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


March 1, 2024 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Beyond the Sea” Episode 406 — Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Ehle as Captain Meredith Bonner, Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

LAW & ORDER: Pretty sure we can add Shaw to the List of Wolf Entertainment Men Who Won’t Be Sleeping Through the Night™ after this episode. I cannot fathom how much this will tear him up. He saved a life, but it has to feel moot given what it cost.

And that conversation between Shaw and Riley was absolutely brutal, in the very best way. Yes, Shaw is a cop. He’s also a Black man in America. As he noted to Riley (and reminded viewers), his being a cop doesn’t protect him from being a Black man around other cops. “Imagine, your success, your safety, your security, your survival depends on the baggage somebody else projects on to you or how you make them feel about themselves” is one of the most gutting (and obviously true) lines of dialogue I’ve heard in a while. Bravo to Mehcad Brooks for that scene, because my God.

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

NEXT LEVEL CHEF: Look, Wendy had a not-great cook, but I cannot tell you how hard I am rooting for Angela to be eliminated ASAP. Shouldn’t it be automatic disqualification if you intentionally push another contestant? If not, what’s to stop others from shoving people to the ground? There isn’t even a question about things getting too rough on accident…this was a full-arm shove. Yikes. Bad look.

GHOSTS: Okay, Eric lying about seeing ghosts wasn’t cute! This isn’t like trying to manufacture a meet-cute (though, Sam, girl, what), this is actively choosing to lie to the person you love, every day. Sigh. Alas. (I did laugh about Trevor trying to correct Alberta’s Yiddish and her pointing out how little he knows about her world.)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: We’re at the halfway point of the short season. It also struck me after watching tonight’s episode that six episodes is significant because I’d argue last season’s episode 2 through episode 7 was the strongest consecutive run the series had in probably at least a decade. In that same span of episodes this year? Well…there’s a fair case to be made it’s the most disjointed consecutive stretch of episodes we’ve had in at least five seasons. And in a short season, in an important milestone year, that’s frustrating. The pacing has felt off, plus a number of subplots have been started and then completely dropped (in this case, I’m specifically touching on things brought up around the Maddie case; for everything else, there’s still seven episodes for them to come back to it, in theory). I really hope the second half of the season turns things around.

At its core, the (non-case portion of the) episode was primarily saved by the interesting element of having two new additions to the team who aren’t actually lower-ranking detectives/officers. Is it confusing/does it make little sense? Sure. But Curry and Sykes know how this kind of job operates, which means we’re avoiding the beats we’ve seen repeatedly over the past five seasons with new additions. That’s good! And I hope we can keep this group for a while, because it’s extremely hard to connect to new characters in a meaningful way when people keep getting swapped out. (Also, they’re fun together. The casual banter from Curry and Bruno was delightful.)

But I keep coming back to my disappointment with the final scene/beats. We so very rarely get personal moments* on this show, so every one holds more weight at this point. In theory, Olivia is trying to bond with two new colleagues, even if they are subordinates. But as I’ve said before, the thing about a show being on this long is some viewers (hi, hello) know its history. And when things are said that blatantly misrepresent what we’ve seen, it’s frustrating.

When Curry asked if Olivia always knew she wanted kids, a literal yes would have worked if she wanted to remain vague about her personal life with quasi-strangers. Instead, during what appeared to be a bonding moment for the new team, we got “it was just something that fell into my lap.” Yes, Noah’s actual adoption was unexpected, but nothing about her path to motherhood was passive. Viewers saw her agonizing about what she might pass on to a biological child given her own history, but she was clear, multiple times, she wanted to be a mother. We saw her thinking about IVF after being rejected for adoption. Getting custody of a victim’s premature baby. Taking in Calvin. Her reaction when she thought she might be pregnant during her relationship with Cassidy. Even with Noah, she was the only one who showed up and checked in for months—and that’s why the judge gave her the chance to take him in. Olivia’s deep desire to become a mother and have her own family was a major thing for this character for years; this isn’t like the writers forgot her (hypothetical) favorite music group from middle school that was a throwaway line in an episode.

Is it sloppy writing? Intentionally vague? Either way, it instantly jerked me out of the scene because her answer didn’t ring true to the Olivia we have known for a quarter of a century. And viewers should not have to twist themselves into a pretzel to try and make sense of a throwaway line; if she was protecting her history from people she doesn’t know, that is an interesting character choice! But being vague about it doesn’t allow that to work in any way.

*Of the nine Wolf Ent procedurals on the air right now, eight of them dive into the characters’ lives. Of those eight, I’d wager SVU ranks at the very bottom in the past calendar year in terms of minutes devoted to personal moments. It’s an extremely odd shift.

  • There is not a woman alive (who has any kind of sense) that would leave her drunk acquaintance alone, even if she’s annoyed. Not one.
  • These freaks also stole their DNA? Good lord.
  • Okay, but what kind of muffins did Curry make?
  • Bruno running to claim his desk was very funny.

ELSBETH: Well, now that we know Elsbeth is basically a double agent, I’m very curious how her relationship with Wagner develops. (And truly hope she’s right and he’s not the trouble her bosses seem to think he is.)

[For more on the episode, here’s what the ELSBETH team shared.]

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: I’m not Christian so I’m going to acknowledge straight-up that I’m sure I’m missing a fair amount of symbolism. But, my God, watching Elliot lose his faith is fascinating.

This is a man with Jesus on the cross tattooed on him. (Yes, due to Christopher Meloni’s real tattoo, but the show could have erased it from the character if they wanted to.) When Elliot lost everything at various points in his life—his family (with the separation/divorce), Olivia (when she left, twice), his job (assuming here, since he came back wearing a cross necklace), his wife (“Return of the Prodigal Son”), his identity (hello to his undercover work)—his faith was his one constant. And this broke him.

It makes sense, as difficult as it is to watch. Elliot has consistently given up so much of his own life, his own happiness, in the hopes of helping others and making the world a safer place. He missed time with his family, then and now, to save others. And Rita’s death is proof that even when he thinks he won, when he thinks he made a difference, it could all be moot. The sacrifice was for nothing. Of course this man is spiraling.

And it’s juxtaposed with Bonner, who is going through an identity crisis in her own way. She needs Elliot to protect the town (from the killer) and also protect the town (so she can maintain this illusion/delusion it’s as peaceful as she wants to believe it is and this is an outsider causing mayhem)…the two things cannot hold the same space, really, but she’s only scratching the surface of allowing herself to believe it.

So of course two people who are struggling with their faith are dealing with a killer who is clearly religious. (STIGMATA?!) And Elliot knows his stuff. Bonner, as we see, knows the town. She knows her family. She doesn’t know them as well as she probably should, clearly, but she knows enough to know something is…off.

I’d say good luck to the killer, but, well, we all saw the promo at the end, so I’ll just say good luck to us all.

  • I’m sure there can be debates and conversations about who Elliot was having a nightmare about, but it’s interesting to me there’s an argument all three of those deaths/serious injuries we saw are things he might blame himself for rather than just traumatic things that occurred in front of him. (I may be reading too much in that.)
  • Keith Carradine is always fantastic, but that final scene was absolutely chilling. Terrified of what’s to come.
  • Weird to call a “murdered body on a skylight” gorgeous, but that shot was stunning.
  • Thank God they saved Heidi for many reasons, including the fact Elliot may have just absolutely crumbled.
  • This was the first episode this season where it felt like a couple of things were rushed, but I’m not quite sure how it could have been tweaked given how packed everything was. I wish the IAB scene had gone more in depth about everything given we know what Elliot has gone through with them during his run on SVU and also even what he’s dealt with on OC. (The line about his dad, though…oof.) Reyes’ decision to take a pause was foreshadowed in the scenes right before he actually started packing his box, but those felt like they came out of nowhere, too. I wish we had gotten a beat or two more to sit with it given we know how much they’ve all struggled with the team changing post-Jamie.
  • Missed you, Bell.
  • (Don’t leave us for too long, Reyes!!!)
  • Okay, it’s officially funny three different Wolf Entertainment shows mentioned/had Noahs this week. (CHICAGO P.D., SVU, and OC.)
  • I’m not saying I’m suspicious of the reporter, but…

Which shows did you watch last night?

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