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Law & Order: SVU Review: The Batman of Soho

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You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Or you start a crime spree so you can be the hero. Such is the premise of tonight's episode of SVU, "Street Revenge," a dark exploration of vigilante justice. While not as unsatisfying as last week's installment, this episode was not a complete success. But it did offer some stimulating drama between Amaro and his wife.

The moody atmosphere of SVU seemed like an odd place for costumed vigilantes; it seemed a little too lighthearted for such a serious criminal drama. The masked crusaders did react rather violently to suspected rapists, but it just came across like a ridiculous concept. One of them was even named Fantastica. NCIS took on Batman-wannabes earlier this year in "Secrets," but that show has a more relaxed and jokey tone than SVU.

Danny Pino Promo Pic

I won't say (again!) that the plot was predictable... but I'm certainly thinking it. Stuart stood out to me from that first press conference, and his presence on that rooftop just cemented my suspicions. The storyline may have been unoriginal, but it was an innovative approach to the vigilante angle, which is a familiar theme for the show.

The most interesting aspect of tonight's episode was watching the growing suspicions of Detective Amaro. At the end of the previous episode, we saw him following his wife and watching as she entered a brownstone. This week, he sees her having lunch with Captain Joseph Harris, introduced in "Spiraling Down." The two were stationed in Baghdad together, and their clandestine meeting just makes Amaro even more distrustful of his wife.

His anxiety grows when she lies about where she was, and his jealousy explodes when he confronts Harris. Amaro definitely overreacted; punching Harris before even speaking to his wife indicates how little he actually trusts his wife. Amaro may be quite the charmer (just see that scene between him and the transit worker), but he can be really manipulative. Even his gentle questioning of his wife's whereabouts struck me as a little controlling.

Do you think Amaro is too charming for his own good?

It was good to see his wife, Maria, confront him with his bad behavior, and, with any luck, the two will start working to mend their relationship. We've already had one failed relationship recently; it would be too dramatic to lose another, especially since she's recently returned from Iraq.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.3 / 5.0 (18 Votes)
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I'm trying to figure which of the writers had the misinformation that Jehovah's Witnesses would post bail for someone purporting to be a Witness and accused of rape. A family member might feel comfortable doing this, but as an organization this is not something that they would do. The organization would post bail for someone or groups of someones if they are jailed for the one activity that they are known worldwide for and that is preaching the good news of God's Kingdom.

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I think your criticism of Amaro may be a little one-sided. Amaro's wife has just returned from her second tour of duty in Afghanistan where she developed a very emotional connection with the good looking Captain Harris, which concerns Amaro. When she returns, Amaro can tell that there is something she is not telling him. He follows her. Bad move on his part. He finds his wife meeting Harris and sharing a bottle of wine with the guy. He also sees her going into an apartment building. Later, she lies to him big time about what she did during those times. Bad move on her part. He thinks she's having an affair (well, duh!). Amaro confronts Harris and decks him. Very bad move on his part. Next comes the visit from his wife to his precinct where she goes ballistic in front of everyone. Bad move on her part. He finally tells her what he saw and that he knows she lied to him. She finally tells him the truth, but he still thinks she's lying. But when she tells him the guy in the apartment building was a psychiatrist she was seeing, it begins to all come clear that he has acted like a complete idiot. He tries to apologize, but of course she will have none of it and storms out. Before meeting Harris in secrecy, she should have tried to get him to understand why she wanted to see Harris, although frankly, I think she should have only done so with her husband present or at least should have invited him to come. Bad move on her part. As for needing to see a psychiatrist, that's the kind of thing that a husband and wife should talk about. Given the extreme emotional stress he works under, I think he would have been supportive. So another bad move on her part. Bottom line, there is plenty of blame to go around here with distrust on both sides. He knows he made mistakes. The question is will she be willing to admit she made some as well.

Law & Order: SVU Season 13 Episode 19 Quotes

You can't sketch what you don't see.

Munch

Now that right there is why I stopped marrying Italian women.

Munch
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