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


May 12, 2023 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Shadowërk” Episode 321 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

LAW & ORDER: The problem about putting that gun shot in the promo is that I was thinking about it the entire episode until it happened. (And it happening after the lawyer portion of the episode happened wasn’t what I anticipated.) Jeffrey Donovan was great as Cosgrove had to really face how much his job has changed since he started—but I’m also glad he and Shaw had that moment where Cosgrove acknowledged he wasn’t going anywhere.

NEXT LEVEL CHEF: Man, the cut from 5 chefs to 3 was maybe the most brutal element of the night? There were too many great finalists.

I had forgotten how they worked the finale, but I’m also really glad there wasn’t any game-changing errors and it really was dependent on taste and preference. And, really, no one was more deserving than Tucker to win it all.

GHOSTS: I loved the ghost trial, but I really, really loved how the people closest to Hetty reacted when they realized they might have to go a year without her. I love how much they love each other, even if they sometimes hurt each other. (And, yes, Hetty was wrong.)

I was suspicious of the heir, but I didn’t immediately think the lawyer set her up. I was worried about Jay eating that old sushi, because I was having horrifying visions of him dropping dead when they got back home. (I’m glad they did not go that route, that would have been depressing as hell.)

And that cliffhanger?! I’m gonna be blunt: I’m worried about Nigel and Isaac. Mostly Nigel, because non-series regulars could be most in danger, in theory. But those men were so happy and engaged, which feels like prime suspects for being, well, sucked off. But I don’t want to lose anyone…can it be someone we’ve never really known?

[For more on the finale, here’s what series star Rebecca Wisocky shared.]

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: As a whole, I liked the episode a lot and thought it was really compelling/engaging.

Going to bullet point some of the major points of the episode…. (Saying upfront that the Elliot/Olivia stuff is in the OC section…and the very end, at that. I know one scene was on SVU, but for this purpose, it’s getting slotted over there.)

  • This intro wasn’t quite as long, but it also felt like it worked a lot better because characters we cared about were in it. If they have to continue in this format, can we please get more cold opens like this? (Even if the first 2-3 minutes are setting up the case and then the cast comes in.)
  • The underground cage is nightmare fuel. WTF.
  • Unexpectedly loved Muncy/Churlish and Fin/Velasco. Does it make sense that Carisi was acting as a cop? No. But fine, it worked, because he and Olivia together are great.
  • I’m happy we got to see Olivia learn Rollins and Carisi are having a baby. Outside of her scenes with Noah, I don’t know if we’ve ever seen Olivia that happy?
  • On the flip side…what?? They could easily have played the “Rollins told me three months ago, I was waiting to see how long it would take before you cracked” kind of angle. I understand they couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have had Carisi tell Olivia months ago, but certainly it could have been done a couple of episodes earlier? (I’ll have more frustration with this in the OC section in a second.)
  • I’m extremely glad Muncy was able to use her words to talk Elias down…even if he busted through the interrogation room window and attacked her. Good lord, man, how is that glass not better enforced?
  • The show hasn’t played with Muncy and Fin as much as I would have liked, but I loved the moment they had at the end when he reassured her it was okay to not be okay—Fin is a great mentor to the kids. And I love that she took in his advice about the policeman’s prayer and that she used it to get through her ordeal with Elias.
  • I think the show has done a much better job at working Churlish in with the squad, but, uh, didn’t she say she had 30 days to impress Olivia more than a month ago? (And she had already worked through a bunch of those days at that point.) I’m not actually looking for her to leave at this point, but why set up that unneeded deadline if you weren’t going to come back to it when the time actually passed? (Because there’s no way Churlish would be able to play it cool and calm.)
  • While there’s another whole episode to go, in many ways this felt like a finale for SVU’s season 24. Lots of personal stuff, big and small, but also a twisted couple of cases. It was a strong way for the season to quasi-end.

GREY’S ANATOMY: Oh, a trip to Boston is going to be messy as hell.

I felt for Lucas, as he got upset about his family never clocking his diagnosis. Nick was so kind as he talked him through it, too.

(But, also, yowza to Lucas and Simone. There’s no way she actually goes through with this wedding, right?)

Sam Page keeps channeling his inner Denny, which is very charming, but also does not bode well for him. I’m sure this is just a way to push Link and Jo actually together, but I still hope the show pivots.

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: The good news? The show felt like OC again. (Which, frankly, was a relief after last week’s bizarre episode.) I liked the vast majority of it, too.

Going to bullet point a few things before diving into the Elliot and Olivia of it all…

  • I know there’s no logical way to bring Gary back, but he made me laugh out loud—from his absolute disdain at the price on his head to his general displeasure about being looped into the OCCB operation. Maybe he causes trouble a few years down the line?
  • (Was anyone else worried about Reyes eating that sandwich? I kept thinking he was going to get stealth poisoned that way.)
  • I’m so extremely torn on the Rollins of it. I thought her interaction with Elliot was actually excellent and one of the episode highlights. Again, does it make a whole lot of sense he went to her? Not really. But their heart-to-heart was a fantastic scene as Elliot and Amanda—both of whom care deeply about Olivia, but also know very different versions of her—saw each other and could be, frankly, more honest with each other than the people they love.
  • I do, however, hate what they’re doing with Amanda/Carisi and Amanda/Olivia. We had a bunch of returns last season on SVU where beloved people popped back in only for the foundation of their relationships to be rocked (or quasi-destroyed), and I really wish they hadn’t gone down that road for this. Clearly Amanda and Olivia haven’t been seeing each other for months, but either they haven’t been talking at all or Amanda’s been lying to her—why? I quasi-understand the lying about being happy at the new gig (though it’s a bummer Amanda is keeping that from Carisi), but she didn’t tell Olivia she was pregnant? Eesh. Not to mention, given the atrocious way Amanda told Olivia she was leaving the force—because, yes, Olivia opening up about how Elliot’s impact was still hurting her and Amanda following that up by quitting was…unkind, unfortunately—Amanda following similar patterns and now refusing to return Olivia’s calls…eesh. Sigh.
  • (And the look on Olivia’s face when she saw how pregnant Amanda was and realized that Elliot and Amanda were working together…ouch.)
  • I don’t know if it was a network/studio/writer decision, but that montage of real-life evil men yanked me out of the scene. We get it. I understand why you had to use flashbacks for Oscar Papa’s terror given it happened in January, on a separate show. But we know evil men. We don’t need to have that visual slammed over our head. Let us see those talented actors act versus show men whose faces don’t need more exposure.
  • Liv casually mentioning this case should involve the feds—plus its international element—just made me want the L&OxFBI crossover all over again. (Do not kill me, writers, please.)

So. About the Elliot and Olivia of it all. Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay had a number of great moments in their handful of scenes together. And if you’re happy to see those two share screen time and want to stay in that place…I don’t blame you. (And would also encourage you maybe not read further.)

Looking at Elliot and Olivia’s SVU scene—at least the start of it—there are a couple of ways to look at it. You can argue these two are finally openly addressing their issues, at least in the sense they acknowledged they had an almost-moment, the timing wasn’t right, but it was done out of love and kindness.

But what I kept thinking of was the first episode of THE X-FILES revival. In that episode, Mulder and Scully were inexplicably (and, ultimately, ridiculously) broken up, the writing was exposition-y and not necessarily natural to the characters, and there were beats when David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson struggled to find their way in a number of scenes.

I don’t think Hargitay and Meloni floundered quite like that—and there were a number of really excellent acting beats within the SVU scene, especially Elliot’s beaming face when he realized Olivia wanted to work with him and he tossed the “partner” at her…and then the almost surreal shake of her head that Olivia did in reaction to realizing, again, that he was back. But after his initial check-in re: Noah and her, it felt like rather than do another flashback sequence, they had to make their way through exposition-y dialogue dump explaining their last encounter and explicitly explaining what was going through their heads. There were a number of times in the episodes where it just felt like no one trusted the audience to read into an ounce of subtext. And, yes, I get it—I know this is a network TV show. (And this is a timely complaint, given writing for network TV unfairly got trashed on social media this week.) The thing is, OC was, for a stretch, the best network drama on TV and they didn’t force-feed audiences every emotional (or story) beat like this.

And, look, is it a little bit of a bummer to know they haven’t seen each other in over three months? Yeah. (Also, doing that after Noah had just spent hours in the car with Elliot? Presumably they haven’t been able to see each other, too, which is sad.) We saw Olivia was a recent contact on Elliot’s phone after their kitchen encounter, so hopefully there may have been casual texts and calls but…I just don’t know. It’s nice to get to experience moments (Elliot and Noah first meeting, Elliot and Olivia’s first face-to-face encounter post-kitchen) as viewers, but if you’re only going to let the characters interact a few times a season, it’s a lot harder for that to feel like natural progress. Fingers crossed they can work the schedules better next season, whenever that gets to film.

It’s been a pattern this season of seeing something that is a bit concerning, hoping that somehow it pays off in the end. Oh boy, was that Kathy “twist” last episode not worth it. The aftermath of it—AKA seeing nothing of that moment beyond last week’s episode end—made that reveal even more cheap. (Not to mention Elliot has been possibly walking around with a ring for a week by the time Olivia mentions it? Was he hiding it from Bell and the team?)

I touched on this last week, but I don’t mind the show revisiting Elliot’s grief and trauma; it just feels so sad they went for this superficial approach. Elliot is seemingly losing his mom, in a slow, heartbreaking way. He lost Kathy in a sudden, violent, harsh whirlwind. This man absolutely has regrets about both of those relationships and the way they ultimately played out. I wish we had gotten an exploration of that. Let us see how being faced with a new loss made him face the differing kinds of grief and unfinished business. We didn’t need a freaking hallucination that did nothing.

I’m extremely, extremely thankful Elliot told Olivia about his hallucination, though. It’s good Elliot was able to talk about it and that this didn’t become yet another thing he kept from her. It does make me sad, however, that we are once again in the position where Olivia is (understandably) having to be his support. Yes, Olivia is telling Elliot she’s fine, but outside of SVU’s episode 12, almost the entirety of their (on-screen) personal interaction has been him in distress and needing her to be his shoulder to lean on. It’s harder to fit non-case stuff into SVU’s structure, but given we just had a (natural) personal Amanda conversation on OC, I hope Olivia gets her time soon. Let someone take care of Olivia’s emotional needs, please and thanks.

I’ll acknowledge straight-up I know I’m going to be in the minority about this, but (most of) that Oscar Papa scene didn’t work for me. Would Elliot burn down the world for Olivia and Noah if they were in danger? Oh, hell yes. Not a doubt in my mind. And he’d be there for them in big ways (literally throwing his body over hers in the car when they got shot at in SVU season 22) and small (picking up Noah from the McCanns), so, yes, they’re his family, he’s going to protect them.

But Elliot reverted to some of his most destructive behavior with Oscar Papa, when there was zero threat. (Can there be an argument to be made that he’s dealing with PTSD and it messed up his self-control and instincts? Absolutely. But that also makes things murky as he’s working this very, very big case, because he needs to be trusted to not endanger his team.) And, more importantly, he told Oscar Papa where Noah was stashed?! Right now, I’m left hoping the scene was just a fan-service-y one-off bit, because I will also not be thrilled if that mistake comes back into play later.

That being said, the end bit (“If someone tried to kill me—,” “I’d kill ’em,” “Well, then compared to you, I showed remarkable restraint”) was absolutely perfect. The banter, acting, framing, everything…chef’s kiss.

Which shows did you watch last night?

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