Law & Order SVU Review: A Twin Killing

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Twins, again? By the second time T.R. Knight's rape suspect, Gabriel Thomas, declared his innocence in "Double Strands," I was ready for Amaro to figure out that Thomas must have a twin. Granted the title of tonight's episode did sort of spoil the surprise of the detective's big discovery, but it's not like we haven't seen this before.

As I mentioned last week, with such a long run on television, it can be hard for Law & Order: SVU to keep the storylines fresh. This episode really reminded me of the season 6 episode "Identity." Luke and Logan (formerly Lindsay) Stanton perform the perfect murder through a clever use of a movie-theater alibi and twin DNA. But now in season 13, the "evil" twin, Brian Smith (also played by Knight of course) uses their identical DNA to set up his brother.

T.R. Knight on Law & Order: SVU

His deception is pretty clever, and extensive, as it involves following his sibling on all of his business trips and copying his appearance right down to the yin-yang tattoo. But it only takes two little mistakes to make Amaro suspicious.

While the twin plot may have seemed a little repetitive, I thought Knight did a really convincing job of playing both the distressed family man and the devious twin brother with serious mommy issues. As Gabriel, he obviously invited sympathy as a wrongly accused man. But, regardless of how repugnant Brian's crimes were (including framing his brother), you couldn't help but pity him. Knight really brought out the wretchedness of both Gabriel and Brian's situations. The dual role allowed him to portray the vulnerability of both his characters in two very different ways. He was a great guest star.

Rollins and Amaro were at the center of the episode, tracking down Gabriel and Brian. I haven't been a big fan of Rollins so far this season, but her character is growing on me.

I like that Rollins is supposed to be like a female Stabler; it brings a new dynamic to the show. She's utterly convinced of Gabriel's guilt as soon as they bring him in for questioning, which actually keeps her from interviewing him. Clearly, there was a lot of evidence against Gabriel, and Rollins' guilty-until-proven-innocent approach wasn't too appealing, but it did remind me of some of Stabler's aggressive approaches to getting the job done.

However, she easily lets go of her previous assurance that Gabriel was the rapist once Amaro provides the new suspect. From there, she bravely puts herself into danger and smartly coaxes the confession out of Brian.

If Rollins is the Stabler, Amaro feels more like Benson. He isn't so sure of Gabriel's guilt and follows his gut instincts to discover the truth. He matched Rollins' impatience to see Gabriel convicted with a brooding thoughtfulness, just like Benson. Together, I think these two would make a good team.

Oh, and we got a little more Munch this week, which was great. At one point, he looks at a deeply troubled Amaro and asks, "What's bugging you, new guy?" Classic irreverent Munch!

What do you think of a Rollins-Amaro partnership?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Pinos head is too small for his body and Giddish talks like she has marbles in her mouth all the time. Season 13 is going to be soooo much fun.


Hey John the number one show in the world is on CBS


traer a meloni, porfavor,porfavor,porfavor...


This writing for this show has become so bad that it might as well be a CBS or USA Network series. Warren Leight dumbed down CI for its move to USA, and he's doing the same for SVU. Bring in Rene Balcer or bring back Neal Baer!


Completely agree with dougie spoiled. TR was awesome but this episode was terrible


realmente no me gusta esta nueva ley y orden o svu 2.0 como se llama ahora, olivia como siempre genial, pero que no es lo mismo sin chris.NO me gustan los nuevos detectibes son aburridisimooooos. habian dicho que si svu seguia como estaba no iva a durar no mas de 2 temporadas, realmente creo que SI SIGUE ASI no va a pasar de esta temporada, espero que se den cuenta y hagan volver a chris, COMO SEA.


The show sucks without Elliot, pure and simple. There is absolutely no charisma between Olivia and the new man or woman. The show will be cancelled at the end of the year if it hasn't been already decided that this is the last season anyway.


This episode was really intense. It really showed how the team can bump heads and still has a lot to do work on with each other - particularly with Aamro and Rollins. I've been a fan of SVU for 9 years and I'll admit that this episode wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worse. I look forward to see what else the season has in store, as I want it to continue for at least another season.


3.5 out of 5 is a little harsh. Curving for the past four or five seasons, every single episode of Season 13, including the ones that haven't even aired yet, is a 5 out of 5, even the hilariously blunt not-DSK that was the season premiere. The new change in writing staff and CI's Warren Leight taking the helm is a change for the better. Gone are the days of Neal Baer and "Lifetime Movie of the Week: SVU". Gone are the days of unexcused police brutality from UnStabler. Gone are the days of Stabler and Benson's horribly unhealthy codependent relationship. (And Jesus, Benson, but your former partner was a psychotic thug and he was the socially adjusted one. How sad was that?) Gone are the days of using Meloni and Hargitay's "chemistry" as a crutch to excuse terrible, overly melodramatic writing. Instead, say hello to an ensemble show with two new characters whose actors can actually act. Say hello to realistic ambiguity instead of flat cartoonish judgmentalism and a PSA of the week. Say hello to decent cast performances, for a change. Can we just pretend that the last four or five seasons just never happened, and this is the way SVU has been from the start?


I like Amaro. Rollins is still a little irrelevant to me.

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Law & Order: SVU Season 13 Episode 4 Quotes

What's bugging you, new guy?


I always thought I was your type.