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


April 28, 2023 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “A Diplomatic Solution” Episode 319 — Pictured: (l-r) Ellen Burstyn as Bernadette Stabler, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

NEXT LEVEL CHEF: Man, Chef Stretch keeps ending up in elimination rounds. I’m curious if this gets in his head or if he can take Gordon’s words to heart and realize it also means he’s won/escaped elimination that many times.

It’s also crazy that Tucker is the only one left from Gordon’s original team? It felt like we really barely got time with them as team units, so I’ve entirely lost track of who was with what chef at this point.

LAW & ORDER: Okay, congrats to LAW & ORDER for breaking the procedural guest star curse—Sasha Alexander wasn’t secretly the killer?!? An actual twist!!

In all seriousness, a gut punch of an episode; it’s depressing that protecting trans kids is a controversial issue in 2023. (I don’t know how the cops didn’t know about drag storytime being a hot-button issue, but that’s a whole other thing.)

I’m also a bit confused about how higher-ups weren’t involved in this case, though? If a congresswoman’s husband is killed—and she thinks she’s the target—how is McGrath not alllll over this? Or another higher-up if they don’t want to use him again.

GHOSTS: Well, this was a cute episode. Of course Stephanie caused mayhem, but how sweet she found another teen. (You know, once he took off the glasses.)

For as much as the comedy leans into the joke of Jay being unaware of what’s going on around him/the ghosts being able to be sneaky when Sam isn’t there to acknowledge them in the room, I’m glad the show is also acknowledging how sad that is, too. Sam has a lot of friends, so to speak, with the ghosts. And she has Jay. For Jay, yeah, he can have telephone-like conversations with the ghosts, but he really only has Sam. I loved her potential compromise of him opening up a restaurant on the grounds so he can nourish his own dream, too.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Gonna start with the good: I really liked how the show handled the Velasco and Churlish quasi-uncomfortable partnership. Neither person changed who they are, but they actually saw the other and what they brought to the table. It was extremely sweet that Velasco brought Churlish the merit badge at the end. Jasmine Batchelor and Octavio Pisano were great together.

I also loved Velasco and Benson’s actually supportive conversation at the end, even if it was ethically murky. (And more on that in a second.) It seems like they may finally be getting on the right track, which is good considering the squad is a revolving door at this point.

Carisi, frankly, was the highlight of the actual case of the week. Congrats to him for reiterating this was a major conflict of interest. And for pointing out it was wildly suspicious that Maxwell’s husband just dropped dead.

So, the other stuff:

  • I understand the episode was literally called “Bend the Law,” but…what the f—. Maxwell’s husband was a vile POS, but she watched. him. die. Her life was not in danger. There was no gray area in what we saw. She stood there and watched him die. Her 911 call could absolutely be held against her. If they wanted there to be more of a middle ground, there were a million ways that scene could have played out…I actually would have loved it if they cut the scene much sooner (at her initial pause) and we could have speculated ourselves which way it played out. (And, yes, Maxwell was abused by her first husband; I’m not dismissing that. But this feels like an awfully thin, bizarre line to walk.)
  • I don’t get what the show is doing with Olivia in all of this. She knows Maxwell allowed her husband to die and is keeping it quiet—and the end dialogue was a direct parallel to episode 4, when they were protecting a victim—despite…everything. Olivia knows Velasco illegally recorded a conversation and is going to share it with people, possibly? How is she going to explain the evidence she has? She just sent Velasco on this entire chase to get Chilly because he did something wrong, and now she’s shrugging her shoulders at the illegal stuff around her?
  • Speaking of the illegal recording, I don’t understand why the show went down this path again. Was it to make what Churlish did look better? Velasco was there for work…why did he not cover his bases? As it is, it feels like the show wants to acknowledge its characters (Churlish, Velasco, Maxwell) are doing bad things in the name of getting justice, but doesn’t want to deal with the actual consequences of it. If they’re not willing to contend with it, at this point, don’t even open that door to begin with.
  • I wish the episode had focused a bit more on the actual survivors. They were immediately brushed aside in the Very Big Important Case Dynamics and it felt like they were forgotten in the mess.
  • On a lighter note, Olivia doing everything in her power to keep Velasco and Muncy apart is extremely funny. Maybe a little bit of projecting there, Liv?

[For more on the episode, here’s what Octavio Pisano shared.]

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: We are officially back in the murky land of overlapping showrunners (which I covered in a November edition of About Last Night, but this time it applies to now-former boss Sean Jablonski and current showrunner David Graziano), which…look, I’ll be blunt, is not entirely fun. And it’s certainly a bummer we’re undergoing this for a second time in a single season.

As it was, there were a lot of pieces I liked about this episode. But a lot of it felt so superficial, I find myself wishing some of it would have been held for later.

Starting with the good:

  • Always great to see Karen David on my screen. (#GALAVANTForever) I was fascinated by so much of her character, from the intriguing relationship with Elliot to ultimately what role Diya had in what went down. (For the record, I’m with Karen: I like to believe Diya didn’t know what she was getting into and had to pivot, but I love the wiggle room for others to believe she was playing everyone from the start.)
  • I am glad, however, that Elliot realized Diya had the semiconductors, because the second she tried to leave town in a hurry, I was side-eying her and figured she was now transporting them. Good for him for sussing it out himself!
  • Reyes having to wear Whelan’s pants and complaining about it? Literally laughed out loud.
  • This team remains the best. I truly hope we keep them all for season 4.
  • I know Ellen Burstyn was off filming a movie for much of this season, but, man, I missed Bernie. I hope they can utilize her a bit more going forward. And any time Burstyn and Christopher Meloni can share a scene, it’s A-OK by me.
  • Speaking of that, I do love that the show expressly had Bernie tell Elliot how much his happiness means to her. She tried to express as much in SVU’s “Swing” a billion years ago, but their relationship wasn’t in a place for him to hear it—or for her to express it correctly. She spoke, instead, of his childhood dreams and him losing his passion. (He countered that it went into his family and responsibilities.) Now…Elliot still has family and responsibility, but he is in a place to think about what actually makes him happy. And he’s in a place to take in what his mom is telling him.

The, uh, questionable:

  • I’ll start with the Bernie of it all: For as much as it makes sense she needs to be in a home, it came fairly out of left field within the show’s current world. (And actually reminded me of a certain scene in SVU episode 12, in that it was something that fit into the show’s larger arc, but makes absolutely no sense given what we’ve seen this season.) As far as we’ve been hearing, Bernie has been doing as well as possible. In November, Bernie was still living with Elliot, but was on a “month-long tour” staying with the grandkids. (Though now they seem to be retconning it, again, so she isn’t living with him.) We hadn’t seen any real sign of her decline/needing real assistance (beyond her not living alone-alone), so…this didn’t work for me as well as I would have hoped. I get the show is quasi-backed in a corner if you can’t have Ellen constantly on the show, but I wish we had gotten an episode of seeing this before Bernie and Elliot had the “we’ve got to look for homes” comment. Or even a half-line of Elliot acknowledging she had been getting worse. How was he willing to leave her entirely alone (and not even check on her after she got lost) and then jump to “you need a home”?
  • Was Eli not just home for spring break? In “Blood Ties,” they said he had been living off of dorm food for three months/it certainly seemed like the right timing…please, for the love of all that is holy and unholy, do not make me question when in time the show is set again.
  • The Bernie and Jet scene was cute, but also odd since Bernie was confused…if she doesn’t know Jet, her presence would be just as strange as the officer already there? (And were all of the kids busy? Who has been watching Bernie when she’s not with Elliot?)
  • What was that sewer scene?!
  • I’m so glad the show finally acknowledged that Bell is fighting for custody of her son, but it felt like it was a disservice to be placed in this episode, because they only barely scratched the surface of it. We got more emotion and story real estate with Reyes going to see his sponsor than this. (And don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed that Reyes scene.) Was this a remnant from the former showrunner? An add-in from the new showrunner? Cut for time? I genuinely don’t know. I hope they might come back to this in some kind of real way, but given what’s already out there re: the final episodes…I’m a little skeptical. (Please let me be wrong.)

[For more on the episode, here’s what Karen David shared.]

Which shows did you watch last night?

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