Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Twelve - Criminal Hatred

The SVU Detectives arrest a man who targets and brutally attacks closeted gay men.  ADA Barba tries the case as a hate crime when he is up against an unpredictable defense attorney.  The episode was an interesting one and Nia Vardalos was really good as the defense attorney.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Eleven - Beautiful Frame

After a rape victim gets arrested for the murder of her ex-boyfriend the SVU team need to band together to try and prove her innocence to the Suffolk County DA Pam James.  Even though the team gather enough evidence that reveals a conspiracy to frame their victim for murder the Pam James refuses to drop the charges.  ADA Barba decides to charge the real killer and the two go to trial simultaneously to get a conviction for the same crime.  As is usual with SVU cases there is more to it than first appears and they do their best to unravel the many layers to the case.  I really enjoyed this episode as it was one of those episodes that had a complex narrative that kept evolving and changing throughout the episode.  It was also one of the episodes of SVU where although some things work out they have to let go of winning it all and are left with a sense of partial failure which I think gives the show a realism that is sometimes lacking from procedurals as in real life things hardly ever work out perfectly.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Ten - Presumed Guilty

The Christmas episode of SVU oddly screened in January but we can forgive the delay as it was a pretty good episode.  Finn's ex-wife asks for his help when her brother is arrested when he claims he was saving a priest from getting beat up.  The team help Finn prove his ex brother in law's innocence and stumble across a church abuse scandal that spans years.  The episode ended with Olivia jetting off to the Bahamas for Christmas with a mysterious guy that we are not allowed to know the identity of.  It is very clever of the shows writers as it gives you something to discover and a hook to keep watching to find out the identity of Olivia's boyfriend.  It has been teased throughout the season from the premiere where she got woken up by the Captain and there were two wine glasses on the side.  It is nice to see her happy and to have something more than the job and I have been trying to work out who it may be and I have come up with some possibilities.  It could be Adam Baldwin aka Captain Steven Harris as they seemed to have a connection, Brian Cassidy, ADA Haden as they may have got back together or ADA Barba even though I know they said he was away skiing but you never know.  The more unlikely but interesting possibilities could be Stabler as he has been away for a year and a half and a lot could happen.  Whoever it is it will be something to keep looking out for.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Nine - Dreams Deferred

The SVU team joins the FBI in the hunt for a spree killer with the help of a prostitute played by Patricia Arquette.  It was an interesting episode that dealt with seeing the life of a prostitute who has worked the streets since the 1980s which was interesting as it is something you do not generally get to see.  The family side, living situations and personal religious views.  Benson has a prior experience with Jeanie (the prostitute) where she was beaten years earlier by the same john they are after now.  After she helps them they all try their best to help her by arresting her and trying to talk to her about quitting.  They call in her priest and mother and two grown children to try and convince her to get help.  It was a sweet episode in which the Detective's went about above and beyond to try to do the right thing.    

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Eight - Lessons Learned

After a professor tries to talk to Amaro he gets scared off by the frantic nature of the squad room on a busy night and ends up committing suicide.  This leads to team to a private school and to investigating decades of abuse at the school.  A brilliant episode of SVU this week with a really interesting narrative.  It was shocking and it was great to see the team work so well together to try and bring closure to the abuse victims.  I am also very happy to see Raul Esparza back as ADA Rafael Barba as it is a nice change of pace to have a male ADA in SVU.  I really like the character of Barba, especially the dynamic he has with the rest of the cast as he is so different to them but is not afraid to do battle even when the odds are against them.  

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Seven - Vanity's Bonfire

After a baby goes missing from a playground the team think its all over when they find her but it seems to be just the beginning.  There is just one surprise after another between the biological parentage of the child, betrayal of trusts and cover ups.  This was such a sad episode and one of the SVU episodes that makes you think and breaks your heart at the same time.  I also liked the ending as it was full of shades of grey rather than right or wrong.  Benson offered to take all the responsibility but Amaro said it was his decision to let the mother take the fall too and hopefully this is signs of the two finally becoming partners properly.  Scott Bakula was great as the messed up politician but the real stand out for me was Jessica Hecht as his cancer stricken wife.      

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Six - Friending Emily

This week a 14 year old girl is abducted after going to a frat party with her older sister.  The girls were visiting New York with their school and is not long before the 14 year old is on the Internet.  Dead end after dead end the detectives get some help from ADA Barber and get a lead.  The case is further complicated for Rollins when her troubled sister shows up unexpectedly and begins causing issues both at home and at work for her.  This was an interesting development in Rollins narrative and I hope they carry it on as the tension between Rollins duty as an older sister and the knowledge she is bad news should lead for some interesting plot lines.  

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Five - Manhattan Vigil

It's the 300th episode of Law and Order SVU and I really like what they did here as it is a gripping narrative with a nod to Season One and how far the show has come.  After a young boy goes missing from Morningside Heights Olivia is reminded of a similar case thirteen years earlier of Hector Hernandez who was the same age as Wyatt and went missing in similar circumstances.  As the team searches for Wyatt Benson, Munch and Cragen remember the Hernandez case and Olivia vows to solve this one too.  It was a really good episode and I for one am glad that 300 episodes in and I still find SVU gripping and holding my interest.  The thing I like about the show is you have believable cases that not only make you think but also make you feel and this episode is no exception.  The most heartbreaking scene of the episode goes to Hector's mother when she finally gets the answers she has been looking for for thirteen years.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Four - Acceptable Loss

This episode was really good but I might be biased as Kathryn Erbe reprised her role as Alexandra Eames from Law and Order: Criminal Intent now a Lieutenant on loan to Homeland Security.  Another reason for my possible bias is the return of Captain Cragen because as much as I love Adam Baldwin SVU is just not the same without Cragen.  The team stumble on to a terrorist case when they try to shut down a sex trafficking ring but Benson tries to work it out where they can solve both.  One of my favourite scenes was when Benson and Eames were interrogating a suspect and Eames went all Goren with her sideways head tilt to throw off the suspect.  It made me really want Kathryn Erbe to join the SVU cast full time but I doubt that will work out.  If Dan Florek ever does decide to leave I think she would be a great replacement Captain as she plays by the rules but is all about the cases.  Great episode.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - Season Fourteen Episode Three - Twenty-Five Acts

A successful author of an erotic novel gets raped by a talk show host after he interviews her and Benson and Rollins struggle to help a new DA get a conviction due to the nature of her book and persona.  The episode was interesting and clearly inspired by the reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey which has been widespread and extreme.  One of my favourite things about SVU is how it gets you thinking about issues like what happens when fantasy becomes reality and when books dealing with BDSM become mainstream does this mean the line of acceptability gets pushed further.  One issue the team deal with in their quest for justice is the fact that the rape mimics scenes from the book and so comes from the victims fantasy which leads to the debate over whether people will think she wanted it or enjoyed it.  The episode was good and had an interesting narrative but the thing that stood out the most for me was the addition of a new DA from Brooklyn, Rafael Barber who I was very impressed by.  I'm not sure if he is going to be a recurring character or not but there were a few shared glances between him and Benson so maybe she'll move to a new DA for a romantic rendezvous, although I doubt she'll make that mistake again plus I'm not certain it's even over.