About Last Night...LAW & ORDER, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


November 18, 2022 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Whipping Post” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Danielle Moné Truitt as Sgt. Ayanna Bell, Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

LAW & ORDER: It was a middle of the road episode, with a few bright spots. (Particularly Price’s torment as he tried to figure out how to try the case, the insight into Shaw’s family.) A bit of a bummer after last week’s stellar episode, but it was fine.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Starting with the good: Greg Grunberg was great. Carisi and Rollins were very cute as he told her about the possible new job. (It was lovely that Fin and Olivia figured out what was going on, too.) Fin and Muncy bantering about pizza was a nice beat for them to have, especially after he warned her (again) to not overstep and to wait for backup.

But the show has had difficulties dealing with queer issues in the past, which made this the episode I was most concerned about going into the hour. I appreciate that Rollins (belatedly) pointed out Olivia was trying to speak on McDaniels’ wavelength, but it doesn’t change the fact Olivia still deadnamed his daughter, multiple times. If she was trying to get him to help/admit his screw up later, she could have used a gender neutral descriptor instead.

(I also deeply wish we had gotten even a line from Olivia about the fact she’s raising a queer child. Not to McDaniels—she certainly did not owe him that piece of herself—but Amanda or someone. This wasn’t just them trying to find the killer of a cop’s kid…this was a cop’s queer kid. How could this not hit Olivia a little bit harder than normal?)

I also truly don’t get how this trial worked, at all, between Carisi being the prosecutor when Rollins was testifying, or how contaminated evidence/things removed from the crime scene could be used as evidence, or the time frame of when the death happened to how quick the trial occurred, but it feels like something to wave off as TV magic.

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: Bell trying to hide the task force being shut down from a whole bunch of detectives? Yeah, it’s not a surprise that didn’t work out the way she wanted.

Not to buy into the conspiracy theories, but, uh, they might be right about the task force being shut down for nefarious reasons. Look, on paper some of the reasons are correct: It was (officially) formed to investigate Kathy Stabler’s death and the tie to Richard Wheatley. (Though Bell had been investigating him prior to Kathy’s death.) The Wheatleys are dead and/or in the wind. Bell is great and deserves a promotion.

However, the timing is interesting, within the show, because this investigation into the casino isn’t the most controversial operation they’ve done (hello Brotherhood)—but it’s the first time it’s been this out in the open. Before, the things that might have upset the higher ups were done undercover, with only need-to-know people in the loop. If powerful people are trying to keep the Silas family out of trouble, shutting down this task force is a good way to do it…and Robert Silas mentioned he had a direct line to One PP. (Also, Bell deserves the world, but they’re promoting her to a rank above captain? After she was persona non grata a little over a year ago because of her nephew’s suit against the NYPD? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.)

Even if Elliot was absolutely wrong to go behind Ayanna’s back (again), and Ayanna probably should have filled him (and the rest of the task force) in before everything was set with her new job, it absolutely hurt to watch them have that end fight. Neither was right, neither was wrong—but it’s also not like Ayanna chose this. She wasn’t given a choice to take this job and then the task force would go away. (I’m also curious how this might impact her custody battle for her son. Would the promotion help or hurt things?)

Obviously the task force won’t go away long-term, but I’m curious how they’ll wiggle out of this story corner. A win so big in the next episode the NYPD is forced to keep them together? A temporary split before they return? A compromise with the task force staying together but Bell just moves on via her promotion? No matter what, eager for Elliot and Ayanna to get past this bump in the road.

I’m definitely fond of the trope of a character’s feelings being thrown in their face by a third-party (hi, specifically, to THE X-FILES), but it’s interesting this is now the third time Elliot’s grand love for Olivia has been brought up to him by an outsider in OC.

Removing the Wheatley situation/taunt for a second—because Olivia’s safety, arguably, depended on Elliot not losing his cool in the moment—it’s been absolutely fascinating to see how Chris Meloni has navigated Elliot’s emotions when he’s been blatantly called out on his feelings. When Elliot told Olivia he loved her in the midst of his disastrous intervention, it was one of Meloni’s best acting moments, as the sheer magnitude of what he did hit Elliot and then panic took over. There’s a fair case to be made that Elliot’s love for/of Olivia was the biggest secret of his life, something he probably thought he’d never be able to say out loud in any meaningful way, and it was just suddenly…out there. It couldn’t be denied, he said the words. But (as far as we know) no one called him on it, in part because he was so deep in his PTSD.

But then Agnes read his tea leaves (all the way back in the season 2 premiere) and wanted to know why Elliot hadn’t told the person he loves how he feels. And now Tia wanted to know about the woman he (drunkenly) told her he was in love with. And both times, Elliot paused, clearly shocked, almost as if he couldn’t process that this secret he guarded so closely for more than two decades was just casually being repeated back to him. Meloni’s acting is constantly underrated, and this was just another reminder of how good/intentional he can be with his choices.

(It’s also okay if this is the last time this trope plays out on this show, because at this point the only person who is quasi-in the dark/deep denial about Elliot’s love for Olivia is Olivia. Hopefully he can find a better way to tell her than the first go-round.)

Honestly, thank goodness Tia wasn’t bad, even if it makes the random stuff about her team being MIA last week extra weird. We’ve had enough of Elliot being unknowingly entangled with bad women.

Also: It certainly feels like the casino storyline is on its way out with Teddy locked up, Robert seemingly in the task force’s sights, and Pearl with her sister…?

Which shows did you watch last night?

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