don’t know how to get through to you.” This is where I become enraged. SHE STILL HAS NO EVIDENCE. DO YOUR JOB, OLIVIA! Stone says her certitude is a good thing and may even be noble and when he starts talking about the law, she tells him to stop, she’s heard the lecture before. I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM HEARING THIS COME OUT OF HER MOUTH. Benson has a lot of nerve saying that, as she’s the one who is constantly lecturing. Stone suggests maybe she should be listening, and she thinks maybe he should be. She says, “Lourdes was raped. Her entire being – her past, her present, and most importantly, her future – negated.” Honestly, I’m not sure I know what THIS means. Is Benson saying that sexual assault wipes a person’s whole life away? I don’t think so. Stone angrily counters that doesn’t entitle her to seek revenge. Benson says that “does entitle her to reclaim what was once hers. And if revenge is part of that, then…then so be it.” Anger rises in me again, and I say, out loud, NO. Benson thinks the wrong person is on trial. I think the wrong person is leading the SVU.

3. Her bias was evident while she was testifying. She avoided telling the truth and forced Stone to ask that she be handled as a hostile witness. At one point, Stone must move to strike her comment (the judge agrees) and then when Benson still dances around a response, the judge must order her to just answer the question. She is forced to tell the truth that Lourdes said several times that she would shoot Miguel. Under cross, Benson helps Lourdes by saying she shows the signs of PTSD. I have no legal experience but this still isn’t an excuse for what Lourdes did, but maybe it would be a mitigating factor at sentencing?

Despite all this, Benson thinks STONE is the problem.

One scene that gave off a weird vibe was near the end when Benson explains to Lourdes about what may happen for her after she testifies regarding asylum and witness protection. When Lourdes worries she will be alone, Benson says, “No honey. You’re going to be free.” Benson then touches Lourdes near her heart. I found this weird and inappropriate. I can understand maybe touching Lourdes’ hand or shoulder to provide comfort, but not on her chest. This is a woman who was sexually assaulted and I would think that Benson would not want to touch a victim anywhere too intimate.  I found it...creepy.  Lourdes still seems traumatized and it will be a long time before Lourdes will truly feel free. Benson should not be delivering empty platitudes here; instead she should be working to get Lourdes in counseling.

A TV Guide article said show runner Michael Chernuchin said “something terrible happens to one of our characters.” People were worried that something would happen to one of the leads. I thought maybe it would be a minor character, someone expendable like Dr. Olivet (sorry Dr. Olivet), but it turned out to be Stone’s sister Pamela (clearly someone expendable). It seems the sole purpose of bringing in a sister for Stone was to have someone that can be discarded easily and then used for dramatic purpose next season as Stone grieves. The “something terrible” tease is typical “take it with a giant grain of salt” tease for SVU.

Why was SVU involved in this case? Why did the man bring the cell phone with the hostage live feed to the SVU and not first to police? He did mention he thought it was a sex game gone wrong or assault, but still, I would think that the first thought would be to take the phone to the closest police station, not a special victims unit. Technically, this was a hostage situation, not a special victims situation.

I pains me to be so negative about an episode on which so many people put in their hearts and souls. Still, I am finding Benson less suited for leading the SVU and less likeable in general. Her one-sided mentality and over-the-top preaching is wearing on me. I want a leader more in the mold of Don Cragen; someone that I know can be objective and balance the needs of the victim and make a strong legal case to get justice. I want to see more investigative work on Benson’s part and less knee-jerk emotional response. She’s causing more stress for everyone involved, including viewers like me.

Onward to season 20!

Mariska Hargitay - Lieutenant Olivia Benson
Ice-T - Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola
Kelli Giddish - Detective Amanda Rollins
Peter Scanavino - Detective Dominick “Sonny” Carisi, Jr.
Philip Winchester – ADA Peter Stone

Guest stars:
Carolyn McCormick – Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Benito Martinez - Santino Rojas
Genesis Rodriguez - Lourdes Vega
Carlos Miranda - Miguel Lopez
Chris Beetem - Alan Buckley
Gary Perez - Jorge Diaz
Roberto Sanchez - Diego Diaz
Michael Mastro – Judge Serani
Robert Turano – NYPD Command Center Leader
Eddie Hargitay - Officer Montero
Tom Titone - Judge Goldfarb
Brian Keane – Pamela’s Doctor
Katya Stepanov - Ingrid
Graham Rowat – Everett Sinclair
Alexandra Cockrell – Anne Howell
George Gerard – Super
Justin Matthew Sargent – Mike
Garrett Richmond - Lenny
Jake Hart – Security Officer
Brian Linden - Perp
Gillian Glasco – Officer Dominique Rivers
Greg Schweers – Doorman #1
Marvin Johnson – Doorman #2
Ryan Buggle - Noah
Juliana Davies - Emma Buckley
John Mahanna - Harrison Buckley
The Junior Brothers - Themselves
Amy Korb - Pamela Stone
Raquel Dominguez - Maria Luna
Jackson Mercado - Efrain Hernandez
Will J. Jackson – Lieutenant Carter
Lauren Noble – Carmen
Shaun Rey - Thug #1

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Lisa said...

Bensons Character has annoyed me for years to see someone else sees it to.

gayle said...

I wonder if this is a setup for a full-blown meltdown for Benson next year, after which she'll realize that as much as she loves her job, "burnout" has taken over and she must let Fin take over the reins.

Chris Scott said...

Your words = my thoughts.

I think, though, that the reason Olivia touched her chest was to place her hand over the scars from where the victim was burned.

Chris Scott said...

I forgot to add...

Finn's look when he fired the last shot. Priceless. I literally rewound three times to laugh at that moment.

Laurie Fanat said...

Chris, I am glad you spoke out about this episode. I thought it was only me who thought it was a train wreck. All those scenes with the SVU squad looking at the live stream - boring. Lourdes going on an on about her attack - boring. Is there an SVU writer who is getting off on describing these sexual assaults in detail? It seems that way. WE GET IT. We don't need the attack described over and over and over again. That first hour could have been condensed to 10 minutes.

I've had it with Benson. Her high and mighty attitude is sickening. She's not a leader, she's on a crusade. If she doesn't know by now that Stone needs actual evidence to prosecute a case, there is no hope for her. I would love to see her kicked back down in rank and bring someone else in to head the squad. I also didn't like it when she was "consoling" Stone. Are they trying to force a relationship here? The chemistry is not there, period.

Benson's "victim" was a murderer. She took several people hostage and held them at gunpoint and Benson felt sorry for her. Lourdes' revenge tripped off a stream of events that got Pamela killed and Benson's reckless handling of the case facilitated it. Benson makes trouble, she doesn't fix things. She made the hostage situation worse when she and her cop partner got separated and he became a hostage too, and then her right after. That borders on incompetence in her job.

How dumb is Miguel that he didn't shout out the address of where he was being held?

Next season I hope they spread the love around to some of the other characters. I am weary of the Benson show and that Benson must be the grand savior in every episode. While I was watching this finale I even wondered if I want to keep watching next season. The preaching is becoming sickening.

Benson putting her hand on Lourdes in that manner - wrong, regardless of her reasons. Touching someone there is too personal, and not a good idea to touch and assault victim that way. VERY creepy.

magix74 said...

I almost stopped watching after about ten minutes I was so bored. The second part was better, but still. Very disappointed

Sharon Polikoff said...

Interesting that the finale was done as a two-hour episode instead of being split over two weeks. Maybe they're trying to get us used to watching SVU at 10 p.m.!

Sonny Honey said...

I've been "watching" SVU since it first came to NBC Friday nights @ 10PM, replacing a wicked series for fans of police shows called "Homicide, Life on the Street", one of absolute best shows ever, IMO. Decided to watch SVU and have continued to do so now going on 20 years. I thought I was the only person watching who referred to the show now as "The Benson Show" or "All About Olivia, Part I, Part II, Part III", etc. I seriously hope the writers read this excellent site for fan input. I know Hargitay is an actress portraying a female lead, but PLEASE!!! She is making women at the top look incredibly STUPID!! KEEP HER IN HER OFFICE IF SHE HAS TO LEAD THE SQUAD! Focus more on Fin & Carisi and stop with the Mother & Child Reunions with Benson & Rollins and their kids. Instead of this being a great long running L&O series it has become more of a soap opera with the acting lately. Like other posts, questioning if I ever care to continue watching Season 20.

Fefe Yo said...

I totally agree with everything you said. The episode was extremely annoying and preachy on Benson's part. It was unjust...I had to fast forward it all throughout.
The so-called "victim" is not..she is a criminal...this vigilante justice is very double standard in Benson's eyes. Not only is the "victim" a killer, torturer, and criminal, she is also illegally in the country. It is bad enough she came to another country illegally...she greatly contributed to the murders, kidnapping, trafficking, and money wasted (on the police, the trial, the possibly victim protection, etc.). She could take the vigilante justice somewhere the United States, we strive for a justice system based on laws, rules, standards. She is perpetuating the same uncivilized behavior of which she claims to be a victim. Absolutely disgusting. She should serve her time in jail and get deported. Had she followed the rules, none of this would have happened.
Benson needs to leave the show...she is extremely biased and has the nerve to judge others. She is also unfit and unstable. I am tired of Mariska Hartigay on this show. She should know when to leave.
The few episodes before were so much better. What a disappointment. It is so sad the innocent sister was killed. It was just too much. :(

Shaheed Simon said...

For the most part, I did like it. The first half wasn't that good to me and it bugged me that this was another Olivia hostage situation and also her attitude towards Stone which was annoying me and keeps me from giving it a 10 rating, I'll give it a 9 since the second half was good to me. I also thought Philip Winchester did a really great job. It was real sad and messed up when Pamela was killed. For the Olivia, Lourdes and Miguel scene, I was hoping there would be a twist. I felt if there had been a twist, it would've probably made the episode better. Like maybe, he exposed a company's dirty secrets that she happens to be a part of which he doesn't know and she was told by the owner to trap him and voice record with her phone and hide it then claim he raped her but as the investigation goes on, it turns out that he never did that, she was lying and she's loyal to the company and owner. It was all because he was exposing the company and he "had to be taught a lesson". Or maybe that she's actually the rapist and he turns out to be a cop who's been searching for her for a quite while and she knows this so she must do what she did to cover herself up.

Mending Wall said...

I dont have a problem with vigilante justice. People seem more upset at the response than what caused it in the first place. Her mental state wasnt 100% when you see someone that brutalized you out and about enjoying life. Sex trafficking and murder is horrific and he is not innocent. However I lost respect for Lourdes when she attacked someone that had nothing to do with it so she should be in jail for sure with regards to the owner's death and the trafficker deserves what he got. But I do agree with you on one thing . Benson was a pain in the ass and this didnt need to be 2 hrs .

Rita K said...

I loved the episode!!! I agree 2 hours were not quite necessary and the assault was mentioned many times (probably trying to emphasize the effect of repetitive assaults and why the woman lost it so badly). On the other side, this was the Liv I know and love: siding with the victim, emotionally invested, not afraid to put her life at risk (no wonder she ends up in situations like this so often eg. being held hostage), and making mistakes (just like she has been in trouble in the past throughout the series for acting emotionally).

Also I agree with other fans of the show that she should be hunting for evidence more, no questions asked, but her behaviour still made sense to me after having over-identified with the victim in the beginning and being guided (and sometimes misled) by her own trauma. As I see it, Liv has kept some of her basic original traits but she is also changed and shaped by her latest experiences. I still want her to lead the squad, but indeed she should be working more on recovering at the same time. Even so, she will never be a detached leader -or I hope not!

I didn't mind her touching the victim's scars, because I saw it as a therapeutic move. Touching can be therapeutic if someone knows how and when to do it and we saw earlier that the girl trusted Liv enough already and was thankful to her for bringing her back to reality. They had bonded.

Last but not least, I start to enjoy her relationship with Stone, so edgy! From fighting to caring and consoling and all so genuine thanks to Mariska's acting skills. Do I wanna see them together? Not just yet. First, I want more of that edge!

Sharla Madewell said...

I didn't enjoy the episodes at all, it was quite boring and dragged out. Can't stand drama queen Olivia instead of Rollins doing it. Go away from Peter Olivia. So sad with Pamela situation. Poor Peter.
Chief Dodds needs to do something with Olivia next season. She is worst Lietuant ever.
Rita- no relationship at all. Do you want to lose their jobs? Remember David the DA that Olivia and him got together. He lost his license. Tucker and Olivia together, lost his license also. I don't want Peter lose his license . He deserves much better than Olivia.

Catherine said...

"I have no legal experience but this still isn’t an excuse for what Lourdes did, but maybe it would be a mitigating factor at sentencing?"

I would say it would not be a mitigating factor. Lourdes pleaded not guilty due to insanity to the murder of Jorge Diaz. The tape of the video feed shows that she hit Diaz to prevent him from getting help. Her claim to be suffering from PTSD would not mitigate that. She knew she was doing something wrong and didn't want to get caught.

I agreed with all of your complaints about these episodes. But there is one that nobody else has caught. Why would the Feds offer Lourdes asylum and witness protection? She doesn't anything about the cartel that isn't already know. The only person we know that she can testify against is Miguel. He has valuable information about the cartel. He will get a deal to testify so they don't need Lourdes. Why doesn't Benson get this?

Arlene Herring said...

Thank you, me too, I've been yelling at Olivia for weeks now. Why have the writers turned her into a vigilante? Do they think this will go over well with young millenial women? A ratings grab is all this is. So disappointed. Cigars -- how did Olivia know what they talked about when the feed was cut? She couldn't have known. Maybe 'cigars' came up then. How did Lourdes identify Miguel from the floor of a dark nightclub all the way up to a balcony? Why didn't anyone think to question that? Why isn't it obvious that Olivia is still suffering from PTSD? Why didn't Stone ask her about the time she herself was accused of torturing her rapist? So many holes. These episodes were not up to Law & Order standard. And yes, disgusted hand to heart equals hand to cigar burn, and witness protection, my foot.

the late phoenix said...

Chris, any word on “Unstoppable”? you’d think it would have leaked by now, wink wink

Melissa Johnson said...

This was one of the worst Law & Order episodes I have ever seen. Yes I did say Law & Order, not just SVU. Out of the hindered of episodes in all of the Law & Order ever created, this takes the cake as the most terrible. I agree with everyone that has stated negative things about this episode. I know that SVU for the most part makes some political statements. Not only was this app is so bad and poorly written and staged but it also made some political statements that it just didn’t need to make regarding “dreamers” and illegal immigration. While those are issues that are currently happening and being discussed in America this episode didn’t lend it self to discuss them. In fact I think the fact that this episode was so bad made the issues and the points that they were trying to argue for seem weaker. Put simply this episode just tried to do too much for two hours and ended up being boring long and drawn out. I was so thankful that I had recorded this episode so that I could fast forward.

Rita K said...

Sharla, excellent point! It'd be a forbidden kind of love. Maybe they'll fall in love with each other but never act on it ! A passionate edgy unconsummated relationship! I probably hold the minority opinion when I say I'd love that!

Chris Zimmer said...

@the late phoenix - nothing on "Unstoppable." I'm surprised as well that it hasn't leaked. I guess "Unstoppable" got stopped, hard.

Katie G said...

Can we just point out the awkwardness that was Fin going with Rollins to a country band? Gold.
I haven’t seen the second half of the episode yet (life, you know) but I kinda had an idea of how it would go down and your recap confirmed it.
I’m beginning to think that TPTB want Olivia to break Alex Cahill of Walker, Texas Ranger’s record of being held hostage. 🤷‍♀️
Thanks for your recaps, Chris. I’ve lurked for years but finally decided to join as a member. Thanks for your hard work!!

Jane said...

I'm done with SVU. It has become so predictable and the characters need to be shaken up. Benson is awful these days, always self righteous and there has to be some times that she is wrong to keep this interesting. It used to be such a good show, now it is old and tired

Sharon Polikoff said...

Olivia was wrong in her handling of the case that led to Dobbs's death, and the jury's out on her actions involving the organ transplant.

I was right, a few months ago, when I predicted that Pamela's story arc was inserted to give ADA Stone a scene where he grieves and is comforted by 'Saint Olivia.' Can I be a show runner too?,

gayle said...

So a "major character" was going to die - and it turned out to be a very secondary character? We saw this before when hipster nun Sister Peg was killed during the season-finale shootout where Stabler killed the teenage daughter of a rape victim.

Sonny Honey said...

@Draven Long - Michael Chernuchin said that something terrible happens to one of their characters, so anything is possible!
May 20, 2018 at 7:59 AM

Sonny Honey said...
I think Michael Chernuchin was misquoted; what he really said was that something terrible happens to our fan base once they watch this 2-part finale. Terribly disappointing, to say the least! OMG - next season change things up a bit and let Lucy the Babysitter run the squad and leave I-Love-Myself Olivia at home with Noah. Love this site, though; Thank you!
May 24, 2018 at 2:41 PM

gayle said...

Your remark about Fin at the country bar made me think of think of a joke on SNL last week. Kenan Thompson, playing the preacher at the Royal Wedding, remarked upon seeing the crowd at the church "Now I know how Darius Rucker (Hootie-turned-country singer) feels!"

Draven Long said...

Good Lord, I've never been so disappointed by this show in my life. This might be the worst episode of SVU, point blank.

After the consistently wonderful (in my opinion) season we've had, this finale dropped with a thud that could be heard clear down in Antarctica. I had such hope that the finale would REALLY give us some summer heat, and I was wrong.

As I said Season 19 has been consistently great (up until Wednesday night). At the same time, I find that I am increasingly developing a distaste for Olivia Benson, and the season finale really hit it all on the head. She started out strong as a Lieutenant, but I think it's all caught up to her. I truly don't think she can handle it anymore. She's simply no longer able to properly do her job, and I feel Dodds should do something about it, no matter how bad he might look, being in the Time's Up era and all. Liv is honestly no longer deserving of her job, and I'm quite certain that Cragen would be highly disappointed. He might have even fired her by now.

And I should have known better than to think that the writers would use their brains. I thought Liv might actually get shot. I don't know what got into me. Thankfully in this case I was wrong, because that would have been even more disgraceful to do to her.

I find I just don't care for Stone. I don't know what it is, I just don't. However I am on his side in this episode's case. Olivia's behavior was reprehensible and laughable.

I do hope Season 20 will find Olivia finding the light. By that I mean getting her head out of her ass, which she has clearly rammed it into. I also want Rollisi to happen, as well as Sergeant Fin getting the spotlight from time to time. Rather, everyone getting the spotlight from time to time. Those, I find, are the best episodes.

Chris, I asked you a few days ago about ratings, as Season 20 is now Thursdays at 10, following comedies whose ratings don't normally do well at all. I said I was worried, and I want to know what you think of this: I still am, and it's highlighted by this awful finale. If Liv keeps it up, and if the writers keep it up, I think that NBC will kiss Season 21 goodbye.

I also agree, two hours was simply not needed. I'm surprised I never fell asleep. The episode gets a 1 out of 10 from me, and it only has that because it managed to make me feel many emotions all at once. Albeit, for the wrong reasons, but the writers got what they wanted out of me either way.

God, what a horrible episode. I now fear Season 20.

Draven Long said...

PS. About Stone. When I said I don't care for him, it's not in regards to his personal life. He saw his sister being killed, something no one should be forced to experience, and he came to New York just in time for his father's funeral. At first it was because of the way he handled cases, and sometimes I still don't like it. But I must admit I was cheering him on during this episode. No matter if she listens or not, Benson deserves Stone's "lectures." (God, that still pisses me off. I feel that was a sharp jab at Barba, and I don't like that.)

Speaking of, maybe I'm just not used to Stone on SVU. Granted, I didn't care too much for him on Chicago Justice either, but I love Barba so much that I think that's where I still get my distaste in Stone from. Guess I need to let Barba go and give Stone a chance.

la214la said...

Oh my goodness. I agree w/everything you posted. I hated this episode and Benson's attitude so much that I was hoping beyond hope that Lourdes was wrong, and that that Miguel was NOT her trafficker. I really wanted Benson to learn a lesson and be proven wrong b/c she was off the rails in this episode. As you said, she has zero objectivity at this point and shouldn't be leading this squad anymore. Old Olivia wouldn't hesitate to arrest a rape victim who exacted her own justice, but this Olivia wants Lourdes set free despite her murdering someone and there being no evidence to support her claims about Miguel. I'm so angry they made Olivia right about him.

As a lawyer, I couldn't help but be on Stone's side as they had NO evidence that Miguel was the trafficker. Everything Stone said made sense, and nothing Benson said did. Stone needs evidence to prosecute, Olivia. You used to know that. What is going on w/the character?

And like Laurie pointed out above, did Olivia have to be the one in the hostage situation? Why not Finn? Or Carisi? I'm sick of Olivia. I'm sick of her crusades. I'm sick of the show being entirely focused on her. They need to let some of the other detectives - esp. Finn - shine.

Sharla Madewell said...

Give a chance on Peter Stone. I like him. Olivia, I am very tried of her, including Sheila and Noah stituation. All about her.

mrs armitage said...

Maybe there is something building for Olivia? She's been going through a lot, and maybe that's why Peter is here: to open her eyes. I surely hope so , because I love Peter so much. And do you remember when Michael said that he wanted viewers to choose a side while watching the episode? This is practically chosing between Stone and Olivia. You go for the law? Choose Stone. You go for the moral? Choose Olivia. So yeah, I think Michael is doing this on purpose. Maybe something will happen on season 20, something that could give the show a proper ending in the future. Like Olivia realizing she's a bad lieutenant due to the fact that she takes it all too personal? Peter helping her to see the reality of the things? I mean, if Michael really wanted Olivia to be the focal point, we wouldn't have these arguments between Stone and Olivia . "It's the law!" He's constantly telling her. Maybe this is all for something that will happen in next season. I think the finale was tolerable, not the best one, but not really the worst one (for me). This season was good and then it was bad and then it was good again, but I hope it all gets better by season 20! For the time being, I will continue to unconditionally love Stone :)) nice review!

Draven Long said...

While going back through my initial reaction, I noticed I did like more of the episode than I felt I did. For example, Philip Winchester stole the ending scene, and Genesis Rodriguez was great as well. And while again, 2 hours was not necessary, I was intrigued by the story. Not Benson's behavior or the like, but the story itself. I feel it maybe could have just been executed better than it was.

Chris Zimmer said...

Sorry I disappeared for a few days. Family visiting from out of town, combined with the fact that Blogger decided to stop emailing comments to me and I had to check them manually.

@Draven Long - I think as more people let the weak finale sink in, the worries for a loss in viewers at the new time slot sinks in. I've received a lot of direct emails from people who are not going to watch the show any more. The writers will have to bring their A game to keep viewers, and if the stories are anything like the finale, they may lose some. There was quite a bit of angst from some about the fact that they only brought Stone's sister into his story line so they could kill her later to give Stone more of a back story. All we cab do is wait and see how they fare in the first week or two of the new season. If they aren't great, the show may not make it through a full season order.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

I figure Stone won't be around much longer next season-he'll get a case that makes him go vigilante and lose his job, and Benson will, at least partially, have ruined another prosecutor's career...she's become like a vampire sucking the life out of those around her and never facing the consequences for her attitude or actions. Benson of all people should know that someone's experience might be a reason for their behavior, but never an excuse.

Sharla Madewell said...

No, Peter stone doesn't lose his job.

Draven Long said...

@Chris That's one of my big fears, considering everyone at SVU wants to make it to Season 21.

Unknown said...

I have just watched part 1 of the episode in Australia & I had to google as I had no idea there was a part 2 & like what I am reading here, really struggled to get into the episode, to align with any character & was unusually really sick of Olivia & her ‘in your face’ acting. Hopefully part 2 will redeem part 1, but I agree with others comments that the other members of the team need more storylines.

Gah-Kai Leung said...

@Draven The show could get a shortened Season 21 order, say 13 episodes, which would do the trick.

Sharla Madewell said...

If everyone wants SVU to make it to Season 21. Get better writers. Tried of drama personal lives.

Sonny Honey said...

This show needs more "LAW & ORDER" story lines and less "OLIVIA & DISORDER" ones. And more of Fin & Carisi, please.

evangelina serrano said...

I did like the season finale. Im glad that Olivia was right about that guy. And honestly poor stone. I like his character. And i do hope law and order makes it to season 21. You never know season 20 may surprise us

Cath T said...

I agree with this review 100%.

Not one of SVU's better moments.

I just wanted to slap Benson all the way through the episode. She was so annoying.

Pretty awful.

Unknown said...

OMG! As evident, I am way behind in streaming SVU...a show I've watched for what seems like forever. I too found the Benson part deplorable. I did not even finish watching part 1 of the 2 part episode and took SVU off of my 'watchlist'. It reminds me too much of the police railroading of people, especially minorities and women, that is all too common today.

Unknown said...

This was the first episode of L&O: SVU that I have ever fast forwarded through. Genesis Rodriguez was a horrible choice for this role...her overacting made her character seem like she should have been on a telenovela instead of a primetime crime drama. would be nice if they did focus on some of the other members of SVU...esp. Carisi.

Jenn said...

I can barely watch this show anymore, it's gotten so bad. The only characters I like are Finn and usually Benson, though I am SO sick of the storylines about her kid. Sonny is ok, but Rollins and that bland ass bowl of oatmeal Stone have got to go. Why on Earth did they hire yet another lame white guy for the Sr ADA role, branch out people!

Shayne Cameron said...

I agree, I think this is setting up another arc for Benson into next season

ares said...

what’s so bad about vigilante justice when 9/10 the police don’t/aren’t able to do anything? especially when we’re taking about victims that have been through a tremendous amounts of trauma. you’re telling me that had someone done to you what was done to her (or someone you love) you wouldn’t consider doing what she did? please. benson has always been a crusader for her victims. It’s no surprise here. she’s also been through trauma herself which makes her that much more devoted and empathetic to her victims. but to your point the show has been going done hill for a long time and this was not one of its strongest episodes

Charles Zagara said...

I don't understand why the girls were trafficed to be nannies.

Katie Murphy said...

I just watched this today and agree with all you said. Exasperating! Olivia drove me nuts.

Picabo07 said...

I completely agree with your review and having been a fan for most of the run I am actually finding it hard to watch anymore. It’s time for Olivia to move up or on. She is not effective in her job. I think back to one of the very first episodes of SVU when a child predator was murdered and liv and Elliot had to investigate to try to find his killer. Olivia pushes back for much of the episode and Cragen gives Elliot the words of wisdom to tell his partner that she seems to have since forgotten ... “we don’t get to pick the Vic”
And the fact that he told her “you just used your get out of jail free card. There’s only one in the pack”
Seems like she used many more than one by now so why is she still there at this point?!

dttruman said...

I think Hargitay thought she was going to get an Emmy for her performance here, but it had just the opposite effect. Trying to deliver a performance from such a ludicrous story line and dialogue should have got her a "Razzy"

Eladio Garro said...

OMG! This is truly one of the worst SVU episodes I've ever seen. Lourdes didn't deserve any help, and Benson is just not a very good leader. I'm starting to hate her, and I hope the series gets cancelled now.

jacki said...

Couldn’t agree with you more. These were two of the worst episodes I’ve wasted time on. Mariska Hargitay has very little acting range and it was embarrassingly evident here. Let me guess, she’s going to whisper again? Why does she have to be in every goddamn scene? Olivia Benson needs to retire and go be with Noah. I’m personally annoyed of her character and the show’s insistence of putting her fragile emotional state and personal life in context constantly. NO ONE CARES.
I say, let Fin take over SVU. Olivia can kick rocks.