Wednesday, November 16, 2011

'Law & Order: SVU' Review - 13.08 Educated Guess

        The eighth episode of the thirteenth season of NBC's Law & Order: SVU just concluded airing. The episode created a scenario that has never been told like this.
        In this episode, a man in custody at a mental hospital claims to have witnessed a rape in a break room. Despite the witness' shaky credibility the SVU team begins an investigation, but the victim denies being assaulted. Detectives Benson and Rollins struggle to piece together what really happened to this young woman, especially when her aunt and mother say Gia has been repeatedly institutionalized and has cried rape in the past.

        This episode perfectly encapsulated the idea that new showrunner Warren Leight spoke of at the beginning of the season - a more ensemble approach to the cases. In this episode, we virtually saw every pairing possible on the program and yet it never felt over-crowded or too heavily worked. We saw some nice moments between Rollins-Fin, Nick-Rollins, Nick-Olivia, Olivia-Rollins, Munch-Nick and the entire group coming together. The case was complex as they had to use their keen observation skills in order to get any kind of information.
        Adding to this episode was the fact that Olivia, Nick and Amanda were deeply impacted by it. It is always great to see these characters bring up their past turmoils in the case because it shows that they are human as well. To persuade Gia, Olivia had to bring up her past of being stabbed and assaulted to convince her that the detectives could protect her better than a gun. Nick wanted to punch the guy they were questioning and Olivia comforted him by saying her old partner came real close to (nice Elliot shout-out, although a bit short and abrupt). Finally, the show was able to delve further into Rollins' backstory. We learned that her sister had psychotic problems and abused drugs while there was an accident that happened in Atlanta that allowed for her to transfer to the New York unit.
        It was a nice breathe of fresh air to see that the two suspects the detectives discovered where surprising without it being out of the realm of possibility. Once again, the second half of the episode was better as we got more into the depth of the minds behind the victim, the perpetrator, the mother and the aunt. The first half was good but it spent just a bit too much building everything up.
        The closing scene of Rollins, Olivia and Gia was the perfect way to cap off this episode. Olivia's line of "You survived the abuse. You can survive the recovery," wonderfully showcases what this show is all about and how it has yet to lose its touch.
        In the end, this was yet another great episode in the series' recent uptick in quality with the past three airings. The episode flowed well and every action was deliberate. I could of used a bit more of the fabulous Carrie Preston but that's just my personal opinion.