About Last Night...GHOSTS, GREY'S ANATOMY, and LAW & ORDER: SVU-ORGANIZED CRIME Crossover - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


December 10, 2021 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “The Christmas Episode” Episode 209 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

GHOSTS: Jay being possessed by Hetty was unspeakably funny. Utkarsh Ambudkar‘s take on Hetty was absolutely incredible, and he nailed the voice/posture perfectly. And Hetty becoming enamored with Cheetos?!?? (Girl, I can relate.) And how delightful to have Enrico Colantoni show up for a mini-IZOMBIE reunion! My goodness, I love this show.

GREY’S ANATOMY: I’ve been afraid they were going to go there with Jo and Link, but I honestly thought he’d be the one to have feelings versus it be her. I…really hope they don’t mess up this friendship.

With the trial Meredith and Amelia are doing, I’m so glad they have success…but I’m wondering how the show approaches this. It’s not like they can have them cure Parkinson’s, I assume? So, what next?

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT & ORGANIZED CRIME: Putting these two together, both because it was a crossover, but also because in some ways SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT was an episode of OC and ORGANIZED CRIME quasi-felt like an SVU case?! (I loved the crossover.)

First of all, it was great to have Raúl Esparza back. Barba is such a dynamic character, that any chance to get more time with him is delightful.

I am still a little perplexed both why Barba took the case and why Wheatley even wanted him. For Barba’s part, he’s right, there were a lot of missing pieces in the case against Wheatley (at least re: Kathy’s murder) and someone else might have torn Olivia apart. But there was also zero doubt Wheatley is a bad man. He wasn’t being railroaded because of Kathy’s death—he escaped the 30 RICO charges because he was so dirty he turned on everyone else. And Olivia explicitly asked him to not do this.

For Wheatley, as much fun as he might get in this causing mayhem for Olivia and the SVU squad, wouldn’t he have wanted a lawyer who would go after Olivia? Maybe not destroy her the way Barba feared, but at least utilize her past both against her and as a tool to hurt Elliot? (For instance: Olivia admitted, publicly, to perjury in the past. Barba would never, ever touch that, but you’d think another lawyer would utilize that, especially in a case like this where part of the line of questioning was about her being too close to the situation.)

But whatever their reasons were, the trial was…so much fun? (I’m sorry, I know that sounds terrible, but it was delightful to witness, even if characters I love were miserable.) Barba in court is a delight, and watching Carisi go toe-to-toe with him was great. And, really, there was no better moment in the case than watching Barba realize how thoroughly he had been played by his former squad, who baited Richard into testifying. Esparza’s facial expressions were A+.

Also, Barba would never, ever take the job as Wheatley’s on-call lawyer, but there could be an insanely twisted show of Barba and Wheatley just interacting every week; the duo had great chemistry. But, yeah, Barba’s not going to work for you Wheatley. Enjoy the fun you had! (And, well, Wheatley is now free, so good luck, everyone.)

I am really sad with how we left Olivia and Barba’s friendship by the end of SVU, though. She’s right to be hurt. She’s right to be devastated, frankly. This wasn’t just a betrayal, this feels much deeper. I know he explained his reasoning to her, but she clearly asked him to not do this anyway. And not only did she have to experience him cross-examining her, but then she sat through the whole trial. Olivia radiated pain every time she looked at him, and it sucks Barba being the lawyer defending Wheatley made what was always going to be a bad situation worse. But he was one of her best friends, and I hope they’re able to find their way back to a good place at some point soon, even though their closing exchange made it clear it won’t be easy.

I’m so intrigued by the Richard and Angela mess, both in the SVU and OC hours. Richard (as far as we know?) is married to someone else—for a long time; they have a teen!—but he keeps calling Angela the love of his life. (Which, look, not unheard of in this franchise to be married to someone and have the love of your life be a separate person.) Angela…what the heck is going on there? I’ve long been intrigued by Richard’s claim that he had tapes of Angela and Izak plotting Kathy’s death, and I’m curious why that card wasn’t played during the trial. Was it because he was trying to protect her? Was he bluffing? Was that only a card he’d play if he got convicted, because this way, by not using it, he could hold it over her going forward?

But no matter what, it certainly seems like to some degree they’re working together—or at least have an element of trust. In theory. Was Richard telling Elliot that Dana was the only one with access to the crypto (which was used to pay off the dude who framed Eli for murder) some sort of red flag to Angela, because he knew Elliot would go to her and then Angela would make sure Dana got the message to disappear? Is someone else manipulating the Wheatley family entirely? (Also, Tamara Taylor is incredible, and I can’t wait to see what absolute insanity she gets to play now that we know for sure Angela is faking this.)

Speaking of misbehaving kids…holy [insert your curse of choice here], Eli. (Also…he’s still 14, right? Ohhh boy.) My heart broke at his desperation when he was thinking about jumping. But, um, also, is there something in the Stabler DNA that makes those dudes think the right thing to do when discovering a dead body is to leave the crime scene where you’ve definitely contaminated the area? (Looking at you, Elliot, and your decision to run from Sinatra’s corpse in the ORGANIZED CRIME series premiere.)

Given Elliot and Olivia’s SVU expertise, it was absolutely a gut-punch to watch them go from being so relieved that Eli was okay to realizing things had gone very, very, very bad while he was missing—and Eli might have done the very thing they spent much of their careers trying to prevent and get justice for.

It was more than a little surreal to watch Elliot and Olivia work the case together, with her going to the scene of the crime and Elliot utilizing the task force. Because the case had shades of their past SVU work, it felt like a parallel universe where that working relationship never changed.

For as much as I’m deeply glad the show has acknowledged the trauma Elliot has gone through, I’m maybe equally as glad they’re digging into what it has been like for Eli, as well. In the past nine months, he lost his mother, saw his father deal with PTSD and grief and then went undercover for months, plus Eli also left the only country he really knew/all his friends and is back in a place you’d imagine he barely remembers. His entire life was up-ended and he’s young. I’m glad Olivia was able to help Elliot actually hear the doctor who was explaining why Eli was struggling—it seemed like Elliot took it to heart, and I hope he and Eli can build a steady foundation going forward. (Maybe no more undercover ops, please.)

Prior to the episodes airing, ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Ilene Chaiken had teased the crossover would “advance the story” between Elliot and Olivia, and, boy, did it. It’s a little surreal that more than 22 years into an on-screen relationship that multiple real, honest conversations in a two-hour block feels like a real win, but it does.

In many ways, Olivia and Elliot were notorious for not talking things through when they were partners. They’d fight, they’d joke, they would do anything for each other. But the number of talks they had, especially when they needed to? Rare. So rare. And frequently when they’d try, it was so not their norm they’d end up miscommunicating, which would lead to further issues.

And I know I’ve said this before, but Olivia deserves the right to be angry. So much of her feelings about Elliot’s return had to be buried because he was immediately thrust into tragedy and grief and it wouldn’t have been fair (or, probably, healthy for either of them) to fight the way they needed in the immediate aftermath. But he was gone for a decade. He’s back and it’s been one thing after another. They haven’t, as far as we’ve seen, really talked. (Like, even on a basic level, does he know Noah is adopted? Has he met Noah? I’m assuming no, but I also wouldn’t have guessed he knew where Olivia’s new apartment was, so…)

So that’s a long way of saying I’m glad Olivia got the chance to express her hurt over how he has handled his return, even if it took Elliot baiting her by asking why she wanted to know about what happened with Angela. The fact is, a lot happened to Olivia while Elliot was gone, and it seems pretty clear he doesn’t know about it. Olivia should have the choice about when to disclose those things to him rather her have to worry he’ll do digging himself or find out from someone else; it’ll almost certainly be traumatizing when they have the Lewis talk, no matter what, for instance, and she shouldn’t have to live with that cloud over her head wondering when that bomb could explode. If he’s going to tell her he loves her and she means the world to him, he should want to know who she’s become and what she went through to get there. And she definitely deserves to know why he gave her a letter full of mixed messages that he didn’t even write. She’s right, she has been prioritizing him and his recovery.

And I’m glad it seems he listened. Yes, he explicitly told her he wanted to know about their time apart, which was a great start, but I’d argue their final conversation of the episode—after they cleared Eli and he thanked her for her help—was an even more important. She tried to stop him—and, look, we know she’d do virtually anything for him or his family, so there really was no question she’d be there for them in an emergency like this—but he made it clear he wanted her to hear him. And he told her he wanted them to find balance…that’s needed and important to any relationship they have going forward. I don’t really know you talk to and look at your friends the way Elliot and Olivia were looking at each other in that scene (or the entire two-hour block)—that’s where the “whatever this is” and “friendship…for now”qualifiers come in, I suppose—but there was real communication between the duo where they expressed what they needed and wanted, which feels like an actual holiday miracle.

(Also, I don’t know which ORGANIZED CRIME writer had the idea to name the episode, “The Christmas Episode,” but I appreciate your dark sense of humor.)

[For more on OC, here’s info on the new foe coming into play in the “Nemesis” arc and a little bit more about the Wheatley women.]

Which shows did you watch last night?

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