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.
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!