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


May 19, 2023 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “With Many Names” Episode 322 — Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Captain Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

LAW & ORDER: I was curious how the show would handle Sam Waterston’s 400th episode, because most episodes he’s in only a handful of scenes, but this is a pretty huge deal. And I thought they gave him a lovely storyline and gave Hugh Dancy an incredible bit to work with.

With the McCoy storyline, we got a glimpse of his politics (!) and a reunion with his daughter…though I’m fascinated by their relationship given it seems she’s local and yet they’re not frequently in touch? It was a nice glimpse into his life, outside of work, even if it didn’t exactly go the way he wanted.

And getting the callback to Nolan experiencing the aftermath of a mass shooting was something I didn’t expect, but was so glad to see them explore. It makes sense he would have some element of PTSD, and I’m glad Sam clocked it right away and didn’t let her friend off the hook.

GREY’S ANATOMY: Well, it’s very weird when the cliffhanger is ruined by real-life casting news right before the episode airs, but…okay then. (Still, #SaveTeddy.)

Simone ditching her wedding for Lucas was entirely predictable, but also YES PLEASE. Enjoying them a lot. (Also deeply enjoyed seeing Jonathan Adams as Simone’s father.)

Look, I’ve been extremely, vocally against a Link and Jo pairing, but…if it’s gonna happen, at least their confessions to each other worked. Hopefully I care more about them next season.

Man, I got emotional over Meredith presenting Bailey with an award. These two women have come so far—and Meredith has grown so much since she was a baby intern on Bailey’s rotation—and it was just deeply sweet for them to have that moment

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: Well, I’ve got a lot to say about these two hours, so this is going to be as chaotic as the episodes. (Good luck.)

Starting with some bullet points:

  • Fin talking to the young male victim and Bruno talking to the kid’s mother was probably the most underrated portion of these episodes. Fin making sure the kid was as okay as possible and Bruno reiterating how harmful the mother’s behavior was (and comparing it to his relationship with his father) was just lovely.
  • That being said, I don’t know why they had a whole separate case tied into this SVU episode. We’ve seen the show throw format out the window when the episode calls for it, so why not just lean into the whole crossover element? It’s not like the crossover portion was a small bit of the story and casual viewers watching in syndication can gloss over it.
  • Speaking of pacing, I truly hope we do away with these wildly long, non-series regular cold opens on both shows next season. I understand there are a hundred production reasons it likely makes things easier, but losing like 15% of an episode (at the start!!!) to a character we don’t know and frequently shouldn’t be caring about…it’s a bummer.
  • Kind of insane that Olivia was shot for the first time in 24 seasons and it still wasn’t the most bonkers (or traumatic) part of the crossover.
  • (Olivia joking post-shooting she wouldn’t be sitting any time soon made me think of the time Munch was shot in the ass. Miss him.)
  • Poor Noah is going to be so traumatized by this year. He saw his mom get beaten up in front of their home and then was shipped away for weeks. Then, his mom left the state (did he go to the McCanns? Stay with Martha?), and she got shot. This kid will (fairly) never want to leave her side at this point.
  • The bounty was still out on Elliot and Olivia, given the original attacker didn’t complete the job, right? I’m shocked she was alone at urgent care—and that he left her, even if it was to track their suspect. (Relatedly: URGENT CARE FOR A GUNSHOT WOUND?!)
  • How the hell do you survive stabbing yourself in the midsection like that?! IT WAS NOT A SMALL SWORD.
  • Again, not looking for Churlish to leave, but it remains weird they brought up that she had 30 days to prove herself if they were going to do absolutely nothing with it.
  • The way the episodes handled the potential Muncy exit of it all was very odd. If we don’t see her next season, it was a deeply unfair blink-and-you-missed-it farewell. If she does come back, I really wish that time had been allotted to the other big thing in that montage rather than a fake-out.
  • With all of the above (and below) said: I mostly enjoyed it? It was not my absolute favorite crossover between the franchise, but hardly the worst. There are a few key things I have issues with (especially with Jamie and the final scene), but it was mostly an engaging event, and I’ll take it.

I don’t really know what to make of the Rollins of it all. I’m glad she and Olivia got a scene, but they did nothing to pay off the (odd) decision to have Amanda ghost her and keep this pregnancy from her. And, more frustratingly, it was a nearly identical conversation to the one Amanda just had with Elliot on OC. Of course it means more with Liv, but in the very, very limited time we had with these characters I would have rather there been some element of new information (or diving deeper into the issues Amanda had already admitted to Elliot) rather than retreading what we heard the previous week.

Which, yes, brings up the elephant in the room: Not one scene made it to air of Carisi and Rollins together? I…

(I also kept wondering what kind of waivers and liability forms Amanda had to fill out to be a civilian going into a clearly dangerous situation like that. I’m shocked they didn’t keep her much further from the action—like, it made sense when she was with Olivia or the suspect’s mom.)

And Jamie. Poor, sweet, mini-Elliot, Jamie. Sigh. On a selfish note, I hate this. The best thing about ORGANIZED CRIME season 3 was this group and their dynamic—they were the best current ensemble in the L&O world. And now that’s torn apart. (Again.)

I don’t blame Jamie for being in despair. I don’t blame him for being worried about his life being turned upside. I don’t blame him for deeply grieving what could have been. But he was in the immediate aftermath of a serious injury. (And surgery!) It feels deeply irresponsible that whoever pulled that plug did not give him a beat to think it over. See what his injuries actually looked like when the swelling went down and he had any idea of his actual recovery period? He was not in a state of mind to make a permanent decision like that.

I do not want to speak on behalf of a community I’m not a part of, but it also felt like it implied this kind of disability meant the end of your life, which is absolutely not the case. If Jamie had to die—and, God, I wish they had not gone down this road—I would have much rather had him sacrifice himself in the woods to save the sociopath who set all of this in motion. It would have been brutal and awful, but made sense.

(Also: Jet’s “I love you”?! Are we reading that as romantic, familial, or…?)

I’m also curious what people’s take on Jamie’s death was: I read that scene as Reyes being the one to pull the plug, but a friend is convinced it was Jamie’s dad. No matter what, Reyes knows the truth of what happened, and that’s a terrible secret he’ll have to shoulder.

That being said, the work Brent Antonello and Rick Gonzalez did was absolutely gut-wrenchingly good.

But the loss of Jamie also speaks to part of the problem with the lack of consistent OC showrunners. Bell has lost a member of her team. (RIP, Gina.) Season 1 had an OCCB member—Morales—who was revealed to be dirty and he died. Jet just lost a man she cared about. The loss of Jamie—especially on ORGANIZED CRIME! This wasn’t even a situation where he died on a show that wasn’t his—should have played out beyond a quick montage of reactions. If you’re going to take the step of killing off a regular (who, in my unscientific observation of fan reaction over the past season, was actually quite popular), you should let your characters absorb the loss. And with OC off the air until 2024, it’s not likely the grief will get revisited. Alas.

After being frustrated with a number of elements of how Olivia and Elliot were handled last week, I enjoyed almost everything they got to do in the crossover. It’s always, always, always great to see them working a case together, because their partnership is unparalleled.

But it was also nice to see them be friends again. A year ago, they weren’t in a place where Elliot could have pushed her about the unopened Christmas present; now, he could. Olivia has always acknowledged how well he knew her (even the parts she didn’t want to share), so he could see how much normalcy scares the hell out of her. Which is fair! This is a woman who was forced to grow up way too soon, likely didn’t have the chance to really be a kid, and didn’t have that TV family life. And even when she’s had happiness, she’s exposed to the very darkest parts of the world every day. It’s frequently infiltrated the family unit she’s built with Noah. I don’t blame her if actual, lasting happiness scares the hell out of her, because it also means she has a lot more she’s risking. (Also LOL to “I have normal-itis.”)

And, yeah, that shootout was badass. Absolutely perfectly in sync, compete partners. And holy [your choice of curse here], Elliot may have been unable to see, but that man bolted up so fast the second he knew she was hit to get her TF out of there.

I’m deeeeeply glad Elliot did not try to kiss Olivia in the exam room (though based on the look on her face when he went in for the hug, it looked like she thought he was going to…and it certainly didn’t seem like she was going to pull away), both because he learned his lesson about having better timing and they both deserved to have the straight-up comfort of a hug. (Do I wish he had made it clear to her that his stress over possibly losing her wasn’t just because he had seen his dead wife a couple of episodes earlier and had lingering PTSD? Yes. But it is what it is. At least they were open-ish.)

That being said, I find myself frustrated with the final scene. And to be clear, it’s not about the content of their conversation. (Or reading it as a goodbye or thinking it means this won’t ultimately end with the two of them together; it very clearly wasn’t that.) Olivia being able to poke at Elliot at least telling her he was leaving this time was bittersweet. Elliot getting Olivia a compass necklace was a gorgeous gesture, as was his very sweet breaking the “e” off of the Live, Love, Laugh ornament so it bore her name instead. (This man is absolutely going to keep that somewhere special; I have no doubt he was serious when he said he was going to treasure it.) 

On a (slightly) more minor level, I feel like Charlie Brown and the football with Olivia thinking she’s going to try finding happiness. Olivia’s therapist tried to encourage her to peace last season and it ended up being a mostly empty endeavor this season, minus the random meditation we saw a few episodes ago. Instead, she lost a whole lot, was attacked, and seemingly tried to brush things off. I really, really, really, really, really hope we see her try to heal a bit more next season. (Please, writers.)

But, honestly, that end scene makes me worried about what ORGANIZED CRIME will look like when the series returns. And to be clear—and this cannot be overstated—right now we’re in the middle of the strike and it’s impossible to know what impact it’ll have on the series (and the franchise as a whole; it’s likely the other L&Os won’t make close to their ordered 22 episodes)…what was planned pre-strike could get tossed by the time production actually starts, for all we know. But this is what we have to work with right now, so I’m going to react to that.

Elliot going away makes no sense. The “best” case scenario, I suppose, is that he’s going undercover for work? (Again, in what world can this man go undercover in New York, if so.) If he’s not going undercover, him leaving town (??) is bizarre, because why would he leave the area? (I was also hoping Elliot’s present to Olivia was a burner phone, so they could stay in touch.)

As it is, this just feels messy. SVU and OC had been largely separate this year, in ways that frequently made no sense. Then, they intermingled the worlds to an insane degree for the final episodes…only to yank them apart again.

And it feels like it touches on a deeper problem that I can’t wrap my head around: Why can’t Elliot and Olivia be friends off-screen?

These are not shows where you’re going to see every single moment of their lives. By the nature of the storytelling, we’re going to miss a lot of the personal beats; no one is expecting for this to suddenly become THIS IS US. But if OC and SVU are on different schedules, we just went through months of no Elliot (and virtually no mentions) on SVU. Why are they setting up that he’s going to disappear from Olivia’s life for who knows how long for this assignment? Let them be friends and rebuild their dynamic—and figure out who they are with Noah in the mix—off-screen. We don’t need to keep hitting the pause button until we can physically see them on-screen together, because it does them (and us) a major disservice. There’s a balance between excluding us entirely (like if they were to have them hook up off-screen; please never do that, writers, it’s been 24 freaking years) and everyone acknowledging, yeah, these two humans who are intrinsically intertwined are allowed to hang out and catch up without us seeing every beat.

And given how aware Olivia was about Elliot’s traumatized mindset (with seeing Kathy, her being shot, Jamie being killed), is there no concern he’s now throwing himself into another (seemingly) immersive assignment? Hopefully it’s not Eddie Ashes 2.0, but Olivia would be absolutely within her rights to be concerned about the timing of this.

Which also brings me to another frustration: So, Elliot’s just leaving Bernie? We just had it hammered home she’s not doing well—why was that a thing if he’s comfortable leaving her for who knows how long? (And, uh, is he just going to be wearing his wedding ring for the foreseeable future, or…?)

It’s very possible this is all moot! It could have been a throwaway line the writers didn’t give this kind of weight or thought to, and OC will feel normal when the show returns. It’s entirely possible whenever SVU returns, Olivia and Fin will mention Elliot and he’s not “gone.” But right now, with absolutely no clue when TV returns, I wish they hadn’t ended the SVUxOC season with the notion that Elliot is going to bolt again.

Which shows did you watch last night?

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