About Last Night...LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, 9-1-1, LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME, and More - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


May 17, 2024 by  


LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Stabler’s Lament” Episode 413 — Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler, Nicky Torchia as Eli Stabler — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Let’s talk about Thursday night’s TV!

LAW & ORDER: If you had told me a month ago that the mothership would be the only LAW & ORDER with a cliffhanger finale, I think I might have laughed in your face. Who saw that coming?

We’ve swapped out cast members between seasons every year, but, man, I was hoping this go-round we’d break tradition and it would be more properly addressed within the show that someone was leaving. Obviously the show went big for Sam Waterston’s final episode, but the losses over hiatus have been handled with a sentence, basically, in the premiere; I wish we had gotten a better proper exit for Camryn Manheim/Dixon.

The Baxter family drama was an interesting mess and felt like it quasi-derailed his bigger political ambitions and opened the door to a more complex and layered relationship between Baxter/Nolan. Hopefully that gets explored more next season.

9-1-1: Oh, Peter Krause was just heartbreakingly good here.

The flashbacks to Bobby’s childhood were brutal—and props to all of those actors, who also knocked it out of the park—and present-day Bobby just wanted to make amends, just wanted it to be clear that he is still living with the impact and fallout of his actions every day. I’m so curious about how Bobby is next episode…will he be figuratively lighter? In his own head? Will it not feel any different?

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: It was a smorgasbord finale, so just bullet-pointing thoughts about it:

  • One of the strongest parts of the episode was that they actually utilized their cast. This is not to say one-off guest stars can’t/shouldn’t be impactful or have episodes centered around them, but so frequently it’s felt like overly long cold opens ate up air time versus added depth to the episode. This hour at least felt like the majority of the episode included at least one person that we knew versus relying on outsiders to carry the load.
  • (Fin and Bruno introducing each other by their full names made me laugh out loud. Those kinds of beats are things you can play when you keep characters around for more than a handful of episodes. I hope we can keep this squad versus shaking things up again with new faces next season.)
  • “I’ll yell at you later.” “I look forward to that.” Valid and I love them.
  • Part of me is thrilled Fin finally got a subplot in season 25 given his tenure and importance to the show. The other part of me is still baffled it was that he got shot by a kid, lied about it repeatedly (to the point he collapsed), and tried to do tough love in the hopes it would help. I…okay. Sure.
  • Last week, I mentioned how much I was hoping a lot of what wasn’t working by some miracle would click into place in the finale. It didn’t, at least for me. Like I said, I love this show; I love this franchise. But two specific things are bothering me I want to highlight because of that:
    • They keep saying “recovery” and “healing” as if saying them enough will actually translate to the characters going through the process. I’ve said this before, but healing is not linear, fast, or easy. If the show itself was acknowledging it was a process and we saw any of that translating to Olivia, I’d honestly be okay with the mess of her slowly finding her way to a happier place. But Olivia keeps saying or implying she’s been healed and helped when we’re not actually seeing that. She’s saying she’s fine and yet still is crossing lines, recklessly risking her life (beyond the “normal” danger for a member of the NYPD), and throwing herself into work in a way she’s really never done before. I understand the show might not have the capacity to show us the whole process, but I really hope in season 26 we either see more of the actual journey or see more of the results. (Especially given how sad she actually looked in the final beat of Maddie’s party…it was fantastic acting by Mariska Hargitay, but it looked like Olivia was trying to convince herself she was fine.) If this is Olivia Benson healed, what does that actually look like going forward?
    • The series also has repeatedly echoed things from the show’s history this season, but never actually acknowledged if it was an intentional homage or…simply accidentally repeating storylines and beats. There were dozens of Lewis parallels throughout the season that were never canonically addressed. (Especially in episode 10.) Olivia has already given a meaningful necklace away to someone involved in a case. Heck, we already got the “duty to hope” line in the premiere in a voice over, but not in the same context. By the nature of its format, SVU is rarely a show that is overwhelmingly subtle (see, for example, how we frequently got flashbacks to Maddie when it was brought up as she was missing or the Lewis/Johnny D. scenes in the Noah conversation), so it feels like if we were supposed to believe it was intentional, there would be a single line or something more concretely connecting it to past episodes. I really hope they steer away from this next season or find a way to actually acknowledge the ties.
  • (And, look, this is breaking the fourth wall, to a degree, but it was the 25th season. I’m still bummed that outside of a quick Maria appearance, we didn’t get the return of any significant character*, be it an old foe or someone from the squad’s past. Maybe we’ll get something in season 26. *I am excluding Rollins and Stabler from this given they were both in the season 24 finale and have obvious ties to the regular cast.)
  • I feel like the final scene will probably be a Rorschach test for viewers, depending on your take on that relationship and how it’s been handled this season. For me, it kind of felt like last year’s post-BX9 scene: It was once again a reminder of how the show has been ignoring this incredibly vital, interesting dynamic for no logical reason. (And, again, reiterating there is zero reason we couldn’t have gotten a call or have been shown a text at any point in at least 11 of the previous episodes.) It was frustrating, but also lovely. We heard Elliot teasing Olivia and Olivia being very vulnerable in acknowledging she never took off the compass. We also, importantly, got Elliot knowing who and why she lent the necklace to as well as him whole-heartedly accepting it; he knew what was going on in her life, he knew her. She also knew he’d understand. It remains wildly frustrating the show can’t acknowledge they’re canonically friends who see each other when we don’t see them—they have so, so many things to discuss and deal with that neither show will ever have time to really address, so allowing viewers to fill in their own blanks would be helpful—but at least this seemed to confirm they’ve been talking. Fingers crossed SVU can figure out a better way to handle this relationship next season.
  • (I’d say I hope the Maddie case/storyline is done, but Olivia also made it very clear they’re family now and it was reiterated, repeatedly, how the compass was on loan to Eileen, so…)
  • All that being said, I cannot express how happy I am we ended the season with Olivia Benson laughing and smiling. She deserves that.

GREY’S ANATOMY: The show has frequently not known how to best handle Teddy and Owen, but I loved them touching on their shared history due to the disaster they found while hiking. And the idea they could utilize this training to help others in the future? Loved it.

I know she’s going through a messy breakup now, but I really hope Monica sticks around, both as a doctor and for Amelia. I’m really enjoying their dynamic right now.

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME: I have sympathy and empathy for the OC writers, because while NBCU may have been firm about the show not being in actual danger, the deal still was not actually signed for a frustratingly long time. And it feels like that quasi-uncertainty came into play in what we got in the finale.

In some ways, parts of the finale felt like they could serve as a series finale: The opening montage paid tribute to the journey the show had been on. The end moment with Elliot talking to Kathy’s grave* felt full circle in a way given the series kicked off with him trying to get justice for her murder. We got glimpses of what might be for the Stabler family with Eli opting to follow in his father’s footsteps. (In more than one way.) Would it have been the series finale I wanted? Absolutely not. I’m unspeakably glad we’re getting more. But if they had to hedge their bets, I get what they did and why they did it.

A few thoughts:

  • *Just going to say I have absolutely zero problems with Elliot talking to Kathy’s grave. The guilt he feels over her death is likely never going to go entirely away—it’s not suffocating like it once was, but especially when there are big moments with their kids…it’s going to sucker punch him, I’d assume; it makes sense he’d tell her their baby is about to have a freaking baby—and she was his family. I don’t view it as him still being stuck in the past or in that relationship, at all. And I love that he acknowledged he is unmoored and struggling at times. It’s important growth.
  • I am shocked the Emery stuff was left open-ended, and I’m so intrigued by how that might play out next season or if it gets punted further down the line. (With Joey in the mix, I assume they can’t save it multiple seasons; Elliot would not be okay with his brother being missing and in danger for years.)
  • Eli. Buddy. No. No, no, no. There’s a real heartbreaking parallel between Eli and Elliot…Elliot never wanted to be his father—frankly, did everything in his power to not be his father—but even still, he still ended up following in his footsteps, career-wise. Eli, well, in many ways it seems he had a romanticized version of his father’s job until Elliot returned to New York a few years ago. And even though his father’s absence and the danger have made Eli miserable in recent years, he’s still emulating his father’s path.
  • (Also, I had a brief image of Bell trying to wrangle two Stabler men on her team, and I think she would need, like, a full year of vacation.)
  • I don’t know how they would have done it, because it would have been the most delicate of lines to toe, but given Maureen and Eli were the only Stabler children at the family dinner…I wish there had been some comment made about how those were the two pregnancies that defined Elliot’s life and where he is today, and now Eli is about to embark on a similar path. (Even if it was later to his mother or Randall.) All of Elliot’s children are deeply important to him, he’d die for them, but he married Kathy because of Maureen**; he came back to her because of Eli. If those hadn’t happened, where would his life have been? (I don’t for a second think he regrets his children or where he ended up. But if you weren’t going to have all of the kids there, Maureen being the only other one gave it—perhaps?—an unintentional layer of messy drama they could have played with.) **Also not claiming he didn’t love Kathy. But they likely wouldn’t have gotten married as teens without that pregnancy.
  • I would very much like to keep Randall next season, please and thanks.
  • Oh, God, that scene as Elliot was reacting to overhearing Eli and Becky talk about the pregnancy at the end. As always, the micro-expressions on Christopher Meloni’s face were top notch.
  • (Seems even spelling it as Krychek can’t keep a character with that name from being doomed.)
  • Even though it was clear Trisha was crushing on Vargas, the conversation where she and Jet were talking about him—while Jet thought they were talking about Reyes—was so. freaking. funny. Laughed out loud.
  • Hey! We made it through the finale with no one (from our team) dying!!! (Protect them all, please.)
  • Man, I miss this show already. I miss Bell and Stabler’s friendship. I miss the team dynamics. I miss the family. I can’t wait to see the Peacock run.

ELSBETH: I’m so glad Wagner was able to clear his name, but, oh, ouch to how hurt he was and how coldly he dismissed Elsbeth. I understand why he felt betrayed, even if he’s known this was happening for a bit, but she was also doing her job. We know Elsbeth isn’t going away (thanks to the show’s renewal), so how does this change their dynamic going forward when she does stick around?

Which shows did you watch last night?

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