Friday, January 7, 2022

REVIEW: 'Law & Order: Organized Crime' - Stabler Keeps a Close Eye on Wheatley After He's Released From Prison in 'Nemesis'

NBC's Law & Order: Organized Crime - Episode 2.10 "Nemesis"

When a notorious cybercriminal escapes a high-security prison, Stabler must team up with an unlikely informant. Kilbride takes Nova under his wing.

"Nemesis" was written by Eric Haywood & Juliet Lashinsky-Revene and directed by Jim McKay

Stabler and Richard Wheatley are essentially stalking each other now. As such, it's reasonable to see why they would actually want them close. That way they can keep tabs on the other. It's a precarious relationship. One where they can plainly see the clash between lawman and criminal. And yet, the status quo cannot seemingly be changed. This is the state of their lives for the moment. The federal crimes against Wheatley were dropped in exchange for his extensive cooperation against other international organizations. Meanwhile, the jury deadlocked in the murder trial of Kathy Stabler. That means Wheatley is a free man once more. He hopes to present himself publicly as a man wronged by the system. Everything was taken from him. And yet, inspiration struck and he is now altruistic in his ambitions. He wishes to help law enforcement face the evolving dynamics of the 21st century. Jet is capable as a detective focusing on cyber crimes. But Wheatley's technical genius is pronounced as well. This episode highlights the tease of the chase. It's one where the two forces continue to create situations that force them close together. The same dynamic is essentially on display between Bell, Nova and Congressman Kilbride as well. With that though, it increasingly seems like the show is playing the long game. Nova is just getting her bearings in this new posting. She has earned the trust of the most influential person in this corrupt environment. She just has to work that connection. Meanwhile, Bell has to pretend to be in the dark about his true motives while preparing for the worst. It's not an investigation where they can make quick progress and expose the corruption. That is the end goal. They believe they have to expose crime no matter where it leads. They are committed to the mission. They have various tools in their arsenal. Patience has to be one of them. Not everyone is as fast-moving as Wheatley. He just earned his freedom and he is already causing more havoc. He orchestrates a prison break just in order to free a notorious hacker. The fact that other fugitives are on the run is inconsequential to him. The same is basically true for the show as well. The focus is solely on the hunt for Sebastian McClane. That's the mission tasked to the Organized Crime unit. Jet understands the severity of him being on the run. Of course, this criminal also wishes to present with complexity as he has remorse for inadvertently getting a man killed during one of his jobs. That's not enough to absolve him of his sins. And now, the stakes are only going to amplify further. Wheatley wants him free for a reason. That's not immediately clear. It's just a way for him to flex just how smart and clever he is. He makes law enforcement dependent on his expertise. He isn't the only criminal the unit can call upon to help in this endeavor. Stabler and Bell are rightfully skeptical. They watch his every step. They can't prove any malicious intent or involvement though. Wheatley continues to be too smart to get caught. That may be coming. He's positioned as Stabler's great nemesis after all. Again, that story can only last for so long before it grows boring. And yet, it can still produce some surprises like Angela faking the extent of her disabilities and now being aligned with her ex-husband once more. That may be a case of convenience for her given what she has lost following the trial as well. But it also supports the narrative that both husband and wife are dangerous. Neither of them can be trusted. Wheatley may exert his influence more overtly. Meanwhile, Angela hopes to goad people along. Even she is struggling in that endeavor as Stabler is already questioning her physical abilities. Some of these developments are happening fast and loose. That creates unpredictability. That's exciting too and contrasts with other stories. All of it has to be juggled by this unit that hopes to work in secrecy but is constantly struggling to catch up to criminal elements that are so well organized with the intent to avoid apprehension. That's the nature of storytelling for this show. It's different and unique for this franchise. That brings relevancy to the storytelling. It just makes some episodes as more teasing instead of fulfilling in their own right. That too is striking and noteworthy.