Thursday, February 2, 2023

REVIEW: 'Law & Order: SVU' - An Escalating Criminal Provides the Final Test for Bruno Joining the Manhattan Squad in 'Intersection'

NBC's Law & Order: SVU - Episode 24.13 "Intersection"

A car accident leads the detectives on a search for an ambulance driver assaulting his charges. Fin gives Detective Bruno a tour of Manhattan SVU.

"Intersection" was written by David Graziano & Julie Martin and directed by Norberto Barba & Juan J. Campanella

In this line of work, Olivia is often asked to explain the motives of rapists to their victims. It always fundamentally boils down to power. This story isn't any different. He simply concocts an elaborate mechanism to provide him with the ability to act on these impulses. It's also not surprising for Olivia to see the crimes escalate. She knows that the police must take sex crimes seriously. They are often the first indicator of even more heinous actions to come. So many of these stories play out that way. A crime starts out one way. And then, the story escalates to show the widespread consequences of allowing this behavior to continue. Olivia doesn't want more victims to be assaulted. She and the squad also need the time to catch the criminal and hold him accountable. It's a delicate balance. One where the detectives can't beat themselves up over not responding quickly enough. Velasco wants to be a shoulder to cry on for Muncy. He expects her to be emotional following Duarte's murder. She spoke so highly of her former captain. She transferred units because she could make a difference in another section of law enforcement. It wasn't a response to something Duarte did. She always respected him. Velasco expects her to have a bigger reaction to his death. He expects to see it plainly all over her face and actions. Her grief doesn't have to occur according to his time table. His expectations don't matter whatsoever. He could be seen as a friend who is genuinely concerned about his colleague. He's also pushing too hard. She buys into it to a certain extent. She appreciates having someone who cares about her well-being. And yet, she too has to grapple with how little she actually knows the guy she's working alongside. This profession is all about trust. And now, everyone has a reason to doubt Velasco. Olivia listened to the recording of him providing drugs to an inmate for information. It's actually much more serious than that. Additionally, he confessed to a murder. It's unclear if that was anything more than a tactic to get this guy talking. Velasco could be willing to say anything in order to provide the next crucial clue Olivia needed to convict Oscar Papa. It could also reveal something within Velasco. One that should make everyone question every other action he has taken since joining the police force. Olivia reaches out to Muncy for a second opinion. She does so because it's convenient. She also doesn't want another authority figure telling her how to handle this situation. She wants that responsibility herself. She flexes her influence to ensure Muncy stays in line. That's how she conducts herself on the job. That's her power. She also knows when to use it and when to allow others to shine.

Fin was right to trust his instincts about Detective Bruno. He emerges as a fine addition to the Manhattan squadroom. Olivia is skeptical of anyone replacing Rollins anytime soon. Her desk is still viewed as a sacred spot. Bruno's perspective on the world and his interactions with people are remarkable different as well. They aren't abrasive. They are a new style. One that has to adjust to the way business is done in this particular unit. He appreciates that these detectives actually take these crimes seriously. He has found a place to belong. He is also willing to acknowledge his own shortcomings. His life isn't perfect just because he won his lawsuit against the city. Olivia and Fin are in his corner. They are rooting for him. That's a nice energy to have. But again, all of this pivots around the central investigation. One man has stolen an ambulance and is manipulating the technology within it to cause accidents. He does so to then rape the women who have endured that immediate trauma. He also robs their loved ones of power as they have to helplessly watch him commit this invasive act. That's enough to get everyone questioning. They think about what they could have done differently to avoid these apparent accidents. The detectives worry that they forced one witness into identifying the wrong man. The victims fear they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ultimately, it was all about this one man fighting to take back control after discovering his wife was having an affair. The detectives don't need her to tell the truth to force him into compliance. They simply approve saying whatever needs to be said for that arrest to occur. That's the best tactic for the moment. It's all in the name of saving yet another life. He has already killed people in this scheme to be powerful once more. His luck was destined to run out at some point. The victims won't have to endure a trial. Justice has been provided to them. But now, they have to continue living their lives. Knowing the truth forges stronger bonds with their loved ones. It's still a process to get to that point of recovery. It's the first step of dealing with what happened. Olivia is there to facilitate all of that meaningful work. She's provided that compassion and guidance for a long time. She knows how to help victims in their time of need. That's needed long after the initial crime takes place too. She also needs to trust the people assigned to work for her. She now has doubts. That's not good for Velasco even though she has found a worthy addition in Bruno. She sees that clearly now after being distracted with Duarte and Oscar Papa in the last few episodes.