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Law & Order: SVU Review: Sundowning In The City

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Tackling a current sports medical issue, "Spiraling Down" displayed the devastating affects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The episode, although a bit uneven and lacking in suspense, made good use of its guest star, Treat Williams, to bring to life the tragic downside of a sports career.

SVU has dedicated many episodes to exploring the issue of personal responsibility. A long list of defense attorneys has argued environmental and medical factors that seem to exonerate the defendants from any wrongdoing. While the detectives (and sometimes the juries) have been slightly swayed by these arguments, the show usually places most of the accountability on the individual and the choices he/she makes.

But this week, we and Benson could clearly sympathize and even excuse the behavior of former quarterback Jake Stanton. From the moment he appeared in the station, it was clear that he couldn't understand the severity of the situation and not because he was arrogant enough to think his behavior was excusable. Williams' Stanton was vulnerable, disoriented and heart-breaking

Treat Williams on Law & Order SVU

Benson took pity on Jake's wife, Georgia Stanton, especially when she saw just how broken the poor woman was. Georgia's despair was so real, displaying both frustrated anxiousness of someone trying to protect someone they really loved and that bitter edge of resentment. Stanton's dementia may seem apparent to his wife and the people closest to him, but the fact the disease can't be confirmed without an autopsy makes excusing his behavior very difficult.

Stanton's denial of his condition was also difficult to watch. Although frequently confused, the former football player tried to stumble his way through life, relying on his charm and reputation. The way Ellis tore into him during cross-examination was both excruciating and necessary. Without that painful exchange Stanton could have been convicted, but it also led to an agonizing realization. Confronted by by the reality of his condition and the ceaseless media circus, Stanton couldn't handle the pressure and took his own life. I could see the moment when the idea came to him and, although tragic, it wasn't a surprising move.

I liked that Benson thought of Ellis to help the Stantons. The two had interesting chemistry in "True Believers," and it was nice to see that continue, especially after we saw Benson describing the horrors of dating in New York City at the beginning of the episode. I don't know if they should be involved romantically (Benson's love life is pretty much a trainwreck), but it's good to know that she's got some friends now that Stabler is out of the picture.

Will Benson and Ellis continue their friendly exchange?

Also interesting this week was the introduction of Amaro's wife. She's been mentioned before, but Amaro is usually pretty tight-lipped about his home life, which seems to indicate some kind of tension between the two. When Vicki mentioned that her mother thought her dad was having an affair while deployed, Amaro immediately began to suspect his wife. He didn't wait long to investigate his suspicions, using a Skype conversation (nice product placement!) to not-so-subtly bring up Jason Harris.

His wife must be used to this kind of behavior because she quickly responds: " I think we're having a conversation. turns out you're interrogating me." The whole scene doesn't say much for their relationship. Prolonged separation can cause trust issues in marriages, but it seems like this kind of jealousy and mistrust isn't new to Amaro's marriage.

When we will get the full story on Amaro's marriage?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (37 Votes)
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The show is just not as good anymore- i miss the team effort of Chris Meloni with Mariska Hargitay. Bring Chris Meloni back!!! It seems Mariska`s part is even being diminished-She is the show- That is even worse!!! Don`t like the show anymore really and I watched the full 12 seasons and never missed an episode!!!. VERY DISAPPOINTED IN THE NEW SHOWS!!!!!!BETTER TO JUST CANCEL THE SHOW AND LEAVE IT EXIT WITH SOME DIGNITY!!!

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I actually thought this episode was... not bad! Pretty good, I'd even say. The writing is not there yet, but its getting there. Still not a fan of the 6 - 7 minute intros, as opposed to a quick 2 minute unrelated story, discovery of crime scene and SVU on the case; but what can you do? Another, bring back Meloni plea. Ok, what if something happened to Hargitay and or Meloni in real life? You can't say, bring him / her back, if they are in the hospital or 'God forbid' something worse, right? And who's to say the story writing would be better if he came back? Right or wrong, writers have to blend new characters on to the show, to keep it fresh. Its SVU without Meloni, deal with it. I liked the episode. I liked how it featured on Ellis and the defense, as opposed to the prosecution. I liked the internal conflict between Benson and Cabot. I liked how it actually showed a proper ORDER story. I liked how it took a character who was guilty; BUT he was actually a victim of concussions. I too thought he was faking it near the end. And hey, they got the pimp (not sure I liked the portayal of blacks as the easy bad guys, but I can overlook it), didn't they? So its not as if they excused the wrong do ers. Great job on the episode, and you want viewers to continue watching? Continue having internal conflict of the characters, pulled from the headlines plots, story misdirection, moving events forward and a little eduction for the viewers on current stories / events. Can we have another shrink and more medical examiner and crime lab people, please? Just to mix up the show. And people who don't like the show any more, don't watch. I am a fan of the show and will continue to watch until its canceled.

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Does anyone knows the name of the song that appears at the beginning of this episode? It says something like.. If you leave me baby...

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A good episode. And a surprising one too, I always suspected Treat Williams was going to be shown he faked the dementia, until he shot himself.

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I didn't like this episode - worst of this season. What happened to the victim? I'm referring to the 14-year-old sex-trafficking victim that the football star raped, not him. This whole episode centered around the perp-football star. Since when are sports concussions a concern for sex crimes police? If he's that bad off, then why didn't someone (like the court) put him in an institution or under supervised care? Where was Olivia Benson's compassion for the REAL victim? She actually helped the defense in this episode - is she going over to the dark side now? This could have been a good story about sex-trafficking of children, but they turned it into a feel-sorry-for-the-perp sob story. PLEASE bring back Chris Meloni. His character would never have put up with this.

Terrie-lynn-mcdonald-coleman

This show just is not the same without Chris Meloni.......Mariska seems to be taking a back seat to the two new cast members........

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I do not appreciate the writers referring a broke down football star whether it is fiction or nonfiction as a wounded warrior. Last time I watch s.v.u. shitty victims unit.

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I thought this was a better episode in Season 13. Glad that the writers are finally finding a way to get Benson and Amaro to a place where we don't always see them just talking about work. It seemed like they were actually having a conversation. I really think this show wouldn't be so bad if it were just Amaro who was new, but the addition of Rollins throws the entire cast off, which throws the show off. But that's probably just me.

Law & Order: SVU Season 13 Episode 10 Quotes

Amaro: Not the kind of guy I'd expect you to represent.
Ellis: You mean a white guy?
Amaro: You're going to play the race card already, really?

It's all PR. He's a heat-seeking missile.

Amaro on Ellis
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