We learned a little more about Amaro's family life a few weeks ago in "Official Story," so I guess it was time to get to know Rollins a little better this time around.
While "Home Invasions" was primarily about the tragic shooting of a family in their own home, this was mostly a way to introduce the darker side of Rollins. Apparently, the guy has a serious gambling problem.
Initially, it seemed like the home invasion/shooting was motivated by the mother's work with gay and lesbian rights advocacy. Someone had spray-painted "queers" on the wall, which seemed like a decent lead to follow. However, when it didn't turn up any definitive suspects, attention shifted to the father's gambling habits.
This prompted the introduction of Murphy, a bad-ass Irish bookie, who made me laugh at a Twilight reference. Murphy wasn't rattled by the Amaro and Finn's questions; in fact, he was amusingly unhelpful and just blew a raspberry at the serious-faced detectives. But he wasn't only comic relief for the grim episode.
Rollins recognized Murphy, something Finn picked up on quickly, and Murphy definitely recognized her. Rollins is one tough cookie, as she took a severe beating from Murphy. This "warning" forced her to confront the fact that she is in too deep ($20,000!) and her addiction is affecting her work. There were some earlier references to Rollins' affection for sports events and gambling, so it wasn't too surprising that this turned out to be her connection to Murphy.
Although she waited a little to long to tell Cragen, it was brave of her to own up to her weaknesses and calmly wait for his decision. She seemed resigned to the fact that this problem could end her career. I liked that she didn't make excuses or be unreasonably angry about being confronted (things we've seen in other detectives). As you could probably guess, Cragen let her off with a stern reprimand.
Cragen always understands how hard this job can be on detectives because he suffered the same the pressures. His alcoholism makes him especially sympathetic to his detectives and he genuinely wants to help them emotionally.
Are you happy Rollins didn't lose her badge?
However, Rollins shouldn't take his sympathy for gullibility. Cragen can be tough when he needs to be, so I hope Rollins really does clean up her act. Rollins, like Benson, is pretty much married the job. With nothing to fill her time besides work, her hobby turned into a habit and then an addiction. I don't know yet if she'll be as devoted to recovery as she is to her work, but she doesn't have much of a choice.
Do you think she'll give up her gambling?
The investigation into the family shooting was interesting, but again pretty predictable. It's beginning to seem like the real tragedy of these episodes is how accustomed we are to seeing these horrible stories. Emmy's story was particularly depressing; however, it was fairly easy to figure out who killed her parents and why.
Can these episodes ever regain the suspense they used to possess?