Law & Order: SVU Review: Sins of the Father

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So SVU is going to draw out this little Benson romance with a little bit of "will they/won't they" flirting? I guess I can wait... for now.

Returning to the air with "Father's Shadow," the show was clever enough to give us a teaser of things to come between the detective and the executive D.A. And their brief interactions made it clear these two really have some chemistry.

ADA Haden

Harry Connick Jr.'s David Haden is smooth without being sleazy and confident without being cocky. In no time, he has Benson talking about all the exotic places she wants to see before coyly asking her to dinner. She declines, but for good reason. This relationship really is a "conflict of interest just waiting to happen." But I think that's what makes it so exciting! It has that sort of forbidden quality to it.

Benson isn't immune to his charms, and I think her hesitancy might just be a way of playing hard to get. She was definitely returning his flirtatious advances even though the last guy who pursued her romantically turned out to be a pedophile. That might also have something to do with her reluctance. Benson's job always seems to get in the way of her social life, which was a minor plot point in tonight's episode.

The central storyline concerned an aging documentary director and his disgustingly criminal "auditions" for a new reality series. The fact that he was able to get away with drugging and raping young actresses for so long indicates a real culture of misogyny in the entertainment industry. Many of the victims thought it was the way things were done; one victim even refused to press charges because she really needed the part.

What made his crimes worse was that Sandow continued to maintain that he was the innocent victim of fame-seeking actresses and a corrupt detective force. He was only concerned with himself and his ego even when his own son's life was at stake. The alleged sex crimes of his father pushed Eddie Sandow into a violent rage, causing him to hold his girlfriend and her daughter at gunpoint. Brainwashed to think his father is a god and all women are selfish users, Eddie snapped when he thought the only woman he trusted betrayed him.

The hostage situation was incredibly tense and poignant at the same time. The young actor who portrayed Eddie really delivered a believable representation of young teen's unpredictable rage and soft vulnerability. I thought it was strange that he seemed to bond so closely with Benson that he called her to handle his negotiations. They only spent a short amount of time together, during which Eddie only expressed anger at Benson. I guess he just really needed a strong mother type in his life.

Or maybe the writers just needed to put Benson in a dangerous hostage crisis for dramatic effect and ratings. Whatever the reason, Benson's particular family drama made her more sensitive to this case and, ultimately, aided her in saving the confused gunman. Nothing would stop her from helping this confused boy, not even David's concern for her safety. It seems like she'll continue putting herself in harm's way for the sake of others and pushing away chances for romance.

However, just as David subtly advised her to not to wait too long to visit Paris, it's probably better that she doesn't completely disregard this romantic opportunity.

We didn't get much of our other detectives, but Amaro's disregard for protocol and basic constitutional rights did get him a stern reprimand. Careful you don't venture into Stabler territory, Amaro!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

I agree this episode was awful. Why did the kid have that connection with Benson? If we saw a connection between the two I'd give this plot some credit. Why does Benson know better than the actual negotiator? I was almost hoping they'd shoot the kid just to speed up the story. 30 minutes on the hostage scene is too long! They could've wrapped that up in 7 minutes tops. Anyone think Meloni could've saved this crap? Old SVU had current issues & different points of view (abortion, immigration, perspective on the death penalty) and classic misdirection stories. Stories would go from a to b to c. The current series had NONE of that! They simply have a story that starts, continues and finishes at a; which makes for weak drama and a boring plot. My own opinion: Missing Pieces was by far the WORST SVU episode I've ever seen. Even the 1st season episodes had some type of rhythym. This episode was a VERY close 2nd.


This was possibly the WORST episode of L&O: SVU I've EVER seen. Good grief, it felt like HOURS of "negotiating" with the crazy kid. And nothing else. A horrible, horrible episode. I want my money back.


I wish Olivia and David would get together. It's a romance to happen if anything. Olivia is too agile.
I really hope we see some more personal aspects from Rollins. Like Munch, she drifting into the shadows. Glad Munch even made an appearance.
I didn't like the fact that the plot jumped from rape to family issues to a hostage situation to Benson sharing personal details. It's too much to complete within a 42 minute episode. I hope the show goes back to the part where it can focus on the actual victims who have been hurt and what they're going to deal with/are currently dealing with.


This season of SVU definitely reminds me of L&O:CI. I never really got into that series because I liked the very linear plot that the L&O franchise had developed up until then. Honestly, I think that's what they do best. I just find myself not being able to get into this show anymore, which is disappointing. I still like the characters but I strongly dislike the way the writers are telling the story.


Another truly bad episode. This was just a standard television cop scenario tacked onto what could have been a real SVU episode about a sex crime. It was insulting to have an untrained detective push a real hostage negotiator out of the way. And to have Cragen standing there and not taking her to task.
There is still no sign of chemistry between Benson and Haden. Connick's acting is so wooden it is hard to imagine anyone but the desperate of women being interested. Having Benson played as being that desperate must raise the hackles of unmarried women over 40.


Sorry -just can't get past no Elliot....Love that at least David is giving Olivia space but not too much! I'll have to break down and watch a whole episode to see what happens.


I don't know. Anymore it seems like if you've seen one L&O SVU, you've seen them all.


Great episode.......can't wait to see what Benson does with this guy......buts looks like next week that is going to be on the back burner for the other girl detective.......

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Law & Order: SVU Season 13 Episode 13 Quotes

What? He thought she was dead. Thirty years in and that's a new one.


I'm nothing like my father; you don't have to be like yours.